Welp, we have a new paddle boarder in the family.

I’m not sure if I wrote about this or not, but the last time we went to Newport Dave and I decided we were going to teach Lucy to paddle board.

It’s one of our favorite things and sadly she has grown too much to ride on the front of our boards.

We hesitated to try to teach her because we figured it was going to be a big, frustrating ordeal. Her balance is tricky, her fine-motor skills are tricky as well. It’s tough for Lu to butter a piece of toast holding the knife in the way that it will actually spread, so we figured teaching how to get that paddle to scoop through the water in the right way might throw us all for a loop.

But do you know what? That girl worked her heart out and became a paddle boarder within an hour.

And you know when you learn something that is just so satisfying, all that joy you feel? There was joy positively glistening from that girl of ours.

So fast-forward to President’s Day a few weeks ago, we headed to Newport and you can guess what Lu was most excited about:

Yep, paddle boarding.

She couldn’t wait.

I will never take it for granted that she can carry that board down to the dock, hop on it and paddle her little heart out right along with her mom and pops.

Let’s get a little close-up because while Lu was sporting a swimsuit, I was in triple layers with my puffy coat…it was cold!


And that is a very grand thing. So fun for the three of us to have this thing we all like to do together.

Another grand thing is that I got to have these two people all to myself for a few days. We missed our big kids but there’s sure nothing wrong with the “three musketeers.”

I put away my phone and my computer and tried to be as present as possible and you know what? That changes things.

A lot.

I was present when Lucy told me her woes. I listened and didn’t try to fix, just understand.

I was present for Dave. I was present for the cousins and in-laws who ended up showing up to join us for bits and pieces of the weekend.

I didn’t try to multi-task.

And it was pretty wonderful.

We went on sunset bike rides:

We watched a movie, Dave and I did reflexology and did a few biking/running dates to get our favorite acai bowls. One of Lucy’s friends was staying close-by and those two got to have a “game afternoon” while Dave and I were out:

Dave’s sister and her husband and daughter came one morning and left that evening (he works for the airlines and has flight benefits).

Family church was perfect on the Duffy, we docked on Balboa Island to walk around in the winter slanting sun, biked and sat on the beach and ate and talk, talk, talked.

It seems like we never get to see these guys back in the desert!

Very randomly, we ran into Elle’s sweet English friend who Elle stayed with for the first couple days of her junior-year-summer-internship in London.

Now if that’s not a small world I don’t know what is! Since the time Elle stayed with her in England she has moved to the U.S., met and married her husband, started a videography company together and are expecting their first baby right around when Abby and Max have theirs.

And how random that they were tandem bike riding on the boardwalk right behind where Dave and I were running, and happened to recognize us.


It was so fun to catch up and we had them come over for a little visit to catch up. They are the cutest!

Jeff (my sister Saydi’s husband) and Em showed up on the last leg of their President’s Day father/daughter road trip date (so fun), and we got to watch the orange-sky sunset from the roof together:

…we tried out a new Mexican place for dinner, bake cookies and play some games together.

There is nothing like slowing down time and being present.

I am sure am trying to make that happen more here at home as well as I can without the paddle boarding perk. Ha!

Love these two adventure partners of mine.

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  1. Go Lucy!! That’s so exciting for her!

    On another note – I’ve never known anyone who runs into random people they know from all over the world so frequently! What a blessing to have such a vast network (which I know required effort and intention to foster). It’s inspiring.

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