Road Trip, Ranch Bound


We left Friday afternoon for a quick weekend trip ranch bound!

Tiny the Monkey Β - the girls are all pretty good travelers on long car rides but this one asks for "nacks, nacks!" (Snacks) allll day long 


we stopped at Aunt Kat and Uncle Donald's for a BBQ to celebrate Lauren's 2nd birthday with some of the Heff cousins. Always fun. 


happy birthday Lauren!


it was a great stop to break up the trip and always fun when cousins are involved - another pet lizard was captured and subsequently lost a tail. Rough crowd!



Fiji Getaway - October 2013

Maisie and I escaped to Fiji for a weekend with friends - it was a looong trip out there and back but totally worth it for some sand and sun! Francie had to option to go but was more excited for her walk-a-thon :) and the littles were finally all big enough to stay with Dad too! So Maisie and I had some quality time together hanging out and recharging for a few short days. never long enough on island time!

we're here!

Maisie ran in to put on her bathing suit, cover up and camo hat #thatsmygirl

let's go have some fun

peace, love and fiji

ready to go exploring on the tender to the beach

Post swim/paddle/hike hot tub and treats :)

happy kid (happy mom)

hike to the top of a mini-mountain, inspired us to do some gymnastics of course

backbend - realized after I was in it it wasn't going to be easy to get out of it :)

paddle boarder Maisie

my little bug

ready for dinner

sweet girl snuggling mom

sunset - see you next time!

sea plane ride to the airport (Maisie fell asleep sitting before we even took off - and it was a BUMPY takeoff!!) and then the long flight home to my other stinkers!

Black Butte Family Reunion 2013

We had a blast in Black Butte Oregon with allll the Heffs! Recap by iPhone photos...

First day walk to the fields for Olympics Field Day

competitors ready!

team purple (Tess was a huge help ;)

and after Olympics - a group swim! 7 uncles and 26 kids in the pool

and talent show preparations - I was so proud of the big girls who took the lead and practiced by themselves all week

Tess my little Kangaroo and I checking on their progress one night :)

and Saturday Annual In-laws versus Out-laws softball game!

Opa Bob has a slide/bounce house he sets up between the houses - somehow after 4 years it's still standing

Ticket to Ride with Oma

Sweet Maggie was such a big help with Tess and by the end of the week Tess was jumping in her arms!

Dinner Sunday night at Pat and Tricia's cabin on the golf course - lots of family pic opportunities! Here are Oma and Opa with all 15 grandkids. Love all the expressions on this shot!

after dinner golf course play (sorry to the sand pit)

Talent show 2013!! The kids were so good! We had joke tellers, songs, card tricks, musical instrument playing, poems and a surprise skit by the adults too :)

iPhone family photo! (most of the BBR pics this year were iPhone - I am just going to own in and admit I am much preferring these lesser quality but REAL LIFE shots!! My big camera comes out occasionally, but I love what I can capture with my pocket cam :)

Tuesday morning horseback ride. DAD took them! what a guy

General store ice cream pop and chips stop

and then an afternoon trip into Bend to check out a barnwood supplier for The Alley - JJ approved (what is this pose)

lunch at Worthy Brewery - my cute husband! (kids were running around roughshot on the grass - it was a very relaxing family lunch!)

Wednesday Dad took these stinkers fishing!

fiesty one! love their faces

cleaning the fish at home

Craig and Andrea made a cool puppet show theater and did a show for the kids - they were into it

sleepy baby heading home - with toys piled on her by big sis

Drive to Black Butte


We had another succesful Family Reunion in Black Butter Oregon the last week in July! We left Los Altos Thursday afternoon and drove up to Red Bluff to meet the crowd at thehalf way point for an overnight - then took off on I-5 headed to Oregon early the next morning! 12 hours on the road total -but half of the famly vacation is the forced family fun in the car!


sleepy JJ in the truck - only time we really get to talk without her noisy chatter!


pit stop diaper change


overnight in Red Bluff with cousins... 2/3 the way there!


