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Aptos, Cher Joy, weekend

About today

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!


Back to CALI!!

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!

Aptos, Cher Joy

Cher joy

I’m at the tail end of my Sunday and feeling exhausted. Oh, I know why. Mr. Jace face. Sleeping in on the weekends doesn’t happen anymore. Even napping is getting rare with Jace, a.k.a. party all day {sleep all night {why am I complaining?}}. Weekends are so wonderful that I end of trying to do too much. And with a baby it makes the weekend all that more exhausting, ha. We have a busy week ahead of us, a lot of client meetings for me, and an anniversary for Rob at work. I head to Arizona to see my family and friends later this week and am super anxious. I can’t wait to pass Jace all around and see friends. Should be a great time. Well, even with little sleep I got {my own fault!}, here’s what brought me joy last week:



1. Late nights in bed together. Me – half reading my new book, half doing my Intro to Digital Media class homework; him – looking for rentals.
2.  My Friday with Jace. I’m officially part-time and Fridays are my new day to stay home {and try not to work, ha}. I only cried twice ;)
3. Rob and I enjoyed a date night at the new Cantine in downtown Aptos to celebrate our 14 yr anniversary! 14 years. Holy crap. 14 years ago he held hands with me on the way to our first class, lacing our fingers a certain way, and asked me to be his girlfriend. He is still that cheesy to this day, which I’m so thankful for.
4. Sunday morning in bed with my boys, not wanting to get out of bed, wishing I could just spend all day in bed. That sky light is great, but sort of the devil at the same time.
Have a wonderful week friends!
Aptos, Family

The best barbecue in Santa Cruz: Aptos St. Barbecue


When we have visitors to Santa Cruz, it’s almost guaranteed that one of the nights {OK maybe two} will be spent eating out. Yeah, we’ll grill and make big breakfasts at the beach house, but sometimes, dinner just isn’t going to happen. And Rob and I together are a bad combination because we love to eat and we love to eat out, ha. So when visitors come, we jump at the opportunity to take them somewhere local & delicious. On Tayler’s last night we took her to Aptos St. Barbecue in downtown Aptos, one of our favorite go-to spots for a good dinner (or late lunch}. It’s like walking into a Southern BBQ/music house — live blues most nights, great beer selection, picnic table style eating and a barbecue-infused menu! Tay ordered a chicken salad, but we did not. I always go for the pulled pork, and Rob the tri-tip sandwich. Seriously amazing. Meat is tender and soft — barbecued to perfection that day. I can’t get enough of their barbecue sauce either. I could drink it. I basically soak my sandwich in it. Their coleslaw is the real kind of coleslaw, too — refreshing and light. You probably don’t know, but I’m a huge cole slaw snob and this place just gets in. If you go, try any of their meats, but on the garlic bun. It will change your world and keep you coming back for more.






Taylor is about the sweetest, most gorgeous thing. Love her with all my heart.
And until I can get someone to take my picture without me blinking or scratching my noise or cleaning my teeth, here are some of the two men in my life:
If you see us out & about, we’re probably doing this {kissing jace face!}.
Check ’em out!
Aptos, Food, Friends, Heather by Hand

A birthday bonfire

A dear friend of ours celebrated a birthday in July and we wanted to make it extra special. This gal means the world to us {in case you can’t already tell, she’s plastered all over my blog half the time}. I know she’s not going to like something sappy written about her, but she’s seriously a beautiful person. I don’t know what I’d do without her. Miss Heather wanted a low-key birthday so we did just that. We brought the party to the beach for a sunset bonfire with Smoked Chocolate S’mores, champagne . . & hot dogs, hahahaha. Jace didn’t want to miss his Auntie’s birthday so he came along for the party, too. I know this is a little back-dated, but Happy Birthday Heather. Hope you enjoyed!

{the lovebirds <3}
we love you so much heather w!