The Bridge Arrives

Not the most exciting to anyone but me, but this past week the precast girders for the bridge I’ve been working on the past (almost) two years arrived.  Besides being a milestone of a major project of mine, it also is just special to share with my family who supports me every single day I work.  

the first girder!

I’m often wishing I had more time at home (or time in general), but when it comes down to it, I do love what I do.  I get the best of a lot of worlds – I get out of the house and mom-bubble each day, I show my kids there are women engineers & women in construction & women who run a business, and I create jobs for a lot of people who are happy to feed their families.  It’s fulfilling and I’m proud of it; again, even though I oftentimes wish I was less ‘busy’.  

So, the bridge for some reason reminded me of all of that.  And of course there are only so many bridge replacements in our town so I figured the kids might like to have seen one, so I had our nanny bring them.  Asher came in the morning and afternoon, and Selah came after school.  He was definitely more into it than she was, but not sure if that was a product of shyness or a product of the activity.  Either way, I was proud to have my babies onsite.

Sorry so many pictures – just couldn’t decide which ones to add!  I also just wish Asher could take a normal picture these days.  For some reason his ‘go-to’ camera pose is his Inner Peace stance from Kung Fu Panda 3 (see above, and every pic of him below).  Lucky us. 😉 I mean, he’s cute anyway, but I hate to have a whole year of pictures of my kid meditating.  Oh well, I shouldn’t complain – there are definitely worse things that could happen, obviously!  

So I’ll just live with my peaceful child (ha!), and my new bridge! 

Sunday Funday

Today was full of the best things.  Family, progress on projects, cooking for the week, and play!  

My mom and dad came to help with a new concrete countertop for the outdoor BBQ area.  Cannot wait to see it finished, but here my dad and Jesse are – working hard to set it up and pour:For some reason, it placed those reverse chronological order…but since I write all these from my phone, we’re all going to live with that 😉.

Next up, Apple peeling, slicing, coring, and cooking!  Thanks to our picking at Nana and Papa last week we have *almost* unlimited apples!  Asher was my little helper and did every single one of them!  I would put it on the peeler, then he would turn it, grab the apple, pull off the end slices that still had peel, eat (or play) with those, then throw the apple in the bow I had to separate out.  Today I baked applesauce and another apple crisp, and had enough to freeze for a French toast casserole for next weekend…and one more bag to save for whichever of those is the most popular with everyone.

Love that kid and his goofy personality.

Last up for Asher – bike riding the neighborhood in a batman costume (like there’s any other way!

Selah joined us, but didn’t make the photo (she’s too fast!), but I did catch some of her on the trampoline.  She’s our athletic girl, that’s for sure!  Although gymnastics classes were full this semester, she opted to practice mastering her version of the one-handed cartwheel & somersault, and the jumping splits. She did well and told me – mom, I’m proud of myself!  (Music to this mother’s ears).

All in all, I’d say Sunday was a big success all around.  It’s especially great to see Jesse working on projects again.  And not just so he can tackle my ‘honey-do’ list (ha!), but more because he’s able to finally feel like he can accomplish things again even with the knee at less-than-100%, which is nice.  A big, big thanks to Grandpa & Grandma for making that happen.  We are so grateful.

Pike’s Peak

Day 3 in Colorado definitely did not dissapoint!  Kelly got us tickets for the cog railway to the top of Pike’s Peak – the mountain overlooking Colorado Springs (& the peak we watched fireworks over earlier this year!  Although, much colder at that time of year!).  It could not have been a more perfect day – again, beautiful weather and great company made for the best of times.  And Hannah’s nieces and Aunt joined in, which was great fun for the kids!

Views on the way up were amazing – and anyone who knows Asher well will recognize his obsession with binoculars!  He kept on the lookout for wildlife and we did end seeing quite a few marmots, and spotted some long horn sheep in the distance.At the top we enjoyed the fresh homemade donuts and hot chocolate – except Selah (Miss Picky eater) who opted for Cheetos.  As we walked around, Selah even noticed she got winded easily, so it was a fun introduction to a bit of altitude for their first time.  

Another fun day for all.  We’re so thankful for the hospitality of these friends who we count as family.  

