Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving in Tahoe

The boys look absolutely thrilled their mom made them get in a fake canoe thing

Following Meema around the lake

All the boys on a Thanksgiving walk

At the lake on a hike

On a hike with Bodie and Bryson - Bodie led the way back and was soooo proud of himself!

Teaching Bryson to crochet. Here you can see the beginning of the scarf he made for Riley!

Bodie in Bodie!

So picturesque!

The Barnes family got together in Tahoe this year for Thanksgiving. We took Bryson out of school for the whole week and it was so nice to have such extended quality time with each other and family. We came up to San Jose early and celebrated Bob's birthday by playing 9 holes with the WHOLE family. Yup - the Griffins and Kimmy and Kirk and all the grandkids. So fun! i even played! bryan took a picture, but he took one of me missing the ball, so we just won't show that here for posterity sake. I actually played okay and Bryson was sincerely shocked that I could hit the ball. I also remembered why I haven't played in 10 years - that game is SO hard!

We enjoyed the weekend with the family and headed up to Tahoe on Tuesday. Bryan's maternal grandfather has a cabin up there that he has had since Bryan was a kid, so it is pretty special to have our children creating memories in that same cabin. We did not have a single plan or place to go, except for to eat a Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving, so that was so amazingly amazing. We watched a lot of movies, caught up on some reading, did puzzles, drank lots of hot chocolate and apple cider, went on lots of hikes, bryson raked up pine needles (for about 3 hours), we found a hill to sled, i taught bryson to crochet and bryan and i even got to hit the casinos!

The only bummer is that I forgot the good camera, so all I have to document are silly phone pictures. I also did not take nearly enough photos, which has been a thing lately - but when it feels forced or I'm not excited about it, I think its a good sign to just be in the moment. And I definitely had a desire to be in the moment. To slow down. We do not get to take much time off in the summer, so in the winter holidays we try to take advantage and really take a vacation, and I can honestly say it was a restful one.

On the way home we took the back way (395) down and one of our stops we wanted to make was Bodie - so we finally got to take Bodie to Bodie! It was so much fun and he was sooooo excited and felt so special. On the way in Bryan thought I paid and I had thought he paid, so on our way back to the car we saw the ranger writing tickets and so we booked it back- bryan threw bodie in the car and went to grab a payment envelope - the ranger asked him if we just had gotten there and Bodie said yes and then offered up to him that his name is Bodie, like the town he saved us a ticket (unknowingly) and bragged- way to go! It was neat to take them to one of my favorite spots. You always see something new and I always leave with a yearning to learn more about the town. I love learning about that time in our history...maybe because it is the only real history California has...but its interesting to me.

So happy we were able to spend that time with Bryan's parents and family - they are very dear to us and our children, so getting a good chunk of quality time is good for everyone's soul. Plus I am pretty lucky to have a mother in law who enjoys waking up with my children :)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Barnes Boys - Where They At?

November - Also known as "Crazy Birthday Month"- I feel like October, November and December are pretty whirlwind months as far as the year goes. Just as we come down from our sugar high on Halloween, there goes my birthday and Brysons and approximately every other child we know. I swear, we have like the entire month of November covered with someone we know having a birthday - so the whole month just turns into PARTY month. Which is just fine, really...usually i make myself very sick...and its usually this weekend that it happens - because i plan too much, say "yes" to everything - i dont typically schedule a weekend at i was a little more intentional this year. maybe i am growing up? Nah - i am sure i will forget it all and do the exact opposite next year...just wait...But seriously, I will...Seriously though - i am enjoying my November very much so far and look forward to our trip to Tahoe later this month. Nothing sounds better to me than being in the woods with a cozy fire and (snow?) and NO computer! yay! I have also been enjoying co-leading a life group with some other mamas at my church - it has truly been life giving and i have thought about Grace more than I ever have in my life and it has proven powerful, who knew? uh, God i guess. 
Enough on my udpate... 

