Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Anniversary Getaway

Kreg and I celebrated our 5th anniversary on May 31st! The past five years have been a whirlwind that we would not trade for the world.  We like to think we got a little bit of a jumpstart on "life" getting pregnant 4 months into our marriage :) The ONLY thing we occasionally wish we had had a little more time for was traveling together.  Don't get me wrong... we would not wish away our precious Westin or the time we have spent with him for anything and we have been blessed to be able to travel as a family almost every year... but as far as traveling as couple...well, thankfully we had a really great honeymoon :) This year though, we had an almost 2-year-old and almost 4-year-old and decided it would be a good opportunity to get away just the two of us.  We have fantastic grandparents just a few miles down the road who were willing to keep our babies for a week and we are SO THANKFUL for this trip!  We had a great time getting to know each other again on a different level and being able to just talk about anything and everything uninterrupted for a week.  R&R was definitely just what the doctor ordered for us and we were refreshed and more than ready to be back with our boys at the end of the week!

We started out with a 3-day stay in Las Vegas at the Wynn/Encore resort.  Vegas is always a favorite of ours, believe it or not.  The pools, shopping, food, and shows are nearly unbeatable.  We always have a great time, and this was no exception!  We then flew out of Las Vegas to Long Beach, CA where we boarded a boat and made our way to Catalina Island for the remainder of our trip.  Talk about two vastly different worlds!  It was perfect.  We got the fast-paced, luxurious, city-scene in Las Vegas and traded it for a slow, B&B, small beach town on Catalina.  I just feel like we got two full vacations wrapped into one.  We're all about packing as much fun into small amounts of time as possible :)  
Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Las Vegas

Catalina Island

Catalina Island
Catalina Island

My top 10 favorites from this trip:

10. 9-mile bike ride UP the mountains surrounding Catalina Island

9. Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity in Las Vegas

8. My first sushi experience at Simon's in Las Vegas

7. Pool/beach time {aka nap time}

6. Seeing "Gatsby" at the Casino on Catalina Island

5. Watching the dolphins and sea lions play in the ocean

4. HAMMAM, massage, and pampering at the spa in Las Vegas... and the diamond earrings I got from my hubby that evening!

3. Sharing a bottle of wine on the beach and watching the sun set   over the ocean

2. Le Reve, the Cirque du Soleil show we saw in Las Vegas. UNREAL.

1. PARASAILING.  Something I never saw myself doing... until this trip.  Kreg really brings out the adventurous side in me :)

The only thing I regret from this entire trip was the fact that I took along my {8-pound} pro cam and didn't use it once.  Let's face it... I was ready for a photography break... but this was NOT the time to do it!  It felt great being lazy while I was there and we got "good" photos on our phones... but I could have done so much more! Oh, well. :) Now that it's over I feel an overwhelming desire to start planning the next trip.  Even if it takes us another five years to do it!

Friday, July 12, 2013


It's birthday season in the Kell house! In addition to the numerous extended family birthdays and national holidays encompassed in the 6-week period between May 14th and June 27th, we also get to celebrate both boys' birthdays during this season :) Starting next year, I'm seriously contemplating doing one big party about June 1st to celebrate both at the same time... we'll see :) Here's a recap of the partying we did this year!

All of you probably know that Westin is a HUGE Mario fan.  Not only is he very good at all the Wii/Nintendo 3DS games, he also enjoys dressing up as Mario, playing with his Mario action figures, and has quite a large supply of Mario clothes, backpacks, etc.  So, naturally, his party had a Mario theme this year. I never played video games growing up so this Mario fad is totally new to me and I'm learning as we go... What I know about Mario is he has a huge mustache so I had to include the mustaches as part of the theme. HA! PS-- thank you, cousin Tiff, for helping me get pictures of this party!
 I was calling these marshmallow pops "green mushrooms" but was later informed by my son and his friends that they are called "one-ups" not green mushrooms.  Live and learn!

 We fed just over 50 people homemade pizzas... and yes, I made all 12 pizzas in just one oven.  On the top of my list for my next house... DOUBLE OVENS.

Tucker's party was much more low-key.  We've decided not to start the big, invite all our friends parties until age 3, because that was when Westin started asking to have friends at his party.  So, we celebrated Tucker's 2nd birthday with just our extended family again this year. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he said "Super Why party!" I was not expecting this as Westin could have cared less what the theme of his 2nd birthday party was... but after just watching all the hoopla of the Mario party, my little 2-year-old knew exactly what he wanted.  His favorite cartoon that he usually watches while I get ready in the mornings is "Super Why!" so that's what we went with :)

 We had a great time celebrating our precious boys and are so thankful for all the people who celebrated with us! And for all our friends and family far away-- we wish you could have been with us but are so thankful that you all remembered our boys with your phone calls, messages, gifts, and cards!  Our boys are very loved and truly blessed!