Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Getting Ready for Easter

We had a jam-packed Saturday with a visit to Anthony Thomas Candy Company to see the Easter Bunny, our neighborhood Easter egg hunt, and an adults only night at our friends' house so Sunday ended up being a bit more low-key (and Todd was able to brew his first batch of beer in his basement brewery!).

Girls with the Easter Bunny (and no tears from Cece!)

After seeing the Easter Bunny, the kids get to pick out some eggs with candy inside and then you head upstairs for the self-guided tour of the factory

Watching them make buckeyes

Their chocolate covered strawberries are all hand cut & hand dipped so here they are cutting the strawberries..

and here they are dipping them


And then someone graciously offered to take our picture for us

Cece & Todd enjoying their chocolate samples as we made our way from the tour to the store

One more bunny in the store

Getting ready for our neighborhood Easter egg hunt (which was the coldest one yet!)

Excited to find some eggs!

Lucy's bucket was filled within 5 minutes

Cece was taking her time but still managed to get a few eggs

She was more excited to open them up...

and try to eat the candy with the wrapper still on

All done!

Todd helping Cece open all her eggs 

Lucy & I

Grandpa also came to see the girls

Lucy wanted to put on a photo shoot later that day so she pulled over the stool and had Cece pose in the chair

We had a babysitter on Saturday night so Todd & I could go to game night at a friends' house; unfortunately, this is the only picture I took but I was impressed by the green & Irish-themed caricature board one of our friends had put together for St. Patrick's Day

Todd caught us looking at the Target ad on Sunday morning

More photo shoots set up by Lucy but this time in costume

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spring Forward!

Once we have the time change and move our clocks ahead one hour, it seems like spring is just around the corner which I'm really hoping the warm weather will follow closely behind.  We had a few nice teaser days a couple weeks ago but since then the temps have dropped again and we've been stuck inside most days.  With that being said, we were pretty much stuck inside this past weekend again.  

On Friday, after we dropped Lucy off at school, Cece & I headed to Recreations Outlet to play.  We got there right when it opened and were literally the only people there for a good 10-15 minutes.  I've only been on the weekends before when it's packed so it seemed eerily quiet when we were the only ones there. Cece immediately found a scooter and pushed it around for awhile, doing laps around the playground equipment.  She played and ran around for a little over an hour before we went back home for a little bit before picking Lucy up at school.  We didn't do much the rest of the day except Todd & I had a "date night" after the girls were in bed and we got sushi for a late dinner.  

She didn't quite have the scooter figured out but she had fun pushing it around

She's so excited!

Playing in one of the houses

While Cece was napping that afternoon, Lucy played dress up

Love our sushi "date nights"

On Saturday, I got up early and went to a class at System of Strength and ran a couple errands on my way home.  My parents were out of town for the past 15 days on a cruise around the French Polynesian (Tahiti, Bora Bora, etc.) and got back into town Friday night so they stopped over on Saturday to see the girls & tell us about their trip (which sounded amazing!).  Our friends and their son (who is Cece's age) came over in the late afternoon to hang out and have dinner.  It's always nice to be able to hang out with our friends and have our kids involved so we don't have to book a sitter all the time. 

Making cookies for our get together with our friends

The kiddos (and yes, Cece is wearing a costume with her arms stuck inside; she literally wore it like this for 20 min and was cracking herself up)

No words needed....except I literally bust out laughing every time I see this picture

Armless Cece

After church and grocery shopping on Sunday morning, we were invited to the "St. Patrick's Shindig" at our friends' kids' preschool.  Lucy had so much fun with Natalie & Caroline (and was totally in her element singing on stage) and Cece was happy once we gave her a cookie.  Again, another opportunity to hang out with our friends and let our kids play.  On Sunday afternoon, Todd & Lucy headed down to the basement to start prepping to make a batch of beer.  I actually thought they had started making it but apparently Todd was still making sure all his equipment worked properly since this was the first time brewing in his new beer room.  I'll have to do a separate post on his beer room because it's been almost a 3 year work in progress and Todd has spent a lot of time constructing and building everything on his own...from framing the room, tiling the floor, putting up the backsplash, making his own hood/vent, installing a sink, and making pumps & controllers for his brewing supplies, he's done a lot and I'm actually really proud (and impressed!).  Literally the only thing he didn't do was drywall & install water lines into that part of the basement (both of which we hired contractors to do).

