house on the rock

since our plans to go up to a friend’s lake house fell through, hc suggested we go to a place he’s been to before called house on the rock. i was like, the what on the rock? well, it’s a really weird house built on a rock. plain and simple. i thought, ok…let’s do it! why not. he had time off and we might as well travel somewhere, not too far away, and have some fun!

i packed up everything but the kitchen sink…even though it was a one night get away, we still hauled a lot of stuff. hc packed up the cooler with drinks and goodies and we were ready to hit the road. it was going to be a 3.5 hour drive. not too shabby…a totally doable ride with two little ones!

we had fun driving towards our destination, although trying to find a decent place to eat was almost impossible. we did not want the typical fast food stops and we didn’t want to go to a seedy joint with slot machines. ugh. mile after mile, we had nothing. then we started to get hangry. snacks weren’t cutting it and i didn’t want to fill up on junk {well, i eat junk every day, so i don’t know what i am talking about} but anyhoo, i finally mapped out a place called baumgartner cheese store and tavern. hells yes! we were in wisconsin and you always have to hit up something cheesy {no pun intended}.

this place was perrrrrrfect. it was quaint, cute, and everyone was so dang friendly. our server, kyle, was the nicest kid everrrrrr. the kids had a blast sitting by the window and we ate the most random, fulfilling things. it was kitschy and fit into the aesthetics of our road trip perfectly!

we ordered beer, chili dogs, popcorn, and our meals came with pickles and blocks of cheese. yasssssss. ellie made us crazy with her restlessness but we survived and had a really good time eating there! kind kyle even snapped a decent picture of us in front of the restaurant!

we hit the road again and made it to our destination within an hour and a half-ish. the area was green and pretty. we pulled up to our ‘resort’ {total joke} and checked in. we then drove a second to get to our side of the hotel and it was freakin’ desolate. apparently NO ONE visits the house on the rock on week nights and they definitely don’t stay overnight. hmmmmmmm.

their restaurant inside the hotel was closed and there was no one in sight. we decided to hit up the hotel pool and have some fun. olive had a blast, she loved that she could stand in the pool and ellie was terrified. after some time in the pool, we headed back to our room and this is when shit got real!!!!

as we were walking down the hallway, there was a man {not a boy}, a grown man sitting on the ground, looking at his phone. olive ran by him and i called her back, because she went too far past our room. she backtracked and stood, maybe five feet away from the man. he looked very annoyed, so he got up and scurried away. as he passed me, i was going to say hello, but his eyes were looking down at the ground and he seemed flustered. then he passed hc and he actually said hi to the man but the man didn’t even respond and scuffled past hc. okayyyyyyyy, odd.

honestly, it kind of freaked me out. i said to hc, “what happens he is a serial killer or someone crrraaaaaaazy?!!!!!” hc was a little disturbed by this man’s behavior too! well, that just gave me anxiety all night. we and this man seemed to be the ONLY guests at this hotel. i am not joking. the parking lot was empty. ohmergawd.

we all had fun back in our room and when it was time for bed, we put the girls in the adjoining room, far away from the door. hc and i decided to sleep on the bed in front of the door. holy crap, i was like dude, strange hallway man,…if you try something, i will stab you with my blush brush and beat you with my flip flop!!!! in the middle of the night, hc woke up to use the bathroom and it rustled me awake. ugh. i was filled with anxiety, so much so that i laid awake freaked out over the creepy dude in the hotel!!!

morning came and all was well but really, that guy freaked me out! we got ready and hit a breakfast place that looked yummy, and it was! after a decent meal, we drove over to the house on the rock. the entrance was soooo pretty, so green, lush, and filled with very large pots filled with pretty flowers!

we started our journey inside the house and finished in two hours?! we did kind of speed through all the rooms. i found the house {now, not to knock hc because he really does like this tourist attraction} to be so odd! it really creeped me out. there were clowns everywhere and doll after doll after doll after dolls. it smelled old and gave me a very strange vibe. the girls were frightened by some of the displays and disliked the very loud music some of the musical attractions played.

it was definitely a fun trip and worth a visit {it’s like american pickers on acid}. after touring the whole place, we jumped back into the car and headed back home {and hit horrible traffic!}. we finally arrived and it was sooooo good to be home sweet home. our favorite place to be!

