Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Recipe Reviews

Being a stay-at-home wife this summer has been sweet. Among other things, I've been able to broaden my culinary repertoire. I have 2 cookbooks in particular to thank for that: my constant favorite: Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day, and Peas and Thank You: Simple Meatless Meals the Whole Family Will Love.  So here's whats been cooking in our new Kansas home....I've linked recipes where possible.
From left to right, top to bottom: 
1. Melon coolers: blend cantaloupe, watermelon, ice. Enjoy. 
2. Rhubarb snacking cake from Smitten Kitchen (my fave food blogger) 
3. Heidi Swanson's Broccoli and Mung Bean salad with tempeh- mung beans and tempeh were new to me, but they are new staples around here! so good! 
4. Perfect hummus, from Peas and Thank You cookbook. 
5. We hosted a 4th of July brunch and I made strata (Heidi Swanson's recipe) and vegan blueberry streusel muffins (Peas and Thank You recipe)- both turned out pretty well if I do say so myself. 


From left to right, top to bottom: 
1. Peach and gorgonzola pizza: please, go make this now. I still dream about this pizza. 
2. Ratatouille Barley Salad- I am all for one bowl meals! easy and delicious way to cook up all of summer's produce.  
3. Simple bruschetta: this is how I make bruschetta after watching the chefs at Pasta Pomodoro (where I waitressed in high school/college) make it for years: brush bread with olive oil, toast, rub with garlic clove. Dice the freshest, reddest, juiciest tomatoes you can find. Mix with salt and chopped basil. Combine. Savor. with a glass of chilled pinot grigio preferably :) 
5. Teriyaki Tofu from Peas and Thank You cookbook. 
6. Nicky's Bruschetta: similar to the simple version I described above, but instead spread goat cheese on the toasts, and top with slow roasted cherry tomatoes. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 
7. Martha's Coconut Cake. Of course Martha always does cakes right. And I have been on a coconut kick lately. This one is dense and sweet, yet light and flavorful. I made it to celebrate my Uncle's birthday when we had him over for dinner. 

As summer is winding down, the hubs and I are savoring the last of the farmer's market tomatoes, and looking forward to warmer, heartier meals to get us through our first Midwest fall and winter!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Major Updates!

As of today, the Hubs and I have been here in the Midwest for 6 weeks! The time has flown by and so much has happened. It took me awhile to catch up on blogging about goodbyes and our epic family vacation after we arrived here, so while I've still been taking pictures and instagramming like crazy, the blog has been a little sad and neglected.
So...where to begin. I think I'll go with a list format, and I'm sure I'll share more fun things about our life here in KC as time goes on.

1. Home:
My mom graciously hosted us at her spacious house for the first 3 weeks we were here. During this time, she introduced us to some of her favorite spots, and Parker became BFFs with her two dogs, Tegan and Panda (Panda is the pug). After that, we moved all of our stuff out of storage and into an apartment. The apartment is pretty wonderful. We are loving having a dishwasher, our own washer/dryer, walk-in closet, spare bedroom, and generally more indoor space to entertain. We chose it for its location- it's fairly close for Hubs to get to work, and somewhat in between the two campuses I will be attending classes at. It's also right next to a mega-gym (yay!) and an enormous park (more on that another time).

{Hanging with my beautiful mom, the 3 dogs lined up at mealtime, watching Downton Abbey (our latest obsession!) at our new pad, and entertaining at our new apt. as well}

2. Church: 
Hubs had looked into some churches in the area that we might be interested in before we even came out here. There were two in the Kansas City area that are part of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, and we thought we'd check out the smaller, newer of the two our first Sunday in town. Never have I felt more welcomed in my life. Our very first Sunday we met a ton of people, several of whom gave us their phone numbers, wanted to get to know us, and invited us to lunch after the service. We went back the next week and have been there every Sunday since. New City Church is a small, gospel-centered, Jesus-loving church that was planted about 2 years ago and desires to see Kansas City transformed for the glory of God.

