father’s day 2020

father’s day was relaxing, casual, and perfect.

during a pandemic…you try your best to be cautious, celebrate in a safe way, but still have fun! we decided, since it was the first father’s day without papa around, we kept it intimate with just hc’s side of the family.

for lunch, i ordered from a local bbq restaurant in the area. there’s no better meal for hc for father’s day! of course he had to go pick it up in the chevelle! gramma, missy, and grace came by to visit!

before we sat down to eat, hc and i gave grace her graduation gift, as we never see this girl anymore! i said, ‘lucky you!…the only daughter to get a big gift on father’s day!’ LOL

well, since the girls saw grace getting a gift, they felt it was fitting that hc opened up his presents too! so they grabbed his gifts and were excited to see him open them up. you know how kids are…they love watching anyone open up a gift! they gave him an amazing dad book, an old fashioned tee shirt, cubs masks, and a box of rocks. literally. they painted them for the garden! so creative and fun! that was a gramma driven gift!

after lunch, we just hung out and talked. hc took his sister and mom for a walk around the house to check out the garden grounds and then we hung out on the front porch for a bit and chatted. while we were doing that, grace needed me to take a few photos of her in her graduation gown for school. of course i happily obliged.

we had a low key and good time together. being with family is always best. happy father’s day hc! you’re one in a billion and we’re so thankful to have such a wonderful person in our lives.

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[we finally saw grace, so we gave her a graduation gift]

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[a new laptop!]

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[daddy daughter duo]

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[eager for dada to open up his gift!]

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[chicago cubs masks]

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[garden rocks painted by olive, ellie, and grace]

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[ladybug by grace]

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[catering by mission bbq]

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xoxo

every day’s a sundae

our casual ice cream outing turned into a mad mess. LOL

i thought, oh – we should head out to every day’s a sundae! it’s so warm out and an ice cream treat would be perfect! hahahaha!

because of the limited number of people allowed inside the shop, we waited outside for a bit. so there we were, waiting in line…tick tock tick tock. it really did seem like a long time! then we read that only three people were allowed inside at a time. there was four of us, so i relented. i wasn’t feeling it for some reason…and i was the one who wanted to get ice cream! LOL really, it’s for the girls…it’s always for the girls.

anyhoo, it made sense for hc to go inside with the girls and let them pick something fun and yummy. after a few minutes, out they came with their cool treats! we decided to walk across the tracks to the fountain so the girls could enjoy that while eating their ice cream.

right as we got to the train crosswalk, a freight train came roaring by! it was so fun to watch and feel the energy and power of it whizzing by. the girls thought it was so cool!

we finally made it to the other side and that’s when all the ice cream craziness broke out. hc’s ice cream was spilling over the edge of his cup like it was running water. it dripped everywhere! out. of. control. i kept yelling ‘unprofessional’! i said to him, the first thing you do with a full ice cream cup is to scrape the lip of the cup and get all the ice cream that could melt over. he kept telling me he did. shyeah.

then ellie started dripping her ice cream everywhere! oh em gee. so i took over and was feeding her the ice cream. while i was scooping ice cream up for ellie. olive was like, ‘uh oh’. i turned around and she has tried to place her cup full of blue ice cream on the ledge but ended up putting half of it on the edge and it flipped over onto her dress and all down her leg and shoe. gahhhhhhh!

what. a. disaster. hc and i had to laugh. a scenic thought of getting ice cream on a warm summer day turned into a war with melting ice cream. haha! well, regardless, they finished their ice cream, we wiped our hands down, and proceeded to walk around downtown and soak in the gorgeous weather.

indeed it was a beautiful evening.

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[she’s so silly!]

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[enjoying some ice cream with dada]

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xoxo

pool party

summa time. the livin’ easy.

i tend to veer towards olive’s classmate’s moms socially. we all hit up kindergarten with the knowledge that we were in for the long haul. our kids were going to be in school together for the next 9 years! get togethers come easily and we all rely on each other for support in all areas of our lives, in which i’m so thankful for!

i felt bad for ellie as she truly just hangs out with olive’s friends. just a month ago, she started asking about her friends. oh, baby girl! my bad! i needed to get in touch with her preschool friends!

well, it’s good to have a friend who has a pool as pool time, right now, had been so scarce! i coordinated with this mama as she coordinated with other mamas and boom! we had a full fledge party on the horizon!

i’m so thankful to kelli for opening up her home to all of us! not only is her house gorgeous, her backyard set up is a dream!

as soon as we arrived the girls were game! into the pool they went without looking back! the best part of this whole experience {besides visiting with the mamas?} was ellie becoming 100% comfortable in the water. last year, even with her floatie, she would n o t go into the pool without one of us holding her. she was so scared! while in the pool at kelli’s house, she only would hold onto the ledge and not let go. after a 20 minutes or so, i finally went into the pool and she latched onto me. i was playing around with her and i slowly let her go and she drifted into the pool and discovered that she could ‘swim’!!!!!! she was beyond the moon!!! her excitement was palpable! it was so sweet to see her have that aha moment!

the girls swam, ate, swam some more, continued to snack, swam and finally…hours later {4 hours to be exact}, the girls were exhausted! we said our goodbyes and shimmied on home. they were so tired, they fell asleep in the 10 minute car ride home.

it was a wonderful afternoon spent with the sweetest mamas around!

