Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer O' Fun!

Holy cannoli! This has been the most amazing and yet most stressful summer of my life. Just to recap, I was pretty much a single mom all summer long. Between Ben's traveling for work and my vacationing, we hardly saw each other. Absence does make the heart grow fonder . . . for help around the house! On top of everything else, I single handedly packed up our entire house to move. Not that Ben didn't offer to help. I'm just a self proclaimed control freak that wanted to know exactly where each item was being packed. As a side note, thank you so much to everyone that helped us load up and unload at the new place. You guys are amazing! And kudos to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law for coming out and entertaining Braelyn so I didn't go completely insane over the weekend.

So right now I am operating along the lines of a zombie! This post is just some random pictures of the most exciting summer ever!

We went to Utah where we . . .
. . . went to Wheeler Farm with Grandma Kaye . . .

. . . went to the aquarium with Grandma Melene (Braelyn had been so many times that she said "fish" every time we drove past it) . . .

. . . kissed the "zazoos" at the dinosaur museum . . .

. . . played on the swings at Grandma's house . . .

. . .  and helped Grandma Melene with yard work (she picked up all the leaves and put them in the trash can).

Then we went to Ben's family reunion where we . . .
. . . played in the grass by the "creek" (more like a sewer ditch!) . . .

. . . rocked out to some tunes on the karoke machine . . .

. . . and ate lots of yummy food!

We managed to get some family pictures done while we were there by my good friend Cortney Clegg. She is amazing! I can't believe we managed to get a single decent photo with Braelyn running all over the place. I love the candid shots, though!

 Braelyn took this one of us! She might be a photographer someday!

We seriously love this little squirt!

After Utah, Braelyn and I headed off to California for my family reunion where we . . .

. . . went boating . . .

. . . saw the beautiful redwoods . . .

. . . and drove home for 10 hours!

Once we got back to Phoenix we celebrated some special birthdays!
We enjoyed eating at good old Red Robin for Jana's birthday and then had a blast raiding TJ Maxx for some good deals.

I turned a whopping 28 this month and somehow the stars aligned and Ben and I were actually able to go out and celebrate in the midst of moving.
I love the looks on our faces like, "hurry up and take the dang picture self timer before Braelyn loses it!" Yes, we did ask our waiter to take the picture but Braelyn was freaked out by him and started screaming. Self timer was the next best option!

And of course we had to stop by Baskin Robbins for my free scoop of birthday ice cream, which Braelyn sniped from me.

And last but not least, we moved and are somewhat settled! We decided to go ahead and set up a big girl's bed for Braelyn. I know I might be crazy because she isn't even two until December, but she's a great sleeper. I'm proud to say that even with all the changes going on this little pooper adapted quite well. What a big girl!
I love that this picture shows her "angel kiss" birthmark. I haven't ever conciously taken a picture of it, and it is so dang cute. She was kissed by and angel for sure!

And that's that! The lowdown on the Gundersen's crazy, hectic, exhausting, chaotic, but wonderful summer!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Beeeeach!

So I think we all remember how Braelyn used to say the word beach, let's just say it sounded like a curse word that I wouldn't want her saying in public! Luckily by the time we took our San Diego vacation we were able to shape up the word to sound like the real thing. And good thing because all week long it was, "beach beach beach!" Braelyn and I had such a blast hanging out with the Knueppel's and their family as Ben once again flew to the other side of the country for more job training. Braelyn and Drew sure are two peas from the same pod.

These two got a kick out of feeding the seagulls!

Braelyn was fixated on carrying around her little bucket and filling it with rocks. She probably would have done it all day if you let her.

This is how the majority of nap times went! There was no way to get them to sleep in the tents, so we would strap them in their car seats and drive away. Usually we nominated Bryan for this job so Katie and I could relax and read magazines. Aw the life of a beach bum!

We got to go to Sea World which was pretty amazing. I don't know how you get whales, dolphins, and seals to do the tricks they do. I have a hard enough time getting Sancho to stop barking!

They have a whole Sesame Street Land that Braelyn loved. She is crying in this picture not because she is afraid of the ride, but she is mad that it stopped. This girl loves rides! I had to take her on about 10 rides during the day. I thought I was going to barf by the time we rode the spinning teacups.

Braelyn was sooooo excited to see Elmo and Big Bird. She was even trying to cut in line to get to them faster. But of course the second we got up there, Braelyn freaked out just like the first time she met Santa.

I was impressed that Braelyn actually touched the sea star. She's pretty much a girly girl and doesn't like to get her hands dirty so this was a big accomplishment!

I'll have to say that Drew was quite the ladies man on the trip. Watch the sequence of events while we were riding on the train to Old Town . . .

. . . and I love that he is wearing his little muscle shirt as he's hitting on Braelyn. It's lookin' like she likes it though!

And last but not least, our vacation ended with a 28" pizza! Funny thing is that for some crazy reason we didn't think that it would be enough so we ordered another regular sized pizza (you can see it in the background). Haha! We had plenty of leftovers and it was delicious!

So our San Diego adventure was pretty much a huge success. We had so much fun and I am so glad to have such wonderful friends that let me crash their family vacations. Thank you!