{Love that our church is held in an old church building}
3. Hubs' Job: 
Hubs is adjusting well to a new job and a new company, though it's tough starting out as the new guy once again. I am so proud of him! He is excited to be working for such a well-known and well-respected company. When people around here find out he is working for Garmin, it's kind of hilarious because we generally get two responses: 1. Oh, yeah Garmin is a great company!  2. Oh, do you know so-and-so? -It turns out the locals are very proud of the handful of major companies based here in KC (Garmin, Crown-Hallmark, Folgers, Russel Stover, Helzberg Diamonds, etc.)

4. School: 
My school doesn't start until the 3rd week of August. In the meantime I am getting all of my required observation hours completed, and finishing up all of the essential paperwork and medical tests. This means I've been down at the Medical Center Campus in downtown KC quite a bit, in order to have TB tests, physicals, and also to observe practicing clinicians do what I'll be doing in a few short months!

5. Adapting to the climate:
Summer in Kansas is no joke. It's hot and humid here. Like much of the rest of the country- we've had a serious heat wave these past few weeks. Aside from a few days where our AC was broken, we've been managing alright. I think for Hubs and I, it's been difficult to comprehend that it doesn't cool down at night- this means we never need a jacket, and it also means that no matter how early we wake up to cycle/run- it's still going to be hot and muggy. Basically, we just sweat. a lot. all the time when we're outside. more than ever in our lives.
We've only been through one small thunderstorm so far- and it was kind of fun.

{Parker is loving swimming in the lake by our new place to keep cool}
 
6.  Things to love about KC:
These are in no particular order, but are some small things we've been loving about living here.
 i. fireflies: Hubs had never seen them, and they took me back to summers in Tennessee with my family. Though there seem to be fewer around our apartment than in more wooded areas, they make my heart happy when they come out each night.

ii. frozen custard: umm why has this creamy frozen treat not spread to the west coast yet? This decadent dessert can be found in most major shopping areas. They let you choose mix-ins which get swirled into the custard to form "Concretes"- everything from candy, pretzels, marshmallow fluff, to whole slices of pie and wedding cake.

iii. BBQ: Barbecue is a serious business here. Locals have their favorite spots. So far we've tried Jack Stack and Oklahoma Joe's. Items ii. and iii. on this list are the main reasons we might gain weight living here and will never become vegans.

iv. general friendliness: For the most part, it seems that people just talk to each other, open doors, and are just nicer to strangers here than in CA. I think it might be because everyone's slightly less busy and self-absorbed here than in Southern CA, but who knows. One example- I got out of my car in the grocery store parking lot, and as I walked inside a woman came up to me and asked me if I was from CA. She saw my license plates and decided she wanted to meet me and welcome me to Kansas!

v. they still have Whole Foods and Trader Joe's: Enough said. It feels like home every time I walk inside one of these.

vi. antiques and estate sales: There are tons of Antiques and Estate Sales here! And these things are much more affordable. My hypothesis is that antiques are just far more abundant here than in California because people didn't want to bring them with them when they migrated west, so they left them here? {Independence, Missouri is just east of KC and it is the starting point of the Oregon Trail. Just saying.}

vii. it's a major city: We loved living in Santa Barbara. We would probably love to live there again one day Lord willing. But after living in a relatively small and relatively isolated city is so nice to live near a big city. Kansas City has professional sports teams, tons of live, a great arts scene, and more shopping and restaurants than Hubs and I know what to do with. Also, there are all these different areas of the metropolitan area that have their own distinct flavors and feel to them. We are enjoying exploring it all.

