Family Trip to Nebraska

Brent has family in a small town in Nebraska and we love to go and visit. Brent’s dad lives on a farm and Charlotte loves to run and play on the acres of land he has. Here’s a giant photo dump of our awesome trip!

IMG_4387

My niece fell asleep on the four wheeler, how is that possible?!

IMG_4379

This girl LOVES bugs

IMG_4371

Cousins and best friends

IMG_4366

Her auntie made her hair so beautiful, I need to learn how to do pretty things with her hair!

IMG_4353

Country girls!

IMG_4342

Making a mess at the mulberry tree

IMG_4333

Daddy took her on so many trips on this thing, down to the train tracks, to see horses/cows/lightening bugs

IMG_4331

One sleepy girl

IMG_4395 IMG_4378 IMG_4374 IMG_4362 IMG_4357 IMG_4348 IMG_4336

Out of all the years we’ve been traveling to Nebraska this trip had the best weather we’ve ever experienced. Nebraska is normally super hot/humid/buggy and we didn’t have any issues with any of those things! We really soaked up all the time outside and with our family. Until next summer, Nebraska!

Our First Vacation Without Kids!

So, Brent and I went to Laguna Beach for 5 days without Charlotte. I was so nervous while preparing for leaving Charlotte for so long. Since having her I haven’t left her more than one day, so five was pretty intimidating. We had so many fun things planned and my nerves quickly subsided once we were on our way to the airport. I’ll tell you one thing, traveling without children is WAY more relaxing. All through the airport I felt as if I was missing something or forgot to pack an essential thing but it was just smooth sailing!

Wednesday we landed in Laguna Beach about mid-day, we got our super sweet (just kidding, it was a tiny neon blue car) rental car and headed to our hotel. After getting checked into our super cute hotel we took a walk down to the beach and played in the (cold) ocean, grabbed some dinner and called it an early night.

IMG_3929

Driving to our hotel, the ocean!!

IMG_3931

Does it get more beautiful?

 

IMG_3930

Thursday we spent the morning/afternoon walking around all the shops around Laguna Beach. We scored some really amazing local restaurants for both breakfast and dinner that we were super impressed with. Later that evening we had a couples massage that ended with an hour soak in a hot tub that overlooked the ocean at sunset, swoon!

IMG_3934

Hubba hubba! My handsome date at lunch overlooking the ocean.

IMG_3932

This drink was SO good! We enjoyed plenty of adult beverages.

IMG_3936

The really cool hotel our massage was at

IMG_3938

Champagne, husband in a hot tub, with a sunset view of the ocean, life does not get better

Friday was a super exciting day for us. We reserved to have a guide take us out on the ocean to do some stand up paddle boarding. We went to an awesome place for some coffee and breakfast for fuel to paddle across the sea! We ended up loving the lesson so much that we had lunch, a nap, and then went and rented our own paddle boards for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Funny story though, the waves are significantly smaller in the morning than they are in the afternoon, so we had no problem getting out past the waves into the flat ocean in the morning. However, in the afternoon it was a serious struggle. I ended up getting taken out, HARD, by a wave carrying my paddle board in front of an entire beach of people watching. My swimsuit was filled with sand, had saltwater up my nose, and scratches all down by back…ugh! But, I eventually made it out and had a great time (minus my giant fear of sharks). We found the most amazing rooftop patio for drinks and dinner and called it a night.

IMG_3941

The coffee here was so good!

IMG_3943

Standing was way harder than I thought it would be!

IMG_3942

He’s a pro

IMG_3944

View from our hotel room balcony

IMG_3947

Lunch with drinks and desert! Because, why not!?

Saturday was our last day so we soaked it up. We had a wonderful breakfast, golfed and did some nature walking, drank at the pool bar and had the best dinner I’ve had in my life, truly.

IMG_3956

Our room was so cute!

IMG_3957

Our room was so cute!

IMG_3980

Butter cake, the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

IMG_3951 IMG_3955 IMG_3961 IMG_3962 IMG_3978

Sunday we were up early to catch our flight home, we were ready to see our munchkin! We had such a wonderful time in Laguna Beach and hope to return again, it’s a magical place that holds a special place in my heart.

This entry was posted in Travel.

A Letter To My Dad On Father’s Day

Dad,

We have such a wonderful, intertwined story that I love to share with people. You have always been an important part of my life since I was born and in a crazy twist of fate I had the opportunity to be adopted by you. After my dad died, life put onto your plate more than most men could handle, and you did a great job with it. You loved my mom like she deserved, and had a fierce learning curve going from no kids to having a preteen daughter who kinda hated life at the time. You handled all that you were handed so well and I’m so proud of you for that. Thank you for loving me like your own blood even when I didn’t deserve it. You are a wonderful Father and have really grown into your role as an amazing Father and now a Papa to my Charlotte. I hope on this Father’s Day that you feel loved and appreciated because many people love you, especially Charlotte and I.

1923378_13249290572_4761_n

IMG_7633 IMG_7766 IMG_8388

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I’m blessed by the path life gave us to travel down together.

This entry was posted in Family.

A Letter To My Husband On Father’s Day

Dear Brent,

IMG_6592

When I met you in 1999, I was 15 years old and so naïve about love and life. I liked you because you were cute, tall, sweet, and athletic-little did I know how those things would grow over time into what we have now. As our love grew so did the list of things I appreciated about you. I love how much you deeply care about people, not many have a heart like yours. Your sense of humor is contagious and beautiful-you have taught me how to not take life so seriously. You are insanely smart and it’s inspiring. I love to watch you read, think, make decisions, plan, because I know that you always think of your family first. You stand apart in our generation in so many ways, I love how hard to work to take care of your family. You are willing to sacrifice anything to make me and your daughter happy and are always putting us first in your life.

