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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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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Johnny Turns Two!

Our baby Johnny turns two.  I suppose we can finally say we’re out of the baby zone.  Johnny was such a big boy and gave up his “baba” a few days before his second birthday.  It was a rite of passage (for me) to be able to throw away all of the bottles and formula.  And then all of a sudden, Johnny looks really big and is a little human walking around with a strong opinion and a voice to be heard.  Where have the last two years gone?

How do I begin… Johnny is our rough and tough, sweet little man.  He hasn’t had it easy the last two years being a little brother to Charlotte and I think we can all say he is strong, stubborn, and such a boy.  He continues to hold his own and say “no” as much as possible.  The scowl we usually see on his face comes from a deep and intense level.  He is constantly observing and mimicking his older sister while holding up his guard for any oncoming aggressiveness.  However, his favorite person in the whole wide world is Charlotte.  No one can make him laugh like she does.  When he wakes up he asks for Charlotte.  When I pick him up from preschool he asks for Charlotte.  He is his happiest self when she is around and is already very protective of her even though she’s the big sister.  When Charlotte comes downstairs dressed in a costume with lipstick on, Johnny is the first one to say “beautiful” and want to hug her.  He will sometimes do the same for me, but I tend to not be in costume or wear lipstick quite as much.  He loves to hug all things – both living and nonliving.  He will sometimes ask to get into the T.V. so he can hug Elmo or the lion from the Wizard of Oz (which happens to be the first and only movie he will watch).  When he sees a little bug crawling on the ground he will say it is “cute” and want to hug it.  He tries to share his tractors with Prissy while saying “here you go” and then is confused why she doesn’t care.  I melt.  For about a month he walked around with part of a book with a picture of a walrus which he hugged and needed to put a bandaid on over and over.  It was probably his first “pet”.  Johnny’s current pastime is picking up as many buddies (stuffed animals) as one can possibly hold to carry to another room, the car, or try to bring to bed.  We’re constantly having to decide who to leave behind.  And again, I melt.

Then we need to start a whole new paragraph for his love of tractors.  It might have come from his daddy, but at this point, it has taken on a whole new dimension in our house.  We all now know the difference between a bulldozer, front end loader, excavator, backhoe, skid steer, etc.  Johnny carries multiple tractors with him at all times while scooping and dumping anything he comes across – favorite being cheerios.  He pretends some of his tractors are stuck in the mud from one of his favorite books, “The Little Blue Truck”, and then picks a bigger tractor to help push them out.  I can’t tell you the amount of hours I have spent on the ground scooping and dumping – especially in the sand box.  The simplicity of this whole process and Johnny calms my soul.  He is truly my little buddy.

Johnny is still a mama’s boy or again, I’m just a boy’s mama.  He has such a kind and soft heart.  He continues to want snuggles and for me to “hold you”.  Sometimes he will just shout “mama” and come running at me for a very aggressive hug or tackle.  He likes to hold my hand and comes to me when he feels scared, nervous, or hurt.  My heart has already doubled in size since the birth of Johnny and I can’t imagine what the next years will bring.  I just adore this sweet little man!  Happy 2nd birthday, Johnny Jr.  (Below are pictures from Johnny’s birthday month:))

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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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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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