{A sampling of pictures from our explorations of KC so far. Sculpture at First Fridays, favorite local coffee, the West Bottoms, frozen custard, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, dinner at the Plaza, Power and Light district, and the Rivermarket.}

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

#fairfieldxcountry

  { #fairfieldxcountry was our tag for all the pictures hubs and I took and posted on Instagram during our four-day drive from California to Kansas. You can find me on Instagram under the username caitloves :) }

Our cross-country adventure began with a quick trip up to Sunnyvale to visit my parents before making our way east. They completely spoiled us - cooking us the most delicious meals and giving us some lovely parting gifts for our new home. We also celebrated Hubs and Nicky's birthdays graduation, and mother's day all in one night! It was great to get to visit with them, and Parker certainly enjoyed his time there- he honed his begging skills on my parents :) 
While we were in Sunnyvale, we decided to check out REI for some roof racks for our car. We'd been debating about getting them for ages, and our cramped drive up to the Bay Area convinced us that now might be a good time. Doesn't the Fit look sporty now? We love our little car. 
We also loaded up on some snacks for the trip, and downloaded the audio files for the book-on-tape of To Kill a Mockingbird. Between listening to the book, and many podcasts and stops along the way, we were well entertained during our many hours in the car.

{Parker begging my Dad for a bite of steak, the dessert spread, and another family photo in front of the fit}
We left fairly early on Monday morning, Memorial Day, heading south on highway 5, then east on Highway 15 through Las Vegas and on to St. George, Utah. It was a long first day in the car, but we had plenty of snacks, and podcasts, and we stopped at a CA Pizza Kitchen just outside of Las Vegas for dinner. I had never been to Vegas before, but we just did a drive through tour of the strip. It was very strange to me, and honestly I was unimpressed. Apparently the insides of the hotels and casinos are much more impressive. 

{Snapshots from the first day of driving}
We got to our hotel in St. George at about 10pm Monday night, then woke up early Tuesday morning for a full day in Zion National park. We grabbed breakfast at the hotel, then set out for the doggie dude ranch where Parker got to play and swim with other doggies all day. The doggie day care is just a few miles outside of the park, and was the perfect solution for us, so that Hubs and I could hike and explore the national park all we wanted. 

{Parker could not wait to get into the dude ranch}
Since we only had one day in Zion, we made it our goal to hike Angel's Landing, a treacherous, 5-mile hike while it was still cool in the morning. The hike is not recommended for children under the age of 13, or for anyone with a fear of heights. The last mile of the trail going up to "the landing" was very narrow at many points, with sheer cliffs on either side, and thankfully there was a chain bolted into the rock to hold on to. The view from the top was incredible- it somewhat reminded me of the view from the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, both offer sweeping valley views of the whole park. We loved the unique landscape of Zion, it is really an oasis in the middle of the Utah desert; its easy to see why Mormon settlers named the place after something so sacred. Hubs did fine with the hike and the heights, but I was pretty happy when we were down from the peak again- I definitely have a mild fear of heights.

{Pictures from the morning's hike up to Angel's Landing}
We did two other small hikes that afternoon. The Riverside Walk took us on a short 2 mile loop along the river and to the start of the Zion Narrows trek. The Lower Emerald Pool/Kayenta trailtook us on another short hike to see the a glassy emerald pool, and plenty of red rocks. It was fun to just spend a day out in nature exploring, especially in the middle of our long road trip. 

{More pictures from our day in Zion}

By late afternoon we were hot and exhausted. So we headed out of the park and into the little town adjacent to the park. We had scoped out a shave ice place on our way in, and it was just what we needed. I also bought a souvenir, a big hunk of amethyst (my birthstone) from one of the many rock shops along the highway leading to Zion. We grabbed a very unmemorable dinner in St. George that night, went to bed early, and then woke up early for our scenic drive through Zion and eastward to Colorado.

{Pictures from the town of Zion}
 On our way out of town, we grabbed some coffee at a cute local spot, "The Mean Bean". 
We drove along the Zion Mt. Carmel highway, and it was absolutely gorgeous. All of the enormous rock formations, and the colors of the early morning made for a truly stunning tour. Parker loved having his head out the window the whole way. 


