Thursday, October 22, 2015

weekend wins and losses

we are in the thick of craziness when it comes to weekends.  most of them include a friday night football game, a band review, a softball game and a swim meet.  that is the starting point.  then we add birthday parties and special events and we are maxxed out of time. but we always manage and we always try to have fun.

this weekend the fun started with a dodger game on thursday afternoon.
win: getting last minute tickets to the final game of the nlds playoffs at dodger stadium and making it a date night.  with the series tied at 2-2 and the game being played at home, we were hoping to celebrate a victory with the sold out crowd.  dodger games have become our thing.  something fun that we like to do together and somehow we were lucky enough to get seats for what turned out to be the final game of their season. win or lose, we love la.

loss:  well, the dodgers lost.  what was so painful was that they were ahead for most of the game.  the electricity in the crowd was overwhelming at times.  everyone swinging their rally towels in excitement as the mets went down inning after inning.  and then, just like that, things changed.  it was heartbreaking and frustrating.

bonus win:  getting out of the stadium before the last out, getting out of the parking lot before the traffic jam and getting to notre dame with 10 minutes to spare before jordan got out.

win: going to the homecoming game on friday night.  the halftime show was a tribute to willy wonka and the chocolate factory.  the band wore colorful shirts instead of their usual football uniforms and played songs from the movie.  only one more home game and then their season is over.

loss: well, they lost.  and it was another tough one to witness.  they were ahead for most of the game and made some incredible passes and touchdowns but it just wasn't enough.

loss: bobby and jordan having to get up early on saturday to get on the bus and drive the truck to riverside for a parade.  parade season can be hard on these kids, especially after a late game the night before.  everyone is exhausted and yet they have to perform and be judged.  somehow they always manage to pull it off.

win: they won 2nd place in their category.  the drum major won 1st place overall.  and it wasn't 102 degrees like it was at the previous parade.

win: another fun, emotional, and happy bat mitzvah to celebrate.  andrew's friends are all turning 13 and bar/bat mitzvahs have been on our schedule since the summer.  what a great party this was with a carnival theme.  there were game booths, a candy station, photo booth, and lots of dancing.

loss: not having my dancing partner with me.  both the parade and the mitzvah were at the same time so we had to divide and conquer.  he was missed.

win: taking sofia to see annie at the pantages theater.  i had never seen a professional production of it so this was a first for me as well.  we went with her girl friends from school who were all excited to see it together.

loss: finding out that the actress who plays annie was not doing the show that night.  we saw the understudy, angelina, instead.

bonus win: finding out that she was having dinner at the table next to us before the show. she came over to the table to say hello and got them excited to see the play.  after the show we went to the stage door to get her autograph and picture.  this girl was incredible in the part.  and what a doll. she spoke with such poise and confidence to the girls. she's the same age as sofia and looks like she would fit right in, doesn't she?

win: getting to spend some time with my friend from high school when she came to visit from seattle.  she has been a dear friend to both my sister and i and always has been a part of our family.  we had so much to catch up on but it was wonderful to just have her near and share stories of our time together.

loss: having to say goodbye. it was too short of a visit and with all of the other things going on this weekend i missed out on spending all of my time with her. also this photo is missing two boys; one is in spain the other was in bed resting after a tough swim meet.

bonus win: we are making plans to go to seattle next year.  we'll just have to find a weekend that isn't so busy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

2015 weekly menu #43

smoked salmon tartines from le pain quotidien
what a week and what a weekend.  we know the fall is a busy time for our family with football, parade and softball season but then you add in a (part-time) job, bar/bat mitzvahs, school plays, and halloween and there is barely enough breathing room on the calendar.

we have a few more weeks of insanity before we can relax...if at all.  and then thanksgiving, christmas and the new year will be upon us and there will be other things taking up our time.

i really needed the 75 minutes in yoga class this morning to breath, focus and remind myself to be present along the way.

this week looks a little gentler for us.  let's hope it stays that way.

weekend eats
saturday: bat mitzvah late lunch/small meal before going to see annie
sunday: mexican food

making this week
monday:  chinese food from trader joe's
tuesday: lasagna soup, garlic bread
wednesday: enchilada casserole, salad
thursday: halibut with bacony corn saute
friday: football game

i couldn't even tell you what we ate last week.  lots of take out or leftovers.  we had meetings and band practice and a baseball game and a homecoming game.  feeling a lot better about staying on track this week.

have a happy monday!

