Just The Two Of Us

I began daydreaming about a mother/son trip when I first saw the Expedia Find Your Storybook advertisement on TV. The one where the mother is reading her son a bedtime story and simultaneously on an awesome adventure with him.

…where villages floated on water and castles were houses, dragons lurked and giants stood tall and the good queen showed the boy it could all be real.

And then Lucas and I started butting heads.


He’s five, so not listening, pushing my buttons and being defiant come with the territory. But I know that there’s more to it than that because when it’s just the two of us, he’s super.

Lucas has been very patient and understanding of my now divided time between him and his six-month-old sister but he doesn’t quite understand how much his Lola truly needs me right now.

I get it.

He misses me and being the center of my attention and this has been demonstrated by him asking more than once, “Can’t we leave Lola at home and go do something, just you and me?”.


I miss him too.

It has been particularly challenging now that it’s summer and he is not in school for a large portion of the day. We play a game of Uno or Connect Four in between diaper changes and bottle feedings. I’m constantly running back in the house to listen for cries while I should be focused on our game of Ring Toss in the backyard.

We’ve had some awesome mother/son dates, which for some reason are growing increasingly harder to schedule and since it’s summer, I really want to make an impact, leave an impression, do something grand with my son. And yes, put the mommy guilt at bay for a while.

So, with only two more weeks of vacation, what better time to get away, just the two of us? I’m hoping our mother/son trip becomes an annual tradition. This year we are tackling Chicago and leave Thursday. Lucas and I are both bursting with excitement over getting away and creating our own adventure, one that will include Navy Pier, Millennium Park, The Shedd Aquarium and deep dish pizza all without his little sister.

The idea of visiting the Windy City came from my desire to go there and all that it offers children. I’ve been to Chicago several times and I’m looking forward to seeing it through the eyes of my son.

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I’m such a slacker! I can’t believe I only blogged twice this whole month. And it was a very eventful month; between celebrating my turning 42 this week (I had every intention of sharing my anti-Bucket List), Charlie Pasta turning 2 (I’m still fuming over the fact that he pulled a $35 tri-tip off the counter my husband had just barbequed for a dinner party last week), Lucas turning 5 (!), his graduating from preschool, having several lines in his first school play, enjoying not one but two family staycations, plus a girl’s trip to Las Vegas, Father’s Day, Lola’s first time in a pool, and a host of other milestones, activities, ups and downs. It’s definitely summer and we are definitely busy having fun and living.

I was recently asked what my plans were with my blog and sadly, I didn’t have a response at the time. Letters For Lucas has taken a back seat to all the fun and the sweet long awaited addition of Lola and although I am 100% okay with that, I have vowed to share more, write more and spend more time here because I love my little space on the Internet and writing is good for my soul. 

Next up is Fourth of July in Santa Barbara, BlogHer, an exciting mother/son trip and I am determined to finish writing Lola’s birth story, so please stay tuned!


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Labor Day Weekend: Signs Of A Great Vacation

We love San Diego and have missed it desperately since we moved from North County to Orange County almost three years ago. We made a lot of wonderful memories (not to mention friends) in our little beach town of Leucadia and life in general is a lot more laid back in San Diego, so anytime we can get back there, we do! Luckily it’s only a one hour drive south.

We just spent four days in La Jolla as an end of summer, Labor Day weekend getaway and it was just what our family needed.

Our hotel room was steps from the beach, everything we needed was within walking distance and the sand, surf, sea life and sun were in abundance.

More signs of a great vacation:

1. I took a book that I didn’t open once because there was too many other things to do, like people watch, lounge in the sun, follow guitar fish up and down the beach and practice writing our name in the sand.


2. The only shoes I packed were flip flops, there was no make up worn and I left my flat iron at home.

3. When we unpacked, sand was everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, but I didn’t mind a bit.

4. The majority of our dirty laundry consists of bathing suits, towels and cover ups.

5. Tan lines.

6. We took the long way home just to make it last a little longer.

7. For four days someone couldn’t be dragged off the beach if his life depended on it. 


8. That same someone fell asleep in the car on the way home.


9. We’re already planning our next visit.

10. We brought home good memories, great photographs and huge smiles.


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This Time It’s Personal

My posts have been sparse and a little on the light side lately. I’ve experienced blog burn out before and taken blogging breaks. I’ve even experienced writer’s block, but this is different.

This time it’s personal.

Where have I been you ask?

I promised myself to take some of the pressure off during the month of August.

I told myself I needed focus on something other than my (in)fertility, medications, hormone levels, doctor’s appointments and marking days on the calendar.

I wanted wear little to no make-up, let my hair dry naturally, throw on a baseball cap and s l o w down, get back in touch with myself and my family and friends and just be for a while.

