X Games

This past weekend, Michael and I had the awesome opportunity to go to the Winter X Games in Aspen. We were super pumped!

One of the best parts of the trip was that there is a direct DFW-Aspen flight, which shaves half of a day off of driving from the Denver airport. It was a tiny little plane – only 23 rows of seats – but we’ll take it.img_1635img_1637

We arrived on Thursday afternoon and breathed in that mountain air.img_1639

After collecting our luggage, we headed to the St Regis to check in and get our X Games badges. Not bad accommodations, I must say.img_2170Then we headed downstairs for the welcome reception.img_1640-1

We called it an early night. We thought we’d get great sleep, but we didn’t realize we had a humidifier in our room so it was super dry!

The next day we woke up to beautiful snowfall…and altitude-related headaches! Mike took some Excedrin and slept it off while I worked a bit.img_1645img_1652-1

Once we felt better, we headed out to the X Games to see what it was about.img_1665img_1655img_1669img_1675

We got a tour of the grounds which was really interesting…except to get to the top, we had to ride in a cage tacked on the back of a snowcat. Safe?img_1681img_1683

Just a casual ski down…img_1697img_1698Our tour guide told us he was great at taking a ‘gram-worthy photo so we let him work his magic…which continued at the bottom of the mountain in front of the half pipe.img_1715img_1118-1img_1120img_1716

We headed back to the hotel in the late afternoon and changed to get ready for dinner. I took zero pictures but we went to Aspen Kitchen which was delicious!

The next morning we headed to the spa for massages and a round at the oxygen bar. As you can imagine, the spa at the St Regis was pretty swank. Feeling refreshed, we headed back to the X Games for lunch and some games watching.img_1719

We took a short break back at the hotel before heading back for the evening for dinner, a couple of concerts – Method Man/Redman and LCD Soundsystem – and some sweet halfpipe action.img_1722img_1724img_1725

Between my frequent bathroom breaks and selfies, I lost my gloves. Small price to pay.img_1737img_1727img_1729

Sunday morning we peeled ourselves out of bed and had brunch before heading to the airport. Mike took the leisurely direct flight back to Dallas while I took a puddle jumper to Denver to spend a few days in Boulder for work.

If only we could live like that every weekend! It was amazing and we’re so grateful to our parents (Mike’s came in to watch the girls over the weekend) to be super babysitters while we were living the high life.


Top 5 of 2017

5. The friendships we’ve made, grown, and maintained this year.



4. Louise starting kindergarten!img_9693-1

3. Getting a new sister-in-law…and another on the way!jessica-rusty-wedding-335mvimg_20171223_205149

2. Mike and my trip to BavariaIMG_7800

1. Our continued time spent with family, especially our summer vacations to Colorado and Montana.img_9582img_8760

Our 2018 kicks off with a bang – lots of work trips and vacations and a work promotion for me – so we’re excited to see where it takes us!

Holiday fun, part II

Every year, the girls get together for a fun buffet lunch at the Neiman Marcus restaurant downtown. It’s a good way to really kick off the season…and we always get a little face time with the big man.img_0028img_0026

The Friday following Mike’s holiday party was my holiday party. We had a lot of fun and I took only one photo.img_2058

Coworker shoutout! Brand team fo lyfe.img_1148

The next night we headed out to the Arboretum with my parents for the Twelve Days at Night. The Thurmans were planning on joining us, but the weather was terrible. It’s the second year in a row that the weather tried to keep us away. Hopefully next year the world will learn that you don’t keep the Haydel sisters away from large Christmas installations.img_1159img_1155img_1170img_1162img_1176img_1177img_1168img_1174

The Friday before Christmas was our planned evening for the North Pole Express. It rained all day but stopped by the time we arrived in Grapevine. It was super chilly though!

I bought cute Christmas robes for the girls to wear over their nightgowns, and neither of them were into it. I don’t know how Mike and I convinced them to put them on.img_1260img_1268img_1267

We had another fun time on the train. The girls both filled out the letter telling Santa the good things they did this year (Celine: “I didn’t pout. I didn’t cry. I didn’t pout.”) and what they wanted. img_1274img_1278img_1280img_1289img_1304img_1302

We skipped the show following the train ride and jumped right to the Santa visit, which was the right move.IMG_1307img_1404

The next night my parents graciously offered to watch the kiddos so us siblings could go out to dinner. Other than having a good time in each other’s company, it was a perfect night because my youngest brother got engaged!!!img_1315


It was quite a way to end the evening!

Holiday fun, part I

We have had a busy December so far, and the back half of the month looks equally as busy! I tried to load up some fun activities for the girls without going overboard, but we also have holiday parties and social get-togethers ahoy.

