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.

hello santa!

our annual visit with the big guy in red happened the other day! i didn’t tell the girls until we were about a minute away. olive got sheepish and ellie just didn’t care. i usually make reservations every year but this time around, i was like – let’s just wing it. i usually find that they are pretty good at getting non reserved families in and i was right!

we walked in, signed up and we were the second family to see santa! they snapped a family pic first and then the kiddos. it was cute! i wasn’t expecting to be in any pics but it was super nice to have one together {since we can be so bad at taking a family photo together}. the girl’s picture turned out so sweet too!

after those photos, we waited in line to walk into santa’s airstream trailer. when it was our turn, olive excitedly walked towards it. we walked inside and there was santa! olive was so anxious, excited, and nervous. ellie was like – nope. ‘who’s this big guy in red?! make sure i stay far away from him!’ hahaha!

olive gingerly walked towards him and sat next to him while hc held onto ellie. i encouraged olive to tell santa what she wanted for christmas. she had her hands slightly clasped and she looked right at him. as she started to speak, her voice was not quivering but her hands were slightly trembling, she told him she wanted a mermaid barbie, lol dolls, a cinderella doll, and a blue car with a big engine. it was soooo flipping adorable to see. she really wanted to tell santa what she wanted and practiced it with me before she went in. she did so well! i was so proud of her!

then hc set ellie down for a picture and it all went downhill for her! eep! well, as you can see in the pictures below…it was a very successful visit! after that, we walked away feeling so good {ok, minus ellie} and headed to dinner. after eating, we shopped around a bit in the mall and then headed home.

BUT not without losing bunny. that is a loooooong story. we thought we were donzo. that bunny was gone. we called all the places we were at and no one had bunny. we went home without him and we were devastated. especially olive. hc went back the next day to backtrack everywhere we went. he went back into stores and had no luck. then a christmas miracle happened. he searched the grounds and right in front of eddie bauer, there was bunny!!!! someone had found him and placed him up on the store front’s windowsill. bless their hearts for doing that! hc saved the day!

we had such a great evening! it really was! we had so much fun {minus the missing bunny}. santa’s visit was a success, dinner was so fun and yummy {the girls were sooooo stinking cute and well behaved}, and we had a good time shopping the mall and picking up some extra goodies!

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[our family photo! i loved that they did that for us]

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[they’re so sweet]

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[ellie and olive’s looks! priceless!]

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[olive is so mesmerized by him! ellie, not so much]

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[she was sooooo excited to sit in his lap! what a difference from last year and the years prior!]

xoxo

christmas concert

olive’s holiday concert day had arrived. she had been practicing all season! it was too cute when she would give us a sneak peek into one of her songs. i was so excited to see her perform.

we arrived barely on time for the drop off. the morning started off easy and with plenty of time but, honestly, i don’t know what happened. i thought i had all the time in the world and then before i knew it, we were going to be late! gosh…mama brain! i felt bad…it was totally my fault for losing track of time and i totally snapped at olive. i asked her to put on her shoes and she completely mixed the shoes up and was standing there with the wrong shoes on her feet and didn’t recognize it. i yelled and she cried and i felt bad. i didn’t want her feeling this, so i apologized and she smiled, which was better but darn it. i hate it when i have a failing moment like that. it hurts my heart that i hurt her feelings.

once we dropped olive off at her classroom, i scurried upstairs to grab a seat. oh, it was full. i scanned the room and spotted a couple open spots in front and dove in. i nabbed third row, which wasn’t too bad since i was so late. i blanked out and forgot to ask the teacher which side olive was on {due to my tardiness…i forgot}. i sat there for a second and debated on going over to the other side but gut told me to stay and i was right! olive was on the right side and i had a great view of her!

my favorite moment {after the concert} was during the rudolph song, i noticed olive not doing the antler gesture with her hands every time they said reindeer. i just thought she was blanking out or getting tired. she did all the other moves throughout the song but the antler one. after the concert, she said to me, “kiki, did you see? i didn’t make the antlers because i am already a reindeer!” oh my gosh…this girl melts my heart! i should have known better! she’s so clever! i loved that she knew that she was already a reindeer and it was unnecessary to make the gesture! she’s too cute!

the kiddos did such a great job singing. it was so cute and so fun to watch! olive did so well. she knew all the words, i could hear her voice, and she did all the gestures. it was such a fun time watching her with ellie! what a great job olive! you practiced and your hard work showed through your concert great performance! way to go!

