I Am 50. Lucky, Happy ME!

At some point in my life, I began feeling like I didn’t really need to celebrate my birthdays in a big way. With the exception of my 40th birthday, dinner with family and sometimes, friends, was all I really wanted. It’s the same for this one. This milestone. I don’t really know why. It seems that when many people hit this age, they have to do something big. I…don’t.

The other day, I jokingly explained my lackadaisical attitude about my upcoming birthday to a dear friend of mine thus, “Maybe it’s because I’m so happy with my life that I don’t really want anything more.” We laughed and she said something about rationalizing it any way I like.

But in truth, I am. My best friend and greatest love is my husband. My pride and joy are my daughters. My family (in San Diego and Norway), though far away, love and support us (as we do them). All of my friends have a special place in my heart with bonds forged from my high school and college years, motherhood and twinsdom, my girls’ school activities and events, my photography work, friends of friends and other walks of life. I have a career where I not only meet new families and play with their kids, they often become friends – and there aren’t many careers where that can happen.

I’m not one that’s uncomfortable with telling anyone how old I am…though I admit to getting it wrong from time to time when asked. And it’s not in the way you think. Most times, I add another year or two to my correct age. hahaha

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t care that it’s my birthday. And it’s not that I don’t love all the Happy Birthday wishes (because I do). It’s just that I don’t feel the need to do something big…something out of the ordinary. Not like my 40th birthday.

On my 40th, I had been thinking of spending a spa weekend somewhere…with my girlfriends. And I did. A day of pampering at Berkeley’s Claremont Resort, a fabulous dinner at Chez Panisse, and non-stop laughter throughout the weekend. It was great. I’ll never forget it.

But this year? Well…over the last few months, my husband has asked me several times what I would like to do for my 50th birthday. Such a sweetheart. Willing to do a bit of advance planning for whatever I decide…but I really couldn’t think of a thing. We’d already had a rather wonderful summer vacation visiting family in Norway (love hangin’ out with my in-laws), checking out Tivoli in Copenhagen, visiting a glass factory on the isle of Murano and walking around Venice, relaxing at a beach resort near Rovinj, Croatia, strolling the streets of Old Town Dubrovnik, and exploring Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was an amazing trip – the perfect balance between relaxation (at the beach) and curious exploration (of new and different places). Soooooooooo…I’m not feeling the need to travel anywhere new and different to mark my 50th(well, until next year).

A spa day? Well, yea, I could do that. And I still might. No reason I couldn’t stretch out several little birthday celebrations throughout the year in honor of turning 50. In fact, turning 50 will likely be an oft-used reason for doing/buying a few things here and there over this next year. hahaha

But honestly, hangin’ with my family, toasting with my friends – that’s all I really want to mark the beginning of this milestone year. Anything more than that is as they say, icing on the cake (oh, a stop there may be something I just realized I need).

An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

First Communion – A Milestone

Truly, one of the most endearing sights anyone can enjoy is that of lots of beautiful little girls dressed up in their all-white finest and handsome young boys spiffed up in little suits and ties. First Communion brings out the dressiest in all of them and tomboys or not, my girls enjoyed feeling pretty in their special occasion ensemble as they received the consecrated host for the first time. It’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown as I remember back to my own First Communion experience. While I don’t remember all the details of the day, getting all dressed up in a lacy white dress with tights and veiled headpiece was a forever memorable time. I hope my own daughters felt the same way and will remember it fondly as well.

We were pretty lucky to have my girls’ godmother there as well. She drove up for the occasion, making it an extra special event. Family friends have a daughter who received her First Communion at the same mass and who just happens to have the same godmother. How fortunate was that? Lunch together afterwards gave us all a chance to relax and enjoy this wonderful milestone as our girls grow in our faith.

An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

Hip Dysplasia and THR – What A Difference A Year Makes

Guess what! It’s been over a year now since I welcomed my first new hip. And on April 18th, my right hip will also be one year old. Happy Birthday to my hips! hahaha

I had my one-year checkup with my hip doctor a few weeks ago. I really didn’t have anything to complain about. In fact, he commented that oftentimes, his patients say that they don’t even notice their hips after a year or so. Guess I can join that group of happy hip people. But I do notice it quite often…not my hips, just the lack of pain as I do something like travel. The littlest things like hoisting my carry-on bag into the upper storage compartment or walking across the airport to catch a flight. It’s the little things in life that really had become the big things.