Friday, October 9, 2015

double digits

this little girl turned 10 on wednesday.  her abundant energy and dramatic flair keeps our home alive and unpredictable.  

for the past week she's been reminding me that i will no longer have children in the single digits.  it's the sad truth.  

with this birthday we leave behind a little innocence,  some childishness, we are made to grow up. but just a little bit.  

she has been mature and grown up since she was 3. but now i see it in her beautiful face. the baby face is almost gone and she is looking like a young girl.  but she will still talk in her baby voice, snuggle with me when she wants some love, and wrap her hand around her daddy's to feel safe. and we'll enjoy that for as long as we can.

she is our risk taker.
her confidence exudes from every pore of her being.
she has a wicked sense of humor.
she is creative and expressive.
she is a thinker and an innovator.
her friendships are meaningful and compassionate.
she has an incredible memory that she is using to her advantage.
she is brave but not fearless.
she is strong willed - always has been.
her love is limitless but her pain is too.
she will carry on a conversation with anyone.
she has amazing insight and instinct.

sofia enjoyed her birthday. there were donuts at school and an appreciation circle where each of her classmates told her why they are thankful for her.  yes, i was in tears.  they really know her and their comments were thoughtful.  dinner with my family was a big party - just like she wanted.  today we are taking her and her girlfriends to a taping of liv and maddie.  the best part is, they have no idea.  this weekend we celebrate with softball friends and more family.

on wednesday when i tucked her into bed she said, "the best present i got today was being with my family and friends and feeling loved. . . and the barbie dream house."

she is truly a loved little girl and i couldn't be more proud of the young woman she is becoming.

happy birthday sweet sofia!

with love,

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

weekend highlights and weekly menu #41

caramel cream pie recipe from

weekend highlights
getting to see elizabeth gilbert talk about her new book big magic.  she read the first few pages outloud which was awesome.  then she talked about her creative process, troubles and doubts.  she also did a q&a giving some insight into what she believes about creativity, fear and the need to make something.

we each got a book that she pre-signed.  her explanation for why she was not doing a signing line and photos was also inspiring.  the power of setting boundaries for your own good.

celebrating this night with my sister.

saturday was for swim meets and pie baking.  jordan and bobby were at a swim meet early in the morning.  it was a two day meet with jordan swimming in 6 events. this gave jordan entry times for future meets since he's new to club swimming and gave him a good idea of how he compares to other swimmers.  may have been too early after a football game but he pulled through.

i stayed home and finished some work and got started on our pies.  this one is bobby's cha apple pie.  he made this all on his own and is getting to be quite the pie maker.  he's looking forward to thanksgiving.

the pie above was my entry to the pie contest.  it looked so pretty.

before it got smashed in the fridge at the headmaster's house. i'm to blame for this.  but guess what? i won second place.  guess they judged on taste and not appearance.  loved this pie and will be making it again for the holidays.

our school held a first annual all parents social with a country theme.  there was line dancing, square dancing, bbq and pie, lots of pie.  we had a blast with everyone.  already looking forward to next year's event.

sunday morning bobby and jordan were back at the pool for day 2 of the meet while i took sofia to urgent care to have her hand x-rayed.  she fell off her scooter on friday and her fingers were swollen.  a quick check revealed no broken bones but a possible hairline fracture.  yay and boo.  she's in a sling for a little while until we know for sure that it's ok.

and a true highlight was getting to Skype with my nephew at my brother's birthday dinner on sunday night.  he's in spain for his freshman year of college and stayed up until 4am so he could say hello.  tough to not have him here but he's having the time of his life.

2/3 of encore reunited. he is missed for sure.

a busy week ahead with a fundraiser, a little girl's birthday (to be celebrated at least 4 times this week), and jordan's first band review of the season.

weekly menu
did a good job sticking with the menu last week.  it felt good to be cooking again.

weekend eats
saturday: bbq at the cha parent social
sunday: enchiladas and rice to celebrate my brother's birthday

making this week
monday:  skateland fundraiser event
tuesday: gnocchi soup, bread
wednesday: sofia's 10th birthday - burrito/taco bar
thursday: steak, baked potatoes and salad
friday: surprise birthday celebration for sofia

Friday, October 2, 2015

some things for fall

fall decorations at the palazzo in vegas
my favorite season is upon us.  i am so excited for the (slight) change of weather and the fresh crisp air.  here are some things i am looking forward to.

something to celebrate - it looks like a month full of birthdays. starting next week when my baby girl turns 10.  yikes! out of the single digits and she couldn't be more excited.

