Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beach House, Part 1

 My grandma gets a beach house through the military base (my grandpa was in the Navy for 20+ years) every summer, and we all load up and stay for a few days.
As luck would have it, I end up having to work at least one of the days EVERY YEAR, so the Ashcrafts always have a tiny bit less time than everyone else, but usually my kids get to go there while I am at work.  
I never bring my camera to these things because both my cousin and my sister in law are semi professional, so I just mooch once they post theirs on their blogs.  Here is part 1, with pictures from my cousin.  Once Tristen posts hers, expect more.  =)

These little people are quite close in age (6 weeks apart or so), and they get along really well.  I guess I never think about it because it is family, not a play date, but I just realized as I was tying that we pretty much never have to break fights up.
(PS, check out how much they've grown since here.)
 The whole crew of the under 18.  Cousins and cousins once removed.
 Felicity fancies herself Tristen's BFF.  She even let her do her hair.  Twice.
Tristen did all the girls' hair, matching.  I need to learn to do a french braid, since I spent much of my youth looking for someone at school to do it for me (my mom doesn't know how), and how cute is it on this little person?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

10 years!

We went to Greg's 10 year High School Reunion a last weekend.  What a trip.  High school.  Man, oh man.

We were both really excited to go because (a) since we went to the same high school, we have a lot of the same friends and I was excited to see some people whom I hadn't seen in years, (b) Greg is generally easy going enough to be excited about things I am excited about, and, (c) we like to go to parties where there is dancing.

We had a good time.  It was a two day event, with the fancy dinner on Friday night.  Actually, that part was sort of ridiculous.  The dinner was from 5 until 9pm on Friday night.  What person can get to an event at 5pm on a Friday?  Anyway.  Greg got off work early, so we were only a little late.  We greeted the person who was checking people in, who was a friend of both of ours.  Once we walked away from the table, we surveyed the room, and just looked at each other... we peaked at the door.  We knew almost no one else!  Haha.  We didn't get the memo that it was just the beautiful people at that part of the reunion.  But, we knew a few people, and as more people started arriving, we knew more and more.

Did you know my husband is terrible with names?  Terrible.  He recognizes people though (I am great with names, but less good at faces.  Between the two of us, we are actually a crack team) so he was looking around saying "I know that person" but he didn't know anyone's names, so we were trying to gather intel from others.  Anyway, there was one girl whom he recognized as someone who was really nice, but they kept making awkward eye contact, and he didn't remember her name... anyway, somehow we finally connected and we had a great time with her and her husband (her name was Nichole).  They have two kids, so we talked kids, and high school, and the weirdness of being there.  It was fun making a new (to me) friend, and seeing a few old ones.

The next day was the family picnic, and we knew that a few of our friends (mostly my friends who were in band) were going to be there, and it did not disappoint.  Some of them we haven't seen since graduation.  I thought it wouldn't be that interesting to see people what with facebook keeping us all apprised on everyone's lives, but it was great to see people for real.  And we broke into the band room and the choir room just for a little reminder of where all the magic happened (Greg and I sort of met in choir.  It's a long story.) which was fun.

Summation: the beautiful people are still the beautiful people.  They still ignore the underlings.  But, I am pretty sure they have way less fun than us underlings.  ;-)
(Also, I am undecided if we will go to mine, which is next year.  The beautiful people ignoring us at this one was sort of comical, but I think it might be just painful when it is the same girls that ignored me when I was in high school.)

Here we are then, Greg's senior year, and now, at the reunion.

Friday, August 24, 2012


 (Note, I had a Spanish teacher in college who would regularly make us write paragraphs about "Disneylandia,", I guess to make us use random verbs and adjectives?  But it makes me always call Disneyland "Disneylandia "now.)

We decided to do a couple days at Disney before school started back up for Greg.  It has been "closed" for the summer, since we have the cheap passes this year, but our kids have been eagerly awaiting the time when we could return!  We stayed at a hotel up there (It was a good price, but a mile away from Disney, so we either hiked or still had to drive, which was fine, but when it said "maingate" I guess I shouldn't have taken it at its word.)  We had a BLAST.  We visited a TON of rides, met up with some good friends who had coincidentally set their vacation for the same time, and generally enjoyed each other.  I texted my mom "I love my family on this vacation.  Vacations can really go either way."  And she laughed and laughed, but I think mostly because it is accurate.  And by that description, I think it was a success.  =)

 The kids wanted to visit "Brave" which was sort of a long line, and in the sun, but when I saw they had an archery station afterward, I was totally sold.  How fun is that?!

 Amy, Logan, and Ari came up for a day trip on Monday, so we spent Monday afternoon and evening with them.  Charlie and Logan were BFF.  I know I am not the only mother who loves seeing her kids having little friends.  It is just so....quaint.  Or something.  Every little interaction cracks me up/warms my heart.  Logan is a little younger than Charlie, and he was a little bit more nervous on some of the rides (also, his mama was staying off a lot of the rides with baby Ari, so he was out of his parental element.)  Charlie would pat his back and say "It's okay, we are almost done" when Logan started to get panicked.  I am glad to see that he is (pretty much) a sweet boy.

