2018 Recap

It’s hard to believe I am sitting down writing another New Year post. 2018 was a quick one. We were driving home from the Bay Area this past week and it gave me some time to sort through the moments and memories of this past year.

There was a lot of growth, both professionally and personally. The kids have all grown in ways that have let their personalities blossom. Our oldest entered middle school, an idea that terrified me as a mother, but has been a huge success for him socially and academically. The twins have grown into their relationship with more kindness and friendship, most of the time. Though it’s not always easy, the bond between the siblings is growing stronger as a whole and individually.

This year we road tripped up the California coast four or five times, you can see our adventures on my #ourfavoritecoast tag and my Instagram highlight. No matter how many times we drive the CA-1 and 101, it never gets old. We have already made one trip up the coast this year, a good sign of lots more trips to come.

We road tripped across country from Ohio to California. I have finally put together a post about that whole adventure, coming soon.

Matt and I launched our own Architecture and Design Studio, Alder James. We’ve had a couple of projects in the works as we gives ourselves a small start. Squeezing in meetings between bedtime routines and breakfast can be tough, but I know there is a lot of good to come.

Water sports could be the other theme of 2018. We got all the kids on boards this year, whether it was surfing, stand up paddling, or skimming. Thomas spent a full 6 weeks in Junior Lifeguards with the State Park, County Lifeguards (his dad’s old company!), and Laguna Beach City (the guards I grew up with). All three of them have learned so much from the sea and it’s gifts.

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Family Beach Photoshoot with Marielena Photography

Excited to be sharing a little family beach photoshoot magic with all of you today. We aren’t the family that plans Holiday photos. We aren’t even the family who regularly gets all 5 of us together in one photo. Not that I haven’t spent years pinning beautiful family photos. I just haven’t had prioritized an actual shoot.

I also prefer being behind the camera usually. Most of my Instagram posts are the world from my perspective, so you don’t see a whole lot of me. 

When our dear friend, Marielena Photography reached out to take some Holiday family photographs I thought it would be a great opportunity to try something new. Knowing how wonderful she is with kids put me at ease because my littles are not the type to stand still for any amount of time. I am sure many of you know exactly what I mean.

We knew we wanted to do a simple beach shoot, grabbing some of that golden hour magic. We were able to take the pictures down at West St. A place so special and full of memories for our family. Having these images of all of us at a place we hold so close is something I truly treasure.

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Having spent a fair amount of time in Northern California, I have a small knowledge of all it’s incredible spots. Yet, each time we visit I am reminded not just how much there is to see, but how much it varies. It’s impossible to see it all. At least in one trip. Knowing that we have planned to take it piece by piece. Every visit we will try to see and do something new.


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We continued our yearly tradition of road tripping up the coast for Spring Break last month. This is the third year all five of us have packed into the car and spent the hours driving up to San Francisco. Matt and I have both family and friends in the Bay making it important/priority trip for us.

We can’t get enough of the California coast. It is a magical drive and we are so grateful to be able to hop on the CA-1 and enjoy its beauty.


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