Category Archives: vacation

Montana Vacation

Montana Vacation

This year the boys had two weeks off between the end of summer camp and when school started up again so we decided to take the crew to Montana. We hadn’t been since the boys were crawling and we’d never had an opportunity before to get all 10 of my parent’s grandchildren together. So we were looking forward to the vacation for a long long time.

Unfortunately, the kids picked up the croup somewhere along the way and we spent the majority of the vacation feeling sick. We ended up taking all four kids to urgent care to get a steroid shot. But despite them all feeling under the weather, we made some good memories with their cousins.

As soon as Steve found out we’d be in Montana for the Solar Eclipse he insisted that we drive 4 hours each way to go see the full eclipse. Unfortunately we decided to take the boys and the road trip was miserable. But it was worth seeing a total eclipse for two minutes. I’ll remember most the gas station we stopped at where the boys got slushies bigger than themselves. If we live in Austin in 6 years we’ll get to see another one then! It was a super cool experience.

We drove up to Gail’s cabin and visited Virginia City one day.

Our favorite part about going to Montana is always sneaking away for some quiet time and going fishing with my dad. This time he took us down the Yellowstone River were we ended up catching 5 fish. Thank you dad!

We snuck away for a few nights and headed back to Helena. My dad took the boys out on the 4-wheeler which they got a huge kick out of. We also got to see Mandy and her family but somehow I didn’t get any pictures on my camera!


One of our favorite things about the trip was going to the Belgrade Digger Days. The boys got to operate real life excavators and Emily had to be dragged out of a dump truck.



One of our last days we we went camping at Mark and Katie’s house. The boys loved roasting marsh-mellows.

Of course the best part was getting to see my sister and brother and their thriving families.

Vacationing with four young kids is crazy and I needed another vacation from our vacation when we got back. It’s tough on them being out of their element and battling being sick but they have been asking when we’re going to go to Montana again. Maybe in a few years…. Thanks Montana crew for making us feel welcomed.

Florida Vacation

Florida Vacation

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been back from our Florida vacation.  I’ve struggled keeping up with the blog lately.  I wonder why… it’s not like we have four young children constantly needing our attention.  Florida was a blast.  We spent two weeks there in a VRBO that my parents rented (thanks mom and dad!) in Venice, FL.  It had a pool and was really close to the beach so we got lots of time soaking up the sun and lounging in the water.  It was a blast getting to see my mom’s side of the family.  My sister came down with Banks so it was fun to see him with our boys.  Banks and Anthony were about the same size.  They seemed to have fun together when Banks was around.

The first few days we were there were rough.  In the first 5 days we were at the hospital 4 times.  The girls got ear infections probably stemming from the flight and congestion.  So they were up screaming most nights.  Then Nathan was getting a bath with grandma and split his chin open on the bathroom tub.  I wasn’t there at the hospital because we were out without a car at Calah’s bachelorette party, but I heard he was very brave.



By the end of the trip Nathan had figured out how to swim pretty good but still not to the point where he could do it unsupervised.  He was mostly confident enough to go under water and swim between two people a short distance.  Anthony on the other hand was scared of the water.  A little of it is his personality in general, he’s more hesitant.  But the big reason is likely the fact that he fell into the pool on day one and I had to jump in with my clothes on to “save” him.  Since then he kept his distance.  The pictures on this post were from my nice camera but we captured a lot of the trip on Instagram (which auto creates blog posts for me).  Unfortunately my photo editing time is limited to 0 hours so I didn’t adjust the lighting on any of these.  Luckily Nathan grabbed my camera a few times and took some great photos.  Paty’s friend Luiza was even able to fly out for the weekend.

We came to Florida for my cousin Charles wedding.  Which was gorgeous by the way.  The bride was stunning *we love you Calah* and the party was super fun.  Steve and I enjoyed a much needed night out dancing away from the kiddos.  It was also the first time that my brother, sister, parents, and I had been together since Knox was born about 5 years ago.  It’s going to get harder and harder to all be in the same place with all these young children!  It was great to see everyone (If anyone wants the originals of any of these pictures just let me know!).  I snuck away from the reception for a bit to go back and feed the girls since the rental was so close to the reception.  The boys were still up causing a ruckus so I got them all dressed to crash the wedding reception (they weren’t invited but there were a ton of kids everywhere so I thought it’d be fun to bring them back for some dancing).  But grandma put the kibosh on that idea.

Nona & Poppy

Nona & Poppy

This week we took the kids to Long Island.  The girls got to meet their great grandparents, Nona and Poppy, for the first time and the boys got to see them again for the first time in a very long time.


I was asked to speak at Hofstra University and convinced Steve that it’d be a great excuse to trek out the entire family to New York to see his family.  On Monday morning Steve, Paty, the boys, girls, and I all hoped in the minivan and drove 4 hours from Baltimore to Long Island.

We also got to have dinner with Uncle Chuck and Stephen.  It was so nice to see everyone, it had been way too long!



It was the very first time the boys slept in a hotel room… but not the girls.  This might be the first time the girls had a “first” before the boys had their “first” equivalent.  Besides the yummy hot breakfast, the boys were really excited about the pool… or maybe it was just me.  We took the girls swimming for the first time.  I didn’t get any pictures of them in the water but I did get some of them in their swimsuits.  It was adorable.



Nathan also took some great photos.  He is a really good photographer




Check out Emily “planking” in the background on this one.  She is so strong!