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[had to blur out the other kids…so don’t mind the odd pics]

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[she saw us and waved! they were getting ready to perform!]

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[after the concert and the sly poses she was giving me]

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[this one is my favorite…she was going for the vogue, pouty, drama look. hahaha!]

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[other parents were probably like, “what up with the poses?!” ha!]

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[walking down the stage to and getting a reindeer candy cane]

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[so cute!]

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[my sweeties]

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xoxo

kidcon

we were invited to an event called kidcon chicago. honestly, i had never heard of it and was curious. i love taking the girls to fun, different places and i was hoping this event fit that description.

we had a really rough day, because of me. i was a bad mom, literally. i hate to admit it but the pms was strong. sometimes when i am in this moment…it’s so hard to snap out of it and it was a miserable morning and afternoon for everyone. i had to leave the house just to reset. when i came back, i apologized to the girls and eventually to hc. we were hoping to hit up the event earlier but we ended up not going until wayyyyyyy late in the afternoon. much later than anticipated.

no worries, we still had time to enjoy ourselves. it was the longest walk ever to get there…mainly because i was carrying ellie. hahaha! once we arrived, we checked in and i could tell that the girls were excited. we started walking around and there were so many cute booths and i was pleasantly surprised. everyone was so darn friendly and nice.

we were so distracted when we walked in because we didn’t know what to do with our coats. we, honestly, should have left them in the car…we really didn’t need them but right when we walked in, we were trying to get situated and this super nice lady at the booth we were standing next to exclaimed how cute a hat would look on olive because she was wearing this polar bear ear headband. i was so distracted that i was polite with her but i felt bad because i didn’t fully engage with her the way i usually do with people. it’s little things like that, that can bother me! i’m so hyper aware of stuff like that.

anyhoo, the girls were EXCITED. they ran from one booth to the next. the convention had play areas everywhere. a lot of companies had their products set up in play stations around the area too, so that was cool and fun. olive loved playing with the toys, there were craft areas, interactive play areas…it was non stop for the kiddos. i was happy because they were so joyous!

well, we walked away spending way too much money! i had to restraint myself from buying something from every booth! it was great, though, because i also did some additional christmas shopping. i bought stocking stuffers for miss olive and the girls looooooved the super hero costume booth. we were suckered in to almost everything.

after an hour or so…we finally decided to leave but not before we hit up all the booths we loved and bought a thing or two. as we were leaving, i stopped back over to the check in desk and asked for my gift bag. the women gave me the most amazing bag! it was so cute and cool and filled with so many good things! olive was just as excited because she had a feeling there would be toys inside and she was correct!

overall, we had a really fun time at kidcon! i throughly enjoyed all the vendors and the kids had such a great time! thank you so much for having us! it was super FUN!

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[in one of the play areas]

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[her favorite toy in the entire area]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[i was thinking, ‘please don’t put this cup to your lips elllllieeeeee!’ hahaha!]

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[oh these girls. olive’s signature pose]

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[olive loved the unicorn headbands!]

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[this girl melts me heart]

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[she was given a free lip balm stick and that was it…it was application after application. hahaha!]

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[there were so many interactive areas for the kiddos…balloons, crafts, play…it was pretty awesome]

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[back at the play area and looking for all the flowers]

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[i got suckered into these costumes…they are so cute though!!!!]

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[they were obsessed]

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[my superhero]

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xoxo

deck the halls ’18

we are fans of decorating for christmas after thanksgiving and we attempt to do it after we celebrate olive’s birthday.

olive cracks me up…she wanted to pick out an outfit to decorate in {while i am and all of us are in pj’s…ok, ellie wanted to wear a dress too}. she chose her springtime ballet recital outfit – so fancy!

hc lugged all the boxes of decorations up and put our tree together. we then we pulled out the ornament box and proceeded to decorate the tree. the girls ohhh’d and ahhh’d over all the ornaments. ellie proceeded to break two glass ornaments! not good. we were so worried that we might have left shards of glass behind!! the second ornament she broke right by her feet!!! good thing grace was fast acting – she snatched ellie off the floor in .5 seconds! thank you grace!!

after we decorated the tree…hc and olive attempted to put up the star but with us having a new big and tall tree this year…it was a bit difficult, but they tried!

once the tree was done, the girls took a break and hc and i continued to decorate the rest of the house. man, it’s exhausting to decorate! i don’t know if i will even attempt this when i get older…i will be too tired! haha!

well, after much time and trips to home depot for lots of fresh pine garland and nubs, we dressed our home in love and festiveness!

