Our road trip to Colorado each year is so special.
Not just because we travel to see relatives that we love so much but because we get to spend some serious quality time as a family.
Serious quality time.
Nothing but time.
You get the point.
Brecken started eating solids just a couple days before we left. Here we are feeding him for the very first time in a high chair and in a restaurant.
Every single waitress came by to say how cute he was.
They also stopped by to see how cute Mark was, until I got back from the bathroom.
We arrived in Lincoln, NE at 12:30am.
That is one party town!!
But when you're the mother of three having just driven 9 hours it's rather annoying!
The kids thought they were cool stuff walking through the lobby in the middle of the night in their jammies.
The next morning Victoria informed us she 'had to get some reading done.'
Yes, she seriously says these things.
She read a 3rd grade comprehension book.
Brecken decided he was sick of sitting he the back.
Gotta stop each and every year.
FINALLY made it to Aunt Joan's and couldn't have been happier to see Walker and Nash!!!
How cute are these two daddies buckling up their babies?
We had lunch at a park.
The kids had a blast!!
Doesn't he look like he's having a great time!?
Waiting outside a gas station.
Only in CO do you find a chair made out of skis.
We may have deer in MN but each and every year we see a herd of elk in Joan's yard it is amazing.
All of us run around and take pictures and watch like we're from out of the country.
It's so cool.
Christian didn't move an inch until they were all gone.
Then a deer came and laid under the slide and he watched her for another hour.
Ted, Hollis, Walker, Nash and Baby Meg joined us at Casa Bonita.
Man, we love that place.
Had a great time.
Mommy's with our babies.
Every year I say, if Hollis and I lived close we'd be best friends.
Love her to pieces.
It breaks my heart next time we'll be together the babies will be walking.
Can you tell these kids LOVE each other??
Brecken was very interested in Meg!
Our standard family picture.
The arcade is not amazing.
But the diving is!!!
We headed to downtown Golden for the first time in a couple years.
As we walked down the street I said, "Isn't that where you used to get your haircut?" to Mark.
Not only had he pointed it out during an earlier trip, but I have heard about these amazing haircuts for years! "Why don't you stop now?"
Next thing I know I have three kids in the barbers and Mark is getting a head massage.
It really is the place that gives him the BEST haircut.
That's the day this little dudes bottom two teeth broke through!
Then we went to lunch.
Only in CO is it appropriate to put your napkin around your neck:-)
We drove past Table Top Mountain.
After that the kids thought every mountain was Table Top Mountain.
On the way back we drove up Look Out Mountain Trail.
It's the scenic route to Aunt Joan's.
Brecken was sleeping so I told Mark I wanted to stop at every tourist spot.
So glad I did.
This is one of my favorite pics of the whole trip.
I took about 20 pictures because I didn't know how close it was going to get.
Playing Dominoes with Aunt Joan as Mommy and Daddy left to go to dinner with Ted and Hollis.
Meg joined us at the Buck Horn Exchange.
Ted & Hollis enjoyed a flaming drink.
They played some ping pong.
What a fun bar!
The next morning Uncle Bob was headed to CO Springs for a Bridge Tourney.
We didn't know if we'd see him again this trip.
In the mornings when I was holding or just getting done feeding Brecken he'd say, "Give me the boy."
And I'd hand him over.
It was so cute.
Red Rocks, one of my favorite places in CO.
I actually almost cried when we got out of the car.
It's almost spiritual.
It's so amazing.
I wish we lived near it.
I'd want to be there as much as possible.
Maybe I'll get amazingly lucky and New Kids will perform there some day.
Of course we have to make a Red Rocks penny.
These penny machines are everywhere in CO and the kids wanted every single one.
People we exercising on the steps of the ampitheater and Victoria asked if she could do it.
Suddenly she was hopping two feet together up these tall steps.
Tall even if you're an adult.
Notice the girl running by smiling at her:-)
This was the SIXTH time she did it, so she was getting tired.
She finished off with a yoga pose she loves.
Next, we headed over to Walker's house.
He was busy showering his baby sister with love and kisses.
Then we got to see his awesome room.
His walls are completely painted in an underwater mural.
The kids are looking out his bedroom window.
