Capturing the Family

A few weeks ago we finally took family pictures again. It’s so rare to get a picture of the three of us, that I just couldn’t help but book one last session before we’re a family of four. Of course this session combined family, maternity, and Ella turning two all in one. We had lots of pictures to take! I grabbed a few of my favorites from our Facebook preview to share.

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Happy Belated Father’s Day

I hope all you dad’s out there had a wonderful Father’s Day! Ella and I treated one special daddy in our lives to a baseball game.

Josh and Ella Rockies Game

Being Father’s Day and all we decided it was the perfect day to upgrade to Club Level seats. We had an awesome view and it with the nice shade the upper deck provided, the weather was amazing.

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Ella enjoyed cheering with Josh and dancing to all of the music.

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The Rockies won which sent us home on a high note to fry up some of the fish Josh caught on Friday while he was fishing with his dad. Before we left we attempted to get a good family picture. Attempted being the key word there…

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Unfortunately for me, had some texture issues with the fish, but Josh and Ella loved it. What a weekend, I have lots of pictures from my friend’s wedding to come.

The Lap of Luxury

It took nearly 23 months, just two days shy of it, but we finally spent our first night away from Ella…together. Yes, it was a momentous occasion, one to be celebrated in high style.

Last weekend Josh and I had a little staycation to celebrate my entering the last year of my twenties. My Dad and Stepmom took on watching Ella overnight so that we could stay at The Brown Palace in Downtown Denver for the evening.

We were both a bit nervous about leaving Ella overnight. Not that Dad and Liz are not completely loving and capable of caring for Ella, more so worried that she’d be a crying mess who was up all night. I may have over-packed a bit for her but I wanted to be prepared for it all. For one night we had:

-A bag of toys and books selected by Ella
-Raffi and Horton Hears a Who Movies
-Her own little suitcase with her clothes and such (she insisted on packing this herself too)
-Her diaper bag with the typical potty supplies
-Her potty
-Her backpack with her coloring book and guaranteed will eat snacks

I think when we actually left my dad’s house to go downtown he was like, ok Jess, we will all survive. Ella did really well with the goodbyes though she did request extra hugs and kisses.

When we got downtown and walked into the lobby, we were greeted with champagne which Josh was enjoying when they informed us that unfortunately we were going to be upgraded to a presidential suite. What!?! Since it wasn’t quite ready, we were also getting a credit for breakfast in the morning. Sweet!

We had some time to kill so we walked down to check out the Denver Chalk Art Festival. Pretty impressive.

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We made our way back to the hotel so that we could enjoy our room before dinner. We walked in to find a room bigger than my first apartment:

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We looked up the normal room rate for this weekend, $1600/night. Pretty steep.

We settled into relax for a few before dinner when Josh realized he needed a jacket for dinner. Luckily my little brother lives nearby. Josh jetted off to his apartment while I put on a comfy robe to get ready.

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I was really excited to get dressed up and go to a nice dinner. When I put on my dress Josh laughed at me saying that when he looked straight at me, he couldn’t see my belly.

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Turn to the side, there it is!

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We enjoyed a four course tasting menu and each other’s company over the two hours we spent comfortably at The Palace Arms.

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They even brought out an additional plate of treats with a candle and a rose for my birthday.

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The next morning, after sleeping in until all of 7:30, we ordered room service and enjoyed breakfast in our dining area.

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It was unbelievably relaxing. So much so that I was exhausted the rest of the day. I had forgotten how nice it is not to worry about being late for a babysitter and being able to get out of bed when I wanted.

When we arrived at my parents house just before lunch, Ella was excited to see us and greeted us with big hugs and kisses. She did great and even slept a solid 12 hours for them. They said she was on the brink of tears asking for us, but they distracted her with food. Like mother, like daughter.

Can’t wait to do it again in two more years when this next baby is Ella’s age. I kid…well hopefully.

Enjoying Spring in Colorado

The bright blue, cloudless skies, mountains towering in the distance, and a gentle breeze that cools it off just enough to not break a sweat while basking in the sun. Ah, Spring in Colorado is a beautiful time. For a moment the grass is green, flowers are blooming and the trees are finally getting leaves. It felt like the warm spring I look forward to every year was never going to arrive with the weekly snow storms we’d been having.

Arrive it has, in grand fashion. It was a no brainer when Josh asked me what I wanted to do over Mother’s Day weekend. I wanted to be outside soaking up the sun and enjoying how green everything is before the typical summer drought is upon us.

Saturday morning we leisurely ate breakfast and got ourselves ready for our first spring hike. I requested that we go to Chautauqua Park in Boulder for a late morning hike followed by lunch as my official Mother’s Day celebration. We arrived just before the masses of people who were finishing up post-graduation brunches with their families.

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As we headed up the trail into the Flatirons, we talked about how beautiful it was and laughed at how much had changed since the last time we hiked to the top. How fast the years fly by!

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Ella loved talking about all the big rocks and trees while she stuck her fingers in Josh’s ears and played with the ponytail she insists on having.

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Finally we got just high enough that we were the only people on the trail so it didn’t matter that I was getting a bit winded and slowing down.

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We all started getting hungry so we decided it was time to head back down towards the park. Once we got to the flat portion of the trail we decided to let Ella ‘hike’ on her own. Talk about one excited girl. Everyone we passed she said, “Hi, Ella hiking.”

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She walked for a good quarter mile before she took a little stumble. We didn’t realize it at the time because all she said was owie and asked to be carried, but she got her first skinned  knee. 

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She was a trooper. We got her all fixed up with a band-aid and treated her to some ice cream while Josh and I enjoyed lunch at a new restaurant on Pearl Street. I don’t think anything is more refreshing after a hike than fresh squeeze lemonade.

When we got home Ella and I both crashed hard. We slept for a good 2.5 hours before getting moving again to go do a little shopping.

I’m already looking forward to our next family hike.

The Fourth Year

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. I’m sorry ladies, but I may just have the best husband out there. My life isn’t filled with grand romantic gestures all the time, nor flowers and candy. It is however filled with love, appreciation, understanding and a husband that shows me he loves me in his own ways every day.

I know a lot of people say the first year of marriage is the most challenging because you’re adjusting to life as a unit where you have to consider someone else rather than just doing your thing all the time. That may be true for some, but I think the challenging year is actually the first after having a baby. It is a big adjustment.

With our first full year of parenthood now under our belt, I can see how it can break couples.  I often feel just as I’m excelling as a mother, I’m failing as a wife and visa versa. It’s a very delicate balance that I’m still working on. Being a parent and continuing to be a couple and not just parents is hard. It’s stressful and exhausting but overwhelming rewarding. I’m glad that we focused on us before we started our family. It gave us time to experience things together, grow up, grow in love, mature and have fun. Not that all the fun is over by any means. It’s just a different kind of fun.

I may not have all the answers. I know I don’t, but what I do know is that though we may no longer be as hot and steamy as we once were, be able to fly of to Europe at a moment’s notice, or get all the alone we’d like, I love my life. I am so blessed and so lucky to have this wonderful man who I adore in my life.

Whether Josh knows it or not, every day I love him a little bit more. Marrying him was the best decision I’ve ever made.