halloween ’17

this year’s halloween was a blast!!

it started with olive’s halloween school parade. let me start by saying life has been pretty hectic for me lately. one, i am becoming more and more forgetful…or am i just getting old?! i am becoming less detailed, causing me to be reactive versus proactive! anyhoo, when i decided to retire to our bed, olive was stirring a bit and that is when i usually set my alarm for the morning. well, since she was moving around in bed, i decided to wait to set my alarm and surprise! i fell asleep. oh em gee. i abruptly woke up the next morning and realized that one. i didn’t set my alarm, and two. we had a half hour to get ready and out the door. holy crap. i panicked. i needed to {yes i do this every morning} make our bed, the girl’s bed, wake olive up, get her to go to the bathroom, get her breakfast ready, turn on the telly for her to watch a bit of her favorite program, get myself ready, pack anything olive needs for school, stir ellie awake, nurse her, change her, change olive into her costume, grab necessities for the parade {camera, etc.}, get them bundled up and out the door, drop ellie off at my parent’s house…i was a mess. i couldn’t believe i didn’t set my alarm! arghhhhhh! anyhoo, the bonus part was that hc was home because he wanted to see olive in the school’s halloween parade too. he was able to get ellie dressed and out the door to my parent’s!!! yessssssss.

we made it. with time to spare. olive was so excited to see all the other kiddos in their costumes. we dropped her off in her classroom and hc and i walked to the gym, where the parade was to take place. we waited, we talked, we people watched. it was almost 9 o’clock and we saw the kids and teachers coming in! yay! i was so excited! olive’s class was the last class to walk in. she was so perplexed and when she saw us, she smiled but then continued to look perplexed! hahaha!

the kids paraded around the gym and then gathered in by classroom so we could take pictures. it was so cute and fun! after that, the teachers then walked all the kids back to begin their day.

it was so cute!!! we loved watching olive partake in such a fun event. when i picked her up, she had so many goodies to take home! what a fun day at school.

we then went straight to my parent’s house to hang out. we ate, did errands, i ran home to grab the girls some extra clothes, a costume for ellie, candy, and other needed items because we were spending the whole day at my parent’s and wanted to make sure we had all the necessities.

we waited for hc to come home and got the girls ready to go out and trick or treat. olive was so excited, she couldn’t wait! ellie was just awesome, such a trooper! she had no complaints when i painted her face. she laid there so patiently, she didn’t mind the hat, the gloves, or any of the extra layers we put on her and she was quite amazing in the wagon. she never complained and just enjoyed the scenic ride.

olive loved running house to house, knocking on the door and ringing the door bell if she could reach it. she would say, “they’re not home!” or look in the drive way when a homeowner didn’t answer their door and say, “their car’s home? why don’t they answer the door?!” hahaha! she was so great at saying, ‘trick or treat’ or ‘thank you!’…it was absolutely adorable!

it was utterly cold, sooooo cold. it was in the upper 30’s so we didn’t want to be out long. we hit up about a dozen houses and called it a night. olive didn’t mind. she actually had a decent bag of treats! we came back home to warm up and hand out candy to the trick or treaters that came by to my parent’s house. my sister, thuy, and my brother, dan, came over and we all hung out. olive reveled in her goodies…i caved in and let her eat way too much candy!! hey, it’s halloween night! it’s like mandatory, right?!

after the curfew for trick or treating ended, we scadaddled on home. the girls got baths, we snuggled in, the pumpkins were glowing, and hocus pocus was on repeat.

it was a perfect, awesome halloween night. i couldn’t have asked for a better day and evening.

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[walking in the parade…and doesn’t see us yet!]

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[she spotted us!]

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[she’s not quite sure what is going on…haha!]

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[class picture time]

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[ready to go back to class]

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*****

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[that stance]

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[these babes…they look so excited!]

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[ready to go!!]

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[chillin’]

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via tandeminlove.com[oh those cheeks]

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[she thought it was so scary!]

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[that face!]

