Monday, October 27, 2014

Boo at the Zoo: Our Halloween Tradition



(Yes, this is the very best shot I have from that day.  Taking pictures was so not my gig.)



This year's installment of Boo at the Zoo was much like our very first, in that it was once again somewhere around 70 degrees.  Good grief, Colorado, it is so hard to chose a costume!  We never know from year to year if we'll have to prep for snow and winter or heat and summer.  

I love seeing the progress, changes, and additions to our little family, and to Jess's as well.  It's neat to see where we've been, and look forward to where we can go together.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

My dynamic duo

In the spirit of Halloween, we had to do a little practicing for the Big Night.

The Amazing Leah and Super Logan made the rounds on trick or treat street, and loved every second!

Although, we very quickly had to lose the mask, as it was impairing Super Logan's ability to walk straight.   

Though, we did learn that if you dress as "unidentified" superheroes, people will grasp at straws to make you into something they recognize.  "OH!  Wonder Woman!  The Hulk!  Captain America... wait, no he was a boy... A NINJA TURTLE!!!"  No, people.  It's okay, they can be super without being affiliated with Marvel.

We also spent a little time at the Train Museum, which was a brand new one for us.  The kids (Logan in particular) loved the opportunity to ride on and explore the trains.

Plus, there were a few good photo ops for our heroes to exploit.

Super Logan, looking cool and calm after stopping that run-away train.

A few action shots!

And, of course, our tiniest super one... 

...who was less than concerned about concealing her super secret identity.

Though we were short a daddy, the four of us greatly enjoyed our adventures.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The joys of fall

What's great about fall? 

Well... I could tell you, but I'll just let the pictures do the talking...

Oh, these two.  Most everything's an adventure when they're around!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A little fun at the patch.

Daddy had a (very) few days off in October, and we had to keep up our fabulous fall traditions.  

Which, for our family, meant a little trip to a pumpkin patch. 

It was a quick outing, but we had fun squeezing it in just the same.

The kids had a great time going through the corn maze, picking pumpkins and running around.

Oh, and playing on the swing set. 

Logan says, "CHAAEEEEESSSEEE!!!!!"
And making cheesey faces in front of Halloween-themed decor.

And playing on the swing set some more...

We always love spending time together during this time of year, even if it's on the fly.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

9 weeks, then and now

The best part of having daughters?

October, 2014 - 9 weeks old

May, 2010 - 9 weeks old
I am loving seeing these outfits again, four and a half years later!  

Not to mention, the rather uncanny resemblance between my girls.

This one's not quite as good because of the age difference:

June, 2010 - 3 months old

October, 2014 - 7 weeks old

 Olivia is such a good mix of our two older children.  Her face is shaped more like Logan's, and she's got a lot of Leah's features, though the truth is that who she looks most like varies from day to day.

November, 2012 - 9ish weeks (for comparison)
Seeing our little girl in these clothes evokes so, so many very specific memories of that other kid when she wore them: her first smile, going to doctor's appointments or other events, first trips to the zoo and so many others.  It has been so neat to reminisce, and to see that sweet little lady wear the clothes I felt so lucky to have the first time through.

May 2010 - Leah wore this hat exactly once... I smooshed it on as best I could for this picture, but after this, her head was way too big.
October 2014 - Miss Livvy still has a ways to go!
 And just in case you were wondering what can change in four and a half years, I give you exhibit A:

 Come to think of it, I was wrong before.  This is definitely the best part of having girls.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

This is how we roll

I love these little faces!  Sundays are for Cinnamon rolls, singing too loud in the car, and going to church.

And football, if those Broncos are on...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Old neighbors and big families

Before Casey went back to work last month, we were looking to take a little day trip.  Partly because Colorado is absolutely gorgeous and alive with fall color, but also somewhere to go because our kids are - finally - old enough not to be carted around on a hiking trail.  Well... with one obvious exception.

We thought we'd put their legs to good use and soak in one of those awesome mountain adventures people from Texas move to Colorado to experience.

As we were debating where to go and what kind of trail would be appropriate for two people with legs less than two feet long, we remembered that our beloved neighbors, who once lived right across the street and with whom we used to play outside for hours every week, had moved about an hour and a half away to Grand Lake.

It was the perfect time for a visit!

They introduced us to the world's best hiking trail for children - just the right amount of hills, rocks and incline to make it challenging but totally doable, but also decently ambitious for the adults, decked out in all its colorful fall glory.  On the way, we stopped at a beautiful little waterfall that ultimately trickles out to the lake.

There were tons of great places to stop and climb, and even Logan was able to get in on the action.

