Niagara Falls

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Good Lawd, this post should have been posted about 3 weeks ago.  Whoops.  That’s my life these days.  It seems I really enjoy pushing myself to endure at least 4 to 5 super stressful things at the most inopportune times, so it delays all life moments from diligently being added to the blog.  My poor kids, I hope they don’t look back at this and go, “well, what was happening during all the lulling moments on here?!?”  I’ll tell you what has been happening behind the scenes: I’m making lunches for summer camp,  taking you to see the latest movies (Lion King and Toy Story 4), martial arts for Bennett, trying to maintain my mom tribe, going to “Meet the Teacher” appointments, playdates at the trampoline park, offering ALL THE SNACKS IN THE WORLD, changing diapers when I know little dude should be going on the potty (grrrrr), swimming in the pool almost every single day… all super fun things!  Certainly not complaining.  But there are a lot of moving parts around here and it seems I just can’t keep up anymore.  And that’s ok.

A few weeks ago, we took the fam up to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls for Husband’s birthday weekend.  None of us had been there before (surprising!) so we were pumped to see what all the fuss was about.  It was spectacular!  The views from our hotel were jaw dropping, and the experience of being able to go under the falls was one we will never forget.  I don’t have the time or energy tonight to list out details of where we stayed, ate, or enjoyed- but this is a VERY popular destination spot for families in the U.S.A. and it would be easy to plan a trip.  Not to mention it is relatively inexpensive to visit!  If you have young kids, it’s a must!

I wanted to tell you guys that for the adults there is a town called Niagara on the Lake that is super cute and quaint.  They have a street full of unique boutiques and restaurants.  All around the area are tons of small wineries that are so charming!  And very kid friendly!  Best of both worlds!  Oh!  And the Butterfly Conservatory was a huge hit!

Bennett’s first day at his new school is tomorrow.  I’m anxious and excited for him at the same time.  His teacher seems super sweet and I can’t wait to see what this year brings for him.  I’ll keep y’all posted!

xx P.S. thanks for following along even when I’m not up to date with our current events, LOL! ‘preciate y’all!


Ocho Años :: Bermuda

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Hey hunny,

How on earth have you put up with me for eight whole years?  I don’t know what I did so good in life to deserve you, but dang… I’m so lucky.  You are so patient and kind to me (except when checking the credit card statements ;) LOL!) and you are always ready for any adventure I throw your way, like renting scooters in Bermuda where we had to ride on the opposite side of the road and where I eventually ate pavement and almost got run over. Yes, that happened.

You are so wonderful and I’m so proud to be your other half…  everyone in the world can see that you are, without a doubt, the better half!

Thank you for taking me to Bermuda!  We stayed at the lovely Rosewood which was the most gorgeous setting, set up cliff-like looking down at the most stunningly beautiful blue water.  We trekked around in a golf cart to the pools and beach where we enjoyed all the different food and drinks at our leisure. Friday night we had the most lovely dinner at the Chef’s table in the kitchen of the main dining room at the resort.  The wine pairings were perfection and the food was impeccable. On Saturday, I had the bright idea to rent scooters, which was actually very nice (until the mishap).  We got to pop in at all the different “secret” beaches and enjoyed some local flair with music and dancing.

It was a great weekend away together!  Looking forward to all the years to come!

I love you.

** PS sorry if I scared anyone with the bikini pic!! #MomBod**


Big Sky, Montana

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Has anyone been to Big Sky, Montana?!?  This was a first for us and it was incredible!  And cold!!  The highs never got above 30 and it snowed almost every day we were there which was pretty chilly for these Floridians.

The trip was dedicated to skiing with our friends, we stayed in a ski in/ ski out home that was absolutely fabulous, but unfortunately Bennett (who was allowed to start ski school because he is 3 and potty trained) did NOT enjoy it.  Not surprising… it takes him a while to warm up to new things, but he didn’t even give it a second chance.  I’m hoping we can do another ski trip next year and try again, that way Remy will be able to join in on the fun and hopefully encourage Bennett to try.  Although, I must say, Remy HATED being cold.  Every time we went out and played he cried the entire time (see solo picture above ha ha ha!).

I took a lesson since I haven’t skied in over 15 years.  I learned so much in that three hour private lesson than I ever did as a teenager.  I feel like as adults we appreciate the time and energy it takes to do activities like skiing, so we pay attention better as to really avoid hurting ourselves ;).  I didn’t want to go home with two very energetic little boys and a broken leg or hip!  So, I was very attentive and felt like I got the hang of it fairly quickly.  Now… I’m very slowwwwwww.  This mama won’t be going down a black diamond any time soon.  But, I did enjoy myself every day that I got to ski and cannot wait for the next time!  Husband grew up going on ski trips with his family and friends, so he is a fantastic skier.  He picked right back up where he left off and was feeling pretty sore after the first day going down blacks.  He was super sweet and went skiing with me a couple of times and was super patient while coaching me down the mountains.  Love him.

