Great Sand Dunes National Park For an Epic Birthday Celebration

IMG_0369

Happy Tuesday, friends! Chris & the girls & I got back yesterday from a weekend away in Alamosa, where we stayed at the adorable 40 Winks Inn and visited Great Sand Dunes National Park. We only found out about the Great Sand Dunes over the summer when a cousin of mine was visiting Denver with her family and they went to see them. Chris really wanted to plan a visit for his birthday, and I’m so glad we did. They are the tallest dunes in North America and are surrounded by grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. It’s honestly, truly magnificent. And although Lotte originally referred to them as a “big pile of dirt,” I think she honestly had the most amazing time sandboarding with Chris and just playing in the sand in general. We had the most glorious weather, packed a picnic, and even did a little off-roading afterwards.

Colorado, you are one beautiful state, and you never cease to amaze us.

So, are you ready for lots of photos of sand? Well good, then you won’t be disappointed!

IMG_0020
^^ These ladies were the most amazing travel buddies on the four-hour ride. We were a little nervous about Lotte and the whole potty situation, but she only had one accident, and honestly it was our fault because we should have been paying closer attention. Overall, we were so impressed with these little travel warriors.

IMG_0021
^^ We stopped in Bueno Vista and had sandwiches at Biggies Sub Shop, which turned out to be way delicious and the perfect little half-way pit stop.

IMG_0022IMG_0023IMG_0024IMG_0025IMG_0027
^^ Colorado road trip roadside views = pretty epic.

IMG_0029IMG_0028
^^ Someone was less excited about the views 😉

IMG_0026
^^ How cute was our Airbnb, 40 Winks? And how cute is little Lotte, making herself right at home on her potty! There were two bedrooms in the space, but there was also a Queen bed in the living room around the corner, so it was perfect because Chris and I just slept there and gave each of the girls their own room. It was a great little spot, and only two blocks from Main Street which, while very small, had some nice restaurants and breweries.

IMG_0031IMG_0032
^^ Our Airbnb was made for Insty 😉

IMG_0034IMG_0068
^^ Our first stop after rolling in on Saturday was Square Peg Brewerks on Main Street, where Lotte made the cutest little friend, fell in love with a dog and had the best time playing cornhole.

IMG_0080IMG_0081IMG_0082

I didn’t take any photos there, but we also visited San Luis Valley Brewing afterwards for drinks and dinner, which was super tasty.

IMG_0344
^^ Sunday was the big day. After renting a sandboard and a sandsled from Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa, we headed to the Dunes, which was about a half hour from Alamosa. Our first stop was the visitor center, which small enough to not feel totally intimidating but had all the info you could possibly want about how the Dunes form (the Medano Creek brings the sand down, and the wind blows it back up … in a nutshell).

IMG_0345IMG_0346IMG_0347
^^ This studmuffin carried the sandboard, sandsled and our 2-year-old in her hiking backpack up the mountain of sand. I had G strapped to me and I was huffing and puffing. We only went to the closest dune before plunking down and having Chris take Lotte on some sled rides, but still, it was enough for me to know that anything further would have been really, really hard to do. One note about the sandboarding – Chris didn’t love it. I guess he was hoping it would be somewhat similar to snowboarding … but it’s not. Oh well, lesson learned, and at least he tried.

IMG_0348IMG_0349IMG_0351
^^ Epic and amazing.

IMG_0352
^^ G slept during most of our Dunes adventure, but she did wake up in just enough time for some adorable pictures.

IMG_0353IMG_0354
^^ We weren’t exactly sure how Lotte would take to sand sledding (she doesn’t necessarily love getting dirty) … but she loved it! Every time they got to the bottom she’d squeal, “More, again!” And even though she had dirt flying into her face, eyes and mouth the entire ride, she always enjoyed it. I was actually quite proud of my gal.

IMG_0356IMG_0357
^^ Sand babies ❤

IMG_0358IMG_0359IMG_0365
^^ The dirt on Lotte’s face in this pic gets me every time!

IMG_0368IMG_0379IMG_0380IMG_0382IMG_0383IMG_0385IMG_0386IMG_0387IMG_0389IMG_0390
^^ It didn’t hurt that it was the height of fall for our trip, meaning the trees had all turned glorious shades of yellow.

