Because the week is filled with hectic schedules and not as much family time as I'd like, I love love LOVE to savor our family togetherness through the lens on the weekends. This is the most special time because we're all together the entire weekend and being with my family (and capturing it all) is my number one passion of all. (all photos taken with iPhone and edited with the Adobe Photoshop Express app)
This weekend, I savored (through my iPhone lens), lots of Easter Weekend fun. Spring Break started on Friday, so when D got home early, we all headed over the playground. They always love it when the train passes by.
Oh yes...it's very loud. Hehe!
Before we left to go get dinner, we headed over to the field to run around a bit. Luca still loves it when D throws him in the air, but C, not so much anymore. It now scares her.
We've lived here for seven years and we FINALLY made out to Folsom to check out the Global Wildlife Center. I know, I know, we are SO very late to the party, but SO glad we finally made it out before our move.
It's very similar to my days growing up at Lion Country Safari, but instead of being in the car with the windows up, we got to actually feed all the animals (except for the Zeebra's...they have a very strong bite and can bite right through a human bone, so yeah, when they came up to the wagon, I was all over the kids to NOT go near the Zeebra's) on a wagon tour.
This was our drive in...animals just chillin'....so awesome!
While we were waiting for our safari ride to start, we got to watch the Kangaroo's jump around and relax in in the sun for a bit. Oh my gosh...I absolutely LOVED seeing them. It's not every day you get to see a Kangaroo, or shall I say, Kangaroo's on American soil. SO cool!
The kids had fun running around the grass with all the other kids, because, yeah, it took some time to finally board the wagons and kids and waiting doesn't mix very well. ;)
Ready to ride and feed!!
A moment I always LOVE to savor.
It always melts my heart seeing D with our kiddos and I'm always reminded of how GREAT of a Daddy he is. And, like I always say, he gets the BEST pics of him with the kids. Lucky guy! ;)
It was absolutely amazing being SO close to animals in this way. They stop in certain areas and let everyone walk around the wagon to feed the animals.
D and C 's side...then our side. :)
I still had to BE very on, meaning I was holding Luca as tight as could because I didn't want him to go overboard, but he did good. I will be ready when he can finally sit like C is now at her age. It really does make my heart feel oh, so calm when I don't have to worry so much about them running away or walking in areas they shouldn't be. But, it was SO nice to be out in nature in this way...even if my mind was more focused on my boy staying safe. ;)
Yay for stopping and being able to get up and feed the animals...although Luca kept dumping and dumping food like crazy. LOL!
This was only the beginning so we had to try really hard to get him to understand that we had to slow down on throwing food out...yeah, very hard for a 4 year old, but at least he didn't scream at us and seemed to be OK with it since there were so many animals to distract his thoughts. :)
Oh, these reindeer. How cool are they!? So awesome!
And, how cool that they came up to say hello to C! Oh yeah!!
Her first feed from the cup...yaaaaaay!!
Then when we started to move again, they followed us all. Ha! Too funny!
OH, and this moment!! I just LOVE how I captured the essence of her during this amazing time with the animals.
We weren't sure if we were even going to get close the giraffe's, but luckily, we did and it was SO, SO awesome!! Especially on the same day that April the Giraffe finally had her baby...yaaay!!
There's a baby giraffe here too, named Nala. She's only 3 weeks old, but I wasn't able to capture her. She was too far out with her mama. But, gosh, she was so neat to see.
I could just watch giraffe's all day. They are just the most unique animal and the art on their fur...just amazing!
Well...I think that a lot for all animals in nature...it blows my mind when I see patterns on animals like this, especially butterflies and even the way spider's create their webs...ah, nature, you are incredible!! And always reminding just that life IS absolutely beautiful.
D got in the fun, too, while Luca and I hung out in the back and just watched.
Next up, the long horn cows. At this point, I was very busy with Luca. He was starting to get antsy and wasn't very into feeding the animals anymore.
Because of that, I only caught certain facts about them, like they stick out their tongue to the side to feed, but when I saw D touching his tongue, I was like, "You could do that?" And he said, "Yeah, the guy said you could touch their tongue."
It's OK tough...I wouldn't have touched it anyway. Ha! He said it felt like sandpaper.
