Santa Cruz Sunshine

Today was the second day of spring break and Christian and I explored UC Santa Cruz and the surrounding community together. I loved having time alone with him, discovering something new and something old. 

It’s a beautiful campus, nestled in nature and rolling hills, with gorgeous views of the ocean.

After our tour, we had lunch at one of our old favorite places, Charlie Hong Kong.  We had to head back over the hill, but I couldn’t be this close to the ocean without sticking my feet in the water. Luckily my kid is a good sport and appreciates my love for the beach. It was an absolutely perfect day to be there.

I love the beach and its majesty. This is my happiest place on earth. I wish I could live right here next to the waves crashing. Maybe one day…but today, I just enjoyed these few perfect moments for a few minutes.

How was your day?

Life is good.

Glamping in California

I grew up camping and I am so thankful my parents decided to come up to visit us again as they begin their summer vacation.

I was able to find a last-minute glamping spot with all the perks, close to the coast and we quickly packed up and got on the road. Charlie is so in love with his grandpa, whom we call, Opa. He decided he would drive with Opa and I drove with Oma in my car and with the other two kids. 

We have a beautiful, relaxing spot to do nothing and anything for the next two days. I am beyond content.

I love seeing the kids play and ride bikes and do puzzles and hang out together with my parents with no agenda. I am loving on my parents too and enjoying their company.

Life is so good. Live it up, friends. Now is the time to BE. Here I am.


lichen on the bridge


Togetherness in Full Tilt

I love my crazy family.

We have been together in hotel rooms for the past 4 nights and have had messed up schedules and are still going strong. We’ve had our woes of togetherness but are still in love and ready to keep on exploring.

Today we moseyed on home and stopped at places we wanted to see along the way. We enjoyed the journey and didn’t focus on the final destination.

Our first stop off the beaten highway was Santa Margarita. We wanted to see where the Pozo Saloon was located. The drive out here was gorgeous.


It was fun to drive down roads we’ve never been on before and to imagine what it would be like to live in a remote part of a town.

From here we continued on and stopped to tour the Firestone Walker Brewery. Again, this is a place we always want to visit, but we are typically focused on the destination and don’t want to stop and slow down. Today we slowed and enjoyed a tasty lunch and brewery tastings.



As we drove, we were invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with April’s family. We were then excited to be home, but weren’t done just being on the road, as we had one more curiosity to explore.

ML and her family were camping at the beach and we decided to stop in for a quick happy hour and to wrap up our vacation with friends. This happy hour did not include food nor drink – just an hour of togetherness walking and talking and watching the sunset.



I loved that my family rallied to stop at the beach one more time and to visit with friends! I am lucky!!

And finally, we hurried up to make it home in time to enjoy dinner with April. She had prepared dumpling fixins’ and we arrived in time to help with the assembly. We all had a blast!

And now, even I am tired and am so happy to be back in my own nest again with all my little chickens in their coops. We are fully baked! Time to rest.

Life is good, living it up every day, every way I can. Hope you’re doing the same. xoxo

The Happiest Place on Earth

I am content.





This weekend my husband is taking good care of our kids and I am enjoying a mini-vacation with my volleyball friends in Laguna Beach.


I am thankful!!

Hope you all are living it up and having a wonderful weekend filled with love and laughter and happiness.


Beautiful Capitola

I love the beach.  It is my favorite place to be.  I would live by the beach if I could, and someday I will. For now, I enjoy it whenever I can – in any kind of weather.

This morning Norine and I woke up early and went for a 3 mile run before our other friends woke up. The views were breathtaking and the air was crisp.  We ran through the neighborhoods, seeing other runners and walkers and dogs and surfers out early too, in the fog and damp air and we were all smiling.  There is something magical about beach air.



After our run, we joined our friends for breakfast before heading back out for a rain walk on the beach.





Life is good!

Beach Day – Capitola

Some of us made it to the beach today, which made my day.  The drive over Highway 17 from the valley to the ocean is magnificent.  I love driving through the trees and mountains and over to the other side, especially when the weather is warm and the sun is shining brightly, like today. Sometimes going to the beach in the winter time is the best time for a visit, like today.

Life is good. 







Following the Light

I am fascinated by light and water. I wanted to go to the beach today and see the ocean, but the rest of the family was happy just relaxing at home. Even though I desired going out, I’m also happy when everyone else is happy and I’d rather be with everyone than be alone enjoying the beach.

