Life Recently: The Mid-February (and Mid-Maternity Leave) Edition

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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 😉

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^^ 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 …

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^^ 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!

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^^ 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?!

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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 ❤

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^^ Any time I get out of the house with these two it’s worth documenting!

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^^ The way they are looking at each other here … it seriously melts my heart. 

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^^ Andddddd then there’s this! We’re still working on the meaning of “gentle” ‘with Lotte … she’ll get it, eventually.

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^^ This little one has been all smiles lately, and it’s the best thing ever!

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^^ 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. 

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^^ With all the sass and ‘tude!

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^^ I have a similar photo of Lotte during one of her first snow experiences, so you know I couldn’t resist.

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^^ 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!

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^^ 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. 

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^^ Oh and the girls got to wear matching outfits from Mommom, so yeah, Valentine’s day was good!

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ Is there anything better in the world than baby cuddles?

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^^ 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!

A Visit to Chautauqua Park

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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!

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^^ Big ups to my bro-in-law for offering to carry Lotte on the hike! 

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^^ 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 😉

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^^ We finished up the day at FATE Brewing Company in Boulder, which was the perfect place for the kiddos, too!

I would highly recommend this park if you’re in the area and looking for some easy scenic views. I can’t wait to get back to see more of it! Bis bald, friends!

Three Cheers to Starting the New Year Off Right

 

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Happy 2018, friends!

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!

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^^ Only the fanciest duds for my ladies on New Years day!

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^^ Can’t stop, won’t stop my obsession with these pink sparkly Kate Spade for Keds shoes that Lotte, Grace & I all have 😉

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^^ 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.

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^^ Grace’s first tummy time was a big success!

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^^ See what I mean about the shoe obsession?

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^^ There is absolutely nothing better than first newborn smiles. Nothing.

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^^ I can’t with the hand-holding in this picture ❤

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^^ What father of a newborn doesn’t have a picture like this? Too. Precious.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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!

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^^ This Nan & Poppa. They are champions, and it the time they’ve been able to spend with Lotte & Grace is priceless.

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^^ Someone is super bright-eyed these days!

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I’ll be back tomorrow with more pics from our hike in Boulder with the fam, but for now, bis bald, friends!

Waiting for Baby

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Merry, happy, holly everything, friends! Well, it’s December 12th, and we’re all about waiting for Baby and making the most of our holiday time as a family of three while we still can over here! It’s been a whirlwind finishing up work and having visitors like my dad and stepdad in town, plus getting our house set up for the holidays, getting all our presents purchased … oh, and getting prepped for our baby, of course.

We’ve been using the past couple weeks to set up the nursery and do as many holiday things with Lotte as possible. We got our tree a couple weekends ago and decorated the house, and my stepdad was here this past weekend to help finish off the nursery and hang with us a bit. It’s been a really great (and somewhat wistful, at least for me!) time, but I feel ready for the next chapter of our lives. I’m so excited to meet Baby No. 2 and to introduce Lotte to her new best friend. Chris’ parents arrive on Wednesday, and we’ll be ready and raring to go!

I hope you guys are all having a great start to the holiday season, as well!

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^^ My discerning little Christmas tree shopper (and my big ole’ belly!).

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^^ Despite the fact that we had to start the ornaments halfway up the tree to keep them away from little hands, I think she looks mighty pretty.

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^^ We love when Grandpa visits!

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^^ At 38 weeks pregnant, I somehow managed to dress up and head out of the house past 7 at night for Chris’ office holiday party. It was nice to get out for a bit, but also very exhausting! We hit up another holiday on Saturday at our friends’ house, too … how fancy are we?!

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^^ I can’t necessarily say I had as much of a vision for Baby Connor No. 2’s nursery as I did for Lotte’s, since a bunch of the furniture in here is recycled and the room was already painted, but in the end I think it all came together nicely and I’m actually super excited for her to be in it!

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^^ Lunch at School House Kitchen in Old Town Arvada. It was our first time here and I was really impressed. The theme is super cute, and the food was great!

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^^ She is not a barrette lover, which pains me to my core!

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^^ Wearing our matching Kate Spade for Keds sneakers out and about on the town! Don’t worry – I got a pair for Baby 2, as well 😉

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^^ Waiting in line to meet Santa … for the second time!

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^^ This time we didn’t even bother trying to have Lotte sit on Santa’s lap by herself (it was way too close to the other weekend when she flipped out when we tried it in Colorado Springs!), so we all sat with Santa as a family. It sort of worked 😉 I look so pregnant here, and Lotte is unimpressed, but hey, what can you do?

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^^ Grandpa couldn’t leave without spoiling both Lotte and Baby 2 for Christmas. He loaded them up with the sweetest clothes and books, as well as gift certificates for flights for all of us back to New York to visit, which of course made me cry. Thank you, Grandpa, your gifts were so thoughtful!

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^^ On Monday night we hit up the Denver Botanic Gardens Blossoms of Light show as part of a holiday party thrown by our realtor, whom we love. We went last year when Chris’ family was in town and Lotte was only about five months old, and we loved it then, as well. It’s so pretty and festive – the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!

