Happy Tuesday, friends! We’re still here in New York, where we’ve been since last Wednesday, and we have done all. of. the. things.
We flew in. Rented our car. Drove to Liberty State Park. Spent one night at my sister’s before driving to stay with my friend at her place in Woodstock. Threw Lotte a third birthday party. Drove back to my sister’s. Visited my grandmother in the hospital. Took family photos at an amazing sunflower farm near my sister’s house and, today, I babysat all three babes while my sister, Brian and Chris worked.
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.
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
Happy Tuesday, friends! Grace and I returned yesterday from our first-ever solo mom-daughter trip, and we had a blast! I’ve taken Lotte out to New York by myself twice in the past, and although it’s always a ton of work (major shout-out to all the single parents out there … oh my gosh is it exhausting!), I always have the best time bonding one-on-one with the girls individually.
This time Grace and I flew out to New York so that we could attend my sister’s two baby showers, one of which was actually in Pennsylvania. We got to hang with so much family, and Grace got to be the sole recipient of so many cuddles and kisses … plus she didn’t have to share her toys with anyone, which was a huge plus in her book! My sister had Monday off last week anyway, but then she ended up having snow days on both Tuesday and Thursday and she got out early on Wednesday, so all-in-all it was a great week to be visiting.
I mean, could this family be any cuter? The answer is no. No, they could not.
The day after Boxing Day, the Connor Clan headed over to a park in Bathurst to take some professional family photos. Of course waiting for professional photos to arrive really isn’t my thing, so you know I had to snap a couple of my own.
^^ All these cute Connor grandkids together makes my heart pretty happy <3
While there were a bunch of things that Chris and I were excited for when it came to this trip, one of them definitely was taking a night away, just the two of us. Believe it or not, Chris and I had not been away together just the two of us since we had kids, and I have only ever been away from Lotte for one night, and never from Grace.
In other words, some time away was definitely overdo.
So after our family photo day, Chris and I packed up and headed over to Mudgee, which was about two hours from Chris’ parents house. We stayed at the Parklands Resort & Conference Centre and took a wine tour with Country Escape Tours, where we visited three wineries, one distillery and a cheese making company. The town of Mudgee was so cute, and the wine tour was really intimate and fun. Unfortunately we did return to a pretty sick Lotte (the next day after we got back was when we brought her to Urgent Care), but sickness aside, it was really nice to take the time away.
^^ It’s not so hard leaving your kids when you know they’re in great hands.
^^ We headed out to Mudgee Brewing Co for dinner the night we were in town. They had live music and we ate outside in their pretty garden and I had a delicious shrimp salad. It was pretty great, friends.
After we returned and took a couple days to get Lotte checked out and feeling better, we spent our last couple of days in Bathurst ringing in the New Year with Chris’s parents and brother and his wife, taking laps around Mount Panorama with the girls and having a picnic in the lovely Cook Park in Orange with Chris’s grandma.
^^ This is potentially my favorite shot of the entire trip <3
And that takes us pretty much through what I think of as the first part of our trip. After Christmas and New Years in Bathurst and Mudgee, we packed up the car and headed back to Sydney to spend our final couple of days in Australia staying at Chris’s aunt’s place, and then his uncle’s, and touring around all the best parts of Sydney, according to us seasoned pros. I’ll take you through our final couple days in two more posts, but until then, bis bald!
So much amazing Aussie family goodness in that photo above, am I right?
Our Aussie Christmas Eve and Christmas were filled with good company, good food, and for the first time ever, no rain on my Aussie Christmas day! Seriously, though, this was my third time in Australia for Christmas, and it was the first time it didn’t rain 😉
Rain or no rain, we would have had a great couple of days celebrating Christmas with our family, anyway, We splashed around in the pool (well, Lotte & Chris did, while G and I spectated), cracked open some Christmas Bon Bons, and ate some delicious food.
Christmas was also the first day that Lotte & G got to meet all five of their cousins, which was only the most fun ever. Sophie was born three months before Lotte, and Jasmine was born only one hour after Grace! It sure was great finally getting all seven of these little ones together.
^^ Grace’s face in this picture cracks me up!
^^ Christmas morning with Auntie Sarah — is there anything better?
^^ I may or may not have purchased these Christmas outfits about four months in advance for way too much money. Totally worth it.
