About tandem in love

this is about us, our love, our life, happy things, maybe sad things (because they happen), the wonderful people in our lives that help make the world go round. life truly is beautiful and it should be celebrated + shared.

CNO

let me start by saying it took us months for us to plan a get together for the ‘three’ of us. one weekend after another, we were busy, busy, busy! fiiiiiiinally, we were able to tie down a date and voila! we met up on the rainiest of rainy night there was!

we all met at dana and scott’s pad in ravenswood {we arrived exactly when irina and patrick arrived! we totally ran into them at the front of the building! talk about timing!}. we decided to start off with drinks there and then scoot on over to a restaurant in their ‘hood. scott and patrick drove over to the eatery {don’t ask} and hc, dana, irina, and i walked. we were so lucky to get a pocket of no rain during our trek because the rain that day was no joke!

we finally made it to our destination and grabbed a booth. it was a wee bit cozy with the six of us but no matter…i hate not hearing others around me in a conversation and we didn’t have to scream at each other. i’m definitely not a fan of environments like that.

we laughed, we talked, we ordered drinks, and ate lots of yummy food. i love these peeps. such a good, good group of human beings. everyone is so funny, witty, engaging, sweet, and thoughtful. there’s no place for a dull conversation around these folks!

during dinner, the rain ensued. the downpour from the sky was no joke. we watched in amazement as the water right next to the restaurant slowly raised up on the street and by the gutter. we wickedly laughed as people walked through it, completely taken off guard at how hight the ‘puddle’ was! it was so dark, rainy, and most pedestrians couldn’t see how deep and high the water was! one person after another would run/step through it, shocked that it was almost up to their knees! eep!

after dinner, irina and patrick said their goodbyes {they had parked right by the restaurant} and scott, dana, hc, and i walked back towards their place {and thankfully during a dry spell from the sky!}. we were being sooo silly! of course scott and rich stayed back and talked while dana and i walked ahead and gabbed. since dana and i were wearing rain boots, we were being super silly and decided to run through puddles! ha! we saw a big puddle ahead on the street we were crossing, we giddily held hands and ran across the street, laughing hysterically as we splashed through multiple puddles! oh em gee. we were having a blast!

we finally reached our car and said our goodbyes. it was a fun, fun evening spent with two fantastic couples! evenings like this always have a place in my heart!

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[me and my lady friends]

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xoxo

halloween ’17

this year’s halloween was a blast!!

it started with olive’s halloween school parade. let me start by saying life has been pretty hectic for me lately. one, i am becoming more and more forgetful…or am i just getting old?! i am becoming less detailed, causing me to be reactive versus proactive! anyhoo, when i decided to retire to our bed, olive was stirring a bit and that is when i usually set my alarm for the morning. well, since she was moving around in bed, i decided to wait to set my alarm and surprise! i fell asleep. oh em gee. i abruptly woke up the next morning and realized that one. i didn’t set my alarm, and two. we had a half hour to get ready and out the door. holy crap. i panicked. i needed to {yes i do this every morning} make our bed, the girl’s bed, wake olive up, get her to go to the bathroom, get her breakfast ready, turn on the telly for her to watch a bit of her favorite program, get myself ready, pack anything olive needs for school, stir ellie awake, nurse her, change her, change olive into her costume, grab necessities for the parade {camera, etc.}, get them bundled up and out the door, drop ellie off at my parent’s house…i was a mess. i couldn’t believe i didn’t set my alarm! arghhhhhh! anyhoo, the bonus part was that hc was home because he wanted to see olive in the school’s halloween parade too. he was able to get ellie dressed and out the door to my parent’s!!! yessssssss.

we made it. with time to spare. olive was so excited to see all the other kiddos in their costumes. we dropped her off in her classroom and hc and i walked to the gym, where the parade was to take place. we waited, we talked, we people watched. it was almost 9 o’clock and we saw the kids and teachers coming in! yay! i was so excited! olive’s class was the last class to walk in. she was so perplexed and when she saw us, she smiled but then continued to look perplexed! hahaha!

the kids paraded around the gym and then gathered in by classroom so we could take pictures. it was so cute and fun! after that, the teachers then walked all the kids back to begin their day.

