butterflies in the zoo

it was going to be a beautiful day {as in not HOT}, so we decided to do a zoo day. those 70ish degree days are absolutely perfect for a day of walking around outside {and not sweating, feeling sticky, and exhausted}.

the kids kicked off our adventure with a ride on the carousel, while olive insisted on getting her face painted. oh my goodness…face painting takes forever! LOL hc came over and asked us if we wanted to experience the butterfly garden and i said yes.

once olive was finished {she was so happy with her choice…a unicorn swirly concoction of white, pink, glitter, and purple}, we walked over to the butterfly exhibit {which was two seconds away from where her face was painted}. first, you had to wait for someone to open the door and let you in. once inside, the girl gave clear, strict instructions on how to behave once inside. she then turned on a fan, blowing air straight down in front of the door and we walked inside.

ohhhhhh, it was so beautiful and awesome! the plants and flowers were gorgeous and the butterflies fluttering everywhere was like a dream come true! it was so magical and the girls were amazed! olive and ellie loved it! it was so cute when olive said to me…”kiki, did you know that the fairies paint the butterfly wings?!” oh my goodness…i love her so much!

we spent a lot of time inside the garden. the girls were having such a wonderful time being so close to the butterflies and loved seeing all the different types. i felt that we could have been in there for another 10-15 minutes but our other half of the party was waiting for us, so we reluctantly left the magical garden.

we traipsed our way to the dolphins, then the sea otters, then to get food, then to the playground. we have gone to the zoo with the intent to see the lego set up but every time we go…one thing leads to another and time gets aways from us and yet again, we haven’t seen the lego displays yet.

well, after the playground, we walked around a bit more but kim, terry, and the boys had to go to lacrosse practice. wah wah. ellie was so upset they had to leave and cried about it for a bit, she kept saying, “bennett. bennett…”. it was so cute…she really missed them! after they left, we decided to explore a little more of the zoo, so we headed over to tropic world to see the monkeys. once we were out, we explored a bit more of the zoo with the intention of heading on our way out. ellie was getting tired and a little cranky from not taking a nap.

it was another awesome day at the zoo in the books with the family! we had so much fun exploring and the butterfly garden was our most favorite part of the experience. i love how it’s a fun, different adventure every time we go to brookfield!

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[can you spot reagan and bennett?]

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[where’s ellie?]

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[ready to get her face painted]

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[she chose a unicorn design]

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[she was so good at keeping her eyes closed…even when she didn’t have to! LOL]

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[her finished look!]

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[the beautiful butterfly garden at the zoo!]

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[can you spot the black swallowtail?]

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[can you see the zebra longwing?]

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[hanging with my peeps]

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[beautiful monarch]

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[a plethora of julia’s]

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[peeking]

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[black swallowtail]

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[a great southern white landed on reagan’s hat!]

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[admiring the beautiful butterflies!]

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[i think this is the gulf fritillary]

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[sisters – can you spot olive?]

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[reagan was our photographer!]

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[besties]

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[we took a similar picture like this on this exact statue when we i was a few years old!

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[the boys]

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[monkeys grooming each other]

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xoxo

a day in the city

we had an impromptu trip to the city!

lately, any new adventures into the city…hc is always a part of it but this time around…he had to work and i trekked downtown, with the girls, by myself! its not that i don’t ever go to the city by myself {i do allllll the time but to my usual stomping grounds. helloooo, i used to live in the city} but if it’s a place i’m not used to driving to…hc is usually there.

we traveled to millennium park first to meet kim, terry and the boys. it was hot and humid. i needed to get to the lakeside garage {i spot hero’d my parking} and my map was telling me to take wacker. helllllll no. hc can drive wacker but not me! i freak out just being in the car when hc takes that route. so i diverted to the above ground routes and took the long, a little bit more congested roads to get to the garage. well that was no picnic either. i still had to go underground for a nano second but when you do, gps goes out. poof! like, once you go underground…it’s like bye bye bye {cue n’sync}.

so, i used the old fashioned way of getting around and used my brain. my gps was kaput and i needed to get to the garage. i pulled over. surveyed my surroundings and navigated a u turn, a left turn, then a right turn and voila!! i took myself straight to the garage! wahooooo! i was so relieved!

