Laguna Beach 2020.

What crazy times. When we left for Laguna a couple Fridays ago things were okay, but throughout the week things escalated and the necessary virus precautions ramped up and we were ready to get home. I’m so glad we are home now and can do our part to not spread the virus. Andrew and I are both working from home (I work two days a week seeing clients, so on those days it kinda feels like a great relay race of us switching off childcare responsibilities based on who has a meeting or work to get done).

The girl’s school is closed and while sometimes I get frustrated we still have to pay for it when the girls aren’t attending, if I visualize Jo’s teacher (the one I love the most and who always goes out of her way to help) getting paid when she isn’t able to work it helps me be okay with it. I know Andrew and I are fortunate to both have jobs we can still work even with so much of life shut down!

We had a wedding in April coming up, but we’ve already cancelled our flights for that. I wouldn’t be surprised if domestic flights get shutdown at some point anyways. Andrew and I have our first no-kids vacation planned in mid-May that I’m hopeful we’ll get to go on. It’s to Sonoma and since that’s just a stones throw from San Francisco, and things aren’t looking great there now, we’ll see.

Since I can’t talk about the virus all day without feeling crazy, I thought I’d go ahead and share some reflections and fun memories from our trip. Read on if you’re interested in a virus free conversation…


I’ve been sharing our Laguna trip on the blog since I started blogging. I know there are some of you who’ve been around for all those posts! You can find past trips to Laguna here: 2019, 2018 (life + eats), 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.

When I look back through my trips to Laguna I’m reminded how slow recovery from an eating disorder/disordered eating is. When I talk about fully recovered for myself I’m talking about a heart level change. Not something that is forced, but something that is healed and restored to how it’s supposed to be. So, being healed and restored to how I’m supposed to interact with food and my body. When making the most wise choice is desired. Recovery isn’t something that can be rushed and healing doesn’t come by pretending to be fine. Healing and restoration takes a lot of time. The average recovery time from an eating disorder is 5-7 years. March 2021 will mark 7 years for me since actively choosing to begin seeking resources that helped me interact with food and my body more peacefully + making changes away from EDBs.

Since we go every year, each year in Laguna I notice my relationship with food and my body feeling more relaxed, more effortless, and more healed. (This doesn’t mean I’m free of any negative body image thoughts, I’ll be talking about this in an upcoming motherhood post.)

Two disordered eating recovery related things I noticed while in Laguna:

1) Latte a day. A few years ago in Laguna I decided to do a food challenge where I got a vanilla latte a day. I was still working on fully making peace with calorie containing drinks, so I got a latte a day and I never looked back as it was the start of me having a latte a day up until today! Now drinking a vanilla latte a day is second nature to me. I’ve been doing it for years. But one thing I remember on that 2016 trip was that I’d do this weird thing where I’d get the latte, but not take a sip of it until I got back to our timeshare and could sit down and fully pay attention to drinking it while having breakfast. During trips in 2017, 2018 and 2019 I found myself drinking lattes in a way less calculated way…I got it, drank it, moved on. This year I noticed the next shift in this latte drinking saga as I found I was okay just staying at the timeshare some mornings and drinking some coldbrew we bought at the store instead of going out for a coffee-shop-vanilla-latte experience. It felt nice for my fulfillment to come from non-food things…and that took 6 YEARS. We still had meals and snacks everyday, no matter what, (and a few lattes out!) but what those meals and snacks are continue to seem less important to me and a huge part of this is permission to eat all things so there aren’t any longings for food that are exaggerated because they’re being fueled by deprivation. I honor cravings, enjoy food, eat all foods, and find pleasure from food every single day, multiple times a day…it’s just that now there are a lot of things that bring me fulfillment outside of food. All this to say. Be where you’re at. Don’t try to rush it. Keep doing the work of recovery day after day after day. Does that make sense?

2) We made lunches every day. On past trips to Laguna we’d just have snacky lunches, typically chips & queso, which works for some people but I prefer solid meals. Before this trip I told Andrew I wanted to be better about making a lunch for me and anyone else who didn’t want a snacky lunch. It worked great! On multiple days we made a few frozen pizzas + salad. One day we had leftover burgers from the night before. Then some days we went out for lunch.

