Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Nor Cal Years Begin.....Again

It's been two weeks now. It still feels a bit like we are visiting, and I'm not sure I'm done mourning Santa Barbara, but Im ready to more forward - and I like what I see!

Things I'm excited about as we start our Nor Cal chapter:

*Closer to both of our families. So far, we've been house-hopping between my folks and Nate's and a bit with my sister. Luckily everyone's been so supportive of our family of FOUR moving through and disrupting their lives. ;-) We look forward to Finn and Selah growing up right along with some of their 1st cousins and 2nd cousins, and seeing their grandparents ALL THE TIME!

*House hunting!! We've been at it for a couple of weeks now. Nate and I are really enjoying the process - it's fun to dream and talk about our future. Maybe we are being picky, but how hard IS it to find a beautiful home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, open kitchen, big yard, room for a garden, not too far from a freeway, walking distance to a park or river, walking or biking distance to Nate's school, near a grocery store, in an established neighborhood with mature trees? I mean, come on! (We put an offer in on a house with SOME of those qualities......and we are waiting to hear......!)

* Growing my own food.....well, some of it anyway. Right now my parents' backyard is busting with tomatoes, zucchini, beets, plums and apricots and more. You can grow so many things in this area. I'm in the middle of reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. (One of my favorite authors) It's so inspiring. I look forward to getting my hands dirty.

*Downtown Sacramento. As much as I love open spaces and gardens and orchards and all that, there's also an urban girl in me. I'm excited to explore all the cool little pockets that Nate and I love in Sactown.

*Not far from some good friends! We ended up sort of following our friends and old neighbors up North. We love that we are close to the Reeds...and baby #3 due any day now! We got together a couple of times already and it was just like old times.

*Location, location, location! I'm excited to dust off the old snowboard and get on the slopes this winter. Sac is conveniently nestled between the mountains and the ocean so you can take your pick on where you want to go for a fun weekend or day trip. Look out Tahoe, Apple Hill, San Fran, Napa, Santa Cruz, Echo Lake, Nevada City, Stenson we come!

*There's so much about the Sacramento area that we haven't experienced. Nate and I have vowed to be tourists in our own town, and we're excited about it. Every place has its charm, and I'm looking forward to being charmed by Sacramento and its neighboring cities. Yesterday's 106 degree heat was.....charming indeed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

World's Greatest Dads!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there....but especially to my own Daddio, Papa Tom and Nate! Today the three of them along with Uncle Josh and young Finn (and about 20,000 Sacramentonians) went to a Rivercats Game for a fun Father's Day outing. No offense to the Rivercats, but apparently there's so much to do and see there at Raley Field you don't even really need to pay attention to the game. I didn't get the complete lo-down, but there was some bounce-housng, some ball throwing, some kite-flying and some hot-dog eating I think.

These are just some of the ways in which my wonderful husband makes such a stellar dad:

*He loves Finn and Selah more than....anything.
*He can spend an hour straight playing "make the animals (or cars) talk" with Finn.
*He appears to thoroughly enjoy playing "gardener" with Finn as well, following him around the yard with a stick (leaf blower).
*He likes to do the dishes! Yay!
*He can calm Selah down in a matter of seconds in the middle of the night.
*He is so patient with the kids.
*He is the hardest working person I know.
*He's always up for a big adventure!
*He never sees taking the kids along as a burden.
*He likes to build things!
*He's a morning person.
*He wants MORE children!

We love you Nate....from Me and the kids.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's not you, Santa Barbara.... it's me....

We did it.....we moved away. ( we went out with a bang! Our final weeks in our beloved Santa Barbara were riddled with good times. We tried to squeeze a ton of "one last...everything" before we left. One last game night with the Ingrams, one last run with Anna, one last storytime at the library, one last trip up to Knapp's Castle, one last dinner with the Wirths, one last Nite Moves, one last hiphop class with Jos, one last play date with Vanessa, one last surf day, one last girl's night, one last guys' night and finally one last barbecue with everybody. A "Goodbye-becue" if you will.

Our friends and family totally came through and helped us pack up 7 years of life in SB and shove it in 3 trucks and a trailer. Thanks Mom, Dad and Chris for making the trek for our big moving weekend! I think Chris spent a total of 11 hours in Santa Barbara before he turned around with a full load of Monley matter.

Selah helped Anna pack up all the toys.

"she's a maniac...maniac..on the floor!......"

Finn picked the weekend we were leaving to decide he wanted to touch the ocean. This is seriously the first time he has ever willingly walked toward the water to intentionally feel its wetness. It was pretty awesome to witness. He loved it! He didn't jump head first in the waves or anything, but he splashed and giggled and happy-screamed for at least a half hour. We had to pry him away when it was time to go. I'm glad he left with a love for the ocean.

The sensation of his swim trunks getting wet was so foreign to Finn, that he insisted on going commando. Whatever floats yer boat dude. It must be nice to be 3!

Friend Giovana and Finn had a great time together at the goodbye-b-q. Aren't they cute?

Our final night in Santa Barbara was so fun and will go down in the memory books for sure. It was spent with good friends, good food and a few shenanigans. We sat in a lazy circle on the floor of our tiny, empty living room with close friends until late that night - nobody wanting to make that first move to leave because it would mean saying goodbye. It touched my heart. We will miss you friends! We will miss you Santa Barbara.

Now it's off to start a new Monley chapter. Its time to house-hunt (finally!) and for the new principal of Capitol Heights Academy (Woo hoo Nate!!!!) to jump in and do his thing. I am so proud of my wonderful husband. He landed the job 4 days before we left. How's that for timing!

So, stay tuned for Life With the Monleys - the Nor Cal years.

Monleys- out.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Officially in my thirties......

I know, turning 32 means I've been in my thirties for a couple years now, but for some reason I just felt the weight of it this year. In a good way. I thought I would feel a lot older when I was in my thirties. I don't. I feel.......I don't know...... 27. Last weekend Nate and I were skateboarding down by the beach and I thought to myself, " are only as old as you feel."In that moment, I was only 27 or maybe 25 even, so there! The 30s are the new 20s.....right guys?

My birthday was wonderful and it started with breakfast in bed....which was a challenge for Nate I am sure because we are trying to clean out our fridge instead of buying new food, since we move in a few days. And it ended with a LATE night of "catch phrase" with good friends. It got loud. It got ugly. But in the end, the ladies won, I think!

Modeling my new birthday shirt Nate got me from the EcoZuzu line, designed by one of my best friends, Josephine. I love it Jos!

My special day also included a walk along the pier in the early morning with the fam, an incredible Swedish massage (from a gift certificate my boss at Westmont gave me a year ago as a going away gift from my job. I like to wait for the "perfect" time to use stuff like that) a mini-Ultimate race designed by friend, Bdog (no, I did not win) and a drink with friends at a fun restaurant. A birthday to remember for sure!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Selah's Steppin' Out!

This week Selah's been taking a few steps here and there. Today we tried to catch some on camera while Lina and Mark were visiting. I can't tell who's more excited, us or her!