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. 

Friday, April 10, 2020

March 2019

March of 2019 saw Chris move up to Vermont to start his new job, while the kids and I stayed behind to get everything packed up and say goodbye to so many friends and family in Florida. It was a crazy, busy month and despite the large number of pictures in this post, it is still only a fraction of what went on. 

Enjoying our last days as annual passholders at Disney World pretending to be a Jedi.
Girls night out with my girl, Jess. I miss her.
Ellie soaks up the warm Florida sunshine from Ms. Stacy's porch.
Making new friends with Abigail. Wish we could stay and play longer. 
Matching pajamas are just my favorite.
Moving to New England requires some additions to our wardrobes.
Ellie is always happy to spend time playing with her cousin, Taylor.
James and I got to enjoy a date night with dinner and a movie. Adore my sweet boy.
James, Ethan, and Elijah. If it weren't for the clothes, I'm not sure I would know which one was mine.
Zayden and Ellie take a goodbye wagon ride together. 
Jackson and James are in it to win it. Monopoly is pretty hard-core in our house.
As we began a new adventure in Vermont, our beloved trailer began a new adventure in Georgia with someone else.

Knowing we were heading out of Florida, the Carignan family threw together a last-minute Spring Break holiday at our place. It was a bummer that Chris wouldn't be with us, but we found a way to have some fun anyway.

Ellie loves to charm people into reading books to her and Aunt Kerri was happy to oblige. 
Evie couldn't wait for Ellie to wake up from her nap so they could play together. Ellie just wanted to read in bed.  
Stealing some snuggles from my sweet Evie girl.
Evie is so happy to be with Ellie she will hold any part of her she can, even a foot. It is just too cute.
We spent a day out on the water courtesy of Mimi & Papa Shenk. Don't we look so happy?! 
Maddie looks like a natural lover of the boating life. So chill.
Aunt Sue and Millie are all smiles on the water. 
My boy loves to take a turn driving the boat. Actually, he loves to drive pretty much anything!
Kerri and Grace, ever so relaxed.
Leo is no exception to enjoying time on the water.
That whole wonderful Carignan Clan!
Ellie couldn't wait for Papa to take her up on the boat.
Evie gets some love from her new "Mimi". 
Ellie and Evie play together and it makes my heart so happy! 
Celebrating Evie's third birthday in matching(ish) dresses that I made for them. 
Pool time at the party. 
This sweet thing loves her "lamby", and I love that little fountain on her head.
Ellie convinces another of her fans, Ms. Jess this time, to read her a book.
James and Quinn. Best buds.
Tanya and I enjoying a reunion at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival,
which we attended together many times when we were growing up. 
James looks forward to this feat of strength each year
and this was the year he finally rang the bell! Way to go!
James and Declan participated in a sword-fighting show.
They flipped about on these trampoline contraptions.
And they rode an elephant. Feels like a pretty good day for these two.
James and Declan. Best pals and so very alike.
After three weeks in Vermont, Chris came home to help with the final bits of moving. Ellie can't quite believe he's back...
Ellie and Jess coordinate outfits for our last walk around the neighborhood. 
Uncle Kai & Aunt Kristi surprise James with a new Switch game
 to entertain him on the long drive north. We miss you both!
Crazy Unka Dave and Aunta Larcy have their own little nugget on the way and
we wish we weren't going to miss it! Love you guys!
Enjoying our last meal together at Cafe Rio for a while. 
Moving Day. 
Getting ready to leave this house for the last time with just enough stuff to hold us over until the moving truck arrives. 
Look out, Vermont! The Traveling Shenks are on their way!