 Carter (and the Bradley's) went for the same two days as us, so we saw them several times over the two days.

 We actually got to ride the rides in the new CarsLand a couple times.  We had the early admission to Disneyland on Monday, and California Adventure on Tuesday (where you get to go in an hour before the park opens).  Because of the aforementioned hike we had to take to get to Disney, we got there a few minutes in on both days (like at 7:15 instead of 7.  Which for my non-morning person self and son, is still fairly impressive).  So, by the time we got over to CarsLand, there was already an hour wait.  Greg and Charlie hopped in line, and Felicity and I went over to the two rides she is tall enough for, Mater and Luigi, and rode those with hardly any wait (since everyone with early admission was over at the Radiator Springs ride) and then we got switch passes.  We did the same with Toy Story (which we NEVER ride because there is no way I am waiting in a 60+ minute line to basically play a video game), twice.  By the time Greg and Charlie got off Radiator Springs, Felicity and I had racked up our number of switch passes to six!  (Including for the ride that Charlie and Greg went on.)  So then Greg and the kids got to walk on all the rides later in the day.  It was really fun, and definitely the way to do it.  And then Charlie got to ride the Radiator Springs a second time, this time with me, using the switch pass, and I can confirm that it really is a pretty awesome ride.

Luigi's Flying Tires is basically a convergence of air hockey and bumper cars.  You lean to steer the car in whatever direction you choose.  It was fun, but I was wearing a skirt.  Before I walked out there with Felicity, I didn't realize there was air blowing straight up.  Very Marilyn.  (Don't worry, no one saw anything.)

Okay, so I am still worried that I have ruined my children by reinforcing gender roles, but I took the pictures, so I might as well share them instead of hiding in my shame.  We decided to splurge for one of the meals and do the "character dining."  Apparently the only options that aren't breakfast are Ariel's Grotto and Goofy's Kitchen, the latter of the two being at the Disneyland Hotel and not in the park.  Since I had Greg organize it for me, he made the executive decision that we didn't want to leave the park for the meal, so we did Ariel.  My kids got to meet all the princesses.  But (my feminist friends are dying right now) it was actually really fun, and BOTH my kids liked meeting the princesses.  It was probably better even than the regular characters that are at Goofy's Kitchen, because Felicity likes the characters but she really dislikes when they walk up to her (she much prefers to do the movement around them.)  So, we had a good time, and the food was fabulous!  Can we still be friends?

 Charlie wasn't feeling well, and Ariel doesn't come to your table, you have to stand in line to see her, and you only get to do it once.  So, Charlie didn't get to be in the picture with Ariel, and he is still complaining about it.
He perked up when Belle came around.

 This Snow White was killing us.  She was speaking in the Snow White voice from the movies, all tinny and weak.  Greg and I were dying of laughter, but I guess she is a little bit method.
 Cinderella actually had some personality and talked to the kids for a few minutes instead of just taking the picture.  I think my husband had a crush on her.  They send the princesses out while you are waiting for your food to come (genius.  All restaurants should take note.) but by the time Cinderella got to our table, the food had come, and Felicity was over the princesses and into the food.
 Charlie was OBSESSED with his crown, and is still wearing it all day.  (Felicity ripped hers while we were still eating lunch.  So maybe I didn't ruin my children with gender stereotypes?)

Later, we got to see Woody.  Not sure about the pose... I think he watched too much Olympics this month.
Basically, it was a super excellent vacation, and the perfect way to end the summer before we send Greg back to school for his FINAL YEAR OF LAW SCHOOL.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Glory be to God for dappled things*

 I disliked my freckles as a child.  I think all children dislike things that set them apart.  I hated those freckles my whole life until eventually I figured, "whelp, I guess they aren't going away."  
(There is a book by Julianne Moore which is really quite cute, where the little girl says that she can't wait until her freckles fade, as adults always promise you they will, and then she meets an adult who hated HER freckles as a little girl too and, guess what, they DIDN'T go away but she is still happy.  I would be happy if my freckles had made me famous too, by the way.  But I digress from my digression, the book is Freckle-Faced Strawberry, and it is worth the read for your little person who hates their freckles.)
But, even though I have gained serenity about my freckles, I can't say they are my favorite of my features.
Also: I love my mom, but she isn't known for making excellent fashion choices for her kids when we were little (which she freely admits).  That suit, shown here on my 8th birthday I believe, is practically pornographic.  And, yes, that doll is totally a water baby.

I CAN say that I now totally get what people were talking about when they told me that they were cute on a child.  Because LOOK AT THESE FRECKLES! 
Love my dappled things.

Side note, I have always attributed my kids freckles with my own, because I have way more than Greg, and he mostly has them on his arms, but here he is as a little guy, and there is a sprinkling there on his nose!

*Yes.  I totally did quote Gerard Manly Hopkins in this post title.  And, yes.  I totally remember poems I read in my senior year of high school.  I am just that weird.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oh, Mercy.

How will we make it past 16?