Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Our church has a tradition of doing a Trunk-Or-Treat for all of the kids in our ward (congregation).  Instead of having everyone Trick-Or-Treat to neighborhood houses everyone fills the parking lot, opens their decorated trunks, and then hands out candy to Trick-Or-Treaters.  Not only is it much safer, since you're only taking candy from people you know, not having to walk on poorly lit streets, or risking knocking on strangers homes, BUT it's much easier on the parents who only have to worry about making one major stop for the holiday instead of a hundred different houses.  I think the whole idea is pretty ingenious, for whoever came up with it first!
After the Trunk-Or-Treating, there was a big party with food, games, and several bouncy houses for the kids to go crazy in.  Since Daxton is way too young to really enjoy Halloween yet, we ended up not arriving until after the Trick-Or-Treating was finished.  We definitely didn't need the extra candy in the house and we also didn't want to wake Daxton from his nap in order to make it on time.
He was an especially cute Monkey for the occasion, courtesy of Old Navy, and often got distracted by the obnoxious banana sticking out of his pocket.  Since I was holding him most of the evening I didn't get the chance to take many pictures.  I'll have to do a little photoshoot with him after the holidays and in better lighting...I'm sure he'll love putting the costume on again!

 The Demary's were the only family I managed to get pictures of, Super Woman, Batman, and Ironman.  Talk about a 'Super' family!
Daxton did great, although his deer in head light look never really left his face.  It was quite a bit for him to take in and he was very eager to go back to sleep.

Sleeping Like a Tiger

I used to be a huge Halloween fan, but I have to admit that my passion for it has greatly died down over the past few years.  Maybe it was the exhaustion from my single days where there would be four-five costume parties scheduled throughout that last week leading up to the actual holiday and I felt pressured to think of a new costume for each one...
Or maybe it was my years of teaching and needing to 'best' my costume from the previous year.
I've had so many different costumes over the years, loved all the glitter and frills, loved the use of my creativity, but for some reason I just felt tired this year.
Even so, when I saw these adorable PJs at Target at the beginning of the month, I couldn't help but get them for Daxton.  And since he looked so stinkin' cute in them, why not take a million pictures of him smiling and laughing at the camera??
I think I've trained him pretty well, because he is quite the performer in front of the lens now.
Another reason why I adore him!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Flashback Friday: Disneyland...Traynor Style

I have been pretty busy lately and have fallen short on my Flashback Friday posts, but now that I am slowly catching up from my travels and visitors, I figured I would post a quick Flashback to April 2005...
I love Disneyland.
I have mentioned in previous posts about my love for this magical kingdom, but it might shock you that I don't remember visiting as a child.  I know that my parents took my older brothers and I when I was a few months old and then again when I was 7 or 8?  The only reason I know this is because there are a couple pictures to provide evidence, since my fleeting memory is becoming worse with age and gray hair.
Most of my experience traveling to Disneyland was during my college years at BYU and post college while teaching in Provo.  Maybe I had the "Peter Pan" complex, not wanting to grow up, or more likely...Disneyland is and will continue to be full of magic that touches the child in each of us.  Whatever the case, I did not truly know the ins and outs until I visited with the Traynors.
I had the privilege of getting to know both Annie and her brother, Will, while living at the Devonshire apartments in Provo, UT.  Annie easily became one of my absolute favorite roommates throughout the year we lived together.  She was such an incredible example of Christlike love and devotion.  She was constantly looking for ways to serve those around her, be involved with her church and school obligations, and yet always willing to have a great time with her rather immature roommate.  
One weekend we decided to take off on a spontaneous road trip to Southern California to visit her brother, Will.  Will was a good friend as well and after graduating from BYU, had been accepted to dental school at UCLA.  That weekend we had an absolute blast!  Will set us up with a place to stay at a families house in his ward, took us to Santa Monica Pier, the temple, shopping, and my favorite...Disneyland.  I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable brother sister combo!
I remember the morning we were headed to spend the day at Disneyland, Annie told me I HAD to wear tennis shoes.  That the Traynors had a special way of experiencing both Disneyland and California Adventures and that I needed to be prepared.  That was an understatement!  The second we stepped into the park both Will and Annie calculated a plan as to what rides to hit first, showed me the ins and outs of the famous Fast Pass, and we were off.
In one day, we were able to hit every ride in both Disneyland and California Adventures; many of them several times.  Needless to say it was quite the experience and I haven't been the same since!
I think I have part "Traynor" in me, because I loved the efficiency and planning that went into our experience.  
And yes...I have brought what they taught me to each of my trips since...
And yes...Dallas teases me each time.
 I was so excited to see Minnie Mouse, but wasn't about to waste valuable time waiting in a line to take pictures with we got creative.
 In front of Sleeping Beauty's castle

