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

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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via tandeminlove.com[this punk screamed until she was in a car just like olive]

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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!

via tandeminlove.com[mini horses with mini crowns]

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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

happy second birthday my ellie belle!

we just celebrated ellie’s second birthday with a fun party!!

ok, ok…i say it e v e r y time. i’m only going to get balloons and a cake. eep!!!! what starts out small and innocent blows way out of control. first, it starts with…’oh, i’ll do a sprinkle theme’, then i think – this idea is fun. this idea is cute. oh, i can make this. wouldn’t this kind of cake be perfect? oh, sprinkle balloons would be a nice touch. what about sprinkle favors as name cards? and on, and on, and on my brain goes into overdrive and my crafting hands get to work and can’t stop. that pretty much sums it up and then boom! a simple party is born. hahahahaha!

hc and i had a very, very, very busy week. we had birthday parties to attend to, traveling to do, laundry to fold, friends to visit, grocery stores to go to, activities for the girls, cleaning to do, baking treats, crafting to finish, a brunch date, errands to run, keeping little humans alive, ya know…typical, every day parent shit.

then saturday came at us and we were ready. we had the food catered, the decor was ready to go, i did some easy baking, dressed the girls, and we were ready for our guests! there was a lot of prep work done the weeks prior, so the day of the party was easy. although through all my hustling that day, i literally ran out of time to dress myself. i said screw it. i’m wearing what i am wearing, everything and everybody else can look nice!

it was another hot day outside, so most of our guests stayed inside. we served apps {vege tray and a cheese plate!], plenty of drinks {alcoholic and non…}, mingled with family and friends {plus i ran around like freakin’ paparazzi!}.

right when the party started was ellie’s nap time. so i put her down 20 min. before the party began. she only slept an hour or so {there was so much commotion going on in the house!} but to my surprise, agata had retrieved her from her crib!!!! whaaaaaa? i was shocked ellie didn’t cry and let agata pick her up!? she allowed others to be in her personal space until she saw me, of course. but overall, she was so calm and well behaved for waking up to a full house of people!

after dinner, we served desserts but not without singing happy birthday to my beautiful girl! she was a bit upset i put her down in the chair but i quickly lit the candles and picked up her cake to bring to her. her face was like, ‘what’s going on here??’ we started to sing happy birthday and she was making the funniest faces!!! she was quite amused {watch the video below to see it in action!} but the best part was when we laughed at her cuteness and she busted out laughing herself; she was not sure on why people were laughing but joined in just because!

her birthday celebration was a total success! i had so much fun putting it together and i think all our guests, especially our guest of honor, had a great time!

happy birthday my beautiful ellie. you are spunky, sweet, silly, tenacious, so loving, thoughtful, amusing, and full of life. we are beyond thankful you have graced us with your presence. always remember how beautiful, strong, and intelligent you are! we love you so much baby girl!!!

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[pout pout]

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[flowers by my sister kim]

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[sprinkle wafers]

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[sisters]

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[chocolate dipped goodies covered with sprinkles]

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[thanks for the picture reagan!]

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[hc made the donut board and i glazed and sprinkled the doughnuts!]

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[not impressed by my decor]

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[two sweet]

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[family]

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[sprinkle cake]

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[dessert bar]

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[sprinkle cups and calligraphy names so people won’t lose their cups!]

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[these babes with ba…oh my heart]

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[i filled each balloon. oy]

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[barbara and lynne]

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[emoji favor bags]

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[thuy and lan]

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[she’s a doll]

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[sprinkle vases]

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[ready for her cake!]

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[singing happy birthday to ellie]

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[we all started laughing at her funny faces, so she laughed along with us!]

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[trying to get her to blow out her candles!]

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[she’s soooooo sweet! i could eat her up!]

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[my girls]

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[that face!!!!]

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[present time!]

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[i wear my sunglasses at night]

xoxo

mother’s day concert

olive’s school hosted the moms and their families to the mother’s day concert!

i was excited. i love being involved in anything school related. i love supporting olive in any school activities. i find these moments, these years too short. i try my best to be present. i try, i fail, and i succeed. i am not perfect.

olive has become more tenacious, more vocal, more opinionated, and together we have become more combative. she levels out my thinking and really makes me look into the mirror, which i am so grateful for. i realize how difficult i can be, how irrational and temperamental i am. i absolutely love her honesty towards me and it definitely puts me in my place.

being a mother is such a great gift. i feel so lucky to be on this journey. the lessons i’ve learned, the selflessness, and the reflection i must look at helps me become a better person. having children forces me to be a better human as i help them become better human beings. it’s my calling. it’s my purpose. it’s what i am meant to do. children are the greatest gift in this crazy, messed up world!

