photos and a video from colorado!

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i’m so excited to¬†share some photos as well as a video i put together from our time in colorado a few weeks ago! we seriously had the best time. ¬†talk about a scenic, colorful and truly breathtaking spot. we spent the majority of our time in beaver creek, where the westin riverfront resort and spa so kindly hosted our stay. ¬†i don’t think that hotel location can be beat. our windows and balcony¬†had a view of gorgeous mountains and greenery and the area has¬†so many fun activities within a few miles, we did so much each day! we went¬†ice skating, horse back riding, took a fly fishing lesson, rode¬†the gondola to the top of a mountain for lunch, went to the rodeo which i shared a post on here! it was a good time. i also took my first stand up paddle board yoga lesson at the westin’s pool one morning¬†(some photos below) and it was intense! i didn’t even know this was a thing beforehand, but now i am hooked. i’ll tell you more about it below, but now to the fun stuff…. a video and photos! (music in video below is little boats by chelsey scott.)

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see what i mean about the views?! insert heart eye emojis here….

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conrad always wants to be close by eleanor and samson and included in whatever they are doing.¬† at 8 months this week, i feel like he’s catching up to samson in size already, so¬†i don’t think it’ll be too long before he’s truly holding his own. haha!

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the westin riverfront was so kind and welcomed us with warm cookies and milk, as well as cute hats for the family and little backpacks and toy beavers for the kids! i’m always trying to give away their stuffed animals because we tend to accumulate a lot of them, but i think these¬†beavers aren’t going anywhere any time soon. they have been everywhere with us lately. samson’s even went on a hike to a waterfall yesterday and eleanor’s ate breakfast with us at the table this morning. they are so sweet with them!

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one of the nice things about the westin, is they have full kitchens in many of their suites, so we were able to do a few of our own meals and made smoothies together like we do at home many mornings.  i feel like we could have moved into that suite and stayed forever and died happy. ha!

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one morning bright and early at 7AM we had a fly fishing lesson on the hotel grounds and then down by the river! it’s still summer, so we debated bringing coats for the kids, but i’m so glad we did, because those early mornings were cold and they needed them! also, confident our family doesn’t have the patience required for something like this, but still a lot of fun to give it a try!

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i hate ski lifts because i hate heights, but we got to ride the enclosed gondola to the top of beaver creek since we had a baby with us (YES!) so our ride up and down the mountain was far more relaxing than the last time and i was able to sit back and enjoy the ride and views much more.

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howdy, cowboy!

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these photos of the kids and josh¬†are some of my favorites. we just chilled and hung out for a good hour or so at the top of the mountain after eating lunch together. the kids love climbing all over papa¬†since he’s the tickle monster and also because he gives them rides on his feet and legs. he’s a really good papa.

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so samson was sadly just under the weight requirement for this particular bungee trampoline, but eleanor rocked it. the one we did in california earlier this summer was their favorite part of the trip, so they were so thrilled to see this one at the base of the mountain! next time, samson, you’ll fly too! (he enjoyed some miniature golf instead!)

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pony rides!!!!

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and ice skating! no one fell, and it is beyond me how that happened! i think my favorite part of the video is the part where josh is teaching eleanor a better stance on her skates. i love seeing her in her little hoody taking such great direction and having that sweet teaching moment with her papa.

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maybe it’s a toddler thing, or maybe it’s just a samson thing, but every ball can be a soccer ball, and any floor can make for a good soccer game!
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beaver creek’s art festival was going on while we were in town, so we were able to walk around one evening before dinner.

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okay, so i started talking about this stand up paddle board yoga class up top, but i want to talk about it some more here because this was one of the coolest things i have done and i still don’t know how i didn’t fall off my paddle board! right now, yoga on a solid steady surface like the floor is a struggle for me (i’d like to blame it on my three kids and their births and what that all did to my abs, but i know a lot of mothers out there with six packs so just kidding), but anyway, this was such an intense challenge and i lived for every minute of it. ¬†it¬†only helped that it was early in the morning so the weather was crisp and cool around us but the pool water was heated and extra warm.¬†i don’t know how to describe what an incredible experience this was, but¬†it was something i will remember forever.

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don’t mind samson right there, just working on his back stroke! ;)

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the new york philharmonic was in town the same weekend as us! imagine that! and also, it was my first time seeing them perform. how embarrassing right?! the hotel so kindly packed a picnic for us and we spent the evening in vail listening to them perform.

