Vermont Trip Part 1: Traveling with a baby!

This trip was a lot of fun and full of a lot of firsts for our little family of 3.  I'm breaking the recap into 2 parts- one focused on traveling with our sweet baby Duke and everything about the weekend that wasn't wedding-related, the other focused on the REASON we went to Vermont in the first place- My Best Friend's Wedding! 

So, close your eyes and travel back to the wee hours of the morning on Thursday.  Juuust kidding, you can't read with your eyes closed.  We headed out for the airport around 5:45 a.m. Thursday morning for our 8 a.m. flight.  Naturally I pushed us to the limits and had to stop for coffee because frankly, I'd rather speed to get there than not have coffee at 6 a.m.  We got checked in, checked our bags, and fumbled our way through security with a bright-eyed, slightly confused little boy.  Our first leg of the trip, besides the 1 hour drive, was a ridiculously quick flight to Minneapolis.  I wanted our first flight with Duke to be short and sweet juuust in case he was a shit show.  Just being honest.  But, lucky for us, he did a great job, nursed on the way up and slept for quick flight. 

We had a loooong 4 hour layover in Minneapolis and I was silently cursing myself for booking our trip this way back in March, but it ended up being a nice break in the day.  We sat down, ate breakfast, fed Duke some fruit puree and relaxed until our next flight.  The flight to Boston was a long one, but once again with lots of nursing and a little peekaboo with the people behind us, Duke was a happy camper and slept most of the way.  So much so, that we all got to snuggle up a bit and take a family airplane nap. #vacationwinning  We had tons of toys to entertain him, but he was pretty exhausted so I did my best to just make him comfortable so he could get as much rest as possible.
All. The. Coffee. on travel day!
After landing in Boston and loading up a months' worth of clothes and supplies our bags, my BFF from the West Coast and her boyfriend picked us up in the rental car and we embarked on the 4th leg of our journey to Vermont!  We knew we would be getting in after 10 p.m. anyway because of the 3+ hour drive, so we took our time and stopped for dinner in a little town called Derry, New Hampshire.  It's one of the very few times I've been on a road trip of sorts and not felt like I was in a rush to get somewhere!  Plus the Northeast is beautiful and we had never been to New Hampshire or Vermont before, so it was worth soaking up the views while we had the daylight. 
Parked in front of the most perfect street sign...Ms. Abbott was about to have a name change!
We pretty much collapsed into bed after arriving on Thursday night and started our day bright and early on Friday with delicious local eggs, bread, and coffee for breakfast and lots of catch up time with a few of my favorite people.  7 of us were sharing an Air BNB house that was absolutely adorable and super charming.  It was so nice to all wake up in the same house and be able to make ourselves comfortable!  In no time at all, Duke had toys all over the living room floor and got some practice crawling around on hardwood floors which is great since our new house is covered in them.

Friday afternoon was all about local libations and catching up with the wedding crew before rehearsal and dinner later that night.

Rehearsal ready!
We skipped the Ben & Jerry's tour because of a bit of a tight schedule in the afternoon which was a bummer, but we made sure to find a local ice cream spot that was perfection.
Pretty sure I could spend every. single. summer afternoon like this.
We had a super relaxing and lazy Saturday before the wedding, hoping that Duke would be well rested and happy for the main event that day.  We ate brunch at an adorable cafĂ© inside the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield.  The staff was super nice and the place was a really cute with an eclectic mix of mismatched furniture and loads of charm.  Plus there were donuts and iced chocolatey coffee drinks so I was in heaven.  Duke was all kinds of adorable sitting up like a big boy in the high chair and flirting like a champ with the waitress. 

Sunday rolled around and we enjoyed some hide and seek under the covers...aka Dennis and Duke hiding from me because they did not want to get out of bed one bit the last day.  Packing + a full day  of travel was ahead and I can't say I blame them. 

Notice my teary eyes, Duke's fistful of my hair and devilish smile!

