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Monday, June 26, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Soooo I intended to blog about Father's Day weekend early last week, but then I got hit with the plague came down with strep throat and was too busy wanting to die to actually sit down and write anything. A week and several doses of Penicillin later, I'm back and ready to share (I can just hear all of you breathing a sigh of relief)!

The twins' daycare had its Father's Day program on that Friday afternoon, which consisted of painting pictures and eating hot dogs, chips, and brownies. (As a side note, this sounds infinitely more fun to me than the normal Mother's Day tradition of having a tea party.)

We spent Saturday morning playing with friends at their pool/splash pad. I seriously despise the summer, BUT as a parent, I do love having the option to take the kids to the pool for hours at a time and not have to do much besides watch them, make sure they stay alive, and occasionally give them some snacks. Er, I mean I love watching the joy on my children's faces as they experience new adventures, etc.

We spent the afternoon at Brian's parents' house for an early Father's Day celebration with them, his sister, and his grandparents. The twins were, as usual, never short on toys, food, or attention, and we had a fun time stuffing our faces and hanging out with the fam as well, so it was a win for everyone. 

On Father's Day, we started the day off right with cinnamon rolls, bacon, and presents for Daddy before heading off to church. We followed that up with lunch with some friends at Torchy's, and then spent the afternoon at the local science museum. Truthfully this place is always a bit of a dud, but the twins were excited to see the dinosaurs again and it's hard to beat a place with air conditioning this time of year, so we weren't complaining. I think the highlight for Brian was finishing up our visit with a stop at the Proud Pie truck... Colby and Clara didn't hate it, either!

Hopefully Brian felt appropriately celebrated- there's really no sufficient way to show him how much we appreciate the ways in which he loves and takes care of our family, and most often with a smile on his face (which is way more than can be said for my grump-a-lump self!). And in fact, he had ample opportunity to prove what a great dad he is when I got sick less than 24 hours later and he had to spend the next 2-3 days taking care of all 3 of us. He's the best!

(And in case you're wondering, I didn't get to see my dad for the weekend, but made sure to send him cookies to let him know we were thinking of him- couldn't let a Father's Day post go by without acknowledging my own great pops!)

Monday, June 12, 2017

10th Anniversary Trip to Punta Cana

Not that it's abnormal for me to go a week without blogging lately, but in case you don't follow me on social media and were wondering where I was, Brian and I were spending a glorious, kid-free week of rest and relaxation in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) celebrating our 10 year anniversary a couple of months early. We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, an adults-only, all-inclusive resort on the beach and it was every bit as wonderful as you might imagine- I highly recommend that you visit if you ever have the chance!

Last Saturday, we kicked the kids to the curb dropped the twins off to spend the night with the Olivers before Brian's parents picked them up for the week the next day. I will probably say this multiple times, but we are so, so grateful to both the Olivers and Brian's parents for taking such great care of our kids, dogs, and house all week- this trip would not have been possible without them!

Brian and I had to wake up at 2:30 am (!!!) to make our early morning flight on Sunday, but it was a worthwhile sacrifice. After several hours of traveling, we were pretty excited to see the view above as our plane started its descent into Punta Cana.

We arrived at the resort and were greeted with champagne, pina coladas, and plenty of friendly faces. We got settled and then quickly set out to explore our home for the week. It was pretty ugly, but we decided to tough it out anyway ;) Bottom left pic was the view from our room!

After dinner (wherein Brian consumed a sea bass that appeared larger than Clara was at birth), we hit the hay and prepared for a very busy first full day...

Ok so that's a lie. It was not busy at all and it was amazing. We laid on the beach, swam in the ocean, ate some food, enjoyed a few drinks: lather, rinse repeat. 

Top left: Brian playing volleyball with a bunch of strangers after we participated in a rousing game of poolside BINGO.
Top right: We FaceTimed the twins from the beach and Colby asked why we didn't have any clothes on, ha!
Bottom left: Brian posing with the giant ship in the middle of the resort.
Bottom right: Brian wading in the ocean. 

We ate dinner that night at a Japanese restaurant, which I'll touch on in a bit. I also implemented our nightly ritual of taking pre-dinner selfies and kindly compiled a collage of them all for you below:

Please note that for better or worse, I made the excellent decision to not bother attempting to blow dry or straighten my hair once the entire trip. 