anyhoo, the concert was so stinkin’ cuuuuuute!!!!! so cute! they did such a great job singing all their songs and i was so proud of olive! she belted out some tunes! it was so cute to watch and hear her sing her songs.

after the concert, each student grabbed their gifts for their moms and walked down to us! it was so fun and sweet to see olive so excited to see us and give me her present! it was a book of handprints…from september to may, celebrating each holiday or milestone throughout the school year. i loved seeing her hand print grow with each month…oh my heart!

after the gifts, they had cookies and water for us to enjoy. it was so darling and fun! i attached a video of one of the songs they sang. you can hear olive so clearly in this one. my heart is so full!

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[getting ready to sing!]

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[waiting for the teachers to call her down to give her gift to me]

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[olive ready to give me a mother’s day present!]

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[my focus was sooooo off but i love her expression here, so i had to post it.

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[how cute is this??!]

[my focus was sooooo off but i love her expression here, so i had to post it.

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[she’s so damn sweet]

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xoxo

hello olive

so i thought i’d interview miss olive and ask her a few questions.

i wanted to capture her innocence and sweet personality. i wanted to freeze a brief moment in her, well, our lives. i want to remember her clearly at this age. 4 years and almost 6 months.

she’s grown so much in the last year but lately, each week, each month she grows exponentially. i am surprised and pleasantly shocked at her thought process. her maturity. her emotions. her loving and caring nature. this girl is soooo utterly emotional and sensitive. she can crumble easily but forgives instantly. thank God because i always need to be forgiven. i am too temperamental and rash, i am alway kicking myself for getting too heated but this amazing soul, we call olive, always comes back to this bear of a mother and forgives. she turns my heart into a puddle and my love for her is indescribable and so big, it’s beyond words.

she listens and is so compliant. i am amazed by her inherent abilities to flex with her environment and other people’s personalities. she dotes on her little sister ellie. she is so patient. she is kind. she has a memory like her mama – sharp and clear. her social skills have blossomed so much over thee past few months and i am amazed every time i see her so talkative and receptive to others that she might not know as well.

my ‘interview’ was short and sweet. so, i asked her a few simple questions:

kiki: what’s your favorite color?

olive: purple!

kiki: what’s your favorite thing to do with kiki?

olive: play with a tea party {which we did after this interview!} with my dollies

kiki: what else do like to do with kiki?

olive: to decorate the house

kiki: what’s your favorite food?

olive: hot dogs!

kiki: is there another favorite food?

olive: pancakes!

kiki: who’s your best friend?

olive: grace

kiki: what is your favorite toy?

olive: my dollies for a picnic; bunny unicorn and rockstar

kiki: what is your favorite holiday

olive: shopping

kiki: olive:

kiki: what’s your favorite dessert?

olive: a pancake!

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[a 24 hour old olive]

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[the only time she took a paci…after that, it was history]

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[her sweet baptism]

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[ten months old]

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[first birthday]

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[two years old]

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[four years old]

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[my sweet baby]

xoxo

first day of school

it was olive’s first day at school. wow…i was sooooo excited but my heart was crying a bit because my first baby is getting so big. she’s growing up and i am so proud of her, so full of love for her, and absolutely blessed to be her mom. this girl is like a ray of sunshine in my life and i am beyond thankful for her presence.

she’s becomes such a strong, silly, fun person. she’s so respectful and listens so well. she has a heart of gold and is the best big sister to ellie. a few things about her: she loves to make friends. when she sees another tot, she is immediately drawn to them. she’s not shy about that. she will slide on up next to the kid {boy or girl] and make eye contact, smile, and tries to seamlessly join in on their play. it’s the cutest thing to watch.

this girl has a pretty amazing memory. for example, we will see a toy store at the mall and i will tell her we are not going in there now and say to her, “we can go in there after we finish our errands.” she will politely and obligingly say, “ok”. after a couple of hours of shopping and letting this mama finish up what i need to get done, olive will then say, “ok, now we go to the store!” as in the store with the toys. hahaha! i think to myself…how do you remember?! she does this all.the.time. she doesn’t forget!

she’s become a bit opinionated about her clothes but not so much where she takes the reigns. i am still the dictator in the is department but i think it’s adorable when she wants in on what she wears. she usually listens to my opinion but i love that she adds in her fashion twists.

she’s become a bit more open with eating different things. i love that she will take my advice on trying things once. i told her that she needs to try something once and if she doesn’t like it, i won’t make her eat it but it means a lot to me if she tries it. i will totally admit that i am a sucker and i give in to her wants…i can’t help it!! she’s so darn cute! you want peanut butter and jelly? okaaaaaayyyyy. lollipop? suuuuure. whatever you want sweet girl.