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[my happy girl]

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[so excited over her goodies!]

xoxo

spooky afternoon

we had our family over on a lovely afternoon to carve pumpkins, eat sweet chili, and watch football. my sister, kim, made a delicious cheese plate, my hc made a savory chili in the slow cooker, and we had a bloody mary bar! yuuuuuuuuum!

we knew our family was going to come over for over a week but we didn’t plan on doing too much. then that morning, hc and i whipped together some decor, cleaned, prepped the house, set out the entertaining serve ware, and stepped back to realize that we are conditioned to host at our house. we don’t even blink an eye and can set up to have anyone over with our eyes closed. hahaha!

once everyone was over, we just hang out. that’s what it should be. some people ate chili, some people made bloody mary’s, some people watched football, and some people ate appetizers. after swaying back and forth between food, drinks, and typical conversations, we finally decided to carve pumpkins. hc had set up a table in the heated garage for the kids to carve. a perfect set up conducive to creative minds.

olive did such a great job with the pumpkins! she drew on two pumpkins and hc cut them out using a skil saw…ha! i helped the boys and drew out the design they wanted on their pumpkins to carve. it was a fun time inside the garage and quite successful! everyone loved their pumpkins! olive insisted on a ‘go cubs go’ pumpkin and demanded we cut out another one! she’s such a chicago cubs fan {hmmmm, just like dada??}.

after an easy and almost mess free pumpkin carving session, we excitedly came back inside with our works of art and lit up some candles to get these boo’s glowing!

my mom had fried egg rolls and brought over the right ingredients to make spring rolls, so we then had ‘dinner’ served. gosh, i love family! it’s the best kind of company you can have {and friends of course…i love my friends}. it was getting a bit late and the boys had school the next day, so we said our goodbyes. olive was super sad. she wanted to hang out with the boys and cried when i told her she couldn’t go over to their house. awwwww, so sad!

well, it was a great afternoon and such a fun time had carving pumpkins. i love being able to do this every year, creating such great memories!

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[tasty cheese platter by my sister kim]

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[my sista adding more vodka to her drink!!]

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[corn bread and chili]

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[sour cream, shredded cheese, and oyster crackers…yum]

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[having a good time carving pumpkins]

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[the sweetest smile]

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[working hard]

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[working easy]

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[sweet cousins]

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[dan’s creation]

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xoxo

pumpkin patch

our original plans were scrapped. it was a monsoon of rain the night before, so all the pumpkin farms were either closed or opened with limited access. we were super bummed. we love going to some sort of pumpkin farm every year because the kids enjoy it so much! well, this season, we had a chance to go to a little patch on that rained out day and it was the only time we could go, so be it!

ok…here’s the story. i dressed olive for the outing but i did not get her out the door. that is usually’s hc’s job. during that time, once everyone is ready…it’s then my turn to get dressed, freshen up, and grab a few things before walking out the door. that, usually, is a good 10 minutes given. well, i ran to the car, jumped in and we cruised to the pumpkin patch in no time. i get out of the car and open up the back door, look at olive, and my jaw drops. she’s wearing ballet slippers, no socks, and NO jacket. no scarf. no cardigan. no outerwear. i almost lost it. it was probably 50 degrees, windy, wet, and muddy. i could not believe she was not bundle up to be standing outside for at least 45 minutes or however long we were going to be there. plus, i couldn’t believe she wasn’t wearing boots with us walking around in the grass, gravel, and dirt {or really mud}.

anyhoo, so i forfeited my jacket to miss olive. there was no way i was going to let her wear less than what i had on! poor thing was so chilly!! her nose turned pink and her hands were so cold. albeit the rough start, we really had a great time! we all picked out giant pumpkins, little pumpkins, and olive helped me pick out mini pumpkins and gourds. olive was having a blast and that’s all i could ask for. when i see her super happy, it just makes everything good.

we perused the small place a little bit more just to check out all the goods, just to make sure we weren’t missing anything! grace grabbed some fresh cider doughnuts and we then paid for our bundle of festive fruits and moseyed on home. although it was a quick trip, it was a fun one {despite the crazy shenanigans in the beginning!} we came home with the pumpkins i wanted, pretty mums, and yummy doughnuts…it was quite the successful trip!

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[hi olive]

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[i love this girl so much!]