Bobby - fresh up from a nap - this kid kills me with his big ol eyes and big ol teeth! Just in the last couple of weeks he has been wearing underwear WITH NO ACCIDENTS. this is exciting you guys, because before this he would have at least 4 accidents a day and i was doing laundry basically all day. so - mama is very grateful that he learned the body cues and applied them to making it to the toilet. The only problem with this kid is that he sees absolutely no reason to get me involved in the potty process any longer. He will run into ANY park public bathroom without telling me to poop or pee and it FUH-REAKS me out. He has been punished, scolded, i even told him there were ghosts in public bathrooms and zero effect. this kid is a walking liability. But - aside from that, he is doing amazing and then in the same week he demanded to buckle himself in the car seat...and he can! so my life just got a teensy bit easier yourself. what will i do in the morning when i dont have to get them all dressed and brush their teeth? love it the first week and then get all nostalgic circa week two as is my norm.

Bodie - he is such a snuggle bug and i eat it up! he always asks me to carry him - either in my arms or the ergo. he is about 45 pounds, so this is not an easy feat, but i cave every time because - look at him! you try to tell that curly haired face no! anyway - its nice to have at least one that likes to cuddle - i am a lucky mama. The bottom picture is of him and a soccer friend after a game. They played like 7 year olds that game- they were passing to each other - bodie would get in front of the goal and the other boy would pass to him and SCORE! they did this like champs and scored about a million goals and i dont think the other team scored at all, which is always so awkward to me and i usually handle that by walking away. 
He got his very first trophy for soccer and to say he was excited would be an understatement. he also got this book of all the teams and their pictures and he sleeps with that book and the trophy every night. Then he puts it on the shelf next to Bryson's trophies and ogles it dramatically. Its so stinking cute! Soccer is over though, so now his sights are turning to baseball...oy...

Bryson's fishing obsession is back in full swing. His birthday request was deep sea fishing, last night at farmer's market he brought his pole and fished the whole time and has asked me about a hundred times to take him to the beach. He somehow managed to get these very nice people to fix his line that was tangled and they gave him all new line...he could sell ice to an eskimo that kid. 
Soccer is over and golf season is over for the year...but basketball is up next for Bryson. He dribbles the basketball to school every day and stays for an hour after school playing. We talked about doing baseball next year and he shocked bryan and i by saying he wanted to golf instead. So i am excited he is doing basketball so he gets some variety. plus that is my favorite sport, so...although...i dont know how i will be able to watch any of the game because as i type i am picturing bobby getting under the bleachers and finding "candy" and eating it and i'm already anticipating bryan coaching and me in the stands herding cats. which, i guess, is like, our thing.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


My goodness Bryson is EIGHT YEARS OLD!!! Let me just tell you a little about this crazy kid. For the past 3 weeks he got up every morning at 5:45 - set his own alarm, got dressed and his clubs ready - woke his dad up to hit some balls or play a practice round before school. Then he would come home from school and practice sometimes too! All in preparation for the Monterey Challenge. He got invited and spent his birthday weekend in Monterey with his dad and grandparents (and his aunt and Don and Don's parents went too!) and got to play all kinds of golf and eat all kinds of seafood (his favorite- the kid ordered mussels(!) what? ) and play with his new bey blades and basically have an awesome time.
His birthday celebrations actually lasted almost a week starting last Wednesday at Farmer's Market with our other November baby friends - cupcakes and snacks and plenty of friends to kick soccer balls around with, or hunt for crabs on the rocks with - we live in a pretty amazing little community and what a special time it ws to be with other awesome November babies!
Then on Thursday I took my baby out to (his pick) Sushi for a birthday lunch. I was feeling a little sad that I would not be with him on his actual birthday (first time EVER) and wanted to have a little alone time with him. I gave him an Angry Birds watch and he was sooooo excited. he tells me what time it is now approximately every 10 minutes.
Then he left early Friday morning to drive up to Monterey to play a practice round before the big tournament. He played really well - placed 10th (out of 16), which earned him an invite to Pinehurst, which before Monterey Bryson told us was his "life's dream" to be invited to Pinehurst. I think a lot of people may think my husband is driving this crazy golf train, but let me just point to exhibit A - his bedroom wall. The boy is obsessed. He is so self motivated and has worked so hard - I am beyond proud...I know I complain a lot about golf, but really - what a great sport for Bryson - it teaches integrity, patience, self-composure, good sportsmanship...really just a good fit for his temperament I believe. 
The party didn't stop there - since Bryson had a party last year, this year he got to go somewhere special with a friend, so on Monday Bryan took Asher and Bryson deep sea fishing! Again - bryson's idea. He caught a big surf perch and ate it up as soon as they got home. I had a bite and it was delicious! So fresh - not fishy at all! And now...exhale...and listen to the boys fight over the bey blades...I overheard Bryan saying something anti-bey blades and I just reminded him, "This too shall pass"...hopefully sooner rather than later! 

