Category Archives: Family

The Lodge Photo Session

Valentine’s Day was extra special this year — Alex surprised me with a photo session at The Lodge! I was over-the-moon to find out that he had been coordinating with Kim Hildebrand, our family photographer, for her to come out and shoot The Lodge and some photos of our family.

Her pictures always take my breath away. She captures our family so perfectly and I’m crazy about her style. She is so talented and I’m so grateful for all of the photos she’s taken of our family since Ben was 6 weeks old. In any case, I really had trouble paring down the photos so here’s my gigantic photo dump from our amazing photo session.

The Happenings

Gosh – it’s late March. Spring is here. We’ve been super sick. Our life is in four and three-day increments as we’re sharing our time between The Lodge. Ok – you’re caught up! Here are some photos to better tell the story…

{We’ve been loving sitting out on the stairs on our deck while we watch Ben play in the yard/driveway at The Lodge. He is such an outdoor kid!}

{Our friends Carrie and Patrick and their daughter Roslyn joined us up at The Lodge a few weeks ago. We loved seeing the two tots play together and sharing our home with our friends.}

{I didn’t get a single day of downhill skiing in this year, unfortunately. It feels less disappointing since we’ve been able to get so much cross county skiing in. I have really, really grown to love it! This is Ben and Roslyn.}

{The days have been sunny and glorious lately! My big helper is an expert at watering our new plants.}

{Time to pull out the picnic blankets! I am dreaming of summer right now and of all the fun things I can do with my littles. We’re going to have a blast!}

{These two! Loving life in Leavenworth.}

{Ben just jumped up to size 3T clothes! Loving his new dinosaur jammies!}

{Thanks for the ice cream cone, Nana! It was delicious!}

{We’ve had a rough March with illnesses plaguing our household. While Alex was out of town Ben got croup. He’s had it twice before and it wasn’t a big deal. This time it was and we ended up having a 911 call and a hospital visit because Ben was gasping for breath. It was a scary experience and we’re glad it’s behind us.}

{Once Ben seemed on the mend from Croup we all came down with the flu. Thank you, Emergency Room, for spreading your germs!}

{I’m not used to having Ben nap anymore but he’d go and climb into my bed and curl up with his choice of stuffed animal and fall asleep!}

{Sweet Hannah has entered the age of frustration. She wants to do so much more than she’s physically ready to do. I’m sure it’s especially hard having an older brother. She wants to do everything he is doing.}

{The Lodge is finally DONE. We have received the certificate of occupancy and it’s done!! Check out the new deck railings. I think they complete the look of the house so well. We have been up here basically every weekend and are really feeling settled.}

Our First Weekends at The Lodge

And just like that, The Lodge is done and we’ve begun splitting our time there. It felt like it took forever and ever to get to this point and now that it’s here, time is moving at warp speed. We’re getting into a new rhythm here in our little lives and we finally feel like things are settling in.

Since we moved into The Lodge we’ve spent most weekends out there. We’re getting into a groove with timing the drive and it’s going really well. Everything is living up to our dreams. We are having a blast and it has been extra special to see this experience through Ben. He loves his “Mountain House” and has really gotten the concept that we are sharing our time between two houses now.

The house itself is all but done – only a few finishing touches remain at this point. We’re burned out on pulling together the little details so that’s going to be a slower process.

Ben has always loved being outside and The Lodge has only exacerbated that. He’ll wake up, put his slippers on and ask to go outside! Typically it’s been around 18-20 degrees when he rises for the day and he could stay out there all morning if we let him.

Similarly, Jackson is in his own version of paradise. We do let him stay outside all day and he does! He’ll patiently wait for someone to step out onto the deck to throw his ball for him then repeat that all day long. Jackson is in his element at The Lodge. He’s so good off-leash, too, thankfully.

Ben loves to be pulled in his little purple sled up and down our lengthy driveway with Jackson chasing after. He has taken a page out of Papa’s book and is the official shoveler of The Lodge, too. Ben has made himself right at home.

We’re all love, love, loving the extra cross country skiing we’ve been doing. Alex and I found great enjoyment out of Nordic skiing when I was pregnant with Ben. Since then it has continued to bring us more and more joy each year. I LOVE strapping a baby to my back or pulling the kids in the trailer. I’m not sure why but I take so much pleasure in that. I suppose that’s my inner adventure mama side coming out.

