Sunday, December 27, 2009

How to have a multi-family vacation and sleep in your own bed

When the holidays arrive, there is a whirl wind effect that happens when a married couple tries to spend time with both sides of the family. Ian and I are blessed to have both families within ten minutes of our house. Over the past five years, we have figured out a pretty fantastic routine that guarantees us to not miss one homemade dinner or gift exchange. This Christmas week we experienced a few extras that made it feel more like a double family vacation and yet we got to sleep in the comfort of our own bed every night.

DAY #1 Christmas Eve. Traditionally, we celebrate with roast beef, mashed potatoes, and cake with my family because it is my sister's birthday. This year, we got to go with her to cash in her free Disneyland Birthday Ticket. We got there by 9:30am and left by 9pm. It was a full day and lots of fun.

DAY #2 Christmas Day. This day we woke up and headed over to the Ian's parents' house. We ate a great brunch and then went downstairs to open presents. Came back to our home and got ready for round two. We went over to his grandparents home where we joined with cousins, aunts, and uncles. This year's special treat was a walk to the neighbor's house and see her AMAZINGLY decorated house. Not a single corner in her home was missed by yuletide cheer. I now have a picture as to what I'm aspiring to do to our house some day.

DAY #3 Day after Christmas. Since we missed the roast beef and mashed potatoes we normally get on Christmas Eve, we headed over to my parents for some left overs. After giving our presents to everyone, we tagged along with my sister and my Dad to Viejas in Alpine. After no luck at the penny slots, Ian and I left my lucky dad and sister and tried to find some deals at the outlet. Luck was not on our side so we joined back with them and had a great dinner at Far East Winds.

DAY #4 Second day after Christmas. I can't tell you what this day traditionally looks like but I think we came up with a new tradition this year. After church, Ian's parents, brother, and sister in-law came over to watch a movie. They brought the burritos and we provided the theater as we ate and watched 'Star Trek' on Ian's Christmas present, a blu-ray player. It turned out to be yet another relaxing nice time with family.

So there you have it, a four-day multi family vacation without sleeping on a single cot or blow-up mattress. We are truly blessed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

You've just completed 6 YS Events, where do you want to go next?

This year, Ian's job took him on two different events to six different cities:

DCLA a youth event that took place in both Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

The National Youth Workers Convention which took place in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Vancouver, Canada.

We figured out he was on the road for a total of 56 days this year. So, when he got back from this last trip, we were need of a vacation. At the same time, it is a little early in the season for a full vacation, so we did what Southern Californians do with a day off, head to the Happiest Place on Earth.

So good to have him home!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Crazy Cloud Formations

This past weekend while driving home, there was the most fantastic cloud formations in San Diego. I am only thankful we were not in the middle of the storm they were from.

Celebrating Five Years in Pismo

To celebrate our five year anniversary and just take a few days away before a busy fall, we packed our bags and headed to the central coast. It was our first attempt at beach camping and the relaxing results mean many returning trips are in the future.

Great campground steps from the beach.

Long walks to the Pismo Beach Pier.

Cave exploration in the sandstone cliffside.

Spectacular sunsets every night.

The road-trip would not be complete without a stop at Solvang on the way home.

It's been a great five years and looking forward to the next five, and the next five, and the next...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Beautiful day at the beach

I had a few hours to spare this morning so my niece and I went on an adventure. Her first choice was Disneyland, then Legoland, then Sea World. Needing a more economic adventure we got in the car and headed west. We ended up at Tourmeline Surf park to find tidepools. It was gorgeous!

By the looks of this face, it was well worth it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The second installment of our 'Major Award"

Came home yesturday to find an edger had been delivered. This is so much fun!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

First installment of our 'Major Award'

Many having been asking if we have received our prizes from the 'Lowes Spring Dream Challenge' contest we won (with your help) last month. Last week we received a phone call from Lowes Headquarters letting us know that our prizes would be coming from the venders themselves. That means that instead of going to Lowes and picking up the items, it will be more like Christmas, each being shipped directly to our house.

Today, the first box came. It contained the Troy-Bilk 2550 MAX PSI Pressure Washer. I feel like that sentence this should be followed by the 'Tim The Tool Man Taylor Grunt'. Anyways, super excited to pressure wash something and will let you know when more installments come.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Great Fourth of July

After almost five years of marriage we have very few 'Ian and Stina family traditions' established. On holidays (with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas) our plans are usually spontaneous and some what random. We were even having trouble remembering what we have done each year for the fourth of July since we have been married. Last year our spontaneous plans took us to the Mount Laguna Lodge the day before the "4th." Well, this year, our plans were set in stone a few months in advance and this rare act of planning proved to provide stellar results.

The day began with sleeping in! As you get older this becomes such a luxury whether you have kids or not. Life just seems to require more and more early mornings.

