san-clemente-family-photographer-1268 san-clemente-family-photographer-1275 san-clemente-family-photographer-1295 san-clemente-family-photographer-1325 san-clemente-family-photographer-1361 san-clemente-family-photographer-1371 san-clemente-family-photographer-1286 san-clemente-family-photographer-1298 san-clemente-family-photographer-1302 san-clemente-family-photographer-1311 san-clemente-family-photographer-1313 san-clemente-family-photographer-1327 san-clemente-family-photographer-1290 san-clemente-family-photographer-1339 san-clemente-family-photographer-1343 san-clemente-family-photographer-1282 san-clemente-family-photographer-1356 san-clemente-family-photographer-1300 san-clemente-family-photographer-1358 san-clemente-family-photographer-1387 san-clemente-family-photographer-1369 san-clemente-family-photographer-1385 san-clemente-family-photographer-1372I debated whether to title this post ‘Thanksgiving’ or, what I went with, ‘Ventura’, because while both are true, one doesn’t let on to just how late I am in posting. Feeling fortunate to have the time over the holidays to get caught up on a few things here and hoping that in the new year I can continue the jive I’ve got going now that I feel as though I’ve purged the closet. More or less, anyway.

In any event, we spent Thanksgiving in the Ventura area where we met up with my side of the family and enjoyed the company of a cousin I have not seen for 10 years. So nice to reunite and to catch up. I had a family session in the area as well because, well, two birds, one stone (with any luck I’ll find the time to share some images from it soon). Willy met up with some of his friends over the long weekend as well, while I caught up on some work (like I do) and tended to the wild beasts (like I do). And we managed to swing over to a friend’s birthday party where we learned Sonny will fight for balloons and where Van had his head buried in the lap of one little girl in particular for much of the evening. Mark my words, that kid is going to be trouble with the ladies. We swung by downtown briefly in hopes of finding some fabric we need for an upholstery project but couldn’t find a local shop that had any holidays sales, though we did hit up a used bookstore and let the boys each pick a few books (which, if you saw their room, is clearly not what we need more of — the current book situation is near the top of my tending-to-our-home-and-finally-unpacking list). And while Sonny napped in the car and the boys flipped through their new-to-them books and Willy streamed the football game, I jetted in to a few of my favorite consignment and thrift shops and came away for a few finds. Oh yes, and breakfast at the same spot each morning (homemade biscuits for the win).

Minus some rain and some chilly weather, an enjoyable holiday break.

Mercy Now

From a blogging standpoint, it’s always a little precarious to carry on after major events that impact so many of us and tear me, on a personal level, away from whatever comfort I find in this little corner of the web. A place I’ve spewed tidbits of my life I’ve felt compelled and comfortable sharing with a larger audience for years now, since Hooper was a baby. But fear is not easy to discuss and so much of what happens in these tumultuous times is better written about from hindsight; the story still writing itself. Still being understood. The fear, circling, but the story, not yet written. I’d like to say that the space in-between has room enough for hope, but that sounds like a clique we say to make ourselves feel better. It feels a bit like sweeping things under the rug that are too big to fit, or sweep for that matter.

There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said about the election. And no matter what side of the fence you sit on, the times, they are a’changin’. I only hope that we can all come together and that the dust settles before anymore separation occurs; before we grow so separated we forget what it was ever like to stand together.

This song by Mary Gauthier brought me to tears. Because I let it. Because sometimes sitting with emotions and allowing them to take over feels right. In any event, I hope today – on a day we are all to reflect on gratitude – I hope it hits the same spot for you that it did for me. Here’s to hoping that the unity we need as a nation, as a world, can start today on the family level, with the spreading of love and the acknowledgment of all we have to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving


“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”
― Henry David Thoreau

Wishing everyone out there a wonderful Thanksgiving. May we all pause and take a moment to give thanks.

With love, from my family to yours.

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