sisters’ trip in california with my sick baby

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i just got pictures (from my sister shawni) from our sisters’ trip in california back in march. going through these photos has made my heart feel so overflowing with love and gratitude for my mom, sisters and sister-in-laws. i am so incredibly honored and glad to be related to and to be able to constatly learn from these remarkable women.

the days we spent together in northern california were wonderful and wild. on our first full day together, the van we were driving to our airbnb place got broken into when we made a stop en route - tons of my mom’s and sisters’ stuff (wallets, computers, etc) got stolen (i was so glad that i took my bag with me, as it had my and little mo’s passports in it!).  and on our last full day together, moses was treated for pneumonia in the emergency room (after days of worry and sickness and very little nighttime sleep).

looking back, those days seem pretty blurry – taking care of a seriously ill infant is no joke and i was in a state of near constant exhaustion and uneasiness. but!! it was so so so great to be with my mom and my sisters (and my nieces and nephews and my brother at the beginning and the end!). this time wth them filled me up with needed inspiration, validation and motivation. and just that particular brand of being-with-my-sisters happiness (one of the very best kinds of happiness).

click through to see some photos!
we all slept at the farm my sister saydi and her family are living on the first night. the reuniting was so fun, and everyone loved seeing the farm. we took a walk up to the ridge overlooking the property and the hills beyond and it was so gorgeous. man oh man i love northern california. so much.

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^^ isn’t their farm dog, mochi, so pretty? and yes, the hills really were this green! ^^
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^^ after a seriously rainy winter in the bay area, wellie boots were required around the muddy shumway family farm. ^^
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^^ saydi and her family care for loads of chickens, a couple pigs, and three baby goats! it was so fun to feed the goats. ^^
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after a birthday breakfast for my sister-in-law julie, we headed to the coast (just a few minutes’ drive from the farm) to take a bike ride on our way to the airbnb we were staying in near pacifica. the weather was glorious and the scenery was fabulous for our quick cycle. little did we know that while we were cruising along that coastal trail, some thiefs were smashing the windows of kristi’s sprinter van and running away with a bunch of our bags! ugh. i was the first to discover the break in and it just put the yuckiest pit in my stomach. everyone was so amazing about staying optimistic and remembering that stuff is just stuff. we spent a while talking with the police and coming up with a new game plan, and it all worked out and we were smiling and laughing together again lickety split.

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some really yummy sandwiches and a couple of walks along the coast helped us women to feel a bit better. little moses, on the other hand, got increasingly feverish and lethargic. i had taken him into urgent care before all the sisters arrived, and was assured that he would get better with time, but he just seemed to get worse. it was so sad!

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the next morning (after a rough night for mo and i, and my mom who was sharing a room with us!), we decided to just chill and talk at the cool house we were renting. there’s no better conversationalists for me than my mom, sisters, and sister-in-laws. we had awesome discussions while sweet moses slept and cuddled with his grammie.

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by afternoon, we headed up to san francisco to go to the sfmoma. i love love love this museum! and us eyre girls are all art lovers and appreciators – it’s so fun to go to museums on our sisters’ trips! we all loved so many pieces in the museum and since our love for good food is equal to our great love for good art, we thoroughly enjoyed a yummy persian dinner in the city (at one of my favourite restaurants from when i lived in sf).

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^^ this installation – a fascinating web of string and mirrors – was called cloud cities and we all adored it! ^^
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^^ chuck close is one of my favourite artists – i am in awe of his ability to create portrait paintings that look like they must be photographs and just make you think about all that is behind every individual’s face. the portrait on the right is different than close’s typical uber-realistic watercolours – it is made entirely of fingerprints! incredible. ^^
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^^ julie and eli recreated this painting themselves and it hangs on their wall in their nyc apartment. so jules was pretty pumped to see the original. ^^
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^^ such a fabulous museum. art in all the details. ^^
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^^ and an incredibly bad attempt at a jumping picture on the way back to the cars. ^^
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^^ we had devoured dinner before we thought to take a picture! ^^

i just have to take a quick intermission here and brag about my brother noah. while we girls were off playing, he stayed at the farm with five of his six kids (baby faith was with us) and saydi’s four kids (her husband was there in the evenings but at work all day during the days). so nine (under twelve years old) on one. he didn’t just keep them all alive, either. he taught them stuff, had adventures with them, and even took them all out to taco bell for a taco eating contest. i love that guy!

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the next day we went to one of my favourite spots on earth – filoli! {here and here are a couple of posts from times i visited filoli when i lived in the bay area!} it’s an old estate that has been turned into a museum and park of sorts and the gardens are outrageous. we hit the tulips at their peak and we were all pretty much freaking out at all the beauty.

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sick little mo just wasn’t all that enthused by these spectacular gardens – he was still feverish and so uncharacteristically lackadaisical, so my mom took us back to urgent care. after some tests and ultimately a chest xray, we were told that moses needed to be admitted to the hospital to be treated for pneumonia. we thought he may need to stay overnight, but when by the time we saw the emergency room doctors, he was doing a bit better and they were confident that he’d respond well and quickly to antibiotics. while the other sisters explored muir woods and stopped by baker beach, we went through all the rigmarole of the er and finally got back to the airbnb after a big adventure trying to get mo’s prescription filled. those sweetie sisters had dinner ready for us and all set up by the couches when we got back and we filled them in on everything. poor little mo!

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he did respond fast to the meds and the next day after church (moses and i stayed at the house), we went back to the farm. moses slept and slept (but certainly not through the night!) and by the next morning was up for playing with his cousins, which made me soooooo happy.


soon it was time to say goodbye to everyone and head home to london. i was so nervous about a transatlantic flight alone with a sick baby, but after an epic diaper blowout, ten hours of juggling baby boy back and forth from the basinet and my seat, and a slog with bags and a car seat home on the tube, we made it in one piece! seriously i can hardly remember anything from that flight because i was so out of it sleep-deprived. but i do remember that both moses and i were soooo happy to be home at last after a wild adventure in california and utah. despite the sickness, we had a really fantastic trip (with ian for the first two thirds and then on our own with my mom and sisters). and within a few days (and after a good dose of jetlag recovery), little mo was back to his smiley, healthy self.

i am so so grateful for my mom and sisters – their examples, their support, their advice and insight, and how they make me laugh my head off. i’m such a lucky girl to have them in my life.


  1. Hi Charity,
    In the last picture you have a car seat on top of your carry-on. Can you share which carseat that is? It looks light-weight and not bulky. Thanks.

    1. it's super lightweight and was super cheap! i'm not sure what brand it is, but we got it on

  2. Love reliving this through your eyes. That was a trip to remember!!! Love how heroically you handled these hard/fun days!


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