Travel Guilt – How Do You Deal?

I can’t tell you how many times I was asked in Rylan’s first year, “have you guys been able to get a night off?” In fact, I used to be the asker of this same question before becoming a mom myself. Pre-Rylan, I never realized how loaded of a question it could feel like for parents on the other side.

Rylan will be 14 months this week. Many moms and dads at this point simply have not had the opportunity to get away. Perhaps the little one has been sick or not sleeping through the night well making it tough for outside caregivers. Or maybe there is no family nearby and the cost of a sitter, especially overnight, is prohibitive. Other times, mom and dad have gotten away but never together. One might travel for work and another sneaks in a boys or girls trip while the other stays home.

Mike and I are very much the opposite. In 14 months we have had the chance to have several nights off, the first one being at about seven weeks when Mike’s sister gave us a night of sleep. But beyond just a night, together we have had a couple of weekend and extended weekends away as well. Chicago, Lake Tahoe, Aspen, Sonoma and upcoming, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Seriously, it is a bit over-the-top.

Maroon Bells

All of our weekends away start the same way for me. I have some guilt before we leave but it is bearable. I get excited about our couples-only adventure and know Rylan is in incredible hands with Mike’s family or my parents. Then when we are away, I miss him throughout the day but soak up sleeping in, having a glass of wine with lunch and not being beholden to a nap and bedtime schedule. Yet all of this contentment starts to wane the morning of our last day on the trip.

I wake up with a knot in my stomach about wanting to get home to Rylan. I ask myself, “why did we stay the extra night” and consider earlier flights or drives (and yes, I have changed flights). When we finally get home to Rylan I am twisted in knots again because nine times out of ten, we have work the next day and he’s back off to daycare.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 8.10.35 PM

There are no “make up” days as a parent, especially when you work full time outside of the home. When you miss a weekend, it’s gone. Monday comes faster than you can imagine and it is back to squeezing in a few hours a day before and after 8+ hours at the office.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 8.12.08 PM

I am not complaining. It isn’t lost on me for a second that we are incredibly fortunate to have grandparents, aunts and uncles who welcome Rylan into their homes with open arms. I also know, and am told by many, that our marriage and individual sanity will remain stronger thanks to our adults-only excursions this year.

But the guilt. Oh the guilt…

Please tell me it gets easier? Or if it doesn’t, can you please tell me how you make the guilt eat you up just a bit less?

San Diego Family Vacation


Fall is knocking on Colorado’s door, so what better time to revisit our “California Dreamin'” mindset and finally download pictures from our incredible San Diego August 2014 vacation. Mike, Rylan and I flew to San Diego to spend a week with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and their kiddos, Jackson and Olivia. It took a few trips to the beach for Rylan to understand the sand but he loved the water right away. He squealed and screamed when the waves washed up on his legs and was very brave with the cold water temps. I see a surfer boy in the making!


IMG_9215The first Anderson-Anzalone vacation was a huge success. Our house was steps from the beach and the grandparents took tons of kid shifts so we could go do things like paddle board yoga, surfing, regular yoga and of course, cocktailing. Mike and I lived in San Diego for five/six years respectively and it still has a huge place in my heart. We created countless memories there and met some of our most treasured friends. It was neat to play tourist and introduce Rylan to his first of many vacations in Southern California.




My heart was truly heavy when it was time to say goodbye. It was such a special vacation for us all. Rylan adored looking up to Jackson and Livy. It’s clear Jackson is a very good big brother and cousin. He was patient with Rylan, shared his toys and didn’t even mind when Rylan gave him a good head bonk while trying to play. Even though we live in different states I look forward to Jackson, Livy and Rylan being close as they grow up.




The Anderson-Anzalone vacation tradition will continue in 2016. Next year Mike, Rylan and I will travel to Florida with his family. I wish we had enough vacation days and money to travel with both of our families every year! We’re so lucky to be very close with both of our parents and siblings. Family is everything.



I think all of us will struggle in 2016 of whether to pick a new destination (Hawaii anyone??!!) or go back to the exact same location. There is something to be said for picking a special location to make years, even decades, of memories as the kids grow up. San Diego, you are amazing.