We ate breakfast at the Inn/Wedding Venue {all wedding details will be shared tomorrow!} and took off for the airport with plenty of time to spare.  Unfortunately our flight was delayed the EXACT amount of time as our layover in Chicago so I had very little hope we would make our connection that night.  Which happened to be the last flight home that evening.  We ended up getting a discounted hotel, staying the night and being put on a plane at 1:25 p.m. the next day.  I was pretty proud of the way we handled everything because normally this type of thing would stress me out to the max, but knowing it was entirely out of our control, we rolled with the punches.  We ordered from the hotel restaurant, ate food in bed and watched TV and woke up approximately147 times because Duke could see us through the hotel crib and was determined to be in bed with us. :)
Thank goodness for yummy cinnamon roll French toast!
Duke struggled a little bit on the last flight.  We still managed the nurse/sleep routine for most of the flight but he was a lot fussier than normal and we're 99% sure it had to do with the 2 new teeth he has poking through his top gums!  Anyway, I'm glad we have this first trip under our belt.  I know traveling with kiddos is always unpredictable but I felt like it helped that we were pretty relaxed and laid back about it all and Duke seemed to enjoy all the activity!
When all else fails, a little airport drink/appetizer break helps take the edge off.
If you made it this far, you deserve a Gold medal!  ;)  I love having these details and memories to look back on so I hope it's something you enjoy reading as well! I'll be back tomorrow with all things wedding related!


Duke Anthony Felecos: 8 months old!

8...8...8 months?!  When, how, what, really?!  Just like that my sweet little nugget is 8 months old!  Let's take a look at what might be my favorite month so far in Duke's life!
Duke's major milestone this month is the ARMY CRAWL.  Little man is on the move, but apparently he doesn't need to use his knees to get around.  He does the funniest pull, tippy-toe push, forearm crawl I've ever seen and I love it.  He is super-determined, especially when he's trying to get his mouth hands on some electronic devices...or steal my undergarments apparently.
He's also working on 3 upper teeth right now...2 have broken the surface and the 3rd is not far behind!  He'll be ready for some steak any day now...

He has handled my transition back to work like a champ.  We both enjoy some lunchtime snuggles whenever possible and he is in my arms and usually nursing {sometimes for hunger, mostly for comfort} within minutes of me walking in the door.  I've also loved seeing his relationship with his daddy bloom!  Dennis can get Duke to giggle better than anyone and their bond is the sweetest thing for me to witness.  Selfishly, I want him to be a mama's boy, but it's not lost on me how lucky we are to have a husband/daddy that WANTS to be so involved and hands on. 
Sleep has been a constant game of Roulette for us...we never know what we're going to get!  Some nights are amazing and Duke only gets up once, usually going 6 to 9 hours between nursing sessions.  Other nights he wakes up every 3 hours and is inconsolable unless he can eat.  I've honestly chalked up the first year to being a year of wacky sleep patterns because they are growing//learning//changing SO MUCH!  I love that I can comfort him quickly with some snuggles and nursing and Dennis is such a great partner in that he doesn't hesitate to get up and get Duke for me or try to calm him down with a paci/back rub before we resort to nursing.  We take this day by day which works for us- Duke's daytime schedule is pretty consistent but we are also incredibly lucky because he will really go with the flow and adapt as needed.  Last weekend was full of travel which has thrown is for a big loop! More on that later this week.
The personality this boy has is wonderful. He loves to smile and laugh and soaks up any attention he can get. He lights up most these days when his cousins talk to him and get down on the floor to play. He loves to talk nonstop and I'm truly looking forward to the day when I understand what he's trying to say.  But for now, if he would just say "mama", I would be set. :)  Also worth noting that he thinks it's hilarious to scream as loud as he can when he feels like he's not garnering sufficient attention. Ha!

Happy 8 months little man! You continue to bring us a ridiculous amount of joy and you make our lives so much better than we ever imagined.  We love you the most!


Other Monthly Updates: one // four // five // six

Can we hit PAUSE for a hot second?

I am coming at you today from a place of random mind has been a bit of a blur this week with lots going on at work, the new house, and preparing for the Vermont trip so I decided to lay it all out here and hopefully make some sense of something.  Why else would I have a blog, right? I am all for getting stuff done and juggling too many balls making it all work but sometimes I feel like I've fallen off the tracks and I'm spinning my wheels a bit.  Too many analogies?  Anyway, take a peak inside my brain today and help a girl feel like she's not alone on the crazy train.

