Monday, July 23, 2012


We are camping in Alaska this week for a family reunion and there will definitely be LOTS more photos to come, but I had to share these from yesterday morning. We hiked about half a mile from our campsite to do some salmon fishing and this is what we saw. 

A mama bear and her cubs (about 30 yards away from us) at the Russian River in the Kenai Peninsula
Bear Cubs!!! I don't know about you, but when I think of bear cubs I think small and cuddly. These were neither!

We had literally fished in this exact spot the day before.  The tables are for fishermen to filet their salmon.
The bears came to snack on scraps.  When there were no scraps, they decided they wanted to snack on us!

So amazing to be so close to grizzly bears in the wild!  The way I see it, we saved on zoo admission and got a great cardio workout in a few minutes later when we had to run away from them.

This is when our little photo shoot turned into every man for himself as mama bear started chasing us on the trail!
I was thinking, "we are totally going to be on TV today... and I haven't showered in 4 days, shoot!"
But luckily "When Bears Attack - the Grizzly edition" will have to wait until next time
as we made it safely to our RV's. I would like to think that I was calm, cool, and collected...

But the photographic evidence suggests otherwise:

This is me running like mad and screaming for dear life!
All I wanted was to do a fun 'jump photo' with some bears in the background for my Alaska photo album. Instead I got this 'I'ma crap my pants photo' as I narrowly escaped death by grizzly!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hoags at Home

We got into Pismo Beach on Tuesday evening and have not sat still for even one second!  As I type I am doing laundry, uploading photos, and my car is getting an oil change.  Sometimes vacations are less restful than normal day to day operations =)

Back to Tuesday... we went straight to grama and grampa's house for a visit and discovered that grama's pulse has been at 30 for the last 2 weeks. Yes, thirty, which is way too low. The bottom half of her heart wasn't working at all and the top was working overtime.  So shortly after we arrived she was whisked away to French Hospital where they performed an emergency pacemaker surgery. My mom, aunt, and I stayed with her at the hospital and she is now feeling much better and recovering at home.  My grama is so precious; she said the following to the surgeon, "Jesus lives in my heart, hopefully he doesn't mind all that poking and prodding you're doing." She cracks me up!

Wednesday we went hiking at the Harmony Headlands trail off of Highway 1 with Andrew's parents. It is a really nice walk that ends at the beach with pretty tidepools and sea lions bobbing up and down in the waves. Mom and Dad Hoag have recently taken up bird watching (see them with their "binocs" {binoculars} in the photo below) and they were very excited to see red tail hawks, egrets, baby quail, and mallards. They all just look like birds to me and, don't tell the bird enthusiasts, but I don't like birds. In fact they gross me out. They poop too much and swoop too much. Two of my least favorite things.  But the baby ones were sort of cute.  In an ugly bird sort of way.

Then we had fish and chips for lunch in Morro Bay. So tasty!

Thursday we took maddie for a walk at the beach.
She hates birds as much as I do and kept busy chasing them away.

Thursday night we went to San Luis Farmer's Market with my mom and dad
and ate delicious bbq and kettle corn.

If it seems like all we have been doing since we got here is eating, that's very true.
Thank God for spandex and sweat pants!
After Farmer's Market, we went line dancing for country night at the Graduate
and met up with our friends Andrew, Ashley, and Katie.

In Texas they don't do line-dancing, they say "That's not Cowboy"
Minus 2 points for Texas. Line dancing is super fun!
Friday we caught up on car maintenance and it turns out you can wait 8,000 miles between oil changes, but you will get dirty looks and be forever labeled a neglegent car owner. Psh. Whatevs!

Friday night we went out for a double birthday dinner with the Hoags 

Afterwards we met up with friends in Avila Beach
Saturday was sweet little Kylie's 6th Birthday with my favorite theme: a Princess tea party.
She requested that I dress up as her fairy godmother and I saw it as a perfect excuse to get one more wear out of my wedding dress. So fun!

