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This Week at the Brennans

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Gordon and Lauren

What a busy, expensive, fun week!

Here’s what happened this past week:

Well, Monday started off with a bang. We headed to the airport with two car seats, three suitcases, four backpacks and five people. It was a little much before we dropped our checked luggage, but after that was pretty smooth sailing. Or I guess flying. Off we went to California! We flew into LA, and then grabbed a rental car and drove to Newport Beach where my husband’s family was gathering for a reunion. They don’t do them very frequently and I still have a hard time with the names of all the cousins (and kids of cousins) thatI’m supposed to remember, but after being a Brennan for ten years and only really seeing these people two or three times ever in my life, I’m giving myself a pass. I know how we’re all related and maybe next time I’ll retain a little more information.

So we started off at the beach, playing, swimming, digging, getting roasted by the sun and enjoying each other’s company. Living so far away from these people makes you forget how much you really like them. I really really like my husband’s family. I felt a little out of place at first because I’m socially awkward, but as we lived in Oregon and had children, the like turned into love and I feel like they really are my family too, even if I married in to get a spot amongst them. So many people don’t get along with their families and I’m so grateful that both Gordon and I have mutual respect and love for both of our large families. 

Gordon and Blake at the beach
My handsome boys.

The fourth of July was filled with yummy food, fireworks, more family time and some people getting arrested on the beach for launching prohibited fireworks. Pretty sure that was Blake’s favorite part of the whole trip!!

I made a huge lemon slab pie as my contribution, tripling my lemon cream pie with fresh raspberries recipe. SO GOOD! One of my favorites 🙂

Brooke wears a Garmin Vivofit jr. and everyday, she had over 4 hours of active time and 17,000 steps! On Friday, she clocked in at 26,000 steps! She loved playing and swimming with her cousins and is still a little weepy because we don’t know when we’ll see them next. (Also, this fitness tracker monitors her sleep, so I can make sure she’s getting the rest she needs!)

Brooke and friends at the beach

My sister lives in Arizona and was able to visit us one day in California! I haven’t seen her for a year, so it was nice to be able to spend the day together. She met everyone from Gordon’s family when him and I got married 10 years ago, so it was fun to see them all catch up being like “you have three more kids?” etc. etc..

Blake loved playing in the waves, jumping over the waves and digging in the sand. Didn’t love getting splashed in the face accidentally, but it’s the risk you have to take when playing with your cousins. We only had one or two moments when he NEEDED A TOWEL IMMEDIATELY.

Eddie played with anyone who would play with him and even had fun with his little cousin Caleb, who is one month older than him! Caleb’s speech is incredible compared to Eddie’s which kind of bummed me out, but honestly, this past week we’ve noticed his speech starting to bloom a little more! Two words spoken together!! Mostly things like “Dada shoes!” or “more please!” It’s not like sentences of big fancy words like his cousin, but we’re all about the slow and steady progress. Every kid is different and that’s ok.

Young boys at the beach
Blake and Clemens (Gordon’s cousin’s son) Both boys are going into Kindergarten this next year!
Eddie sleeping
sleepy boy!

On Friday, we left our vacation rental bright and early so we could head over to Disneyland and make the most of our two day park hopper passes. The only problem was that it was 110 degrees! So we purposely left early in the morning to get there as soon as they opened so we could stay for the morning and then nap and cool off during the heat of the afternoon. Turns out, that was the perfect plan and we rode everything we wanted to ride and walked back to our hotel room around 12:30. It was great! Saturday, we met up with the rest of the family and rode some rides together and then split up for the rest of the day. Disney is so fun with a huge group of people 🙂 You can expect a bigger, more detailed post about our stay this week.

Then Sunday morning, we headed back to LAX to catch our long flight home. Thankfully, we got direct flights and got back without a hitch. Still working on getting back to this time zone, but overall, doing ok!

The strange thing is as we were driving back with our Uber, both Gordon and I didn’t feel like we were arriving home. You know that feeling where you’ve been somewhere and can’t wait to get home? We didn’t have that feeling…which made us sad and long for a place that felt like home. New York City is fun, but after being with our Oregon family, we think the city is only a pit stop on the way back out west. We just have to pay our dues and then get the heck out of here. We are planning on making a few minor changes to our apartment, and we both think that will help, but in the mean time….womp womp.

A sunset over a body of water

What’s coming up this week:

Gordon is back at work which is a real bummer because I loved being able to see him every day all day. I kind of like that guy.

The temperatures in New York are lovely this week, so we’ll be hitting up a few new splash pads I found on google maps 🙂

I’m re-testing a few new recipes this week, and hopefully they will be posted real soon to make up for the week I took off last week! You know, I haven’t ever taken time off from blogging in the 8 years I’ve had this website. I’ve always had that pressure to get something posted, or to get ahead, or to get more page views. But after making the decision to slow down, that pressure is slowly releasing and I was able to enjoy a much needed vacation. So, thanks for your patience and I’ll have delicious recipes and more posts up online before you know it.

Have a great week, friends!

A group of people posing for a photo
My family and my sister’s family.

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6 Responses
  1. Courtney

    I am glad you had a good vacation, It sounds like it was a lot of fun. .GO Brooke for having such an active trip. All those steps sound exhausting to me, but I know its way different when your a kid and it never feels like exercise. I love that picture of Gordon and Blake, I can’t get over how much older Blake looks. Plus that sunset, so dreamy. Bummer that you didn’t feel like you were going “home”. I know I always love that feeling after a trip too. Tome there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed. I hope the changes you deicide to make help. Have a great week getting back in the swing of things.

    1. Shelli

      Glad your home safe n sound! I hope you do come back west, would love to meet you all for lunch or dinner or something. I follow you daily. You are a wonderful inspiration for cooking and family. Good bless you all ♥️

  2. Tamara

    Glad you enjoyed (my home) California! I am so sorry that the hottest days of the year happened while you were doing Disney. It truly is very rare that we get that kind of heat. Your family pictures are lovely and I hope that one day soon you get that “home” feeling back. I know that feeling well, and I always say now that I feel so lucky to live somewhere that no matter where we go, I am always excited to return to! I look forward to more of your posts.

  3. De

    You and your sister look alike. I was looking at the picture and was thinking…wow, Gordon’s sister looks just like you. Then I read the caption…no wonder…lol.
    I’m glad you had a wonderful vacation. So much fun when family gets together.

  4. Carrie

    I have followed you for a long time, but must have missed the “moved to NY City” part 🙂 . Guess we’ve been busy too! Disney is so much fun. We live in Washington state and that must be culture shock to move to such a big city!