it was so cute!!! we loved watching olive partake in such a fun event. when i picked her up, she had so many goodies to take home! what a fun day at school.

we then went straight to my parent’s house to hang out. we ate, did errands, i ran home to grab the girls some extra clothes, a costume for ellie, candy, and other needed items because we were spending the whole day at my parent’s and wanted to make sure we had all the necessities.

we waited for hc to come home and got the girls ready to go out and trick or treat. olive was so excited, she couldn’t wait! ellie was just awesome, such a trooper! she had no complaints when i painted her face. she laid there so patiently, she didn’t mind the hat, the gloves, or any of the extra layers we put on her and she was quite amazing in the wagon. she never complained and just enjoyed the scenic ride.

olive loved running house to house, knocking on the door and ringing the door bell if she could reach it. she would say, “they’re not home!” or look in the drive way when a homeowner didn’t answer their door and say, “their car’s home? why don’t they answer the door?!” hahaha! she was so great at saying, ‘trick or treat’ or ‘thank you!’…it was absolutely adorable!

it was utterly cold, sooooo cold. it was in the upper 30’s so we didn’t want to be out long. we hit up about a dozen houses and called it a night. olive didn’t mind. she actually had a decent bag of treats! we came back home to warm up and hand out candy to the trick or treaters that came by to my parent’s house. my sister, thuy, and my brother, dan, came over and we all hung out. olive reveled in her goodies…i caved in and let her eat way too much candy!! hey, it’s halloween night! it’s like mandatory, right?!

after the curfew for trick or treating ended, we scadaddled on home. the girls got baths, we snuggled in, the pumpkins were glowing, and hocus pocus was on repeat.

it was a perfect, awesome halloween night. i couldn’t have asked for a better day and evening.

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[walking in the parade…and doesn’t see us yet!]

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[she spotted us!]

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[she’s not quite sure what is going on…haha!]

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[class picture time]

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[ready to go back to class]

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*****

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[that stance]

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[these babes…they look so excited!]

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[ready to go!!]

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[chillin’]

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via tandeminlove.com[oh those cheeks]

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[she thought it was so scary!]

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[that face!]

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[my happy girl]

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[so excited over her goodies!]

xoxo

spooky afternoon

we had our family over on a lovely afternoon to carve pumpkins, eat sweet chili, and watch football. my sister, kim, made a delicious cheese plate, my hc made a savory chili in the slow cooker, and we had a bloody mary bar! yuuuuuuuuum!

we knew our family was going to come over for over a week but we didn’t plan on doing too much. then that morning, hc and i whipped together some decor, cleaned, prepped the house, set out the entertaining serve ware, and stepped back to realize that we are conditioned to host at our house. we don’t even blink an eye and can set up to have anyone over with our eyes closed. hahaha!

once everyone was over, we just hang out. that’s what it should be. some people ate chili, some people made bloody mary’s, some people watched football, and some people ate appetizers. after swaying back and forth between food, drinks, and typical conversations, we finally decided to carve pumpkins. hc had set up a table in the heated garage for the kids to carve. a perfect set up conducive to creative minds.

olive did such a great job with the pumpkins! she drew on two pumpkins and hc cut them out using a skil saw…ha! i helped the boys and drew out the design they wanted on their pumpkins to carve. it was a fun time inside the garage and quite successful! everyone loved their pumpkins! olive insisted on a ‘go cubs go’ pumpkin and demanded we cut out another one! she’s such a chicago cubs fan {hmmmm, just like dada??}.

after an easy and almost mess free pumpkin carving session, we excitedly came back inside with our works of art and lit up some candles to get these boo’s glowing!

my mom had fried egg rolls and brought over the right ingredients to make spring rolls, so we then had ‘dinner’ served. gosh, i love family! it’s the best kind of company you can have {and friends of course…i love my friends}. it was getting a bit late and the boys had school the next day, so we said our goodbyes. olive was super sad. she wanted to hang out with the boys and cried when i told her she couldn’t go over to their house. awwwww, so sad!

well, it was a great afternoon and such a fun time had carving pumpkins. i love being able to do this every year, creating such great memories!

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[tasty cheese platter by my sister kim]

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[my sista adding more vodka to her drink!!]