Anyway, I thought I’d put in one post, all of the posts I’d written about my hip dysplasia, surgeries and subsequent recoveries. I’d meant to do this a while back. I know there are or will be several people who will be shocked as I was to find out or have known forever about her hip dysplasia and are/were waiting for the right time to do a THR or two. So, my stories are in the following posts. I hope this helps educate and assure anyone that indeed, it’s all going to be just fine.

The Waiting is Over

Hip Dysplasia – It’s Not Just For Dogs

Halfway There – Right Hip Done!

You May Now Call Me The Bionic Woman

Down Time Is Almost Over

Time to Start on Some Personal Challenges

Finding My Temporary Limits

Too Much, Too Soon

An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

Time To Start on Some Personal Challenges

View of Lexington Reservoir from Manzanita Trail on St. Joseph’s Hill

As most of my friends know, I had a couple of hip replacements done a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been in physical and water therapy sessions 3x/week. Now that those sessions are starting to wind down and I’m beginning to do more “normal” exercises (e.g., elliptical, bike), it’s time to set some personal physical goals for myself. I just feel the need to prove to myself that I can do it. With two new hips in place, I want to know that I can get completely back to myself, the active (and lighter and stronger) one.

The two that come to mind are completing my friend’s, Randi’s, list of Bay Area Top 10 hikes and a walk-a-thon. The hikes are all local and sound gorgeous. What better way to get to know new and different places than going for a long walk there? I’m not sure where she got the list or if she just made it up herself but what the heck. It’s about exploring new places and revisiting old ones…and challenging myself to do them.

Today, I get to check off number one on the list. Yea! In case you’re interested, here’s the list of hikes Randi and her friends completed.

  1. St. Joseph’s Hill, Los Gatos.
  2. Mission Peak in Fremont.
  3. Rancho San Antonio, Los Altos.
  4. Skyline @ Vista Point north of Alpine Rd. (Windy Hill in Palo Alto).
  5. Coyote Hill Regional Park in Fremont.
  6. Almaden Quicksilver. An awesome 3.8 mile hike.
  7. End of Serenity trail in El Sereno Open Space, Los Gatos. 7.4 miles.
  8. Villa Montalvo Arboretum and County Park.
  9. Sanborn to Skyline. Almost 9 miles long.
  10. Fremont Older. Looped around 5.2 miles.

Now, I don’t have specifics on exactly which trails they did so I guess that’s where I’ll just decide what I’m up for.

We returned from vacation a few days ago, which included a day at Disneyland and another day at Legoland. I spent 11 and 9 hours, respectively, walking around all day at those parks. I’m counting those days as training for this first hike.  hahaha

And then, I’d like to do a long walk-a-thon some time later in the year. Go a little extreme in distance, ya know.

BEFORE.  I just got this picture from my friend, Patricia, before Akemi and I climbed the last hill to the top of St. Joseph’s Hill. Note the big psych-up smiles.

AFTER.  Akemi and me at the top of St. Joseph’s Hill. View of Silicon Valley in background. Still smilin….

Yea, I’ve still got a long way to go with respect to flexibility and strength in my hips. But I’m feeling no pain when I walk (or sit down or stand up) and I’m just going to enjoy that fact on these hikes. Well, except for the blisters on my right heel…which won’t require major surgery to fix…so, I can’t complain too much on that front.

An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

To see all of my posts related to my hip surgeries and recovery, check out these posts:

The Waiting is Over

Hip Dysplasia – It’s Not Just For Dogs

Halfway There – Right Hip Done!

You May Now Call Me The Bionic Woman

Time to Start on Some Personal Challenges

Finding My Temporary Limits

Too Much, Too Soon

Seven Years Old – A Birthday Party At Home

So, I’m late in putting up a post about my girls turning 7 years old…but I’m still within 3 months of their birthday, so I think I’m OK. hahaha  7 years old. Gosh, doesn’t it sound like one of those “milestone” birthdays? I mean, still innocent but questioning the rightness and reality of things? Part of that is school, I know, but most of it is simply that, they’re growing up.

