Sunday, June 28, 2015

Santa Barbara, A-Z

View from ABOVE

BOYS will be BOYS

CATNAP, post-picnic




Pint-sized GOLF

HITCH a ride in style




PLAY Ball!


TABLE-SIDE beauty, coming UP for a bite


San YSIDRO Ranch, Finding ZEN

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Thoughts on Turning 33 (last month):

My actual birthday this year fell on Mother's Day. I spent the day with my Mom, and it was lovely. We went out for brunch and then strolled a local design district for several hours. The day before my birthday, however, I found myself feeling blue for most of the day. I couldn't help it; my mood just fell into a funk. This was the first year that's ever happened to me. I didn't want to turn 33, for all the shallow and surface reasons that you'd expect. It happens to most people, I assume. Keeping score of the changes in my physical appearance, the noticeable gap that keeps growing larger between myself and my friends in their twenties, and the makeover to my medicine cabinet---which used to contain only sunscreen, Advil, and face cleanser, now holds an apothecary of products splashed with:  "CELL RENEWAL!" "SUPER-CORRECTIVE!", "POWERFUL LINE-REDUCING!", and "ADVANCED RECOVERY!" That can be a little depressing, no? Then, on the evening of my birthday, my husband brought home the most delicious treats from a local French bakery. My kids were so pumped to sing to me and blow out those candles. They were full of happiness and optimism and joy. They see my heart and my soul, not age spots, fine lines, or a body image that doesn't fit the mold. I'm tickled with excitement and have all the warm fuzzy feelings when I think of what's still yet to come for our family; for my kids. Growing older can frankly suck at times. However, it's such a privilege to do so. The whole day-before-my-birthday I was left with a feeling of dread. I was so focused on not looking forward to turning 33, that I took for granted that having something to look forward to at all is the meaning of this life as a whole...that, desserts, good coffee, sunsets, checking in on your children as they sleep at night, and a holy-grail under eye concealer ;) 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Rocky Mountain Kids

Easter Morning!

A week in Colorado Springs last month went something like this:

-Checking into the most exquisite and glamorously antiquated hotels I've been to (The Broadmoor). 
-Also feeling grateful for the 5 star service. Everyday after John would leave for work, the boys and I would stroll up to the main hotel entrance to either retrieve our rental car or walk the grounds (which are stunning, complete with a huge playscape, lake, walking paths, etc.) and were greeted by no less than four smiling happy faces giving their salutations to my children, and to make sure we had everything we needed. Luke got sick, which I'll get to later, and threw-up all over the floor and chair in our room. I regrettably called housekeeping for help, and the kindest man dressed in full hazmat attire arrived promptly with toxic waste bags and a giant steam cleaning machine. Within 7 minutes it was as if nothing ever happened. I felt like we were the Royal Family.
{front of the hotel, and playscape on-site at the hotel}

-Lots of work meetings for John (we were in CO to tag along for his business trip)
-Easter Sunday spent brunching, which was a thrill in itself. Luke was not well-behaved during brunch, which we later realized was due to the fact that he was suffering from altitude sickness, so I wasn't able to capture photos of the incredible spread.
-A visit to Garden of The Gods to marvel at the "reddish pink rocks." (Jack)
-A visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to marvel at the giraffes and suffer from an all-out-freak-out once arriving at the reptile encounter (Jack), and promptly booked it back to the car.

-Lots of quiet walks to catch that dose of rocky mountain high air, and to swoon over the dozens of restored old homes sprinkled around the hotel property.
-Bowling for the first time as a family IN our hotel, which had an amazing---beautiful, actually---bowling alley with an attached restaurant and game room.

-Searching for deer who roamed the surrounding neighborhood of the hotel.
-Trying to always manage the balance between practicality and spontaneity when traveling with two young kids. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Laguna Has My Heart

Back in March we met up with our Texas family in Laguna/Newport Coast. What was supposed to be two days of cousins playing and husbands golfing turned into a 6 day proper vacation. Basically, we were spoiled rotten by the Pelican Hill Resort (we have never seen rooms as massive and comfortable) and didn't want to leave! That's the bonus of traveling just 75 minutes away from where you flight changes/fees necessary if you decide you want to extend your trip. Despite being so close to home, sometimes it felt like we were a world away. With the exception of the summer months and a few times a year when special festivals and events take over the small town of Laguna, it's quiet and peaceful. It's also stunning with plenty of breathtaking coves and lush beaches, and that my friends, is one desirable combo: feeling like you have your own private paradise when on vacation. While we love living where we do, there will never be a day (unless early in the morning or on a bad weather day) were we can hang by the beach and then roll into town without fighting a small crowd. Another notable difference is there aren't many (maybe only one?) legit ocean-front/direct beach access sprawling resort hotels in San Diego. The South O.C. area?--There are plenty and if you can manage it, I wouldn't miss the opportunity to stay at one of them because they are phenomenal. 

Related: this post about a weekend away in Laguna Beach John and I took together for our anniversary in 2012.