Castlewood Canyon Hike

It’s been a hectic few weeks, but I’m missing out on some great pictures & milestones so I needed to update for family!  Before school started (this week), I took the kids on a last minute trip to Colorado.  It was a spur of the moment thing – Jesse is recovering from knee surgery still so he isn’t up for travel, but I found incredibly cheap tickets online from LAX to Denver (less than $300 total for all of us!!!), so I just decided to jump on it.  Plus, it’s hard to pass up visiting the Jacobsen clan – they are a few of our favorite people in the entire world – in addition to about the easiest people for kids to stay with as well since both Selah and Asher love all of them to pieces!

Anyways, I took so many pictures I’ll have to split it up per each day there to fit it all in a reasonable post.  First day was hiking at Castlewoid Canyon after getting off the plane.  Asher loved it, Selah had to be coerced into having fun, and I love anything that combines outdoors, exercise, and good company!  

My little hippie boy stripped down with Hannah to go skinny dipping as soon as he realized there was water while playing ‘trolls’ under the bridge:

Not a bad setting, right?!
Luckily Mr. Nels (Hannah’s dad) must have had special training in making hiking fun for kids, so he took Selah’s stinky attitude as a challenge and transformed it into an adventure, thank goodness!

It was a great time exploring – perfect day, perfect activity, and perfect people!  We only were missing Ms. Kelly (Hannah’s mom) and of course, Daddy (who we would have loved to be with this trip, but is recovering so he can do the next one!).

Fiesta 2016

Confession: we aren’t very good at fiesta since having kids.  Since we spend most of our time avoiding crowds and germs, it goes against the norm.  However, my fatal flaw this year was accidentally driving by the fair at Mercado Del Norte on our way to swimming – so the kids knew the rides were there and wore us down with continual asking, which we really couldn’t come up with a great plausible excuse not to go.  

Our best plan was to go right when it opened (read:  not scorching hot) and during the children’s parade (read: less people), and all in all it turned out great and the kids had a blast.  It was also fun that daddy’s knee is recovering and so he could join us! In fact, picture credits go all to dad on this post!

Also captured a short video montage of the day – not super exciting but family might enjoy it:
Viva la fiesta!  

Family beach night

This was a week or so ago – a few days after Jesse’s surgery.  

For extended family who might not have realized – since we’ve kind of been hiding in a hole of sorts for months and months – Jesse tore his ACL again in February, along with his PCL (I think that’s the one), and his meniscus got stuck between his knee in an ‘aftershock’ injury (basically from walking around with the torn ACL for a few months).  So, to prolong a long story, he’s been waiting on a surgery date, unable to walk, since April/May or so.  And he finally had surgery late July.  So, if you haven’t heard from us, it’s because it’s been a somewhat tough last couple of months and we are really, really glad to see a light at the end after a successful surgery!

Back to the task at hand…a few days after surgery, Jesse wanted to get out of the house (it was super hot the two-three days following the surgery, and he was stuck in an immobilizer from his hip to below the knee)…so we went and picked up Blenders for dinner and parked at the beach.  He sat in the car, but at least got some fresh ocean air (heals better than the pain killers, I can tell you with confidence after watching his face!)…and the kids and I played in the sand right between the car and the water.

It’s times like these I’m acutely aware of how thankful I am for so many parts of our lives.  To name a few:

* Our kiddos (duh).  But here’s something I’m really thankful for often, but don’t mention enough – that they are best friends and built-in playmates.  Nope, they don’t always get along…and nope, they don’t always want to do the same activities.  But on the whole, these two have eachother’s  backs and are the best of pals.  

* Where we live.  Dang, Santa Barbara is expensive and I complain a lot about that, often to the point of not appreciating what we have.  But it really is the best spot in the world (especially to enjoy evenings like this)- not too hot, not too cold, beach, mountains, a little bit city, a little bit country, and very few bugs (weird, but I kid you not – every other place I’ve been that has nice evenings like this also has bug bites!  And I for some reason am tasty and get eaten alive!  Not in SB though!).  It’s kind of perfect for us, and can’t believe we’re so blessed that it’s home!
* Health.  We have two healthy kiddos (hands down our number one blessing).  I am blessed to be able-bodied enough to take care of the house, kids, and Jesse while he recovers.  It’s made me appreciate that there’s two of us when he is healthy and that what he has is “fixable”, and that’s a lot to be thankful for that not everyone can count on.

I could go on, but you get the picture.  It’s not a’first’ or anything new or exciting, but I took a bunch of pictures with the intent of sharing because it was one of those moments I would give anything to pause and relive over and over to memorize every sound, taste, scent, and sight.  If time would freeze a moment, I think one of these ‘normal’ nights would be my choice above anything extraordinary – they are my favorite in all the land.

