Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Mid-day Tempo Run to Lunch

Surprise! I decided to try keeping track of my training on a closer-to-daily basis rather than weekly. We will see how this goes because finding time as a stay at home mom of 3 little kids isn't a super easy thing to do right now but I thought it would be fun for me (and hopefully some of you) to keep track of not only the runs I went on, paces, etc, but to keep track of my thoughts and feelings from my training. These will probably be shorter posts and more of a journal than anything else. But I hope you decide to follow along, and as always, if you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

Now that this 10K training that I'm working on is well underway, I'm starting to get a better idea of where my goal time should be hitting and how much work I'm going to have to do to hit it. 

On Saturday I went out for a mid-day run. One thing about me is that I've always been able to run at basically any time of day. I don't have a strong feeling of when it's best to get a workout in.  It was warmer than I have been used to but if I plan right, I still do just fine. 

So I did my tempo run, which looked something like 5 minutes of warm-up and then 5-minute tempos with 1-minute recovery 4 times. I felt like I was going really slow. I was pushing myself hard but I felt like my legs were going so slow. I was really surprised when I got done and checked my pace (I don't have a GPS watch) on my phone and saw that my pace was faster than I expected. I ended up with an average pace of 8:06 mile.

That's always such a great feeling.  It means that while I definitely have work to do to hit my 45-minute 10k goal, I am in a better place than I thought I was. But I know that there are still going to be days where my run just doesn't go as well.  And on the days that we have those hard runs, we need to remember that a hard/bad run doesn't mean that our whole training is going bad or that our race isn't going to go well. 

Hard/bad runs have their place too.  Those runs give us something to look back on and remember that if we got through one bad run, we can certainly push through another. The show us our weaknesses and the things that we need to work on. They help us know what to spend more time and attention on in our training.

I ended at Jdawgs in Orem to refuel with lunch with my cousins. A hot dog with onion, pickle, mayo and their special sauce tasted so dang good after that run, along with a lot of water.

Then my cousin and her husband brought me home because running on that full of a stomach would be a terrible idea.

If you want to see even more updates/posts about my training and a lot of other stuff, follow me on Instagram!

Do you like hotdogs? If so what do you like on them?

What is your favorite time of day to run?

How do you track your pace?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Core Exercises for Runners

Strengthening your core muscles does more for you than give you a nice set of abs. Your core holds you up, helps you have good posture, and helps stabilize your body. Having a strong core also helps you in other exercises, like running. 

Most runners focus on strengthening their legs and not so much everything else.  But core muscles are super important for runners. Core muscles are what keep you upright while running so having strong core muscles will help you keep a good running form. And having good form helps you with your speed and endurance. 

When you're running with strong, engaged core muscles you can run more smoothly and stop wasting energy on swaying or twisting and can also help you recover faster from stumbling or tripping during your run. 

Check your form while you're running. Are you slouched over? Are you dragging your feet? Are you looking up? Are your arms moving side to side or front to back? If your form is off, there's a good chance that it's because your core muscles are weak and tired.  If you struggle with any of these things while running, you should add some more core workouts to your routine. 

  It's always a good thing to switch your exercise up every now and then. Different exercises target different muscle groups. Your core muscles are your back, abdominal and pelvic muscles.  You can target them all differently to strengthen each group. 

Plank: Planks will target several different areas and are great for quick core workouts.  I do a lot of planks because I do my core work at the end of my workout most of the time. And by that time I'm tired and ready to be done. Planks are good because they can be done pretty simple and quick. Start with a small amount of time, 30 seconds-1 minute and add time on as you get stronger.

I've been asked a lot about my favorite ways to work my core that don't involve sit-ups or planks (I actually really like planks but some don't like it as much as I do). I wrote a post about core workouts that don't include planks HERE if you are someone who doesn't like those.  

Supermans: these are one of my favorite back exercises.  There's no equipment needed and you get a good workout without a ton of effort, and you get to lay down. 

