A Very Special Surprise Visit From Aussie Nan & Poppa

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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.

Continue reading “A Very Special Surprise Visit From Aussie Nan & Poppa”

Life Recently: A Sad Farewell to Auntie Kate

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Well friends, yesterday we said good-bye to Auntie Kate. That’s right. We packed her up, had a final day filled with fun, and sent her on her way back to Australia.

We always knew this day would come, but man oh man did it come fast! While we are incredibly sad to say good-bye, we’re also super excited to see what fun and adventures await Kate when she gets back to Australia.

Plus, our basement is always open to more visits 😉

So, here’s to sisters-in-law that are more like sisters, and aunties that are more like second Moms. Our two little ladies sure will miss you, Kate — and so will we <3

Continue reading “Life Recently: A Sad Farewell to Auntie Kate”

Welcome February!

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Well friends, it’s officially February, and as is always the case, the year is already flying by. I’ve been seeing so many posts on social media about how January lasts forever, but for us, this month has absolutely disappeared. Between us being in Australia for the first week, welcoming Aunt Kate to our home for her almost-three-month visit (!), and my trip with G back to New York for 10 days, I have no idea where the 31 days of January have gone.

Continue reading “Welcome February!”

Life Recently: Welcome to the World, Baby Girl Grace

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Happy Thursday, friends!

Well in the past 13 days our whole world has changed, since we welcomed the newest addition of our family — Baby Girl Grace Catherine Connor — on December 16. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since then (especially when I landed back in the hospital with an infection two days after giving birth), and all I can say is thank the lord Chris’ parents are here! How anyone does this without help is beyond me!

Anyway, Grace’s first Christmas has come and gone, and she is adjusting very well to her new life. Lotte, as a surprise to no one, has also become the ultimate big sister, taking to giving kisses to her little sister every single chance she can.

In other words, we’re all just happily ensconced in Newborn World right now, as tiring and stressful as it may be, at times.

I hope you guys all had an amazing holiday and are looking forward to a fun, festive and prosperous New Year!

Here’s a bit of our life, lately, which basically includes lots and lots of amazing newborness 😉

xo,

The Four of Us

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^^ Our hero Aussie Nan, and her accomplice Aussie Poppa, below 😉 Lotte doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with her Australian grandparents, for obvious reasons, so it’s beyond adorable watching her grow to love and adore them while they’re here now.

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^^ Our very last photo as a family of three before heading to the hospital on Saturday, December 16, to have Baby G.

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^^ Big sister Lotte was pretty much smitten from the second she saw her little sister.

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^^ Newborns change like crazy, don’t they!? I don’t even remember Grace ever looking like this, and I’m so glad we did the newborn photos in the hospital to cherish forever.

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^^ First car ride!

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^^ The cutest little  cupcake ‘G’ from Nan for Grace’s arrival home.

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^^ Look at this dad, just rockin’ it with his two little ladies 😉

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^^ I have the same photo of Lotte when she was five days old – I’m sentimental like that.

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^^ Nan & Poppa took great care of Lotte while we were in the hospital with Grace, and then took great care of both Grace and Lotte when we were back in the hospital for two nights only two days later :/

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^^ Denver adventures with Nan and Poppa!

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^^ We spent Christmas Eve with my cousin and her family, which included their new baby, Oliver, who was born only two days before Grace!

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^^ The most amazing holiday outfits you’ve ever seen. Period.

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^^ Cutest grandparents lovin’ up on some grandkids!

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^^ Baby’s first Christmas, and Lotte made sure it was a fun one.

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^^ Our little babes, all dressed for the holiday <3

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^^ Touching noses.

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^^ Merry, merry!

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^^ Bright-eyed and ready to take on the world!

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^^ Baby’s first bath! It was with big sister, and it was a success!

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^^ Me with my two babes <3 This was actually taken when I landed back in the hospital, and having these two come visit was definitely what kept me going.

And that has been our holiday so far in a nutshell, friends. Have a great New Year and we’ll see you back here soon!

Bis bald, friends!

Life Recently: The Gratitude Edition

Welcome to Friday, friends. My sister and stepdad will be coming into town for a few days next week because, unbelievably, it is already the anniversary of my Mom’s death. One whole year has absolutely flown by, and I can’t believe it. As I prepare myself for that day, I can’t help but realize how many amazing things I have in my life, in stark contrast to the sadness that thinking of this dreaded anniversary brings.

To honor my Mom — and to help cheer things up a bit, at least for the time being — I thought I’d dedicate this Life Recently post to being grateful for all the amazing things I have. There’s a lot I’m thankful for, friends, so sometimes it helps to take a second to remember that …

So without further adieu, I’m grateful for …

01Steph_Robert
^^ A sister and stepdad who love my daughter (and me, I guess ;)) unconditionally, and who basically will drop everything and fly out to Colorado because that’s where I think we need to be together on the anniversary of my Mom’s passing.

02Chris_Lotte
^^ These two together, all day, every day.

03LotteFlight
^^ All the trips we’ve been able to make with Lotte so far … may the ease of travel always remain the same!