Working Mother

Working Mother

Earlier this month Steve and I took the Amtrak to New York City while my mom, aunt Laurie, and grandmother watched the kiddos.  We were only gone for about a day but it was a nice little escape and the weather was gorgeous in NYC.  IBM named me as their Working Mother of the Year.  I was honored along with 100 other ladies from various companies at an awards gala for Working Mother magazine.  Steve and I had a great time.  It was so nice to meet the other IBM women who sat at our table and hear their “working mom” stories.  I was hurting a little, even though I was 5 weeks postpartum during the dinner, all the walking around New York caught up with me and I was in pain standing for too long.  I’m still glad we went and were able to get away just the two of us, even if it was a short trip.


Flight already delayed but we are having fun. Missing you already Florida family!

Flight already delayed but we are having fun. Missing you already Florida family!




Watching the airplane come in…





Thank you Nonna and Poppy for the jump suit.  Very comfy travel gear!

Made it to Orlando

Made it to Orlando

Wednesday we woke up at 5 am to head to the airport to come to Orlando for JR’s wedding.  Nathan flew the plane.  He wants to be like Uncle Paul some day.



We got to see some of the family on Wednesday and play with Dustin’s kids.  Anthony had a blast running around the yard playing with the sharks.



Grandpa showed the boys how to make lizard earrings






Our family hoped on a plane and headed out to Seattle to meet two week old Cash Crow a couple weeks ago.  The boys travelled pretty good on the way there.


Steve insisted that we purchase three seats rather than two even though the boys are free until they’re two years old.  It turned out to be a pretty good idea.  We had a whole row to ourselves and the boys could crawl around everywhere.  They got a little claustrophobic at times but overall did an awesome job travelling there.


We even got them little backpacks to wear with a little leash.  However, our layovers weren’t very long so the leashes didn’t really come in handy.





Here’s a cute picture of Anthony looking so grown up sitting in his middle seat all by himself.


When we got to Seattle we were welcomed into loving arms and joined right in on the chaos that is a household full of boys.



It was all downhill from there.  If it wasn’t one thing it was another; adjusting to the time zone, Anthony was allergic to the oxyclean and broke out in hives, then they both started getting sick.  The Crow crew had just been to the doctor the day before we got there to start taking antibiotics for a cold and apparently we weren’t lucky enough to miss the bug.  Nathan started showing symptoms pretty early on with a runny nose and cough.  Not to mention the boys had extreme separation anxiety.  If Steve or I weren’t in the room they’d break down crying hysterically.  If Sara said Nathan’s name when he was playing with something he’d freak out in tears like she was yelling at him.  He doesn’t like people other than us telling him not to do something.  Needless to say, I felt like we were in the way.  It was anything but a vacation… trying to keep the boys happy so that the house wasn’t screaming around the new baby.

Here’s a glimpse of what it was like:


Although, at one point they were so out of it that they were dancing in circles with their arms out.  I called it the Zombie dance.  It was pretty hilarious.


That being said Seattle was beautiful when it wasn’t rainy.  Sara and Andrew live close to a big lake that you can walk around.  We took the boys out in their stroller a number of times.  I event went for a run with Oliver one day!





We also went to the zoo one day.  The first time the boys have been to the zoo.  They were still a little young for it.  They didn’t really get excited about seeing the animals.



Although Nathan did run after a crow a few times.


It was a little painful letting them walk around freely because they took off in opposite directions and were intrigued by EVERYTHING.  stick on the ground… amazing.




The boys loved playing with their cousins.  Knox and Banks have an awesome playroom with tons of toys.  Nathan and Anthony learned a lot by watching their cousins …like how to climb the wrong way up the slide.


They even all took a bath together.


Cash is such a beautiful baby.  I don’t remember our boys being that easy.  At one point I had a conference call for work and the only quiet place is the house was next to the sleeping baby in the nursery.




Sara handled having a third baby like it was no big deal.  She has got being a mom down to a T.  She made it look easy taking all three of her kids and piling into the car by herself and shutting her kiddos off to their activities like she hadn’t just had a baby two weeks ago.



I am impressed.  We got to see Grandma Seacat while we were there.  She is out in Seattle helping Sara out for a few months.

Knox and Banks are so excited to be big brothers.


I feel in love with Banks.  He is the cutest kiddo.

BanksSara taught him to say “No Floozies” in the response to “What is your advice for all the single men”.  The best was one afternoon Sara and I were sitting on the couch drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonades and Banks comes up and says “Mom all gone” and I go “yes Banks, can you go get us another one”.  Banks precedes to take our empties to the recycling, go into the kitchen, opens the fridge, grabs another Mike’s out, brings it to me and puts it on the coffee table and tries for a few seconds to twist open the top.  When it doesn’t work, he goes back into the kitchen and brings out another one for his mom.  I was in shock.  This kid is only 5 months older than our boys!  He is a baby genius.  Banks is also a little ham.  At one point he crawled up and started giving his new baby brother kisses for the camera:



The trip home was not nearly as enjoyable as our trip out to Seattle.  Nathan, being sick, cried for most of the trip.  Anthony was very good though… so it could’ve been worse.  I also started coming down with the cold and it hurt to swallow and talk.


Thank you Sara, Andrew, Knox, Banks, and Cash for welcoming us into your home despite us not being easy guests.