anyhoo, on her first day of school. we rustled her awake and fed her a breakfast of fruit {grapes and strawberries} and cinnamon waffles. i got her dressed, hc dropped ellie off at my parents, and we took off to school. the week prior and leading up to that morning, olive seemed excited at the idea of school. we parked the car and her little face dropped. she looked concerned and somber. as we were walking from the car, she asked if i could hold her hand. of course baby girl. i am here for you! i held her hand and i could tell that she was taking in everything, observing it all. she was so calm and serious. we waited outside the classroom amongst all the parents and kids, waiting for mrs. finley to open up the doors. once she did, we walked inside and olive’s face lit up when she saw all the toys!!!

yes, toys make this girl happy. we greeted mrs. finley, walked around – checking out the classroom, dropped off our supplies, and watched olive play. after a bit, mrs. finley called the kids to sit down and the parents to gather around. she went over their every day schedule and a few rules and expectations. i really, really like her. she is sweet and seems so concerned with their well being.

olive already had homework! she needed to color an apple and bring it back for their tree. we took home some more paperwork and after 40 minutes or so, we left the class. we checked out the bathroom {it was so cute with all the mini toilets and sink}, we stressed to olive that if she needed to use the washroom, she needed to remember that she needs to pull her pants down and up on her own, and pretty much be independent. i think that’s the only thing i worry about right now. no one wants their kid to have an accident!

after we walked around the school for a bit of exploring, we then took little miss olive out for breakfast. our first and her second one of the morning! there this girl mowed down her mickey mouse pancakes and a plate of bacon. she cracks me up! gosh, i love her spirit.

well, olive’s first day of school was a success i must say! she was a bit nervous but everything for her, and us, turned out great! i was so looking forward to this day and it was absolutely perfect. i am so proud of my munchkin and i am looking forward to a fabulous school year!

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[first day of school]

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[a slight look of concern]

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[she looks so much like me here]

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[she got real serious here]

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[putting her bag up]

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[excited over the toys]

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[dada helping her raise her hand]

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[with mrs. finley]

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[grabbing her backpack]

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[such a big girl]

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[treating my girl to breakfast]

xoxo

ellie’s first birthday family photos

i was so excited for ellie’s first birthday professional pics! i always have anxiety leading up to their photo sessions because kids are unpredictable and me, being type a, always wants everything perfect! olive has had the reputation of being fussy and she’s always been so difficult with every photo session we’ve ever had with her.

ellie was awesome during her newborn sesh but sooooooooo dang fussy with her six months photos. plus, she’s been increasing clingy of late, so i knew her one year sesh was going to be hard to capture.

on top of that, our date with tricia had been cancelled twice and rescheduled three times! once due to personal conflict, another time due to inclement weather, and then we finally settle on a third date! well, the day had come and we were ready!

tricia had suggested that we take family photos instead to the usual birthday photos of just ellie and i was game. we were going to do individual pics of her but i absolutely loved the idea of family pics because that is what we are about! make is special for ellie but document us all on this very special milestone!

the evening was warm and muggy. like suuuuuuuper muggy!!! wet. moist. sticky. yes…all those descriptive words. at first, olive {had fallen asleep in the car equating to a grumpy wake up and girl}, she was rather somber and glum at first. typical! i gave her a little pep talk and asked if she wanted a flower and that perked her up instantly! next thing i knew…she was happier than a clam!! she smiled, giggle, and made the cutest faces for tricia! i was blown away! she was sooooooo stinkin’ cute! she is usually like this when we take pics but it was so heart melting to see her like this with tricia!

ellie cooperated quite well until we placed her in a bed of flowers {i warned tricia that she didn’t like being out of my arms and definitely didn’t like the grass!!!}. that was a compete mess but nonetheless, it was a very successful photo shoot! we truly had a wonderful time!!!

i am always so pleased with tricia’s work. she takes the most amazing pics of our family and i have loved having her as our family photographer for years now.

happy birthday miss ellie. you have blessed our lives in so many wonderful ways. we love you so much and the first year with you in our lives has blessed and fulfilled us in so many amazing ways!

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[my sweet birthday girl]

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[sweet, giggly girl]

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[the smiliest she’s ever been for professional pics…i’m in love]

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[meeeeeelting…oh how i adore this picture]

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[i can’t]

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[my girls. my sweet, lovely girls.]

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[my faaaaaavorite of these two]

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[yup…this is what we get for sticking her in a bed of flowers. she’s like, nope.]