I also made a big batch of cookie dough when we got to Laguna and baked up some and left the rest in the fridge and we baked it throughout the trip. It worked out great for a satisfying snack or dessert option!

Some memories from the trip:

I love seeing our family grow year to year!

Seeing Jojo with her cousin, Mia, kills me. Hopefully, amongst us, they’ll be another baby next year! I’m tapping out for a bit on the baby making lol because two kids has our hands filled…be it filled with good things…but Andrew and I are pumping the brakes here for a bit.

Jojo hated the beach. Screamed her head off. Wanted to immediately leave it. She was so scared when “Poobah” (her grandpa) took Mia close to the ocean. She screamed, “Nooo, Poobah! Run away! Run away!” It was so sad and totally unexpected. I thought she’d love it, but nope. I bribed her to the beach with some Peppa Pig watching on my phone every time we went so she was able to calm down and eventually build a sandcastle and play without crying.

We got some amazing sunsets!

The below was my favorite photo of the trip where Mia looked like a young Leo Dicaprio. We couldn’t stop cracking up!

I got Jojo a bubble gun at the local toy store and she put it to good use.

Cuddling with my Ella <3 She continues to be an amazing sleeper. What a difference it makes for mom and dad during the newborn year to have a baby who sleeps and in my experience the second kid newborn season has just been easier, more enjoyable, and less terrifying.

My favorite photo of Jojo I took.

My favorite photo I took of the girls. Clearly I’m having a moment with tie-dye. The below are cozy jammies and I love them.

One day I went on a hike with some of our group. We always talk about hiking in Laguna, but never are organized enough to do it. We did a trail called Dripping Cave (or something like that). It was so fun! Would definitely be up for doing it again next year.

Jojo learned about riding on shoulders. I find this a way more comfortable way to carry her than on my hip, which tends to throw my back all outta whack.

Jojo and hot chocolate.

This was the first year since having kids that I’ve really enjoyed the trip. Trips with young kids were such an adjustment for me and I had much more realistic expectations heading into this year’s trip. My only goal was to relax as much as possible. Usually when we go to Laguna I have a mental list of all the places I want to eat and all the things I want to do, but this year (and some of this is thanks to permission to eat all foods in my non-vacation life…so I didn’t head into the trip in a food rule driven deficit) I was okay just sitting some days, watching HGTV (we only have Netflix/Prime/Hulu at home so HGTV feels like a luxury haha), and not leaving our timeshare much.

I hope you enjoyed the break from Corona Virus conversations and I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy!


  1. Thank you for this happy break, Kylie. It was great to think about something else for a bit and to see your wonderful vacation. I LOVE your outfit with the green pants and the white shirt–so cute! And the thoughts about taking your time in recovery are spot on–thanks for the reminder to be gentle with myself. Wishing you and your family all the best!

  2. Thanks for sharing all the great pics of your family vacay! Ella & Jojo are just THE CUTEST :)

  3. I’m going through a stage of recovery where food is kinda boring. I use all my IE tips–eat regular meals and snacks, eat what you are in the mood for, aim for a bit of everything (carbs, fat, protein, dairy, something fresh). But its a new and curious phase to feel generally bored by food (full opposite from obsessed with counting/restricting/bingeing it). I know it will pass and I’ll be into food again, but for now I’m just observing and going with it. I am also glad to see that so far the Corona Virus panic shopping/shelter in place (I’m in CA–SF Area) hasn’t triggered an obsession with food for me (fear of not having access, need to somewhat eat/shop/cook strategically instead of intuitively, not eat out, etc). Glad you had a good trip to Laguna and are back home safe!

  4. Thank you for this! Your girls are so precious :) It was really nice to take a few moments to enjoy your trip along with you.

  5. Thank you for the lovely post and photos. Just want to say that those green pants and white top you are wearing (the photo with Jojo on your shoulders) are not only beautiful but look so comfortable!

  6. do they sell the tie-dye jammies in adult sizes? hehe :) too cute! 

  7. Pingback: Is emotional eating okay? – Yeah…Immaeatthat

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