go cubs go!

hc sprung on me the idea of a cubs day date! hell yeahhhhhhh! i was so excited to 1. go on a date and 2. go to a cubs game {thanks aunt wendy!}! it was such a beautiful day – sunny skies and perfectly warm temps.

we dropped the kiddos off at my parents and headed into the city for brunch at southport grocery {my top three brunch spot}. we sat outside, i ordered my usual, and we absolutely enjoyed a conversation uninterrupted! the sun was beating down on my skin and it felt fantastic. after brunch, we walked down towards the field.

the front side of the ball park was finished and hc and i strolled around, taking in the new sights. we headed into ‘the park’ and grabbed some tasty beverages. we just hung out on the green, people watched, downed our drinks, and then headed into the cubs store to peruse the racks.

we finally traipsed inside the ball park {i pumped}, grabbed more drinks, and found our seats. right away, hc started gabbing with the people around us. it’s so funny to me that i am usually the gregarious one and hc is typically the quiet one but the tables were turned in this situation. i just prefer to mind my own business and hc wants to be everyone’s best friend. hahaha! well, it works!

as usual, i seat danced to every cheesy song they played…i think it’s my second most favorite part of being at a cubs game…seat dancing. it’s like the best thing everrrrrrrr, besides the cubs winning! we drank beer, ate hot dogs {with grilled onions, of course}, and cheered on the cubbies!

they kicked the white sox derrières and i was ecstatic! go cubs gooooooo! go cubs goooooo! hey, chicago, what do ya say? the cubs are gonna win today! peeps started waving the W and i jumped on my feet to boogie down to the cubs song!!! yeahhhhhh! i was so happy! woo hoooo!

hc and i trekked out the park and cruised straight to the car. i secretly wanted to stay in the city and continue our day date into a evening date and have dinner but we needed to get home to the kids…we were gone since mid morning and with the crazy traffic ahead of us, the kids were pushing the limits of their stay with my dad {he’s just so frail these days}.

it was a perfect date. we definitely don’t have too many of these of late and shame on us…we should! although, being away from the kids gives me heart palpitations. i can’t help  it! i am obsessed with their cute little faces. i throughly enjoyed our time out, i love my hubby so, and was so satisfied that the cubs WON and that they won against the white sox! ha!

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[he’s like, “what are you doing? um, doing what i do best. hahaha]

via tandeminlove.com[my old ‘hood. when i was single…i would always go to julius meinl for coffee or sometimes just hang out]

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[a favorite place…southport grocery]

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[yasssssss!]

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[we had to check out the cubs store!]

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[i’m so ready for the cubs to WIN!]

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[enjoying our time together sans kiddos!]

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[enjoying the park]

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[i love this field]

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[the place to get grilled onions on your dogs! mmmmmm]

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[i’m in love]

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[7th inning stretch! take me out to the ball game…]

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xoxo

ice cream man

a favorite childhood memory of mine was the ice cream truck man. i remember living in a neighborhood of town homes, growing up, and there were so many kids that lived within the neighborhood. the ice cream truck frequented our ‘hood and it was always something i looked forward to. the sound of the jingle playing so loud, echoing throughout the streets got me running! all the kids would gather around the truck and pick out their favorite flavors and those moments were some of the most perfect summer nights as a kid!

one day while i was pulling olive and ellie in the wagon, i heard the familiar music! i got so excited! i laugh at this because i was definitely so much more excited than olive, she actually had no clue what was going on. she was probably thinking, “mom, don’t talk to strangers. let alone, you’re buying something edible from a man you don’t know”. hahaha!

she was so scared of the man, that she wouldn’t get out of the wagon to pick out an ice cream cone! so, this mama pointed at pictures and she went in for the kill {the first familiar character she saw}…sponge bob. ok, sponge bob it is! she was still a bit groggy from her nap, so i will blame her lethargic behaviors on that! ha!

anyhoo, we sat outside on the front porch while olive cautiously licked her sponge bob ice cream as it feverishly melted in the heat. olive was super pleased with her choice of dessert and i was super happy that the stars were aligned with us being able to catch the ice cream man on our block on this lovely afternoon.

oh, summer…you give us great memories.

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[isn’t this ice cream truck just the cutest?!]

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[bye bye ice cream truck!]

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[she was so excited!]