we found the famille inside the park and we all walked over to maggie daley play area. the girls were so excited to see their cousins! they absolutely love hanging out with them. the kids giddily ran towards the playground and disappeared. kim, terry, and i just wandered around while the kids explored.

while we were out, it started raining and we took cover under the trees. we watched people still going down the slides while it was raining and that was incredibly entertaining as the water made the slides super slick and people were flying off the surfaces! ohmergawd…it was the sound of shrieking and laughter, then thud, thud, thud. folks skidding across the ground as they shot down the slides. so crazy!

after some time at the park, we jumped back into our cars and headed over to wrigleyville to shop around, spend some time at gallagher way, and we also had dinner reservations at dutch and doc’s.

we had such a great time all around in the city and we decided to head back to the ‘burbs for some ice cream at our favorite local shop, where hc & thuy met up with us! ellie fell asleep on the way home and it was so darn cute! she got sleepy and took the baseball cap on her head and pulled it forward over her face. so adorable.

we arrived at the ice cream shop before anyone else and decided to wait for them on a bench. there wasn’t a line but 5 minutes later, i turned around and the line was out the door and down the sidewalk! yikes! i jumped up and got in line to save a spot for everyone!

all the kids got ice cream, and some adults, and we decided to walk around downtown, since the car show was going on {just ending…as we were out so late}. after a lovely stroll in the warm summer evening, we all dispersed and headed home.

it was such a wonderful day and evening spent with the family. life is good.

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[exploring wrigleyville]

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[little buggers…ellie was a nut in the store]

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[new hats]

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[oh ellie…always following in her big sister’s footsteps…it’s so sweet to see]

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[snacking at gallagher way]

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[coloring and drinking at dutch and doc’s]

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[oh how we love the cubbies]

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[so exhausted on the ride home, she pulled her cap forward and fell asleep! we were still heading out for ice cream!]

xoxo

fourth of july 2019

i feel that the 4th of july is the height of the summer season and then it goes downhill from there. not in a bad way but it’s real chill afterwards and then august hits and it’s back to school! eep!

we did our usual the morning of the 4th. we {as in me and the girls} scrambled to get up, ready, and out the door early enough to nab a parking spot at madison school and traipse our way to the usual spot. a spot my sister and brother in law reserve every year with lawn chairs the night before. the girls were excited for the parade and even more excited to see their cousins.

we greeted some familiar faces, particularly helen, and chatted up with a few people already there and waiting. bit by bit, terry showed up, the boys, kim, and then thuy. we were all excitedly waiting for the parade to start and soon, we heard the sirens…signifying that the parade was on its way!

the girls were ecstatic! they shrieked and laughed as they saw cool and funny things walking/driving by! when it was time for the soldiers to walk by and fire their guns…the girl’s reactions completely define them. BOOM! it was so loud and there’s ellie…not jolted by the noise but curious and walks forward to see what it is and where it’s coming from. now here’s olive, running the opposite direction screaming in fear. LOL. yup, that’s them!

folks threw candy, random items, flyers and more candy! the girls walked away with quite the stash! olive’s philosophy on it was, if they’re giving to me…i must eat it now. i had to stop her after her second lollipop! she was like, what? they’re giving it to me??? nice reasoning cutie pie.

after the parade, we ran into hc’s friend max and chatted with him for a bit, while thuy swept the girls away once more. i wanted to stay and hang with max but we needed to get home because we had guests coming over.

we drove home in the jeep and hc dropped me off to get the party started while he grabbed ice and any other random items we might have needed. our guests slowly arrived {my family each brought over an item or two} and our gathering was in full swing. we had apps and drinks going and then finally kicked off the grill and cooked hotdogs, burgers, corn, with pasta salad, all the fixings {grilled onions, avocado slices, tomato, condiments}, potato salads, fruit, etc.

the evening began to cool off while the kids played with some ‘fire’works outside {really just some snappers and sparklers}. we served desserts and then all the kiddos had a water balloon fight! it was so cute to see how they all interacted…the boys chased each other, ellie did a little chasing, but mostly threw water balloons onto the grass to watch them pop and olive cried. uh huh. that’s what they did. hahaha!

our day was super lovely and fun. as always, we had the best time celebrating america’s birthday with our family!