IMG_0391IMG_0394

After a full day at the Sand Dunes, we headed back to our place and chilled for the rest of the night, made dinner and let the girls rest. It was really the perfect first day at the Dunes, and I hope we get back some time soon.

Monday was Chris’s actual birthday, but we had to pack up and head back to Arvada … but not before stopping in Buena Vista again, but this time at Eddyline Restaurant on South Maine, which turned out to be so adorable and picturesque.

IMG_0485IMG_0486
^^ These two ❤

IMG_0487
^^ More roadside Colorado craziness. Chris actually took this picture from the car while I was driving, which I’d say is pretty impressive.

IMG_0492IMG_0494IMG_0495IMG_0496IMG_0497IMG_0498
^^ Heading into Eddyline … how cute is this little neighborhood?!

IMG_0499
^^ Not a bad lunch view.

IMG_0527
^^ This one, too ❤

IMG_0529IMG_0528IMG_0530

And that was our trip, friends! For a place that we never knew existed before a few months ago, it was pretty amazing how beautiful it was and how much fun we had. Plus, you just know we love ticking National Parks off our bucket list! This was Lotte’s fourth National Park (Yosemite, Sequoia and Rocky Mountain being the other three), and G’s second, so we hope to keep up the tradition with them and tick some more off the ole’ list soon.

And also, how are we almost in November already?! In other travel news, we booked our trip to Australia for Christmas last weekend, and we even have a couple hours of a layover in Vancouver on our way out, which Chris is very excited about. I’m a little nervous about the flight, I can’t lie, but here’s hoping everything goes smoothly … or as smoothly as it possible can with a 2.5 and 1-year-old … right?!

Bis bald, friends!

Ticking Things Off Little Lotte’s Bucket List

Happy Tuesday, friends! The above video is of my little Weary Wanderer, about to explore her world. We just got back from a trip East for a whole bunch of fun reasons. We celebrated my sister’s 30th birthday (only a month early, no big deal), visited with my Grandma, saw all the cousins, and of course, ticked one big thing off Lotte’s bucket list – seeing the Statue of Liberty in person. 

I don’t know how it started, really, other than the fact that Lotte has about five New York City books, but she has really become obsessed with the Statue of Liberty, and it’s the most adorable thing ever. So, when we flew into Newark, we hopped in our rental car and drove to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, with a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan. It was a really fun time for us, and Lotte was so in awe. It’s definitely something Chris and I will never forget.

The rest of the weekend was amazing, as well. We spent two days at a mountain house that a friend of ours was renting near Woodstock, and Lotte had an amazing time playing in the pool and running around with my friend’s daughter, and Grace had the best time playing with her son, who is one month younger. We also visited a whole bunch of new locations (like Weeds Orchard and Brown Barn Farms) and on Sunday, we met up with Robert for breakfast at Chadwick Lake Park before hiking a trail near the lake that was built and dedicated to my Mom by an Eagle Scout neighbor of hers. They had been close and he was so upset when she passed, that this was something he wanted to do for her. The trail was beautiful, and being there with the girls meant so much to me. I’m glad this place will be there to be able to take the girls for years to come.

Here’s a bit of what our trip looked like …

IMG_6944IMG_6945IMG_6946IMG_6947IMG_6948IMG_6949
^^ Lots of photos even before we left airport, because that’s what a one-hour delay will do to you.

IMG_6950IMG_6951IMG_6952IMG_6953 (1)
^^ And there she is, in all her glory! Lotte literally whispered “Statue of Liberty!” when she first saw her … she was so blown away. We spent about two hours at the park, which is so amazing, and let the girls run around and get some energy out before heading on over to my sister’s.

IMG_6954 (1)IMG_6956 (1)IMG_6957 (1)IMG_6958 (1)IMG_6959 (1)IMG_6960 (1)IMG_6961 (1)IMG_6963 (1)IMG_6964 (1)

After spending the night at Steph’s on Wednesday, we headed to Woodstock to hang with Carla and her daughter and son at their summer house. It was so much fun to spend time with them, playing in the pool, barbecuing, drinking and chatting.

IMG_7049IMG_7050IMG_7051IMG_7052IMG_7053IMG_7054IMG_7055IMG_7062IMG_7072IMG_7090
^^ This moment where we spotted a frog in the grass and let Lotte hold it was pretty special to me, too. The extent of her knowledge about frogs up to that point had been seeing them in books and knowing that they say, “ribbit, ribbit.” To watch her see and touch one in real life was a super fun moment.