At noon we left for our first San Diego Padre Game of the season. Super excited for this game, not only because of the great family we were hanging out with, but because Tony Gwynn Jr. would be playing. It was wonderful and nostalgic to hear that name announced at a Padre Game again. We got free beach towels when we walked in the gate. They sported an American flag with the slogan "BEAT LA" on it. Something we chanted a lot during the game!

Well, the game was fantastic! It was a sold out game with action packed innings and the Padres beat the Dodgers 7-4!

We then drove over to our friends' house in El Cajon. Great food, great conversations with old friends, and perfect seats in the back yard to watch the fireworks from Kennedy Park.

It was a lovely day and we couldn't be more thankful.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Drive from Los Angeles

The lack of posts indicate how busy life can get. Lately, I have been preparing for summer camp with the middle schoolers, which took place last week. Ian has been preparing for a student event, DCLA, which also took place this past weekend.

That is why immediately after church yesterday, I hopped on a train headed to Los Angeles to meet Ian. We decided that today would be an adventure day around L.A. We had a few options in mind, although we found out our first choices like The Getty and the Griffith Observatory were both closed on Mondays. That left us to plan B: stop at as many beaches as we could.

Below is a photo diary of the wonderful day:

Before leaving L.A., we needed a good meal:

Driving by some beautiful houses:

Santa Monica Pier:

Venice Beach:

Continue down the coast to Newport Beach:

Ate dinner at Charlie's Chili on the Newport Pier:

Then made it just in time to see a beautiful sunset at San Clemente:

A trip that usually takes about two and a half hours took us nine today, but what a wonderful day off!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Thank You!

Because of all of your votes, we won! Thank you so much for helping us out. As soon as we receive all of our lawn equipment, we will clean up the yard and host a "Thank You BBQ!" Keep watch for your invite! You can come over earlier, we just might put you to work:) Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Deadly Foxtail(s)

This next post could not be more ironic as we are trying to win Yard Maintinance Equipment from Lowe's (which by the way, we think voting ends tomorrow, but not too sure.)

Our busy weekend was interupted Friday Night with a dog in sever discomfort. After church service, I did a routine ear rinse with her since she has been dealing with a double ear infection for the past two weeks. After the ear rinse, she went berzerk. She began flapping her ears violently and then rolled around the grass. In attepts to calm her down, we brought her inside and she could no longer walk straight and began to whimper. After the parental debate, we decided to drive her to the Pet Emergency.

A particular thing happened next. As were were walking Darby to the car, she continued to whimper and flap her ears. Once we got in the car, all was calm. She sat up straight and looked out the window ready for her car ride without a single ear flap. We continued to the hospital and pulled up and parked out in front. As we were becoming more and more disheartened watching all kinds of animals being rushed in by panicked owners, Darby mearly looked at the excitment as an opportunity for new friends. We decided to head home and take her to her normal vet in the morning.

Ian was woken up that next morning at 3am. She began the shaking of her head again and so much so that she began bleeding out of one of her ears. Ian took her to the vet and was told she was have to be sedated to see what was going to in those ears. After six hours, we got a phone call saying they removed four foxtails from her ear.

It was a pretty intense 24 hours, but now we are home with a sedated and drugged dog. She is actaully doing very very well, and we are super thankful.

We now though, need that lawn mower, weed wacker, and rototiller more than ever. We even considered making a new video submission about how our yard is life-threatening for our dog, but we decided we would wait for these results first.

Thanks everyone for voting!!! We really appreciaite it!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

You Can Help Us Win!

We are officially one of the finalist for the Lowes Spring Dream Challenge! You can help us win gardening equipment by visiting this website and giving our video a green thumbs up. To find our video a little easier, go to the category "Outdoor Mantinence Made Easy." Then you should see the video we posted in the previous posted.

Not sure how many times you are allowed to vote or even how often, but there does not seem to be a limit, so feel fee to vote like crazy. Thanks so much!!! We will let you know when we hear results! If we win, you will be invited to a BBQ in our backyard after we have had a chance to spruce up our yard.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Help Us Spruce Up Our Yard

This weekend Ian and I worked on a video in efforts to win Lowe's Spring Dream Challenge and gain some lawn care equipment (mowers, edger, ect...)

Here is our final product:

We will let you know soon how your votes can help us win!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The 'Secret Stairs' of La Mesa

Today, our friend Holli and myself went on an adventure. Our goal was to find the famous 'Secret Stairs' of La Mesa. I came across a map to them on the City of La Mesa Website here.

With the Rocky theme song playing in our heads, we were able to make it up all of the stairs. Unfortunately, we took a wrong turn home, and lost one of the sets of stairs making our walk that much more adventurous.

Holli and I both use Twitter. Although when we walked back to our separate homes, our simultaneous tweets about the same adventure were very different.

Can you tell who is in better shape?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fun Times in Big Bear

My dad let us bring up the sled he had when he was a kid. It was so much fun!