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just my three little miners gem panning digging for gems and minerals!
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josh and i split¬†the most interesting and delicious eggs benedict at the westin’s restaurant,¬†the maya,¬†that was served on polenta with a spicy chorizo sausage. i can’t do spice very well, but this was really really good.

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and THIS. this is what i love for. love these kids and this family of mine and so grateful for this fun opportunity to check out a bit of what beaver creek has to offer. thank you so much to the westin riverfront resort and spa for hosting our stay! we truly had such a good time and will hold onto these fun memories forever.

the rodeo!

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while we were in colorado the other¬†week, we spent an evening at the rodeo in beaver creek! i have lots of colorado photos to share (hopefully soon!) but i feel like the rodeo deserves its own post, so. many.photos… haha! would you expect anything less from a picture taking obsessed bloggah?!

i used to go to the rodeo growing up in utah, so¬†i felt like a little girl again all night. ¬†i kind of think it’s one of the coolest things to experience and loved getting my inner cowgirl on by pulling out my old red cowboy boots for the night.¬†i was a little bit disappointed in them though, because sure, it’d been a few years since i’d worn my boots, but they tore up my feet and gave me a bunch of blisters on¬†my ankles. ¬†i think it was their way¬†of¬†saying, you aren’t wearing us enough anymore.¬† i don’t know.¬†but i was limping a little bit by the end of the evening.

i can’t exactly speak for conrad, but i do know eleanor and samson had a great time. ¬†although i know they would have had an evening better time had we signed them up for the whole mutton busting thing. ¬†have you heard of that before? it’s basically like bull riding, but for kids on sheep. ¬†they put little helmets on and then compete to see who can hold onto the sheep’s back the longest¬†during a race. ¬†kind of crazy insane, and i don’t think i’m up for my kids trying it anytime soon, but they are still talking about it and asking if they can do it next year. :/

anyway, a few photos from evening below…
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i’m sure i’ve talked about this before, but i think it’s so great and important to try to get a photo of the entire family during outings occasionally even if¬†it can be hard. ¬†i’ve learned the best way to get this done is two things. ¬†1. when looking for someone to ask to snap the photo, look for someone who already has a dslr camera (although it’s not that hard to teach someone where to click and how to focus, sometimes they just tend to frame it slightly better and don’t crop off your feet)¬†and 2. ask them to just do rapid fire snapping and take at least 5 pictures in a quick row! that way your chances of getting one with everyones eyes open is much higher! lol. ¬†thanks to the sweet woman who took this photo for us, it is most definitely one of my favorite family pictures right now!

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see boots?! still love ya. (although truth be told this isn’t my first pair of red cowboy boots, and the first pair i did love a little bit more and¬†as proof, i wore them into the ground.)

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it’s like they were right at home! i don’t think anyone would have even known¬†it was their first rodeo for these city kids! isn’t that one of the best things about children? they just adapt so well and are willing to try everything out! (except for cauliflower, at least at our house!)

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the junior deputy was there, too! we¬†are obnoxious and tried to get him a pair of cowboy boots too, but there’s something about those chubby little baby legs that do not like boots!

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talk about a gorgeous back drop for a rodeo! colorado mountains and trees, i’m talking about you!

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we call em chips on a stick, but i think the proper name is tater twisters? why are they so good?!

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such a fun night. sorry for keeping you out past your bedtime, conrad. (he was so tired and sleepy by the end.) thanks for being so wonderful, colorado!


ps. we got the kiddos cowboy hats from¬†here. eleanor’s boots from here and samson’s here. my shirt is c/o¬†ace & jig and jeans are by madewell (different wash, but¬†same style here), cowboy boots are vintage. josh’s denim shirt is from here.

a weekend full of wedding festivities, family, and beautiful utah.

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my little sister’s wedding took place on saturday, and it was just beautiful! i am such an emotional crazy person¬†at any wedding, but when one of my little siblings gets married, it’s like x100. it’s a funny thing, but i feel like¬†the year i left home for college is the year time stopped in my head when it comes to my brother and my sisters and i still think of them as that age, in that time period. so seeing them grow up and do adult things and not be little any more, just feels so strange. ¬†my little brother, isaac, drove me around in his car tonight, and that was weird! how is he old enough to drive and date and talk about¬†college and be taller than me! how does he know the ins and outs of snapchat better than i do to the point where he’s telling and teaching me about it?

but time aside, i have an immense amount of pride for each of my siblings. and as they grow and accomplish things and follow their dreams and figure out what makes them happy and what they want from life, i just beam with pride. because they are good people, and while we have had our share of difficult sibling moments over the years where lots of¬†mean words and attitude and drama were maybe present (oh family!), at the end of the day, and especially as the years have gone by, we will always¬†be there for each other, and i couldn’t love them more.

here are a couple of photos from the past few days…. a few of them are screenshot from video i took for my sister, so they aren’t as crisp as i’d like them to be, but you get the gist. ;)

 

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here’s a photo from the night before the wedding of my own grown up miss eleanor with the bride to be, her aunty hannah!

