California Livin'

Soooo there is a reason behind this 'day-in-a-Saturday-life' post.  Once again, we Cottrell's are on the move.  Baby #2 will be born a Texan and hopefully Clement will keep his little surfer baby, little grom, chill vibes for life ha.  We are super excited to move to Austin - it's been ridiculously high on my 'next city' list, as in my top pick.  My sister lives an hour north of Austin and well, it's AUSTIN.  Plus I've always had dreams of a southern accent and well, Friday Night Lights and all that {a friend that lives in Austin actually said she knows where Tim Riggins gets coffee so I mean...!!!}.  But it all boils down to an incrediable career opportunity for Kellen and the amazing hand of God.  God has orchestrated every detail of this and it's been incredible to watch it all unfold seamlessly.  Here's the kicker - we leave in two weeks.  So until October 26th, I am just trying to etch every ounce of SoCal into my memory.  After this beach day Kellen took Clement home and I went for a run along the coast - just trying to burn the image of the beauty in my brain.  And if you follow me on Instagram - sorry for the crazy amount of instastories.   I can't stop with the videos.  I will play them to get Clement to sleep for the rest of his life.  He's going to be 16 and like, "mom, get out of my room with that video" and I'll be like, "the waves, just listen to the waves!"  But this is our standard Saturday here in SoCal.  We like to head up to North County {about 20 minutes north of downtown} because it's usually less crowded and well, more beautiful.  North County is total surfer vibes.  Cash only taco places.  Acai everywhere.  Bleach blonde, tan people carrying surfboards around.  That whole, no shirt no shoes no service thing doesn't apply.  It's the closest thing to Hawaii the mainland has to offer.  So, Heaven.

Recently, we've been meeting up with some friends who just had their 3rd babe.  The other two kids are Clement's age and he always has a blast running around exploring with them.  The dads surf together and we moms get to sit and chat {and chase kids every 5 minutes - especially mine who is a runner}.  There's always plenty of snacks, the smell of sunscreen and salty ocean water.  Kellen gave in last year and bough a bright colored wetsuit - at my request - so I could actually find him in the water amidst all the other black wetsuit surfers.  Clement is finally able to recognize which one he is and he loves pointing out when 'he catch a wave' and when 'he crash'.  It's pretty great.


I could literally spend every Saturday of my life at this beach.  It's just so mellow and the best way to kill 3 hours.  Everybody in the family loves it.  It's the best place for Clement to explore {he's not a water fan unless someone is holding him so I don't have to worry about him wandering into the ocean} and the naps post-beach are GLORIOUS.  Hours of peace and quiet.  I'm curious to see if his short two years as a Cali baby have any affect on him in the future.  If he'll be super chill or an ocean/beach lover.

I am bummed this short season is over.  We were only here for 2 years - the shortest I've lived anywhere in the past eight years sadly.  I know we're going to look back and be like, "gosh remember how awesome our life was in California with only one baby living the beach bungalow life?"  It's just been so dreamy.  Don't get me wrong, life here hasn't been easy.  The cost of living out here is a real bitch {sorry for the profanity mom}.  God has been good and provided part-time work for me the past years and that's helped so much.  But Kellen hasn't really been loving his job - the work vibes out here for sure aren't what they are in the midwest and that's been discouraging.  Plus transitioning into having a child - no longer living carefree took some adjusting to for both of us.  And I would say having Clement was our 'the honeymoon is over' season.  They say kids and finances can really cause strain... it's true, just in case you were wondering ;).  It's really grown us and stretched us living out here.  Pretty much stripped us down and really revealed who we are at the heart of it.  Not so pretty.  But it has also been so good to see God' grace in our lives and learning to really, truly extend that grace to each other.  Even though it's been a difficult two years, I wouldn't trade the growth {and beaches} for anything.  I tell Kellen God knew what he was doing by teaching us hard lessons in sunny beautiful Southern California.  Because I would have been a depressed hot mess if we were learning those lessons in the polar vortex that was Milwaukee.  I will hold tightly to the past two years and {hopefully} cling to the lessons learned.  And now my pregnancy hormones are kicking in and I'm crying... ha.  I am really excited to get to Austin and have baby number 2 and see how God continues to grow us.  And I'll be 100% honest, I'm ridiculously excited to be amongst midwesterner people - that charm and warmth have been greatly missed.  So in the words of Tim Riggins, Texas Forever and please send prayers.  Packing up all your belongings with a toddler running around and 25 weeks pregnant while your hubby travels for work is no joke. 


  1. We did our Austin move in 10 days! Sucked worse than anything I've ever done consciously in my grown up life and driving from Michigan but trust me, it will allow be worth it!

  2. I'm sure you know already, but that is where Lanae is! You'll have to get reconnected!


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