Steep Ravine Cabins, Mt. Tam

"Nourishing a child’s mind in the first five years of life is as essential as feeding her body..." -Hillary Clinton, for Too Small to Fail. I'm going to be doing some work with Too Small to Fail and couldn't be more excited! Next Generation and the Clinton Foundation have teamed up to provide tools and build the skills needed to help children succeed. Research shows that early years are crucial to a child’s success. Through their Too Small to Fail initiative, the organizations hope to close the word gap and improve the lives of children 0-5. #gomighty4kids

In the spirit of Too Small to Fail, we took our kids to Steep Ravine, a cluster of rustic cabins on the California coast. We spent a few glorious days in a cabin on the edge of the world. We did lots of talking, singing, exploring, with our sweet kids- serious quality family time, y'all!  Located near Stinson Beach (North of San Francisco), Steep Ravine is pretty much the most magical place ever and I'm thrilled to have shared the experience with a few other families. Here are some photos from our very cold trip (record lows!) last month. 

Our families were in 4 cabins… 8 parents and 7 kids under the age of 5. And we had the best time ever. The beach was a little hike down the rocks and we had the whole thing to ourselves. We saw sea lions, starfish, urchins, and loads of barnacles :) We even found a dead deer carcass on our hike. It was amazingly cold, but I'm not going to complain because this was our amazing view. Special thanks to Meghan who shared this place with us. Ok- photo time...

Building a dam with Dad...

Our slew of families... 

Isn't he the cutest?!

Meghan's youngest boy loves twirling her hair and snuggling. 

There's an ocean over there... 

Materials for my Christmas wreath (instagram!)

Cabins, rocks, ocean, and the world. 

The cabin had a beam (not all of them have beams) and we were able to hang up the baby's hammock. It was so so cold, but we were blessed with wood burning stoves- thank goodness because the temps were in the low 30s at night. But what really warmed my heart is this moment where Chris is playing and singing lullabies to our boys. Our older son was falling asleep in the other room. (don't you love the book, Jenga, and beer bottle?!)

building dams...

The family minus the big kid, who was too busy to be bothered for a quick pic.

Aw- these guys are a pair :)

Lots of great singing and playing and good family fun

The kids playing Uno and Vida cooking up some greens. This is the extent of the kitchen. There was also a grill out front. But no sink or any other kitchen-type things ;) And no bathrooms in the cabin either. 

My husband is a genius. And I've never heard of Hobo Stew... wrap up hamburger, potatoes, and carrots (with salt & pepper) in some foil and toss it on the grill. Boom- there's dinner. It rules. Thanks, Chris!

I love the sleepy, nursing days with my baby. 

I wish you could have heard this show. Christmas carols and kids and guitar by the warm fire. 

"reading" lyrics to the 12 Days of Christmas

 Want more Steep Ravine? Here's my post from last year. Here's a post on Gardenista that uses my photos <rad!!> 

Semi-Staycation!

I wonder if I can write a whole blog post while my little babe is asleep. Let's give it a try. I dropped off my husband and 4 year old at the airport before sunrise this morning. They're going on vacation- separately! They will part ways in Denver, where my in-laws will pick up my son.  My husband will fly on to Wisconsin for his yearly trip to the cabin with the dudes. They'll be gone a few days and I'll be here with the baby. I'm going to figure out how to make the most of my time. I want to be productive, but also relax and get some extra snoozes while the big guys are away. I've so been enjoying hanging with my little one. He's 4 months old and starting to get pretty giggly. Yesterday he thought the sound of shucking corn was hilarious!! That's the first thing, other than tickling and a few sounds from us, that he's laughed at. He woke up by-the-way, and now it's hours after I started this post. Let's see... what am I going to do?

I'm going to make a list because I'm a Virgo list-maker. 

Meal times are out the window! I might even have orange juice in the afternoon! rebel!! (I think I just had pie and ice cream for dinner- gasp!!)
Make fliers for preschool and drop them off in Mountain View Visit The Makery, The Botanist, and Bumble in downtown Los Altos (done! Instagram: here & here)
Drop off wedding photos at Kelly & Terrence and girl talk (done!)
Thrifting in Oakland -thanks, Maia, for the recommendations! (done! Instagram here)
West Elm/Etsy pop-up in Palo Alto (Saturday! I can't wait to meet Traci from 45wall design!) Eat at Tacolicious (done! I even met up with my cousin!)

Organize Art Cabinet (done)
Put lock on new back gate (done)
Visit with 2 friends in SF who recently had babies (done)
Pie Shakes and Dynamo Donuts in SF (you won't tell my son, right?)
Fermentation workshop in Los Gatos
Organize son's books (done. I put most of the picture books in the garage since he's moved onto chapter books)
Read Cooked, by Michael Pollan.
Sleep a lot (i did!!)

What would you do if you had some time (kind of) to yourself? Here's a picture of my son at the airport early this morning. I miss him and my husband already, but I know they're having a great time.

(end of week update: I did everything except read Cooked. I blame it on new catalogs from Land of Nod, CB2, and West Elm. I didn't get Pie Shakes, but I did have pie and ice cream tonight. I didn't get Dynamo because they're closed on Monday, but I did eat at Craftsman & Wolves which was a lovely alternative! I didn't make it to the fermentation workshop)