When we weren’t on the mountain shredding powder ;) we were hanging with our kiddos.  We got to experience authentic dog sledding which was an interesting adventure.  It was like a blizzard that day and the kiddos were freezing, so just getting them into the sled was a complete sh*t show.  Everyone was staring at us like, get your kids under control and wipe the snot please.  But once the doggies started running and as long as they were at full speed, my boys were silent and enjoyed the moment and scenery.  It was so beautiful.  I don’t think I will ever need to go dog sledding ever again, but at least I can check that off the bucket list.

Another day was spent traveling over to West Yellowstone where we actually got to drive through the outer side of the national park (gorgeous, would love to go back in the summer) and visited the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center.  The boys loved it!  The wolves were stunning and so interactive.  We only saw one bear and he seemed a bit old… but still entertaining for a few minutes while he moved logs around and ate.  Highly recommend if you are visiting the area with small children, it’s nothing fancy but it was interesting.

Most of all, what made the trip so fun was going with some of our great friends and their kiddos.  We spent many nights making dinner at home, warming up in the hot tub, and cuddling up enjoying the log burning fireplace with a nice glass of wine.  We had a great time and hope to visit again real soon!

 

 


Iceland :: Northern Region (Part 3)

Godafoss Waterfall

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Icelandic Ponies

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Lake Myvatn
Akureyri

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^This picture was taken around 12:30 or 1 a.m.^

The sun never completely went down, making it extremely hard to sleep some nights. During the winter it is the complete opposite, where the sun never comes out and it’s dark 23+ hours a day. That would be so depressing…

Northern Iceland

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The view from the house we rented was incredible.

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Whale Watching

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breaching whale

^Breaching Humpback ^

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^The face of the humpback^

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^ And of course... the tail as he dives^

This post is WAY overdue.

The northern region of Iceland was probably my favorite part of the trip.  Not only were we able to relax a little bit and stay in one place for a few days, but the weather was absolutely perfect!  We got to see Godafoss & Lake Myvatn on the way in which were stunning to say the least.  Godafoss really takes your breath away as you approach its vastness.  We got there pretty late which ended up being a great time to go because there was hardly anyone there!

When we got to Akureiyi we could not believe the view from the house we rented. It was straight out of a magazine.  The city was so lively with hip restaurants and bars that served local beers.  Walking the streets of this sweet little town, the people are so friendly, there are tons of cute shops and fun things to look at.  I even tried an authentic Icelandic hotdog!

We got to do some whale watching one of the days which was such a treat because the humpback we spotted actually BREACHED!!  It was the first and only time I have seen a whale do that in the wild!   So cool!

If anyone plans to stay in the northern region during their visit, I highly recommend staying in the home we rented.  Send me a email for the listing!  It was such a beautiful drive and stay, I would do it again in a heartbeat!  Don’t skip the north, you will regret it!


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 visited 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


Martha’s Vineyard

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First trip without the boys!!

Short and sweet, our vacation to Martha’s Vineyard was cut by a full day because of Hurricane Jose that decided to blow high gusts of wind and rain in that direction right as we wanted to arrive.  Husband & I ended up having to spend a night in NYC, which ended up not being a bad thing since I got to fulfill a bucket list thing and stay in The Plaza Hotel!  It was everything I dreamed it would be, felt like a princess for a night!  We also had an amazing dinner at Quality Meats which was INCREDIBLE!  It hasn’t even been a week and I’m already craving another meal there!  Highly, highly, highly recommend!

We finally got in to Martha’s Vineyard on Friday early afternoon where our friends (who generously invited us to stay in the cottage they were staying at with them) picked us up from the airport and we were off and running right away.  First stop was an old fisherman’s town called Menemsha, where we had some delicious lobster rolls and fresh shucked oysters at Larsen’s. Yummy!  Then we drove to where the cottage was in Edgartown aka the cutest little town of all time.  Seriously. When you think of Martha’s Vineyard, you think of Edgartown.  The colonial style homes with the shaker style shingles on the siding, all very uniform with slight variances that all match.  A quaint little town with cute store fronts and mom and pop restaurants… it was so nice!  We did some damage at the local Black Dog, and hopped over to Murdick’s for fudge and taffy.

That night we had a quiet dinner at Detente which was delightful.  We all got about 3 small plates each and shared.  Every bite was mmm mmmm good!

Saturday was our day to explore.  We cruised over to where Jaws was filmed, saw “Jaws Bridge”, then went through all the towns on the way to Gay Head Light, which is probably the most picturesque spot on Martha’s Vineyard.  We walked down to the clay dunes which were all shades of vibrant burnt orange and red.  It was overcast and cold out, but it sure was pretty scenery!

I didn’t get too many pictures, we were there with friends and it didn’t really cross my mind a whole lot to stop and take pictures.  I do plan to go again soon with the boys!  They would absolutely love it!  PS the final picture is of the Cape Air plane that we took from Martha’s Vineyard to Boston.  It held 7 people and everyone had to be weighed!  I thought it would be terrifying, but in fact it was just the opposite.  The pilot was super nice, the views from the plane were like none other, and it almost seemed like we were on a private jet!  Ha ha!

I know I’m missing a lot of details in this post but I will update as I think of them!

xoxo