7 years old seems like a significant number. It was one of those birthdays that should be extra special, I thought. So, I started wracking my brain thinking of something new and different to do – horseback riding, perhaps? A trip somewhere? Little did I know that my girls already knew what they wanted to do for their birthday party. They really, really, really wanted to have a birthday party at home. With the myriad places to have a birthday party – Color Me Mine ceramic lounge, the Art Beat art studio, West Valley gymnastics, a Karate studio – and more, how could they want to be at home, I thought. But home, they wanted and that’s what we did. I should say, however, that they mentioned Chuck E. Cheese and the Jungle Island but I put my foot down on those. I don’t have a problem with those places, per se. The girls have attended several fun birthday parties there. The main issue I have with those ideas is that the party should keep all the kids together. In those places, the kids are playing separately on different games when they’re not eating pizza or singing Happy Birthday.

We haven’t given a birthday party for the girls at home since they’ turned two years old. The initial reason was because we were remodeling our kitchen when they turned 3 years old and we had to go somewhere else. The Little Gym was a wonderful place for the next couple of years. We could invite up to 25 kids and have a rather large event where the entertainment was already provided and workers did all the clean up. Loved it!

The next year, we decided to change it up a little and opted for Color Me Mine. With a private room, all the kids were able to joke around and create their masterpieces together just before we served pizza, birthday cake and other sweet treats.

Last year, still in the creating art state of mind, we had a party at the Art Beat in Campbell. I particularly loved this place for a party. Not only did they stretch their creative brains by making clay animals, they got to sit on the same table together with an instructor leading their efforts and run off some energy in a back room complete with music and dress up props.

This year, however, my girls wanted to be home. I think they got the idea from going to birthday parties at other friends’ houses. Yes, I remember wonderful birthday parties at home in my youth. Back then though, I didn’t realize the effort that my parents put into them. And after just recovering from hip replacement surgery a few weeks earlier, I wasn’t sure I was up to it.

Can I just say – it was a blast! We’d hired the Amazing Vijay for the main entertainment but just before he began, we played a couple of games that made me wish that I could count on good weather every year for my girls’ birthday. We needed to simplify the games because the physical space available for 15 girls to participate was a bit limited. Pop the balloon and pass the orange – the giggle quotient was high during these games. I wish we could have played more.

The magician kept the girls screaming with laughter. By the time we sat down for pizza, birthday cakes, brownies, fruit salad and other treats after the show, the girls were hungry. We have a relatively large room for large dinners and were able to fit everyone in there with balloons and magic-themed decor.

Overall, it was a great success. I think that most of the girls would have liked to stick around and extend the party into a playdate. hahaha But that was enough fun for one afternoon. After all, there will be many more birthday parties to plan and next year, I’m kinda hoping they’ll want to stay home…again.

An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

A Golden Milestone For Mom and Dad (aka Lola and Lolo)

(Cross-posted, mostly, from Life as we see it, the official Solheim Photography blog. This post includes more family photos than the other.)

The big one finally came. The golden one. The one that has been 50 years in the making. Mom and Dad (aka Lola and Lolo to Songwriter and Storyteller) celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Mom and Dad planned a special mass with a renewal of their wedding vows followed by quite a reception at the Four Points Sheraton in San Diego. It was one of those rare events when relatives from across the country (and another country, primarily the Philippines) and old friends of my parents (most of them named “auntie” and “uncle” to make things easier on us [then] tiny tots) came together to honor and celebrate my parents long union. I can’t remember the last time we had such a reunion. In fact, I haven’t seen many of my parents’ friends since I was a child. Talk about bringing me back to my youth. hahaha

50 years. Together. Theirs is a marriage of equals, of best friends, of mutual respect, of unconditional love and unbridled laughter. Lots of laughter. Some people wonder why I’m always smiling and quick to laugh. Apply that saying, ”the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” and it’s not hard to understand where I get it from once you meet my parents.