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[corn bread and chili]

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[sour cream, shredded cheese, and oyster crackers…yum]

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[having a good time carving pumpkins]

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[the sweetest smile]

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[working hard]

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[working easy]

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[sweet cousins]

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[dan’s creation]

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xoxo

pumpkin patch

our original plans were scrapped. it was a monsoon of rain the night before, so all the pumpkin farms were either closed or opened with limited access. we were super bummed. we love going to some sort of pumpkin farm every year because the kids enjoy it so much! well, this season, we had a chance to go to a little patch on that rained out day and it was the only time we could go, so be it!

ok…here’s the story. i dressed olive for the outing but i did not get her out the door. that is usually’s hc’s job. during that time, once everyone is ready…it’s then my turn to get dressed, freshen up, and grab a few things before walking out the door. that, usually, is a good 10 minutes given. well, i ran to the car, jumped in and we cruised to the pumpkin patch in no time. i get out of the car and open up the back door, look at olive, and my jaw drops. she’s wearing ballet slippers, no socks, and NO jacket. no scarf. no cardigan. no outerwear. i almost lost it. it was probably 50 degrees, windy, wet, and muddy. i could not believe she was not bundle up to be standing outside for at least 45 minutes or however long we were going to be there. plus, i couldn’t believe she wasn’t wearing boots with us walking around in the grass, gravel, and dirt {or really mud}.

anyhoo, so i forfeited my jacket to miss olive. there was no way i was going to let her wear less than what i had on! poor thing was so chilly!! her nose turned pink and her hands were so cold. albeit the rough start, we really had a great time! we all picked out giant pumpkins, little pumpkins, and olive helped me pick out mini pumpkins and gourds. olive was having a blast and that’s all i could ask for. when i see her super happy, it just makes everything good.

we perused the small place a little bit more just to check out all the goods, just to make sure we weren’t missing anything! grace grabbed some fresh cider doughnuts and we then paid for our bundle of festive fruits and moseyed on home. although it was a quick trip, it was a fun one {despite the crazy shenanigans in the beginning!} we came home with the pumpkins i wanted, pretty mums, and yummy doughnuts…it was quite the successful trip!

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[hi olive]

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[i love this girl so much!]

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[she’s too sweet]

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[she picked out little pumpkins gourds for us]

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[the best moments everrrrrr…when she gets so excited to see me. i absolutely love this so much!]

xoxo

oh cubbies!

i was soooo excited to go to my first NLCS game!

honestly, the cubbies have hit it up the last three years but before that…ummmmm, wasn’t it 2003 when they were last in it?! anyhoo, i was stoked when hc called me and asked if i wanted to go to a game! hells yessssss!

it was a beautiful, cool evening. we left mid afternoon, found a sweet parking spot, and strolled around the city towards the field. we arrived there so early! it wasn’t that crowded down below {yesss, we could walk around without bumping into everyone} and we were first in line at our favorite hot dog stand! score! we walked up to our seats and chowed down on our dogs, drank beer, and people watched. the stadium was very empty but as the hour passed, it became super packed!

i was so nervous. the cubbies were going into this 3-1 and each game was so gut wrenching! as we waited for the game to start, hc spotted our friend linh {there with her guy jim}. he tapped her arm to get her attention and i screamed! it was awesome to see her, if only for a few seconds!

the first inning was awful! the dodgers scored right away and inning after inning, they were shutting out the cubbies and getting ahead run, after run! ugh!!! it was soooooo disappointing. i was so bummed and so was every cubs fan there. hc and i weren’t going to let it get us down. we enjoyed our drinks, ate more food {hello cheesy fries and super loaded nachos}, sang our hearts out in the 7th inning stretch, and stayed to the very last inning {where the dodgers knocked us out 1 2 3 at the bottom of the 9th}.

right before the game ended, our friend scott and his sister joined us! that definitely added to our fun! we were able to hang out and chat with them for a bit. overall, it was a great evening, despite them losing. we had a great time with each other {date night!}, it was a beautiful evening, we saw a few of our friends, ate yummy bad food, and truly enjoyed our time out sans kids!

well, cheers to a great past season and to next year’s world series win!

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[best dogs everrrrr. so darn good]

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[i love wrigley field]

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[we got to meet up with scott and his sister!]

