anniversary in mexico

i have said this story quite a few times over the past year but after this post, i might be done. our original plan last year, for our five year anniversary, was to go to nyc. i love nyc. there’s something so old world and classic about this electric city but we ended up getting pregnant and gave birth to ellie right before our anniversary. so, taking a trip was out of the question with ellie only being over a month old, near our anniversary.

we love celebrating those roundabout numbers but we felt it was fit for us to still book a trip away for our sixth anniversary! hc decided to schedule a trip to mexico. i was game. i am all about tropical destinations!

i was sooooo looking forward to our time away. we try to get away, without kids, at least once a year. it’s so important for us and our marriage. every couple should try to do this. of course you miss your kids terribly but it’s sooooo nice to have time with just us two…do things at our pace and just take care of each other.

our travels to cancun was smooth. no craziness, no bumps, and once we landed, it was so HOT out! hc contracted a private ride for us to the resort, he said he knew better than to cram us into a shuttle with a bunch of other folks. haha! he knows me so well!

we arrived at our hotel and it was lovely. unfortunately, the room reserved for us was not available due to a malfunctioning air-conditioner. so, we bunked in a room that was soooooo tiny! gah, it was so small but they promised us a room that we had originally booked by tomorrow.

so the next day, we got coffee, went to breakfast, hit the pool, and then checked to see if our room was finally ready {they delayed it a bit later than what we were expecting} and they said we were good to go! they updated our bracelet info and we walked over to the third tower, to our room.

we walked in to the best surprise! the room was beautiful! it had the MOST gorgeous view of the sea, it was sooooo much bigger and better, and they had decorated the room in celebration of our anniversary!!! how sweet and amazing was that?! they scattered rose petals all over the floor with candles, created a heart out of the petals on the bed, and left us with chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. i was so delighted!

hc and i did a lot of relaxing. a lot of sleeping. a lot of lying around, pretty much doing nothing and we loved it! we tried a japanese restaurant called hakka…it was surprisingly delicious. we ate at their 24 hour cafe – they served breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night dining. we sat at the pool a lot and drank a lot of coconut margaritas. those drinks were super tasty and went down way too easy! ha!

we stayed local and it was perfect. i really enjoyed the people. i was pleasantly surprised at how sweet, kind, polite, and how hard working everyone was. it really hit home to my heart. i really appreciated illiana, roman, alberto, and everyone else who serviced our needs. they made our stay amazing and we really enjoyed seeing them throughout our stay there.

i was overwhelmed by the caribbean sea. it was stunning. the water was so clear. the sand was so soft and white. the color of the sea was so vivid. it changed from bright blue, light blue, and emerald green. i was mesmerized. i loved the sound of the ocean, the crashing of the waves, the awesomeness of it.

on our second to last day there, the waves became much more powerful and they closed the beach late morning due to the water breaking very high onto the shoreline. i blamed hurricane irma. although it was over 2500 miles away, the size of the hurricane was 400 miles wide! that’s huge! it was a gorgeous day but the waves were so angry…it was telling us something.

so, let me tell you about the crazy nature occurrences that were all happening at once. over a week ago, there was hurricane harvey that battered the coast of texas and destroyed so many towns, homes, and flooded a huge part of the area. around the same time, there were the monsoons at bangladesh that flooded the area causing so much destruction. at the same time, there were the wildfires burning a majority of the west coast!  while we were in cancun, there were three, yes three hurricanes swirling all around us. irma {atlantic/ cat 5}, jose {atlantic/ cat 4}, and katia {gulf of mexico/cat 1}. then, on thursday night…the day we flew in, we were lying in bed and i noticed the bed shaking. i nudge hc and asked him if he was shaking the bed. he looked at me like i was crazy and said no. i repeatedly asked him, “do you feel the bed shaking?!”. he said yes and we laid there for a bit feeling the tremors. hc then stood up and looked out the window to see if if was windy outside or maybe something was going on to cause the building to shake and tremble. nothing made sense so hc got back into bed and the bed continued to shake and tremble. i was a bit freaked out. wtf. what was going on?? after a few long minutes, the trembling finally halted. we truly had no idea what the heck that was until the morning when hc saw that an earthquake had rocked the west side of mexico! the biggest earthquake to hit the country in 100 years. how bananas was that?! to sum it all up, within a week, we’ve had monsoons, flooding, multiple hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and an earthquake hitting us hard. i think mother nature was readjusting itself after the eclipse we just experienced.