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[olive called my pajama’s bacon pj’s! hahaha!]

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[she loves the candy canes, gifts from matt’s mom]

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[her outfit of choice to wear while decorating the tree]

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[my little fire ball]

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[she broke this glass ornament and one other…oy, it was such a disaster! no one wants shards of glass on your floor!]

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[true disheveled pj time]

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[attempting a star topper but the tree was too tall!]

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xoxo

olive’s birthday

olive’s birthday fell on tuesday of this year.

we started the morning with a happy birthday song with a big gold 5 balloon in her room. she woke up smiling – goal! hc made her a birthday breakfast and afterwards, she chose her outfit of the day. a gold sequined dress {courtesy of miss tashina}, lavender tights, gold converse, and a gold flecked caplet. the most perfect outfit ever for a birthday.

i took her to school and excitedly dropped her off for the day. there, she was star of the day, natch. she led the class. she got to wear a birthday crown and mama made stupid treats for the class. as in, i brushed lettered her name onto the brown paper bags, put stickers on them, olive filled each bag with coloring books, activity book, chocolates, candy canes, and more stickers! i really hoped the kids enjoyed them!

hc chose to stay home for her big 5 birthday! we were excited to have him home. about 20 minutes before her class ended, hc, ellie, and i hopped into the car to go pick olive up and take her out to brunch! to my dismay…in which i understand, hc wanted to go pick her up. i know i am always picking her up but this was her birthday! so, i reluctantly let hc do the honors and be the person she saw when she got out of class. we then drove to a local brunch restaurant and enjoyed our time together, celebrating miss olive!

later that day, we just snuggled, relaxed, and then later on, after dinner, we sang happy birthday to miss olive with a vanilla bean cake!

happy birthday beautiful girl. we wish you all the love, happiness, and fortune in life!

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[she chose this fancy little outfit for her birthday at school and yeah, that pose? trouble]

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[dada took the day off to celebrate olive’s birthday]

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[my budding artist]

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[she’s oh so sweet and sassy!]

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[olive was upset we made her wear her caplet outside because it was cold. look at the pouty face. [mama: *eyeroll] ellie is happy though!]

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[she loves to color and draw every day]

xoxo

thanksgiving ’18

preparations for thanksgiving this year was feeling good.

olive’s birthday party was done and done. we were gearing up for turkey day and black friday weekend. food was purchased, plans were finalized, desserts were bought {sheesh…who has time to bake?? not i said the cat}.

we did our usual, in the morning we go to aunt wendy’s house for an early turkey treat and then we head on over to my parent’s house for another gobble gobble dinner.

i am quite thankful my sister kim basically does all the prep and cooking. like seriously…without her, i’m not sure who would do it. we have hc’s family obligations during the day and i always feel bad i can’t be there to help out more. once we arrive, though, i jump right in to help with whatever i can. she’s such a good cook anyways, no one would want me in the kitchen full time. hahaha!

well, both sides of the family get togethers were wonderful, fulfilling, yummy, and so good. life is great when you’re with family. another beautiful thanksgiving on the books. we are so incredibly thankful.

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[three out of four looking at the camera is good enough]

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[ellie loving aunt wendy’s couch]

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[jump, jump, jump]

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[aunt vicki and jane]

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[sisters eating together]

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[plate o food]

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[uncle eddie and jane]

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[i’ll be sad when i can’t put her hair up like this anymore]

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[olive and hannah]

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[uncle steve and danielle]

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[some sorta shot]

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[hc and grace]

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[she’s so fun!]

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PART DEUX

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[the cutest cousins]

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[hc, ba, and terry]

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[sisters]

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[the family that buffalo checks together, stays together]

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[mom in her element]

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[we’re getting more photo time as a family of 5]

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[beautiful arrangement by kim]

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[agata and dan]

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[i kept screaming, ‘cheek to cheek!!!’…this was as close as they got to ellie]

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[so delicious]

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[cookie decorating]

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[i said, ‘olive, show me your cookie’. she picked it up aaaaand…]

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[her face…too cute when her decorations started falling off! she was like, ‘ohhhhhh no’]

xoxo

olive’s first haircut!

it was time.

all these years, i’ve always asked olive if she wanted her hair cut. she always said no. if i felt that i needed to get her hair cut, i would have done it but i didn’t care. so i just waited. i waited for miss olive to feel that she was ready and that time had come.