 (Here Ash was playing in our “super duper long, tall shadows, Mommy”!):

Here’s just a quick clip of some of the live pictures converted to video:

Little Swimmer

Lots of swimming posts to come!  First up, last night’s big event.  Asher finally swam the length of the pool all by himself!!  This little guy has struggled a bit in enjoying swim lessons and he is really hard on himself, so we are so stoked for him to be so proud of himself and his accomplishment. 

 I think the little series of photos actually speaks volumes of his super-sized personality in his pint-sized body:

And Selah wasn’t left out!  She and her team received medals for swimming all of the strokes last night.  

My little Olympians!  😉

Truly, of course I hope that they love swimming as much as I did and get as much out of it…but my real intent is to have them water safe, which is a constant process even beyond the pool. The super fun by-product so far has been to see their confidence grow in their own individual ability.  The sense of accomplishment is so sweet to watch, and I could not be more proud of the little people they are becoming! ❤️


I wanted to post about Selah’s kindergarten graduation – with some pictures of her last day.  But got sidetracked by this group of a bazillion pictures I took.  I feel like I could make a flip book and you’d get a feel for the personalities of these two kids of ours.  

So, for that reason, here goes…complete inundation of photos.  All the last day of school; all displaying the many faces of my babies.  Ha!

I’m pretty sure the ones of Asher figuring out his shaka are the best.  Especially once he accomplishes it in one hand while flipping us the bird in his other! 😂

4th of July Celebrations

I’m going to work backwards from here, going back to key events since I left off blogging a few months back, in hopes of filling in holes for my ‘scrapbook’ of memories for the kids, along with faraway family.

First up – 4th of July weekend, block party & parade! 

I love our neighbors and neighborhood.  There are tons of kids and families, a good mix of a slightly older generation (which I love for our kiddos), and it’s what I would consider safe.  For the holiday, one of my motivated neighbors took it upon herself to organize a big shindig at the park between the two circles of houses.  This was no ordinary block party either – it was complete with a taco truck, fresh horchata, bounce house, DJ, limbo, and bike parade.  So fun for the kids – and us!  

Good times in Montecito.  If my kiddos only knew how blessed they are!   (We are working on conversations about privilege…but sometimes the concepts come slow & I try a number of ways to get the point across before one just ‘sticks’).  

Next up, 4th of July parade!  

Jesse’s knee has been really bugging him lately (seems logical, 4 months without walking would do it to anyone – and he literally NEVER complains, so you know it’s actually hurting now!) – so I took the kids solo to the downtown Montecito celebration to represent Cold Spring School in the parade and friendly competition after between Selah’s school and Montecito Union.  

They were the sweetest, all decked out.  We made our way to our spot then waited a good hour riding around with friends and climbing trees before the parade started. I walked with a few other moms with a banner and the kids zoomed through the crowd in the street.  I even lost Asher in the surrounding neighborhood at the end of it – innocent mistake for his first ride and my horror of not being able to run as fast he rides that bike of his!  I took it as a good opportunity to remind him how to tell a fireman his mommy’s name and find the man with the microphone! 😆

And of course what 4th celebration is complete without terribly unhealthy, mediocre tasting sweets with artificial food dye and flavor?!?   Isn’t that the American way?! 

The kids had a great time, as did I – and although it was exhausting, it was 100% worth it to see those moments of sibling love and pure joy amidst my own personal moments of panic when losing one of them in the crowd (Selah is quite the social butterfly and since it was the school rivalry – the Montecito Cup – she was off enjoying friends while I tried to keep tabs on Asher and hoped she could find me when necessary!).

We also miraculously made it to fireworks with Daddy so he could share in the day, and set up our own cooling pool in the backyard to combat the heat.  Perfect day to celebrate America!

Home Sweet Home

Selah and I just got home from a backpacking trip with Grandpa in the western Sierras.  It was the absolute best, but it’s also so sweet to come home.  To comfy couches, and family of course.  Backpacking pictures to follow (once I download – I didn’t have my phone up there so used a little point and shoot camera), but for now I thought I’d share our welcome home pics with some sweet new blankets that Grandma knit for us.  

Here’s my sweet baby…being eaten by a vicious shark! 

And my beautiful mermaid relaxing with her daddy who she missed so much! 

 Now….to sleep in my own bed!