IMG_7139IMG_7140IMG_7141
^^ This crew ❤

IMG_7143
^^ Linus and Grace were having a little love affair with each other all weekend long, and it was kind of the cutest.

IMG_7146IMG_7159IMG_7225
^^ Brown Barn Farms was the cutest little spot! The drinks were good, the view was glorious, and the food truck served up some tasty dinner, too.

IMG_7227IMG_7228IMG_7229IMG_7230IMG_7231IMG_7232IMG_7468
^^ Heading out to Aunt Stephie’s early birthday party at Weeds Orchard with the fam.

IMG_7469IMG_7470IMG_7471IMG_7472IMG_7473IMG_7474IMG_7475IMG_7476IMG_7477IMG_7478IMG_7479IMG_7480IMG_7483IMG_7485IMG_7662IMG_7663
^^ On Sunday morning we met Robert at Chadwick Lake Park to have a quick breakfast and then head over to the trail that was built in my Mom’s memory. It was a great day.

IMG_7664
^^ This is such a crazy picture for me. So this tree is a part of a larger tree that used to live near my old elementary school, Balmville School, and this was the Balmville Tree. It was the oldest tree in the U.S., and when it started to rot, they decided to preserve parts of it and put it in Chadwick Lake Park as a memorial. I hadn’t seen it in this spot before, though, and to see my daughter standing in a tree that is so synonymous with my childhood, it was a little surreal.

IMG_7665IMG_7666IMG_7667IMG_7668IMG_7670IMG_7671 (1)IMG_7672IMG_7673IMG_7674
^^ Love, love, love this crew ❤

IMG_7675IMG_7676IMG_7677IMG_7725
^^ And later in the day it was back to my sister’s to meet up with my Grandma and have a little barbecue before we headed out super early on Monday morning.

IMG_7727IMG_7728

And that was our trip in a nutshell. It went by super fast and was jam packed, but the girls had a really great time, I think, and I loved spending that quality time with all the people we were able to see. Trips back east are always busy, but they’re also always amazing, and being able to bring my girls along for the ride … it really means so much to me.

The plane ride back home was not our best, since both girls were entirely exhausted and yet not interested in sleeping (Grace napped for about 20 minutes and Lotte not at all), but we pulled out the big guns with all the toys and books and snacks and “TV School Bus” (aka videos), and we made it through.

IMG_7754IMG_7755IMG_7756IMG_7759

IMG_7753

IMG_7765IMG_7771

And just like that, we were back in good ole’ Denver. And also just like that, it’s almost September?! How in the how did that happen? I do love Fall, though, and we have our big Australia trip to look forward to, so big, good, fun things ahead, my friends.

I hope you all have had wonderful summers, and until the next time … bis bald!

Dinosaurs, Kayaks, Baseball, Glaciers … and all the Aussie Guests!

IMG_3386

Happy July, friends! Our summer of insanity is still in full swing over here! We’ve had guests upon guests upon guests … and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Over the July 4th holiday we welcomed Chris’ aunt and uncle and their three kids from Australia, while the fabulous Auntie Kate was still on the tail end of her trip out, as well. We did all the things while this troop was here, which has been a lot of fun. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to lately …

IMG_3302IMG_3317IMG_3381
^^ We checked out Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison on what turned out to be a very, very hot day. It’s a bit of an uphill trek to reach the dinosaur footprints, but once you get there it’s actually really, really cool. There are tons of geological stops along the way, too.

IMG_3382
^^ I’m sorry, but Colorado backdrops are hard to beat.

IMG_3383IMG_3385IMG_3387IMG_3406IMG_3492
^^ We rented some kayaks on Lake Standley behind our house the second day after the family arrived. We did this last year with Lotte, too, and even though she still wasn’t too sure about the life jacket situation, this year she seemed to enjoy the overall activity much more!

IMG_3493IMG_3495IMG_3496IMG_3497IMG_3498IMG_3499IMG_3500IMG_3501IMG_3512IMG_3536IMG_3551
^^ We even took in a baseball game with the Aussie clan, and while the kids seemed to enjoy the game, it was mostly the junk food that kept them in the seats, I’d say 😉

IMG_3554
^^ Nothing more American than baseball and Coors Light!

