In Real Life: Week 38

Our week 38 has been a big one! Lots of photos to share, so let’s jump in!

Showing that Bronco spirit.

Blue and orange FOR LIFE.


It looks like totchos are going to be in our regular Sunday rotation now, lol.

Plus rum and coke (zero).

Somebody forgot to close the bag on on the sourdough bread, so I made croutons. Pretty damn tasty, if I may say so myself.

Mountain View having a good cloud day.

I feel ya, buddy.


This boy is learning how to drink out of real cups these days. So of course he’s been trying to drink the bath water.

Starbucks date with my boys before school.

Take a book, leave a book.

I think I may have found my new favorite store this week.

Maybe these guys can help me learn how to finally keep a damn succulent alive, lol.

They have a place to let you make your own arrangements… and workshops, too!

Jamesy is really turning into an amazing big brother.

I really hope they stay close as they get older.

I don’t know what it says, but I like the way it’s written.

Tattoo time!

Waiting for my guy to set up all the stuff for my session and listening to the buzz of a tattoo gun in the other room and trying not to freak out.

I had a moment of panic when he said we were getting started, but once we got going it really wasn’t too bad. We were done with the outline before I even knew it!

The view from the table. I spent a lot of time meditating through the pain or just plain spacing out.

Tools of the trade.

Shading done, and onto color.

This was at the end of about hour 2. It was really starting to get sore about this point.

I got well-acquainted with all the artwork in this corner.

The master, at work.

Thank you for talking me through the toughest parts of that last hour, Edu.


Four hours later, we were done!

I won’t lie… doing it all in one sitting was pretty hard. I was very sore by the end, and when I stood up from the table I felt pretty sick. But now I feel just a little bit tougher and more badass. 😉

And I am SO happy with how it turned out! Edu is truly a master, and I’d highly recommend him to anyone in the Santa Cruz area who wants some ink.

Another early morning.

Back up in Mountain Ranch to say farewell to Don one last time.

Daddy’s boy.

Note to self: if you give red licorice to a baby, he will end up looking like Chucky.

We all took a sip of some of Don’s last batch of Syrah Port. He was a damn good wine maker.

In fact, he won quite a few awards for his winemaking skills over the years.

I didn’t know this until this weekend, but he was also in the Air Force. An honor guard was even present to play Taps for him and present his flag to Mona. (Side note: what a handsome young man!)

He loved Mona so much.

It was obvious in every photo and every story that anyone had to share about the two of them.

Don also loved elephants, and had a large collection of them. We brought a few of them home with us, including this adorable one.

We also brought home this amazing painting that Robbie’s sister did a few years ago, of Don and James. It’s now hanging in our living room.

The service was beautiful. So many funny and heartwarming stories were shared. Don was (and still is) so loved.

It was held at an old community hall that reminded me a lot of Oreana.

It was the kind of place that was just made to have kids running around in it.

With that same old wild west charm.

These two aren’t related at all. Nope.

Serious guy talk happening here.

“Downtown” Mountain Ranch has some serious old-timey charm.

Damn. Wish someone had told me sooner.

Stop it with the cuteness.

After the service, a bunch of people congregated at the house to hang out, drink tequila, and toast to Don’s memory.

It was probably exactly what Don would have wanted.

Who knew an empty can could be so fun?

May we all have so many people to love and remember us after we’re gone.

My introverted brain needed a break, so I went for a walk down to the lake by myself.

Even though I never had the chance to know Don very well myself, it still felt good to sit in the peaceful places that I know he must have enjoyed so much himself, and say my own quiet goodbye.

May you enjoy the finest wine and the best fishing for eternity, Don.

Letting go is hard to do…

…but autumn is about to show us just how beautiful that can be.

May the road rise up to meet you…

…may the wind be always at your back…

…may the sun shine warm upon your face…

…and rains fall soft upon your fields.

Until we meet again….

…may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Much love.


In Real Life: Week 37

Here’s how our week 37 looked…

I ate some great food this week… starting with this very tasty breakfast that I made for myself.

Toasty wheat bread, topped with melted pepper jack cheese, and finished off with a drippy poached egg. Perfection.

Dressed to match in our Broncos gear for NFL Sunday. (Even though they didn’t actually play until Monday, lol.)

My cheat for “homemade” salsa? I take already tasty fresh salsa from the store and add chopped green onions and cilantro.

Sandra Lee would be proud.

Jack approves of guacamole. Also, check out those teeth!

Mama’s version of Sunday Funday. #eyeroll

All-day football for me means all-day food. So I set this chicken up to dry brine in the morning, then I butterflied and grilled it in the afternoon. It was marvelous.

Had to lower the crib this week after the little peanut started standing up in it.

Sometimes I like to sleep with one foot out, too.

We had random thunderstorms this week. I think it was the first time I’ve seen lightning since I moved to California.

Snoopy was just begging me to take him home. It was hard to say no.

THIS, however, I can do without right now. Slow your roll, CVS!

Morning snuggles.

I want to be a lazy house cat in my next life.


Robbie’s store had a big event this week and had fresh Mexican food catered.

It had been a pretty frustrating couple of days, and these were just what I needed.

It’s now dark when I leave for work again.


Spent a day renewing my PALS certification this week.

Let’s be honest, the training torsos look a little creepy all stacked up.

Although they have a couple of new, very buff torsos, too. Ken has clearly been working out.

This would make a sick tattoo, don’t you think?

That’s what she said.

Mexican food for lunch two days in a row and I ain’t even sorry.

Anybody else see signs like this and still hear that high-pitched animation show voice finish with “…and no flash photography”?

No? Just me. Ok.

Caution: bumps ahead.

That light. That window. Hallelujah.

Lady Jaye forever.

