Archive for the 'Vacation' Category



We set off on our first long road trip (18 hours!) to Edwards, Colorado for some fun and relaxation with some of our best friends!  We are staying in a large cabin together and enjoying the cooler weather and the beautiful views of nature!

Road trip!

Relaxing in the Westin hotel hot tub in Beaver Creek!

Jen, me, and Angela! (Jen was my college roommate and Angela I’ve also known since college!)

Scooter time down a trail

How to get nine kids to sit still for a picture? Give them ice cream! (9 kids=3 families)

We found a river, and the kids played there for 2 hours!

Family vacations are so much fun!


Disneyland 2012

The night before Disneyland…

On Monday we went to Disneyland to see it at Christmas time.  We made a couple mistakes.  1.)  We had only 1 day to go to two parks.  2.)  We went at Christmas time.  We will never again go at Christmas!  It was the most crowded I have ever seen, and I grew up going to Disneyland a couple times a year!  We went on a Monday, when school was still in session, but it didn’t help!  I felt like we didn’t get to go on hardly any rides, especially at Disneyland.  And the kids didn’t get any character’s autographs this time.

This is our kids third time to Disneyland, and this time we really wanted to ride the new Cars ride.
Disneyland opens before California Adventure (where the Cars ride was), so we went on one ride there first-Astroblasters!

Then in the drizzly weather, we walked to California Adventure!

Main Street

We walked straight to Cars land and the new ride.

2 HOURS LATER we finally get on! The kids were NOT HAPPY about the wait, and I could not blame them! (The ride was not working for 30 minutes of our wait.)

We thought the ride was fun!! We were not expecting the fast race at the end though, and Ella, who does NOT like fast rides, was NOT happy afterward!

the ride is beautifully done

Then we headed to the Ariel ride, which is Ella’s favorite!


We bribed Rilyn (with more money added to her souvenir allowance!) if she went on the Tower of Terror! We were pleased to see that Asher just made the height requirement too!

Here is the picture that they take during the ride! I love Rilyn and Asher’s face! Rilyn is not holding a stranger’s hand. That is my cousin’s wife. 🙂  Asher said after the ride that he almost threw up, but he loved it!

we are in the back row

Then we went to Dancin’ with Disney (characters). Basically, it’s a live DJ spinning tunes with about 7 characters dancing around. Pretty good idea! My girls danced with Cruella de Vil.

Then we headed to Rilyn’s favorite ride-Soaring over California. This was Asher’s first time, and he loved it too!

cotton candy!

After the ride, we headed back to Disneyland to watch the Christmas parade!

Sleeping Beauty and the rest of the princesses
Pinnochio float

Tarzan’s Treehouse had no line, so we let the kids run up and down the tree a couple times!

can you see James and the kids way up there?

It started getting dark at 5 as we went on Pirates of the Caribbean. The kids turned on their light-up Disney shirts. Their Oma found them at Walgreens!

Asher picking his nose…
Pirates of the Caribbean

Next, we went on Thunder Mountain which is Rilyn’s favorite ride at Disneyland. Ella did not go on because she told me “speed is her enemy.” Last year she went on Thunder Mountain, and it is definitely worth a look back if you haven’t seen the hilarious pictures!

Sadly, we did not get to go on Small World this trip. The line was over an hour long and then when we went back to go on it, the ride closed early because of fireworks! 😦

Small World is beautiful at night at Christmas time!

We went to Toon Town while Asher rode Thunder again with James.


The girls love Minnie’s house!

Minnie’s kitchen

Finally, at 9 p.m. our kids were D.O.N.E and we had to leave the park. The castle looked beautiful at night!


Big Bear!

We started off on Saturday morning at Seal Beach.

Then we went to my 2nd cousin’s 2nd birthday party. This picture is me with my grandpa, his wife, and my uncle (my dad’s brother and father.)

That afternoon, we drove to Big Bear, which is about 2 1/2 hours away from where we were. Unfortunately, we hit traffic the whole way there, so we arrived at night. It was a little scary to drive on potential black ice, but we arrived safe at about 7 p.m. We stayed at the cabin where I grew up going to. It used to be my grandpa’s cabin, and then my cousin bought it from him, so it’s still in the family! My grandpa bought the cabin in 1972 for $12,000! 🙂
Once the fire gets started, it was so warm and cozy!

James being silly while playing Uno.

