Ever since my mom and Dave moved back to California early this year, I’d been planning to spend the holidays in California. This way, we would be with our whole family. I had talked to Jason about joining us too because I did not want to take AJ away from him for a week and leave him alone. I knew he could see his family too and spend some time with AJ. I was so happy when he decided to go! It worked out well because we spend some time together as a family and some time separately. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to make it work- we had a lot of different people to work with- but it went off perfectly!
Friday, Jason flew out early in the afternoon and AJ and I went after I got off work. We got to my mom’s around 9:30pm and stayed up WAY TOO LATE- as usual :)
Saturday morning AJ and I hung out with Grandma and Papa and played until Jason came to get AJ. They had plans to go to Sea World but that didn’t work out. They ended up going to Jason’s sisters and hanging out. Jason’s nephew, Chase, is 12 and he and AJ rarely see each other. AJ was so happy to spend time with him and play video games. Saturday afternoon my mom and I got to spend some time together shopping and getting pedicures. It was a great time! It’s very rare that I get “adult time” in California because I’m always with AJ. Later that night, my Dad and Cory came down and I went over to Matt’s to spend time with them and have dinner. They are so fun to hang out with and we always laugh and joke around.
Sunday was DISNEYLAND! To be completely honest I was really quite stressed about Disney. I was so excited, but really worked at managing my expectations. I am known for having really big expectations and being disappointed. Plus, we had a large group going with! My mom, Jason, AJ, Cory, Dad and Chase all went. I was worried that people would get lost, that the lines would be WAY too long, the crowds would be overwhelming. I did not know how well AJ would do with the lines. All that being said, we had THE BEST time! We didn’t get to Disney until about 11am and after we got the stroller and stuff in lockers we hoped on the train.
We got off the train and walked by Splash Mountain and realized there was NO LINE! It was so hard to believe! I had expected an hour line minimum on all rides, but we got SO LUCKY! We decided to get on Splash Mountain right away and it was so fun! AJ wasn’t too sure about it, but he didn’t cry. He really didn’t like the dark but he loved the actual ride. Most of us got SOAKED! My mom, Cory, and Chase were wet and cold for much of the day.
We also went on Pirates of the Caribbean which AJ wasn’t a big fan of. He sat with Pop the whole time and was pretty scared of the dark. We did the Tea Cups, Winnie the Pooh, Canoes, It’s a Small World and my personal favorite, Big Thunder Mountain. I was so excited to take AJ Thunder Mountain! I have been telling him about it for months and hoped he would love it. HE DID! I was a little freaked out because it goes REALLY fast and I had to hold tight to AJ, but he loved it!
After all the rides, we watched the beautiful Christmas parade and it was amazing! AJ loved it and it was really neat to see it with my whole family. On our way out, we stopped and got some taffy and ice cream and while walking down Main Street, they lit the tree and the castle and it began to snow! In California! It was truly a beautiful sight!
|Pop is so silly!|
|Waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain|
|Here we go! Pop isn't so sure...|
|Having a little post ride snack|
|Churros, hot chocolate and a parade. Good stuff!|
|After the ride- AJ is happy and Grandma is soaked!|
|All of us! (AJ is behind me, next to Jason)|
|Waiting in line for Autopia|
|All of us on Main St. SOOO pretty!|
|Pop got AJ some taffy :)|
When we left, we all agreed that it was such a fun, low stress day. Everyone got along, the weather was good, the crowds weren’t too bad and AJ was in a great mood all day. I couldn’t ask for more!
Monday was Christmas eve and we spent the morning at my Moms playing. We had planned a morning at the park, but it had been raining so we stayed home. Later that day AJ and I went to Matt & Kristin’s and hung out there with Dad & Cory. AJ and Matt went in the pool for a bit and played. Kristin had been preparing the house for a fantastic Christmas eve dinner. She is so crafty! The house was decorated beautifully. That night Mom and Dave and Jason all came over to hang out and enjoy a WONDERFUL meal. Matt & Kristin had prime rib, shrimp, mashed potatoes, salad and some delicious desserts. We let AJ open a few presents which made him very happy:)
|Pop, AJ and Matt being silly!|
|All the guys!|
|Auntie Kristin, AJ and Uncle Matt|
|Pop, Cory, Matt & Kristin|
Christmas morning was FULL of presents and fun. Santa came to Grandmas to fill our stockings but left most presents at Matt's. My mom made some yummy breakfast casseroles and we went back to Matt’s for presents. It was total chaos and fun- just as you’d expect on Christmas morning! One of Matt & Kristin’s friends and their daughter, who is 2, came over to celebrate too. It was adorable to see AJ with another little friend on Christmas. It was quite funny to see this little girl more interested in AJ’s Batman toys that her own girl toys. I was so happy to see AJ offer to let her play with anything she wanted and they had a blast together.
Matt got AJ some silly string which was a mess, but fun!
Once again AJ got far too many toys!
|Thanks Grammy for the awesome hats!|
Right around lunch time, Jason and AJ headed up to see Jason’s dads side of the family. His brother, Tommy, has 2 kids and AJ hasn’t seen them since he was 1. He had a blast playing with them. They stayed the night in Bakersfield. Dad & Cory headed back home and Dave, Mom and I went to see a movie.
Wednesday I was lucky enough to see my great friend Shelly for coffee. We try to get together when I come out, but it doesn’t always happen. And it’s RARE that we catch up without kids! We had such a great time talking for hours. I miss her so much! That night Grandma and Papa got to spend more time with AJ playing toys and doing anything AJ wanted to do- haha- and Jason and I went out to a really nice dinner in San Clemente. We had a great time talking about AJ, our trip and just enjoying a lovely crab feast dinner at Fishermans.
Thursday, we were all exhausted and headed home. It was such a fantastic trip! I keep saying this, but I would not have changed one thing. Everyone got along so well. Everyone got to spend a good amount of time with AJ and it all seemed pretty easy. I am forever grateful for such a wonderful holiday with our family!