young, wild, and three!

ellie’s birthday party planning started out slow and a bit clueless. i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do so i looked at some birthday invites and saw the theme – young, wild, and three and that perfectly described ellie!!!

then came pinterest and the creative juices started flowing. once that starts, i can’t seem to stop and one idea trumps another and another and that’s when it gets dangerous up in my noggin’. i then start searching for decorations and if i can’t find it, i will make it!

hc and i spent the week preparing for the party. he took care of the yard, the tables, chairs, and helped me with setting up some of the decor where i needed more than two hands; he helped with the food, and some other odds and ends. i spent the week stopping at party stores, grocery stores, clothing stores, cleaning the house, crafting all the diy decor, and slowly setting up each area. i did most of my decorating on friday, the day before the party, and completed the finishing touches on saturday morning. i definitely wanted our morning {the day of the fête} to be more low key, low stress, and calm before all the guests arrived mid afternoon.

the last thing i did was decorate the cake! i was excited to have my vision come to life! my oldest sister, kim, did the fabulous floral arrangements. she’s sooooo talented!!!! each vase turned out absolutely amazing and gorgeous! she picked out the most perfect items to create our jungle themed look {i only showed her an inspiration pic and she killed it in interpretation!}! i asked her for leftover flowers for ellie’s cake and it was like she read my mind on what i wanted to do…she brought over the most perfect flowers and leaves for the cake! exactly what i wanted!

i made an onion dip and cheese plate for our guests as appetizers and we ordered food from a local joint. everything was turning out just right. the guests arrived in a timely fashion, the food arrived as expected, and the rest of the afternoon was awesome.

after we ate, we brought ellie outside to show her the birthday present gramma and papa bought her! it was a unicorn water play table! i also got her/them a rainbow sprinkler. the girls then changed into swimsuits and played outside in the water for a bit.

after a stint in the hot outdoors, i gathered everyone back in to sing happy birthday to ellie! i tried getting her back into her themed dress but that was an utter failure {honestly…i just didn’t push it}. LOL so she wore her unicorn swimsuit for her big candle blow out!

i served up cake, ice cream, and macarons and soon afterwards, our guests started to trickle out. it was the most perfect timing, though. once i brought everyone inside for cake, the sky opened and started POURING. so, while everyone finished up with dessert and the rain finally let up, it was a sign to go!

hc and i did our thing. we cleaned up like pro’s while the babes bathed and afterwards, ellie {and olive} opened up all her gifts! oh my goodness. it was such a wonderrrrrrrrrFULL day. like so good. the decor turned out so damn fun, the food was so good, our guests were the best and we couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon to celebrate our baby ellie.

sweet girl, you are amazing. you are funny. you are silly. you are strong. you are sweet. you are loving. you are sassy. you are beautiful. you are everything good and everything you want to be! we love you so much that descriptive words insult the feeling that is so big within our hearts.

happy birthday precious babe. we love you to infinity and beyond.

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[how sweet is she??]

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[hat by little blue olive]

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[oh olive]

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[i said, “smile ellie!”]

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[favors: glassine bag of candies, tattoos, and organic play dough – in a zebra print, of course! – housed in a brown paper bag, stamped, and i calligraphy the kid’s names]

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[all the favor goodies]

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[play dough from ellie and piper co}

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[our sweet family]

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[the bar table! plastic garland banner from glamfete]

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[drink menu]

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[my kind of town…]

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[party straws and stirrers]

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[floral arrangements by the great and talented kim]

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[i hand stamped the zebra onto the napkins]

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[hc’s side]

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[lynne and barbara]

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[animal masks for our guests]

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[hand drawn, hand cut leaves, calligraphy by crazy me place cards. hc spray painted the animals and glued each card to them]

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[table setting for our guests]

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[i couldn’t get over the stunning arrangements by my sister. she does a phenomenal job every time!]

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[the wood looking plates are biodegradable and are made out of palm leaves!]

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[dessert bar]

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[favor bags]

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[it’s never a party without french macarons!]

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[cake decorated by yours truly with left over flowers my sister left me!]

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[i couldn’t pick just one pic to post of us!]