Despite being a bit burned out, the house has really come together. We’re working on framing some art that we’ve found and we’re on the hunt for some lamps. Thrilling, huh? Last weekend we got a TV for the basement and we finally got a toaster {hurrah!}. Other than the final touches and a railing for the deck {happening now!!!!} we’re almost there!

One of my favorite spaces is our entryway. I love the rustic details, the storage and the fun light fixtures. It is so lovely to walk into this room.

Another favorite room is our master bedroom. The bathroom, attached powder room and closet are nice, but the bedroom itself feels like a little retreat. I love it. I love how pulled together it feels, even though it’s not done yet, and I love how calming it is.

The bunk room only has beds in it at this point – it’s a space I really love {though, dang, making all four of these bunk beds took me almost an hour!} and am so, so very excited to see the kids grow up here. We got low-to-the ground sets of bunk beds so they would fit under the window. I didn’t even realize how perfect that would be for toddlers. Eventually we’ll move Ben and Hannah into the bunk room; for now, they’re sharing one of the bedrooms on the main floor.

So far, all of our hopes and dreams of The Lodge are coming true and are even better than we could have imagined. It brings us so much joy to sit on the steps of the deck and watch our boy run around outside, have an open layout on the main floor so when I make breakfast I can watch what everyone else is up to, and my goodness, the beauty surrounding us. I often find myself speechless and just stop and stare at the snow covered trees, the bluff in the distance and, gosh, the mountains. Right out our doorstep.

Building the Lodge: Moving In

We’ve officially moved into The Lodge!

A few weeks ago Alex’s parents joined us in our first stay at The Lodge where we unpacked and got settled. We waited a long, long time and worked tirelessly to make this a reality for our family and it finally happened – we moved in!

The day we had planned on driving out there ended up being the start of Seattle’s “Snomageddon” – when snow is forecast for Seattle the whole city shuts down. This particular storm was predicting 4-8 inches of snow which ultimately happened and caused nearly a week of snow days and gridlocked the entire city. Grocery stores ran out of food, cars were abandoned on roads – no one went out or did anything. We chose the very beginning of the storm as the time we left our house to head for the mountains.

The drive to The Lodge was an absolute nightmare. I drove my car with Ben and Hannah and endured horrible snowy city traffic, then blinding and treacherous snowy mountain roads. A 2-hour drive turned into a more than 4-hour drive. It was awful. I was so relieved to have made it, and once we arrived, most of my stress melted away as we explored our beautiful mountain home.

Unsurprising to anyone who knows anything about home building or renovations – our completion date for the house kept getting pushed further and further back at the last minute and the house still isn’t done. Finally we just told our builder that we have a non-negotiable furniture delivery date and Alex’s parents have airline tickets so we’re coming to the house and we’re staying for a week. They were able to finish up quite a lot, but still some final details were not complete yet.

During the course of our stay there was a bit of work that took place on the house and since we’ve been there more finishing details have been taken care of. At this point I believe the house is more than 99% complete – I think there are only a couple more odds and ends to be taken care of, and most of those things are changes we’re making. The biggest things that are undone now are the deck railings outside and the shower doors in the master bathroom.

The moving in process was a little more complicated than a standard move. Moving into a vacation house was different in that we ended up having so, so, so much stuff shipped to our primary residence, renting a trailer and then moving it out there that way. We purchased almost every item specifically for the house, so we had to acquire everything and get it out there.

The day before our move-in date we learned from our mail carrier that because we didn’t have a mailbox we were not considered customers of USPS. That was news to me, and because of that, they would not deliver packages there. Apparently the mail carrier is paid per customer and she was not interested in not getting paid to deliver our 28 packages. This, along with shipping delays from the inclement weather, threw a bit of a wrench in our move-in plans since we had anticipated our massive Amazon orders would be at our house upon our arrival. The day after we arrived we had to make two trips into town {25 minutes away} to the post office to pick up our packages that weren’t delivered. And then we had to put up a mailbox. In February when the ground was frozen.

It seemed like the boxes would never end. They just kept coming and coming. We worked through them really quickly and by the end of our first full day we had the kitchen largely pulled together, thanks in large part to both of my children napping AT THE SAME TIME for more than an hour. Side note: it is unbelievable how much I can get done during nap time!