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[they’re so sweet]

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[we saw this lab as a puppy last year!]

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[with uncle terry]

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[she’s such a ham]

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[they hear the sirens! waiting for the trucks!]

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[old school firetruck]

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[here come the fire trucks!]

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[with dada]

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[he’s been walking in the parade for years!]

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[helen, kim, me, thuy, and olive]

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[i love the way ellie is holding onto olive for the picture…she has no idea her hand is on her face! LOL]

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[with their super auntie…they always love being with her]

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[fourth of july desserts]

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[barbara and terry]

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[dan and olive]

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[festive cupcakes]

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[happy fourth!]

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[thuy, barbara, agata, lynne, and kim]

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[walsh family]

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[grand  kids]

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[the cheeky ones]

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[apps]

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[red velvet cake]

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[red, white, blue and stars ice cubes!]

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xoxo

girl and the goat

my friend andrea invited us to a private dining experience at girl and the goat in chicago. i was super excited to participate because 1 – date night! 2 – great food 3 – a night out in chicago while it’s warm! all great reasons to overeat, over drink, and laugh really hard.

traffic was light and we arrived 15 minutes early! hc and i were escorted downstairs to the underground goat but we weren’t the first ones though! lisa, nick, and kyle were already there. we were warmly welcomed and greeted with smiles. we all immediately kicked off great conversations while our server quickly served us delicious drinks.

slowly, everyone trickled in. many familiar faces and some new ones. i was fortunate to hang out with grace, stephanie, and lisa {andrea and ginger too!} a few weeks back {during our craft night out at papersource} and got the chance to know them a little bit better.

andrea claims she’s anti-social but i’d like to argue that. she’s such a great connector and gets along so well with others! i have met so many wonderful people through her and feel very blessed to call her my friend. she’s genuine, kind, thoughtful, smart, and will bend over backwards for you when you need it. she’s definitely a person you want in your life!

we mingled for quite awhile. i was having so much fun chatting with everyone…that itself was already an amazing start to a more amazing evening. after an hour or so, we finally settled into our assigned seats {thanks to andrea’s crafting abilities}. i sat next to hc and a new friend, jessica. her and i bonded over what we were doing differently to help the environment, how we were raising our kids, and social media! LOL yes…but that was not all we talked about!

as the dishes rolled out, everyone ate, talked, drank, on repeat. the food was delicious and i was wildly hungry! i ate almost everything but as the meat courses started to appear {the last dishes to arrive}, i was at my limit. it was all so savory and divine but i was dunzo.

near the end of our meal, stephanie izard stopped by to say hello! she chatted with andrea and jamie for a bit…she kindly joined in on multiple pics with the guests, thanked us, and wished us a great evening. it was so awesome to see her! a perfect ending to our evening!

hc and i enjoyed our time immensely. we thought our experience would be a bit different. i thought the servers would explain the courses a bit more, letting us know the make up of each dish and for some reason, we had the impression we would have suggested wine pairings with the food. no matter, it was a wonderful experience all around. i throughly enjoyed it all!

thank you andrea for concocting this whole event! it was a fantastic night out with an even better crowd.

{i did not bring my camera. *gasp* i wanted to not lug it around and just enjoy my evening with the hubs and friends! so. all of these pics are andrea’s!}

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[andrea and rebecca]

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[stephanie, andrea, and lisa]

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[grace and kyle]

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[nikki and andrea]

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[andrea and ginger]

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[andrea and jason]

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[andrea and jessica]

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[andrea and stephanie izard]

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[cute little favors we got to take home!]

xoxo

fantastic bug encounter

we were invited to preview the newest exhibit at the field museum! and it did not disappoint!

i was super excited to have the girls experience something different and fun. the whole collaboration was well thought out and the field museum did such an excellent job welcoming us!

traveling to the museum took a pinch and we were given complimentary parking – sweet! we quickly parked and walked right into the very close entrance. we were greeted by a few  staff members, asked to sign in, and given visitor passes to wear. then a kind lady led us through the building up to where the exhibit was.

