Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lauren Paige

I took some pictures for our friends Chris & Michelle of their absolutely beautiful baby girl Lauren Paige Withey. They needed some pictures to send out with announcements and I was happy to give it a try, and thankfully, I liked how they turned out! Here are some of my favorites...

Such a beautiful little family! In other news...we are all recuperated from the sailing trip finally! We counted it up and Jordan has worked 130 hours this past week, from Friday to Friday...are you kidding me!?! Sounds more like slave labor if you ask me. Whew, we are due for some family time, and Jordan has today off! Have a good weekend!

Friday, August 20, 2010


We just got back from sailing the Channel Islands, and it was nothing short of an adventure! Sailing is very unpredictable, between the boat and the weather and this time we added a baby into the mix! We had an amazing time and thankfully even though we had some rocky situations, everything went great! The journey began with our supposedly four hour crossing from Santa Barbara to the Channel Islands. I took Clara down below to take a nap, as it was the safest place for her to be while we were crossing, and it was amazing that she mostly slept through the raucous that was taking place above deck. I was awake, it was about 3 hours into it, and I began to hear a flurry of activity above, they killed the engine, and began clanking, banging, and tinkering on things. Then I heard Taylor get on the radio, "Santa Barbara Sailing Center, Santa Barbara Sailing Center, this is Cold Water, do you copy?" He kept repeating this over and over again, with no response, and I knew something was terribly wrong. Eventually Clara woke up and we went above deck to learn that our steering had given out. They had attempted to build a back up steering method, and that too was breaking. The song from Gilligan's Island began popping into our heads, "A three hour tour..." We were a wayward ship tossing relentlessly in the waves. Seasickness is a very present enemy when you are making the crossing, and as we tossed we all began to feel it. Jordan and Holly were taking turns losing their breakfast, and we all looked pretty pale. This was my mom's first sailing trip and I could tell she wasn't sure what she had gotten herself into. Thankfully, we slowly made our way to the anchorage, got through to the sailing center, and Taylor and Jordan worked the better part of that day to restore steering to the ship...crisis averted!

Ready to explore Painted Cave...

After the eventful crossing, we settled into our usual Channel Island activities. Every morning we would get up and move to a different anchorage, then spend the whole day kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, lounging, and hanging out. One of our favorite things is to explore sea caves on kayaks. There are tons of sea caves, some so narrow you can barely squeeze your kayak through them, and they go back really far. This was the first trip where Jordan and I went into "painted cave" which is one of the largest sea caves in the world. It get's so dark in there that you have to bring flash lights. We only had head lamps, and we could barely see anything. When you go into the cave, you come across another opening that turns right and continues on, and it's pitch black. There was the scariest noises coming out of the cave, it sounded to me like the monster on the Matter Horn. When we got back to the end, we could make out some Elephant Seals making very loud roaring noises, to warn us not to come any closer. It was very creepy.

The whole crew...

It was definitely different having a baby on board. We used the many extra cushions on the boat to create barriers for her. It was interesting trying to get her to take naps when they were constantly raising and lowering the sails, the anchors and taking kayaks and our dinghy on and off the boat. There are always noises coming from the boat, even at night, and then with the three of us sleeping in a small confined cabin, it made for interesting sleeping arrangements. She is very adaptable, thankfully, and we made it work. But, boy is it nice to be home in our normal bed, and her in a crib!

just thinkin'...

