Waiting for Baby

13_ChrisAndLotte

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!

02_ChristmasTree
^^ My discerning little Christmas tree shopper (and my big ole’ belly!).

03_ChristmasTree04_ChristmasTree
^^ 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.

05_Grandpa
^^ We love when Grandpa visits!

06_Grandpa07_HolidayParty
^^ 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?!

08_GRoom
^^ 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!

09_LotteSchoolHouse
^^ 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!

01_LotteSchoolHouse
^^ She is not a barrette lover, which pains me to my core!

10_LotteSchoolHouse
^^ 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 😉

11_WaitingForSanta
^^ Waiting in line to meet Santa … for the second time!

12_Santa
^^ 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?

14_Grandpa'sPresents
^^ 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!

IMG_9894
^^ 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!

IMG_9873IMG_9895IMG_9897IMG_9900IMG_9896IMG_9902IMG_9899
^^ 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!

The First Snowfall of the Season

FullSizeRender (9)
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 …

FullSizeRender (5)FullSizeRender (6)FullSizeRender (7)FullSizeRender (8)FullSizeRender (10)FullSizeRender (12)

Summer Sundays at the Lake

IMG_5430

Ever since we moved into this neighborhood more than a year ago, I’ve wanted to become “lake people”. We live about five minutes from the beautiful Standley Lake, and while you can’t swim in the lake, you can rent kayaks and canoes and paddleboards and boats and take them out. We love to visit the lake as often as we can — we even had Lotte’s first birthday cake there — but we had yet to rent anything and take it out.

Until yesterday.

It was glorious weather here on Sunday — not too hot, just windy enough and sunny — so we tested our luck and parked over near the dog park (it’s free there, otherwise you have to pay $7 to get your car all the way down to the lake area, which would be totally worth it if you were bringing your own gear) and walked through the eagle sanctuary area (we even saw a baby bald eagle!) down to the lake. We chatted with the rangers for a bit before deciding to try out a two-person kayak. Getting a life jacket that would fit Lotte was essential, and the infant one she ended up with was probably a bit small for her (hence the crying and screaming while she was wearing it :/), but it did the job.

We had the best time on the water! (Well, Chris and I did, at least. Lotte wasn’t so happy sitting on my lap, and I attribute it all to the life jacket, because otherwise being out there doing something new, seeing the water and trees and people and ducks, it was all something I think she would have loved!) Anyway, while we didn’t stay out for the full hour we had the kayak ($10 for one hour … what a bargain!), it was still fun to give it a try and I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back. Hey, the more Lotte is in that life jacket the more she’ll have to get used to it … right?!

Happy Monday, friends!

IMG_5398IMG_5399IMG_5428IMG_5429IMG_5431IMG_5432
^^ That’s a baby bald eagle in that tree on the right! We verified with a park ranger … how cool is that?!

IMG_5441
^^ Hahahah! Poor little Lotte :/ You can tell from this pic she wasn’t quite the happiest camper!

Splash Pads, Playgrounds, Ice Cream & Cake at the Lake for Our 1-Year-Old

_DSC8474

Well friends, just like that our little Lotte is one. Chris & I cannot believe it. Just yesterday we were bringing home our six-pound ball of love, and today she’s standing, taking steps, saying words and basically charming us (and amazing us) every single minute. To celebrate our Little’s birthday, my dad, stepmom and stepdad flew out, and we loaded on the activities. We visited the Red Rocks, tried out the Arvada Splash Pad (an A+, by the way!), had lunch in Olde Town and ice cream at Scrumptious, followed at birthday cake (called a Strawberry Charlotte from the La Patisserie Francaise bakery … how could we resist!) and opened lots and lots of presents. On Friday we checked out the Garden of the Gods, and then Saturday was the MS Hike at Keystone. Although it rained the entire event, we still had an amazing time honoring my mom.

The grandparents were all gone by late Sunday morning, but I’m hoping we made memories for everyone that will never fade. I think Lotte had a fabulous week of birthday celebrations (including her birthday shindig in New York last Sunday). I know for my part I’ve loved celebrating this little one and the amazing little girl she’s becoming. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.

