Palm Springs

Our first family vacation to… Palm Springs! We were in search of a super warm/dry climate for Luke (so he would actually enjoy the pool with us) and we ended up falling in love with that dry desert heat. Warm weather and pools just shout vacation in our family.

One of my favorite parts was waking up late and eating breakfasts together (our room fare included beautiful room service breakfasts!). Eating breakfast together is a bit of a luxury for us and we’re usually grabbing protein shakes on our way out. Starting the day slowly was just the ticket. Black out curtains were a major player in that as well (praise hands!).

I didn’t do a great job of capturing the things we did, so most of these are pictures of us lazing around our hotel room, desert sunsets (beautiful!) and Luke. Long live family vacation!!




This last week, we spent the day in Carmel with James mom (Luke grandma!) and godmother who were visiting from Southern California. We went out for lunch and then walked all over the quaint little Carmel (along with every tourist in town apparently!!). Even with the crowds, it was so special to catch up and for Luke to get some loving from his family.
I love all the sweet nooks and crannies in Carmel.. there’s always a little empty alleyway to discover or sweet French bistro to taste test some croissants in (although I didn’t.. whyy!). And while taking loads and loads of photos, we discovered how much fun it is to be the ones making Luke smile for pictures. In the ones we’ve taken so far with him, it’s always a crazy staredown glare, but when we’re oogling and googling behind the camera, oh it’s just delicious!! 

San Francisco

on wednesday we took a special trip to the city to soak in everything christmas, shop and just hang out. we took a little bit different route than usual and decided to put off shopping too much and may i just say, best decision ever! it’s so much less stressful to simply browse around and take everything in (for us, that is!). although, i didn’t subject myself to anthropologie because if there’s no room in the budget for it, that’s just plain cruel. and truly, at six months pregnant, i haven’t felt like flexing my shopping muscles in the stores this year.. it has been a very amazon christmas thus far 🙂

the display at the westin above and the tree below, gorgeous!

when we’re in the city during christmastime, we love to stroll by the tree, grab a cappuccino or italian soda at the coffee shop by the ice rink, stroll down maiden lane and check in at gumps to look at all the beautiful christmas decor. we ended up seeing a movie too and i managed to find every decent bathroom in the surrounding area (i recommend the westin, gumps, nespresso and the daily grill!). we ended the night with dinner and topped it off with the most lovely and decadent chocolate dessert.
ham face 🙂
we just love christmas!

what are some of your favorite ways to soak in the christmas season??


we saw the snow and boy was it wonderful! these are a few snapshots from the weekend before halloween. i must mention the fact that there’s snow in october in certain places is just shocking to my california coast dwelling self. i don’t know if i could ever live in the snow, but it sure is strikingly beautiful. the temperature was just right for james, who has a deep love for the coldest of temperatures (i say this as i’m bundled in a mess of blankets and humongous sweatshirt with our windows wide open.. he’s in a tank top of course).

we were on a jaunt to visit friends in nevada to begin planning for our 2014 youth camp (woohoo!). i’m hoping we get another chance to travel over these mountains again to see them, it was so refreshing—and not just that cold mountain air 🙂 we love being able to connect with other youth pastors and band together on behalf of our youth groups. it’s powerful to remember that we’re all in this together, serving the students and our churches but apart from all of that, our god. i am grateful for the innumerable blessings we’ve seen while serving in this capacity, it is such a joy! and we have some pretty bomb youth leaders along for the ride, so glad they came with!



last week, with all the amazing spring break madness/family time/wedding activities, we decided we could use an overnight getaway to nearby monterey. we love visting monterey, strolling cannery row, using our monterey bay aquarium passes (thanks ma!), watching the waves and going to see a movie at our favorite theaters. monterey has a knack for feeling like you’re the only people there and moving just a little bit slower.. it might not actually be but whatever the case, we love you monterey! til next time!



Travel dreams

serious travel fever people! which thankfully won’t last too too long as we are headed on a european excursion vacation at the end of summer this year! emphasis on vacation 🙂 and emphasis on it’s still a little too far away for my liking. but we’ll be making our way through our beloved switzerland, france, and italy…fritzerly.

we’ve had the blessing of traveling to switzerland in the past separately (and i’ve traveled throughout france + uk with my family, amazing memories!), but are excited to go together this time—and especially as it will be a vacation (some of those trips weren’t vacations). and we’ll also make some jaunts through italy and france while we’re at it! we can’t wait!

i’ve been gathering some of the things we’re excited to do..
cooking classes in france
tasting tours in paris
walking through oldtown berne + fondue
campo santa margherita in venice
and get lost a little!

but i would love to hear…do you have any tips for france/italy/switz activities all you world travelers out there??

Southern California

because i could divy up this our mini-vacay into a thousand more posts,
here’s just a taste of our time with the fam…can we go back already?
we miss them! {see the rest of our trip here and here}


+late night board games
+slater’s 50/50 burger trip- yum!
+watching kendall & newport mesa win their softball game!
+sibling photo shoots (oh dear, hilarious)
+james whooping a special somebody (cough chad cough) at ping-pong
+running on the back bay
+james taking niece kendall/friends to school
+lots of laughing
+too many pumpkin candies
+halibut cooked by brother-in-law chad (yum)
on our way to slater’s 50/50, who are famous for their bacon/beef patties. whoa.
crazy times in the car and tyler attempting to ruin our photoshoot 🙂
sibling photo! baby brother with older sisters jess and sessy
chad + sessy with us. we miss them!
nephew tyler
of course niece kendall’s team won! our little slugger.

kendall’s a whiz at fishtail braids, while we wait for the dolphins game to end.
we love you, fam!