We all ran out of steam pretty quickly and the glamour of moving in faded fast. It’s tiring and cumbersome and never seems to end. Despite all of the housewares that we have and the food in our pantry and the furniture we have, there is still so, so very much to do. I know we’ll get there one day – hopefully within the next 6 months or so we’ll be able to step back and say that we feel like the house is in a complete state. It’s so, so, so very exciting to see it come together, though.

 

As I’m writing this it still hasn’t hit me that it’s real. I feel like we just had a vacation at a really nice house in the mountains and spent a really long time settling in there. I’m hoping that during our next trip out it will sink in that this is our mountain house…

A New Chapter

We are at the beginning of a very new, big chapter in our lives. Our mountain house is {basically} done and we’re in the process of moving in. We’re planning on spending as much time out there as possible as we build a new life for our family. Additionally, I recently resigned from my job running a small non-profit and am changing careers – my new job title is: mom.

We’ve been in the process of beginning our mountain life now for more than a year and a half, since we bought our property in July 2017, and we’re over the moon to finally be moving in.

Alex and I have been dreaming about having a second home in the mountains ever since we moved out to Seattle. We have vivid memories from one winter early on in our time in Seattle with our very dear friends, Carrie and Patrick, where we rented a cabin near Crystal Mountain Resort one weekend a month for the whole ski season. We had a taste of cabin living and we were hooked.

Both of us, along with Alex’s parents, who we will share the house with, have worked tirelessly to pull our resources together and make it happen, both from a financial standpoint as well as a design and management position.

I don’t quite know how having The Lodge will change our lives, but I know there will be dramatic implications. We hope to spend most weekends out there and have Alex’s parents join us for extended stays, as well as my parents, the rest of our family and our friends, too. We hope this house will bring our families together more often and we hope to provide an opportunity for our friends across the country to come and see our little piece of paradise and spend time with us.

The timing for me to leave my job came up suddenly; however the time was right for a number of reasons. I think it’s perfect that it coincides with The Lodge being complete.

Our new au pair had started with us in late December and after a month we knew if just was never going to work. I had an extremely difficult transition back to work after my maternity leave with Hannah – our childcare situation was in a constant state of flux and I never felt like I re-entered my job or could give it the focus and dedication the organization deserved.

Finally, I got a crystal clear sign it was time to move on from our au pair. I had really hoped we could make it work with her – while I knew at some point in the future I wanted to stay home with the kids, I wasn’t quite ready to step down from a career I loved so much. We made the decision very quickly and we are very confident it was the right choice.

Over the last 14 or so months our childcare and school arrangements never felt consistent or long-term and caused Alex and me tremendous stress. There’s nothing quite like worrying about the care your child is receiving in your absence. I’m a very diligent and involved parent and there were several times over the last year that my mama bear instincts told me that things weren’t quite right. In the course of that time I’ve spoken up, been far more direct than I normally care to be and advocated for the well-being of my children. I finally reached the end of my rope and decided I’d rather take over myself.

Ben will remain in preschool four mornings a week this school year and then will transition to a Montessori preschool, four mornings a week, in the fall. I signed him up for gymnastics one afternoon a week and a few week-long morning camps this summer. The rest of the time we’ll spend bouncing around the city, playing at the park or the beach, going to the zoo and doing toddleriffic projects at home. I can’t wait to have more time with my kids to explore and check out new things in this beautiful area we call home. I also hope we’ll be able to spend more time up in the mountains together.

I’m truly overjoyed to be starting my new career as “mom” – I have been yearning for more time with my kiddos for quite a while. They’re growing up so fast I can’t stand it. They’re not going to be this little for much longer and I want to savor this sweet and special time with them.

It’s the beginning of a chapter with no end in sight. Alex and I can’t wait to finally feel settled in our lives, something we haven’t felt in years.

Building the Lodge: Prepping for Move In

The time has finally arrived for us to get ready to move into The Lodge!

Our builder must have called in a lot of favors last week because the house is nearly done. As of Monday, most of the trades wrapped up and closed up their job at The Lodge. There are still a lot of really little things to get done, along with a few not-so-little things, and come this weekend, it seems like it’ll be ready for us!

Last weekend Alex rented a 6’x12′ Uhaul and we filled it with all of the boxes from our house. We had expected to make two trips back and forth to bring all of the boxes. Much to our surprise, Alex’s tetris’ skills saved the day and we fit everything in the first load.

