The other day we woke up and decided, after a long morning, we wanted to “go on an adventure.” So we packed snacks and loaded bikes in the car with helmets.


We crossed bridges spanning the port and parked at Cabrillo Beach


with perfect weather and a vacant playground


the boys rode around until we agreed it was time to go into the aquarium.


After touching the sea stars and waving at lobsters, we piled back in the car and drove some more.


I love a rocky, clear coast. Luckily my kids agree. It takes our breath away. We just stared and then drove north more until we found a crepe place for a late afternoon snack.


On our way back, we realized we could time it just right to see a sunset.


Gorgeous! The little ones were tired by the time we got home from our adventure.

DSC_8144I love to wander and drive along the coast.

A Reminder

Whenever Olivine gets sick we cross our fingers in hopes it doesn’t move into her chest. We haven’t forgotten two years ago, at this same time, being in the hospital.
DSC_8158She had a flu shot a month ago and has been using a preventive inhaler. When we ran out and then she started wheezing, we took her back to the doctor. Her sleep hasn’t been the best, but we have the humidifier on and she takes the treatments like a champ.

Holiday Highlights

waking up every morning and not being rushed, enough time for coffee and sitting with JoeDSC_7935reading stories to little ones who like booksDSC_7914a baby being adored by many (and Mike being home from Italy)DSC_7917Christmas lights- everywhere
DSC_7857and handmade crafts decorating the house, along with framed Christmas postcardsDSC_7977Joe making play dough with Olivine in pajamasDSC_7983watching the boys open their presentsDSC_7965and then later play like they are the “Wild Kratts” in their vestsDSC_8004tree climbing
DSC_7994picnics in the park
DSC_8022drawing and playing board gamesDSC_8050having Paul cook dinner (with my supervision), a vegan stew with dumplings
DSC_8161 and realizing we have another week of this time together.

Merry and Bright

Wishing you a happy holiday.


We had some fun yesterday afternoon with party props from Cara.


This morning is slow going and we are grateful.


Celebrate the birth of the Lord and rejoice.

On a Whim

We were at the mall with my mom who took the kids to “Build a Bear.”DSC_7762 They all bought bears. Paul dressed his in a football jersey while Henry chose a Batman costume. Olivine has a sparkly bear with the frozen song inside.


We saw a Claire’s and went in…..seemed perfect with her middle name being Clare. This was not the type of decision I wanted to over analyze. I knew it would happen but I am never at the mall. I asked our pediatrician when she was an infant, but she doesn’t pierce ears. Joe and I had talked about it but never in any serious way.

DSC_7771She was nervous and excited and her brothers were sure she would cry. But with a lollipop as a decoy, she only frowned. No kicking, yanking, screaming, or even one tear. The girls in the shop were shocked.


She described it as a “shot in my ears.” The ladies pierced her ears in tandem with her birthstone. Two minutes later she was looking in the mirror with wide eyes and a big smile.


She even had a bag to carry with bragging rights. She has been showing them off. We are cleaning them three times a day and so far, she is not having any issues.

Late Nights

We can stay up with friends in pajamas and watch “Home Alone”


or make s’mores over the fireplace.


We can pile into bed and slowly read chapters of The Long Winter. Cozy and cuddled close.


We can walk around Naples


to admire the lights


and hang out with friends from out of town.


We are out late and that is because we can sleep in. Tonight was foggy and especially fun for being outside.DSC_7884


We met up with friends at the L.A. zoo on Saturday.


Henry insisted on a picture with him near the reindeer so he could show his teacher.


While Paul wanted to check the map at each exhibit.

DSC_7676When all of our kids are together and we round them up for a group photo, my heart sparks with a mini explosion. I am awestruck at how much our lives have expanded from when we first met as couples in SF. Two weddings and a bunch of kids later- we have created families. That feels amazing.


The youngest of the crew makes me most curious. She has balanced out the gender ratio and she will have an older brother, older sister, and awesome parents. What will she be like?


I always leave the zoo with mixed feelings. I don’t know what I think. But sitting in front of this momma orangutan as she picked at the snacks in her pinecone, I kept looking in her eyes so curious about what she saw or thought or felt. I’ll never know.


We did see a baby hippo, baby giraffe, and a jaguar up close. My kids love it. Once a year might be all I can handle.


Before Break

Joe had finals that included papers and tests and studying. So there were a few moments like this:


A reminder for those who think we are perfect, we most certainly are not. We give in.

DSC_7655Henry had a winter show. That I am sad I missed because my second graders had a show as well (that I had to be at). Joe recorded the singing for me. The teacher had somebody show up as Santa. Olivine saw him get out of  a jeep and that is all she could talk about. He didn’t come in a sleigh. So confusing and funny.

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



The Kisser

is what Henry jokes is his wrestling name. He will kiss his opponent until they give up or laugh.
He is learning about rhyming words and syllables at school. So in the car or in his room I hear him clapping out words and making rambling, rhyming lists.
I love how much he wants to help. He has been checking the water on our Christmas tree and turning on the lights as soon as it gets dark. I try to go heavy on the praise. I catch myself being grumpy with him when he is being a rascal. But that is his nature.
His favorite word these days is “gorgeous.” He uses it all the time and it surprises me every time. He might be talking about the dinner I set in front of him or the sunset we are looking at.
DSC_7535 And yes, that is him smiling this afternoon. He has a big scrape on his leg from falling at school. But is he sad? No, he is as happy as a clam.