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^^ My loves ❤ No one I enjoy holiday outting with more 😉

Okay, so now the wait for Baby is really on! Wish us luck, and I probably won’t be back until I have a new little cherub faced-photo to share with you all here! Until then … bis bald!

Thanksgiving 2017, and the Start of the Christmas Season

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Welp friends, somehow it has happened — Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we are moving on to Christmas and the end of the year … and for this family, we’re gearing up for a brand new baby, as well!

Our Thanksgiving break started out great. My dad came out for a couple days to spend some time with us, we celebrated Thanksgiving over at my cousin’s house with her family, and then we spent the whole weekend (well, until Sunday), doing fun holiday things Lotte, since I’m obsessed with the fact that this will be her last three weeks (!) as an only child. Then, on Sunday, I unfortunately came down with the flu. My dad wasn’t feeling well when he left, and when he got home he found out he had the flu, which I promptly was diagnosed with the next day. Oh boy. We’re just keeping our fingers crossed over here that this goes quickly and that Lotte and Chris don’t get it as well. Please pray with us, friends, because we do not have a lot of time to spare before Baby C No. 2 arrives, and we have a lot to get done before then!

Anyway, let’s go back to remembering the fun times before the sickness descended. Here’s a couple of pics from our Thanksgiving, the Denver Zoo Lights we took Lotte to on Friday, and the gingerbread house we ate in at Wolf Creek Lodge in Colorado Springs on Saturday.

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^^ Lotte, my dad and I took a walk to the lake on Thanksgiving morning while Chris finished off his dishes to bring to my cousin’s for dinner. (Seriously gotta love a man who cooks!) It was in the 70s here on Thanksgiving day … can you believe that?!

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^^ I’ll be honest – this isn’t my favorite picture of me. But Lotte’s little had on my chest and her smile ?? I cannot.

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^^ Lotte fell in love with this art easel over at my cousin’s house. Guess we know what a good gift idea for the near future will be 😉

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^^ We didn’t have all the letters we needed for our message, but we made out pretty well with what we had 😉

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^^ Happy Thanksgiving, from our little family to yours!

My dad left early Friday, and Friday night we bundled up (though not too much, because it was in the upper 50s!) and headed over to the Denver Zoo Lights, which was a lot of fun. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect because technically the exhibit isn’t even open yet — this was just a preview — but it was packed! Still, the lights were so pretty, and we saw a lot of animals, too. Lotte enjoyed it, but I think she’ll especially love it next year when she’s a bit older.

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^^ Chris dressed Lotte like a candy cane to celebrate our first holiday event of the season 😉

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^^ My blurry loves ❤

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^^ Lotte fell in love with the giraffes hard core, and it was kind of adorable. 

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The fun continued on Saturday when we checked out Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs. We played games in the arcade, ate dinner in a life-size gingerbread house (the proceeds of which go to the Ronald McDonald House charities), attended a dance party in the lobby with other kiddos and met (and hated!) Santa Claus. It was so much fun! I guess it’s just lucky that I didn’t start to get really sick until we got home, because I would have been super bummed to have missed any other part of our weekend plans.

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^^ How cute is this life-sized gingerbread house?! You need to make individual reservations to eat inside, and while we definitely felt a little like we were on display (you know, since it was in the middle of the hotel and little kids kept walking in to ask us questions about it!), it still was super fun. You could pick to eat off the menu from one of the hotel restaurants or just do the buffet, and we went with the buffet, which was a lot easier with a little one in tow. 

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^^ Poor Lotte … and poor Santa! He was a good sport, though! I could tell this encounter wasn’t going to be great as I started to hand Lotte over and she gripped onto me like she never has before. Oh well … maybe next year she’ll love him!

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And that was our Thanksgiving holiday bonanza in a nutshell, friends. Now I’m laid up in bed trying desperately to stay on top of work while Chris does the same as we juggle watching Lotte and trying to keep her from getting sick, all while getting ready for second baby to arrive in a few weeks. Life is crazy sometimes friends, am I right?

Bis bald, ya’ll!

Celebrating a Birthday With a Short Fort Collins Retreat

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Happy Monday, friends! Yesterday was Chris’ (ahem) 34th birthday … happy birthday, love! So in one of our favorite long-standing traditions, we went out of town for the weekend. While we were originally thinking of Telluride, driving that far meant Chris and I would both have to take a couple days off work, and at almost 8 months preggs, I can barely go 20 minutes without needing to pee, so something closer felt more realistic and do-able. We finally settled on Fort Collins, which is only about an hour away, but still felt like a nice getaway all the same.

(As you might recall, Chris’ birthday trip last year was our first trip to Steamboat Springs—now one of our fave places — as well as our first trip as a family of three. How fitting that this year’s birthday trip for Chris was likely our last trip as a family of three, since Brand New Baby C will be gracing us with her presence in mid-December!)