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^^ Lotte’s hair in this picture!

05LisaLadybug
^^ This adorable decorative ladybug, gifted to me (and my sister and stepdad) by my best friend, who knows how ladybugs have come to symbolize my Mom and her continued presence in our lives.

06ColoradoSky
^^ The Colorado sky.

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^^ Speaking of signs, my Mom has been giving me plenty in these days leading up to my birthday and the anniversary of her passing. The biggest, I think, when when I accidentally clicked on the “credit” folder in my Gmail instead of the “coupons” one, and an email between myself and my Mom — a lovely one, too — showed up at the top. There was no reason for an email from my Mom to have been archived in “credit”, and clicking on it was completely accidental. It was just what I needed on the Friday heading into my birthday weekend. Later in the week the above ad showed up in my Instagram feed. The bottom left elephant journal was something my Mom was able to purchase for Lotte before she died, and I so treasure filling it out for Lotte now. Signs are not something I necessarily thought much about before, but I do have to say, they are everywhere.

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^^ This hat and baby sunglasses, which were both gifts and which Lotte hates, but which I continue to put her in because come on how adorable?!

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^^ This insanely gorgeous tree in our backyard. This is the first April we’ve been here, so we had never seen it in bloom before. It truly is magnificent.

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^^ All the other glorious trees Lotte and I come across on our daily walks.

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^^ And all their glorious details.

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^^ The prairie dogs at Standley Lake, which simply do not care about humans and will not run away from you!

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^^ And Standley Lake views, of course.

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^^ This hygge lamp, which I became obsessed with after reading “The Little Book of Hygge.” Chris bought it for me as a birthday present and installed it in our hallway. I love it … and him, of course.

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^^ A husband who continues to make the most fabulous, personalized birthday wrapping paper for me each and every year. This was only one version of this years’ …the other featured Lotte prominently, of course.

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^^ The beautiful birthday hike we went on to Gem Lake in Estes Park last weekend.

16OldFriends
^^ Old friends and new. After we got home from Estes Park last weekend we had a little barbecue back at our place with two other couples — all four of whom had gone to college with Chris — and their kids. I love Lotte’s cheeky face in this picture, as well as how many pictures we actually had to take to get one decent one.

17BackyardBunnies
^^ Squint really hard and look at the top right of our deck. Can you see the two baby bunnies?! A couple months back Chris and I were pretty sure the main bunny in our yard had picked up a Mrs., and she appeared to be with child, as well. Now we know we were right! (Also repurposing the indoor/outdoor rug from our NYC apartment to use on our back deck … that makes me happy, too ;))

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^^ This awesome tree wallpaper in our basement bathroom — I love the way it looks!

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^^ Friends who buy Lotte the cutest clothes and hats!

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^^ All these goodies, which make it much easier for me to work. (Of course checking on Lotte frequently while she’s “napping” — which she clearly isn’t doing here! — is just good for my soul .. not necessarily my work.)

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^^ And lastly, this little girl, all by her lonesome, day in and day out. I could never have imagined what it would be like to be a mother, but it’s something special. She’s my heart and soul, that’s for sure … even when she’s screaming her head off 😉

Bis bald, friends. I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Life Recently: The February Edition

Well it’s been hectic here friends – how about you?! Since getting back from our trip to Breck we’ve had ongoing construction to finish our basement (amazing, by the way), work has been crazy and Chris is currently in California. It was Lotte’s first Valentine’s Day, we’ve had some awesome walking weather and we’re off to Steamboat this weekend with family. BUT, crazy and hectic is how life is supposed to be, right? As long as you’re having fun 😉

Here are some photos from our life lately.

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^^My little girl is sitting up all by herself now – she’s so grown up!

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^^ Not the best photo at all, but Facetiming with my Grandmother on her 95th birthday was certainly a highlight of these past few weeks. Happy birthday Rosie! You’re one-of-a-kind and we love ya!

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^^ Homemade dinners by Chris (sorry, I hadn’t yet figured out how to save photos before posting them to Instagram stories with silly emojis!)

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^^ Soon to be one of my absolute favorite spots in the house … I can’t wait until it’s finished!

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^^ Starting to shop for basement accessories = my favorite hobby right now

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^^ Like I said, perfect walking weather!

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^^ These two. My loves.

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^^ Toes out walking weather! So. Much. Fun!

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^^ My sister sent us the most adorable Valentine’s basket, including these cutest little ladybug chocolates <3

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^^ Yesterday was very busy for me, workwise, but as soon as I was done I was able to grab my little lady and take her to what I hope was our first of many Valentine’s Day lunches. (Despite her face here, she actually was quite wonderful and had a very lovely time!)

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^^ Just us gals, against the world 😉

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^^ Not such a fabulous photo of me, but I don’t care because ohmygoodness that teeny tiny hand just resting on my chest. I cannot.

valentines2^^ My stepdad slayed it with this adorable (and yummy!) Valentine’s delivery. Thanks Grandpa Robert!

