Spring Break in New Orleans

The girls’ spring break was last week, and we decided to spend the first half of it in New Orleans. Mike’s sister just finished renovating her house which we were dying to see, and it’s always good to check in with the Louisiana crew every now and again.

We flew in on Saturday afternoon and magically escaped a crazy thunderstorm – other planes were not so lucky. Once we were in town we got right to cousin time!img_1213

It was Mike’s parent’s anniversary so the grownups went out for dinner at Crepe Nanou while the kiddos partied – I mean calmly hung out together.img_1208img_1217img_1215

We tried to get Celine to put her arm around Juliette for a hug but she was clearly not understanding our request. =)img_1216img_1219

…there we go!img_1209

The next day was beautiful, so we hit up Morning Call for beignets and worked off a little of the sugar high at the park.img_2551img_1218

Grumps heated up the pool and hot tub, so even though it was about 58 degrees, the kiddos spent about two hours in the pool. Some family came over and Ross made some delicious (and huge!) crawfish. It was a fun evening.img_2554img_2560img_2567img_2574img_2580img_1221

Monday everyone went back to their regular schedules, so we decided to bring the girls to the French Quarter. They had a great time listening to the street bands, looking at all of the art on Jackson Square, eating (more) beignets, and checking out the ol’ Mississippi.

Mike worked at the Court of Two Sisters in high school so of course Grammy and I forced him to take a pic in front of it with the girls.img_2606img_2611img_2614img_2627img_2631img_2634

Celine that close to waterfront…dangerous.img_2625img_2616

Of course we had more cousin time in the evening!img_1226img_1225

Confirming their love for beignets.img_1229

Louise is divulging some hot gossip about how many beignets her dad can eat in one sitting (spoiler alert: it’s four).img_1230

It’s hard to see who has a special relationship from this photo. Just can’t tell.img_1228

Our flight wasn’t until Tuesday evening, so we made the trip to the Audubon Zoo during the (also gorgeous) day. Celine is truly a zoo lady…she loves it. They both loved the flamingos!img_2643img_2645img_2655img_2660img_2648

There is a peacock that strolls around the zoo grounds that the girls were following and giggling wildly. I couldn’t get my act together for a decent photo but it was a pretty cool sight to see.img_2653

After the zoo, the girls had rest time while Mike and I grabbed lunch at Radosta’s. Just a light lunch for Mike of soft shell crab po boy.img_2665

After both passing out from a food coma, we packed up and headed back to Dallas. It was nice to experience New Orleans proper with the girls, and during such perfect weather – we’re usually in Nola in winter or over the summer. Looking forward to going back when Dom has her baby!

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Disney on Ice

Mike and I decided to bring the girls to Disney on Ice for both of their birthday presents. Lucky for us it ended up being pretty entertaining!

I remembered someone telling me to buy tchotchkes on Amazon instead of shelling out $30+ each at the venue, so that’s what I did. The girls each had a light-up Elsa snowflake wand and a light-up Moana necklace. The necklace was the big winner.img_2499img_2517img_2521

Of course this does not mean we didn’t spend a ridiculous amount of money on snow cones and cotton candy (whoops).img_2525img_2505img_2507

The show was two hours long and I was a little shocked that the girls made it through the whole thing. Disney saved the best for last – Frozen and Moana. I was personally impressed with the Tangled sequence where Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder skated around and then did arial tricks on silks…while still in skates.

That adorable girl behind Mike SCREAMED “Let it Go” while Elsa was singing, while standing up and projecting directly into Mike’s ear. It was pretty funny (for me).img_2512img_2501img_2528

It was a fantastic time and a wonderful birthday present idea!

Easter weekend

We had a busy but not crazy weekend for Easter, which is just how we like things.

We spent most of Saturday outside since the weather was amazing (it always seems like the day before Easter is gorgeous and then Easter is iffy). Mike was doing a bunch of yard work and the girls threw on their bathing suits and jumped around in the sprinklers, stopping only for lunch.img_2384img_2383

Grandma and Papa came by to give the girls their Easter gifts (purses, barrettes, silly toys, socks, and books), and then we headed to Louise’s friend’s birthday party at Urban Air. When we got home we played outside some more, then dyed some eggs!img_2392

I headed to my grandparent’s house for dinner while Mike fed the girls and put them to bed. They went to bed fairly quickly in anticipation for Easter morning, which is good because…

those little turkeys woke up at 4:30am!

We hear excited chattering and crack our eyes open to look at the clock. 4:30am. Seriously, girls?