{the Zion Mt. Carmel drive}
The rest of Utah was both boring and beautiful. A lot of areas just felt so alien with enormous rock spires and Mars-like landscapes. We continued on I-70 to Denver, stopping only for lunch and at a few rest stops. Hubs saw the sidecar pictured below and thought it was hilarious. I made us stop at the Ghost Rock rest stop, and another traveler took our picture there. As we got into Colorado, the scenery became greener and more mountainous.


{Eastern Utah and Western Colorado}

When we realized we were going to pass right through Vail, we decided we should stop there and have dinner. Hubs' old coworker recommended the Bully Ranch to us as a place that would be dog-friendly, and it was delicious. The restaurant was situated right in the village, beside the Colorado River, and below Vail's slopes. We wandered through the village, and Hubs found a Garmin tent. It turns out Garmin was sponsoring some sort of extreme sports competition there. What a coincidence for us, since Hubs started work at that company only a few days later. We made it to Denver that night and hit the sack. 


{Vail, CO}

 Thursday morning we woke up early, I worked out in the hotel gym (I was going crazy from all the sitting!), then we found a local coffee shop to stop at on our way out of town. We really didn't see much of Denver, unfortunately. 
Eastern Colorado and western Kansas were flat and windswept. We stopped for lunch at a giant traveler's oasis in west Kansas, where we found Quizno's and fake palm trees. I convinced hubs to stop at Prairie Dog Town, a highway 70 attraction that had been advertised for miles. Hubs waited in the car with Parker, but I went in and saw rattlesnakes, prairie dogs, a cow with 6 legs, and an albino peacock, among many other things. The best part was seeing the prairie dogs, they're adorable the way they sit up and duck into their holes at the last minute.


{Pictures from our last day of driving}

Thursday night we pulled into my mom's driveway in the Kansas City suburbs. Our journey was complete, but this new adventure of life in the Midwest was just beginning...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Leaving Santa Barbara

Our dear friend Annemarie organized a going-away picnic/hangout on the Mission lawn, the Saturday before we left Santa Barbara. People brought snacks and beverages and lawn games, and it was basically a chance for us to hang out and say goodbye to many of our friends. These events are so fun to me, I love inviting all of our friends from different social circles and watching everybody meet one another and just generally having all of my favorite people in one place. 
We have been so incredibly blessed to have had such a rich, authentic, and loving community these past few years in Santa Barbara. I remember right when I graduated and Hubs and I first got married I was so lonely and anxious, wondering who my friends would be now that all my closest college girlfriends had graduated and left town. But God provided. He was sweet to bring us exactly the right friendships to see us through these past few years. These people were, and remain, family- our brothers and sisters in Christ. 
Here are some of the pictures hat Annemarie took that afternoon...

{Lovebirds Mike and Juliann, Christina and Benaiah, the Bormets, the Dirksen family,
and Hubs' bible study bud Steven.}

{Emily and Lauren, the McRobbies, the Carnes', the Sis and her bf and Mom, the Bollman fam, baby Caleb and Rachel, Megan, and Annemarie and Burke, Comstock, and the Bradshaw fam.}
Our last week in town, we took time to get together with a few of these same friends one last time. We had a delicious Mexican dinner with Lauren and JD-we will miss these two so much, and are excited for their upcoming transition to the Midwest as well! I was able to get together with Rachel and baby Caleb, and we stopped by the Bollmans for dessert one night where Burke entertained us all for hours :) That week was also my last bible study- I am so sad to leave this group! We had a potluck dinner that was delicious and angel food cake with berries for dessert. The morning we headed out we also met up with the sis at our favorite bakery/cafe one last time... and then we were off.