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with their great-grandpa! and below, four generations (these sorts of photos always get me! because beyond being emotional in general, i hope they will be cherished someday like the old photos i cherish of several generations from the past posed together from when i was a little girl.)

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a happy girl with her uncle! i think every day in the mountains needs to be spent outside during sunset because it feels like such a gift.

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this little dude has requested his superman shirt every day this week! (i’ve been trying to wash it at night to keep him happy. it’s worth it just for the reaction each morning when he remembers he’s “superman!” and runs to put on his shirt! when he takes it off at night, he reminds me that he is samson again!)¬†it is from zara, by the way!

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this photo is from last night in the park! 4 of the 5 of us siblings! hannah and ryan are already off on their honeymoon now!

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a photo from the wedding party on saturday! hannah got a dried bouquet and flower crown so she could preserve them and i think that it probably the most genius thing i have heard.¬†i couldn’t get over them!

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and this sweet little flower girl looked so cute all day long! her dress was a gift from doloris petunia and she and i both are obsessed with it.

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love this shot of them after cutting and feeding each other cake!¬†or i guess this is a shot of them kissing, but¬†it’s during the whole cake thing. you know what i meant!

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the send off! congratulations guys! welcome to the family, ryan! we are so so happy for you both!

and we get to spend a few more days in utah with the rest of our family, so we can’t find a thing to complain about. ¬†:) have a wonderful week, friends!

camping in moab, utah!

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hello! we’re in utah right now for my little sister’s wedding this weekend, but i wanted to share some fun photos from monday and tuesday when we went camping in moab utah! since we were in colorado, and we planned on heading to utah afterwards for my sister’s wedding, we figured we’d make a road trip out of it and drive and camp along the way! my dad was sweet enough to ship a tent, sleeping pads and sleeping bags to our hotel in colorado so we wouldn’t have to buy or¬†haul a bunch of camping gear with us.

i grew up camping with my family since i was a little girl, and josh kept pointing out how giddy i was the entire time we camped because he said it brought out this side of me where i just get so excited to show my own kids the things i enjoyed when i was their age! silly stuff like making shadow puppets with flashlights in the tent once it’s dark outside to roasting hot dogs and s’mores around the campfire playing games. i am not very outdoors-y, but i love me a good camping trip! some of my favorite childhood memories involve camping with my family so it’s fun to begin those adventures with children of my own now!

we didn’t know what to expect camping with the kids, but they did a great job and we all had a good time. of course, i credit a lot of this to the fact that we weren’t “legit camping”¬†where you’re cooking up a storm of delicious food right at the campsite and staying for a solid few days. ¬†we only camped for one night and we brought along a bucket of fried chicken and rolls for dinner¬†and only roasted hot dogs and s’mores to make it easier on us. and then we just did simple stuff like fruit for breakfast. ¬†we’ll ease into the hard core stuff once we have¬†things better figured out!

we also weren’t sure where we were going to camp exactly, since moab is a popular place and most of the campgrounds we researched ahead of time were full. ¬†but we sometimes like to just push our luck and stay optimistic so we drove in around 6pm and started visiting some first come first serve sites we learned about. we¬†found a couple beautiful open campsites¬†right along the colorado river in moab! we could not believe it! i think the exact site we found was called hal canyon if anyone is familiar or interested for the future. it worked great! also, the most epic thunder and lightening storm took place literally¬†just¬†after the kids went to sleep¬†and it was kind of crazy amazing to be dry and warm in a tent on the ground while such a loud and shaking storm was taking place around us!

a few photos from our night of camping!

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eleanor and samson were such sweet little helpers helping set the tent up with their papa!

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these photographs of eleanor when she woke up the following morning are some of my favorites of her. ¬†the kids slept great through the night. samson woke up just once and asked to sleep with josh. and then in the morning eleanor asked to cuddle with her mama while josh took samson out to potty (he took conrad, too). ¬†she asked me lots of questions about sleeping bags and tents and bugs. then i snapped these sweet photos of her being silly and it was one of those moments where i just couldn’t believe i was the grown up on this camping trip with my kids! like, how am i old enough to be calling the shots and taking my kids camping!!!!??!?! so weird sometimes when you think about it.

