Callan Hunter’s Birth Story

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

I’ve been a little MIA during the last few months mostly due to feeling so horrible while pregnant and then enjoying our new baby once he finally arrived! Callan is already a month old today and seeing that it is Mother’s Day, it seems like the perfect day to write down his birth story.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

I’d heard that the labor and delivery goes much faster with your second baby. While that wasn’t true for the labor part, fortunately it was true for the delivery! I went into labor on Wednesday April 11th in the evening. I went to bed but couldn’t sleep because contractions kept coming every 20-30 minutes, so I was up most of the night. Around 2 a.m. they started to get more intense and closer together. Since we were a solid 25 minute drive from the hospital, we figured we should get going. Once we arrived, I got checked in and waited in triage for someone to come check me, this was around 6 a.m. after 13ish hours of labor.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

When the doctor came in, I was only dilated 3 cm. Since I was having consistent contractions and since this was my “second pregnancy and should progress faster” the doctor encouraged me to go walk laps around the labor and delivery wing to help speed things up. Well I did and it did the opposite! After walking, my contractions completely stopped! When they came back to check me, I hadn’t progressed at all (obviously) and my contractions had stopped for a solid 45 minutes. Frustrated and with lots of tears we left the hospital. On the way home my contractions started up again and by the time I got home around 8 a.m. they were full force every 15 minutes again.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

So I labored at home on my exercise ball, in the bath tub, in front of movies… 12 hours later we decided to head back to the hospital. With both pregnancies my contractions are all over the place, but I felt like it was time to go back in.

When we got to the hospital again and back in triage, they checked me and I was at a 4… seriously over 12 hours of labor had gone by and I had progressed 1 cm! I could hear Ross Gellar’s famous line “I’m dilated to a 4!”. This is where I think going in twice really paid off because the doctor remembered us and wanted to admit us despite my only being dilated 4 cm.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

I wanted to cry as we walked back to the delivery room, I was so happy and looking forward to finally getting some rest after getting my epidural. I got my epidural at 10 p.m. and I was ready for some rest! About an hour later they came in to break my water and told me to let them know if I felt any pressure or felt like I needed to push. So I dozed off again and when I woke back up it felt like there was a head about to come flying out, but since I was numb from the epidural I couldn’t tell. So I calmly pushed my nurse call button, told her my feelings and she hurried to grab the doctor after a quick check. When the doctor came in and checked, she let me know that he was right there ready to come out!

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

The doctor told me to push with my next contraction to see if he would come out. I was calling Todd over, who was passed out on the couch, and not really believing that the baby would actually come right out since I pushed for two hours with Theo. After I pushed once, the doctor told me not to push again so she could hurry and get everything on and ready for the delivery. When she was ready she told me to push again with the next contraction telling me that he was probably going to come out! Next contraction and three pushes later, Callan came right out a little after midnight on Friday, April 13th! I was balling as they placed him on me.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

My pregnancy had been so rough this time around and I had been in so much pain over the last two months. It was a miracle that he came out so effortlessly. I cried because I finally had my baby after what had seemed like an endless pregnancy!  They plopped Callan on me right away and he snuggled right up to me. Cal didn’t even cry, he was so content to just be with me. He’d been waiting for this moment for as long as I had, and we just held on to each other.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

We’ve loved having Callan in our home and he fits right in to all of the chaos. Once month later and  he’s growing fast and filling out 3 month old clothes. My favorite part of all of this has been watching Theo love on him. He’s been so helpful and loves talking to Callan. He hasn’t been jealous or resentful of the new baby. He loves him and I can tell he can’t wait for Callan to get bigger so they can play! I know they’ll be best friends as they grow up, and it makes me so happy!

We sure love our Callan Hunter! His daddy stumbled upon his first name after I told him I loved the nickname Cal. Callan is an Irish name and means “battle or rock”. A perfect name for our little boy! My maiden name is Hunter a felt right for his middle name. We sure love our little boy, and we look forward to watching him grow!