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[cheese plate i hastily threw together last minute!!!]

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[mom and dad or also known as rimma and ba]

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[hand written menu. i tore apart a paper bag and hand wrote/calligraphy the food we were serving]

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[dan and agata]

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[me and thuy]

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[silly cousins]

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[sista sista]

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]so excited over gramma and papa’s birthday present to ellie!]

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[what a big girl]

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[very hesitant to go under the rainbow sprinkler…she eventually put her hand in it. that was it! LOL]

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[bennett braving the cold water!]

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[olive acting cool…like, guy…it’s not cold…]

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[my sweet little baby]

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[birthday cake!]

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[look at her face!]

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[make a wish]

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[having her cake and eating it too]

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[silly kids]

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[grandma and her grandkids]

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[silly girls]

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xoxo

the morton arboretum

a couple years ago, hc and i bought a year membership to the arboretum and we probably went a couple times but then it expired and we never renewed.

this year, we fully went in and purchased a two year membership because we totally feel like the girls are at an age where they play well together and they are so active! so it made sense and we know we will go more than twice a year!

the day we went was beautiful. sunny, warm, but not too hot. after we signed up for our membership and grabbed drinks at the cafe, we headed out to the children’s area and the girls were so excited! they immediately became involved with everything that catered to their curious minds. it was great. hc and i just sat back, conversed, drank and the girls kept themselves super busy with their surroundings.

we slowly made our way around the area, stopping at each section so the girls could throughly explore. we made our way through the pond/water area and the girls became excited at the idea of taking off their shoes and wading through the creek, in which they did. i had to help ellie walk through it back and forth while olive independently jumped around.

in one section of the creek, olive became a bit too zealous and slipped and fell on her behind! oh, poor olive! she soaked her entire bottom! no matter, i reassured her it was ok and i knew, with the warm temps, she would dry up quickly.

once that was over, we slowly made our way back to the entrance. i assumed the girls were hungry and i was right, so we stopped for some yummy snacks. as we headed out, the girls also spotted some very large lego creations along the way. they were so cool!

it was a great day. the temps were perfect, the sun was shining, and the girls had a wonderful time exploring the playgrounds! we can’t wait to go back, it’s such a huge area and there’s so much to see and experience there!

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[the maze]

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[caution first]

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[taking the lead]

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[kids playing, parents drinking]

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[hair clips by little blue olive]

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[olive owning the play area]

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[she’s so spunky and sweet]

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[sprinkler]

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[ellie braved the jungle gyms!]

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xoxo

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

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

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

a day at the zoo

memorial day weekend weather looked dismal. it was supposed to rain every.single.day and who wants that??? it’s the weekend to kick off summer {and to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom} and rain didn’t fit into outdoor plans.

well, mother nature fooled us. it was beautiful and sunny on both saturday and sunday, which turned out great because we had plans no matter what! on saturday, we took olive to the salon for a haircut, lunch, and came back to our abode to work on things at home. then we headed back out to buy flowers at wannemaker’s, then eat and shop at ikea. it was a busy day and night but we checked things off that needed to be done!

the next day, we hosted our family over for some grub and drinks. it was a good afternoon eating and hanging out with the best people. we cooked seasoned chicken, burgers, corn, vegetable skewers and had many other delicious dishes. it was a fun time and the weather was beautiful for us to be outside!

we decided, last minute, to head to the zoo on monday. now this time, the weather looked ominous but we were confident the rain would hold off until later in the afternoon and we were right! we had the most joyous time at the zoo! the temp was just right, the kids were having so much fun, and the adults were living their best life with beers and just having fun with the kiddos. unfortunately, we didn’t get to explore as much as we wanted of the zoo…our time was cut short by the big storm rolling in.

terry was on weather app radar and informed us of the time we had every hour. LOL. then the temperature dropped and we knew the storm was about to hit. we said our goodbyes and started walking towards our cars. i foolishly asked hc to stop so olive could get her face painted but straightened out my head and said, let’s go…and convinced olive that we would do it next time. well, those five minutes cost us! we were a few minutes from the car when the sky opened up and pouuuuuuuuuured on us. like buckets of rain! darn it!

we left the zoo and headed on our way to a restaurant to meet the fam, again, for a late lunch. it was a monsoon out! just sheets of rain coming down and blowing to the side. i was amazed at how many people were actually coming into the zoo as we were leaving. the rain didn’t pass quickly…it rained heavily for awhile!

of course, after we ate, we then went shopping, like fools. the rain didn’t let up and we all were soaked one way or another but truthfully, we really had the best day with everyone. it was good, fun, relaxing, and full of content.

this past memorial day weekend was one for the books.

