I love celebrating birthdays, and celebrating my own is no different. That’s why for several months before my birthday, I had been hinting that my golden birthday was coming, which naturally warrants a little something special.
Weeks before my birthday, Ryan told me we would be going somewhere, but the final destination would remain a surprise. So on Friday of my birthday weekend, we headed down to Ryan’s parents’ house, where Charlotte would be staying while we were off on our adventure. At this point, our destination was still a surprise…
…until Ryan talked to his boss on the phone and spilled the beans right in front of me.
After dropping Charlotte off, we headed down to Bourbon/Horse Country in Kentucky. We spent the weekend at Maple Hill Manor, which we can’t recommend highly enough. It’s located in Springfield, Kentucky, which is within driving distance to several cute towns like Harrodsburg and Bardstown.
We spent the weekend riding horses, antiquing and bourbon tasting. Though we’ve spent a lot of time in exotic locales all over the world, this weekend was just as fun as any abroad — and it’s all better told through pictures.
Last week, Charlotte and I spent the week with some of my family in Florida. Though we were buying our house last week, this opportunity was much too needed to pass up. So I left Ryan home to buy our first house together — I know, I’m a terrible wife.
But toes in the sand are far better, in my opinion, than signing a bunch of papers.
Charlotte and Jack did mostly well on the car ride down and back. Also, Charlotte picked up quite a few more words on this trip, including ocean, beach, Marmee, Abby and Caroline. She knows who “Granddad” is, but each time she says his name, it comes out different.
I realize the new house is way more exciting, and I’ll have plenty on that soon!
I’ve been a bad blogger. I know, I know. This confession comes every few blog posts, but this winter has been a bit hectic. In addition to moving and getting used to a new city, we’ve been house hunting, I’ve started working part-time for my old job again and Charlotte has dropped her morning nap. Which means I am out of a lot of time. But all of these distractions from the blog are a very GOOD thing.
However, I do want to keep up with the blog. It’s nice to record these memories in some format for Charlotte, and it’s great for me to reference when someone asks me when Charlotte dropped a bottle or a nap from her schedule. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ll reference this sucker when we have Baby #2 — I’ve already forgotten everything about parenting a little baby.
ANYWAY, New Year’s Eve happened a long time ago, but that’s ok. We made a trip up to Chicago to celebrate with friends, which also included a trip to the Lincoln Park Zoo to see Zoo Lights. (I have to admit, Christmas in Indy was great, but nowhere near Chicago standards. I have a feeling that a weekend trip to Chicago each Christmas will be in the books every year for us from now on.)
A month and a half later, we celebrated Valentine’s Day as a family of three. No romantic dinner for Ryan and me; we kind of love having Charlotte around.
So way back in January, Ryan and I went on our first trip sans Charlotte. For Ryan’s 30th birthday, I surprised him with a trip to Belize in November. However, with the start of his new job, we had to postpone the trip to Belize.
So on MLK weekend this year, we headed down to, what we consider, the best beach vacation we’ve ever been on — despite the fact that it was cloudy the majority of the time we were there and most days were a bit chilly. Not only was there SO much to do, but Belize is a great place to bring the whole family. Yes, we will back…and Charlotte and Co. (if there is a Co. at that point) are more than welcome to come along.
We spent a lot of time reading, snorkeling, fishing and riding bikes around Belize. It was an amazing time together, a beautiful place to see and experience but a bit too long for this Mama to be away from her little girl. We spent much of our down time also perusing photos and videos of Charlotte on our phones. Yes, we are those parents.
Just because there hasn’t been a whole lot going on doesn’t mean we haven’t taken photos to commemorate every second of Charlotte’s life. So here is what Little Bit has been doing and where she has been going (and what she has been wearing) lately…
We spend plenty of weekends in Indiana, but this particular weekend in August was especially momentous. Our annual Phiunion at Abbe’s was held, Charlotte swam in the Randolph pool for the first time and we took our Little Bit to DePauw University, i.e. the greatest little college in the world.
We made our way back to Chicago via Evansville, and were home for just 11 days before it was time to leave once again. This time, we headed to California with my family to tour Wine Country. Ryan and I did this trip last year over a weekend to visit Ryan’s friends, David and Phil, but it was great to go back again so soon — especially since I was pregnant last year and could not partake of the amazing wine growing in the region.
We rented a house in Petaluma, California, and this was the first Knight vacation that ALL of us went on together. It was a fun week of wine tasting, restaurant perusing, small town shopping and playing in the pool. To top it all off, we had a few days in San Francisco too. Charlotte did such a great job on the flights, only crying hard for about five minutes one time. It was a treat to take a trip like this with Charlotte and the rest of the Knights!