Colorado Vacation Part 1

When we originally planned this trip, we thought that I would still have a week or two left on maternity leave when we got back. Since Theo decided to make his debut into the world early, this week has actually marked my last week of maternity leave and I return to work on Monday. Crazy town! Anyway we had two weddings this week that we absolutely did not want to miss, one of which was last Saturday in Lincoln Nebraska and the other was on Thursday in Colorado, so we figured it made the most sense to take the whole week off! We went to Lincoln Saturday and had an awesome time watching my brother in laws little brother marry the love of his life!  My nieces were the flower girls and did such a good job- it's their third go around so they feel like pros! We danced our butts off at the reception after my parents took the boys back to the hotel and had a delicious Father's Day breakfast on Sunday before hopping in the car  to head to Denver. 


We got into Denver around 5 on Sunday and showed up to Dennis' best friend Tim and his girlfriend Erica's apartment. These are two of our very favorite people and we were so excited to get to spend two nights in their apartment… I don't know if they will ever invite us back after Duke's 5 AM screamfest but we'll see. Drinks for pored quickly after our arrival and Tim fired up the grill to make some delicious pork chops and sausages. A couple of other great friends joined us and we all hung out on the deck watching Duke try to rip the screen doors off and having minor panic attacks whenever he looked like he was going to try to climb over the railing, considering we were on the sixth floor. 


We stayed up late catching up and chatting before crashing hard. I only wish we would've gone to bed earlier when it turned out Duke was ready to be up for the day around 5:30 am when I was feeding Theo. That's when he decided to start singing songs and yelling at us. Occasionally he would lay back down so we didn't actually get up until about seven and decided to treat ourselves to brunch since we were up way earlier than we usually are. Lucille's is one of my all-time favorite breakfast places and I love the location that is in the first neighborhood I lived in when I got my first apartment in Denver seven years ago.  I lived a few blocks from Wash Park and on my days off I would occasionally go to Lucille's with a good book and sit there for a couple of hours eating food and drinking a delicious coffee.  It was fun to go back there on a super quiet morning with my crazy crew. The staff was really nice and super accommodating. The manager even offered to walk Duke around the restaurant a little bit when she could tell we had hardly had time to touch our plates. We could see him the whole time- we aren't completely crazy!  By the time we left he was waving goodbye to everybody in the place and had clearly made a good impression. I died laughing when he finally came back to our area and sat at the table across from us… Too cool for mom and dad. 


After breakfast we made a quick trip over to Cherry Creek mall to get my bracelet sized. Dennis got me this gorgeous bracelet for my birthday and I haven't been able to wear it because it was a little bit too small so I was excited we could check this task off the list and my wrist is now 100 times prettier. We loaded back in the car after picking up some coffee fuel and headed up to Loveland to have lunch with my friend Ashley. She is definitely one of my best friends and after missing each other on our last couple of trips I was really excited to get to sneak away with her for a little bit and have her see the boys. We ate a yummy lunch at rock bottom and then I ran into a couple of stores to try to find the boys cute matching outfits for the wedding on Thursday. Once that mission was complete I hopped back in the car and we made the trek down to Westminster to see Dennis' parents. Duke only napped in the car for about an hour so we were hoping he would crash again when we got there but he just stood up in the pack n play in the other room and yelled at us for 20 minutes until we rescued him. We decided we would tire him out by taking a quick dip in the pool. The pool at their apartment complex is awesome because it has a huge lounge area that's only about 8 inches deep and Duke could walk around and splash without having to be carried. They also have a couple little fountains that he loved playing in and it ended up being perfect practice for Waterworld the next day.  Duke also decided to share his Oreo cookie with Theo while we were there and dipped his finger in icing before sticking it straight in his brother's mouth. Mom win for sure...


We headed back over to Tim and Erica's for dinner around 630. Tim made an awesome chicken pasta casserole and we practically devoured the entire 9 x 13. Afterwards we had a couple of drinks and played Clue before we dug into yummy chocolate cream pie. It's starting to sound like this trip was all about food and driving… I promise the people were the highlight!

Since we were all up way earlier than we normally would be on Monday morning, we crashed early that night. Dennis and I knew we had a long day at Waterworld the next day so sleep was a must!  We got to water world around 9:30 am and were super thankful we had sprung for a cabana because temps got into the 100s we did slides and floated around the lazy river while everyone took turns watching Duke in the water with his cousin Mia and hanging with Theo in the cabana.


