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The big move! San Francisco to Fairfax Virginia Family Photographer

We did it! We made our big move from the West Coast to the East Coast! We're finally here, and all settled in and in-between holiday festivities and unpacking boxes, I've been able to slowly edit the pictures from our move. I planned to document the trip with a lot of detail, but as it turns out, we were pretty much confined to our car for 5 straight days!

Our stops were South Jordan, Utah to see some sweet friends (I can't believe I didn't get a picture of all of us together!), Denver, Colorado, Kansas City, Missouri, and finally our destination, Fairfax, Virginia!

But first, Ocean Beach, San Francisco to say goodbye to the Pacific. Outside of family, I am going to miss living so close to the beach the most.

Of course San Francisco would send us off with cotton candy skies for us to remember it by....

It's still hard to believe that we packed up our entire lives and squeezed it into this 16 foot Pod. And by squeeze, I mean... SQUEEZED. You couldn't fit a toothpick in there after we were done packing!

Our first stop was Grandma & PopPop's house in San Jose. It was nice to leave our house a week early, and spend our last week in California hitting up all of our favorite spots. Double bonus? Date night for Mommy & Daddy after the girls bed time with built in sitters! Thank you Grandma!! ;)

We got to go to Uncle Chris & Aunt Stephanie's house to visit their horses. They even got to ride Cinder which pretty much made Millie's life!

We even got a full tour of the property! We got to see these sweet cows. Better than the Jungle Cruise ride, in my opinion!

We left for our big trip on Halloween night after trick or treating. We figured we'd drive over night to Utah and arrive super early in the morning. It didn't go off as smoothly as we had hoped. We ran into a snow storm in Truckee and had to buy chains for our car. $90 later, we were able to get through the snow and we got into South Jordan around 10am. Evan and I took turns driving throughout the night. The best part was arriving at the salt flats at sunrise. It was so beautiful!! Oh, but first.. our last stop in California is our favorite donut shop ever. We miss you already, Maple Leaf Donuts!

The salt flats at sunrise.

Poor Rudie was squished in the way back with all of our luggage and over flow that we had to take with us.

Unfortunately, I was sheerly exhausted when we got to Utah. Luckily our friends understood and let us crash at 5pm! It was so good to visit with them for the day and hang out in their gorgeous house!! Thank you again, Seger family for being such gracious hosts to us!

We left at 4am and headed for Denver, Co!

We got into Denver around 2pm or so and checked into our gorgeous hotel. We hung out in our room for a bit before heading out to explore and find dinner. We wound up near the convention center and then headed back to the hotel for room service.

I have to say that the girls did SO good on the rides. Leaving at 4am every day helped because they fell back to sleep as soon as we got on the road and seemed to sleep until 8am or longer since the sun didn't rise until around that time. I did pack a ton of stuff for them to do, including party horns.. because... well, it worked when we were somewhere between Denver and Kansas City.

We have some friends that used to live in Kansas City and they pointed us in the direction of Joe's, which did not disappoint! It was amazing bbq, and the perfect spot to get out and stretch our legs and enjoy yummy food. After dinner, we were trying to find a playground for the girls. While trying to use Evan's phone to find the directions to the park, he accidentally threw it out of the window. Luckily we were at a stop light, and miraculously it didn't break... It was one of those things that was so ridiculous, that we just had to laugh. We found the perfect park and enjoyed the warm evening. It was perfect!

Another awesome recommendation was Roasterie. Hello delicious Americano and hot chocolate for the girls! (Thanks, Kaleena for the awesome recommendations!)

On our way to Louisville!!

We didn't get out of the car, but we did see the Gateway Arch in St. Louis!

Our room in Louisville was gorgeous! Another win for the Hyatt. We love staying with Hyatt whenever we travel, and so did Rudie!

Louisville happened to be my favorite stop. It was so pretty and it had this charm about it that I loved so much. We got in early and got to explore the area, including meeting the Colonel from KFC, haha. Millie was totally intrigued and couldn't figure out if he was real or not. We walked around our hotel and ran into the Evan William distillery. Seeing as though Evan's name is actually Evan William, we thought we'd try to make it in. You think we'd be a pro at this parenting thing by now, right? Well here's a funny story for you: We walked in to the distillery a little unsure if kids were allowed. We asked the front desk if they were, and they said of course and we decided we'd take the 15 minute tour. When in Rome, right?? That's what we were thinking! Fast forward to 5 minutes before the tour started when Lucy decided it would be the perfect time to have a full blown tantrum. People looked horrified as we were trying to console her and we could see the concern that on everyone's face... "They're not going to be on our tour, are they??" Today was not the day to torture a room full of strangers, so we got a refund and headed far, far away. Phew!! We ended up Yelping a near by SUPER casual restaurant that seemed to be ok with crazy children and we ordered all sorts of yummy things including bacon complete with a molasses dipping sauce. Cold beer, sitting outside where the girls could run free, and bacon?? Louisville just gets me!! We finished off the night with ice cream for room service because... why not?

When we hit the Virginia border, the girls started to lose it. I mean, 5 days in a car for 8+ hours, 10 states, 3 different hotels, etc.... I was surprised it didn't happen sooner. Luckily, I came prepared for this exact moment (which I thought would happen a lot earlier!) and gave them each their own lipgloss. That bought us 45 minutes of sanity.

And then.....

WE'RE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The best welcoming committee we could ask for!! Cousins all around, a real home made meal by my wonderful sister, and Nana who helped with the troops while Evan and I went to go see our new apartment!

One of the first things that we wanted to do when we got here was go to the Natural History Museum! We had such a great time and we are already looking forward to going back. Lucy loved holding all of the bugs and critters, which freaked me out. Millie was much more reserved, but agreed to holding a caterpillar. She's more brave than I was! ;)

Now that the trip is over and we're all unpacked and settled in, here's what we've been up to! First up, baking a surprise cake for daddy. I phoned it in and let Millie pick out any box of cake she wanted. She picked carrot because it's his absolute favorite. The girls loved baking it, especially cracking the eggs open.

While cracking the eggs open was Millie's favorite part, shaking thousands of sprinkles on top was definitely Lucy's.

Sleeping so soundly now that we're "home!"

Winter air makes dandelion hair!

I've been to Virginia at least once a year since Millie was born to visit my sister. We've always gone to Alexandria when we've made the trip, and it's one of my favorite spots. Tiny little shops, brick buildings... it's such a sweet neighborhood, and we were pretty excited to go and pick out a star for our Christmas tree at the Christmas Attic.

We found the perfect star for the top of of our tree! -- Actually, I'm not going to lie. We left the store in tears because Millie didn't get to bring home the most gaudy and atrocious star that I've ever seen. We did settle for a glittery one which made her happy once she got to put it on top of the tree. ;)

The Elf delivered a tree just for them to decorate for their own room. Millie spent a lot of time carefully placing each special ornament. Lucy spent a lot of time driving her sister crazy as she plucked each one off.

Merrifield Garden Center is another spot we always went to while visiting. We've never been during the Christmas season until now, but WOW! It was like stepping into a real winter wonderland!

We made a trip to Lancaster, Pa and had a great day eating delicious soft pretzels and shopping in Kitchen Kettle Village. We also made it to the Lancaster Central Market. Lucy loved perusing each aisle, and by perusing, I mean high tailing it to the end while I chased after her. ;)

But with all of the travel, there's still no place like home. <3