Hope you guys are having a great start to the year, as well. Like I said, we’re off to Steamboat this weekend with family — Lotte’s second Steamboat visit! — so I’ll be back next week with an update on that. Until then – bis bald!

Life Recently: The Early 2017 Edition

Well friends, we’ve certainly been keeping ourselves busy since our visitors departed. We’ve had playdates and protests, nanny meetings and dinner with friends.

To top it all off, we have a super fun weekend with friends in Breckenridge coming up, followed closely by a weekend in Steamboat Springs (the site of Lotte’s first long car ride getaway, if you’ll recall!) with family, a visit from Auntie Lisa when dad heads out to Australia and then another trip back East (my first alone with Lotte!) for my nephew’s birthday and an MS fundraiser in honor of my mom.

Here’s to full steam ahead … am I right?
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^^ Taking advantage of the final few days of Chris’s parents being in town and sneaking out for a date night at Yak & Yeti.

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^^ Lotte was a little too interested in the candy at Scrumptious, if you ask me 😉

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^^ Another Blue Apron win, thanks to my very talented hubs.

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^^ The other day I pulled out this teeny, tiny giraffe blanket that I had taken this photo of Lotte on at five days old. Check out this peanut compared to …

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^^ Gah! My baby is growing too quickly! Please make time stop!

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^^ We’ve started solids over here, and I know one person in the house who’s super pumped about it!

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^^ Winter at Standley Lake is pretty gorgeous. But then again so are summer, spring and fall.

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^^ Snug as a bug, all rugged up and snoozing on one of our winter walks.

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^^ The veggie fixin’s of another awesome Blue Apron meal, courtesy of Chris.

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^^ Brought my mom with me when I marched in Denver for women’s rights on Saturday, January 21.

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^^ These women and men and children … so inspiring. 

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^^ And this little team I marched with — I’m so grateful to them for inviting me to join them on the day.

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^^ Starting her young :/ I mean I would have never called myself a political person by nature, but lately …

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^^ What parents do when they’re bored. Oh no? That’s just us? Okay, then 😉

Life Recently: Feel Good Friday Vibes

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^^ I pulled over on the side of the road the other day to take this photo. How could I not? Sometimes Colorado just really amazes me …

Is it just me or do the weeks fly by now? Not that I’m complaining, because weekends are seriously great, but I sometimes have to stop and marvel over how quickly the past 4.5 months of Lotte’s life have gone.

Life, man … am I right?

Anyway, enough of that. As my child is an angel, she is still sleeping at 8:45 a.m., which has given me some time to go through a couple old photos on my phone. As fast as time has flown lately, we’ve certainly managed to make the most of it.

Here’s to the end of 2016. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m about ready for a fresh start with a new year. Let’s do this.

02lotte_height
^^ Measuring Lotte’s growth with one of the cutest personalized gifts she received. My little monkey is getting so big so fast! (Actually that’s not quite true. At her 4-month check-up we found out she’s only in the 9th percentile for height … she’s still a little munchkin!)

03chris_ramen
^^ It’s a darn good thing my husband likes to cook, because otherwise I might starve 😉 How good does this ramen dish look … and he basically just made it up? In awe of his cooking skills, since mine are limited to toast and boiling water, pretty much.

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^^ We’ve been trying out Blue Apron lately (my sister and her husband finally convinced us), and it’s pretty fun to get fancy in the kitchen every now and then.

img_0907^^ Chris switched out the fairy lights in our backyard so they glow with red, green and white now. It’s a Christmas wonderland back there, I tell ya.

06family_selfie^^ ^^ Clearly still working on perfecting our family selfies.

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^^ And so begins a series of photos that my sister calls Pinterest fails. “You basically stuck a pair of lights on your kid and called it a day!” she responded when I text her some of these pics. What can I say … girl has a point.

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^^ Still cute, though! (Especially with my fuzzy sock in the picture, too :/ Anne Geddes I am not.)

img_0905^^ Finally got our fireplace checked out so we can actually use it! It’s now one of my favorite spots in the house. 

img_0908^^ It’s hard to tell from this blurry photo taken through my dirty window, but that’s our neighbor across the way, hanging Christmas lights in his front tree with a cherry picker! How can we compete with such professionalism?

img_0904^^ And by comparison, our own little slice of outdoor holiday happiness. Chris routinely laughs at the solar lights he strung up when he gets home from work. Sure they aren’t as bright and bold as our neighbors’ lights, but hey, they’re resourceful!

img_0911^^ Our backyard is equally as festive, especially in the snow.

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^^ At one point Saturday’s temp dipped all the way down to a high of 3. Yuck. Luckily it’s slowly been creeping back up. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess! Pajamas, eggnog, fire and Christmas movies, anyone?

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^^ I took this photo to send to Chris because holy cow-and-a-half was it a nightmare getting Lotte into the Ergo with all of our winter layers on. But WE MADE IT! Motherhood … am I right?

img_0909^^ And it was certainly worth the effort, because girlfriend needs some fresh air every now and then, if you know what I mean.

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^^ This. Little. Girl. Sigh.

