Sunday, May 18, 2014

California Fun

Last week we took our first family vacation to Kyle's family condo in Indio, just outside of Palm Springs. We spent most of our time at the condo relaxing, but also found time for a few adventures. We had a wonderful time, and can't wait to go back!

View of the pool from the condo deck
Drew all ready to swim!

Drew really likes to stick his whole face in the water!

That tummy!
We took an evening trip to window shop at El Paseo
The entrance to Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve in the Coachella Valley

We didn't do much hiking with Drew in tow. Instead, we did a walk around the perimeter of the main area.
There is a cute little board walk that is mostly shaded and ends in a picnic area.

Family pic!
Kyle went off on his own to hike up one of the hills. He took this picture from the top - really cool!
Drew and I hung out in the shade at the picnic area and waited for dad
Then we enjoyed a picnic lunch, and discovered that Drew likes to eat apples the grown-up way!

The oasis was really beautiful!
Drew had a lot of fun playing with his make-shift toys for the week!
He also learned how to stand on his own while we were there!
Drew really enjoyed hanging out on the balcony - so much to look at

For Mother's Day, we took a day trip over to the coast to visit Balboa Island

First order of business was lunch on Balboa Peninsula
Due to his new found ability to toddle around (with the help of an adult),
Drew was not happy about being stuck in his stroller. Sorry buddy!
Then we took the little ferry over to Balboa Island

We daydream about renting a vacation home here one day!

We were told we had to get a frozen banana...
So we did!
Drew loved being out of the stroller, of course

This clothing store is home of my favorite tank top. I discovered this store when it was previously located in Newport Beach, but learned that it had moved to Balboa Island when I went to order more tank tops while pregnant with Drew (their tank tops stretch to cover a pregnant belly like no tank top I've ever seen). It was fun to visit the store in-person again!

Drew met a puppy!
After window shopping, we walked along the water on the way back to the ferry

Drew slept...
....and slept...

View of Balboa Peninsula from the ferry 
We finished the day with a picnic in the park before heading home!
On our last night in town, Kyle's parents arrived in Palm Springs for a vacation. They sent us over to the Marriott for a Mother's Day dinner, and baby sat Drew for us. Such a great way to end the trip!

We were a little late getting to the airport for our flight home. We got through security, took this quick picture, and then walked right onto the plane to head home!
Giving it Grace: Before vacation, I checked out a copy of Bringing Up Bebe from the library. In my opinion, the book is basically the love-child of Babywise and Brain Rules for Baby. I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend it, even if you don't do Babywise, or have no idea what the Baby Brain rules's still just a good "mom read"! What I really liked about the book was the theme of "no mom guilt". I liked it because it hinted (rather strongly) at the idea of "perspective". I like that because the idea of perspective makes a lot of room for the guiding hand of God. In my experience, perspective comes from backing far enough away from an issue/topic/method/scenario/choice/what-have-you to see it for how small (or big) it truly is. I've found, through trial and error, that God's wisdom fits nicely in the space between me and the thing that I was grasping too so tightly I couldn't see around it. In the mothering world, these "things" are topics like: birth method, breastfeeding, sleep training, introducing solids, family diet, pregnancy weight gain/loss, and behavioral training methods (did I miss anything big?). Surely important decisions, but also surely elevated in our current mom culture. How do we known these topics are elevated? They've morphed from choices into identities. Camps. Teams. The breast feeders vs. the bottle feeders. The coddlers vs. the tough-lovers. Am I guilty? Oh yes. I too loose the perspective that my parenting choices don't singularly define me. So it was no surprise I was allured by the reminder (from a secular book, no less) for perspective. And who gives better perspective than God, the Almighty who sees and knows all things? After I finished the book, I promptly jumped back into the Bible and picked up in Acts, where the story line has nothing to do with babies, bottles, or bedtime routines. Refreshing!