Anyway, back to Fort Collins. My good friend’s sister lives there, so I hit her up for recommendations, and she definitely came through for us. On Friday night we checked into our hotel (note: There are so many cute Airbnb places to stay on Fort Collins, but unfortunately I booked too late and they were either all sold out or ridiculously expensive, so we ended up just staying at a Best Western. It was fine for location and the free brekkie, but next time we’ll hope to plan ahead and stay at an Airbnb.) and then headed over to the Jessup Farm Artisan Village.  It’s a super cute little outdoor area with a bunch of shops and restaurants and a brewery. We checked out the Jessup Farm Barrel House for drinks (for Chris, not me) before dinner, then had dinner at The Farmhouse. The Barrel House was a lot of fun and had a festive atmosphere with games to play outside, and dinner at The Farmhouse was tasty, but the inside was all booked out with reservations and a big party, so we had to eat outside which was slightly chilly. Note to self: next time you want to eat here, make reservations ahead of time!

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^^ This pretzel was every bit as delicious as it looks here. The one thing I’ll also note here is how friendly everyone in Fort Collins was. Twice we sat down at a table and had people join, and they were so lovely and nice and easy to talk to.

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^^ She kept this hat on for all of two seconds, but it wasn’t for my lack of trying to get her to keep it on all throughout dinner!

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On Saturday we grabbed a quick breakfast at the hotel and jumped in the car for the 20 minute ride out to the Shoreline Trail to Horsetooth Reservoir. (It’s worth noting that there is a $7 fee to get into the park.) Colleen had noted that she did the hike earlier in the year with another pregnant friend (since I mentioned we were looking for something super easy, since I’m super slow these days!), and she was right that it was fairly flat, with only a modest incline for a short amount of the hike. Plus, the overall trail is less than 1.5 miles long, anyway, and it’s so scenic and beautiful, especially on a lovely fall day like we had.

It’s also worth noting that the drive out there took us along the Reservoir Ridge Trail as well, which was another hike Colleen had recommended and which was pretty even to drive along.

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After the hike I was craving cupcakes (yes, even after a 1.4-mile hike, so sue me!) so we headed into the downtown area to walk around and stop in at The Little Bird Bakeshop, where I actually didn’t end up getting cupcakes at all but did get a hot chocolate and a pumpkin whoppie pie and chocolate chip/macadamia nut bread to share.

After our little downtown break we hit up some breweries for Chris. First up was his new favorite haunt, Horse & Dragon Brewing Company, which was super low-key and relaxing. (Well maybe not relaxing, per se. Is anything relaxing when you’re doing it with a toddler?!) Anyway, we loved it there so much we went back on Sunday. After H&D we met some of Chris’ friends over at New Belgium brewery, which was a whole crazy experience and like a world all by itself. A lot of people like New Belgium these days, and the popularity showed at the brewery, because it. was. bumpin’! Seriously – so crazy busy and crowded, and definitely not what we’re used to when it comes to breweries. Still, it was fun to see it and say we went, even if we never end up going back 😉

After that Lotte was getting a tad antsy, so we headed back to the hotel and ended up having take-out dinner from the steak restaurant right next to the hotel, Charco Broiler. Chris ordered his traditional birthday steak dinner, but by this point I was pretty full from all my snacking throughout the day, so I went with a veggie cobb salad. Lotte had spaghetti and proceeded to make as much of a mess as you properly can in a hotel room.

Oops 😉

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^^ Chillin’ with dad after a full day of fun!

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On Sunday (Chris’ birthday!) we tried to have breakfast at Lucile’s Creole Cafe, but judging from the line out the door it would have taken forever to get seated. So we headed back into town and to the Silver Grill Cafe, which still had a bit of a wait but was totally worth it for their legendary cinnamon buns, which do not disappoint!

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^^ Blood Mary’s for the birthday boy, of course!

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^^ See what I mean? Ah-mazing.

After breakfast we decided to check out the trails at the Environmental Learning Center which, while serene and idyllic, were not exactly stroller friendly :/ Oh well, lesson learned! Lotte had fallen asleep in the car on the ride over, so it wasn’t worth waking her up and the birthday boy has muscles of steel anyway, so he could handle it 😉

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^^ And yes, we did head back to Horse & Dragon after our walk to try to recreate the family photo we took at a brewery on Chris’ birthday last year and to grab one last beer for the birthday boy.

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^^ Family selfie success!

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^^ And one of just this face, because … come on ❤

And that was it. Happy, happy birthday to the man who makes the most amazing father, husband and friend that a gal could ask for. We sure do love you, Chris ❤

Bis bald, friends!

The First Snowfall of the Season

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Happy Wednesday, friends! So remember when I said yesterday that we had lovely fall weather this past weekend? Colorado is the craziest of crazies when it comes to weather, because a gorgeous, fall Sunday can be followed quickly by a winter-white Monday, which is exactly what happened. Of course by Tuesday the snow had all melted and temps were in the upper 50s … but for a couple hours on Monday Lotte & I jammed out to Christmas music (yes, we really did), put on our snowsuits (well, Lotte did, anyway) and braved the cold to play in the snow.

Last year Lotte was too young to really understand what snow was, and while she’s still a tad too young to really get it right now, she was definitely much more interested in this cold, wet, white stuff, and she couldn’t stop staring at it. It was pretty adorable.

So, happy holidays, friends! At least for one day …

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