Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Pua's Big Day and Totally Separate Adventures in Home Decorating

So here we are, on Day 25 of the government shut down. I am, frankly, not doing great with my anxiety on this time of furlough and lost pay and purpose. It doesn't matter that I know I don't need to be anxious, that our back pay is almost certain, that we are still comfortably paying our bills, that my parents can help when we can't. It simply doesn't matter. I'm in fight or flight and there is nothing to fight and nowhere to fly and it would really be better if I could go to my job and get paid for it. But it does help to know what is happening in my brain, to have a name for it, and to have techniques that help me to act less like an asshole to those I love. I'm working on a general update post on that topic, but for now, we will turn to lighter things.

Like Cora yelling, "Mom! Take this picture! I'm SUPER GIRL!!"


(It helps if you can hear her little voice yelling "girl" with her special pronunciation that sounds more like "goy-rl" and it is delightful.)

On the topic of Cora, in a semi-hungover haze after I spent six hours drinking two margaritas at our local taco place until midnight last week, I told Cora she could bring her Pua as her "sleepy lovie" at school. Normally we make her keep it to something small, but I was tired and fuzzy and the giant pig seemed like a totally reasonable sleeping partner on a small preschool sleep mat.


She was SO EXCITED. She insisted on a first day of school picture for them both, then she buckled Pua safely into his car seat in the backseat. "I'm his mom, so I need to keep him SAFE," she explained.


Once at school, she carefully placed him in her cubby, where I assume he waited excitedly for nap time to begin.


Cora told me that night that Pua had SUCH a good day, and all her friends loved him and "pet his soft furry head" every time they walked past. He accompanied us to our post-work happy hour (the one I did not drink at) and Cora felt he should be dressed for the occasion and shared the Wonder Woman hat and wrist cuffs she'd been wearing all day. He looked very festive, even if I did make him stay in the car.


Pua could really have a whole scrapbook album; he's a major part of our life.


Another thing that made me smile recently: overhearing this conversation while the girls were playing over the weekend:

Claire: “Cora! You need to ask me before you take my things!

Cora, with a sigh at the obvious flaw in that logic: “But Cwaire! Then you might say no!

Being the older sister is hard. I was totally ready to defend Claire's right to own things without harassment, when she just shrugged and seemed to agree with Cora's logic. Then I remembered she's also a younger sister.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


On an entirely separate topic, other than the fact it also makes me smile, we finally updated our bedroom last month! Obviously it ended up being bad timing with the shut down a few weeks after, but at the time it was an entirely reasonably decision based on my apparently naive believe that I will get paid a certain amount every two weeks.

Here was our bedroom not long after we moved here in early March 2012.


We had painted the walls a light blue grey (the same color we'd recently painted our bedroom in our Austin house), removed some pretty ugly cheap wood built-ins along the back wall, and spent the rest of the master bedroom budget renovating the entire carpeted, navy-blue-walled, brown-bathtub, extra-toilet-in-the-shower bathroom. We left the carpet in the bedroom, though we had urgent plans to replace it as soon as possible, and decorated the room with the bedding and furniture that were only a few years old from the Austin house, with plans to revisit later.


(The picture above included because I still adore every inch of this fully renovated shower that no longer has a toilet in it, and look at tiny baby Claire!!)


But revisit it we did not.


Instead we took down a wall and gut-renovated a galley-kitchen two years later. We switched the kids' rooms and decorated each of them. We had to replace some doors and nearly all our window framing in our bedroom and sun room after they started leaking during rain storms. There was a garage project, a back patio project, a new roof, and all the other little things you do with a 70-year-old house you adore and are slowly making wholly your own.


Last Fall, 6.5 years after moving in, we finally took out the old carpet and replaced it with wood to match the rest of the house, as part of a project that included replacing the rotted window framing and making some small updates to our hall bath like moving the bathroom light switch from out in the hallway to inside the bathroom (what a crazy idea!) and adding an exhaust fan. Wood floors done (and then re-done, after the first round buckled up in a dozen places after two days), I started trying to decide what else I wanted to do to the room. I had no problem with the general color and design, but we'd had it the same for about ten years (when you include the Austin years) and I wanted something different- something with color, something more on the short little back wall... just something. I'd done each kids' room twice since we moved and ours was due. I set a budget of no more than $1,000 and got to online browsing and bookmarking.

