London and Paris 2017

London and Paris 2017

We adventured to Europe with Charlotte AND Johnny for the first time; a monumental experience for our little family.  The kids and I took the direct flight to London to meet John after a long work week.  We were able to spend a weekend in London and then Paris for the rest of the week.  It was probably our favorite trip as a family so far.

The trip started off with a pretty flawless flight to London and of course we were all so excited to see daddy after a week away.  (John met me after Customs with a coffee in hand:-))  We enjoyed London’s beautiful parks and great food!  Our most anticipated moment was seeing Lion King live at the Lyceum theater.  We all loved it!  Charlotte danced in the aisle and Johnny, in a moment of complete audience silence, shouted out “Scar is not nice” for everyone to hear.  The kids had their own room connecting to ours and they woke us up at 3 am the first night when they broke into their minibar for a jet lag party with KitKats, Sprite, M&Ms, etc… all memories we never want to forget.

Highlights from London:  The swans, a phone booth, The Lion King, Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens, break dancers in Piccadilly Circus.

Below are pictures from London (Paris follows):

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After London, we found our way to the lovely city of Paris via the Chunnel (not sure the kids totally understood the awe of being on a train under the ocean).  Paris did not disappoint any of us.  We visited a new park every day and planned our meals accordingly.  The weather was warm and sunny but not too hot.  We could wander for hours with the kids while stopping for gelato, a carousel, or to pet the next cute dog.  The parks, food, weather, and the people made five days in Paris feel magical.  Of course, there were meltdowns and Johnny was asleep in my arms by the time we finally made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but we thoroughly soaked in Paris on a new level.  Experiencing this together as a family makes it oh so special and I hope we never forget some of these memories.  

Highlights from Paris:  Arriving on Mother’s Day, the top of the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Tuileries Garden, Jardin d’Acclimatation, Mr. Pistachio, two cute kids named Charlotte and Johnny.

Below are pictures from Paris:

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Charlotte Turns 5!

The one that made me a mama and therefore human… my Charlotte.  She pushes me daily – challenging me to be smarter, more patient, more present, creative, spontaneous, kinder, wittier and mostly stronger.  She came into this world kicking and screaming with an intensity for life that words can’t describe.  I believe she was born with a soul much older than mine and she’s here to teach me.  I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to be Charlotte’s mother and to have the opportunity to learn from her.  She enters a room and fills it with sunshine.  I want to be around her to feel that sunshine and to feel her strength.  I want to be around her to hear her unique and creative outlook on life.  I want to be around her to fully live life like she does.  Charlotte is an avid swimmer, dancer, skier, gymnast, and is now reading and writing which has opened up her world and mind even more.  She enjoys getting silly with her brother and protects him like only an older sister can.  I suppose our whole family is trying to keep up with her.  Thank you, Charlotte, for being you and for letting us tag along for the ride.  I know we’re just getting started.  Happy 5th (or maybe 15th) birthday! 

Below are pictures from Charlotte’s 5th birthday party which she created and directed.  The theme was a white, whipped cream party.  There was an endless amount of whipped cream for Charlotte and her friends.  Shortly after singing happy birthday Charlotte was showered in whipped cream by all those attending her party.  It was beyond amazing and absolutely Charlotte!

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Christmas in Mexico 2016

Here we are again… escaping the hustle and bustle and/or running away to Mexico for Christmas.  The sun, the sand, the chips and guacamole, the seven days alone as a family is what Christmas means to us (mostly the later).  Santa subtly dropped by with a Barbie and a Captain America, which were both forgotten about within an hour as we made our way to the beach, and so went Christmas 2016.

We spent endless hours in the pool and at the beach.  This trip Johnny’s confidence in the water was at an all time high.  He seemed to think he could swim just like Charlotte (bless his heart).  John and I never took our eyes off of him for a solid seven days.  Charlotte pushes him in every way, which is mostly a positive.  This theme lead into one of our adventures of “swimming with the dolphins”.  Charlotte set the standard and Johnny followed.  They both rode the dolphins, fed and danced with them, and mostly were the coolest kids when it comes to anything new and challenging.