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[olive just had her did]

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[chowing down]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[stan’s doughnuts]

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[she’s so sweet]

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*****

BROOKFIELD ZOO

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[azn auntie life]

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[kangaroo]

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[he’s so sweet to the girls]

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[thanks hc for taking the photo!]

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[my heart]

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[cheers]

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[beggin’]

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[crazy cousins]

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xoxo

mother’s day ’19

our plans for mother’s day typically includes a brunch somewhere. sometimes in the city, one time at our house, or locally in the ‘burbs. this year, we decided to keep it local. my sister, kim, suggested a place called vistro in hinsdale. i’m always game for doing something locally, plus with our dad is having a hard time walking…so it’s easier to have brunch close to home and where we don’t have to walk very far.

the morning started out lovely. the kids and i slept in, while hc cleaned up the house, he then took care of the kids, gave me a back rub, and i was able to get ready without too many distractions! the kids also surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a very sweet, glittery card.

it was a perfect start to the day. oh, how i wish every morning was like that! hc fed the girls, got them dressed, while i was getting ready. i did their hair and out the door we went to meet everyone for some delicious brunch.

we were seated at a long table right inside the entrance and right by the food stations. score! we didn’t have to walk far to get our grub. LOL the cousins played together, the adults chit chatted over everything, and we ate and ate until our belly’s were full! i was digging their quiche and buttery pancakes with lots and lots of cream!

after brunch, we went home and relaxxxxxxed. oh, nowadays, it’s all i ever want! for some reason, i was sooooo tired. i put ellie down for a nap and i felt exhausted. i laid down onto the couch and fell asleep! hc took a nap next to me and the only person not sleeping was olive. ha! she dislikes falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon…she will avoid it at all cost! she took full advantage of a toy house take over while all of us were sleeping. i think she pulled out every toy from the bins and strategically placed them all over the house.

the nap was so needed! i felt refreshed and rested!

mother’s day was absolutely perfect because my hubby did his best to make it a great day and i loved it all! it was spent with family, good food, relaxing, and i couldn’t have asked for a better day!

thanks hc, olive, and ellie for an amazing mother’s day! i love you all to infinity and beyond!

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[ellie is such a ham]

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[these cuties]

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[mom and dad]

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[toe tapping]

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[cheers!]

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[super auntie thuy and ellie]

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[kim and bennett]

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[mini cupcakes]

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[dan, reagan, and terry]

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[oh ellie]

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[mother daughters]

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[she’s so precious]

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[mom and dad’s birthday cake]

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[why does my face look so old yet young…a weird combo??]

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xoxo

easter ’19

oh, it was a very busy {leading up to} and very tiring week after easter! you know meeeeee, always piling on too much and loving every second of it. i swear if i didn’t plan months in advance, then i’d be a creative hot mess. LOL.

easter morning started out with the girls waking up and screaming their way to their baskets. well, olive screamed her way! hahaha! ellie, for some reason, was in a mood and pouted her way towards her basket. oh guuuurrlllll.

olive was so excited the easter bunny dropped off her unicorn ponycycle! her face was priceless when she saw it! i absolutely love that they BOTH love it and they sometimes ride it together…it’s so cute! ellie feels comfortable on it too, so the gift was a win win!

they then went through their easter baskets looking at all the goodies. they were very excited over their shoes! yay! olive had to look at everything and make a comment on each item. once they were done perusing their basket of goodies, everyone got ready for easter brunch.

