Monday, April 18, 2016


James and I took a weekend away the first week of March and headed up to Napa. We had an amazing time and enjoyed eating our way through the valley with periods of R&R at the hotel spa. It rained the entire weekend, which made for perfect coffee shop/book reading weather- an all time favorite activity of ours that we rarely enjoy these days. 

James and I also caught a Golden State Warriors game with some friends in March. We went out to dinner before hand and really had a great time at the game. I hadn't been to a live basketball game in years so it was a great date night. The next day, I drove up to Grass Valley sans kids to help my mom put on a baby shower for my sister. It was odd to drive home without the kiddos in the back of the car but I have to admit that the drive was much more peaceful. The entire time I felt like I was missing something, though, and was happy to race home on Sunday to catch the kids before they headed off to a friend's birthday party. 

Overall I'd say we've had a super busy and very fun start to 2016. Now that the spring weather is coming around we are excited for a new season. 

Back at the zoo

Dinner out at Press in St. Helena

Bouchon Bakery

Beautiful double rainbow after a storm off the back of our deck

St. Patricks Day with my two boys

Owen got to take James to school for a daddy-son breakfast. It was pretty cute!

Making Easter rolls. Owen is going to be a great cook


Green milkshake for St. Patrick's Day




Both boys have birthdays in February so we are typically pretty busy getting ready for one or the other's birthday. This year I took Owen to Habitot, a children's museum in Berkeley, and then out to lunch at In n Out (his favorite). The morning was followed by movies in the afternoon during Luke's nap, baseball practice and dinner take out from Maya. It was a really good day. The weekend between the boys' birthdays we hosted a family dinner at our house and the boys had so much fun playing with the cousins and extended family. My mom came down for a few days and stayed to celebrate Luke's birthday later in the week. We took him to the zoo and then out to lunch at, you guessed it, In n Out. The morning was followed by naps and cakes after dinner. 

Park play-time 

This guy... 

Luke always says "hold Owen's hand" its pretty sweet.

Happy Birthday to my 4 year old. How did this happen?! 

Love him...

Luke's birthday trip with Grandma to In n Out. 

The boys got bean bag chairs for their birthdays. This was the chaos of cuddling that happened afterwards

Daddy's home!

January 2016

If its cloudy and rainy, than I know I'm going to have a good day. I just love wet weather and for the past few years I've become more and more depressed with the nonexistent winter weather in the bay area. I was so happy that this year we had a great rainy season. The boys just loved the rain too. Every chance they got they would run outside in their rain gear and play until they were soaked and bone cold. Both boys went "back to school" in January. Owen to his usual 3-days a week preschool and Luke and I began a 10 week "mommy-and-me" preschool class. Luke was pretty slow to warm up to his teacher and to the classroom, but towards the end would ask about going to preschool and want to walk by his classroom on off days after dropping Owen off. Here are some pictures of our January. 

Owen got a link-n-log set for Christmas and has become a master builder (with my help)

The family at a friend's birthday party

Habitot water exploration

My little artist

collecting rain water from the gutters

Lazy Dog ice cream- we took an last minute trip to see Grandma Alice

Friday, January 29, 2016

Christmas 2015

We love to take the kids into the city to experience all the sights and sounds of Christmas. The boys always love the ride on BART. This year we took them up to Union Square to watch the ice skaters and see the big tree. Then, there was some quick christmas shopping at the mall before heading home. 

Owen's preschool put on an incredible Christmas performance of the Nativity. It was really beautiful. John and Terri were able to come down to watch it with us. Luke sure loved sitting on his Papa's lap and Owen was pretty happy to see them following the performance at his 'cookie party'. Afterwards we all went for lunch at our favorite burger place, Roam.

We had some friends over the Sunday before Christmas to make graham cracker houses. Owen's roof caved in just the next day so on Christmas Eve he and I had a "redo". It was a lot of fun.

Christmas morning is just the best with these two boys. We are so thankful for the joy and spirit they fill our home with. Life wouldn't be the same without them. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fall 2015

We had a very busy fall this year. I can't believe how quickly time went. We spent all of October packing up our little house in Fremont for our big move to Orinda. It was a hard move to make, leaving behind such good friends, and I definitely gave James a hard time more than once over the decision. Before the move we tried to pack in as much Fremont fun as we could, visiting all our favorite parks and restaurants one last time. We moved the week before Halloween and were so happy to have the excuse of the Jensen's Halloween party to go back to Fremont to visit our friends. We really missed them that first week away. We were lucky because my mom, Grandma Alice, came out to help with the move, I don't know what we would have done without her.

The boys with Grandma Terri at Ardenwood Farm

Owen finally mastered the spider web at the park down the street

Luke and me at Ardenwood for the Harvest Festival

Moving Day at the community park

After Halloween we got right into the swing of fall and celebrating Thanksgiving. Owen is in preschool this year and it has been so fun watching him learn about so many fun American traditions. Owen's new preschool, The Nurtury, is incredible and the teachers do a remarkable job working in weekly thematic units. As a result, Owen discovered a new part of Thanksgiving each week. He made "friendship soup" and dressed up a pilgrim with the cutest hat ever. For Thanksgiving, we drove up to Nevada City to spend time with my family.  We had great weather and so much fun visiting my mom and sister and family. We also got to take the boys up to the snow for the first time. Owen loved it and was excited to build his first snowman. Luke didn't want to wear his boots or gloves, so he got pretty cold walking around in his tennis shoes. Needless to say, he didn't like it all that much and we spent most of the time in the car staying warm.