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[some cool wall in wrigleyville]

xoxo

baking together

as olive has gotten older, it’s so fun to do something with her in the the kitchen.

i was excited to try out a brand called our flipside life. she offers easy, pre-measured bar mixes! you provide a few of the ingredients from within your cabinets and fridge and voila…you’re ready to make the yummy bars. she also sent us a mini spatula to frost the cake with and a mini apron for miss olive!

we made the frosting first…it was super runny and i freaked out a bit that i had messed up the easiest recipe! ha! but the chocolate needed to cool and after we made the bars…the chocolate had stiffen and was ready to be used to frost the cake!

olive helped me mix the batter. you first mix the dry ingredients together and then mix the wet components together. after that, you then combine all the ingredients and mix it all together. olive had a great time. she was cracking me up!! she made the funniest faces while hc took our pics. i was dyyyyying of laughter watching her make her silly faces. she’s become so animated and fun!

we then put the dish into the oven and olive was so intrigued by it. i warned her that the oven was hot and she kept saying, “oh, it’s hot! don’t touch it!”. yes, baby girl! that’s right!

once the cake was done baking, i set it out to cool. after olive’s bath, she then had the best time decorating it! that was the most fun part for her! she loved all the colorful sprinkles and really took charge in the decorating department.

i then sliced the cake into bars and served the delicious dessert. i loved the slight taste of coconut in every bite and loved how moist the cake was! overall, it was so fun and awesome to do this miss olive and we ended up with a healthy, sweet treat for everyone!

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[easy bake ingredients…it’s so convenient! i love the mini apron and spatula it comes with]

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[starting out with some simple mixing]

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[gahhhhhh, she’s so sweet]

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[her faces c r a c k me up!]

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[dyyyyyyying…she is hilarious]

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[i always have to squeeze her!]

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[almost ready for the oven!]

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[ready to decorate!]

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[she threw sprinkles just in this area, i had to remind her to spread it around. hahaha!]

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[she’s so proud of her decorative work!]

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xoxo

apple pickin’

we went on our annual apple pickin’ outing this past weekend!

i was so excited…i love this time of year! i am happy it is october, i am happy the weather cooperated {70+, not 90+ as it was the prior weekend and the previous years we’ve gone}, and i am happy!

we arrived at the farm and as we were walking towards the main area, terry and famille drove by! yay, right on time! everyone met up by the apple picking lines but we decided to go eat first, the boys and olive were hungry.

i was quite surprised, with it being such a nice day, that it wasn’t busier. don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of people there but i really thought it would be packed. it was the first weekend of october and a beautiful day, but there were no real long lines anywhere. when we got into the line for the food, we were first {well, there were people in front of us but they were served}. when we got into the line for the apple picking, there was no one waiting in front of us to buy tickets and the next tractor wagon ride that came by, we got on it right away! sweet! that was pretty awesome!

my heart was so full seeing olive so excited to pick apples. she was learning all about it in school the week prior, so i prepped her before our outing and told her we were going to pick apples. she was so stoked to do this! when we were driving in, she saw all the apple trees and couldn’t wait to get out to pick some. she’s so sweet! i love her innocent ways!

we picked golden delicious, empire, and jonathan apples and had a lot fun doing so. yum, yum, yum! i honestly can say that this time around picking apples was the best time we’ve had since we’ve done it. in the past, it’s either been too hot or olive was not having it and it was at times, miserable {but still oddly fun because i love picking apples so much}. this year it was a combo of all good things and that really made it enjoyable.

after we picked, we {as usual} perused the shop and bought a few yummy items. we never leave without apple cider doughnuts! {helloooo, that’s definitely our second purpose} we bought some chocolate covered pretzels, white cheddar popcorn, and apple butter. all items we don’t need, don’t need to consume, but hey, it’s fall y’all!

we hung around for a bit more {relaxing, being silly, and having fun with the kids} and then decided it was time to leave. my how time flies when you are having fun! more than 3 and a half hours later, we were ready to go! we left happy, satisfied with our bags of apples, and all the extra delicious goodies we bought. it was a successful and super fun time apple picking!

happy october!

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[ellie sitting in the dirtiest high chair we’ve ever seen…thank you hc for cleaning it]

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[“ohhhh snap, did you see what she was wearing?”, said ellie…hahaha!]