Target had a big home sale in late November and I found a rug with all the colors I wanted for 40% off.


I got the lamps, curtains, and teal quilt from Amazon (after frequently finding them on other websites, but getting the lowest prices there) and the world map print from Ross for $25. The bench by the foot of the bed is from Target (from the same super home sale; 40% off!), as is the new curtain rod.


I couldn't invest in new furniture, and had no argument with our current set, but I did want to freshen it up a bit. I thought about switching out the night stands, but then got the idea to switch out all the knobs instead. $30 on Amazon later and I had 30 brass bar knobs that I switched out ALL by MYSELF (I do not do these things) and I love it!


It's little, but it genuinely changed the feel of the furniture for me.


Then I got the idea to do framed watercolor prints of favorite vacation memories along the back wall. I used the waterlogue app ($2.99! bought 2 years ago when I gave my parents a watercolor print of my childhood home), printed matte 12x12's to Costco for $3.99/each, ordered custom mats from this website for a total of $60 (they were great, cut perfectly, and delivered for free 5 days after ordering), and then picked up the six 16 x 20 frames from Michaels during a Christmas sale that was a remarkable "Buy 1 Get 2 Free."


I truly love them. They're colorful and personal and just abstract enough to feel like art. Very personal, happy art.


I still would like to add a few more things once I'm being paid again- a fun colorful throw for the bottom of the bed, some art or metal work for above my dresser (I still have my old Austin frames there; I love them, but again, they've been there for 10 years, and now that we have the frames of photos above the bed, I'd like to add more art to the space), and maybe some different flowers for the vase on my dresser. Little stuff I'll get to later and over time. Oh, and we need to repaint the walls because there's a lot of holes and touch-ups that don't match like the one on our ceiling from when the new roof leaked. I'd like to change the color a bit as long as we're going through the effort, something a little less grey-blue and maybe more cream-blue, but I do really love the colorful new look and all total I spent less than $700 to refresh the whole space.

In close, because it's about time to pick up the kids, here are the images I framed (because every picture I tried to take of the framed images themselves reflected my own image back onto me). I look forward to switching them out with new ones over the years. Except maybe not because I deeply love them all.


Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica, 2018


Chicago, Illinois, 2018


Cano Island, Costa Rica, 2018


Nauyaca Falls, Costa Rica, 2018


Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 2014


Canyonlands National Park, Utah, 2016

Happy Tuesday to you all. (Oh! And I made this Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad for lunch yesterday and it was exceptional and I genuinely can't wait to eat the rest of it for lunch tomorrow. Just another little bit of happy to close it out.)

Friday, January 11, 2019

Skiing Like a Flock of Shutdown Penguins

So here we are, Day 20 of the Trump Shitdown. It's 12:26 p.m. on a Friday. A Friday that should be a Pay Day but is not. I'm wearing pj pants and an old fleece-y UT swimming pullover, drinking tea, trying to resist the siren call of frozen leftover Christmas cookies, and watching The West Wing and pretending I live in a world where the American president has a brain, heart, moral compass, and ability to string words together in a logical way.


So basically, I'm this penguin. Except unlike this penguin, I have not yet eaten ALL of the Christmas cookies. But it's only 12:26 p.m.

I remain, unquestionably, one of the lucky ones. I'm not being forced to work without pay. (Though I am being forced to sit at home without pay.) I was able to transfer the exact regular amount of my paycheck to my checking account from savings last night. We can pay all our bills. When we can't, my parents have already offered a loan. I am, unquestionably, one of the lucky ones.

But I have a job that provides for my family and I'm not allowed to do it. The Republicans controlled both houses of Congress when the government shut down. There was a budget passed 100-0 in the Senate that Trump refused to sign when the government shut down. Trump has been president for two years and his party has controlled every arm of Congress for that entire time and they did nothing on this idiotic wall no one thinks is a good idea and yet here we are, throwing a temper tantrum at the last minute that is hurting people, hurting our national parks, hurting our economy, hurting all the people down the line who contract with the government, supply the government, and depend on government employees to frequent their shops, stores, and businesses.