A palm tree up close.

*whispers* come here.

“But moooooom… why CAN’T I stand up in the bathtub?”


Solar-powered kitty.


Been on a cappuccino kick this week.

I spent an evening in SF with a friend.

I have no desire to live in the big city, but I really enjoy going to visit every once in a while.

Both of these sculptures were part of an interesting art display in a random courtyard between buildings. The only reason we happened to see it was because the elevator from our parking garage happened to open onto it.

I love all the old architecture.

How neat is the top of this building?

Even the Department of Public Health has an interesting facade.

How old do you think this sign is?

Karl the Fog, rolling in.

SF City Hall looks like a state capitol building.

Later it was lit up in red, white, and green, for Hispanic Heritage Month.

There was even a little mariachi festival going on in the courtyard as we walked by on our way to dinner.

Speaking of dinner, we ate at a fabulous little place called Brenda’s French Soul Food.

And by “French soul food” they mean “epic New Orlean’s-inspired cajun.”

I had the chicken etouffee, and OH MAN, IT WAS AMAZING.

Jill had the cornmeal-crusted shrimp po-boy, which she let me try, and it was also freaking delicious.

Of course we also got dessert.

If you ever get the chance to go to Brenda’s, please do yourself the favor of ordering the chocolate bread pudding. The bourbon-caramel sauce alone is worth making the trip for.

Another cappuccino, enjoyed to the last drop.

I wonder if this crack is a relic of the last earthquake.

The outside of the Nourse Theater.

…which was actually the real reason we came to the city.

We came to see Mariska Hargitay talk about her foundation and upcoming HBO documentary.

She was delightful. Warm, funny, charming, and very humble.

I have no doubt that this is the original ceiling inside the theater, as you can see the piping they tried to hide when they added the electrical wiring later on. I love old details like this.

Afterward, we stopped off for coffee and explored the lobby of an old hotel.

Giant chandeliers like this one remind me of the Titanic.

If this room isn’t filled floor-to-ceiling with chocolate, I am going to be seriously disappointed.

Some people have a thing with floors. I have a thing with cool ceilings.

Saturday relaxin’.

How was your week 37? What interesting things did you see and experience?

Have a great week 38!

In Real Life: Week 36

Here’s what our week 36 looked like…

I am sorry to report that Robbie’s dad passed away on Sunday.

Everyone is handling it as best they can.

Keeping ourselves busy. It’s funny how easy it is to connect over something as simple as a puzzle.

This one was pretty intricate, too. So much detail.

We spent lots of time reminiscing, too.

I see so much of Robbie in younger photos of Don.

I actually thought this was Robbie at first glance.

You can see how much love he had for Robbie.

And clearly, the feeling was mutual.

You are already missed, Don. I hope you know how much you are still loved.

There are so many sweet pictures of Robbie and his sisters, too.

And um… is this a James face, or what?

It makes me so happy to see what an awesome father Robbie is. (Thanks for taking this photo, Chrystal.)

I wish I was better at growing succulents.

Sweet baby lips.

September means that Halloween shenanigans have already begun at work.

I don’t mind. Halloween is honestly my favorite.

Let’s be honest. My white girl heart is just in love with autumn in general.

The urge to buy everything is strong.

I like the juxtaposition of these trees.

Nap time snuggles.

I love you, Panda Express.

I tried a different coffee shop this week.

It’s called The Ugly Mug. It had a pretty funky vibe.

It also had the tiniest bathroom I have ever seen. I legit wasn’t sure I would fit through the door.

I dig the porthole window, though.


A cute little courtyard.

Bamboo jungle.

Hard to go wrong with anything made with ciabatta, bacon, and avocado.

Pen pal-ing with Robbie’s grandma.

I’ve always wanted a bug.

Happy boy!

The sesame-cashew coleslaw mix from Costco is kinda the bomb. And cheap!

Oliver thinks he’s so tough, defending his home turf from one of the other neighborhood cats.

Getting our burger on.

I tried something different and went with the Bruce Lee. It was a turkey burger topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapeno aioli, pineapple, and whole roasted jalapenos. It was epic.

How was your week?

Much love…


In Real Life: Week 35

I’m changing pace this weekend and sharing our weekly recap a day early, because I may not be able to do it tomorrow. I’ll explain why.


I had a newbie barista at the Verve this week. What an adorable little learner heart.

Pour over, anyone?

That face when your dad dresses you in a loser team’s shirt.

We celebrated our fantasy football marathon draft day with totchos!

Come to mama.

Stacks on stacks on stacks on stacks.

Dinner is so exhausting.

Fresh air break.

I recently resubscribed to Bon Appetit magazine because they had a killer good deal. And it’s making me so happy lately, because the photos and fresh ideas are so inspiring.

Someone has figured out how fun pulling up is.

Can’t go wrong with a Denver omelette.

I don’t think she means her mouth…

Hey! I was using that!

I remember selling these candy bars for band fund-raisers in high school.

We found out this week that my father-in-law is gravely ill.

He deteriorated so suddenly… everyone was taken by complete surprise. We are all having a hard time with it.

We’ve rushed up to northern California to be with him.

The lake near their property was so peaceful this morning. We so needed this breath of air.

We’re doing our best to keep our spirits up.

Finding joy where we can during such a hard time.

Looking for the beauty…

…and the light.

The hospital is doing such a good job of taking care of the entire family.

They’ve placed him in a special room just for patients receiving comfort care, and it is spacious and comfortable and a welcome change from the typical cold hospital room.

We’ll be taking him home tomorrow.

But for today, we are here…

…in love and solidarity.

We so appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Please continue to pray for comfort and peace.

Hopefully I’ll be back next week with a happier report.

In the meantime, lots of love from us to you.