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Birth Story

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!

-Makenzie

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My Sister’s Winter Wedding

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Bridesmaid dresses: ASOS (my dress is the maternity version).

Winter Wedding- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Take-home gift included a little toy car and candy! Needless to say, this was Theo’s FAVORITE wedding!

**This event was planned and executed by my talented mother, Veronica Hunter.

We spent last week in Colorado for my sister’s wedding. It was bittersweet because she’s my last sibling to get married, so obviously I’m SO happy for her, but I’m a little sad too because my mom throws THE BEST wedding receptions ever!

Unfortunately I caught a terrible cold (of course!) right before we went to CO, so I had a nasty cough for all of the festivities on Friday night and no voice on the actual wedding day. BUT we still had SO much fun!

The reception was beautiful and my mom did an amazing job! I wish you could see how much work she puts into planning and executing these wedding receptions. She also has an army of dear friends and family that work extremely hard to help her get it all done. I’m constantly amazed by how much this woman can do!

The reception was held at The Vault located in Parker, CO and all of the cars on display belong to a private collector who rents out the venue for events. Naturally Theo LOVED all of the cars, the dancing, and the good food since he had spent the last two days playing too hard to stop and eat! The venue had different food stations, including one for kids! Needless to say, my pregnant belly was very happy.

My brother-in-law performs at weddings, so it was fun to hear him sing until the dance music came on. He also put together the music for the dancing. Naturally I couldn’t resist the dancing, so by the end of the night my feet were bleeding and my voice was completely gone, but it was totally worth it!

Also, my sister-in-law made the best red velvet cake! My mom had the caterers box up the cake slices in to-go containers at the door. Unfortunately someone ate my piece, but I guess that’s what happens when you leave your half eaten piece unmarked on the kitchen counter.

It was a beautiful day, and I am SO happy for my beautiful sister. Also, can we talk about her dress?? She was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. I’m lucky to have such beautiful sisters, even if standing beside them all big and pregnant is a bit of a confidence shaker!

Thanks to my amazing mom for planning such a beautiful reception!

-Makenzie

2018 New Year’s Resolutions

2018 New Year's Resolutions- The Traveling Runner's Blog

2018 New Year's Resolutions- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Happy New Year! We spent New Year’s weekend celebrating with friends in the DC area. We had so much fun staying up late, playing games, and exploring the city where Todd and I fell in love (even thought it was FREEZING!). I’m always sad to put away all of my Christmas decorations (I swear the house looks so empty without them) but I do love how clean the house looks!

2018 New Year's Resolutions- The Traveling Runner's Blog

At the beginning of the new year, I love making a written list of resolutions that I can go over at the end of the year. Here is my list of 2018 New Year’s Resolutions, hopefully I can stick to them this year!

  1. Be happier and more patient. This is probably goal #1 for me! Theo is in the middle of his terrible 2’s and I am losing my mind. I need to be better about stepping back and letting myself calm down BEFORE I react to his negative behavior. I also need to be better about letting Todd take over and just leaving the room in the evenings when I have had enough and need a little break. I’m definitely a happier mom when I can escape to Target for 30 minutes of peace and quiet! One blogger I love shared that she makes time each week to go out on her own to get a break and come back refreshed. I loved reading this because it reminded me that I need to make more time for myself and that it’s NORMAL to need breaks.

2. Cook Something new once a week. I get stuck in ruts with making dinner, especially during pregnancy when NOTHING sounds good. So, I resolved to try a new recipe each week to switch things up. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy and can even be a new dessert. I made delicious pork tacos this week and they were SO good! I’m hoping I can stick to this one, obviously there will be weeks where I miss (like when I have this baby) but I’d like to try to keep up with this one as much as possible!

