Life Lately, according to my iPhone

As several people have pointed out to me recently, I have neglected this little online journal of mine. Please accept this shameless cute photo of Rudybega in a field of daisies in exchange for my lack of communication.

The last few months have flown by in a blur of settling into our home, hosting one visitor after another, and taking little weekend trips together. 

See below for photographic evidence:

Not pictured: Dad & Kim have visited twice, but you'll see them working hard in the upcoming posts about what we've been doing around the house.  Cheryl visited as well, and I somehow managed to take NO photos. Luckily, she documented her trip here

  • Photos 1-2: a work conference in Pacific Grove gave me an excuse to pay a visit to Carmel and Point Lobos. Shame on me for only taking my iPhone to capture its magnificence!
  • 3: Leslie and I took an overnight trip to Sonoma and it was exactly the girls getaway we needed! Not pictured: we found a tequila bar in Guerneville that was basically my personal version of heaven. In addition to a million different types of tequila, they serve most amazing oaxacan cheese dip EVER.  
  • 4: Mom spent almost a whole week staying in our little guest house, and although I felt bad I couldn't get the time off work, I think she enjoyed herself relaxing in the redwoods :)
  • 5, 6, 7: Just little bits of life; a sunset view on West Cliff, running with Rudybega, and a cozy night at home
  • 8, 9: Our next visitor, Brent's sister Lauren. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to have Lauren as my sister now - what a great bonus to marrying Brent!  We have grown incredibly close and I was so grateful to have a few days of quality time together. Seen here on National Strawberry Picking Day, at Swanton Berry Farm.
  • 10 - 13: Brent and I went camping near Big Basin Redwoods State Park, and hiked 15 miles down to the ocean. That gorgeous waterfall is Berry Creek Falls, which is about the half-way point and alone makes the hike worthwhile, not to mention the widely varied forest terrains we traversed.  
  • 14 - 16: A few more random snapshots; the view from our front porch looking up (we have the best neighbors!), a visit to Wilder Ranch, and a Wilder kitty.

The new year blur

The clock always seems to turn over to the new year in a blur of addressing Christmas cards, trips to the airport, family visiting, celebrations, and work in between. I am never one to get into the arm wrestle of requesting time off around the holidays... there are plenty of people here with kids, in-laws, etc. that I think need the time more than I do. I remember what it was like to have the 5 different houses to visit for Christmas... how fun when it was as a spoiled kid opening a million gifts at every stop, but nowadays I am happy to enjoy the day quietly in my own space.  Brent typically works holidays as well, and this year was no exception.  I drove down to drop off his Christmas dinner, getting a glimpse of his daily world behind the double-doors of the ED.  I love to see him in his white coat - it's a reminder of how hard he worked, and continues to every day (and really he just looks handsome, if I'm being honest). I gave a silent thanks to public servants who spend the holidays away from their families - despite how it seems, the world doesn't stop turning on Christmas Day.  

Thankfully, Brent had a few days off in a row to make a trip home to Arizona after Christmas, so I saw him off and picked him up on my way to-and-from San Francisco.  Arizona always breathes life back into Brent's sails in the way California does mine. I think there's something about going home again, where you were born, and feeling the sun on your skin how it felt as a kid, smelling the familiar air, and stopping at all of the places that fill your memories.  I love to hear about his trip as we drive along the curves of highway 17 on our way home... and I guessed right that Brent managed to eat at Burrito Express pretty much every day here was there.  

As always, New Years in San Francisco was filled with laughter, good food, and even better wine.  I made sure to bring my bottle of Iron Horse sparkling rose that Cheryl got me on our trip to Sonoma to share when the clock struck midnight (SO good). I must say, I took it pretty darn easy this year spending most of the time with Rudybega on my favorite little window bench at Jon and Leslie's house that overlooks the bay.  Mom and I spent our annual day together out at the edge of the city, having lunch at The Cliff House and exploring the Sutro Bath ruins, which I have wanted to do for a couple of years now. We also let the dogs run free on the beach after lunch, which is just cuteness overload. Rudy is in love with Jon and Leslie's dog Zaney, so much so that it has become difficult to keep Rudy off of her... literally.  I'll spare you those photos (but you know I took some).

I'm happy to say things at home have settled back into a normal schedule of work, outdoor activity, and trying out new recipes in the cottage kitchen. Of course, the new year has prompted its usual resolutions... I joined a yoga studio just a block from my work, and cannot tell you how much I love going there every day on my lunch break.  It is so nice to go to class instead of trying to practice at home since Boo insists on integrating himself into every pose, as you will notice in one of the snapshots below.