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[yummmmm]

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[i love this girl!]

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xoxo

festival

summer time.

i love warm weather, being able to just hang outside and be comfortable is something we look forward to every year. cold chicago winters gives you a different appreciation for the summer season and along with warm temps, brings festival season around here!

i thoroughly enjoy jubilees, festivals, carnivals…you name it, i love going to any of the named events. summer isn’t complete unless you attend at least one!

with olive being three years old, she has this new awareness and enjoyment that has arose and i find so much satisfaction and joy in seeing her content and happy!

we hit up a fest close to home. it was a festival that i actually attended while growing up around here and it was pretty cool to be able to bring olive. of course, they have rides, games, really bad food for you, and plenty of libations!

parking can be a b*tch around there but we were lucky enough to find a close spot {riding into town in hc’s jeep!}. we walked into the fest and grabbed some drinks first {priority people!}. we decided stroll around and check out the offerings. we did a once over and decided to grab some grub. if you’re on a diet, you’re screwed. no festival foods for you! we ate really unhealthy food and continued to check out what this festival had to offer.

one big mistake was taking olive near the rides. she isn’t big enough, so there was no way she could go on any of them and fact: hc and i will not, i will repeat, will not go on any of these carnival type rides. we don’t like them. we don’t trust them. we don’t care for them. she was so upset. she didn’t have a tantrum or anything of that extreme but she did cry. i felt so bad for her but that was a solid no – no rides whatsoever!

anyhoo, we walked around a bit more, explored, play some games, and then called it quits. everything currently revolves around ellie’s nap times right now, and we needed to skadaddle to get her to bed for the night.

i’m all about olive’s first time experiences and i was super happy she was able to enjoy our time at the summer fest! it was a fun family evening together! happy summer y’all!

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[summer essentials]

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[summer festival in downers grove]

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[hello hc! she looks just like him!]

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[my sweet babe]

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[typical festival food]

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[enjoying junky food]

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[her first time playing a festival game]

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[she won!]

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xoxo

dad’s 80th surprise photo session

my sisters and i decided to surprise my dad {parents} with a photo shoot for my dad’s 80th birthday {and my mom’s, since their birthdays are so close together!}!

we booked a local photographer and kept it a secret until the day before! everyone drove to a nearby park and the craziness ensued. it had rained the days leading up to this and the ground was sooooo wet! it was squishy and muddy but we made it through without it being too much of a disaster.

as usual, olive was fuuuuuuussy. she was uncooperative and it was too close to ellie’s nap time, so she was a bit crabby. from the outside, you freak out that there isn’t a good pic but you always know that your photographer can work some magic. that’s why they’re the professionals!

of course, since my gals were the ones being difficult, there i was  jumping and screaming and making funny noises just to get their attention and stop them from either crying or not listening. oy. what a show! we did some group pics, grandkids with the grandparent pics, just kid pics, and pretty much all sorts of mixed pics.

i couldn’t wait to see them! my sisters and i decided to create a book for my parents and then print out pics and frame them for their house. we surprised them with the book first and still have yet to give them the framed pictures. they were so excited and pleased with the book and all the pictures. my parents loved all the pictures taken!

so, yay! the thought {thanks to my sister kim} and results turned out perfect! our photographer did such a great job and we all love the pictures. great memories captured and beautiful pictures to cherish forever.

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[our hearts]

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[my beautiful, tenacious girl]

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[grandma and ba with their grandgirls]

via tandeminlove.com[the cutest nephews everrrrrr]

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[kisses]

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[precious…so precious. this picture just melts my heart]

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[the sweetest boys]

xoxo

the hottest alfresco lunch everrrrrrr

one sunday morning, we decided to head out for a late lunch. ellie’s morning nap was running into the early afternoon and we thought that it would be a great idea to get out of the house on this hot, hot day but not do anything too strenuous because it was so darn warm outside.

we headed into downtown dg for a lunch alfresco. it was ellie’s first jeep ride and olive’s second time but the first time she really understood what she was doing! she looooooooves riding in the jeep! oh, she kept screaming and giggling and waving her arms. it was the cutest thing to watch! it’s so joyous to watch your kids be happy!

