Friends. How is it that no one told me how hectic life gets when you have kids in school?! And in activities?!
Lotte started kindergarten a few weeks ago (sob!) and Grace is back in preschool, while little Em continues to delight us from home. Lotte also started ballet/tap, and Grace is starting up with swim lessons and music classes in the month of September. And honestly, at this pace, I’m not sure how long I can handle it!
I mean, I know we’ll get used to this as our life, and so-on-and-so-forth, but sheesh, I’m way more exhausted than the kids. I think the fact that we’re still coming out of a pandemic (which is so not over yet) adds to the exhaustion.
Anyway, I’m rambling. The point is, life is crazy busy right now, so when we get a chance to break away from the madness, I’m all-the-more grateful. This weekend we took a day to head into the mountains. We hadn’t been to Frisco in years, and I’m dying over the photos of itty bitty Lotte and Grace in this post! It was Em’s first trip to Frisco (only second trip to the mountains ever, actually, with this trip to Granby being her first), and it was an all-around success, I’d say.
After hanging in the bay for a while, we walked into town and headed straight for our favorite outdoor lunch spot, right next to Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe (because ending a trip to the mountains with ice cream is a must, obviously).
After our busy Sunday in Frisco, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about actually getting out the door on Monday with all three girls like I planned, but Lotte happened to have the day off, and I was determined to make it work. So we packed up the car, and I headed to the Denver Zoo with my girlies.
We had our ups and downs on this little outing, but overall, I’m so grateful that I have a flexible job that allows me to do fun and spontaneous things like this with my girlies.
Anyway, a very happy and healthy start to the week to you, my dear friends! I hope whatever craziness you’re getting up to right now, that your able to take a beat and enjoy the little things, too.
What is it exactly that you feel when your firstborn child turns five? Is it wonder at the amazing little person she is becoming? Is it sadness for missing the baby that was so sweet and cuddly?
Whatever the feelings are that you’re supposed to have when your first child turns five …. I’ve got ’em! I have all the feelings, friends! Lotte turned five this past Tuesday, and while she’ll probably never, ever read this, I just want to say … it’s not possible to love someone more, little muffin. You are sweet and sensitive, smart and silly. I cannot wait to see everything you have in store for this world.
Lotte had a “no rules” night on Monday night — aka a campout in the basement with Dad! — while we set up her bedroom for her birthday surprise. She got a big-girl bed for her birthday, and I set up all the gifts from family and friends in her room, as well. It was the most fun to see her come in and have everything laid out, and I dare say we’ve created a new birthday tradition.
Welcome to Friday, friends! This week felt … long! As I mentioned in this post about returning to normal, the more things we tack on to our calendar, the more time just flies by. Seriously. End of June, where did you come from? Summer? What happened to Spring?! But I digress.
The biggest thing we have coming up — other than Father’s Day this weekend … happy early Dad’s Day to all your wonder fathers and father-figures out there! — is our road trip out east, which commences next Thursday. I will be using this weekend to do all. the. things. That includes making approximately 1,000 lists and ticking each and every thing off methodically as I go along. Any other list-makers out there? It’s the only way I can seem to get everything done these days! (This Smarter Travel packing list is a good place to start …) I’ll head back over here soon to list out our actual plan for the trip — kid-friendly (hopefully!) stops we’ll be making on the way out and back, what we actually packed, etc. — but for now I wanted to hop on and say happy Friday/happy weekend/happy Father’s Day/happy Summer/and happy Juneteenth! However and whatever you’re celebrating this weekend, I hope you make it a great one.
Happy October, friends! Oh my goodness — sometimes life just requires that you take a break from blogging … am I right? This is, without a doubt, one of the busiest seasons so far in my life. We’ve got the two babes and work and some big changes coming in the next few weeks … but despite all the madness, we always, always, always have room for a little fun. Enter … Nan & Poppa. These amazing, wonderful, generous in-laws of mine decided that they missed their grandkids, they found a decent flight, and they hopped on it and flew around the world to see them.
Sometimes, my friends, it’s as simple as that.
So for the past week and 1/2, we’ve been livin’ the high life with Aussie Nan & Poppa (and putting them to work, for sure, because of those forthcoming changes I mentioned earlier). Between the work, though, we went to three pumpkin festivals. We visited the Denver Zoo and the Butterfly Pavilion (both firsts for them), took G to a dance party at the library, dropped off and picked up Lotte from preschool, crafted, read books, watched favorite shows … and just oh-so-much more. There was also lots of snuggling since, of course, Lotte got strep throat for the last few days of their visit. Le sigh. Kids man. School man. Winter man. I’m not ready for it!