Crested Butte Babymoon

If my blogging cadence during the last few months of pregnancy is any indication of how often I’ll share details once Sprout arrives, I’m scared. Time. Is. Flying. I feel like I’ve been busy with work, reading, baby prep and lord knows what else every night after dinner…and the blog has suffered.

But I’ve been dying to share pictures from our Crested Butte babymoon at the beginning of June. We had an incredible time. Neither of us had visited Crested Butte before. We were mesmerized by the scenery and smitten with the quaint town. Every meal we had was better than the last and everyone was so nice and down to earth. We left wondering, “how do we get a second home here?”

Enjoy just a few of the 200+ shots we took on our hikes (yep, I was 32 weeks and still hiking!) and drives. I’m incredibly grateful that Mike and I were able to sneak away for three uninterrupted days of relaxation and “us time” before Sprout comes along.


Off to Washington D.C.

Mike and I are off to Virginia and Washington D.C. for a short vacation to visit his family and spend some time being total tourists. I am so excited!

In 8th grade I went to D.C. on a school trip but I barely remember it and know I’ll appreciate the museums and monuments even more now. Let’s face it, a lot of the trip in 8th grade was spent obsessing over our latest crushes, wondering if they noticed us at all.

Source: via Lauren on Pinterest


If you have any “must see” recommendations please send them my way!

Where in the World is Lex, again?

On Thursday I packed my bags and headed to San Jose, Calif., for a two day work trip to support our client the USA Swimming Foundation and the annual Make a Splash Tour. What does this mean? In my world it means hours of media calls and emails to ensure the critical message of water safety gets told through print, TV and online stories while I am here. It’s not always easy or glamorous, but when you see smiles like these from local kids…it’s all worth it.

San Jose Make a Splash Tour Stop, by USA Swimming Foundation and Phillips 66

Instead of flying back to Denver today I opted for a flight to Los Angeles to visit family and celebrate our niece Olivia’s first birthday on Sunday! I am looking forward to fresh seafood at dinner and a homemade brunch in the morning before it’s time to board yet another plane.

Next week I am home for the entire week! A small miracle. I am beyond excited to get back into my fitness, eating and relaxation routine. I miss my Colorado friends and family!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend…

Jackson Hole Quick Pics

I can’t wait to download and share the pictures we took in Teton National Park with our good camera. But for now, some Instagram pictures will have to do. We had an incredible weekend celebrating Abby & Walt and I cherished the time with my dear friends Jenn and Maria. We’re not sure when we’ll get to see one another again…likely not until  sometime in 2013. Also, cut me some slack on blogging this week. I am home for only two more days until I leave on a work trip to San Jose through the weekend. I told you September is insane for us!

On the Road Again…

                                                                  Source: via Cindy on Pinterest


Literally. Late-this afternoon we’ll be en route to Jackson Hole, Wyo., for a long weekend to celebrate the wedding of our friends Abby and Walt. It will also be a chance for me to spend lots of time with my two best friends Jenn and Maria, who are flying to Jackson from San Francisco and NYC.

This will be our first time to Jackson and we can’t wait. I’m hoping to fit in some hiking, maybe a river rafting adventure and plenty of relaxing. Daytime cocktails…yep, I’d like to have a few of those too.

I am also really looking forward to the drive time. Mike and I have both been so busy so it will be nice to have hours (and hours) to chat and catch up.

Wyoming or bust! I hope you all have an incredible Labor Day weekend, wherever it may take you.


Is Napa Heaven?

I think it might be, heaven that is. Rolling hills, vineyards for as far as the eye can see, unbelievable wine, and mouthwatering food. Napa is an adult Disneyland.

For my dear friend Katie’s bachelorette party I was also fortunate to “do Napa” in a way most will never experience. A limo whisked us from her parent’s home in Livermore to three wineries, all of which hosted us for very private tastings thanks to Katie and her father being in the industry.