We let them see what was in their Easter baskets and then demanded they go back to bed until morning.img_2395

I doubt they actually went back to sleep because they were back at it by 6:15am. The sun may not have been up, but we sure were…hunting for eggs!img_2396img_2397img_2398img_2401

That’s the face of a tired parent.img_2403

After the hunt was over and the sun came up, Mike and I took turns napping while the girls watched some Easter shows and went to the park.img_2406

Then we put on our sassy outfits and headed to our friend’s house for a little Easter get-together!img_2411

The girls had a great time playing with their friends and decorating eggs, and Mike and I had fun as well!img_2417img_2418img_2414img_2443

This little goober. Halfway through the party the weather got super chilly, so out came the blankets!img_2453

Then it was time for the hunt!img_2424img_2425img_2432

It took a few minutes for the kids to catch on that the bags were full of goodies too.img_2436

After opening up their loot and socializing for another hour or so, we decided to head home so we could bathe the girls, feed them, and get them in bed early. Celine was on the same page.img_2468

Overall it was a wonderful weekend and the girls had their fill of hardboiled eggs and candy!

Crawfish boil

Having missed out on hosting a crawfish boil last year, Mike and I were excited to have a few families over for some delicious food this past weekend. We kept it small, which is a good thing because the kiddos were crazypants! They also all hit a wall at 8:30pm and turned into monsters.

None of the kids except Quinn actually ate any crawfish, but they were all enthralled with holding them – alive or dead – and talking about them.img_2368

This little man was eating them up!img_2374

Other than Louise’s despair at all of the boys “making a mess” in her room, it was fun to see our friends from different places and stages get together and have a good time. img_2372

Looking forward to next year!img_2370

Winter Break

Friends of ours who we met through Louise’s daycare moved to Denver last year, which was such a bummer for us because we were just starting to develop our friendship. Fortunately, we decided that we should vacation together, starting with a ski trip. Last week we headed to Breckenridge for a few days of fun in the snow.

Mike had a conference for work leading up to the vacation so he met us in the Denver airport. The girls were great on the flight and after an easy rental car pickup and a trip to Costco, we were on our way!img_1876

I had a minor freak-out when we arrived in Breckenridge because there was a communication mix-up with where we were supposed to get our keys to the condo. Luckily things worked out and we made it in – not without an explosion of the world’s biggest bag of popcorn due to the change in air pressure. The popcorn in the pic below is about 15% of the entire bag. It was the size of Celine.img_1985

We spent the rest of the day situating everything in our condo and picking up our ski rentals. Lots of bonding with the kids!img_1886

We grabbed dinner at a pub downstairs which was a little bit of a mistake as they were crazy busy and our waitress was frazzled. Louise fell asleep halfway through dinner, but Celine was busy putting mustard on potato chips and eating them up.img_1889

Afterward we headed back to our condo to get ready for our big day.

Monday morning we woke up ready to shred. The girls dressed appropriately in long johns, gaiters, and the like.img_1892img_1900img_1894

We threw our helmets on and were ready to hit the mountain!img_1909img_1905img_1908img_1914img_1915

Celine didn’t hesitate once we arrived at ski school, but Louise was a little apprehensive. Both ended up having a great time learning how to “pizza” and making crafts!img_1918img_1917img_1937img_1932img_1941img_1940

The parents had a good time on the mountain as well! The whole ski setup is a pretty nice family vacation…the kids are in ski school until 3:30 which gives us parents time to do our own thing!img_0006-1img_1922img_0004img_0008img_0007

We kept it low-key that night, eating dinner in the condo. It started snowing so Celine caught some snowflakes on her tongue…and her eyelashes…and her hair.img_1950

The next day Louise was a little less enthusiastic about ski school (especially since her buddy was sick and couldn’t join her), but she went anyway. It was a mixed bag for her: she did a GREAT job and even went up to a real green via the chair lift, but I think she was kind of cold (the high was 12 degrees), and tired (mama gets it). img_1976img_1964

Celine had another stellar day. Her teacher said she was a “daredevil,” lol. She’s not afraid of the mountain like a lot of three year olds, but she isn’t interested in learning how to do things like “stop.” I was like…tell me about it.img_1977

I was SO proud of these two girls for sticking through ski school for two days!img_2074

Mike, Jackie, and I skied in the morning and then I pooped out. Mike continued into the afternoon along with our friend (they took turns since their daughter was sick).

We had dinner at an excellent restaurant called Mi Casa, and then had another laid back night at home. The girls threw on their matching nightgowns and danced the night away to Havana and Despacito.img_1953img_1956

Mike was the only brave soul to attempt to get on the mountain on the third day. The rest of us had a laid back morning, shopping for souvenirs and lounging around the condo.img_1974img_1978

We heard of an ice castle in Dillon and decided to check it out. We hit up a park for a few minutes before heading in which the girls LOVED.img_1997img_1998img_2014img_2001

The ice castle wasn’t quite a hit. It was super duper cold and the little ones were complaining a ton, so we took the express route through and out.img_2018img_2024img_2032img_2043img_2049img_2053

Celine warmed up, chomped a few Cheetos, and was out.img_2059

The next day we packed up and headed back to Denver…but not before we took a trip in the gondola. It might have been the favorite part of the trip for Celine.img_2067

We hung out at our friend’s house for a couple of hours, then said our goodbyes and flew back home.img_2072

 

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!