Year One

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Well August is over and that means we celebrated our 1 year anniversary of moving to Wisconsin as a family! When we first got here we didn't have a house so we were in a hotel for 3 months. Because of that on the weekends we wanted to get out and explore. We visited Lake Michigan, Door County and the Wisconsin State Fair. Once October hit we FINALLY found a house and FINALLY sold our house in Houston, TX. Once I knew where we were going to live I joined a running group that wakes up crazy early to run before we all hit the office. And I managed to keep running through the winter (which I actually love)! We spent Thanksgiving up here with new friends and we are really settling in. I was eager to meet new people and create a closer network of people/locals I could turn to for advice/help around the area so I reached out to Facebook to create a bunco group! Yes, that bunco, the old lady dice game. And that group will celebrate it's one year anniversary this December. 

We have been lucky enough to have many visitors from our home state; with our family coming up for Packer games, the holidays, Alana's birthday, EAA AirVenture and a few other random visits in-between. It was especially fun having my best friend and her family come up and experience the snow and snow tubing (the first for all of us I think)! We also added a 4-legged family member and her and Alana are being great pals!

We took our first family vacation. We visited Hawaii and while Alana traveled well for the most part. She was teething, causing her to be unhappy for good chunks of the day and then there was all the luggage (carseat and infant carrier)! We think we will stick to road trips for a while before we take her on another flight. 

We have spent a good part of our weekends exploring the area around us; visiting parks, lakes and playing in the yard. We are happy to be out of the 100 degree heat that takes over Texas in the summer and we don't mind the cold or the snow...yet. Look, the way I see it is you can bundle and layer up to keep to warm but you can only take off so many layers of clothes before you get arrested for public indecency....ya know what I'm sayin'?! Summer is short lived here so I see why people soak up the sun and take advantage while they can!

Alana has moved around daycares a little more than what I would have wanted but we finally have her in a place I know she will stay until she is ready for school. And she has grown up SO much in this past year. She took her first unassisted steps in our hotel while we waited to find a home, she is learning to sing and everything else that comes with being a 2 year old. We celebrated her 2nd birthday up here and it was a Sesame Street themed party. I need to blog more about that when I find the time!

Thanks for reading!

Last Few Days on Maui

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The last two days on Maui were low key, we went whale watching again hoping we would see a breaching whale...we did not. And then we went and got our favorite shave ice on the planet... Ululani's Shave Ice. By far the best shave ice! We went back to the hotel to change and then headed to Kapalua Beach to play in the sand. Alana really didn't like the water too much but once she started to play in the sand we couldn't get her out!

Our next day was really about sleeping in, packing and getting ready to leave (we had a red eye flight to San Francisco). Luckily we had a late check-out and only had a wander around a few hours before we treated ourselves to one last Hawaiian activity, the Old Lahaina Luau. We thought that Alana would enjoy the music and dancing and she did for a little while but looking back it was just too late for her and she needed to get to bed.

Matt went and sat in the car with her while I watched more of the show. We stayed there until almost the end and then headed to the airport.

Overall the trip was an experience. We got to take Alana to Maui for free since she was still 2, we got to stat at the Ritz Carlton for free using points and had an amazing upgrade! While we love to travel I think we will let Alana get a little older before taking her on another big trip like that again. We'll be road tripping and keeping things a little closer to home for the next few years; plus we want her to appreciate the travel!

This Sort of Thing Always Happens to Us...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

On our 3rd full day in Maui we decided to try a short hike with Alana in tow. We left our hotel in the late morning and headed out on highway 30/340 around the northwest side of the island. Our hiking destination was the Waihee Ridge Trail. Soon after we left our hotel the road turned into a one-lane road (similar to the Hana Highway) which we didn't know. As we white knuckle it the 23 miles down the road (but about an hour drive) we reached Kaukini Art Gallery. We stopped in to stretch our legs, buy a few things and have a snack before we continued on our way. We finally made it to the trail head when we see a sign..."trail closed for maintenance" are you FREAKING kidding me?!

{views from the Kaukini Art Gallery}
C'est la vie. There was nothing we could do. So we continued back to two lane roads and stopped at the Maui Ocean Center to give Alana something to do and walk around. I thought the admission prices were a bit steep but its Maui so they will get you where they can.

The Ocean Center was great for young kids, she loved seeing all the fish and running around after being in the car for so long.

When we finally made it back to our hotel, after looping the entire west side of the island, it was time to relax by the pool and figure out what to do for dinner. I was craving pizza but there wasn't any place that was going to deliver...The Ritz was just too far for that. So I drove to a little pub called Dollie's to pick us up some cheap eats and it hit the spot!

