Wow – 2017 was an amazing year for our little family. When looking back, the amount of change we’ve gone through personally for me, personally for Tate, and then for our family as a whole is pretty mind blowing. I’m very proud of us when looking back on it all. December though, it was full of things that made me so thankful. Full of Christmas music, Christmas scents (hi doTERRA Holiday Joy blend!), Christmas movies, and visits from some of the best around. It started with a visit from my brother and his girlfriend Chelsey. It was the first time meeting her and she didn’t fail to disappoint. I think I’m more smitten than Matt is. Not to mention the girls were obsessed w/ her. We stayed super busy while they were here exploring Red Feather Lakes for the first time, going to Picnic Rock, eating out, going to Odell Brewery, the Dinosaur Park, and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting. My favorite memory with them was probably one of the most mundane. We had to wait 1.5 hours for a table at a restaurant WITH the girls and WITH a ton of other people waiting AND without Tate there. For some reason, we just had so much fun chasing the girls, trying to drink our margaritas, fielding awkward stares from people that didn’t understand our fun, and laughing a lot. Up next, we had a mid week visit from Mr. Rob. He didn’t make any of the photos, but he took some of the photos. I didn’t get to see him much, since I had to work, but hubs spent plenty of QT w/ him and they of course took him to Picnic Rock where there was some beautiful snow and scenery for him to see. One night while the boys were out I took the girls on a Christmas light tour, driving to all of the most gaudily decorated houses in Foco. They were mind-blown. Other random happenings were MP and I seeing Charlie Brown’s Christmas play, the whole family exploring the Garden of Lights, us purchasing a Vitamix (game changer!!), me taking the girls to the see the CO state snow sculpting competition in Berthoud, and having a family climbing day at our climbing gym. I was so so so so so so so proud of MP making it up incredibly high (pic below) and being so brave! To top off the month, on Christmas eve, our bests ever came – Wes, Tiff, and Ian – and stayed through New Year’s Eve. We had an insanely awesome time and did SO MUCH stuff since I was off the entire time. Let’s see if I can remember: We spent Christmas day taking the entire day to open all the gifts – one here, one there. We took a break to sled ride and do a winter version of tail gating in the snow with our growlers of beer at the park. I made an awesome vegan meal on Christmas day consisting of falafel, buffalo tofu sticks, mashed potatoes / gravy, and butternut squash risotto, all of which was mouth watering. The day after Christmas was guys day and they headed straight for the Emerald Lake hike at Rocky Mountain National Park. The girls watched the kids going to Picnic Rock, a coffee shop, the library, out to lunch, and to the grocery store. The guys didn’t come home until after the kids were asleep and we were lucky to have survived those minions. The next day Tiff and I headed to the exact same hike in RMNP and confirmed that it was 110% epic and the definition of Winter Wonderland. Two miles up, two miles back and you see 3 lakes. The lakes were completely frozen over and you could snowshoe right across them. We hit up the most amazing restaurant / brewery ever in Boulder on the way back – Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery. The guys had a relaxing day with the kids at the house. The next day we got a babysitter and the four of us headed out for a day hike up to Arthur’s Rock. The terrain was so fun and varied with snow on parts, but not others. It kept your mind 100% focused on the hike which I loved. The view of the city at the end was beautiful with not a cloud in the sky! After the hike we had a phenomenal dinner at Blue Agave Grill, then picked the kids up and headed to Odell for some beers and snacks before the kids’ bedtime. On Friday, we started with a trip to Spring Canyon Park where the kids got to see a kite boarder (he had his feet strapped to a large skateboard type deal and then did crazy jumps with his kite). After that we hit up the always insanely delicious Aloha Grill and got roughly 43876 plates of food. Next the girls and guys split up. While the boys took RJ home for her nap, the girls took Ian and MP to the Foco Museum of Discovery (which was awesome!) and to get some hot chocolate at Nuance Chocolate afterward. On their last day here, we did a day trip to Intersect Brewing and then ended the trip with a fun and yummy dinner at Jessup Farmhouse. Ian and MP were so good together all week. Ian was calling her “hon” or his “sister” by about mid-week and then confirming they’d attend each other’s birthday parties by the end of the week. We were so sad to see them go, but the best part was I drove them to the airport and dropped them off at departures, then made another loop around to pick up my parents at the arrivals! We spent NYE watching Game of Thrones in our room while my parents put the girls to bed and we were asleep by 10pm and LOVED it.
MP: Obsessed with baths. Stays in there for well over an hour and plays. We end up putting the monitor in there and go get stuff done while she’s in there. Still blows us away with how much she doesn’t mind the cold by never wearing socks and rarely wearing pants or a coat. She also will walk outside barefoot and sometimes even in the snow. She can write her name w/ help and is getting so brave with climbing. Hubs and I both read a book called “Barefoot and Balanced” this month. The premise is that kids need unguided play in nature as much as possible. Since pushing this more with the girls, we’ve definitely seen benefits in their behavior, specifically in their independence which has been awesome! She stopped wearing pull-ups at night and has only had one accident. Everything in the past is “yesterday”. A couple MP quotes: “I just love chocolate bars and Santa!” “Mommy, you’re almost good at tickle backing like Daddy. You’ll get the hang of it.”
RJ: Still a little wild child. Runs / dances all the time and still mostly eats whatever. She doesn’t like the cold and snow nearly as much as her sister. Says “picky up” all the time. Loves her “puppy” and “baby” stuffed animals. “Baby” is really a mouse that looks like a rock with arms and legs. She loves growling like a dinosaur constantly. MP got her 13 dinosaur figurines for Christmas which she loves. She’s pretty much in fleece footie pajamas 24/7 which I absolutely love. Loves drinking out of big girl cups – aka no lid – and then of course spilling all over herself.
Red Feather Lakes w/ Matt and Chelsey
Rob’s pictures of the girls at Picnic Rock
Garden of Lights
My brave girl climbing higher than the adults!
Play camping set!
Boys day at RMNP
Trying to survive the library with three screaming kids
Girls day at RMNP
Adults day hiking Arthur’s Rock
After standing here for about five minutes, and immediately after this picture was taken, she pulled off the helmet and said “Mommy why aren’t we blasting off?” When I told her it was pretend, she immediately took the whole outfit off slightly disappointed.