Elephant Seals and Great Views

Jordan and I spent 2.5 weeks in April and May of 2016 driving the coast of California. If you’d like to start at the beginning click here.

Driving the Pacific Coast Highway

We left San Luis Obispo midmorning with roughly three hours of pure driving time left. I’m not sure why I went into driving the Pacific Coast Highway naively but I didn’t think we’d have opportunities to stop. I assumed we would admire the scenery from our cars! Silly me.

Our three hour drive turned more into a six hour drive!

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Twenty-Four Hours in Kansas City

Country Club Plaza Kansas City

Jordan and I went to Kansas City in December, but due to major first trimester exhaustion I never got around to sharing the photos from our stay. I still loved the photos so better late than never!

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Scenes from the Road

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After 19 + hours on the road, traveling through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas we are finally in New Mexico! Whew! I seriously don’t know how truck drivers do their job. My body does not like to sit for that long.

A few lessons I learned on the road:

1 | Stop frequently to swap out drivers or just stretch your legs! We probably added an extra hour, but in the long run it was worth taking that moment to snap photos of that Texas storm and get some fresh air.

2 | Avoid the dollar menu. Splurge a little and order that salad. Fast food is somewhat unavoidable on the road (unless you are really organized and and pack all your meals), but most places have healthier options.

3 | Ignore your instincts to leave the hairspray behind. You will want it.

4 | Time will go by quicker if you allow yourself to get a little silly. Jordan and his brother spent about 20 minutes conversing exclusively in exaggerated southern accents. Every time I tried joining in, I couldn’t stop laughing.

5 | “Car face” is a real condition.

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^ Taking a dance break.

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Summer Road Trips

Summer Road Trip Essentials

^ Clovis, NM

Jordan and I, along with his brother, leave for a little family reunion in West Texas/New Mexico next week. This will be my first time driving out there (the last time, we flew) and my first road trip longer than five hours in probably ten years. Our day events are pretty planned out with family activities, but I still needed to prepare for the actual road travel.

Cue the internet.

I searched all around for suggestions on packing, snacks, and entertainment to help pass the time on our 19 + hour drive (and no, we aren’t doing it in one day: we aren’t that hardcore).

When it comes to any type of travel, there is no way to be fully prepared: delays and unexpected circumstances will occur, but it is still beneficial to start with a general plan. Jordan was the more seasoned traveler when we were first married and he’s really helped me learn to go with the flow and take the unexpected moments in stride.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for your summer road trip.

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The Newest Member

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The boy-girl ratio in my family has slowly been tipping towards girls ever since my three nieces came along. I kid to my brothers that all those rounds of playing Pretty Pretty Princess with me, while at the time seemed annoying, was actually parenting preparation!

We thought girls were going to reign supreme in this next generation, but then came little Luke William. On Saturday Jon (brother), Anne Marie (sister-in-law), Jordan and myself drove to St.Louis for the day to visit Luke, his parents and big sister! We had such a fun (sadly short) visit all vying with each other for turns to hold the newest member of our family.

And now I will spam you with baby pictures 🙂

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^ toddlers can’t get enough of Jordan. they seriously flock to him.

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^luke happily slept/ate the whole afternoon!

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Siblings Reunited: A Christmas Story

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We’ve been spending more evenings at home than usual this January, juggling between two polar vortex’s and several snow storms, so Jordan and I opted to keep our small Christmas tree up for a little while longer. The cozy ambiance that the tree lights add to our living room has been much enjoyed! So in honor of the Christmas cheer that is still present in our home, here is my very late-to-the-party Christmas post!

Christmas 2013 was highly-anticipated: reflecting on Jesus and the story of his birth, spending time with friends and family, watching our favorite movies and listening to plenty of carols! This year was particularly exciting because it held the long-awaited Short family reunion. A portion of Jordan’s family lived overseas last year and returned at the start of 2014.

In the meantime, we spent Christmas Eve with my parents enjoying my mom’s famous homemade pizza. I will never forget my nieces greeting us that night by proclaiming,”IT’S CHRISTMAS TIME!” Yes, little ones it really is 🙂 Christmas Day we drove to Jordan’s grandparents house and enjoyed Christmas part one with them. I’m still wishing for another piece of grandma’s killer cherry pie! Yum Yum!

A little over a week after his family’s arrival, once the jet-lag lifted and the weather cleared enough, we loaded up our cars to celebrate a belated Christmas. We packed this day full with a second road trip to his grandparents house, yummy food, Dutch Blitz tournaments, naps, scouring for the lost nativity scene (^ the above was the alternate version), and exchanging special gifts to one another. The early morning sunrise slowly melted into a cool evening sunset all unnoticed as we continued sharing stories, laughing and generally catching up on the full year 2013 was for us.

Experiencing the siblings reunited was a very special sight to see and what better time than under the Christmas lights.