Packing for a cross-country move is a lot more work than we realized. I started a few days early while Hubs was at work, but the night before the moving truck came we were up all night. Literally we took a nap from 5:30-7:30 in the morning and then the truck showed up. I was so grateful that Lindsay was able to come help me pack the kitchen stuff the day before! If she hadn't helped, we literally would not have finished packing in time. The movers loaded everything within about 2 hours, and then they were off and I was left with our empty apartment. It was a very strange and sad feeling. We have a lot of incredible memories from our two and a half years there.
That night, hubs and I camped on the air mattress in the living room. We woke up Saturday morning and finished cleaning the place, then packed the car and hit the road-but not without stopping by the Bollmans one last time.

{the Sis helping me pack; our empty apartment; camping out on the air mattress;
 the moving truck; and a family portrait in front of the Bollmans}
We were sad to leave Santa Barbara- I don't think I realized at the time we were leaving how much we'd miss it- but we were excited about the adventure ahead. We dearly miss our friends and relationships in SB. And yet we know we are where God has us for now, and are excited about what He has in store for us in the Midwest. 

{I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Psalm 16:8}

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Week of Celebrations

The week we got back from Kauai was full of celebrations: Birthdays,  belated Mother's Day, Graduation, Bridal Shower- its just that season!
We celebrated the Hubs' 26th Birthday. We grabbed backyard bowls together for lunch, hubs opened his gifts, (study tools to help him learn biblical greek), we went out for dinner at Seagrass, and finished the evening with a tiramisu birthday cake. We definitely had double dessert that night, cream puffs at the restaurant, then tiramisu at home, but we take celebrating very seriously...
{Happy Birthday Hubs! I love you more than words can say.}

That Thursday my mom flew in from Kansas City for an early celebration of Lindsay's graduation. Linds and I picked her up from LAX, but stopped off for a lovely crepe breakfast with Rachel in LA on our way. It was great to see Rachel again before we moved, and it was fun hearing about all her adventures in becoming a firefighter. Since then she passed her crazy firefighting endurance/skills test and is officially a firefighter! I'm so inspired and proud :)
After picking up my mom from the airport, we celebrated a late Mother's Day. We took her to Cafe Gratitude, a 100% vegan/organic/local restaurant. It was a little goofy- I ordered a dish with lentils and sweet potatoes and greens called "I am humble" and when I ordered, the waitress repeated back to me "you are humble". However... it was seriously delicious! Everything we ordered was fantastic- the kind of vegan eating where you really don't miss the meat/dairy/etc. (Lucky for us, its a chain and there's a location here in KC!) From there we went to the Getty Museum. Now the Getty has an excellent reputation in southern CA, and it is a beautiful building in a beautiful location- but the art collection was disappointing. It was pretty limited, and not all that exciting. But we enjoyed walking around, and it was a beautiful day for it.


Friday night we celebrated Lindsay's graduation from college- she will be getting her Bachelor's in Environmental Studies this weekend actually! We went out for dinner at one of our favorite Italian spots, Via Maestra 42.

{Congratulations Lindsay! We are proud of you!}
That Sunday, it was time to celebrate my sweet friend Juliann with a Tea Party Bridal Shower! I met Juliann in our first homegroup season, and it has been so sweet to see her fall so in love with her fiance, Mike. She has such a gracious spirit and kind heart, and is one kick-butt personal trainer! Annemarie, Jenny, Leanna and myself hosted the shower, and for more pictures, check out this girl's blog! She was our photographer that day and did an excellent job, as usual :)

{Me with the Bride-to-Be}
It was a busy but wonderful week- our second-to-last in Santa Barbara before leaving for our cross-country adventure.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kauai