Tomorrow is Swap Meet day and more time with family.
Tuesday we leave for Alaska!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

On the Road Again

Oh Interstate 10,

Please explain to me how I can drive 1,000 miles and 13 hours (yeah I made pretty good time) and still not be through with you yet. Your only redemption is that you led me here, to this beautiful oasis in this scorching hot desert called Phoenix, Arizona. 

Legacy Golf Resort

If it wasn't 113* I'm sure I'd be hitting up that golf course.
Back to the pool for us!

 Thank you mom and dad for gifting us with a night at this awesome resort!!!
And thank you for the sweet deal!

Looking forward to seeing family tomorrow
There's no place like home.

You will get yours tomorrow, I-10 once we finally part ways (after another 600 miles and 8-ish hours) at the far superior 101.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Anniversary Dinner and Angie Smith

Yesterday was anniversary #5 and here is a little glimpse of our lovely evening in photos:

First we went to church at Oak Hills because my FAVORITE blogger/writer, Angie Smith was guest speaking and I absolutely LOVE her!!!  (If you are unfamiliar with her story, read it here - so heartbreaking and inspiring) I don't remember how I stumbled upon her blog, maybe at (in)courage which you should probably also be reading :) but her words are rich in truth and she tells it like it is, but in the sweetest southern style that I appreciate oh so much!  She is super smart, totally hilarious, and above all she loves the Lord more than anything. Clearly I think she's simply fabulous, so Andrew knew right away when we saw that she and her husband's equally amazing band, Selah, were going to be here that we would be spending part of our anniversary going to see them. Bonus: he didn't mind waiting around like a groupie so I could meet my beloved Angie and have her sign my book; in fact, he just might have a crush on Mrs. Smith as he mentioned something about her resembling Natalie Portman :)  Anyway, we hit it off right away and she was super duper sweet, so I'm pretty sure me and Ang are going to be BFF's.

Her husband's band, Selah, led us in beautiful worship.

After church and my photo sesh with Angie, we headed to Hemisfair Park downtown where we had dinner in this... the Tower of the Americas rotating 750 feet above San Antonio.

 Oh, and there was a little shopping at my favorite store, TJ Maxx Home Goods.

San Antonio is much prettier at night... read into that what you will, but bragging that you can "see all the way to Oklahoma" from your backyard is not a selling point for us Californians!

Dinner was delicious!  For our main course, Andrew ordered filet mignon medallions with crab bernaise, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. I had lobster truffle mac and cheese. It was a little bite of heaven. And now I want everything to be sprinkled with truffles... So good!  For dessert we ordered chocolate lava cake (just like the melting cake we got every evening with dinner on our honeymoon cruise.) But this one was even better because it had Heath Bar chunks and chocolate liqueur sauce drizzled on it. Yum!
  Year 6 is off to a great start!

Friday, July 6, 2012


Today we are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary!
I am so happy to be married to my best friend!

We got married on 07-07-07 in a cute little chapel at Camp San Luis Obispo.

Our friends are the best!

Love how that lil cow wanted to partake in the wedding photo fun!
There was A LOT of dancing!

Some snippits of our wedding video are posted in four parts:
(too many megabytes or something to post it all at once)

Part 1 here

Part 2 here

 Part 3 here

Birthday Bowling

Tonight we crossed another fun item off the Summer to do List: Bowling!

We celebrated our friend Matt's birthday at the pizza parlor and the bowling alley.
The Birthday Boy was the big winner... he bowled a 202  Nice job!
That's almost triple what I got, but I'm not bitter or anything :)

Ben and Charlotte, DJ and Lisa, and Wina were there too

Andrew and I got scores of 110 and 81 respectively. I was just so thrilled to break into the double digits!

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Totally Tubing

Summer is here and it is time to cross some more items off this list...
 Last weekend we went tubing with some friends 
Well actually they call it "floating the river" but there were tubes involved
so to me that's called tubing. 
{It's like they always say, "Tomato-Potato" =)
 As luck would have it, we arrived a little early.
Well, perfectly on time had the website operating hours been correct.

 Then we spent the next 2 and a half hours floating down the river.
Andrew made sure I got the prettiest pink tube
which ensured that I was no longer upset about the keys-locked-in-the-car incident.