Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Some Fall Everyday Moments...

I know winter totally struck us last week with 30 inches of snow, but I decided it's time to share these sunny day photos from fall instead :)

One happy trio
They really know how to destroy rooms!
One tired pumpkin
Nap time, golden hour
Soccer Andrew
My little outdoor boy!
Shadow chaser
Hugs from sister!
School 10/14/15 by Mr. Rogers

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!

We arrived home as Halloween was approaching so we quickly jumped into the festivities of Halloween!  One of our favorites this year was trick or treating at one of our favorite places, the Mosaic District.  It's a great little urban area of shopping near us where the stores passed out candy & treats to trick or treaters.  We headed over with one of our dear friends, Cameron...
 The kids had a blast!
 We also had the preschool Halloween parades :)

 And our annual pumpkin carve...
 And of course, Halloween!  This year, we did in right in the comforts of our own neighborhood and had a blast!  

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hello Prague!

We headed off to Prague in mid-October.  Chris's job throws a big meeting/celebration for all new partners & this was an once in a lifetime opportunity!  Every year, they pick somewhere new to go.  When we found out it was Prague, we were determined to go & this was before Andy even had his wedding planned.  Once the day arrived to head out to Prague, I can admit I was so not ready to go.  After just traveling to Miami & Hawaii, I was a little anxious to leave the kids again and they were also a bit anxious for us to go as well.  But, I knew they were in great hands (aka: my mom!) & we said our good-byes with lots of tears & an Uber driver watching us saying our final good-byes!

After a very long flight to Vienna & a short, but sketchy, flight to Prague, we arrived!  
And what a beautiful city it is...

Chris was in meetings half the week, so thankfully I had this sweet friend to be my buddy in crime in another country with another language and us not knowing one thing about Prague!  Mendy & I moved to DC at the same time when both of our husbands had taken a fellowship with the SEC.  After doing their two year fellowships, both of our husbands are back to their old company here in DC.  It was so nice to have a partner in crime to explore the city & we had a blast!

We saw lots of things in Prague & I would say it's kind of a small big city.  You can really manage to see a lot in one day & we did a lot of sight seeing just by foot with our little handy travel book!  This is the Old Town clock:
 The pretty streets of Prague...
 John Lennon Wall...
 Prague Castle.  AMAZING.  
 Prague Old Town from the clock tower plaza at night

Mendy & I took a half day tour of the Prague Castle.  Again, AMAZING. 

I love the old city streets & character of this part of the world!
 We spent about three days in Prague.  Chris was mostly in meetings & dinner celebrations, while Mendy & I explored the town like crazy!  We had about 36 hours of free time once Chris was done before flying back home.  Chris and I decided to use our time to explore another European city, Vienna.  We took a train to Vienna, Austria & enjoyed a full day there before flying home.  Since we only had 24 hours by the time we arrived, we did a full day of a bus tour of Vienna before trying a little wiener schnitzel & doing a little shopping before our big flight home.

I have tons more pictures, but they are all on Chris' phone so I am not sure when I will ever get myself to downloading them.  We had a wonderful trip & I am thankful for this once in a life time opportunity because I am not sure when I will ever get back to that part of the world.  It's a great celebration for Chris as he embarks on a new step in his career & I am thankful to celebrate with him.  I missed my kids like Grandma, but hats off to one amazing woman.  She managed to take care of all three kids all by herself for the week.  All the school shuttling, homework, meals, dishes, laundry, everything was successfully completed with only one call to poison control :)  I missed the kids like crazy & one of my favorite moments from the whole trip was at the airport when I finally could squeeze my kids again!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

We Are Still Here...

It's a new year & I'm finally catching up from the busy holidays!  Life never seems to stop in this house, although 2016 has started out relatively quiet :)  Last time, I blogged I was all about our trip to Hawaii but life didn't stop there.  We arrived home to these sweet faces who went on an adventure to nowhere...
 Thankfully, they had a blast with Grandma and Grandpa!  I even arrived home to this sweet homemade cake...
We didn't do much when we arrived home other than get back to our normal routine and soak up these three sweet cuties:

I soaked up every minute I could with them because less than two weeks later, we were off to Prague!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kauai, HI: Vacation Bucket List Adventure

This fall, Chris & I took the vacation of a lifetime.  Hawaii has been on my bucket list forever & I have finally managed to get myself all the way there despite our busy schedules and having three young children.  It's not everyday that your one and only brother gets married & of course, he did it big and got married in Hawaii.  It was a little tough logistically to get everything set for the kids for a week while we were gone, but thankfully Chris' parents came & managed the kids like two champions:)

After twelve hours of flying & two layovers, we landed at the Kauai airport.  And it really is amazing.  My dad was already there traveling, so he picked us up at the airport & off to the hotel we went.  We first stayed on the south side at Poipu Beach & it was beautiful.  Hello first morning in Hawaii...

The first full day we were there was my birthday & what a perfect gift (although I really missed my kids and one day, hope to take them there once they are older & would be manageable on a 12 hour flight:))  It was truly a birthday gift from God to wake up to something so beautiful as this.

On our first day, we drove up to Waimea Canyon...awesome, awesome, awesome.

We headed back to the hotel in the afternoon for snorkeling before attending a true Hawaii luau with the family!  First day, amazing.  The next day, we woke up early & headed to a catamaran tour of the Napali Coast.  This is definitely one of the top 10 favorite things that I have ever done in my life.

 I loved, loved, loved it.  I kind of think that in my next life, I will be the captain of a boat & live this life everyday.  The waves were crazy wild (major swells) which means one super crazy ride.  Many people headed inside to shelter from the sea spray & wild ride, but I loved every minute of it and everyone in my family stayed right in the front of the boat, even my trooper of a mom.  On top of that, we saw so many wild dolphins (including babies) and got to snorkel along the coast.  It's definitely a huge highlight of the trip!

 After we finished the boat ride with my dad, mom, & Jill, we all drove north to check in to our hotel on the northern coast of Kauai.  Andy got married up there which meant a long drive, but that means we got to see a lot of the island.  Each side is very different & distinct and I am so thankful that we got to see so much in the short time we were there.  We arrived in time for the rehearsal dinner with this beautiful couple.  It was a simple but sweet rehearsal dinner from the local fish market.  It included some of my brother favorites:  poke & seaweed salad.

The view from our room was pretty sweet, I have to admit.  We stayed at the St. Regis which is where my brother was staying as well.  It was super pretty & the perfect location to enjoy a few days of relaxation.  We spent the wedding day just relaxing & hanging out before the big moment.

 Sisters ready for their brother to finally get married...

They got married at Tunnels Beach, which is just beautiful.  It was a sunset wedding & here is the happy, happy couple.

We had the most awesome dinner after the wedding under this pop-up tent from a farm to table catering business.  Everything was super fresh & super delicious.  I loved that it was open to nature & a perfect night.

 The next morning was our last day so we got up early and headed out to hike the northern coast.  It was not an easy hike, but one of the best hikes that I have been one.  So much exploring & nothing beats a day in the true outdoors.  We didn't really go out too long because we wanted to make it back for lunch, but I would have totally loved a full day of hiking in this...

For views like this...

And then, sadly, we had to say good-bye to Kauai but it was time to head back to our kids and see these sweet faces.  I was so ready to hug these three kids and hear all about life at home again.  I missed them so much but am so thankful for this once in a lifetime opportunity to watch my brother get married & spend a week in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  Now, if only I could talk Chris into moving here?!?

I have so many more pictures on Chris' phone, but the chances of me downloading those within the next year are slim so I thought I better share what I have!