Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If you read this all the way to the end...

  Since we moved, exactly two months ago we have had a nonstop friends and family traffic here at our new/old house. It's been such fun to serve meals in the pretty dining room by candlelight or sit around the dining nook table over a cup of tea and good conversation, to show friends and family to their room, the one with the pretty robin-blue walls and wake up to the smell of coffee brewing and a bowl of my homemade orange/cranberry granola ( it's my current culinary obsession ) in my bright + cheery kitchen, to have so much laughter filtering through the halls and rooms of this big old house.

That being said, I would be the first one to admit that it does get a little bit exhausting with the never ending cleaning, to be always in charge of making sure meals happen at or around mealtime, always fixing company-worthy meals and don't forget about dessert, keeping the laundry from taking over and the dust bunnies reined in. 

All that to say our time in California, with these dear friends, could not have come at a better time for us. Even while David is in the thick of trying to get his own paving company up and running. We had the most restful, no-stress, drama-free, happy, fun time with the P's. And I felt instantly at home... to the point where I would put off my shower and doing my hair until late in the day, just like I do at home.
  Leslie and Nick have done an amazing with their home. It's welcoming + full of character and what makes it even more amazing is that they've literally decorated it on a dime. It's a visually a total treat, and has such a playful aesthetic to it. It's warm and bright and really beautiful.

During our time together we just kept commenting on how "easy" it was. Surprisingly easy. I don't know about you but 10 days is a long time to host company for.  Of course we had our finger crossed that our children and husbands would get a long as well as we do. And they did. They really did. Cause it would have been a long ten days, if we were having to break up a fight ever 10 minutes, or if the guys had felt akward around each other. Everyone had there very own " friend." 

David and Nick spent many hours in the garage drywalling, telling stories and listening to music that isn't allowed in the house. Oh and and drinking nearly daily milkshakes from In + Out ( a California burger joint) . David was really into the strawberry ones. And did you know that at In + Out they have a scripture verse written at the bottom of every cup. Isn't that cool. And David did a really spectacular job drywalling their garage. I was impressed. They seemed impressed. Even David was surprisingly please with the outcome. So thank you Rylan, for flooding the entire upstairs of your house. That worked out nicely for us in the end. And who wouldn't be happy to drywall a garage in return for 10 days with such delightful company, food, a trip to Disneyland, and time to just relax. Easy for me to say, I wasn't the one out there working.

  We got in the daily garden analysis in the back yard, as a giddy Nick checked for new seedlings by flashlight  ( David says Nick really should have been a farmer ) in their square foot garden beds and grinned over Leslie's squeals, exclaiming over new sprouts with joy. I loved getting to hear her "vision" for this room or that. She's got a head full of amazing ideas. But I am sure that comes as no surprise to any of you. 

  And we ate. And oh was the food ever good. So good. Big breakfasts.  Delicious panini's for lunch. And we were able to sample their two favorite dishes from California Pizza Chicken right at their own table which was a total treat!  But my favorite meal of the whole10 days was the night we put all the kids to bed first and Leslie set one of her infamously pretty tables and introduced us to the utter bliss of Pioneer Woman's spicy shrimp and sweet potato fries and corn on the cob...oh so good. And then there was the well-stocked (gallon) candy jar. We were obviously spoiled. And the music that gets plays at their house is really happy I might add.
The simplest things brought the most pleasure. Seeing all four kids in our line of vision, or camera-lens, throughout the day. Hearing their little voices all intermingled. Watching them interact together. It was beyond sweet.

  Jack-Jack thought California was swell, on the account the nicely fenced in back yard. He loved getting to roam in and out independently and was seriously the easiest/happiest possible little chap the entire time. And he and Cade were such good ( for the most part) + cute stroller/cart buddies. And Jack had his first birthday while we were there. Which was incredibly special. And deserves it's very own post. ( coming soon )

   And Annabelle couldn't get over the rolly-pollys and adored all the special things she got to do with her friend. Glittering in the back yard, water-balloons, lots and lots of dress-up, playing pony's, pretending in the car that they were on a roller coaster, having a daddy/princess tea party, singing silly songs, swimming in the pool, making pancakes with Mr. Nick, all the enchantment of Disneyland and exploring it hand in hand with her little friend, slip-and-sliding shrieks and giggles and jammy swapping with Rylan at night, and being fairies, and putting on a happy birthday puppet show for Jack. It was all so special.