While the big kids played Brecken and I cuddled and he was all smiles.
Ted and Hollis' deck.
Christian and Walker working on their placemat at a deli.
Our kids get along so well it's wonderful.
Even though they don't see each other often, they love each other.
We hadn't been to Tiny Town in years, so we headed back.
We loved it.
This is where the idea for our Tiny House came from.
The Tiny School House.
The Storybook House
In each window you could see different Dr. Seuss characters, such as The Grinch.
Brecken woke up, just in time!
A replica of the White Fence Farm.
We decided that would be the perfect place to head to dinner after Tiny Town.
Mark felt at home with Home Depot:-)
I was texting Liv pictures while we were there.
I sent her one with just V & C at the library.
She said (basically) wake up Brecken. He has his whole life to sleep.
He happen to wake up just a few minutes later and I sent this picture to her.
She thought I actually woke the baby.
For the record, I pretty much, never, wake the baby.
Tiny Town doesn't give tiny ice cream cones.
On his very first train ride.
It was a very small train - which is why you can't really tell we're even on a train.
But, it's his first no less.
After Tiny Town we headed to White Fence Farm.
It rained while we were at Tiny Town and the temperature dropped.
I only had PJ's as a back up outfit so Brecken is totally sporting jammies.
I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who cared.
Christian loved this horse because it reminded him of his friend Tyler's real horse, Teddy.
We actually arrived before they were open so we had plenty of time checking out the whole property.
The meal at White Fence Farm turned really close to disastrous.
It was really late for Brecken and he fussed like crazy so Mark took him to the car while I was going to finish eating. Suddenly Victoria said, "I'm going to throw up." V only says that when she's actually going to throw up. I had to leave Christian at the table because: 1. I didn't want them to clear the table 2. I didn't want them to think we left without paying.
So I left my poor five year old sitting at this large table completely alone. I texted Mark from the bathroom and told him to get back into the restaurant. I got V in a stall and left her there to go back to pay and get Christian. I took way longer than it needed to. C and I ran back to the women's bathroom to hear V screaming. I threw open the stall door and said, "Why are you screaming?" "I'm scared," she replied looking so sad. She didn't actually throw up so we were getting ready to exit the bathroom when a little girl comes in crying with her mommy. Her hand was bloody because a goat bit her out in the yard. That was one night on vacation, I could not wait to get the kids to bed!
After they were sleeping Mark and I sat on Joan's deck.
On our last day in CO we went to CO Springs and went to The North Pole.
We all just love that place!
Aunt Joan, Hollis, Walker, Nash and Meg (& Ted for a bit) met us there.
We always spend so much time at the rides right inside the entrance.
It's all you can ride all day, so they come down the slide and run right back up the steps.
Victoria was finally tall enough to drive herself.
And so was Christian!
Even though Brecken just hung out all day,
he enjoyed it and was quite the trooper!
It was really hot.
The kids and I went on the Tilt A Whirl three times in a row.
The first time was so much fun.
The third time, not so much.
I do not remember Mark taking Brecken on this.
Good thing I have the picture!
Even though Christmas was months away,
Santa is always waiting at The North Pole.
Christian and Walker walked right in before the rest of us were even there.
I went in a corner to nurse Brecken and faced a fence.
Next thing I knew the fence opened and a maintence man was standing in front of me.
Pretty sure, he was more embarrassed than I was.
Hollis getting in a little Brecken time.
We didn't have much time for each other's babies, since we each had our hands-full with our own.
It's so fun to see how much everyone grows each year.
His second train ride of his life - just days after the first one.
This was at the height of Christian's obsession with deer.
That ferris wheel is the highest in the world.
The North Pole is at the foot of Pike's Peek and the ferris wheel is at the very highest point of the amusement park.
The official Picture with Santa.
Brecken had had it.
Brecken and Meg bonding.
After The North Pole we all met for dinner.
It was our last meal together.
We all received flash flood warnings on our phones,
Then there was a rainbow!
The kids signed Walker's cast.
There were some tears when we left:(
On the way back to Golden we stopped by the Garden of the Gods.
Each trip brings so many memories.
I absolutely love our road trip to CO each year!