Life Recently: Welcome to the World, Baby Girl Grace

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Happy Thursday, friends!

Well in the past 13 days our whole world has changed, since we welcomed the newest addition of our family — Baby Girl Grace Catherine Connor — on December 16. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since then (especially when I landed back in the hospital with an infection two days after giving birth), and all I can say is thank the lord Chris’ parents are here! How anyone does this without help is beyond me!

Anyway, Grace’s first Christmas has come and gone, and she is adjusting very well to her new life. Lotte, as a surprise to no one, has also become the ultimate big sister, taking to giving kisses to her little sister every single chance she can.

In other words, we’re all just happily ensconced in Newborn World right now, as tiring and stressful as it may be, at times.

I hope you guys all had an amazing holiday and are looking forward to a fun, festive and prosperous New Year!

Here’s a bit of our life, lately, which basically includes lots and lots of amazing newborness 😉

xo,

The Four of Us

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^^ Our hero Aussie Nan, and her accomplice Aussie Poppa, below 😉 Lotte doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with her Australian grandparents, for obvious reasons, so it’s beyond adorable watching her grow to love and adore them while they’re here now.

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^^ Our very last photo as a family of three before heading to the hospital on Saturday, December 16, to have Baby G.

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^^ Big sister Lotte was pretty much smitten from the second she saw her little sister.

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^^ Newborns change like crazy, don’t they!? I don’t even remember Grace ever looking like this, and I’m so glad we did the newborn photos in the hospital to cherish forever.

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^^ First car ride!

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^^ The cutest little  cupcake ‘G’ from Nan for Grace’s arrival home.

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^^ Look at this dad, just rockin’ it with his two little ladies 😉

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^^ I have the same photo of Lotte when she was five days old – I’m sentimental like that.

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^^ Nan & Poppa took great care of Lotte while we were in the hospital with Grace, and then took great care of both Grace and Lotte when we were back in the hospital for two nights only two days later :/

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^^ Denver adventures with Nan and Poppa!

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^^ We spent Christmas Eve with my cousin and her family, which included their new baby, Oliver, who was born only two days before Grace!

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^^ The most amazing holiday outfits you’ve ever seen. Period.

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^^ Cutest grandparents lovin’ up on some grandkids!

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^^ Baby’s first Christmas, and Lotte made sure it was a fun one.

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^^ Our little babes, all dressed for the holiday ❤

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^^ Touching noses.

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^^ Merry, merry!

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^^ Bright-eyed and ready to take on the world!

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^^ Baby’s first bath! It was with big sister, and it was a success!

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^^ Me with my two babes ❤ This was actually taken when I landed back in the hospital, and having these two come visit was definitely what kept me going.

And that has been our holiday so far in a nutshell, friends. Have a great New Year and we’ll see you back here soon!

Bis bald, friends!

Happy Halloween, Love The Smores

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Yesterday was Lotte’s second Halloween. I cannot believe that we’ve entered the realm of second holidays with this Little, whom we are beyond lucky to have in our lives. Last year we skipped the whole family costume idea and just dressed our 3-month-old up in a ladybug costume (which, by the way, she rocked), but this year I couldn’t help it. At 8+ months pregnant myself, I wanted to come up with something that would be cute for a growing baby bump and also super adorbes for Lottes.

So, we settled on smores. Lotte went as the marshmallow, I was a Hershey’s Kiss and Chris [who really leaned into his costume, by the way, and made it, basically … so proud ;)] was a graham cracker. And while we only hit up about four houses on our block before returning home, it was still super fun and a memory I’ll never forget.

And now … happy November, everyone! It’s our last full month as a family of three, and I plan to soak it in as much as possible.

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^^ Rocking her pre-Halloween outfit from Aunt Steph and a totally rad top knot before getting dolled up for the night.

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Bis bald, friends! I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween ❤

Welcome Summer!

Okay, okay — it’s not technically summer yet. But the 90 degree temps here in Colorado sure feel like summer! So we’re celebrate with some backyard pool time (Lotte’s first pool experience, yay!), lots of icy treats and some scheming on my part to plan a couple of fun weekend getaways until our big trip to California in September to visit San Francisco (can you believe I’ve never been?), Sequoia National Park and Yosemite.

Stay tuned friends … and bis bald!

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A Little Travel Splurge

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So I’m not normally one to splurge on … well … anything, really (except travel!) — but when I came across this Mark & Graham linen jewelry roll that you can personalize, I had to have it. I’ve been trying to come up with a DIY way to travel with my jewelry for years now (I’ve used Ziploc bags, a hard-cased jewelry holder, shoved things in zippers in my regular toiletry kit, etc.), and basically I end up usually not traveling with any jewelry other than what I’m wearing, which is no fun, either.