something to learn - i started a new job this week.  i'll share a bit more later, right now i'm just trying to learn as much as i can.  i'm working for an online baby clothing boutique. it's a hands on education in marketing, operations, and building a company from the ground up.

something to cheer for - jordan has started his swim meets with his new club team.  he had a meet last sunday and did "ok" according to him.  this weekend he has meets both saturday and sunday.  sofia is well into her softball season and has games every sunday.  she's made big improvements and is always ready to play. her walk up song is fight song by rachel platten.

something to prepare for - halloween.  kids need to choose their costumes.  sofia is deciding between being princess leia or one of the characters from descendants. andrew wants to be a walrus of some sort but i think we settled on a storm trooper. this weekend the decorations will go up.

something to dress up for - this month both schools are having their parent social/gala and they are both western themed.  cha's event is a hoedown complete with a pie contest.  next week notre dame is having a country knights fundraiser.  what to wear?  i don't own a pair of cowboy boots so i guess i should start there.

something to read - i'm in love with this is the story of a happy marriage.  i made a lot of progress while we were in vegas but wish i had a weekend to read it cover to cover. it's the story of ann patchett's journey with writing and what she has learned about being a writer and the stories she tells. do you see why i fell in love?  i am looking forward to starting elizabeth gilbert's big magic.  my sister and i are going to her speaking engagement.  she was amazing at super soul sessions and i feel like she will be inspiring me again tonight.

something to do - i need to get back into an exercise routine.  my new job is at the top of a very steep hill - one that i used to run up when i was training.  my plan is to start walking and getting my 10,000 steps a day, my fitbit has been on hiatus for a while.  i can park my car at the y and walk to my job and then walk back down the hill. that sounds like a good start.

something fun - will have to make some time this weekend to fill out this autumn bucket list. maybe while i'm drinking some hot apple cider and eating a pumpkin cream cheese muffin.

happy fall!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

2015 weekly menu #40

we had our share of good meals while in vegas last week.  one of which was the burgers at shake shack at the new york, new york casino.  if you've ever eaten here before i think you'll agree that these are delicious.  they are opening one in west hollywood next year and i am excited. eating at the one in new york is on my to do list.

as i mentioned, we've been eating out  a lot lately or making up meals as we go.  talk about stress.  so this week i made sure to get the menu done and do the shopping so we have a well stocked pantry and fridge for the week.

weekend eats
saturday: bar mitzvah dinner
sunday: mexican food after jordan's swim meet

making this week
monday:  caldo de pollo
tuesday: turkey paninis and tomato soup
wednesday: chicken piccata, lemon potatoes, arugula salad
thursday: salmon teriyaki bowls
friday: pizza

let's see how the week goes.

Monday, September 28, 2015

the good life

let's take a breath. a long, deep, collective breath. are you with me?

1-2-3. breath in and breath out.

feel better? i do.

this month has been an adventure.  more than i could have ever imagined.  that adventure has brought great things to our lives but it has also turned everything we have been used to upside down.

 it started with this simple phrase, "i'm thinking about going back to work."

once i put that out there - things changed.  isn't it funny how that happens? (or terrifying.)

i have so many thoughts to share about this roller coaster i have been on.  but right now i just want to stay in the space of calmness and get ready for what's next.

i've missed being here. writing. telling our story. i have missed it so much and thought about it a lot, but i've had little time to sit down and write. when i logged in today - blogger asked, who are you again?

the one question i kept asking was, with time being more limited, what do i want this space to be for me, for my family, for you? it's been on my mind for a while now.  it's time for a re-design. not for what this blog looks like, although it needs a face lift, but for the content that i write.

i think it's all part of whatever is next for me. this blog gets to evolve as i do.

there have been events over the last few months that make me think differently or at least see the things in our lives differently. a lot has happened and a lot has left a deep impact.  i'll want to write about the things that stood out.

here's some of the things that might inspire future blog posts:

  • 3 job offers and the fear of making the wrong decision
  • 1 temporary job that ended last week
  • 1 new job that starts this week
  • a possible career??
  • a new creative adventure
  • a possible career??
  • the taylor swift concert with sofia - she's growing up
  • andrew's quest for high school
  • jordan exploring college - gulp!
  • softball games, swim meets and football games with the band
  • another fantasy football season - staying mellow 
  • our 21st wedding anniversary
  • a super soul sunday session with oprah - i'll need a week of posts for this one
  • a trip to vegas
there are lots of stories to tell.

i'm still planning on doing menu posts.  let's face it, food is my jam and my menu helps to keep me organized. i'll post tomorrow what's on the menu for this week.  recently it's been a lot of take out and i'm looking forward to getting back in the kitchen this week.

here's to figuring out this life thing together.

