August 16, 2017

Camping


when you think of camping, you probably wouldn't associate my name very closely to that word. but guess what, i went camping. and i enjoyed it! i honestly love getting outside and going on hikes and being in the mountains, but i also love showering and sleeping in my own very comfortable bed. but a couple of weekends ago some of our friends asked if we wanted to go camping and we couldn't turn down the offer to be in the mountains. i have really missed being close to the mountains and being able to go on day hikes whenever we were bored or wanted to get out of the house. don't get me wrong, i absolutely love living on the coast near the beach!

it was a blast! the cool mountain air was just what we needed. jake drove down early friday morning to get us a spot on the campgrounds and the rest of us drove down late friday night after we got off work. it was really nice to drive up to the campsite and have all of our tents already set up and ready to go, thanks jake! the rest of the night was spent hanging around the campfire just talking with everyone.

saturday morning we woke up, made some breakfast and got ready for our hike! we talked the night before and decided to go on an 8 mile hike. we all got ready to go and were off! since i had my watch on i kept track of how many miles we were going and when we got to 4 we all expected to be there...but we weren't, so we all kept on going. another mile passed, then another, we still weren't there! finally after awhile we got to the lookout point, and it was beautiful!! we sat down and enjoyed some snacks while looking over the mountain range. we headed back down and the last mile i got bit by some sort of bug on my leg and i had an allergic reaction to it! so the last mile was not the happiest for me.. i still have a large circle from the bug bite two weeks later but the itching has gone away which has been amazing. once we were done with the hike we realized we hiked about 13 miles, which was quite a bit farther than we were expecting but it was still so beautiful and worth it! the rest of the night was spent around the campfire roasting hot dogs for dinner and then of course making s'mores!

the next morning we were planning on maybe going on another hike, but we were all so exhausted from the last hike that we decided to pass. so we cleaned up camp and headed back home. on our way home we made a little pit stop at cheesecake factory for lunch. we ordered it to go and then went to a park to enjoy the food. it was delicious! it was one of our go to places back in utah and california, so we have really missed it out in south carolina! **confession: right when i heard we were going camping i looked up a couple of our favorite food places from back home to see if there were any on our way! to our luck i found cheesecake factory! once we got to the campsite brayden told everyone that i knew there was a cheesecake factory on our way home and they all definitely agreed we would have to make a pit stop there. that is when i knew we would all be great friends.**

it was so good to enjoy a weekend away with friends! i am so glad we were able to go, it was a perfect escape from all our responsibilities!





















July 17, 2017

Newport Vacation


I am a little sad to be writing this blog post because this means the vacation I wait all year for has already come and gone... And sorry for the overload of pictures...but it was too good of a time not to document it all!We always have the best time together and this vacation wasn't any different! Unfortunately, we were missing Brock, Sarah, Soph, and Liv as they welcomed their cute mew little baby boy! We did facetime with them and made sure they sent A LOT of pictures!! We definitely did miss having everyone there, but for the past 3 years at least one person has had to miss vacation because of dental school or having a baby. I can't wait until we can have a vacation with everyone again!

Newport was perfect this year. Brayden and I were able to go to La Verne for a few days early before we actually started the family vacation. We hit up some of our favorite spots with part of the family before we headed to Newport. Brayden's two places that we must go to while in LaVerne are Red Devil and Tastee's, so of course we went! We also went to In-N-Out(obviously) and Cheesecake Factory. South Carolina doesn't have any of those food places so we always make sure to go on a food tour when we go home! 

Sunday we went to church in the morning and then headed to Newport! When we got to our rooms we each had Caramel M&M's waiting on our beds compliments of Maximus and Davie Crocket. Once we got settled in the hotel we headed outside to the Magic Show. We have gone to this magic show for the past few years. This year Brayden and Whitney were part of the show!! The little kids always love to go and it is so fun to see their faces throughout the whole show. After the show we had a BBQ with hamburgers and hot dogs, with yummy J Dawg's sauce Whitney and Brian picked up for us in Utah! 

The following days were spent with the family by the pool, beach, shopping, eating,multiple trips to Ruby's shake shake, card games, Kubb, tennis, and basketball. I could not ask for a better time! Since we live so far away, I really appreciate the quality time when we are able to get together with everyone!

Every year my mom puts on a scavenger hunt for my nieces and nephews with a prize at the end. You would literally think that this scavenger hunt was like Christmas morning for them. They ask about it from the second we arrive in Newport until it actually happens. And this year we were able to listen to them as about it for four whole days before we had it. My mom always thinks of new, creative things to add to the scavenger hunt. This year after they went through all the clues and got to the final place, there was a pinata waiting for them to hit open with a puzzle to put together. They loved being able to whack at the hamburger pinata. They were even more excited when they put the puzzle pieces together that fell out of the pinata and said that Grammy and Pa were taking them to Build-A-Bear! They were beyond excited and ready to leave at that exact moment. So we all piled into the car and were off to Build-A-Bear! 

Another highlight for the kids is going to the Balboa Candy store with Grammy and Pa. They love all of the traditions that my parents have started on these trips and look forward to them all week! My nieces and nephews are so lucky to have such awesome grandparents, that love to spoil them!!

This week in Newport was just the perfect vacation Brayden and I needed away from school and work! We are so grateful for all my parents do to make this vacation amazing each year! Thank you mom and dad for everything!!! We love you guys!

Leaving is never fun, but luckily we will be back soon for Whitney and Brian's wedding in October!

Also...I am attempting to make a video of the vacation, so depending on how it turns out I might share it...but I don't have high hopes for it.  





































































Here are a few pictures of little Harvey Matthew Zylstra who was born during our family vacation. I am so in love already and I haven't even met him yet!! I can't wait to snuggle him!!







A week later, Brayden's sister had a baby boy as well! Kade Robert Moeller! He is such a little cutie, I can't wait to meet him!