we were then greeted again by staff members at the entrance and given additional information on event and were told to enjoy and have fun!

the entrance was so cool! video screens lined the walk way and it felt like we were walking through an enchanted forrest with butterflies fluttering all around us!

once inside, the rooms were outstanding! everything was informative, interactive, and so beautifully designed! the girls immediately gravitated towards everything in there! olive was obsessed with the immersive chambers and they both were so delighted and intrigued by all the different displays of bugs!

i was pleasantly surprised by ellie! i was nervous she wouldn’t have great time because she is terrified of bugs! i was reassured by a field affiliate that she would indeed have a good time and not be scared and she was right! the whole space is so colorful, bright, and fun…ellie was not bothered by the bugs and didn’t seem to care. what i loved most was i knew she felt safe, so therefor she wasn’t scared! she was so brave the entire time and i can’t believe she came so close to the live bugs at the bug zoo! she was closer to the live bugs than olive cared to get!

we explored the whole exhibit and loved all the rooms. olive loved the praying mantis chamber, all the games, and i think her favorite bug was the swimming/diving beetles! i loved how wonderfully designed it all was. the details, the thought process behind each area, and how creative the space was for the children.

i have to add that the gift bag was bugtastic! they were so thoughtful and generous in giving us such a wonderful treat when we left the exhibit! it was filled with sooooooo many goodies for the girls {lots of toys} and mama {pampering products}!

we even ran into a few other blogger friends at the event! the afternoon turned out so fun for us! after our visit at the fantastic bug encounter, we headed down to south michigan ave to find a place to eat. it was so sunny and warm but once we parked the car, it became dark and the sky opened up! the rain poured down as we waited outside the building under an awning by the el. the girls had a blast standing outside while it rained all around us. watching them giggle, be silly, and laugh endlessly filled my heart with so much joy.

after dinner, we stopped by another eatery and purchased ice cream shakes for the girls. they sipped their sweet treats while we walked back to the car. while on route, as were about to cross the street, i think i knocked ellie’s shake out of her hand trying to guide her and it fell to the ground! ughhhhh! i quickly picked it up and salvaged it! LOL the straw never touched the ground and the shake was still in tact although half of it spilt out. yes, i was that mom who pulled the 5 second rule, even on the dirty streets of chicago. hahahahaha!

our afternoon was beautiful. i thoroughly enjoyed our day together as a family. it’s been awhile where we have spent it in the city on our terms…not just running from one event to the next, driving in traffic just to get somewhere but it was more so a slow moving day, where we enjoyed our time and we weren’t strapped to a timeline or an outside agenda!

thank you field museum for being such a consummate host. the whole experience was top notch and we had the most lovely day!

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[ready to explore!]

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[these girls have my whole heart]

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[i post multiple pics because ellie’s faces are too cute!]

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[sweet kisses for ellie]

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[praying mantis]

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[the very cool immersive chambers were outstanding!]

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[everything was so interactive! so hands on]

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[checking out the bug zoo…the girls did not hold the bugs but they were much closer to them than what i expected!]

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[millipede]

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[she was so mesmerized by the associate who was feeding the ‘swimming beetles’]

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[origami a bird and watch it fly!]

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[oh my sweet babes! they had such a great time at the museum]

xoxo

rotary fest {aka…heritage fest}

come summer, come festivals. oh, it’s one of my favorite things about summertime!

what wasn’t a favorite was the cold, cold temps! ughhhhhh. it was so chilly the evening we chose to go. for me, a jacket wasn’t even warm enough while standing outside for hours. i saw people in short shorts, tank tops and sandals and here i was in layers, long pants, and i was super cold!

we met up with lan, avery, thuy, kim and the boys. olive and ellie were so excited to see their cousins! ellie was all about holding my hand leading up to us meeting them. as soon as she saw the boys, she wanted to be a big girl and refused to hold my hand. LOL she did her best to keep and be cool. oh my two year, going on twelve.

