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Sunday, October 31

our harvest

the farmers with their beloved crops.

an ellery celery stalk.

a coco pea pod.


hope everyone had a great halloween!

Friday, October 29

the patch

i had planned a fabulous trip up to half moon bay for a day of pumpkin patching but austin's insano overtime hours leave us with little chance for such tommyrot.

we still had fun going to a local one for an hour or so.

c has gotten so so smiley lately! 

 elles tried for a huge gourd first,

 before trying a more 'ellery-sized',

which she still almost dropped. hehe.
thank goodness for gramvi's quick hands.

 doesn't she look proud?

 this little girl loves to drive! 

e is almost 22 months now; her pant legs & i just can't keep up.

had a quick wagon ride...

 and an even quicker attempt at a picture of the girls together. maybe next year. :)

i adore her facial expressions!

always fun having gramvi & g'pa join us. right now 'pa-pa' is definitely on the top of e's favorite person list. she asks to visit him all the time & squeals and runs to him shouting pa-pa over and over. gramvi feels a tad ousted. :)

 don't you love cossette's light orange ballet socks? festive!

i miss my blonde hair today. 

 can i have your hair color?

 i'd LOVE the darker of austin & his mini me too. just not this mousey-tweener stuff.
real quick, did you notice coco's eyes? i'm sure you did. how could you not??

 gotta love a man in flannel :)

have i mentioned that fall makes my soul sing?

cuz it does.

Thursday, October 28

meanwhile back at the ranch

the girls were very, very well taken care of.
so was the chief for that matter.
my in-laws are beyond incredible.
i got a detailed email every day.
along with dozens & dozens of pictures.
 it was exactly what i needed.

 thank you grandma nee'nee & grandpa hill!
we were thrilled to see each other again.

i missed my little family.
we did nothing but cuddle for days.

Saturday, October 23


day 1: LA port
meeting up with everyone @ LAX & we're off! exploring this colossal ship was a week long task. it was pretty phenomenal. our stateroom had a balcony on the very front of the ship & i don't wanna toot my own horn here but i did not get motion sick in the SLIGHTEST while on board the mariner of the seas. humongous relief, let me tells ya.
we're all such novice cruisers we starved the first day, not having a clue where to find free food & heaven forbid we spend a dime. haha- by dinner we were ravenous. turning my phone to airplane mode was the hardest part of day one.

{lil sis, me, mamacita, auntie camillie, & auntie kathy}
we had theme nights which really were a lot of fun with our lavender stone group. 'lavender & tiara night' & so it begins...

day 2: day @ sea

'black & white formal night'. stephanie woke up 3 times today. that's right. for breakfast, lunch, & dinner. haha this is the main reason we only have pictures from dinner. you know, when the picture hound herself was awake. ps-- between her & my mom i'm just shy of 700 pictures from this trip so... be patient.
it was a relaxing day of working out with marcus (YUM), reading, hot tubbing (which i haven't done in years!), & figuring out the archaic internet system on the ship.

day 3: cabo san lucas, mexico

welcome to mexico! such a fun day! we found this random glass bottom boat guy. yes, yes called the sex machine. don't know why. i thought it would be one of those touristy, gimmicky things but it was actually way impressive! the water reminded me of a blue otter pop. gorgeous! i like this mexico place. :)
the boat took us around to look at fishes & pelicans & crabs & then dropped us on a semi-secluded beach. & when i say dropped, they literally had us jump out waist deep in some pretty insano waves & holding our bags above our heads & trying to fight the undertow. MAJOR adventure.

we watched quite a few people get carried away by the waves & need a good rescuing by the handful of  tour guides. a couple of teeny tiny little kids even. i don't know who would throw their babies off the side of a rocky boat into a tumultuous sea but whatever. my mom & aunts & i hiked across the hottest sand ever to the pacific side of the peninsula while stephanie slept on the beach.
unbelievable waves!

we did a bit of shopping in an open market in cabo where steph just about started a riot, had some ice cream, & checked out a couple of lion cubs! back on the boat we had a jam sesh by the pool. yee, that's how we roll.