but before we left, we did an easter egg hunt outside! the weather was Ahhhhhhhmazing. the best kind of day to celebrate Christ! the girls had so much fun hunting down their eggs! i made paper plate markers for the eggs and to help guide the girls through the hunt! hc did the set up {y’all know kiki doesn’t get up early if she doesn’t have to!} and did a great job with hiding all the eggs! we had filled them the night before with candies and moj moj animals. olive loooooved them all and loved that they also glowed in the dark! bonus!

i was quite proud of miss ellie getting a good amount of eggs too! she did good! once the hunt was over and the girls went through their egg surprises, we then headed downtown for brunch with the famille!

our place of choice was baptiste and bottle at the conrad hotel. we were very curious on this restaurant. i told my family that it better be amazing as it took two weeks and a whole lotta phone tag to finally nail a reservation at this establishment! we walked in and the interior looked lovely, modern, and moody. i was totally eyeing the scrumptious dessert table that greeted us!

they walked us over to our table{s} and didn’t even push them together to seat our party of 13! i had to ask them to do so. i mean, if you are out with a whole group, would you want to sit at separate tables?? that made no sense! then our server came by and he was energetic and very nice! then, 45 minutes later, our drink orders were still not fulfilled, our food still hadn’t come, and i was completely irritated. it was prix fixe menu!! the kitchen obviously knew how many people they were serving that day AND the menu was set…so waiting almost one hour for our first course to come out was ridiculous!!!!

i went to the hostess stand and asked to speak to a manager. he was very nice and polite and i was cordial and calm. he immediately reacted, apologized, and came over to our table to help our server out. for goodness sake, my sister ordered coffee and asked for cream and sugar and 15 minutes later….she still didn’t get. i had to do something!

once the ball started rolling, our server continued to mess up {he’d take away our plates and then would forget to bring in fresh plates so we could continue to eat} but we were in deep and there was no going back. the poor guy did his best to accommodate us but i really think serving was not his forte! the good new was, the food was delicious!! we really did enjoy our brunch despite the subpar service. we were with the right people and that was all that mattered.

thuy brought the kids their easter bakets and olive went nuts over what she bought her. she literally had to wear everything thuy bought her! ohmergawd, olive is so extra. the girls are so loved and so spoiled by their family. we are so so lucky to be close to them, in all aspects.

after our long and yummy brunch, we all traipsed our way over to the new shop – dylan’s candy bar store! it was bright, fun, and smelled way too sweet for me! it was a candy land dream! every type of candy, the largest cotton candy cone i have ever seen, and everything was way overpriced! LOL. of course, olive suckered me into buying her a lollipop! no pun spared.

our easter was perfect. the weather was perfect. the day was perfect. remember it’s your mindset. live positively. count your blessings. cherish the moments with your people and be thankful for what God has given you. then your filter will always view things as perfect because it is.

*****
EASTER MORNING

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[here they come!]

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[look at that excited face!]

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[she loves her ponycycle!]

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[she was totally pouting for no reason]

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[there she goes!]

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[easter baskets]

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[bunny sunglasses]

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[gong through their goodies]

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[scattered goods]

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[oh that face]

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[gummi’s on a stick]

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[LOL doll in a chocolate egg]

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*****

EASTER EGG HUNT

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[isn’t she sooooooo sweet?]

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[finding easter eggs]

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[egg hunt markers that i made the night before]

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[eggs in plain sight]

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[bunny egg markers]

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[looking for eggs]

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[a whole lotta goodies]

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[ellie’s goodies]

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[she’s loving her moj moj’s]

*****

EASTER BRUNCH

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[she loves her cousins]

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[ellie alllllllways attached]

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[bagel and lox]

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[the cutest cousins]

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[avo toast]

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[baskets from auntie thuy]

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[she’s so excited over her basket]

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[dessert table]

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[agata and dan]

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[reagan, kim, and bennett]

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[check out all her moves!]

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[my sweet extra girl]

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[a rare family photo]

*****

DYLAN’S CANDY BAR

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[rainbow rice krispie treat]

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[the biggest rainbow cotton candy stick i’ve ever seen!]

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[grandma and her grandkids – minus ellie]

xoxo