Improve on the Silence
I saw this awesome graphic last week from a friend of mine AND then had an opportunity to meet a really warm, positive, and enthusiastic person yesterday and it got me I improving on the silence?  It is so easy to get caught up in negative talk/thoughts, despite how hard of an effort I make to be optimistic and positive.  I am naturally an anxiety-ridden person, so I make a special effort to really focus my thoughts and energy on having a positive impact.  How much better would the world be if everyone took a second to think about this before speaking?! 

So we have a house...we just don't sleep there ;)
I was putting a lot of pressure on us to get into the house and get everything settled and ready to go before we left for Vermont and thankfully I realized, with some encouragement from my husband/parents, that there really isn't a rush to move.  We can take our time a little bit, get laundry cleaned and organized, clean out rooms/closets that need a little attention, and settle ourselves in a way that feels comfortable and not chaotic.  We have furniture being delivered while we are gone this week {and some awesome people holding down the new fort for us} which I am so excited for and we'll be able to make a big grocery trip early next week so that we can start LIVING in our new house and not feel scattered.  This past month has been really nuts for us when I stop and think about it {have we seriously only lived here a month?!}, no need to add any unnecessary chaos!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious about a super long travel day tomorrow, but I am truly so excited for this trip.  I'm so happy we are taking Duke, I will get to spend some quality time with the best friends a girl could ask for, and MOST importantly, I get to watch my friend marry the love of her life!  I've never been to Vermont so Dennis and I get to check that off our list, and we are staying in the cuuuutest cottage {so much better than hotel!}.  Send us some good travel juju and keep my friend's family in your thoughts!  Her beautiful mom is the one I talked about here that passed away last month and I know her presence will be sorely missed this weekend. 

Hope everyone is having a faaantastic hump day!  I'm off to triple check our packing list and force myself to go to bed extra early tonight in preparation for our morning flight!  Side note: I wish airplanes offered bottomless mimosas.



Friday Friday Friday: We have a HOUSE!

In full disclosure, I must admit this post has a grand total of 0 pictures of our actual house. I promise those are to come on Monday! All of the ones online are from winter and I was far too busy soaking up the moments yesterday to even think about snapping a picture! #andicallmyselfablogger

We have a house. I cannot even begin to explain just how excited this makes me! Aside from my parent's house, I've lived in everything from a dorm room, to a 1 bedroom apartment, friend's basement, more apartments, etc. This house may not technically be ours {renting from my parents} but it feels like it! Yesterday we got the keys, started cleaning and painting and getting it ready for us to officially move in. Tonight we are going to hopefully get everything unpacked into the kitchen and finish painting! Duke's room and the dining room were the only priorities as far as painting and at some point we've got some wallpaper to remove and we might change out the paint in our bedroom. All things we have time for and don't have to cram in right now. My big deadline was to get everything moved in {not necessarily unpacked} before Vermont next week. We then have friends coming the following week for the 4th of July so we'd like to be as settled as possible by then.
Rugs are being made out of some awesome carpet we found, furniture will be delivered next week, and Lord knows we will make a million and one little tweaks/changes/additions in the coming months! For now, I am thankful, I am so so happy, and I am soaking it all up! Happy Friday Friends...enjoy my 5 on Friday compilation of Duke pictures/funny moments from the past week or so. Can't BELIEVE my boy will be 8 months old next week! -_-

one: stair master
This one is already giving me heart palpitations as he made his way to the stairs the other day. One milestone at a time my sweet boy.
two: tickle monster
Duke LOVES to be tickled. He will literally move his arms to the side and giggle in anticipation of the looming hand/stuffed animal as we zero in for the attack. His giggle makes my life.

three: lunch dates
With Dennis home with Duke and my work being so close, I sneak home during my lunch hour whenever I don't have another appointment. We snuggle, Duke nurses, and he gives me all the energy I need to go back in and knock out the afternoon. It's not doable every day, but it is so refreshing for me and it helps to not be away from him for 9 solid hours.

