Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cabo Trip, Part One!

Our family's first international trip was a breeze. Well, metaphorically speaking. It was scorching hot in Mexico. However, who can complain about the heat when our hotel had a 10 acre swim-able lagoon? In fact, just hours after landing, John and Jack took a kayak ride through the turquoise lagoon. Cabo is the land of sprawling resorts, the friendliest staff you'll ever meet, and rocky cliffs that hug the coastline.  We had such a blast. We were invited by our friends, who frequent the city. It was a pleasure to to enjoy Cabo with people who are native to the culture. On the agenda: exploring the trinket shops downtown, back-to-back date nights sans kids, John and Jack cruising the beach via an ATV tour, feasting on amazing authentic Mexican cuisine, and lots of pool and swim time with the kids.

My next post will detail the famous "bucket list" restaurant Flora Farms, and all of it's organic-farm-to-table glory. It was seriously so incredible, it will take up a whole post.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Fourth Festivities

A few shots from Fourth of July weekend.

A perfect patriotic weekend, despite the fact that Luke wasn't feeling 100%. We kicked it off right with our local town parade, followed by a casual BBQ with friends and family. As we have the past few years, we drove down about a mile from our house to the "secret spot" to watch fireworks from the country club. Every time, this is hands down the best show, at least for us. We don't want to fight hundreds of people who crowd for a spot to spy fireworks from out in the distance. We like to watch them up close from the top of the hill on the country club golf course, hearing the rumble of the explosions, and have just a handful of bystanders next to us. 

Since the Del Mar Fair was closing up shop the day after July 4th, we decided to "pop by" on the last day. With the weather being pretty bleak and most patrons having already enjoyed the festivities on previous weekends, the crowds were minimal and we actually managed to get in and out. It's fun now that Jack is old enough to enjoy most of the kiddie rides, and who doesn't want to indulge in all the bad foods at the fair? 

Here's some shots from the previous years we've watched the fireworks:

(Luke was 5 weeks old, so pardon the shaky camera on the second shot. We were all a little sleep deprived)


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Sunset Family Dinner


Some Saturday prettiness from a few months back...

John's sister (and family) came to town in June, and on the last night of her stay we put together a beautiful beach-front BBQ dinner at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.  When we used to live in La Jolla Shores, our family would sometimes stay at this club when visiting us, and by association we got to enjoy the perks. Being able to dine right on the sand while watching the sunset and listening to the waves would be reason enough for me to become a member here. Watching the sunset on the beach NEVER.GETS.OLD. 

After several years of observing the local---ahem--more "refined" club members in their natural habitat, I became very much aware that they like to customize their all-white dinner tables with colorful embellishments. So, I decided to get down to the club a little early and set our tables with bright Sarapes (Mexican blankets) and some little succulents and accents from my home. I love how it turned out!

A good lesson in "not sweating the small stuff" came after I cleaned up the boys for this beach side dinner, only to discover that all they wanted to do was play in the wet sand. So we skipped the family portraits and just let them get as dirty as they wanted, and they were all the happier for it. Jack ran with the pack of family and friends that were all gathered, while Luke stayed back mostly with John and his Nana...per usual. Gosh, Jack is such a social butterfly. He always wants to make himself known, while Luke prefers to stand back from the crowd. However, by the time August rolled around and our family came back again for a second visit, Luke was saying "Wryly" and "Summrr" all the time (actual names of his cousins: Riley and Summer). One favorite memory I have from this visit was a 10 year old girl dance party (my nieces brought their friends on this trip) to pop hits on the radio, and Jack making his way through the gaggle of girls to join in. He is at such a sweet stage right now; old enough to participate in what's going on and somewhat articulate it, but still innocent and immune to judgements.    

Flashback to three years ago at the beach club, and one of my favorite pictures! (Jack is about 18 months old here, with Aunt Robyn).

Friday, September 4, 2015

Picnic Parade In The Shade: A 2nd Birthday Party

Gingham and Ant Crawlers and Mini Berry Pies, Oh My!

Well once again, I went theme-crazy for a kid party. With a birthday falling right smack between end of spring and the start of summer, I thought it ripe for the picking to throw a Farmers Market inspired afternoon bash. Luke's "Picnic Party Parade in the Shade" was such a hit. My favorite piece was the huge grass-trimmed cake, crawling with jumbo ants. Luke's perma-smile and the pure joy that spread across his whole body made my heart so full...and can we just take a minute to soak in his outfit? Did you see his ant/gingham moccasins? I've never seen cuter birthday threads! 

We chose the park just a quick car ride away from our home, with a beautiful 180 degree view of the ocean and bay. The clouds kinda blurred out the pretty view, but was actually a relief from a possible hot, sunny, sweaty weather. We also found the most fun, unique, and toddler-approved bouncy house. It was a giant "Sesame Street Learning Center" and it was awesome! All of Luke's music class buddies were there, as well as our family and close friends. My Aunt Linda and brother Matt came from out of town, and reminds me how lucky my kids are to have such supportive relatives. 

Planning these parties is what gives my creative outlet a bright shining light. I love being artistic and imaginative, and cute and pretty parties? Well it's just my thing. I hope my kids can look back and feel the love.