The next highlight of the trip was Charlotte surfing.  John and I had scheduled a day to surf and thought we should have Charlotte join us.  Of course, within minutes, she was up on the board and gliding gracefully to shore.  Her intensity and coordination combined with her inner mermaid made surfing only natural.  I stand amazed.  (Video below)

One more thought to add to our journal is when I tried my hardest to get the perfect “Christmas/beachy” photo of Charlotte and Johnny.  We brought down the Santa hat and the reindeer antlers along with the fancy camera.  After about 20 minutes of enticing them to get on board or just to indulge their mama, I totally gave up and captured everything that is Charlotte and Johnny (also pictured below).  Maybe this means staying in the moment and embracing the chaos – things you slowly learn as a parent.  Thank you, Charlotte and Johnny, for the lessons you give us daily.

I’m especially grateful for the progress we’ve made as a family which made this trip so fun.  I’m also extremely grateful for the opportunity we have to spend this time together over Christmas as a family in Mexico.  It might not be traditional, but this is our Mellor family tradition.  Feliz Navidad!

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Feliz Navidad

card_finalIt’s that time of year again – Christmas cards!!!  We love the creative process of coming up with a theme and being able to share it with our family and friends.  We view it as an opportunity to sum up how we feel about our previous year in one picture… totally impossible, but we hope the accumulation of pictures over the years will help tell our family story.

As you can see, our theme this year is “Feliz Navidad”.  We’re truly grateful for the joy this year has brought.  We’ve finally been able to settle into our home, our community, and most importantly our family.  Both kids are at an age that is magical.  Charlotte and Johnny have grown to love and adore each other (thankfully, so do John and I).  Their spunk and spirit seem to lighten up everything we do.  I’m convinced holidays are mostly celebrated for children and their mother.  Our world is centered around these two lovely individuals.  So, it seemed fitting to get a little silly this year in our favorite Mexican attire while playing “Feliz Navidad”.  Our kids have still only experienced Christmas in Mexico and this song is close to our hearts in so many ways.  We twirled, we laughed, we shook maracas, we wrangled Romeo (the donkey) into a couple pictures, and we were happy.

We want to wish you and yours a very merry holiday season and of course… Feliz Navidad!  Thanks, Phillip (manicproject.com) once again for the amazing pictures.

Love, the Mellors

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Washington, D.C.

We were beyond excited to see our nation’s capital for the first time as a family.  The intensity was at an all time high with just a few weeks to go before the 2016 Presidential election.  Our dear friends were so gracious to give us a behind-the-scenes tour of the Capitol Building and The White House, as well as experience Washington D.C. sites like the zoo, and the Natural History museum with an insider’s touch.  Thank you, Kennedys.

I suppose our kids will most likely remember the “sleepover” or licking the carpet of the West Wing (a strange urge Johnny had), but that’s okay.  We walked away feeling even more proud to be American.  We’re going to celebrate democracy, hold our heads up high and say thank you for letting us live in this country we call America – the land of the free and home of the brave.  We’re forever indebted to all of those who’ve gone before us to create such an incredible country.   

Love, the Mellors

(Pictures below were taken with an iPhone while managing 2-4 children at a time)

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Mexico in May

Once again, I’m 3 months behind on posting.  It’s been a fun and busy summer for our family but now that school is back in session, I’m hoping to catch up on life.

In May we took a quick getaway to our favorite spot in Mexico – Punta de Mita.  “Mud season” was in full swing in Park City so it was time for some sun and sand.  Our days were filled with the usual beach/pool rotation.  Charlotte and Johnny are getting to such a fun age and becoming more adventurous with all of the above.   I suppose John and I are doing the same  – we took our first surf lesson this trip at El Paredon.  Apparently this spot is not intended for beginners.  It was harder than it looks but both of us loved the experience and are excited to try surfing again.  I’m sure Charlotte will soon join us.

