To our dearest friends, neighbors (now and long ago) and family near and far -
Where do we begin. Its been many years since a Christmas Letter was added to the annual Christmas card….but this year felt like it was about time to catch everyone up and share a bit of our year with you.
I LOVE Christmas cards, every single one is a gift! If you send them, thank you - til will probably be up all year (yes Sam, all year).
We have been settled into our home in Carmel Valley for almost 5 years now, we’ve added a new pup in hopes that the old pup wouldn’t be so freaked out when we leave for the day…that backfired. Old guy remains grouchy while but our sweet girl Cuvée happily plays with her sister, Cru (she was Parkers college graduation gift). The dynamic duo are quite a pair and always up for a beach walk.
In addition to settling in the valley, a year ago last fall we bought a butcher shop in Seaside in addition to partnering in a roadside eatery in Carmel Valley when Todd departed from the Folktale Group and all the restaurants. Its been a big shift, a lot to take on at once (classic Fisher) but its also meant our kids get to be part of the family businesses and we love that. Our butcher shop is called, The Meatery and our Carmel Valley spot is called, Bear + Flag Roadside.
Sharing what our year has looked like was a welcome walk down memory lane. When we started 2022, in masks, with our heads spinning from launching two businesses, time was moving so fast - I forgot a lot of it. We’ve had a very full year, here are some highlights!
New Years Day, we worked but the goal was to make it to the beach and we took in a spectacular sunset on Carmel Beach, walked the dogs and
it truly was the most beautiful winter day.
Jan 12th we celebrated Parker's 23rd birthday with an amazing dinner out. He has a love of wine, learning about it, studying it, drinking/tasting it and its fun to share his passion.
The year of having a senior with all the disappointments of the covid year gave me a new appreciation of being able to see her on campus and be a part of their school year! It's especially fun to have two kids in HS together, thefirst time for any of the kids. Padre Parents hosted special senior snacks and events, always special to celebrate these markers.
In February Boston competed in a national water polo tournament down in SoCal, just Boston and I got to go down but it also meant a visit with my sister and nephew who moved to San Diego area and they got to come to watch him play. It was a quick 3 days but we loved it.
March 3rd we celebrated Madeline's 18th birthday, she went straight after school and got her nose pierced. Classic Madeline. With lots of unknowns ahead of her, she'd gotten into 2 great options of 4 year university but was still hesitant to commit to going that far away.
Boston did swim team, his first year of doing swim (not polo). He improved so much! It wasn't his favorite but he liked the guys on the team, including his best pal since 3rd grade. We were super proud of him.
Near the end of March, Madeline and I celebrated her senior luncheon and the end of our years together in Mother & Daughter Philanthropy organization, National Charity League. It was a gorgeous day, this group of girls had been together since the end of 6th grade and along with their mamas, we'd made some lifelong friends.
It's also been so good for us to have this time together. It gave me a chance to see her use her gifts and heart for the homeless community. Over the 6 years of us working together in the community, Dorothy's Kitchen (a soup kitchen in Salinas) and Pass The Word (serving hot breakfast on Saturday mornings) have been some of our best days together. Madeline lights up with compassion when she volunteers with the community those organizations serve.
Life always is busy, especially as the teenage years get closer to adulthood but our commitment to NCL gave us cherished memories.
In April, we got to help raise money for a fantastic organization by participating in the Culinary Roundup for Rancho Cielo.
Todd has been helping with this event for years under all the different restaurants he's been at but this year it was a family affair. Having Parker with us made it even more fun! It had been a long time since we'd seen so many industry friend - with 2 years passing since events had happened.
A slice of normal and a worthy cause.
Boston and Madeline got to go to Hawaii for Spring Break, thanks to generous friends who included them in the adventure. Boston LOVED being in the warm ocean, life changing.
While we missed them a ton and were very jealous of the relaxation - we did managed to make a Sunday game and cheer on our Giants!
April 18th we celebrated Boston's 15th Birthday. It was regular day, school and swim practice but then football was on and he likes food - so kept it easy. The other thing that happened in April was....he finally passed mom in height :(
When May hits, its the busiest month of the year. So many things in on the calendar, so many extra things on the to do list. Wrapping up the school year, all the "END OF THINGS" and awards nights etc. In addition was Mother Day to which Madeline whipped up my perfect breakfast `
A quiche and some sort of beautiful blueberry coffee cake with lemon glaze. She knows me so well!
Then we went on a glorious hike above Palo Colorado. I hadn't been back on that road in years (my parents lived there when I was born) and certainly hadn't seen the view from the top of the ridge.
A highlight of the year for sure.
Next up was a weekend up north to see Mackenzie, who graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2019 but had stayed in Tacoma and has been working virtually in healthcare office management. Her boyfriend, Daniel graduated this year with his microbiology/biochemistry degree and we got to go up and spend one last weekend with Mackenzie and be a part of Daniel's celebration. Unfortunately, the weather was more than typical PNW rain for his commencement Sunday. We were soaked and freezing!
But Monday it was beautiful and we spent the day helping get them packed and saying goodbye to her home of the last 7 years. Thankfully for us, he's also from California, Elk Grove actually both of them were ready to be closer to family, along with their sweet pup Wilson.
We celebrated 28 years in May too!
One thing is for sure, we have grown better together and he keeps me laughing. We've been blessed beyond measure with our kids, this crazy life, and each other.
