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.

 

 

Happenings with Johnny and Charlotte

January through April has been a bit of a blur.  We moved into our house on December 28th and I had no idea how much work still needed to be done.  The new house post will come later but I didn’t want to let these few months go by without acknowledging some major happenings with our family.

First off, the amount of snow we received this winter gave John many opportunities to tractor, i.e. plow snow.  Johnny adapted quickly to such a manly cause.  The rest is history when it comes to Johnny and tractors.

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And then Charlotte started skiing… she killed it at 3 years old going down blues by the end of the season.  John has done the same.  My Park City winter wonderland is now complete (besides Johnny).

More importantly, Johnny started preschool at 17 months old.  After taking Charlotte to school for a year and a half, Johnny was eager to go and learn more.  It took some coaxing of the school administrator, but I gave in and let them have Johnny for 3 hours a day.  Of course it was such a bitter sweet moment for me, but the progress I’ve seen has made it all worth it.  He skips into school now (or giddy-ups) with such confidence and would rather not be held by his mama.  And when I pick him up, he’s eager to share his new songs or the latest owie experience (that’s a scratch or bruise).  I just die over his yearning for more, especially to follow in Charlotte’s footsteps.

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Lastly, mud season might be the bane of my existence… Hello, Park City.  We love you.

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Christmas in Mexico 2015

Ah, Christmas in May!  That’s what happens when I’m 4 months behind on our blog.  But better late than not at all.

This year we headed to our favorite spot in Mexico (Punta de Mita) again to get warm and avoid the hype and chaos of Christmas 2015.  We all (well at least John and I) agree that having this be our present is the best way to celebrate.  We love warm afternoons at the beach while the kids get sand in every crevasse.  With two children under three, the serenity is balanced with sleepy meltdowns, dawn wake ups, and food fits.  We keep telling ourselves we’re “so close” to being able to go out to dinner and not have to look at the waiter and say “so sorry for the mess”.

So, here’s to seven days of sun, sand, chips and salsa, and ocean with our sweet family of four.

A few things worth noting, this was the first trip where Johnny was walking.  He felt like a million bucks strolling around the beach with a shovel in hand.  This also helped develop Charlotte’s relationship with him.  Progress between the two of them continues to be slow but steady.  I tried several times to get the perfect cuddly picture of Charlotte and Johnny together, but eventually gave up on that idea.  I hope to look back at these pictures in a few years and remember the good, the bad, and the in-between.  The days are long, but yet it’s going by so fast.

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Johnny Jr. aka El Jefe

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They’re still getting to know each other.

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Our sugar and spice

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Daddy’s girl

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Another attempt at photographing them together…

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Feliz Navidad

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Sunrise on Christmas morning

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Got this one on about take 34

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Our only picture together – Christmas dinner