Lately. 5.1.2016. 

I think it’s kind of appropriate that my last post was after my first week of work. I’m not 100% sure that I’m going to do this regularly again, but my goal is going to be once a week. Even if it’s a short update.

These flowers are all over our neighborhood. I think they are so interesting looking!

Close up!

So… I’m a Supervisor at work now, as most of you probably know. I was promoted two months ago, at the exact same time that we got really, really busy. Trial by fire? Sort of. There have been a few bumps over the last two months and I’ve definitely thought more than once about demoting myself back to when my workload was manageable and I knew what the heck I was doing. But overall, I’m enjoying the new challenge and know that the workload won’t be this high forever. And I think I’m doing a decent job! We’ll see.

The pink version of the same flower.

Danny and I are in a lovely habit now of waking up around 5:30/6ish (we barely need alarms), getting ready for the day, and heading over to Steamer Lane to walk before work. We watch the sunrise, the surfers, dolphins, and sea otters, while we drink tea and walk along the coast for 25-40 minutes. Our mornings are one of my favorite parts of the day and among my favorite reasons for continuing to live in Santa Cruz.

One of my least favorite reasons for continuing to live in Santa Cruz? The exorbitant cost of living. It is so, so high. My coworkers and I had a long discussion the other day on our way to training about buying homes in Santa Cruz. One of them has actually priced this out and laid out the numbers for us. Essentially, in order to maintain his small family of three’s quality of life and live in the neighborhood they want to live in, they’d need to buy a $700k 2-bedroom home. With 20% (or $140k) down, their mortgage would still be between $4500-$5000/month. They both have decently-paying professional jobs (he works with me and she is a nurse), and that’s still an extreme stretch for them. I mean, that’s basically our entire salary for the year. If even, after taxes. Later that night, one of them texted this “cheap” option. That, my people, is a $525k 2-bedroom fixer-upper in a less-than-desirable neighborhood. Ludicrous. And then you factor in the looming water crisis and the fact that scientists believe the northwest is due for a really, really big earthquake, and I end up at, “Yeah, I’ll keep renting.” (Which also doesn’t feel great, given what our rent is. But it’s still far less than a $5000/month mortgage.)

But we don’t dwell on these things. There is so much beauty to be enjoyed. And frankly, I have zero desire to leave Santa Cruz at this point in time. The rent is worth it. (For now.)

My latest puzzle. It’s only a 500-piecer.

[Realistically, when D and I do talk about buying, we are looking for land. Land to put a yurt or a tiny home or an airstream on would be ideal for us. We’re not looking for a big house and we want to be closer to the outdoors. And what we really want to do is build a whole bunch of tiny homes and house the homeless. But that’s a big dream. And again, there’s the whole earthquake / water crisis thing. And then we’re back to renting. Round and round it goes.]

Doesn’t this little guy look like beaded jewelry?

I’m planning a trip to NJ in early July. I want to meet my new niece or nephew when they are still super duper tiny, see my current beautiful niece, and visit Rooms’ rapidly growing baby girl. And see my parents, brother and sister-in-law, grandparents, and Lisa and Allie and their boys. I can totally fit that all in in five days, right? I’m pretty sure that I can. I can’t wait to see all the babies! Ah, the hardest part of being far away is missing the babies. Why can’t everyone I love come live in the city that I love? Wouldn’t that be great? I have always felt this way. I remember regularly posting this quote on AIM in college:


I feel big emotions. What can I say?

D’s niece and I, dunebuggying through the desert.

A different kind of beauty.

We visited Danny’s family in Southern California last weekend. Ostensibly for his cousin’s baby’s birthday party, but really, we’re going down once a month to see his mom and the birthday party just happened to be that weekend. I really love his family, especially his nieces, and we had a great time. We took his niece to Scandia Family Fun Center and rode go karts, played games, went to the batting cages, and road rides. (Well, they did. I couldn’t handle it. Even D freaked out a little when he saw it, and he loves rides.)

Go Karts!

We’ve been taking advantage of the warm weather again and laying out at the beach for a few hours on the weekends, reading and dipping in the water (which is currently freezing). A nice thing about living three blocks from the beach is that you can go to the beach for only a few hours and then go on with your day, which is ideal for me. We’re getting closer and closer to buying wetsuits. It’s a small commitment and a little intimidating, but we both really, really want to try some of the water sports that Santa Cruz has to offer and a wetsuit is a prerequisite. We both want to kayak, and take paddleboard and surfing lessons.

Hiking remains a constant in our lives as well. We go after work 2-3 days a week and at least one day of the weekend, sometimes two. Oh, and farmer’s markets! We’ve been enjoying the most amazing strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, and it’s just about to be tomato season! We also make a 20-minute drive to Los Gatos on many Sundays, solely to get these jalapeno and cheese sausages that we love. The access to fresh produce and local farms is obviously another a huge plus. (Again, the rent is worth it.)

Strawberry Water! (Or, Our Kitchen Overflows with Strawberries!)

That’s all the random updates that I have for now. I’m headed out for a sunset walk. Love yous! ❤

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