Saturday, October 20, 2018
October 6, 2017. 8:00ish PM. I drove the 56 West in the dark with my mom and the girls, en route to meet Ryan and my dad at our new rental house. I rolled down the windows as soon as we reached our exit, breathing in the salty air that I could only conjure up in my memory for the last 1.5 years since we last lived in San it felt so good. So good to be back in our little family's city. I thought I loved and knew San Diego then, but little did I know...

San Diego as a city is a gem. It's sunny, warm, and welcoming. Its people are different -- all across the board -- and collectively chill. It's sprawling. From the bottom to the top of the county, it's all beach, all ocean, all succulents and palms -- it covers some ground and it all feels so "San Diego." Downtown is quirky. It's old -- almost vintage -- and for a big city, it's so, so lax. The place has its freeways, but they're not too crazy. Traffic can be real, but play your cards right and you won't get caught.

San Diego as my home is a gift. This place has done a lot for me. I'm a big, mother bird carrying her family on her back, and our corner of the city has been an easy, soft place for me to land.

There is a refuge-of-a-temple for my church 10 minutes south of my house. Our save-haven meeting house is 10 minutes west. There are so many pious people from varying faiths where we live, a lot of people without religion, and both desperately want for their little birds what I want for mine: solid ground for growing, kind hearts for giving, strong-willed minds for progressing, and humble souls for believing. Believing in God, believing in goodness, believing in both. It's been so interesting to have lived in the land of "real parents" in the last year -- the population of adults who have lived a lot of life and who know what they want or their kids and what they don't want for them. Because once you have your own baby, the heart can't help but pull toward a "center" -- a straight, safe line that will guide your baby right. All parents, ultimately, want that for their children. I have seen that homogeneity here amidst the sea of cultural, political, and spiritual differences. It has been beautiful.

There is a beach 10 minutes west of my house. Our second, sandy, sunny home. We have spent so much time at the beach. Oh, if only Instagram could really share our beach days! The grid reveals a sliver. It's a special place for me as a mother, since most of our beach time hasn't been with friends, but with just us four -- Olivia, Claire, Emmy and me. The beach has been our quick escape when Daddy's in a work swell and Mama needs an extra hand. It's our wide, open space. Little birds fly free at the beach; mama sits back and watches from her pirch. Automatic inhale and an unavoidable exhale. A deep, calming breath.

There are a lot of people who have loved us. What's a city without a tribe? A watered well without a bucket for pulling out its strength. We are so, so grateful for the people here who have loved us.

We're asked all the time when we're leaving -- our families live one mile apart from each other in Utah, so "surely you'll live in California for just one more year?" Our honest answer every time -- simply because we don't have another one! -- is that the Eagle has landed and he likes his job, and Mother Bird is building her nest and she likes her pickings. Once (if ever) Ryan has an entirely different career, we'll make a change, and we'll surely let you know. ;)

Life is good. We are so grateful to Heavenly Father for all of it. His grace astounds me. We've had some bumps in the road here -- life dumps on you, and sometimes you just make your own mountains via your own mistakes -- but He sees you through. And to such higher vistas en route. I credit Him and His love for every beautiful and refining aspect of life as we know it.

Cheers to the first SD Anniversary. ๐ŸŒž Cheers to many more!

Pics via: a San Diego classic, Sunset Cliffs. Sorry (but not sorry!) in advance for the multiple shots of the same scenes -- Daddy Ry, the girls, the water. The camera knows what I love. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ’› The last three shots are Olivia's. She was stunned when I asked if she wanted to man the big camera and subsequently thrilled with her work. Mama's doubly thrilled, my baby girl!


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  2. What a wonderful love note to San Diego! It really makes me want to visit some day.:-)
    May I ask what lens you used for those family shots? They are dreamy!

    1. Thank you! And totally - I used a 50 ml for these. It's my go-to lens! xo


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