Last week my mom, sisters, and nieces came to visit. We had such a great time having them stay with us and it was so fun seeing my nieces who have changed so much since Christmas time when we last saw them. Thank goodness for blogs so we can easily keep up with each other and see pics of these little girls.
My favorite thing we did while my family was in town was to take the girls to the beach in Santa Cruz. We ended up at Natural Bridges because I just love that spot (although just this past Monday I tried out Twin Lakes beach and it may be my new favorite and I am going to have to go back and take photos sometime soon) and I knew it was easy to access with the girls. We picked up sandwiches from Subway but trying to get Clara to sit still and eat a real lunch when there is a beach to play on turns out to be a crazy idea. After she refused lunch meat and bread and then dropped both her cheese and strawberries in the sand (which she promptly picked up and stuck back in her mouth before I could stop her), I figured we would just play and I wouldn't worry about her unless she really got hungry enough to eat. (Note to self: although a picnic on the beach SOUNDS like a good idea, it never is. Everthing tastes gritty. Just eat in the car first.)
We all had such a great time. The weather was beautiful, even though it was very windy and not too warm. It was warm enough to get our feet wet though so we enjoyed standing in the sand with the girls and running away as the waves came in. I would scoop Clara up and dash away with her while she squealed with joy. Emma giggled and jabbered the entire time. Lily just grinned her happy grin and was so good.
Clara's face in this next photo is classic - she was crowing with delight the entire time we were running away from the waves. I would set her down at the top of the sand and follow her as she stumbled after the receding water until she would stop on her own and wait for the next wave. She even turned around and started running away from them on her own a couple of times although I was always right beside her to lift her up when the water got past her ankles.
This is Jennie and Lily. Lily is a chunky-monkey and already wears some 18-24 month sizes (even though she is only 3 months younger than Clara) to accomodate her girth. I just loved getting to hold her and love on her this past week and I am sure the next time I see her (in August) she will be walking around, which is crazy. Incidentally, Jennie has beautiful hair with natural strawberry blonde highlights and I love the hairstyle she wore this day. I want her to teach me how to recreate it on my own hair.
Jessica is going to Belize for the summer to do an internship and I am sure going to miss her. Not that I got to see her any more while she was in Utah for school this past year, but still...
The girls played and played in the sand. Emma liked destroying sand castles, Clara ate the sand any chance she got, and Lily just watched.
Walking in sand is not so easy...
I love my mom. She is the best grandma and the little girls just adore her. Paul and I went to a movie one night while my mom was here and when we got home she admitted that even though Clara had gone down for the night before we left that when she woke up briefly around 8:00 that my mom put her in the stroller and took her for an evening walk (something Clara loves) even though I would have just let her fall back asleep. Naughty grandma.
Clara was infatuated by her cousin Emma. These two played and played and talked and talked. Clara has never given anyone as many kisses as she gave Emma. They took baths together, danced together, and read books together.
We miss everybody already and are looking forward to seeing them again in August for our Yellowstone camping trip.