Oh, they’ve had their hard times. Dad was in the Navy when we were young and Mom was left to keep the household running, working as a nurse, and tending to three young children (that’s my two brothers and me) alone for months at a time. I have only two children and I sorely miss my husband when he’s on a business trip for more than 2 days. But we managed. I know that Mom was really sad when we talked to Dad on the phone after he’d been at sea for a while. As we got older, Dad was able to choose commissions that kept him at home and not at sea. Like any young couple, I remember disagreements here and there but there was always this united front when it came to us kids. And laughter. Lots of it.

It’s been many years since I lived at home. I went away to college and ended up working and living in that area. My brothers and I have our own families, homes and lives. Each year, the holidays bring us back together. Even though we don’t see each other that often, there’s always a strong sense of family when we’re there. It’s what my parents created years ago. It’s a gift they gave each of us kids though we didn’t realize it then. And now they’re growing old together, enjoying each other’s company, visiting with old friends, singing in church, looking forward to visits with kids and grandkids. And laughing. Always laughing.

An original post to It’s Never Easy, But It’s Always Fun blog.

Glide First…Then Ride

IMG_1893 copy We experienced a revelation on Labor Day weekend. One that only another experienced parent could have shown us. We were relating our woes in teaching our girls to ride a bike without training wheels. Frustration was building with each lesson. An added complication was that we had a double-tagalong to hook up to my husband’s mountain bike allowing him to do all the work while our girls enjoyed the ride. So really, what was the point in learning to ride your own bike? And then we started hearing stories of how other kids their age (or slightly younger) had taken off their training wheels and were now reaping the benefits of their respective freedom. We didn’t want our girls to feel like they were being left behind.

So, we (well really, my husband) began the arduous task of teaching them balance on two wheels. He took the training wheels off one bike and held our daughter steady (her twin wasn’t so keen on losing her training wheels, so we left hers on). All the while, I could hear him giving instructions, encouraging her to take off and letting go. Only to see her fall into a heap…a loud, angry, crying one. And over several sessions, the frustration built. Theory and execution do not easily go hand-in-hand when learning to ride a bike.

As we lamented our stories that weekend, one of our friends told us to take off the pedals. Huh? And then he talked about how he took the pedals off his daughter’s bike and had her glide around the street for a day, using only her feet to propel her forward. As he had tired his own back from holding her, pushing her and letting go, he realized that she was so focused on pedaling to keep up and going that she wasn’t taking the time to just stay up. The next day, after she became a pro at gliding as she sat on her bike, he put the pedals back on. She took off. Wow. What a concept. I could already see how this made sense. Teaching your child to balance on two wheels had nothing to do with pedals. Pedals only got in the way *and* took the child’s attention away from focusing on balance. It seemed so obvious…but one we never thought of. We couldn’t wait to test this new technique on Songwriter.

Songwriter didn’t like the idea. She wanted her bike in one piece. We did it anyway. She was mad but she followed our directions. With practice and a little instruction, she was gliding like a champ, going longer and longer along the straightaway. The next day, she demanded her pedals back. After a while, we gave in. She took off. Wow. What a concept. It worked. The little speed demon is going to make what’s left of my black hair completely gray. But oh well. The gratification of seeing her smile in triumph was priceless. She is more mobile now than she ever was. Another major milestone achieved. God help us.

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An original It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog post.

You may also find MommyTwinGirls at Silicon Valley Moms Blog telling tales of parenting in Silicon Valley, at Mad About Multiples recounting the ups and downs of raising twins and at Solheim Photography posting favorites from her latest photo shoots.

 

 

First Day of Kindergarten

IMG_8863 copy copy The day finally came. Our girls entered the first of 13 years in the public school system. It’s a day that many of us parents look forward to and kinda think of it as the next biggest milestone in their kids’ lives. We’re no different. Funny but I didn’t experience that pang of sadness that they’ve crossed some kind of invisible threshold. Perhaps it’s because they’ve been in a full-time preschool/pre-K program for the last couple of years. Perhaps it’s because they will be together in the same classroom for one more year. Whatever the reason, I wasn’t nervous about their start to this important phase of their lives or even a little sad. I was excited, though not nearly as excited as our girls.

Storyteller woke up at 4am. Songwriter got up at 5am. Jet lag? Yup…but I think the anticipation of this first day in Kindergarten helped wipe out any remaining drowsiness they would have normally felt at that time in the morning. Songwriter insisted on her newest clothing acquisitions. Storyteller couldn’t care less. In fact, I insisted that she put on a new outfit because I was going to take photos. She acquiesced.

