Waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting to hear back on a potential job offer from AstraZenica was driving us bonkers so we headed to California to shake up the routine. This feels oddly familiar- a little too de ja vu to 2016. I always say yes to road trips because my children are strapped into their seats with headphones on and I get a 10 hour date with Evan. We listened to Saints volume 2 for a good portion of the drive and I was amazed at the stories it includes, it's definitely a period of history I am less familiar with than the first volume. We stopped for the night in Reno and after dressing the girls in their sparkly red dresses and laying waste to the complimentary breakfast buffet, we took off for our grand entrance- surprising Kara on Valentine's Day with four little Valentines! She cried, so mission accomplished. Cosette had been planning having a Valentine's Day party (a word she takes very seriously) at Grandma's house for weeks but it turned out that Grandma was getting her kitchen cabinets painted and her whole house was filled with their contents. Richard set up the camping kitchen on the deck- luckily they are experts at cooking under those conditions! Brittney stepped in and hosted the party letting the kids decorate sugar cookies and make decorations; Cosette's dreams were fulfilled. Saturday Evan and I had a Velntine's redo. We went to hike a trail he has told me about probably 100 times over the past ten years- Horsetail Falls. It was beautiful and healing and my personal trip highlight. Wishing our date could last forever but feeling guilty about ditching our kids, we met up with all of them at Fairytale Town- another favorite of mine. Winston was in heaven racing around playing tag with Spencer and Truman and singing The Cheese Stand's Alone. Sunday evening we went to Amy's house for a birthday dinner with Grandma Kay- she sat at the table with all her great grandkids and it was pretty comical but I also think she was pretty overwhelmed. Monday Kara watched our kids so Evan and I could go on a bike ride with his parents along the American River trail. As we were nearing the end of the ride, a bee flew inside my jacket and I couldn't stop my bike and get my feet disconnected in time to get it out. I kept shaking my arm as I rode trying to help it out without wrecking but it was no use- my first bee sting of my entire life! It actually hurt significantly less than I imagined it would. Monday night after we put the kids to bed we snuck back over the Brandon and Brittney's house and sat in their hot tub talking for hours about parenting and ADHD- those are the connecting moments that make these trips worth all the craziness of traveling with four littles. Winston lost a tooth that day but somehow the tooth fairy didn't find him in California so luckily when we arrived home late Tuesday evening he found a dollar under his mattress.