Happy Days 

This past weekend we had a very interesting Saturday! We woke up and got ready to be picked up by my dad to head down to the farmers market. On the way downtown I was informed we were going to make a “quick” stop to “catch” some sort of rare Pokémon.

The weather was gorgeous and the baby was smiling so I thought, why not! (Plus, we ended up having a great photo opportunity). We headed down to the Vanderbilt football stadium. They did some sort of battle and next thing I know we are headed down to a different park downtown. Three hours later we were finally at the farmers market! We made it with five minutes to spare, the milk stand was almost closed!


// shirt: Old Navy // shorts: J.Crew // Nolie’s jumper: Janie & Jack // Michael’s shirt: J.Crew // Michael’s shorts: J.Crew

* Import Flower’s Wall Mural *

After that we swung by 3rd and Demonbreum to Bakersfield Tacos. We placed an order to go and then jumped back in the car and headed down to an Asian Market off of Charolette. We wandered around and had a blast looking at all of the fun items.

The highlight of this stop was when we were wandering around the Chinese section. If you remember, last year I spent part of my summer in China. (You can read about it here). Before I left I asked Michael what he wanted me to bring back. He said he didn’t care, but he was just sad he didn’t get to try all the food. So over the course of the trip I slowly filled my suitcase with different foods to bring home. Some of the things I brought home I had zero idea what they were. I went to a grocery store and just picked out random things from aisles. When I got home Michael was a great sport and tried them all. Well this weekend I recognized one item I brought home that Michael reported to be particularly stinky. At this grocery store there were English translations on the price card. Apparently I brought Michael home pickled jelly fish! For some reason he wasn’t as excited to learn that as me.

The day ended in laughter as we headed home from there. We had such a wonderful time and the weather was perfect. Hot, but not humid. The sun was shining and I was so thankful to be out and about.

Ten Tips for Road Tripping with a Newborn Baby

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Tip One: The day before we did our best to keep baby girl awake as much as possible. We wore her out, which meant that the following day- the day of driving- she was exhausted. She literally slept almost the entire trip.

Tip Two: Buy a car seat liner. They are basically just a waterproof liner that you buckle in to the carseat. That way if your little one has a blow out you can just pull it out and bag it, as opposed to trying to take apart and clean your carseat on the side of the road. Luckily we didn’t need one.  However, one of my good friends swears by them! You can find cute ones on etsy.

Tip Three: Have multiple hanging carseat toys that you can switch out when he/she gets bored. This was a huge help!

Tip Four: Install a rear car seat mirror. I know we installed one when we first put our car seat in, but if you haven’t – get one!! It definitely helped when she would give a fuss. We could see if she actually needed attention or not.

Tip Five: Anytime you stop- for gas, food, etc pull the baby out and walk around with him/her so he/she can get a break from the seat. This significantly raised her happiness levels.

Tip Six: Decide ahead of time how you want to feed. On the way out I did exclusive breastfeeding. Anytime she was hungry we just pulled over at a rest stop (once under a bridge) and I would feed her while Michael walked and stretched. However, on the way home I would only do that every other time.  The rest of the time I would pump while we were driving and then sit in the back and bottle feed her to save time. (It really did save a lot of time). The only hard thing is you can’t pull them out to burp them. Luckily that didn’t seem to effect Nolie, but if your baby is a gulper and needs to be burped that may not be a good option.

Tip Seven: Realize that you may not always have a clean bathroom with a changing station. When packing your car evaluate where you could change diapers and keep a space clear.

Tip Eight: Put an oversized and waterproof bib over their seatbelt and around their neck. On our first leg out we had a projectile vomit experience. Luckily she was wearing such a huge bib that there was no issue.

Tip Nine: Have a good playlist ready. This was important to us because music totally calms Nolie down. However, we didn’t have any music ready. So when we hit Kansas and our iCloud couldn’t download music and the radio was static we were reduced to one Kings of Leon CD. I didn’t mind, but Michael was not the happiest.

Tip Ten: Accept that the baby may cry. However, if he/she is fed, changed, and at a good temperature… you may have to let them just cry it out. Emotionally prepare yourself! We lucked out and had such minimum crying that I can hardly believe it.  The only real break down was when we were coming back from Utah to Colorado and we took a scenic route – I forgot how high elevation wise it got and soon Nolie was crying real tears. I know my ears were hurting, so I can only assume hers were too.