3. Lose my baby weight. After I had Theo, I ate super healthy and worked out extremely hard to lose all of my baby weight and strengthen my core to help with postpartum lower back pain. The weight definitely doesn’t just fall off for me and I’ve heard it’s even harder the second time around. I feel happier and I am a better mom when I am able to exercise and eat right. Even going on long walks can boost my spirits when I’m feeling in a slump. So if anyone out there has double stroller suggestions, I’m all ears!

4. Write more blog posts, journal entries, poems, and short stories. I love to write! It’s an escape for me and I don’t do it often enough. I get really good at journaling, then I always forget about it when life gets busy. This year I am focusing on writing a quote or brief summary of each day and blogging about major events that happen in our lives so they are documented. I love scrapbooking, I just need to catch up! I also need to free-write more. Most people don’t know that I am a closet poet and would love to publish a novel someday. I just need more hours in the day!

5. Read at least 20 books. Reading is so good for the soul. I love everything from fluff teen novels like the Red Queen series (seriously, is anyone else counting down to the release of the final book this spring??) to nonfiction novels like When Breath Becomes Air (one of my favorites from last year). Theo and I go to the library once a week for story time and to read books, so I get a small amount of time to browse the adult section. I love Reese Witherspoon’s book club Instagram account @reesesbookclubXhellosunshine for recommendations. I screenshot all of the books and every now and then they are available at the library or I just purchase one on my Kindle. I always share what I’m reading in my Instagram stories, maybe I’ll write some posts on books worth reading.

6. Practice the Piano. Yes I play the piano (kind of), though I’m getting worse at reading music because I NEVER practice. Todd bought me a keyboard for Christmas one year but since I had Theo, I don’t ever practice. So this year, I want to practice more. I’d like to take lessons again when we have a piano and my kids start taking piano.

7. Have regular scripture study and family prayer.  Last year one of our goals was to have family prayer every morning before Todd leaves for work and every night before bed. I’m happy to report that we are doing extremely well at this and it has now become part of our daily routine. This year, I want to focus on having family scripture study by reading at least five verses at night. Theo was great at sitting for the 25 Days of Christ each night during December, so I want to keep it going.

8. Visit the Outer Banks. Since we are having a baby this year, we won’t be traveling as much as we normally do. We are spending next week in Colorado for my sister’s wedding, but after I’m planning to nest and be close to home. Each year, I make a goal to visit a new place because traveling is one of our favorite things to do as a family. I’m sure we’ll visit Colorado again at some point and do some smaller road trips, but we will need more time adjusting to life with two kids before we jet off on another foreign adventure. SO, I would like to visit the Outer Banks in NC because I have not been yet! Hopefully this next baby is as good of a traveler as Theo!

What are your New Year’s resolutions? I hope 2018 is a great year, really if I just survive life with two kids, that will be a HUGE victory!

-Makenzie

Christmas Morning in NC

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

Christmas 2017- The Traveling Runner's Blog

This was the first Christmas in 9 years that I didn’t travel and man did it make my life easier! We usually fly to Colorado for Christmas, with the exception of the Christmas we spent in DisneyWorld with my family right after I found out I was pregnant with Theo. However, the past two years Theo and I have gotten pretty sick while traveling (like last year with my viral infection that caused my hands to peel!). We’ve also wanted to start our own traditions and have Theo wake up in his own home on Christmas morning. SO we decided to skip traveling and spend our first Christmas at home!

This was probably my favorite Christmas so far because we talked to Theo all about Santa and he was so excited for him to come. On Christmas Eve we made sugar cookies, drove around looking at Christmas lights, watched a clip of the nativity, and ate a delicious dinner together as a family.

Christmas morning was pure magic watching Theo get excited about all of his gifts. The best part of the day was showing Theo his train table. We saved it for the end and when he walked in, he FREAKED OUT! It was precious and worth the late night assembling it.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas too!

-Makenzie

Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Picked these glasses up at TJ Max and I am OBSESSED.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Real men help in the kitchen 🙂

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

We had so much fun hosting some of my family for Thanksgiving this year in North Carolina! My mom came out the Saturday before Thanksgiving and my dad, one of my sisters and her fiancé joined us later in the week. We ate SO much good food, I shared the source of some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes below.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

It’s a BOY!