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^^ Lots and lots and lots of tummy time happening over here!

img_0910^^ I mean a lot  of tummy time 😉

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^^ How cute is the outfit Lotte wore to meet Santa for the first time? Thanks Auntie M!

21dad_mission
^^ Dad on a mission. Here’s Chris taking Lotte out and about to do some errands with him last weekend. Gotta love the look of determination 😉 And to note – it all went very swimmingly!

img_0906^^ For some reason my Aussie husband keeps expecting the act of shoveling snow to get fun at some point. Sorry to tell you, dear … but it doesn’t.

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^^ Torturing the cat with some holiday cheer.

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^^ I swear we feed Penny, but more often than not you’ll find her in front of the pantry door, just waiting for it to open to reveal her next meal or treat.

25nyc_tree
^^ A reminder via my Timehop app of our little Christmas tree in our tiny NYC apartment from four years ago. Oh NYC and our tiny little apartment … sometimes I really miss those days.

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^^ Always smiling, even when Dad dressed her for the day and it’s a bit … eclectic 😉

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^^ Not much better when Mom dresses her, I guess.

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^^ Throwing some serious shade on our walk yesterday.

And our onslaught of holiday guests starts to arrive next Tuesday … I cannot wait.

Happy holidays, friends!

Bis bald.

Life Recently: The Early Fall 2016 Edition

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Fall has been fast and furious for us so far, with lots of fun trips, a visit from Aussie Nan and Poppa and our first pumpkin carving experience with Lotte.

Here’s a look at some of what’s been going on … prepare for picture overload!

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^^ Someone was unimpressed with how rugged up her parents made her get for her first official fall walk.

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^^ So incredibly grateful to live a stones throw from this gorgeous view.

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^^ Yay! Aussie Nan and Poppa were here!

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^^ What’s not to smile about when you’re this fawned over 😉

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^^ This face … and the Nan and Poppa who love her.

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^^ Outtakes from a family photo shoot on our front porch.

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^^ Someone remained unimpressed pretty much the entire time. Oh well, what can ya do?!

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^^ This photo with Penny creeping in the background … I just can’t.

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^^ Date night made possible by Nan and Poppa … thank you!

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^^ An up-close look at how awkward our baby handoffs still are. This parenting thing … what can I say? It’s a work in progress 😉

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^^ We got all dolled up for a Facetime date with American Papa for his 60th birthday. Of course we didn’t look this angelic the whole time. Most of the time, we looked like this …

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^^ Yeahhhhh. This is definitely more accurate.

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^^ Also, when your child falls asleep on you after a screaming fit, it’s best to let her lie … wherever that may be.

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^^ Monkeying around at the Carousel of Happiness — get it 😉

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^^ Chris’s parents were generous enough to get us a fire pit for our backyard as our housewarming gift. Delicious smores under the fall night sky, here we come!

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^^ I’ve started a tradition of grabbing a coffee and driving around town with Lotte for a bit in the afternoons. It’s pretty amazing some of the views you can catch around here …

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^^ Facetiming with family. It’s the only cure for this ‘living far away’ thing.

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^^ I may have overdone it with the cover-up job for this particular walk.

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^^ Snow on the mountains … welcome to October!

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^^ We took a long walk with Lotte to the local coffee shop this weekend, and she was great! She only screamed for about the last five minutes of it, which I’ll count as a win.

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^^ Carving pumpkins with our little pumpkin. (We simply couldn’t resist this photo opportunity!)

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Happy fall, friends! Hope yours is off to a roaring start, as well!

Hello From the Other Side …

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Hey there friends! Remember me? Your friendly Weary Wanderer? If not, I don’t blame you, since it has been a while since I’ve posted. I’m sorry for that. I’ve been taking some time to reenvision what I see happening for this blog in the future (more on that later), to work on some other professional goals (I finally attended this amazing children’s book writing conference in NYC the other weekend — I cannot say enough how much I loved it and how I want to go to every single conference they offer!), and perhaps the most important reason I’ve been busy is because — drum roll, please — Chris and I are expecting our first little baby!! Hence the above photo, which my husband so lovingly took after schlepping into the backcountry mountains at both Keystone and Breckenridge to find the perfect spot for the photo opp — good job, love 😉

Anyway, besides all of the above, we have an amazing trip coming up to Japan, where Chris will be completing his sixth and final World Marathon series race in Tokyo THIS SUNDAY! We leave tomorrow, and I could not be more excited! (Except, you know, for the 17 or so hour long flight to get there :/ Normally I wouldn’t mind as much, but as a preggers, well this could be interesting. Stay tuned for a post on the things I (hopefully!) did to make it go smoothly.)

We’ll be back the second week in March, and I’ll be here to blog about everything we saw, but in the meantime, here’s a bit from this year, which has been both amazingly relaxing and crazy busy, all at the same time.

IMG_0253^^ Homemade cinnamon buns from my stepmom. Best. Gift. Ever! (And yes, they were every bit as delicious as they look … )

IMG_0327^^ So exciting getting this in the mail!