Dad spoils them with gas station burritos and corn dogs for breakfast. ummmmmm.


ordering Makery stuff on my drive - these awesome 3fish prints we sell now - very fitting these are the states we have!




Italy 2013

Our last stop on our European vacation was Italy! We finally sat still in one place long enough to relax and enjoy the good food and the view. Maisie and I got a lot of time to hang out while Tess was happy playing with the three other babies there (a group of friends and their kids met us in Italy). Heff and the girls were trying to maybe meet us there but it got to be too much for a short trip - so we tried to enjoy the last of the vacation... but were sure missing them by the end! It was a fun trip to remember with Maisie and Tess - while Francie and JJ got some good Dad time in!

Leaning tower of Pisa

We hit it up like the total tourists that we were in rainy muggy weather - but Maisie was pretty happy with her hoodie liesure suit :)

love this picture of Maisie

My turn - Maisie is better at it :)

and after a three hour bus ride - we arrived to a borgo in Tuscany! (late at night - this was the next morning when we woke up to find out this was the view!)

Maise was obsessed with the helicopter and went up for a ride twice. Brave girl

pretty sights

Sightseeing in Siena

on the square

dinner time

Tess wasn't so sure about the helicopter ride

Maisie helped serve dinner with the family who ran the borgo - she's got a lot of street cred after all those hours at Bumble ;)

Tess and her buddies - adorable, local Italian girls!

and Maisie played babysitter to the owner's daughter Chloe all week - here she HAD to go find her having her lunch to say goodbye

Paris 2013

Got to Paris just in time for PJ's and snuggling

we are getting good at this. Arrive, feed kids, go out with to go cups!

The next morning we went for an early walk and saw this motorcade for the departure of the Polish President... everyone stops walking and stands at attention until they pass. Cool to see.

Parisian breakfast with my girlies

Sweet Maisie Moo

Carousel in the park

look at that side saddle in her new sparkle shoes

And a jump park in the park - I Instagrammed they would never allow this in the US. I know there are Jumpy places but this was a "$5 to jump for 20 minutes outside on half broken trampolines with no need to sign any release" kinda place!

Maisie waiting in line for the climbing structure with the big kids. Jumped right in

photographer in the park

we don't look like tourists do we?

break for a diaper change (yup that kind)

didn't even realize I had two pairs of sunglasses on (one was maisie's!)

we were home cozy for bed after a long day of sight seeing - and decided to jump up and see the Eifle Tower at night while the lights were flashing! Pulled this one out of bed in her new sleep sack to go on the adventure - she was happier 5 minutes later :)

Eifle Tower - 10pm!

nice rally Tess

and I'd say she's done

Cathedral the next day

lots of hours logged in the bjorn - we lit candles for all of our favorite people

Parisian lunch with my loves and friends - pretty good day

just kicking it

buddies throwing change

and a stop at a Children's Museum to check out the brand new "Weather Worlds" instillartion by our friends Theo and Emily who put in Night Bright at Bumble. It was SO COOL.

dinner and champs to end the day

AND meeting David Beckham in our hotel bar! we left at the same time and asked if we could take a photo to make our husbands jealous - he obliged :)

last outting in Paris!

bye bye to the hotel cat

girls in their traveling clothes!

bye bye Paris! Off to the next stop!


I took a little mom-cation in the beginning of May to check out a couple places for work and meet up with some friends in Italy. It was an awesome trip!! Only problem was Brian was too busy to go so we had to divide and conquer. He also had a solo camping trip with Francie planned so he took Francie and crazy I mean JJ. I took Maisie and Tess and we headed off on a big adventure.

First stop was London! I had never been to Europe in my life - so there was lots to check off the list! We were total tourists and hit all the hot spots in between work research.