Here’s the thing about grandparents, though: The best ones can make the world a brighter, better place. Nan & Poppa do that for our kids, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
There is a lot to love about living in Colorado, but to be honest, it took me a while to realize that. When we first moved here from New York City, I couldn’t help but compare Denver to Manhattan, and it just wasn’t the same. In our first few months in Colorado I missed the hustle and bustle of the city. I missed living three blocks from Central Park and walking down 3rd Ave. to my magazine job every morning. I missed the museums and the culture, the electricity and the craziness. And although I grew to like Denver as time went on, it wasn’t really until we moved to Arvada — and especially when we had Lotte, and then Grace — that my love of this place really flourished.
Happy Monday, friends! This past weekend I was hosted by The Source Hotel + Market Hall, where I got to stay in a King suite (and soak in the glorious tub), shop at Market Hall, eat at their different restaurants and attend Bacchanal, a New Orleans-style wine, food and music festival that was held in the parking lot of The Source. Besides the fact that having a full weekend in a hotel all by myself was glorious (love you Chris & kids!), it was also a great opportunity to see all the ways that this particular Denver neighborhood — called RiNo — is really developing.
Happy Thursday, friends! So my research for a fun new client continued today with a visit by myself and the girls to Lair o’ the Bear Park. We had actually tried to do this hike a couple months back, but by the time we got there, the parking lot was completely full and there were tons of cars waiting, and with two antsy little girls in the back seat, it didn’t make sense to wait it out.
I mean, is there anything better than a picnic by the lake after playing in a new park … like, at all?!
I’m doing some research for some stories I’m working on and it’s just been the most fun, because it’s been bringing me all around to new places the girls and I haven’t been. I do feel a little worried when Lotte wakes up in the morning and is like, “Where are we going today?!” I love that she’s excited, but also … like, it’s okay to hang at home sometimes, too 😉
Anyway, I guess we’ll leave the hanging at home for bad-weather and winter days. For now, there’s much to explore. Yesterday it just happened to be Washington Park (which somehow I had managed to never visit in my 4.5 years of living here). We tested out their playground and sandpit (amazing) and had lunch by the lake.
It was a glorious Monday, friends, and I wish they all could be like this.
As part of my continued effort to keep these kids of mine occupied and busy during this summer (and, in all honesty, to keep myself from going bonkers as well), we hit up the Denver Botanic Gardens — and more specifically the adorable and amazing Mordecai Children’s Garden — yesterday. There were plants galore — that they could actually touch and smell — and a sand box and a bubbling brook and multiple ecosystems. The girls had a blast getting as dirty and wet as possible, and I had a blast watching them. I had packed us a lunch as well, which we ate over in the “adult” side of the gardens, which I will from now on be referring to the main gardens as.
If you happen to be in the Denver area over the summer and you’re looking for some outdoor fun to be had with your kids, you really should check out the Mordecai Children’s Garden. Kids under three are free, too, which means I’ll be taking Lotte there again at least one more time in the next few weeks so we can get her in for free at least one final time.
I have a secret to share, friends … I’ve never really been a huge fan of summer.
There, I said it. Anyone who actually knows me is rolling their eyes right now and thinking, “Duh, who doesn’t know that?” but to others, this might come as a surprise. As a curly headed woman who didn’t grow up near water but did grow up in a home without air conditioning for the longest time, the only things I had to look forward to when the weather got warmer was frizzy hair (okay, I admit, that was a year-round problem) and just the most awful humidity. These days, though, I’m making a concerted effort to change my ways … for the girls.
I mean … G is barely even in this photo, but you get the gist — Colorado is amazing in the summer, and summer is right around the corner! I mean, it’s pretty amazing all of the time, but the summer is a great time to check out the mountains, lakes, hikes, breweries … and everything in between.
To help you out if you happen to be in the hood, here are a few of our fave hangouts when the weather gets warmer:
Somehow, and don’t ask me how, our daughter is one.
This little light has been with us for a full year now, and there is no way that I can even imagine or remember what life was like without her. She is tenacious and spunky and funny and silly and smart and rambunctious and curious … and just totally amazing.
G’s birthday on Sunday rounded out a week of celebrations, starting with Santa’s Village at Chatfield Farms on Thursday, my dad and stepmom coming into town Friday and hitting up the Denver Zoo Lights, then celebrating G’s birthday on Saturday with my dad and Judy before the left early on Sunday, as well as alllllll day Sunday with presents and cake and general merriment.