Day 2 was spent very similarly to day 1, though we did take a break to sail a catamaran (ok, Brian sailed it while I sat and did nothing) and play another round of BINGO, where I scored this bottle of Dominican rum (and showcased my sunburn)!

Themes of the week: lots of reading, lots of beverages, and lots of selfies

On day 3, we shook things up a bit and left the resort to go zip lining. It was physically a little more challenging than expected (vs. sitting on the beach and doing nothing, that is), but we had a good time and were glad we did it! We made it back in time for lunch and made sure to recover by heading back to the beach. One highlight of the afternoon was Brian getting to drink coconut water straight out of a coconut!

We finally asked someone to take a non-selfie picture of us before dinner and then got to enjoy this amazing view from our balcony after dinner, so I had to share both.

The middle pic was from that evening when we ate dinner at French restaurant, where Brian accidentally ate chicken liver pate. I'm still grossed out thinking about it. Left pic is of me trying sushi for the first time (gasp) at that Japanese restaurant I mentioned. I did not like it at all and will not be trying sushi again, thank you very much. And pic on the right is from the surf and turf restaurant- I informed Brian that his plate had far too many eyeballs on it for my liking. (So basically, yes, I am the world's least adventurous eater, I know.)

Day 4 was our last full day in paradise, so we continued our quest in taking it easy. We got massages in the morning (top middle pic showcasing our post-massage stupor) and Brian snorkeled some in the afternoon, but that's about as active as we got. 

On Friday, we slept the latest we had all week, which was good because we had another long day of travel ahead. We enjoyed one last breakfast and stroll on the beach before debating staying there forever heading to the airport. The Punta Cana airport is open air, which explains why the random stray cat pictured above was just wandering around our terminal. 

We made it home late on Friday night and made sure to (briefly) wake up Colby and Clara to let them know we were home. Leaving paradise was hard, but coming home to them made it a heck of a lot easier!

What were they doing while we were gone, you ask? Well the week got off to a rocky start with Clara coming down with some sort of stomach virus. But thankfully after a day or so of taking it easy, they were able to head to VBS at our church for the rest of the week. Brian's mom even volunteered at VBS every day and took them to the swimming pool and a local indoor play area afterward on two of the afternoons. They missed us a little but it was clear they had a great time while we were gone- thank you times a million, Mimi and Granddaddy!

So yeah, it was a pretty great week. None of us are looking forward to heading back to work/school today, but hopefully we'll adjust back to reality quickly!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Turning 34

As you're likely aware due to Brian's sweet post (seriously, I am not worthy of his niceness), I had a birthday this week! Even though being an adult takes a good amount of the fun out of birthdays (I'm looking at you, 10-hour workday), it still ended up being a pretty great day, thanks in no small part to my thoughtful family and friends.

The morning started off like most other weekday mornings, with the exception of Brian waking up early to make me a spinach omelette for breakfast- slightly more exciting than my normal english muffin and cottage cheese! Since I wouldn't be celebrating formally with the twins, we decided to treat them to sprinkled donuts for breakfast at daycare. I told them all I wanted in exchange was a nice picture together... can you tell which one of them didn't hold up his end of the bargain?

Work had me in a fairly foul mood by about 9 am, but when Brian showed up at my office with cookies from Tiff's Treats, the day started to look up. I spent the lunch break eating out with some co-workers and as a fun treat, the other birthday girl (that would be Allison) took a break from her SAHM life and joined us.

The afternoon was a blur of desserts, including cookie cake, this beautiful birthday cake (yellow cake with chocolate icing because I'm sophisticated like that), AND another delivery- cake pops from the Sweet Boutique from my thoughtful SIL! 

After I finished awakening from my diabetic coma the workday, I headed home to change clothes and get ready for dinner. Meanwhile, these little cuties and their daddy bestowed me with birthday gifts and drawings- I'm always happy to see those smiles and those yellow boxes ;)

Allison and I ended the evening at dinner with a few friends at Pappasito's and had such a fun time! We stuffed our faces with fajitas and margs, were serenaded both by the waiters and a mariachi duo, blew out candles in bowls of ice cream, and got to catch up with some of our favorite peeps.

Here we are at lunch and then at dinner... next year we'll make it a goal to eat breakfast together as well so we can go 3 for 3 with birthday meals.

Thankful for all of the wonderful things 33 had in store and looking forward to what 34 holds!