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Monday, January 15, 2018

Family Visit and a Half Marathon

It has probably been years since Jake and his brother saw each other two weekends in a row.   When we planned our last minute trip up north, Jessee had already booked flights to come down to visit us.  Jake and Jessee decided to run the Carlsbad Half Marathon together so it was awesome to get back to back weekends with family.  Its always great to be together as a whole family when we go up to Paradise, but being able to spend some one on one time is always really special.  Knowing that the NorCal Ernest don't always get the warm SoCal weather we made sure to be outside a lot.  Piper loves hiking so we decided to take them to Torrey Pines for the hike down to the beach.  They couldn't of asked for better weather.  It was like 80 degrees and simply picture perfect.   






After spending a good amount of time down at the beach we headed back to Carlsbad for lunch and ice cream.  We took them to our favorite Mexican restaurant for a delicious meal and the kids wanted Nico to try Sub-Zone ice cream.  Being so chill and just happy to be here in San Diego, Jessee and Piper made the trip so easy and relaxing as they didn't care if we went out to dinner or not.  That night Jake prepare the ideal pre race meal; pasta!


The next morning the guys got up early to head down to the race, while Piper, the kids and I hit up the donut shop before heading down to meet my Aunt who was at about the 2 mile mark.  It was so awesome when the guys ran by.  We were jumping and cheering for them both, not to mention all the other amazing runners.  Jake and Jessee both ran awesome races.  Jessee got a PR, while Jake didn't he still ran an awesome time.  Both of them getting under 2 hours, with Jake at 1:46 and Jessee at 1:54.  The kids did great and down there and seemed to really enjoy cheering on their dads.  Madden hit a bit of a sugar high from the donuts and had a couple grumpy moments, but we survived.


Skylar reaching out to high-five Dad!


After the race Piper wanted to get some more beach time in, so that is where we headed.  The water was freezing, but Madden, Jake, Jessee, and Piper all dived in for a quick dip.  Skylar cruised around the beach collecting shells and Nico dug below the cliffs.


Last time Nico and Jessee were down we took Nico to his first trampoline park, so this time he was asking to go back so after the beach Piper and I took Skylar and him there to jump around.  Nico tried rock climbing for the first time and kicked butt at it and did the really high free fall.  He didn't say he liked it, but I think deep down he was proud of himself for trying it all.  We BBQed some surf and turf at home and enjoyed a corn hole tournament where Uncle Jessee and Madden were the big winners.  


Jessee, Piper, and Nico's trip down was really a fantastic time.  We hope that they will come back down to visit much sooner, rather then later. 

Wild Panther Award

We couldn't be more proud of Madden for receiving his first Elementary School Award.  Madden was awarded the Wild Panther Award for the month of December.  The Wild Panther attribute for the month was "kindness", which his teachers said he has been demonstrating all year long.    



NorCal Visit

It was the day before school was being let out for the holidays that Jake mentioned visiting his parents during the break and I'm really glad he did.  The kids break was late this year so it worked out really nicely that we were able to fit in Christmas, New Years and then a quick visit up north.  It had been about a year and a half (crazy how time flies) since our last visit, so we were all excited to be up in Paradise for the weekend.  

The first day it ended up raining all day long so we started the morning off by doing some family bowling.  Kids had a lot of fun and actually were stiff competition for Uncle Jake.  It wasn't until the end when Madden accidentally dropped a bowling ball on Jake's foot that we figured it was time to head out.  You can see the pain in Jake's face in the picture.


We headed back to Paul and Suzie's where we ended up spending the rest of the day.  The kids played a ton of games together.  Pretty sure Skylar and Dom played 15 rounds of memory.  I had some fun one on one time with sweet Mika and the boys made us listen to their tween music.  We had a nice taco dinner and called it a day.







Lucky for us the weather cleared up the next day and we were able to get outside.  We headed down to Chico to take a nice walked around Bidwell Park.   We ate lunch in downtown Chico and then headed back to Paradise to hang out at Arielle and Brian's house.  Everyone played foosball and the boys had a nerf gun battle (Madden was in heaven).






Another reason for the trip was to be able to celebrate Suzie's birthday with the family.  We had a lovely dinner at the Rice Bowl in Chino.  Suzie gave us her wonderful words of wisdom which had some of us in tears and ended with us all in laughter.




The next morning Paul and Suzie came by our hotel to wish us safe travels home.  The trip was a great way to start the new year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

December 2017

We actually started decorating for Christmas in mid November (I know, I'm crazy).  Last minute we decided to go with a fake tree for Christmas, which I won't lie was a extremely hard decision.


We had a Christmas pajama secret santa gift exchange with our favorite friends the Noble and Madden families.



We celebrated Jake's birthday by having a family day.  We took a hike at Torrey Pines, watched a lot of football and made him a ice cream sandwich cake.



The kids continued their tradition of giving back and picked out toys to donated to North County Lifeline.



Decorated cookies.



Our last holiday event was going down to the Del and doing some ice skating.  Weather wasn't ideal, it was 80+ degrees, but we all still had fun.  It was both Jake and Madden's first time on the ice.  Jake rocked it, Madden did about half a lap and was over it.  Think he is still a bit to little for it.







New Years Eve - 2017

For several years (post college days of course), I wasn't that into New Years Eve.  Maybe it was because the kids were too little to really enjoy it and we didn't care that much to go out, but since we discovered the party at the Sheraton last year, I'm all about it.  The tradition of spending New Years Eve with the Rossitto's continued and lucky for us the Zaferakis' join us this year.  We started the pre-party at Casa Rossitto with noise makers and drinks.









The theme for this years bash was Super Hero's and Villains.  Batman with his batmobile greeted us as we arrived, which was pretty cool.  I think Madden was in celebrity shock.  





The room was of course decked to the nines with the superhero theme.  The only negative of the night was Madden not wanting to dance with the group.  Poor guy wasn't feeling the groove and just sat at the table eating marshmallows and being sad.  We all tried our best to remind him how much fun he had last year on the dance floor, but he just couldn't let loose.  It was the only thing we missed all night was Madden and his fast feet.


They had a room of arts and crafts, glitter tattoos and the big hit this year the game room.  They had one of those claw games with stuffed animals in it that you didn't' have to pay for so it was like pulling teeth trying to get the kids away from that machine.


Madden and Dad were working people at the foosball table.


 The girls worked the dance stage only dancing up there, while us parents were cutting a rug.  We pretty much danced the whole night.  Passing on the superhero/villain theme, we decided to get some cool light up gear to make us stand out and it worked.  We got a ton of compliments on our glow gear.  











It was such a great New Years Eve with even greater friends.  We plan to continue our NYE tradition and ring in 2019 at the Sheraton.


Below is a video capturing our evening!