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[splash!]

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[olive and her friends]

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[she gained her freedom and discovered she could swim in the water with floaties]

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[lunch time!]

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[olive]

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[luisa and emi]

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[sweet ava]

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[aren’t they the cutest?!]

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[popsicle time]

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[we love our school community!]

xoxo

morton arboretum

we love the morton arboretum! it’s endless possibilities of fun!

a couple of months ago, olive expressed to us that she wanted to go on a picnic. why yes baby girl. let’s do it!

we were all excited to picnic at the park as we’ve never done it together! long story short, i bought a picnic basket for hc for some occasion when we first started dating…i honestly can’t remember when. we had thoughts of going back to ravinia to picnic during a concert or something. we then got married, had kids, and forgot we had it. LOL

well hc dusted it off and we were ready to go at it! we choose a sunny sunday afternoon and packed all the essentials olive deemed necessary. sandwiches, fruit, drinks, and chips. hc brought a mini bose for some music, a soccer ball, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. it was gorgeous out! not too hot, not too cold – just right! the temp where you lay on a picnic blanket with a cloudless sunny sky and could fall asleep.

the adults drank wine, the kids had juice boxes, and we ate our food with the most beautiful scenery. the girls and i explored the area and stumbled upon a creek…which they were not interested in. hahaha! we played kickball and relaxed. it was seriously the most perfect afternoon.

we have membership to the arboretum and it’s worth every penny. honestly…if you go to the arboretum twice in a year, it literally pays for itself! there’s so much to explore there and the kids love it!

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[we spotted a troll!]

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[they weren’t as interested as i thought they would be. LOL]

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[kicking around the soccer ball]

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[we’re ready to set up our picnic blanket]

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[olive deemed this perfect picnic food]

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xoxo

post SIP playdate

the girls did very well staying occupied and entertained during our shelter in place. there were no complaints but only a few questions about what was happening outside our house. i was super grateful they were happy as clams playing together and never truly fighting. there was the occasional bickering but overall…they love  playing together!

once phase 3 came about, we slowly inched our way towards socialization outside of our family. it was joyous, satisfying, and exciting to socialize with friends and to see our kids finally play with other kids!

by the time we had this play date shown, we had already had three playdates within the past week!!! crazy. we were on a roll and loving it! the funniest part about this get together was when my girls got out of the car and my friend erica says, ‘annie has the same shirt!’…right when she said that, her daughter came running out wearing the SAME tee shirt! hahahahahaha! i was dyyyyying! it was perfect! the girls were all dressed alike and i couldn’t have been happier or more content!

let me tell ya. if you think you are happy now, having kids creates more joy than you ever thought possible. yes…speaking strictly from my experience. i love my girls so much and seeing them with our friend’s kids fills my heart with joy!

anyhoo, random rant.

erica is someone i met through the girl’s school. she’s a wonderful, sweet, and caring person! we met at the beginning of the school year and we instantly clicked! the best kind of start to a friendship!

erica and i relaxed, drank coffee, the girls played and we had a wonderful time conversing in the sunshine. it was simple, fun and good to be together. we are so blessed to have the community that we have and we’re so thankful the girls go to the school that they do!

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[sweet friends]

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[ellie serving them food]

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xoxo

kt and harper

it’s always exciting and always good when your friends come over to visit!

it had been a long time since i had seen kt and harper. we saw each other months pre-covid but then add on another 4 months, it was well over a half year since we last saw each other!

well it was time! kt and harper came over after noon and it was glorious! it was so good to see kt, catch up and have the girls dote on miss harper. she’s so cute! she was such a good baby and my girls could not stop paying attention to her! they sat next to her. played with her. loved her. it was darling to see and i know miss harper loved all the attention!

harper has gotten so big! she’s grown up so much and was sitting up, rolling, and throwing things, i could not get over those baby rolls. so many chunky rolls! so squishy and squeezable!