IMG_0358^^ Chris and I found out a few weeks ago the gender of our baby. We took the paper with the gender on it to our local bakery and had these cupcakes made up with pink or blue frosting inside to let us know. It was just the two of us, but it was really fun to find out this way, and I’m so glad we did. [I’ll keep it a secret on here for now … some things are more fun when you wait for them ;)]

FullSizeRender (1)^^ The most delicious (and addicting!) ginger cookies from Trader Joe’s, sent as part of a ‘first trimester in pregnancy’ package from a best friend and her (three-times-a-momma!) sister.

FullSizeRender^^ I mean … could these fortune cookies be more accurate?!

FullSizeRender (2)^^ A snowy day in downtown Denver.

IMG_0416^^ Chris and I planned to fly into Newark on our last trip back to New York because it was easier for my stepdad to pick us up there. Unfortunately that meant we had to have a layover at the Cincinnati airport, and when we landed we were given the unfortunate news that all flights into New York had been canceled because of weather. So that meant we spent the night at a hotel near the airport, which at first we were super bummed about, until my stepdad pointed out that the Cincinnati airport is actually in Kentucky, not Ohio (go figure!), and neither one of us had ever been to Kentucky before, so hello that totally counted and we can add it to our list of states visited! Of course we were so exhausted from the day (and our flight out to New York was at 6 a.m. the following morning), so we ended up doing nothing but relaxing, watching television and ordering in (which was delicious, by the way, see above). Still, we were in Kentucky for a night and a meal, so that counts!

IMG_0417^^ Not exactly the best picture, but flying into New York will always send my heart a flutter 😉

IMG_0429^^ Celebrating my grandmother and her twin sister on their 94th birthday. Could there be anything cuter than these two?!

IMG_0433^^ Still in love, after 94 years together. That’s some soul mate action, for ya.

FullSizeRender (3)^^ Although I spent the majority of my time in New York with family upstate, I did get to meet a friend in the city for a couple days (we stayed at The Paul Hotel, which offered these incredible views and was close to the Empire State Building, as well, which was a lot of fun for us as former-NYC-residents-turned-tourists). It was so much fun to eat good food, roam around the city (although it was frigid that weekend!) and to just catch up in person. Sometimes I forget how much I miss my friends until I actually get to see them.

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IMG_0457^^ Catching up with another preggers friend of mine was definitely a highlight, but it got even better when she had her baby on the Friday before I spent all weekend long at the writing conference, which meant I actually got to meet little baby Fiona, which was beyond amazing!
IMG_0463^^ Lisa likes to jazz up photos we take when we’re together, and I like to look at ’em 😉

IMG_0461^^ Ahhhhh, registering for baby shower stuff. Can we all admit that this is fun for about an hour or two, and then by hour three and four all you want to do is sit down and eat cake?

IMG_0526^^ Chris was only with me on this trip for the first weekend (for my grandmother and her twin’s birthday party), and not for my jaunt out into the city and for the writer’s conference, so when he picked me up at the airport when I flew back, he was waiting with these amazing flowers. What a hubby, am I right?!

And now we’re on to Japan, friends! We’re spending about six days in Tokyo and then four days in Kyoto, which I’m beyond excited for. Can’t wait to be back here with an update, and, oh, by the way, it’ll be March when I do! Crazy. How fast is this year going?!

Bis bald, friends!

Life Lately: The Fall in Upstate New York Edition

Hi friends,

As much as fall has been a whirlwind, I was predicting that to be the case, and therefore I’ve been able to (as much as humanly possible!) stop and — to paraphrase — smell the changing leaves 😉

Here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to in the past couple (crazy/insane/amazing) weeks …

01_Snooze^^ Snooze with some Aussie visitors before I left for my east coast adventure.

02_DenverCapital^^ Checking out the Colorado State Capitol as part of an expert (not) tour while our friends were in town.

03_PeekskillBrewery^^ Hitting up the Peekskill Brewery for dinner the first night I was home.

04_IthacaLakehouse^^ We rented a lake house in Ithaca for my sister’s bachelorette a few weekends ago, and it was the definition of heavenly.

05_IthacaLakehouse^^ Getting the party started!

06_IthacaLakehouse^^ Cayuga Lake in all its glory.

07_CiderTasting^^ Stopping at the Finger Lakes Cider House on our winery tour.

08_CiderTasting^^ These ladies.

09_IthacaBars^^ I bought these little party hats for our gang to wear out the night of Steph’s bachelorette, and I cannot lie, I kind of love them. What else can I wear this for?!

10_Gorges^^ Checking out the gorges in Ithaca before heading out Sunday. Oh fall — you just get me.

11_Ranger^^ This pup is soooo happy to have me home 😉

12_BKWAterfront^^ I headed into the city for a couple days last week for a press event and to visit some friends. This pic was taken during  a walk along the river in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

12_BrooklynWaterfront

13_StatueOfLiberty^^ There’s our Lady Liberty, standing all tall and proud!

14_BKNeighborhood^^ It doesn’t get more quaint Brooklyn wonderfulness than my friend’s adorable neighborhood.