the kids were living their best lives – playing games, having fun, winning prizes. us adults just walked around with the kiddos as they picked what games they wanted to play. the girls were having a great time! the best part of the fest was when the boys and olive rode on the bumper cars. hc went with olive and she had a blast! giggling, laughing, and hc was a pro steering the bumper car and smoked everyone in there.

after a couple hours there, we had made dinner reservations at a restaurant right downtown, just a few minutes away from where we were. we walked right over and enjoyed the rest of our evening in the comfort of warmth.

if the weather was better, we probably would have eaten some yummy festival food and sat on the sidewalk but we wanted to be comfortable {not freezing our tushies} while we ate our dinner.

despite the cold weather, we still had a wonderful evening out at the festival. what was most important was that the kids had a blast, memories were made, and we, in the end, still ate yummy food!

yay for summer!

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[olive said, “kiki! kiki! look…a big lemon!]

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[everything is so bright and over the top!]

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[we chose and only had time to go to the fest friday night and of course it was freeeeeeezing. the next day was super warm. go figure]

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[so many plushies, so excessive!]

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[pop a balloon and win a prize!]

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[i told ellie to look at me]

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[then i said, “look at reagan”. look at her adoring stare]

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[my sweet babe]

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[i love her sweet looks]

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[our crew]

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[oh these two]

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[this girl and her poses]

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[girl gang]

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[everybody wins!]

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[dada helping ellie out]

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[did you win ellie?]

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[their prizes…pink unicorns!]

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[toss the rings]

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[i’m not sure how long he was able to hang in there for]

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[i think thuy got to 75 seconds!]

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xoxo

abe’s first birthday party!

my dear friend dana and scott’s baby abe turned one!

“baby shark a doo da doo baby shark a doo da doo!”

yesssss…it was a shark themed first birthday party but before this song became a fad, dana has loved sharks way before it’s current popularity.

boy oh boy did dana do a fabulous job tying this theme all together! and y’all know me, i love a well thought out, executed theme! just check out the pics below! the snack pails, the shark tail cupcakes, the shark fruit bowl, octopus veggie tray…it was all so darn cute and perfect! also, i can’t forget the amazing cake! helloooooo – it was a wondrous sight! the details, colors, and design of the cake was on point and beautiful, and delicious to boot!

the weather was beyond amazing…the most ideal temperature for an outdoor party and it happened to be one of the first nice, sunny days on a weekend in, what felt like, months.

the girls were super excited to attend the party but they were most excited over the rain play-set sitting on the lawn. holy cow…olive was obsessed. she was pretty much consumed by it the whole duration of the party. the only time she broke away from it was when tunes with tim showed up!

she throughly enjoyed the sing alongs, music, and the show’s finale with bubbles! what a great idea to have entertainment for the kids at the party! he was animated, the songs were catchy, and the kids and adults loved him!

after tim’s session, we all gathered around to sing happy birthday to mr. abe. it was so sweet and fun…first birthdays are always the best! the cake was cut and served and our girls ate way, way, way too much sugar! they both had a slice of cake and a cupcake. yowza!

after the hoopla and the guests dwindled down, hc and i were able to relax and mingle with the remaining peeps that were important! i was able to connect with dana too. during the party, she was running around hosting and i let it be. i definitely know what it’s like to host a big party…it can be stressful, hectic, blurry, and nuts. sometimes you almost can’t think or breathe because there’s so much going on. i am so glad we stuck around a bit after quite a few people left because we could finally visit!

it was such a wonderful afternoon celebrating abe. i love dana, scott, her family, friends, and everyone in-between. cheers to you little man. we wish you many years of love, happiness, and laughter.

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[the birthday boy]

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[they were obsessed with this toy!]

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[olive could not pull herself away from this toy!]

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[the prettiest beer can]

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[my somber looking sweet peas]

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[dana did such a great job with the themed food!!!]

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[she had so much fun at the party!]

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[octopus veggies]

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[tunes with tim was a hit!]

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[how sweet are these two?]

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[scott, abe, dana, and emily]

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[she’s so darn innocent, raw, cute, and sweet]

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[the coolest cake! it’s so darn cute and perfect!]

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[happy birthday to youuuuuu!]

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[that unimpressed face. LOL]

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[gimme some cake]

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[oh they had junk and more junk and more sugar. that’s how we roll at birthday parties!]