 

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Two Month Update

I'm a little late on the update, however, this little one crested two months!! It's so insane to me. I can't believe she's so old. She has made every day even more exciting than the last. We are so lucky!

Month two saw her first smile, her first time rolling over, her first road trip, her first apartment fire, and so much more. She has become her own person! She is so strong and engaged in life. It's amazing. I am loving watching her personality develop.

One of my favorite things about her is how much she loves the outdoors. If she gets too fussy you can carry her outside and she calms down as soon as the sun or breeze hits her. I also love how much she wants me! I love that when she's upset she reaches for me, that when others hold her she turns to my voice, and that she's happiest when it's the two of us cuddling! She is everything I could have ever wanted.

At her two month appointment they told us she weighs 10 pounds and one ounce. She is measuring at 21 inches and 7 cm. The doctor said she was incredibly strong too! They said she was in the 10th percentile all the way around- length, weight, and head.

I can't wait to see what crazy developments month three brings! She is the greatest blessing in our life. Our little monkey, our little buttercup, our roly poly Nolie.

Timber Moose Lodge Reunion 2017

This past week Michael and I got to take baby Nolie to her first Nanto family reunion (my dads side of the family) in Heber, Utah. It’s so crazy that when they planned this reunion years ago I wasn’t even engaged. My great uncle rented this amazing cabin, the Timber Moose Lodge, to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary! It was a total blast. 
The cabin itself was amazing. “With over 26,000 square feet of living space, Timber Moose is the largest private log cabin in the United States. Timber Moose sits on 12 private acres in the Utah mountains with commanding 360° views, visible from its 9,000 square feet of outdoor decks and balconies. The lodge has a large indoor swimming pool, a sauna, 13 bedrooms, 16 bathrooms including a men’s room and women’s room, a Crows Nest viewing room 50 feet above ground, and a 2200 square foot Grand Room with high vaulted ceilings that can accommodate 96 in banquet or presentations.” (Website
Every night we had a huge family dinner, followed by a program. The programs included picture slideshows from past reunions, a family ancestry “history lesson,” and performances from our many a talented family members. We played board games, told stories, went swimming, stargazed, and stayed up way too late laughing.  
One of the days we went over to Sundance to hike. My dad promised that it would be a short, easy trail. So we strapped on the baby and headed up for her first hiking adventure. We also rode Nolie’s first ski lift up the mountain. It was a great time, but also stressful. Long story short… I ended up lost with my aunt and two year old cousin on one of the advanced trails. Two hours later my sweet husband came jogging up the mountain (after going down every other path possible) to get us back to the lift! He is such a good man! 
The trip ended with a night of games and family stories. We also took Nolie to the pool for the first time. I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it was – and special to introduce our sparkling new baby to everyone- Including her great grandparents. I’m so thankful Michael used his vacation to take us! 

 

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(View from ski lift) 

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(View from Cabin) 

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Day Two Colorado 2017

Day two in Boulder started off early for me.  My little Nolie girl was ready to do life by 6am local time.  We just played together until a more acceptable time to wake up Gia and Michael.  Then we packed up and hit the road.  We grabbed bagels at a place called Moe’s. The bagels were good, but if you order cream cheese be prepared.  They slap it on LITERALLY an inch thick! I scraped a lot of mine off, I’m not a huge cream cheese person. It was really good though. Then we jumped back on the road to start our adventure!
    
The day was so special because we took Michael and Nolie to Idaho Springs, Colorado.  That is where my childhood cabin is! It was a rough ride, mostly because I only knew how to get there by landmarks from ten years ago, not by street names. However, we only made one wrong turn, so I think that’s pretty impressive!
We didn’t go all the way down to our old property because we don’t own it any more. However, we walked around the main dirt road on the mountain. I got to pick wildflowers and reminisce. You could see our cabin and it looked almost the same, now one side is covered in solar panels. It made me so happy- and a little sad. (Above is a picture of the view from my old drive way). 
    
Then we headed down to Colorado Springs for my favorite pizza ever… Beau Jo’s!! They  make killer mountain pies. It is the location of some of my favorite childhood memories. It was so fun to share that special memory with Michael and the baby. 
    Afterwards we headed back to Gia’s house. She took off for work and we decided to take the baby for a walk around a nearby outdoor mall (29th street mall- great shopping options, but we just wanted to walk outside). It was so nice to enjoy the sun without the humidity of Tennessee.
We finished the night with Gia’s family. Her dad made a killer dinner and then we walked to downtown Louisville to get ice cream at Sweet Cow. We both got chocolate chip cookie dough, and it was delicious! I always forget how much fun  Have with that family. It was a seriously great (and late) night!