IMG_4200IMG_4233IMG_4255IMG_4257
^^ Lotte’s an old hat at touring people around Red Rocks. In fact, this was the first-ever place she visited (besides the doctor) after she was born!

IMG_4263IMG_4272
^^ One of Lotte’s favorite games while my Dad was here was pointing at him to get his attention, and it was kind of adorable.

IMG_4283
^^ The group of us squired Lotte around the block in her Radio Flyer, a birthday gift from my aunt and uncle. How fun is that?!

IMG_4302
^^ Facetiming with Aussie Nan & Papa (who couldn’t be here in person, for obvious reasons) on the morning of Lotte’s birthday to open her presents from them was also a highlight!

IMG_4321
^^ This. Smiling. Face!!! Oh, and by the way, it’s true – I am pregnant again 😉 New Baby Connor will be making his or her arrival in mid-December … wahoo!

IMG_4327IMG_4583
^^ Flying high as a one-year-old 😉

_DSC8378
^^ How adorable is the Arvada Splash Pad?! We will absolutely be back here.

IMG_4584IMG_4585IMG_4587IMG_4588IMG_4589IMG_4590IMG_4609IMG_4617IMG_4618IMG_4628IMG_4629IMG_4632
^^ As long as there is a television around to watch, Lotte is happy 😉

IMG_4642
^^ This car from Mommom & Papa was a big hit, as was the play kitchen my sisters and parents chipped in to get her. Everyone hit it out of the park with gifts for this girl!

_DSC8418

IMG_4666
^^ My nickname for Lotte is pumpkin (“puntin,” actually, don’t ask me why!), and Chris calls her monkey, so we compromised for her birthday cake. Plus the candles (which we were never able to find a lighter to light … oops!) came all the way from Australia!

_DSC8442_DSC8447_DSC8453
^^ It’s always fun to play with birthday noise makers 😉

_DSC8463_DSC8470
^^ Lotte may have only had a few bites of her cake, but the adults couldn’t get enough. So good!

IMG_4682IMG_4699

_DSC8477

Lotte’s birthday was Thursday, and Friday we checked out Garden of the Gods, then on Saturday we headed into the mountains to do the MS Hike at Keystone.

IMG_4718
^^ Lotte’s U.S. grandparents in full force 😉

IMG_4736IMG_4780IMG_4781IMG_4782IMG_4783IMG_4784IMG_4785IMG_4816IMG_4819
^^ This busy bee has had quite the couple of weeks, so she snoozed on the way to the hike to Keystone.

IMG_4957IMG_4958
^^ A little rain couldn’t keep us away!

IMG_4963IMG_4964IMG_4959IMG_4961IMG_4962IMG_4966IMG_4960
^^ This little face. Boy I sure do love her.

I can’t stop thinking about how many people made Lotte’s first birthday so special. From everyone who made last weekend’s party possible to my dad & stepmom & stepdad for coming out this week, it just felt like such a special time for us, and I know Lotte felt so loved.

To be one … it’s a pretty special thing, isn’t it?

Bis bald, friends!

 

A Week of Firsts

Happy Monday, friends. It’s been a bit crazy over here the past few days. We were so excited to have my sister and stepdad in town visiting, although the reason they were visiting — the one-year anniversary of my mom’s passing — was less than a happy one. Still, we managed to make the most of the day, and it was so good to be together (and to have Lotte as a distraction, obviously).

We even took Lotte on her first trip to the zoo while they were here. Lotte also celebrated her first Easter and we checked out a new walking trail, Van Bibber Park. So like I said, it’s been a full couple of days, and I’m coming down from all our visitors and activities, which always makes me a little sad. We have a visit from my other sister, her husband and two boys at the end of the month, though, so that is definitely something to look forward to.

01CinnaminBuns
^^ At my sister’s suggestion, we made Mom’s traditional Pillsbury cinnamon rolls on the morning of her anniversary. I had forgotten how good they actually are 😉

02CinnamonBuns03Smores
^^ We lit the fire pit in the backyard on the eve of her anniversary as well, and made smores, something else she also loved to do with us.

04AuntStephie05StandleyLake01Zoo
^^ Ready for the zoo! You’ll notice halfway through the zoo pictures that Lotte’s adorable jumper is gone and in its place is a pair of pajamas. I realized once we got to the zoo how she was in the direct sunlight, and I started to freak out about her getting burned, so I changed her into something that would cover her arms and legs as well. Rookie mom mistake!