Flutter kicks: Flutter kicks are great for your lower abs and pelvic muscles.  And, again you get to lay down.  If you need a modification option for flutter kicks, I also like toe touches. You lay with your back on the ground, legs up and knees bent at 90 degrees. You bring your feet down and touch your toes to the ground and then bring them back up. 

100's:  I learned this one in the only pilates class I ever took. And it stuck with me because I saw a lot of improvement in my abs.  I would suggest not to do these every time you work core though.  Sometimes you can strain your back by focusing too much on your abs. 

There are so many different ways to exercise your core muscles. If you ever need to make sure you're doing an exercise right or just need ideas on what kind to do, there are a lot of ideas on youtube.

What is your favorite core workout?

What's your favorite thing about summer?

Friday, April 26, 2019

10k Training week 2 + Fast Friday

It's Friday again so here is my weekly training update and the Fast Friday post!

This week my focus was to up my mileage a little bit.  My Saturday run happened in the evening when the temperature was pretty perfect, minus the headwind.  J wanted to run too so I told Trevon to take the kids to a track near our house and I'd meet them there.  J did her mile, I did 4. It felt so good to get out in a different area than I normally go.  And I felt really strong the whole run.

Sunday was a rest day, as always, for me. I love having at least one designated rest day in my training. It helps my body recover and helps me make sure that I truly do get to rest for the day.

I went out on Monday for an evening run.  I usually try to get most of my runs done in the morning but I honestly really like an evening run. I feel like they give me a lot of stress relief and a lot of time to think through the day's happenings.

Also, I get to see amazing sunsets like this one.

Tuesday was a strength training day. I love using Aaptiv for all of my strength training because it makes my workouts so easy. I don't have to put really any thought into them because they are all planned out for me.

Wednesday morning I took J out for a quick mile run. She's getting ready for her school's fun run today!

Thursday morning I went out for a 4-mile run. I struggled the whole run but I got it done. It was so peaceful and calm since no one was out and about yet. It was a bit chilly though. Sometimes hard runs, even when they shouldn't feel hard, happen.  If we let those hard runs discourage us, we will never improve.  Hard runs make us stronger mentally and help us know that when hard races or runs happen, we can push through them because we have done it before.

Now onto the other things we did this week.

The weather has been amazing. We've gone to the park (where I did some stretching while the kids played)

And the kids even got to run through the sprinklers for a little while!

Easter was a lot of fun. We went to my uncle's annual Easter Egg Hunt and we always have so much fun there!

After the hunt, we have fun playing in the field, roasting hot dogs and visiting with family.

Easter Sunday was a great reminder of the love that Christ has for all of us. Yes, I'm aware that rescues is spelled wrong in this picture, I had written "rescued" and J changed it because the song this quote came from says "rescues".

We spent more time with family, eating food and having more easter egg hunts and fun.

And we built a chocolate bunny house.

The rest of the week was business as usual. We are now ready for the weekend again!

How was your Easter?

What was the best workout for you this week?

Monday, April 22, 2019

Find the Best Running Clothes

There might be nothing worse than wearing workout clothes that you hate while on a run. Or buying new workout gear only to realize that you hate it the first time you run in it. This doesn't happen a ton to me, but it happened the other day and I realized that some of you might be wondering, "how do I find workout gear that I will love without spending money and hating it once I wear it?" And I'm going to give you guys a few tips on that today.

First, let's talk about what the "perfect" running clothes are for you.  Like running shoes, this is going to be different for every single person. Some like loose fit clothing, some like only running leggings, some like to wear compression shorts and some like skimps. It's all dependant on each person and what they are most comfortable in.  So I can't tell you exactly what to go out and buy. But I can tell you what to look for.

Good Fit

When you're buying new running clothes at a store, try them on.  That is your only way of knowing if they are even a possibility for you to run in.  It's your chance to make sure you have the right size and that the piece fits true to size, it's the only way to know if it's probably going to rub weird or if the waistband in the shorts is too loose. You also don't want anything too small and will dig into your skin. Try them on. I hated the shorts in this picture for running because they were my size but too loose. Now they are only for strength training for me.

