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Santa Cruz

Family, Friends, Holidays, Santa Cruz

Celebrating Christmas and our holiday in Arizona

Christmas came and went faster than ever this year. We just got home from our trip to see family and friends in Arizona and are pretty dazed. If that’s a word. We’re pooped. Between the holiday shopping and travel and work schedules, we did our best to do a few things to keep the spirit of Christmas glowing in our hearts.  I didn’t do half as much as I wanted to, like watch Hook, finish David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice, make Jace’s first year ornament, decorate a Gingerbread house out of berries, etc., etc. My Christmas cards were rushed {but fairly clever!} — my gifts were last minute {literally day-of sometimes} — my flight was almost missed — my luggage delayed — my hair a mess. It was a scrambling, rushed holiday. I obviously over did it. And to my dismay, I caught a nasty stomach virus over the holiday, and then gave it to everyone around me, including little Jace. On the bright side, we were spoiled with love from our family and friends and that alone made up for all the hustle and bustle and sicknesses and stress. It’s really the best time of the year and there is so much to celebrate – the birth of Jesus, the Christ and the promise of grace and hope forever more. So, what am I complaining about, right? Right. Here are the fews things we DID do to celebrate here in Cali and in Arizona: 

One of our little Christmas outings was to the lighted boat parade in Santa Cruz at the harbor with some good friends. It was so much fun. Love the smell of that ocean!

We had some friends and family pass through. Surprise visitors are the best. Jace loves Krista & Gus! ;)

Rob enjoyed his seasonal beers ;) 

And little boy had his first ear infection early in December and did a lot of face-down, butt in the air motions. I think it helped his head.
Holiday work part-ay!! Full of food, sushi, games and the money tree! 

My Dad and Jace waiting with me at the Phoenix airport for my luggage that didn’t make it on my flight. 3 hours later :( Thank God for Starbucks. 

Oregano’s to the rescue, after a long travel day. 

My little reindeer xoxo…

Christmas Eve with the Johannes. I truly love it when our families come together to eat and exchange stories and gifts. So heartwarming to see Jace among all of his Grandpas, Grandmas, Great-Grandmas, and Uncles & Aunts. And our holiday specs were so rad. 

Christmas #2 in Cottonwood with Rob’s Mom, step-father and Tay & Ri. We made gingerbread houses, ate a ton of great food and strolled through Jerome before heading back to Phoenix. Such a nice visit and so comfy, too! 

Biggest coffee cup ever! Thanks Tayler. 

Miss Tayler made us the most thoughtful scrapbook of Jace’s first year. I can’t even imagine how many hours she must have spent on it. It’s beautiful. In it is this quote about family and it couldn’t be more perfect:

“Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future” – Gail Lumet Buckley

Thanks, Tayler. we love you so much. 
Holidays, Santa Cruz

An afternoon on the Santa Cruz pier

Christmas is in high gear around these parts. December is already flying by. It’s quiet in my house tonight, the tree is glowing, Kelly Clarkson Wrapped in Red is on shuffle and I’m going through all of the pictures from our Sunday on the Santa Cruz pier with Heather. Jace’s first Christmas. Wow. This little sweetheart of mine is already 10 months & 2 weeks. I can barely keep up. He is so smiley. I am truly so blessed to have him. He is such a bundle of love.

This last one might be my most favorite. It’s so us and how we are with Jace. We’re constantly giddy and smiling around him. We’re all a bunch of hams. And then there’s Jace, always taking the hugs and kisses we smother him with. Until he’s over it and wants to crawl on the pier and ooh and aah at the seagulls. Thank you so much Heather for capturing all these little family moments for us. We love you!
Family, Halloween, Santa Cruz

Rodoni Farms

You guessed it. Rodoni Farms! I promised Rob I wouldn’t go crazy with the photos, but we did snap a few. What a selection Rodoni has. My goodness. They had every breed of pumpkin available. Even the Cinderella pumpkins {which I love!}. This year I’ve particularly been drawn to the white pumpkins. What I also love about Rodoni is the field sits on a hillside, overlooking the ocean. And boy is that ocean breeze intoxicating. The perfect end to a Fall day in California.

{the ocean air doesn’t allow for the best hair.
But it doesn’t get much better than smelling the ocean and kissing my baby’s cheeks.}
And there you have it. A baby sitting in a field of pumpkins. A very pale baby but a baby at that!
Half Moon Bay, Halloween, Santa Cruz, Video

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival + a video

This last weekend we went to the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. We’ve been so caught up with moving and work that I wanted us to take a little road trip somewhere close by and near the ocean;) So, we headed to the little town of Half Moon Bay. Their annual festival was packed with pumpkin everything – pumpkin macaroni & cheese, pumpkin chili, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin ice-cream – pumpkin you name it! There were giant pumpkins every where you looked, different craft stations for kids, a pumpkin pie eating contest, world class pumpkin carvers and a festival parade {which we missed because we were eating something pumpkin-y}. It was such a fun day of music and art and pumpkin eating! After the crowd got the best of us {really, I was starting to get claustrophobic}, we said goodbye to the festival and headed home. On the way back into Santa Cruz we stopped at Rodoni Farms. Rob insisted that because Jace won’t necessarily remember any of this pumpkin fun, that we didn’t need to go overboard on the pictures, or actually pick out a pumpkin, so we enjoyed the view and smell of the ocean, obnoxiously put Jace in the piles of pumpkins and giggled over his obsession with the hay. More pictures on Rodoni next!

{the pumpkin-tini was delish}
{not sure Jace is a pumpkin fan just yet.}
{broom anyone?}
{for being quite the pumpkin pie fanatic, I must say their “famous” pie was pretty good.
And why have I never put cinnamon on my pumpkin pie before?! It’s delicious!}
{babies in flannels kill me.}
Marriage, Santa Cruz

Date night at 515 Kitchen & Cocktails

This summer is seriously flying by, and so has our time with visitors. But with visitors also come the opportunity of a date night! Which we don’t get much of with it just being us out here. So, when Rob’s Mom and Stepdad came out {more on that later!}, they offered us a night to go out. Rob and I were so excited to have some time together. It’d been too long. We’ve had our eyes on this cute, vintage house in downtown Santa Cruz for a while, called 515 kitchen & cocktails.  It has a rooftop deck, with seating and lights – a dark romantic inside, a hipster crowd and a great happy hour. We had the best time. Rob and I love talking about life and work and friends and things we can’t wait to do, and what’s next, where to go. . and how much we love our son and California. He’s really my most favorite person to talk to that man. From there we hopped over to the bookshop {so I could pick up Divergent}, then to a great new sushi restaurant we heard about. Really, one of the best date nights we’ve had this year. Thank you, Teri & Paul. And for those Santa Cruzans out there, if you go to 515 Kitchen & Cocktails during their happy hour, order the Le Pamplemousse. It’s amazing and pictured below {with Rob’s old fashion}.