Friday, May 8, 2020

May 2019- Settling into Vermont

Spring weather appeared in May, and after unpacking and getting settled a bit in our little apartment, we were ready to head out and explore our new state. We started with our little town of Winooski, only one square mile, but with a beautiful river running through it. 

Winooski River
Ellie finds a dandelion growing near the river walk.
My tween's life- playing a video game with headphones on and phone next to him.
But, no matter how big he gets, he will remain my baby. 
Somebody got some spiffy new specs!
Ellie continues to love books. 
As does James.
Our little Gator girl also loves to ride her little bike. Move your feet, she's rough!
Enjoying dinner outside at the Mule Bar in Winooski. Gotta love delicious places you can walk to. 
I super love their matching stripes and matching poses. 
Checking out the area's playgrounds. On the hunt for our favorite... 
Ellie's face is telling me this one is not the winner.

Our Mother's Day tradition is to spend the weekend away somewhere relatively low-key, where the focus is on spending relaxing time together. For this trip, we were lucky enough to find an incredible old house built in 1780 in Shaftsbury, Vermont, about 2 1/2 hours south of our place. It sat on 140 acres that we were free to explore, with hiking trails and a little creek winding through. Heaven. 

The landscape as we drove south was just beautiful.
How inviting is this little place?! It was so quintessentially Vermont and I loved it instantly.
This beautiful old barn was also on the property.
Happy to have room to use some of that boundless energy.
Off we go! Exploring the wooded trails on the property.
Curly Top loves being outside.
Dad's turn to explore with Ellie.
A happy Momma with her kiddos amongst the trees.
The apple blossoms were blooming and they were lovely.
Leo found a sunny patch of grass to lie in and was quite content.
James went exploring down by the creek.
You could hear the sounds from this beauty while sitting in the backyard. 
Love to see these two play together.
Gorgeous light filtered through the trees. 
My beautiful boy.
My beautiful girl.
Happy Mother's Day to me!
Ellie and I are taking in the view.
This kid is always cracking me up. 
My love. Who is also always cracking me up.
Delicious Mother's Day breakfast at an old diner. And yes, they are wearing matching shirts. 😍
Coloring with Daddy. 

Our family loves to be outside and when the weather started to get super lovely, we found the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail and went for a walk. (We will return to this trail with our bikes in the future.)

Little Miss is too cool for this walk with those shades.
Fun family walk enjoying nature has to include Leo.
Same walk? Perfectly in sync...
Big red barns are a Vermont staple. Easy to see why.

Our quest for the best playground continues. This one was very close to our apartment and ranked pretty high.

Have I mentioned that my kiddos love reading? 

Friday, April 24, 2020

April 2019

April of 2019 brought about some pretty big changes for our family. We officially moved to Vermont and Chris and I both celebrated milestone birthdays!

Knowing nothing about the area of Burlington and being a bit shocked at the high housing costs, we took a bit of a risk and rented a 2-BR apartment in the little town of Winooski super close to Chris's office. In fact, we could see his building from our living room! Apartment living in a (little) city is a new adventure for us and you know we love challenging ourselves... you'll have to stay tuned to see how it plays out. 

Uncle Dan & Aunt Naomi were kind enough to host us on our drive up north. It's always so nice to see them. 
Uncle Dan shows off his xylophone skills.
Arriving in Vermont! You can see how happy Ellie is to be on this VERY long road trip...
The light was so beautiful as we came into Vermont. It gave us hope for a fantastic experience here.
The kids check out the view from the new place. 
Such beautiful light flooded the apartment.
What happens when your stuff hasn't arrived yet and your kids are SUPER bored.
I can't tell if he's smiling because he thinks he can pack her up and ship her off, or because it's just fun to play in boxes...

On April 7, I turned 40. Spending my birthday in a new place with no friends or family to celebrate with, utter chaos in my living space, and cold temperatures outside was not exactly what I had in mind when I envisioned that milestone day. However, my little family is just my favorite and they always make me feel loved and special.

Happy birthday to me!

We spent part of the day driving on the scenic Route 100 that runs north and south the length of Vermont. Chris downloaded a really neat app that used your location to give you fun facts about wherever you were. Such a neat way to learn things about our new area! When we got to Morrisville, we took a short walk on a rails-to-trails path that ran through the little town. 

How cute is this sign?!
My sweet kiddos.
Ellie insisted on walking "in the snow" which was okay because the rest was mud. 
Looking forward to more of these walks when it's warmer and greener, but I'm always thrilled to be among the trees.

In honor of our big birthdays, we took a weekend trip to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I had never been to Canada before and it turns out we are super close to the border--a half hour. Jinkies.
Montreal is about 1 1/2 - 2 hours away depending on the time spent at the border crossing and it is such a beautiful city. I can see us traveling there pretty often. 
*If you come to visit us, be sure to bring your passport, just in case.

James and I walking through the old section of Montreal. Love the light and color in this picture.
The kids and I in front of the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal. 
LOVE this picture of Chris and Ellie. 💕
My sweet loves all bundled up to walk to the viewpoint at Parc du Mont-Royal.
Enjoying a cold spring day hike in the park.
Leave it to James to "need" a walking stick on a paved path.
Shenk Family selfie with the beautiful city of Montreal behind us. 

Back in the real world, we unpacked and settled in to our new life in Vermont. The kids adjusted to sharing a room and we all worked at functioning well together in 1,000 square feet. 

Ellie is always so happy to have her "bubby" play with her.
James and Ellie trying out our new couch. It's a winner!
James demonstrates his historical knowledge at a vintage store.
Gotta wrap your finger in the phone cord while you chat.
Ellie tries out an antique toddler-sized armchair. So cute, but not going home with us.
James helps Ellie dunk the ball outside our storage unit (1,000 square feet, people!)
Love watching them play together.
My beautiful boy on a walk in our little city along the Winooski River. 
Domestic bliss.
No matter how big he gets, he will always be my baby.

On April 29, Chris turned 40. We got dressed up and had a wonderful dinner at Waterworks, a restaurant right across the street from our apartment that sits on the Winooski River. 

The birthday boy and his sweet kiddos.
Ellie takes in the view of the river and coincidentally Chris's office building which was an old mill. 
James took this picture of us and I love it so much! Not too bad for 40.