  We fell really hard in-love with each others kids. These four little people who we have prayed for, loved from afar, written and shared all the sweet + funny ( and not so sweet and funny ) little things they say and do over, since the day they were born. So to finally get to be family friends well it was just such a  dream come true.

 And for myself, getting to yard sale in Ladera with Leslie ( treasures found included: a whole pile of swim-suits for Ryaln, wooden toys for Jack's birthday, a pair of pink JCrew cords, a extra chair for the craft room, See Kai Run leather shoes for Jack a "dragon" top,  some sweet things for this dear pregnant with a baby boy friend, and a vintage pillow case that Leslie turned into a pretty little tunic for Annabelle), browsing through target with the big, four kid cart, getting to experience the thrill of my first trip to M + L Fabrics, Home Goods and Pottery Barn Outlet...the mommies slipping a way for a (long) hour and  finding new shirts of the same brand and were totally us, and that we loved for our family photo shoot (  big thanks to Nick + Southwest airlines  for picking up that suitcase for us so I could haul all my treasures home/ and to the airline for being so generous with the of luggage they let you check for free ). Remembering the night we drove out a little ways into the "whoop whoop" for a spectacular golden setting for our little family photoshoot. I always love seeing Leslie and Nick too, in action. They both shine. I even got to get behind the camera and take a few shots of their sweet foursome...which was both surreal and a highlight of the day for me. And I loved our late night/early morning heart to hearts...getting to look through all her scrapbook albums...brainstorming sessions in the craft room over a certain little someone's birthday parties and room decor and photo shoot prop ideas, and maybe even future books? Listening to sermons and Steve's Songs on YouTube. Playing with fabric. Scheming up a little something for a friend were were missing so much that week.  We had fun with a little attempt at a May Day basket for the guys. We had to tell them to chase us...but they caught on quickly to that.

  Playing the bean game that first night was hilarious.  And then we taught them dutch blitz and had a ball with that. I can still hear Leslie saying in bewilderment " you people, are stressing me out!"  I loved watching the competitive, not as nice side of each one of us come out. It was a scream. I  couldn't believe the insults that flew back and forth between David and brutal. And I am ashamed to admit  that I slugged Nick in the arm, that last night. Hard.  It was the same night Nick started calling David something I refuse to repeat on this blog. And I am afraid we were just getting warmed up.

Now for the whole the bummer part of the trip: going home. And once home realizing just how too far away the northwest is from So. Cal.

  I told Nick at the airport that David and I would like to think we are the type of company that is missed when we are gone, instead of the type where you shut the door look at each other,  sigh a huge sigh of relief, and mutter under your breath " finally, there gone! "

But meanwhile in closing of this novel sized post, dear P's we do totally apologize for the following:

1) The state of your house during our time there.
2) For our early-birds waking your sleepers up every morning.
3) For any part Annabelle played in influencing  Rylan and her recent crib escapades.
4) David's refusal to let any one else win at D.B.
5) Anything else we might have over-looked.

We can't wait for our turn to host you. Really truly can't wait.

And phew friend! If you read  all the way to the end of this long-winded post of mine, I am more than flattered. You deserve a medal of some sort.


Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

It all sounds perfectly lovely!

Katie said...

aahhh...sounds SO amazing! I so wish I was still the next door neighbor... :) BEAUTIFUL new pic for your "spot"... Can't wait to see more pics from your trip!

Leslie said...

love you friend... total tears.. Nick and I sat and read this and giggled... a lot...

no sighing when the door shut.. promise.

and the state of my house is my apology to you... I just let it go.. I could clean when you left.. there were too many fun things to do! said...

wow, what a trip! it sounds like the best time ever. i can just about imagine all of the energy in that house! love your new banner/blog look. leslie is pretty much amazing, and the two of you!

