Monday, December 19, 2016

Fall Family Photos

When my Mom decided to come visit us in October a moment of brilliance struck: it was time for some family photos. My Mom doesn't have any good photos of her and the girls so I thought I would book our maternity photographer, Christi Wilson, for a short family session. A bit of a thank you for watching the girls as well as an early Christmas present. 

We met early one Sunday morning and after 30 short minutes we were done! They came out great! And both kids did pretty well with the smiles and not too much crying! And for those that got a Christmas card from us, some of these will be familiar.....

Thank you Christi for capturing this special moment and working so hard with the edits I requested!!

Now we need to get the Clute side of the family together so we can get some family photos with them. We had a great one at the beach a year and a half ago, but since then we have added two more little ones to the group. Next time Grandma and Grandpa come for a visit it's time! Everyone start working on their poses now. πŸ˜ŠπŸ“·

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

an anniversary to remember!

October 23 Matt and I celebrated 8 years. Wow. 8 whole years. Feels like a long time and no time at all at the same time. Does that make sense? With two little ones we don't get to go on dates or do anything alone very often. Thankfully this year my Mom was able to come visit so we got two date nights in a row! 

Some of you may remember last Christmas I got Adele tickets for Matt. It was a last minute impulse buy when I heard they were going on sale. 
here he is, shocked and excited!

After waiting almost an entire year, the day had finally arrived for the concert. And since Nana was in town we decided to stay over and enjoy ourselves rather than trying to rush home right after the concert was over. Matt booked us a room at the Marriott near the venue and made dinner reservations for us at Matchbox. We were all set for one epic date.

We checked into our room, grabbed a drink, and got busy....getting ready! Get your mind out of the gutter. haha. We had some time to kill before dinner so we checked out the Spy Museum. It was pretty cool and I am so glad we did not attempt to check this out with the kids. It was more of a big kid/grown up type museum. 
channeling my inner spy. serious business.

After an hour of spying, we headed to Matchbox for dinner. This place had great reviews, for good reason. All their food was on point! Every single thing we ordered was so good. The sliders (on the right) are a must. Forget the diet for a day and indulge! Their signature drink is on the left, loving the copper cup. I had the prosciutto pizza and Matt had a pasta. We were stuffed by the time we left. 

Since we still had time to kill, and when we walked by there was almost no line to get in, we headed to a couple of bars. Wine at one, shots of fireball at another. πŸ˜‚πŸΈThis is what happens when we never get out! I'm honestly surprised I didn't have a wicked hangover the next day! 

a colorful martini :) That was my drink I just made him hold. πŸ˜‰`
When we finally made our way to the Verizon center the lines were insane. Insane. We tried going in at an unknown spot only to see a never ending line there too. So we cut. I know, shame on us. I did feel bad, but we didn't want to miss it! And by the time we got in and got to our seats it was just about to start! Adele had no opening acts either, just her. There was time for a few selfies haha!

Our seats were a few sections back on the floor, right by the second stage. Could not have asked for a better spot. Well, front row (obv) but let's be realistic! When she was in the back it might as well have been front row! She walked right by us. ahhh!! Adele puts on one amazing show. Not only is she an unbelievable singer, she also talks to the audience so that by the time it is over you feel like you know her a bit. 

It was one of the best concerts I have been to. If you get the opportunity you should definitely go see her. I mean, who doesn't love Adele?! Here is the video I actually live streamed on Facebook. Her opening song. At the end she walks right by us! 

What an amazing night. After the concert we were still wide awake, so we headed to the bar in the hotel where we sat and talked and enjoyed one more drink and lots of water before bed. We finally retired around 1am. So late for us old married people!! I didn't sleep the best, for a few of reasons. Alcohol (duh) and of course worrying about the kiddos. As a Mommy of a tough sleeper I was very concerned Norah was going to torture Nana and keep her up all night. She did so much better than I thought, waking only once or twice. yay! Much better than in August when Grandma and Grandpa watched the girls. Sorry Grandma!

**Note: this portion does have an affiliate link. If you click on it and purchase I receive compensation. I am not writing this post to make money. I actually really enjoyed my experience with RTR. I became an affiliate blogger with them AFTER the entire process.**

Our second date night of the week was attending a friend's wedding. This was the first wedding I have been to, well, since the kids were born. That is a long time! I scoured my closet, but wasn't happy with anything I had. And I did not have the energy to shop. I decided I would try out Rent the Runway. I had heard about it from friends and was excited to finally have an event I needed a nice dress for. After much searching I decided on a coral lace dress. Classy and beautiful. And it got some great reviews! I received the dress 2 days before the event. 
Harley investigating...aka asking if he can chew up the box!

My first time trying it on.

The dress was true to size and just as beautiful as the photos. I did get two sizes, they send the second for free. I loved how it looked with my skin (I was worried it could make me look pale) and the fit was ideal. I was so excited to wear it!

Matt was part of the sword arch, so he wore his dress whites (yummy). It was a beautiful wedding with some fun people and good music. 

I received a lot of compliments on the dress. And the return process was so easy. Thank you RTR!

Congrats to Joe and Suzanne! We had a blast, thanks for having us! 


Speaking of celebrating a marriage, I am going to back track to our anniversary...8 years!!! To celebrate, I had a little surprise for Matt. I contacted the baker of our wedding cake and had them make me a "top tier" of the same kind of cake we had at our wedding. They give one to all the couples on their one year anniversary. But on ours, we were in California and were unable to enjoy that perk. They were kind enough to give us one this year. Oh my was it good!! 
1st or 8th? Who is counting?!