All the things I love about you I now get to share with our daughter. The way her eyes light up when you enter the room melts my heart. I couldn’t have picked a better man to help me raise our daughter. Any time you gone “too long” (in toddler time) Charlotte makes sure that I know how much she misses you. You are the only person that can make Charlotte laugh like she does, and it makes my heart swell. I’ll never forget the day I found out that not all dad’s help with middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, bath, or meals, because there has never been an event or moment you weren’t there for. It was completely normal for me to have you there staying up with our daughter all hours of the night and then turning around and going to work the next morning. I will never take for granted the amazing father you are and all that you do for our daughter and I.

IMG_7481

 

1503902_10153634016410573_287617673_n 1607034_10153777771195573_1141602443_n 10352786_10154234302900573_7188276963710828944_n 10392453_10154234320110573_6308099941211171672_n 10442990_10154234321270573_2975188196830378803_n 11403339_10155731638820573_1147137923991914359_n 11692656_10155706157680573_7038962313319030826_n

I am so thankful for the life we have created together and that Charlotte gets to have you as her daddy. Thank you for loving Charlotte more than I could have ever wanted or needed you to. This Father’s Day you deserve to feel loved, appreciated, and valued-because your daughter and wife love you so much.

Happy Father’s Day Brent! We love you!

How Death Changes Your Perspective

How Death Changes Your Perspective

I remember it like it was yesterday……

It was four days after my twelfth birthday and I woke up from a normal nights sleep to find my grandmother, aunt, and uncle in my kitchen. Since it was really early in the morning I decided to go to the bathroom and head back to my room. I was still in a sleep induced fog and couldn’t quite comprehend why my family was in my house so early in the morning. As I was laying in bed my mom, grandma and aunt came into my room, and from the look on their faces, I knew. I was only twelve but I knew something God awful was wrong. I immediately asked “where’s dad?” and their lack of response was the answer I was looking for. It was then explained to me that my dad had been in an accident and didn’t make it. I really didn’t know how to respond, at twelve I had a really limited experience with death and I truly couldn’t believe that the day before my dad was here and today he was gone forever. How does your life change in an absolute instant? Everything you have ever known is just gone, disappeared, never to return.

In the coming days my family helped my mom put the few pieces of our lives back together, helped her create a new normal. My mom became my rock, my best friend, my only parent and we depended solely on each other for survival. I’m not sure either of us could have survived such an detrimental loss to our family unit without each other. However, even with each others support, our life changed, shifted-because it had to. The life we had created was no longer possible, we were unwillingly forced to change course and adjust in an unrealistic timeframe.

Now that I’m 30 (almost 31) and have my own husband and daughter I’m realizing how much this life shift changed who I was/am/could have been. Any time I can’t get ahold of my husband my mind automatically races to the worst possible scenario and I brace myself for the loss about to happen. Each time I kiss him goodbye for a business trip I try to memorize his face and the way his lips taste on mine, just in case this is the last kiss I get from my husband. Planning a vacation with my husband should be thrilling and exciting but to me it’s terrifying and gut wrenching because the thought of us not returning to our daughter is heart breaking.

I’ve come to realize that the day to day things most people do without a second thought are a little more challenging than I would like them to be. I don’t enjoy being a “worst case scenario person” but I can’t help it, it’s an automatic reaction. I don’t enjoy seeing life through a half-empty glass but I just can’t see it any other way.

We’ve all heard it a dozen times, knowledge is power. Knowing my predisposition to negativity and the worst case scenario I have been working for years to ‘rewire’ my brain. Learning to let go of control (that I really don’t even have in the first place) and live the life that is given to me in this moment is all I can do. I can only take back the powerless feeling I get at times by truly soaking up every bit of life given to me each day I wake up. No one is promised tomorrow, and I know that all too well. Though the thought of losing another person so intimately close to me is unbearable to think about, I cannot allow that to rule my life and keep me prisoner kept from the precious days I do get to spend with them, right here, and right now.

Fun Facts Friday

Guys, it’s Friday!! I truly love 3 day weekends which make for 4 day work weeks! Let’s do a little Fun Facts Friday, shall we?

  1. My daughter has inherited my sweet tooth…..exhibit A

IMG_3770

2. The love Charlotte and her cousins share is truly special and I’m really thankful for them

IMG_3828

3. Brent and I have started watching True Detective, and holy moly, that is a GOOD show. The episode we watched last night was I.N.T.E.N.S.E. plus my boy Matthew McCongaughey is in it, WIN! 😉

4. My daughter always wakes up with some truly epic bedhead from nap time, doesn’t matter if she sleeps 20 minutes or 2 hours, it is a serious hot mess each time.

IMG_3836

5. Brent and I are going on vacation guys, for 5 WHOLE DAYS. We are flying out to Laguna Beach and doing a whole lot of day drinking, patio sitting, plus some Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Golfing (wish me luck), and lots of sleeping in. Mostly, I’m excited to not cook and clean and to be on my own time schedule for five days! Of course, we will miss the munchkin but some mommy and daddy time is greatly appreciated and greatly anticipated.

6. The older I get the more I’m noticing some changes….and they annoy the crap out of me. I got sunburned today you guys, this NEVER happens. I just don’t burn, but for some odd reason, I did today. And you know what? It’s not so much fun, there will be some serious sunscreen usage in California.

7. I just spent about 30 minutes getting lost in old pictures of Charlie girl, how did she grow so fast? She was so little!!

IMG_6533

IMG_6542

IMG_7982

 

 

If you want to see some pictures from our upcoming vacation connect with me on Instagram!