Two Days in L.A. with Kids (Part 1)

Last month the husband and I took the kids to L.A.! It was an awesome, quick trip which we hope to do more of in the next few years (if we remain in San Diego).

We left town at nine Tuesday morning and made it to the California Science Center around 11. If you’re ever in L.A., I suggest you visit the Science Center. It was a lot of fun for all four of us (how often does that happen?!).

The 6 year old wanted to start with the ecosystem exhibit. The exhibit features multiple rooms with different ecosystems. You can learn about the plants and animals that live in each and there are interactive elements in every room. In the arctic, there is a large wall of ice. There were a bunch of hand prints from people before us holding their hands on the wall long enough to make an indent. The River Room allows kids to make rivers through sand. I think this was the 6 year old’s favorite activity. We created dams and he watched the water create a lake. There is a kelp forest, island zone, and rot room. Both boys loved the Rocky Shore area where we could watch water rise and fall and touch aquatic life.


After the ecosystems, we checked out the Space Shuttle. We’ve seen two before and it’s never that exciting for the kids. There isn’t much to do except gawk at how this large spacecraft made it to space and read about the history of space exploration. Boring for kids and as adults with kids, we had to watch them instead of reading. hC%wNC0WRO6n0Kq+mi19BQ

From here we headed to the RV for lunch. The Husband spent an hour and a half in the RV with the toddler after lunch while the kid and I went back in to explore.


My older son is in first grade and they were learning about sound in school. I was really excited when we walked into Creative World and they had a few exhibits on sound. I took pictures and emailed them to his teacher.


Creative World also featured hands on exhibits pertaining to earthquakes, magnets, designing towns, building large structures, and helping the environment. Some of these exhibits were very old and seemed out of date but the 6 year old still loved this area.


When the Toddler woke up, we went to the discovery room. This area is designed for toddlers and young children. Both boys enjoyed this room but we had to cut our time short so we could get to our parking spot for the evening.

More on where we parked and day 2 coming soon!


Weekly Workouts Mar. 12-18

Last week the boys and I were sick. We are starting this week slightly better, but not much.

Monday: 5 miles, 4 min run/2 min walk

I missed my long run over the weekend due to baseball games and illnesses.  My plan was 6 miles today but my knee and the toddler couldn’t take anymore. I stretched before and after the workout. I also foam rolled when I was done. Hoping I’m not in too much pain tomorrow.

Tuesday: Partner WOD

I met a friend at the gym and we completed:

  • 500m row while other person did kettle bell swings (switch)
  • 400m row while partner completed box jumps (switch)
  • 300m row while partner completed wall balls (switch)


  • 30 second weighted plank holds x 5, going up in weight by 5# each round


30 minute run – 4 minute run, 2 minute walk

I took the dog and toddler for this one and ended up returning to drop the dog off at the house. It wasn’t too bad though. No pain which was nice.

Thursday: 2 mile run – 5 minutes running, 1 minute walking

This run was really hard. I should have pushed it to Friday. I struggled through every step.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 6 miles planned – only completed 4.75. 😦

4 minute run/2 minute walk

We went to the gym since I had both kids. Toddler wasn’t into it again. I hoped having the 6 year old would help with the toddler. It didn’t. He started crying at the beginning of mile 2. On the bright side, I had no knee pain!! Also, when I knew I was going to have to go, I did one final 4 minute run then increased my speed by 2 miles per hour for the final 1/4 mile. Both are big accomplishments for me and I’m very happy with my progress.

All my outdoor runs sent us to the beach and it was glorious! I love living so close to the water!!

Weekly Workouts March 5-11

Last week we went out of town and then I was sick. I didn’t workout a single day! I am still sick but am feeling well enough to get in some workouts.


18.2!! I was so sick on Friday-Sunday that today was the first day I could complete it. I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to 18.3.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 Dumbbell squats and burpees over the bar – 10:55

Clean -100lb (PR!!)


I normally have a babysitter on Tuesday mornings so I get my run in without the toddler but she’s out of town this week so I brought the big guy with me. Between pushing the stroller and having a sinus infection, it was a SLOOOOW run, but I did it!

30 minutes – 4 min run/2 minute walk. 2.5 miles total


2 mile leisurely walk. I spent 3 hours at the doctor’s office with my baby today and this was just what we both needed.


30 minute run – 4 min run/2 min walk. 2.66 miles total

This was with the stroller and 30lb toddler again.

Friday: 18.3!! 453 Total reps!!

Super stoked about this one. I did my first ever pull ups in a workout!! I did the entire first set of pull ups but ripped both palms on my first pull up of the second set so I stopped there. I was proud of my score and didn’t want to do more damage.

Saturday: Planned rest day – busy morning so I pushed my run to Sunday.

Sunday: Unplanned rest day. :-(. Toddler was up most of the night and was very sick all morning. Hoping for a long run tomorrow.


