Washington D.C., 2018

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Hey there!  I wanted to toss this pile of pictures from our weekend trip to D.C. up here on the bloggity blog before weeks pass and I lose all the details from my memory (which tends to happen more frequently now that I have kids and am getting older).  We really packed as much stuff into the two days we were there and when we got home on Easter Sunday we were completely wiped!  But I was so proud of all we accomplished!

When we arrived Friday we were off and running right away.  We dropped our bags at our gorgeous hotel, The Jefferson, then walked the few blocks to admire the White House.  It was not nearly as crazy as I thought it would be considering the polarizing views of the nation right now.  For some reason I thought there would be people protesting all around the property and vendors trying to sell anti trump loot… and maybe it’s because secret service keeps that kind of thing to a minimum because we did see vendors in other locations, but not directly in front of the residence.  It was so interesting seeing individuals with “Make America Great Again” baseball hats on standing next to another individual with “Dump Trump” across the chest of their t-shirt.  The White House was beautiful, the lawn was perfectly manicured (as expected) and seeing it as an adult you feel how honorable it would be to call that your home for four to eight years.  I had been to D.C. once as a kid, but I didn’t appreciate the trip or understand the meanings of the memorials completely.  This was Husband’s first trip to the Capitol so it was so nice to enjoy it together.

After the White House, we moved on to the Newseum.  This museum was highly recommended to us so it was a “must see” on our list.  I was really excited when I read up on the exhibits they are currently displaying, the first thing we wanted to experience was the Pulitzer Prize Photography Gallery.  I read a good quote from Eddie Adams, a Pulitzer Prize winner from 1969.  He said, ““If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture.”. SO TRUE!  Walking through the gallery was a mix of every emotion you could possibly have, so if you go, bring your kleenex!  So many incredibly moving photos of a moment in time that effected history in some way or another.  So many stories… stories of violence, starvation, illness, war, victories, drug use, immigration, life.  It was one of the most beautifully disturbing displays of photography I have ever experienced. The museum also had an exhibit for the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death that we checked out, which is always something I like to read about and see pictures of.  He was such an inspiring gentleman, his words effect me deeply every single time I hear or read them.  Growing up as a child in Texas and up through adult hood I have seen and heard many racist comments and jokes, and really didn’t think anything of it.  Now, as a parent with small children, it is my mission to not put that hatred and disgusting language into my boy’s growing minds.  All we should spread is love, never hate.  I wish Dr. King was still alive and that his mission for civil rights had been completed.  He left us too soon.

Friday evening we had made reservations at Marcel’s which was a total dining experience.  We went ahead and did the seven course chef tasting menu along with ALL the wine pairings.  Every single plate that emerged from the kitchen was impeccably displayed with perfect artistry and the food… oh my!  The food was fabulous!

Day two was all about cherry blossoms and monuments.  Most of the monuments & memorials we ended up seeing at night because we heard that it’s less crowded in the evening- which after doing this, I have found to be totally true- but the three we visited during the day were the Thomas Jefferson MemorialWashington Monument, and the World War II Memorial.  It was seriously the most perfect day out, blue skies with no clouds in sight.  The cherry blossoms were just starting to pop, so we didn’t get to experience the full bloom blossoms, but they were still gorgeous!

In the afternoon we visiting the Arlington National Cemetery where the Kennedy’s are buried and where they perform the changing of the guard for the tomb of the unknown solider.  What a powerful thing to see!  Highly recommend if you are in D.C.!

We visited the Lincoln MemorialVietnam Veterans Memorial (slightly scary), World War I MemorialMartin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the FDR Memorial.  When we were exiting the Lincoln Memorial and looking down at the Reflecting Pool you couldn’t help but notice that shining bright in the sky was a perfect full blue moon.  Check out the final picture in this post!  It was amazing!

And of course our trip to D.C. would not have been complete without seeing the Capitol Building!  I feel like we barely scratched the surface of our nations capitol on this trip, and am so looking forward to the next time we go!  We will definitely be taking our boys with us- such a kid friendly city with fun festivals, museums, and ton of parks to explore!  Hope you enjoy the pictures!

‘Til next time D.C., thanks for a memorable weekend!


Cayman Islands, 2018

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Hey everyone!  Sorry I have been super busy/ lazy these last few weeks and haven’t updated in a hot minute.  About two weeks ago Husband & I went to a meeting in the Caymans, and unfortunately while we were there I got news that my grandmother was not doing well and within 24 hours she had passed.  It was a tough week.  As soon as I returned home, I turned around the next morning to head to Houston for the funeral, and it’s just been the biggest whirlwind of life.  I feel like I really haven’t had a moment to process all that has been happening… So much tragedy in such a short amount of time.  Part of me just wants to ignore it and keep on keepin’ on, then, when I sit down to write about it (now that I have an afternoon to think about it while the baby is napping, the dogs aren’t sick, and my big boy is at school) it’s soul crushing.  Deflating.  Just… sad.

