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When We’re Helping We’re Happy: I’m reading The Happiness Project, and in the chapter about improving her marriage, she talks about stopping nagging. However, I’ve recently decided to do the opposite in my marriage. Not nagging, but asking. John works a lot and often spends his non working time doing whatever he wants, and I spend a lot of his non working time taking care of stuff. And rather than being annoyed about it, I started asking him to help. Brilliant, right? Give the kids a bath. Start the dishwasher. And then he helps and we’re all happy. I don’t have to do all the things, and I’m not annoyed.

Kid-Free Disney: John and i has our second Disneyland date Saturday morning. We’ve now doubled the amount of Disney dates we’ve taken since we had kids. We had a babysitter come at 7, but apparently Disneyland didn’t open until 9, so we had lots of time to sit around. We went on Indiana Jones, space mountain, big thunder, and Soarin’. We also waited in line for the new Adorable Snowman treats, which were really yummy. We had lots of time to hang out and talk, and had fun going on rides together. We were thinking we haven’t been on Soarin together since we had kids.

Dessert Club: John and I are being the change, and started a dessert club. We invited our favorite neighbors, and a couple other random families from the ward. And we all brought dessert and played at the park for two hours, and it was awesome.

Earthquake!: My mom would be so proud- John and i woke up to an earthquake at 4:50 this morning. John said it was a 4.5 out past earthquake, only the second one he’s felt. I’m surprised we both woke up and felt it.

Too Heavy!: One of my favorite Arthur sayings: “it’s too heavy!” He says it anytime he needs help with something. Often accurate, but he usually means “it’s too hard.” I’ve stopped correcting him because it’s so dang cute.

All Aboard!: Arthur is completely obsessed with the Disneyland Railroad, and conductors, and Casey jr., and conductors. And also, conductors. He’s started saying “all aboard!” and waving his arm out like a Disneyland safety signal. Today he did it every single time he climbed onto the side of the grocery cart at Walmart. He was pretty loud, but it was pretty adorable.

I Wish I Was a Fun Mom: Last night I was browsing the Kids Activities I’ve posted on my other blog and I remembered what a fun mom I used to be. So today when Arthur woke us up at 6, I got up and made peanut butter muffins instead of lying there.

Spring: This morning, I dropped Sienna off at school so John could take Arthur to Disneyland. While walking back to my car, I decided not to respond to my texts and just enjoy the morning. There was a little chill, but the sun was warm, and the air was fresh. It was a nice two minutes.

Girls Trip to San Diego: This weekend was the long-awaited girls trip John told me to take. After he mentioned it and my neighbor and I started some planning, another friend who recently moved out of state texted and asked if I wanted to do something this summer, so she came along, too. We stayed in La Jolla and did all the "hidden adventures in San Diego" we could find. We didn’t spend money on any of our activities (except $5 cave entrance). We felt like we ate extravagantly, but since we only ate two meals a day, and didn't feed five other people, it didn’t seem to add up to as much as we thought. The whole trip only cost me about $250.

We tried to theme the weekend "Tacos" but we kept coming up with more themes as we went around. Tacos. Breakfast. Breakfast tacos. Hidden adventures. Secret spots. Giant succulents. Slot Canyons.

Saturday morning we went down to Shell Beach to find sea glass. WE had brunch at Hashhouse Gogo and went to the spruce street suspension bridge and quince street trestle bridge, just fun little spots in downtown. Then we went to Balboa Park, walked around admiring architecture, and the botanical building. After a flight of ice cream at Hammonds, a little rest, and our fourth outfit change, we went to hike the trail to Black's Beach. This was so fun! And it was great to be hiking with people who kept exclaiming "this is so fun!" instead of whining. We climbed some unstable cliffs, hid in slot canyons, skidded on sandstone, crossed some 4x4 "bridges" and descended the last dozen yards holding onto a muddy rope. The beach wasn't much to write home about, but the hike was awesome. After dinner at Prep Kitchen, we hit the hot tub, and went to bed feeling energized.

The next day after sea glass hunting, we got in the car to drive to Brockton Villa for brunch... only to drive around the block the very long way and end up luckily finding a spot 10 feet further than where we had just been parked. And walking to the restaurant a few hundred yards away. Hah! But that's what memories are made of.

We walked up to the Cave Store and descended into the tunnel to see the sea cave. We watched Sea Lions. Then we spent some time driving around looking for the Secret Swing. Which we found! Another fun hidden adventure. Next, we drove down south to Sunset Cliffs to do some more sketchy sandstone cliff exploring. After that we headed home, but we had one more stop. Annie's Canyon was a short little slot canyon hike, 1/2 mile off the road. It had little caves to climb up into, and even a ladder. The kids would have loved it, and you can even do the canyon loop a couple times.

By the time we got home Sunday night, I was covered in scrapes and bruises, which, as I always tell my kids, means I was having fun.

Memorial Day: Why is sitting in a chair at the beach for five hours so exhausting?

Maggie won a giant kite in a drawing on the last day of school a year ago. We finally used it today. The kids (and friends) kept it in the air for over four hours.

Not Throwing Away Our Shot : John gave me Hamilton tickets for Mother’s Day. After my neighbor used the line “it’s no Hamilton tickets!” when her husband gave her her Mother’s Day gift, it’s become the thing to say. Even when John outdid himself by booking a Disney Cruise later that day.

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© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.