We love having family come stay with us. It is stressful (mostly because we don't have a ton of room and I always feel bad offering an air mattress crammed into our office space as their lodging), but the time is also always full of fun and new memories.
This last week, Andrew's brother, Jeremy; his wife, Stacey; and their two kids, Clara and Truman, stayed with us. It was so fun! Even now, just 24 hours after they have left, Grace tells me that she wishes she could play with her cousins again. She says that her favorite part was playing make believe princesses with Clara.
We started the visit off with a sketchy experience in downtown Los Angeles. We went to Milk Bar (spoiler: don't waste your time; it's not good). Then we went to Olvera Street. While there, Jeremy and Stacey noticed this sketchy guy totally following us. I noticed him a little while later. He was clearly following us, and would especially get close when the kids were out of the strollers and walking on their own. This guy definitely gave us all the creeps. Stacey saw a security guard and told him about her suspicion. The guards and we were able to eat some dinner, but the mood was already tense and we were all just ready to go back to the safety of our home.
The next day called for a bit of relaxation. Stacey and I went to a Mother's Brunch hosted by one of my friends. It was a fun few hours to sit with new friends, eat delicious food, and chat and laugh the morning away. When we returned, it was time to go to my parents' house to use their pool. The beautiful 82 degree weather and my parents' gorgeous backyard was the perfect setting for some relaxation. I was especially happy to see my kids practicing the swim skills they have mastered after a year of swim classes. After enjoying the pool, the kids played on the trampoline and ran through the grass as the adults sat on the swing and chatted. It was a truly lovely evening.
On Sunday we went to church and then took a trip to the beach.
And then the sickness hit...throw up, diarrhea, and lots of interrupted sleep. We had been planning on visiting the Natural History Museum, but instead we just stayed home and remained close to the toilets. Luckily, Andrew, Jeremy, and I remained untouched by whatever plagued the rest of the house. Definitely not an experience you plan on for vacation.
We celebrated Jeremy's 40th birthday by going to Disneyland for the day. After the germs of the day before, I wasn't sure we would make it. But we packed up extra clothes and went with high hopes. And surprisingly, the day went smoothly. One of my favorite parts was meeting Tinkerbell. We waited about 20 minutes (which I am usually not a huge fan of character meet and greets), and then entered Pixie Hollow. Tink was so fun and engaging to talk to. Grace even asked Tinkerbell if she had recently see her sister, Periwinkle. Since Grace went through a fairy stage, this meet and greet was truly magical. We then went on a few rides and then had a lunch fiasco (long story short, what was supposed to be an easy lunch turned into an almost 3-hour ordeal). We finally ate our food and were gifted a few Lighting Lanes/Fast Passes for our troubles. Then some good karma helped us get through a couple of other lines much quicker than expected. We ended the day eating ice cream on Disney's Main Street and leaving with some great (and not-so-great memories). An eventful day at Disneyland.
I am so glad Jeremy and Stacey and their family came down to visit us. I miss my Utah family soooo much, so I truly do cherish the moments I do get to spend with them. This was a week to remember.
Andrew and Maichael
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