Monday, August 31, 2015

2015 weekly menu #36

i changed the plan shortly after posting my menu last week.  i had to when i found out it was national waffle day.  it's something we've always wanted to try - chicken and waffles and it was a big hit. next time we're going to roscoe's.

we had such a great week last week. taylor swift concert, disneyland and a beach trip to end the summer.  this week it's all about school.  back to school night at notre dame, back to school picnic at cha and the first home football game of the season.  oh, and one celebration - our 21st wedding anniversary. our calendar is already packed.

here we go.

weekend eats
saturday: beach bbq
sunday: mexican food

making this week
monday:  orange chicken, shrimp stir fry and rice
tuesday: back to school bbq
wednesday: broccoli-bacon mac 'n' cheese
thursday: pizza
friday: football kick off dinner & game

this week i'm also thinking about healthy school lunches. lots of leftovers and homemade foods. i have some planning to do.

happy monday.

Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 weekly menu #35

this was the prettiest thing i ate last week. we got together with friends for an end of the summer dinner and as usual they went all out.  this was the appetizer: honeydew, prosciutto, mozzarella and basil skewers with a balsamic reduction. thank you for a great night!

last week i was completely engaged in the week in the life project.  i have hundreds of photos to go through and pick out for this project.  i'll share some of my favorites this week. (hint: that photo above is one of them.)

this is our last week of summer vacation before the younger kids start school. we are going to make the most of it!!

i just looked at last week's menu and we only made it to tuesday. the rest of the week we were out or just didn't eat what was planned. some weeks are like that.

making this week
monday:  bbq chicken salad
tuesday: gnocchi with pasta sauce, caesar salad
wednesday: everyone is on their own
thursday: green salsa chicken tacos
friday: first football game of the year. go knights!!

wishing everyone a happy week.

Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 weekly menu #34

not that i'm complaining.
but really?

it's not a typical monday for us. we had a great weekend.  we are recovering from a fabulous party on saturday night where we danced the night away. but we could use a few more hours of sleep. getting up at 6am this morning was not easy. jordan started his junior year of high school today. yikes! i got to take him this morning and he even let me take his picture. sofia is on her way home after a week of adventuring. andrew is the only child at home, for a few hours at least. our air conditioner is not working. that's right, it was 500 degrees this weekend and we don't have an air conditioner.  relief is on the way, i hope.

weekend eats
saturday: #noahsmitzvahbowl which included an in-n-out truck
sunday: dinner from islands

making this week
monday:  salmon with yogurt dill sauce, cucumber and feta salad
tuesday: pan seared pork chops, appplesauce, salad
wednesday: bbq chicken salad
thursday: turkey lettuce wraps, garlic green beans
friday: zucchini noodles with meat sauce

ok monday. i'm ready for you!

Thursday, August 13, 2015


last saturday jordan and his band had a gig in hollywood. his rock band, as opposed to his marching band from school. jordan and his cousin, my nephew chris, started playing together about 3 years ago. pretty much the time that jordan's been playing drums. he is on such an awesome musical journey.

the club where the boys played is a spot meant for young musicians who want to show off their talents and get some experience playing before a live audience.  it's a "no alcohol, all ages venue" and the perfect place to showcase young talent.

the boys feel comfortable here. they've played here a few times. it's a private venue for just a handful of family and friends or a room full of fans.  of course, they rocked it.  they played a 30 minute set with originals and covers.  they have a good flow for their show and it's been incredible to see them grow as musicians and showmen. the highlight for me is when they play come together by the beatles. i remember when they played it for the first time and i was blown away.  they keep getting better and better.

this was the show before my nephew chris heads off to college. he is going to florida state but will spend his freshman year in spain - lucky guy.  he has been instrumental (heehee) in lighting the musical fire for jordan. this kid can play anything, guitar, piano, drums, he even plays the ukulele. he is the group's vocalist and he writes the music. he is basically a musical genius.  he is the kindest, most dedicated young man.  he will do great things and be an outstanding human grown up.

jordan will miss him.  chris is more like an older brother than a cousin.  they share this immense love of music and it has bonded them for life.  jordan played the drums in the garage for hours rehearsing and learning new music.  being a part of this band gave him someone to play for, an audience that appreciates it, and a motivation to be a better drummer.  now he's teaching himself to play the guitar.