And while you're trying them on, pay attention to what you hate about them and what you love about them. Run in place a little in the dressing room and see if anything changes. You might find a pair of shorts that are super cute and fun colors, but when you put them on the waistband is a little loose, it's not worth buying them.  You'll get on your run and feel like you're constantly pulling your shorts up so that you won't lose them.  Or if something feels too tight, or too short, or too long, or rides up when you move, you'll notice that the whole time you're running. So make sure you pay attention too how much you like them just trying them on. If you don't love them in the store, you're not going to like them running. 

Find clothes that don't rub weird anywhere. It isn't any fun to be on a run and have your arms chafing because your tank sleeve is rubbing it weird. Same goes for shorts or bras or anything else.


A lot of the questions I got were about finding good quality running clothes for an affordable price. I get that 100%. Running clothes have gotten so cute, but they've also started getting very expensive. And I'm not someone who likes to spend that much money on a piece of clothing I'll be sweating in. I don't go to the gym to have people look at me (Not that I go to the gym at all right now), I go to workout so I honestly don't care that much about how cute my outfit looks. Though it is nice to have the option now.

Anyway, Back to what we were talking about, pricing. I find most of my running gear at Old Navy or Target and they always have some reasonable prices. The outfit in the picture below is all from Old Navy.

You could also shop at your local running shop and make sure to shop on sales and coupons.  I love my local running shop and last year I shopped during one of their big seasonal sales, plus I had a $10 off coupon and I ended up buying 2 pairs of my favorite running shoes for $60! Shopping sales is totally worth the time looking through the piles of stuff that you're in need of.  Shop seasonal sales for next winter's running gear.

If your shoes are a really good deal consider buying two pairs and either saving one for when yours ware out or switch between the two shoes to get a little more life out of them.

Where to buy

There are so many options now for finding running/workout clothes. And honestly, it's all about personal preference.  I don't like to spend much money (like I mentioned before) so I don't shop at fancy places. Mostly at Target and Old Navy.  But I will tell you that Old Navy's running shorts (not the compression shorts, but the skimps...is that even the real name? probably not.) tend to stretch out in the elastic area easier. So keep that in mind. I really love my Champion brands and all of my compression shorts. I love the Fabletics leggings which have lasted me several years.  My best advice here is to try a whole bunch of different styles and brands on and buy several in the things you like the most. This shirt is Old Navy, the leggings are from Fabletics.

What is your biggest running clothes pet peeve?

What is your favorite brand of workout gear?

Friday, April 19, 2019

10K Training Week 1 and Fast Friday

The first week of 10k training is done! I have run hundreds of races, mostly 5ks and one half marathon. But I've never raced a 10k before.  Whenever I start training to race a new distance I try to come up with some kind of goal time. That can be a little scary for me because while it's an automatic PR, I want to go into the race with the goal and feel really good about it. So my goal for this 10k is to run it in 45 minutes or faster. That feels a little scary to me, but hopefully, it's not too ambitious.

For my training, I'm using the Aaptiv app. If you're looking for an awesome way to train for a race, or to workout in general, I highly suggest this app. It's by far my favorite workout app. It's like having a personal trainer anytime, anywhere.

Before I start my training cycles, especially after I've taken a long break, I give myself a little time trial to see where I'm at physically.  So I do this 20-minute workout or something pretty similar to it and gage it from there. So I did that last Thursday.

Saturday's run called for 5x2 minute sprints with 2-minute breaks in between.  It wasn't an easy one for me and I'm hoping it's not a sign that this whole training cycle will be that hard. The good news is that I did 2.6 miles of intervals and didn't have any injury pain.

Sunday and Monday were both rest days. Monday wasn't really supposed to be but we've been car shopping (our transmission decided to go out) and we found one on Monday so instead of running I was buying a car :)

Tuesday was a strength training day. I did a full body workout with Aaptiv. It left me sore for a few days but it was such a great workout! Deadlift, bent over rows, supermans, squats, lunges, broad jump, chest press, skull crushers, and mountain climbers 3x1 minute each with medium-heavy weight.

Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening I took the girls on a run. J is getting ready to do her schools fun run fundraiser.

Right now my main focus in training is to bring my mileage up again after taking time off for injury.  So, Thursday morning was a hard run for me mentally but I did 3 treadmill miles. My mind was fighting so hard because the treadmill is just getting boring after running on it all winter. Time to start moving my morning runs outside!

In other news, the past few weeks have felt pretty crazy around here.  I have been a little quiet on the blog, mostly due to lack of time. But I'm hoping that will change so that I can be a little more present here. 

Our transmission on our car decided to start going out right before we left for California. So when we got home we did a lot of car shopping, in the middle of which Trevon got a knee procedure done for patella Tendonosis (a hole in his tendon).  So it made car shopping really interesting. Luckily, we found what we were hoping for in our price range!

The girls got to have a sleepover at my mom's house with their cousins. I grew up close to my cousins so having the kids grow up with theirs makes me so happy.

It's been rainy here, but it doesn't stop these kids from playing outside. They rode their bikes up and down the sidewalk pretending they were on Splash Mountain. 

I found these little waffle things at Costco that are exactly like Honey Stinger Waffles but they were way less money. I'll keep you updated with how they taste.

While V was riding his bike the other day he fell and hit his lip. No stitches required, but he has had a fat lip for a couple of days.

That's about it for the week.  I want to know, do you guys want the Fast Friday like this post, combined with the weekly training update, or if you want the training week updates separately?

What is a goal you're working on now?

What was your favorite workout this week?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tips for Family Pictures from an Ex Family Photographer

Spring is here and for a lot of people that means family picture time. For those of you who don't know, before I was a stay at home mommy blogger, I was a photographer. It was my dream job since I was 8 years old and I lived it for about 6 years before I decided it was time for photography to be my hobby and not my job. So since I've had experience in that, and it's time for family pictures, I wanted to share a few tips on getting your family pictures taken.

( *All these pictures are my own, meaning I took them. You shouldn't use pictures that aren't yours without permission.)

1. Plan ahead! Seriously, nothing makes family pictures more stressful than doing a last minute photo session.

  • Outfits: What colors are you going to wear? I like to stick to the three color rule. Don't have everyone match in the same shirt. Instead, pick three colors and have everyone wear a variation of them.  
    This is one of my favorite family pictures we've had. Back when M was the baby. We need to get a new one. We stuck to blues, whites, and pinks. 
  • Location: Do you like indoors or outdoor pictures more? How far are you willing to travel to meet your photographer? What style are you going for? If you are doing an outdoor session, do you want trees and grass and mountains in your picture? Or are you going for more of an urban feel with old buildings and graffiti?
  • Schedule: When you find a photographer that has the style you're looking for, try to schedule at least a week in advance. It's a busy time of year. The longer people have to plan around a session the better. The photographer won't feel so rushed and your pictures will turn out better. 
2. Prepare
  • Pick a photographer who fits your style. There are thousands of photographers out there, and if you're paying for a photographer, you're going to want one that takes photos that you like! If you're into outdoor pictures, don't pick someone who usually only shoots indoors. Find the style that fits your personality so that you and the photographer can work easily together.
  • Let your family know well in advance when and where you're taking pictures, as well as what colors you're planning on wearing. You don't want to be walking out the door and have your teenager put up a fight because they had other plans or because they want to wear their favorite black top when everyone else is wearing browns and yellows. It just stresses people out more to change things last minute. And we want happy, smiling faces, not forced or scowling faces
  • Remind your family, over and over. Make sure their plans haven't changed.
  • Get in touch with your photographer. Let them know if you have something in particular that you're wanting. Is there a special prop you want to use? Are you looking for family and single pictures? Do you want candid shots or more posed? All these things will change the way your pictures look. Let them know that you want to reenact a certain photo, or that there was this darling photo of a baby on Pinterest that you just have to get? Keep in mind that you want to stay within what the photographer does best. Look at their style and remember that their style says everything about who they are, artistically. Respect that. 
3. Your session. Here are several tips to keep your session easy, stress-free and quick.
  • If you have young kids, it always helps to have a bribe in place. If they are old enough to bribe them with an ice cream treat if they listen and cooperate during the session, do it. If they aren't quite that old yet, bring little treats for in between poses to help remind them that they are doing a good job and if they keep it up, they get another one. Do not bring messy snacks though. Stick to fruit snacks or pretzels or something like that so you don't have to worry about chocolate faces or sticky fingers or hair.
  • Relax. Let the photographer do their job. I can't tell you how much easier it is when the parents realize they don't have to do the posing or even make the kids smile. When Mom is calm, the family is calm and everything will work out.  Unless your photographer says "hey mom, it looks like little Johnny isn't warming up to me quite yet. Can you come stand right behind me and make him laugh?" don't do anything except sit close by in case your child needs you. Trust me on this, I worked at Kiddie Kandids for three years of the 6 years of my photography career, and I always had to remind parents to sit in the corner by the posing table because their kid was so overwhelmed with everyone trying to make them smile. Very rarely did I actually ask for help with that. When the parents listened to that advice, the pictures turned out perfect.
  • Smile. If you're smiling, the picture will look like it was supposed to be that way, even if the kids aren't looking or they are crying, it will look like it's supposed to be that way.

