Category Archives: Reunions

Redding weekend!

Last last Friday, I loaded up the car, picked up David at the train station, and we hit the road for Redding. Katie and Dave were in town with their sweet babies and Katie’s mom was kind enough to host all of us for a cozy weekend up north.

The weekend was particularly special as it was the first time Katie met Diego, and the first time I met Jack. It was equally thrilling to see Parker as a toddler. He’s running, chatting and bursting with a curious personality. I loved watching him check everything out, and Diego and Parker’s interactions were so sweet.

Running to see the ducks in the park:

And trying to coax Tucker (actually the grownups to let Tucker) come play:

I love traveling with friends with babies because a) it’s nice to have time to just laugh and chat about the amazing bonkersness of being new parents, and b) there’s certain consistent elements of baby-friend travel that are equally hilarious and sweet. They include:

1) The constant whirring of sound machines emanating from the bedrooms. Someone is always napping, trying to nap, or (in our case) failing to nap, and the shhhhsssshhhhsshhhhh white noise machine soundtrack is always on loop.

2) Baby monitors are the new cell phones. We forgot ours this time, but on previous trips, trying to decipher whose kid is crying on what monitor, can prove to be a quite a challenge. Also funny, looking around at everyone, “relaxing” after the babies are asleep, with a drink in one hand, and a video monitor in the other. Reminds me, I need to buy a travel monitor for upcomkng trips.

3) No story/thought/conversation is ever complete, rarely is everyone in the same room together (see above re napping), and you just soak up the snippets of stories you can get, in-between feeding, napping, and changing your kid for the zillionth time. (Pretty sure Diego had four outfit changes on Saturday).

4) Not having to do anything or go anywhere because all of your favorite people are in one place. This is THE BEST. Just being able to be cozy together, not worrying about the logistics of a get-together, just spending the whole day together, laughing, 

5) Seeing your babies together. Ok, actually this is the best. Looking at these little people, rolling on the floor, slapping Tupperware lids and blocks together, getting to know each other and thinking, are you kidding me? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were anxious law students, drinking Blueberry Dog beer in Fed Hill, and now my kid is balancing himself on your child’s high chair? When did all that happen? And how awesome is this?

It was all so special. Saturday night, Katie’s parents made an incredible Thanksgiving dinner. I’m still thinking about the cornbread stuffing. Kim and Charlie were also in town, and we all got to meet and admire adorable Isla. A baby photo shoot was clearly necessary. Just one take, and no coordination for this magic! (HA!):

After dinner, we all gathered around the fire pit and roasted s’mores. Ok, so add this to the list of an ideal weekend: having all your favorite people in one place + a warm fire pit. Also, Diego is such a wiggly little guy, he rarely sleeps on me anymore. So imagine my delight, enjoying a glass of my favorite wine, with wonderful friends, and a sleeping baby on my chest. Wonderful :)

Grateful for these friendships and the beauty of seeing the next generation together!

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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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Wine weekend :)

Last weekend, Molly was kind enough to invite us to her family’s house in St. Helena. I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for weeks and it was a wonderful treat.

Friday afternoon, we loaded up the car, and asked ourselves, what critical item will we forget this time? (Baby wipes. Last time it was Diego’s travel bassinet, it’s always something…) Two hours later, we were in PARADISE:

There was so much to love about the weekend, but the best part was being with close friends, reveling and kvetching about this awesome, sometimes chaotic, life chapter. As someone noted, each conversation was about 30% incomplete, stories were told, and re-told, as one of us was always distracted by the next naptime, feeding, or drink refresher. It was definitely good to be in such good company.

Diego has ridiculous fomo and didn’t want to sleep. So, he joined us for dinner on the porch :)


We spent most of Saturday playing in the pool…



And it was gorgeous!

Saturday afternoon, we ventured to Trinchero  enjoyed some white wine on the patio.

The parent paparazzi:

These babies!!!!!


Sunday came wayyyy too soon and it was time to go back to reality. We stopped at Gott’s for burgers and shakes and made our way back home.

Thankful for this wonderful weekend with great friends! Thank you, Molly and Jon!!