Dawna said...

Love the new blog header (gorgeous family, gorgeous you), and love that you had such a fun and relaxing time! Miss you, sweet friend!!

kt mac said...

Oh Chelle I just LOVED this post so so much!

Your trip was totally totally amazing! You guys are so lucky and super blessed to have experienced this.

And hearing little things in here - steve songs, the bean game (and Nicks love for it), disneyland and a house full of music and fun craft room times so brought back memories from my stay with the P's. Arent they just the sweetest!

also love LOVE your new blog banner. Such a sweet picture!

Aunt Tea said...

you were blessed. Ü


Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

Oh that new picture!!! - To die for. I love it.
This was so lovely to read. I read it twice. You wrote it in such a way that I could just imagine every little thing.

Catherine said...

I'm ready for my medal! You had a GOOD time, and it was good to read about it.

Wahzat Gayle said...

Nothing can beat a trip away from home to a place that is as welcoming as home :)
Love the new look. That family shot is BEAUTIFUL

Deborah said...

I'm so glad that God gave you some dear family friends to call your own. Life long treasures! I love the photo. Do I get one for my fridge?!

AndiMae said...

P.S. And the new banner is the sweetest thing ever!!

AndiMae said...

Love love love this post so much! So glad that you guys all had such a sweet + relaxing time together! And I am seriously in love with all the pictures- the kids playing together and little glimpses of Leslie's so lovely!

Chantel Monet said...

Oh you made me feel as if I was right there with you all for the ride! Too sweet! I can't wait to meet the P's. I'm just dying at the chance. I think they need to plan a trip to the NW very, very soon! I'm glad you had such a ball, and my goodness, the pictures were darling!

Chantel Monet said...

Oh, and did I forget to say how amazing your blog looks? Because I didn't forget to think it!!

Connie said...

Enjoyed all the photos... and your new blog header looks great!

~beautyandjoy~ said...

tears, tears, tears - so many answers to prayer, His faithfulness, so many things I am thinking right now - you are a gem for letting us in on it and seeing it in those GORGEOUS pics. The one of the girls on the bike, at DL, the boys and their could-be-brothers look...your new header!! and I'm with Andi - love the glimpses into Leslie's home!

this is a verbal, visual treat xoxo

SuzyQ said...

Awwww... Sounds so delightful - happy for you! And give David some kudos from me, I think him starting his own business is just brilliant!

Andrea said...

Hi Chelle - thanks for stopping by my new little blog :) Love your blog banner - Leslie is such a talented photographer! You have a beautiful family.

I must also confess I have often stopped by your Tumblr site, the pics are sooo insipring and a great eye-candy fix,

blessing on you and your family too,

Seth & Carrie said...

Ahhhh amazing Chelle! And oh! how so much fun to read =) Sounds like you all had a gloriously, sweet, "restful" time!!! I'm so glad =)
The pictures were darling too, I esp liked the one of Rylan and Annabelle at the end of the post, walking through Disney Land. How adorable! ;-) (the family pics are beautiful too!!)
Love you ~ Me

Rachel said...

It was FUN to read this! I'm so glad your family got to have this precious time. . . and made some incredible memories with dear people! "Make new friends, but keep the old-- one is silver, and the other, gold!" Sounds like gold friends in the making!
PS- I'm thrilled to know that the Bruzas hold on Dutch Blitz is still strong! Atta boy, Sonny!
Love, Ra

Brianne-zam said...

it was so lovely to meet you. what a beautiful friendship you and leslie share!
briana j
(leslie's neighbor)

Skeller said...

awwwww, I loved reading your perspective of your visit, after having heard Leslie's sweet perspective. and no way did they sigh with relief when you left ... you all were/are missed something fierce. y'all should be neighbors. truly.

and hey! I recognize that gorgeous field in your new blog header!! I have a pretty good idea who pressed the shutter ;-)