    this is such a great example of this, as well as of a candid photo. The kids didn't want to look and smile so we had Mom hold and talk to the boys. She's smiling and we got this beautiful shot of them interacting. I love it.
  • Be flexible. Be willing to try a different pose, even if it's not what you were thinking. The photographer can see everything that the camera will see. So if you're wanting Dad to hold Sally but the photographer wants her to stand. Be willing to make that adjustment. Maybe Sally's hair was covering Dad's face.
  • Give kids a break. Sometimes it helps to take a break from the session to let the kids relax a little. And just give them a break in general, some kids just don't smile in pictures. That doesn't mean the pictures look bad.

    Here is a good example of kids who just don't smile in pictures. I know this because these boys are my nephews. They just don't do the smiling thing in pictures. But, look how great this picture turned out. Their faces are still so sweet and the picture still looks awesome.

4. After your session, what's next?

  • Bring a check or cash to pay unless otherwise told. Most photographers will ask for at least a percentage down at the time of the session. Most also don't have a way to run a credit card on them all the time. Be ready to pay in cash or with a check.
  • Arrange with the photographer a way to get your pictures. I usually mailed a cd of the pictures to my customers but some may require you to pick them up or use email. If they do offer to mail a cd, make use you give them a good address and ask about shipping cost, some may cover it but others will expect you to pay for it. Especially if it's not their first choice in getting the pictures to you.
  • Give it time. It's a busy time of year, give the photographers time to edit what pictures need editing and getting the pictures to you.
  • Spread the word. Did you love the way your pictures turned out? As a photographer, I loved it when I know someone enjoyed their session because they referred someone or posted them all on Facebook and tagged my business page on it. 
You're photographer's are awesome, and you want awesome photos.  Put these tips into play and things will turn out great for your pictures! I promise.

Do you have any favorite photo tips, or even a memorable photo session? Comment below to share with me!

Friday, April 12, 2019

How to Improve Your Running

Since I did a recap of our trip on Monday, and because nothing too notable has happened since then, I decided to skip the Fast Friday post this week and get back to it last week. Training has officially started for me and because of that, I'll be sharing a lot more posts and updates on my training, what I'm doing, and how things are going with it (as well as the other normal stuff I post).

Also because training season is here, I've been getting a few questions about running that I will be answering here and on Instagram. The whole point of this blog has gone from a daily journal to use my brain more creatively to a way to help those who have running/parenting/random questions. I genuinely love to help you all and I want to be able to do that more often. So if you have any questions about any of those things, please feel free to ask in the comments, in an email, on Instagram or any other way.

One of the things people start to wonder about around this time of year when all the races are starting up again is how to improve their 5k, 10k, half.....you get the point, their race. So that's what I'm going to talk about today.