Day One Colorado 2017 

We got in crazy late from our road trip out West (first stop- Boulder, Colorado). It’s only a sixteen and a half hour drive, but we were in the car for 21 hours straight! We had to stop for Nolie to eat and to change her. However, she did amazing! No blow outs and rarely any crying. I don’t know how, but she slept or played with her toys the entire time. It was amazing! She really only cried for a good thirty minutes while we were in Kansas. There was a crazy rain and lightening storm and she was not amused. Other than that, she was such a trooper. It probably helps though that she LOVES riding in the car and looking out the windows.  
 

 Anyways, so we slept in until about eight local time. Then we got ready and headed out. We walked a block down to the coffee shop Gia took me last May, Alpine Modern Cafe. I ordered a blueberry muffin (and a giant DELICIOUS cookie for later) and Michael ordered a smoked salmon tartine with a six minute egg and cup of coffee. He loved it! Michael seriously talked about it all day. After we finished eating we walked around the neighborhood for a while. Then we headed back to Gia’s for some baby business, aka feeding, changing, and dressing her up for the day.  

// Boba Wrap 

 
Our next adventure was showing Michael downtown Louisville where Virginia grew up! I love it so much. I’ve always wanted to live there or somewhere very similar. The Main Street is quaint and has lots of great places to eat. (They also have a large public library which I was obsessed with when I was younger). We started at a tent sale that I had seen advertised on the Instagram of one of the shops from that area. It was in part for a store called Pitter Patter. We got Nolie a couple of cute presents. Then we walked around enjoying the shops and eventually stopping to eat lunch at LuLu’s . It was a BBQ place Gia wanted to show us. The pulled pork was pretty good, but not as good as some of the places around Nashville! We also ordered the Mac and Cheese which was good, but not my favorite. After lunch we walked around a few more shops and drove by the building where I used to take my summer acting camps! Then we headed down to Pearl Street. 

 

// Shirt: Lizard Ticket // Michael’s Shirt: J.Crew // Michael’s Shorts: J.Crew // Michael’s Watch: Fossil //Stroller: Eddie Bauer 

  
I was so excited to show Michael and Nolie Pearl Street for several reasons. One, it’s a super trendy strip with lots of interesting shops, street performers, and amazing food. But, two, my mom would meet Leslie and they would take us kids to play on the statues and play pads that are scattered down the street when we were all little. It was so cool to take my daughter there! I can’t wait to take her back when she is older and can actually participate in the fun! It was also a blast because everywhere we went people were smiling at Nolie and telling us how gorgeous she is! The momma in me was very proud.  

 

Afterwards, we headed to the Rio for dinner. Gia set up a dinner with a bunch of her friends. It was seriously so fun to get to out a face to the names I’ve been hearing. Her friends were so accepting and fun. I honestly felt like I was already friends with them. We got to sit on the rooftop and eat. The weather was perfect and baby girl loved the little breeze. It was perfect. Dinner was great too. I got a chicken quesadilla and it came with some really yummy guac. It was plain, but not in a bad way. I enjoyed it a lot! Michael got chicken fajitas (no surprise) and he said that he liked them as well. I stole a bite of his food and thought it was good! 

 

Finally, we headed black to Gia’s- with a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up some ice cream on the way. Then we basically fell straight asleep! It was a long day, but totally worth it! I can’t wait to see what today has in store.  

The Third Annual Peach Festival 

Yesterday Michael and I took little Nolie to her first little festival! The Peach Truck hosted an event with live music, food trucks, face painting, local vendors, and … PEACHES! It was so much fun. We started off rocky when I accidentally gave Michael directions to the wrong farmers market.  However, once we finally got there it was so much fun. 

There were several local vendors.  We saw some companies we love like the Frothy Monkey and Baby & Company. However, we also were introduced to a ton of new finds! It was a great experience.  

I think the highlight of our time though was buying our bag of peaches! Michael had one for breakfast and said it was wonderful. 

 
I’m so happy that we got to take the little one out on such a gorgeous night. Also, I won’t lie.  It was fun having people gush over the baby everywhere we were! She was so good and didn’t fuss once. She just had wide open eyes watching everything! I can’t wait for next year. I think we found a new family tradition.