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[jeff and marcia]

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[nom nom nom]

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[rawr!]

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[bubbles!]

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[bubbles are alllllllways fun]

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[they were intrigued by tunes with tim….and the bubbles]

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[the hubs – scott and hc]

xoxo

father’s day 2019

we celebrated father’s day at hc’s parent’s house.

on mother’s day…we do what i prefer and on father’s day, we do what hc prefers and it all is fair and square. we got up and got ready at a very slow pace {ahem…if it’s a day off for me…i can never get out of bed quick}.

i had the girls give hc his gift in the morning…flowers, a bag of man treats, and a six pack of unique beers. they were so cute trying to carry it all to him!

once we were at his parent’s house, we all just sat around chatting. his sister missy, his aunt wendy, grace, his parents, his cousin kevin and kevin’s kids, mila and nolan were all there. it was so good to catch up and just relax.

it’s been awhile since we have seen kevin and the kids and it was super nice to have him there! it reminded us that it had been too long since we’ve hung out and we need to see them more often!

after an hour or so of being there, lunch was ready! jane had made chicken, burgers, and salad. we all gathered around and had a really good time conversing while we ate.

father’s day was very low key but filled with a lot of love. sometimes all you need is to be with the ones you love and that’s it.

happy father’s day hc. you are an amazing dad to the girls and they absolutely adore you. thank you for always doing your best and going above and beyond every day to provide us the best life possible. we love you to infinity and beyond!

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[our gang]

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[handmade gifts]

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[my favorite girls]

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[my sweet babe]

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[dada and his girl]

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[oh that face…she melts our hearts]

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[mama and son]

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[hc, jane, and kevin]

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[his favorite uncle]

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[so sweet]

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[desserts are always welcomed]

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[father and daughter]

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[grilling kind of cake]

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[daddy and daughter]

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[olive was so excited to give dada her gift]

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[as close as ellie would get to aunt wendy]

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[homemade frames for dad]

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[ellie was upset and screamed for grace to console her! it was so darn cute!]

xoxo

ellie’s big little girl bed

cue allllllllllll the tears. like sheets of rain jumping outta my eyes.

{apologies now as i get passionate talking about this stuff…so i then start to ramble.}

at the beginning of may, we took away the paci from ellie. oh my goodness…it pained me a bit to do so but ellie made it so easy. one day, i said no paci and she was like ok and i hid it. i was very, very surprised that she gave it up so easily because months prior…it was a fight to always have it {and i always gave in}. so, that was the first part of my heart breaking a bit.

olive never took to the paci, so i never had to break her from it but with ellie being our last baby, the fact that we weaned her from the paci was another moment of me realizing that she is growing up. it is just so damn bittersweet.

so that was the first milestone.

we had purchased ellie’s toddler bed awhile back in readiness for her transition. we wanted to have it just in case she showed signs that she was ready to sleep in a big girl bed. i decided on a toddler bed because one: she’s so damn tiny and i know she will sleep in it for several more years and two: it was so darn cheap!!!! also, three: her room is small in square footage, so a little bed was a perfect fit for her space. we bought the bed for $70 and the bedding for less than $100! score!

at bed time, one week, i put ellie in olive’s bed and she was grinning ear to ear. i asked her if she wanted to sleep in a big girl bed and she nodded her head yes. i told hc what had happened and he took it literally. so on 5.28, he surprised us both {while i was at gymnastics with ellie} and built ellie’s bed!

uhhhhhh, who cares if ellie was ready cause i was NOT! i came home and i was like whaaaaaaaa?! i kept thinking, where’s her crib? i’m not ready! what? my baby has a big girl bed?! i was crying inside a little bit but i knew it was time. kind of. sniff. sniff.

ellie saw the bed and freaked out. she didn’t want it. those were her words. ‘i don’t want it’. it’s so cute when she says that! i think she was freaking out a bit because i told her that if she wanted to sleep in a big girl bed, she would have to stop nursing. {yes, i still nursed ellie…those who judge have NO IDEA, so don’t roll your eyes and crinkle your face in disgust. shame on you for judging the most beautiful bond a mother and child can have but more on that later}.