They were both up, dressed and ready to go at 5:30am. Their afternoon Kindergarten session started at 11:30am. We had a few hours to kill. Chomping at the bit – a most apt description for their mood that morning before school. When we finally got ready to get in the car, Songwriter was full of nervous energy, “Mommy, I’m scared.” I of course, told her it would be fine and fun.

(As an aside, we chose the afternoon session for the girls to give ourselves a year’s reprieve. The morning session starts at 8:05 AM! Preschool and pre-K for the last couple of years started at 9:00am – and we barely got there on time. Knowing how mornings and Truls simply do not mix (unless of course a fresh layer of powder is awaiting him on the closest ski slopes or the winds are blowing and the waves are calling him to windsurf), I would be on dropoff and pickup duty every [school] day for the next year. So, a later start time combined with a before/after school extended care program seemed the best alternative for Kindergarten.)

Papparazzi parents. That was the scene outside the classroom. Perhaps not with all the jostling one might expect but certainly cameras and videocameras dominated the scene. The girls made their first friend from class in the school office and they walked to the classroom together. After a brief climb up the play structure, the girls joined the rest of their new classmates in line. I think the teachers were quite used to the spectacle. One even announced, “OK, last chance for pictures,” before leading the kids into the room. Even as the door closed, we all waited around and watched through the window for a few minutes.

I picked up Storyteller and Songwriter at the end of the afternoon session and two thrilled little girls greeted me. Success. This year is going to be just fine.

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A Lost Tooth and a Letter to the Tooth Fairy

IMG_0219 copy web Well, Songwriter finally caught up to Storyteller in the missing teeth department. A couple days ago, she lost her second one as she bumped her mouth on my car’s side view mirror (don’t ask). Excited? Oh yea. After the initial pain and blood (more than I thought there would be), she couldn’t wait to go home and put it in a bag for the Tooth Fairy. And Pappa and I had to stop forgetting to help her write a note to the Tooth Fairy.

You see, Songwriter lost her first tooth while on vacation at Lola’s and Lolo’s house a couple weeks ago. We were in the Caribbean and shocked at how quickly it all happened. I mean, when we left the Bay Area, there was no sign of a loose tooth anywhere in her mouth…though we thought it rather odd that her new teeth seemed to be breaking through while all her baby teeth all seemed solidly in place (guess not).

Anyway, on the phone with her one day, she mentioned her tooth was loose. The very next day it was gone…literally. They lost it. Ugh! (Time to shore up my Tooth Fairy stories.) A voice cracking with tears related what happened. Apparently, Songwriter had dropped it as she was showing it to her sister and it fell…right into a pile of broken shells. As small as that tooth was, it was difficult to distinguish the tooth from the shards of shells…I guess. Well, that’s the story we heard. ANYway, Songwriter had asked about the Tooth Fairy earlier and if the Tooth Fairy was going to be able to find them in San Diego. I told her I didn’t know because well, I didn’t. I hadn’t yet worked on that particular angle of the legend.

But later, I rallied and remembered that other moms had solved such problems with notes to the Tooth Fairy supervised (or written) by the respective parents. Whew! I’d told Songwriter that we just had to explain the situation to the Tooth Fairy and she will probably understand. It worked. In fact, she wanted to dictate the letter to us right then but we managed to hold her off until we got back home to the Bay Area.

Yesterday morning, Songwriter was ecstatic to find TWO gold $1 coins in her bag. She immediately placed the coins in her piggy bank for safe keeping. And we survived yet another visit from the Tooth Fairy.

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An original It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog post.

You may also find MommyTwinGirls at Silicon Valley Moms Blog telling tales of parenting in Silicon Valley, at Mad About Multipes recounting the ups and downs of raising twins and at Solheim Photography posting favorites from her latest photo shoots.

Happy 5th Birthday to Storyteller & Songwriter!

IMG_9353_9354_comb_cropped Does this age feel different to you? It does to me. Kinda like their preschool years are gone and they’ve entered that little elementary school girl phase? How did 5 years go by so fast?