Planning Ahead – Military Style


I am currently planning to move across the country during my husband’s pre-deployment leave. Doesn’t sound that crazy except…we don’t have orders yet. Yup, I’m planning ahead. (I know all you fellow mil-spouses are laughing.) There is a chance, a small chance but still a chance, that we will find out in a few months that we are getting orders back to Florida. If we are headed back, I’d prefer go before this deployment and have family around rather than wait until he gets back, move in the middle of school year, and have no family support for the 7+ months he’s away. I should add, if the orders say Florida, we will have about 3 weeks to completely plan the move before it’s time to go.

I feel like a crazy person. I’m currently filling out school applications. I talked to my old boss and have a job lined up. (A GREAT job, at that, which I now really want! Haha!) I contacted our realtor and have been looking at homes online. I’m getting moving quotes. I’m researching PODS and SmartBoxes and 1-800-PACK-RAT and every other movable storage unit. I’m checking out stops along the drive. I’m in full planning mode, just as I’d be if we were actually moving. But we are probably not. (Crazy person!)

I think this is the life of so many military families though. If we don’t plan for the possibility, we are behind the curve. There is a common saying in this life, “Hurry up and wait.” You have to get a million things done as fast as you can, get everything turned in, be ready for anything. Then you wait to find out what’s actually happening. The waiting is the hardest part. Now that I’m getting prepared for this only slightly possible move, I’m playing the waiting game. It will likely be 3 months before we hear and 3.5 months before we *possibly* move to Florida.

In between all the planning and quotes and research and applications, I’m also trying to enjoy our time where we are. It’s beautiful in southern California right now and we are living it up! Let’s be real, those Florida summers are nothing like they are here and I’m soaking up every last bit of this Cali sunshine (even if that last bit is for 3 more years). 😀




Chicken Sausage with Penne and Broccoli

I bought some delicious chicken sausage from Costco a few days ago with the intention of making Lexi’s Clean Kitchen’s Shakshuka. Unfortunately, I thought I had diced tomatoes but we’re out. I had to improvise last night and it turned out delicious!

Chicken Sausage with Penne and Broccoli

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 package (4 links) Chicken Sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 lb Penne
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (separated) freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, generously salt water. Set on high and wait for a boil.
  2. While waiting for the water, heat oil in a large skillet. Once hot, toss in chicken sausage. Cook until browned (3-5 minutes). Remove and place into a bowl.
  3. Once water is boiling, pour in broccoli. Cook for 4 minutes until cooked but still crisp. Remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon and put it into the bowl with the sausage. Add in penne. Follow directions on box until al dente.
  4. Back in the skillet, add onion, bell pepper, salt, and pepper. Cook until soft, about 6 minutes, on medium heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and add in cream and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add in broccoli and sausage and mix until well combined.
  5. When penne is al dente, reserve 1/2 of cooking liquid, then drain pasta. Add reserved liquid and penne to the skillet. Stir to combine.
  6. Add 2 tbsp Parmesan on top and serve hot.

There are a bunch of modifications you can make to this recipe. I meant to throw spinach in at the end but forgot. Also, the green pepper can be omitted. I only used it because we had one ready in our garden and my 6 year old loves when we use food from the garden. I think garlic would be a good addition and will likely add it next time.



Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples and Raisins

I forgot to take pictures of this but it turned out delicious! I really like the hint of cinnamon and the caramelization on the butternut squash when it’s roasted. Yum!


Roasted Butternut Squash with Apples and Raisins

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 butternut squash – diced into about 1 inch cubes
  • 3 apples of your choice (I used Honeycrisp) – Sliced into 8 wedges each
  • 3/4 cup Raisins
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 400*F.
  2. Grease two shallow baking dishes.
  3. Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Mix until all spices are evenly distributed.
  4. Split evenly onto your two, greased baking dishes.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until done to your liking.
  6. Enjoy!



February Reads

This month I finished 2 books. At the end of January I started Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman. Ever since reading A Man Called Ove last year I have wanted to read everything he had published. I’m on my way…

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie is a “nagbag” who takes a job in a soon-to-be ghost town after her husband has a heart-attach which she learns about from his mistress. The town is full of shady and interesting characters Britt-Marie gets to know throughout the book. The way Backman introduces and develops each character is just what I’ve come to expect of him. They are deep and thoughtful and so interesting. He plans out his books so you come to understand all the nuances of each character’s personality as the story progresses leaving out little while making the story so interesting. 5/5 stars!


My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

I read this book second but I wish I had read it first. I didn’t know the two were related and this is a precursor to Britt-Marie Was Here. While they don’t need to both be read, or read in a particular order, but they overlap with some characters and time wise, this book comes first. That being said, this book was not what I had expected. And I loved it. It follows a girl’s journey as she gives apology letters to people her grandmother knew. I can’t really begin to describe this book. It is part fantasy, part reality, part hilarity, part sadness, and completely enjoyable. There is a made up land within the story which I wish I had written out as I remember better when I physically write and I occasionally mixed up which “land” was which. (If you read the book, which I recommend, you’ll understand what I mean by this.) Even better, I wish Backman had provided a map as mentioned in the story.


For March I plan on finishing Beartown and then…I’m not sure. Our public library doesn’t have any other books by Backman so I’ll have to find something new. Any suggestions?