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[olive is so dang cheesy, i loooooove it]

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[my sweet babes]

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[baumgartner cheese store and tavern since 1931]

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[i love her kisses]

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[they can be so sweet together!]

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[sharing popcorn]

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[she cracks me up!]

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[gourmet meal: chili cheese dog, a pickle, and a block of cheese]

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[she loves to give kisses]

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[she found dada’s hat]

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[hotel room]

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[hotel pool time]

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[hanging with dada]

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[she loved the jets in the tub!]

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[such a ham!]

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[olive loves to pose!]

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[big flower urns at house on the rock]

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[the infinity room – it juts out 218 feet from the house with no ground support]

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[she was so excited to sit on the bunny figurine]

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[largest carousel ever, with no horses]

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[so creepy]

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[olive loved looking at the fishes]

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xoxo

lazy pool day

we love our lazy pool days! although the weather hasn’t been on our side the last week or so. any day i had available to go to the pool, it rained or it was too cold. what?! such a bummer!

so, we finally had a beautiful day and off we went! we got ready in the morning, sprayed on copious amounts of sunblock, and packed up our things! the pool was full but not crowded. we headed to our favorite kiddie pool {the one and only!} and the girls got right in. there were a few kids in the pool and olive was scouting out some new friends. once it hit noon, a huge group of women in this area, with their kiddos, all left to have lunch. the kiddie pool pretty much cleared out and olive was so bummed. my girls and maybe one other kid was in the pool and olive wanted to go home. whaaaaa?

she seemed a bit sad all the kids left but i couldn’t seem to convince her that it was only temporary and that they were all coming back after they ate. well, she wasn’t buying it and i was indifferent, so we gathered our belongings and left. as we drove away, hc drove right by us!! oh em gee! first, what was he doing home? and second, we had to convince olive to go back.

it didn’t take much for us to say to her to change her mind, and ta da – we headed back to the pool with hc! yayyyyyyy! we chilled {with tasty libations hc concocted} and olive met another friend and was having the best time! ellie just moseyed around in the pool, doing her own thing.

we then walked over to the food area and ordered lunch. then the funniest thing happened. while ellie was sitting next to me, enjoying her food, she proceeded to pee the biggest puddle on the bench. whatever…they clean it anyways, she was soaked from the water, and we were at the pool! i was dying. ellie stopped eating, looked down at the puddle, and then continued to finish her food. hahahaha!

the rest of our pool time and afternoon was so relaxing and splendid! it was such a wonderful surprise to see hc and have him spend the rest of the day with us. it was the best kind of lazy pool day!

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[on our way!]

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[she’s so silly]

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[snack time]

xoxo

memorial weekend

it was a wonderful weekend. a really wonderful weekend.

thank you to the men and women who have given their lives so we could live freely. we are forever in debt and grateful for your sacrifices.

sunday was very impromptu and perfect. we decided, last minute to hit up the pool. fabulous idea! then we invited our family over, last minute, for a grilling evening adventure! oh, it was just what we needed!

pool time was fantastic! we packed up our things {well, hc did a majority of the packing! thanks hubs!} and jumped into the jeep and arrived at the pool club we just joined! we were so excited to check it out. we shopped a few places last year and this year, we decided to join a swim and racket club. we loved that it is private, well kept, and offered quite a few amenities. plus, it was time. it was the right time for the kiddos and we were ready to join a place!

olive was such a diva. she picked out her heart sunglasses, asked to wear her hat, and strutted around like a boss. haha! ellie loooooooooved the water. she’s a mermaid!! she was having so much fun! it was the cutest thing to see! olive is more reserved and was bothered if the water hit her face. oh olive! ellie didn’t care! she dipped her face in the water and ‘swam’ around like a pro.

we were having such a great time! we loved the pool – it was clean and well kept. the grounds looked very well manicured, the parking lot was freshly sealed and painted, and the tennis courts looked so nice! we’re so excited for summer!

after the pool, our family came over for a fun alfresco dinner. hc cooked up a storm, we made pink vodka lemonades, we ate outside {it had cooled down to a perfect evening temperature}, and the kids played. it was a lovely ending to a great day.

honestly, if every day could be this good, our life would be utopia.

