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POPSUGAR Winter Party #pswinterparty

This week we had our annual week together with our POPSUGAR colleagues from all over the world. As we learned in our all hands, we have much to be proud of as well as much to look forward to in 2015. We also have much to celebrate, which did in style at the San Francisco Maritime Museum.

Last year I was asked to take photos in an effort to save some money. At the all hands, Marnell asked me if I was planning to take photos again. I had only brought my "little" camera, which isn't really well-suited for shooting such an event (the "big" camera is gone). Because Marnell is Marnell, a photographer was hired during the all hands and I was off the hook.

As a result, I only took a few photos this year and made even fewer observations throughout the evening. Instead, I met a lot of new people yesterday as well as caught up with old friends. Congratulations again to all the POPSUGAR award recipients and especially to our beloved Annie for winning the overall award. You are now among very esteemed company.

If I took your photo and it doesn't appear, it is because: a. the photo was way out of focus, as many were, or b. it would have simply been unkind to post it. Melissa is excepted from these guidelines.

Thanks, everyone, for a great time. Here's to an even more amazing 2015!

By Jason Rhee · January 23, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Olivia's 8th Birthday Party

On Saturday, January 10th, Olivia's school friends helped her celebrate her birthday. She's been into Roald Dahl and requested a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-themed party. Really, she just likes candy.

Kate took the helm to plan the party and everyone pitched in to get ready. Olivia wanted a jumpy because she never had one before. Lucas had a serious face-plant before the party started and was out of commission for the rest of the festivities. I think this is our last jumpy.

There were several candy stations, as well as cotton candy and chocolate-covered strawberries and marshmallows, which the girls were able to decorate themselves. The girls started watching the Johnny Depp-version of the movie before heading outdoors to a relay race. Three teams competed at five stations and everyone was a great sport, especially the girls who volunteered for the whipped-cream-pie-candy-thing. All participants enjoyed "fizzy lifting drinks" after the competition.

After lunch, the girls finished watching the movie and played outside. My only contribution was making the cotton candy (and taking pictures). Thanks to Kate, Grace, Lucas and all of Olivia's wonderful 2C friends who helped her celebrate. Sorry to all the parents for sending home so much sugar!

Olivia already said that next year she would like to invite the boys, too.

Happy Birthday, Olivia! We love you.

By Jason Rhee · January 12, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

(Almost) Celebrating New Years in Santa Barbara

After Olivia's birthday lunch with the family, we embarked on our next destination, Santa Barbara. It probably wasn't wise to leave Orange County mid-afternoon. We got stuck in LA rush hour traffic and crawled along to our destination.

Four hours plus later, we finally arrived at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara. By then it was dark, cold and rainy. We had already decided to cut our stay there from 3 nights to 2. However, between the weather and the "special" pricing (ala Uber surge pricing) for staying over New Years Eve, we decided one night there was enough.

We celebrated the end of Olivia's birthday at dinner. Luckily for the kids, this hotel was owned by Ty Warner, of Beanie Babies fame. They each got their pick of a Beanie Boo. Luckily for Ty Warner, these kids help fund his hotel purchase.

Perhaps we should have waited until the next day to decide to depart, when it was sunny, cold and not raining. The dimly lit restaurant from the evening before turned out to be a sun-filled, ocean-side atrium. It was about 55 degrees and Olivia was in her bikini at the beach. Those kids just don't care. We retreated to the beach club pool for a while and then back to the resort pool for lunch and swimming. By then, it was feeling like winter.

We got them bathed and changed in time for our late check out. There was a silver lining for leaving early. Just as I was finishing loading the car, I heard someone call my name (er, nickname). I looked around and saw one of my Michigan buddies, Bush, who was actually one of my pledge brothers. He was on a family trip to celebrate his dad's birthday and wasn't even staying at the resort, which made it more coincidental. It's been over 10 years since we last saw each other.

We got on the road towards home, which didn't seem that much closer than from LA. Instead of a big party at the hotel, we opted for dinner at Subway, which we ate on the road. Everyone was happy to finally be home, just like last New Year's Eve. The only one missing from our party was Snickers. Sniff.

By Jason Rhee · January 7, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Olivia's 8th Birthday in Laguna Beach

On December 30th, we celebrated Olivia's birthday in Laguna Beach with the Park grandparents, Park uncles, Park aunt, and Park cousins. We can't believe she's already 8 years old. We're thankful for the sweet, happy girl she continues to be.

Happy Birthday, Olivia!

By Jason Rhee · January 3, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Legoland Never Gets Old

I'm successfully avoiding Disneyland. The kids haven't yet outgrown Legoland, which still seems manageable to me. This trip, both kids rode all the rollercoasters.

We learned the fine line between "scary" and "thrilling." I think they get it now. The only thing I coudn't get out of was the spinny tea cup ride. It almost destroyed me.

The T'Kindts invited us over to their new home in Laguna Niguel for dinner. It was so nice to see them in their new neighborhood. Alex is growing up fast.

By Jason Rhee · January 3, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

WB Reunion in La Jolla

On Sunday, December 28th, we headed down to La Jolla after golf. Kristen and Scott graciously hosted the WB guys at their beautiful new home in La Jolla. All of the kids are growing up fast. Baby Stella is super cute and sweet. Poppy the puppy was a big hit (with me, anyway). Our kids will continue needing some conditioning.

Thanks, Sahams, for a great evening with old(est) friends!

By Jason Rhee · January 1, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Post-Christmas at the St. Regis Monarch Beach

10 years ago this April, Grace and I were married at the St. Regis Monarch Beach. We've been back a few times, but had never stayed over with the kids. We decided to spend a few days down there after Christmas.

The Chiangs stopped by one day for lunch, which was our first time meeting baby Jordan. On Sunday, Grace and I played golf together. On the 5th tee, we saw one of the shuttles heading to the beach and then noticed the kids were on it with the sitter. They hit the pool, too.

So many awesome memories and it's still a very nice resort. We all had a great time during our short stay. The kids will definitely remember it.

By Jason Rhee · December 31, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Christmas with Parks, Parks, Parks & Rogers

We stayed with Grace's parents in LA along with Addy and Charles and Dave. Charles's parents also joined us as did Ann and Jeremy. It was a very Merry Christmas for everyone.

By Jason Rhee · December 29, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Manhattan Beach on Christmas Eve Day

Grace had to get ready for our Christmas feast and Addy and Charles weren't scheduled to arrive until later in the day. So, we spent the day in the most obvious place. If you follow along at home, you know the routine.

There's a particular shot I'm trying to get. I didn't get it. I guess we'll have to come back (or live here).

By Jason Rhee · December 27, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

LA for the Holidays

On Tuesday, we drove down to Southern California for the holidays. Our first stop was LA. It only took 7.5 episodes of Serial (so good).

After settling into Grace's parents house, we were on our own for dinner. The internet said to go to Mastro's. I'm not sure if they put us in the back room because they saw our kids were trouble or our kids were trouble because they put is in the back room.

Good start to the holidays.

By Jason Rhee · December 26, 2014 · 0 Comments ·