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[my life]

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[pure love]

xoxo

ellie’s first birthday!

all the anticipation, all the anxiety, all the planning, all the crafting, all the energy, and all the time that went into planning ellie’s first birthday was finally here!

oh my goodness. i really don’t know why i do this to myself. i love party planning and yet absolutely hate it at the same time. hahaha! planning and executing it causes me so much strife yet the creative part, the vision, the beauty of it all brings me so much joy!

it all stemmed from my monthly photos of ellie. well, if we really want to rewind it, it truly originated from her room decor! her room started out with the idea of monochrome black and white with pops of pink and green. i had felt flower garlands handmade for her room to give it a feminine edge and soften the color of the space. from there, her monthly pics incorporated the felt flowers and voila! her party theme was born! i decided upon the influences of rifle paper co. because 1. i have alllllllllways been a fan of this company’s signature look  and 2. their brand fit perfectly in with ellie’s flower themed birthday party!

so, i created, made, bought, gathered, prepared, and finalized all the details of her party {mind you…i started physically planning at least 3-4 months out but i probably mentally planned for it all 8 months out…haha!}.

her party invites were rifle paper co {see them here on instagram} and i was able to incorporate quite a few items such as the wrapping paper, cards, card stock, place cards, etc. to really tie it all together. i was also super excited to have had signs {one welcome sign and one sign in sign for her birthday book} made for her party from erin german, a local calligrapher with who i had taken a class with to learn calligraphy myself!

so, with that said…i had a pretty welcome sign for all our guests {over 70 folks} and a sign in table for her birthday book. i had a book personalized for her birthday {from pottery barn kids}, added in rifle paper in the front so all our guests could write a birthday wish for her to eventually read when she gets older!

hc and i made a photo booth for our guests to have a little fun! we did this for olive’s party and i wanted to do it again for ellie’s. we had a wonderful bar table, complete with towels, bottle openers, ice, chilled garnishes, liquor, soda water, beer, pop, juice boxes, pellegrino, wine, champagne…you name it! everything you needed to create yourself a tasty cocktail.

i also set up the food table with all the essentials, cute little signs to identify the food & ingredient, enough plates, napkins, extra plasticware, and food nets to keep pesky bugs off the goodies!

each table had linens and centerpieces made up of flowers, rifle framed paper and cards, pails had calligraphy to identify the plasticware, and salt and pepper. i wanted each table to have it’s own purpose and function to make it easy for our guests when they sat down to eat.

we also had a piñata filled and ready to go. i even made favor bags for each kiddo for when the piñata broke, they would have something to hold all their gathered treats! unfortunately, we totally forgot about it! eep! we were so busy running around! it was the thought that counts, right?!

we even had a water slide bouncy house for all the kiddos! best thing ever if you are having a kids party!

last but not least…the dessert bar! my favorite, favorite part of the party! who doesn’t love desserts?! i think it was the prettiest part of the soiree! this area truly incorporated the flower theme in and out!

i have to thank my sister, kim, for gifting us with her talents and the flowers. she arranged all the vases and supplied all the gorgeous blossoms. without the flowers…my party theme would not have been complete. i am so grateful for her support! the decor looked absolutely stunning with all her amazing arrangements.

when the guests arrived, they signed ellie’s book, grabbed their drinks, maybe took a photo, and mingled. ellie was sooooo good with everyone. the sweet little babe was passed around all afternoon and she didn’t mind one bit! an hour or so after the party began, the food was finally served and of course, after that, we did the ubiquitous smash cake! as with olive’s smash cake moment, ellie was like, “hmmmmm, i’m not sure” but then she got into it. she was a sight to see, digging into that cake! it literally was too sweet! ha!

once all the markers were hit, i finally grabbed a drink and began to unwind. gosh, hosting a party with that many people is pretty darn stressful! i now could relax and truly mingle without having to ‘do’ something for the party and it was glorious!

slowly the guests departed {not without a candy favor!} and the party started to dwindle as the evening rolled in. overall, it was a fantastic afternoon. everything was perfect, fun, pretty, and most importantly…we celebrated ellie, the star of the party.

oh ellie, although this mama went a bit nuts throwing this party for you, but hopefully you will look back only to know and realize how much we love you and how much you mean to us. you are such a precious gift and we are so blessed to call you ours.

happy one year my beautiful child. we love you to infinity and beyond.

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[welcome to ellie’s first birthday party!]

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[sign in table…i created a personalized birthday book and filled the front pages with rifle paper for guests to write their birthday wishes for ellie!]

