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Category archive for: Family and Friends

New Mexico: Family

IMG_0980New Mexico is the home of Geoff’s mother’s father’s family (make sense??).   The Aguayos are a well known family in Alto so when his Uncle Ron passed away, New Mexico is where he’d be laid to rest with many of his other family members, including Geoff’s grandfather.  I thought I had taken more pictures of his Aunt Judy’s beautiful home in the mountains, with it’s wrap around porch and family photographs from the past throughout the home, but I guess I found it more important to soak in time talking to family I’d never met, seeing all of these people who looked so much like my son!   

While we were staying in New Mexico, Geoff, Grant, Jack and myself stayed with Grandma Jeanette and John in the cutest little cabin.  It was so wonderful to spend some time with my mother in law now that she’s in Florida.  Jack absolutely loved cuddles, kisses and songs from his grandma and I enjoyed the home cooked breakfasts and hearing stories about her family…well I guess my family, too :)

Although we stayed in the cabin two nights, it went by so fast!  We arrived late afternoon on Saturday and spent Sunday with family.  It was raining hard Sunday for the memorial…kind of a beautiful back drop for the day.  The memorial for Uncle Ron was held at the church he attended with Judy.  Right when we arrived Jack started screaming so I took him in to the nursery and he and I played while I tried to listen to the songs and stories about Ron (but let’s be honest, Jack was soaking up much of my attention, crawling and screaming and teething and crying and laughing and climbing and….you get the picture!).  When I heard bagpipes playing, however, I grabbed Jack and we stood outside of the sanctuary and listened to them play.  Jack was mesmerized.  And what I loved most about the service that Jack and I both were able to see first hand was everyone gathered outside under the church’s walkway, a firetruck and possibly Ron’s uniform and boots, propped up next to flowers, were on display while the bagpiper played Amazing Grace…then Home.  While he played everyone hugged one another, Geoff took Jack and held him close, and I watched the bagpiper walk away into the rain, the pipes growing more and more faint, like Ron was walking home.  So beautiful.

After the memorial we went back to Aunt Judy’s where she told me stories of all the people in the photographs around her home.  I loved hearing stories of Ron and her.  Reminded me so much of Geoff and I.

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The next morning, Geoff’s 32nd birthday, we left Alto and on our way out, Geoff took me to a jewelry shop that his aunt worked for.  He told me to pick out something nice :)  So of course I chose turquoise earrings for my birthstone and because we were in New Mexico so why not!  I’ve been wearing them ever since.  Afterwards, we climbed back in the car with Grant and Jack and started our 8 hour drive to Phoenix!  More on our stay there soon!

Road Trip to New Mexico: Tucson


A couple months ago, Geoff’s Uncle Ron had passed away from his battle with cancer.  His family, the Aguayo’s, are from New Mexico and have a rich history in the area that we were traveling to, Alto and Ruidoso.  So it was only fitting that Ron’s wife, Judy, planned to have everyone out to visit and celebrate Ron’s life at their local church as well as her beautiful home in Alto.

Being that New Mexico is at 14 hour drive for us, Geoff, his brother Grant, Jack and I decided to chop up the drive a bit and stay in Tucson the first night of our road trip.  Jack’s been on drives that have been no more than 2 hours at a time, so we were all a little skeptical about how 6 hours would be for this little man.  Well, he did great!  Long naps in his carseat, one pit stop for all of us to use the restroom and for a diaper change for Jack, and some Netflix and lots of singing on my part (I sat in the back with him the entire roadtrip) made the drive bearable for him.

We stayed at the coolest Air BnB yet!  The Elysian Grove Market wasn’t our first choice.  Our previous rental had cancelled on us last minute so within 24 hours we had to find another place!  So I had no idea where we were staying until we pulled up to the market…the MARKET? Ha!  I was a bit skeptical at first, but once we walked into our digs for the night I immediately felt 100% grateful for the cancellation and fell in love with the thrifty and quirky vibe of this historical market turned loft.  Every piece of furniture and decor seemed to have some kind of story behind it, and there was so much character and funky do dads to look at and observe…Jack was in Heaven!

Once we unloaded the car (meaning Geoff and Grant while I watched Jack) we were ready to settle down and relax!  The owner also brews his own beer so there were beers to enjoy in the fridge.  Geoff and I had purchased a case full of different wines before the trip, for the trip, so we opened up a sav blanc from Justin (up in Paso Robles…mmmmm) and a French white.  Jack enjoyed a bottle of course.