02Zoo
^^ Kangaroos!

03Zoo04Zoo05Zoo06Zoo07Zoo08Zoo09Zoo
^^ It was super fun checking out the zoo for the first time with my sis and stepdad!

FullSizeRender
^^ In her Easter best! (How she managed to wear these ears for the couple of pics I got is beyond me, because she absolutely hated them!)

FullSizeRender
^^ We walked to Jack’s Coffee shop on Saturday afternoon with this little one for a super early dinner, and she was amazing the entire time. Look at this face.

_DSC7736
^^ Van Bibber park on Sunday was lovely. There is a totally paved path you can follow that is 2.8 miles round-trip, or you can off-road it a bit on some rocky paths, which we did, but nothing is too difficult, and the scenery is really pretty. Plus you come across some really amazing homes, some of which had horses grazing in their backyard. It was just a really nice, easy hike for our Easter Sunday morning.

_DSC7738_DSC7739_DSC7742_DSC7754_DSC7756_DSC7757_DSC7759
^^ If you can’t tell by my 1,000 photos of them, I was kind of obsessed with these creepy-cool trees. Something about them intrigued me …

_DSC7760_DSC7761_DSC7762_DSC7769_DSC7770_DSC7771_DSC7772_DSC7773_DSC7775_DSC7776_DSC7780IMG_9437

Until next time, my friends – bis bald!

Sunday Hikes at Clear Creek Trail

Happy Monday, friends! Our weekend was filled with lots of house stuff (we haven’t been home together in four weekends … it’s amazing how things pile up), tons of Lotte time and a bit of finalizing stuff for our basement, which should, hopefully, be done by the time my sister and stepdad arrive on Tuesday – finally.

Amidst the mayhem, though, we managed to fit in a little hike at Clear Creek Trail near Golden. The Arvada hike entrance is only about 10 minutes from our home, and the loop that we took was totally flat and only about 2.5 miles roundtrip. (Although apparently this trail loops through many different towns and is more than 20 miles, all told.)

It was a really fun little trail to do on a Sunday afternoon, perfect for families. We passed tons of gorgeous lakes, two parks and a lot of picnic areas. Although we did see THREE snakes! If you’re not a snake person — which I am NOT — I might recommend sticking to the paved path above the river.

_DSC7611_DSC7613_DSC7616_DSC7619_DSC7622_DSC7624_DSC7625_DSC7626_DSC7630_DSC7633_DSC7640
^^ I told Chris that this meant the trail we were on was closed and that we needed to go up to the paved part (you could pick between the rocky area near the river, where we were, and a paved path that you would share with cyclers), but he swore it was for the area below.

_DSC7641_DSC7642
^^ As it turned out, I was right. Naturally 😉

_DSC7643_DSC7644_DSC7646_DSC7647_DSC7648_DSC7649_DSC7650_DSC7652_DSC7653_DSC7657_DSC7660_DSC7662_DSC7669
^^ This girl loves a good hike, all snuggled up against dad.

_DSC7674_DSC7676_DSC7677_DSC7680_DSC7681FullSizeRender
I hope you guys all had a wonderful weekend. Bis bald!

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!

04LotteHair
^^ 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.

IMG_8701

^^ 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.

07LotteSunglassesnHat
^^ 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?!

08BackyardTree
^^ 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.

09BeautifulWalkTree
^^ All the other glorious trees Lotte and I come across on our daily walks.

10TreeDetails
^^ And all their glorious details.

11PrarieDogs
^^ The prairie dogs at Standley Lake, which simply do not care about humans and will not run away from you!

12StandleyLake
^^ And Standley Lake views, of course.

13HyggeLamp
^^ 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.

14BirthdayWrappingPaper
^^ 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.

15BirthdayHike
^^ 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 ;))

18BasementBathroomWallpaper
^^ This awesome tree wallpaper in our basement bathroom — I love the way it looks!

19LotteHat
^^ Friends who buy Lotte the cutest clothes and hats!

20ThingsThatHelpMeWrite
^^ 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.)

21Lotte
^^ 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.