The purpose of Alex’s trip was to bring all of the boxes to the house, stay the night and receive the first and main furniture delivery from Room & Board. So much had been done since I had seen the house the week prior! Check it out:

{Carpet!}

{The bunk room – we really wanted individual lights for all four bunks.}

{Downstairs bathroom}

{Main floor bathroom}

{Master bathroom}

{One of the most exciting places in the house: the private master bathroom toilet!}

{This is the kids room on the main floor. We’re going to keep them upstairs while they’re still so little. Once they get older we’ll move them down to the bunk room.}

{Before heading back on Monday Alex put together Hannah’s crib and Ben’s toddler bed so that they’re ready for them when we arrive next time!}

{Laundry room! I’m pretty excited about the storage and the hanging rod for line drying clothes. Opposite this view is a utility sink. We don’t have a utility sink in our primary home and I am so excited for one! The little things…}

{Barn door into the master}

{The cleaners came while Alex was there today – spick & span!}

{Most of the light fixtures have been installed – a lot of them were put in while Alex was there so some photos are not up-to-date}

{And then they took the paper off of the floors. I really have no words for the sheer beauty of these floors. I just can’t wait to see them in person!}

The next time we go up there it will be together as a family to move in for real. It’s going to be a long process, I can tell, and we are so ready!

Building the Lodge: The Home Stretch

I had the rare opportunity to go out to the lodge by myself last week. We needed to bring a bunch of light fixtures out so I stepped up to the plate and delivered them safely. Not only was I happy to get rid of part of the gigantic stack of boxes in the dining room, I could hardly wait to see the house.

With just one week left until our furniture starts arriving at The Lodge there is a lot that still needs to get done. All of the finishing touches need to be wrapped up and completed. Our fingers are crossed that things will come together at the 11th hour and we’ll be able to get moved in.

It feels like a circus right now with all of the coordinating and the logistics happening. It’s a funny game of logistics and coordination trying to figure out when to order certain things and finalizing the details on what seems to be a hundred million little pieces.

Everything is coming together really nicely, albeit a bit slower than we had hoped. The colors and materials in the house look incredible. I love how everything goes so well together. I love how the kitchen hardware looks.

When I arrived at the house I was pleasantly surprised that the counters were being installed. We have the same quartz slabs in all 3 bathrooms as we do in the kitchen.

There were so many people working that day that I tried to get in, drop the lights off, and go so that they could focus on their work.

The painters were there doing touch up work and finishing painting the trim. We decided to paint the trim around the windows the same color as the walls and I love how it turned out. Before the trim had been painted at all {it came white} we thought there was too much contrast between the trim, the wall color and the black windows so we opted to minimize that by keeping the color consistent with the wall.

I couldn’t get over the richness and depth of the wood color of our interior doors. They are knotty alder. The painters applied a clear {or mostly clear?} coat over the doors and they are stunning. The doors are one of my favorite parts of the house, though it’s really hard to play favorites.

Another new thing I got to see in person for the first time is our “boot bench” in the front entry. I can’t wait to organize this! We found some really beautiful hooks that will be mounted in the big open part, otherwise I’ll be on the hunt for a bunch of baskets to have to store our outdoor gear in the little cubbies. Opposite from the boot bench we have a big closet with plenty of coat storage, as well as a long shelf for more baskets or containers for, you guessed it, more gear. I knew that year-round gear storage would be really important to us so this space was a big part of the planning process.

The last thing I got to see taking shape was the pantry! I’m so excited to have a walk-in pantry – and one that’s not cavernous like my current pantry. This will come in so handy for a vacation home. I can’t wait to stock up on pantry supplies. I am so looking forward to cooking and baking up here with my kiddos while watching the snow fall out the windows, and I can speak for my mother in-law and say I know that she is excited for that too.

My visit at the house was so quick and I wasn’t ready to leave the area so I popped into town {the little village is called Plain – it’s about a 1-2 minute drive from our house} and grabbed lunch at The Old Mill. I swung through Plain Hardware for a coffee to take with me for my drive back and then made a quick stop at Lake Wenatchee just to take in the view. It was such a gorgeous day and I really wanted to stay in the mountains.

All in all, the house is coming together and so much is happening this week. Though the house won’t be 100% complete, Alex is planning two U-haul trips out there this weekend to clear out all of the boxes from my office {omg.}. The following week we’re planning on officially moving in and Alex’s parents will be out there enjoying the house with us. I’m headed out for the week of President’s Day with the kids and my dad since school is out. If all goes according to plan, the house should be complete, save for a shower door and some light fixtures, by February 10th.