anyhoo, on our last full day in cancun, it was our anniversary! yay! we spent the day at the pool and retired back into our hotel room to relax before dinner. hc had made reservations at a restaurant called navios. it was awesome! i loved it! it was absolutely perfect. the restaurant was out on a pier and there were huts, pretty lights, and calm waters that surrounded us. it was a beautiful scene that elevated our dining experience. hc had made our reservations just in time for us to watch the sunset. once we were seated and within 20 minutes or so, the sun started to set and it was so pretty to watch. the food was so good {the best we had while in cancun} and the service was on point. i thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary dinner at navies, it was a perfect last celebratory evening on our vacation!

thank you hc for planning this fabulous trip for our anniversary! it was absolutely perfect. it was exactly what we needed and definitely a lovely trip to remember. thank you hc for being an amazing partner, friend, and husband. we are so blessed and i am so lucky to have you. i love you to infinity and beyond!

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[our view]

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[the water was so clear and blue!]

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[ahhhhh, sand between my toes]

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[fresh ceviche]

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[so gorgeous]

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[cheers!]

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[honestly, i think my bikini top was upside down. hahaha! backwards cleavage. eep! and that belly pudge…i am proud to say that this body gave birth to two beautiful girls]

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[enjoying fresh ceviche]

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[so gorgeous]

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[i’m in awe]

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[scavengers]

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[so freakin’ amazing]

* * * * *

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[ready for dinner…i literally brought noooooo clothes. ha! while i was packing, my monkeys were hanging all over me and i lost track of what i was actually bringing. i pretty much wore the same thing the entire time we were there!]

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[yummy japanese restaurant in mexico]

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[gorgeous moon over the water, right outside the restaurant]

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[someone trying to figure out my camera. haha!]

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[city lights]

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[cloudy moon]

* * * * *

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[sunrise]

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[breakfast]

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[a morning staple]

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[it was soooo sweet, to celebrate our anniversary, the hotel workers decorated our hotel room and left us champagne & chocolate covered strawberries!]

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[sooooo delicious!]

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[oleo resort]

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[the view from our room, on the sixth floor…it’s no higher than eight levels]

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[the view from the hotel]

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[it was so dang hot there day and night]

* * * * *

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[loving these fun huts you can dine in]

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[studying that menu hard]

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[i was literally so hot, sweaty, and bloated…ugh]

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[the food was so yummy!]

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xoxo

renegade craft fair

for our 5th anniversary, i wanted to go to new york city. that was our plan. then we got pregnant and had a baby so nyc was out of the question, for now.

we planned a very simple evening out. hc’s parents so kindly offered to watch the kids for our anniversary night. we got ready and headed out the door…so excited for our alone time! i really wanted to hit up the renegade craft fair in wicker park. it was in our old hood and i love how it has sooooo many amazing vendors. plus, i told krissy, from earth cadets, that i would pay her a visit! {check out her shop, it’s local and full of awesomeness}

it was an absolute perfect day, just like our wedding day {our special day had temps in the mid seventies and it was a clear, sunny day}. we found a sweet parking spot, walked our way into the fair, nabbed a drink or three, and started to walk the fair. it was fabulous. we had such a great time drinking and perusing all the handmade goodies.

i know i say it all the time but i loooooooooove chicago. i love the city. i love the culture. i popped into krissy’s shop, found cute matching shirts for the girls and said hello to her! it was great seeing her and chitchatting for a bit before we finished up the fair.

we headed out to the restaurant {coast…where we had our third date} and scored another fab parking spot! we were seated right away {hc had made reservations}, ordered apps, and clinked our wine glasses in celebration of our marriage! as usual the food was amaze. i love coast because it’s exactly how sushi should be done! yummmmm.

we took our time, relaxed, and reveled in our time together with no kids! the funny but awful part of our evening out was that we were spent. oh my goodness. olive and ellie were sick and olive had a horrible night of sleeping, as in she hardly slept and either did we {ironic that it wasn’t our newborn who kept us up but our two year old!}! so when we finished our dinner…we were soooo ready to come home. hahaha! we were going to fall asleep!

nevertheless, it was quite an amazing day. hc made it so special and i am very thankful for his romantic notions. we completely enjoyed the craft fair, our dinner out, and had the most wonderful anniversary date night!