I have been so intimidated to create this post- because we had so many awesome pictures from our trip to Kauai!! Seriously- Hubs can vouch for me- there were multiple gigabytes and attempts to download and gather all the photos taken by our family. But finally- here it is!
Hubs' parents took us all to Hawaii the second week of May to celebrate Cody's graduation. It was an awesome time to spend with family, as well as an incredible vacation. 
We arrived in Kauai on a Sunday night, we couldn't see much driving to the house in the dark, but when we woke up in the morning, we were greeted with an ocean view-literally from our bed! 
We spent Monday hanging out around the house Hubs' parents had rented on the north shore. The house itself was stunning, crisp white walls, big windows, and gleaming dark floors. The beach was right out front, and was sheltered by a reef just offshore which made it ideal for snorkeling and kayaking. 
{View from our bed, yummy breakfast(fresh fruit+yogurt+Anahola granola),
and exploring on a beach walk the first morning we were there.}
Monday we checked out the snorkeling and kayaking in our backyard. No big deal. Also, when we got cold from snorkeling, we warmed up in the jacuzzi. 
{Snorkeling+ kayaking}
On Tuesday, the whole family went for a kayak adventure. We rented three double kayaks, and paddled up the Wailua river, then got out and hiked a short ways to Wailua falls through a beautiful and lush jungle. The whole thing was incredibly scenic, and made me remember how much I love kayaking. 
{Paddling upstream, and pictures from along the hike}
We packed lunches and ate beneath the falls, then swam out under the waterfall. I was shocked by how cold it was! But still it was exhilarating. 
{Hanging out at Wailua falls}
One day, the guys went golfing, while the girls got to do some shopping. Karen, Natasha, and I started things off with some delicious Thai food for lunch, then stopped off at Kilauea lighthouse, before heading to the shops. We found tons of chicks and chickens, and got some fresh coconut water to drink too. It was a lovely day to explore the island a bit more with some of my favorite ladies. 
{Snapshots from ladies day out}

The guys had a great day as well, playing golf in Princeville. Hubs had a great time with his dad and brother- at what looked to be an unbelievably beautiful golf course. We all met up for happy hour snacks and drinks afterwards. 
{Snapshots from the guys' day of golf.}
Another day, hubs and I got to hike part of the famous hiking trail- the Kalalau trail-which follows the Na Pali Coast. The trail starts at Ke'e beach, about 2 miles from where we were staying, we got an early start- and were really glad. We hardly saw anyone on our 4 mile hike out to Hanakapi`ai Falls. Hiking through the cool and misty jungle all by ourselves was an experience I will never forget. Muddy, rocky, and strenuous, it was so fun to have to climb through some parts of the trail on all fours. I know I'm starting to get repetitive- but it was one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done.
 
{The Kalalau Trail}
While we were in Kauai, we had to experience all of the local flavor- this meant we had to try the local coffee, shave (not shaved) ice, and burgers from Bubba Burgers among other things. Wishing Well Shave Ice came highly recommended to us- and it was awesome, though we felt the owners were somewhat similar to Seinfeld's soup nazi. There were signs everywhere instructing customers on all the things to not do, and they closed early one day just as we were arriving.
{The girls got friendship bracelets- mine is still hanging on, did anyone's fall off yet?
+ other various pictures from around Hanalei}
While we were there, we also took turns cooking diner. Cody and Natasha cooked a delicious shrimp pasta dish, and the Hubs and I made chicken-pineapple kebabs. It was awesome to hang out on the porch there too. 
{Dinners at the house}
Another night we celebrated Hubs' 26th birthday- we had pizza and birthday cake, and had a pool tournament! It got intense!
{Celebrating Hubs' 26th}
On our second-to-last day, Ed and Karen treated us all to a tour of the Na Pali Coast by sea. We rode in a zodiac, which brought us in and out of the many sea caves, and spotted sea turtles and dolphins along the way. This was one of my favorite activities while we were there. Racing through the waves on the zodiac, seeing the gorgeous Na Pali Coast from a new perspective, hearing some of Hawaii's history from the local perspective of our captain, and snorkeling with tons of fish made for an awesome morning. There's just something about being out on the water like that. 
{The boat ride and sea caves. We also found out where some of the celebs stay while on Kauai, what movies have been filmed there, and learned about the hippie commune in Waimea Valley.}
Near the end of the Na Pali coast, the boat anchored and we snorkeled and had lunch. The water was calm and clear. Apparently some of the other snorkelers saw a shark- but we all missed it.
{Snorkeling pictures, thanks to Karen's waterproof camera!}
That afternoon, we decided to go check out Queen's Bath in Princeville. It's this area of natural pools- where you can just float and hang out, and then there's other deeper unenclosed areas where people were cliff jumping. My favorite part of this little adventure was seeing TONS of sea turtles!! There were maybe 20 of them swimming and grazing right along the rocky shore.
{Hanging in the Queen's Bath + Cody, Natasha, and Karen jumping off the rocks.}
Sunday was Mother's Day, and we went to a Hawaiian church in Hanalei called Wai'oli' Hui'ia Church. It was founded by missionaries in 1834, and some of the service is still conducted in Hawaiian.   It was a wonderful experience, and because it was Mother's Day, the children of the church handed out leis to all the mothers, and since they had extras- Natasha and I got one too. Afterwards, Ed made eggs benedict and we had a decadent brunch at the house and spent the rest of the day by the beach. 
{Happy Mother's Day!}
One night after dinner Cody and Natasha made a bonfire on the beach in front of the house for us. The last night we went out for seafood at the Blue Dolphin. It was such an incredible week to spend with family, and we are so thankful to have such a fun and loving family.
{Pictures from the last few nights and last day in Kauai}
Thank you so much to Ed and Karen for an unforgettable trip! We love you so much and are so incredibly blessed by you guys! 
{We love you!! Ed and Karen in the rental house in Kauai as we were leaving.}