We are SO close it is just tantalizing right now. It’s been so far away for so long that now that it’s almost here it’s almost hard to believe.

#Momlife

I’ve been moming real hard lately and it has been wonderful. We have had so much going on recently and I have really savored the time I spent with my littles, in particular the one-on-one time.

The one-on-one time I have been able to spend with Ben recently has been extra special. With all of the people around for the holidays and all of the change we had going on I was really missing my biggest little and I think the feeling was mutual. It’s so hard when there’s so much going on to be able to break away just the two of us and have some mama/Ben time. I was so grateful for more opportunities when December turned into January.

I have built-in time with Ben, just the two of us, four mornings a week when I take him to preschool. Once a week I stay for the two-hour class at his co-op and we get to play together. He absolutely loves co-op and that time is really special for both of us.

Usually co-op ends with a steamed milk or a hot chocolate – partly as a special treat for keeping his pants dry and partly because I’m a softie. I never thought I’d be a softie but I totally am. And I’m ok with that!

Ben has been growing up so fast and I can’t stand it. It’s hard to think how close we are to times when he’s not going to need us as much and when he’s going to be so independent he won’t want our help constantly, and, heartbreakingly, the time will come when he won’t want to cuddle or be picked up all the time.

Obviously I want my kids to grow up and be independent and self-sufficient but I love so much this beautiful season that we’re in right now. I know every milestone and every phase results in more and more fun but I’m getting so much joy from where we’re at that I want to relish it as long as I can. My babies aren’t going to be babies for much longer, after all.

My littlest is growing at warp speed. It did not go this fast with Ben as a baby, that’s for sure. I hope that life starts to slow down once our weekends will be spent together as a family in the mountains. Something tells me that’s naive.

I also savor the moments, though, when I can enjoy my coffee + biscotti in the morning, read my book {currently reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine}, cook and plan out the week. My time cooking is extremely limited these days, as is my computer and planning time. I have become much better at making the time to have some coffee and read in the mornings by purposefully waking up early. I absolutely love sitting in silence in the dark, enjoying the calm of the morning.

If I’m being honest, the part of #momlife I like the least right now is trying to schedule in time to pump. I’m constantly on the go for my job and it is really tricky some days to make the time. My work schedule is flexible but some days there is simply not enough time between appointments. Thankfully I’ve been able to have a low/no-stress approach to this so far and while I’m hoping to be able to keep up with Hannah’s needs with breast milk, I’m totally fine if we need to supplement with formula.

{cup of ice from the coffee shop to keep the milk cold!}

I’ve had a bit of an interesting go of things recently as a cat mom. Poor Henry got injured a few weeks ago and has required quite a lot of follow-up treatment as a result. We were at the vet every day last week and I’m happy to say Henry has made a complete recovery now. My sweet Ben melted everyone’s heart at the vet, though, when we had to drop Henry off and say good bye – Ben bent down in front of the door of Henry’s carrier and said “Bye Henry! I hope you feel better. Have a good day!” There’s nothing quite like a 2-year old.

The best moments as of late are the evenings, right around 7:00, when I’m sitting down to feed Hannah and Ben comes in to say goodnight to us. Hannah always takes precedent over me. He comes in, wraps his little arms around his baby sister and gives her a gentle squeeze then makes sure to give her a kiss – sometimes on the head, other times on the hand, and then, so sweetly, says “goodnight Hannah!” and then I look up at his father and we acknowledge that we know we’ve done something right.

In “#dadlife” news – Alex has also been dading pretty hard, too. He and Ben have had some really special time together over the last few weeks. They went rock climbing, swimming and to the gymnastics gym recently. Ben and Alex are two peas in a pod and Ben is so much like his dad. It melts my heart watching the two of them together.

While I have such limited time to myself right now, it’s so hard to imagine life before kids these days. These two little humans have made my heart {and life!} so full. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Building the Lodge: Floors, Cabinets, Oh My!

It had been three solid weeks since Alex and I had seen The Lodge and boy did a lot happen in that time! We are SO close to completion.

There have been two crews in our house working furiously to finish up the interior. So many large and small details have been going on like installing the cabinets and built-ins, laying the hardwood floors, grouting tile, hanging doors, painting and installing trim, and the list goes on… take a look!