15_FayeAndMe^^ Blurry  photo fun down in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

17_BryantPark^^ One of my all-time most favorite places in the entire world — Bryant Park. This little slice of heaven lives amidst all the crazy hustle and bustle of Manhattan, and it really is something special. I appreciate it even more now that I don’t live in NYC anymore …

18_BryanParkWork

19_230Fifth^^ My press event last Thursday took place on the rooftop bar of 230 Fifth.  This place is pricey, but in my opinion it’s absolutely worth it for this view …

19_EmpireState^^ I mean …

20_FlatironBuilding^^ I had some time to kill before the event on Thursday, so I hung out in Madison Square Park for a bit and snapped this pic of the Flatiron Building on my way out.

21_BKPumpkins^^ Pumpkins in Brooklyn.

22_ProspectPark^^ A friend and I walked through Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sunday before I headed home. Coming back to visit this city — and all the people I love who still live here — is bittersweet now. Still, this was the first time back since we’ve moved away that I thought, “I’m actually okay that I don’t live here.” As much as I adore New York — and I do! — this place can also be exhausting and stressful. Who knows where my life will bring me in the future, but it was a good feeling this trip back to be able to say that for now, I think we made the right decision leaving. Leaving the people there, of course, is a whole other thing …

23_AussieCousin^^ This Aussie cousin of ours is amazing. When he found out a trip he had already planned to New York was happening just days after my sister’s wedding, he rescheduled to be able to attend. Then he found out about our other cousin’s wedding that took place this past Saturday, and he rescheduled again! What a trooper.

24_Wedding^^ A glorious wedding venue.

25_Wedding^^ These two cuties are next!

26_Wedding

27_NewPaltzFall^^ Sunday was frustrating to me, with an unscheduled, unplanned and thoroughly annoying last-minute trip to an Urgent Care Center. The drive out there, however, was splendid in all its fall loveliness, so I rewarded myself with a stop directly in the middle of the road to take this photo.

IMG_8891^^ And this, from a walk around the neighborhood with the dog. Le sigh.

IMG_8574^^ Chris and I haven’t been together all of October, since I’ve been east coasting it — so sometimes we just have to cheers each other virtually, ya know?!

IMG_6118^^ Oh, and he sends me these, too, to melt my heart a little bit 😉

And that’s been it so far, my friends! I’m off to the Poconos with a friend this Thursday, and I’m sure there will be plenty more to share with you in the coming weeks – so stay tuned.

Bis bald!

Life Recently: The Summer 2015 Edition

Hey kids,

So it’s the end of September already — how the heck did that happen? This summer, our first summer in Denver, has certainly had its ups and downs. Now, as the season fades away, we’re waiting for some guests to visit for about five days, and then I’ll be heading back to the east coast for all of October for my sister’s wedding and a couple other fun things.

In the meantime, here’s a quick look back at how we spent the hot summer months …

01Sunset^^ We never tire of watching amazing sunsets from our roof.

02Guac^^ Trying out a new brunch place (Tamayo) with some guacamole on the side.

03RMNP^^ Early this summer we took Manny (our Matrix) for a spin through gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park.

04RMNP

06RMNP

07RMNP

08FooFighters^^ Checking out the Foo Fighters at Fiddler’s Green.

09Penny^^ Forcing Penny cuddles is pretty common around these parts.

10CoorsField^^ Our first Rockies game at Coors Field (go Mets!).

11TourdFat^^ A few weeks ago a friend was in town, and she and her sister invited us to join them for the Tour de Fat bike parade in Fort Collins.

12TourdFat

13TourdFat

14TourdFat

15Sunset^^ More sunsets — this time from our balcony.

16CarePacket^^ The sweetest little care package from my sister.

17Penny^^ See? Forcing Penny cuddles 😉

18Snooze^^ Checking out Snooze for the first time …

19Table6^^ … also dinner at Table 6. P.S. Chris is totally up to something in this photo!

20Coffee^^ I like my coffee with a lotta heart 😉

21BBQ^^ Grilling some shrimp on the barbecue on our rooftop.

22JAcksonHole^^ Not the best photo, but this little bakery in Jackson Hole (Persephone Bakery) had some seriously amazing treats!

24Wyoming^^ Taking some time recently to explore the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

25Wyoming

26Wyoming

27Wyoming

28Wyoming

29Wyoming

30RedRocks^^ Tailgating before our first concert at the Red Rocks — Counting Crows, baby!

31RedRocks

32RedRocks^^ My blurry photo of Adam Duritz, lead singer for the Counting Crows. We wandered down along the side of the main seating after a couple songs and had the most amazing place to stand and watch them play. Not too shabby for a first experience.

33Golden^^ Chris, carefully selecting the beers we would be drinking at Barrels & Bottles in Golden, Colorado.

34Golden

And that about brings us up to date, my dear friends. The fall promises to be full of adventure. We have my sister’s wedding and Chris’s parents coming back here to visit for a week, with a trip out to South Dakota tucked in there as well. We’ll also be heading to New Orleans and Tahoe in the next few months, so there’s lots to look forward to.

