Christmas Tradtions

Years ago on pinterest, I saw a Christmas tradition that I knew instantly I wanted to start for our family! Someone had that idea to wrap 24 Christmas books and have their children open one book a night from December 1st to Christmas Eve. I’m slightly obsessed with children’s book, so I KNEW this was something that was right up my alley. At the time when we started this, I didn’t have 24 Christmas books and I didn’t want to drop a hundred bucks on new books right before the holidays. So the first year I bought a couple and just wrapped up regular books we already had to fill the remaining books I needed to cover a book every night. Slowly over the years I bought more and more and now we even have a couple extra so I can pick and choose which ones to wrap every year. The kids LOVE this tradition. Each night a different kiddo gets to unwrap a present and we all pile on the couch and read them together! I love it!


We don’t read Christmas books too often throughout the year, so even though they are old books, the kids love hearing the stories over again!


This is now mainly for the two little kids, since our older boys are 11 and 12. But they still participate for Mom’s sake and I love that it brings us all together at least for a little bit every night.

You can find us at the beach!

We are loving life here in So Cal this summer! Most weekends are spent at the beach, which has been so relaxing and fun! We’ve reached a point in parenthood where we no longer have a baby to watch and chase around 24/7. We can actually sit under the umbrella and watch the 4 kiddos play without having to constantly be by them every second. And let me tell you, it’s like a whole new experience at the beach! In the past (we lived at Pendleton for 6+ years when the three older kids were little) beach trips have almost been more trouble than fun and felt like a huge amount of work for Brian and I. But now we can actually say that we enjoy going! Very grateful to be on the California coast again 🙂 IMG_8301-EditIMG_8347-EditIMG_8388-Edit

Hiking Torrey Pines

Life has been busy busy and yet slow and boring all at the same time! I used to have so much more time when the kids were younger to blog and edit pictures. They went to bed early, typically around 7:30/8 so I had HOURS of free time to do as I please. Now that the boys are getting older, they don’t go to bed til later and my free time is much shorter. This season of life is pretty great though! Raising tween boys (along with the little two of course) and all the challenges and new adventures that come along with it – it kind of feels like someone threw us into the deep end without knowing how to swim. Ha! It’s not all like that of course, there are many times where it’s awesome to see them becoming young adults right in front of my eyes. So while there are times that admittedly I do miss my free time, this stage of life is pretty fun as well!

Can’t post without some pictures! Here are a few from a recent hike at Torrey Pines, which has become one of our favorite places to explore 🙂


No more training wheels


Does anyone else ever slack on teaching their kids various life skills?! It’s probably because we have a crap ton of kids but sometimes Brian and I sort of look at each other and say – We probably should have taught them how to do that by now! For example, whenever Addy started preschool at 3 she got to school and didn’t know how to drink out of a cup lol. We had always just given her a sippy cup from being too traumatized by all the drinks the boys had split when they were little! Another example, teaching our kids how to cut with a knife. I don’t even want to mention how old our kids were before we realized we can’t just keep cutting their food for them every meal lol!


I’m sure there’s more but I’ll stop there for now and get to the point of this blog post since it’s about another thing we forgot to teach Adelyn! I knew she was ready but we sort of just pushed it off and never took the time to do it. But this weekend we finally took off her training wheels and taught her how to ride a bike. It only took a few laps around this circle in front of our house and she was balancing like a pro!


It’s so fun to watch your kids set their heart on learning something! The first couple laps she was a bit nervous but she kept at it and was so proud of herself once she was doing it on her own.


Look at that smile ❤

And just like that – leaves over!

Brian’s 30 days of leave officially ended yesterday! He checked into his new unit, learned a bit more about what he’ll be doing here at Miramar and meet the Marines in his shop. (While it’s not exactly what he wanted) He’s in a non-deployable unit and it seems like it’s going to be a pretty great place to spend a few years of his career. IMG_5215-EditIMG_5232-Edit

That little guy up there is definitely going to miss having Daddy home all day long though lol!

Balboa Park

Before when we lived up at Pendleton I loved to come down to Balboa Park! The area is beautiful. The landscaping, the buildings – I love it! Now that we live in San Diego we’re even closer so while my Mom was in town we took her to check it out.


The area is filled with lots of different museums. We went to a couple of them years ago but I hope to visit more this time around.


I have pictures just like these two below of Quinn and Grayson when they were littler ❤


My favorite area to walk around is this Spanish Village Art Center! I just love all the bright colors, between the fun doors and the colorful tiles. It always makes for great photos too!


I let Cal pick out a little snack and of course he picked out the biggest thing they had!


If you’ve ever in the San Diego area, Balboa Park is a must do!!

Happy 12th!


Somehow that sweet, adorable little 4 year old is now 12! TWELVE! How that’s possible, I’m not quite sure. But man do I love doing life with this guy. He’s the most inquisitive kid. Has as amazing memory and can throw out more random history facts than most adults.


I didn’t take many pictures on his birthday because we’re having his party this weekend with family but we did let him open up one gift….


A cell phone.


Might not seem like a big deal to some but this was a huge antagonizing decision in this house. Mainly by me haha. I had always said there was pretty much no reason for a young kid to have a phone and while I still sort of believe that, there are some things that now make life easier with him having a phone. He was ridiculously pumped and has been asking for one for years, so seeing him this excited about a gift was pretty awesome as well. We will be heavily monitoring everything and if you know of an awesome parent monitoring app let me know!


You made me a mommy and we’re learning this thing together buddy, Happy Birthday!

La Jolla Cove

Saturday night we played tourist and headed over to La Jolla Cove to see the sea lions! IMG_4709-Edit

It was such a beautiful day I knew I wanted to spend it outside and take in some of the beautiful San Diego scenery. Along this area of beach sea lions and seals FILL the area everyday. They’re so used to seeing people that you can literally walk right up to them and they don’t even flinch.


Haha – they don’t smell the best!


We stuck around for sunset and then headed to a local pizza place for dinner. I see us spending many nights at the beach during our time here in San Diego. It never gets old watching a sunset at the beach!


We made it! Tiny base housing tour

We have arrived and are starting to get settled into life in San Diego! We got the keys to our house, our household goods arrived and the kids have started school. Brian still has about a week left of leave – which is awesome while getting this house all set up! This is a 4 day weekend for the kids so we spent yesterday at the beach. February at the beach?! I can definitely get used to this!


Being back in base housing is a bit different than we’ve been used to the last 6 years. Dark beige carpets, the smallest gallery kitchen you’ve ever seen – you’ll probably never see a picture of that on this blog, old outdated bathrooms! We thankfully were assigned the biggest layout available in our community but even still, walking into our house was a bit disheartening seeing how outdated and cramped we would be. But I’m trying to make the best with what we were given and thankfully the living room is coming along nicely and it’s starting to feel nice and cozy – and like home.


There’s one thing that I loved about base housing though – all the families and kids around! We’ve already had homemade cookies delivered to our door, met numerous neighbors and the kiddos have SO MANY KIDS around to hang out with. Very grateful to be back in CA and that our family gets to enjoy life out here for a few years!

Oh and while I have you – if you’re on instagram go follow my new account at – OurMarineCorpsAdventure!