One of our new favorite things in the new MBFC -our new professional soccer team in Fort Ord. It's a blast, very family-friendly and fun for all. Check it out!
June was so jam-packed.
Miss Abbie flew in and we celebrated her 21st Birthday. This was also the first time all year all 7 of us were together.
That made for a very happy momma. And just in time for my birthday.
We all worked that day or were getting ready with graduation being the following day but the birthday wish of beach bonfire with all my people was a gift from above. Carmel Beach, my 5 and the reminder that this truly is a wonderful life.
Then came the marathon of graduation, parties and caterings on top of full house of dogs and family in town!
She looks smashing in red! Miss Madeline graduated and in addition with a CA State Seal of Biliteracy. Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking French! Her dream is to live in France someday, maybe not for ever but long enough...
And Boston, you know better than to make
weird faces when mom is taking pictures...
For Mother's Day, Parker got me a ticket to Giants game. For Father's Day, Parker got Todd a ticket to a Giants game - so three of us had a blast!
And Todd & Parker decided when Simba cam came on to try and make it on the big screen...
He's kind big but the crowd around us thought it was hilarious.
Last June event was our annual Camping Trip to Big Sur. The group has grown over the years, with kids bringing new friends and we look forward to the sunshine and river all year long!
Since Daniel & Mackenzie hadn't yet found a spot to settle into while they were on the hunt for new jobs...Todd put Dan to work!
That also meant, we get to have Kenzie close! They stayed with us for few months while job and house hunting.
In July, we were all just working. Parker and Madeline at Bear + Flag, Daniel and Boston at The Meatery, Todd and I at both.
Long days and family time after work.
Boston played polo all summer but mostly was just excited to get to Aug 1 and start playing with his high school team again.
He's back in the pool and has grown so much in just few short months.
It was weirdest back to school, just one kid one school.
After many ideas and lots of suggestions, Madeline decided to move down to San Luis Obispo to attend Cuesta College and work in town.
Took a couple long months of job interviews to find the right job but now she loves it. She took Poly Sci classes and is working at a boutique hotel downtown at the front desk. No one would have guessed she'd miss home so much - she was so eager to launch she only gave me 24 hours notice before she moved out.
But adulting is hard. And its good to have her close enough to come home often.
End of August, Abbie started her senior year of nursing school. Its been very taxing and exhausting but she is a diligent student and loves her weekly clinical so much, it reminds her why all the hard work will be worth it. We couldn't be more proud of her. In the 3 years she's been in Utah, she only gets home 2x a year, its tough on all of us. But the kids have made trips out to visit her, all separately, which has eased the homesickness. Todd and I need a trip to see her in the spring, we're overdue!
We snuck in another soccer game at MBFC, this time with Daniel & Kenzie
They loved it so much they went back the following weekend with his parents!
So. I went to France. It was a wonderful, amazing trip - but Todd didn't go with. It was a girls trip, Todd's aunt who lives near us and I adventured across the globe, took planes, trains, automobiles to the Brittany coast and saw some of the most beautiful small seaside towns.
Then we traveled back to Paris for a few days of art museums and taking in the city. It was a life changing trip and I was scouting all along the way what Todd and I will do when it's our turn to adventure. No doubt, that city was made for him. Its the Mecca of gastronomic inspiration.
The Rose Coast, the incredible library in Chateau Chantilly and the pace of life there were just incredible.
Somehow everyone managed at home, but I truly can't wait to go back.
Speaking of back home, Parker has been doing an amazing job getting our little Carmel Valley shop a stellar wine selection and we also host wine tasting nights. He picks a category/genre and then researches to his little hearts content and comes up with a lineup. If you happen to be into wine, definitely come to one!
He and Eve love both grew up here and have worked in restaurants. She joined our camping trip this year, the two of them love to hike and explore Big Sur on days together - with Cru of course!
Water polo and more water polo, fall sports in full swing and we love it!
Even more fun to watch with Parker as Asst Coach for Varsity Boys.
And with Oct 15th landing on a Saturday, with the whole family working the shops...mom got to spend the day with Kenzie ON her birthday! It's been years since just the two of us got to share her day together. We played tourists, got coffee in Carmel, went to art galleries, and snacked on cheese at the cheese shop.
An around wonderful day and somehow she's 26! I just can't even believe it.
We're so thankful they are close by, we get to have them over for games, drinks and cards...or just laundry.
Also in October, her and Daniel decided to find an apartment near by and got a cozy spot in PG, near dog park and walkable to downtown.
Its especially fun because when she
moved to college, Boston was starting 3rd grade! She missed a lot of his growing up and never saw him play sports or go to his performances. We are definitely making up for it with lots of tournaments and games to cheer him on!
Grateful and thankful November means Abbie came home again! We were back to the full clan and it just feels so good to have them all home.
Each time we pick her up from the airport, its the gift of time.
They were a tremendous help with all the Thanksgiving orders, we had bonus team in place; clockwise
Todd, Daniel, Kenzie, Holden (Madelines +1), Parker, Boston, Madeline, Kathy (the great), Abigail...and me.
Customers service with a smile.
We collapsed Thursday but managed to get a great blurry photo.
Here's the years wrap up:
We love each other and kids are learning to be adults while we are learning to let them. Every day is a gift and each of us makes each other better, in some way.
Sending lots of love and peace that fills your heart with Christmas cheer. I hope someone tops off your eggnog!
Merry Christmas with love,
Ada & Todd
Mackenzie - Parker - Abigail - Madeline - Boston + all the dogs!