four: a glimpse into the future
Back when I was pregnant, my sister Michelle saw a hilarious picture floating around the internet of a baby with chest hair drawn on him with eye liner. Obviously we had to make a mental note to do this with Duke. The other day we finally made it happen and it is just too much! We added a gold chain to help my boy go full on Italian. Ha!
five: grandparent love
The ONLY downside to moving into our own place is moving out of my parents. This past month has been so much fun and I'm seriously impressed with how quickly we all fell into a routine that just worked. You just never know how quickly your parents might want to encourage you right back out of the house ;) Honestly though, even though it meant moving twice, I'm really glad we stayed with my parents during this time and had the extra helpful hands with Duke as we juggled the trip to Boston and adjusting to my new schedule. Seeing them with Duke makes my heart overflow and at least I know we're only 2 miles away at the new house.

And cousin love! Oh the cuteness...

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 


Linking up with a few of my favorites!

Mom Bod

Mondays are perfect for some good ole fashioned real talk, right?  I'm about 11 days shy of 8 months post-baby, and I am feeling a bit trapped in the mom bod.  Carrying Duke and watching as he grew bigger and stronger inside my belly was pretty amazing.  My body was meant to grow and change to support my growing baby, and for the most part, I embraced the change.  Now, as I look down at my too-soft protruding belly, occasionally glance down and see the numbers on the scale, and watch as my breasts alternate between full/achy to soft and...well I'm not sure how I'd describe them when they're empty, I can't help but feel a little discouraged. 

It's not that I had a super slim and strong body before Duke or that I thought I'd magically bounce back and fit into all of my pants right away.  It's just that I'm more than a little bit lazy and I really love chocolate but I also really want to be fit and strong and have the stamina to keep with Duke when he's running all over the place {which is totally going to happen much sooner than I'm prepared for}.  However, he's not the only baby we're going to have and I'd be lying if I didn't think about the fact that I could put a bunch of work into getting into better shape, only to get pregnant again and have to start all over.  Is it horrible to think that way?  Le sigh.

I need some motivation...I'm slowly starting to gain some, but I want to keep up the momentum.  I walk/jogged on the treadmill for 30 minutes yesterday, I'm wearing my Fitbit to remind me to get up and get moving during the day, and I'm hoping to start adding some Pilates videos to my routine when we get into the new house.  I am also determined to start getting more creative in the kitchen and start making more healthy dishes for us to enjoy that don't have the after taste of deprivation.
So now it's your turn...what works for you?  Do you like group fitness classes or some solo time with music/treadmill?  Any specific post-baby workouts you swear by?  I'd love some tried and true tips!  And if YOU have found yourself feeling this way too, know you are not alone!  Mom bods unite!

Happy Monday Friends! 


Anniversary Dinner Take 2

So I mentioned here that Dennis and I had big plans to go out to dinner to celebrate our anniversary on our actual anniversary.  It’s always the best laid plans that implode, right?  Tuesday night there is a golf league and Dennis is an alternate on a team and never really knows for sure if he’s going to play or not.  He mentioned a few days before our anniversary that he probably shouldn’t play if asked on Tuesday so it doesn’t mess with our dinner plans, and I, being the ever intelligent golfer {insert all the sarcasm} told him we would totally have time to have a relaxing/celebratory/date night dinner AFTER golf.

Throw in a really rough night sleep {Monday night}, a long day at work {Tuesday} and an average-length golf game {2.5 hours} and there I was, sitting outside the golf course waiting for Dennis at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, on the verge of an emotional breakdown and/or anxiety attack because oh my goodness was I mentally drained.  I wanted to go. to. bed.  I also wanted a really nice relaxing dinner with my husband, delicious food, and copious amounts of Pinot Noir.  I wanted all of these things and I wanted to be in bed by 9:30 and sleep for 8 hours straight {maybe 10}.  Totally reasonable, right? 

