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

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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 …

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^^ 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.

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

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^^ 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!

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^^ 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 😉

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^^ Nothing more American than baseball and Coors Light!

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^^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.

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^^ Our family selfie game needs improvement 😉

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

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^^  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.

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^^ 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!

Welcome Summer! (And a Whole Slew of Photos)

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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 😉

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^^ Aussie treats from Aunt Kate included all the Snakes Alive treats that were in Australia ❤ Girl knows the way to my heart!

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^^ 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.

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^^ Grace participated, too!

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^^ Grace’s first Father’s Day ❤

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^^ Celebrating Dad’s Day with some drinks at Westminster Brewing Co.

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^^ 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 …

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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!

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^^ Auntie Kate joined us for Lotte’s gym class last Saturday, too. She’s pretty much the best sport ever.

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^^ 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.

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^^ And this one …

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^^ And this one!

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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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 ❤

Bis bald, friends!

A Trip Back East & Little Grace’s First Flight

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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.

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^^ This was Lotte’s 7th flight (14th, if you count back and forth!). Quite the little traveler for only almost-two 😉

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^^ 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!

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^^Mommom & Papa’s house has allllll the toys, so Lotte was one happy girl once we got there!

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ My grandmother with my children. I mean … it doesn’t get much more special than that ❤

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^^ My grandmother with all three of her great-grandchildren!

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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?!

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^^ My girls, all dressed up for their grandma’s fundraiser.

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^^ We had such a beautiful day for our event on Sunday, and Stone Wave Yoga provided such an amazing backdrop.

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^^ 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 ❤

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^^ 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.

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^^ Can you even with these four?!

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^^ 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 😉

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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 ❤ Bis bald!

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

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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!

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^^ 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.

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

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^^ Oh gorgeous Telluride – you really were spectacular.

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

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^^ 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.

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^^ Tuckered out from her first day in Telluride 😉

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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.

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^^ 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 ❤

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

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^^ 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.

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

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^^ 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!

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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!

Making Memories and Holding On to That Maternity Leave

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Happy Monday, friends! Somehow we’ve ended up here, with only three weeks left of my maternity leave and almost into spring?! How?! No, but seriously … how?!

Anyway, our travel is finally starting to shape up for the year, which is to say that we have a couple things on the calendar for the foreseeable couple of months. We’ll be heading to Telluride for my birthday weekend, which I am beyond excited for (we’ve never been and have always wanted to go!), and we’ll be taking Grace on her first plane ride in mid-April to attend a fundraiser for my mom that my sister and I are throwing. We’ll also head to Chicago in October for Chris to run the marathon, and then we plan to head to Australia in December to celebrate G’s first birthday and for Christmas. There will probably be some other trips back east scattered here and there throughout the year, as well, but having at least those couple of things to look forward to is really nice.

In the meantime, our stream of visitors has continued with trips from Grandpa this past weekend, and one of my oldest friends will be heading our way next weekend, as well. Here’s some of what we’ve been up to lately, including a super fun trip to the Aquarium in Downtown Denver with Grandpa just yesterday.

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^^ This face ❤ Gets me every time.

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^^ Lotte’s new favorite activity – walking her stuffed animals in a stroller!

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^^ A particularly cozy corner in G’s nursery, where we spend lots of time together. These days are fleeting my friends, this I know. Some day soon this will be a toddler’s room, then a preschooler’s, and so on and so forth. For now, though, I’m doing the best I can to soak up every last inch of my babies while they still let me. (AKA while they have no say in the matter!)

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^^ Grandpa Robert is the best! He treated us to the Denver Aquarium, which was our first time there. At $21 a pop for adult tickets, it’s a tad on the expensive side, but Lotte had such a fun time, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back.

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^^Her favorite was actually the sea otter section, but unfortunately I didn’t get a great picture. Gramps even bought her a little stuffed Otter — which we cleverly named Otto — to bring home.

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And that’s about it for now, my friends! I’ll be back after our trip to Telluride to let you know all about how that goes. (Wish us luck, since it’s a 6 hour trip and G has not been a fan of cars as of yet … )

Bis bald, friends!

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!