ellie laid down in the her new bed cautiously and hesitantly. i knew this was going to be a big change for her. that night when we were getting her ready for bed…she seemed stiff and worried. i put her down in her bed, grabbed a book to read to her, and she had the most somber look. once i finished the book and said goodnight…she started bawling. oh it broke my heart. i walked out, slightly closed the door and she cried soooooo loud. i came back in because my heart couldn’t take it and saw the most devastated look on her face. i looked at rich and he said ‘just nurse her. let’s not shock her all at once.’ so i did. i nursed her for three more days and then it happened.

on 5.31…ellie gave up nursing.

yes it happened. it finally happened. i had played around with the idea of us giving it up several times prior to this but each time, ellie put a kibosh on it. she firmly held her ground and would NOT stop nursing. i didn’t mind. i loved it…probably just as much as ellie.

so, let me talk about nursing and why i loved it so much. while i was pregnant with olive, i was not fond of the idea of nursing. #truth. i didn’t want to. i didn’t like the idea. i didn’t want to be bothered. #truth then around 7-8 months pregnant, i thought: why knock something you haven’t tried? so i committed to the idea and said to myself – i am going to give it a try…and see where it takes us – boom. olive was born and 20 months later…she chose to give up nursing herself and i cried. it was so easy for her to say bye bye to the boob.

when i started nursing olive, i told myself the goal was six months. then six months led to one year. then one year led to 20 months and then she became a big girl and said, ‘see ya later booby…i don’t need you anymore’ and i was utterly sad. that day is so clearly etched into my memory.

olive’s journey was tough. so much more tough than ellie. nursing olive hurt and it didn’t just hurt in the beginning…we struggled, i had anxiety, i bled and not through a bite {although she only bit me once and learned her lesson and never did it again}, and it was at times very, very painful but i persevered and we made it to 20 months. i loved everything about nursing…it’s difficult to put into words how amazing the experience can be. giving birth was so freakin’ empowering and feeding my child was like the cherry on top. i feel that being a mother, overall, i was meant to nurse. the emotional return was priceless.

ellie’s journey was so much more relaxing, easy, and pain-free. i was seasoned, i didn’t care where i nursed, and ellie loved it. our journey hit six months, one year, two years, and it almost hit three years. 2 years and 10.5 months to be more exact.

our whole experience was absolutely wonderful. i loved nursing for the closeness, the quiet moments together, the bond, and the nurturing aspect of it. there’s something so wonderful about feeding your child, having those special one on one moments with her just filled my heart with joy. i couldn’t imagine doing a better act as a mother.

now, let’s talk about other people’s perception and how many people judge you, had opinions, and literally rolled their eyes at me for still nursing ellie.

i am a firm believer that you do what is right for you and your babe. people will judge. people will comment. people will think it’s wrong she’s so ‘old’ but who really gives a shit? everyone has an opinion and i chose to not be bothered by it. if anyone ever showed signs of judgment…i am confrontational and i just made it awkward for them. their opinions didn’t stop us or persuaded me. sometimes i felt when people judged me…they wanted to shame me into agreeing with them but it caused the opposite effect.

there are worse things a mom could be doing than nursing her almost three year old daughter. give me a break. people looked at me like i had two heads. uh, there are moms out there who neglect their kids, who abuse their kids, who don’t feed their kids, who don’t care for them in a proper way, and people are going to verbally judge me because i am providing my child with love, care, and nutrients?! you don’t think it’s right i should nurse my child who can walk and talk?! smh. create a better argument and maybe i’ll listen.

on 6.14, we had a slight relapse. totally not her fault. my bad for positioning ourselves the way we used to nurse! we woke up one morning and hc was home as well. olive and hc were laying in our bed when i got up to wake ellie. i pulled her into our bed and we laid down. now, during our nursing days, we used to nurse in our bed, laying down and this brought back strong memories for her and she tugged at my shirt to nurse. i said, “no, ellie…no more night night.” {what we called it} and within a nano second she burst into tears. oh my heart shattered into a million pieces. she cried and was so distraught, tugging at my shirt. i softly told her no again and she was so upset…oh my poor baby!

i felt so bad but after 5-10 minutes, she got over it and we moved on. i won’t be doing that again for awhile {laying her down in our bed in the morning} but we are totally in the clear. she is boob free, i am free, and we are both loving life!

so, short story long…we finally put together ellie’s big girl bed and all the big girl things fell into place. now if we can master the potty training, we’ll be good as gold!

sooooo, check out her ‘big’ girl room below {her room pretty much stayed the same, we really just updated a few things}. i am loving all the details. sigh…oh my sweet ellie. you always keep us on our toes.