well, it was sooooooo hot outside that even under a shady umbrella, we pretty much melted. omg it was so hot! near the end of our meal, ellie was getting a bit fussy, so i decided to walk her around the restaurant to cool off and calm her down. the first time we walked up to the window where hc was sitting outside, she said, “dada. dada.” and she looked out the window at hc. i was like, ‘hmmmmm. does she really know it’s hc?’. well, i decided to walk around the restaurant again and see if she would say it again. yup. she did. we walked back up to the window and she said, “dada. dada.” as she looked right at hc. i did it a third time!!! i finally caved in and admitted that was her first word. i wouldn’t have agreed if she really didn’t know what it meant but i have to say, she did and does. wahhhhhhhhhh.

after lunch, we decided to walk around town. gah! what a failure. it was sooooo hot. so hot. we only did one short lap and called it quits. i couldn’t wait to get back into the jeep to have the wind blowing through my hair. all in all, it was still a great afternoon. i am so glad we got outside even tho it was like an inferno. hahaha!

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[ellie’s first jeep ride!]

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[coolest girl in the world]

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[before i melt]

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[some drink i don’t remember what it’s called but it was delicious]

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[this precious face]

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[melting from the heat]

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xoxo

a riverside father’s day

father’s day is, obviously, all about dads. so, this father’s day, i decided that i was going to gift hc with a day of whatever he wanted to do. let me tell you, i knew in advance what he would want to do but i asked him anyways.

yep, he wanted a day in the garage. so be it. the day before father’s day {we had plans to spend actual father’s day at his parent’s house}, hc spent the entire day in the garage. he organized, cleaned, worked on his jeep, etc. and he was a very happy dad!

the next day, we traveled up to his parent’s house to spend the afternoon celebrating with his sister missy, gramma, papa, and grace. we all had lunch together then we all hopped onto papa’s boat for a fun ride on the river. it was such a beautiful day! the sun was shining and the temp was perfect. the only glitch was ellie versus the life jacket. well, ellie – 0 life jacket – 1. the life jacket won. ellie was not keen about having on a life jacket. we, at first, put on the infant life vest on her and she had a meltdown. that thing is obnoxious. it’s stiff and restricting. yes, i know it’s the l a w to have one on children under 13 but man, it was tough watching her scream. she couldn’t move her head, she cried, and it broke my heart. we decided to put a kids life vest on her instead. it still bothered her but at least she had one on that allowed her to move her head a bit more. the other one was like a straight jacket!

unfortunately, ellie cried throughout the majority of the boat ride. only when we were 15 minutes away from home did she fall asleep. on a good note, olive had a blast! she enjoyed the boat ride and giggled and screamed throughout our trip on the river! it was so stinkin’ adorable to watch her have a great time!

alas, our boat ride came to an end and we came back to gramma’s and papa’s house for dessert! gramma jane had made the cutest rainbow cake. olive absolutely adored it and loved the marshmallows even more! that sneaky girl kept picking off the marshmallows before we even cut the cake!

we relaxed a bit more after dessert, after being there all afternoon and into the early evening, we finally gathered our belongings to head home. the babes had a great time being doted on by their grandparents and we had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. according to hc, he couldn’t have asked for a better father’s day! yay!

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[baby ellie in her firetruck dress]

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[sausage sliders]

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[grace marie]

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[lunch alfresco]

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[auntie missy and ellie]

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[sadie chillaxin’]

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[getting a life jacket on ellie…not her favorite thing]

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[desperately trying to make ellie comfortable]

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[olive is loving it]

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[ellie not crying for a few minutes…haha!]

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[she finally fell asleep, 15 minutes out from being home]

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[daddy holding ellie]

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[silly girl]

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[eagles nest]

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[fox river]

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[rainbow cake]

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[olive excited over the rainbow cake]

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[picking at the marshmallows]

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[hammock time]

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[i’m stuck]

xoxo

catch up

it was time for another reunion with the s family! we love getting together with kim, brady, brooklyn, and soon to be new addition baby s!

i grabbed a coffee and hit the road. we cruised there, i mean cruised there!!! the kennedy renovations were completed and whoa! what a difference does it make! the roads were open, there wasn’t a construction zone speed limit, and no congestion to fight through.

i arrived in the area so early {for a change!}, i decided to stop for gas and take my sweet time because i always find myself driving like a maniac, hoping i’m not too late {to any engagement}! hahaha!