^^ I was fully unsure of how meeting Santa would go down for G, since she is not a fan at all of Santa when she seems him on Lotte’s cartoon, but we ended up getting this sort of fascinated reaction, which was beyond adorable. Lotte, on the other hand, was giddy with excitement while we waited in line, then got very shy when it came time to actually chat with him. Both reactions were priceless.
^^ We had never been to the Chatfield Farms branch fo the Botanic Gardens, but the 40 minute drive was totally worth it, because the whole event was spectacular. From lights and Santa to reindeer and hot chocolate and cookies and carolers – it was a great way to celebrate the holiday season!
My dad and Judy arrived early Friday and the girls was so excited to spend some time with them. We planned to hit up the Denver Zoo Lights Friday night, and I was a little worried because it can get crazy packed and be very cold, but here’s a little secret I’ll let you in on that we have discovered about events like this — pick the earliest time slot available, especially on a weeknight, if possible, and go then. We went at 5:30, which was the first time available, and we got an amazing parking spot and it wasn’t crowded at all. Plus, the weather was fairly mild, so it all worked out well!
Chris was very busy Saturday cooking all day for his Baby G. We had a pancake party in the morning, a quiche for lunch, and for dinner he made spaghetti and meatballs (G’s first time trying them both), as well as an adorable giraffe cake for dessert.
^^ I mean … how cute is this cake?!
^^ Walks by the lake are pretty much mandatory when people come to visit us, as well 😉
^^ These naked babes sure did love their spaghetti and meatball dinner … and especially the cake!
^^ Setting up G’s presents (and also Lotte & G’s Christmas presents, to be fair) for her to come down to in the morning was so much fun. We did this for Lotte for her first birthday as well, and it’s absolutely become one of my favorite traditions.
^^ The girls work up late Sunday and so my dad and Judy didn’t get to see them open their presents. They held a photo of the girls over the presents to prove they were at least here in spirit.
^^ You sure are loved, Baby G.
^^ I hope this spunky little lady of ours never loses her amazing energy and zest for life. You’re one of a kind, G, and we wouldn’t have it any other way <3
So Thursday it’s off to Australia! I’m hoping to get a post together before we head out about all the stuff we’re bringing with us that we hope will help with the littles on the plane. If I don’t get to it before we leave, though, I’ll definitely put one up after, including whether or not the things we hoped would work actually did work. Please keep your fingers crossed for us!
Happy July, friends! Our summer of insanity is still in full swing over here! We’ve had guests upon guests upon guests … and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Over the July 4th holiday we welcomed Chris’ aunt and uncle and their three kids from Australia, while the fabulous Auntie Kate was still on the tail end of her trip out, as well. We did all the things while this troop was here, which has been a lot of fun. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately …
^^ We checked out Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison on what turned out to be a very, very hot day. It’s a bit of an uphill trek to reach the dinosaur footprints, but once you get there it’s actually really, really cool. There are tons of geological stops along the way, too.
^^ I’m sorry, but Colorado backdrops are hard to beat.
^^ We rented some kayaks on Lake Standley behind our house the second day after the family arrived. We did this last year with Lotte, too, and even though she still wasn’t too sure about the life jacket situation, this year she seemed to enjoy the overall activity much more!
^^ We even took in a baseball game with the Aussie clan, and while the kids seemed to enjoy the game, it was mostly the junk food that kept them in the seats, I’d say 😉
^^ Nothing more American than baseball and Coors Light!
^^The day before July 4th we drove into the mountains to do the hike up to St. Mary’s Glacier. I was skeptical how the kids would handle it—especially 6-year-old Lucy—but they were all champs, which was great because this view is truly spectacular.
^^ Our family selfie game needs improvement 😉
^^ Ugh Auntie Kate, why did you leave us?!
^^ By July 4th we were all pretty tuckered out. So we dressed up … and hung out! We played games, ate delicious food (including my homemade American Flag brownie, see below!), listened/watched the fireworks, and just generally enjoyed each other’s company.
^^ American Flag brownie, courtesy of one of my favorite food bloggers 😉
We still have one of Chris’ friends in town until tomorrow, and then we’re done with visitors for a little while, which always makes me a bit sad. We do have Lotte’s 2nd birthday at the end of July to look forward to (which also makes me sad!), our trip to New York in August, Chicago in October and the grand finale of the year … Australia in December/January! Chris and I are still contemplating a separate mini-trip, just the two of us, to New Zealand while we’re in Australia. That extra adventure is TBD, but for now, there’s a lot more to look forward to, even though we’re halfway through the year already!