^^ Grace & Jasmine = all the cuteness you can possibly handle
^^ Lotte was a straight-up celebrity on this trip, and you just know she ate up every second of it!
Man, oh man — do those look like happy faces, or what?!
I can hardly believe I’m about to write these words, but our epic holiday trip to Australia is over.
Sad face times one million, for real.
But, if the above picture (and all the 5,000 that are about to follow) are any indication, you better believe that an amazing, fantastic, wonderful, memorable time was had by all.
I’ll break our trip down into a couple different posts to cover some of the best parts, but I wanted to start off with a little intro post to cover some of the major points that I learned about traveling with two littles all the way across the world:
Prep is great (and important!), but at the end of the day, you can never really know how your travel will go down. For example, I spent a small fortune on snacks and gadgets and toys for the kids, and while yes, we did use some of them, we didn’t end up using probably half of what we brought (clothing included). Still, I say it’s better to be prepared than to be without, and while the girls both ended up being pretty awesome on the incredibly long and taxing flights, I do think that having everything we had helped me relax a bit, since I knew we did all we could to make them comfortable. (P.S. When it comes to products, this Fly Tot inflatable cushion was pretty clutch when it came to Lotte’s comfort, since she is too big for a bassinet and too small to be comfortable just pushing her seat down to sleep. We were able to inflate it and put it between her seat and the back of the seat in front of her so she could put her feet up on it. It also worked well as a spot to hold extra toys. The LapBaby was also good for G, since we could strap her to our waist and she and we could both have our hands free. Other suggestions I found useful (even if not necessarily for us) were to bring along sugar-free jelly beans for little ones’ ears for take off and landing, as well as Pedialyte powder packs — which, turns out, Lotte doesn’t like much — to keep them drinking and hydrated.) One other thing we found useful with prep was to really hype the airplane aspect up ahead of time. We made sure that Lotte knew we would be getting on an airplane and flying really long and far to see Nan and Poppa, and that we would be eating and sleeping and playing and watching tv … all on an airplane! And I think that helped, because for both flights Lotte kept saying things like, “I’m eating dinner on an airplane!” “I’m taking a nap on an airplane!” I mean, how often in parenting do we get to call something a flat-out win? Like, never, right? So I’ll take this one!
Packing cubes rule the most. Especially if you’ll be traveling with a family, get some multi-colored packing cubes to throw everyone’s stuff in — they will change your life! You can keep everyone’s stuff organized by color cube, and you’ll be able to keep everything organized both in and out of the suitcase, as well.
Do some healthcare research ahead of time. Lotte actually did get sick on this trip — a chest infection that included a fever, which was her first — but we were lucky enough to be with family who knew where to go and we were in a country where we spoke the same language. If we had been in a foreign area or a place where we didn’t speak the language, the situation would have been much more difficult. A quick trip to urgent care (or Australia’s version of urgent care, anyway) and a prescription of antibiotics later, and Lotte was back to her bouncy self in about a day. I’m grateful we were able to get her feeling better so quickly. My advice would be to check out where the closest hospitals and urgent care (or equivalent services) will be where you are traveling, and to be sure you can get across the important information in the language you’ll need to know to make things right. Find out the best way to cover emergencies overseas, as well, since your American healthcare plan likely won’t help you much, there.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. No … seriously. At the end of the day, even the frustrating or silly or insane things that happen to you while traveling (within reason, of course) will be the funny stories you tell when you’re back home, or even more likely, they’ll be the things you completely forget. I know for a fact there were stressful times on this trip — how could there not be with a 2.5 and 1-year-old — but right now, I couldn’t really tell you what they were. Keep that in mind when you’re actually going through it, and remember to breath.
No, there is no such thing as too many pictures. Sometimes I wonder if I spend too much time documenting our travels through photos rather than sitting with them in the moment. I’ve come to the conclusion that no, there is no such thing as taking too many pictures.
What’s that you say — you’d like some proof? Oh, okay, twist my arm why don’t you?! Here are some shots from our first two days. Yes, these are just from our first two days. Many, many more photos and memories to come, my friends 😉
‘Til tomorrow … bis bald! And happy 2019!
^^ Pure bliss with Auntie Kate, who will be here in five days and is staying with us for two months! However did we get so lucky?!
^^ Did I deflate this ‘Welcome to Australia’ balloon and bring it back with us so that I could frame it for the girls as a keepsake of their first trip to Australia? Maybe, maybe not. You’ll never know. (Except that yeah, I definitely did.)
