Christmas 2015

I don’t always do a post about Christmas, but this last one felt monumental and worthy of noting.

It is our first Christmas in Grandma and Papa’s new house. The house is epic. Smaller than their other house, but with tons of property for the kids to go crazy running around.

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It is our first Christmas with Jason as a family member.


The second Christmas with Keith and Alex as husband and wife.


It was the first Christmas that August had a BLAST opening gifts.




It was the first Christmas in a long time that G.G. came and told her stories and laughed.

It is our second Christmas since Simon passed away. We miss him. We miss so much about him, yes, but life is still beautiful and God is still good. I think we all felt that this Christmas. There were so many wonderful moments and so many good memories made.








God is always good, but there are times in life when you just feel like you cup overflows….and this Christmas felt like that.


36th Birthday

I found in life that the beautiful moments and best memories usually can’t be planned. For me anyway.

This year, for my 36th birthday, we had nothing planned really. A few weeks before my birthday Daniel realized that he had to go to San Antonio for work in December. “What if you come with me? What if we go for your birthday?” My heart leapt at the thought of quiet days with no children and multiple date nights with my best friend.

“Is there anyway your mom can watch our kids?”

A few phone calls later, Grandma was on board to come down to San Diego for a week, I had plane tickets in my hand, and we had a top resort booked for a 4 night stay. And since it was a work trip…and we got free childcare….the whole 5 day trip cost us $500! Total bargain.

With a trip in my sights I didn’t expect any other birthday surprises. Then about a week before my birthday Daniel said to me, “I have one thing planned for you on Monday, but you can’t ask any questions.” Of course my mind raced with possibilities. What on earth? I tried to distract myself with pre-trip packing and planning….forgetting about Monday.

Monday came and Daniel had me pack a bag with everything from a swimsuit to yoga pants to painting clothes. My mind raced. Then he took me to the parking lot of a library (not a nearby one), dropped me off, told me to walk around the lake and come back for someone else to pick me up. I thought it would be him there at the other side of the lake, with some other plan; a diversion.

When I started walking around the lake, there was a trail of flowers….and I immediately knew a girl was involved. My mind jumped to the thought that it could be my very dear friend Kate (who moved to Hawaii 2 years ago and I miss like crazy), but I quickly convinced myself it couldn’t be….although I SOOO wanted it to be. Just in the minute I convinced myself it couldn’t be Kate, there she was, jumping out in front of my path from behind a tree. My Kate. A surprise trip to San Diego for my birthday. I burst into tears. Happy happy tears.

I spent the day doing nothing that had to do with my packing list (that WAS a diversion), but did everything I love doing with Kate. Mostly talking. We sipped coffee and tea, watched the sunset by the water on a make-shift couch she made, ate at amazing restaurants, and most importantly we talked and talked and filled each others buckets the way that only the best of girlfriends can do.

If I ever have to describe “my perfect day”….it was that Monday.

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The flowers she brought me and the conversations we had kept me on cloud nine…all the way through to my trip….all the way through to my birthday….all the way through the end of the month.


Just a short two days after my perfect day I flew to San Antonio with my other best friend, Daniel. We stayed in a beautiful resort.

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I had days alone to read, rest, relax, and go to the spa.

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At night we ate at some of the most amazing restaurants San Antonio has to offer. (Cured. Lick. Feast.)

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On the Saturday that Daniel had off work, we ate out for breakfast, took a walk to look at mansions, drank the most amazing coffee I have ever had (not counting my own Daniel’s coffee), and ate dessert at the fanciest bakery I have ever been to. We ended the day with a movie at Alamo Draft House and another great dinner. Another truly perfect day.

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Rarely is something as good as I imagine it will be….but this trip was everything I could have hoped for. It was perfect.

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This last picture is the cake Daniel and the kids made me….along with a card from each of them. Daniel explained this year to the kids how much I really love hand written cards…and so each of them were so proud to give me theirs. It was really really sweet.

This birthday was more than I could have ever dreamed. It was perfect.
Here is to you year 36! I can’t wait to see what you have to offer!

Celebrating Mom

My kids are getting so great at understanding the idea of giving and celebrating OTHER people on their birthday’s. It is a sweet thing to watch. My birthday this year was simply perfect. Snuggles in bed…a hike in God’s incredible beauty (with TREES…a rarity here in our desert!)…ending the day with a flour-less chocolate cake….and cards with sweet words from all….just how I love to feel celebrated.

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