as i pulled up onto to her driveway, sweet brooklyn was peering out the window! that was so cute and a wonderful first reception. typically, it’s brady looking out the window but on this day, we were graced with brooklyn’s pretty mug.

olive excitedly walked up to the door and we busted through her front entry way! hugs were exchanged and the fun began! brooklyn was obsessed with ellie and olive immediately ran to all the toys. brady was being shy, and kim and i started o catch up with all sorts of life adventures.

let me tell you, kim is so preggo and so darn cute with that baby belly, that it makes me miss mine. well, i still have a bit of leftover pudge from being pregnant but that’s not the same. haha!

i may say this a thousand times but i love hanging out with this mama. she’s a sweetheart, we have so much in common {from similar timelines of life or to our disposition on many subjects} and we truly enjoy each other’s company. brady and olive play together so  well and brooklyn is currently obsessed with ellie…it was too darn cute to watch her ‘dote’ on her as ellie cried about brooklyn’s overly affectionate ways. plus, i found out a cute fact: ever since brady had met ellie when she was a newborn {maybe a week old?}, he’s called every baby he’s seen since, ellie. how freakin’ cute is that?!

after many hours of us chatting, the time had come for us to leave. ellie needed a nap and we didn’t want to be in the thick of rush hour traffic. so, we said our goodbyes – my favorite part because it’s so darn cute to watch brady and olive kiss and hug their farewells!

hopefully we can meet up with kim before she has another bundle of joy {due in july!}! cheers to great friends!

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[the cutest friends!]

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[brooklyn is obsessed with babies]

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[cutest sequence of pics]

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[my sweet friend]

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[hugs and kisses goodbye]

xoxo

a simple outing

we had a quick, casual outing on a beautiful sunny day that turned out to be freezing cold and soooo windy in the early afternoon and then a warm day late afternoon! my, what a difference a few hours can make!

i met my dad and sister, thuy, for lunch out at the mall. we ate at a yummy restaurant and then decided to get donuts and coffee after our main meal. my dad could live off of doughnuts and coffee. ha! we were in a new part of the mall that is now a bunch of restaurants and it was pretty quiet and serene. we did a mini photo shoot with olive {natch}, ate doughnuts, sipped coffee, and enjoyed our peaceful moments together.

since my dad’s leg{s} have been bothering him, we decided to not venture out too far. thuy and i wanted to hit up anthropologie but it was too far for my dad to walk so we decided to call it quits. besides, they had more errands to run and i didn’t mind heading home with the kiddos. it was nice just to get out for a bit but honestly, with two kiddos and one being so young, you’re bound to time frames! well, i choose to be committed because i prefer for my kids to have a routine.

i love that ellie can nap at 10am and 2-3pm and olive will occassionly nap in the afternoon {depending on her wake up time & morning activities}. it limits our outings at times but hey…they are only this little for so long!

anyhoo, it was a great blip in our day. we loved seeing my dad and my sister for a bit and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air!

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[my sweet  babe]

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[ellie enjoying being flipped around by auntie thuy]

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[thuy thought it was a good idea for ellie to try her glasses, ellie – not so much. hahaha!]

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[she loved her glasses so much!]

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[stan’s donuts]

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xoxo

happy eleven months ellie!

happy eleven months!

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wahhhhhhhhhhhhh! what?! next month she will be one. it can’t be. it just c a n’ t be!!! my little, itty, bitty baby is getting so big.

well, let’s focus on this milestone. she’s officially eleven months young and i am loving her sweet self so much!

she is so happy! she’s so sweet. she’s so laid back…just like daddy. she truly is a kind soul. she loves to cuddle and snuggle. it’s the damnedest thing. i love how affectionate she is. she loves to be held and gets upset if i put her down. she is so loving and i absolutely love it!

she’s not into feeding herself. like at allllllll. she won’t feed herself puffs. she won’t feed herself yogurt snacks. she won’t feed herself period. i have come to find out that she doesn’t like puffs but she really does like the yogurt bits but she won’t put them inside her mouth! well, we’ll see how she does next month!

she’s still nursing. the feedings have spaced out quite a bit {although i still pump every few hours just to keep the milk going strong}. she definitely loves nursing more than the bottle. of late, she’s been refusing the bottle but i think that had a bit to do with us trying to feed her prune juice with the breast milk and that just turned her off and she boycotted the bottle overall. i hope this babe nurses for awhile because i just can’t bear the fact that she is growing up!