Look at how excited C is!!

happy anniversary to us!

After 8 years, I am just as wait.....I am SO MUCH HAPPIER than I was the day I got married. Together we have created a wonderful life. We have been blessed with two beautiful girls. We have a loving and supportive family. We laugh every single day. We dance all the time. It isn't always easy but it isn't supposed to be, it's life. I have my best friend by my side, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

And now I am going to close out this blog with my two silly girls.....

Sunday, December 11, 2016

outstanding october

Oh look, it's December, that must mean it is time to recap what we did in the fall. Or is it that I am just that far behind? Must be option 2. And I really need to get better at posting because I noticed I have had a lot of blog views lately. My people must be desiring a new post. Time to give the people what they want. :)

This fall we were blessed with amazing weather. Typically I feel like we get a few good weeks and then BAM, cold cold cold. But this fall we had almost two months or more of great weather. Sometimes it reminded me of the perfect Monterey day. Oh yes, I miss it so much! We spent lots of time outside on the playground, going for walks, and eating on the deck. I really don't know what the kids will do once it's too cold to go outside. Charlotte will cope, she is more than happy to have a movie or craft day. Norah....this girl LOVES the outdoors! She loves the swing and exploring the yard. You can't even say the word OUT in our house or she will run over to the door, bang on it and start yelling "OUT"!!! 

With this recap I am going to go a little out of order. I just can't get enough of these two beauties in their costumes! We did a bug-tastic theme this year. Mommy and Norah were ladybugs, Charlotte and Harley were bumblebees and Matt was the gardener. We didn't get a family photo, just the kiddos this year. 

We did a few fun Halloween events. First our annual trip to Anne Marie gardens for trick or treating. It took Norah all of five minutes to figure out what she had to do to get candy. She happily dragged her big bucket from table to table collecting as much as she could. Charlotte was an old pro and carefully chose each and every piece of candy. 

"ma, she is kissing a dino!"

a balloon AND a bucket of candy!!

a goat, a sheep and a donkey....halloween costumes round two haha

Charlotte also had a little Halloween party at her school, we went to a friends Halloween party, and of course we went trick or treating in the neighborhood where they made out like bandits! We ended up with so much candy I sold most of it to our dentist for $1/lb....made $4 and saved us so many calories AND cavities. We still ate our fair share and enjoyed every minute of it!

ready for her preschool party

the whole class putting on an adorable presentation!

Halloween party fun!

my pinterest "pumpkins" - a slight fail. Not orange enough! But still yummy!
the bumblees 

All 3 kiddos getting ready for trick or treating!! Harley stayed home to hand out the candy this year. What a good boy!

We collected candy from our neighborhood and a nearby one until the buckets were too full to carry and the kids were too tired to go on. It was fun! 

daddy is under her spell! That's for sure!
Owlette ready for music class!!

And of course we carved pumpkins this year......on one of the most beautiful days of the year!
all ready to go

Carving pumpkins is serious business.  And of course the girls wanted nothing to do with guts, so Mommy ended up doing that. Then it was all knife work, so again Mommy stepped in. Hmm. Looks like I pretty much all of the work. That's ok, I made one kick butt pumpkin this year!! And the kids still had a great time playing and watching.
Mommy at work

Charlotte wrote her name while waiting. What a big girl!

the finished product!! Success!!!

Next year I am putting those two to work. We will carve pumpkins as a family! I have such fond memories of carving pumpkins with my Grandma and I want to create those same memories with my girls.  

Speaking of tradition and memories....of course we went to the pumpkin patch this year, where the girls picked out their own pumpkins, petted some animals and navigated the maze. Nana was visiting us which made it even more special and fun! We love when Nana comes for a visit!!
group shot before our ride on the tractor

looking for just the right pumpkin

exploring the farm like a big girl

I let Norah navigate the maze. She did pretty good!

mmm hay is for horses.....and Charlotte too!

C's school field trip to the farm. Adorable!!

While Nana was here we also went to the zoo. It is a bit of a drive but so worth it. Great zoo and free to boot! And we could not have picked a better day: 60's, slightly overcast, mid week and zero crowds. I always enjoy the zoo and this time we had a lot of fun in the reptile center and watching the monkeys!

the best photo bomb

taken right before this guy turned around and banged on the glass and scared the poo out of us!!

the carousal all to herself. She chose the horse. haha

this little guy was loving the kids

this guy was HUGE!  

A picture of the moment I realized it was time for a double. Almost the entire time Charlotte rode on the end Norah kicked her and squawked, making it seem as though Charlotte was being naughty when she was actually the culprit. Sneaky girl.
look at that face. It says trouble

checking out the adorable Pandas

a drama free moment sharing the stroller. 

And finally, some fun photos from the month.... 
go for a ride in a box? sure, why not!

two at the same time?! silly girls!

good thing she is strapped in!

meeting baby Colin. Big sis Cora isn't so sure about someone holding her baby

checking out the firetruck when it came to music class. 

my big girl!

rawr!!!! a visit to the aquarium!

if sissy won't drive it, I will!!!

swinging at the park before preschool

gymnastics fun

dress up time!

Someone learned how to blow kisses this fall. It is just the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!

my view most afternoons. can't get any better!

4 years apart.  πŸ’œ

What a fun month! Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year. The colors, the weather, all the fun activities. It's one holiday after another which keeps us super busy (sometimes stressed!!) but so happy. I love all the memories we created this year. From the zoo with Nana, to carving pumpkins, to my adorable kiddos in their costumes.