IMG_3720
^^The day before July 4th we drove into the mountains to do the hike up to St. Mary’s Glacier. I was skeptical how the kids would handle it—especially 6-year-old Lucy—but they were all champs, which was great because this view is truly spectacular.

IMG_3721IMG_3722IMG_3723IMG_3726IMG_3728
^^ Our family selfie game needs improvement 😉

IMG_3729IMG_3730IMG_3731IMG_3733
^^ Ugh Auntie Kate, why did you leave us?!

IMG_3734IMG_3735IMG_3736IMG_3737IMG_3739IMG_3817
^^  By July 4th we were all pretty tuckered out. So we dressed up … and hung out! We played games, ate delicious food (including my homemade American Flag brownie, see below!), listened/watched the fireworks, and just generally enjoyed each other’s company.

IMG_3818IMG_3856IMG_3884
^^ American Flag brownie, courtesy of one of my favorite food bloggers 😉

We still have one of Chris’ friends in town until tomorrow, and then we’re done with visitors for a little while, which always makes me a bit sad. We do have Lotte’s 2nd birthday at the end of July to look forward to (which also makes me sad!), our trip to New York in August, Chicago in October and the grand finale of the year … Australia in December/January! Chris and I are still contemplating a separate mini-trip, just the two of us, to New Zealand while we’re in Australia. That extra adventure is TBD, but for now, there’s a lot more to look forward to, even though we’re halfway through the year already!

Hope you guys are having a great summer, as well! Until next time … bis bald!

A Birthday, Easter & End of Maternity Leave Celebration in Telluride

IMG_7949
Happy Monday/Easter/April/My Birthday, friends! Wowza it was a busy weekend, huh? On top of all of that, today, my birthday, is my last day of maternity leave.

I don’t want to talk about that, though :/

To celebrate, Chris & the girls and I packed up the car and headed about six hours southwest to Telluride, CO. It’s a place Chris and I have been wanting to check out since we moved here (you’ll see why in the photos below), and we figured what better way to celebrate all of the above (not to mention Grace’s first big trip!) with a tick off our bucket list?

So that’s what we did! We all loaded into the car and left the house around 9 a.m. on Thursday, on the way to our destination – this amazing little apartment in downtown Telluride. A note about our place: it was really awesome. The price was unbelievable for the location, and even though it was a railroad setup (meaning we had to walk through our bedroom and what turned out to be Grace’s bedroom to get to the living room/kitchen), it worked well for us. Plus the amazing window seat looking out onto the river made for some pretty spectacular photo opportunities (not to mention heart palpitations, since the windows opened all the way up and there were no screens), and you know I love me a good photo opportunity 😉

Anyway, on this trip we took some amazing walks, rode the gondola to Mountain Village, checked out the library (which is a must-visit for anyone who has kids, in my opinion), had a picnic, helped Lotte participate in an Easter egg hunt on the mountain (sort of. we were late and the eggs were all scooped up by the time we got there, but two awesome people who worked there hid some for her anyway), and just soaked up all the family time we possibly could. Lotte was teething something fierce on this trip, and she had a cold and we think maybe the altitude was bothering her, but she took it all in stride. (Other than waking up around 4 a.m. every. single. night. See one of my photos below for a favorite memory of mine from the trip, all thanks to Lotte’s inability to sleep.)

Here’s some of what we got up to!

IMG_7715
^^ These two never cease to amaze me. Like I mentioned before, it was more than six hours to our destination, and despite the long ride, they were both pretty amazing throughout the majority of it.

IMG_7770IMG_7832
^^ See what I mean about the window? How amazing is that view?! It was definitely Lotte’s favorite spot in the whole place.

IMG_7829IMG_7833IMG_7905
^^ Oh gorgeous Telluride – you really were spectacular.

IMG_7840IMG_7906IMG_7893IMG_7907IMG_7894IMG_7908IMG_7895IMG_7909IMG_7896IMG_7898IMG_7911IMG_7899IMG_7912IMG_7900IMG_7946IMG_7901IMG_7947IMG_7903IMG_7913
^^ Picnicing amongst the mountains … is there anything better? (Besides picnicing with cookies amongst the mountains, that is!)

IMG_7948IMG_7904IMG_7962
^^ As I mentioned, the library in Telluride is beyond amazing for kids. The kids’ section is humongous, with tons of toys and activities, and I think Lotte would have been happy to hang there all day.

