After leaving our overnight cabin stay in Crestline, we made our way down SoCal to La Jolla, San Diego to visit Steve’s cousin, Frances and her family, Jeff and Jacob. We rarely get to see them so we were super excited to spend quality time with them, especially with their 2 yo son, Jacob. Jacob and Emma are the first two cousins in their generation from Steve’s dad’s side of the family living in the states. And it’s extra fun since they are the same age!
Frances and Jeff welcomed us with open arms to stay with them at their place in downtown La Jolla. I could not believe my eyes when we got there, they literally live on the beach. We woke up to the sound of waves and sea salt aroma every morning. It was heavenly.
First night, we had a delicious home cooked meal, surf and turf. Jeff dives and catches lobsters in the ocean, so you better believe it when I say the lobster was phenomenal. It cannot be fresher than that! It literally melted in my mouth.
Jacob and Emma hit it off right away, I’m sure Em was super excited to have another little human to play with 24/7. Jacob was such a sweetheart sharing all his toys with Em and always flashing his cheesiest grin! Whenever Em went to the bathroom or to bed, Jacob would call for her. How adorable is that! We had a lot of fun catching up and getting to know each other over our stay. They were the greatest hosts taking us around town to fun places and good eats. We went to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where we took a tram to see all the animals roaming around the zoo. It was such an awesome experience! The parents also got to enjoy some adult fun visiting different breweries and catching up at night after putting the babies to bed. We ended our SD trip with going on a morning hike at Torrey Pines and grabbing our last meal at Duke’s.
cuzzo love ❤
listening to uncle Jeff’s heart!
kiddos were super excited to head to the zoo! ❤
watching the bird show at the zoo requires a lot of concentration. 😉
big cuzzo love ❤
on the tram ride!
after zoo adult fun at Stone Brewing while babies nap in the strollers 🙂
ready for the hike!
Spending quality time with Frances, Jeff and Jacob was such a pleasure. Because we don’t see much of each other, it’s hard to connect and get to know one another. But I’m so glad to have spent a few days with them as they are such a nice, genuine, and down to earth family! We truly appreciate you guys inviting us into your home to share with us a bit of your life in La Jolla! We cannot wait to see you guys again, hopefully very soon in Raleigh! We love you! ❤ Also, Frances is a blogger mom too – check out her blog here. She shares her story of motherhood with a very demanding job as an anesthesiologist!
My one and only State Fair experience prior to the NC State Fair was back when I was 11 years old in Frederick, MD. Maybe because I have this faint yet fond memory of a family Fair outing that I really wanted to take Emma to one, and make it a family tradition. When people told me NC State Fair is like none other, they weren’t kidding. It was bigger than I imagined and nothing like the one I went to with my family when I was younger. Although traffic getting to the Fair was horrendous and there were too many people for my liking, we had fun soaking in the experience. Of course, Emma had the most fun. In fact, she had so much fun, we went twice and the first time, she stayed out until 11 PM! We had lots of junk food, everything fried to be exact (that’s what State Fairs are for, right?) and Emma rode her first pony ride!! She had mixed emotions in the beginning. She wasn’t sure if she was scared or ecstatic, but since the pony ride, that’s all she would ever talk about! We also met up with her friend from school, and they rode some rides together. I was a bit nervous at first, probably more so than she was, but she ended up loving it and wanted to ride every ride at the Fair.
We will definitely make it an annual tradition for our family, but will be avoiding the weekend for sure. Overall, it was a great experience with tons of fun!
“I don’t know if I should cry or laugh!”
Our dearest Emma,
Your second birthday has come and gone, and Mama is more emotional than when your first birthday came along. As wonderful as your first year was, a big chunk of that year was in survival mode. Your second year though, was soaking up every single moment of your growth because it literally went by too fast. With a blink of an eye, you somehow transformed into an independent young girl. And as each day passed, it was as if our baby was disappearing.
As I desperately try to hold onto every second of your “needing Mama moments”, I also know I have to let you fly. One of the biggest milestones this year was fostering your independence by enrolling you in school. Though the initial transition was tough (probably tougher on Mama than you), we are so proud of how well you adjusted and how much you love learning new things. I hope you never lose your curiosity and passion for exploring new things in life. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. The best part of my day is when you run into my arms with a huge grin, shouting “MAMA!” when I come pick you up at school. I sincerely hope that never changes. And even when you are 18 years old, you still find comfort in my arms.
As always, I am so grateful for being your Mama. Papa and I thank you for another wonderful year of being a healthy and happy baby. We love you so much sweet girl, and we cannot wait to learn more things about you as your personality shines through each day.
Emma and I have been super sick with a nasty cold this past week, so naturally, I am drugged up and really missing summer! But really, I’m just a lazy blogger and have not gotten around to do this post until 3 months later. 😛
This past Fourth of July was an exciting one for us and mainly for me because my best friends came to visit! Ever since leaving Chicago 6 years ago, three of us have been living miles apart, in West Coast, Midwest and East Coast. Although we try our best for all three of us to get together, life happens. We have been through it all, from college to break ups to first jobs to changing careers to getting married to having babies! I honestly cannot live without them, and legitimately feel a void in my heart when I don’t get a notification for our group chat on a daily basis. It has been more than a year since all three of us were together, so our reunion was way overdue!
Of course, Charles and Emma’s reunion was just as exciting! Remember their first date? Long distance relationships are tough, even for babies! ;D They got to spend 24/7 with each other for 5 days straight and Emma was asking for Charles for weeks after they had left. And I was told Charles was doing the same..these kids… tugs at our hearts! ❤
We spent most of our days at the pool, going to museums and eating (what we do best)! We cannot wait until we are together again! Hopefully sometime soon!
4th of July photoshoot.
Although temperature is still hitting the high 80’s here in NC, summer is officially over. Long summer months sure flew by too quick for us, and we are already missing going to the pool almost daily and the beach trip from start of the summer. I know, four months have passed since our family beach trip back in May. I am a major slacker on this whole blogging thing, but I promise it’ll get better! :X I have a few upcoming posts lined up, and it is my hope to do one post a week…or two weeks. ;P
But for now, take us back to the beachhhh! Back in May, for Mother’s day weekend, we rented a huge beach house with our friends which accommodated 5 families, each with a toddler, in Topsail Island with a private beach. Even though weather wasn’t the best, we were still able to go to the beach every single day and had a blast! It was a hoot seeing Emma’s reaction when she first saw the ocean and waves! Her reaction alone made the weekend because she was so excited about it all! Once she got over the initial fear, she loved going in the water and playing in the sand! And having four toddler friends under one roof spending 24 hrs together was just TOO adorable! How did we get so lucky with such well behaved babies? They spent the entire weekend playing with one another and keeping themselves occupied with each other. It sure made it easier for us parents, and we were able to relax too. It was a fun Mother’s Day weekend well spent with framily, and you better believe we made a pact to make this an annual trip. 🙂
Emma helping Cole walk! 🙂
Emma helping Cole walk! 🙂
ps: my friend, fellow blogger also has amazing pictures from our beach trip – go check them out! -> MADclutter