Destination: San Diego, Day 1. Bringing Happy Back.

another sighting we can check off our bucket list...which doesn't exist. We have no list.

Here’s another sighting we can check off our bucket list…which doesn’t exist. We have no list.

I have never been so badly in need of a vacation as I was this Spring Break. Actually, I’ve lived in need of a vacation since June 2013. I promise I wasn’t always this tired and whiny.

There were actually lots of years where I felt relaxed and happy. Here’s a photo from one of my happy/relaxed phases. I was busy, but it was a healthy level of busy:

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2012. Alan had just returned home from Afghanistan. The boys were happy at their school, and I was in the process of whipping my body back into shape again. Life felt GOOD.

I want to get back to that healthy level of busy, but happy again!!! ย Forget this overwhelmed, stressed, and slightly homesick version of April. I am busting out of this. I know I can do it. This vacation felt like the first step.

Actually, I take that back. When Jennings visited, that felt like the first step. Jennings said something that reminded me that some changes have been for the better. She said, “You are so different now than back when you had two kids, just a few years ago. You’re so much calmer now.” (or something like that)

That’s true. I am calmer. Our whole act runs a little smoother, which is kind of bizarre because there are even more boys now. A lot of that is just experience. Toddlers get a lot of forgiveness, and when in public, that’s what strollers are for.

Alan has also been asking me what we could do to get that “happy, outgoing” April back.

Mostly: Finish my first year of teaching. I didn’t enjoy teaching when I tried it in the public school, and I haven’t LOVED it this time either. I DO love being with my boys all day. I adore my boys; however, I’m not so sure I will be a home school mom forever. We all have different callings in life. What’s important is that I fulfill my God-given purpose. How long that will include home-schooling, I’m just not sure yet.

 

I have a few goals for this last 9 weeks for getting “happy, outgoing April” back:

1. Exercise every single day. I saw pictures of myself from the rear on this vacation. It wasn’t pretty. I tend to put on inches when I’m bummed, and that’s been happening.

2. Finish lesson plans!!! If I can get this done, I will feel so much happier.

3. Alan wants me to start “entertaining friends” and “hosting” again. We’ll take a stab at being more social.

and 4. Plan summer and fall vacations, because man, are they important!!!

OKay. I know. That’s not what you came here to read about. You wanted to see San Diego, right? Well, Day One was really just a road trip. It was 10pm when we rolled into San Diego. However, I DO have Los Angeles photos, so aren’t you glad you stopped by? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Day One:

Sunday

We started out by letting Daniel open one last birthday present:

Dan was not as excited about his Big Hero 6 gift as we'd hoped. "Thank you," he said politely.

Dan was not as excited about his Big Hero 6 gift as we’d hoped. “Thank you,” he said politely.

 

all four brothers

all four brothers

Alan had this trip planned out military style. Heย printed out papers, in a binder, of a detailed agenda for every single day of the trip! He even researched restaurant options and routes through LegoLand and the San Diego Zoo, to optimize our vacation experience.

Caleb was fascinated with the "humongous" leaves on whatever this plant is. DaddyO? Can you name this plant?

Caleb was fascinated with the “humongous” leaves on whatever this plant is, in Los Angeles. DaddyO? Can you name this plant?

Can you see the forms of the people, standing on the hill to get a look at the Hollywood sign? There were THOUSANDS of people at this observatory. It was insane.

Can you see the forms of the people, standing on the hill to get a look at the Hollywood sign? There were THOUSANDS of people at this observatory. It was insane.

Alan planned for us to stop at an Observatory in Los Angeles, from which you can see the Hollywood sign. What we didn’t realize was that this is apparently “the place” to be at sunset, so the crowds and parking were INSANE.

Not only did I have to drive in LA, against my better judgement, but I had to drive up the hills to this observatory thing and find parking. Ugh. We did a quick driver switcher-oo for the parallel parking portion. I am so bad at parallel parking!

Oh, and as I was anxiously driving the 8 lane highway through LA, Daniel suddenly let out a “WHOOO-YEAHHHH!”

“Daniel! What in the world are you yelling for?”

Daniel grinned sheepishly, “LegoLand. Me excited ’bout LegoLand.”

Ah.

LA skyline, smog and all

LA skyline, smog and all

The Observatory, from which you can see the actual stars, as well as the Hollywood sign.

The Observatory, from which you can see the actual stars, as well as the Hollywood sign.

sunset over Los Angelos

sunset over Los Angeles

lots of palm trees throughout Los Angelos. I think this photo was taken on Melrose Avenue.

lots of palm trees throughout Los Angeles. I think this photo was taken on Melrose Avenue.

all tucked in for bed I think they lasted in one bed for 10 minutes. Then Joshua moved onto the couch fold-out bed.

all tucked in for bed
I think they lasted in one bed for 10 minutes. Then Joshua moved onto the couch fold-out bed.

One great thing about having four children is that it forces you to get nice hotel rooms. We stayed at a suite that could comfortably sleep six. We experimented with bunking Joshua and Daniel together, so we wouldn’t have to unfold the sofa bed. That lasted all of ten minutes.

This road trip was an amazing success. All children were well behaved, quiet, and excited. There were no traffic jams, car problems, or accidents. We even pulled into a “full service” gas station where they pumped our gas and washed our windshield for us, old school style. We never even got out of the car.

Come back tomorrow, and I’ll actually tell you about the vacation! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today I’ve been cycling mountains of laundry, uploading photos, studying the book of Luke, and WORKING OUT. That’s right. I did 30 minutes of P90x, because “ain’t nobody” got time to exercise for 90 minutes. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Meanwhile, I’m sure my arms will be killing me tomorrow.

We are bringing happy April back!

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“Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Genesis 4:6-7

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8 comments

  • McMom

    Ain’t nobody got 90 minutes is right! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good for you, for taking positive steps that will make you feel better. I think we could all use a little more of that! I’m excited to see more vacation pictures. I had no idea that the Hollywood sign even had an observatory and was an official tourist spot.

    It’s actually illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon. Freaked me out, big time…”Who is this strange dude, and why is he walking right toward the car?” I had not been to one of those since I was really young.

    Too funny about Daniel yelling out in the car.

    Also, I guess our gift will be the LAST, last gift. Keep the celebration alive, I say.

    It’s funny how you can see every boy’s personality in that picture of the four of them.

    • I cannot remember when you were in Oregon. Was this before I became family? We checked your mail 30 minutes ago, and Daniel liked his Michelangelo apron! Picture to come soon. I would send it now, but you know, Alan broke my phone. Poor Alan. This has been a tough one to fix.

  • queenmommyjen

    We have only ever driven through LA, never stopped. Jen’s Guy far prefers San Diego and does not like to stop there, but you guys saw some neat stuff. Maybe next time! ! What fun pictures! San Diego is one of my most favorite places. I am so glad you guys had this vacation and i think your plan of action for yourself sounds spot on! P.S. Bum shots are never a Mom’s friend ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Love the pictures ๐Ÿ™‚ I am going to have to keep reading tonight to see them all. I fell behind ๐Ÿ™ Working out always makes me feel happier. Good luck to you!!
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