First of all, there are a lot of different reasons people don't improve their time for any race, so if you have more questions or more direct questions about this, let me know and I'll talk more about it. But for now, I'll share kind of the blanket answers for this question.

One of the reasons I never improved my race times up until the last year or so is that I never used a real training plan. Whether you look up a training plan that works for you schedule-wise or you have a coach your working with, or you use an app like Aaptiv, training plans help a lot more than people realize. 

It could be that you're not including enough speed workouts into your training. The only way to race faster is to practice faster. That doesn't always have to be doing intervals. There are so many awesome speed workout options out there. So pick a few different ways to mix things up and add them into your training accordingly.

You might be pushing your self too hard in your training and come race day, you just can't give any more. Look over your previous training cycles. How many days a week did you run? How many of those were cross-training days? How many were hard runs? You have to be able to give your body the rest it needs to build your muscles back up and to repair any damages in order to keep you injury free and give you more energy to work with. Rest is just as important as your workout days.

Along with rest days, cross training days are very important. Obviously, if you're a runner your favorite/most important workout would be cardio and running, but strength training is important to help you stay injury free so that you can be physically ready to run faster too.

Maybe you're not running enough. This sounds contradictory to what I said before, but you can't expect to get faster only running once or twice a week. Find the number of runs a week that works for you and keep it consistent.  For me that's running 3-4 days a week with 1-2 strength training days in there and at least one full rest day. Some weeks I only get one strength training day and get two rest days but my running days stay pretty consistent all the time.

Make sure you're eating and refueling right! I feel like this should be a whole post by its self, and I'm not fantastic at nutrition but I'll probably share, later, what has been working for me. The biggest point is though that you're making sure you're refueling your body with the nutrients that you lose while running. This includes making sure you're well hydrated.

A huge part of what drives me in my running is seeing progress. So I can understand that it's really frustrating when you feel like no progress is being made. Be patient with yourself, your body and the process. Trust your training and remember that part of the enjoyment in running is having fun. No one is making you race, you signed up for this so enjoy it! Improvement will come if you keep at it!

What is your current running goal?

What is the distance you struggle with progress on the most?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

How Running is Different Now From When I Started

I was thinking about how much has changed in running over the years and decided I wanted to share how running is different today than it was 20 years ago when I first started. Keep in mind as you go through this, I started when I was in grade school and I was oblivious to the world. There's a very good chance that these things just apply to me haha.  I wish I had more pictures from when I first started but I only have the few that I've shared over and over, so sorry about the repeat, but there will be more as we go :).

When I started running as a 9-year old I ran around my neighborhood with my brother and sister while my brother literally ran circles around me. (He's still speedy and I'm sure that he would still be able to beat me in any race).

I didn't have fancy running shoes, I just got whatever outside shoes I usually wore. I wore them for PE, for doing my yard chores, camping, walking around in and running. I only knew of two kinds of running shoes ---> Rebock and Nike. I hated running in both of them, but it's what I had.

Now shoe shopping is a little more like car shopping. I go to specialty running stores and pick from hundreds of brands and hundreds of models. (did they even have different running shoe models back in 1997? I'm not sure. This may have just been different for me because I started so young.

We didn't have a lot of choices when it came to clothing either. Now you can find several different materials that help you stay cool and comfortable, that are sweat wicking and stretchy, that make us look good, recover faster (compression socks and sleeves) ... but for a long time, it was old cotton t-shirts and jersey shorts.

We never ran with music. Even up through high school I didn't run with music. I ran with my friends and family (running buddies) and when we ran alone we ran with our thoughts. To be honest, I didn't run with music as a teenager because we didn't have access to that. Even when I was a kid there were walkmans, then portable cd players, and eventually iPods, but I didn't really use them until I was well into high school. We weren't allowed to run with music during practice or races so I was just used to not using it. But man, once I started taking my iPodwith me it was a hard habit to break.

Now I run with music, podcasts, or training apps like Aaptiv now and then when I can't keep my focus on positive things and my mind starts to give up faster than the rest of my body.

