THE OCEAN - 海

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I grew up by the sea.

5.8 miles away, to be exact.

The older I get, the more I realize what an impact the ocean has had on me. Summers felt long as a kid. I remember every Friday, when we didnt have basketball practice, all my friends would head down to the right side of the pier. Our spot. We’d congregate with whoever else was down there…and we’d have nothing but our swim suits, beach towels, and love of the sea.

As a teenager girl, the ocean was my biggest boost of confidence… and my great teacher. Swimming under that strong current taught me to trust the body God gave me. I learned what waves were ones you floated over and which ones would throw you down in a rumble. I learned what seaweed felt like on your toes and how empowering it was to dive down deep and feel the sand between your fingers.

I also learned that the only kind of make up you needed in life was proper sunscreen. The thick kind. That kind that gooped on your skin and stuck on when you dove in down hard in sand volleyball. I learned that the sunset over the sea never looked the same twice. And that the human soul needs to see as many ocean sunsets as humanly possible…it reminds you how small you are and how grand God is.

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The other day I went back to my favorite part of the coast. Manhattan beach. This place that has memories tucked around every corner, around all the buildings, down each street. I love this little sliver of the pacific.

Thank you Jesus for this place.
For the way I see you here.
For the way you created the waves,
the sand,
the shore,
the deep,
the breeze,
the sunshine…
ohh how lovely it is!

PRICELESS

Kids grow up fast.

I think we all know that.

But seeing it happen in front of my eyes is another thing.

And let me tell you…these days…at home…with my nieces and nephews…are absolutely priceless.

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T - chill. smiley. always hungry. lets anyone hold her. the best sleeper.

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E - tiny. feisty. potty training. loves impressing people. and loves her mama

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C - loud. giggly. obsessed with star wars. asks good questions. unafraid of new places

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L - cuddly. artistic. loves my glitter makeup. wants to be wonder woman. a good sister

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H - sassy. kind hearted. remembers details. has a lot of friends. loves books

PALM SPRINGS

For the past few years, my family has made it an annual event to all head down to Palm Springs for a weekend. My dad rents out this awesome house for all of us to stay at, and we just kick it by the pool and go out to nice restaurants. It is the best!! This time around, we had 5 kids in tow which made everything more exciting!

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First stop, SHERMANS deli with the whole crew. My sis found this place online and once we saw a pic of their famous pastrami sandwiches…we knew we had to go.

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Tayah is at this point where…if you say “smile!” she does the cheesiest most amazing grin hahahah!!! I love it.

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How precious are these two faces.

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So although the pastrami is off the chain and very famous…stac and I opted for the POTATO LATKEYS sandwich which is basically the softest most amazing corned beef smushed in between two pieces of fried potato deliciousness. OHHHH…ANDDDDD….APPLE SAUCE ON THE SIDE THAT WAS ABSOLUTE PERFECTION ON TOP!!!!!! It was a 10/10 hands down.

ok so after our pit stop lunch, we headed to the house my dad rents every year. This house has kind of become a home away from home for us, and it’s cool to have a place that feels familiar when you’re on vacation.

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This house has the most magical little front entrance that leads to the house. I also love love love the honeycomb tile that runs throughout!

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It definitely feels like an antique store inside so we made sure to tell the kids, “you must be careful because many things here are FRAGILE!”

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The girls loved looking at the little fountain with fish that led out to the separate house which we call the tiny casitas (cottage)!

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So, that first day, we got to the house, went for a dip in the pool and then headed to dinner at a Mediterranean place my dad found. My dad is a really good vacation planner…he always knows places to eat, famous spots to check out, events happening, etc…love him for that and so many other reasons!

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We ate at EVZIN…and it had the coolest decor and THE BEST food. We were all so impressed…

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CHEESE + HONEY DELICIOUSNESS….VEGGIE PIZZA…AND MY ABSOLUTELY FAV….

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FALAFEL PLATE *heart eyes* …eating falafel makes me want to be 100% vegetarian…hahah! it is just so good!

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OK…day two in palm springs…time for a family trip to the ZOO!!!

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I love this Lenny smile :)

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Eden is a good big sis, always helping Tayah out and making sure she’s ok. I especially love this photo because Eden can’t even read HAHA!!! But she loves to look at books and make up the words she imagines…it is so precious.

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Little Tay ready for a HOT day at the Living Desert Zoo…and I mean HOT H O T H O T. 100 degrees or so.

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Cam wearing Jen’s hat hahaha.

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The highlight of this Zoo trip was feeding the Giraffes!

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I love his face here…pure joy!!!

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We stayed at the zoo for about 2 hours…and made the most of it despite it being so hot out. The kids loved it!

Back at the house…and after a rest…we walked to the park nearby!

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Eden loves the swings… “push me chanie! push me higher!!”

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Of course, the boys of the fam had to shoot some hoops. Hunter is really into basketball now…meanwhile, Cam is more into his lightsabers haha!

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Palm Springs is really a beautiful, relaxing place.

Ok…dinner time in downtown!! This time, it was THAI food. I didn’t take any pictures because we were all too focused on getting the kids fed and not causing chaos in the restaurant haha…but I did snap some shots downtown.

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Tired adults, tired kids…happy baby lol.

Well…that just about wraps it up. We spent A LOT of the weekend in the pool, but all those photos are on my iphone since I didn’t want to take my regular camera near the water. Now that Hunter can swim, and Cam and Len are much improving their swimming skills…it’s really fun to be in the water all together.

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On our way back home we had to stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs as well as the Outlet mall.

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Camden, aka Camby…Camburger… Love this kid

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aaaand that’s Palm Springs in a nutshell! For only being 2 hours away from home, it’s a perfect little getaway for a family like ours with 5 little ones. I am so thankful for my awesome parents who plan this every year, for my siblings who are so down and fun, and for my nieces and nephews who are a complete blessing. God is good!!!