Just like my Grandma Kellum, my Grandma Olson was just as wonderful.  She raised 7 children (all boys & one girl), has a beautiful legacy with many grandchildren and great grandchildren, and was a firm believer in God.  She always had amazingly wise words of advice and no matter what she faced she handled it with such grace.  I am going to miss everything about her, especially her contagious smile.  My dad had the same exact smile.

Getting back to the trip though… man, it was a beautiful trip.  Saw some good friends, met some new friends, did Stingray City again.  Remember last time Husband & I were in the Caymans??  And how pregnant I was??  Remember the proof I went in the water with the stingrays?  I hated it then, and to be honest, I didn’t enjoy it this time either.  I think that will be the last time I go to Stingray City. Ha ha ha!

The last full day we were there, Husband & I took a helicopter tour around the island to get a different perspective.  It was incredible!  If you look at the very last picture above, you can see a shipwreck!  The picture with all the white boats and ant sized people in the water is an aerial view of Stingray City.  The water is seriously the most incredible rainbow of teals, aquamarines, and indigo.  So pretty!

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Husband & I also had one day off to do whatever we wanted so we decided to check out the Cayman Crystal Caves.  It’s probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen.  Yes, there were lots of bats, and yes, the mosquitos were annoying, but the insides of these caves are truly a sight to be seen!  Highly recommend if you are going to be traveling to the Caymans!

Hope everyone’s having a great week and getting through hump day- two more days ’til the weekend!

xoxo



Los Cabos, Mexico

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I wish I had all the time in the world to write the most detailed blog post about our trip to Cabo right now, but to be honest, I have two boys who are still awake (it’s 10PM on a school night) and just keeping it real… the pictures tell the story. BUT I’ll say a few words anyway ;)

It was a glorious week in paradise with our family!  The boys enjoyed being transferred from the pool to the beach, then back to the pool again just to want to go back to the beach once more.  This was pretty much the daily routine :) We did rent a car one of the days and drove into San Jose del Cabo where we walked around the cute historic district filled with restaurants and shops.  Every morning when we would wake up, Husband & I would make our coffee and we would sit out on the balcony and watch the whales.  One morning there were at least 15-20 whales way out in the distance blowing their air holes and breaching.  It was absolutely amazing!  Seriously made my day every morning.  On Thursday we chartered a sailboat out of Cabo San Lucas where we enjoyed some light snorkeling (my brother in law says he saw a white tipped reef shark- no… just, no.), did some more whale watching (this time it was much more up close and personal), saw a huge pod of dolphins, and then sailed the Sea of Cortez/ Pacific Ocean.

We ate so many tacos, quesadillas, skirt steak, chips and guac, and ceviche- I swear I gained 10 lbs in a week.  Not to mention all the margaritas that were heavily flowing ;)

It was a beautiful vacation, much needed for this hard working husband of mine.  I’m so thankful for my in laws and their generosity and for inviting us to tag along with our energetic, slightly bi-polar boys!  We love y’all!

P.S. take note of the incredible sunsets!!


Remington James :: Rookie of the Year!

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Y’all, my baby is one today!  Mr. Remington was certainly our little rookie of the year!  He has brought so much joy and sweetness to our family and we are so thankful for him!  We had a little party to celebrate him last weekend with our family and friends, and as you can see from the pictures, he had the best time!

I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by since we brought this BIG bundle (10lb 4 oz) into the world.  This adorable little boy enjoys smiling, trying to walk, going to music class, eating anything you put in front of him, and playing with big brother.  He enjoys traveling too! Since he has been on this earth he has been on over 20 flights including one long flight to Maui!  This month he will be going out of the country for the first time :).

We could not be more proud of this little guy!  We could not have picked a more perfect addition!  I thought I would be more emotional today, but surprisingly I’m just feeling so lucky to be his mama.  He really is the sweetest angel and I love him so much!

My Dearest, Remington,

Daddy and I adore you.  Just a smile from your face instantly brightens a rainy day.  Your fun loving personality and serious FOMO (fear of missing out) crack us up.  Your brave actions such as climbing and trying to wrestle your big bro are admirable.  I love watching you guys play together and how much you both have grown.  There are moments of such brotherly love, my heart just about explodes.  You are a a very big baby (almost 25lbs at your last dr.’s appointment) but you have an even bigger heart.  I don’t remember what life was like before you were here.  I love watching everything through your eyes (just like I do with Bennett).  Every year is going to get sweeter and sweeter with you here!