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it was a wonderful weekend. a really wonderful weekend. thank you to the men and women who have given their lives so we could live freely. we are forever in debt and grateful for your sacrifices.

[we’re ready for the pool!!!]

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[i love them. so, so much!]

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[pool ready]

www. tandeminlove.com      [hiiiiiiiiii! we’re so excited to be at the pool on this hot day!]

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[my water baby!]

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[the sweetest profile]

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[she was too cute in the water]

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[olive lounging and drying off]

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******

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[pink vodka lemonade]

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[agata and ellie]

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[look at the plane]

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[i loved that my dad purposely kicked up his feet for the picture]

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[really dan?]

xoxo

play time

my friend, kim and i have been trying to plan a get together for months. literally months!!! our conflicting schedules, cancelled play dates, sick kiddos, and busy months have delayed a get together that has been long overdue!

fiiiiiiinally, we were able to settle on a date and we stuck to our guns. i headed out to kim and mikey’s abode in no time flat. they live far away but not too far away. it may take 50 minutes? sometimes faster, sometimes longer – it all and always depends on traffic and what time of day it is.

i love coming over to their place because it’s so much more kid friendly. mine and hc’s place is more like a museum {kind of…not really. ok, just a wee bit}…plus, once our basement is finished, it will be so much more fun and kid friendly when the playroom downstairs is set up!

anyhoo, olive was quite excited to see brady and play with the plethora of toys! when we arrived, of course ellie needed to be in my arms and get comfortable before she explored on her own {it only took about ten minutes}. i was so excited to see kim! immediately, we started gabbing and gabbing. when kim and i first met {oh…9 years ago??}, we couldn’t stop talking to one another. ha! we went on and on about everything you could imagine! we just instantly clicked. so, when we get together, time just flies by!

i brought over stan’s doughnuts and kim provided lunch! the kids started to warm up to one another and the rest of our time there was relaxing, fun, and filled with lots of cute moments.

we were there for several hours but honestly, i felt like i could have stayed all afternoon! the kids were being silly together and i was having a great time catching up with kim. her hubby, mikey ran out to grab the adults tacos and such, while kim prepared a quick meal for the kids.

after lunch, we yapped, hung out, i nursed ellie, the kids played some more, several diaper changes ensued, and then we ate doughnuts! much to my dismay, i needed to round the kids up to head home. olive didn’t want to go, i wanted to talk more, and ellie needed a nap!

we said our goodbyes and sadly went on our way home. oh, how i love hanging out with kim, see her growing crew, and i love that our kids get to play together! oh, and we got to hang with mikey too…we never get to see the busy guy!

thanks for having us over kim! we always have such a great time seeing everyone and hopefully it’s not months until we see each other again!!! i see pool and zoo dates in our future!

{p.s. picture overload…lots of multiples but i couldn’t narrow it down!}

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[sweet girls]

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[olive’s face cracks me up. it’s her awkward, not sure face. hahaha!]

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[sweet girl was obsessed with brooklyn’s toys!]

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[this babe is too much!]

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[the cutest kiddos around]

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[gnawing on an apple slice]

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[ellie eating her mac n cheese!]

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[i love her hair]

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[ellie baby]

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[oh how i love this pic of them!!!]

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[look at mason’t stare down!]

