It’s Official!

FFF tulips

It’s the last Friday of April 2014 and we have a LOT to celebrate!  Join Susanne to share the favorite parts of your week.

1.  It’s official!!!!  We are a forever family!!!

We were so sad that Daddy couldn’t come to California with us for the adoption but we are thankful for technology so he could at least FaceTime in. We are grateful for his service to our country, which sometimes limits his ability to participate in momentous family occasions.  It’s a sacrifice, but it’s worth it.  I’m so proud of him.  And, much like a wedding, what matters most is the lifetime together after the occasion- and no matter what, we are family now.  Our joy over flows and we thank the Lord for seeing us through this long journey in His own, perfect way.

adoption day- judge

adoption day- cake


2.  Supportive friends and family!  So many people came out to the courthouse and our friends’ home to celebrate.  We had back-to-back-to-back play dates and hangouts and received so many well-wishing emails and letters from folks who couldn’t make it to the adoption.  And a dear friend let us live with them for nearly 2 weeks.  So blessed. So humbled.  So grateful.

adoption day- group pic


3. Amazing parents.  I got to spend some time visiting with them and then they helped out so much with preparing for the adoption and keeping me sane during party prep.

adoption day- grands

Then poor Bapa had to be left behind and Mema drove across the entire country with us (she kept me sane functional).  Seriously, folks, parents of the year award for the billionth year running…

adoption day- mema and liam


4. Safe Travels.  We drove more than 2500 miles in the last week.  From San Diego to Phoenix, where we spent a few days with my brother and his wife.  Up to Albuquerque where we got to meet my husband’s grandparents, aunt & uncle, and cousins for the first time.  Across to Oklahoma City, down to Houston and then home to Florida.  My  wonderful mother drove with me the whole way. We love road trips and my kids are fantastic travelers, so aside from a rough night in Houston, we had a really great time!

road trip east


5.  My husband.  He’s so sweet, sensitive, and caring! I love that he has the gentlest heart you’ll ever meet…

Hubby love

But he easily turns Knight in Kevlar Armor to protect those he loves most.  He came through and took care of us from hundreds of miles away when we faced a bad situation in Houston and I’m so grateful he’s mine.  All mine!  :o)


And I’m so grateful we’ll get to be with him indefinitely now!  So joyful to be a family again.

Now I’m ready to settle into a routine and enjoy exploring Florida.

Until next time, West Coast….

good bye LA


Would you say it about a boob job?

I’m not immune to foot in mouth disease, but I certainly TRY not to be crazy insensitive.  Or at least to remove my socks and shoes before inserting my foot in my mouth….

But sometimes it’s hard to know what to say.  I get that.  So here’s a good rule of thumb for you to follow:


In all seriousness, though, I’ve gotten every single one of these.   One person I’d never even met before asked– in front of my kids— if fostering and adopting had been bad for my marriage (It hasn’t, it’s strengthened it tenfold.  But, still… rude.)

So, if you’re unsure if you should ask- have no fear!  Just stop and think, “Would I ask it about a boob job?”.    :o)

Faves of the Best Coast

FFF tulips

Thanks, Susanne, for hosting us each with with your Friday Fave Fives!

Having been in Florida for a few weeks, I’m starting to notice the things I’ll miss most about living in SoCal.  So in honor of my home town, I’ll make my faves an homage to California, particularly San Diego.

1.  Freeways.   Oh man, do I miss these!  My love used to commute 60 miles each way- it was killer and took about an hour, sometimes more… sometimes less, depending on traffic.  Here he only commutes 10 miles each way… but it still takes nearly half an hour!  What?

2. Fresh Food.  I miss fresh produce.  There is one farmers’ market but it’s a good 40 minute drive from here (thanks to the fact that there are NO FREEWAYS) so we haven’t made it up there yet because it would cut into what precious ‘Daddy time’ we have.  In San Diego we had Sprouts and farmers’ markets which always provide us with fresh, organic, and affordable food.  And ya’ll know my obsession with Trader Joe’s.  Of course they have TJ’s on the East Coast too, but not where we are.

