Category Archives: Family

Diego’s first Thanksgiving :)

Two of my favorite things: 1) turkey sandwiches and 2) spending the whole day at home, never getting in a car, surrounded by family. So, naturally, I love Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving was particularly special as we were with Abu and Diego! AKA The Incredible Napping/Meditating Duo:

As I mentioned, it was CRAZY hot in Irvine during Thanksgiving week. Roasting a turkey would have been miserable. So instead, my mom barbecued it!


And it was a brilliant idea! Slightly smokey, perfectly cooked and just delicious.

A few nights later, the turkey leftovers served as the perfect base for pasta shells with turkey, mushrooms, Abu’s tomato sauce and a dollop of Boursin cheese. SO GOOD.

Abu carving the turkey like a pro.
 Diego all dressed and ready for his first Thanksgiving dinner!

Later that evening, we all gathered around my mom’s pretty dining room table and enjoyed her delicious dinner. Going to save the 2017 NYT Thanksgiving Guide as it served as the inspiration for several dishes and they were INCREDIBLE. It was all so delightful-kale salad, wild rice and mushrooms, brussels sprouts, green beans, mashed potatoes and turkey.  Thanks, Mom :)

Grateful we all got to be together. And thrilled to celebrate this wonderful holiday with this sweet baby :)

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Filed under Family, Holiday

Janou + Max got married!

It’s Sunday night, Diego is (currently) asleep, and tomorrow is a holiday. Finally have a moment to jot down some happy memories from Janou and Max’s incredible wedding!

Because of schedule, commutes, etc., Diego and I flew down from Sacramento and David flew in from SFO. I was a bit anxious about managing daycare pickup, parking at the airport, the luggage, picking up the rental car and driving the 70 miles to Palm Springs, solo. And, also the flight! Thankfully, once we got to the airport, Diego handled the flight like a total regular.

Add “letting my baby roll around on the airport floor” to the growing list of things I said I would never do as a parent-and now TOTALLY do

One lesson from the trip-and something I never thought of-car rental companies don’t  always install car seats. It makes sense, it’s a liability, and thankfully, I figured out how to install, but just another new parenting lesson for me!

We arrived at Colony 29-the hotel and wedding venue-at the same time as David and we all quickly settled into a magical weekend. Colony 29 is absolutely incredible. It’s a former artist’s colony of gorgeous vacation rentals, on the side of a hill, smack in the middle of Palm Springs. It’s naturally stunning, impeccably maintained, and close to everything in Palm Springs.

There were many, many highlights from the weekend, but one particularly special moment: seeing Abu and Diego meet. Abu traveled all the way from Argentina for the wedding-she’s amazing. On Friday, we walked over to my parent’s place and Diego met Abu. Look at Diego’s little grin seeing Abu for the first time! My family watched Diego for the afternoon (hooray!) so David and I got to lounge in the pool.

It was incredibly relaxing (I mean, that pool! That view!). Katie flew in from London for the weekend, and it basically felt like we were back on Dewberry, at the McGuffy pool (although a much fancier version), laughing, catching up and totally relaxing. Delightful :)

The afternoon at the pool put me was total vacation mode. Soon it was rehearsal dinner time!

Another stroke of magic? The weather. We anticipated brutal heat, but it was warm and breezy, and comfortable for all.

The next morning, after a quick walk to Starbucks, it was wedding prep time. Janou was serene and calm-I was in awe of her perfect balance of excitement and composure all weekend.

While we got ready, David and Diego enjoyed the pool…

THIS photo of Diego! And his expression!

My second favorite moment from the wedding (favorite being the ceremony) occurred while we were getting ready. We gatherered around Janou while she practiced her vows. Her writing is exceptional and it took everything in me not to cry as she read her beautiful words (had to try to keep that makeup on :)). It felt particularly fitting to gather in the bathroom-I’m in the tub-and listen to Janou, as Janou and I have shared thousands of conversations, standing in front of the bathroom mirror on Dewberry, rushing to get ready for something (or nothing at all), and in that quiet place we would talk about everything.

After some very happy tears, we pulled ourselves together and got ready for the ceremony.

Janou was absolutely stunning-a radiant, glowing bride. She also just seemed so comfortable and at ease, just happy and excited to marry Max.


My parents and Janou walked down the aisle to Leon Bridges’ River :)

Janou and Max’s friend Kevin officiated the ceremony. He led the two of them to their vows with a beautiful story about their relationship. I loved watching the two of them, with the gorgeous mountain backdrop, listening to their sweet story.

And then, they were married!! Time for dancing under the stars :)

The next morning, after some pool time and lunch at my favorite deli, the three of us made our way back home.

I don’t have the words to adequately explain how grateful I am that our family was all together for the weekend, and that Janou and Max have started their life together. This weekend we got to visit them in their new home (hope to write about it soon) and seeing the two of them starting this beautiful chapter filled me with great joy. Watching them in the kitchen, preparing lunch, I pictured the two of them preparing for many more happy moments and family gatherings, and I’m so excited for their love and their future.

Cheers to Janou and Max!