This will be my first trip using my fancy new jewelry roll, but I’m already super happy with it. I’m bringing some pretty important-to-me jewelry on this trip — like a necklace that belonged to my Mom — so it had better do its job and keep everything safe 😉

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Life Recently: Feel Good Friday Vibes

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^^ I pulled over on the side of the road the other day to take this photo. How could I not? Sometimes Colorado just really amazes me …

Is it just me or do the weeks fly by now? Not that I’m complaining, because weekends are seriously great, but I sometimes have to stop and marvel over how quickly the past 4.5 months of Lotte’s life have gone.

Life, man … am I right?

Anyway, enough of that. As my child is an angel, she is still sleeping at 8:45 a.m., which has given me some time to go through a couple old photos on my phone. As fast as time has flown lately, we’ve certainly managed to make the most of it.

Here’s to the end of 2016. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m about ready for a fresh start with a new year. Let’s do this.

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^^ Measuring Lotte’s growth with one of the cutest personalized gifts she received. My little monkey is getting so big so fast! (Actually that’s not quite true. At her 4-month check-up we found out she’s only in the 9th percentile for height … she’s still a little munchkin!)

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^^ It’s a darn good thing my husband likes to cook, because otherwise I might starve 😉 How good does this ramen dish look … and he basically just made it up? In awe of his cooking skills, since mine are limited to toast and boiling water, pretty much.

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^^ We’ve been trying out Blue Apron lately (my sister and her husband finally convinced us), and it’s pretty fun to get fancy in the kitchen every now and then.

img_0907^^ Chris switched out the fairy lights in our backyard so they glow with red, green and white now. It’s a Christmas wonderland back there, I tell ya.

06family_selfie^^ ^^ Clearly still working on perfecting our family selfies.

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^^ And so begins a series of photos that my sister calls Pinterest fails. “You basically stuck a pair of lights on your kid and called it a day!” she responded when I text her some of these pics. What can I say … girl has a point.

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^^ Still cute, though! (Especially with my fuzzy sock in the picture, too :/ Anne Geddes I am not.)

img_0905^^ Finally got our fireplace checked out so we can actually use it! It’s now one of my favorite spots in the house. 

img_0908^^ It’s hard to tell from this blurry photo taken through my dirty window, but that’s our neighbor across the way, hanging Christmas lights in his front tree with a cherry picker! How can we compete with such professionalism?

img_0904^^ And by comparison, our own little slice of outdoor holiday happiness. Chris routinely laughs at the solar lights he strung up when he gets home from work. Sure they aren’t as bright and bold as our neighbors’ lights, but hey, they’re resourceful!

img_0911^^ Our backyard is equally as festive, especially in the snow.

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^^ At one point Saturday’s temp dipped all the way down to a high of 3. Yuck. Luckily it’s slowly been creeping back up. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess! Pajamas, eggnog, fire and Christmas movies, anyone?

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^^ I took this photo to send to Chris because holy cow-and-a-half was it a nightmare getting Lotte into the Ergo with all of our winter layers on. But WE MADE IT! Motherhood … am I right?

img_0909^^ And it was certainly worth the effort, because girlfriend needs some fresh air every now and then, if you know what I mean.

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^^ This. Little. Girl. Sigh.

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^^ Lots and lots and lots of tummy time happening over here!

img_0910^^ I mean a lot  of tummy time 😉

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^^ How cute is the outfit Lotte wore to meet Santa for the first time? Thanks Auntie M!

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^^ Dad on a mission. Here’s Chris taking Lotte out and about to do some errands with him last weekend. Gotta love the look of determination 😉 And to note – it all went very swimmingly!

img_0906^^ For some reason my Aussie husband keeps expecting the act of shoveling snow to get fun at some point. Sorry to tell you, dear … but it doesn’t.

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^^ Torturing the cat with some holiday cheer.

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^^ I swear we feed Penny, but more often than not you’ll find her in front of the pantry door, just waiting for it to open to reveal her next meal or treat.

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^^ A reminder via my Timehop app of our little Christmas tree in our tiny NYC apartment from four years ago. Oh NYC and our tiny little apartment … sometimes I really miss those days.

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^^ Always smiling, even when Dad dressed her for the day and it’s a bit … eclectic 😉

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^^ Not much better when Mom dresses her, I guess.

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^^ Throwing some serious shade on our walk yesterday.