While I had my mom for a few days, we found out that we are having another BOY! I’m so excited! I went back and forth on the gender, but overall felt like I was having another boy. As soon as the ultrasound started, I was positive it was a boy. I can’t wait for Theo to have a little friend! We also took a day trip down to Southport and Wilmington.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Southport, NC

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving day we spent the day cooking and finished the day by seeing the new Disney movie, Coco. I highly recommend it by the way! I loved the message about the importance of family and remembering our family members that have passed on.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017
The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Thanksgiving 2017

Sisters and 20 week bump pic!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and it was a nice break. We’re super excited for Christmas and we get to fly home in January for my sister’s wedding! So many wonderful things to look forward to this time of year.

Green bean casserole (literally the best one I have EVER had!)- Life in the Lofthouse blog
Stuffing- The Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook
Banana cream pie- Sprinkles Baking Book

**Our ham was from Honeybaked Ham and my mom’s orange rolls are to die for and a secret recipe :). Just kidding, I’ll share with anyone who is interested. For amazing mashed potatoes, the more butter and cream, the better!

**For our turkey, all I do (in addition to following all of the bathing, preparing, and cooking guidelines) is rub the thawed and bathed turkey with olive oil, then rub dry Thyme and Sage all over the turkey. I also stuff the turkey with carrot, celery, and chopped yellow onion. (I remove the stuffed vegetables and throw them away when the turkey is done!). No brining and we LOVE the way it tastes!

Hopefully you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

-Makenzie

French Themed Baby Shower

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

I threw a baby shower for one of my dear friends last weekend who is expecting her first baby boy next month. I love throwing baby showers, and this one was by far my favorite! Unfortunately, I had little to no time to take pictures and came back with some blurry ones…. so this post is mostly just content.. and a reminder that I NEED to hire a photographer or pass my camera off so someone can take pictures because when you are hosting, there is no time! Lesson learned.

ANYWAYS, I knew I wanted to do a French theme because my friend has lived in Paris and traveled there earlier this year with her husband. Since Paris is special to her, I wanted to bring a piece of France to her! Plus, coming up with this theme allowed me to step away from the traditional “blue everything” for a baby boy shower. I was also inspired by Lauren Conrad’s French baby shower in her Celebrate book.

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

For my colors, I did blues, mint, and accents of gold. My mom made this beautiful garland for my sister’s wedding last summer, so I asked if she could bring it out to me for the shower. I kept the decor simple since all of my Christmas decorations were up. I did add framed pictures of their maternity shoot throughout the room in white frames as well as a few other small decorations like two mini Eiffel towers along the food table and a “Patisserie” banner above the sweets.

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

I love getting creative with guest books, and this one was my favorite! I put out my Polaroid camera along with a couple boxes of Polaroids for guests to snap pictures and add to the guest book along with messages for the mom-to-be. Multiple times during the shower I reminded everyone to sign the book and get a picture. I also left blue and baby themed Washie tapes on the table to add in the Polaroids. (Free print out of Polaroid sign attached below. I used the Heidi Swapp Minc Foil Applicator to add the gold to the text).

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

For food, I went heavy on the French theme! I made my favorite crème brûlée cupcakes from the Sprinkles baking book and added a few other french pastries along with mini chocolate bundt cakes. Since the shower started at 11 a.m., I mixed breakfast and lunch items including two quiches and fresh baguettes with pesto, tomato, and fresh mozzarella cheese and carved ham toasted. I also included some without ham as a vegetarian option. I also completed my spread with fresh fruit and croissants with an assortment of jams.

Creme Brulee Cupcakes- The Traveling Runner's Blog

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

For my gifts, I found these little mint boxes and filled them with macaroons. Who doesn’t love more sweets to enjoy on the way home?