^^ That Auntie Sarah is some kind of special — she always, always got the smiles out of our girls <3
^^ Introducing the girls to Chris’ grandma was most definitely a major highlight of this trip <3
^^ There were lots of other family members eager and excited to meet our littles, as well.
^^ On the second day, we threw Lotte in the car and headed off to a place referred to as ‘the tip,’ which is essentially a big ole’ garbage heap where the kangaroos hang out. Gross? Maybe. Amazingly fun and exciting, especially when you watch your 2.5-year-old see her first live kangaroos? Most definitely.
Well friends, somehow — and I’m really not sure how — this photo was taken on New Years Eve ONE YEAR AGO. 2018 is coming to a close, and since we leave for Australia the day after tomorrow, I figured I should put together my Year In Review post before we head out, and then just add Epic Australia, as I will from now on be calling it, once we’re back.
So without further adieu, here is a bit of what we got up to in the year that started with us expanding our little family ….
Well friends, amidst all the craziness of finishing up work for the year, prepping for our trip to Australia next week, and our BABY DAUGHTER TURNING ONE ON SUNDAY …. my stepdad made a quick trip out to see us over the weekend, and it was so much fun.
The girls always have the best time with him, and he really does adore them, so it’s very cute to see. We hit up the Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light Festival — Lotte has been every year since she’s been born — as well as the Thornton WinterFest — which was new to us but is sure to become a tradition because of how fun it was — attended a neighbor’s holiday party, opened presents, walked to the lake, watched some football, ate some delicious food … and just basically had an all around awesome time.
We hope you guys are really getting into the holiday swing of things, as well!
^^ This standing lady is ONE on Sunday, and I just cannot believe it!
I have a big ole’ Aussie prep post coming later this week, because I have spent — ahem — a lot on stuff for the plane so far in order to try and keep our two little ladies happy. We’ll mostly just have to cross our fingers and see how it goes, though, right?
Well my friends, Chris and I officially have a 2 year old, and my mind is officially blown. How that happened, I have no idea. But Lotte is 2, and she’s wonderful. We spent the entire weekend celebrating with ‘Grandpoppa’ Robert, who flew in for basically 48 hours so he could be with Lotte. We went to the zoo, had lots and lots and lots of sweets, Lotte had her first swim lesson, and we threw a Happy Bee-Day Pancake Brunch Birthday Party on Sunday, which was super sweet and very fun.
There is so much that I could say about this sweet, smart, funny, charming, amazing daughter of mine, but what I really think sums it up is that every day with her is better and more amazing than the last, which I never think is possible. We love you more than anything, Lotte — three cheers to you <3
Here’s a photo dump of our birthday celebrations! Bis bald, friends!
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 Wednesday, friends! Lotte, Grace, Chris & I are back from a quick trip to Pennsylvania and New York, and we had the best time visiting with friends & family there. This was Grace’s first plane ride, and she did so great! Lotte was slightly antsy for about the last half hour of both rides there and back, but I guess that’s to be expected from an almost-two-year old, right? All-in-all I’d say they both did amazingly well.
We mostly flew back so that we could attend the second annual MS fundraiser that my sister and I threw in honor of our mom, which was a yoga session we held at Stone Wave Yoga in Gardner, NY. That event was amazing—with about $1,500 raised and counting!—but we also tacked on visits with my dad and stepmom, Jen & Kev and the boys, my grandma and aunt and uncle and cousins. It was a lot of driving back and forth for the girls, but they are true travel champs, and I honestly think they had the best time. I know I did.
Here are some of the highlights from our five-day, quick trip back east.
^^ This was Lotte’s 7th flight (14th, if you count back and forth!). Quite the little traveler for only almost-two 😉
^^ We picked up some kids’ pieces from the Love Taza Luggage Collection at Target for the trip, and while Lotte wasn’t sure about the headphones prior to the trip, she really seemed to enjoy them on the actual flight. The activity set was clutch, too!
^^Mommom & Papa’s house has allllll the toys, so Lotte was one happy girl once we got there!
^^ Saturday morning we had breakfast at my parents, then we packed up their car and headed to New York to stay at Steph and Brian’s for Saturday and Sunday.
^^ This was the first time Grace met my Grandmother (along with most of my other extended family!), and it really was such a special day for me.