I am absolutely going to eat all the Christmas cookies. But I will NOT, as I did on Wednesday, have two margaritas and wear a fuzzy wolf head in a local taco place that I closed down with a friend at midnight. I did eat too many peanut butter pretzels yesterday when I was hungover and not hungry. I make bad choices when I'm not at work. Like stepping on the scale this morning. FORK. Poor choice. I need to go back to work.


So let's go back to something fun. Like Cora's outfit she changed into for my first happy hour of the week. (The second was yesterday with different friends at the same place with Cora in a different outfit; I did not have any margaritas at all. I was, however, immediately recognized by the cashier from the night before when I did.)


But we'll go back even further to the 2nd day of this year, when we were still in Colorado and woke up in my parents' house before driving to Breckenridge to meet our friends. Cora spent the morning petting my parents' dogs and my dad paid her a dollar as a professional dog petter and she was SO EXCITED she has talked about her dollar daily ever since. Then, a few days ago when James and I were talking about which payments to postpone this month (nothing critical; just the extra we'd been paying each month on the car and house), and she piped up, "You can have my dollar!", which was the sweetest.


I got distracted. Back to Colorado! Though it feels like a lifetime ago, we only returned last Sunday and haven't even been home a full week. We had simply the BEST time. It's really on vacations when I so appreciate having big kids. Years- YEARS- of work and love and discipline and boundaries and being home and now we've got this fleet-footed pack of big kids we can load up and take anywhere and it is so freaking fun.


Having friends makes it even better. We had 10 adults and 11 kids in one big 6-bedroom house outside Breckenridge we were able to rent for a steal and we had a blast.


All the empties

All the adults had their own room and bathroom and we crammed 7 kids in a bunk room and 4 other kids in a living room and the skiing made everyone tired and it all worked.


ALL the snow boots

Every family had a night they were responsible for dinner and our fifth family handled breakfast on our play day (which made Landon's entire trip; my friend H's pancakes, of which Landon eats MANY any time he spends the night at their house, are carbs of legend in our family). James and I swiped our credit card exactly once on the trip, when we bought groceries on our way to the rental house on the 2nd, which made me feel calm and generally in denial about the fact the shutdown was going on while I was there. I made a quadruple recipe of Mexican Rice (recipe linked below) for our meal on night 1 and it was a hit with adults and kids alike.


Our first full day was a ski day. The weather was spectacular- our first January ski trip in a long time without a blizzard raining (blizzarding?) down upon us. I enjoy skiing so much more when snow isn't being thrown into my face with extreme prejudice.


After her successful two runs at Granby Mountain, home of the free lift ticket for children under the age of 6, Cora was happily ensconced back in daycare where she gets to bring her blankie and sleep mask and doesn't have to touch snow at any time. She had a great day AND a 2-hour nap that left her very chipper indeed.


The big kids are making leaps and bounds with their skiing. We skied all blues all day both days and I had SO much fun cruising with them.


We skied in a pack, off and on, with friends. After the first run I released James to the back bowls where he popped off his snowboard, hiked several hundred feet, and stood at precisely 13,000 feet on the top ridge of Peak 8 before boarding down far faster than I like to picture him boarding. I no longer do back bowls and I am extremely comfortable with that decision.


We packed lunches that James wore in a backpack on his back and met at noon with the other families to eat on top of one of the peaks. The sun was out, the wind was down, and turkey and cheese rolled up in a tortilla has never tasted so good.


On Day 2 we were on the mountain by 8 a.m. and were on one of the first chairs up the lift. A few friends who had been in ski school on day 1 were warming up on greens, so we made plans to meet up later and James and I took our crew down the first run of the day. After Landon already got way too far ahead of us, I dismissed the boys to stay together, almost certainly in the trees, while I was Mother Duck to Claire and our favorite teenager M.


Because the mountain was still so empty we were able to do more runs in the first two hours than I've maybe ever done, so we took a break in Vista Haus on Peak 8, munching on peanut butter pretzels I had in my hydration pack and admiring the Continental Divide.


We met up for lunch later, got a Mamas picture with some of my very favorite ladies, and reworked the groups- adding a few more ducklings (and mama/papa ducks) to our blue run flock.


I have truly never had as much fun skiing as I did that day. The kids were so sweet and fun and enthusiastic. And unlike when I'm skiing with James and trying to pretend I enjoy double black back bowls, I actually felt in control and relaxed the whole time. Blues are my happy place. And I even impressed a few children with my ski skills. It's real all about the peers you surround yourself with.


