Visiting Death Valley National Park | Super Bloom

I love to share about our family travels! Big or small, they are all adventures and a fun way for us to be together as a family and hopefully reconnect and disconnect from so many electronics ;) 

Our kiddos go to year-round school, so they are currently on their Spring track break for 3 weeks and then Spring Break, so they'll be at home for a full month without school.  We're not planning an out of town trip this year, like we have in the past, so we want to be sure to have lots of fun activities and nearby adventures!

On their first weekend of track break, we decided to go on a little day trip to Death Valley.   Death Valley National Park is having a super bloom this spring.  The conditions were just right with the perfect amount of rainfall and light winds so what is normally a few spring flowers popping up here and there became into a field of yellow wildflowers blooming all over the desert!  Apparently this is a pretty rare occurrence, so we packed up our car with lots of water and a picnic lunch and took the 2 hour drive from Las Vegas to check it out.  We were not the only ones with this idea!  The park was full with people wanting to take a look and photograph this phenomenon!

We had a great time and we're so glad we got to see a different side of Death Valley than we had before.  If you're in the area and have some time to go out there, check it out.  It's not like a full field of wildflowers to run through or anything like that, but it is pretty neat to see so many flowers blooming in the desert!

2015 A Year in Review: Travels, Races, and Family Fun

With just a couple of days left in the year, I thought it would be fun to revisit 2015 today.  The year started off rough and we had lots to deal with as it went on with Jason's injury and following surgeries.  There were days that we just could not see the light.  But, we aren't the type to let our lives be dictated by our circumstance.  Sure, things were not ideal, but we knew they could be much worse. So, we made the best with what we had.  We kept positive and moving forward with our lives.  

Even with the ups and downs, we had such a full year.  We got to travel to some fun places with our family and Jason and I even got away without the kiddos to San Francisco+Sonoma County.  We took the kids camping in Utah for the first time.  We spent a super fun weekend with our family in Huntington Beach, CA!  The kids and I hiked to the Colorado River.  We got to go boating in Lake Mead.  I ran my first trail half marathon  in Red Rock Canyon and my 3rd Tough Mudder.  I won a free registration from Pace Per Mile to Walt Disney World's Wine & Dine Half Marathon, so we all went to Florida for 8 days! The kiddos ran the Disney Kid 1 mile race.  We visited all 4 Disney parks and visited with friends that are like family.  I also ran the Disneyland Half Marathon to complete the Coast to Coast Challenge.  I ran 3 Spartan races (2 with the hubs) and got my 2nd Trifecta.  The kids ran the Spartan Kid race too.  Lastly, I won another free registration to the Run Laughlin Half Marathon in December, which turned out to be a great race.  

I'm looking forward to starting 2016 with new goals and plans.  I'm looking forward to fun adventures with my family and taking on new challenges.  But, for now, I'm happy to look back and reflect on all the good things that have taken place and not to dwell on what could have been or feel bad for the huge curve ball life threw our way.  Today I choose to be grateful for all the wonderful things and places I've been.  I'm grateful for my family's constant support.  I'm happy to be where I am in life.  It may not be exactly where I want to be, but it is a lot closer than I was before. And for that, I am grateful.  

What's your favorite memory of 2015?  Are you looking forward to 2016? What goals do you have for the new year?

Southern California Getaway

Earlier this month we got invited to our friends, Linda & Sean's wedding in Orange County, California.  My sister & her hubs (the Riveras) were also invited, plus it was a kid-free wedding, can you say "Road Trip!" 

We left early Friday afternoon and made it in time for dinner out there.  Every time we're in the area, Jason and I try to make it out to our favorite sushi spot, Orange Roll and Sushi, and knew the Riveras would love it too!  It did not disappoint!  It was the perfect way to start our weekend! 

The wedding was on Saturday (12-13-14) at 4pm, so we got an early start to our day with a workout in the hotel's gym before making our way to Newport Beach & Huntington Beach.  The weather was perfect and we had a great time relaxing and enjoying the California sunshine and taking in the ocean breeze!  Before we knew it, it was time to get dolled up for the wedding.  I gotta say, as wedding photographers, being guests at a wedding was such a treat.  I got to dress up in a fancy dress, wear heals, and makeup!  We only took our handy little Fuji x100S point & shoot camera and enjoyed the evening drinking, dancing, and mingling!   

_DSF3262.JPG

Sunday was our last day before heading back home and I had scheduled a photo shoot in Laguna Beach while we were there.  I got to photograph a gorgeous couple in such a fun location, while the rest of the crew enjoyed the sights.  I caught up to them after my session and we all walked along the beach for a bit together before it was time to say "till next time" to lovely SoCal!  Ya'll know I love my kids, but getting away for a couple of days to recharge, is a must in my book!  I am so grateful we got to relax, enjoy uninterrupted adult conversation, and make some fun memories with friends and family.