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[yesssssss, chicago cubs wine! hc bought this for our byob anniversary dinner]

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[our super, duper casual night out]

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[our old hood]

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[soooooo many awesome vendors]

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[two beers for hc and vodka lemonade for moi!]

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xoxo

anniversary morning

we had a very low key start to our anniversary day. it was calm, relaxing, and sweet. my hc is the best. he got up early to grab groceries for breakfast, let us sleep in, made me endless amounts of yummy coffee, and surprised me with beautiful flowers. i love him.

i can’t believe it’s been five years! what a milestone. i can’t believe it’s been five years since we had the best day everrrrrr! it feels like it just happened last week. wow, five years later, we now have two kids, a house, and so much more love around us. i feel so fortunate to be blessed with so much goodness, i feel like i need to pinch myself.

we’ve had our ups and downs like any relationship. we have had some awful fights. we have had high moments and tough ones. we have dealt with sick parents, the birth of our children, and so many obstacles and celebrations that have happened within the five years since we have said our i do’s. i couldn’t imagine another person to live this life with. to ride this wonderful journey of marriage with anyone other than hc. he is my rock. i might be stubborn, hot headed, and sometimes an ass but he is always there for me and i am truly thankful.

he teaches me to be patient, kind, loving, and appreciate the simple moments in life. i am very grateful for that because i sure need that in my life! he definitely balances me out. happy five years my love and cheers to many, many more wonderful happy years to come!

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[hc surprised me with flowers…as usual]

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[i love this babe]

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[olive chillin’ watching cartoons]

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[coffee…yummmm]

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[hc always cooking up something good]

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[loving her croissant]

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[croissant breakfast sandwiches]

xoxo

happy 5th anniversary!

wow! i can’t believe it’s been five years since we’ve had our BEST day EVER! i say it every year and will always sing the same tune ~ our wedding day was seriously the best day. it’s the day where it all started. we professed our love, our unity, and commitment in front of God and kicked off our journey as husband and wife with a fabulous party!

i loved our wedding weekend. period. from the fun rehearsal dinner, to the most beautiful day ever, to a lovely morning brunch with everyone, and a farewell dinner at my parents before we ran off on our honeymoon.

i remember being so nervous that it was going to rain {darn weather forecast said rain all day for a freakin’ week before the wedding}. i prayed that it wouldn’t because we had planned so much for the outdoor space! i woke up bright and early on saturday and the weather app said bright, sunny, and a high of 73 degrees…holy cow! that started my wedding day out just right!

what ensued after that was nothing but goodness. our day was perfect. we were surrounded by so much love, happiness, friends, family, and fabulous electricity. i am so thankful we were able to celebrate our love the way we did. the wedding was so ‘us’ and the elation that you feel on this day is indescribable.

i am thankful for my husband…he is the love of my life and the most wonderful, patient, forgiving, and loving man. he is a wonderful father and the best partner and friend anyone could ask for. happy anniversary my love! cheers to 50 more years!

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[husband and wife!]

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[i love christian]

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[wedding program]

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[the best girls in my life]

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[first dance]

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and of course…our short, impactful, beautiful, fun wedding clip!!

{photos and 8mm film by kate headley}

xoxo

anniversary fare

it was our fourth anniversary and we wanted to do something fun and special. hc had made reservations for us at the girl and the goat. we were so excited! i have eaten there before but it was a long time ago and could not wait to go again.

as we drove in closer to the where the restaurant is located, halsted was bustling. it was packed and patrons were spilling out of all the establishments down the street. i love that about the city. it’s always so busy and interesting. hc valet’d the car and we traipsed inside the restaurant, ready to eat!

it was jam packed inside, people in the waiting area, people at the bar, and every seat taken inside the restaurant. we checked in and the hostess told us we had the best seat in the house. ooooohhhhh! how intriguing. they led us towards the kitchen and there was a lone table right on the kitchen counter! it was so cute. it was off to the side, we were not sitting next to anyone, and it was soooo cool to watch the cooks in the kitchen churn out delicious dish after delicious dish.

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[our amazing table! we were secluded, right by the kitchen, and had the best view!]