junior is the talented bassist of this group. they met while the three of them were playing in another band.  jordan and chris broke off from that band, too much drama, to start encore and junior came along. we are just getting to know him but he's been a driving force of this group as well.

they let us staple the ticket stub to the wall and my sister in law put it right next to echosmith's ticket for good luck.  everyone starts somewhere, right?

these kids have played at a guitar store, a restaurant, a street fair, a high school concert and this venue. each one of them is ridiculously talented and dedicated to this little band of three. what a fun ride for these boys.  they have something special together and i'm excited for what the future has in store for each of them.  keep following your dreams.

i'm not going to call this their farewell performance, it's just the last performance before college. i will call for an encore of encore when chris is back in l.a. and we'll be sure to invite you.

Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 weekly menu #33

last week grandma sue was here to make jam with the kids. she does most, if not all, of the work. the kids help smash fruit and i gather the jars but that's about it. we now have jam jars to give as gifts, or completely devour on pancakes and toast, it's good stuff. strawberry and peach for the win!

i was up extra early today, 5am, to cook eggs and serve breakfast at notre dame to the returning faculty. tonight i am helping to serve dinner to the band students. it's all about service this week!

our whole30 program was an epic fail last week. bobby made it until thursday when he inadvertently ate hummus at a work lunch (no beans are allowed). we had dinner with friends on friday night and we couldn't resist the bruschetta, and wine. we kind of knew we were done for and not 100% committed by then so it was easy to fall prey to the temptation.

we are trying to figure out a compromise this week. we ate really good food last week and in the few days we did it we saw changes.  would love to keep that going.

weekend eats
saturday: ate out in hollywood before jordan's band gig
sunday: pielogy

making this week
monday:  chicken noodle soup
tuesday: pan seared pork chops, appplesauce, salad
wednesday: bbq at notre dame for last day of band camp
thursday: bang bang shrimp, cole slaw, garlic green beans - didn't make this last week
friday: bbq ribs, loaded baked potatoes

looking forward to another good week.

Friday, August 7, 2015

thoughts on a summer road trip

i found this post card in a store in san diego and it spoke so loudly to me. i love to travel. i love discovering and learning about and seeing the world. i can't say i'm a huge adventurer but i give it a try. this is what travel brings to me, a change deep and permanent in my idea of living.

it could be something as small as realizing i can work with one pot and one pan to cook meals. or how much i love to read and immerse myself in a book when there is nothing else i should be doing. or spending unmeasured time on the swings with sofia, playing games with the boys or looking at the stars on a picnic table with bobby.

i walk back into my life inspired, changed, happier.

i go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. - john burroughs

i treasure all of the photos that i take on our trips. but sometimes they just can't capture the beauty and magnitude of the moment. i remember walking through the park on our hikes and trying to take in the enormity of this world that we live in. it opens my eyes again, it makes me feel something, it touches my soul.  

we were out for a hike one day, our feet crushing the leaves and sticks, kids were laughing and chatting about something, we were chewing on trail mix and then we stopped. i asked everyone to just take a moment to listen and look. the sun coming through the trees, the sound of the birds, the stillness of it all.  for a minute the five of us stood there and let it sink in. (maybe that was just me but indulge me, will you?) that moment is the moment i will go to when life is active and stressful all around me. that is where my mind and heart will go when i just need a breath to get me through. 

i think one of my favorite feelings is laughing with someone and realizing halfway through how much you enjoy them and their existence.

every trip we take, whether it's to hawaii, mexico, a houseboat, an rv, or a road trip reminds me of the incredible family i am blessed to share my life with.  my kids are growing way too fast. college is not too far off for jordan, andrew will be in high school next year and sofia is no longer the baby (technically). although i hope they will still want to vacation with us as they grow up, and someday bring their families along, it's not going to be like this forever.  i cherish this and hold on to it as long as i can.

a road trip is hard. many hours, hundreds of miles, constantly answering "how much longer?" we have to take turns on music, come up with games to play, and agree on food stops.

there is also so much laughter.  we played games while we were camping and i don't think i've laughed that hard in a long time.  everyone works together to pack, unpack, clean, walk each other to the bathroom, find a lost toothbrush, spray each other with bug spray.  it's a team that i am honored to be a part of.

i sort of love these people with all my heart.  i don't care if we are away for the week or the weekend. if we are at a resort or a motel 6 (that's a lie, i hate motel 6!). i will chose to spend my time with them every.single.time.

