Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Full Heart

Hey hey hello! We just returned from a 2 week visit with our family in Tennessee. There are only a few reasons I will get on an airplane and new babies are at the top of the list.

That's Rosie, my little brother and sister in law's new baby girl. She's pretty much the most perfect baby ever to be born in a living room. Jenni had her at home on a Monday night. We flew in early on Tuesday and went straight to their house to smooch on our littlest family member. She's tiny and sweet. I love her.

Our visit was different from past trips because we split our time between my older brother's house, JD's parents, and my mom's house. It was great, although a bit of an emotional roller coaster when it was time to leave one house to go to the next. It felt like we had to say goodbye just when we got settled, but then the excitement of being welcomed somewhere new snuffed out the sadness. It was fun! And sad. Like I said, emotional roller coaster!

2 weeks was the perfect length of time to be away. We were busy every day visiting family, old friends, and former employers. JD mentioned after one long day visiting 3 different homes that this wasn't his idea of a relaxing vacation. I told him we can relax at home, we came to see everyone and if we don't triple up some days, we'd never get to everybody!

It was his first time back to Tennessee since we moved 2.5 years ago. He enjoyed seeing our old stomping ground, but we both agreed it no longer felt like home. As much as we hate being so far away from our loved ones, we really love Southern California and were excited to get back.

I'm thankful to have the time with our family the last 2 weeks. My kids loved playing with their older cousins and mothering their younger ones. We didn't get to see everyone as much as we hoped to, but that happens when you have a huge family and lots of friends. Plans are being made for lots of visitors coming our way this year. Until then, I have a heart full of memories and love to carry me until we see them all again.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


This past Friday night, I felt my first earthquake! It was simultaneously super scary and kind of amazing. I was sitting on the couch crocheting, when the room starting moving. It felt like the house was on a wave machine. The movement was smooth, rolling, and nauseating. It lasted at least 10 seconds - long enough for me to feel it and be totally freaked out.

My initial reaction was that JD was messing around with me. This was completely ridiculous and irrational considering he was upstairs putting Penelope to bed. When I realized he couldn't move our furniture from upstairs, I concluded someone was behind my couch, moving it. I'm serious, that was totally a reasonable explanation for me. I jumped up, fully expecting to see somebody hiding under the couch. Maybe I was in shock??? Then I noticed the chandelier swinging and the blinds swaying and deduced, oh my goodness, that was an earthquake!!!

I ran upstairs and said to JD, "did you feel that?!?!"
"Feel what?' he asked.
"We just had an earthquake! Come look, everything is moving!"
"You know what? I totally felt nauseated a few moments ago, like the room was rolling or something."

We both felt it. I texted friends and they felt it too. Soon, it was all over the news. There was a 5.1 quake about 30 miles from where we live. What we felt, the rolling waves, is typical for the distance we are to the fault lines where the quake occurred. For the next 24 hours, there were dozens of aftershocks, but we never felt them.

There have been earthquakes almost every month since we've lived in Southern California, but I've never felt one until Friday night. I've got to say, I'm excited to have experienced one, but I never want to feel another one again. Feeling the earth shift and move is unsettling (pun intended) and I don't really want to feel it again!

Friday, March 28, 2014

When They Grow Up

The girls love to talk about growing up. Their conversations are the sweetest. Beatrice wants to get married to Isaac, go to work, and never have children. She will live with me forever and also visit when she goes home to her pink house. Isaac likes pink, she says, so it's okay.

Me - "If you don't have any children, who will my grandchildren be?"
Her - "Well, I don't know. But I'm never having children, it's gross."
Me - "What will your job be?"
Her - "A shepherd. And a ballet teacher. And a police lady."
Me - "Can you reconsider not having any children so I can be a grandmother?"
Her - "No, it's gross."

Penelope is going to live with me forever and stay home with her babies. She's naming them baby Alyson and baby Rapunzel. She says she wants to be Rapunzel when she grows up and also stay a baby.

Me - "Don't ever leave me when you grow up."
Her - "I won't, mama. I'm a baby."
Me - "Please have lots of babies so I can be their grandmother."
Her - "I will. And I can be a baby too."
Me - "Who will you marry?"
Her - "I wanna marry daddy!"

The future is looking bright for these two!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

32, W

I had a birthday last week. It was one of the best ones yet. JD flew my best friend out for a week and then told us to spend a day doing something fabulous while he watched the girls. We booked a cabana at the W Hotel in Los Angeles and spent the day lounging, eating, and tanning.

It started out cold and cloudy, but shortly after noon the sky turned blue and the sun blazed. We fried. We stayed all day (8 hours!) and made it home just in time to eat homemade spaghetti and garlic toast. Thanks, honey!

It was such a fun treat for this mama who rarely gets any me-time. A pool day with my BFF? Best gift ever!

Monday, March 17, 2014

In Bloom

My lemon tree is in full bloom.

It's a tiny, little tree so full bloom may not seem like much to you, but it's pretty exciting to me! This little guy is so low maintenance and happy, he's the easiest plant I've ever kept alive. The blossoms smell so sweet, the bees cannot keep away. I can't wait to see my lemon harvest this year.

Living in Southern California is such a treat for citrus lovers like myself. The endless sun and mild temperatures create the perfect environment for little lemon trees like mine. Having kept him alive for almost a year now really makes me want to get more trees. I'm thinking avocado next, maybe lime. Definitely kumquat. My own little container orchard, coming soon!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Up, Up and Away

I've only flown a kite a few times in my life. I remember my dad flying a box-shaped kite with us at the beach as kids a few times, and I loved it. I see people flying kites here in California all the time and I think it's so peaceful. I love kites. 

I found 2 awesome plane kites on a local bargain website for $5 (for both!) and scooped them up thinking the girls would love flying them. Last weekend we busted out our new kites. The girls were into it for about 3 minutes, then decided hunting ladybugs was more fun. (Probably because we wouldn't let them hold the reel by themselves for fear that they would take flight too). But JD and I love flying our new kites!

On a windy day, you just may catch us flying kites.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hike Turned Picnic Turned Swim

Yesterday we planned a hike with friends. It was a beautiful day and we were itching for some fresh air and ocean views. We were supposed to meet at 11 so we packed lunches, just in case everyone got hungry along the way. We hiked along the cliffs down to a rocky beach close to home. All we had planned was a hike, but our hiked turned into a big beach picnic and an impromptu swim in the icy waves. In California, that's pretty normal.

The hike was pretty uneventful, but when we reached the beach, there were tide pools to explore, rocks and shells to find. We checked out sea anemones, crabs, and barnacles. We found every shape of rock and a few dried up sea creatures.

California is really awesome. You can be on a hike near the ocean and come upon a tiny ecosystem right before you eat a ham sandwich. Amazing! I hope my girls remember these adventures. Living here is such a blessing.

After lunch, the ocean called to the children. We couldn't keep them away.

What started out as wave jumping...

Quickly turned into scuba diving.

I wasn't prepared for this! I thought we were just going for a hike!

That's California for you!

We rounded up all the dry clothes and pieced together outfits for the swimmers to hike up the cliff in. It was the most eventful hike to date.