Lucy, Natalie, & Caroline after getting their faces painted

Friends in the photo booth

Snack time!

Highlight of her day was eating this cookie

Lucy & Caroline singing on stage

They each got a balloon on the way out

Lucy helping Todd grind the grain for his beer

Getting everything set up in the beer room

Lucy helping Todd wash a pot lid

 Todd also miraculously restored our older iPad (the ones the girls use) which hadn't worked in months so needless to say, Lucy was excited to finally play her games again since she hadn't since before Christmas....and I just thought this was a cute picture of both girls sitting together

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Long Weekend in the Bay Area

My brother & sister-in-law had their second baby boy a few weeks ago so after some quick planning, I booked a trip out to the Bay Area to meet my newest nephew, Jack.  Besides from meeting him, it was another big milestone because this was my first trip ALONE since having kids (almost 5 years)!  Todd has been on several fun/personal trips (2 bachelor parties, Tahoe & Portland, and a wedding in Mexico) as well as numerous business trips to LA, India, and Japan so I felt a little overdue on some time away.  

I flew out last Thursday evening and was back by dinner time on Sunday and, as expected, the weekend flew by.  I really only had two days (Friday & Saturday) to visit and I felt like I was able to spend some good quality time with my family as well as take some time to myself.  Todd held down the fort back home (not that I was worried) and by Sunday, I was ready to see him and the girls...although I wouldn't have complained about one more day away.  I rented a car and stayed in a hotel for the first time by myself (and was actually quite proud of myself I never got lost and figured everything out) so after spending most of the day on Friday & Saturday with Jeff, Meghan, and the boys, I was able to go back to the hotel both nights when the boys were going down for bed and have some quiet time to relax.  I even read 2 books in the span of 4 days!  We probably won't make it out to California as a family this year but Jeff, Meghan, and the boys are supposed to go on several trips with us this summer so we should see them a few times.  

Highlights of the trip included:

Day 1 (Thursday, March 1, 2018)
  • Direct flight to Oakland at 5:55 PM & arrived at 8:20 PM (local time) 
  • Picked up my rental car and drove to hotel, Claremont Hotel & Spa in Berkeley
  • Checked in & went to bed

It was raining in Columbus as we left and it was raining in Oakland as we landed

Sunset in the air

Book, celebrity gossip magazine, Diet coke, and snacks = perfect flight

Lobby of the hotel was gorgeous

Another view

My room

TV was across from the bed along with a walk-in closet

The bathroom was amazing--I loved the shower

Vanity and shower

 Day 2 (Friday, March 2, 2018)
  • Workout at Claremont Club  
  • Hung out at Jeff & Meghan's
  • Lunch at Wood Tavern
  • Wine at Ordinaire
  • Dinner at Steven & Karen's house

The hotel is also a club & spa so there is typically a really nice fitness center but they're doing renovations so they had all the fitness equipment in an annex building (it was kinda like a trailer); this was the hallway that had the locker rooms and fitness equipment through the doors on the left

Weight area (with TRX straps!!)

Cardio room

View of the hotel from the path that leads to the fitness annex

Another view

You could barely see San Francisco in the background

Tennis courts and fitness/club annex

Baby Jack!

Cheeseburger and fries at Wood Tavern for lunch

Outside the wine bar

Enjoying a glass of wine with my brother

Sleepy baby

William enjoyed the presents I brought

Day 3 (Saturday, March 3, 2018)

Enjoyed a pedicure at the hotel spa on Saturday morning

Beautiful salon


Such a content, cute little guy

Baby snuggles

On Saturday evening, the adults & Jack enjoyed a nice dinner out while William was with my SIL's sister

This chocolate souffle was on point

Enjoyed my weekend with these guys

 Day 4 (Sunday, March 4, 2018)
  • Direct flight back home to Columbus at 9:55 AM & arrived at 5:00 PM (local time)

I seriously lucked out and somehow got an entire row to myself on the 4 hour flight back home

Checking out the views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz shortly after take off