Relaxing is so hard for me and like many of you, I struggle with being present, being truly in the moment and realizing that so much of what I actually need is in the simple things; a wag of a new puppy’s tail, my son’s face lighting up as he gets the last puzzle piece to fit, the satisfying feeling of sweat dripping down my back, belly laughs and good cries.

So far I’m pleased with my progress…

My husband and I celebrated our five year anniversary by spending the weekend in San Francisco. We rented Segways, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and enjoyed some fabulous dinners. A big huge thank you to my in-laws for keeping Lucas while we did so.

We’ve been having fun getting acquainted with our new puppy, Charlie Pasta!

I’ve been living deadline free, having quit my freelance job the end of July.

I took Lucas on a trip to Santa Barbara to visit with high school friends, a couple I hadn’t seen in a dozen years. We picked up right where we left off, which is the great thing about old friendships!

This trip also marked my first time taking Lucas in a pool by myself. It was challenging at first, but a huge success. He is such a fish and we had a blast!

I have been staying up too late to read rather than play on my phone or struggle to pump out a blog post and after a mandatory three month hiatus, I have picked up my hot yoga classes again.

I’m spending more time outside and soaking up what is left of summer. There have been trips to the library in search of books about dinosaurs, many rounds of Go Fish, lots of pretend play, several hours logged in front of the TV watching the XXX Summer Games and Scooby Doo, countless walks around the neighborhood with our new furry friend and last week I was able to spend three glorious hours at the Getty Center by MYSELF.

All I have wanted to do is spend time with my sweet family, practice living in the moment and keep cool! I hope you are doing much of the same.

I’ll be back soon.

When was the last time you took a blogging break? I highly recommend it!

Incidentally, today marks my third year blogging. Ironic, no?

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Vacation Highlights

Trust me, I hate hearing about other people’s vacations just as much as the next gal, so I’ll just share the highlights from ours….

In case you missed it, we spent last week in North Carolina attending a wedding in Lake Lure and stayed at the inn where parts of Dirty Dancing was filmed.

Johnny's Cabin (and no, we did not stay here).

We were expecting it to be muggy and gross but instead it was mild and gorgeous, but as with all vacations there were ups and downs. I’ll let you decide which is which.

  • Four hotels in six days is a lot of work with luggage and a three year old.
  • I forgot to pack a hat, towels, beach toys, but was able to purchase all for $40.00. Grrr.
  • Those mountain ranges are beautiful, but the winding roads led to Lucas’ first experience with car sickness, which led to me washing out his soiled clothes and newly acquired towels in a public fountain. It was awesome. My husband took pictures.
  • None of us ever adjusted to the time difference so we didn’t make it to breakfast once (not even the free kind). Dry cereal in our hotel room does not count!
  • Speaking of eating, Lucas ate mac ‘n cheese for all but one meal. Can you say: super embarrassing and not always easy to accommodate?
  • I came home with two mysterious bug bites.
  • Reading the same three children’s books over and over and over again gets old really fast.
  • Over the course of three days, we were in a swimming pool, a lake and a splash pad.
  • One Lightening McQueen was thrown into a fish pond at the lovely Charlotte Airport Sheraton. Luckily, it was retrievable.
  • One of us (ME) missed the wedding ceremony because another one of us (LUCAS) was napping (see bullet point above about time difference adjustment).
  • Too much BBQ, hush puppies and sweet tea were enjoyed.

One of the many reasons I adore traveling is meeting new people and learning something unexpected each day I’m away from home. I suppose I don’t have to travel to do that, but I seem to be more open to it when I’m living out of a suitcase. Here are those highlights:

  • An iPhone can be thrown 20 feet across a room (don’t ask, it was not one of my finest moments) and still work 24 hours later. Those 24 hours were touch-and-go and there was nothing but a black screen and a few tears on on my part, but it came back to me stronger than ever.
  • Brazil has the second largest population of Japanese people (next to Japan, of course) in the world. [wedding reception convo]
  • The most visited winery in the United States isn’t located in Napa Valley. It’s at Biltmore Estate, in the mountains of North Carolina, where approximately 1 million visitors stop by to sample award-winning estate wines each year. Grapes can be imported for processing and bottling to a place that has perfect climate or making wine.
  • A couple having a dinner at a table next to us made a point of coming over to our table to welcome us to North Carolina after overhearing us talk about our home. Southern hospitality truly exists.
  • Once you get home from a vacation and look through all the photos you took, there won’t be a single shot of the entire family together.
  • There is no place like home!

Me completely geeking out on the audio tour at Biltmore Estate.

One of the best parts of our trip for me was of course being together as a family but I also thoroughly enjoyed (as exhibited in the photo above) visiting Biltmore House and Gardens in Asheville. Completed in 1895, George Vanderbilt’s 250-room chateau is as impressive today as it was more than a century ago. Biltmore House is truly an architectural and historical wonder.

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