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[she’s getting excited!]

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[the tractor is moving]

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[godmother godchild]

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[she LOVED picking apples!]

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[she totally groaned at me after this pic…she was so exasperated i was taking a picture! ha!]

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[cutest apple pickers]

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[terry, pete, hc, and ellie]via tandeminlove.com

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[hey ladies]

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[pete, avery, and lan]

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[yummy apples]

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[the family that picks together, stays together]

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[let’s try this family picture thing]

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[almost]

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[yayyyyy!]

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[get it girl!]

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[she’s so excited over her apple!]

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[gosh, i love this babe]

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[these take two pics amuse me]

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[so proud of his stash!]

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[she was so excited to be sitting on the bench]

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[she thought reagan was so funny!]

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[this girl loves her popcorn]

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xoxo

brunchin’

brunch time!

it was a last minute but really awesome get together. hc wanted to work on the house, so i had a day with the girls. the day prior, i text olivia to see if she could meet up and she could! score! then sunday morning, i text dana {on a whim} if she was available and she was, so bam! i was going to meet them for brunch. yeahhhhhh! i was so excited…the stars were aligned for us to meet.

 it was a gorgeous day, albeit on the hot side {not warm, hot} and i was excited to sit outside and enjoy the last bits of summer {or really fall because it officially became fall a few days prior}. we have had a streak of really warm days – like some days in the 90’s {and humid} but no real complaints here!

the girls and i cruised to the city and found parking right next to the restaurant {we decided to eat at bang bang pie}. yassss. olivia and dana were already there, so i just pushed our way into the outdoor eating area and found them at the first table!

before we started into our gab fest, we decided to peruse the menu and order right away or else we would sit there talking and talking and then one hour later, finally order {ok, we’re not that extreme but it’s a close description}! ha! olivia brought us menus and they both stepped into a long line to order. at one point, while we were sitting there, i saw the line stretch out onto the sidewalk in front of the restaurant!

i sat outside with the girls while olivia and dana ordered our food. olive really took to the gravel on the ground. she really, really liked it! i just cringed. i’m such a neat freak but held back because she was completely enjoying it! let kids be kids {with black fingernails and all}. ellie loved it too, but i had to make sure ellie didn’t eat the small rocks! hahaha!

after they ordered, we just sat back and enjoyed our afternoon under the shaded umbrella. we talked about life, we enjoyed the sunshine, the food, and each other. ellie was pretty fussy at first…unfamiliar environments get under her skin but then she eventually lets up and calms down. so, the first hour or so, i was so preoccupied with her that i couldn’t completely join in on the conversations {it’s sometimes hard when your baby is crying and clingy to get absorbed into the dialog right in front of you but c’est la vie!} but once she stopped crying and being so needy, i was finally able to relax a bit and focus on my two friends!

after more than a couple of hours of hanging out, we decided to leave. more so on my part because i had a pedicure appointment mid afternoon i couldn’t and wouldn’t change! ha! it was a great time with all my girls! my only regret was that i left without pie in my hurried state of leaving to get to my appointment! bah! oh well…next time bang bang, hopefully i won’t forget my pie!

cheers to friendships, brunch, and cute baby girls!

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[it was so hot out!]

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[she LOVED the gravel but man was it dirty, dusty, and dirty…did i mention dirty?! haha!]

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[i love the umbrellas]

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[me and my sweet babes]

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[sausage biscuit with an egg and maple candied bacon….yum! check out that little hand]

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[my two girls with my sweet, darling babe]

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[she’s so sweet…it cracked me up that she was so calm and collected sitting next to olivia and dana. typically she would freak out but she was kind of loving it]

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[could my girls be any more serious? so much so, that dana and olivia were dying]

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[she was LOVING the cup of water…olivia loved giving it to her!]