Maisie and her lomo

Buckingham Palace. Maisie called it the castle with guards that change.

Gardens - all in bloom!

ice cream in the park (trying to keep them awake)

we landed in London at 9am local time (midnight at home) so we tried to power the kids through the day and get on the time zone. Maisie was fading by the early afternoon but we kept pushing through!

Me and my tiny at Big Ben!

walking and walking the streets of London

ridiculously pretty tulips (and you too Tiny :)

feeding the ducks and checking out the "eye"

can't wait to get this film developed :)

we got the kids fed and to sleep early and it was time for some shopping! (with to go cups of course)

the next morning we went back for more shopping to harvey nicols right across rom our hotel - the kids picked out their own outfits. This was Maisie's choice

breakfast on the deck

and despite our best efforts at beating jet lag... we were all up at 2:30am

and one of the best surprises of the trip - Opa Bob and Aunt Francy were in London too! They overlapped a day with us so we spent the morning walking around the park, getting hot dogs and ice cream and playing for hours in the fountain. It was so great to catch up with them - especially ina foreign country!

Fountain fun

poor tiny

Maisie warmed up to the water in the Princess Diana Memorial fountain and was all over it!

and we're off to the next stop!

traveling clothes

waiting for our train

like a train going to Paris...

2 hours 20 minutes of countryside

and sticker books!

Red Bluff Weekend

We were in Red Bluff last weekend to hang out with family, eats lots of food, drink lots of beer and watch lots of children. My favorite activities! :)

The Matthews arrived with their 1 week old lambs who required round the clock bottle feeding. lots of helpers here.

Oma had some more landscaping put in so the beloved horsey swing is over a beautiful new grass area. makes the backyard picturesque for farm kids life for the grandchildren!

the kids are all so close (15 in 10 years but 13 of them in 5 years!) it's interesting to see who pairs of with who - it's different each time we all get together. This time, Kate and Francie were BFF's

and JJ was buddy-buddy with "Claraline"

the kids spent lots of time out in the barn watching over the baby lambs

Ellie put the time in to teach them how to drink from a bottle

Patrick, Clara and Maisie tearing things up (in the dress up favorites of course)

Kate stopped long enough to let me take her picture

two more trouble makers

and a hard-working, deserving a break dad (he might kill me for posting - but looks so cute when he's snoozing :)

dinner time chaos

and sunset super heros

"give me your mean face" (love)

Tiny Tess taking her photo-of-the-week on her 6 month birthday, and her signature JanKnit

morning swinging in PJs

how many kids can we fit on the airplane

Maureen and two baby girls (Molly and Lauren)

barn kids

Mary(Jane) had a little lamb...

ok all the Mary's have little lambs (thanks for lending Ellie and Kate)

and after a quick overnight, we stopped at the Long's ranch to say hi and grab some almond wood on the way home. Sutter and Chandler gave us a tour of their new barn and 4H animals

JJ is securely over her fear of horses!

and Tess loved the barn

not afraid!

lucky she has such nice sisters

Sutter showing off her prize lamb - ready for the show almost

she was so sweet with the girls!

lots of fun in Red Bluff, as usual. Be back to the dirt and fun soon!

Canada Ice Fishing

We had an awesome adventure to Banff Canada the first week in March! We had some airline miles to burn and a free week so we scouted around and picked Banff (ok I admit I it wasn't the poolside pina colada trip I was imagining - but my husband won) We invited Oma, Jannie and Grampa to join us - four kids, ten adults hands = real vacation! I have so many pictures so breaking it up - here are the photos from our full day of ice fishing out on a frozen lake in Calgary - quite the adventure!

plane ride was pretty easy, less than 3 hours! But on a small plane with 2 and 2 seats on each side so we were all spread out. It took us about 45 minutes to print our boarding passes and get an infant pass too. Turns out it causes some problems when 5 of 9 travelers are named MarySomething Heffernan! Don't even get me started on customs...

we started out the drive from Calgary airport to Banff with two Suburbans for all of us and all of our gear. We took JJ and Tess - the grandparent mobile had the big girls

Backree on the other sled

what a tourist

some of the scenery

We drove out about an hour to go ice fishing! The girls were so excited. I had been cooped up in the hotel the first two days while the crowd took the big girls skiing but Tess and I decided to brave the cold and adventure out for some fun. I was so proud of Jannie and her willingness to do this crazy stuff with the girls too! (Not that she hasn't always been adventurous- but the great outdoors Heffernan style is pushing it!)