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Beginning of May: Cody's Grad and more!

As an escape from filling more boxes this morning, here is my effort to catch up a bit on this blog :)
At the beginning of May, my co-worker Brandy invited me out for a late lunch at Brophy Bros down by the harbor to celebrate my grad school acceptance. It was a beautiful day and we had a lovely lunch together.
{Brandy and I at the SB Harbor}

The first weekend in May, Hubs and I were down in Huntington to celebrate my brother-in-law's graduation. Cody graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego with a Bachelor of Business Administration. It was a great time to see the whole family, and to celebrate this huge milestone! Also, PLNU is gorgeous--they have views of the ocean from just about everywhere on campus, and though it was a bit chilly and overcast during the graduation- we still enjoyed our brief visit to Point Loma. 

{Views of the ocean from the athletic fields, Hubs and his brother and father,
and Hubs' grandmas grubbing in the cafeteria :)}
 Many of Hubs's relatives made it down for the ceremony-uncles, cousins, grandmas, and even great-grandma! We took over a good chunk of the handicapped section, where we had a great view of the stage and ocean beyond. We cheered loudly for Cody! Afterwards, the celebrations continued at Cody's apartment with cake and presents. We are so proud of this guy and can't wait to see what he does next :)
{Cody's proud and supportive family}
The following Sunday, before our afternoon flight to Kauai (!), we met up with several friends down in Orange County to say farewell. We met newlyweds Bryan and Christina for breakfast at La Creperie, and had a great time catching up with them on their honeymoon and married life. Bryan and Hubs were housemates in college, and were in each other's weddings, they have a strong bond that centers around a mutual love for each other- and premier league soccer. Christina is the perfect match for Bryan- and we've loved getting to know her over the past couple of years, we are certainly going to miss these two!
After breakfast, we ran a couple of errands, then met up for a quick lunch with Robert and Rachel at Del Taco. Del Taco is Hubs's old and favorite stomping grounds-and we both love it. Hubs grew up with these two in Huntington, and I have gotten to know them pretty well over the past 6 years too. They are expecting their first baby this fall- and we couldn't be more excited for them!! We can't wait to come visit and meet their little one!

{Breakfast with Bryan and Christina above;
Lunch with Robert and Rachel below.}
That afternoon we headed to LAX with the family for an incredible vacation in Kauai- but that is for another post-coming soon!