So instead, I enjoyed playing cards with my sister for four hours, knowing we had no where we had to be and nothing we had to do. This was liberating! Today truly felt like vacation. Jeff read his new books, CJ played on the computer, and the younger ones were content just playing and hanging out together. We went for a bike ride and the kids played in the park, appreciating the warm air and bright, California winter sunshine.


Around 4pm, we decided to get dressed and to go watch the sunset. We all loaded up in the car and ended up following the light through Silicon Valley, down through Half Moon Bay, and ending up in San Francisco. In the end, I got to see the beach after all. Thanks guys!!




I love this life, right now. And happy birthday to my BFF!!

Day 15: Beach Day

What I love (and hate) about summer is not having a plan and structure and time expectations. Some days just end up being perfect, unplanned but planned and they just come together like today. I always have a list of To Do’s but usually there is flex to it and different priorities allow me to juggle and shift and change the order based on the highest need at any given moment.

Today lil’ C really wanted to see his friend’s again and I was happy when the Peterson’s called to invite us to join them at their hostel today and to hang out. We knew there was a beach near by to check out but we weren’t sure what the weather would be like. There was also a playground and beautiful gardens to enjoy and to allow us to just hang out, once we arrived.

We packed lunches and towels and bathing suits and headed out to meet our friends around lunch time.

It was a gorgeous day at the sea. The kids had fun body surfing, searching for sea life, and building sand castles. they found cool shells, pincher crabs, a mini starfish, and jellyfish. They were curious as to why the women weren’t wearing tops and why the little kids were walking around naked. I just explained it as being European and it not being a big deal, and that they were comfortable with their own bodies and how cool was that?

The weather was so nice that we stayed all day until dinner time. We stopped for the kids to get some French fries with mayonaise and peanut sauce and bitterbollen with mustard. Everyone loved the bitterbollen and we loved sharing new foods with our friend’s. Im
So glad we just went with the flow today and ended up at my favorite place, the beach! The beach snack shack also had a playground that was quite entertaining. A perfect day…











Day 49 – Beach Day

Oh my goodness, I don’t know how so many things are able to get done in one day, but I’m not complaining!!  


This Chihualy Glass exhibit was donated to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. It is so beautiful and we were lucky enough to see one of his shows in San Francisco. The kids were amazed, as were we! He is amazing. 

1) J had an MRI this morning at 8 am for her broken arm that’s not healing right. Hopefully it’s nothing and just needs some physical therapy – that’s what I’m hoping. We’ll find out more tomorrow. Just glad we have great doctors and facilities to care for her. She had to sit in the MRI tube for 30 minutes without moving. I got to stand and watch her. But I couldn’t stand still – so I did Yoga for her entertainment, until she started laughing. That wouldn’t be good if she moved her arm!!

2) After the doctor’s visit, we headed over to Safeway to shop for lunch and dinner at the beach! Safeway had all these nice, prepackaged salads that were just right for today. And having chips and chocolate chip cookies, are good ol’ fashioned beach food, right? The more snacks, the better?

3) We packed up the van, fed April’s cat, loaded my SUP board, got gas and we on the road to the beach for the entire day.


Beautiful and windy day at Manresa State Beach.

4) After a bit of a mixup, we met up with several friends at Manresa State Beach. Any day at the beach is a good day for me. Unfortunately, it was too windy and choppy and cold for me to bring out my paddle board. The kids didn’t seem to mind though. They had fun boogy boarding and digging deep holes and kicking a soccer ball around. I loved catching up with the Callaways and Hasletons and friends. The Callaways moved back to Utah last year, and they were back in California for a visit. It was nice to hear their perspective on moving and keeping your friends and making new ones.

5) After the visit at Manresa, we drove up Highway 1 to Costanoa to meet up with April and Julie and their families, who are camping there. Just driving up HWY 1 is a gift – we saw kite surfers and beautiful fields and ocean views. We shared a potluck dinner, the kids played wiffel ball baseball, and we made s’mores and ate more than we should. But, boy was it fun! I love camping and sitting by the campfire and just being togetgher, but just couldn’t get it all together to stay overnight. We stayed until 9 pm and then drove back over the hill to Sunnyvale. Some things, just have to give… bummer!


Roasting s’mores by the campfire! Mmm… my favorite!!

Phew!  I sure enjoyed my day “off!”  The kids were super happy and I loved hanging out with them and friends.

Oh, and Jeff ordered our tickets today to Holland – we’re still on track for leaving in 49 days, oh my!!  It’ll all get done…and I still plan to pack in as much fun as possible!