she’s a fast crawler! she can get to point a to point b in 3 seconds flat. hahaha! i think she’s obliterated the ‘i will fall down while i am sitting’ phase. she is still a wee bit klutzy but she’s managing quite well. she might crawl head first into a wall here and there or try to grab onto something and completely miss and fall on her face but she’s surviving and doing pretty well!

she officially has said dada as her first word and truly knows what it means. one afternoon, we sat outside alfresco for lunch and i picked up ellie to walk around a bit because she was fussy. we were walking inside the restaurant, trying to cool off, when we walked up to the window we were sitting by and she saw her dad. she then said, “dada! dada” pointing to her dad. i decided to walk around another lap and come back up to the window and see if she would say it again. she did. we walked around another lap and came back up to the window and she said it again. that was when i knew she knew it was her dad. sigh…

she does get sick so much more often than olive did as a babe. poor thing has been sick on and off since december. temperatures, sickness, coughs, ear infection, blocked tear duct, eye infection, fissure, etc. you name, she got it. this babe is susceptible to so much!

she’s climbing on up on the weight and height ladder but is still a tiny babe. she’s gained quite a bit of weight the last month or so, so that is a great sign! overall, she is still a petite babe but oh so cute! i love my little chunker.

she’s become a solid sleeper. even with the teething. i can see her top tooth coming in but she’s been great at night. she typically goes down around 9pm and sometimes that is late for her. she will sleep through the night up until 6, 7, 8 am. typically 7am is her sweet spot but it ranges. she will go down for a nap around 10am and then again around 2 or 3 pm. it was a rough few months with her in the beginning but she fell into a routine around seven months and i couldn’t be a happier mom. although, i need to get it together and go to bed earlier myself!!!!!

this babe loves to clap, repeat our sounds, and wave. i love watching her grow, learn, and become a confident little babe. she can stand up on the furniture and walk around on her own. she had attempted to stand up on her own. she loves to throw everything we have on our coffee tables down on the ground. she loves to be mischievous. she definitely gets into more things than olive ever did. she will break things {my lovely cake stand…yes, i am heartbroken this cake stand doesn’t exist anymore to replace}, throw anything out of her way {my slippers}, and put anything anywhere it doesn’t belong. hahaha!

oh, baby ellie…i am so in love with you!! we love you so much and i am so torn that you are my last baby. you are so sweet and cuddly and i can’t even stand it that you are growing up. my heart swells with so much love for you and your big sis. you gals make my world go round and i am so thankful that y’all are mine.

xoxo

oysters for brunch

original plans fell through but the new plan still included the originals. haha!

we hemmed and hawed over where we were going to eat. matt and johann suggested that we meet somewhere in the ‘burbs but the burbs {when it comes to restaurant choices} boooooooore me. it’s basically chain, there are a few unique, good restaurants to choose from and they are so sporadic.

i preferred finding a restaurant in the city, it’s just more fun! the sun was out and temp was just right outside. we decided upon gt fish and oyster. i love the ambience, decor, and delicious brunch menu. we met up around 11am and we were seated immediately {with reservations, of course!}. we had a spacious corner spot and we had a great wait staff. they were so attentive to the kids…which is always a bonus in my book!

olive had a blast with the crayons and coloring paper and ellie enjoyed eating the crayons and drawing all over her onesie. we really had a wonderful time. the kids were so well behaved {natch}, the food was yummy, and we always enjoy our time with matt and johann.

it’s times like these that make me smile. number one…i love brunch. brunch makes me happy. i don’t know what it is about brunch. is it the fabulous breakfast foods? is it the coffee? is it the alcohol? is it because it’s the first meal of the day? or perhaps, it’s the city scenery that i love? anyhoo, brunch on sundays fill my heart with happiness and warmth and twirl it around with our kids, hc, friends or family – i’m set!

we took our sweet time eating, drinking, and just reveling in life, because we are truly blessed and fortunate. that is how sunday brunches should be!

cheers!

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[spicy!]

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[sweet cheeks]

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[aren’t they cute]

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[yummy mimosa]

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[cheers!]

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[so delicious]

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[i love this smiley babe]

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[yummy!!!]

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[i love this crew!]

xoxo