One of the best parts about their family is that they're made up of two older girls and a pair of twin boys - one of only a few families with four children that we count among our close friends.  And I have to say, it is so nice sometimes to be around other big families (big here meaning upwards of two kids, so all things relative)!  We don't get a lot of opportunities to see how other families function, to hear and see the chaos and mess and love and energy it takes to successfully manage multiple small-ish children, and it's certainly helpful when you're on that path too.

Plus,,. well, they're just a lot of fun to hang around and have adventures with!

And, it wouldn't be called Grand Lake without...

So, so beautiful!

No, really - this IS his happy face!

We had such a great time.  Although we miss living across from them, it was really neat to see the amazing life they're settling into.

We can't wait to visit again!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Roundup, Hawaii style

There really is nothing better than Hawaii.  Casey and I had such a wonderful trip - beyond words.  And our newest addition is just the sweetest little thing ever.

It's funny, because when I look back at Logan in hindsight, he was so stinkin much work I can't believe it.  At the time, though, in that just getting through haze, I didn't think he was so bad.  So when I say that Livvy is easy, it's not because I'm lost in a fog of unreality.  I know the difference now between hard and easy, and Miss Olivia is as easy as they come.  Not every second of every day, but overall - easy peasy.

I flew with her - the first time I've ever flown with any child, I might add - first to Salt Lake City, and then another six hours to Honolulu without any assistance.  I was really nervous, in part because I just don't like flying, but also because I had no idea how she'd do.  Would she cry the whole time?  Would I be that lady on a six hour trans-pacific flight?  Would the other passengers revolt and toss me out?  Turns out, my fears were entirely unnecessary - she didn't make a peep the entire time.  Sure, she woke to eat, but mostly she just slept, and was completely and totally content so long as I was holding her, which of course was always.

Casey was working for the first two days of our stay in Honolulu, but he had a hotel room at a beautiful resort on Waikiki beach, so Livvy and I had no trouble keeping ourselves contented.  Actually, the day we arrived, I had a fabulous time ordering sushi to the room and watching Once Upon a Time - which sounds a little sad considering we were in Hawaii, but I can't even begin to explain how awesome it was.  Olivia slept beside me and I laid in bed and watched TV and ate goodies... that is my current idea of the perfect night!

I was again worried that she might wake up through the night because of all the sleeping she'd done on the plane, but she was no problem.  We both went to bed around 8 and she didn't wake me until 1.  It was awesome.

The next day, we spent the morning hanging out with daddy at his beach-front event, and even tried on a swimsuit to hang by the pool.

Though, of course, neither of us could actually go in the water, we were perfectly happy to alternate laying by the pool and napping in the hotel room.  

When Casey had finished work, we still had a few days all to ourselves.  It was a wonderful, busy experience, and so awesome to have time to ourselves, just the three of us.  We kept plenty busy:

We took in a luau and show at the Polynesian Cultural Center, where we got completely and totally drenched walking around during a serious rain storm.

We visited Pearl Harbor.  I've been there once before, just before the one year anniversary of Columbine.  It was quite a different experience this time through...

We enjoyed some beautiful, quiet time at the beach, and even took turns going in the ocean (though I'm not going to show you those photos, because there is little so humbling as wearing a bathing suit less than two months after having your third baby).

It was hot.  And worse?  It was HUMID.  I like to drink my water, not inhale it.

We hiked a volcano and enjoyed a beautiful, scenic overlook of Waikiki.

We enjoyed amazing sunsets and delicious food - most of which for me was sushi.  I'm pretty sure I had sushi all but one night we were there!

Even with the brand new baby, we were able to accomplish everything we had wanted to do, with the exception of para-sailing or glass bottom boat, because Olivia was too small to be allowed on a boat.  The best part, though, was just spending that precious time together. 

We definitely don't get enough, and this was as close we've had to true one on one time in literally years.  It was wonderful!  And to top it off, we celebrated our anniversary overlooking the sunset on a beach.  I don't think it gets much better than that!

Miss Olivia couldn't have been better the entire trip.  Although, I will say that is unsettling how often people will stop and talk to you when you're traveling alone with a tiny baby.  Stop.  Talk.  Touch... I can't even begin to count the number of times strangers would go out of their way to oogle the baby, which should be a compliment but left me feeling more than a little overwhelmed.  Particularly because they often wanted to tell me their life stories down to details I should never have been privy to about their children and grandchildren.  I have always thought of myself as an extrovert, but the experience left me thinking that perhaps after a year and a half at home with my children, I've become a little more introverted than I used to be.  

It was a wonderful, memorable trip.  I am so grateful that we were able to spend that time together!

And it definitely has fueled our resolve: this is something we should be investing in as our children grow!  Vacations are the perfect place to build wonderful family memories!

I changed my font at