her long, long hair was getting quite tangly and it bothered her. one day while i was brushing her hair, after a bath, i asked her if she wanted to get her hair cut. she said yes and i was like done! after several more comb throughs and more yes’s, i scheduled an appointment at kids snips in oakbrook. my nephews have been going to the same stylist for yearrrrrrrrrs, so naturally, we had to go there too and get olive’s first haircut by keisha.

it was a very snowy day when we woke up. we hustled, headed out, and just made it to our appointment with a few minutes to spare. as we were pulling into the parking garage, olive immediately remembered coming here with my sister and her cousins to get their hair cut. she screamed, “we’re going where bennett and reagan get their haircut!” i was amazed that she would remember something like that just from pulling into a parking garage {especially since my sisters don’t usually park where i park in the mall}.

i’ve never been inside this ‘salon’, so it was all brand new to me. it’s so small and crowded!!! for every child there were two parents, so with it being so tiny, you can imagine how packed it gets inside, with no room to sit. olive was so excited to get her haircut and loved this place. keisha took olive right away. she was wonderful, very sweet to olive, and so kind to us.

olive ended up getting 9-10 inches in total chopped off! the initial cut was over 7 inches and then keisha trimmed it some more. after her haircut, keisha styled her hair and olive absolutely loved it!!

her first haircut was a success!!! olive was so wonderful and so was her stylist keisha. the total process took 15-20 minutes! it was so fast! thuy met up with us after olive’s haircut and we all then went shopping, natch!

from the moment olive was born…i was waiting for her first haircut and it did not disappoint. i was so happy she was happy and excited for her haircut, i couldn’t have asked for a better combo. her hair is now so easy to comb through and doesn’t get crazy tangly!

happy first haircut my beautiful girl!

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[ready for her haircut. she was much more excited than she appears! lol]

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[keisha undoing her hair]

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[really ellie…such a funny girl in the background]

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[she’s so grown up…wahhhhhhhh]

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[measuring how much we’re going to cut]

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[snip, snip…]

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[there it goes!]

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[excitement]

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[she’s so happy…i can’t tell you how happy this picture of her makes me]

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[she LOVED her style by keisha]

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xoxo

happy 5th birthday my dear olive!

wow…i can’t believe it’s been five years since this beautiful girl has joined us. it’s surreal. my life changed when she was born. of course it did. but what i mean is…life had meaning. life had purpose. life was fulfilling with her in my world.

in your younger years, you wander. you wonder. you live life self centered. as a mother…you realize that this {having children} is what life is about. my heart is so full and the love that i experience every day is like no other. i feel so incredibly blessed to have her as my child and so fortunate to be able to do this. to raise kind humans and do my damndest to raise someone who can make a difference in this sometimes dark world.

sooooooo, olive’s birthday party turned into a surprise party because i went off of something she said a few months ago. she had watched something on her iPad and said to me, “i want a surprise party!”. i said, “how am i suppose to throw you a surprise party while you’re in the house?” she says, “i’ll just go in my room and when i come out, everyone can say ‘surprise!'” bahahahahahaha! ohmergawd…i LOVE her!!!

so, last minute, i told her guests that it was going to be a surprise party! it worked out perfectly! hc dropped the girls off at my sister, thuy’s place, in the morning. hc and i hustled and decorated the house for the party, readied the apps, and the guests started to flow in. about 15 minutes after the party started, my sister shows up with olive and ellie.

i was so excited. i couldn’t wait to see her reaction! i heard her say to thuy why were there all these cars at our house. ha! she walked in and everyone yelled ‘surprise!’. her facial expression was priceless! i was in heaven seeing her so elated! afterwards, she greeted all her guests and made her way around.

olive chose her brown horse theme. she talked about it for months. months!!! it was the first time she chose her theme, so i was in a bit of a pickle because i have always been the one concocting her themes. now that she is independent and opinionated, she expressed exactly what she wanted for her 5th birthday party and i had to go with it. i was a bit stumped but in the end, i figured it out and we had the most wonderful horse themed party!

side note: i went to party city to get some horse themed balloons. uhhhhhh, i didn’t know they carried NOTHING horse related. whaaaaaaaa?! so, as the young male teenager was ringing me up, i asked him if that was a poop emoji balloon on the wall. he said yes. so i said to him, “i will get that balloon. i can’t believe you guys don’t have anything horse themed for my daughter’s birthday party. i’ll get the poop emoji balloon because i think it’s horse’s shit that you don’t have anything else i can get.” yup. i said that to him. he found it funny too.

well, i hope you enjoy the pics! we had such wonderful time celebrating our baby girl turning 5! happy birthday olive. we are so utterly blessed to have you in our lives. thank you for being you. we love you to infinity and beyond!

