Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Exploring SD - Sunset Cliffs

This past weekend we finally felt like things were starting to settle down and we were getting back into our normal routine. Eric is feeling better after being sick after travel, we've been able to start working out together again, and I have started somewhat of a 'Spring cleaning'. After all the shopping and gift giving/receiving of the holidays, the New Year is my favorite time to go through the house and purge/donate things that we no longer need or use. In the midst of all that, Eric has been hard at work studying for his PMP certification! It's been really fun to watch him get excited and gain more confidence the more he learns.

On one afternoon after hours of studying/cleaning we needed a break. Sunset Cliffs has been on my bucket list since we moved here, and I knew it wasn't far away.





You guys, this has become one of my favorite places in San Diego. If it weren't for the trails at Torrey Pines, it would probably be my favorite.



I think I said to Eric ten different times "I wish I knew about this place when my family was visiting!"

The tide pools are far better in my opinion than the ones at Cabrillo National Monument. In the picture above, every one of those little rocks are actually hermit crabs. There were crabs, coral, sea anemones, and various other sea life everywhere you looked.

Even these strange cucumber-like things (so scientific) that closed when you touched them. If you know what they're called - let me know!


There were beautiful views from up high and down below. Apparently it's a favorite surf spot too because there were so many surfers out that day.





It was so nice just to be out in the sun, feet in the sand, smelling the seaweed and saltwater with the ocean next to us.




After a rough start to 2018 (re-routed/cancelled flights, general setbacks, health, etc.), we're getting the train back on track and it feels good. Sunset Cliffs was the perfect place to help do that - we will definitely be back here!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Christmas in Virginia

Christmas evening Benny and I flew to Virginia to celebrate Christmas with my family and spend a few days there.

The first day I spent a majority of the morning wrapping presents since I had to mail most of ours and couldn't wrap ahead of time. Thankfully I had a helper :)

That afternoon my sister and her family arrived! Popcorn was a big hit with these girls.

Mom was so excited for the pyramid picture she had actually drawn out ideas of ways to do it. I think it turned out pretty good!

It's getting tougher to get a picture of everyone together, so we have to take advantage when we can.

That night mom and the girls got to work prepping some homemade pizzas, our Christmas eve tradition.





After pizza, Katie finished prepping her delicious homemade cinnamon rolls for the next morning.

A night in our family wouldn't be complete without a game before bed.

The next morning we celebrated Christmas! We have spent so many Christmas's in this room, and our family has certainly grown. It was such a fun, cozy, wonderful morning as usual.









Later that afternoon my Aunt Holly, Uncle Mike, and the General came to visit. Ben and Rosie warmed up to them quickly.


Mom and Dave prepared a wonderful Christmas dinner of steak and popovers among many other things.

The perfect end to the day - playing the new games Eric got us for Christmas, also a favorite tradition of ours.

Katie and I got a chance to go through some things at my mom's house before she moves - after 23 years there is a lot to sort through!

I found some old schoolwork that showed apparently nothing has changed since I was 6 years old ;)

One night mom and Dave babysat all the kids and got them ready for bed while all the siblings got to go out to dinner with dad.

We went to the same place I used to work 12 years ago! Not much has changed inside, although the name has changed a few times.

Uncle Benny enjoyed some snuggles from little Ben, our only nephew among 5 nieces!

We got to go see mom and Dave's new house - it is beautiful!

And there is more than enough room for all of us to come visit :)

We spent lots of time loving on these kids while we had the chance.


Grandma had lots of help in the kitchen this week.



And of course there were more games.

One morning we even woke up to some snow on the ground! I was thrilled, I had been hoping for a little snow this year since I know we won't have any in CA.


We had a nice breakfast and a lazy morning before Eric and Katie had to start packing up.


We got a few last pictures in front of the house I spent almost my entire life in.

This house was good to us!

The next day was New Years Eve. It was nice to have a quiet day after the craziness of the holidays. We sat around watching football and eating lots of good food - the perfect day!

We had no big plans since we had an early, early flight the next day. We enjoyed a nice fire with my mom and Dave and we all went to bed before midnight. Last year, Eric fell asleep at 9:30 on New Years Eve, so we probably wouldn't be doing much different if we were at our house.

We headed to the airport around 4 in the morning on New Years day to head back home. We had such a wonderful time surrounded by so much family. We are so thankful for this holiday bringing people together, focusing on what this time of year is all about, and having full hearts closing out the year. We can't wait to do it again next year!