Summer Bucket List 2015

Since the summer of 2010 we've been putting together a family summer bucket list.  We've had a blast putting these lists together each year and coming up with fun activities to keep the kiddos entertained and happy during our hot Vegas summers.  A few things have become summer traditions such as going to Southern California in August, picnics up at Mount Charleston, and movie nights.  But, it's always fun to add a few new things to our lists each year.  In 2012 we started to get creative with displaying our list because it's important to see it and plan around it.  Otherwise, we tend to get busy with our regular routine and forget about all the fun plans we had for summer.  

We usually put our summer bucket list together around Memorial Day, but this year has been wonky with Jason's broken ankle and year round school for both kids! So, we waited until our kids went on their summer track brake to really focus on the fun summer activities for this year.  They'll be on summer track break for 3 weeks. Then they'll be back to finish off the school year for about a month, before having another 2 week break before the new school year begins again.  It can get confusing, but that's where a little preparation and being intentional about making the best of summer comes in handy!  We're determined to make the most of our time together as a family, be it summer or any other time of the year.  This year, I purchased this cute chalk banner at Target for displaying our list.  I got the kids to each write a few of our activities and then we hung it right over the kitchen window.  We'll definitely be seeing it constantly!  

Emeric Family Summer Bucket List 2015

  • End of Summer SoCal Beach Trip
  • Family Bike Ride (I plan to just run alongside them, since I don't know how to ride a bike.  They think they're going to teach me to ride.  We'll see what happens!)
  • Mystery Adventure
  • Bonfire 
  • Art Day
  • Sky Zone
  • Picnic at Mount Charleston
  • Make Ice Cream
  • Camping
  • Family Movie Night
  • Swimming 

Feel free to check out our 2012, 2013, and 2014 lists for more ideas for your own summer bucket list!  It's not too late to get started on having a super fun summer!  What kinds of fun activities, trips, or projects do you have planned for your family this summer? 

San Francisco & Wine Country Getaway

The past 6months have been quite a roller coaster for our family.  Jason broke his ankle in January during the Spartan Sprint in Temecula and has had 2 surgeries since then.  He is now going to start physical therapy to help get his range of motion back and basically get back to normal.  He's been so strong and resilient this entire time.  Sure, he's not happy about his situation and it totally sucks but he is dealing with it amazingly well and taking it one day at a time.  Of course, this injury put our family travels and trips pretty much on hold this first half of the year, so being able to getaway earlier this month for 5 days was truly much needed.  

I found my street! 

I found my street! 

As wedding photographers, we sometimes get to travel to photograph a wedding and when this happens it always turns into a little mini vacation for us afterwards :)  This year, we photographed a wedding in San Francisco and planned a trip to Napa and Sonoma Counties afterwards.  We flew into San Francisco Friday evening.  The next day, after a quick workout in the tiny hotel gym, we spent our morning and afternoon walking around Fisherman's Wharf before meeting up with our couple for their rehearsal.  Sunday was the wedding and it was beautiful.  You can check it out HERE

Check out the Golden Gate Bridge in the background! Plus, Jason totally rocks that boot, huh?

Check out the Golden Gate Bridge in the background! Plus, Jason totally rocks that boot, huh?

Monday morning we rented a car and made our way to Napa Valley.  We started our getaway with a picnic lunch at Alpha Omega winery and it totally set the tone for our relaxing trip.  We then got to visit one of our favorite wine's winery, Sequoia Grove.  That was just awesome.  Of course, the wine tastings did not disappoint.  Just wish we could have stayed there longer! lol

The next day, we spent touring Sonoma Valley, which we had never been too.  We hit up a few wineries and ended the day at Sonoma's Tuesday Night Farmers Market.  One of my favorite wineries that day was Deerfield Ranch Winery. The tasting room is right inside their wine cave.  They had comfy chairs to sit and really gave you a nice experience.  Our flight was booked for Wednesday night out of San Francisco, so we were able to squeeze in 2 more wineries before it was time to head back.  We visited my favorite winery of the trip on this last day and we became wine members!  Benzinger Family Winery was just lovely and the wines were delish!  I wish we would have had time to take their tour of the biodynamic vineyard and farm.  I guess we'll just have to plan a trip back there soon ;) 

All in all, it was a great trip!  Like I said, it was a much needed time away from the routine and a nice escape from reality for a bit.  Jason and I were able to reconnect and it totally revived my love of traveling and I cannot wait to go on more adventures with my family again soon!  

Till next time, San Francisco! 

Till next time, San Francisco! 

Tell me, do you love wine as much as I do? What's your favorite wine?  I always love to try new ones! xo

Wild Land Fire Awareness Trail Half Marathon | Red Rock Canyon

I ran the Wild Land Fire Awareness Trail 5K last year and although it was not a great race for me, I kinda left wanting to do the half marathon.  So, when registration opened up for this year's race, I signed up right away!  I have done 5K, 10K, and 12K trail races before but this would be my first trail half marathon.  I was both nervous and scared.  My training was pretty sporadic and I didn't really stick to my running schedule like I should have.  Also, I really wanted to do more specific hill training, but yea, that didn't happen either.  I did get some good runs in and had quite a few long trail runs beforehand, so I knew I would finish, just wasn't too sure of my time.  I ended up giving myself the goal of 3 hours.  

Of course, I hardly slept the night before the race.  This happens to me all the time and I wish I had better sleeping techniques I could use.  Any suggestions?  Fortunately, I didn't feel terribly tired in the morning and we were able to get everyone ready and gather our stuff (that we'd set up the day before) and head out the door with little drama.

Just like last year, everything seemed to go smoothly at the start line.  I chatted with a few running friends, took photos with my family, and then it was time to go!  The first half of the course was pretty brutal.  The inclines were no joke and there were some pretty technical parts with huge rocks we had to get up.  I walked up most of the inclines and was wishing I hadn't skipped that hill training!  About halfway through the race, my family found me right before an aid station.  It was so nice to see the kiddos running towards me and having Jason help me refill my hydration pack with ice and water.  It definitely gave me a nice boost, plus I knew I was getting close to some downhill trails after seeing them :) The rest of the race went well.  I picked up speed on the downhill and walked a bit more of the uphill.  I started to feel my calf cramping and I was happy I had put some mustard packets in my pack.  I took them and it helped to not get a full-on cramp.  I'm not sure why I started cramping, but I'm thinking it was a few factors.  Primarily all the uphill climbing, but I also didn't wear my compression socks and I always wear them for long runs, especially half marathons.  Plus, it was really hot out there that morning!

Again, it was so awesome seeing my kiddos cheering me on as I approached the finish line.  My son came up and ran alongside me for a bit, which really helped me push the pain aside and finish strong!  I didn't meet my goal of 3 hours, but I was still happy with my time of 3 hours 12 minutes.  Just gives me something to aim towards for the next one ;) 

This was my last race until the fall.  I'm kinda sad not to have something coming up soon, but I'll use these summer months to continue training and focusing on my goals.  How about you?  Any races scheduled for the summer? What's your next event?