This last week, we spent the day in Carmel with James mom (Luke’s 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.

Continue reading “Carmel-by-the-sea”

Out on the farm

A few weeks ago, we headed up to our favorite farm to pick strawberries and picnic with the rest of the people we live on our campus with. It was foggy, as it is in our town, but it was pleasant, because company outweighs weather in my opinion! I don’t “get out” into too much nature, but considering the nature I do get myself into, fields of fruit seem to be at the top of the list. 
I love being “away” with other people in an environment we don’t usually exist in together, and how many different aspects we discover about each other. Figuring out that some like to frolic, some are meandering explorers, slowly discovering each and every little interesting thing on the way. My son, for example, is just tickled to be outside staring up at the big blue sky or trees, laid out on a blanket. Can’t wait to stare at the stars with this little man.. Maybe he’ll be the one who convinces James and I to truly, madly, deeply go camping one day (yikes).
Where do you love to explore??





San Francisco by bus

last weekend, we—along with a huge group of friends—took a double-decker tour bus through san francisco as a ‘christmas outing’ of sorts. how fun to see the city this way! it was also an easy way to be together and in the midst of a busy month, that’s pretty much the top of my priority list.

i must say that i now highly recommend taking a tourist tour of your local city! even if it’s your hometown (while sf is not, i would never think to take a tour), it’s amazing to see all the interesting historical facts that lie around every corner (we went with ‘big bus sf‘). here are a couple of my favorites!

friends on buses! and more friends on buses!
there’s always need for a beard shot according to my husband 🙂
the transamerica building where cousin penny works 🙂 love the view from a double decker! the tallest building in san francisco and one of the safest places to be in the case of an earthquake believe it or not!
jude. our precious little friend.
beautiful painting in the tl (tenderloin) district
san francisco city hall, which is actually 19 feet higher than the united states capitol, which is only allowed because san francisco is not the capital of california. clever!
driving through the haight, always eclectic and so much history i never knew of! plus lots of delicious food places.
and just a precursor for the amount of golden gate pics about to come.. you wouldn’t understand unless you went on a double decker over the golden gate! it’s amazing! and really really windy.
after the bus, we walked around pier 39 before i couldn’t handle it anymore 🙂 it’s a little overly fishy and busy for my liking, but beautiful view nonetheless.
and my favorite, the ferry building. and against that big blue sky. “wintertime” is surely one of the most beautiful (and sometimes shockingly warm) times of year in these parts!

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 🙂 Continue reading “San Francisco”

Up in the Sierras

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!





i finally had some time to get some of our hawaii pics together!! and i must say, hawaii you were so so good to us! the only goal of this trip was rest, sweet sweet rest. we were in maui the last week of august and it was a dream. solid eighties, ocean breeze, ample amounts of our favorite foods, sleeping in! oh! and you know it’s a good sign when the most difficult decision you have to make for the day is beach versus pool! i hope we can make this trip as much of a tradition as possible, cause hawaii.. you are our love language!


we stayed at the same hotel we visited on our honeymoon, the hyatt regency in ka’anapali, which is just above lahaina. if we didn’t want to, we needn’t even leave the resort, but we did for supplies (let’s just put it out there.. rice crispies, milk and barbara’s puffins! yum!). if we were adventuring, we would’ve left many more times.. but we came for rest, which for us means no schedules, no expectations (except the relaxing ones) and no rushing. i wasn’t really familiar with vacations of this nature until my husband came along. and for that i am very thankful, we needed this one my friends 🙂

the valley view from our hotel room, the ocean was on the other side 🙂 see??..
shave ice with cream top hmm

do you like spam musubi??? james thinks i’m crazy but there’s something so satisfying about spam, rice and nori all wrapped in a glorious little package! hmm..

this is our favorite pool hands down! the hyatt does it up when it comes to the pool. that waterfall leads to a grotto and another pool once you swim through. the pool itself is humongous with little shelves all around that we were laying on, and therein burning our tushes but you know.. it’s alllll good.

we heart sushi. clearly… 🙂 below we polished it off and i was already looking for the next roll!
luckily this pic crops a little of our extreme redness out, but you can still see a little on my shoulders and james face 🙂 although i have to say, i’m so proud that i did n-o-t peel once this vacation!! hooray!

a mess of sunset pictures and a sunset we won’t soon forget.

so mahalo hawaii for a wonderful vacation! and if you haven’t had your fill of the hawaiian language, be sure to book hawaiian air for your next vacation, we were ‘mahalo-ed’ enough to fill a lifetime!!

Pool day

on saturday we went with a few friends up to los altos hills to the most lovely poolside shpot! it was sooo hot and beautiful and my first official pool day of the summer. i’ve been swimming laps again a lot more lately but let’s just all agree now that that doesn’t constitute having a pool day! ok people! the property was incredibly lush and amazingly landscaped with a view of the bay from various corners. oh! and the beautiful garden oasisi (oaisises..?). i couldn’t post too many other specific house pics but i assure you it was also an absolute dream. and those comfortable poolside chairs? so worth it. these chairs were way more comfy that our couch and dare i say bed!! can i move in already!? 

awesome barbecue area, we did tri-tip 🙂

spouting fountains are the best! as are underwater cameras.. here’s to infinity pool days this summer for us all!  

Anniversary trip to Monterey

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!

Six Flags

we spent wednesday of spring break at six flags in vallejo! i hadn’t been on a topsy turvy upside down rollercoaster in a very long time (lets say ten years??) and it was so fun to be the veteran for some jr highers who’d never gone. we had a blast..but my stamina for those sorts of loops isn’t as high as it once was 😉
i loved going on big coasters, eating trashy fried food (good sort of trash, hehe) and exploring in our big group. it makes me so happy to see everyone connect with one another and finding new things in common and just share memories. i am so content in moments like that!

ooh and they also have this very fun wild animal area where you can see the lions, tigers, elephants and even feed the giraffes! one young lady we were with had never been to the zoo, so this was amazing to be able to see them all up close.

while our feet were dog (dog!) tired and our noses a little more red than we prefer, and our brains were a little fried because sometimes our group is a little bit like herding cats (in the most loving way possible, and ourselves included, hehe), it was so fun to have a day away with our youth like that.

Camp weekend

^^ my favorite picture from the weekend 🙂

we’ve been back for a day or so now but we’re still doing laundry, sleeping extra and trying to detox from all the in-n-out + the abundance of peanut butter filled pretzels we’ve eaten (and by detox i mean, miss thoroughly).

i love doing camp with our youth and it always comes at a cost for us (and our team). taking time off, sleeping a lot less, and sometimes maybe stressing out a little bit (and that’s my area to growwww!) but it’s always worth it. always!! to be a mouthpiece or vessel to help a young person receive understanding from god, or something hopeful, or something affirming, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. so much so that i’d do it again in a second, but i suppose we’ll have to wait for the summertime!

and actually only two or three of these pictures have our youth in them! most of them are us or our silly and wonderful leadership team, aren’t they fun!