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[the balloon that stood out. she loves hello kitty!]

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[my story about the poop emoji balloon above. tassels by glamfete]

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[flowers by my sister kim]

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[daniel and auntie missy]

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[stop horsing around!]

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[terry, dan, and agata]

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[calligraphy place cards]

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[bandana’s for our guests]

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[banded flatware inclusive of the party theme]

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[easy cups for kids or adults!]

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[horse favor bags]

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[a party staple]

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[i love our fireplace]

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[i heard her asking about all the cars in the driveway…]

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[i love her facial expression when she saw everyone and mine!]

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[i love this]

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[she’s oh so sweet]

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[y’all…i love her so much!]

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[greeting her guests]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[cousins]

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[with ba]

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[grace, annabelle, and edwin]

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[gramma and olive]

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[backdrop by glamfete. she’s such a princess!]

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[oh how i love her so]

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[i can’t post enough pics of her]

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[this is sooooooo ellie and olive]

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[olive showing off her beautiful unicorn painting]

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[here comes the cake]

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[happy birthday day to you!]

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[make a wish!]

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[she’s so silly! her cousin bennett gathered all the horses around olive]

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xoxo

brunch with matt and johann

we love these guys! hanging out with them is always so fun.

we had planned for a dinner at our house but everything that day was so topsy turvy. i forgot about plans to have the fam over for pumpkin carving that evening, so i asked matt if they could do brunch instead and they so graciously agreed to change the plans for us. plus, the weather was so unfavorable for our christmas mini photo sesh that morning, that those were cancelled. it was one erroneous surprise after another.

well, all eventually spanned out quite well. we made it to brunch early and had a wonderful time with matt and johann. we ate at oyster bah, a place we’ve never been to, and enjoyed our experience. as usual, we gabbed and gabbed and gabbed with one another while the girls were too cute and sweet.

the girls were dressed in their christmas outfits and looking so darn darling. so many strangers loved their looks and commented on how cute they were. well of course!

our hangs with matt and johann is always a good chunk of time. we love spending it talking and catching up. sometimes our brunch get togethers can be a couple hours. i am thankful i have two girls that can hang. olive is always so good and ellie can lose interest after an hour or so. once that happens, i usually attempt to entertain her until we leave {by walking around, typically}. she’s our short tempered, stubborn, tenacious babe. she loves to love and loves to hate. when this girl wants something, she won’t wait and will definitely let you know!

after ordering our entrees. manger, and drink after drink, we were ready to go. it’s always so lovely to hang with these two. i absolutely love their dynamics, humor, and friendship. until next time matt and johann! we love you guys!

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[hc, matt, and johann]

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[coloring away]

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[cheers!]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[i love this babe!]

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[playtime by the stairs]

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xoxo

fall mini sesh

once we passed some major milestones for these girls {first birthdays…pregnancy…where we pretty much took photos together every year}…i am now signing up for fall photos every year!  it’s a perfect way to document your growing family and to look back at the beautiful pictures and remember the sweet moments.

we had a full day…i had an eye appointment to blog about, so that took some time in the morning, then we had a neighbor’s kid’s first birthday party south of us, then from the birthday party, we had to jet to our family photos up north. it was a whirlwind that we mastered. our timing had to be just right because the photos were timed with the photographer and if you were late, you lost out on your time.

i definitely didn’t want to lose out on any time whatsoever. so, we left the party early and got to our location with 10-15 minutes to spare – the great part?! we were the first subjects, so we gained that time with our photographer, tricia! we were so lucky to have almost 25 minutes with her {it was a 15 minute session}.

the girls were great {minus a few ellie moments} and we were able to get in a lot of different shots. olive has become such a ham {ahem…i wonder how???} and really entertained us.

tricia at patricia anderson photography has been our photographer since before olive was born {5+ years!}. she is local and i highly recommend her! we love her patience, artistic view, and quick turn around when it comes to the pics.

i am so excited to share! happy fall y’all!

via tandeminlove.com

[grace]

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[our tribe]

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[this one melts my heart]

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[our glamour shot]

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[this is everything!]

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[my girls]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[my heart melts!!!]

via tandeminlove.com

[daddy daughter]

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[they’re so sweet!]

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[she’s such a ham!]

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie being calm for a second by herself in the tall grassy field]

xoxo