Happy 1st Birthday Ben

December 30, 2017: The day our PB&J world was complete.

A letter to our Ben, on your first birthday...

Our little Benjamin,

This is mommy & daddy's way of letting you know just how much we love you and how we can't believe that you're ONE today! We hope that when you're a teen and mad at us for not letting you stay out super late or when you're annoyed at us for something I'm sure we'll do to embarrass you... that you'll look back on this and see just how much you mean to us, today, tomorrow and every single day of forever.
Today you turn ONE. As your mom, I can't believe it. You'll probably already know all about your angel brother and the bumps in the road to having you and just how special you truly are. You're our little miracle baby. You're our rainbow after all of our storms. You're our little dose of *hope & hearts*.

I can still remember the day you were born, the moments leading up to your birth. Waiting in the operating room, being so anxious and nervous. I remember the doctors telling me that you were almost out and all I wanted in the moments after was to just hear you, to hear your cry and know you were okay. I remember it felt like an eternity from the moment the doctor yelled over the curtain "he's here!" until I heard your first cry... Then it happened, you let out the strongest cries (which happened to last a full 24hrs non stop LOL) and the nurses joked that your tiny (big) cries were like a little duck quack. In that moment I joked in my head that you were my very own Donald Duck. I remember how they brought you over for us to see and how your dad and I just broke down into endless tears of joy. I remember when they finally placed you on my chest and how it was so surreal to finally meet you in person, face to face. I remember how my heart would never be the same. 💗

From the moment you were born you were literally a little bundle of everything. You definitely had a big personality then and still do to this day, lol. You made it quite an adventure the first few weeks you were with us, like the earthquake that happened during your first night home, to the projectile vomit on daddy and the few sleepless nights you gave us because you wanted to show off your vocal skills. Then I think you got used to this whole life with mom and dad thing. We fell into our routines with Mr. Star, Datsy, visits with grandma, grandpa, auntie jo and more. We went on all our car ride adventures to Target and boba tea. You then started to show off your cuteness with your little smirks and coos. When daddy went back to work and it became just you and me at home 24/7 our little mommy and me time stepped it up a notch and that's when the real fun began lol. In our days together you showed me just how beautiful life really is, that even the most mundane of days was so much brighter because you were in it.

Time passed and we experienced so much as a family, from holiday firsts, Disney trips, travel adventures (yay Hawaii!), Disney, family fun and of course.... all the Disney! It's been a year filled with happiest memories. We can't wait to see what fun the future holds for all of us together

Days turned to months, and now those months have turned to one whole year. Benjamin, there aren't enough words to describe just how much you mean to me and your dad (& Datsy). You've shown us that life seems to always have a greater plan. You're our real life miracle. You've completed our hearts in so many ways. There's not a single day that passes where we're not thankful for you completing our little family. The love we have for you grows with every moment that ticks by. Ben, we love you, to infinity and beyond!

We can't wait to see what year 2 has in store for us! All of the new milestones, love and memories that we'll make as a family. You're already starting to show us this new chapter in our adventure book with your newest mobility skills. I'm calling it now, you're going to be quite the little daredevil as you get older!

We hope that your second year is happiest than the last! Here's to the next chapter my little love! Happy 1st Birthday Benjamin!

Mama & Dada

Ben's Wonderful 1st Christmas Time!

We'll be having wonderful 1st Christmastime!

Merry & bright
Ben's 1st Christmas was definitely a special one for our little family. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and this year would be extra magical since it would mark the last "first" holiday celebration for Ben. PB and I made sure to fill his holiday season with lots of family fun and adventures, but when it came to the official Christmas celebrations, we made sure to do what we could to make sure Ben's 1st Christmas would be *merry & bright*.

Family, Food, Gifts and Fun
The main event for Christmas in my family is our traditional family Christmas Eve celebration. I come from a huge family, so our Christmas Eve celebrations are always loud, full of food and most of all... fun! Ben channeled his inner Santa Claus and was showered with gifts, cuddles and lots of Christmas Eve love from my family.

Santa's Elves Working OT
After our annual family party, PB and I headed home to get the magic started on making Ben's 1st Christmas morning one for the memory books.

All about that Christmas morning
While Christmas Eve always meant "party-time" growing up, Christmas day on the other hand is traditionally a much more low key affair. I say "low key" but it doesn't mean any less special. Christmas Day, particularly the morning has always been one of my favorite parts about Christmas. It's those quiet moments, right after waking up as a child... running into the living room and realizing that Christmas magic had happened overnight and just maybe... a special visit from one called Santa Claus. This was something I hoped for Ben to experience and boy oh boy was it a Christmas morning to remember!
Santa stopped by and dropped off a little walk and play car for Ben! The look on his face when he came out into the living room and saw the gift set up was priceless. His big toothy grin, the giggles and curiosity. He looked around thinking "what is this thing and how did it get here?" LOL. There were definitely a lot of mama happy tears shed. I can't even begin to describe the emotion you feel as a new parent, seeing your child experience the magic of Christmas for the first time.

The merriest memories!
Christmas day also means more merry festivities! We spent the day with our closest family, more gift fun for Ben, food, tons of quality time spent with our loved ones and of course, more food. Ben's 1st Christmas may be over, but now we have so much to look forward to in the years to come. Here's to a lifetime more happy Christmas mornings and merry moments ahead. 💜

Merry Christmas!

From our PB&J family to yours....


Santa Day

Santa Day
Our official first date, a before & after!

