Posted in Pop Culture, The Happy

Saturday Morning Cartoons: It’s Okay

Pssst….how are you doing? Hanging out in your childhood bedroom? Hoping your uncle will stop talking about Cheeto Satan? Or are you home alone? It doesn’t matter if you are surrounded by family or not, the holidays can be hard. The family and I went to our local amusement park as is our tradition. We had a blast and had Del Taco for dinner. But that doesn’t mean I don’t long for a Parenthood style feast surrounded by family with lots of laughing. It’s hard not to focus on what you don’t have this time of year. But even if you are surrounded by family who just want to fight or just haven’t found your family yet, we all deserve to be loved and find happiness. The following got me through the week and I hope it brings you at minimum a smile.

John Williams’ new music and look at Star Wars Land

If 10 year old me knew that in my 40s there would be an amusement park all dedicated to Star Wars, I would be trying to figure out how to get Marty McFly’s Delorean. The music and aerial view of the upcoming park brought tears to my eyes.

Lego Movie the Second Part trailer

I am still mad at a mom aquaintance that told me the first Lego movie was stupid. She was stupid.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Cheering for Me Now”

Ray of sunshine Lin-Manuel Miranda brought us his second to last Hamildrop this week and it is a love letter to his home New York City in the style of a Broadway showtune.

Homecoming

This new Amazon series with Julia Roberts as a counselor to soldiers at a mental rehab center has been styled like an Alfred Hitchcock film. The creator of Mr. Robot directed all 10 episodes at Julia’s request. Bobby Cannavale is at his slimiest and up and comer Stephan James plays the soldier Julia’s Heidi is trying to help.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in The Happy

Tire Swing

We drive over the gravel as the rocks and dirt kick up behind the car. We pull alongside a minivan and turn off the ignition. The kids hop out of the car before we can say, “Wait!” We hold hands as we head pass the little shack on the left with the organic honey and knick knacks to buy. I blink to get the dirt out of my eyes as the spores attack from every angle. We head up to the right towards a makeshift square made up of bales of hay with a Peanuts flag waving from the top. We stop at the tree right before and see the kids waiting to be pushed on the tire swings. The tree branches hang over to give shelter from the dark sky and full moon, the only real light. The kids laugh and scream as they fly through the air on the tire that used to be too high for them and now they drag their feet when they come back towards the tree. I breathe in the air, thinking I can smell the baby Christmas trees that will be for sale in less than eight weeks. When the kids have been given equal time on the tires with the promise that we will come back for one more push before we leave, we head over to the pumpkin patch. Twinkling lights light the way as we check out the orange and white pumpkins that have been picked up, put down, dropped, and deposited in one of the wheelbarrows scattered throughout. Once we decide on a couple, their dad goes to have them weighed while I take the kids on a hay ride. We cough and sneeze but still laugh as we circle the farm in the darkness.

Scarlet Tire Swing

Ever since we moved back to the OC last year, I have been trying to make the kids as comfortable as possible and help them realize that making them leave everything they knew was a good thing. Taking them to new places, encouraging them to find new friends, and hopefully establishing new traditions. We have been taking the kids to multiple pumpkin patches since they were babies. But their favorite was Wickerd Farm. It has all the caveats that other pumpkin patches have plus the beloved tire swing. So I am making a list of places to take the kids this fall so we can make some new memories.

Wesley Tire Swing

OC Children’s Book Festival

Curls loves her books and what better way to encourage that with a book festival geared specifically towards her and her brother. On 9/30 they will have 125+ authors and illustrators plus book sellers and other vendors.

Annual Sandcastle Contest

Since we are lucky enough to live close to the beach and the weather will continue to be warm until November, the Corona Del Mar sandcastle contest on 10/7 will be fun to check out.

Disneyland’s Halloween Party/Knott’s Spooky Farm

The Disneyland Halloween party is an event we have been going to for years. The kids love wearing their costumes, seeing others dressed up, trick or treating throughout the park, and riding Haunted Mansion decked out a la Nightmare before Christmas. They close the park in the early evening to regular guests which helps with the crowds and also put on a fireworks show narrated by Jack Skellington with Disney villains making an appearance. Knott’s Spooky Farm is not as done to the nines as Disneyland but seeing the Peanuts gang in costume is fun.

Irvine Park Railroad

Irvine Park Railroad has paddle boats, a train, a hiking trail, and a pumpkin patch during the fall. They even do a weigh in for large pumpkins. Now we just need to find out if they have a tire swing….

Do you go to a pumpkin patch before Halloween? Or do you buy your pumpkins from the store?

Tire Swing

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in The Happy, Word Therapy

Leo

A lion is known for being powerful, courageous, and fierce. They have strong personalities, are very social, and live in groups. The male lions are filled with vitality and affection and protect members of their pride. As you turn nine, you are all these things. You are the lion of our family.

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When you started a new school this year, we never worried about you making friends or adjusting. You showed strength and courage and now have a group of friends you can be silly with and even took an after school comedy improv class (which you loved). You will talk to pretty much anybody once you are comfortable in your surroundings. Your strong personality means everybody knows who you are from teachers to parents to kids. If somebody is in your circle, you will make sure that person knows they are loved. Hugs and arms slung around shoulders for your friends and kisses for mom, dad, and puppies. And you will stand up and protect friends and family without even thinking about it.