My skiing peers are 10.


Our 2nd and final ski day ended with bruised shins and happy hearts. And an apr├Ęs-ski pitcher of water at a bar near the base.


Our last full day in Colorado was a play day. We slept in, ate an incredible breakfast complete with the magical pancakes, and headed out to a free local sledding hill. We'd bought some tubes and disks, two of which James popped or broke almost immediately. Undaunted, we had dad races and mom races and lots and lots and lots of kid races. Walking up the hill was hard work and it was the perfect activity before a long drive home. My favorite memory is of two of the third-babies in our group, frequently just taking off together and then handling their own shit as they marched back up.


Third babies could rule the world if they wanted to. They just often don't because they can get their older siblings to do it for them.


We drove back on Sunday, locking up the house and saying goodbye to another successful friend trip. We had such a great 9 days in Colorado, especially getting to see my sister's and parents' new houses for the first time. It was a dose of reality to be back in Fort Worth that Monday morning without a job to do to. But the kids were still off school (until Wednesday! Christmas break is soooo long), so we did walks and errands and kept busy. The big kids escorted Cora to school Monday and Tuesday (because preschool was open thank god; Cora needed her Montessori back in her life) so she could feel like a rock star rolling up on her big girl bike.


On Wednesday we woke up to a spectacular hot pink sunset that Claire asked to borrow my phone to capture from the front yard, and for the first time in the then-18-day shutdown, all 3 of my kids were in school while I was not at work. If you must be shutdown, it was nice to have one day I could just watch Top Chef and marvel at how fast 3:00 rolls around.


And so here we are. Day 20. On the upside, my TCU barre classes pick back up next week, so that's 2 hours of activity and $56/week coming my way. Until then I'm going to yoga every day (membership already paid for through January!), acting as after school kid activity taxi (this is not my favorite), and wondering when I'll get to be a lawyer again. Also on Thursday I woke up with a mild hangover for the first time in at least 8 years and possibly longer. It was terrible; hangovers do not improve with age, so there will be no more of that.

On to food! I'm making all the things because we aren't eating out!

Ski Trip Meal: Mexican Rice with all the toppings, corn chips, cookies.

Monday: Big Salad Night (Vacation detox; a giant salad of all the vegetables Trader Joe's had in stock plus chopped up hard-boiled egg, sliced grilled chicken breast, feta cheese, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette I make with balsamic vinegar + garlic + dijon mustard + tiny bit of honey + olive oil), cheese slices, crackers.

Tuesday: Vegan Lentil Winter Stew, corn bread. (This soup is so easy and so hearty and good; definitely a new favorite.)

Wednesday: This was supposed to be the stir fry below, but I ended up at the taco place with friends and the kids had cheap tacos, I had frozen tequila, and James had leftover stew after taking the kids home at the reasonable hour of 7:30.

Thursday: Spring Roll Stir Fry, frozen spring rolls from TJs on the side. I kind of make this up as I go, based loosely on the linked recipe and others I've made... from what I remember I saute ground turkey in sesame oil with onion and garlic, add soy sauce, simmer; dump in big bag of cauliflower rice, sliced baby bok choy, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots - fill the whole giant pan you're using, stir around until it all softens a bit, add in rice vinegar + sherry + soy sauce + oyster sauce.

Friday: Beef and Black Bean tacos, rice, beans. I'm doing this baked version and they look delicious.

Saturday: Pizza Rolls (two version: pesto + kalamata olives + pepperoni; and marinara + pepperoni + black olives), raw veggies.

Sunday: Chicken Pot Pie soup (always with extra veggies), biscuits.

Monday: Frozen crispy fish (the panko crusted cod from Costco I just realized were in my freezer), steamed veggies, parmesan orzo (I just boil some orzo and then toss it with a bit of butter and parmesan; it's far more delicious than it should be for so little effort).

Tuesday: Crock pot pulled pork. Recipe from my friend who made this in Colorado, with buns, kale farro salad with lemon miso dressing, root veggie fries (from TJ's; frozen).

Ingredients
2 - 2.5 lbs. boneless pork loin
1/2 onion sliced
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 16 oz. bottle BBQ sauce (She recommends the Sweet Baby Rays brand, and that’s the one I use)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup water

Instructions
Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
Cook on medium for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Shred and enjoy!

