The Great Pumpkin

Saturday was our day full with pumpkin-patch scouring, lunchtime beach explorations and a good ol fashioned pumpkin carving contest. James and I love the youth that we get to work with and days like this just reminds us of the little family we’ve become. These are just a few shots of our day.
We were here, then here, and finally back to the church for a big bowl of turkey chili and Swiss chocolates (YUM). And I am so. so. so. happy to say that I used our crockpot for. the. first. time. ever. in my life and it was a hit!
I used a super simple recipe from here so it was pree-much as “surefire” as you could get, but for a 30-person dinner, first time jitters were abundant! For anybody who is respectfully afraid of their crockpot, use this recipe I tried and your fears will be replaced with an appropriately saucy confidence.

Family day

Yesterday we caught up with some of our family that lives over the hill (since you have to travel through forests and valleys and mini mountain ranges just to leave Santa Cruz county- heh, but seriously..) and they came to our little neck of the woods.
By catch up it means that we ate Tacos Morenos (I. drool. for. this.). Side note: if you are looking for a great taqueria in santa cruz area or are wanting to visit capitola. stop by tacos morenos (off of 41st avenue) and you can thank us later. my favorite are their corn quesadillas that they serve like a taco with all the fixins on top. so good! they also have incredible salsa that comes in the squirt bottles because that’s how bad you need it- in squirt bottles for easy access!
and side note number two: Polar Bear ice cream from Cafe Violet in the village (or capitola village that is). they have some of the best ice cream in the county with big waffle cones that are fresh and delicious. polar bear ice cream flavors can do no wrong. i’m serious people.

There was also lots of posing, and talking, and looking, and even a shark!


Yup. That’s a shark.
We love our little village
Thank you cousins for making the trek over the river and through the woods for us! And there wasn’t even a grandmother on the other side, you guys are amazing.

Point Lobos, Carmel

We spent the day with our amazing/fabulous faraway friends (they’re from Switzerland) and had some much-needed time together hiking along the cliffs at Point Lobos in Carmel, scurrying up and down the rocks and through the tide pools…it was gorgeous! Then made it back up the coast for dinner and shopping! Aren’t they wonderful?
Homemade baby carrier (thanks to Mirjam’s African travels)

The Dinner Guest

Dinner parties. We’re still hitting our stride…

The evidence: A meal that consists of very disconnected side-dishes and tons of protein. IE: a delicious lemon-pepper chicken, accompanied by black beans, roasted potatoes, mushroom risotto, sausage, and a broccoli/carrot dish that came out 25 minutes late that I shamelessly gobbled up as everybody else was already full.

Then we ate ice cream.

There’s nothing wrong with this meal (it’s food people!) but I would love more “flavor harmony” that rolls together, say, like two cinnabuns doused in sugary frosting packed into a glass dish cause they’re tight like that!


All this to say that I’m going to start posting dinner party ideas. I have like a thousand more on my Pinterest and dog-eared through my cookbooks, but I thought I’d jot this one down first…
The Meal:
This pork made in crock pot in AM
Corn tortillas (I love TJ’s)
Roasted Salsa
Cilantro to taste
Blue-corn chips, roasted corn and some beans on the side
The Beverage:
Pellegrino & Cranberry juice
 Limes or Mint for the fancy people
The Dessert:
Strawberry-Rasperry Sundae
(like this one, sans the sugar)
The Game:
Mexican Train, of course!
Happy three-day weekend! xoxo, CM


Just came back home for a monthly meeting at church, where we got to hear from a very dear-to-our-heart pastor from a sister church..
It’s so good to remember how generous God is. Matthias shared a picture of a girl with a torn (broken) dress, who was looking at with such desperation because she knew she had no resources to repair it, or buy a new one. I can so feel like that…like I have no idea how to fix things…
He encouraged us to ask God for even the little things because God cares for us and doesn’t want to hold anything back. I totally could think of some things I haven’t asked for because they seem so pathetic, but I’m going to start asking…and stop thinking that they’re not important, cause they are, to me, to my family, but most importantly- to God.
xoxo, CM

Happy Autumn!

Status today: “extremely excited for fall”…here is our fall love list!
Have a Harvest par-tay…finding inspiration from this one in Sweet Paul Magazine
Run through the sunflowers and eat jam at Swanton Berry Farm
Actually decorate with a little fall in our home
Find some perfectly chestnutty-colored boots
Brew some apple cider
Bake a pie
…Autumn tidings!
xo CM

And so we begin

A time-line to catch you up on the story of US…
See there’s this boy named James, and yes, he’s really handsome. So much in fact, that his sisters call him “handsome man”…that’s pretty stinkin handsome. He loves Jesus, baseball, people, and he’s Italian (amongst many other qualities not able to be listed at the moment). And let’s be clear- he’s not Jersey shore Italian, he’s more of the speak-with-your-hands-and-loves-Grandma’s-raviolis sort of Italian, capiche?
Sorry, but we all need a little model-pose. Exhibit A: James.

And there was this girl (cough-me-cough), Casey. She was just a small-town girl (living in a loooonely world…but not really) who loved Jesus also, her rocking friends, school (no but seriously), and so many more things.

Well, they basically became best friends and then there was a little of this…

Followed by a little (or maybe more than a little) of this

Then, ohmygoshkeepbreathing, some of this

And then, BA-BOOM, on May 14 2011 there was a whole lot of THIS

Cue: wedding march.
And now there’s a lot of this

And so much more to come…
xoxo, CM