3, Restaurants.  We did try Whataburger.  It was delicious.  But I was so incredibly sick after.  There ARE tons of amazing seafood places here.  Unfortunately, salmon is about the only seafood I eat since shell fish make my throat swell up.  What I really miss are ethnic foods- Ethiopian, Indian, Thai, Mexican…  I’m salivating at the thought.  :o)  I look forward to visiting my favorite food haunts next time I’m in San Diego and Los Angeles! If you are visiting any time, you must try:

Rama– best Thai in San Diego and a great ambience! Their peanut sauce… oh my goodness!  I usually just get their satay and fresh rolls and Hubby always has the Gai Qua with a “Dirty Thai’ martini. Amazing.

La Carreta– best carne asada burrito.  Ever.  It’s in central Los Angeles so many folks are hesitant to venture through rougher neighborhoods to get there but it’s super safe and SO worth it.  I’m putting it on my SD faves even though it’s in LA because it it THAT. GOOD.  :o)

Lolita’s– best carne asada fries in San Diego.  Need I say more?

Ki’s Restaurant–  beautiful view right on the ocean at Cardiff-by-the-Sea and local, organic food. Super delicious and healthy.

Hodad’s– best burger, milk shake, fries AND onion rings.  Not often a place can win #1 ranking on all 4, but this place does.  Plus the vibe is awesome.

Here’s a bit of surf lingo controversy for you…  the conventional definition of a Hodad is someone who comes to the beach with a surfboard and hangs out but never actually surfs- considered a poser.

However, recently Urban Dictionary has come forward saying it stands simply for a greaser, not a poser.  People actually argue about this stuff.  Crazy, right?

4.  Weather.  There’s something to be said for 70 degrees and sunshine year round.  Without humidity.   Definitely miss this.  🙂

5.  Outings. San Diego has so many awesome places to visit.  Here are just a few of our favorites… there are so many more and I haven’t even gotten to our Los Angeles faves yet!

Balboa Park– different museums are free for residents on Tuesdays so we enjoyed visiting all of them many times.  The Natural History Museum and Reuben H Fleet Science Center are our favs.  Liam is so disappointed that he won’t be able to go to camp there this summer- it was the first year he’d be old enough.


San Diego Zoo and Safari Park– we have annual passes and used to go weekly.  It’s really the best zoo I’ve been to and has great programs. ZoeGrace went to zoo camp one year and Liam still obsesses about the sky tram there.

EL zoo1

Mema Zoe at Zoo1

The Living Coast Discovery Center– my friends’ kids fundraised like crazy and literally kept this place open with their efforts.  An amazing place to go and it was also fun to watch 7 and 8 year olds so passionately engage in something they care about- and actually make a difference!

Hotel del Coronado– staying here for a weekend was a treat I’ll remember my whole life.

hotel del view1

Birch Aquarium– always a fun place to learn about the ocean and watch surfers.  It has some great hands on stuff for kids too.

Mission Trails– we hiked here.  A lot.

mission trails1

La Jolla– We love kayaking there and seeing the leopard sharks up close! Pain in the butt to park, though.

Julian– amazing pie.  You-pick apples, pears, etc.  Fun pumpkin patches. The annual Grape Stomp (took the kids last  year and they loved it).  All worth the drive up from San Diego.  And on the way, you can always stop off at the Camel Dairy. For reals.

And of course, the beaches!  So many to pick from!  We tend to go to Coronado’s Silver Strand Beach for its close proximity and easy parking, but if I’m willing to make the drive, we also love the Encinitas and Cadiff-by-the-Sea beaches too.  Really, though,  you can’t go wrong with SoCal Beaches.


This commercial still comes up on our Hulu advertisements a lot and it makes us home sick every time…

Hope you all had a great week!  We’re headed West next week for the adoption, so the highlights of my week have been planning what special things from this list we’re going to fit in while we’re back.  :o)