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)

Fawning Over Fall Days & Continuing Our Pumpkin Patch Tradition

IMG_7697

As I type this, it is snowing like crazy outside. Oh Colorado, and your crazy weather, you do keep us on our toes! This past weekend was glorious, however, and we spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon at the same pumpkin patch where we took Lotte with her grandparents last year when she was a mere tiny thing of two months old. We love Rock Creek Farm and the traditions we’re building with Lotte (and soon-to-be-new-Baby-C). I can’t believe next year when we head back it’ll be with both of our little babes in tow.

Life sure is funny and strange and beautiful and scary, isn’t it?

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (3)IMG_7698FullSizeRender (4)IMG_7700IMG_7701IMG_7702IMG_7704

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!

 

An Adventure in Camping With a 10-Month-Old

FullSizeRender.jpg

Well friends, we did it — Lotte’s first camping trip! And we survived! (Mostly.)

This weekend we packed up our Forester (which seems to be getting smaller and smaller on us, theses days!) and joined my cousin and her family and some of their friends out near Boreas Pass Road at Selkirk Campground for some straight-up tent camping with our 10-month-old.

I can hear you now saying we’re crazy, and maybe a small part of us is, but we just had to give it a try! We settled on one night — Saturday — to ease ourselves into it, and while Chris gave the overall status of the trip a 60% grade (more on why later), I’d say it was more like a 75%. Don’t get me wrong — the daytime was amazing, an A+! The night, however … well that was another story.

Here’s a couple things I learned from camping for the first time with my 10-month-old:

  1. One night is not enough for everything you have to do to get prepped for camping. With all the food and gear and baby gadgets we had to get together, I felt like we should be leaving for a month, not 24 hours. Still, I think having just the one night ended up working out okay since, as I mentioned above, things didn’t go so well at night. However, if/when we camp again, I think we’ll shoot for at least a 2-night minimum.
  2. Prepare for all contingencies. Anyone who has gone camping will already know this, but when you have a baby with you, put that on your list three times. I had checked the weather before we left and saw it was meant to dip down to the lower 40s at night, so we were ready, but it actually ended up dipping to the lower 30s (?!?!?! That’s mountain life for ya!), so I was extra happy we were prepared.
  3. Don’t think you’ll sleep. At all. Get in all the rest and relaxation in the days leading up to your camping trip that you can, because camping with your baby will not be relaxing. As I mentioned already, our night wasn’t so great. Lotte was up about every two hours, and while she mostly went back down relatively easily, still, she was up crying every. two. hours. So no sleep was had by anyone (including the family in the tent closest to us … sorrrryyyyy!). I don’t think she was cold, necessarily, since her nighttime attire included a long-sleeved onesie, socks, fleece pajamas, her winter sleep sack, socks on her hands, her winter hat and a fleece blanket (plus eventually we brought her over to our mattress to sleep with us, so she had our blanket on top of her, too). I think it was just the overall weirdness of being outside and in a tent that she just couldn’t get used to. Whatever it was, she wasn’t having it!
  4. Be down for anything. For as frustrating as our night was, the day was gorgeous and filled with fun. We hiked and watched the sunset and made smores and they had hammocks and there was a beautiful stream, so it was very fun. The one thing I hadn’t really thought about, though, was that at this crawling age, we couldn’t really put Lotte down anywhere (dirt, and anything else, goes right in the mouth these days), which meant Chris or myself was holding her all day long. Again this was fine, especially for one night, but it definitely wasn’t something we thought of ahead of time.

Anyway, after unpacking when we arrived, here’s what we actually got to see and do. It was pretty spectacular …

IMG_2607
^^ I am never not taking glorious mountain photos from the car window when we drive places around here!

IMG_2608
^^ My cousin’s daughter is one year almost to the day older than Lotte, and they are just the cutest together!

IMG_2609IMG_2610
^^ The relaxin’ in a camp chair in the sun part of camping? Lotte had that part nailed 😉

IMG_2611IMG_2612IMG_2613
^^ Look at these glorious views! I would definitely recommend this area for camping, just be sure to bring your rugged, all-terrain vehicle because some of the roads were quite bumpy to navigate.

IMG_2614IMG_2615IMG_2616IMG_2617IMG_2618IMG_2619IMG_2620
^^ There’s my man, settin’ us up for the night. We actually don’t have any camping gear ourselves besides one cooler … is that crazy? We borrowed this stuff from our camping-pro friends, though, and it was pretty amazing.

IMG_2621IMG_2622
^^ This. Little. Face. All dirty and scratched up 😉

IMG_2623
^^ Dubious tent face :/ A sign of things to come!

IMG_2624IMG_2625IMG_2626IMG_2627IMG_2628IMG_2629IMG_2630
^^ These two ❤

IMG_2631IMG_2632IMG_2633IMG_2634IMG_2635IMG_2636IMG_2637IMG_2638IMG_2639IMG_2640IMG_2641IMG_2642IMG_2643IMG_2644IMG_2645IMG_2646IMG_2648IMG_2649
^^ When Lotte wouldn’t sleep, we went for a walk with her, which at least meant we were able to catch this glorious sunset … so thanks for that, Lotte!

IMG_2650IMG_2651IMG_2652IMG_2653IMG_2654
^^ We woke up to 34 degree temps, and I needed to breastfeed Lotte, which I was not about to do in that frigid weather. So we started up the car, put the heat on and Lotte and I hung out there for a little bit in the wee hours of the morning. Oh, parenthood 😉

IMG_2655IMG_2656
^^ Maxin’ and relaxin’ while we all pack up.

IMG_2662
^^ My cousin with Lotte. We were so thankful for the invite and had so much fun tagging along the trip … thanks Court!

IMG_2657IMG_2658
^^ We made a few pitstops on the way home to take in the views, too.

IMG_2659IMG_2660

And that was our camping in a nutshell! Super gorgeous, very fun and entirely exhausting 😉 And would I do it all over again? You bet I would!

I hope everyone has a fun Fourth of July plans. We’ll be heading out of town to the Twin Lakes area to check it out. Until next time, bis bald!

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!

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.