Monday, December 4, 2017

on family traditions

is there such a thing as having too many family traditions? asking for a friend.

growing up, we didn't really have many traditions that i can think of. that's not to say anything negative about my childhood at all. i had a cool, fun, albeit potentially strange childhood (everyone did, right?), but it was great. i just can't really remember things that we did every single year, or season, or whatever. and yet somehow, i found myself finding it super imperative to have and keep family traditions, now that luca is of the age to actually remember them. he completely shocked me the other day when he came home from daycare, headed towards our office, and said "that where the christmas tree will go!" they must have talked about christmas a little bit during the day, and i couldn't believe he remembered where our tree went last year, when he was only a year and a half! (he also will remember and randomly mention something that his grandma did or ate or saw when she was here 6 months ago, so he's basically rain man.)
so, it seems like a good time to get our traditions really solidified, since he's clearly secretly an elephant who forgets nothing.

we have 4 traditions that have been going strong for a while:

1. the first one that we've kept going the longest is our cabin and hiking trip which i mentioned in my last post. this started way before luca was born, and will definitely continue to be a  yearly fall trip that we make.
2. and ever since tucker and i first started dating, we've gotten chinese take-out on christmas eve, and i've made a huge breakfast on christmas morning, including enough monkey bread to feed approximately 20 people.
3. our holiday photos. now, this is definitely one that is "my thing", but thankfully tucker never says a word about not wanting to do it, and i'm convinced he will teach luca to do the same as he gets older and mouthier :) it's an important one to me, because we as a family have several photos of me or my brother as kids, but barely any of all the family members together. i want luca to be able to go back and look at pictures of his parents with him (you know, so he can make fun of us).
4. our 4th of july party - i look forward to this every single year, and 2018 will be year #7!

what are some of your favorite/most memorable family traditions?

here are our family holiday pictures from luca's very first holiday season, up to this year.

Monday, November 6, 2017

cabin trip in 3 different state parks - 1/3 done!

let me start by saying that i have no idea why there are so many native clevelanders i know who have never been to hocking hills. it's a three hour drive, what on earth is stopping you?!
now that that's out of the way - when we lived in austin, we would make an annual trip to a beautiful state park called lost maples, rent cabins, make s'mores, the whole deal. my favorite part of the trip was always the 5 mile hike, which was a pretty tough one and always felt like such a great work out when you were done. tucker and i made the mistake of going in may one year...if you don't know texas weather, just know that you shouldn't attempt a strenuous 5 mile hike in may, unless you want to die of dehydration and/or extreme sunburn. i mean, we finished it, but only because we're really stubborn.
so, we wanted to keep our annual tradition going, which is why one of our trio quest goals is to do a cabin trip in 3 different state parks, we are now 1/3 of the way through that goal! we were hoping to find a beautiful hiking spot here in ohio and totally nailed it with hocking hills. or, i guess hocking hills totally nailed it. either way, we know this will become an annual thing for us. we really, really loved the cabin we rented - it sits on 32 acres, has its own private hiking trail, a hot tub, a huge awesome deck, a fire pit, and it was really new and nice, and the hike was so beautiful. since we had luca with us (two and a half years old) and hugo with us (a little over a year old), we definitely didn't get to hike as long or as often as we wanted but that'll make it even better to make this an annual tradition, because it'll only get easier and easier with luca. we chose the "easy" hikes this time around since we had two littles with us - we first went to old man's cave, which was easy even with a toddler on my back, but so beautiful and really, really worth it. and the 2nd hike of the day was at ash cave, which luca walked the whole way (including up 75 stairs!), and was really nice and sandy for him to run around and explore safely.
he spent most of his time looking for dinosaurs, dinosaur eggs, and fossils (you can see him finding "fossils" in a few of the pictures below). and i quickly learned that carrying 34 lbs of toddler on your back while hiking makes up for skipping workouts and eating/drinking like crazy when friends are in town!

here are some of my favorite pictures of the trip:

Sunday, August 20, 2017

on being a well-traveled trio

when tucker and i first met, i learned pretty quickly that he had never had a passport in his nearly 30 years of life, and that blew my mind. we grew up in very different families, in very different cities, with very different types of family vacations. so, it made perfect sense.
but, within a year of getting together, he had a passport and had quickly started collecting his new country stamps...and now there's no stopping him. we are really, really thankful to have gone on some incredible trips in the almost 9 years that we've known each other, and have no plans of stopping.

travel is something that he & i are equally passionate about, which is why it's such a big part of our trio quest list - we've learned so much about each other, about ourselves, and mainly about different cultures and customs - which is something that seems more important than ever right now.
we've gotten locked out of our apartment at night in barcelona without cell phones, gotten strep throat in london, took a rental car down an unpaved and extremely scary, rocky road to a secret beach in baja california, zip lined over canyons in maui on our 5 year anniversary, and met a friend in the bahamas that we've now had drinks with in 2 different countries.

those experiences (both the good and the bad) are the ones that have made us adamant about cultivating that same love (and need!) for travel in luca.
we hope that he can be an adventurer and when he's 18 and tells us he's heading to italy with his best friend for two weeks (exactly what i did at 18), we won't freak out.
and that when he gets locked out of his rental apartment in barcelona without any way to contact people, that he doesn't freak out.
when he's zip lining over 7 canyons in maui, even though he's terrified at first - that he ends up the one to volunteer to go first on the 3rd round.
and, that most of all, he appreciates not only the hundreds of pictures his mom and dad take when we all travel together, in hopes that we never, ever forget the good (and the bad) memories. but also, that he appreciates the people he comes across, their different points of view, their customs, and finds the light everywhere he goes. so far, he's been to 3 countries and a few different states, so we have no worries about him becoming a travel pro pretty quickly.

these are a few of our favorite pre-luca travels: maui twice, mexico (a few times), baja california, london, the bahamas, and spain.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

30th birthday//july 4th

this morning, i sent the husband a text that said, "on a scale of 1-10, the fun level of these past 4 days has been a 15"
these have honestly been 4 of my favorite days in the history of all days! my 30th birthday was this past sunday, and it was perfect. we also had some of our favorite friends' housewarming party, another friend hosted a "welcome to cleveland" party, and then our 4th of july party. now, i know that none of this is technically on our 'trio quest' to-do list, but! when tucker & i were discussing our list, it was largely tied to keeping traditions alive, and creating awesome memories. this is our 6th annual 4th of july party, so i'd say we've gotten pretty good at that tradition, and it's always one of my favorite days of the year, so, here it is in all its glory.
on my original 30before30 list, i added the goal of having a 30th birthday bash, and i would say that one got checked off. even though my birthday was 2 days before the 4th, i got an amazing birthday cake, a beautiful rendition of happy birthday from so many of my friends (and luca yelling it in my ear), and had a house full of amazing people.

these first two are of my actual birthday, we went to the farmpark which luca absolutely loved. tucker surprised me and got a babysitter afterwards, for dinner outside in little Italy. my dad also completely took us by surprise and came to cleveland on Saturday (from mexico!), and luca had a really good time talking to his 'buelo, as he calls him.

and, y'all - my husband is the cutest. he is as artsy as they come, which is most definitely NOT the way i would describe myself. he used luca's chalk to make this cute backdrop on the fence before our friends arrived on the 4th.

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