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[the very cool bar]

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our server was gary. he was laid back, helpful, and fantastic at what he does. we were ready to indulge. we started off with tasty libations {cab for me and some sort of hard liquor for hc} and small bites. the bread and oysters were delicious. a perfect beginning to our meal. everything was soooo savory.

we ordered the cauliflower, beet salad, hamachi, scallops, and the crisp braised pork shank…all small bites that packed a flavorful punch. all the plates were so yummy! we were served one plate after another and our bellies started to get so full! a few glasses of wine later, we were giddy, happy, and having a blast.

i really enjoyed my evening out with my hubby charming. it was so fun to talk, spend this time together, and just catch up. every day life can be so monotonous and you tend to find yourselves talking about the same things over and over again. it’s always so refreshing to just talk, one on one, about fun stuff, ask questions we never ask, and discover something new about your partner.

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[cheers to four years!]

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[i really love the goat character everywhere]

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[our table at the kitchen…the only table like that in the restaurant!]

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[rye // zucchini tzatziki. pickled corn relish]

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[food spam]

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[soooooo good // bacon sprinkled oysters]

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[not without a selfie]

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[hamachi crudo // crisp pork belly. chili aioli. caperberries]

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[these were sooooo good]

the night was too short but after three hours of eating and drinking {eep!}, we were ready to go! we sadly left the restaurant but we were very excited to come home to our wide awake daughter. we absolutely loved our time out but nothing is sweeter than coming home to your precious, smiling babe.

xoxo

happy 4th anniversary


best day everrrrrrr!

so here we are…celebrating our fourth anniversary! wow, i can’t believe it’s been four years since we were married. here it goes, my broken record recollection to this day. i will say it over and over again, it was the.best.day.ever!!! i loooooooved our wedding day, our wedding weekend. it was so amazing.

hc and i had the best time celebrating with our friends and family. our rehearsal dinner, our wedding day, our day after brunch was so perfect. you dream of your wedding day and imagine what it will be but to live it and it was really a dream come true is phenomenal.

our day started out beautiful {despite the night before with a forecast of rain all day!}…the weather app is a bride to be’s best friend. i was a bit nervous because if it really was going to rain on our wedding day, that nixed soooooo many things. our pictures outside, our venue’s outdoor space, etc. rain can literally put a damper on anything! alas, it was a beautiful sunny day and the weatherman said sunshine and even temps all day long! woo hoo!

the whole day started out amazing. it led to one fabulous moment after another. all the work, all the planning, all the diy i did for the wedding fell into place and i couldn’t have been happier.

our marriage has been a lot of give and take. especially since olive has been born. being strong, understanding, respectful, loving, humorous, selfless, vulnerable are some of the elements of a successful marriage. do we succeed? sometimes. but that is where the commitment comes into play. i am committed to being there for him, to doing my damnedest to be a good partner, because sometimes i fail {but try try again}. i am committed to always putting us and our family first. i am committed to our marriage. you have to want to be married to be able to make it work. he’s my best friend and there is nothing better than that.

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[laying eyes on my groom]

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{all photos and 8mm film by kate headley}

happy four years of marriage to my amazing, wonderful, kind, loving, patient husband! i love you soooooo very much. i am blessed & grateful to have you as my partner. cheers to many, many, many more years of happiness!

xoxo

flashback friday

not that long ago…hc and i celebrated our six year anniversary. six years of being together! not long compared to some folks i know but six years sounds like a long time but, honestly, it’s been a blink of an eye for me. it feels like we just met! which, i guess, is a good thing!

here we are in our hotel room {i can’t remember which hotel it was?!}, in chicago. we were celebrating our one year anniversary. we were so excited. one whole year together! hc planned for us to have dinner at le colonial. i love that place. it’s so yummy good. i love the ambiance and the decor.

we got ourselves ready and headed out the door. we walked to the restaurant and enjoyed ourselves a yummy, delicious meal. it was a wonderful time. after dinner we strolled back and enjoyed the bustling avenue. i love chicago.

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it’s been a fabulous six years together. oh my, how eventful it has been! we have hit soooo many milestones in our short six years. so many wonderful milestones. i am thankful for all that i have been blessed with and i am fortunate to have this man in my life!

xoxo

happy 3rd anni!

oh my! it’s been three wonderful years of marriage for me and the hubs! wow, it feels like yesterday that we were just married! and now…we live in the ‘burbs {bye bye chicago}, we have a lovely house {hello downers!}, and we have a beautiful daughter named olive harper {our love and joy}. our world has changed so much and all for the better.

our wedding was amaze. yes, yes, i say it all. the. time. annnddd i say it all the time because it was. i tell everyone i could relive it over and over. it was the best time evah with our friends and family. the whole weekend was surreal. from our rehearsal dinner, to our wedding day, and our post wedding brunch. it was a whirlwind of happiness, joy, love, laughter, and great food. what a wedding and wedding weekend should be!