Hope you guys are having a great summer, as well! Until next time … bis bald!
Happy Tuesday, friends! It’s been a hot sec since I’ve blogged, mostly because we’ve been super busy (in the best possible way) with a visit from Chris’ sister. Yes friends, Auntie Kate is here from Australia, and our girls could. not. be. happier. Our summer so far has consisted of birthday parties, breweries, new adventures (like yoga at Red Rocks!), and a brand spankin’ new deck. Kate is here through July 5, and Chris’ aunt, uncle, and their three kids are joining us for the week of July 4, as well. It’s just about the best way to kick off the summer that I can think of.
Hope everyone else is living their best life, as well 😉
^^ Aussie treats from Aunt Kate included all the Snakes Alive treats that were in Australia <3 Girl knows the way to my heart!
^^ We attended a joint birthday party for our little neighbors the first Saturday Kate was here. It was at The Craftsman & Apprentice in Denver, which meant the kids got to run around and create all kinds of arts and crafts.
^^ This little one has fallen head over heels in love with her Auntie Kate. I don’t know how we’re going to let her leave …
^^ Not only did Auntie Kate come with all the Aussie treats, but she also came with all the Aussie clothes. Here, Grace & Lotte are modeling their new Bonds pjs by rolling around on the ground together.
^^ We took Auntie Kate to the Denver Children’s Museum last Friday and Lotte had so much fun showing her all her favorite things – including this bubble room, which is always the biggest hit.
^^ Kate treated me to a session of Yoga on the Rocks at Red Rocks. I was nervous since the extent of my yoga experience was the class Steph’s friend taught for our Mom’s fundraiser back in April, but this was so much fun!
^^ Auntie Kate joined us for Lotte’s gym class last Saturday, too. She’s pretty much the best sport ever.
^^ We’re testing out some books for Parents magazine like we did last year, and this year is so much fun because Lotte is actually into books now. This picture has got to be one of my faves ever.
^^ And this one …
^^ And this one!
^^ This past Sunday would have been my mom’s birthday, so Kate & Chris took the girls to Chautauqua Park in Boulder so I could have some time to myself. They only got a short way into the hike before it started raining, unfortunately, but it still seems like they had a lot of fun.
^^ This past Sunday we christened our brand new deck with our first barbecue with my cousin and her husband and kids. It’s always fun hanging with that crew, but to host our first guests on our brand new back deck made it even more special.
And that has been our summer in a nutshell so far, my friends! We have the rest of our guests to look forward to in July (as well as Lotte’s 2nd birthday, which I can’t talk about …), and another trip back east in August. Other than that, you’ll find us on the back deck if you need us <3
Happy Monday, friends! Somehow we’ve ended up here, with only three weeks left of my maternity leave and almost into spring?! How?! No, but seriously … how?!
Anyway, our travel is finally starting to shape up for the year, which is to say that we have a couple things on the calendar for the foreseeable couple of months. We’ll be heading to Telluride for my birthday weekend, which I am beyond excited for (we’ve never been and have always wanted to go!), and we’ll be taking Grace on her first plane ride in mid-April to attend a fundraiser for my mom that my sister and I are throwing. We’ll also head to Chicago in October for Chris to run the marathon, and then we plan to head to Australia in December to celebrate G’s first birthday and for Christmas. There will probably be some other trips back east scattered here and there throughout the year, as well, but having at least those couple of things to look forward to is really nice.
In the meantime, our stream of visitors has continued with trips from Grandpa this past weekend, and one of my oldest friends will be heading our way next weekend, as well. Here’s some of what we’ve been up to lately, including a super fun trip to the Aquarium in Downtown Denver with Grandpa just yesterday.
^^ This face <3 Gets me every time.
^^ Lotte’s new favorite activity – walking her stuffed animals in a stroller!
^^ A particularly cozy corner in G’s nursery, where we spend lots of time together. These days are fleeting my friends, this I know. Some day soon this will be a toddler’s room, then a preschooler’s, and so on and so forth. For now, though, I’m doing the best I can to soak up every last inch of my babies while they still let me. (AKA while they have no say in the matter!)
^^ Grandpa Robert is the best! He treated us to the Denver Aquarium, which was our first time there. At $21 a pop for adult tickets, it’s a tad on the expensive side, but Lotte had such a fun time, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back.
