Travel, Treats, Tips, & Traditions


Kate and family

Thank you for stopping by Highlights Along the Way (formally – Catching Up With Kate – you can see a little about why we changed our name here).  We are a family fun, travel, and entertainment site and we love to highlight the things that make us happy here.  Follow along as we try out new things – we love to share about Travel, Traditions, Tips, and Treats.  I am excited you are here and I hope you find it to be a fun and happy place!

Thanks for letting me introduce myself.  My name is Kate and I am mid 30 something.  I was born and bred in San Diego and while  I deflected to Los Angeles and Orange County briefly in my twenties, I think I am a San Diego lifer.  My former claim to fame is San Diego Deals and Steals – a deal blog that morphed into more of a lifestyle/healthy food/travel/family/ mommy (ish) blog – hence our reorganization here.  I love a good deal, mainly so I can splurge elsewhere.  I love Disney…. like a lot.  The only thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a Disney animator – not just an animator, but a Disney animator.  I like to think I could still do that like once all my monkeys are grown up and leave the nest….we shall see.  In the meantime, I have found hanging out at Disneyland and introducing Disney movies to my kids is a lot of fun.  I love crafts, yummy healthy (ish) food, travel, decorating, and watching our kids grow into big people!  I’m a work in progress.  My plan is to someday be fancy and poised….. we’ll see.

harry kate-0018
Photo by Limelife Photography

I am married to the funniest man I know.  We met in a little animation trade school many moons ago as students.  We’ve been married 13 years and we have packed quite a bit into those years!  Four moves, brain surgery (his, not mine, mine is in fantastic shape – his needed a tune up!), three babies, a couple trips around the globe, a stint in NICU…. boy are we tired.  The sexiest thing he has ever said to me is “I just want to be a better husband and Daddy.”, especially since he was already a pretty awesome both.   Don’t get me wrong, we have our moments, I’m not one of those bloggers that spends a lot of time giving out marriage advice – we are both strong willed, sensitive, and at our core; emotionally introverted – so we sometimes need a reboot. Read “we need a vacation so bad”.  I feel beyond blessed to share this journey we call life with him! Harry is an artist, teacher, author, and web designer.  He enjoys fishing, drawing, surfing, traveling, and the occasional ridiculously dark beer.  He is also my tech guy here!

We have three fantastic kids.

Catching Up With Kate

J is our oldest.  She is smart and sassy.  She is a talker….. like so much that it is the thing she gets in trouble for at school.  She loves to read, ride horses, and go on adventures.  She is hooked on pedicures (right now she generally only gets one from Mommy), and fancy dresses.  She loves Disney princess movies – her current favorite is a tie between Rapunzel and Aladdin.  When she grows up she is going to be a princess or ‘just’ an astronaut.  She is the only one we made.  She has told us she plans to adopt all her kids when she grows up, and even though she loves babies, her plan is to adopt big kids; big kids in wheel chairs to be specific – because they have a harder time finding families.  My prayer for her is that she never looses that heart.

S is our only boy.  He is ALL boy.  He is tough and energetic.  He loves all sports, dirt, things with wheels, and yelling loudly.  He is adopted.  He is ours.  He hails from a tiny little town with a very rich history in a country that no longer allows for Inter – Country adoption.  Yes he knows he is adopted, but if you could save your adoption questions for not right in front of him, that would be awesome.  He looks exactly like me as a kid, which I think is kinda sweet, but not at all necessary.  He is adventurous and loves to play Star Wars and Super Hero.  Please don’t tell him he looks handsome, he has officially hit the stage where he doesn’t want to be handsome…. oh boys!

C is our youngest.  She is also adopted – also from a tiny town, but here in America.  She was considered very hard to place at birth and while she had a rough first year, we really feel like the hundreds (literally hundreds) of families that passed on her file missed out; and we are so glad they did.  She took open heart surgery like a boss at 4 months old.  About six months later she had her lips done by an amazing La Jolla plastic surgeon….. and by got her lips done I mean she had her cleft lip cosmetically repaired.  She is gorgeous.  She is a survivor and a fighter.  She is also all ours.  Her favorite toy is her “Mimi” AKA a tiny Minnie Mouse toy – she can’t sleep or eat breakfast without her.

Our newest addition joined us on Christmas Eve 2015.  Mable Dru is our adopted Standard Schnauzer.  She is our first family pet (well we had two cats before but let’s not talk about them….) and we love her to bits. We hope to have the opportunity to talk about responsible pet ownership and the benefits of having a pet as a family here on our blog as well!  Mabel the dog was definitely a highlight of our year!

I don’t use their names on purpose and I am very protective.  They love that Mommy blogs about things they are interested in, but they also appreciate I rarely blog about them.  I will not share their secrets, their struggles, their embarrassments, or even most of their achievements.  I won’t share their schools or after school activities.

While they are often seen in our blog, this is not our family’s reality show.  They didn’t sign up for that, and I seriously don’t think anyone wants to read that.  I am a Mommy and I do a lot of fun Mommy things that many have found useful when I blog about them.  You will find lots of fun tips on products, birthday party ideas, kid friendly recipes, family travel, DIY costumes, and lots of free printables that have all been tested behind the scenes by my helpful bunch!

I don’t have fertility issues.  I thought I should clear up that very personal bit of information since it seems to be a very common assumption. We chose adoption.  Let me ask you to refrain from the “It takes really special people to adopt!” phrase we hear so often, it isn’t quite the compliment you may think it is.  We are kinda just a regular family, we chose a different path to family than most, but we are really just regular at best.  We’ve shared some of our adoption stories but we love to showcase other adoptive families as often as possible.  Adoption is not all sunshine and rainbows, it is hard work.  I believe that hard work is absolutely necessary for society and individuals – it isn’t easy but it is possible and it is worth it!  If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask me!  I will do my very best to answer!

So in closing – I am a wife, mommy, blogger, adoption advocate, lover of travel, and wholesome entertainment.  Oh, and Disney is my favorite.