IMG_7963

ORG__DSC9018

IMG_7964
^^ Tuckered out from her first day in Telluride 😉

IMG_7994

ORG__DSC9017.jpg
^^ And here is the moment I mentioned earlier — my favorite memory of the trip. After struggling through the night with teeth that ached and a nose that wouldn’t stop running, my little boo woke up around 4 a.m. on Saturday and was, obviously, exhausted and frustrated and in pain. It took a bit of coaxing, but eventually I got her to lay down next to me on the window seat, where we promptly both fell asleep for about an hour and Chris snapped a shot. Oh man, how I love these kids. I feel so incredibly lucky to be their mom.

IMG_8068IMG_8069IMG_7973IMG_8071
^^ On Saturday we hit up the gondola (G’s first gondola ride!) to check out Mountain Village, where we had lunch and took in the spectacular views. Bringing this easy-fold mini-stroller and the Beast was a stroke of genius courtesy of my husband. The Beast was essential for most of our mountain/trail walking, but on the paved paths in Mountain Village (and for riding on the gondola), this tiny, compact stroller (coupled with the Ergo for G) was definitely the way to go.

IMG_8072IMG_8073IMG_8077IMG_8139IMG_8082
^^ Lunch at Tomboy Tavern was well deserved for this guy, who spent the majority of the day carrying G and the baby book bag and pushing Lotte in the stroller. Lucky me ❤

IMG_8142
^^ This face … turns me to mush every time. (Both of ’em.)

IMG_8143IMG_8144
^^ Lotte has ridden in a gondola before, but this was the first time she was old enough to actually notice what was going on. I think a small part of her was skeptical and maybe even a little scared, but she did eventually turn around to take it all in.

IMG_8075IMG_8146IMG_8237
^^ The Easter bunny made a stop by our little Telluride apartment!

IMG_8238IMG_8332IMG_8333IMG_8336
^^ Even though the egg hunt was meant to take place from 9-10, when we arrived at 9:30, most of the eggs had already been scooped up. Two super-sweet workers hid a couple extra eggs for Lotte to find, though, and another little girl even kindly offered to hide a few of her found eggs (sans the candy inside, of course), as well. Lotte didn’t quite understand the concept, but it was still really fun!

IMG_8335IMG_8337IMG_8338IMG_8340

And that was our trip in a nutshell, my friends! Of course there was way more that happened — like trying to eat out for dinner on Saturday night and being forced to do take-out instead due to a mini G freak-out. Overall, though, what I’ll take away from this trip, which encompassed a celebration of so many different things, is how amazingly close I felt to my little family afterwards. (More than 12 hours together in a cramped car will do that, I guess!) I’m lucky beyond belief to call these three my own, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures life brings our way.

Bis bald, friends! And happy April!

A Visit to Chautauqua Park

IMG_2239

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!

IMG_2129IMG_2130
^^ Big ups to my bro-in-law for offering to carry Lotte on the hike! 

IMG_2131IMG_2133IMG_2134IMG_2137IMG_2139IMG_2141IMG_2166IMG_2245IMG_2246IMG_2247IMG_2248IMG_2249IMG_2250
^^ 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 😉

IMG_2251IMG_2252IMG_7631
^^ 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!

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!

Thanksgiving 2017, and the Start of the Christmas Season

01Thanksgiving

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.

02Thanksgiving
^^ 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?!

03Thanksgiving04Thanksgiving05Thanksgiving06Thanksgiving
^^ 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.

07Thanksgiving08Thanksgiving09Thanksgiving
^^ 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 😉

10Thanksgiving
^^ We didn’t have all the letters we needed for our message, but we made out pretty well with what we had 😉

11Thanksgiving
^^ 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.

IMG_9220
^^ Chris dressed Lotte like a candy cane to celebrate our first holiday event of the season 😉

IMG_9236IMG_9326IMG_9328IMG_9238IMG_9253IMG_9327IMG_9256
^^ My blurry loves ❤

IMG_9329IMG_9330IMG_9331IMG_9332
^^ Lotte fell in love with the giraffes hard core, and it was kind of adorable. 

IMG_9334

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.

IMG_9412IMG_9414IMG_9415
^^ 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. 

IMG_9416IMG_9427IMG_9445
^^ 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!

IMG_9446IMG_9447

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!