Wonder Awaits | Westin Hotels


The very first time that Luella laughed, we were staying in a hotel in Virginia Beach. She was four months old and I was swinging her in the air gently, staring into her baby blue eyes and out bursted the most beautiful sound my ears have ever heard. My eyes filled with tears and I swear there was some sort of magical imprint that was left that day on Max and I, far from home, that we will never forget. When I think of travel sometimes, to be honest it overwhelms me. How to coordinate it all with an infant and toddler and still manage to enjoy the process along the way!. So many of our friends have traveled all around the world and for us it so far hasn't been something we have longed for in this stage of our life quite yet. We have really enjoyed being home, but lately, more and more of our evening conversations have been imagining and planning new areas we want to explore with our girls. Travel can be an incredible way to learn more about each other as parents and also as a family. It's so exciting! 

We have a few out of the country dreams and many different states we'd love to experience with our girls over the next years! Some favorites on our list are British Columbia, Canada, Smoky Mountain National Park, Alaska, Norway/Sweden for as long as possible, and parts of Washington and California and I've always wanted to visit Mackinac Island which is an island off the coast of Michigan where there are no cars and just a ton of bikes and horse buggies! It sounds like the most peaceful island.

When Westin contacted me to let me know about their new family program, it was truly a joy to hear about what they are doing for families who want to eat well, play well, and move well while traveling. At their resort locations, they've incorporated small things that make a big difference like an actually healthy menu specifically designed for kids, a juice bar, and a lot of ways to keep kids engaged and welcomed. Westin doesn’t just want to make travel with kids easier, but also more inspiring, educational, engaging, and simply fun, no matter the destination. They sent us this amazing kit for homemade pizza making and we sat and chatted about what it means to travel. Lue loves talking about different cities and states and it was fun to incorporate talking to her about new countries too and things she might see there.

No matter how much travel we get in this year, it's so amazing to imagine all the ways we can incorporate wonder in the lives of our girls, new experiences, and new surroundings to flourish their world over the span of their lives. We imagine them being older where we can sit over tea at a hole in the wall cafe downtown somewhere, read books together, and connect over a new environment. It just sounds so dreamy. We finally made a little travel fund that we are excited about and cannot wait to explore more new areas! 

Thank you so much to Westin for sponsoring this post and sharing your new family program with me. It means so much you have families in mind! 

Momentarily Calm


Week before Christmas. Momentarily calm and not exactly the brightest week. Don't get me wrong, this season is legit the absolute best. The time watching your daughter explore the first snowfall of the year in her bare feet. The way she lights up when you bring out the pink sparkly bulbs for the tree. She is *so* over earthy palettes and I am embracing her pink more and more. Picking out the perfect skinny and awkward Christmas tree. Eucalyptus and pine garlands. The holiday tunes on close to the entire duration of one's day. Guilty. The hunt for the most special gifts to give. Finding toddler ski's for Luie and soaking in all of the moments and memories staring at sweet Minoux, here on this earth at three months old. So teeny and tender and glued to Max or my body for the most parts of each day. Seriously so much wonder and excitement. 

But what if there's also piles of laundry. And past hurts that creep up. Or rejection and sadness. Or tears. Or discord with family.  Or three year olds peeing their cute pants in the city with no backups. Or outburst of emotions. Or lots of questions. Or thoughts of friends who lost their parents and would want nothing more than to celebrate the wonder with them. I guess I just wanted to write a note and say that it's ok if this season isn't always sugar cookies and perfect pine and overflowing stockings. It's okay to feel all of the feelings. They are real and important. They mean something. You have worth. You have value. With so much magic and wonder and meaning this time of year, there can also be hurt and burnt cookies and feelings of uncertainty. And that's okay. It's a beautiful season of ins and outs. Ups and downs like the transitions of breath in a yoga class. Joy and sorrow. But they are all real feelings that deserve to be felt. 

I found this vintage tissue paper four years ago and for some reason, it felt right to use it this year. 
I hid two small paper crowns in the tree this year to surprise Min and Lue with. 

Pink silk ribbons to drape in the tree. I decided I didn't want to wake up one day and realize I forced my earthy palette on Lue. I even bought a pink sweater for myself so she might think I'm cool. 

Most favorite view. I swear she is absolutely in love with her Dad and smiles more at him than me. It's darling. 
This precious girl has my whole heart. So impressed with her tenderness and care for Minoux, her imagination, and beautiful heart. 
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Peaceful Solstice to you. May you find brief moments of peace and joy and may you fill your stockings with grace for yourself this year. These photos were from my momentarily calm happenings this week and the rest was all just piles of laundry. 
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