We left water world around 4 and I rushed back to shower before heading over to my new business partners house to launch her Rodan + Fields business with friends and family. It was SO much fun and I am so excited to be sharing our products and business opportunity with them. If you haven't tried them yet, you're missing out! I'd love to get you started if you're interested- send me an email at merrigan8@gmail.com!  After the party Dennis and I dropped the kids off with his parents and headed out with friends. I drank plenty, had a lot of fun and crawled into bed around 3 am praying the boys would sleep in! 

I am going to recap the rest of our week in another post! We had so much fun, I want to make sure I get all the details down.

-T-

A Year in South Dakota: Thoughts on our big move!

So it's been just over a year since we moved back to my hometown of Vermillion, South Dakota from Westminster, Colorado.  I am beyond thankful we made the decision to move here, to build a life here, raise our boys here, and be closer to my family and I want to take a look back at our first year! Pictures are in no particular order- just a bunch of my favorites from the year. 


When we moved last year, I had a job lined up with a start date of June 1 at the USD Foundation.  To say that I hit the jackpot with this job would be a huge understatement.  I have fantastic coworkers, some of which have turned into great friends.  I have a lot of freedom to make decisions and be creative in finding solutions for the organization and it's been challenging and incredibly rewarding. 


Dennis was on the job hunt when we moved and after a couple of months home with Duke, he started a job at a Verizon store in a nearby town.  He worked there for a couple of months before finding a job in town at Vermillion Ford.  He is so much happier with the job and with working in town.  A 25 minute commute wasn't much compared to what we had in Colorado, but a 2 minute commute is still way better! He's in his second summer of golf league and really enjoyed pool league last winter. 


Duke has been at daycare since last August and he seriously loves it.  The smile on his face when I pick him up every day is priceless and I love the fact that he can literally RUN into my arms now.  A quick hug for me is quickly followed by him begging for Smarties...all the kids get a little treat at the end of the day and I think most parents would agree that we aren't sure if the kids are more excited for us or the treats.  Either way, I'll take the excitement.  I love that he is getting time to socialize with other kids and play his heart out.  His rosy cheeks are an indication that he's been running around outside like a wild man nearly every day  and I just know he will be thrilled to welcome his little brother to the mix in a couple weeks. 


Theo has only been living the small town life for 11 weeks but I have no doubt that he LOVES almost daily walks downtown with me for a coffee fix and some fresh air.  He and Duke get tons of quality time with my parents and their Auntie Michelle, Uncle Kyle, and cousins.  I love getting to spend so much time with my sweet nieces (and sister and brother in law of course!)... I've gotten to go to school events, music class, and just watch them grow up.  Priceless.  Duke takes full advantage of access to the farm and 'ows' {cows} and is nearly impossible to get inside whenever we go see my parents. He immediately puts both hands up in the air and waves and says HI to his cows when we get to the farm, and that's only after "mooing" the entire drive out there.



We love our house and our landlord is pretty great {thanks Dad!}. Capone loves constant access to the backyard so he can bark at anyone that dare walk within a 1 block radius of our house.  Sorry neighbors! We are trying to take full advantage of what our little town has to offer including yummy restaurants and cute shops.  


Theo and I walked downtown earlier this week for some coffee and I snagged this adorable dress at the Blue Monarch and this cute pillow case for Duke from Nook n Cranny.  I go to a couple of my favorite coffee shops way more often than I should but supporting local businesses is a great excuse! 


The new pool recently opened and we went to check it out last weekend- I cannot wait to get a lot of use out of it this summer! Duke pretty much just ate snacks and yelled and pointed at people so I'm pretty sure he's destined to be a lifeguard someday, but Theo was comfortable with me in the lazy river and snoozed his way around a few laps.  I took zero pictures that day, so here's a flash back to the pool last year!


All in all, we are able to do so much more which might seem ironic to people since we live in a much smaller place but we have more time and more money to actually enjoy life now that we don't live in such a crowded area. We love all of the sporting events the university offers and fun downtown events throughout the summer.  I am forever thankful we decided to take this leap- I know we will be able to offer the boys so much more than we could've in a bigger city and I can't wait to see what this next year has in store for us!

-T-

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