In Loving Memory of James Gavin Embry

Sunday night I found out that my father passed away.

I always feel strange posting about things like this because even though I post about most things in my life, some things seem somewhat inappropriate to share on social media. But its already been posted about several times by my family so I feel I should say my peace.

Without my dad I would not be a nerd, as he got me gaming and we shared a love of Diablo 2. I would not be obsessed with cinema, because your love of movies was something we spent hours doing. I would not be a Mexican food snob because your fish tacos were the best. I would not be fearless because you never showed fear to climb the tallest mountains.

I learned a lot of life lessons of what to do and what not to do from you. Even the painful times have made me a very strong, driven person and ready to take on the world.

I have always loved you and I’m proud of what you accomplished in your life. Not many people can say they scaled the tallest mountains and started multiple Mexican restaurants.

RIP James Gavin Embry, your comments on this blog will be bittersweet but pleasant memories that even though I didn’t see you very often, you were always keeping an eye on me.

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My dad probably trying to convince me to give up Halloween sweets because we always shared an unhealthy love of junk food.
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My dad when he was little in Panama with my grandmother and uncle, may they all rest in peace and live on in our memories.



This is the second Christmas since my cousin passed away. Traditions we used to share with him we struggled to find our way around last year. This year my other cousin and her dad went to the east coast for Christmas and it was the first year I spent Christmas with just my mom, step dad and grandmother. I was kind of dreading it, to be honest. I felt like it would just feel like another day, since normally we would have a lot of family around and big breakfast and dinner as well as presents.

Strangely, it was a great Christmas. A lot of extra time was spent with my Uncle and cousin (pictured above) before they left for there trip and the day of Christmas was really relaxed and stress free. Everyone went a little out of there way for each other to make sure it was still a nice day and the weather even let up enough so that we could run to the beach.

Its never going to be easy to have Christmas without my cousin, but we will keep finding new traditions and ways to honor and think of him each year.


We usually have Christmas at my grandmothers but, since it would just be four of us we decided to have it at my moms. It was nice and cozy.


My mom and grandmother with my brothers adorable kid. My brother came over on new years eve for our yearly Danish Christmas exchange, since he is half Danish.


Christmas morning we all opened a few gifts. I got a lot of useful things, like a cooking knife, and a small wallet for when I don’t have much room in my bag, etc.

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Then we headed outside for a beach run before starting on Christmas dinner. It was cold but not terrible.

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My mom dodging foam, or doing an Irish jig?

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I told my mom and step dad to do a jumping picture. One of them looked so much like they were riding horses that I couldn’t help myself, and I Photoshopped the bellow picture.

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Willow Creek

While back home for the holidays, we went to our home in the mountains to have a holiday lunch with family. As I have mentioned before, my mom and step dad are both architects and my step dad designed and build this house. I tease him that its the Winchester because even though it is not huge, he seems to always be adding a new addition. This was my first time seeing the finished eating alcove he has been working on.

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I was surprised to see they put up a painting I started in high school. It was my first oil painting and I gave up after about a half an hour and then accidentally left it in the rain over night! All things considered, it ended up pretty good for a “reject”.
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