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[flamingo, gold sequins, and pink roses]

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[felt flowers and wooden name sign]

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[grey polka dot sheets]

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[new whitewashed bookshelves]

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[star filled wall and black tassel curtains]

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[night night!]

xoxo

spring recital ’19

oh, how i love the spring recital.

olive’s first formal recital was last year and it was so special and oh so sweet but this year felt even better! why? we were seasoned, we felt more confident, and i was less anxious. LOL

i think the most stressful part about the recital is reserving all the seats for our invited guests. most people wouldn’t care, worry, or think it’s a big deal to nab good seats but it’s my purpose. haha! i find it important to be front and center for my girl and that her family can see her clearly! my problem is that i invite 15-20 people each time and i semi-feel like an ass blocking off that many seats! but not enough to not do it, so it’s an endless mind battle in my head. i’m filled with anticipation until i do so and then once it’s done, i can relax. phew!

our family trickled in and everyone was situated in their seats and ready to watch our baby girl perform! olive’s group was first to perform. she danced her ballet routine to ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ and then her group was fourth in line to perform and they tapped their way to the song ‘rainbow’.

watching the little kiddos dance is so darn sweet and cute! they are usually all over the place with their moves, never in sync, and so darling in their costumes. when it came time for them to end their routine with a final pose, it was like a comical show with them not knowing what they were doing or arguing with each other on how they were suppose to pose and end the act….hahaha! ahhhhh, their innocence is so heartwarming!

olive did such a great job! she practiced at home {a few times} and was so focused during her performance! i am so blown away she doesn’t get stage fright or even appear to be nervous. she just goes with it and i love her for it!

after the show, i picked up olive and brought her out to her adoring crowd. she was showered with flowers and gifts…what a welcome! our family snapped a few photos of the shining star and we all cruised back to our abode for a late lunch and fun.

once home, our guests slowly arrived while hc and i ran around preparing random things for the party. i snapped pics of olive with all her guests while hc prepped the food. once i was satisfied with all the snaps {olive so patiently obliged to all the photos, although she wanted to play! oh, she’s so sweet and kind!}, i took everyone’s drink order and finally stopped for a moment to visit with them.

it was so sweet that auntie lynne bought flowers for both girls {she didn’t want ellie to feel left out} and gifts for them both. she’s always so good to them! they are so spoiled by their family!

about an hour and half later, kim and reagan stopped by after his baseball game and joined in on our fun! the weather was so amazing! rain was in the forecast but it stayed away and it turned out to be the most perfect day.

the whole afternoon was so good. the food was delicious. the drinks flowed. the girls were super happy and our guests were comfortable. we couldn’t have asked for a better time.

spending time with family is always the best. words can’t describe the joy, content, and happiness we feel to be surrounded by our loved ones. happy recital day miss olive. you did such an amazing job in your dance routines and you are one blessed girl to have such wonderful family around you.

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[i love how she chose to pose]

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[she danced to ‘somewhere over the rainbow’]

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[the final pose]

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[ready for her tap routine]

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[the girls tapped to the song ‘rainbow’]

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[the final bow]

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[inundated with flowers and gifts!]

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[my sweet girls]

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[ellie did not dance but auntie lynne got her flowers to not feel left out! how sweet!]

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[of course we had to coordinate olive and ellie]

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[auntie missy and olive]

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[papa and gramma]

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[the heintz family]

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[barbara and lynne]

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[ba and rimma]

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[no cake topper, so i quickly decorated it with flowers]

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[cousin reagan and auntie kim]

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[so azn]

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[mes soeurs]

xoxo