The day was not as planned but it was still a great day!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Read about our first day here - Our First Family Vacation -

For our second day in Maui we really had no plans, other than mommy and daddy were going to dinner...ALONE!

I woke up and went for a run which was amazing! Then our breakfast feast was delivered to our room. I am not one to order room service but I really wanted this coconut french toast! After indulging ourselves we headed to Makaluapuna Point (or the Dragon's Tooth Trail). Kapalua Labyrinth is also located on this point. We continued our walk to Oneloa Beach to watch the waves before returning to the hotel for some pool time.

We decided to hire a babysitter recommended by the hotel to watch Alana while Matt and I went to dinner. When we go to Maui we always visit Kimo's so we can enjoy the best pie on the planet... Hula Pie! One of the couples sitting next to use was impressed that I had ordered ribs and the pie, lol. I really only ate half the ribs because what I really had come there for was dessert!

After dinner had time to walk up and down Front Street and do a little shopping. We picked up some Christmas ornaments and some art before heading back to the hotel.

What are some of your favorite eats on vacation?!

First Family Vacation ~ Day One

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We recently got back from our first family vacation! And I’m sure you can guess where it was…Hawaii. We decided to take advantage of the “under 2 years of age fly free” rule. We also took advantage of our United and Marriott points and flew for free to Maui and stayed at the Ritz Carlton for free as well (we did pay taxes, parking and resort fees). More on that later!

This trip was VERY different from our past trips. When Matt and I travel we usually stick to our 2 carry-on items each but this time we felt like mules hauling around all our shit! We had 2 checked bags, a car seat, infant carrier, diaper bag and then our carry-on items. I wish we would have taken a picture but who was going to hold the camera?! And I might add that given the opportunity to check a bag I will over pack, it’s just a fact. I brought WAY too many clothes for myself and Alana.

We arrived in Maui around 6pm, collected out luggage and rental car and then we were on our way to our hotel that was about an hour away. We arrived at the Ritz Carlton with the warmest aloha and the most amazing customer service I have ever experienced at a hotel. We made our way down to our suite and I quickly unpacked all the bags to get them put up and out of the way. One of the best things, in this mom’s eyes, about the hotel was that we had free laundry! They even had the soap and dryer sheets! This came in handy for washing our very dirty travel clothes and any of Alana’s clothes she got a little too messy. We were also able to come home with luggage full of clean clothes and I didn’t have to do any laundry right away!

This trip was very different from our other trips to Hawaii (2011, 2012, 2015). This was all around what Alana wanted to do and very little of what we wanted to do. We took family pictures first thing the next morning which in hindsight might have been a mistake with the time change. After we all took a little nap, headed down to the pool for some lunch and then off we went for some whale watching. We didn't get quite the show we did back in 2015 but we did get to see a cafe with its mom learning how to breach...reminded me of a puppy! 

How have your family vacations gone?!

Wisconsin Life Update

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wow, there I go dropping off the face of the blogging world again! I actually started to type this post at the end of November!!! What have we been up to?! Well we finally moved into our new house in Wisconsin! YAY!!!! We moved in back in October and things have been busy, busy, busy ever since!

Along with moving, unpacking, painting and day-to-day life I have also gone back to a 9-5er. I started in November and things are going well. I have gotten back into running; waking up at 4:20 2-3 days a week to run before work. I met an awesome group of ladies that help stay me motivated. I started running with this group of ladies back in October and I'm still there running in the morning. Even in -9 degree F temperature (-26 degrees with the windchill! BURRR!!!). I have also started my own bunco group.

So lets recap a few things with some pictures!

Alana and I did a Mommy and Me photo shoot which turned out amazing! She also took some school pictures that turned out ADORABLE! For Halloween Alana was Cindy-Lou-Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Matt was suppose to be The Grinch but he didn't think dressing up was worth the effort since we only went to one house! I was just another Who from Whoville.

Thanksgiving was great! We spent in with new friends here in Wisconsin and we really enjoyed ourselves. I was in a rather creative mood and made some pretty darn good looking cupcakes and a cornucopia out of French bread. I'm hoping to get a blog post about both of these soon.

In early December we had our first real snow and we got our new puppy! An English Bulldog named Daisy. When Christmas came around we had a full house! My family (parents and brother) came up and so did my in-laws. We were so thankful and blessed that everyone got to come up and see our new house and spend time with Alana.

Next we are gearing up for more visitors - my best friend from Texas and her family are coming up to visit us this weekend! We're getting dumped on by snow at the moment so the timing is perfect!

Thanks for reading and hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season!