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Your new favorite video game is Undertale and you haven’t even played it yet (but Fortnite is a close second). Tacos are still life but you have made room for bean and cheese burritos. You were brave and tried jalapenos in Seattle this summer and it didn’t end well for you (don’t worry, you will laugh about it when you’re older).

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At 9 years old you are the most energetic person we love. But when it’s time for bed during the week you obediently turn on your Legend of Zelda meditation on YouTube, pull down your bed, lay on your back, close your eyes, and are asleep within five minutes. You do chores for the most part without having to be asked more than once. You still want to be a video game maker but could just as easily be center stage hamming it up.

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You are a ferocious lion that loves his video games, tacos (with a side of bean and cheese burritos), and his friends. You have a heart of gold. Happy birthday Red. We love you.

Posted in The Happy

Dope

You are 11 today and you will be receiving your letter from Hogwarts, even though anybody who knows you already sees you as magical. You like to draw characters from the books you read while listening to Panic! At the Disco. You take BuzzFeed quizzes all day and LD Shadow Lady, Thomas Sanders, and Percy Jackson are on your rotation on YouTube.

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Your favorite is still mac and cheese, especially Red Robin. When we went and got ice cream at Thrifty’s after we saw Eighth Grade, you informed me mint chip is the best. You are at the beginning of figuring out your way in life, even if you remain tight lipped about it (which is normal but drives your mother crazy).

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You are starting to embrace your womanhood with your love of cheese and bread. You also announced that you wanted a a cat and said hairless would be fine when we told you Mom and Dad are allergic.Things that you are impressed by are dope or legit and will playfully tell me to “get wrecked.” I can see hints of the teenager you will become when you lose your temper or I do anything that will embarrass you in public.

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I tell anyone that will listen how smart you are. But when your dad called you a social justice warrior recently I realized how right he was. When you see something on the news or social media that you know is not right, you get angry. You hate to see people being mistreated and have no problem vocalizing that. You aren’t leading protests or standing up for the rights of others just yet but I see that in your future. Being a good person is who you are. Don’t ever forget that.

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We have thrown a lot of change at you your 10th year and you have handled it well. We are proud of our smart, funny, and strong girl. You are dope af.

Happy birthday Curls. We love you.

Posted in California Livin', Good Things, Not Today Anxiety, The Happy, The OC, Word Therapy

Summer Recap

On Monday, August 13, 2018, I will have a fourth and sixth grader. Summer will continue to make us sweat buckets, visit Soak City, and eat all the ice cream. But our Summer Bucket List has been completed and there were many lessons learned during #WilsonSummer2018. Curls and Red started summer camp for the first time this year and it is the GREATEST. A side lesson from that is I now know that it is practically impossible to write when the kids are home (for me at least-props to writers that can do that!). And I will never ever regret doing anything and everything with my kids (and be incredibly grateful that I can):

Father of the Bride (1950) in the park

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Red went on his first plane ride this summer and he was a PRO

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His name is Filson and he is just another example of why dogs are the greatest and we will never be good enough for them.  We exchanged addresses in Seattle and will become life long paw pals. 

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Little Lending Libraries remind me of the good in the world

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My crowning achievement as a mother will be that I raised readers (even on vacation)

This was the first summer my anxiety didn’t take over any time Curls and Red were near water.   Two thumbs up.   

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in The Happy

Cousins Rule Part Two

After a week apart, the cousins and their mom came down to California to spend some more time with us:

Swimming at Grandma and Papas

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Our favorite water park, Soak City

Downtown Disney (there is a lot of construction going on due to Star Wars land so it was wonderfully quiet. And if you haven’t been to Wonderground Gallery, make sure you check it out the next time you are there)

Anaheim Packing District

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Selfies at the mall

Huntington Beach

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Churros and ice cream at Churroholic

Do you go on vacation with family? Do you like to have a set schedule or do you just like to relax? I am definitely ready to relax on a beach next summer!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in The Happy

Cousins Rule

Cousins will remind you of the dumb stuff you did as a kid. Cousins will be there for you when you need them. Cousins can be somebody you consider to be a friend and not just because you’re related. And cousins can also grow up to be family that you want to go on vacation with every year, no matter how near or far you are. For Curls and Red, I hope it is the latter. For a second year, the hubby and I took the kids on vacation with his sister (who is also my BFF) and her family. They live on the East Coast so we don’t get to see them as much as we would like. We met up in Seattle for a week and then they came down to Southern California for another five days. The kids got along like no time has passed and had a blast.

Seattle

The Seattle Center is where the Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture, Pacific Science Center, and Chihuly Garden & Glass are all located. We used our CityPass that we had purchased beforehand to help us save on the cost.

Space Needle:

Seattle Center’s “Artists at Play” (A really cool play area that all the kids loved):

Museum of Pop Culture (a place we could have spent hours in and it wouldn’t have been enough):

Pike Market (a Seattle staple):

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Pioneer Square (We did a lot of walking in Seattle-35 miles-and this was one of the coolest areas we walked around after we did the Underground Tour):

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Cruise (A very informative and relaxing cruise but I suspect most of the kids were more interested in the snacks and Italian sodas that were made for them):

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First ever Starbucks (Long line, same drinks, nice employees, and added to my growing cold drink cup collection):

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Seattle Great Wheel (I can boast that I was the only adult in our group brave enough to go on with the kiddos):

Pop Funko Headquarters (a 45 minute bus ride to the town of Everett where the kids ran from section to section which included DC, Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc. They also made their own custom Pop Funko):

 

Stay Tuned until Friday where we show them our favorite places in Orange County!