At the start of summer we decided to plan out a monster to-do list for our little family, filled with new and old things we like to do. But looking back a lot of time was spent at our little rental house here in the Cruz, playing on the patio, making pillow forts, having balloon parties, picking blackberries on our street and riding bikes in the neighborhood.
On President’s Day we took just Jace down to our favorite beach here in Aptos and set up for the afternoon. There was almost no one on our beach. Except for some wind and clouds to cover the warm sun, it was pretty beautiful. The boys ventured off and found some hot coals left over from the night before and got us a little beach bonfire going, using driftwood and any other scraps they could find. Soon we were all cuddled up by the fire, snacking and listening to the wind and waves. I even got some more reading in. It got pretty chilly out here, and even with a fire and robe on Jace couldn’t stay warm. We called it at that point but all the same it was an awesome day off with our first born. The ocean is so relaxing! And I’m pretty sure he was on cloud nine to have the day with us.
Well, it’s been 3 months now since we’ve moved back to California. For some reason it feels like longer than that, but still 3 months, all the same. Although this gorgeous weather has been making it easy to remember the good things about living the coastal life, I think we’ve had a hard time adjusting. I’m working from home now and Rob is home with the kids all day. Temporary I know, but still hard when I have to be “on” at work to get projects done and sit in on conference calls, etc. and the kids are crying or screaming or the TV is blaring. It’s been hard for me to turn Mom off and work on. But, bless Rob’s heart, he’s doing the best he can to keep the kiddos occupied and engaged, and every morning we have our morning meeting upstairs in the office to talk about the day’s schedule so he knows when to get the boys out of the house. At the same time, Jace is very clingy to Rob and desperate for friends again, so we’re anxious for him to start preschool around here to get back into some kind of routine where he can build up his independence again. And Mr. Walker is in that delicious baby stage where he’s more alert and awake and wants to be active with Jace, so even more to think about, on both Rob and I’s part (especially with all the bite-size toys and legos around here!). This work home life is truly a blessing, we just need to get better at it. And I know Rob will eventually go back to work once he finds something that suites him, but for now, we’ll just have to juggle the every day and support each other in getting balance and some alone time, where we can turn the attention back to ourselves and hit the gym, or the mani salon, or just wind down together on a Friday night after the long work week with a sunset walk on the beach. Nothing is more enjoyable than skipping rocks into calm waves, smelling that ocean air and seeing Jace run up and down the beach with the sunset in back view. That little one has so much energy, which is part of the reason we’re so spent by the end of every day! We do thank God for this chance right now to keep the boys home and not in daycare, and need to remember to simply enjoy it before schedules kick in again and late night movie loft nights aren’t an every day thing. For now, I’m going to enjoy the craziness because it lets me have lunch with my family every day and snuggle Walker when he wakes up from his naps. I also think these sunsets walks need to officially become a weekly ritual, to help us reflect on the week and the gift of each day we’re given.
So, about this day .. it was perfect. Borderline heavenly (queue some Russell Dickerson). There was so much happiness flowing through our veins this day we almost couldn’t stand it. It was a Saturday and the weather was gorgeous. The beach was glowing. And the whales jumping! After all the stress of moving and putting our house up for rent, and the long nights with a newborn, and the trials with a toddler .. we needed a day just like today. To remember that life is good, and we are together as a family. That things feel slow again; not yet easy, but slow. We packed a cooler for the day with some delicious snacks and a bottle of the American Summer Chandon (thanks to our Heather!) .. we put Tom Petty on the blue tooth and just beached out all day. Jace is officially obsessed with the beach. And how on point is his beach outfit? Including his new shades from Grandma and Papa. Humpback whales are migrating to Alaska right now and are all up and down our coastline eating anchovies, so all day we stared into the waters to see whales jumping up and their fins splashing. Whale watching is so awesome when it’s free! The smell of the ocean air, the warm sun .. it really doesn’t get better than this. At times I get these rushes of guilt, like I don’t deserve this expensive California life we’re living and the relaxing beach days, but then I remember that it all happened for a reason. We wouldn’t be here if things weren’t set in motion to bring us here. I love seeing Jace run up and down the beach, and Walker’s little chubby baby feet in the sand. So for now, I’m going to keep soaking in these summer beach days as we have them and not feel too guilty that this is where we live again. It’s real, I just need to enjoy it!
It’s been almost 2 months since my last post! WOW! I think that’s honestly the longest I’ve gone! I’m so sorry universe (and future Cheryl). You could say we’ve been quite the busy bees. Mainly because we moved BACK to CALIFORNIA!!! An opportunity came up with the company I work for, and one that would get us back to Santa Cruz, so I took it!! It’s been a complete whirlwind since I said yes. God is so good, is all I can say. He even gave us a great rental back in Aptos, where we used to live, equipped with a home office for me, a basketball hoop, a beautiful yard and a gardener! We feel so fortunate to have had this door to California open back up for us. I can’t speak for Rob, but this area is truly my happy place. Driving down the 1, going back to the church we loved, seeing the friends we’ve missed and smelling that ocean air brings back all the feels I felt those years ago, when Rob and I ventured out here together. Our nights of playing baseball in Arizona in our backyard are now spent on Hidden Beach in Aptos. California sure has welcomed us back, with gorgeous beach days, blue skies and foggy mornings. We are going to miss our families something fierce, but for some reason, all feels right. We feel more in the moment out here in a way. I can’t explain it. But, when I see Jace’s blonde locks with the ocean behind him, or his little feet in the sand, I just know this is where we were meant to be. Where I want to raise my boys .. until God calls us to be somewhere else that is. Look for more updates along the way. I can’t wait to run the boys all around this area and watch them explore and learn. It’s so exciting!