my time with kt was wonderful. we talked non stop and had so much to discuss! we kept jumping from one subject to the next, get distracted, start another conversation and then try to circle back to the convo that we sidetracked off of. LOL

i ordered lunch for us and everyone ate together. we then hung out some more and chatted our afternoon away. hours and hours passed and before i knew it, hc came home and in a bit, it would be dinnertime! where did the time go?! i asked kt if she wanted to stick around for dinner and she was game! sweet!

i whipped up a quick pasta carbonara and we continued our, what seemed like, endless chats. we ate dinner together and conversed some more! hahahaha! 8 hours later…kt relented and decided to go home. honestly, she could have stayed all night but miss harper needed her bed!

it was an amazing day with a very good friend and her beautiful baby. i love days like that. i love friendships like that. this is where you count your blessing and know life is good.

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[sweet baby harper]

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[olive loves taking care of harper]

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[aren’t they the cutest?!]

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[harper is a doll]

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[the cutest crew]

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[they melt my heart]

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xoxo

march, april, may oh my!

and the beat goes on!

14 weeks later and we’re still at home! well, kind of…we’ve enjoyed more playdates, dinners out, and general social distance get togethers {more on that later}. it’s now june and we’re in phase 3 of reopening illinois. my emotions are mixed because there’s so much we don’t know in general and such high emotional energy stirring. there are a lot of questions and not enough answers. this moment in time we are experiencing is unprecedented and ever evolving. we’re doing our best to keep up, keep sane, keep educated, and keep positive!

on a great note, we’ve done so much while at home and i love it. i’m sharing a gazillion pictures with you, as it captures some of the things we were able to do but not everything! there were moments i needed to be and not snap away constantly at the situation but i’m happy with what little snippets i was able to take and share! these are all picutres from phase 2, before we hit phase 3 in june.

the biggest moment we’ve experienced during quarantine was olive learning how to ride a bike!!! she mastered it last month after three tries! she practiced on a balance bike for a few weeks and then boom! she was riding on her own. i introduced the big girl bike and she was nervous practicing on it. i then worked with her another day and she was still scared {the bike is a hand me down from her big sis…so it was an inch or so too high. which didn’t help her fear factor}. i saw her balancing but the multitasking overwhelmed her. a few times she was riding on her own but still afraid. then she asked me to try, for a third time, on another day. this was it!!! she did it! i was so proud of her!!! she was ecstatic and couldn’t believe she was riding a bike! total proud mom moment right there.

i hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed living the moments!

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[playing lots of games! this was a spin off of the princess and the pea. we supported our local shop called fair game!]

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[supporting their aunt and uncle in their mask making business: miss tashina.com]

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[the new way to celebrate – birthday parades. sass not included]

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[i was taking a pic, so she decided to do some tricks. LOL]

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[getting fancy and ready to decorate cookies]

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[yummy yummy cookies!]

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[she’s so darn sweet]

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[the goodies]

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[always so detailed and careful]

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[she’s always so proud of her creations]

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[she’s really good at eating what she decorates. LOL]

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[the final products]

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[her riding outfit of choice]

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[she loves her balance bike]

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[i’m singing in the rain…just singing in the rain. what a glorious feeling, i’m happy again!]

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[flower shopping on mother’s day]

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[ellie is definitely olive’s shadow]

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[give a squeeze…she loves her big sister]

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[wash yer hands!]

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[fort building every day…she loved her bed one and her toes sticking out couldn’t be cuter!]

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[how cute are they and their shirts?! they tie dyed it themselves!]

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[i love them so much]

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[ughhhh, please don’t mind the artificial light ruining the color of the picture but notice how darn cute these two bakers are!]

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[testing out the cookie dough]

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[loving the cookie dough]

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[proud of their results]

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[olive was like, “i don’t like chocolate chip cookies” uhhhh what? she loved it]

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[cookie monster]

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[i can’t with these shirts]

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xoxo

olive’s kindergarten promotion!

wow! my girl has been promoted to first grade! hooray!

as a broken record sounds, the end of the school year was not as expected but we made the most of it! olive didn’t have her typical promotion ceremony at school, as they prerecorded the event and we logged on to view it.

nevertheless, we celebrated at home, together. as i watched the video, i didn’t expect to cry but i totally did! it filled my heart with joy to see the memories displayed, to hear the teachers and administrative’s words, to know that my girl was going into the big school was too much to handle!

olive worked so hard during the school year and with her home learning. i can’t express enough how amazing she was with her school work and how she woke up every day excited to learn. she was determined, she applied herself, and she really enjoyed everything we did. i hope her attitude, excitement, and joy never fades with anything she encounters.

to commemorate this special occasion, i bought a cap and gown, balloons, and made a balloon arch to capture this milestone in her life. we had fun taking pictures and she loved throwing her cap into the air! we did it over and over as she laughed every time it hit the ground. she squealed in laughter when the cap landed on a balloon and popped!

olive, you are kind, sweet, thoughtful, inquisitive, mindful, honest, patient, loving and beyond amazing in every way. i am so blessed to have a daughter like you and i am truly honored to call you mine. as you start your new journey this coming school year, i pray that it is filled with just as much hope, laughter, and joy as you give those around you.

congratulations my dear! you will accomplish many great things!