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[table centerpieces ~ rifle paper and cards framed, flowers, salt and pepper for our guests, and bundled flatware wrapped with rifle paper]

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[working on my calligraphy…i wrapped plasticware in a napkin and tied it with rifle paper]

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[sisters]

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[olivia and hc]

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[gorgeous flowers by my sister kim]

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[matt, kt, karen, johann, and tony]

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[piñata favor bags…calligraphy by me]

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[part of our bar table…we had cocktail garnishes, pop, pellegrino, juice boxes, wine, and pretty much any drink you needed!]

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[my party staple…paper straws]

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[jay, hc, dave, carrie, and lori]

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[getting the food table ready]

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[practicing my calligraphy! i created food signs for each dish we were serving]

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[irina and her sweet family]

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[e for ellie]

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[bethany, darren, and their cute, cute kids]

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[mike, kaitlin, julie, chuck, mary, dianna, and todd]

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[jeri and john are about to have their third baby!]

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[john and laura]

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[dessert bar]

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[i love these paper flowers!]

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[ellie’s smash cake]

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[french macarons]

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[grace and edwin]

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[rifle paper co diy 12 month banner for miss ellie]

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[twelve months of ellie]

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[flower donut tower]

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[ellie with her auntie missy]

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[smash cake time!]

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[not so sure of the cake…and i totally didn’t realize her crown was tangled. wahhhh]

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[you can’t tell from this pic but this balloon is ginormous]

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[scott and dana]

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[gorgeous arrangements by my sister kim]

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[love these girls!]

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[water slide bouncy house]

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[the silly nephews]

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[salt water taffy]

xoxo

happy twelve months ellie!

ahhhhhhhh! happy one year my sweet baby girl!

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height: 28″

weight: 17lbs 12 oz

i am soooo happy and in disbelief that you are now twelve months old. this time has absolutely flown by. she has become the cutest, most cuddly, smiley babe. her light just shines so bright when you are around her. she is so sweet, fun, and easy going. i love that she doesn’t mind others holding her. i say that because olive didn’t like anyone holding her, so it’s so refreshing to not be the only person holding your baby! babies are meant to be held and passed around to different people! the chubby cuteness makes anyone happy!

well, ellie’s top two incisors have now come in! she now has her four front teeth. they’re so cute! her teething period for these weren’t so bad. there were some days/nights where she was a little fussy but it wasn’t intolerable for her or for me.

she can now feed herself! we tried and tried and she finally got the hang of it! now she is a pro and professionally puts e v e r y t h i n g in her mouth. from branch bits that are dragged in through the door by hc’s shoes, to grass, to dead bugs, and pieces of lint that might possibly lie around on the ground. yes. i am quite the neat, clean person but now i have to be EXTRA neat, tidy, and clean. i am constantly vacuuming because she will pick up the tiniest piece of whatever and put it in her mouth!

she had gotten better at learning sign language {so far she knows more, eat, milk, all done}, clapping, and waving. it’s the cutest thing to see her respond to our voices and make the sweetest faces! i love watching her scrunch her face, pout her lips, and pretty much any facial expression she makes! it’s a sign of her growing and showing us her emotions and i love it!

she can copy specific sounds like uh oh, dada, pitches we make with our voices, and such. it makes me so excited that she can ‘talk’.

she can stand on her own. she’s attempted it many, many times and has had success! she raises herself from the sitting position and stands up for maybe 5 seconds or so. she’s very good at walking along all the furniture and will take little steps if you hold her hand. i don’t foresee her walking within the month {she’s a very fast crawler!} but very soon!

baby girl can sip from a straw! she refused to do so last month, then a couple weeks ago she was like, yeah…i can do this! it’s so darling to see her drink from a straw, she’ll drool but can get a good amount into her mouth. she’s very good at climbing stairs too! as usual, she can get up the stairs but has yet to learn how to get down the stairs! haha!

wow, i can’t believe this is my last monthly post. i can’t believe she is one. i am in disbelief. i am going to cry. i love her so much, it’s insane. i am so blessed and always want to cherish each moment with her and not take for granted how lucky i am to be her mama.

the world spins around because of your soul here on earth. we are so fortunate to be blessed with such a beautiful girl and my love for you is immeasurable. i’m trying so hard to grasp this concept of motherhood…it’s the most complicated, rewarding, daunting, joyous journey i have ever faced and been on in life. i am beyond thankful you are mine and i am yours.

ellie ~ from the day you were born to one year later, we are so in love with you! i love your smiles, giggles, hugs, clingy ways, patience, curiosity, clumsy ways, and sweet nature. i am in awe over you and can’t wait to see the great things you will accomplish in life! we love you so much!

xoxo