Cali Vacation {Things to do with your family in San Francisco}

This summer, we took a family trip to San Francisco. Chris and I had been in the past, but we wanted to take the kids. When I asked Alain what part of the USA he wanted to see first, he said California. It was a great break from the Texas heat. I’m always game to wear boots in August. I LOVE travel. Love, love, love. Chris’ love for travel is growing. Having a plan ahead of time definitely cuts down on the stress of deciding what to do every morning.  We bought the San Francisco Go Card that includes lots of different tourist attractions. Overall, it was a good deal. On one hand, we did things that we usually wouldn’t do, but on the other hand there were things we might of done that we didn’t do because they weren’t included. I don’t know that we will do a big card like this again, but it worked well for this trip.
-Jenn

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So excited to be on the airplane. “Zoom!!!”
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I can’t even believe how long his legs are.
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“Let’s go Daddy!” Hanging out on the piers.
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Hop-on Hop off bus tour all around the city and over the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Touching the stingrays and coral at the Aquarium of the Bay. I LOVE that she is now smiling at the camera!!!!
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We had so much fun at Golden Gate park. Maya loved the playground.
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Big brother had to get in on the action.
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Checking out the dinosaurs at the California Academy of Sciences.
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My boys love a good diner breakfast.
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Another day at Golden Gate Park.
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Even Alain was worn out.  :)
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The Conservatory of Flowers.
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My little artist was so excited that the deYoung art museum had a Africa exhibit.
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Checking out the local artist outside of the museums.
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Photo by Maya :)
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On the Bridge to Bridge tour.
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On board the S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien.
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Maya was obsessed with the sea lions. We visited them almost every day.

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Biking the Golden Gate bridge was probably our favorite thing. It was an easy ride and such a fun was to see the bridge.
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It was cold, but she wanted to play on the beach, so play she did.
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We were in San Francisco for Alain’s birthday, so the boys rented Segways as his special birthday fun. They had so much fun!!

Joy Oil {Essential Oils}

I am in love with my essential oil diffuser! Before using oils, I ALWAYS had a candle burning. Always. I think a nice scent in your home makes it feel like, well, home. Since becoming an oily family, I have the diffuser going almost constantly. A home diffuser comes with Young Living’s Premium starter kit, but that just wasn’t enough for me. I also bought this diffuser (Ultrasonic Diffuser) for Maya’s room.
Joy is my favorite oil to diffuse. To me, it is sunshine in a bottle. Such a sweet and happy scent. I also apply it to my wrists every day (usually multiple times a day!).  It is my go-to oil for anxiety. When diffused, it can be refreshing and uplifting. Ready to get started with essential oil? For more information on how to get started with Essentials Oils, CLICK HERE.
-Jenn

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The information in this blog is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, illness or condition and should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. I am not a doctor. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The testimonials provided here are for informational purposes only. You should not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your physician. I am simply stating are family’s experiences.

Grace not Perfection {Free Printable}

The week before I got my “grace” tattoo, I filled up our house with grace quotes to confirm my decision. I want grace to be my destination. I mess up all the time, but grace. We live a charmed life. Blessed far beyond what we need and yet I’m still disappointed when I forget something, when dinner doesn’t turn out exactly like I planned, when I can’t fix something, when I can’t be in more than one place at a time. For me, the enemy of a grace-filled life is my constant and impossible search for perfection. If perfection is the standard, I will never be happy. So may this be a reminder to “Hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.” It is a simple printable, but if you need it, I hope it gives you the encouragement you need to keep striving to live in grace. I printed it on brown craft paper, but you can use any color.
-Jenn

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Thieves Oil {Essential Oils}

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It is that time of year again! The weather cools off, pumpkin everything, fall colors, boots and the sniffles. Since we became an oily family, we apply or diffuse Thieves almost every day to boost our immune systems (You can see how well used our bottle is!). Thieves was created based on research about thieves in France who covered themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other oils while robbing plague victims. I usually diffuse Thieves as soon as we get home from Maya being at school or church where she was exposed to other children and germs :) At the first sign of a sore throat, we take a drop of Thieves in a spoonful of honey. It is great for numbing a sore throat and fighting infection. Because it is a “spicy” oil, as Maya calls it, we always apply it to the bottom of her feet.
We use it for:
IMMUNE BOOST
DENTAL PAIN
SORE THROAT
EAR INFECTION
COLD/FLU
For more information on how to get started with Essentials Oils, CLICK HERE.

 

The information in this blog is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat or cure any disease, illness or condition and should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. I am not a doctor. Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The testimonials provided here are for informational purposes only. You should not stop taking any prescribed medication without consulting your physician. I am simply stating are family’s experiences.

Lessons in Grace.

When January comes along in the blogging world, there are lots of posts about everyone’s “word of the year.” I never jumped on the “word” train, not because I didn’t think it was a great idea, but because I had no idea what my word would be.
In February, Maya and I visited my friend Tara Clapper (founder of No.41) in Nashville. Her word for the year is “Seek” and she had it posted all around her totally cute little home. We stayed up late nights having heart-to-hearts (more like me spilling my guts all over her floor!). I admitted all of the ways that I feel like I am falling short. I am never wife enough, mom enough, photographer enough, friend enough, daughter enough, blogger enough for my liking. I can always find a way that I should have tried harder, thought longer, stayed calmer, been smarter. My sweet friend said to me, “But Jenn, what about grace?”
This wasn’t the first time someone pointed out to me that I was definitely lacking in the grace department for myself and for others.  It was the first time that I paused to let it really sink into my soul. It was the first time I realized that “Grace” is my word. Not my word for the year. My word for life. All of the sudden it clicked for me that my struggle in life has always been grace. I had lived every day in the last several years with a cloud of guilt following me around. Not guilt for one thing. It was a different thing all the time. When I was with my family, I felt guilty for not working enough. When I was working on something, I felt guilty for not being with my family.
My father was a very legalistic, controlling parent when I was growing up. Perfection was the only way to be praised, so I sought after perfection and I have never stopped. But perfection is not Jesus’ way. The whole idea of Jesus is that we aren’t perfect. We need help. We need forgiveness. We need second chances. AND THAT IS OK.
Understanding this and living it are two very different things. Each day is a chance to live in the moment, give all I can and be ok with what I cannot do. I know that living in grace is my destination, but that I will probably be chasing it forever. I wanted a  reminder for myself and little notes around the house didn’t quite seem enough. So I did what any girl would do…I got the word tattooed to my wrist. A forever reminder to settle into God’s grace and live each day giving it to everyone around me. I have needed the reminder every day since. It is a battle for me to live in the moment, to give myself grace as I try to be the best wife, mother, friend and daughter that I can be each day.
-Jenn

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Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us…made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—…so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

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