The cabin used to have a real deer head, but thankfully it’s been replaced…by an Ella head?!? 😉

Sunday morning was full of fun playing in the fresh snow!

Asher about to peg me with a snowball…

After I saw this snowman Ella made, I had to remind her that we are in the mountains, not Texas!, and she can make a MUCH bigger snowman than that!

a Texan’s snowman
Now THAT’S a snowman!

Legoland California!

We just got back from a fast and furious vacation to southern California!  The first day we drove down to Carlsbad and went to Legoland!  I totally recommend this park, and I would say the park is best suited for ages 10 and younger.

You will notice we are plus one…my 2nd cousin, little Makayla, came with us and joined inour family picture!
safari!  Notice the alligators and giraffes all made of Legos!
I like how Asher is looking at the witch!
all made of Legos…amazing!
we were there for Holiday Snow Days!  They brought in snow for the kids to play in!
can you find Ella?  (in the red car)
you had to pedal to go faster!
James trying to beat the girls up!
all the kids loved this area!
miniature buildings to resemble a city…Dr. Rilyn is checking out Makayla
Asher got busted for having too much fun…
you stay in the jail cell!
I asked Ella to pose in the lion’s mouth, and this is what she did.  Realistic?  Yes.  Cute?  No.
this is Miniland, where there are Lego miniatures of all the major cities in the world!

California vacation day 8

Sunday was my cousin’s wedding day!  My kids did very well being the flower girls and ring bearer and were party animals at the reception!  Seriously, they had a photo booth at the reception, and Rilyn was taking pictures with bridesmaids that we didn’t even know!  The girls were in the center of dance circles and dancing with strangers.  It was crazy to see how extroverted they were!  Asher was spinning out of control on the dance floor and falling half the time.  He loved it (and all the attention), and laughed the entire time!

*All professional photographs by Bluephoto

coming down the aisle

I got to sit in the second row and had a pretty good view!


I love this shot I took of Ella sitting on great grandpa Erickson’s lap during the ceremony.

I also love this one! He was so cute in his lime green bow tie and never fussed with it once!

All dressed up!

*Professional photography-The wedding party! I love this shot because we had just pulled up Asher’s pants and apparently we pulled them up too high! 🙂

He never smiled for the group shot BUT he didn’t cry either!

*Professional-The reception. You can see James and Ella dancing in the bottom middle of the photograph.


Asher dancing with the bride!

so sweet

*Professional shot-the girls dancing with the groom!

swinging good time!


The girls always wanted to dance near the bride!

The busta’ man bustin’ a move!

*Professional shot-spinning!

Needless to say, nobody wanted to leave early, but we had to get up at 3:30 a.m. the next morning to catch our early flight from LAX (not a fan of that airport) to Austin. It was the best family vacation yet! And we just get more excited thinking about our kids getting older and being able to do more fun things together!!!!


california vacation day 7

Saturday was spent doing the rehearsal for my cousin’s wedding on Sunday evening.  My kids were the flower girls and ring bearer!  They had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner at my grandpa’s house where we were staying for the week.  My grandpa’s backyard is huge and beautiful.  There is every kind of fruit tree, a pool, shuffle board court, fire pit,  flowers and plants galore!

rehearsal time!
Asher’s ring bearer shirt!
this is my gorgeous cousin’s daughter.  I think she looks a lot like my nephew Caden!
couples shot!
mom/daughter shot!
cupcakes for dessert!

california vacation day 6

Friday was spent at Knott’s Berry Farm!  This was another amusement park that I spent a lot of time at in my childhood.  I wanted to “relive” some memories with my own kids, so off we went!  The park has changed a LOT since my younger days, but the kids still had a blast!  The big difference between Knott’s and Disneyland is the thrill rides.  We discovered Asher loves thrill rides, and Knott’s had a lot of kid friendly thrill rides.  (Disney is magical because of all the characters and fantasy story rides.)  We didn’t stay the whole day (we left at 6) because, well, we were on day 3 of amusement parks and we were tired!  🙂

Snoopy is to Knott’s as Mickey is to Disneyland
quick drops up and down were a thrill for all three!

This next picture is the Sidewinder roller coaster. It is like a normal roller coaster except each “cart” spins around while you are going fast on the tracks. Rilyn wasn’t prepared for the feeling of “falling out” and screamed “MOMMY!!!!!!!!” on the whole ride! 🙂

I am sitting with Rilyn at the very end (in the middle of the picture with a blue shirt on) with my hair flying and Rilyn screaming!
This was another thrill ride.   A giant “skateboard” that teetered back and forth.  Asher loved it as you can tell!  (I like the girl in the

front’s face!)