Wednesday: Frozen ravioli with tomato cream sauce, garlic bread. Probably some microwaved frozen veggies but also possibly not.

Thursday: Leftover pulled pork rolled and baked into enchiladas, black beans, Mexican rice, avocado.

Friday: Hoping to god the government is opened by then and James and I can have the date night I canceled in late December because of the shut down and would now REALLY like to have. If not, all the kids are eating spaghettios and James and I are having leftovers because I'm not cooking.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Colorado New Year's

So I'm still not being paid, but my view has improved dramatically.


That was my first view of 2019, taken off the back porch of my parents' new home near Winter Park, Colorado, and it was a spectacular one. Their new place is gorgeous and we love it and I think we'll be spending quite a bit of time here.


Papa and Gigi and the grandkids

But first! We left at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and made it to my sister's beautiful new house (everyone got a new house in 2018 except us; we're totally fine with that, particularly since they're all in handy places to visit, but I didn't realize it until I typed that out!) near Boulder at 6:55 p.m. The kids were perfect (literally, not a single whine or complaint; road trips are our life), I got antsy because I'm bad at being still, and James calmly drove the whole way.


We had a delicious dinner at my sister's and watched the kids play with their only cousin and it was a delight. They are the cutest.


Sky is 2 and very enamored of princesses and cousins. Watching them play was pure joy.


We enjoyed a good night's sleep, breakfast, and some outside time on a day that claimed to be in the 40's but felt like 85. Cora wore snow boots and her new Pocahontas princess dress she got from her Tia and Uncle Billy and that felt about right.


Then we headed out on the next stop of our Colorado road trip - tiny little Tabernash, CO! My parents' new home is absolutely beautiful and just perfect for family gatherings, particularly the grand kid room that is the stuff of childhood cousin dreams.


I mean:


And there's a bookcase full of all ages of books, toys, puzzles, games, and even a TV they can all see from the bunk beds. It's basically the coolest room ever. As is the rest of the house, which is lovely and comfortably slept and held us all. After settling in we headed out for a horse-drawn sleigh ride, the only activity all 9 of us could do together with 2-year-old Sky and my nearly 7-months-pregnant sister.


It was cold, but fun, and the little cousins were adorable in their winter-wear (a theme for the whole stay).


Landon and Claire sat up front and helped drive the sleigh and at the end we had hot chocolate and lots of sledding.


If the little girls were together, they were FEARLESS.


I also sledded, as did Papa and Gigi, and of course, Landon and Claire. They fly fast and solo these days.


After the sleigh ride we picked up our skis and this little princess was going to GO FOR IT. Her 5th family ski trip and she was READY.


And adorable. We were heading to a local place that was free for kids 6 and under, and her rental was a free add-on to ours, so we were willing to give it a try. Again. We got home to dinner, games, and princess pj's for the little girls, followed by more games (and wine!) for the grown-ups.



On New Year's Eve we woke up to -5 temps and a plan to ski. We got breakfast, got suited up (something that inexplicably takes about an hour), and headed out to Granby Ranch! We'd never been, and it only had two front halves of a mountain and 3 lifts, but it was well under half the cost of Winter Park and given that the big kids could use a warm-up ski day, James and I knew we wouldn't exactly be pushing ourselves with the littles, and Cora, historically, HATED cold and snow and was not afraid to show it (and was genuinely offended you'd made her come at all), it seemed like the perfect place.

And it was! All five of us- on skis/boards!


We took Cora up the ski lift that served two short green runs and I realized, once we loaded, that I had no idea how to teach her to ski, or even how to get her off the lift, and ski school is worth every penny of the MILLION pennies that it costs.


On the lift! This is happening!

We managed to get off the ski lift, but she fell onto my skis and then I fell over her. We stopped the lift. It was not a promising start, but she stood up, brushed off, and pressed on.


James just walked her down the slope, holding his board, while she wedged her way to me back and forth. It was the cutest. She was so earnest and SO PROUD. We were so proud! The sun even came out for a few seconds and brought the temperature above 0 to celebrate!


After her second run, and successful ski lift dismount, she said, "I'm all done skiing Mama."