If we wanted to see how far we had gone, we got in the car and drove the route we ran. There were no GPS watches (I still don't use one of these yet) or apps on a phone to check that with. We ran gadget free.

Because we ran gadget free, we didn't run with things like Roosports and Flipbelts. In fact, I remember the first time I got a pair of running shorts with pockets I couldn't figure out what I would put in there. I tried putting my keys in there once and it drove me absolutely crazy the whole time.

Running fuel was just starting to come out. I think I had seen some kind of energy gum in a running store while I waited for my brother to find the right pair of shoes. And then it wasn't until I was out of high school before I found out that there were a lot of different options for fueling. Gu, Huma, Honeystinger, and a lot more....even just candy.

There are not only personal coaches nowadays, but you can get virtual coaches too. There are apps that track your runs, compare your runs, and even help you train on your runs.

And it's clearly no secret that back then we never really documented our running, except maybe in a journal. Now we post it on facebook, then Instagram, and maybe blog about it too.  It's fun to see our own progress and to show others and help them feel encouraged to try it too!

Running has changed a lot in 20 years! Or maybe I've just become more knowledgeable about it, but it hasn't changed that I love running and what it gives me!

How long have you been a runner?

What's something that is different now from when you started?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Disneyland Spring break trip recap

Sorry, this post is a little late today. Get ready for a picture overload! I took way more than this, but here's the recap from our Disneyland trip!

We told the kids that we were going to the beach. We drove the first night down to St George and spent a night with my cousin so that we could break the trip up and let the kids sleep good that night.

We stopped at the St George temple for a few minutes.

Then we had pizza and went to the park. On the way home from the park V kept stuffing random things in his pockets. Rocks, grass, dirt... and by the time we were walking back his pants were so heavy he had to hold them up.

In the morning we left for California. We made a stop to let the kids stretch their legs at the Seven Magic Mountains.

Then we got back in the Truck and showed them this video to let them know where we were really going. I can't upload it here, but if you want to see it go to my Adventures highlights on Instagram. Trust me, you wanna see it. It's so cute

They were so excited! Especially J, she's wanted this her whole life!

We drove the rest of the way and as soon as we checked into our hotel, we found a nearby beach to spend a few hours while we waited for the rest of our group to get there and to spend some time before bedtime.

The next morning we went to Disneyland!

The kids all did awesome waiting in lines.

We played hard all day long and stayed around for the fireworks show that night before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Day 2 was our beach day. We took lunch with us and beach hopped for the day.

Living near the mountains I forget how much I love being at the beach. It was so pretty and so fun!

The kids looked at cool shells

Built sand castles

Played in the sand

and then collected shells at a beach you're allowed to take them home with you.

After this day I really wished we had come a day earlier to be able to have one more beach day.

Day 3 was California Adventure. We were so excited to have V go one the Cars ride because he is really into that right now. So we got fast passes first thing.

Then we did a lot of other rides while we waited for our fast pass to come up.

If you have been to California Adventure but haven't done the Incredicoaster yet, it's worth it! My sister, mom and I jumped in the single rider line (after the boys had done it earlier) and we only waited 30-ish minutes to get on and it was well worth the wait. If I had time, I would have done it again.

While we were going on the incredacoaster, the guys took the kids to play in this forest area.

We went out for dinner and planned on going back but by the time we had planned to go back to the park every person in our whole group of 22 people were way too tired to go back. So we slept instead.

Day 4 was our last Disney day. We had Magic morning and I'm not sure if it was that or if it was the cooler temps, but we walked on to most of our rides that day.

We all got to go on Splash Mountain

And Space Mountain

Thunder Mountain

We at more dole whips and they were every bit as good as people told me they would be.

We went to the parade

Then we went to dinner and I had the most delicious hamburger from Umami Burger. It's pricey for a burger but it was amazing.

Then we went back to the park for our last hoorah.  I was so not ready to leave!

We are glad to be home but I am not too excited about getting into a regular life routine.  This always happens to me when the kids have a break from school, especially coming off of a trip like this.

Have you had spring break yet?

What is your favorite type of family vacation?

Have you been to Disneyland?