Last year for spring break we worked our little guts out to get things worked on and cleaned up enough that we could move into this new house.  And although Dave and I were mulling it around in our minds and hearts, we didn’t know we’d be leaving for China in a few short months.

It’s weird how much changes in a year.

Weird how one year everyone is all together and the next everyone is all over creation.  Next year will be even crazier since Max will most likely be on a mission for our church.

But let’s not think about that right now, let’s talk about California.  Because despite the rampant traffic, it is a pretty gorgeous place.  Especially when you get to stay with family who live right on the beach.  2015-03-10 california 1032422015-03-10 california 1032512015-03-10 california 1032552015-03-10 california 1032562015-03-10 california 1032612015-03-10 california 1032702015-03-10 california 1032782015-03-10 california 1032812015-03-10 california 103287
I couldn’t get over the amazing vegetation that grows there like weeds.  It was a feast for the eyes.
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2015-03-10 california 103677
Dave’s cousin lives in San Clemente.  What a gorgeous spot.2015-03-12 california 1033972015-03-12 california 1033982015-03-12 california 103712
Aside from going to Disneyland (last post), we hung on that beach (above), took Elle to Newport one day to meet up with friends: 2015-03-12 california 103714Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset2015-03-12 california 103719
…met up with other friends who happened to also be in town we haven’t seen forever randomly along the beach:2015-03-12 california 103723
(should have taken pictures of the other two families too…love you Checks and Suzukis!)
And met up with my brother and his family for dinner.2015-03-12 california 103738
Oh man we love these guys.  It was especially fun to get our hands on little Shelby who is doing so well despite some serious heart issues.2015-03-12 california 103736
(More about Shelby over HERE.)
These cute little boys sure had fun with Dave:2015-03-12 california 103740
(or maybe I should change that around and say he had fun with them?? ha!)

The next day we took our cousin’s cute son Ollie on a little adventure to visit Salt Creek Beach by Dana Point which was so beautiful.2015-03-13 california 103408
Is there anything better than kids on a beach?  Really?  We chased after those waves for a long long time.2015-03-13 california 103443
Collected shells and rocks galore:2015-03-13 california 1034342015-03-13 california 1034452015-03-13 california 103453
Chased seagulls.2015-03-13 california 103456
Found a little collection of ladybugs:2015-03-13 california 1034732015-03-13 california 103476
Explored the tide pools:2015-03-13 california 1034822015-03-13 california 1034942015-03-13 california 103521
And lugged a bunch of our treasures back home.2015-03-13 california 1035262015-03-13 california 103535
That afternoon we said our goodbyes to Dave’s cousin’s awesome family who took such great care of us.  I think it’s safe to say Sam is the best hostess in the history of hostessing, and next we headed to the big volleyball tournament began.

So fun to see Max again and watch he and his team play after missing their first two games last week while I was sick.2015-03-13 california 1035432015-03-13 california 103555
The team did well and got placed in the “Gold Division” for the next day.2015-03-13 california 103754
Lucy was the best cheerleader of them all and kept track of every single point which was awesome but I sure had a headache after sitting next to her and all her yelling!2015-03-13 california 1037662015-03-13 california 103568
All back together except for one…2015-03-13 california 103561
…who joined us the next morning after her red-eye flight from Hawaii with stars in her eyes about the best week of her life.  2015-03-14 california 103769
Seriously, what a lucky girl she is.  At first when she and her cousin proposed this plan which included missing spring break with us I said “no way.”  We don’t have much time as a whole family together left and we NEED her!  But as we talked more details and I could see the strength of those desires Dave and I decided it would be the trip of a lifetime for her and she’d learn so much.

And boy was it ever a wing-dinger of a trip.  She is still telling us details four days later.  Love it and all she learned (I’m going to have her do a guest post all about it and how they raised the money to make this happen, etc. soon).

But we still missed her like crazy and boy it was good to have everyone back together at the tournament on Saturday.2015-03-14 california 1035752015-03-14 california 1035792015-03-14 california 103581
These boys played their little hearts out against all the California and some Hawaii teams (“Best of the West” tournament).2015-03-14 california 103583
(I love seeing Dave with Max…Dave’s looking shrimpy these days:)2015-03-14 california 1035872015-03-14 california 1035882015-03-14 california 1035892015-03-14 california 1035902015-03-14 california 1035922015-03-14 california 1035972015-03-14 california 103601
Finally reunited and it felt so good!2015-03-14 california 103605
So these boys ended up taking third out of those thirty-two teams.  So proud of them!2015-03-14 california 103613
These boys are like the brothers Max never had and it makes me teary-eyed to think about how much good volleyball has influenced Max’s life.  I know it sounds cheesy, but he has gained so much from this sport and these friends.2015-03-14 california 103627
Max and the setter made the “All Tournament Team” which was quite a great honor.2015-03-14 california 103630
Love this family of mine!2015-03-14 california 103639
That night we left Max with the team (they were flying back together), dropped off Dave to meet my brothers for a “Brothers” thing they were doing in Palm Springs, and headed to spend the night with these girls of mine:2015-03-14 california 103644
(I just marvel at how different they are sometimes…and how much I love each of them)2015-03-14 california 103650
…over at their cousin’s house (the ones we went to dinner with a few nights before).2015-03-14 california 103663
(Lots of funny stories behind getting that darn picture up there including a stinky diaper, but I’m so glad I have it!)
We hung out with Kristi and my sister Charity who was visiting there too at the same time (all our husbands were together in Palm Springs).
And then we headed on home…2015-03-15 california 1037852015-03-15 california 103789
…with a quick stop-over to surprise these great men who were gathered close to our route home:2015-03-15 california 103797
Oh man I love these brothers of mine…all so different and unique and GOOD in their own ways.2015-03-15 california 103817
…and love that great dad of mine too…

and this darling girl who drove a lot of the way back home:2015-03-15 california 103834
That was a LOT of driving and ground we covered, but so grateful for a week away from school to take it all in.

Spring Break is the best for a little breather.

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  1. Oh man, I'm SO happy to see all these fabulous pictures!!! What fun to see everyone together for so many different reasons. Max is simply amazing! He can get the 6'7" 220 lb. body 4 feet off the ground. That's just not possible! Can't wait to see he and Elle play next week. Looks as though she's tearing it up too! Hugs to everyone!

  2. holy moly what a break! you guys did it all! i get to live in cali, but not on the beach. what a blast. and your Max has hops! fun. thanks for the read.

  3. This is so crazy! I just commented on another post about my son recognizing Max and Elle on this blog from the "Best of the West" tournament and I came upon this post. My son is on the team from Hawaii (Kamehameha) thatʻs in the pictures above. He was number 15. Small world. You were in San Diego with my son and we were in Hawaii with your daughter (not really with her). My son will be at BYU in the fall, probably for a year before he heads out on his mission. Maybe theyʻll get to play some volleyball.

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