Paris Day 3: Eiffel in Love

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Despite being in coach while our traveling buddies chilled in first class, we had a good flight. We played cards and chatted, without a care in the world. This is always a special little pastime because brian and I used to play cards a lot. Now it's a rare treat. So I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me a little giddy. It's the simple things! SWOON! We even got a little bit of sleep, which is a nice perk! We arrived in Paris at 7am Paris time (1am Eastern), dropped our luggage and headed straight to our first stop of the trip, the Eiffel Tower! [We only got turned around on the subway once, so I say we're doing pretty well].

  

It's winter here, so it was a chilly adventure, but the tower was a great start. We could see all of the major points of the city and learned a little about the history here. Plus, getting to enjoy all of this with Devin and Katie has been such a treat already.  

 

Since we're at the Eiffel Tower, in the most romantic city in the world, on Valentine's Day, we decided we couldn't do without a champagne toast. So fun and cheesy, it made my day.  

 

The Eiffel was actually pretty intimidating. We went to the summit and I had a hard time stepping away from the wall. It didn't help that it is a particularly gusty day out! It also had a glass floor, which I struggled on! When did I become such a pansy?? Generally, Brian is the one who struggles with this sort of thing because he's afraid of heights, but he definitely navigated better than I did!

   

After the Tower, we had a delicious French lunch and then headed back to our hotel for some MUCH needed naps (where we accidentally overslept)! A couple hours later, we hauled out again for an AMAZING Valentine's Day Dinner at a nearby restaraunt. They specialize in foods from the south of France, so they had this amazing bit of cheesy potato goodness called aligot. It's a mix of mashed potatoes and laguiole cheese and pretty much the most intriguing thing I've seen today.  They scoop and scrape it out of this pot and I can guarantee you our crew has never been so entertained by a pot of potatoes. It's generally served with sausage, so I deemed it the FRENCH equivalent of Bangers and Mash. It was a great first night in France, and we're giddy for more adventures! Tomorrow we have a food tour and a scavenger hunt in the Louvre! 




 

PS. Do you get the title? {I Fell} in Love?! :)

Vacay Day 2: Je t'aime New York 

Monday, February 13, 2017

We slept in this morning, drank coffee with our Empire State view, and gorged on left over Lo Mein. Thank you, Fucitos & New York, for being such wonderful hosts!  After a relaxing morning (which also happens to be the anniversary of the day we got engaged!), we loaded up and trekked through Manhattan to catch our train to JFK. We both LOVE this city and talked about how we could totally live here and enjoy walking and public transportation everywhere.   Once we arrived to JFK, my entrepreneur husband jumped on a conference call we'd had scheduled with a patent lawyer. How grown up is he?! He's always jotting notes and dreaming up big ideas. He's been working on most favorite idea in his very limited free time lately, including on yesterday's flight. I love watching how excited he gets about working on new projects and can't wait until his brilliant app is finished so I can use it!! Then. The BEST part of the day happened. My baby brother, and my baby sister in law, who happens to be carrying my new baby nephew, all arrived. I am seriously so giddy about this trip!!  We boarded the plane together but my fancy pants siblings have friends in high places and were therefor upgraded to boujee class.  We're back here with the people who don't make it on the lifeboats, but it's cool. We're all going to the same place! Pair-ee, here we come!!

Paris Vacay Day 1: Orevois a le Littles 

Monday, February 13, 2017

It's official! We're on vacation. Grandma & the kids brought us to the airport yesterday morning and we were off on the first leg of the trip! For those of you who have asked what it's like to leave the kids behind, I will say that this is the hardest part. I have felt anxiety all week about leaving and Beckett saying he wanted to get on the plane with us didn't help! But as soon as we're off, frolicking through the airport, joking and flirting like we're a "young" couple again, I remember how amazing it is to sneak away with my favorite person!

  

Allegiant offers really amazing deals from Knox to NY, but only on certain days, so we flew in a day early and are staying with my cousins here in Manhattan! We got to visit with Natalie & John during our NY trip back in September, so I'm feeling like a regular at Hotel Fucito.

  

It was such a fun start to our trip. Natalie & John spoiled us with the perks of city living, including taking advantage of the fact that ANYONE WILL DELIVER ANYTHING. Whaaat?! Pizza? Check. Noodles and egg rolls? Check. Vodka? CHECK! Guys. This is a big deal. At our house in Talbott we can't even get PIZZA delivered. I was swooning over the luxuries here. Pair it with some super fun company and an Empire State Building view and you've got yourself an awesome, fun vacay day #1, in the books. 

 
 

New Year, New School!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Today was the day. We put both of the kids in "school" (Parents Day Out) at a local church. Beckett was in a program a year and a half ago when we were still in STL, but this was Charlie's first experience. And this picture pretty much sums up their feelings on the situation. 


Charlie, however, loved her backpack. We pulled them out of the Amazon box last night and Charlie paraded around the house with her new unicorn accessory like she was MISS THANG. I think Brian got a little emotional realizing how big she is. It's overwhelming for this mommy heart too. As of now, we're not sure we'll have any more kids so it's kinda crazy to watch them get so big so quickly! How is she old enough to rock this little backpack??