Then on our last 15 minutes, Luca wanted to sit with D and I got to sit and have a little calm with Camille. Well, only for a second or so, because right when got over to D, he wanted to come back with me. Ha!
Then when we got home, he CRASHED with his trumpet that he got at the gift shop and absolutely LOVED.
Well...I thought that nap was SO awesome, but later that night, he took him forever to fall asleep, because one, he was tired, and two, the Easter Bunny was coming.
He fell asleep at 10 PM, woke up at midnight. He came running in to tell D and I that the Easter Bunny came and he brought Hatchimal's. He went back to bed in our room and then woke up at 4 AM, grabbed the Hatchimal and woke up C. When I walked in, they were both up, laying in bed with their Hatchimal boxes.
We told them to go back to sleep and not to open anything until the sun came up.
But, come 6 AM, they were READY!!!
So we all got up and enjoyed everything the Easter Bunny brought.
They were SO excited to get Hatchimal's. They've been wanting them since Christmas Eve.
Yep...Christmas Eve...they wanted to add it to their list on Christmas Eve. I had to tell them that the elves already made all their presents and they'd have to wait to ask for them another time.
Now that C is finally sleeping in her bed all night (she's done it for more than a month now and I think she has finally passed her fear of being in her room all alone) and Luca took three different kinds of medicine to heal his ear infection last February, (which was NOT easy)....the Easter bunny knew they deserved to have them. And, what better day to get them than on Easter. :)
They kept saying, "I know why the Easter bunny gave us these...because they're in eggs and it's EASTER!" Hehe!
I thought it was going to take a few days for them to hatch, but nope, I was wrong...it only took 30 minutes. Ha!
Happy kiddos! Tired mama and papa!! ;)
Happy mama...because these things kept them busy for quite some time.
It's been a long time since they've played with a toy for as long as they have with their Hatchimal.
And then I made my Easter breakfast tradition of Eggs Benedict.
It always reminds me of my late grandmother. She only made it once on Easter for my family and I, but I'll never forget that Easter, because it was the first time I had Eggs Benedict and I absolutely LOVED it. So now that she's passed, it's nice making something that reminds of her.
Then I listened to Michael Bernard Beckwith's Easter service online at Agape, and I was inspired to doodle this while the kids were happily playing and painting our TV stand with D.
Here it is from notepad to edited in Photoshop. Because it's been SO long since I've doodled these words and watercolored them, I've been slowly getting my editing flow back. I was SO happy to remember that when I add in green, it turns turquoise in Photoshop when I edit it.
I'm slowly getting my groove back. Slowly!
Then I sat outside to watch the kiddos play and to enjoy God's colorful beauty that surrounds me, when little guy wanted to sit with me and show me more of his love for his new Hatchimal.
I was even lucky to get a kiss from his Hatchimal, too! Ha!
And, lastly, we ended it off with some Alaskan Snow Crabs and some garlic, olive oil pasta, that only D and the kids ate. The crab was all mine!! It's my absolute favorite and I ate every bit of with SO much JOY! :)
But, as I look back on this weekend, again, it was jam packed with lots of family fun, but at times I was also very tiring and not so calming.
Like when we were driving home from Global Wildlife and Luca was having a full on meltdown because the seat belt was rubbing into his neck (he had a tank top on and he's not used to it so he could feel the seat belt and he as NOT having it).
So we spent a good 20 minutes (that felt like forever!) listening to him scream his head off while I tried to figure out how I could help him. Until finally, I thought, maybe I can suggest to him that I can put tissues on the straps to help make the belt feel more comfortable.
Luckily he said OK and luckily I had enough tissues, because it WORKED!
Those moments can drain me, but I'm grateful for my mama brain and heart (that can sure feel like is very foggy and focused way too much on stress), because it's ALWAYS trying to figure out ways to help bring comfort and calm to my kiddos in moments that can always feel very, VERY, uncomfortable and oh, so draining (especially when I'm lacking some major sleep, too!).
And when the intense moment finally calms, I'm reminded, yet again, that all the good and the not-so-good moments are still very much filled with love.
Until next time...
The camera...one of the best creative tools to help ME get out of my stressed-out-mama-head + savor (fully enJOY!) all the JOYful and moments that fill my heart up with LOVE and that not-so JOYful moments that trigger my heart to find LOVE...(something that's hard to do when my mind is running five miles ahead or behind the present moment)