San Diego Beach Family Photo Shoot

This was a very bittersweet family photo shoot.

These people are friends, neighbors, schoolmates, playmates, and probably most importantly, the most selfless, generous family I know.

But we’re doing a San Diego beach family photo shoot because they are moving back to Israel. Actually, they have already left. I’m just late in posting this.

Alma, the little girl hanging on her dad’s neck is Payton’s friend. The sweetest girl in 2nd grade.

Her mom….like no other person I’ve ever met. She made fun of our “American customs” with our scheduled playdates. She would tell me all the time “Just come over!”  I would try to set up a time, because that’s what we do, “as Americans”.  She mocked me. Asked if she needed to text me, call me, email me, or send an evite….which would get me over to her house faster? I said just text me when it’s a good time, I’ll come over. She retorted that it’s ALWAYS a good time, I do not need an invitation, just come.

Her husband placed bets with her that I wouldn’t ever come.

One day, I did. With Payton.

Payton and Alma took off to jump on the trampoline and play with the puppy. Sarit and I sat in her kitchen. It was about 2:30 or so. She was bustling around, cooking salmon, heating up rice, making a fuss in the kitchen. I felt pretty bad. This was why I didn’t want to come unannounced! I don’t want to bother her while she’s in the middle of cooking dinner for a family of 6!! I hate getting interrupted while I’m cooking!

I was so wrong.

Suddenly, she’s placing a plate of piping hot food in front of me.

What the hell? What’s this? It’s 2:30, don’t serve me your dinner! I just ate lunch. I’ll eat my own dinner in a few hours! Don’t feed me your dinner!!

Ohhhh….it wasn’t their dinner. She cooked that for me. Started the minute I walked in, BECAUSE I walked in.

That’s how she rolls.

If I say I like something in her house, she’ll give it to me.

If I need something, she’ll go get it for me.

If I show up unannounced, I’m suddenly the focus of her day.

I learned a lot from her. And sadly, now she’s gone. And even more upsetting, is part of the reason they left (only part), is that they never felt comfortable in America. The closed doors, the excessive planning ahead to visit with friends, the isolation. I like how she wanted to live her life, and how she wanted me to fall in line. I think I might have loosened up and tried to live more like her if she had stayed longer and rubbed off on me more. I miss her.

So for our final meeting, we planned a beach family photo shoot, to remember San Diego.

I’m happy I could do this for them, and I’m happy I have these photos on my computer to always remind me to be more like Sarit. The beautiful, loving, generous person she was. Loving her friends without boundaries.


cute, cute kids…..I’d say they loved the photo shoot, but that would not be 100% true. You’ll see below.

I know it’s trendy, but I usually don’t encourage white shirts and jeans for family photo shoots. It’s especially popular for beach photo shoots. But they did not consult with me on their outfits, and I’m glad they didn’t. I might have tried to talk them out of it. And with their dark hair and dark skin….it looks fabulous on them.


I love that I got some adult only shots. They look like they are here for an engagement shoot, not a family shoot!


This is how I knew that not EVERYONE is interested in the family beach photo shoot! 🙂

I didn’t give them too much down time when they were all posed together like this, but their eldest son did not require much.

2 seconds between photos? That’s plenty of time to check his phone!!

I’ve been warned that teens get addicted to their phones….I guess this is what they mean.

Every location we moved to for photos would end with me saying, ok, let’s walk to the next location. And one of the parents saying, ok, but first let’s get a goofy shot! And they would get silly and mess with each other for a few shots. As you can see, the parents got most excited about these little breaks from reality. You don’t see it here, but that poor dog ended up on top of older brothers head. All this in just a few seconds. And older brother? His idea of “get a goofy shot” means headlock his sister. Every. single. time.


A quick look at the woodsy part of this beach.

And a final goodbye to this lovely family that I miss already.

You taught me a lot in our short time together, and I won’t forget you.

Take care of yourselves, and know you will always have a home here in San Diego.

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