Bis bald, friends!

Life Recently: The Upstate New York Version

Hey friends,

So I’m back in upstate New York right now, and life has been hectic and totally laid back at the same time here … is that possible? I’m here for two weddings, to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday and to get some stuff done for my sister’s upcoming bridal shower in August, so all of that is definitely hectic. But when I’m not busy running around, I’m pretty much hanging on the back porch as much as I possible can.

Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

01Union_Station^^ A gorgeous Union Station the day before I left Denver.

02Grand_Central^^ And an even more gorgeous Grand Central Station the day I arrived back in New York!

03Mom_Porch^^ Views from Mom’s porch.

05Newburgh_Vintage^^ My mom and I had to make a pit stop into Newburgh Vintage Emporium for some stuff, and can I just tell you how much I’m loving this place? If you happen to be in the Hudson Valley, and you like vintage goods, this place is a must-see.

06Newburgh_Vintage2^^ More Vintage Emporium prettiness.

07Abany_Views^^ Saturday’s wedding took place on a rooftop overlooking the Albany skyline. Not too shabby for a fireworks view, eh?

08Me_Steph^^ Me and sissy.

09Steph_Brian_Sparklers^^ My sister and her fiancé — these two.

10Steph_Jenna^^ With the gorgeous bride.

11Baby_Ari^^ Meeting my cousin’s baby for the first time was definitely a highlight of this trip, as well.

12Butternut_Risotto^^ Soon-to-be bro-in-law made me a delicious butternut squash risotto for dinner one night … yum!

13Sister_Photo

 

15Lobster_Roll^^ Lobster and crab roll at The River Grill in Newburgh.

14Newburgh_Waterfront^^ The Newburgh Waterfront, aka the glorious Hudson River.

Still left to do? A couple bridal shower errands, mom’s 60th birthday excursion (I’ll blog about that later) and another wedding in Tarrytown on Saturday.

Bis bald friends!

Life Recently: The One Month in Denver Installment

January 12 to February 12 — Chris and I have officially been in our new home state for one whole month, friends. And so far … there have been a lot of ups and downs! It’s been an adjustment period, getting used to the differences and finding a place to live and getting settled and back to work regularly. Three months off is a looonnnnggggg time my friends! But we both feel incredibly lucky to have been able to do that, and we’re looking forward to getting our routine settled here in this new place.

Some positives have included spending time with and getting to know a little bit better some family that lives out here, lots of gorgeous mountain views and sunrises and sunsets, a fun rooftop at our new apartment and, of course, lots and lots of snowboarding.

So cheers to one month in Denver — and here’s to many more wonderful ones!

1FirstDay^^ This was our very first night here. I was feeling sad because of our apartment situation (no use crying over spilled milk here), and a friend asked me to send her a photo of what we were doing our first night in Denver. At the time it felt silly to snap a photo of us in our pajamas, eating take-out Chinese (which was delicious, by the way) and drinking beer, but now I’m glad we have it.

2NewSkyline^^ Our very first night in our (second) new apartment, we headed up to the roof with some beers to watch the sunset. I think it was looking over this new mountainous skyline that I felt for the first time like we could maybe make this whole moving thing work.

3Rodeo^^ My brother-in-law’s sister (ya got that?!) invited us out our first Friday here to the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, and it was one crazy (silly) experience, let me just tell you ….

4SettlingIn^^ Someone’s finally learning to settle in, even if it is on Chris’s brand new chair. Let’s keep those claws where I can see ’em, Penelope.

5MountainSunrise^^ We’ve had lots of early morning rides to the mountains since we’ve been here, which I can’t say I’m all too fond of, except for this sunrise. This sunrise over the mountains makes it all okay.

6Vail^^ Our first trip to Vail. We’re so fancy.

7RockBottomBrewery^^ Believe it or not we still haven’t been to many breweries (we plan to hit some up this Saturday for Valentine’s Day … how romantic!). We did, however, make a Friday night of it at Rock Bottom Brewery a couple of weekends ago …. thanks for the gift card Mom and Robert!

8SweetGift^^ A very sweet apartment-warming gift from my sister and her fiancee. You can’t really tell from this photo, but I think I can finally say that our apartment is really starting to come together. And yes, that’s Chris peeking from around the corner.

9TravelWall^^ Seeing as how we spent about 10-years’ worth of a travel budget last year alone, we don’t plan on taking too many crazy trips this year (other than back to the East coast for wedding stuff, of course, and hopefully a couple other drives out to Yosemite, Montana and the Grand Canyon). That’s why I love times infinity our travel wall, cause if you can’t actually travel, it’s still super fun to relive past adventures. Trips represented here include: Australia, New Mexico, London, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, the Bahamas, Niagra Falls, Banff, Rome, NYC, Virginia, Iceland, Key West, the Great Barrier Reef and Venice. Sigh. I love ’em all.

10WindowSunset^^ We don’t even have to go to our roof to see fabulous sunsets — this one was taking place right outside our living room window. (Ah, to have a living room window. These are things you can easily miss out on when you live in Manhattan!)