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we wandered down to the colorado river after breakfast the following morning and josh found this rope someone tied into a tree to make a swing for the water! we weren’t exactly brave or daring enough to go swimming in the river at 8-something in the morning, but josh still made use of the rope! haha! you can see a video of him swinging right here on his instagram.

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some fried chicken and hawaiian rolls for dinner monday night! haha! does it get any better than that!? (well yes, yes it can with a dutch oven and my favorite chicken and dumpling meal my mom makes from scratch over a campfire, but ok… next best thing?)

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this looks so good right now i’m tempted to go into my parents kitchen and make another over the stove!

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this was a good one for us. i’m thankful josh is always up for anything and that my kids are taking after that mentality as well! i think everyone needs to go camping underneath a clear sky of the most beautiful moon and stars at least once in their life. just make sure you bring plenty of bug spray because mosquitos are no joke and i’m so over them! ;)

ps. my sweater is from here¬†and my vintage nike sneakers¬†are from here (unisex sizing so be sure to size down!) samson and conrad’s super man t-shirts are from zara.

also, a camping trip blog post from when josh and i went once just the two of us before our kiddos were born (omg looking through that blog post just now was crazy. we were such babies!) and also our trip to moab utah (we stayed in a hotel last time) a few summers go, here and here and here.

fancy dinners with my dad in town…

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my dad was working north of the city¬†the other week and didn’t think his schedule allowed for him to come into the city to visit us. ¬†but on saturday night, he called saying his sunday opened up and he was going to rent a car and come in for part of the day! he told josh and me not to tell the kids, so he could surprise them in the morning!¬†they were actually in the middle of face-timing with him on sunday morning when we opened the front door and there he was! holding a box of donuts, too! the day was already off to such a good start.

since we were about to head out of town a few days later, we hadn’t kept up on our grocery shopping, because we hate leaving town and having food go bad. ¬†but it worked out perfectly, because we still had 2 blue apron meals in our fridge that had been delivered a few days prior, so even with company showing up with short notice, i was still able to serve a really beautiful and delicious lunch! we made and served their vietnamese chicken wings and rice and beef-stuffed poblano peppers.

if you aren’t already familiar with blue apron (although i mention them a lot on this blog cause i’m a fan), they deliver farm-fresh ingredients in a refrigerated box, in the exact proportions you need, right to your home each week. we’ve been using them for a few years now, and have partnered with them this year to spread the word as they’ve expanded to several new zip codes around the US. ¬†one of the things i¬†love most about using blue apron, is how it gets us out of our cooking rut and allows us to create beautiful and delicious meals we wouldn’t otherwise ever attempt to cook in our home ourselves. ¬†we’ve discovered a lot of new ingredients and dishes¬†through them, too! ¬†we’re also able to skip weeks we’re traveling and just use them when it best fits our week to week schedule.

if you’d like to try blue apron, the first 100 readers to use this link to sign up will get two free meals on their first blue apron order!¬†

some photos from our sunday with my dad below!

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eleanor helped us out quite a bit in the kitchen while my dad played trains with samson and conrad in their nursery. ¬†we put on her favorite music (she is obsessed with the song adir adirim by balkan beat box. have you ever heard it? it’s kind of amazing!) and had a bit of a dance party as we went along.

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also, this rice and beef-stuffed poblano peppers i linked above is insane! it has all these amazing spices in it and also dried currants and roasted pepitas. it was my favorite.

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a few minutes before we put everything on the table, samson wandered into the kitchen wanting to help too! since everything had already been prepped, i told him he could help me with the dishes if he wanted. one of his chores is helping unload the dishwasher, which he does really well (the silverware and cups especially!) but he always wants to “wash” the dishes because it’s really just the best excuse to play with soapy water. haha! so he “washed” some of the bigger bowls for us that we had used cooking.¬†i love his willingness to always¬†be helpful. he’s such a good kid.

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go time!

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plates just make no sense with this little dude. it’s a lot of clean up afterwards, but he likes feeding himself and discovering and learning as he does it more than when we feed him. gets tricky with some foods, but for the most part, he does a pretty fantastic job!

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a quick photo with my daddio before we eat!

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cheers! to a delicious meal! thanks so much for making the time to swing by, dad!¬†and thanks to blue apron for partnering with us on this post! you can check out¬†many of their recipes right here, if you’d like.