We kicked off the season by decorating our tree. Someone gave us singing Elsa ornaments which are currently the girls’ favorite.img_0988img_0985

We also hit up our neighborhood’s winter festival. The girls got their faces painted (Louise held strong to “butterfly” even when presented with holiday options) and Celine got to meet the big man. The whole green dress in front of a green screen situation did not work out so well.img_1001img_1002img_1036img_1118img_1005

We wanted to do a carriage ride to look at Christmas lights with our friends, but by the time we got organized, the weekend times were sold out. We decided to try a weeknight, which worked out – except it took all of us forever to get there due to traffic! Once everyone assembled we had a nice time – it was just chilly enough to create holiday ambiance, but not too cold that everyone was miserable. The kids drank hot chocolate, the grownups drank hot toddys (maybe just me), and we had trotted through Highland Park. It was a nice hour of fun with friends!

It was tough to take pictures as we were plodding along…oh well.img_1046-1img_1044-1img_1047img_1048

This past weekend was chock full of activities. First up was Mike’s company holiday party in Ft Worth. Last year we stayed in Ft Worth overnight in a hotel, but this year we decided to Uber out and back. It ended up being about the same price – a little cheaper to Uber – and we were happy to wake up in our own bed the next morning.

The venue was indoor-outdoor and it was quite chilly!img_1063img_1065img_1067img_1068img_1072

Saturday night we had a going-away party for our friends who are moving to Philadelphia. Although we’re so sad to see them go, Mike and I have really enjoyed strengthening our friendships with the DIS parents. We ended up staying at the party until 1:30am, which…is not normal for us. It made for an extremely rough Sunday! (Worth it)img_1112img_1114img_1108img_1111img_1094img_1115img_1116

I had a cookie exchange on Sunday afternoon but could not pull it together and go. I was so bummed – the party is always a good time with some delicious cookies – but the silver lining is now I have lots of Samoas cookies to hand out as gifts!

Mike and I managed to get it together by the evening so we could go to the Thurmans for dinner and a viewing of the Trolls holiday special. It’s always nice to have a low-key Sunday dinner with good friends (and they picked up fajitas from Mariano’s so nobody had to cook…perfecto!). img_1117

The kiddos dutifully watched the 26 minute show and then ended up dressing up in various costumes and riding around the house. I wish we snapped a picture of Celine…she found a hooded knight’s costume and it was pretty hysterical.

Next up: my holiday party, the Arboretum, North Pole Express, and then it’s FAUSAK CHRISTMAS!

Thanksgiving in Nola

As we do every other year, we trekked down to New Orleans for Thanksgiving break. It was a wonderful trip (with great weather), and particularly special to see the girls and Juliette spend quality time together!

Our flight was early on Wednesday morning, so we had a full day of fun once we got in.img_0724img_0732img_0728img_0727img_0740

…followed by restful sleep. Mike and I stayed at a friend’s guest house around the corner because Dom and Ross are staying at Grammy and Grumps’ house while their house is being renovated. It worked out for us in that we weren’t around when our kids woke up, so we actually got restful sleep the whole time we were there!img_0742img_0741

We woke up ready to go for Thanksgiving. Dom and Ross took the girls to get beignets at Morning Call in city park.img_0550img_0721img_1083img_0368img_0797


As they were leaving, they got trapped by the Thanksgiving day 10k race for about an hour. Yikes!img_0503

We changed clothes and got ready for everyone to come over to the house. Photo opp (with a Juliette photo bomb)!img_0745img_0692img_0085

Celine got a little jealous when I took a picture of the Chauvins. She’s working through her feelings.img_1052


The food was delicious!img_0973img_0768img_0056img_0909

We had a little jewelry trunk show after dinner, and Celine scooped up a sweet pair of earrings.img_0892img_0363

Then there was some relaxing…img_0773img_0790img_0791img_0792

A little Go Fish-playing…img_0787

…and we declared Thanksgiving a success and went to bed!

The next morning we did some heavy lounging as we transitioned to Christmas season. We didn’t really do much beyond that.img_0815img_0819

Saturday we went to brunch, had extended park time, and then decorated gingerbread houses while Mike and his dad went to the LSU game.img_0830img_0833img_0834img_0841img_1105

There was also some successful petting of Bud.img_0854img_0853

Sunday was our last day in New Orleans, but we maximized our time with the fam, complete with jaunty Christmas dresses. The earrings made a reappearance along with pink hats as an early Christmas present from Aunt Dom.img_0865img_0858img_0863

Sweet cousins. 🙂img_0868img_0890

Our airport experience and flight home were the easiest they’ve been in a long time, and just like that we were back in Dallas! We love spending time with the Louisiana family.img_0895