It rained the first few days after our move. We have an incredible view out our backyard and we had the most amazing rainbow.

Owen enjoys painting out on the deck when the weather is good. We overlook a middle school so its fun to watch the kids during the afternoon.

The boys just love their new backyard.

Thanksgiving at Grandma Alice's

James and Owen with "Frosty". Owen was so proud!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Beginnings of Fall

Our family had a wonderful end to the summer, we traveled to Nevada City to visit my mom and the Nevada County Fair and spent as much time at Aqua Adventure as we could before the season closed. The boys miss their summer activities but now that fall is here and the holidays are around the corner, we are having a blast enjoying the new season.

1. Owen started preschool this year at Prince of Peace Lutheran Preschool. He loves his teachers, Ms. Kathy and Ms. Katherine. The school is so perfect for him, he says "oh Hooray!' every time I tell him its preschool day. His favorite parts are singing time and activity time. He comes home so proud of the new songs he's learned and of his accomplishments.

Owen got to bring the class Clifford home with him for a whole week. 

Luke is enjoying his solo time with me. We get in lots of reading, his favorite past time. 

2. We are moving! James took a job in San Francisco so we decided to move to Orinda, a closer town to SF to shorten his commute. It was a hard decision because we love our friends here in Fremont, and the aforementioned preschool, but it is the best long-term decision for the family. In preparation, much of September was spent looking for a new preschool for Owen that would meet the standards we'd become used to at Prince of Peace. I interviewed 2 schools in person and spoke to a dozen more on the phone before deciding on a Presbyterian based school in Moraga. I think Owen is going to love it. With the move just around the corner, the boys and I have been busy cleaning out the house and packing. We have made countless trips to the Goodwill and Once Upon a Child and have packed more boxes than I care to count.

3. My mom came down for my birthday weekend and to help me pack the house a bit. We also got out to the California Academy of Sciences with the boys. We love the museum. It was Luke's first visit and he was entranced with the aquarium. He loved watching the fish, just like Owen did before him. Owen loved the tide pool touching zone and watching the diver presentation on the reefs. He even raised his hand to answer a question about the Ocean! We were so proud of how brave he was and how eager he is to learn.

4. It's no surprise to my family and friends that I don't like Halloween. As a kid we didn't celebrate it much and of the fall holidays, it is my least favorite. Owen, however, has fallen in love with Halloween. This year, he has been so interested in the solar system and in space. We read books about it, watch cartoons about it and visit museums to learn more about space. So, I really shouldn't have been surprised when he told me "Mommy, I want to be the Earth for Halloween" when I asked him what he would like as his costume. Over the past week, Owen and I have been busy paper mache-ing him an Earth costume. He is going to love it, and now Halloween is growing on me :)

5. Even though I dislike Halloween, I absolutely love the fall. October through December is my favorite time of the year. Living in the Bay Area has been hard because there is such little season change and this year in particular has been hot and very dry. Add in moving, we aren't celebrating the start of fall like we normally do. However, this year we attended the Ardenwood Harvest Festival with Owen's preschool. Both Owen and Luke had such a great time! They got to press apples for cider and really enjoyed all the farm animals and tractors. We didn't pick any corn (mainly because I didn't want anything else to pack) but we did pick up two pumpkins for the boys.

6. James and I attended CalShakes the other night for an evening showing of King Lear. We had a wonderful time and will be attending every year from now on. CalShakes is the California Shakespeare Theater located in Orinda, CA. The company produces 4 plays every year from early summer through the beginning of fall- 2 Shakespeare plays and 2 contemporary plays. It is an outdoor theater and so we got to bundle under blankets and watch an incredible play under the stars. It was a great way to experience a beautiful fall night. Great date night!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lindsay Wildlife Museum

A few weeks back James and I took the kids up to Walnut Creek to visit the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, a small center focusing on birds and smaller wildlife. I was anxious about the day trip because we left late in the morning and I worried about Luke's interrupted nap, but the day worked out just fine. Luke ended up falling asleep early on the drive up, so he was rested and ready to play when we arrived. We stopped for a small lunch and milkshakes at Mona's Burgers and then headed over to the Museum. What a find! They had an incredible collection of birds to view and a great viewing area to watch the keepers wash and feed them. The birds perched above their cages so they were out in the open (tethered down, of course) and the boys, especially Luke, really enjoyed looking at them. It was incredible to see such magnificent animals so close up.

Since the museum was fairly small we only spent an hour or so walking around with the kids. Afterwards we walked to the adjacent park for some outside fun. Owen loved the playground and even Luke ventured out of his cosy stroller to play for a bit. After some fun in the sun, we took the boys home. Both fell asleep on the car ride and both transferred down for naps- a miracle- and a great way to end such a fun outing with the family.

Owen was super excited about his milkshake- and his really cool window seat next to Mom.

Luke enjoyed the bird calls. He'd push a button and then smile and laugh at the sound. Then do it again.

Owen measuring out his wingspan.

Always my little train conductor.