French Themed Baby Boy Shower- The Traveling Runner's Blog

As I’ve mentioned before, I like coming up with my own baby shower games like this one from a shower I threw last year. To keep with the theme, I created a trivia game with 10 trivia questions about birthing customs in other countries (attached below). I gave everyone their own sheet with each of the questions and taped the answers up so everyone could go at their own pace answering the questions and I didn’t have to type out multiple choice options for each question. Everyone loved the game and how hard it is!

I also had everyone bring diapers for the mom-to-be to be entered in a raffle for another prize. I like simple games at showers and this one is a great way to get more diapers for mom.

The shower was wonderful, and I honestly have never had a shower where so much of the food was eaten! I guess that’s a good thing, although Todd was very disappointed that there weren’t more chocolate cakes left over!

For those who are interested, here are print outs from the party!

Birth Customs from around the world shower game

 

-Makenzie

Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

I’m still feeling pretty sick these days, but we managed to get out to participate in some of the Halloween festivities this month!

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

I love going to pumpkin patches, and I thought Theo would be all about it too! Unfortunately, summer lasted a little too long for our liking and it was HOT at the pumpkin patch. I was sort of in denial and still wore jeans which was a HUGE mistake. But there were tons of fun things for kids to do at Philips Farm in Cary, NC and Theo loved riding the tractors and sobbed when it was time to get off. Todd was a champ for riding around with him sweating his guts out in his jeans!

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

For Halloween, we too Theo trick-or-treating and it was a blast! He lasted for much longer than I thought he would, it’s amazing what a kid will do for free candy! Last Halloween Theo learned to walk on Halloween so this year was even more fun.

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Halloween in North Carolina

Theo loves his space helmet from the NASA space center in Houston, so naturally we had to get him the whole costume for Halloween. Todd and I had planned to be the solar system and a NASA scientist to go along with Theo’s costume, but I had zero motivation after being so sick and we ended up finding these awesome sweatshirts at Walmart. Win!

We made chili, passed out some candy, and finished Stranger Things season two after Theo went to bed. It was a great night. I love Halloween and I can’t wait for my family to get here in three weeks for Thanksgiving!

-Makenzie

Hardy Baby Number Two

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

The Traveling Runner's Blog- Baby #2

We’re so excited to be adding another baby to our family this coming April! Despite all the morning sickness (or more appropriately named, “ALL DAY sickness”) I can’t believe I am pregnant again. It feels so surreal!

I found out I was pregnant the week of Theo’s second birthday. A few days earlier I had taken a negative pregnancy test and I was feeling  super down and disappointed. I went to the grocery store and planned to buy an ovulation kit. I still hadn’t started my period and I felt a little sick to my stomach, so I thought before I fork out $40 for the ovulation kit, I should take one more pregnancy test.

I went home and took the test, which by the way, peeing on a pregnancy stick is an adventure with a toddler in the room, and it instantly showed positive! I didn’t know whether to celebrate, cry, or to even believe it was actually positive. So I just stared at it emotionless before I went into the kitchen and chugged more fluids so I could take the second test. When I took the second one and it instantly showed positive again, I started sobbing like a crazy person (to the point where Theo was a little worried) on the bathroom floor.

I’m a terrible secret keeper and this was huge, so immediately texted Todd and asked him if we could bring him lunch. He already had a lunch meeting set-up, so I persistently asked if we could stop by with a surprise I had picked up at the store (which was true, I had two positive pregnancy tests from the store in a Ziploc for him!). I pulled up in the parking lot and didn’t have any time to be creative because Todd was waiting for me in the parking lot. He jumped in and I told him to look in my bag. He pulled out the bag of pregnancy tests and when it clicked,

Thus far this pregnancy has been WAY harder than my first pregnancy. I’ve been super sick to the point where I struggle falling asleep at night because I’m so nauseous. Fortunately I don’t actually throw up, though I have sat by the toilet a few times and I’ve wondered if throwing up would bring some relief, at least for a moment.

