Every Year I will claim that it will be the best year ever... because it just keeps getting better and better. This year I have accomplished so many things that I didn't even think were possible. Going into 2015 I wanted to increase my followers and my views on my blog. Within the last twelve months I have received ten times the amount of views I had in the end of 2014. In March of 2015 is when I was approved for my first sponsored post. Since then The Pepper Express has only excelled. I have excellent things in store for next year and I can't wait to share them with you. I just wanted to tell you how much I really appreciate all of your support and the fact that you keep coming back to visit my teeny weeny itsy bitsy blog. The photos that follow are my favorites from this year. There are way too many... I know this. Just follow the break in between to see even more...
Our first family trip in 2015 started with a road trip down to Palm Springs with a pit stop in LA to visit the LACMA
I used the rest of my maternity leave to take two weeks off for our family vacation. We had reserved our time share down in southern California with no plans or intentions on doing anything. That was a true vacation. We lounged around all day in the warm winter weather of Palm Springs. It was a leisurely vacation that I will always remember. Check out part one and two!
I went to Joshua Tree as a teenager and I've always wanted to go back. I loved that Carlie and Dean appreciated the scenery as much as I did. We had more fun climbing on the boulders than anything. Joshua Tree post here.
You can't go to Palm Springs with out visiting The Parker. They let you wonder around the grounds like you own the place. We were very respectful and we walk around during lunch time, so the experience was worth while.
Going through these photos and looking at how little she was at the beginning of this year:
We ended our first vacation of the year at the Pacific Ocean right where Route 66 ends. Santa Monica is always a destination I love. We actually drove two ours out of our way to put our toes in that warm January sand!
I am a firm believer in how you spend your new year is how you will spend your year. And this year we started off with a great luncheon in Navato with my friends Sandi and Olivia.
My attempt at trying to keep portraits of my children didn't last long. Our oldest is getting older and prefers not to be in front on the camera. Carlie, our middle one, loves the attention. And little Solin doesn't know whats going on. She just loves to make us smile.
Did I mention that we love the Pacific Ocean? Any chance we get we drive straight to the beach. We often start at the beach and realize that;s a bad idea. Then we have to walk around the shops with muddy clothes and sand everywhere. We never learn our lesson...
One of my favorite photos of Dean:
Among the Almond Blossoms is where we took Solin's one year photos:
When I was in high school I only had the chance to visit San Diego State and University of the Pacific in Stockton. I didn't really know that there were other colleges out there. So as a parent I think it is most important to allow Carlie and Dean to know there are options out there. And visiting Chico State was one of them. My sister in law. Briana, gave us a very detailed tour of the campus:
Every year my sister visits from Montana and we act like tourist in our home state:
Look another blog post about the Pacific Ocean:
If you are ever in San Francisco take a walk around the Palace of Fine Arts:
When my husband and I started dating he took my on a wonderful date down to Monterey. It was on my sister's bucket list so eight years later we found ourselves in Monterey Bay:
After picking my mom up from the San Jose Airport... we got lost on the way to the beach. There was traffic and we decided to take the off roads... all the way through Palo Alto to Half Moon Bay:
My very first sponsored post... OK this might not be a big deal to you and I am actually a little embarrassed about the post. But this was big for me. I was like WHOA I can actually get paid for blogging and you want me to share my thoughts... OK!
Very proud of Carlie and her out going personality. She has accomplished so much this year, including barrel racing:
Fun Fact... My husband is practically in a family full of pro bowlers. The first time I bowled with Carlie and Dean... I needed the bumpers. Truly, I am a poor sport and only bowl for fun. But they take it serious. Here are some photos from when we bowled this year:
My sister graduated from Humboldt State and we took the road trip to go and visit her up in Arcata, with a pit stop to visit the Redwoods of course:
Some of my best times are spent in Disneyland. This year we tried to take on the Disneyland 24 hour event. We were a day late... but had twice as much fun!
Our family dates continued when we went to Water World:
Love this photo from our summers at the Farmers Market in Lodi:
Next year I want to prepare for the Flower Piano in Golden Gate Park. I want to practice every day until I get my Beethoven Symphony memorized. There were so many wonderful performers on that day. I reveled in jealousy when I realized I didn't have a piece to play. The kids and I had fun playing Chopsticks; while the geese ran through the meadows of the Botanical Gardens:
Another favorite moment from this year was the Windmill in Golden Gate Park. That's where we took the photo below. That's our family of five plus one... little Ashlyn Fischer who is Carlie and Dean's younger sister from their mother. I treasure our modern family. And the fact that we can share moments like this:
Solin's first ride on a carousel at Gilroy Gardens:
Another sponsored post that led to Solin's stink face:
The Disneyland Marathon was on my bucket list and is something I want to do every year now:
Looking back at most of these photos and I couldn't decide which one I wanted to post from Disneyland. So I chose seven...
Carlie and Dean were not able to join us for our Disneyland trip :( Once we got back we took them to Color the Skies which was very impressive:
We are in love with driving up to Tahoe. This won't be our last trip because we actually have a few things planned for the heavenly slopes coming up here in January:
October was filled with pumpkins and traveling. We would go to a pumpkin patch and then the next day we would find ourselves at the Exploratorim. Then one day we found ourselves in Montana. What a month October 2015!
We love Kauai a little too much. I don't know if we are the level of moving there but we plan to visit there again the decade!!!
Very very happy we took a chance on Apple Hill. This is what makes the season. We tried to take our family photos tucked in the apple orchard. However, we were all too hangry to function. Grandma spoiled us with apple donuts and Tri-tip sandwiches and we walked away learning our lesson... to eat before family photos!
Last but not least our actual family photos taken by Jessica at The Papered Elephant. We ate before we took the photos but it is very hard to get all five of you to look at the camera at the same time:
I will treasure these photos forever and frame them for our gallery wall. But I know the kids will only know how silly they were while taking them:
What a year 2015. I am very proud of what we accomplished and have much in store for 2016.