dad’s 80th surprise photo session

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[our hearts]

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[my beautiful, tenacious girl]

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[grandma and ba with their grandgirls]

via tandeminlove.com[the cutest nephews everrrrrr]

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[kisses]

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

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[the sweetest boys]

xoxo

a riverside father’s day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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[baby ellie in her firetruck dress]

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[sausage sliders]

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[grace marie]

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[lunch alfresco]

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[auntie missy and ellie]

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[sadie chillaxin’]

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

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[desperately trying to make ellie comfortable]

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[olive is loving it]

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

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

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[daddy holding ellie]

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[silly girl]

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[eagles nest]

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[fox river]

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[rainbow cake]

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[olive excited over the rainbow cake]

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[picking at the marshmallows]

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via tandeminlove.com[gramma’s garden]

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[hammock time]

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[i’m stuck]

xoxo

happy father’s day

happy father’s day to the best dad ever!

i love my dad to bits and i think he’s the most amazing father ever.  his love, care, and guidance were uniquely his own.  growing up, you appreciate the craziness and kookiness your parents can offer.  i don’t think any child realizes that until they are an adult!

my dad, growing up, was warm and loving.  there were days i just loved to curl up on his lap, especially when he came home from work.  it was my favorite time.  he would put his wallet away, change his clothes, make his coffee, sit on the floor, and i would curl up on his lap.  we’d talk about our day or just sit and relax.  he always smelled a little of metal, smoke, and coffee…and that was actually really comforting to me {strange but true}!

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cheers to my dad, to his always unconditional love and support!

xoxo

mon père

where do i begin?

i love my dad.  so, so, so very much.  the greatest man alive.

growing up, as children, we never realize how much our parent’s do for us.  we never realize the sacrifices they make for us.  you never appreciate it until you get older and your ass gets kicked with reality.

growing up, having 4 other siblings, life was crazy.  we ran amuck.  we relied on each other.  you always had a play partner.  we always fought.  we had fun stay up late nights.  we watched fred astaire and ginger rogers movies.  we played ghost in the graveyard.  we always went to church and we always hung out with family.

my dad is a family man.  he was meant to be a dad.  as a little girl, i grew up obsessed with him.  i still am.  he means the world to me.  he did and has done so much for us.  he instilled in us the mentality, family first.  everything he did was to ensure his family survived, that we were always taken care of.

when he tells me stories of vietnam, i listen in awe of the hardships of the war.  what amazes me is how it just seemed so ‘normal’ to experience such immense, egregious situations.  i look at my dad and cannot even fathom the things that he saw.  when the war ended and the north invaded the south, removing his family from that environment was a duly choice.  my parents fled by a small boat, then an american ship, the day after the fall of saigon.

the amazing stories continue on and on.  their journey to america, country after country with very little personal belongings, no shoes, no food, not much of anything.  my sister, thuy, was only a few months old and kim, just over a year and half old.  crazy, right?!

my love for my dad is immeasurable.  he means the world to me.  he has taught me so much in life {although it took me forever to really listen to him}.  the last couple years have been tough for us and i hope to never have such trying times like that again {everyday i pray for my family’s health}.  there’s always a silver lining and the light at the end of the tunnel {sorry for the cliches but they are fitting!} in every situation.  i cherish every moment we have together and love him more and more everyday {is that possible?  i might burst with so much love!}.  this story does no justice to sum up my emotions and no words can truly describe the love I have for him.

on my way to the p's

on my way to the p’s

knobby knees

knobby knees

eating this since i was a kid

eating this since i was a kid, heeeee

my dad loves talking about cars

my dad loves talking about cars!

 with that, he’s the best dad ever!