in our daily lives we are going 5 different directions at once, sometimes 10, sometimes 20. trips like this help us regroup so we can share experiences and moments that will be with us even when we're not physically together.

actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures... lewis caroll alice in wonderland

he is a huge reason why trips like this work.  he sets the road map, literally. he knows that if i did it we would stop in palm springs "on our way" to hearst castle. he does the driving, he finds the campground (or vrbo house), he talks to the ranger, he starts the campfire (really i'm the expert at that but who's counting?)  we are all getting good at putting up our tents, but he taught us everything we know.

this process tests us. we don't always agree on where to go or what to do. he always votes for inexpensive adventure. i always vote for drinks with umbrellas (actually he does too). it's stressful getting everyone and everything in the car without forgetting something - or someone. it's a matter of compromise and teamwork, something we are always striving for.

whether it's just the two of us going to italy for  our 15 year wedding anniversary or him convincing me to go on a houseboat trip when i was 7 months pregnant or taking an rv back from colorado, we do it with love (and just a little attitude.) we get through the bickering and petty disagreements. we forgive each other for the minor mistakes (renting a stick shift in tuscany) and we always, always make the best of it.  he is my travel companion for life.

can't wait to see what adventures this coming year has in store for us.  i'm secretly hoping for spain and or cabo. wherever we go, i know it will be amazing.

summer road trip - part 1
summer road trip - part 2
summer road trip - part 3

i am linking this post to stephanie howell's blog your heart out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

summer road trip - part 3

san diego

it was hard getting up on saturday morning to pack the truck up again. it was even harder to get the kids in the car while they were complaining about driving for another 3 hours. somehow we got it done.

a lot less stuff this time but we still had our camp chairs and blow up mattress.

every year my mom's family hosts a family reunion. most of the time we do it in san diego because the majority of the people can make it.  we meet up at the same spot, grill burgers and hot dogs, play some volleyball and take family photos.

first thing for the kids is heading to the water.  perfect spot for them to get wet and cool off. it was very hot that day and the water was a welcome relief.

the official volleyball game happened after we left but we got some practice time in.

this year there was lots of picture taking.


this is family that i spent a lot of time with growing up.  the cousin on the left is the one who gave me and b our "b" names. the cousin on the right is the cutest thing you will ever meet.

bobby and i had to get on the selfie wagon.

even though our family seems bigger we were missing many that could not make it. some because of prior commitments and some because they are no longer with us. my cousin took a moment to honor my uncle with a  moment of silence. he looked forward to coming to these reunions every year and he was missed.

it's never enough time together but it's always worth the drive.

bobby's cousins live in san diego, so we always make plans to hang out with them when we're here.  and the kids couldn't wait to see their cousins.  the little ones were excited to have a movie in the backyard.

we watched from the pool area and had an amazing view of the city.

sunday was all about getting in the pool and playing with the kids.

lots of pool toys.

it was like being at a resort;  beach chairs, umbrellas, a good book and a pool.

the kids got to FaceTime with their cousin aiden in paso robles.

and there was a friendly game of soccer in the backyard.

these kids have such a great relationship.  they understand each other on a different level, and with a different language - cuckoo swans, zombie lions, nice chopa nice. my kids adore their cousins.  it makes me happy that they will grow up having this bond. a bond that i shared with my cousins growing up and that bobby has with his cousins.

we ordered pizza, grilled burgers and got take out sushi.

our last night together we made s'mores. seems to be a recurring thing on this trip.

the next morning melissa and grady were off to school early.  we hung out with derek and kendall and then went to north park for breakfast and to check out the town.

we had a lot of options but decided to try out the mission.

chilaquiles, breakfast sausage, eggs, country potatoes, and pancakes. oh those were good pancakes. great little spot in san diego.

 we took a little bit of time to walk around and get inspired.  north park is a hipster area with lots of cool coffee spots, restaurants and unique shops.

we had to stop by pigment for a little shopping browsing.  they have cool paper products and home decor everywhere you turn.  and i loved this wall.  we bought a tumbler, a little necklace for sofia and that cool handmade postcard at the top of this post.

we had planned on seeing antman at some point during the trip.  on our way home we decided to stop in glendora to catch the show ten minutes before it started. jordan had to be at swim practice at 6:30 and this was the only opportunity we had.  we loved it!! so entertaining and funny.

is there any other choice for dinner on a california road trip? i think not.

thanks for coming along on our crazy adventure.