Another exiting thing that happened on the trip was that Jesse and Holly got engaged! That was a covert operation in and of itself. Jesse, Holly, Taylor, Jordan and I climbed into our dinghy...which I'm pretty sure exceeded the weight limit and probably looked pretty funny. We headed down the island a ways and towards shore to go on a sunset hike. Jesse stalled Holly and the remaining three of us booked it to the top to get everything set up. Jesse had planned in advance and brought a blanket, wine, chocolate, cheese and crackers, music and his Ukulele. By the time they got to the top everything was set up and we were in hiding taking pictures and video. It was the 5 year anniversary of the day they met, and Jesse had written a song for her that he played and then asked her to marry him...and she said yes! It was a beautiful evening, and so serene. They were on top of the world at their lookout point and now they are on cloud 9 planning for a wedding. By the time we got back to the dinghy and were making our way back, it was pretty much dark, and we had a couple hundred yards to go, with lots of seaweed in the way, and some of the air had deflated out of our already struggling dinghy. We made our way slowly, barely sitting out of the water. When Taylor had to make a quick turn, Jesse and I found ourselves half way in the water, we were so low. It was quite the adventure, and thankfully we made it back safely, and had a little candle lit celebration of their engagement.

It's funny to try to think of things from Clara's perspective. I wonder what she thought was going on? On the way back, I stayed down below in our tiny little forward cabin, and put up cushions on every inch of the area because we were rocking and rolling. There were strong winds and massive waves and it sounded like the boat was going to be smashed to pieces. She could barely crawl anywhere the boat was rocking so much. She actually seemed to be having fun though, and then when she got tired of being tossed about she just laid down and fell asleep. It must be a strange experience for a baby!
Overall it was an awesome trip. This was our third trip sailing to the Channel Islands, and I love it! It was a fun time hanging out with family, and everyone loved having the addition of Clara. She is such a happy baby with so many faces and such a big personality, she keeps everyone laughing. Now it's time to recuperate from the trip and get to laundry, and try to find my cell phone, it's missing at the moment grrr.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Baby Shower!

Today was the baby shower for my soon to be niece Ella. It turned out beautifully, with our loving friends and family to help celebrate. We played some fun games, had delicious appetizers, and showered Ella and my sister with lots of baby necessities. I hosted it at my house with the help of my sister's long time friend Ashley, and we were happy with how everything turned out.

All set up and waiting for guests to arrive...somehow Clara turns up in every picture!
(Meg & Clara)

Clara playing with her second cousin Sophia

Opening presents...

Time for some pictures!!!

The Abarca side...

My sister's college friends...

Grammie and Clara...

Four generations...

How's this for a quick post ;) What a fun day it turned out to be! Clara can't wait to meet her cousin, and I am ready for another baby to be around! Now I am off to pack for sailing, we leave tomorrow...bon voyage!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

San Luis Obispo Wedding

This last weekend we headed up north to San Luis Obispo for one of my best friends weddings. Terra and I go way back to a dance class we were in together at around the age of 4. We reconnected in Junior High and were close friends all the way through high school, and have kept in touch since. She asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, and I was happy to say yes! We drove up Thursday morning. Clara slept pretty much until Santa Barbara, which is amazing for her. We took a break there, and had lunch and let her crawl around and burn off some energy.

She fell asleep for a little of the way from Santa Barbara to SLO, and was definitely ready to be out of the car by the time we arrived. The first festivities included a bachelorette party on Thursday night. Even though we had five married ladies, two of them being pregnant, we still managed to go a little wild. We had dinner at a friends house, Terra opened presents, we went dancing, and then spent the night back at the house. It was a lot of fun celebrating Terra's last single shindig.

Friday we had the day mostly to ourselves, and we walked around downtown SLO, which is so cute. Then in the afternoon we had the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner was at The Jack House, which is a historic landmark in the city. It was a very nice dinner and atmosphere, where we enjoyed getting to know Terra's SLO friends.

The day of the wedding was busy. I met the girls in the morning at Terra's house to get ready, then we headed to the church for pictures before the ceremony. The wedding was at the Mission and it was absolutely beautiful. It was a Catholic wedding and I loved the symbolism and reverence of the ceremony.

Immediately after was the reception at the See Canyon Fruit Ranch. It was a fun time of dancing, celebrating, and eating great food.

Terra and Garrett looked soooo happy, and I am thrilled for them, they are perfect for each other! Now I am busy getting ready for my sister's baby shower, which I am hosting at my house this weekend, then the day after we leave for a family sailing trip!!!! Can't wait!!!