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Filed under Family, Wedding, Weekends

Labor Day Weekend

Happy Friday! Wanted to remember some highlights from last weekend in Irvine:

Thanks to a work trip, some vacation time and the holiday weekend, Diego and I got to spend all week at my parent’s house. It ended up being great timing to get away-it was sweltering in Stockton and I was feeling pretty run down. The days of rest and extra grandparent hands were immensely helpful. On Friday night, we all watched the sunset together.

David flew down on Friday night, and on Saturday, Julie and Terry + family drove to Irvine for a pool day!

10 years ago, we were Orientation Counselors, and apparently not ready for this photo to be taken:

10 years later, plus Marshall, Declan and Diego ! Also, did the babies know to coordinate poses?

It was so nice of them to make the trip and SUCH a treat to have the day to relax together. It was particularly special to meet Declan and see what a remarkably kind and thoughtful person Marshall is growing up to be.

The next day, after brunch at home, my parents offered to watch Diego so David and I could go to the beach-thanks, Mom and Dad!

I made a batch of frose and read a Sunset magazine and it was really nice!

A very relaxing afternoon and a great way to say goodbye to summer.

We had a delicious early Sunday dinner at Provenance. The food is so fresh, and the biscuits with honey butter…

And soon it was time to head to the airport to fly home…

Wish we all lived closer, but grateful it’s just an hour flight!

Here’s Diego being darling on Labor Day :)

It’s definitely NOT fall here-still so hot-but hoping we’re inching toward cooler weather!

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Filed under Family, Reunions

Janou’s Bachelorette Wellness Hometown Weekend!

“A best friend isn’t a person, it’s a tier,” Janou shared this famous Mindy Kaling quote in her toast at my wedding, and as she pointed out, in our case it’s not totally true: Janou is my best friend. So it was absolutely thrilling to celebrate her at her bachelorette this weekend.

In planning this, Janou was, thankfully, very direct with her request: a wellness weekend, at some of her favorite places close to home. Hiking, beach, kombucha.

The one sliiiiiiiight planning challenge: everyone loves Janou. So many friends! I was a bit nervous about the big group-would everyone have fun? Did we have enough planned?

Thankfully, Janou’s friends are awesome and everyone was very relaxed and easy going all weekend. 

Perhaps it helped that we were in a beautiful place!

Friday night, over dinner, rose and kombucha cocktails, we swapped Janou stories :)

I stayed at my parent’s house at night-I’m not quite ready to be away from Diego all night-and brought him to breakfast in the morning. I loved seeing him getting passed around-that sweet boy just wants to be held ALL THE TIME.

Virginia was incredibly generous and took everyone on a hike of Moro Canyon. 

While the group hiked, I picked up sandwiches for a picnic on the beach.

It was a perfect afternoon for the beach-bright sun, sparkly water-the best.

Saturday night was dinner at Sushi Roku. I haven’t gotten dressed up in…a while…and it felt nice to have such a festive reason to go out.

At dinner, I got a little emotional looking at everyone in the room, thinking about how much Janou has impacted all of our lives. Throughout the weekend, everyone shared memories of special moments and hilarous adventures with Janou, and I was struck by what a tremendous friend she is. I mean, I know she is with me, but her love and generosity with her friends is incredible. We’re all so lucky for her friendship and it was so special to spend the weekend celebrating.

Love you, Janou!! Can’t wait for the wedding in September!

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Filed under Family

Mama-Fay-Diego Day

Last Friday I had an appointment in SF, so I decided to make a day of it with my mom and Diego :)

Diego was great on the way there-he handled the traffic, BART ride, and non-working elevators like a champ.

A few years ago, when we went to see Mindy Kaling at the Nourse Theater, we went to a wine bar across the street from Zuni Cafe. I remember being struck by the big yellow awnings, and mini-Flatiron building architecture, and taking a mental note to return some day. When my mom recommended it for lunch, I was like, yessssss please!!!

It was such a treat. A beautiful restaurant, with a zinc bar, wood-stone oven, and big, airy windows. And the food was delicious! Check out that mountain of fries…

Even if the food was terrible, the awnings alone would make me love the place. They’re so friendly!

Can’t we Talk about Something More Pleasant? is one of my absolute favorite books. The Contemporary Jewish Museum has an exhibit of Roz Chast’s illustrations and we walked over there after lunch.
The curator’s description of Chast’s humor is spot on:

Its a humor of complaint…It’s a humor of nostalgia, which actually is a humor of the costs of change, and the tragic brevity of human existence.  It’s a humor about social foibles, the silliness of so much of our behavior we take for granted.”

The exhibit has an entire wall covered in pages from the book, and I loved seeing my favorite moment in the memoir in real life.

And had to take a picture in front of the elder lawyer story. And omg, Diego’s expression!

After the museum, we walked down to the Hyatt at the Embarcadero. Of the places I breastfed that day (the SF Federal Building, the museum lobby, and the hotel) this was the best. The atrium of the hotel is a perfect respite from the city, with comfy, quiet corners perfect for feeding babies.

After picking up some empanadas and alfajores at El Porteno in the Ferry Building, it was time to go home.

Diego hit his limit in the car-its a long journey back!

Grateful for the pretty weather and a wonderful day with two of my favorite people!

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Filed under California Discoveries, Family