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xoxo

pre mother’s day celebration

hc’s parents came over to our place, one day early, to celebrate mother’s day!

it was a lovely morning. hc took the kiddos, got them ready, and let me have time to myself for a couple hours in the morning! it was fantastic. i laid in bed for a bit, pouring over social media {ahhhhhhh, i miss those days of just lounging in bed, after slowly waking up!}, got ready, cleaned up the house {again}, and lounged for {literally} a second before everyone got home and hc’s parents came over.

gramma and papa brought over toys for the girls and hc came home with all sorts of surprises! hc knows the way to my heart, pretty flowers, great wine, and starbucks! it was so adorable; i saw them come home, so i swung the door open. olive came running up with flowers in her hand and ellie sloooooooowly wobbled to the door {like sooo dang slow, olive stood at the door beaming and waiting for ellie to coincide with the surprise} with the biggest balloon!!! it was three times the size of ellie! hahaha! it was so dang cute watching them run towards me with the biggest smiles on their faces!

once everyone was settled, hc starting prepping for lunch. we visited with each other and hc cooked up a storm. it was super yummy and it was a very relaxing afternoon spent together.

jane and i drank some bubbly while the girls played and hc cooked up a delicious lunch for everyone {roasted potatoes, vegetables, grilled chicken, sausage, and cole slaw}. after lunch, we relaxed on the couch, watched clips of olive’s mother’s day concert from school, and ate cake! yuuuuummmmmmm!

after several hours, dick and jane left {to get home to sadie, their dog}. it was a wonderful afternoon spent with hc’s parents. it’s always so fun when you get to spend time with family!

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[hc knows the way to my heart]

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[gorgeous tulips]

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[flowers for gramma from olive and ellie]

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[a bit of morning bubbly]

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[playing with papa]

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xoxo

brunch with mutts

i met mutters or mutts {also known as danielle}, hmmmmm, maybe 8 or nine years ago??? it might be longer but i honestly can’t remember. she could clarify but that’s not the point. i have known her for quite some time and have seen her grow as person.

she was a single lady {all the single ladies!!}, dating a douche on and off and finally reconnected with an old flame that led into a serious relationship, then into an engagement, then into marriage, then into pregnancy. the circle of life, non? for some, not for all, but definitely a circle that goes round and round for most.

anyhoo, mutts and i were really close all the years we worked together and when i went my separate way, we stayed in touch. she’s a sweet, silly, and sassy lady who cracks me up. i love seeing her, hanging out with her, and now she’s expanding her family and it’s so awesome to see.

we met up for brunch the other week and holy cow! she’s was due in eight days! wowza. i was like, don’t have the baby while we’re eating. haha! just keeding. having a baby is nothing like what is depicted in the movies.

we had a great time. we talked about babies, birth, life, work, kids, and all sorts of stuff. my girls were being great and i was really surprised how calm ellie was being. sometimes, when i/we are at a restaurant for too long, she becomes restless but that day, she was happy as a clam sitting in a high chair.

maybe i was was talking too much but i felt that i barely ate my food! after a hour and a half, we decided to go. mutts was going to go get her nails done and us gals were going to go shopping.

it was a gorgeous day out and we were excited to get out there and shop for new shoes, dresses, and fun stuff…whatever we needed. we said our goodbyes to mutts and wished her luck on her upcoming labor!

well i am happy to say that she delivered her sweet baby girl, skylar, on may 12 at 4:05 am weighing in at 8lbs 4 oz. congrats anthony and mutts!!! we are over the moon at your sweet blessing!!!