'earring night'. our waiters were the best in the whole dining hall. period.

day 4: mazatlan, mexico

i was super excited to go check out mazatlan & actually see some of mexican life. we took a tour around this beautiful city & enjoyed a lot of history & info about the culture & country from a native. very interesting. they have a university in mazatlan where you can actually graduate in tourism. who'da thunk?
i will try & not get on my soap box about this & simply say that some mexican boys wait around until they draw an american audience willing to pay & then jump off this nearly 45 foot tower into what they say is 9 feet of water. i will just say i did not take this picture.

we went into a cathedral in the city center & then drove out to lunch at this fabulous sea food place where a mariachi band played & the food was awesome. it was nestled on a picturesque beach with palm trees, white sand, & thatch-roofed huts. stephanie opted out of lunch to go, you guessed it, sleep on the beach. :)

'shoe night'!

day 5: puerto vallarta, mexico

come take a ride with us on a small motorboat into a charming neighborhood in puerto. next we'll take an exciting & scenic hour long ride in an old open army transport truck into the mexican forest. here you'll feel super tough & brave & cool.

get harnessed up for some fun!

you'll find you are quite the natural, zip lining across the canopies & hooting & hollering like a spider monkey. you'll brave dizzying heights & hike through unique landscapes; climb some difficult, long rope bridges & repel over 90 feet in the open air.

by this time you are feeling like such a stud.

until you realize you need to pump in a dilapidated bathroom in the mexican jungle & pop. your bubble is burst. :)

my back was quite literally seared from the 2nd day which we finally figured out was from photosensitivity with the antibiotic i was on. it just barely stopped bubbling & peeling. it was identical to a chemical burn. for almost 3 days i would wake up feeling like i was burning alive. NOT fun.
we enjoyed a lot of fun shows during our evenings on the boat but the ice show was by far the most impressive. when i can do aireal ballet while wearing ice skates, i will absolutely go join the circus. i still couldn't get over the fact that our boat had an ice. skating. rink. what the what??

day 6: day @ sea

chill day of sun bathing, eating, working out, reading, & 'formal hat night'. the ladies in our group were a crack up! 

day 7: last day >> take me home to my babies!!!

we partied (not really) & ate like kings (really) & sucked up some exquisite sunsets & explored some new places & had a blast with female kinfolk. SO glad i bucked up & went!

Sunday, October 10

see ya later suckers!

i'm going on a mexican cruise with an all girl's group with my aunts, mama, & sister!

i'm crazy excited about the trip!!!

i'm crazy terrified/sad/nervous/sick about leaving my babies!!!

my awesome in-laws are taking a week off of their lives to play mommy for me & aust should be home plenty.

but still.

ahhhh!!! wish me luck!

Saturday, October 9

plugging along

i thought we were getting the hang of this. we were happy, healthy, & plugging along & *gasp* leaving the house again!

& bam!
an unhappy triad (or terrible triad, O'Donoghue's triad or a "blown knee") is an injury to the knee.

This scenario causes an injury to three knee structures:

1. the anterior cruciate ligament
2. the medial collateral ligament (or "tibial collateral ligament")
3. the lateral meniscus (refined definition, originally it was the medial meniscus)

the mr.'s been walking on it for about a year, nursing it, then reinjuring the stupid thing. basketball a couple times, hiking, snowboarding, & finally skimboarding at the beach was the last straw.

so surgery happened & our life turned into our view from bed & i was harnessed with quite literally 3 babies to care for.
& now i will complain.

it was a tad ROUGH!! insanity of pinched nerves, pain pills, ER visits, ice runs for his ice machine, getting the 3 of them up to our second story apartment, getting the kids up & out of the house (because aust couldn't drive) for rides to & from physical therapy, dr appointments, & work, feeding them all, cleaning up after them all, & trying to stay sane.

poor cossette got in the habit of being an angel all day & then flipping out at about 10 o'clock at night. super great. not to mention a neglected toddler (considering she was my most capable housemate) which gave us some fun surprises with her newfound freedom.

ie. dumped sippy cups, dumped cheerios, dumped pasta noodles, dumped dry oatmeal, dumped powdered sugar, losing her only to find she had climbed into the storage room to read a book in quiet, consistently sesame street babysat, & iPhone entertained.

it's all calm & back to normal now. & i will be calling austin's mother if he is ever my patient again. i must really really really have it bad for that boy to not have murdered him this month.

even though i was overwhelmed more than once, overall it went pretty good.

well... we're alive anyway.