A Much Needed Family Adventure

It has been a while since my little family has gone on a little adventure just the three of us.  My husband has been working quite a bit lately, and any time he’s had off has been spent on events or functions that have been planned in advance.  So this week, between family events and meetings, he told me to pick any destination and plan a little family adventure– YAY! It is my favorite thing to do! I have been wanting to check out the Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton, CA and so my mind was already made up. One great thing about where our small town is located, many California destinations can be done in a day trip, so within two and a half hours, we were in the beautiful coastal mountains of Santa Cruz, ready to have some fun!

Upon arrival, this place is already so picturesque and spacious, I immediately regret not packing our own lunch for a picnic! There were so many picnic tables scattered around with beautiful scenery.  Also, I’m guessing that since it was a Monday, it felt like we had the entire place to ourselves.

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The main attraction of Roaring Camp Railroad is obviously a train ride! And not like a little one loop train ride, but an actual track that either goes up the redwood forest or down to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We chose the steam train ride through the forest. We showed up a little later in the afternoon, around 1:45, which was a score for us because apparently they do a “kids fare” rate, where each ticket is the child’s ticket rate of $22 for their 2:00PM train rides! Easton, however, always seems to be free anywhere we go since he is under 2 (double score!!).  The entire train ride seemed to be a little over an hour and it was a blast! The conductor, or tour guide (or both?), actually came down the aisles of the train throughout the ride to check our tickets and provided detailed information on how the steam train works, how it was invented and how these specific tracks came about. Please don’t count on me to relay the information, as I spent the first 10 minutes trying to clean applesauce from my pants that Easton spilled all over me.

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The ride through the beautiful mountains is worth it enough. It’s shaded by the magnificent giant redwoods, and at the top is Bear Mountain where you are free to get out and explore for 10 minutes until the train departs, which we happily took advantage of. We love watching Easton explore, and a fellow rider was kind enough to snap a family picture!

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On our way back, our awesome tour guide highly recommended we check out the California Redwood Hike. More exploring after lunch– YAY!!!

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We marveled at every giant tree and the beauty of the trail. So worth the extra adventure. Plus, our kiddo loves to RUN… everywhere! There was plenty of room for him to run and explore, and even get inside some of the ginormous, hollowed out tree trunks. There are 15 stops along the way, guided by a free pamphlet you pick up at the beginning of the trail. A couple things we couldn’t get over; some of these trees have been here for thousands of years, before Jesus even walked the Earth and during… it just felt so surreal. Also, these giant beings sprouted from a seed the size of an oatmeal flake.  It just reminded me of the power in God’s creations.  It was a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to go back! We went on a slow day, but according to Roaring Camp’s website, they usually have a lot more things to do and see. I highly recommend anyone to go and check it out. My only suggestion is, although they do provide food, we wish we would have packed our own picnic. It wasn’t bad, but we are picky eaters, plus, the scenery and spread out picnic tables was just meant for it!

If you want to see more from me and my little family, make sure to click the follow button and you will be alerted with any new posts! I hope you enjoyed today’s post.

Love and joy,

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P.S. You didn’t think it was ALL sunshine and rainbows did you??

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My Journey To Motherhood

I could never kick off my blog without giving thanks to God for beautiful soul He has chosen me to birth, care for and love with all my heart and soul, my son Easton. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with him, he has rocked my world. The minute he came into this world, I knew I would never be the same. I am truly grateful to be able to feel a love that is so great, so deep and endless; a love that has changed my heart and mind in ways I didn’t know was possible. Easton, thank you for making me a better person, thank you for making me a mommy.

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I always knew I wanted to be a mommy. In fact, a couple years after dating my high school sweetheart hubby, that’s all I thought about. I was young and naive of course, but when the heck was he going to put a ring on it and give me some babies!!?? That would be seven years later he would “put a ring on it.” You know what, a lot of people can’t believe it took that long, but I am happy it did. We were so young when we got together, we grew up together and experienced a new type of love in maturity that I really cherish. After he “finally” proposed, I wanted to get to really know him as my husband and build a foundation for our  family first. I am not saying it’s the right way, by any means, but it was right for us. After two years of fun and a little bit of travel, I had the yearn in my heart for a child to call our own. It took a few rounds of trial and error (if you know what I mean, ha!), and right when I started to worry it might be harder than I thought, I went  to the doctor, feeling sick, KNOWING I wasn’t pregnant, but it turns out I was! You can watch the video of how I surprised Michael and our family here.

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My road to delivery was not easy. Many people don’t know this about Michael and I, but we shared our pregnancy news knowing that we may not get to keep Easton. I have tears welling in my eyes as I’m writing this because it was so hard to love this tiny human so much, and also knowing that we could lose him. We did not worry about sharing the news and then having to explain what happened, because all people needed to know is that we created this human and we would love him forever no matter what happened. After being put on bed rest twice during the first and second trimester, we rejoiced around 20 weeks when my doctor said everything looked fine with my body and our baby and we should have a normal pregnancy. Along with the worry, I had this peace from God that everything would be okay and now I get to share that story with you.

 

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Most of second trimester was pure bliss as a lot of women experience, but most of third was torture… I’m just being totally real here! I was in a LOT of pain. Yes, I tried walking, I stretched, I bounced on a yoga ball. I am also 4’11” and could barely walk or sleep because I was so uncomfortable. I’m in that club of pregnant women who tried everything I could to naturally induce labor starting at 36 weeks, but Easton was ready to come a day before he was due! The day before I delivered him, my friend and hairstylist Kristin text me and told me to come in and get my hair done. I honestly thought he was never going to come out, so I obliged. She’s a hair goddess and so it looked so good, that when I got home I put some makeup on to complete the look. My hubby wanted to stay home with me in case I went into labor, but I told him to just go to work and I would call him if I felt it was time.  I headed to my my parent’s house for the evening and within 30 minutes my water broke! I called my husband who was already at the hospital 45 minutes away. Since, he is an RN there and we decided that is where we wanted to have our son. With my hair on point (thanks to Kristin) and my makeup done, I walked into that hospital ready to have this baby!  Labor went pretty quick and in 6 hours, On May 7th at 3:31 AM I had my perfect, platinum haired boy.  Our lives would be forever changed and in the best way imaginable. No one can prepare you for that kind of love. Even on the craziest days when I want to pull my hair out, I look in his eyes and feel it all over again.

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You can see here another video my husband put together the days before and after the arrival of our son.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story,

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Welcome to My Life

Hello and welcome to my brand spankin’ new blog! My name is Brandy Tillett. I am a wife to an amazing man, Michael and mother to my beautiful one year old son, Easton.  I am a stay at home mom and a full time undergrad student.  I’ve tried this blogging thing once before and I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking “again!!! Brandy, can you please find one or two things you like and just stick to it?” Ummm no thank you! I have so many passions: family, Jesus, photography, writing, singing, cooking, the great outdoors and Disneyland (the theme of my last blog)… honestly the list could go on.  Two years ago, when I became pregnant, I had to learn how to embrace this life where I enjoy so many things and somehow incorporate this new, tiny human who requires my undivided attention.

As I am sure most moms would say, motherhood has been the absolute best thing that has EVER happened to me! I love my child so much I might just burst, but motherhood doesn’t come without challenges.  So I have just learned to take it day by day and celebrate the simple joys the come along with it!   This is my creative outlet where I can share all of that with you.  I hope you enjoy and join me on this journey!

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Images by Amanda J Alvares Photography

 

Love and Joy,

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