Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year--in Cali!

'twas the night before Christmas Eve and all through the Linkous house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (we hope!!!)....because we loaded up the car and set out for California!

We made it to Vegas around 3:30 am and crashed in beds lovingly made for us by Jody and Co. in their family room.  THANK YOU, Jody!!  We woke up and had a traditional treat from Tom of egg mcmuffins for breakfast before finishing the drive to Temecula.  
We made it just in time for a fabulous dinner, treize desserts, opening Christmas PJs, an almost professional version of the Nativity ;), getting the kids off to sugarplum dreamland, and catch the family phone call with Emily (allegedly calling from a Korean bathhouse....j/k) and the rest of the Ellis family!  We found out the great news that Mark and Aup are expecting #4 and enjoyed lots of good laughs, comme d'hab bien sur. 

Christmas morning was relaxed and happy, pretty darn perfect and so fun being with Rachel and Mark and their families.  
Darren and Tennyson are literally 2 peas in a pod. They disappeared together, happily playing from dawn til dusk every day of the trip, only surfacing for food :). 
Friday and Saturday, we enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine at the beaches of Oceanside. 
We all enjoyed the lazy pelican, but especially loved this little white bird and followed him around the pier as we waited to eat at Ruby's.
Those shakes were worth the wait.  Yummy yummy in my tummy tummy, as Hope would say :). 
The cold water couldn't scare us away. We played the day away. 
The next morning we had to grab some family shots with that incredible backdrop. 

Sometimes I pinch myself when I remember we actually have 5 kids, 5 AMAZING kids. How did that happen?!

Love them more every day.
Rachel and Conlon's little Crew were too cute not to snap.

Oh man, that Will.  He's better than the incredible food at Beach Break Cafe that Mark and Aup took us to Saturday morning.

That food does make you smile.  Especially when you get to enjoy it with some of your favorite people in all the world.
Sweet Aup with all the kiddos
Such great cousin time....
Even the chance to see mine.  We got to eat Sunday lunch with Billy, Susannah and Yolanda at their new, beautiful home. 
Then we had the chance to visit with Uncle Bob on East Hawthorne.  
We picked oranges off the tree in the backyard and Eden even overcame her fear of his dogs by the time we left :)
So many parks, so little time ;)

We even had the chance to see the San Diego temple on our anniversary :) 

17 wild and wonderful years!  
The next day we hit the (snowy!) road, 

thankful and happy to have had such a fabulous Christmas in California!