Anyway, I faked it the best I could and we made our way to the restaurant to find that {Halleluiah!} they close at 9 p.m.  By that point it was 8:45 and I was absolutely not going to be those people that come in and eat/drink leisurely for 1-2 hours 10 minutes before closing time.   We then did some quick thinking, ran through a drive-thru, picked up ice cream, and headed home.  I could hardly contain my glee that I might in fact get to bed at a decent hour and we could reclaim our date night the following night.  {It’s worth noting that someone must’ve tipped Duke off that mama needed some sleep because he only woke up once at 3:30 a.m. that night}

Wednesday rolled around, work was great and I got to sneak in some baby snuggles + lunch with my dad + husband + neighbor on my lunch hour {I love small town livin and 0 traffic!!!} and I was in an excellent mood when I got home at 5.  I changed clothes, had a glass of wine, and relaxed until Dennis got done with a project and was ready to go to dinner. 

I got my gallon glass of Pinot Noir, we had excellent food and even better conversation and I am so thankful we got to give our anniversary the attention it deserved!  It’s been far too easy to let things slip by during this huge time of transition for us, even fun things that I would normally put a lot of energy into, and I’m anxious for us to get back to a semi-normal routine.  Tonight we plan on checking out the Shakespeare festival in town and I’m excited to experience it for the first time!  Here's hoping it's not 105 degrees...  

Happy Friday Eve! 


2 Years!

It's hard to believe I married the love of my life 2 short years ago!  We've packed these 2 years full of time with friends and family, lots of learning and growing as individuals and as a couple, and more love than I ever imagined I would find.  We changed jobs, got laid off, moved twice, had a baby, and have lived to tell the tale.  Let's take a look at our first 2 years as a married couple by the numbers!

2 // The number of states we've lived in!  We can now officially say we've been residents of Colorado and South Dakota as a married couple.

4// The number of companies worked for {2 each} since we got hitched.

3 // Number of places we've lived.  We started out in our 2 bedroom apartment in Thornton and then squeezed into a 1 bedroom + Office {aka Nursery} in Westminster 3 weeks before Duke was born.  Now we're living in my parents house and in 2 short weeks we'll be moving into our own HOUSE!  Woohoo!

? // Number of places we've traveled since tying the knot...I was trying to go through this and remember and I thought it'd be fun to list a few of the places we've traveled together since we started dating instead:

Costa Rica, Boston, St. Thomas, Nantucket, Jamaica, and obviously a bunch in the Midwest (St. Louis, Kansas City/Lawrence, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minneapolis)...Vermont is on the list this year and hopefully we can add in New Orleans, Nashville, and another tropical vaca in the next 2 years {hint hint for my 30th birthday}!

730 // Days since we said 'I do'

1 // The number of babies we have.  Duke is our sweet wild boy who pretty much runs our world these days.  He is our greatest joy and blessing so far, 2nd only to finding each other.

1252 // Days since I said 'YES'...prefaced only by "Holy shit, are you serious!?" #truestory

1 // The number of fur children we have...Capone is still an only fur-child, despite our attempts to get people to buy us bulldog puppies.  Thank God they never did though, he certainly keeps us on our toes enough on his own.

75 // Number of diamonds on my wedding ring bands.

385971375 // Number of times we've argued over whose going to do the dishes. HA!

I met Dennis at a time when I was transitioning into actually liking Colorado {It was not an instant love} and he was more supportive, understanding, and encouraging of me than anyone I'd ever met before.  We've surely had our ups and downs in the process of getting to know one another over the years, but that's where we always learn the most about each other.  I know without a doubt that this man will be there for me through the dark days and the sunny, and I thank God and my lucky stars every. single. day. that he is my husband.  He makes me laugh, comforts me when I'm sad/lonely/defeated, knows exactly how to push my buttons and usually uses this gift for good and not evil, AND he just plain loves me through it all.  There truly is no one I would rather do life with.  Today is for you my sweets! You and me...

We are off to have a fun little date night tonight...Boston was really our gift to each other this year, but of course Dennis had to surprise me with 2 cards and a 'cotton' work shirt to go along with the Year 2 theme. :)  Below is a picture of one of the cards because it was too freaking cute not to share. 

Happy Tuesday everyone!


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