I think I might really like you...
Eleven years ago PB and I had our first "official" date. We called this day Santa Day! A quick back story to this happy day, PB and I first met in September 2007 while both at UC Davis. We had been out together a few times as friends, but nothing like an official first date. Right when we were finally starting to move away from the friend territory and the point of realizing that we might really like each other, PB had to up and leave for a 3 month engineering internship in Paris, France! Bummer, right? Actually...no. It was the best thing that happened for the both of us! It was in this time that we really got to know each other. We would Skype call each other (yes, we're that old and FaceTime wasn't around yet) each day and talk for hours on end. It was the best way for us to build what would eventually be the foundation for our relationship. By the end of the three months I think we pretty much knew that we were each other's "one". So literally less than 24hrs after retuning home from 3 months in Paris, we went on our official first PB&J date!

Santa Day 2007
PB called our date: Santa Day. He surprised me with a while day filled with holiday fun! We kicked off our day with lunch in the heart of San Francisco, complete with matching Santa hats. Our main even was meeting Santa himself! It must have been funny for Santa to see two grown adults coming in to take a photo with him, sans children. It was a cute interaction with a little glimpse into the future! One of the first things Santa asked when we walked up was "I think I know what you want for Christmas... a ring!" LOL. Being our first date, it was definitely a little awkward at the time, but now looking back, it's pretty hilarious since it did eventually come true!
We then soaked in all the holiday decor and lights around the city, had a romantic dinner for two and went ice skating at the Embarcadero center in SF We ended the night with a stop for hot cocoa for two at the original Ghirardelli Chocolate shop.

The day, as simple as it seemed was truly one of the cheesiest, yet sweetest date of my entire life. I joke now that our Santa Day was cheesier than any holiday Hallmark movie plot line I've ever seen.

Santa Day 2018
Flash forward 11 years and our little family decided to do a redo... a sequel if you will... of our original Santa Day date! We ended up taking Ben to the same Santa location we went to 11 years before. We even had the chance to recreate our original photo!

We were able to take Ben back to the same tree we stood in front of as two young ones falling in love before.
Our night had to exclude the romantic dinner for two for a much more appropriate family ramen dinner in SF's Japantown and Ice Skating was reduced to driving by the rink we skated at. But we did get to return to sip hot cocoas as a family at Ghirardelli Square once again! It was truly the most heartfelt walk down memory lane with our Ben!

The merriest new memoires
While our Santa Day sequel wasn't as cheesy or overly romantic as the original date, it was filled with just the same, if not more, happiest memories for our family! So here's to the first date that we celebrated 11 years ago to the most recent family date day! May this be a family tradition of some sorts of more happy memories and Santa moments to come! 💜

Ben's 1st Disneyland Holidays

A merry & magical holiday season

The brightest way to celebrate our 1st holidays as a complete family: Disneyland Holidays!

The most magical time of the year!
Disneyland, or any Disney park for that matter, is truly the most magical place to celebrate the holiday season! There's just something about the parks during the holidays that is extra merry and magical.

This time last year...
It was around this season last year that we were on our "babymoon", our one last Disney trip before Ben was due to arrive. You can read all about that wonderful trip HERE. Last year's holiday trip to the parks was filled with so much anticipation for what was to come with our little one. I specifically remember watching the snow fall after the holiday fireworks, clutching onto my little Ben-belly bump and thinking of all the love and good feels because the next time I'd witness this moment, my little Ben would be with me!

This Christmas
Flash forward a year and we found ourselves heading down to the happiest place on Earth again for the holidays, but this time with our Ben with us! I wanted to make this holiday trip extra special, so this crazy Disney mom put in some work and crafted up some *extra* special style for our looks this trip. I don't know how to sew, but I've been known to be pretty handy with a hot glue gun, scissors and imagination, lol! My DIY looks didn't turn out half bad, all thanks to some amazing accessories from a few amazing small shops, some Disney props and of course, my two boys who let me dress them up in crazy Disney ways (Thanks PB)!

Happy Birthday Mickey
The day we arrived just happened to be Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday! We're never in the parks on the actual day of something fun like this, so it was an extra dose of magic to check out the special merchandise and say hello to the big cheese himself to wish him a "Happy Birthday"

Dreaming of sugarplums and gingerbread style!
Our holiday trip was filled with the *sweetest* memories, both literally and figuratively! While last year my belly was big due to a baby bump, this year it was full all thanks to the amazing holiday treats and eats around the park. On top of that, we did it all in some "sweet" style!

Snowfall & it's a small world
Quite possibly my two favorite memories of this trip was fulfilling my heartfelt dream from the year before, seeing the Disney snowfall with my Ben. I held back so many tears, not only is the holiday fireworks my absolute favorite fireworks show Disney puts on, but there's just something about the "snoap" or the soapy snowfall that falls right after. I remember the first time I saw the snow fall on Main Street, I was surrounded by my family and I had tears flowing, it was the epitome of the holidays for me, being surrounded by loved ones, Disney magic and the snow falling all around. So to witness this year's snowfall meant the world to me because I was now sharing it with my little miracle!💜

Right next to the Disney snowfall, another thing high on my "emotional heartstrings" charts for the holidays? It's a Small World Holidays! Not only is this ride my favorite, but when it's all dressed up in it's festive glory? Well that's just game over when it comes to feeling all the feels! Watching Ben soak in the holiday version made this mama so happy.

Here's to a lifetime more of Disney holidays ahead of us!
Like always, this trip was filled with magical moments and memories that we're forever thankful for! Christmas is my favorite holiday, it represents everything that I hold near and dear to my heart, family, sweet treats, the season of kindness and giving... And the way that Disney celebrates the holiday season is always extra special. So here's to a lifetime more celebrating the happiest holidays on Earth with our Ben!💜