Lucy turns THREE!

Lucy turned three years old in October!! I can't believe how the time has flown. It has been the most amazing thing to watch her grow and learn. Two was a big year for her! She learned her colors, the alphabet, numbers, counting, talking and developing her little sense of humor. We also moved to back to the states and she's going to preschool a couple times a day. She's happy to go to preschool which makes it so easy for me. Lucy is a super passionate little girl and she feels her feelings HARD. When she's happy shes the happiest, when she's mad she is MAD. 

We celebrated a couple weeks early bc October has turned into a very busy month for us with her birthday, my birthday and now little Duke's birthday! She is obsessed with paw patrol so I had to do a paw patrol party. She loved it. Especially the cake! She still asks for it lol. We mostly just had family come, which was so awesome! We're not used to living by family!

Lucy Joy, I freaking love you and your little crazy personality. You make me smile everyday and sometimes make me mad, but you are totally worth it.

 forgot the candles, but luckily she didn't seem to mind :)
 Duke's 2 brothers, their families and Duke's mom were able to come out! 
 This was the first time she really got into opening presents. It was so fun to watch her.

she can't get enough paw patrol!
That's a wrap!


A Day in the Sequoias

We made a last minute decision to visit Sequoia National Park over Labor Day weekend. The sequoias were beautiful and incredible, but man it was a doozy of a trip!! You just can never predict what a trip will be like with a toddler. The drive up is about 5 hours and Lucy just was not having it the day we drove up. It was pretty rough and I was honestly about to lose my mind by the time we got to the hotel. It ended up being a very very very hard day. I was emotionally taxed from all of Lucy's crying and when we made it to the hotel our dog sitter texted me to let me know Winston wasn't behaving well at her house and I needed to find him another place to stay. 
It was so strange because Winston is normally a very well behaved dog! She said he was marking her house and had bit her puppy. I believed her but it didn't sound like Winston at all! Trying to find a dog sitter from 5 hours away ASAP is incredibly stressful. I was honestly ready to just turn around and forget the whole trip! But we had driven up with Duke's brother and mom and I didn't want to ruin the whole trip over my emotional mess. After a few hours I found a very very kind lady who loved English Bulldogs and told me she'd watch him for free.
I'll write about how that story with Winston ends in another post since this one is supposed to be about the sequoias. We spent just one day driving through the park and drove a smidge into King's Canyon as well. I'm so grateful we have the national parks that preserve these gorgeous pieces of land! America is awesome. There is so much diversity in land in just our country. Our goal is to hit up all or at least as many of the national parks in California as we can while we are here. So Lucy had better start learning to enjoy the car a little more!
Lucy and her cousin Jack running full speed ahead
Lucy looking at the biggest tree in the world-General Sherman
General Sherman, pictures do not do it justice!
favorite picture of the trip^
Lucy looking out at the "big trees" and she spilt water on her shirt which is why it's off (typical)
cool, hallowed out tree on it's side you ^could walk through
Quick stop in King's Canyon National Park
I love visiting national parks! The earth is amazing. 


Park City with the Fam

When we arrived back to the states from Japan we spent the first 10 days searching for a place to live and for cars. It was an incredibly stressful time because we were also adjusting from jetlag with ourselves and Lucy and no one was getting enough sleep! Then we headed to Utah to spend some time with both sides of our family. My mom's side of the family had a reunion and then we headed to Park City with just my family for a little get away. The weather was unusually cold the 3 days we were there; it was in the 50's and 40's! So we didn't spend as much time outdoors bc we hadn't brought proper clothing. We did stop by the beautiful McPolin Barn which has a flat trail running along the way and we took a ton of pictures bc what else do you do with such a beautiful barn!?! Duke ran back to the car after a couple snaps bc he was in shorts and a tshirt and it was super windy and cold, but I'm glad we made the stop anyways!
My little brother, his wife and baby
 My mom and little sister
 my mom cracks me up
 My older sister and her little boy who's the same age as Lucy
 dad and mom
 my family who was there
 Lucy and Alistair loved "driving" the tractor
 My mom bought the grandkids little 4th of July outfits and so we attempted to get pictures. Always fun with baby and toddlers! These are the Bland grandkids..so far!
 Couldn't get lucy to have a normal smile the whole time, but this one below is my favorite. The two 2 year olds!
 We also spent some time walking main street and taking the free trolley rides. Lucy and Alistair loved it so we did it twice haha. 

 spotted some Banksy art
 Lucy's $3 cow cookie *insert eye roll here* 
 Peonies win for prettiest flower
These 2 both had to push the stroller, naturally.
It was so fun to spend time with my family! We rented an airbnb up there and had a blast. Lucy was spoiled having cousins to play with and the added attention from aunts, uncles and grandparents.