On our way through Adventure Land
 Climbing through Tarzan's treehouse and our favorite...Indiana Jones!
 It was funny to find these pictures below with Annie posing in front of Club 33.  I remember hearing about the secretive members only club and when we found it we were so excited.  We tried to see if we could look in, waited and watched for people to was all so mysterious.  Which is why, when Dallas came home and said he had made reservations for us at Club 33 while we were at Disneyland, I could barely contain myself.  He, of course, had NO clue why I was so excited.
(You can read about that experience here.)

 We may or may not have been VERY excited to see Winnie the Pooh, Eyore, and Piglet...

The BEST place to act like little children!

My Favorite

We didn't stop to take too many pictures in California Adventures...we were too busy riding on all the rides, but I was able to snap a couple as we were running from ride to ride.
 A for Annie

We had each gotten Park Hopper passes, so we jumped back and forth between the parks throughout the day, depending on how populated certain areas were...thank goodness Annie had told me to wear tennis shoes!  Talk about squeezing in as much as possible!

My favorite place Will and Annie took me to, though, wasn't a ride.  It is hidden on the right hand side of the castle...the Snow White wishing well.  It figures that Annie would know where the Snow White wishing well was.  Snow White is her favorite princess after all.  We made our own private wishes that night.  It has now become a tradition of mine.  Every time I visit Disneyland, right before exiting the park, I circle my way back to the Snow White wishing well.  There I wished for my heart to heal, to find the love of my life, and it was there I pleaded for little Daxton to join our family.  That's three for three as far as wishing is concerned.
I told you Disneyland was full of magic.

New Zealand Reunion: Muir Woods

 Our final day together fell on a Sunday.
Those that were staying at my house came with Dallas, Daxton, and I to our church meetings while those staying with Lisa attended church down in Dublin.  We all met up around noon to head north/west to Muir Woods.  Muir Woods is a gorgeous redwood park about 30 minutes north of San Francisco, close to Sausalito.  Although I have to admit that after visiting the Avenue of the Giants over the summer Muir Woods felt pretty small.  It was still very beautiful and the perfect relaxing way to end our reunion together.  Dallas ended up staying home with Daxton (beginning our drama of trying to get Daxton to take a formula bottle) while I took off with my girls to Muir Woods.
 Parking was INSANE and we ended up having to circle the tiny parking lot several times before we were able to find anything.  When we finally found a spot, Heather and I then had to trek through the woods to find the entrance.  We found some gorgeous trees along the way.

 The park was pretty packed so we decided to wait outside by the entrance for the rest of our group.
Here are some of my favorite shots from our afternoon in Muir Woods.  Thanks again, everyone, for indulging me with all the photos!!

Entering the Redwoods

 After exploring Muir Woods, we headed down towards the Oakland Airport for their evening flights.  We stopped in Emeryville to get one last look at the beauty of San Francisco and then enjoyed a yummy dinner at the Elephant Bar before dropping everyone off at the airport.

One last look across the bay...
I truly feel blessed to have amazing friends.
I love that I live in such a fun area, that those amazing friends want to come out to visit year after year.  I'm already thinking of the new and adventurous ideas for next year!
I love you girls so much!
Thanks again for an amazing few days!

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