Monday, March 30, 2009

Desert in Bloom

Saturday morning we packed up the kids and the truck and headed out to Anza Borrego State Park. Here are some photos of our hike on Cactus Loop Trail, including the kids holding a piece of Jumping Cactus. What a beautiful state we get to live in!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Rite of Passage for All Dads

Last weekend the Merrill family hung out with the Cipperley clan so that Chris could help Uncle Rice put together Nathan's new playground set. Chris decided all the work must be a rite of passage for all dad's -- he thinks he's paid his due now. It was also our last weekend w/ Uncle Rice before he headed off for a long summer's vacation to the desert and mountains. 

Needless to say, the kiddos had fun tearing up Meg's house together, painting themselves, and having a house party at 9pm on Sat night. Sun morning reminded me of college 10 years ago -- flashbacks to mornings after a hard night of partying via the expressions on our kids' faces. 

Here are some photos of our fun together (just for you, Auntie Becky):

The artists at work:

Men at work

Toddlers committed fully to their art:

The morning after the party:

Check out the vacant expressions -- imagine the college students to be:

Men still at work:

The proud daddy

Proud daddy enjoying the fruits of his labors

Tired, tired boy

Safe travels, Uncle Rice -- Come home soon and sound!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Perfect Day

Today started out a little rough. Chris had a paper due yesterday and was up til all hours trying to get it finished before collapsing a little after 1. We old folks just can't hack staying up that late, and he really couldn't wake up this morning. So, I started the day wondering if our renewed commitment to return to church was going to be interrupted after only 1 week. Thankfully our church has a third service at 10:45, so once Chris was up at 9 we got ready (after waiting for my Morning Glory muffins -- yum-oh! -- to finish baking) and headed out the door. 

God must have meant for us to be late, because the service was AMAZING! I have never experienced "High Church" a la incense, chanting, and all at an Episcopal church and it was incredible. The Bishop was in town to confirm many members of the church and gave a powerful sermon about how we are all tempted like Jesus during the season of Lent. Definitely what I had been feeling lately, but unable to put into words. We even brought the kids out of the nursery for communion and had them receive a blessing from the Bishop. Garrett was quite awed by the whole feel of the church, but I think he was more concerned that I ate "blood" and "body" during the process. Going to have to think more on how I explain this rite to the kids!

After church Chris and I loaded the kids back up into the truck and headed to the beach (three blocks away) to enjoy our muffins. The plan was to eat, hang for a short while, and then head home for naps. However, since we had a short, short trip to the beach yesterday, and the 1st of March brought us such nice weather (upper 70s and beautiful skies) we decided to stay and enjoy the day together. Next week I definitely need to pack a change of clothes! 

Below are some photos of our fun time together, complete with our church clothes! Think our two little ones were happy to be back at the beach???

Sandy hands

Running away from noisy waves

"I think I'm ready to take on the waves to fill my bucket!"

"Ummm, maybe not!"

Daddy to the rescue!

Enough of my dress, Mom! I need my serious beach gear!

Bathing beauty


First trip to the beach 2009

So yesterday was a beautiful day in sunny Southern California. Though Chris had a paper to write for school (and truth be told, so did I) I kicked us out of the house and we headed to the beach. Really, what else are you supposed to do with a morning that is near 80 degrees the last day in February? We had a picnic lunch of granola bars, apples, kettle corn, and juice boxes. The kids were just so excited to be near the sea and sand again after our hiatus. I really think I'll be living at the beach this summer!