^^Her favorite was actually the sea otter section, but unfortunately I didn’t get a great picture. Gramps even bought her a little stuffed Otter — which we cleverly named Otto — to bring home.
And that’s about it for now, my friends! I’ll be back after our trip to Telluride to let you know all about how that goes. (Wish us luck, since it’s a 6 hour trip and G has not been a fan of cars as of yet … )
Well … welcome to mid-February, my friends! I can hardly believe it, myself. I can’t believe it’s mid-February. I can’t believe my newborn is two months old (and then some). I can’t believe how many visitors have come and gone and I really can’t believe that I go back to work in six weeks!
We’re still in the process of planning out our travel for the year over here, but I can promise you it includes lots of fun stuff. (Like hopefully a bunch of trips back east for family things, our first vacation in Telluride for my birthday, a visit to Chicago in October for Chris to run the marathon there again, and of course, our big, fancy trip to Australia at the end of the year for Christmas/Grace’s birthday.)
In the meantime, though, Chris and I have just been soaking up life with two kiddos under the age of two (and getting used to the insanity that comes with it, if we’re being totally honest). We’ve had so many amazing visitors come and spend time with us, and we still have a couple more people to welcome before life returns to “normal” in April. Until I have more to post about our travel adventures for the year, please enjoy these photos of what life has been like lately, complete with lots and lots of adorable baby and toddler smiles 😉
^^ I can get a little creative when it comes to photos of my girls, in case you haven’t noticed. Lotte was thoroughly interested in my technique for this one …
^^ The Denver Children’s Museum never disappoints. Oh and by the way this photo is also worth sharing because this was the first outing I had with both the girls all on my own. I strapped G to my chest in the Ergo and let Lotte run wild and it all went pretty well, if I do say so myself!
^^ I took advantage of the in-laws and my parents being in town to head to the lake to get some family photos. Oh Standley Lake, how lucky are we to have you five minutes away?!
^^ It was nothing short of amazing having Nan and Aussie Pop here for six weeks to help us welcome Grace and get used to our new lives as parents of two. We miss them so much, and are so excited to see them in Australia in December.
^^ My parents came out for a visit as well, and Lotte had so much fun showing all of her grandparents pretty much every single thing she owns 😉 They of course were happy to oblige.
^^ My cousin who lives nearby had her third kid — a little boy — just two days before Grace was born. I love that these little ones will be able to grow up together <3
^^ Any time I get out of the house with these two it’s worth documenting!
^^ The way they are looking at each other here … it seriously melts my heart.
^^ Andddddd then there’s this! We’re still working on the meaning of “gentle” ‘with Lotte … she’ll get it, eventually.
^^ This little one has been all smiles lately, and it’s the best thing ever!
^^ Lotte currently takes a dance/gym class on Saturday mornings, and it’s the cutest! She’s only been to two sessions so far, but already circle time is getting better for her and she loves running around and using the equipment.
^^ With all the sass and ‘tude!
^^ I have a similar photo of Lotte during one of her first snow experiences, so you know I couldn’t resist.
^^ My bestie from D.C. came out to visit last week and brought these insanely amazing jumpers for the girls. Any day that they are dressed similarly is a good day in my books!
^^ Chris was traveling for work on Valentine’s day, but we had so much fun with Lisa in town. I made heart-shaped pancakes for Lotte for breakfast and we went out to lunch at a nearby Mexican restaurant, then Lisa made a shrimp and linguini dinner.
^^ Oh and the girls got to wear matching outfits from Mommom, so yeah, Valentine’s day was good!
^^ Lotte has been loving wearing these slippers lately, but the best part is when one of them comes off (even a little bit), she’ll look down and say, “Oh, no!” in the sweetest little voice. It’s a new thing for her and I’m learning that “things” come and go so quickly with toddlers, you have to hold on to them (and try to video tape them!) whenever you can.
^^ Cheeks! This little one is seriously great with tummy time. Her head and neck seem so strong already, and she’s already rolled over from front to back AND back to front. She’s a baby genius headed for the Olympics, obviously.
^^ This is G’s ‘I slept through the night!’ face, which we haven’t seen again because it hasn’t happened again :/ That’s okay, I’ll take a fluke when I can get one.
^^ We went back to the Children’s Museum this past weekend with Chris since he had never been, and Lotte had so much fun showing him around.
^^ Is there anything better in the world than baby cuddles?
^^ We had an insane amount of snow yesterday, so we mostly hung in our sweats and watched movies. I love this little crew of mine.
And that’s been our lives lately, friends. I hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. Until next time, bis bald!