Summers on Mellor Ranch are pure bliss, but winters can be a little stir-crazy.  Last fall, we anticipated a long, cold winter indoors with a hyperactive toddler and we started scheming.  We decided to turn the loft above our garage into a playroom where we could spend a few hours a day with Charlotte.  In part, we wanted to recreate the ranch experience indoors but, more importantly, we wanted to capture the imagination of a little girl who thinks of tea parties, princesses, and performances.

The result is just amazing and it’s wonderful to spend the cold winter days inside with Charlotte and her little friends.  She loves to make us food in her pretend kitchen and serve us on the carpet while she says “it’s hot, blow on it”.  It’s so cute to see her shyness when her play-dates are more outgoing and jump on stage and start singing songs from Frozen. Or, the best is when she holds a pretend cup of tea up to Prissy and Prissy actually plays along and licks it.  Toddler magic!

The playroom is the creative work of our dear friends Kristina Pluta and Brett Bluth, who themselves have not really graduated beyond the imagination of little girls – love you both J.  They have been such a creative team in our lives from planning our wedding to planning my amazing 30th birthday party.  Their talent is only exceeded by their generosity.

Thanks, and come play!
















Christmas in Punta de Mita

When we boarded our plane for Mexico in Salt Lake City we thought we were on our way to the perfect vacation in Punta de Mita, Mexico.  Little did we know, the airport was just about to shut down due to snow and the next 24 hours would be a wild adventure in travel with a toddler.

The airport was closed for almost 4 hours, which meant we had long-missed our connection out of Los Angeles.  After much wrangling, we were able to take a smaller plane to Mexico from LA the next day.  Thankfully, this turned out to be the only hitch in an otherwise perfect week with fantastic friends.

It was our first time to Punta de Mita as a family and we enjoyed every minute of it.  The town is just outside of Puerto Vallarta and is a little sleepy compared to Cancun or Cabo.  The weather was excellent, the water was warm, and the beach was perfect for sand castles.  Between the ocean and the pool, Charlotte was in heaven.  It’s amazing how much she loves the water.

Charlotte continues to be the biggest joy, and challenge, we’ve ever experienced.  She’s at that age where she repeats everything you say and wants to be involved in everything you are doing.  She eats like a bird, and has the energy of a cheetah.  She’ll only sit still for 15 minutes of the Pooh Bear movie, and we pretend she knows Spanish by teaching her to say “Feliz Navidad”.  Thank goodness she’s a good sleeper so we get some quiet time at night!

John says the best part about this year is that we were able to dodge Santa Claus one more time.  I’m not sure how many more years we’ll have like this, but getting away from the holiday-hype is a gift itself.  That said, we felt like being with our little family, and such good friends, was quite the Christmas gift.  The only thing better would have been to find a karaoke bar somewhere to sing some Motley Crüe songs 😉

Merry Christmas!

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