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[she’s ready for first grade!]

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xoxo

last day of…school?!

we ended our season of home learning!

march 13. the day our school announced that we would be taking a longer break. spring break turned into a three week break to be exact. it was two weeks before our actual vacation and we thought…we’re not cancelling…yet. bahhhhahahaha! little did we know.

sadly we did cancel our trip and olive was so disappointed. poor thing cried and that broke my heart. she was looking forward to beach time, pool time, hotel time. i don’t know anyone in life that loves a hotel more than this girl. she lives for vacations. hahaha!

well, bring on the home learning life. in my previous post, i stated how easy it was for us. i, we loved it. really, olive and i loved it. ellie was along for the ride. LOL she was interested because her big sister was and that’s enough for me.

i am so grateful for this time spent with my two daughters. i absolutely enjoyed it. i always say this before i say what i am going to say next. of course i am biased but i am extremely aware on how they behave and i will always be the first to ensure they are polite, nice, kind, thoughtful, and inclusive of others. it’s so important to me and if they are not…i will be the first to say something. i’ll call my kids a** holes, yes i will, but the truth is, they are so freakin’ good. yes, they are. they are such wonderful kids. yes, they bicker, yes they cry, but yes, they are so pleasant and so fun to be around. i could sit with them non stop {as i do because i am their parent and we aren’t going ANYwhere without them right now} and loved almost every second. when i needed some time to myself…they gave it to me. i am so amazed and thankful for them.

anyways, the last day of school was bittersweet. i loved having something to do every day and was so excited to have nothing to do all day. i am not very good with waking up early nor i am good if i have something to do in the morning. truth be told. so no school was so cool! yes, cheesy…i know but seriously i cherish our slow days.

we ended the last day of school with relaxation, time outside, and fun times together. we’re excited for a fun filled summer with pool time, popsicles outside, and lazy days!

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[no words! though she did grow almost 3 inches between september through may!]

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xoxo

daddy daughter dance date night

with all that has been going on and so many things being cancelled or put on hold…we were looking forward to the daddy daughter dance but alas, that was cancelled as well with our shelter in place going until the end of april {at least} – side note – LOL i wrote this post just the other day…ahem…we are now SIP until the end of may!!! so, no loss there…we decided to host our very own daddy daughter dance!

again, what to do when you don’t go out to get anything or more so, nothing is really open. LOL thank goodness i love hoarding party stuff. i rummaged through my stash and found that i have a billion tassel garlands! how pretty would that look?! i hung them from the ceiling with my new wall safe tape that hc so lovingly loves. i pulled the balloon garland in from outside that i got for hc’s birthday and and put up some honeycomb balls to make it feel festive!

i ordered a corsage from a local flower shop too! i felt that made it feel real and complete. i thought about it last minute and searched for a shop that was open and found one a few miles away. i called them and the lady on the phone was so sweet, despite the fact that they were closing up in an hour. she walked me through the options and we landed on a peach corsage that would be a great match to olive’s dress. she said that if i came in 20 minutes, she would have it ready to be picked up and that if i came then…she would go home afterwards! LOL i gathered the girls and rushed over. i called her 5 minutes earlier than expected and she had it ready and ran it out!

we got home and waited until early evening to start our dance party. hc got ready, olive got ready and ellie and i stayed in our pj’s. hahaha! olive was so excited to receive her corsage…she thought it was so beautiful and it matched her dress perfectly!

we got the party started! they slow danced, fast danced, break danced, had dance off’s and i got to judge! hc was full of laughable moves, like the running man, walk like an egyptian move, moonwalking and the worm. i think that last move knocked him out {physically…cause he is old popcorn} and he was pretty much done for the night. hahaha! while they retired their dancing shoes on the couch, i made a pasta carbonara with pancetta dinner and for dessert, the girls had pink cotton candy and chocolate treats!

overall, it was a pretty successful night! we had the best time and i know olive did too! cheers to making memories no matter what the situation may hold!

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[she’s the cutest]

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[she loves to pose]

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[she’s so dramatic]

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[olive’s corsage]

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[ready to boogie down!]

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[dancing away in her pj’s]

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xoxo