Posts Tagged With: siblings

16 flights, 4 states and a lot of love

Just as quickly as we arrived to our new place of residence, I was packing up to fly back to California for a round of hair for my loyal clients. This trip was a mother-daughter adventure and was packed full of work, food, work, a day out and more work. It was also my little ones first airplane ride!

Without exaggerating, we were in the salon 11 of the 13 days we were in California. My hands were in hair and mom was taking care of everything else for me, such a help! One day we were off early enough to check out one of our old favorite sushi restaurants, Mikunis!

With over 70 salon clients completed and a beautiful bride happy with her hair, we were on the flight back to Florida.

Upon landing back home, I didn’t put my suitcase away since just a month later I was headed back to California! This time with Matt to do a few more weddings and one last round of hair for my clients.


My dear friends Sandy and Cheryl put on a baby shower for us which was such a sweet surprise surrounding us with so much love and excitement! Tons of hair, 2 weddings and a flight back home puts us back in Florida and into October. Believe it or not, 6 days later I hopped another flight to head to Oklahoma and Arkansas for one last visit to my fathers family before our little girl meets the world.

Oklahoma was peaceful and full of family time which I value so much. If you’re new to this blog, feel free to look back on the older post, New found higher love or Hot with a 92% chance of muggy to get more of an understanding of these precious kids!

While in Oklahoma, my fathers amazing wife threw me a baby shower which was filled with so much love!

Fun and crazy fact, if you were to take the women (about a dozen) at this shower and added up the total amount of children they’ve had combined… it rounds out at 50!

After Oklahoma, my brother Ben and sister Hannah drove me to Arkansas where I got to spend about a week with my dear cousins. Road trip!

Arkansas was wonderful as always and ended with a fun photo to capture my best friend (cousin) and I with our role reversal. These pictures were taken 7 years apart!On my flight back home I realized that our little girl has been on 16 flights since being created and she’s not even born yet! Hopefully this is preparing her for the beautiful journey ahead.

Finally landed back in Florida with my babé where we’ll stay until Shanti Mae is born!

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New found higher love

I recently visited tornado alley known as Oklahoma with what seemed to be… well, a tornado of a trip. The whirlwind flew by with a few false storm alarms and some quality time with the family. For the sake of me looking back on this blog someday, I’m going to post a couple pics of my amazing siblings to remind myself of the beautiful growth they’ve shown. For those of you who have been following for sometime, you may rememeber these little guys from years past.
 And now… These kids have continued to brighten my life beyond expectations. 

In order from left to right is Hannah, Joseph, Sarah, Rachel and to the right of me Ben. We will also always keep loving memory of little Elizabeth.

A refreshing thought crossed my mind the other day that has filled my heart with all that mooshy stuff and provided some unexpected new feelings. As we all know, I’m not a mother. Yes, I’ve been an “adult female figure” or “role model” when teaching youth sports, working in schools and volunteering in orphanages but to date, I have never adopted or given birth. With all that said, the love I feel for these 5 kids extends beyond the ways of description. I feel aching when I know they’re in pain. To the type of depth in which I’d do anything to remove their burdens. The single thought of any situation that I couldn’t protect them seems devastating.  These feelings are acocompanied with the highest of love from within… Almost beyond my little human ability (if that makes any sense). When they sing for me, it’s everything I have not to allow the tears to roll down my face. At the very sight of they’re smiles, my world seems magically brighter. It’s powerful.

I can express first hand what it’s like to have protective parents (love you guys!). Feeling the intense love can be comforting yet suffocating at times. All in all I’d rather have their concern for me than the other extreme. That topic could be an entire new post but I’d like to stick with the new found love I’ve felt. I appreciate my parents more everyday and now make a conscious effort to try and understand why they do what they do. If I feel this way about my siblings, I can only fathom what one must feel towards their own child. 

So to all the parents out there who have children at a stage in which desire independence or don’t need you as much as before, please remember that for most, the love will just grow as they do. The way it’s expressed will always be changing and in my experience, the comprehension of what you’ve done for them and the unconditional nurturing that comes from within will be acknowledged and honored more in time to come.

On the subject of family…

There’s my dear little grown-up cousin Annie. This young lady has a natural (and you slight Youtube enhanced) skill of makeup artistry. Considering my extent of makeup maxes out at actually putting on mascara, it was exciting to sit down and let her play! Step one: I sit, she giggles and the process begins!

I felt way out of the fashion loop when she busted out tape… Like from a dispenser. Enough said.

 Annie, you are a talented girl with a contagious smile and a magnetic personality. Keep that powerful attitude of yours focused on the right path… your path. Love you cuz!

I’m finally in Instagram! (Thank you Ryan for the helpful push). Find me under herhappytrails. 


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“Wait, that’s real water!”

I try to make it back to Oklahoma at least twice a year to visit my precious family. Although this trip was short, I was able to squeak out a general post for fun. Here’s a photo from the last visit. I love these kids!


Time with the siblings…

This day consisted of the 3 oldest and a trip to the city. First up, our excursion to the Devon Tower. This sky scraper is the tallest building in Oklahoma (39th in the United States) reaching 850 ft high with 50 floors.



Check out this interior center divide. I was trying to figure out my camera so at first glance I was going to take a seat in order to focus on what I was doing. Thankfully, Joseph exclaimed “hey, that’s real water!”. This piece of work was so level that it looked like a stone setting covered in thick glass. I had to touch the liquid myself to confirm… Yup, that’s water flowing over the edges! Makes me wonder how many people have taken an accidental splash or watched their kids jump up to surprising drench!


In the elevator I got to watch three giddy teenagers with “butterflies” as the doors closed. My brother timed it, 45 seconds later we were at the entrance of our lunch destination.


