Stormy strolls and saying yes to the sunset


Originally published in December 2014

A big, beautiful storm rolled through Santa Barbara last night and this morning, which was a rare treat for our parched California soil. We’ve been waiting and longing for rain, and the Pineapple Express brought plenty. Even our power went out! (I don’t think I’ve ever lost electrical power in ANY California storm, my entire life. I shouldn’t probably admit that to all of you East Coasters, huh?)

Last night I fell asleep smiling. Rain on the roof. Flannel sheets on the bed. Kids safe and snuggly just a few doors away.  There’s something comforting about having my whole family together when a storm rages outside.

We woke up this morning to lots of fallen tree branches and a broken Ikea Christmas star decoration that didn’t survive the battering wind. Anna was very concerned about the star—bless her—but a bowl of Cheerios and an advent story later she forgot all about the destruction.

Tonight I took the kids down to the beach for sunset. The surf was expected to be high and I wanted to watch the surfers. I almost talked myself out of going. The 4:00pm hour is always a little dicey at our house and it felt hard to pack the kids up when dinner really needed to get into the oven. (Where are the sweatshirts?! Shoot–you need a diaper change! Grab your water bottle please! Don’t forget to go potty!)

We made the short trek to Hendry’s and it might have been the most gorgeous night I’ve ever witnessed there, or anywhere for that matter. The foamy, teasing waters and brilliant sunset calmed my heart as my kids giggled and chased. I left my cell phone purposefully in the car and was present and relaxed. It was one of those nights where you keep blinking in hopes that your mind will take mental photographs that won’t ever fade away.

A sweet stranger took the above photos of us on the beach, and then approached me and said, “I took some photos of you with your children. Can I email them to you? (Isn’t that so thoughtful?)

I guess if my memories someday fail me–and I hope they don’t–I’ll have these images to remember the Pineapple Express, giggly children, and the day I’m so glad I said yes to the sunset.