Saturday, January 31, 2015

July Trip Out West: California Swimming, BBQs, and Parties

The latter half of our week in California, we stayed at my brother's house in Clayton.  This was by far, Daxton's favorite part of the trip.  He LOVED being surrounded by his cousins and having so many people to play with.  One of the days we decided to go to Water World for a fun morning in the water.  It took about 10 seconds after we got there to realize what pansies Daxton and I had become.  The water was FREEZING! It didn't help that there was also cloud coverage and temps in the high 70s.  Compared to the heat and humidity of Florida, Daxton and I were total babies!

These pictures below are Daxton feeling the cold water for the first time...he was very concerned.

My friend, Jessica, brought her two adorable boys, Kostya and Val, to play as well.  It helped Daxton watching the fearless Kostya, to try some of the slides and play structures.

Sweet little Olive even took her turn!

Daxton was pretty mad about these tunnel stairs though.  For good reason, they were not built well and very hard to climb.  He did however make it to the top after several tries and several pouting fits.

More slides...

My friend Jules and her son Kaiden also joined us at the park.  Daxton loved playing with Kaiden who is a TOTAL fish!

It was totally funny watching Daxton try and figure out the teeter totter with only himself on one side.  I know I should have helped instead of took pictures while laughing, but it was pretty funny to see his little mind at work trying to figure out what to do on it!

After lunch my friends had to leave for nap times and my sister-in-law, Heather needed to run some errands.  The older kids really wanted to stay and play though, so Heather took Daxton and the younger kids home for naps and I got to have fun with my nephews.  They were pretty brave and wanted to ride the "tornado" funnel numerous times.  It was pretty nice just laying out in the sun relaxing and not having to worry about a crazy toddler.

When we got back to the house, I found this little man having a blast.  He had so much fun jumping on the tramp with his cousins, chasing each other and wrestling.  I loved how kind and patient his older cousins were to play with him.  It was a pretty sweet afternoon watching them interact. 

Heather was able to snap the cutest pics of Daxton and Olive up in their play house.  These two were so sweet with each other!  I love that they are only three months apart.  It melts my heart to see Daxton love his cousins so much.

That night Heather and Erik babysat Daxton while Dallas and I met up with good friends.  She sent me this adorable picture of Daxton and Olive sharing a bowl of popcorn while watching family movie night.  Oh how I wish we still lived close to these guys!!

Dallas and I had such a fun game night with our friends from our "Virginia Hills" Days!  Like I mentioned in my previous post, it was so much fun living on the same block as all these amazing people.  I loved simply walking outside and having friends to talk to in the back yard as our kids played.  It truly was such a blessing to be surrounded by the most incredible of friends.  Both Dallas and I really miss that closeness we felt that comes from living in a community of dear friends.

Michelle and Nate were kind enough to host a little adult game night for all of us.  We spent the night laughing hysterically, playing fun games, and just enjoying each other's company.  I hadn't laughed that hard in a very long time!  I sure do love these Virginia Hills Peeps!

Alana and Tanner               Jen and Ben
Aubrey and Shawn             Jules and Rachel

            Dallas and I                  Michelle and Nate

Trying to get a picture of everyone turned out to be a little more difficult, so I ended up snapping one as well.

I also had the most amazing visit with my dear friend, Jenny.  She and I served in the Primary presidency for a couple years together and I learned SO much from her.  She is one of the most kind, loving, and selfless people I have ever met.  About a month after we moved to Florida, Jenny and her husband Tim welcomed their beautiful boy, William into this world several weeks early.  It was hard being so far away while they were going through such a difficult time in their lives.  I wished I could have been there to help in some way.  William spent several weeks in the NICU, the same NICU Daxton spent the first couple weeks of his life.  It was such an amazing miracle visiting with them over the summer.  Hearing William's story and being able to peek into his little crib.  Obviously all children are little miracles, but with William there is something different about his sweet little spirit.  I could tell he had so many people cheering him on both here and in heaven, praying for his health and improvement.  Although, it was a brief visit, it meant the world to me that they would open their home and introduce me to their special miracle.
Like I said, it was an incredible blessing living on the same block with such amazing people.

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