^^ My grandmother with my children. I mean … it doesn’t get much more special than that <3
^^ My grandmother with all three of her great-grandchildren!
^^ Lotte is pretty obsessed with dogs lately, so getting to meet and hang out with Linus, my sister’s pup, was pretty fun for her, too.
^^ A friend of mine from college brought her son, Jacob, to the fundraiser on Sunday, and he was born exactly one month after Grace. How cute are these two together?!
^^ My girls, all dressed up for their grandma’s fundraiser.
^^ We had such a beautiful day for our event on Sunday, and Stone Wave Yoga provided such an amazing backdrop.
^^ Back at Mommom & Papa’s on Monday, we got to hang with Jen & Kev and the boys for dinner and a mini birthday celebration for me <3
^^ These two! Jude was born about two months before Lotte, and he was the first baby Lotte met when Jen flew out to Colorado when Lotte was first born. I hope they are always bonded.
^^ Can you even with these four?!
^^ And just like that, we were back on the plane Tuesday morning heading back to Colorado. Lotte was not into turning away from the window for this family shot 😉
My little Weary Wanderers! Traveling with kids is never not an ordeal, with all the stuff you have to bring and (occasionally!) all the whining you have to endure, but to me, it’s also never not worth it. There hasn’t been one trip that I’ve been on with the family that I have regretted. I hope that even though the girls are too young to likely remember these trips, having these photos will mean the world to them as they get older.
And that was our trip in a nutshell, friends! I hope everyone else is having a great start to the spring season, as well <3 Bis bald!
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!
Happy Tuesday, friends! As I mentioned yesterday, we loaded the car up with our two kiddos, some food and the family while Steph & Brian were visiting to check out Chautauqua Park in Boulder. Chris had done a little research before we left and found a trail that was labeled as easy for us to try, but when we got there it was actually a bit steeper than I was ready for. So I stayed with them for about 100 yards, took some pics, and then Steph and I waited in the car for the rest of the gang to finish the hike 😉 Still fun, though! And beautiful! As I type this it’s snowing outside, but just two days ago it was about 60 for this hike.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Colorado is one crazy place.
Here’s some of what we saw!
^^ Big ups to my bro-in-law for offering to carry Lotte on the hike!
^^ Wanna know a secret? Brian was actually in this picture, and the family one of me and Chris and Lotte and Grace from above, but he ducked down to pretend that he wasn’t! If that’s not an awesome bro-in-law, I don’t know what is 😉
While the first photo up above was taken before Chris and I went to dinner on New Years Eve (also known as our 10-year anniversary of meeting and 5-year anniversary of being married!), the truth is we have actually been firmly ensconced in Newborn Land over here, along with Chris’ parents (who leave this Friday and have been beyond helpful) and my sister and brother-in-law, who just left after visiting for the long weekend.
While there’s not a whole lot new to report, we have managed to take about 1 million adorable photos — some of which I will share here — and get out to some fun dinners, hikes, breweries and the like.
Here’s a bit of what’s been going on in our world over here the past few weeks since 2018 began. I hope everyone else is having a great start to the new year, as well!
^^ Only the fanciest duds for my ladies on New Years day!
^^ Can’t stop, won’t stop my obsession with these pink sparkly Kate Spade for Keds shoes that Lotte, Grace & I all have 😉
^^ This little lady has always only had eyes for Dad, to be honest, but lately she’s really upped her Daddy’s Girl game … and it’s sort of the cutest.
^^ Grace’s first tummy time was a big success!
^^ See what I mean about the shoe obsession?
^^ There is absolutely nothing better than first newborn smiles. Nothing.
^^ I can’t with the hand-holding in this picture <3
^^ What father of a newborn doesn’t have a picture like this? Too. Precious.
^^ A good friend of mine from New York (who also happens to currently be pregnant with her second little one), stopped over for a night on her way back home from a conference in Vail. Lotte & Grace took to her so easily, and it was just the best having her here, even if just for the shortest of whiles.
^^ Aunt Stephie!! We managed to go on a hike, visit a brewery, go out to dinner, visit with our cousin who lives out here, have fun at the park and go snowboarding (well, the boys did at least) in the 2.5 days she and my bro-in-law were here. Come back soon, please, guys!
^^ This Nan & Poppa. They are champions, and it the time they’ve been able to spend with Lotte & Grace is priceless.