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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Our family has lost a dear friend/family member Ron. He was so special to us, he was always there for us. He drove me up to walk down the isle in his fancy car. He lived nearby us and would not hesitate to check on us if there was a nearby fire. He's been my sister's father in law for over 16 years. He was a second dad to my sister, and my brother in law's last living parent. He told stories with such ease, and he loved life every day. Chris and Ron shared a birthday and we celebrated a few together. Chris saw him in the hospital, every day he was working, as his last 7 weeks of life were in the hospital. When Chris would walk around the corner he would say "There he is!". Those visits meant a lot to both of them. I even asked Chris to go to Target on his break once and he denied me as he had to visit Ron.

One of my favorite memories of Ron was his awesome personality and ability to give it to you straight. I always looked at him as being a very conservative, successful man with all his ducks in a row. Since I met him when I was a pre-teen, I've learned I looked at most adults that way at that time in my life. Regardless my story is still good, I promise. So I knew he had his act together, even more so, as he retired around age 50. He was above and beyond "together". 

I remember talking with him about Chris and I being young when we were getting married (we were, just 21!). His words of wisdom? "There's never a best time, Chels. You never have all the answers, nor have it all figured out. Pam and I married when she was right out of high school, had two kids within 1 year, and I was in and out of the service. We didn't have much money, we rented, and moved a lot, and I made my way in life. And I wouldn't have had it any other way."

I just assumed that because he was so successful he was so cautious and never took risks like marrying young for crazy love, having kids super close, or anything like that. To hear those words meant so much to me, and my perception of him changed forever that day. He was so for the passion, the drive, and the life of it all.

He is so missed. I am so bummed that he is gone, and honestly still in shock.

Also, he was super cool, and he had an actual juke box in his house. I've always wanted one of those. I better add it to my "always wanted" list and then name it Ron when I get one.

We miss you, Ron.

2016: A Year in Review

Making photobooks for the children's birthdays allows for some time of reflection a few times a year. There has been some major ups and downs in the world, community, and losses for sure. I have to say, in our family unit, we have had one hell of a year- in a good way!

We've busted our buns to travel as often as we can. We have not wasted weekends, nor been bored. The household projects may pile up but who needs a new gate or a perfectly poop scooped yard? I read once that "A clean home is a sign of a wasted life." Please do not take offense if your home is clean!!! I think this is something people with messy homes remind themselves... Ours functions and is cozy and lived in... The second half of the year I made a conscience effort to complete dishes sooner than in the past. I succeeded more than I failed. I'll call it a win.

This year's traveling pants and launching a new business led to less time devoted to our family blog. I was going too many different directions. There was beauty in this. There was stress in this. As with all choices in life, something gives. I've missed documenting our family adventures.

For my own sake I'd like to document our travels this year all in one post. This is going to be fun! Yes this is my idea of a wild Monday night! A small glass of wine, followed by tea, writing, and photos. Here goes!

 Our first trip as a family of three when Owen was a baby was to Bodega Bay with the rest of our family. It is a special tradition.
 Goal line crew. Bryce and Austin were truly contenders as grown adults, versus the 8 & 9 year old versions.

 Next we took off to Monterey for 2 nights.

 The kids were in heaven!

We went to Santa Rosa to visit with our dear friends the Maine Family.

Sand Mountain
Outdoor adventures

Pipi Valley
Cisco Grove Camping June 2016
Nana makes biscuits and gravy every time
This guy!!!!
Garden picnics
We hiked lover's leap for the first time ever!
We went to Tahoe for the night!

Britton Girls trip to Tahoe

Road trips

Cisco Grove August 2016

Walker River August 2016

I just found this post that I never published!

There were 3 more trips-

Disneyland in August
I went to Maui with my mom and sisters in October
Chris went to Baja in November for a bucket list trip.

2016 was the year of family traveling, camping, work hard, play harder!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


I'm not about to do a why I haven't been blogging blog but I will write a sentence or three to that. I have drafts of unfinished blogs yet to finish and post. And after my last post in December, they were also on the harder to read side. Our family has lost a dear member, and my niece was hospitalized for 3 weeks. Things have been more grim and serious lately.