Grampa and JJ - ready to rock the long trail down to the lake. Looks just like pictures of holding me and my siblings bundled up in the snow - except in color ;)


Jannie and Grampa - the guide taught us to say WHISKEY when we smile! :)

the girls and the bait hitching a ride

Brian and Oma - the expert fishers!

I swear Tess is in there somewhere

OUT in the middle of a frozen lake. Took me a bit to get used to this...

we found our ice hut

the lone boys

and the girls inside the hut - don't worry the ice holes were only 6 inches wide

we let the girls and the grandmas fish for while in the hut - it was a little crowded!

here fishy fishy

Dad didn't last long without a fishing pole in his hand

Tess says "what the heck are we doing out here mom? the hotel was so warm!"

FIRST FISH! Didn't take long!

purty. JJ was not a fan

Grampa warmed up Tiny so I could have a turn (didn't catch anything, I never do!)

Jannie didn't either - we are not the fisherwomen I guess. Left that to Oma and Heff and Grampa!

but we made sure grampa got a turn - just like the old days on the Lake Tahoe pier!

the girls ventured off to make a fresh hole in the ice with the guide

Happy girls

very happy dad

they have the patience I don't

Jannie is bundled up in that ice hut with a heater and JJ - smart girls!

Tess and I just kept busy taking selfies of ourselves and watching the fishing. She's thrilled ;)

hot chocolate break while dad mans the pole

Maisie back for more action

Jannie and her girls

Maisie was so proud of the "rainbow" she made in the snow

and snow angels

OMA caught this fish - Jannie held it for a photo and when I Instagramed this pic she got all the fish-catching credit - just to set the record straight Jannie wants to make sure everyone knows this was Oma's fish!

yum yum

not giving up - she wanted to stay there all day

so pretty

lunch time!

Family photo

and that's a wrap - back to the hotel for afternoon cocktails!!!

Tahoe Ski Trip!

Last weekend we went up to Tahoe to take the girls skiing for the first time this season. Francie and Maisie leanred last year in Jackson Hole and then went a few more times in Shasta with Heff - but they got right back on their little edgy-wedgy skis and were off and running. JJ was complaining "where my skis?" and her big feet fit the smallest size boot so we rented her short little skis and sent her out too! She wasn't really strong enough to snow plow but Heff skiied with her between his legs and she went ballistic saying "I GOOOO SUPER FAST!!! AGAIN!!" over and over and over. They all managed the magic carpet and then graduated to the lifts for the second and third day. I even got a few runs in with them both days while Tess cooperated and napped in the room! Fun to get out to the snow but MAN is there a lot of gear :)

off with the big girls (rental car in parking lot, don't freak out at no car seats)

it's cold here (really not that cold - we were over dressed a little)

and they're off

for a few hours then time for hot chocolate inside by the fire

hilarious to see little J in her romper on skis

first time on the magic carpet - I stood behind her w Tess in the Bjorn (can't be allowed but no one really tells you you CAN'T do anything at Northstar!)

ok JJ here you go (nice pink goggles Heff)

Tiny and I on the sidelines having a beer waiting for the skiers to get hungry

family lift photo op

I was on the "Big Easy" lift w Maisie and Francie and we saw Dad and JJ ski by - the girls were frantically waving and yelling for them

sisters selfie

caught up to them

snuggles in the room