This was one of my favorite rides at Camp Snoopy when I was little. The “Huff N Puff”. My kids LOVED this ride. Even Rilyn wanted to go on again and again!

You have to pump the handle in order to go!
Asher was the last car on another time that they went and well, he got very left behind!  He really huffed and puffed for sure!
ferris wheel!

Rilyn’s favorite ride was the swings. She said she could take a nap on there! 🙂 (Ella was too small to ride.)

Rilyn in orange and pink with James in the yellow hat

One of my favorite things at Knott’s when I was little was the train ride because a “robber” would come into your cart and harass you. I thought it would be funny to go on and not tell the kids that a robber was coming!

Give me all your money!
Asher, as usual, could care less.
They got a little scared!
this was another thrill ride, the cars would speed around the corners and the kids loved it!
I think Asher likes it!

california vacation day 5

Day 5 was spent relaxing.  We spent the day at one of my favorite parks where I played at as a child.  The slides looked a lot shorter then I remember!  🙂  We ate In N Out and enjoyed the gorgeous weather!  That night I went to dinner with 4 of my friends from 2nd grade (and 1 from Jr. High)!  Thanks to Facebook, we all stay connected! In true flashback Friday fashion, I’ve included pictures of my friends from the younger years!

me, Elizabeth, Vivian, Erik, Stacy, and Annie

And here four of us are in 3rd grade!

Viv and Stacy in the back row.  Erik and me in the middle row

And me and Annie at one of my birthday parties:

Annie is sitting next to me with the very short hair

California vacation day 4

Day 4 took us back to Disneyland!  This time we took more opportunities to meet characters and see shows.  We hit 16 attractions in 12 hours.

Asher refused to wear a Mickey Ears hat.  So sad for this mommy!

Our first stop was Space Mountain. We made Ella and Rilyn go on it. We had a switch pass so after the first ride, James was going to go on with the girls. Ella hated the ride, so only Rilyn went back with daddy (and that was only because she knew daddy really wanted to go on it! See one of the pictures below.)

this is before the ride started!
during the ride
Both girls look like they’ve been through the washing machine after the ride, but Rilyn

went again just for daddy!

We went on the Nemo Submarine ride!

We met Fawn!
Peter Pan!
Tow Mater and McQueen
Toy Story Mania ride-James’ favorite!
Sully from Monsters Inc.!

We took the girls to a princess show while Asher was napping where they teach you “how to be a princess”.  I think this picture is hilarious because the princesses are teaching the girls how to curtsy, and Ella is pulling out a wedgy.

Ella in plaid shorts, white top
Ella ribbon dancing with Snow White!

We headed to Toon Town in the evening. I love this picture. Check out Rilyn!

This is heavy!

Here is Roger Rabbit Toon Spin ride. Ella did this on pretty much every dark ride. She hates loud noises and surprises.

Our tradition is to end our visit to Disneyland on It’s A Small World. This still is our kid’s favorite ride!

Small World After All!

California vacation day 3

On Tuesday we went to the beach!  The kids had so much fun and could of stayed there all day!  The weather was perfect, and Asher was in heaven with so much sand and water!  When we first saw the beach I asked him what it was and he said, “A big pool and lots of sand boxes!!!”  You can tell he’s not a Californian!
You can also tell he’s not a Californian by the way he rubbed his eyes with sandy fingers. My kids could not figure out how to eat their lunch at the beach without getting sand all over their food. Such rookies!

salt water plus sandy eyes=tantrum
Rilyn running to the beach!
family shot
Ella the mermaid!

Asher could of done this all day. Random people got chunks of sand thrown on them as they were walking by!

building a sand castle!
I’ll “head” to the ocean in a minute!  hehe
one of the many times Asher got knocked down by the tide
future surfer dude?
building with grandpa

That night, me and James went to an Angels baseball game (with my cousin, dad, and uncle) because they were playing the Texas Rangers! How lucky was James? I grew up going to Angels games and so it was fun for me to bring out my old hat and cheer on the home team!

Anaheim stadium

I brought the “past into the present” again with a picture of me and my cousin, John, at an Angels game about 20 years ago.

John and me

The Rangers won so James was happy! I did catch James eyeing the Angels World Series trophy. The Rangers were so close last year!

My photography business!

April 2023