On the way to school, we stopped and picked up dad so he could join us for the first day drop off. We walked Beckett into his room and even though he had never even seen the school, he immediately jumped in and started playing. It makes it easier to know he understands what's happening. 


Charlie was slightly trickier but it actually went WAY better than we anticipated. Her teacher just swooped her out of dad's arms and shuffled excitedly off to watch the rain out the window while mom and dad snuck out. Charlie was obviously very concerned about the situation but she didn't pitch the fit we anticipated, so dad and I were pleasantly surprised! We peeked at Beckett on the way out, the director reassured us they'd be loved on all day, and off we were!



I actually didn't realize how nervous I was about their day until I got to school for pick up and received SUCH positive and encouraging reports from the teachers!  Miss Pam, Charlie's teacher, said that Charlie had a GREAT day. She assured me that Charlie didn't cry one bit! I was incredibly surprised by this news, and significantly more relieved than I expected to be. Huge sigh of relief! Both kids came out looking positive and happy and obviously comfortable with their teachers. I could physically feel the tension, that I hadn't even realized was there, release from my body. When did this become my life?! These are milestones, people. 



Speaking of milestones, I was also way too entertained to have my very first experience in the car rider line. I'm officially legit. Joining the ranks of the other minivan mommas, sipping their coffee and waving at the fellow carpool sisters. I have arrived.

Our Little Family Christmas 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Do you ever just stare at your kids and just SWOON over how much you adore them? Yeah, me too.

Yesterday was such a very, very special treat.  In a season that is so hurried and full of work (it’s our busy season at the office) and travel to see family, we really wanted to take a day and celebrate Christmas with just our little family. It was simple and quiet and incredibly rejuvenating. It was so refreshing to forget the to do lists, to remember the reason for the season, and to spend time focusing just on each other.

We have been working on our advent activity all month now, attempting to teach Beckett some very basic pieces of the Christmas story. So we started out our morning with coffee & catching up on our advent board. If nothing else, Beckett knows that Christmas is Baby Jesus’ birthday and therefore cause for some serious celebration. We followed up our story review with cinnamon rolls adorned with birthday candles. Thank you baby Jesus, for saving us, and for giving us a semi-valid excuse to indulge in copious amounts of sugar early in the morning. 





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After breakfast, we opened presents! My kids are crazy-pants and took a bit of convincing to even be interested in the gift process, but they eventually got on board. After debating for a while whether or not we’d do gifts at all this year, we did the “four gifts” [want, need, wear, read] for the second year in a row, plus stockings full of fun and practical goodies. 








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Beckett is totally thrilled with his new hot wheels storage containers. He spent a significant portion of the last two days filling and refilling the neat little slots. This is how I know he is my child. Organization bins for the win!





Charlie was even easier to impress. She just wanted to play with a box. She never actually did get around to opening this last gift. After several attempts at coaxing her to unwrap it, I just did it myself. I would have waited on this one except we needed it to get to the next part of our day!





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After gifts, I got my mimosa on while the rest of the crew made breakfast. This is Brian’s Christmas tradition for the family. He makes my personal favorite, Eggs Benedict, while I do whatever I do. I love it so much!




Because we live in East Tennessee, it was in the mid fifties yesterday (woo hoo), so after breakfast we got to head outside to play and hang Charlie’s new swing! This was a highlight of my day for sure. I just don’t spend enough time sitting and watching my kids explore, enjoying their stinkin’ cute little personalities and soaking up the memories. I couldn’t help but think about how much I SERIOUSLY love having two toddlers. They may be exhausting and messy and incredibly high maintenance (actually, that’s just one of them), but I ADORE this stage and find myself hoping I am just obsessed with all the subsequent life stages. 








Next, we got ourselves organized and the whole crew (Doug included!) headed out to Bass Pro. The intention was to see Santa but we naively underestimated the wait time and were not convinced that it was worth it. Beckett confirmed our suspicions when I snuck him around the side to wave at Santa and he was the opposite of interested. Sorry, Santa. Instead we enjoyed the Winter Wonderland and the rest of the store, and headed to their restaurant, where they allow dogs! Whaaat?! Totally made our day!! Because we had Doug, they put us in the back room, which was beautiful and quiet, and had an awesome fireplace. Our waitress was sweet and amazing and even brought a cup of water for Doug to enjoy. New favorite place, for sure!





Finally, we headed over for the last hoo-rah of the day, the lights display at Smokies stadium. We grabbed yummy coffee and loaded the kids in our laps, hoping the 24 bucks we paid to get in wouldn’t be a waste. Guys, it was awesome. Beckett was EN.THRALLED with the lights. Charlie was sufficiently entertained as well. They both loved sitting up front with us, chowing on kettle corn and dancing to the music. Beckett spent half the ride hanging out the passenger side window, giving the rest of us a perfect view of his cute tushie. 







It was the best family day we’ve had in a while. Nothing too elaborate, but definitely memorable and fun. I look forward to many more Christmases with this crew. These are my favorite people.





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