{Walking up the steps to the main floor – the refrigerator will be encased in the wood cabinetry seen at the top. The wood on the cabinet will be seen in random spots in the house. It’s a special process using vinegar and red wine rather than stain that creates a rustic gray look.}

{Hello kitchen cabinets! We will have a big vent hood above the range and a series of 3 open shelves on the walls above the kitchen counters. The corner shelf will help anchor some of the shelves so we can stack heavier items.}

{Kitchen island – we’ll have our microwave in the shelf here. I’m looking forward to having more drawers in the kitchen to use.}

{I hadn’t heard of toe kick cabinets before – these will be perfect for sheet pans, muffin tins and cooling racks and I won’t have to use a whole vertical shelf to store them. Win!}

{The hardwood floors are stunnnnnningggg! We went with a #2 knotty white oak floor with 5″ wide boards throughout the main level of the house. The bathrooms/entry/laundry will be tile, the basement and the loft/second floor will be carpet.}

{The pantry! I can’t get over how gorgeous the interior doors are.}

{The tile in the master bathroom looks slightly different and less trippy in person – I wasn’t able to capture it perfectly on my phone. We LOVED it in person. I also can’t get over how beautiful all of the bathroom vanities are.}

{Penny tiles in the master shower! They’re not grouted yet.}

{Still some work to do in here, as you can see. We also marked locations for towel bars/hooks, toilet paper holders, and the like.}

{Basement bathroom is coming along too.}

{The cedar ceilings are DONE! They’re absolutely breathtaking. They add another dimension to the house and help bring in a rustic, mountain vibe we wanted to make sure to incorporate.}

{Our first “fun” light fixture has been installed. It fits the house so well and we love the rustic elements it brings. It’s not hung at the proper height – it’ll come down about 10 feet.}

{I was so opposed to bi-fold doors, really in any context, but LOOK at these doors! The tracks they slide on are solid too. I’m converted!}

{I have so much admiration for craftsmen. One of my favorite parts of the home building process has been our frequent trips to the wood shop where all of our cabinets and built-ins and some of our furniture are being constructed. I appreciate so very much that these pieces are handcrafted just 2 miles from our house.}

{The basement! I can’t believe how bright it is down here, despite the lack of windows in the main room. This will be kid hangout zone. Phase two will include a bar!}

{We’re having custom metal railings with horizontal cable wires installed here on the landing, on the loft and outside on the deck. Peering down over the ledge is the front entry closet and we’ll have a built-in bench with cubbies and some hooks on the other side of the door.}

We’ve been busily ordering things for the house like bedding linens, big furniture pieces, accent furniture, lighting and the like. We haven’t pulled the trigger on housewares, like kitchen tools, yet, but that’ll come soon enough.

{Checking out some of the fabric samples.}

There were such great sales around the holidays that we decided to take the plunge and order the furniture. We have almost everything that we’re planning on ordering initially at this point.There are a few things we’ve decided to wait on until we’re in the space to see how it all feels and how we use it.

{My office at our house in Seattle has been overtaken by all of the boxes of things we’ve ordered.}

I’m not quite sure how the move-in process will look at this point. Our first furniture delivery is scheduled for February 4th, so hopefully we can get in by then. We can hardly wait!

Christmas 2018

This holiday season was extra special. We made so many memories and had new experiences, started new traditions and enjoyed time as a family.

Alex’s family flew out from Illinois to join us for Christmas at Suncadia Resort in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. We rented a beautiful house tucked into the snow-covered evergreens and made ourselves right at home for the week of Christmas.

Our days were spent cross country skiing, ice skating, playing with two-two-year old boys, eating, singing “The Wheels on the Bus,” making snowballs,moderating sharing of the toy guitars, downhill skiing and catching up. We were able to cross country ski out the back door of the house and that was so gratifying for me – there were a couple days where I strapped a kid to my back or hooked myself up to the ski trailer and just took off for the forest.

We also celebrated the second birthday of our nephew, Nico, on Christmas Eve. Alina put together an adorable “Wheels on the Bus” themed party for him. Both Ben and Nico love buses and the song “Wheels on the Bus” and it was perfect for a two-year old.

Hannah enjoyed cuddle time with her extended family, too, and Nico showed quite an interest in her. He is super sweet! Hannah also got plenty of floor time to practice sitting up – her newest skill she’s working on.

We’re already looking ahead to the holiday season of 2019 where we can spend it out at The Lodge and begin even more new traditions with our family. It’s so magical to be in the snow and the mountains during the holidays. Happy New Year!