For example, at Domaine Chandon we sat in a private area of the stunning outdoor patio where we sampled 12+ champagnes and wines. Each pour was better than the next and the truffle popcorn…well, I would have packed a separate carry-on with bags of it if that was an option. From Chandon we all left with a bottle of Pinot Meunier, a light red that pairs well with vegetables, hard cheeses and olives. The Blanc de Noirs was my favorite champagne so I’m glad to know what to buy the next time I need a good bottle from the liquor store.

Next we headed to Trinchero Family Vineyards for an exclusive lunch on a patio that is not open to the public. The food was spectacular and the views divine. I could have stayed there for the rest of the day. It was a truly unique and special experience. I also regret not purchasing their Sauvignon Blanc. It was light, crisp and extremely refreshing. I’ll have to go back!

We ended our Napa adventures at Louis Martini. The basement cellar evoked a feeling of The Godfather and the Petite Syrah was one of my favorite pours from the entire day. I will try to wait for our first fall night to open this bottle, as the blueberry and chocolate notes (yes, I learned a few things!) will taste delicious on a cooler night.

On the limo home from Napa we listened to Call Me Maybe about five times and enjoyed a Rose from Louis Martini. We had to keep the party going through dinner.

Yes, dinner. Somehow we found room to eat again and our experience at Underdog Wine Bar in Livermore was perfect. We spread out across two huge outdoor couches on the patio and took in the fabulous views of the valley mountains and vineyards. The weather was cooling off so I took advantage of the flight options to try a few more Petite Syrah pours. The Concannon Vineyard, Nina’s Cuvee varietal was wonderful. I was getting nervous about how to get multiple bottles home so I did not purchase it but I’ll be stalking it in wine stores until I find a bottle in Colorado. It’s rich and smooth — very memorable.

On Sunday, before our flights, we enjoyed brunch at Wente Vineyards where Katie will be married. The fact that I get to go back to wine country in just a few weeks blows my mind. Maybe we’ll have time for a meal at Underdog so I can buy the Concannon Petite Syrah…

I’m now forever spoiled on how to “do Napa.” But that’s okay, I like to aim high. And more importantly I had two days to reconnect with best friends who have been there for me since high school. Our friendships have seen and weathered so much. I am eternally grateful to have these girls in my life.

Have you been to Napa and if yes, what wineries do you love?

Where in the World is Lex?

This weekend kicks off back-to-back weekend travels through October with one break in mid-September. So, where in the world am I this weekend?

Just a little place called Napa…celebrating the last single days of the amazing Katie (Kater) Ratto.Will I come back a wine club member? Will I justify shipping a case of wine home by the third winery? Will I refuse to leave the magical vineyards on Sunday? All will be answered next week.


Source: via Denyse on Pinterest

First 30 Days of 30: Day Twenty One

Today’s theme plays into the major travel bug that bit me this year. Below is a map that represents the States I Have Visited.

Growing up my family always found a way to take a trip, big or small. I appreciate that commitment more than ever now, as I have a clear understanding of the cost of travel (by air or road) and how precious vacation time is at work.

I have also gotten to travel quite a bit for work over the years which has been a lot of fun. My favorite business trip (aside all trips to NYC) was to Boston. I had never been and even though it was a whirlwind trip in and out, my boss found two hours for us to go on a Duck Tour. I remember it being a great break from an exhausting day and a wonderful way to see the city’s landmarks in one go around. I went back to Boston several times after that but have barely scratched the surface on what Massachusetts has to offer. The Cape is calling my name!

Ideally I’d love to get to all 50 states in my lifetime, but my top priorities currently are:

  • Louisiana…for jazz in New Orleans
  • New Hampshire…I hear Portsmouth is incredible
  • South Carolina…Charleston looks like a little slice of heaven
  • Oregon…to take in true Pacific Northwest coasts
  • Maine…to eat copious amounts of lobster

Louisiana is truly #1 because my cousin and his wife live there currently and I know they’d show us an incredible time. We had big plans to visit them this year but vacation time and budget did not allow for that trip. Hopefully 2013 has a Big Easy visit in the cards!

Design by Designer Blogs