With Parker’s 3rd birthday approaching, we very easily decided that this year we would forego a traditional birthday party and in lieu take her and little sister Ava on their first trip to the West Coast to explore L.A. and visit Disneyland® in Anaheim. Quite unexpectedly, the photo of Parker awestruck by the portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama in the National Portrait Gallery went viral just weeks shy of her 3rd birthday, completely derailing our plans for her celebration but I personally think meeting Ellen and appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Los Angeles is a priceless birthday gift.
When we found out that Parker was invited to appear as a guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after going viral and having a private meeting with former First Lady Michelle Obama, we were pretty excited and Parker was absolutely ecstatic! With the invitation to appear on Ellen’s talk show scheduled for just one week before our originally planned celebratory vacation, we knew that it was unlikely we’d be making the round trip journey to California twice in a two week period. I don’t mind traveling any distance with the girls and always resolve that no matter how painful the journey to our destination, it’s worth it to see them revel in the beauty of a new city or country.
We arrived in L.A. mid-morning and were met with sunshine and gorgeous blue skies! Such a lovely change of scenery. Despite it being March and technically early Spring, we’d left behind depressing winter-like weather back home in Washington, D.C. We tucked away our winter jackets in our luggage at LAX [airport], hopped into our car with the windows down and headed to our hotel in the beautiful California sunshine.
Our day at The Ellen DeGeneres Show was a wonderful experience and a day that Parker still speaks quite fondly of. When people tell her that they've seen her on TV, she always responds with a delightful "thank you!" Unfortunately, now I have to be quite creative with my responses when she inquires about when she'll be returning the L.A. to see her 'friend' Ellen and 'go back to the show'. Ellen and her team were extremely accommodating and patient with our entire family and treated Parker like the absolute princess she is every moment of our visit. Ellen is extremely personable and warm which makes it understandable why people all over the world love her show.
Parker loved every moment of the experience on the show and completely caught me off guard with how unfazed she was by the live audience and all the bright lights and cameras. For those of you who watched the segment about Parker -- I know, I know... she said "FOREST." She was talking about all those palm trees on the screen behind us, but I totally didn't get it at the time because I was so focused on Ellen's question and oblivious to the screen behind us. I'm not sure which moment was Parker's favorite from our trip to the Ellen [DeGeneres] Show was but mine was definitely the tutus! They were such a thoughtful gift and I wish people could have seen the look of disbelief on her face when they were unveiled in front of her. Parker loves ballet and she absolutely loves tutus -- and yes, we have every tutu that was displayed on the show here at home now. Tutu party, anyone?!
After an exciting day taping the show, we left Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, CA and headed to Manhattan Beach to spend time with close friends and family. We were glad to be able to expose the girls to the West Coast for the first time and will always be grateful for Ellen's gracious invitation to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. We love sunny California and can't wait to return!
I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Parker was wearing one of our favorite brands, Tea Collection. Parker has been wearing Tea Collection since she was a newborn and it was awesome to partner with a brand we love so much for some of her appearances. As for Mama, I was styled by Liana Steir at Rent the Runway in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. After two babies in two years, I just recently have begun to 'snap-back' and it's taken me well over 18 months postpartum to even get close to pre-pregnancy weight. I'm not ashamed and I'm not rushing it. Rent the Runway has given me the designer closet that I've always dreamed of without the financial commitment since I still haven't quite reached my weight loss goals. I highly recommend a RTR Unlimited for mamas-to-be and new mamas.