by Lydia Cobb | photos by Lauren Nygard Photography

The Nicholson Six

family_nicholson4When Joanna and Chris Nicholson relocated to Olde Carlsbad in 2002 it was Halloween night. “We live on a cul-de-sac where our neighbors have literally become extended family,” shared Joanna Nicholson. Chris and Joanna met through mutual friends at a party for a Mike Tyson boxing match. Joanna double-majored in exercise science and biology at SDSU and received her post-graduate degree at USC in physician assistant studies. For 12 years she has worked at Alexander Cosmetic Surgery in La Jolla. Chris attended Mesa College and entered high-end residential construction. He became involved in mortgage lending and is a real estate broker and mortgage loan originator.

Parents: Joanna and Chris
Children: Nate (9), Leo (7), Eli (3), Caroline (16 months)
Community: Olde Carlsbad
Parents’ Hometowns: Joanna – Los Angeles, CA; Chris – San Diego
Parents’ Occupations: Joanna – Physician Assistant, Certified-Cosmetic Surgery; Chris – Real Estate Broker, Mortgage Loan Originator
Favorite Places in Carlsbad: Cessy’s Taco Shop, Tamarack beach, watching the airplanes and enjoying the happy hour at The Landings Restaurant, Carlsbad Premium Outlets, especially Ruby’s Diner

family_nicholson1Their eldest son, Nate, is in third grade at Magnolia Elementary. With his interest in computers, he recently installed an entire Linux operating system into his dad’s old computer – by himself. Nate also golfs, and with his brother, Leo, plays flag football on Friday nights, coached by their dad. Leo is in first grade. He’s an avid reader and likes to play baseball. Both boys also attend religious education at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Eli is three. He’s at the Pilgrim Children’s Center and is crazy about Ms. Carol, the same teacher his older brothers had. He loves riding his bike and scooter. Little sister Caroline is just 16-months-old. Her first words were her brothers’ names. Joanna explained, “Now when they are at school she walks around the house yelling their names and looking for them.”

“We have learned that each day is a gift and it should be celebrated!”

family_nicholson3“We are always looking for one-day road trips,” mused Joanna. “We found a great one a few months back that put us in downtown Temecula at a children’s museum called Pennypickle’s Workshop. After that, we walked around old town Temecula and ended up getting caramel apples.” Back in school, Joanna volunteers each week in both boys’ classrooms at Magnolia Elementary. “It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to be able to contribute to not only our own children’s development, but to others as well,” she added.

The Nicholsons are also grateful. When Eli was seven months he underwent skull reconstruction to correct craniosynostosis, a premature fusing of the skull bones. However, he recovered quickly and now that his hair has grown back, it’s like he never had brain surgery. “We have learned that each day is a gift and it should be celebrated!” revealed Joanna. Big and small, their celebrations capture the moments: from sunsets on Garfield Street above Agua Hediondia Lagoon, to enjoying strawberries and oranges from the fields on Cannon.