Christmas at Apartment 1123.

Christmas is my favorite holiday.
The tree, the decorations, the lights, the carols...I just love EVERYTHING about Christmas.
At first we weren't going to get a tree or even decorate because we knew we were going to be gone the week of Christmas.
But, I did not let that happen and we decked out the apartment in true Christmas spirit style.

Fa la la la la, la la la la :)


What we've been up to...

So this fall we have been busy, busy, busy! 
Mostly we have just been doing the mundane daily things that you have to do to stay alive. 
I won't bore you with those stories...although, some of those you would find hilarious. 
Here are some highlights that have happened over the last few months.

Going way back to the end of September, I was able to become a color runner :) The 5K Color Run race was held in Portland and it was so much fun!!! I was so excited for this happy and colorful race and let me tell you, the energy at the event was so intense. Paul was an awesome cheerleader and great support. He was running all over the course to cheer for me at different spots during the race. He probably ran more than me on that day.

Next big thing was Paul's birthday. He turned 28 and we celebrated with a round of putt-putt golf, going out to dinner and then presents and cake pumpkin bread at home. He would only let me put three candles on the bread that was pretending to be his birthday cake. He is a silly boy. The whole day was pretty low key but that's how he likes things.

Last thing, our eventful trip to the fake pumpkin patch. We were so excited to go to the REAL Pumpkin Patch but surprise, surprise it was raining the only Saturday we had open so we did the next best thing. We pretended like we were going to the Pumpkin Patch, but we really went to the Winco grocery store pumpkin patch :) You have to be creative when you live somewhere where it rains all the time!

It's now time for my favorite holiday ever...CHRISTMAS!!!


California || Redwoods

The last stop on our California trip was Redwood National Park. 
We just felt like we needed to see even more humongous trees and, of course, we wanted to camp again!!!

So the morning after we camped, we got up and we were so excited to go exploring. Our goal was to find the biggest tree. Before we even left our campsite our goal was reached; we found a grove of giant redwood trees. The size of these trees was incredible.

After gawking over the huge grove of trees for like 30 minutes, we decided to go see more of the park and find even more trees. {They are everywhere in this neck of the woods!!!} This is where the plans for the day changed just slightly, but it was in a very good way. As we were leaving our campsite, there was an adorable girl on the side of the road holding a sign that said "North". Paul and I both immediately got the feeling that we needed to ask her where she was going and if we could help her get there. I have never ever in my life picked up a hitch hiker, but the Lord knew that we needed to give service at that very moment. She said her final destination was Seattle, Washington. We told her we couldn't take her all the way there but she was happy that we would be willing to take her to Oregon. We made room for her in the car and then we were off to find more huge trees. As we talked to her we learned that she was from Germany. Paul was so happy because that is where he served his LDS church mission. The two of them had lots of fun talking back and forth in German. Paul was very excited that he got to practice his German...he doesn't get that many opportunities to do that. We talked about so many things and learned about her life stories and culture. As we reached the spot that we would drop her off, she was so gracious for what we had done for her and she was so excited to keep on trekking to Seattle. She is a brave woman for hitch-hiking the west coast alone.

This was the perfect way to end our wonderful trip to California. 
We had such a great time and we know that we will visit the GOLDEN state again someday for even more adventures. 

Note: Because our blog is basically a family journal I wanted to document everything single fun adventure that happened on our California trip. I know I'm over three months late in getting caught up, but now I'll have the pictures, stories, and memories to read about in the future. Thanks for bearing with me and the regular updates will start up again soon. I'm so excited for the holidays coming up. Bring on the Turkey and Christmas decorations.


California || San Francisco

On our two-year anniversary, we spent most the day driving from Southern California up to Northern California...San Francisco to be more exact. Not the funnest way to spend the day, but then again we did drive cross-country for our honeymoon so we are totally used to it. Before we drove the final few miles into downtown San Fran we stopped at the LDS Oakland temple to watch the sunset and think back to our special wedding day! I'm very happy that I made the decision to be married to Paul forever :) 

Okay, I'll quit boring you with the 'lovey dovey' stuff and make this post live up to its title! Ever since I can remember I have wanted to visit San Francisco. I have seen it in tv shows, the movies and on the news and it's been calling my name for about let's just say 15 years! Not only was visiting the city a bucket list item for me to complete, but I actually had specific things I wanted to do to make this bucket list item a dream come true! And now, the list...

#1. Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.

#2. Ride a Cable Car.

#3. Visit Ghirardelli Square.

#4. Drive down Lombard Street.

We also did a ton of other stuff not on my bucket list and took a bunch of pictures and most importantly, we had FUN.
I still get all happy inside as I look at all the pictures. San Francisco was all that I expected and more.


California || Disneyland

When Paul and I left for California we didn't think that we would be going to Disneyland. Not that we didn't want to go, we just didn't think it would happen {even though we knew it would be REALLY fun!}. Nick and Priscila decided that we couldn't come to Southern California and NOT go to Disneyland! So to Disneyland we went and we are so happy that we got to go. We had a blast!

We got to see the new Cars land which literally looks exactly like the movie set. It was awesome. We rode tons of rides and just walked around laughing at everything that happened...well at least Priscila and I did. That's just how our friendship is, we have like 1,000 inside jokes! We ended our day at Disney watching the Soundsational Parade which was amazing and made me feel like a kid again. As you can tell from the picture, I loved it!!! Disneyland is really the 'Happiest Place on Earth'.

A big thanks to the Jensen's for making this magical day possible :)

California || Ridgecrest

After a fun 24 hours in Yosemite, we made our way to Ridgecrest, California to visit Josh, Mindy, Emily, Aubrey, Olivia and Ellie. When we got there all four girls were looking out the window waiting for our arrival. We had not seen the Rowley family in over two years so it was wonderful to visit with them and to see how much the girls had grown! Josh and Mindy quickly informed us that there was not much to do in Ridgecrest and that we had come during the hottest part of the year. After some talking about things we could do, we had a good plan for the next day and I was so excited to do some more exploring in California!!!

The next day we made our way out into the desert to find the William Henry "Burro" Schmidt tunnel. Let's just say, getting there was half the fun. We were on dirt/sand roads with jack rabbits jumping around and we might have gotten lost a few times, but we finally made it to the tunnel. Once we got there we were ready with flashlights and headlamps to see what this tunnel was all about. It was crazy to think that someone spent 38 years hand digging the tunnel. It was pretty remarkable. We were happy that it was cold inside the tunnel because it was definitely HOT outside!!!

After we got back from our trip to the tunnel, it was the middle of the day and it was still HOT! We decided that the rest of the day was going to be a spent playing water games. Mindy had found some really great activities on Pinterest that involved getting wet. The first activity we did was put shaving cream on a tarp and then we used it as a slip 'n slide. It was the best slip 'n slide ever! {Seriously, I have never fallen down so much sliding around on a tarp.} We also made some water bombs out of sponges that were lots of fun to play with and get wet with. They also had a pool so that made the water play day even better. The boys were out on a 'field-trip' to Joshy's work so while they were gone the girls planned a sneak attack for when they got home. We each had a specific task to get the boys wet!!! I think they were onto us because as soon as they got home and we were like "come outside and look at our fun water games", but they played along and got wet and we all had a really enjoyable time. Olivia was trying so hard to get Paul all wet! It was so funny because she chased him around the yard for probably 10 minutes straight!

It was an awesome day spent with some great friends. We were so happy that we were able to visit the Rowley's on our trip. Plus, we managed to stay somewhat cool despite the three digit temps out in the desert!