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[she’s too sweet]

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[she picked out little pumpkins gourds for us]

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[the best moments everrrrrr…when she gets so excited to see me. i absolutely love this so much!]

xoxo

apple pickin’

we went on our annual apple pickin’ outing this past weekend!

i was so excited…i love this time of year! i am happy it is october, i am happy the weather cooperated {70+, not 90+ as it was the prior weekend and the previous years we’ve gone}, and i am happy!

we arrived at the farm and as we were walking towards the main area, terry and famille drove by! yay, right on time! everyone met up by the apple picking lines but we decided to go eat first, the boys and olive were hungry.

i was quite surprised, with it being such a nice day, that it wasn’t busier. don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of people there but i really thought it would be packed. it was the first weekend of october and a beautiful day, but there were no real long lines anywhere. when we got into the line for the food, we were first {well, there were people in front of us but they were served}. when we got into the line for the apple picking, there was no one waiting in front of us to buy tickets and the next tractor wagon ride that came by, we got on it right away! sweet! that was pretty awesome!

my heart was so full seeing olive so excited to pick apples. she was learning all about it in school the week prior, so i prepped her before our outing and told her we were going to pick apples. she was so stoked to do this! when we were driving in, she saw all the apple trees and couldn’t wait to get out to pick some. she’s so sweet! i love her innocent ways!

we picked golden delicious, empire, and jonathan apples and had a lot fun doing so. yum, yum, yum! i honestly can say that this time around picking apples was the best time we’ve had since we’ve done it. in the past, it’s either been too hot or olive was not having it and it was at times, miserable {but still oddly fun because i love picking apples so much}. this year it was a combo of all good things and that really made it enjoyable.

after we picked, we {as usual} perused the shop and bought a few yummy items. we never leave without apple cider doughnuts! {helloooo, that’s definitely our second purpose} we bought some chocolate covered pretzels, white cheddar popcorn, and apple butter. all items we don’t need, don’t need to consume, but hey, it’s fall y’all!

we hung around for a bit more {relaxing, being silly, and having fun with the kids} and then decided it was time to leave. my how time flies when you are having fun! more than 3 and a half hours later, we were ready to go! we left happy, satisfied with our bags of apples, and all the extra delicious goodies we bought. it was a successful and super fun time apple picking!

happy october!

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[ellie sitting in the dirtiest high chair we’ve ever seen…thank you hc for cleaning it]

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[“ohhhh snap, did you see what she was wearing?”, said ellie…hahaha!]

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[she’s getting excited!]

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[the tractor is moving]

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[godmother godchild]

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[she LOVED picking apples!]

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[she totally groaned at me after this pic…she was so exasperated i was taking a picture! ha!]

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[cutest apple pickers]

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[terry, pete, hc, and ellie]via tandeminlove.com

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[hey ladies]

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[pete, avery, and lan]

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[yummy apples]

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[the family that picks together, stays together]

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[let’s try this family picture thing]

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[almost]

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[yayyyyy!]

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[get it girl!]

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[she’s so excited over her apple!]

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[gosh, i love this babe]

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[these take two pics amuse me]

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[so proud of his stash!]

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[she was so excited to be sitting on the bench]

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[she thought reagan was so funny!]

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[this girl loves her popcorn]

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xoxo

car night

all summer long, we didn’t go to one car show {not one!} and we typically hit up a few throughout the season {sometimes in neighboring towns}. well, the other month, we fiiiiiinally went to our local downtown downers car show…quite the popular show around these parts!

it was a beeeeeeautiful evening. the weather was puuuuurfect! we jumped into hc’s jeep and took a scenic ride to the show. we drove around a bit, looking for parking {hc doesn’t mind driving around the town – showing off his jeep}, and finally found a spot and walked our way towards the cars.

we started with the police cars. there were all sorts of cool vehicles where you could sit inside, get into the driver’s seat, and pretty much examine the cars inside and out. i thought it was awesome but olive was unimpressed. hahaha! she didn’t care for any of the cars and was excited for two seconds when a firefighter gave her a sticker.

right about then, we ran into our neighbors {and olive’s sitter!}, chuck and mary! we ended up exploring the car show with them, well, actually it was really chuck and hc that did all the looking. i just chatted with mary and took care of the babes.

olive spied a toy store and really wanted to go inside. i told her that once we looked at a few cars that dada wanted to see, we could go back. on our way around, olive saw the water fountain and had a blast watching it. she danced and giggled and was so darn cute. we finally made our way around and i took olive to the toy store {thank goodness it was still open!}. she was so excited! once inside, she immediately found a unicorn in a fringed bag. oh how she wanted it. i let her look at all the other toys but her mind was fixated on the unicorn, so i let dada make that decision. aaaaaand of course, he bought it for her.

after that, we headed on home. we got our car show in for the summer, it was a fun, beautiful evening out, and olive was a happy camper with her new unicorn in a bag toy. happy end of summer!

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[poor babe was bit by a mosquito all over her eyelids and forehead. ugh!]

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[hc was digging this jeep!]

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[that’s a big ass truck]

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[she’s a junior firefighter!]