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Dillon Beach

During our first summer back in CA, Shaiya organized an amazing surprise 30th birthday weekend for Sachin in Yosemite-and a whole group of us tagged along :) That weekend sparked a happy tradition of a winter/summer weekend trips-in Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Tahoe again, and Point Reyes.

This year, we decided on Dillon Beach for a winter weekend. It was unbelievably gorgeous.


All of these photos are from the deck of the house-the view was unreal!

We all decided take a vacation day on Monday and do a Saturday – Monday weekend. This worked out REALLY well as everyone was able to avoid traffic and start the trip early and relaxed.

We had to be out of our house that whole week (grrrrrrrrr tenting and fumigation for wood beetles-so so so frustrating) so David and I extended the weekend. After work on Friday, we stayed at the Doubltree in Berkeley.


I picked it for the great rate (and the chocolate cookies) but it ended up being a really nice hotel! It rained the whole time, but I imagine the view of the Berkeley Marina is gorgeous when it’s sunny.

The next day, after picking up my favorite kale Caesar salad from our beloved and very missed Market Hall, we drove to my office holiday party.  I love that we do our holiday party after the stress and busyness of the holiday season-everyone is relaxed and it’s something to look forward to in the winter. It was so nice to spend the afternoon together-and the surprise baby celebration was extra special :)

It was a relatively short drive from Oakland to Dillon Beach-much easier than going to Point Reyes-and after winding through some gorgeous pastures and farmland, we pulled up to the house….

 

…and hunkered down right here for the next 48 hours.

With this view, there really wasn’t any need to leave.

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We’re now a pretty large group, but the house had space for everyone.  And, most importantly, a massive kitchen.

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Saturday night, Jon made bo ssam and Zac made kimchi and ginger scallion sauce and it was all amazing.

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Sunday was rainy, and I was feeling pregnant and tired. I never made it to the actual Dillon Beach-opted for a game of Scrabble with David and a nap–but I hope to go someday! Later that evening, Super Bowl prep began.  Everyone brought or made their favorite junk food (my favorites: Brian’s Buffalo Chicken Dip, Molly’s Endive Goat Cheese boats, and Yasser’s Jalepeno Dip) and we half-watched the game (or maybe, I just half-watched the game?).  It was so much more fun hanging out with the babies!

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loved waking up to this scene on Monday.  Breakfast with some of the best people–and again, that view.  Could not get over it.  I hope we continue doing these trips as I always leave so grateful for our supportive friends and the comfort 0f all being together.

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Thank you, Dillon Beach :)

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Election eve

It’s the Monday before the election. Oh boy. After two weeks of traveling, we took it easy this weekend. This was generally good-I needed some rest-but left ample time for mind wandering and social-media-ing. A perfect recipe for jumpy nerves. Tried to combat it by yoga, long walks, and phone banking. It’s so true-it is much harder to be miserable while being useful. Feeling productive in my PJs, calling people in UT, FL, OH and MI, helped a bit.

Also, just trying to stay focused on deep breaths and gratitude. In that vein…

Feeling grateful for:

Social media:

While this election has certainly brought out the worst side of social media, and I generally hate how much I have to fight myself not to constantly check it, every now and then, there’s a total gem-like this guy-that kind of makes it worth it:


Family time in Irvine and DC:

Feeling pretty lucky that we all got to be together-twice-in the last two weeks. Many happy memories-hoping to recap our Bmore/DC trip soon!


New restaurants moving in Downtown:

David and I returned to Cast Iron Trading Saturday night-it’s just so good. It was energizing to see a restaurant downtown buzzing on a Saturday night. For dessert, we tried their donut brown pudding cupcake and ohhh my word was it good.


Rain and Fall:

It rained a lot the last few weeks of October and now everything feels much more fresh and green. And the leaves are starting to change on our street! So far, fall in Stockton is wayyyyy more enjoyable than summer. Very grateful for the slight seasonal change.


Technology and best friends:

Kelleen is a mom! Merrick Jane joined the world on Halloween! Despite the distance, we all got to hang out last night and meet her. It’s amazing seeing everyone’s lives and families grow. Absolutely beautiful :)


Ooh! Train is arriving. Gotta go!

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