But, in true Britton fashion, we've managed to travel a bit in between the hard times. Spring is upon us, and the property is alive. Chris has a new toy/hobby/desert truck which is keeping him busy between work and school and the kids and property and me. I'm like a puppy when he is at home. What do you want to do? Let's hang out! Let's do this and that and this and that. He's pretty content relaxing in his little bits of downtime. I need to remember that.

Owen is at the tail end of his Kindergarten year. His sight words are at the third grade level but he somehow can't remember where his shoes are. He knows 18 types of sharks but still asks for us to help him wipe his butt. Seriously, kid!!!

Arabelle has started dance class once a week with Zoey. Her daddy takes her while I'm at work and she is having a blast. A more typical developing child (in comparison to Owen), she challenges me almost daily with her strong will and determination. Gotta love toddler opinions!

I'm really enjoying our life. The recent events have only highlighted the brevity of life. We may only have today! This has slowed me down a bit... I'll always want more time in the day, but have lately been relishing the downtime, the tea drinking, the sitting, the reading.

And now a brief photo collection of the last few months! This really isn't fair as you know I take hundreds of photos. Also, still having computer issues from (likely) having too many photos on our hard drive... OOPS!

hiking with friends and kids

 Owen and one of his buds at a birthday party! Way out of my comfort zone!
 Gweebs on the trampoline
 Being kids
 Heart Day
 Ara at storytime with her friends!
 My world!
 It's good to be a kid!
 We let them attempt sleepovers. The result was beyond adorable.
 Ara has the pink booty falling out...
 We drink tea and eat artichokes while brother is in swim lessons.
 This guy makes me happy!
 Field magic!
 Dance party without kids with some of my favorite people!
 Reading with Aunt Court- who lives in the same city!!!
 Sometimes I just sit and watch.
 We've been hiking lots with friends!
 Sand angels

Fun run for Owen's school! He did the ~2 miles this time without much complaining!

 Dad volunteered as a trail guide! Yeah!
 Friends at the run
 Just a silly picture of Buster and Ara, it makes me laugh.
 I had 2/3 nieces and their puppy over while Lily was in the hospital.
 Me in an Auntie sandwich! Got a quick visit in with my TN relatives!
 We ditched our "since we were married pier one clearance bed" for a new one. Also, Chris decided to rip the carpet out at the same time... Without a date on the books for flooring....
More cousin time in the car!

 Ara and I get lots of time together while Owen is in school.
 Friends in the field.
 Spring fungus on the property

 Hiking with Chris and Ara.
 Chris's Dad working on the trophy truck
 Opening day Tball!
 Happy kid holding a treasure!
 Cousins reunited and it feels so GOOD!
 So cute at dance class!
 More puddles and dirt with friends!
 Road tripped to Vegas!
 It was a little bit warmer...
 A Britton family trip with the whole crew!
 Monster Trucks World Finals 2017 was a BLAST!
 Niece Kenzi did great! And what a cutie!
 This is parenting! Tired kids!!
 Home, at one of our favorite stops, the river.
 She's talking on her cell phone. A rock.
 Papa came over to play with the Barbie car ("ca" in a Brooklyn accent)
 Off to Bodega with friends for their trailer's maiden voyage!
 Beach and sand and laughs and wet cold kids!

 On a run!
 Spring beauty.
 Friends and campfires and bikes and kids!
 Hiking with the crew.
 Happy Birthday, Elise!
 Lilacs blooming, always seems earlier than the year before...
 These ones....
 Pouring at brother's swim lessons...
 Clearing after the storm in my nap garden.
 The school garden has been my baby this year as well. There's always more to do... but the iris are going to open any day!
 Baby shower fun with a gal pal
 Adults hanging with adults! Thanks Mom for watching the kids! We let loose and had a BALL.
 Cousin popcorn parties!
 This cheeser on a daffodil walk!
 Magical springtime!
 Lake Mead with the kids
 Biking fools
 Windy as can be on the Bodega headlands.
 Auntie time!

As I selected a few photos to summarize the past few months I chuckled as they were uploading-- 72 pictures! And I've missed out on so many fun times to boot! That was a snippet. Cheers to (sometime) finishing my previous drafts, and a bit more frequent stopping in here. I miss it. Thanks for reading!