80 degree christmas

This year we did Christmas in California…and it was the BEST.  Coming from a brutal New York winter, to sunny 80 degree weather might possibly have been the best decision we made in 2013. Some people dream of a White Christmas, lots of snow, hot chocolate and baking. NOPE. Not me.  I dream of a White Sandy Beach Christmas. ALWAYS.

We flew in to San Diego. Then the next day met up with Tara, Ryan, Will & Sophie to hang and go for a walk.


I don’t even remember where we were, but this place was AWESOME. We ran some races. Pretended to let the niece and nephew win.


Judson finally got some prescription sunglasses, which he was thrilled to be able to wear. I love them.  He looks so manly.  And those dimples…i mean really.


We went down to the beach. Tried to take a jumping pic and FAILED.


Will and Judson ran around.  My family had just gotten back from a Disney Cruise the day before and Will was still insisting he wear his pirate hat.  Which, of course, is all kinds of amazing.


This is possibly the most epic picture I have taken, or will ever take, of Will.  He is the sweetest little 5 year old, goes to a Spanish immersion school and can roll his eyes like no one I’ve ever seen.


and Sophie. OOOOHHHH little Sophie. She’s definitely not ugly, that’s for sure. She has the biggest, most dramatic personality and LOVES to bust a move. She tackles Will, steals his toys and yells at everyone. We adore her.


For Christmas Eve, we acted out the Nativity.

Sophie was an angel: IMG_2146

Will wanted to be EVERYTHING, but we told him he had to be the shepherd since that was the only costume we had in his size:


After we were done, sophie started trying to take off her headband.  My dad said, “Sophie, leave it on! You look so pretty!!”

Sophie doesn’t like being told what to do.  She will immediately drop to ground, like so:

IMG_2152and ignore everyone.  (My dad tried to cheer her up.)

She couldn’t deal.


She eventually came around.


We started opening presents from the cousins.  We missed the annual Bates Family Christmas Bash, which is the highlight of my entire year.  SO sad. But the california weather was just too good to resist.

Judson got a kick-A snuggie.


As did i.


Sophie loves jewelry, so I gave her a necklace.  She loved it.


We woke up super early and drove to Tara and Ryan’s house to open the presents from Santa with the littles. We all wore our pajamas.  It is Christmas after all.  My dad refused to participate in that kind of nonsense 🙂 #neverwithouthissocksandshoes


In the early morning confusion, judson somehow misplaced his regular glasses (which he had been wearing at one point that morning).  Luckily he had remembered his sunnies….





Sophie did NOT take those heels off.

Will is just the cutest.


Sophie opened her presents from Will…we had taken him to Target (his favorite store ever), to let him pick something out for her.  He kept telling us, “She LOVES Frozen, I want to get her something with Elsa and Anna.”  He and I looked up and down EVERY aisle that had Frozen toys.  Once he found these dolls, he said, “She will LOVE these!”

Indeed, she did. I’ll say it again. He is the SWEETEST.


We got to talk to Cade!!! He’s still super funny and doing VERY well on his mission in Tennessee.


We went to the beach. Our favorite place.

I read Harry Potter to Will & Sophie.  My favorite books with my favorite people.

They loved it, naturally.



Sophie and Will kept eyeing this pile of sand that the people next to us had built.  As soon as they left, W & S sprinted over to claim it as their own.  The chick literally loves the beach.


One morning, we busted out our beach cruisers and rode around Carlsbad in search of some breakfast.


A few days later, we took the kids hiking/whale watching. (It was more of a nature walk, which is exactly the level of difficulty I look for in a “hike”)



Judson in his awesome East Coast/West Coast T.



I love these littles SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much.  I hate living so far away from them.

Two of my favorite things they said the whole trip:

1. After our hike, we took will and Sophie (or rather, they took us) to see Frozen.  We pulled into the parking lot of the movie theater, Sophie realized where we were and said, “OOOOhhhh! POPCORN SHOW!!!”     BRILLIANT.  I love that they love movies.  Honestly, in our family, if you don’t like going to movies, or eating massive amounts of popcorn with peanut M&M’s, we will kick you out. (Judson is now a fan of popcorn.  He already liked going to movies before we got married, thank goodness! 😉 )

2. When we were leaving the movie, Will was riding on Judson’s shoulders.  They were walking ahead of us and I could hear them chatting.  Judson was telling him about his job and Will said, “Sooooo, what do you do as an appetizer?”.  I ABOUT DIED.  For those who don’t know, Judson works in advertising.   It was seriously the cutest thing. Judson the Appetizer.


For my dad’s birthday, Tara, Judson and I went to a movie with him (surprise surprise), while my mom stayed home with Will and Sophie.  We saw Anchorman 2 and laughed so hard we were all in tears. It was so much fun.  An epic ending to our California Christmas.


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