Christmas Card 2017


Dear Santa, please slow it down.

This year’s Christmas card was inspired by Rocky Votolato’s song, “White Daisy Passing” with the lyric “please slow it down”.   We know we can’t keep Charlotte and Johnny 5 and 3 forever, but we asked Santa to at least slow it down a bit.

2017 was a year the puzzle pieces in our family seemed to fit together just right.  We’ve been looking forward to this, but it seemed out of reach during those strenuous “building years”.   Now when we have meltdowns, tantrums, rivalries, or sick days we seem to work through them with a little greater sense of ease.  The days don’t feel as long anymore and often pass too quickly.  The kids are at a special age of innocence and joy and I can’t stand the thought of them getting any older.  We’re trying to hold onto every moment knowing we can’t go back.  In a year from now I hope we will say 6 and 4 are our new favorite ages, but I also hope to soak in every day a little more and cherish each moment a little longer and maybe, just maybe, time will slow down.

Below are pictures from our photoshoot.  We ended up shooting two separate times trying to capture this essence in a picture.  We got pretty dang close.  Thank you, Phillip at Manicproject.



“Please slow it down
There’s a secret magic past world that you only notice when you’re looking back at it
All I wanna do is turn around
I’m going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean
Because I couldn’t let go when the water hit the setting sun
Passing white daisies taking turns
Close the door walk into the street
Catching raindrops on your tongue
And for a minute it all stops but it won’t last man
It’s just a passing moment gone
Please slow it down
There’s a secret place that I know where I could dig a grave out and climb underground for good
All I want to do is turn around
I’m going down to sleep on the bottom of the ocean
Because I couldn’t let go when the water hit the setting sun
Passing white daisies taking turns
All those evenings on the back deck of our first apartment
They meant everything but the wind just carried em off
And you can’t go back now just a passing moment gone.”
-Rocky Votolato

San Jose del Cabo (November 2017)

San Jose del Cabo (November 2017)

The sun, the sand, and great friends made Cabo an amazing trip for our family.  There were six adults and five children which made for a perfect vacation ratio.  Both of our kids had one of their best buddies to play with all day while enjoying a secluded beach and house in Mexico.  All the adults were on the same page; wake up with the sun/kids, coffee, apply sunscreen, chase after kids, prevent fights and drowning, more sunscreen, and repeat.  The evenings got a little more quiet as the sun went down.  We were able to enjoy a cocktail and great conversation while the kids continued to play and our dinners went late into the night.  The days blended into one which is the magic of Mexico.  We feel grateful to have friends to do this with and for the memories our kids made at their tender age… This posse abroad is just getting started.

Things to remember:  Sunrises and sunsets, tide-pooling for sea creatures, Flora Farms, Johnny falling in the pond, being off the grid for water and electricity (and running out of both), John motorbiking in Baja, a continual face-off with the waves, secret plans by Charlotte and Pax, adult dinner at Acre (miscalculating the exchange rate by a zero – oops!), 9 Palms Beach, massages, an epic bonfire on the beach, the stars, and so much more where words and pictures fall short.

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Summer 2017

Summer 2017

Summer… the days were long but the season passed by too quickly.  Not sure where all of the hours went but most of them were spent outside at Mellor Ranch.  We would start off with a bike ride and jog down our road to see Romeo, the donkey.  Most days we ended up in swimsuits to play on the grass, swim in the creek, or go to the pool.  All meals, including breakfast, were eaten outside.  We mastered sunscreen application in record time.  Bed time was very flexible for the first time.  We took a break from most structure and thoroughly enjoyed the long days.  Charlotte and Johnny attended Deer Valley Camp a couple days a week where they did hikes, funicular rides, and activities outside while I had a moment of being an adult.

One of our favorite events of the year is the annual hay cut.  We all get to participate in daddy’s hard work from cutting to raking and finally baling.  Johnny was just a step behind on his own tractor.  John got 200 bales this year which went to our old horses Monty and Hook.  Mellor Ranch was happy.

A few memories and highlights from summer:  John’s mom (GrandmaB) passed away peacefully at the age of 91, the bond between Charlotte and Johnny became even stronger, Swaner Preserve rainbows, John’s flip from Slip and Soar, digging for worms, hay cutting, another cover photo op of Prissy, 4th of July with our neighbors, Johnny starting to wear underwear, Charlotte getting her ears pierced, the pool, two nights of camping at Ferron while John was in China, early morning hot air balloons, planting some new trees, the solar eclipse, and last but not least, the first day of kindergarten for Charlotte and second year of preschool for Johnny.






London and Paris 2017

London and Paris 2017

We adventured to Europe with Charlotte AND Johnny for the first time; a monumental experience for our little family.  The kids and I took the direct flight to London to meet John after a long work week.  We were able to spend a weekend in London and then Paris for the rest of the week.  It was probably our favorite trip as a family so far.

The trip started off with a pretty flawless flight to London and of course we were all so excited to see daddy after a week away.  (John met me after Customs with a coffee in hand:-))  We enjoyed London’s beautiful parks and great food!  Our most anticipated moment was seeing Lion King live at the Lyceum theater.  We all loved it!  Charlotte danced in the aisle and Johnny, in a moment of complete audience silence, shouted out “Scar is not nice” for everyone to hear.  The kids had their own room connecting to ours and they woke us up at 3 am the first night when they broke into their minibar for a jet lag party with KitKats, Sprite, M&Ms, etc… all memories we never want to forget.