And our onslaught of holiday guests starts to arrive next Tuesday … I cannot wait.

Happy holidays, friends!

Bis bald.

A First Plane Ride in the Books

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Well friends, someone had her first plane ride last Tuesday (and her second one back home to Denver yesterday), and I’m happy to report she did very well! It’s going to take me a couple days at least to go through all my photos of our trip, but for now I wanted to share this pic of Lotte looking out the window as we touched down back home in Denver yesterday. Whether you were old enough when you took your first flight to remember it or not, there’s just something so magical about it.

Bis bald, friends – I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving.

About Last Night’s Election …

thumb__dsc6400_1024I woke up in a different America this morning than the one I went to sleep in last night.

A little before midnight Mountain Time on November 8th, I decided to go to bed after Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman told the eager (if somewhat deflated) crowd at the Javits Center in Manhattan that they should all go home, because there were still a handful of states left to be counted in the 2016 election for president, and many votes left to include.

This election, he said, wouldn’t be over until every last voice had been heard.

I went to sleep last night hopeful, and still very optimistic that the America I live in is not one that would elect a man like Donald Trump to the highest office of the land.

This morning, however, I woke up in one that did.

I won’t resort to name calling because, as the ever-so-eloquent Michelle Obama says, “when they go low, we go high.” Plus, there has been enough mudslinging over the past few months to last me a lifetime.

I did, however, feel the need to say something, somewhere, and since this is my blog, where I’m allowed my feelings and have been keeping track of my own adventures since 2008, I thought this was a good place. I didn’t take to Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram because, again, I’m not interested in the mudslinging.

Last night the media was talking about how it was possible that everyone — every. single. member. of. the.media. — could have so drastically missed the boat on what was happening. It’s a point well worth taking. “We’ve missed the groundswell of what’s going on in middle America,” one anchor said. “We sit here in our offices in big cities and conduct our polls with the people around us, and we’ve totally ignored what’s being said in rural America.” (I’m paraphrasing, of course.)

Rural America, it seems, had a lot to say, and they made their point very clear at the polls last night. Trump supporting women (women!) who were interviewed said things like, “Who doesn’t like being groped!” and “I’ve heard women say far more worse things about men,” and “That was so long ago, why should it matter?”

To them, mostly, I am speechless. I understand there are people in this world who still believe all Mexican or Muslim people are evil. (I didn’t say I believed that, I said I understand these people exist.) I can understand (again, not agree with) how Donald Trump’s specific brand of hate breathes new fire into those beliefs.

I can understand there are men in this world who still look at women as objects — playthings with which they can do whatever they want. To me, though, the fact that there are women out there who potentially believe this as well … that’s a real tragedy.

I’m not here to say that this is the worst thing that has ever happened to Americans — I’m not that naive. No one died here, or was sent into battle. This is simply an embarrassment of monumental proportions, a blistering wake-up call about our calamitous divisions as a country, and one that we all, as a country, need to come to terms with. What I am going to say, though, is that Donald Trump is not now, nor will he ever be, my president. He does not represent my ideals or beliefs, and he in fact represents the complete opposite of what I believe America stands for.

For the record, I still love America. I love living here, and I love being American. I do believe that we can find our way back to the ideals that this country was originally founded on. After all, we’re all immigrants here. We’re all “tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” … at least our ancestors were, and it’s in our blood.

So what am I going to do about an election with which I so deeply disagree with the results? I don’t know about tomorrow, or the day after or the day after that, but for today, what I’m going to do is hug my daughter a little tighter.

I’m going to repeat over and over to her that despite the fact that we unfortunately now live in a world that apparently rewards bigotry, racism and name-calling, she, however, will never embody those characteristics, and she, however, is just like everyone else in this country, and around the world. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly (at least at first).

And despite the fact that we unfortunately now live in a world that apparently rewards sexism, she will never put up with that type of behavior from any man. She is WORTH JUST AS MUCH AS ANY MAN, and she is special, and unique and smart. No man, despite what he might say about her, or women in general, in the future, can take those things away.

Today I will take a deep breath. I will realize that despite what happened in the early hours of this morning, the sun still came up, and Americans still enjoy oh-so-many more freedoms than do so many other people around the world (in fact, last night might just be a perfect example of that), and for that I am eternally grateful and humbled.

Today I will realize that while the feelings we’re all feeling are justified — whether that’s elation, complete confusion or downright depression — there is still a tomorrow.

And there is also another election in just four short years. Let’s make that one count.

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^^ Clearly we’ve still got a lot of work to do … let’s fix this, for our kids.