Happy first birthday my littlest love!  Mommy and Daddy love you SO much!!

 


Adios 2017!

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Here is our Christmas Card photo for this year!  We could not be more blessed than this beautiful life we are living with the health of our handsome boys and the love of each other along with our amazing family and awesome friends!

New Years Eve is here so it’s time for my recap!  The year started off with a BANG with the birth of our sweet *10 lb 4 oz* Remington James, we celebrated six years of marriage in April while in San Diego, Bennett Wesley turned two years old in May, spent Memorial Day in Chicago, July was busy with us in Colorado then Hawaii for my Sister Cousin’s wedding :),  September we travelled to Sullivan’s Island and Martha’s Vineyard (both of which we had never been to before), I didn’t do a post about it- but we did go to Vegas with Sister Cousin Kelly & her new hubby Randy where we got to see the fabulous Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood and laughed with Daniel Tosh.  We visited our favorite pumpkin patch, spent time with Santa, another trip to NYC (where we went ice skating in Bryant Park and got to see Hamilton on Broadway) that I didn’t document but was super fun!  Bennett rode the Polar Express and had a magical Christmas with the boys (pictures coming soon- it’s been a crazy December).  And yesterday we celebrated Remy’s first birthday party with friends and family (again… pictures coming soon ;)).

But with all the fun filled months of excitement, traveling with our kiddos, and experiencing everything through their eyes over the entire year, we close it with sorrow for the loss of my beloved grandmother.  She was such a strong woman with a lot of wisdom to share from her long life here on Earth.  I will always cherish the time I had with her and remember all the amazing conversations we once had.

Thank you, 2017, for all the memories!

Outtakes that didn’t make the blog but are still so special:

 


Grandma Kellum

I honestly don’t know where to even start so I’m just going to jump right in.  My Grandma Kellum passed away on Sunday, Christmas Eve.  A few months ago, she suffered a terrible stroke that I knew she would never recover from.  I flew up to Ohio, where she has lived most of her long life, immediately after the stroke and knew it was probably going to be the last time I ever see her or talk to her.  I walked into the hospital with Remington (because he could still fly for free) and as soon as we walked in the room, I announced that we were there.  I took a seat right next to her bed and the only thing she wanted to do was put her head to my baby’s head.  I will never forget that moment.  The stroke had ruined her memory, she could not verbalize a complete thought, her eye sight was basically non existent, and worst of all… she wasn’t who I remember.  This person was no longer my grandma.  Everything that made her who she was, was then gone.

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I think losing people you love around the holidays is probably one of the worst things to experience.  You want so badly to be happy, joyful, hopeful, loving, etc… but the memory of a death will haunt those feelings every year for the rest of your life.  December is now a very difficult month for me.  I lost my dad on the 13th of December two years ago, and now I have lost my grandma on Christmas Eve.  Double whammy.  Double punch to the gut.  Double the sorrow.  Double the responsibility of making sure my mother is ok.

Growing up, my cousins and I would spend many summers and Christmases at my grandparents house.  They lived in a small town right outside of Cincinnati where in the warm months we would ride bikes through the cemeteries with my grandpa, play in the creek behind their house, and catch fireflies every night.  In the cold months we would go snow sledding on one of the big hills in their neighborhood, shop at the local department store (Elder Beerman), and ALWAYS eat Cambell’s Chicken Noodle Soup.  These memories will always be so special to me.

 

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I will be 34 years old and this will be the first year in 34 years that I will not receive a birthday card from Grandma.  She was ALWAYS so good at that… remembering birthdays, holidays, my son’s firsts anything… there was always a card.  I’m sad that Remy will not have a 1st birthday card from Great Grandma Nancy Kellum.  Grandma died at 94 years old.  That’s a good, long life.  My husband asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and I told him I just want to go have a nice dinner.  Just the two of us.  Don’t really feel like celebrating… my mom’s not here, I’m hosting Remy’s birthday party on Saturday so don’t want to mess the house up, and really, 34 is not really that great of a birthday.  It’s nothing special.  Then I started thinking about my grandmother who was gifted 94 birthdays… some people WISH they had that long to live.  They WISH their loved ones had that long to live or lived that long.  I wish my dad had lived until 94 years old!  These birthdays are not promised.  Each year is not promised.  Each month, day, hour, minute, second…. they are not promised.  We need to start celebrating each day of life by holding the ones we love, calling people more, sharing more, expressing how we feel about them.

I will miss you so much Grandma.  I know you were laid to rest today right next to grandpa and I’m sure you both are either slow dancing together or swinging on a porch swing in heaven today.  You both are so greatly missed.

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