Highlights from London:  The swans, a phone booth, The Lion King, Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, break dancers in Piccadilly Circus.

Below are pictures from London (Paris follows):


After London, we found our way to the lovely city of Paris via the Chunnel (not sure the kids totally understood the awe of being on a train under the ocean).  Paris did not disappoint any of us.  We visited a new park every day and planned our meals accordingly.  The weather was warm and sunny but not too hot.  We could wander for hours with the kids while stopping for gelato, a carousel, or to pet the next cute dog.  The parks, food, weather, and the people made five days in Paris feel magical.  Of course, there were meltdowns and Johnny was asleep in my arms by the time we finally made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but we thoroughly soaked in Paris on a new level.  Experiencing this together as a family makes it oh so special and I hope we never forget some of these memories.  

Highlights from Paris:  Arriving on Mother’s Day, the top of the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Tuileries Garden, Jardin d’Acclimatation, Mr. Pistachio, two cute kids named Charlotte and Johnny.

Below are pictures from Paris:



Charlotte Turns 5!

The one that made me a mama and therefore human… my Charlotte.  She pushes me daily – challenging me to be smarter, more patient, more present, creative, spontaneous, kinder, wittier and mostly stronger.  She came into this world kicking and screaming with an intensity for life that words can’t describe.  I believe she was born with a soul much older than mine and she’s here to teach me.  I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to be Charlotte’s mother and to have the opportunity to learn from her.  She enters a room and fills it with sunshine.  I want to be around her to feel that sunshine and to feel her strength.  I want to be around her to hear her unique and creative outlook on life.  I want to be around her to fully live life like she does.  Charlotte is an avid swimmer, dancer, skier, gymnast, and is now reading and writing which has opened up her world and mind even more.  She enjoys getting silly with her brother and protects him like only an older sister can.  I suppose our whole family is trying to keep up with her.  Thank you, Charlotte, for being you and for letting us tag along for the ride.  I know we’re just getting started.  Happy 5th (or maybe 15th) birthday! 

Below are pictures from Charlotte’s 5th birthday party which she created and directed.  The theme was a white, whipped cream party.  There was an endless amount of whipped cream for Charlotte and her friends.  Shortly after singing happy birthday Charlotte was showered in whipped cream by all those attending her party.  It was beyond amazing and absolutely Charlotte!



Christmas in Mexico 2016

Here we are again… escaping the hustle and bustle and/or running away to Mexico for Christmas.  The sun, the sand, the chips and guacamole, the seven days alone as a family is what Christmas means to us (mostly the later).  Santa subtly dropped by with a Barbie and a Captain America, which were both forgotten about within an hour as we made our way to the beach, and so went Christmas 2016.

We spent endless hours in the pool and at the beach.  This trip Johnny’s confidence in the water was at an all time high.  He seemed to think he could swim just like Charlotte (bless his heart).  John and I never took our eyes off of him for a solid seven days.  Charlotte pushes him in every way, which is mostly a positive.  This theme lead into one of our adventures of “swimming with the dolphins”.  Charlotte set the standard and Johnny followed.  They both rode the dolphins, fed and danced with them, and mostly were the coolest kids when it comes to anything new and challenging.

The next highlight of the trip was Charlotte surfing.  John and I had scheduled a day to surf and thought we should have Charlotte join us.  Of course, within minutes, she was up on the board and gliding gracefully to shore.  Her intensity and coordination combined with her inner mermaid made surfing only natural.  I stand amazed.  (Video below)

One more thought to add to our journal is when I tried my hardest to get the perfect “Christmas/beachy” photo of Charlotte and Johnny.  We brought down the Santa hat and the reindeer antlers along with the fancy camera.  After about 20 minutes of enticing them to get on board or just to indulge their mama, I totally gave up and captured everything that is Charlotte and Johnny (also pictured below).  Maybe this means staying in the moment and embracing the chaos – things you slowly learn as a parent.  Thank you, Charlotte and Johnny, for the lessons you give us daily.

I’m especially grateful for the progress we’ve made as a family which made this trip so fun.  I’m also extremely grateful for the opportunity we have to spend this time together over Christmas as a family in Mexico.  It might not be traditional, but this is our Mellor family tradition.  Feliz Navidad!


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Feliz Navidad

card_finalIt’s that time of year again – Christmas cards!!!  We love the creative process of coming up with a theme and being able to share it with our family and friends.  We view it as an opportunity to sum up how we feel about our previous year in one picture… totally impossible, but we hope the accumulation of pictures over the years will help tell our family story.

As you can see, our theme this year is “Feliz Navidad”.  We’re truly grateful for the joy this year has brought.  We’ve finally been able to settle into our home, our community, and most importantly our family.  Both kids are at an age that is magical.  Charlotte and Johnny have grown to love and adore each other (thankfully, so do John and I).  Their spunk and spirit seem to lighten up everything we do.  I’m convinced holidays are mostly celebrated for children and their mother.  Our world is centered around these two lovely individuals.  So, it seemed fitting to get a little silly this year in our favorite Mexican attire while playing “Feliz Navidad”.  Our kids have still only experienced Christmas in Mexico and this song is close to our hearts in so many ways.  We twirled, we laughed, we shook maracas, we wrangled Romeo (the donkey) into a couple pictures, and we were happy.

We want to wish you and yours a very merry holiday season and of course… Feliz Navidad!  Thanks, Phillip ( once again for the amazing pictures.

Love, the Mellors