Happy Eighth Birthday Bryson! I have big hopes for you this year! And I can't wait to see what new thing you dive head first into next! Your spirit is contagious and your ambition is inspiring - we love you to pieces!
Love, Mom and Dad


I am not one of those moms who plan for Halloween far in advance. I can not keep up with the evolving list of costume desires. I saw the cutest little lumberjack on a blog and thought the boys could all wear the flannels in the coming holiday season, so i had lumberjack costumes for them. Bryson had the hardest time deciding...first he told me he wanted to be Peter Pan, so I made him that costume, he poo-pooed it and told me he meant Harry Potter...we located a Harry Potter costume (next door - free!) and then he changed his mind again...the night before Halloween Bryson still hadn't landed on a costume and my mummy idea failed, so he decided to be a "miner" not a lumberjack, the difference being he sported camo pants instead of jeans (?) and carried a "bag of gold" and a plastic canteen. For Halloween night he wanted to be something scarier, so he dug through the costume box and found this red cape and wore some fake vampire teeth and voila - vampire.

Bodie was a ninja at a birthday party and the lumberjack for both his school and Halloween night. Originally he also wanted to be a "golf guy" but i guess he liked the beard.

Bobby would have nothing to do with the beard and insisted on being a lion, so i made his mane (isn't that obvious?) and tail and found this cute vest at Old Navy

Bryan and I threw on some flannels, and Bryan for some reason threw on this gross wig...and we spent the evening walking around our neighborhood trick-or-treating - running into all kinds of Fremont friends. It was a fun evening and we fell even more in love with our neighborhood. so fun!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Birthday Month

I had to document this weekend because it really was an amazing birthday weekend, especially since none of it was too "planned". I had a big birthday party last year that was amazing and very planned and so this year i just kept it on the down low. Also, my cousin Melissa was getting married the day before my birthday, so there was already a party that someone else was planning that involved all kinds of people I love, so who could top that? certainly not I! So Friday night found me and 7 other close friends at dinner. 3 of us all celebrate birthdays the first week of November. Not only that, but our kids all celebrate birthdays late Oct/early November as you can see how November can be a busy month for all! I loved celebrating with these ladies. Truly blessed to know such amazing good people. Just solid, good, drama free favorite kind. I left dinner feeling encouraged and warm inside, and I think that is how good friendships should make you feel - don't you agree? 

On Saturday we had our soccer games and grocery shopping, then headed out to the wedding. The wedding was amazing and my cousin (and her mama) did an absolutely phenomenal job. Every little detail was considered - I can't wait for the pictures to come out for you all to see. Just simply perfect. So happy for her and Justin and so much fun to spend time with that side of my family. I got me some amazing cousins! 

Sunday was my actual birthday and Bryan told me to get dressed because we were leaving, but didn't tell me where. We ended up going to Santa Barbara for the day and hanging out with our dear friends and just no plans, which is sometimes the best plan, which happened to be the case on Sunday. We walked along State St with the kids and pointed out significant places to them (that is the coffee shop where mommy and daddy first met each other) and them not caring AT ALL. ha! and we played a bit of soccer and then an early dinner and headed home since we had planned a Bad Movie Night like the night before...again going with the hardly planned theme. Our movie was Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie, which was truly terrible. After the movie we got to play this horrible game I got for my birthday (thanks Mom!) and luckily the people we played with had good senses of humors and didn't get (too) offended. Man - that game is amazingly offensive - it was pretty epic...i may have snorted at least 12 times. 

A big thank you to my husband for making the whole weekend so special and another big thank you to everyone who celebrated with me. I think in the course of the weekend I was able to see so many people who are instrumental in my life - from old friends to new friends to family to friends from far away - humbled and blessed to be connected to all these amazing people and starting my Monday with a big smile plastered on my face! And if I didn't get to see you this weekend, don't worry - there is a month long expiration on birthday celebrations, so you have until the end of November to celebrate with me...and seriously not kidding...its a true thing...