This year we were lucky enough to be able to spend four weeks in California visiting my family. Our first stop was Santa Barbara where my mom lives. My brother, sister, and brother-in-law all live in LA so as soon as they were off of work, they came up to meet us. Mom's house was full of love and laughs and it was a wonderful trip for all. I have so many good memories from this trip and I hope you enjoy a few highlights!
Lucia helping Nonni (my mom) put the outside decorations up. She made a new friend with this snowman
Mom's dog Pallino and Lucia were best buds!
Feeding the reindeer family
Helping Dad perfect the candy cane lane
Ready for walks to the park.... you can do that in Santa Barbara! Not like here in Washington where it was 39° and raining on my attempt at a morning walk!
On the swings with Uncle Cae
Getting dirty. Lucia is such a girly girl but she is tough! A perfect combo if you ask me (no bias, I promise)
I love the citrus and avocados all over the place. There was a house by my mom's with an avocado tree and avocados all over the ground. My sister and I mourned the loss of the ones on the ground and wished we could save them and eat them!
Alex and my brother Caelun putting the lights on the tree
Lucia putting the star on the top
I love the vintage bubble lights
Alfie the elf. My mom grew up with him and so did we. He would move every night! Whoever brought back the Elf on the Shelf must have had an Alfie too
Lucia with my Baby's First Christmas ornament. She picked it out of all of the ornaments!
Inspecting "Caramel Bear". A favorite of mine and my siblings
We brought our stocking from home. Alex's mom made his when he was a child and his Aunt made mine and Lucia
Ready to wrap presents!
Making sure Pallino and Guero (my sister's dog) eat their food
Ready for another walk!
Ready to go with Auntie Lexi and Uncle Dee
Alex and I got a baby-free date night! We went to Hollister Brewing Company in Goleta. Alex had a beer called "The Pope" which was appropriate because we were out on his brithday! This was a delicious beginning to our meal. The Ploughman's Platter was made of salami, prosciutto, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, blue cheese and aged cheddar served with beer mustard, house-made pickles, pickled peppers, apples and toasted baguette. The steamed mussels were so tasty too!
Lucia's picture with Santa this year. Not her best but a classic nonetheless. Hopefully she is more into Santa next year
Helping Nonni get the flower arrangements ready for Christmas Eve. We hosted at my mom's house!
Our Christmas Eve table. Mom said she was so happy to see her vision come to life. I am going to do a separate post for the tablescape because it was so pretty. My mom is extremely talented!
Lucia walking into the living room on Christmas morning
Checking out Santa's note and his plate of cookies and carrots for the reindeer
Loving her new Saint Lucia doll
Pallino and Geuero hoping for a morsel to drop. My brother-in-law Dan nicknamed Lucia "the food truck"!
Opening up her new rain boots from Alex and I
She loves them!
Everything became a necklace to Lucia. Ribbons, dog leashes, bits of string around the house...
Pancake Set for her play kitchen from Uncle Dee
Checking out the rest of the loot
Helping Auntie with her presents
Playing with food from both of her uncles while Alex and I made breakfast
Ham for the ham and cheese scramble
Bowl of fresh fruit
Gluten-free coffee cake for my sister
Snuggling Uncle Cae at my grandparents' house for Christmas dinner
We had a great spread
A variety of mustards for the ham
Enjoying the conversation
My Great-Aunt made these two bûche de Noël. So delicious!
There are five living generations on my mom's side of the family. My great-grandmother is 102 years old!
Ready for a walk the morning after Christmas in our new boots
Fun at my favorite beach, Butterfly Beach in Montecito
The girls and dogs pose for a picture
Stopping by my grandparents' house to say goodbye before we left for my dad's. Thanks for a great time Santa Barbara family!