One pleasant change from my last pregnancy is that I have been able to keep running! I stopped running around week nine when I was pregnant with Theo because I would be intense cramps and pressure every time I tried to run. This time, I feel a lot better running so I have just slowed my pace down and run 3-4 miles a few times a week and power walk with Theo in the jog stroller on my off days.

I don’t have any feelings about the baby’s gender even though last time I was positive Theo was a boy the second I got pregnant, to the point where I was buying boy clothes before we found out! So this time it will be a pleasant surprise. I would love to have a girl, but I think it would be fun for Theo to have a brother too. I really just need boy/girl twins.

Thank you everyone for your well wishes!

-Makenzie

Theo’s Second Birthday

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The only family picture we snapped was on a phone! We really need to get better at taking pictures, although you can see that Theo was over posing at this point!

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

My mom found THE TRAIN from my childhood online and ordered it for Theo along with all of the little people and animals!

I can’t believe my baby boy is already 2! Where has the time gone?? I have loved the 18-month to 2 year stretch. It’s been my favorite phase so far. We have so much fun as a family and Theo always keeps us laughing. One of my favorite things about Theo is that he still loves to be snuggled. Often, he’ll wake up from a nap cranky, so I’ll carry him over to the rocker and hold him while he sleeps a little longer.

For Theo’s birthday, we decided to forgo the birthday party since we just moved and we threw him a big first birthday party last year. This year, we spent the day doing all of Theo’s favorites including making pancakes for breakfast, a trip to the Disney store, Chick-Fil-A for lunch, presents, homemade pizza, and of course, cake!

This was my first time making a cake from scratch… ever! I used a recipe from the Sprinkles Baking BookThe cake was delicious, just not as pretty as the one in the book. BUT Theo didn’t care and that’s really all that matters. I’m so glad we had a simple, fun day together as a family, and I think our 2-year-old feels very special and loved.

Happy second birthday Theo! Mommy and daddy love you!!!

-Makenzie

Utah, Summer, Moving to NC

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

Theo’s first movie- Cars 3! He was a huge fan of all the snacks and the recliner seats.

The Traveling Runner's Blog The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

Snooze French Toast from one our date nights. So delicious!

The Traveling Runner's Blog

Lagoon Day with the Hardy family.

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

The Traveling Runner's Blog

This summer has been a whirlwind for our family! We packed up our lives in Houston not knowing when or where we would open our boxes. We spent so many nights stressed out waiting for the right job opportunity to work out after Todd’s year long fellowship ended. At literally the eleventh hour, or in our case the day before we had to move out, Todd was offered a position in North Carolina!

It was a huge wave of relief after months of not knowing where we would be and putting everything on hold while we waited. The next day, we celebrated Todd’s 29th birthday with a stop at Sprinkles (of course!) on our way out of Houston. We stopped in Dallas, then drove the remaining eleven hours to Colorado.

From there, we spent time in Huntington Beach, CA with my family, surprised Todd’s family in Utah for a few days, and snuck in a few dates in CO before Todd had to leave to drive the car out to start work. Theo and I stayed in CO for an extra week and a half because our rental home wasn’t ready. Although it turned out to be a HUGE blessing that we not only found this home but that we were able to move in two weeks sooner than we had expected. Originally Todd and I thought we weren’t going to see each other for three and a half weeks. I was super depressed, but then the morning he was leaving we got a call from our landlord saying that the current tenants were moving out and we could move in sooner! This made it was easier to say good bye.

I flew out with Theo as a non lap child for the first time and it was a dream. He did so well watching his movie and playing with his cars the entire time. As lame as it is to have to pay for another seat, I loved not having to hold someone in my lap.

We’re extremely grateful for our friends on this end that helped us move in, gave Todd a place to stay for a week, and that just made moving back feel so right. We’ve had a fun and eventful summer, but we are excited to finally be settled into our home.

-Makenzie