i am so blessed to have hc in my life. i am so lucky to have found him or did he find me?? we are total opposites with a common bond for life, love, and happiness 😉 i’m fiery, he’s calm. i’m crazy, he’s sane. i’m speedy, he’s slow. i’m loud, he’s quiet. but we love each other to no end. i can’t imagine my life without him and i am so thankful and grateful to God for leading our paths into one another. we were meant to be and my life has been so much fuller since he’s been in it.

thank you hc for always being so understanding, supportive, kind, thoughtful, loving, patient, and forgiving for all of our relationship’s ups and downs. you truly hold us together and i love you to bits!

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[handmade boutonnières with bike gears // hc’s love of bikes]

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[husband and wife! //st. clement church]

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[chicago fire department // his dad is a retired fireman]

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[cutting the delicious cake //how sweet it is!]

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[handmade invites // drawings by olivia g & personally curated vintage stamps to represent me & hc]

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last but not least…our lovely 8mm wedding film. relive the day! enjoy!

[all photos and vimeo by kate headley]

xoxo

happy anniversary

it was our two year anniversary!  my how time flies and how things change {aka having a baby!}.

we started our day with a delicious brunch at bite cafe.  very yummy.  i just wanted some good old fashioned breakfast goodies.  we had a very relaxing morning…chill & calm.

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[anniversary breakfast]

we headed back to our place {it’s just around the corner from bite} and rested for the afternoon.  we logged onto the computer, we watched some t.v., we chillaxed our time away.  before we knew it, it was time to get ready and i couldn’t get off the computer!  ya know, pinning can be addictive!  hc kept nudging me to get ready but i had a plan…i knew i could whip myself together in 15 minutes {noooo problem!}.  so there ya go, i jumped off the computer, freshened up the face, threw on the dress, and voila!  i was ready!  hc was doubtful of me, he really thought i wasn’t going to put in any effort for our anniversary night out!  ha!

we headed to boka, a michelin star restaurant, for a lovely evening of noshing and imbibing.  it was calm and serene inside.  we were greeted with a “happy anniversary” welcome by the hostess.  we were seated at the corner table {a favorite of mine in any resutarant}.  who doesn’t love the best seat in the house?!

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[at boka!]

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[menu]

we ordered drinks {my mocktail was concocted by the bartender through my request of having something fruity!} and perused the menu to determine what were we going to eat at this fabulous place!  once our orders were placed, we dived deep into our conversations and really enjoyed ourselves on our special night.

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[cheers!]

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[ready to order]

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[complimentary sweets]

it was a perfect day and a perfect end to our two year anniversary celebration.  we can’t wait to celebrate next year with our little one in our lives!

xoxo

cha quyen’s 40th

well that time had come, it was father quyen’s 40th year as an ordained priest!  we celebrated at the altar villa banquet hall out in addison.  it was quite a fete!  i could be exaggerating but i think it was close to 600 folks at the event.

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[mingling]

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[coaster favors]

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[me + hc]

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[honoring cha quyen]

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[with tricia!]

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[vietnamese entertainment]

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[with chu thong!]

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[with the man of the hour]

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[dad, mom, old friend, + dan]

i, as usual, cruised there straight from work.  i waited in the parking lot for my hubby charming to meet up with me, he was driving in from the city.  once we were together, we walked in and ran straight into my mom and dad.  yay!  we were immediately pinned with a rose flower {identifying us as family of cha quyen’s} and shuffled to our table.  although, we were amongst only a few who had tables reserved for us, i still have to fight off a bunch of vietnamese peeps from stealing the table!  they don’t care it says reserved, they will steal it from under this pregger lady!  so there i sat, waiting for the rest of my family to arrive.

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in the mean time, i was so excited to see my grandma [in from l.a.} and my parent’s old friends, di thu and chu thong {in from texas!}!  it was a total reunion that night!  we saw so many people we haven’t seen in awhile, it was so good to catch up!  it was a great evening except for the singing {oy…it was so loud, it was uncomfortable!}, it’s not a vietnamese event without some loud music and loud singing.  my brother dan said all vietnamese music/songs sound like a james bond theme song {funny statement of the night!}.

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[love!]

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[family]

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anyhoo, after much socializing, eating, and picture taking, it was time to go home!  we said our goodbyes and jetted out!  it truly was a good night!

xoxo