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[ellie being entertained by paper]

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[mutts]

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[my sweet olive]

xoxo

valentine’s day ’18

one day, maybe a month or so before valentine’s day, olive asked me if we could have a valentine’s day party. well, ok! i thought it was so cute that she asked! i then inquired who she would like to come to this party, and she, without hesitation, said, “reagan, bennett, and terry!”. alrighty then. i thought it was hilarious! so i text my sisters and let them know what olive had asked and who she wanted to come to the party. my sister kim said, “well, i didn’t want to come anyways!” hahaha!

so, we had our family over for a fun little party! of course we kept it simple. wink. wink. in all seriousness, it really was a simple and easy party to get ready for! olive and i did some food prep before everyone came over. we cut up some ingredients for the apps and olive helped me cut out heart shaped pepperoni for the heart shaped pizzas hc was going to make!

i decorated the kitchen area and we waited for hc to come home from work. he started pizzas while i started apps. we had mozzarella sticks, jalapeños filled with cream cheese, and guac dip. the heart shaped pizzas turned out so cute and delicious and after dinner, we served a yummy cake!

after dessert, we gave the kids their valentine’s day gifts and the kids played and had a ton of fun. olive is always excited to hang with her cousins! our evening was short for it was a school night. so after a couple hours of visiting, we wrapped up our evening and said our farewells.

the party turned out so cute {if i do say so myself} and a good time was had by all! it was definitely a day of love indeed!

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[kid’s table]

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[she’s such a ham!]

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[heart pepperoni]

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[hc and terry]

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[my girls]

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[cousins]

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[hc and kim twinning]

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[look at that pout face]

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[present time!]

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xoxo

noel ’17

this was the first christmas day hc and i had hosted! as our aunts and uncles and parents get older, it was time to pass the torch to the next generation and continue the traditions! hc’s aunt vicki and uncle steve have hosted christmas day for a long time and it was time for us to take on that holiday and celebration!

we were excited to do so! hc told me last year that he would have the basement done by then and ta da! it wasn’t. wah wah. we wanted the extra space but c’est la vie. christmas day was just fine the way it was {space wise}.

christmas morning was exciting! olive couldn’t wait to see if santa ate his cookies and if rudolph nibbled on his carrot. the girls were excited to open up their gifts and of course, play all day long with their toys! we made cinnamon rolls for breakfast and drank mimosas….what a perfect christmas morning.

hc created a menu, based upon what everyone was going to bring, and we finalized all the pretty decor touches before everyone arrived! we were excited to do this! family is most important and we couldn’t wait to celebrate this day with hc’s side.

hc made a spiral ham, prime rib and green beans, while aunt vicki brought her infamous shells, aunt wendy provided the alcohol, jane brought mashed potatoes and apps, sister missy brought dessert, and cousin jennifer brought brussel sprouts. everyone participated and the spread was delicious and amazing!

it was a beautiful evening, being able to visit, relax, and just be with family. that is definitely what life is about!

we were so happy to have hosted our first christmas day and we were so excited that everyone had such a wonderful time! cheers to new traditions and to family!

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[cookies and milk for santa]

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[olive was so excited to see if santa and rudolph ate their snacks!]

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[excited over santa gifts!]

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[no pj olive]

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[she asked santa for a doll, fairy, horse, and unicorn]

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[she loves this little doll from mary, her sitter]

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[snow globe]

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[christmas day mimosa]

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[cinnamon rolls]

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[santa’s gift]

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[sweet babes]

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[sweet exchange]

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[christmas dinner tablescape]

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[aunt vicki, missy, aunt wendy, jane, and jennifer]

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[uncle steve and jennifer]

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xoxo

christmas eve ’17

christmas eve was teetering on the brink of us possibly hosting it or having it at my parent’s house {for the past several decades}…it depended upon whether or not my parent’s foundation crack was fixed and the carpet was installed.

hallelujah, everything fell into place and my parent’s house was back in order! it was going to feel like christmas eve!

well, i awoke to it snowing outside and became a little kid, squealing with excitement! i was soooooo stoked it was going to be a white christmas!! it had been so warm all season and the southern region of the states had gotten more snow than us! there’s something just so magical about snow on christmas!

we prepped all day to get ready for christmas day {we were hosting for the first time!}, ellie took a nap, we scrambled to get the girls bathed, and over to my parent’s house at a decent time but failed miserably! i wanted to get over to help my sister cook but we ended up not getting over there until 6!!!

all was good, we helped with dinner, we partook in joyous, silly things, and enjoyed each other’s company. christmas time is so darn special. i love the merriment, the compassion, and the warmth of home. there is nothing like spending time with family and loving one another.

we were so happy to have the newlyweds, huy + tashina, here for christmas {after joining them for their fabulous wedding}. they always add to the fun craziness of our family time!

life is good.