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[ellie is like, “hey lady, give me that water!!”]

xoxo

ready, set, i do

happy wedding shower kt and bobby!

ok…here’s my long story. i’ve never set anyone up before. never cared to. never tried to. never had an urge to.

one day, officer {scott} warren came in to visit me and he brought a crew of dudes with him. after talking to scott for a bit, i was eyeing this guy {dressed in layman’s clothes and leaning up against my table} and asked if he was single. scott looked at me like, “what?!” and i said, “katie…let’s set him up with kt!” the first thing i noticed about bobby {an undercover detective at the time} was that he is tall. yes. i needed a height requirement for kt.

well, after that, scott said let’s do this and we exchanged info and bobby n e v e r called kt. wtf. like seriously wtf. it’s katie. she’s beautiful, sweet, and so damn kind. i was pissed. whatever. anyhoo, throughout the next year. i stalked bobby and asked every cop that i saw about him. i asked if he was a good guy. i asked all sorts of crazy questions. i don’t know what it was about me wanting to set bobby up with katie. it’s not like i knew who he was but i knew my gut was telling me to set them up.

then one day {one year later}, officer perez came in and i questioned him about bobby. he went on and on about bobby being a good guy and he just broke up with this girl amanda, yadayadayada. okayyyyyyyy. he’s single. omg, katie just became single tooooooooo! i text scott and said, “let’s do this!!”

long story not short…a couple years later…they are getting MARRIED!!!!!! YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!  i still can’t believe i set them up. i am soooooo freakin happy for them. katie is a true sweetheart and deserves someone who will treat her like a queen and dote on her and bobby is it.

they are getting married this november {i am sad i will not be able to attend – my brother is getting married on the same DAY in los angeles!} and i can officially say i was their matchmaker! anyhoo, they recently had their wedding shower {a football theme!} and me and the fam bam were able to go! it was cute, fun, and super sweet! i had such a great time hanging out with katie, bobby, and their families!

olive had a BLAST hanging out with all the kiddos and loved the bouncy. i was so excited to see her so independent and having so much fun. it melts my heart that she is so social and willing to get out there and meet new people! she’s so sweet!

we all had a great time and it was so awesome seeing bobby and katie, listening to the sweet toasts from their sisters, and getting to know their family a little bit more. even though i won’t be at their wedding, i can’t wait until they are married! much love to you both! i am so happy for y’all!

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[i asked olive to choose and she picked this one]

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[i made this chalkboard welcome sign for their shower! kt picked it up and it got smudged in transit, so don’t mind the imperfections! eep]

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[me and the bride to be!]

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[i love this sweetheart!]

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[i love this sweet babe]

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[the cutest little booty]

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[the crazy couple]

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[my sweet baby girl]

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[oh that pouty face]

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[bobby and kt]

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[matrons of honor – colleen and bridget]

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[bobby’s sister]

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[cheers!]

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[sweetest  babes]

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[kt’s mom and friend]

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[kt and kar]

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[soy and kar]

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xoxo

housewarming

dana and scott just bought a new place together {they were married last year!}. a sweet home for the sweet couple!

they invited us to their housewarming party and we couldn’t wait to see their new place! it was a hooooot day. the commute was long but the good news was, we found a parking space right by their place!

dana was so surprised to see us! the day prior, i was sick. soooooo sick. i wasn’t sure if i was going to be able to come to her party. i was a mess – chills, fever, aches, pains, it was awful but one day later, what a difference it can make. i felt soooo much better. i was still sick but when you can get over a horrible hump like that, you feel like a new person even though you are still recovering.

we were so excited to be there! dana took me on a tour of their new home and i love her beautiful place. i am so happy for them! right after we arrived, that was when everyone started to trickle in. her parents showed up and i love her parents! jeff and marcia are so stinkin’ cute!

it became crowded in their condo and hot! there were so many bodies within their place, the temperature inside soared! i knew hc was uncomfortable. he becomes miserable when he’s too hot. ugh. time flew by and before we knew it, we had been at their house for several hours! it didn’t even feel like it, i was having a great time! ellie was uncomfortable though. she was being so darn clingy and didn’t like the fact that everyone was ohhh’ing and ahhhh’ing over her. it kind of freaked her out.

we decided it was time to leave, although that is when olive got real comfortable, befriending everyone there! she was being so cute, running around and being silly to anyone who would pay attention to her. she’s such a fun gal!

we were so happy we were able to make their fun party and see their beautiful new home. they are such a cute couple and i love them! many blessings to you both – may your home always be filled with laughter, love, and comfort.

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[unfamiliar environments equates to a fussy ellie]

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[sweet sisters]

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[my sweet babes]

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xoxo