This place is not baby friendly, however, in terms of floors and furniture so we had our eyes on Jack at all times.  Also, there is no AC and we were there during monsoon season and it just so happened to be the hottest day of the year…but later that night we experienced a desert downpour which made the evening lovely!  We sat outside, enjoying our drinks, Jack enjoying his first desert rain, and took it all in, watching the rain fall and laughing at the pet rabbit that roamed around in the back yard :)  IMG_0933

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That night we ate at the oldest Mexican restaurant in the nation, El Charro .  The host of Elysian Grove Market told us about it and said we’d better try it out!  So we drove off in the rain to enjoy a nice meal together.  I ordered the vegan enchiladas and the boys ordered heavier options.  It was our first time trying carne seca, too!  Very good :)  I also ordered a virgin margarita because I was the driver and figured I’d have more wine at home after Jack went to sleep, and of course Jack hit the glass while I was drinking and I spilled it all over me…HA!  Not as bad as the French fry incident haha!IMG_0915IMG_0924The next morning we packed up our belongings and headed over to Cup Cafe located in the historic Hotel Congress (notice a theme here?  Every place we went to and even where we stayed was historic…so perfect for me!).  We loved the penny decor on the tables out in the waiting room as well as the floor inside the cafe!  The breakfast was really nice, especially the cajon rendition of biscuits and gravy they had on the menu.  Once we filled our bellies, we paid our bill, jumped back into the car, bought the cheapest tank of gas I’ve ever filled up…okay, maybe in the last 10 years, and made our way out to New Mexico!IMG_0968IMG_0970IMG_0972IMG_0962IMG_0937Will be sharing our time in New Mexico next :) Hope everyone’s week has been good!

Our Weekend


Our weekend was full of venturing outside of the house!  Thursday was my last day teaching summer school (bittersweet for me because I really, really enjoyed it!) so Friday I made plans to treat myself to a day at the spa with a couple of my closest girlfriends.  My mother in law gifted me two gift certificates (one for my birthday and one for Christmas) to a favorite local spa, Glen Ivy.  My mom came down to watch Jack while Geoff went to work for the day.  A quick Starbucks run and a full tank of gas and myt friend and I were off to meet my other friend!  We took up the offer they have during the week and spent the day in the mud, getting massages, hopping in and out of pools, experiencing the grotto for the first time, and sharing healthy nachos (oxymoron?) and yummy light salads.  The day definitely went by way too fast, but it was time well spent!  On the way home,  we made one more Starbucks run and back to our husbands and kids we went!


Saturday I had a coffee date with one of my favorite people, Bobbi, where we talked about our dreams and the future while passing Jack back and forth.  When Jack and I got home Geoff asked if we’d like to go out to lunch to one of our favorite restaurants in downtown Redlands.  While we were there, we thought it would be fun to let Jack try some of our food since we’ve been using the BLW method to feed Jack.  He tried French fry and really loved it (of course, who wouldn’t love a salty piece of potato?)  And like any excited parent I started taking pictures of his first encounter with a French fry…and not long after the gagging started (which can happen with BLW but it’s not dangerous…just hard to watch).  I told Geoff “he’s gagging” and I didn’t even get to finish my warning…vomit EVERYWHERE! I’ve never seen so much puke!!  And at such a lovely restaurant!  The staff promptly started cleaning up after us, we quickly paid for our lunch, and exited out the back.   In the moment, and I admit hours, after the incident I felt so embarrassed and like we were horrible parents.  It made me not want to take him out to eat.  I was mad at myself and Geoff for letting him have that damn fry!  But after talking to a friend and having some time to cool off, I realized that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and Geoff.  Babies are babies!  And props to parents who still manage to get out and enjoy the finer things with their little families.  We are trying and will continue to do so…maybe sans fries :)


Sunday was spent having brunch at the Olive Market (see!  it didn’t us long to go out to eat after the French fry incident!) and beginning  a mural for a friend’s bathroom.  Also, something I shared with my friend on the way home from Glen Ivy on Friday was how slowly I drink my iced drinks!  I didn’t finish my drink on our way home so I decided to stick it in the fridge to enjoy later.  And later was Sunday evening!  What are some of your quirky habits?  Hope you all have a fabulous week ahead!  We will be taking our first long road trip to a different state with Jack this weekend!  Should be interesting :)  Wish us luck!

