Re-gaining the prized title of "James' mom" has been a labor of love for all the years following my stroke.  Being his mom again has always been my most profound motivator, my most healing medicine.

Even as I have stepped back into that role and our little family of 3 has re-solidified, it has not been without hiccups.  It's taken a great deal of determination and intentionality on our part, but amazingly, it seems to be working.

One of the best "bang for your buck" in terms of family bonding and great memories is taking a quick overnight getaway.  Thankfully, California is overflowing with such.  I love scouring the Groupon emails to see what is the absolute best deal and the most accessible little trip for us.  Admittedly, it can be hit or miss, but sometimes the "misses" make for the best memories, right?

For Mother's Day, we found a deal for a hotel in Solvang, CA, which is a funny, Danish-inspired town, full of character, from a Hans Christian Andersen museum to an ostrich farm to rows and rows of pastry shops--sounded random enough that it might just be fun...and it was.  On the way home, we even stopped by Santa Barbara--easily one of the most breath-taking beach towns ever.  So sweet how a tank of gas, a cheap motel, and some danishes can warm this mommy's heart so much.

(click on the photos to enlarge them)