(This movie was filmed and edited by Stina. It was her first attempt at imovie...we will inform you when it is accepted in the festivals:)


So when the weeds in your backyard are taller than your great dane, you know you have a problem! We have a problem.

I may be mailing that letter my niece wrote to the zoo after-all.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

a letter to the zoo

I told my neice today that I had weeds in my backyard that were taller than she was. She then told me I needed a llama. When I asked her where in the world would I get a llama, she said, very plainly, "Barrow one from the zoo."
"How do I go about getting the zoo to give me a llama?"
She responded again, very plainly, like I should have known, "Write a letter."
When we got home, she wrote the letter for me.

(Dear zoo, Can I borrow a llama because I have long weeds? So the llama can eat my weeds. Any color will do. From Caitlyn for my aunty Stina.)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Red Carpet

Last night, at the San Diego Museum of Photographic Art, a screening of all twelve films of was presented. The museum is an incredible venue and created an atmosphere that made this evening spectacular.

A little over a hundred friends and family joined us on a rainy night to see all 12 Films on the big screen. Each person that walked in the door represented support and encouragement, which was an integral part to this project. This project would not had been completed without the help from so many people. It was so great to celebrate with everyone in the only way that seemed appropriate, on the red carpet.

After the screening, Ian answered questions from the audience about the project. Out of all of the questions that followed the screening, one has been asked since the December film wrapped, "What is the next project?" Ian's response last night, " is not going anywhere, so keep checking in." This exciting night is only the beginning and we look forward to see what this new year will bring.

At the end of the night, each person received a parting gift: a little mystery box with a simple handwritten tag, "Do not open until tomorrow."

To check out more pictures of the night visit

All of the pictures from the night were taken by our very talented friend, Dan Coronado.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Whale of a Tale

To celebrate getting another year older, Ian took me whale watching. It was so much fun! If you are looking for something to do with your family definitely check out the Hornblower Whale Watching Adventure. We must have went on a great day because within the first hour we found three whales hanging out of the coast of San Diego. We then headed nine miles off the shore near the Coronado Islands where we spotted a few more. It was an awesome experience to see glimpses of these enormous mammals. Definitely marking it as a memorable wonderful day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Coming to a theater near you...

As you may know, Ian worked on a short film project all of last year. His goal was to produce a short film every month for the entire year. He documented the entire process and posted all of the films online at Well, December 31st, he was able to finish this incredible achievement. After an entire year of writing, shooting, and editing, he was able to accomplish the goal he set out to do in January of 2008.

To celebrate this accomplishment, we wanted to see all of his hard work on the 'Big Screen.' We are excited to announce that on the evening of February 7, 2009, all 12 films will be showing in the theater at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.

The doors open at 6:30pm and the screening will start at 7:00pm. Tickets are $10 (cash or check) and can be purchased at the door the night of the event.

You can also view and respond to the Facebook event for the screening here.

The museum has a great theater and we are both very excited to see ALL of the films up on the big screen! We know this couldn't have happened without your support and encouragement so we would love to have you there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day off for Adventure

Today we began by waking up late. This is something we haven't done in quite sometime. We then decided today needed to be an adventure so we headed west. First stop, Wahoo's Fish Tacos for lunch. After a great lunch we continued west to Pacific Beach. While driving down Grand Avenue I had a thought, "PB needs less tattoo shops and more ice cream parlors." This conversation led to actual ice cream cravings (or maybe other way around), which is why we ended up at Longs Drug Store. In front of the store, we found these items laid out on the side walk. It seemed like an ecletic collection so I took a picture.

A copy of Nativity Story, a Tao Calendar, a copy of Surfer Magazine, and an incense burner are just not things you expect to see together. The selection of ice cream was pretty scarce there so we continued up Mission Boulevard until we hit Cold Stone Creamery. We ordered it to go and drove up to Kate Session's Park.

This place is special to us because not only because it has an incredible view of San Diego, but it is also where we got married. After spending an hour sitting at the park and playing with a few Boston Terriers and Pugs who kept mistaking us for their owners, we headed back east.

Heading east on Highway 8 with an itch for adventure took us straight to Viejas. We quickly learned four dollars in quarters on the penny slots does not take a long time commitment. It was enough time to realize it was time for dinner. I whipped out my iPhone and used the Urban Spoon application. This application will find your exact location anywhere in the world and then give you options of restaurants based on genre and price.

The first suggestion it provided was "Tylers Taste of Texas" in El Cajon.
We ordered the BBQ beef with beans, slaw, and a baked potato. The service was amazing, but our taste for BBQ did not quite match Tyler's. But adventure was on the menu and that is what we ordered! (Sorry, couldn't resist:))

After a few Tums, and spending thirty minutes on the treadmill, we are going to watch a new episode of 'House' and call it a day. That's a wrap for another day of Robertson Adventure.