What we value most from our trips is the family bonding that comes after spending a week together without life’s daily distractions.  We caught hermit crabs, dug endless holes in the sand, collected an extraordinary amount of seashells, and requested Feliz Navidad from the mariachi band all while soaking in the time spent together.  I have to say this is the first trip or moment where I think Charlotte and Johnny started to “like” each other – which equals a total success.  Mexico, thank you once again for an incredible week.

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Charlotte’s 4th Birthday

20160403-IMG_3803Charlotte turns 4.  My heart couldn’t love this girl any more.  She is definitely our sugar and spice and everything nice.  When we quoted that line four years ago to announce our first baby was a girl, I had no idea how true those words would be.  Some days Charlotte is pure sugar.  I love it when her sweet side comes out and she says how much she loves me or how grateful she is to be my daughter.  I also completely melt when she takes Johnny by the hand and talks to him in a “mother’s tone” as she tries to teach him something.  Sometimes she squeezes me too hard and expresses herself so eloquently while saying “this is the best day ever”.  She also loves to get silly and laugh really hard.  A current pastime in the car is telling jokes.  For instance, she will say how does a tree talk?  And then proceed to laugh really hard.  (Her audience is an easy one, Johnny and I will laugh at about everything she does.)   I totally get her when a song comes on she really likes – she closes her eyes and will just dance.  Man, I love this girl.

But when I say there is spice, oh boy… let’s call it caliente.  While she exhausts me, outsmarts me, negotiates the heck out of me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Charlotte is far from simple and far from a push over.  There is always an opinion and a way to do things Charlotte’s way.  I rack my brain on an hourly basis trying to decide when to let her run the show and when to pick my battle.  It begins with how we make pancakes or the type of egg she would like and then proceeds into the level her juice needs to be poured.  It continues when choosing an outfit while negotiating the right shoes for the weather that day.  It is never a simple or quick conversation.  Once we finally get in the car, she likes to number off about 3-8 things she did really well in the last 30 minutes which is why she deserves that many candies.  At some point I just yes, of course, Charlotte.  Her questions are usually extremely thoughtful and heavy which in turn requires the right reply.  I sometimes fail while completely frustrating her because I can’t explain the difference between North America and America or why there is a McDonald’s flag next to the American flag.  Then there is the whole conversation about the moon lately and why you need a space suit because oxygen and gravity don’t exist in outer space.  She currently wants to be three things when she grows up – an astronaut, a music girl, and famous.  Heaven help me…  And to think she just turned four.  I’m extremely nervous for 14.

Then there is nice.  One day, Charlotte started crying in the car when she heard the song “Clementine” for the first time.  It absolutely broke my heart as I had to explain that she wasn’t really “lost and gone forever”, that it was just a song.  She also has become quite a caring older sister.  When I ask her to go grab a snack, she will always make sure to get one for Johnny as well.  When Johnny gets hurt, she will automatically give up her blankie or a stuffed animal to ease his pain.  I love it when she sincerely asks John and I how our date was or how the party went.  She truly is thoughtful and caring.  Her head is full of happy and complex thoughts… and totally innocent.  This is where I could just cry my eyes out thinking about her changing any bit.  I adore Charlotte and love to spend time with her.  She really is the most interesting person I know, and I get to call her my daughter.  Happy 4th birthday, Charlotte.

Below is Charlotte’s unicorn rainbow birthday party (per her request).  She was in heaven to have her friends and family come over for a perfect afternoon on April 3rd to celebrate.  Thank you to all that love and support Charlotte.

(p.s. she decided to get her face painted as a wolf… naturally, a wolf unicorn is the most magical creature anyone could come up with.)

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Charlotte’s first bike ride with her new bike.