11Keystone^^ We’ve made the most snowboarding treks out to Keystone, by far … but look how pretty it is? Can you blame us?!

12RooftopMountainView^^ Another glorious rooftop shot, this time at dusk.

13RooftopSunset^^ And the sun sets on downtown Denver.

14KeystoneLodge^^ Some family was visiting from the East coast this week and we went to spend a day with them in Keystone. They stayed at the lodge right at the base of the mountain, and OMG you guys … how amazing is this place?! I’m trying to figure out how we can win the lottery and move here. Simply gorgeous.

And that’s about it friends … 31ish days in a nutshell. It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been fun and sad and frustrating and amazing. And such is life, right my dear people?

Bis bald! And a very Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

Life Recently: Late Summer Edition

Hi friends,

Summer certainly came and went in an instant, am I right? Mine was … ummm … interesting. There were a lot of things that happened with my family this summer that kept me busy, but along the way we still managed to have lots of NYC fun and, thanks to our plethora of weddings this fall, I was able to spend a lot of time with friends at multiple bachelorette parties and other fun events.

Here’s a bit of what’s been going on, according to my iPhone:

photo 13^^^ The gorgeous gardens at The Cloisters.

photo 12^^^ Drinks on The Refinery Hotel‘s rooftop.

photo 11^^^ Soaring high above New York City on our helicopter tour with HeliNY Tours.

photo 10^^^ Witnessing a stand-off between Penny and my friend’s cat Libbie, who Penny will be spending a lot of time with when Chris and I travel later this Fall. Hopefully they’ll eventually get on better than this photo suggests!

photo 9^^^ A little silly fun at a friend’s beautiful Red Maple Vineyard wedding over Labor Day weekend.

photo 8^^^ The amazing pink sky and white moon, as seen from my parents’ front yard. No filter needed, my friends. Amazing.

photo 7^^^ Taking a little stroll along the Hudson to The Boat Basin Cafe when a friend came for a visit.

photo 6^^^ We never got to walk the Brooklyn Bridge like we wanted to, but we did get to drive over it in a taxi 😉

photo 5^^^ Being a Broadway Baby with Lisa on our way to see This Is Our Youth.

photo 4^^^ For one of the bachelorette parties I attended this summer, we decorated our hotel room with Hawaiian-themed decor and wore tacky Hawaiian shirts, because this particular friend spent three years living there. We did a pretty dang good job, if I do say so myself!

photo 3^^^ While nightclubs certainly aren’t my thing on a regular basis, chillin’ with some old friends from high school for a couple nights at some were a lot of fun.

photo 2^^^ Atlantic City turned it on for us during one friend’s bachelorette. The weather was amazing, and we had a ton of fun.

photo 1^^^ Andddd … my little sister is engaged! ‘Nuff said 😉

And with that, I release you, summer 2014, into perpetuity. Here’s to fall. And amazing travel plans. And cooler weather. And tights and boots and sweaters and scarves. Here’s to new beginnings and saying goodbye (for now!) to friends and beloved places.

Sigh.

Life Recently: The Early Summer Edition

Welcome to summer, my friends! June seriously flew by, and the weather is now officially, ridiculously hot, and our intense, no-free-weekends couple of months has begun. I’m not complaining, though — we’ve got a lot of pretty amazing plans set up with some pretty amazing friends, so it should all be a great time.

Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately, courtesy of my iPhone.

photo 1^^ I just loved in this relationship how it was the muscle man’s responsibility to walk the teeny, tiny dog. Gotta love that!

photo 2^^ I know, I know — I’ve officially reached creepy status by taking photos of people when they don’t know I’m doing it. But come on! How stinkin’ cute is this couple canoodling on the East River Promenade?!

Aunt_Stephie^^ The fun never ends with a 15-month old.

photo 3^^ This man sure does love his dog.

photo 4^^ Working from mom’s porch doesn’t suck.

photo 5^^ We hit up the Newburgh Brewing Company for a belated Father’s Day celebration for my stepdad. I really love that this place has brought craft brewing to little ole’ Newburgh. [I blogged a bit about them here, too.]

photo 6^^ Wednesday night is Trivia Night at the Newburgh Brewing Company, and we were not good! Did you know Blossom is going into syndication in July?! [We didn’t — we got that question wrong.]

photo 7^^ Happy belated Father’s Day, Robert!

Lake2^^ This was our backyard view from the lake house we rented for my college roommate’s bachelorette party. Not too shabby!

photo 8^^ We headed back to Warwick Valley Winery on Saturday to celebrate my parents’ anniversary and Christmas. (Yup, Christmas. It was our gift to Steph and Brian to treat them to a winery day.)

photo 9^^ Chris got into an argument with some wild turkeys. The turkeys won.

photo 10

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photo 12

photo 13

_DSC5820^^ How insanely adorable is this little cafe in the town of Phoenicia, New York, where Chris took me to see the Otter Falls?

I think it’s safe to say the summer is off with a bang! Hope you guys are having an awesome, fabulous time with lots of entertainment planned 😉