Our Weekend: Joshua Tree



This post is a little bit overdue.  But hey, it’s never too late to share, right?

This past Memorial Day Weekend, we piled up in the car and took a spontaneous drive out to Joshua Tree.  I had been wanting to check out what all the fuss was about for quite some time now, and since Joshua Tree is just under an hour away from home, I thought it would be the perfect little family getaway for the day.  We had no plan on where to go while we were there, but thought we could possibly grab a coffee, walk around (in the heat I might add) and maybe have a bite to eat then head home.

When we got into the town after just an hours worth of driving (and a sleeping Jack in the back woohoo!) we put the little guy in his stroller and strolled on over to Joshua Tree Coffee Coffee Company.  We almost didn’t see the place since it’s hidden behind a yoga studio in the cutest and quaintest little courtyard.  I went in since the shop only fits maybe three people at a time, plus Jack was waking up from his nap.  I grabbed a coffee for myself and a tea for Geoff and we enjoyed our beverages, Jack enjoyed a bottle, and we people watched for a little bit on the patio.  Once we were ready to start packing up and continue our little adventure, I noticed a woman who looked familiar to me.  I realized who she was, called out her name and she came over to us!  She was the head of the art department at CSUSB and we chatted for a few minutes, mostly about motherhood of course, and about her living in Joshua Tree, having her own art studio, and the best pizza place outside of NYC (she’s originally from there).  It was our lucky day because the best pizza place outside of NYC just so happened to be in the same courtyard we were in.

Having had breakfast not long before our drive, we weren’t feeling too hungry just yet, so we decided to take a family stroll around the town.  Although it was very hot, we kept cool by peaking into shops here and there.  The visitor center was a great place to take a break from the heat, as well as a fun thrift store where I chatted up the sales clerk about fashion of course.  It was starting to get a little later into the day, the sun was rising and feeling hotter and hotter by the minute, so we decided it was time to start heading home…but not until we got the best pizza outside of NYC :)  The boys waited for me in the air conditioned car while I went into Pie for the People.  I ordered a slice of cheese for me and a slice of pepperoni for Geoff.  None for Jack, but someday!  I must say, that pizza took me back to our trip to NYC this last March.  I would drive from Redlands to Joshua Tree just for that pizza.
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Our Weekend


Our weekend started out with Jack taking a 2.5 hour nap…on me!  Ha, I didn’t move from the couch and in all honesty it was glorious.  Typically I’d put him down about 10 minutes after he falls asleep on me but I was pretty tired myself from a busy week, and spending some quality time with my boy was what this mama needed.  We got a babysitter to watch him for the evening and off Geoff and I went to play Twighlight at the country club with our friends!


Saturday Geoff was in a golf tournament, Lollapalooza, where players are surrounded by bystanders yelling and shouting at them while they try to hit!  So much fun.  Last summer I was pregnant with Jack and both Geoff and I couldn’t wait to have Jack with us this summer.  Funny thing was he was quiet and alert the entire time we were out on the course, but when we were inside for a light dinner the screaming and fuss was frequent :)  awww babies…what can you do?

Sunday was spent kind of by myself…which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing!  Sometimes you need some alone time!  The message at church was right on point.  I can’t wait to get into the message our pastor has in store for us.  The theme is Storyteller and how God writes our stories, yet sometimes we want to write our own story.  I kind of feel like I’m on the cusp of God writing my story and me adding in my own twist.  It’s all an adjustment period right now, being a stay at home mom, depending on Geoff to be the monetary provider, while trying to figure out how I can still provide for my family.  Yoga seems to be what God is writing on my heart and I’m excited for this new season, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s been quite an adjustment going from working full time to staying home.

I’ve been loving teaching summer school and it makes me miss being in the classroom at times.  However, summer school is more like a dream come true!  Great, smart, and talented high school students for 4 hours a day, and for only 6 weeks?  Sign me up!  Doing this full time for an entire school year while being a mom is doable but not in my story at the moment.


Wow, a little tangent there :)  Feels good to get the chance to share a little bit of our life lately.  Alrighty friends, I hope you all have a wonderful week!