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[a white christmas]

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[twinning]

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[gorgeous centerpiece]

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[besties]

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[my sweet, sweet girls]

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[silly cousins]

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[olive and ba]

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[olive, huy, and tashina]

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[my tribe]

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[crazy cousins]

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[dan, olive, and agata]

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[kim and ellie]

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[bennett, kevin, and reagan]

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[oh ellie…reagan loves you!]

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[she’s like take the friggin’ picture already! hahaha]

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xoxo

o + e santa visit

every year, since olive had been born, she has despised her visits with santa claus. one picture after another, year after year…she is absolutely frightened and as a parent, i find it disgustingly hilarious!!!!

well this year was absolutely no different. a couple weeks before our visit to the big man, i asked olive is she wanted to visit santa and ask him for presents. she said no. i said, “don’t you want to ask him for gifts?!” and she said, “i don’t want to sit in his lap.” and i said, “you have to if you want to ask him for presents this year” {honestly…doesn’t anyone else find it so odd that you make your kids sit on a strange old man’s lap and ask for gifts?? hahaha!}. she then says to me, “reagan and bennett don’t sit on his lap!” oh yeahhhhh? i grabbed my phone and showed her a picture of her cousins sitting on santa’s lap from the other week. her jaw practically dropped. she stared in silence and disbelief at the picture for a good solid 30 seconds. then says to me, “i don’t want to sit on santa’s lap” and that was it.

so came the night we were going to visit santa. hc came home from work and asked if i told olive what we were doing tonight. i said no. he said, “aren’t you going to tell her?!”, so reluctantly i did. i called her over and said, “olive, we are going to see santa tonight and ask for christmas presents” and surprisingly she said, “ok” and walked to her room to change her clothes. whaaaa? i was dying. she is so funny and cute!

we arrived and olive was soooo somber. she whimpered a bit and mumbled something about not wanting to see santa but i could tell that she knew she was going to see santa whether she liked it or not. especially with her steadfast, crazy mama standing in front of her {obviously this whole thing is more for me than her! eep!}. olive knew there was no saying no.

first, the kids sit down and take pics of just them in front of a sleigh. olive spied santa around the corner and she couldn’t stop staring at him!!! i am so amused that the photographer caught her nervous glance on camera! olive and ellie did so well with their sit down pictures together in front of the sleigh. then came the santa pics…olive nervously sat on the edge of the chair. santa was super sweet with her…he asked her what she wanted and they exchanged words back and forth about dolls, fairies, unicorns, horses, teddy bears, etc. i was soooo proud of her! she actually did a great job talking to santa. she was very quiet and reserved but totally didn’t have a meltdown!

then came the moment we were going to place ellie in his arms. watch out!! hc placed her down in his arms and she flipped out. FLIPPED out! her boots flung off her feet faster than a tesla roadster. ohmergawd. it was hilarious. olive actually smiled but she was totally fake smiling and her hands were clasped so tight out of nervousness! oh my poor girls!!! they were so scared!!! but gosh…it makes for the funniest pics!! so sadistic of me, non??

anyhoo, and that was that. i must say it was a pretty successful visit! the pics turned out great, i absolutely love the one of just olive and ellie in front of the sleigh…my favorite! well, ’tis the season to make your kids do crazy things! ha! happy holidays y’all!

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[very unsure of what is about to happen…]

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[so is hc…haha!]

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[could this be any more perfect? olive spied santa from a distance and was soooooo nervous!]

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[she’s like ‘ohmergawd…santa!’]

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[check out that fake smile olive has and ellie…well that speaks for itself!]

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[her shoes flung off so fast!]

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xoxo