Peaking over 49 floors is the Vast. A classy dining restaurant that provides window seats with a skyline view. This was thrilling for more reasons than one. First off, we’ve been talking about this for months and now it was finally happening. Secondly, these kids rarely explore a city, let alone go inside a modern building at a height like this.

They seated us next to a corner window which a perfect view for everyone. Honestly, I was so excited watching them, that I forgot to take photos of our seats. Here’s a couple shots that I found online to give you an idea.


I got a sampler so we could all share the variety of flavors and the kids split a “fancy” hamburger and fries. Here’s the buffet plate followed by what was left of their hamburger and dessert plate.


After lunch, we dropped back down to floor level and made our way to the street. Let me pause here and explain my excitement in getting to watch these guys go through a revolving door for the first time. Adorable! They also got a kick (or just really embarrassed) out of me pretending to be stuck when it was my turn.


Here are some of the sites you may see when strolling through Oklahoma City. The top photo is of the memorial and museum from the famous Oklahoma City bombing.


Handstand? Totally.


Who’s this? Our cousins are superintendents for several jobs in the area so we swung in for a hug and hello!


Just outside of the city, the kids wanted to stop in one of their favorite stores. I say “store” lightly as this massive company is nationwide and has buildings ranging from 20,000 to almost 500,000 square feet! Inside you’ll find anything and everything you could possibly want for camping, hiking, biking, hunting, fishing and any other outdoor sport. Welcome to the Bass Pro Shop.


I lost the boys to the fishing section and Hannah found the ladies clothing. I spotted the backpacks (shocking, right?) and spent most of time taking pictures on the decor. Look around!




When they’re not out and about, you can find these guys and our two younger siblings using energy around the property. If it be exploring the creeks, making paths through the tall grass or playing with the pups.



When it’s too cold to brave the weather, you’d find them inside doing schoolwork or practicing their music. I’d absolutely love to post a video of them playing and singing, but I will keep my “big sister” promise and not expose their talent… yet.


It’s so refreshing to spend quality time with such well mannered, joyful children. Especially because I grew up as an only child, I’m so grateful to have Joseph, Hannah, Benjamin, Sarah, (with memory of her twin Elizabeth) and Rachel.

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Another pit stop in Oklahaoma

After a short stretch back to Sacramento and a quicker stop in Arizona, I decided to spoil myself with another visit to Oklahoma! Now when I say “spoil”, I’m not talking about the good ol’ dry brown scenery or the flat roads with limited landscapes. I’m purely speaking of connecting with my precious family that I’m extremely grateful for.

I’m going to dedicate this one to my Aunt’s (my father’s sisters) and their mom who I call Grams.

Ill start with Aunt Tonya. Through example, she has been one of my greatest teachers. With her nurturing character she would (and did) give to others when she was the one in need. She was a natural at comforting the unsettled and there was never any doubt that her intensions were driven from pure love. I’m confident to believe that Aunt Tonya is missed and thought of often by those who were blessed to have known her.

Things I would be honored to say that I inherited from my Aunt Tonya: The ability to truly embrace joy, inner strength, and the adorable “shoulder bounce” that happens once the giggles kick in.
This photo is the two of us about 25 years ago. Her eyes say it all…


I’ve been told that my style mostly resembles Aunt Cindee. The family says, “When she was your age…” she carried herself with a natural bohemian vibe and a hippie flare. With a contagious laugh and quick mind, you can imagine the hours I enjoy bonding with her. I think if we grew up together, we would of made fantastic college roommates!

Things I inherited from Aunt Cindee: Love for homemade soup, a gypsy heart and her sense of humor (that’s based on exaggerated visuals and usually leads to a dramatic description that goes way too far… all resulting in involuntary distorted facial expressions).

After raising two children, she now designates most of her time to her energetic (to say the least) grandson and her job at Cushing Valley Hope. This is a drug rehab center in a stately mansion that provides residential, day or partial care, medically monitored alcohol detox, family and continuing care services. Also, the location for my handstand pic of the day!


Oh Aunt Heidi, Aunt Heidi, Aunt Heidi…. What will we ever do with her? She has a blunt direction when sharing her opinion and an effortless way to make you laugh. Being around her gives you a youthful sense of life (she didn’t pay me to say that). While raising her teenage daughter, she still maintains sanity and invites me for countless hours of laughter and reminiscing.

Things I inherited from Aunt Heidi: The nickname “Shug”, love for high energy socializing and her “guns” (aka arms). Also when I sarcastically laugh, my mom says “that was SO your Aunt Heidi!”

Grams, the woman that raised these 3 lovely ladies along with my dad (she must have super powers) plays a special roll in my life. Without too much said, she is simply one of my best friends. I can tell her anything, she gets my humor and most of all, she has shown me unconditional love through all the stages of my life.
Things I believe that I inherited from my irreplaceable Grandma: The love for good food, the eyes she gave my father, occasional necessary stubbornness and the ability to finish a soft serve cone quicker than you can start one.

The reason there are no photos of the girls described above is because they have mastered the art of “picture dodging”… Something I clearly didn’t inherit from them!

Need an idea for a creative gift? I took this photo of my family and made it into a puzzle for Grams. Love it!





To wrap up my Oklahoma family time, here are some fun photos of me and my sibs goofing off on a sunny Oklahoma winter day.







They set up an obstacle course from dads work scaffolding, garden gear and their own toys. Creativity is must when you’re raised without a television, computer or video games… I love to see what they come up with!




Now off to the airport on a snowy day in Oklahoma. Next stop? It’s a surprise.




They even had to “de-ice” the plane before take off.


My favorite part about taking off in a storm, is watching the sky break into a beautiful calm blue. Exposing the fact, that everyday is a sunny day… sometimes there’s just a few clouds in the way.




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