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A sneak peek into my simple life and wonderful family.



GRANDPARENTS Fill the World with LOVE

Monday, March 24, 2014

Running for Chocolate

This past weekend us running gals participated in the Hot Chocolate Run.  It was a 15K race (9.3 miles), where you get to indulge in a ton of chocolate at the finish line.  This was our second year running in the race and it has honestly become my favorite.  A nine mile race is definitely my sweet spot. You feel like you ran a good distance but you aren't pushing yourself or your body too much.  We all kept pace together just breaking up into little groups towards the end but still being able to see each other.

You wouldn't think that at the end of a race when your body is so hot and you are so dehydrated that a cup of hot coco would sound good, but after downing a couple bottles of water, your body starts to cool down and it really does hit the spot.  Along with the hot chocolate they give you a spread of bananas, marshmallows, pretzels, rice crispy treats, and graham crackers to dip into chocolate fondue.  And I'm not lying when I say its may be the most amazing chocolate I have ever had.  

All of us ladies had great runs and we all earned the massive calorie intake at the end of the race.  I was very happy with my results, especially since I haven't been running as much as I was a year ago.  I'm looking forward to next years race as I'm craving the chocolate already.  

1 hour 22 minutes 18 seconds
Pace Per Mile
Division Place
Sex Place
08 minutes 49 seconds
53 / 481
277 / 2575
30 minutes 53 seconds
58 minutes 45 seconds

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

St. Patty's Day

Jake said that this was probably the first St. Patrick's Day we had celebrated since college and I think he may have been right.  With work and kids we really haven't made the effort to celebrate the holiday.  Our neighbor CJ invited us over to her place for dinner where she cooked traditional St. Patrick's Day food;  corn beef and veggies & beer bread.  Skylar and Jake made green cornbread and Jess and Soph brought over a green salad.  

The kids ran around playing with all of Johnny's toys and Jess gave the girls glitter shamrock tattoos all while listening to Irish music.  The food was so yummy and the company was even better.  It was a fun dinner and a great way to celebrate the holiday.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Solo Disney Trip

I must give myself a pat on the back because last week I did my first solo trip to Disneyland with the kiddos and it couldn't of turned out better.  We drove up first thing Friday morning and got to the gates right when they opened.  The three of us ran right through the gates and made it to Fantasyland where we were able to walk onto ride after ride.  Madden begged to go on the tea cups and the carousel.  He freaked out on the carousel until it started moving and then cried when the ride was over and had to get off.  

Thinking Madden would enjoy Toontown we headed over to Mickey and Minnie's houses.  I thought he would love walking through the cartoon-like houses but I was wrong.  He was totally freaked out by them and made me carry him.  Once he saw Mickey his grip on me got even tighter and I didn't even attempt a picture with him. 

I had been dying to go on Pirates of the Caribbean ever since I got my annual pass.  I told the kids we were going to head over to the Winnie the Pooh ride but when I saw no line at Pirates we had to make a quick stop.  Skylar kept saying she didn't want to go on the Pirate ride but once she got on it and we went down our first dip she loved it.  Both the kids were in awe of all the pirate characters on the ride.  After riding Winnie the Pooh a couple times we made a quick stop for Skylar to meet Princess Belle.

On our way to the Mickey and Magical Map show I let the kids pick out new lovies (Madden picked out Minnie) since they had both been so good.   After the show I knew traffic was going to start up and nap time was also nearing so I decided it was time to head home.   

It as a great four hour trip to Disney.  We walked onto every ride and both kids were perfect. They both past out before I even hit the freeway, which is always a sign of a good time!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NorCal Family Fun

Last weekend the four of us traveled up to Paradise, CA to visit with all of Jake's family.  It's crazy to think that the last time we were all together Skylar was Madden's age.  Half the family hadn't even met Madden yet and Skylar had no memory of meeting and hanging out some of her cousins, so it was definitely a trip that was long overdue.

We got picked up at the airport by Suzie. The kids did great on the plane, but were exhausted by the time we hit the long car ride into Paradise.  From the moment we arrived Skylar and Madden were in heaven.  Suzie had the house set up as mini kindergarten classroom; toys everywhere.  I was a bit worried that once the cousins arrived the kids would be a little shy and stand-offish, but I was wrong.  Skylar and Madden clicked with them instantly and the five of them were off playing as if they have played together a hundred times before.

Dom and Skylar building towers.  They wouldn't let anyone else in the room with them as they kept telling us their towers were going to be a surprise.

Madden and Uncle Brian building ramps for hot wheels.

All the cousins having their first dinner together.  It was very sweet.

Jake being tackled by all three boys. 

The next day we made it over to Paul and Suzie's house bright and early.  Skylar was begging to go back because she wanted to continue her tower building.  The boys had school so we hung out at Grandma and Grandpa's until they all came over in the afternoon.  Lucky for us there was a small break in the rain and we were able to go out and explore Grandma and Grandpa's huge yard.

Skylar's favorite part was the tree house.  She kept asking to go back in it.  Hard to believe Jake actually lived in that tree house for about three months during high school.

After I got back from putting Madden down for a nap the rest of the family had arrived.  Aunt Sherry drove up with Great Grandma Mary and Jake's cousins Luke and Clint arrived just in time for dinner.  We were also able to visit with Jake's best friend from high school and his family.  I believe at one time there was 18 of us in Jake's parents house.  It was a bit crazy, but the kids were having a blast and it was nice just all being together.

Dom reading the book he made at school to Skylar and Madden.

Group photo (minus Jake and Brian).

The next morning we headed over to Arielle, Brian, Geddis and Dom's new house for brunch.  Arielle put together a yummy spread of food.   Everyone was so sweet and put together a little birthday celebration for me.  Sherry and Suzie made cupcakes and we played the ABCs of Nicole.  By the end of the brunch everyone was exhausted and needed a little downtime/naps before our "last supper".

Geddis and Skylar

Madden on the drums.  I think we got him to sit down for five minutes and eat some strawberries, but then he was right back at them.  I felt so bad because Uncle Brian was pretty hungover (the parents went out the night before and had a long night) and he had to listen to Madden pounding on the drums all morning.

Singing "Happy Birthday".

Skylar passed out cupcakes to the entire family.

Tackling Grandpa.

For our last night we wanted to go out and enjoy a nice family dinner where no one had to cook.  With a group as big as our (16) we asked for a private room at one of Paul and Suzie's favorite restaurants; The Rice Bowl.  Before we headed over to dinner we made a quick stop at Uncle Jessee and Nico's house as we wanted to make sure Skylar and Madden got to visit every one's homes.

Playing basketball off Nico's top bunk.  After visiting each of her cousin's houses she is now asking for bunk beds.

Riding a scooter and playing an organ at the same time...only at Uncle Jessee's place.

After most of the weekend being very loud and chaotic I was envisioning dinner being the same (hint, hint: reason why we got the private room).  But to most of the adults surprise dinner was pretty mellow and we all got to talk and enjoy our last dinner together as a family.  The kids got a little antsy at the end of the meal and were running around a bit, but at least we got through most of our food before they took over.

 After each visit we always say "It always goes by so fast," but that is a sign that everyone had a great time.  We couldn't be more grateful of Paul and Suzie and everything they did for us the whole weekend.  Having so many people around and keeping them entertained isn't easy.   It was so wonderful being able to spend time with the whole family and I know us SoCal Ernest's are looking forward to our next family visit.  

I post this ecard with love, but it reminders me of when we all get together.  It's utter craziness for 72 hours, but the best kind of craziness.