"Okay!" I said, and we walked to the lodge to split a bag of chips and cup of water while we waited for Papa, Gigi, Uncle Billy, and the big kids to come down the blue slopes they were doing. And once they did- we found out they'd even done two blacks! Landon has gotten really strong and confident in his skiing and Claire will do anything as long as she's following her Gigi and taking it slow. But she never balks and we were so very proud of our sometimes cautious Bear.


I went on a blue/black run with the big kids and Billy while James walked to the car to retrieve our lunches and my parents waited for my sister and Sky to drive over and join us for our picnic lunch in the lodge. It was so fun to watch the big kids ski a run, but I did not mind at all that Cora was ready to go home with my sister after lunch since I'd kind of maybe broken my foot the day before while we were sledding after the sleigh ride. (I slipped and stepped down hard with my left foot and felt shooting pain go up the top of my foot, followed by bruising, swelling, and intense pain anytime I moved my foot or put any weight on it at all. The ski boot was torture to put on, but then it actually felt better since it acted like a brace, but I had no faith in my ability to do a sharp right turn that required me to press my left ski into the mountain.)


That afternoon Cora took a nap, I drank tea, and it was a lovely few hours of alone. I'm so glad Cora accepted skiing and snow into her life and I'm so glad it cost $0 and we stopped on her high note after 2 runs. As she told me today, "I really like skiing mom. Next time I will do it all of the time." Good, I didn't say, because this is the last year you're still young enough to go to childcare (which is what she's doing when we meet our friends in Breckenridge because it's way cheaper than ski school and I had no faith in her willingness to touch snow for multiple days).


Everyone else skied and boarded for a few more hours and I'm so glad they did. When they got home we set up the table for our New Year's Eve dinner because of course Gigi had special things in store:


noise makers, candles, and light-up glasses for the kids that were so cool I was a little jealous.


We had a big nacho buffet for dinner, played hours of games after the kids went to bed, and I just can't imagine a better way to see out a year.


Which brings us to today- we woke up, had a big New Year's brunch (this recipe FTW, forever; I made one version with the bacon, and one with spinach) and dressed up to go sledding down the street near the house.


It was a GORGEOUS day. It was also -4 outside, but with the sun out, it felt at least 40. I started sweating while walking a sled up the hill. Colorado is so weird.


We were sledding over a frozen pond, which the kids thought was the coolest thing ever, and it was just so fun. Family time + Colorado + physical activity = peak Lag Liv family excursion.


Even Cora had an absolute blast, proving she may be a beach baby, but she's also part snow bunny. Just a really deep part that took five years and five snow trips to uncover.


My sister and her little family headed home since she has to work on the 2nd and then my parents joined us with their dogs. Aka, their only kids who still live at home.


We did lots of sledding and playing on the snow-covered playground and then decided, since the sun made -1 feel so reasonable, we'd head to the local tubing hill in Fraser.


It was FABULOUS.


Super fast, with a pretty quick lift, and they let you do just about whatever you want. Like linking together 6 tubes and going down at the speed of light.


After LOTS of runs, in which Cora sat on everyone's laps (you have to be 7 to have your own tube; Cora thought this was just fine), and James and I went down once face-first holding hands and it felt like I was flying and then the wind stole my hat and one of the employees had to run out to save it, we headed back home.


The big kids went out to play in the snow (of course), James went to swim, and Cora and I felt very comfortable with our life choices that led us to wearing pj's and 2 p.m. and not going outside again at all. I don't even know what we did... I think Cora played in the grandkid room (which my mom has outfitted with books for all ages and some favorite toys from the Houston house), I edited pictures and drank tea... it was a lovely New Year's Day.


We had our traditional Bermuda Hopping John for dinner (a black-eyed pea stew for good luck) and tucked the kidlets in bed nice and early. My parents are watching the UT/Georgia game (Hook 'em!), I'm finally blogging (overdue; sorry already for the length), James is answering some swim school emails, my dad just made me popcorn with cheez-its (the best!), and we leave tomorrow to drive to Breckenridge to meet our friends for 4 more nights of fun.


It's been such a fun four days so far and I love that this Colorado road trip adventure is exactly 50% family and 50% friends. A perfect blend that has gotten off to a perfect start.


Cousins!

Happy New Year's from our family to yours!