Well, Disneyland seemed to have recognized that this would be an extra special year and tempted us to visit with free admission on their birthday. And we went. It was a quick trip. A drive down to San Diego to stay with my parents (after a FAB 5-year-old fairy birthday party for their best friend in Menlo Park) on Saturday to celebrate their birthday with family on Sunday. Then an early morning trip to Anaheim on Monday morning for a day at the happiest place on earth. We returned home last night at about 2:30am. It was tough but well worth it.

All Songwriter could talk about was Splash Mountain. Storyteller was looking forward to the ride where she got to shoot the bad guys (Buzz Lightyear) – our first ride of the day.

Buoyed by our first visit in July last  year when we discovered what thrillseekers our girls were at 4 1/2 years old, we were set to obtain FastPasses for the rollercoaster-type rides, much like last time. But we made one critical error…we went directly to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. No warmup at the Go Coaster in ToonTown. We didn’t realize our mistake until we each led a [loudly] crying daughter off the ride and away from the exit.

“Mommy!” Storyteller screamed. “You thought I was laughing. I wasn’t! I was screaming! I was so scared!” Oh.

Actually, I knew she was scared on the ride. I held onto her tight but every time we got jostled from side to side, I could feel her fear. There was nothing I could do but hold tight and ensure her I was right there. Apparently, it was the same for Songwriter. As soon as each saw the other crying after getting out of the cars, they cried even louder. Uh oh. Traumatized…and the day just began.

Oh maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnn. Here we thought we might be able to try out the Matterhorn this time around. Oh well. Glad we decided not to add Space Mountain to the itinerary. Splash Mountain was in jeopardy…we’d already obtained the FastPasses to that one. Luckily, there would be about 3.5 hours before we could take advantage of the official cut in line. Good thing. We could probably use the delay to mellow them out and distract them with other things…like Fantasyland. Time for something more younger-kid-friendly. Dumbo. Peter Pan. Storybook Land. It’s A Small World.

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Songwriter didn’t shy away from Splash Mountain. She was visibly nervous about it but she still really wanted to go. Storyteller chanted, “but we don’t have to go, right, Pappa?” By the time we got to Splash Mountain, there was no question. Storyteller was not getting in line, much less the ride. Time to shop for lollipops.

Songwriter LOVED Splash Mountain. In hindsight, I think we should have encouraged Storyteller to give it a try since there isn’t nearly as much jostling about and most of the ride consists of dips and lots of singing. Next time.

Did you ever hear about Tarzan’s Treehouse? We didn’t before…but we now love it. It gave us several minutes of hangin’ out time while the girls went up and down and up and down and up and down and backwards and forwards…well, you get the idea. A great place for them to run off some of that endless energy.

IMG_9346 The only characters we took the time to stand in line for a photo with were Aladdin and Jasmine. We hesitated but the line guy said they’d be leaving soon. Don’t know why but that did it. Aladdin was especially entertaining. In fact, when Storyteller first spied them, she waved at Aladdin, shouted his name and demanded to know where was Abu (sp?), Aladdin’s monkey. Jokingly, he pointed to the top of the next building at a bunch of hanging bananas (fake, of course)…and Storyteller took off to where he pointed, with Songwriter close behind. And Aladdin in hot pursuit. I think he felt bad that he told them where Abu was, not expecting they would believe him and run off. He probably also heard the panic in my voice as I screamed for them to come back. So, we got in line while Aladdin collected the girls. hahaha That’s what he gets.

Missed the princess faire. It had already closed. Next time. Visited Minnie Mouse’s house in ToonTown. Mickey’s house was closed. Did the Go Coaster with minimal protest. Girls loved it. Whew! Just had to get them back on that horse (so to speak). Wouldn’t want them leaving with such a scary memory of rollercoasters. BTW, pretty darn cool shot here by Truls, huh. He was playing with a slow shutter speed. We were rounding a curve on the Go Coaster and he was sitting behind us. He held the camera close to his chest. So creative.

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11 hours. It was enough. Last time, we did 14 hours but that was their first time and we were just driving to San Diego afterward. We had a long drive back to the Bay Area. Girls conked out within seconds of strapping in and laying their heads back. Got in around 2:30 in the morning. A tough schedule but well worth every minute.

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An original It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog post.