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[she wasn’t too keen on going inside]

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[i love this babe who’s growing up so fast]

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[she loooooooves fountains]

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[dancing to the music]

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[she wanted this horse so bad!]

xoxo

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

the hottest alfresco lunch everrrrrrr

one sunday morning, we decided to head out for a late lunch. ellie’s morning nap was running into the early afternoon and we thought that it would be a great idea to get out of the house on this hot, hot day but not do anything too strenuous because it was so darn warm outside.

we headed into downtown dg for a lunch alfresco. it was ellie’s first jeep ride and olive’s second time but the first time she really understood what she was doing! she looooooooves riding in the jeep! oh, she kept screaming and giggling and waving her arms. it was the cutest thing to watch! it’s so joyous to watch your kids be happy!

well, it was sooooooo hot outside that even under a shady umbrella, we pretty much melted. omg it was so hot! near the end of our meal, ellie was getting a bit fussy, so i decided to walk her around the restaurant to cool off and calm her down. the first time we walked up to the window where hc was sitting outside, she said, “dada. dada.” and she looked out the window at hc. i was like, ‘hmmmmm. does she really know it’s hc?’. well, i decided to walk around the restaurant again and see if she would say it again. yup. she did. we walked back up to the window and she said, “dada. dada.” as she looked right at hc. i did it a third time!!! i finally caved in and admitted that was her first word. i wouldn’t have agreed if she really didn’t know what it meant but i have to say, she did and does. wahhhhhhhhhh.

after lunch, we decided to walk around town. gah! what a failure. it was sooooo hot. so hot. we only did one short lap and called it quits. i couldn’t wait to get back into the jeep to have the wind blowing through my hair. all in all, it was still a great afternoon. i am so glad we got outside even tho it was like an inferno. hahaha!

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[ellie’s first jeep ride!]

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[coolest girl in the world]

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[before i melt]

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[some drink i don’t remember what it’s called but it was delicious]

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[this precious face]

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[melting from the heat]

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xoxo

a simple outing

we had a quick, casual outing on a beautiful sunny day that turned out to be freezing cold and soooo windy in the early afternoon and then a warm day late afternoon! my, what a difference a few hours can make!

i met my dad and sister, thuy, for lunch out at the mall. we ate at a yummy restaurant and then decided to get donuts and coffee after our main meal. my dad could live off of doughnuts and coffee. ha! we were in a new part of the mall that is now a bunch of restaurants and it was pretty quiet and serene. we did a mini photo shoot with olive {natch}, ate doughnuts, sipped coffee, and enjoyed our peaceful moments together.

since my dad’s leg{s} have been bothering him, we decided to not venture out too far. thuy and i wanted to hit up anthropologie but it was too far for my dad to walk so we decided to call it quits. besides, they had more errands to run and i didn’t mind heading home with the kiddos. it was nice just to get out for a bit but honestly, with two kiddos and one being so young, you’re bound to time frames! well, i choose to be committed because i prefer for my kids to have a routine.

i love that ellie can nap at 10am and 2-3pm and olive will occassionly nap in the afternoon {depending on her wake up time & morning activities}. it limits our outings at times but hey…they are only this little for so long!

anyhoo, it was a great blip in our day. we loved seeing my dad and my sister for a bit and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air!

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[my sweet  babe]

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[ellie enjoying being flipped around by auntie thuy]

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[thuy thought it was a good idea for ellie to try her glasses, ellie – not so much. hahaha!]

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[she loved her glasses so much!]

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[stan’s donuts]

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xoxo

mom’s day

what a beautiful day.

the weather was just perfect! the sun was shining and it wasn’t too warm. i was super excited to host mother’s day brunch at our house. it was a last minute affair! my family wasn’t sure what we were doing for mother’s day. we usually head to the city and have brunch somewhere downtown but this year, we let our planning slip by and before we knew it, mother’s day was upon us and we had no plans! so, i suggested to have it at our house! we love hosting others at our home!

well, that gave us barely a week to plan a menu, conjure up decor ideas, and then actually going out to get all the food and supplies! oy! life has already been so busy and lately, i totally feel like i am strapped for time but we did it!

hc cooked up a storm! i chose the menu items and he brought it all to life! he’s so darn good and sweet! he insisted on cooking {i always opt for catering} and really pulled through with the delicious food. hc made 4 different kinds of quiches – red pepper, mushroom, bacon, and onion quiches. they were all so darn delectable! he made savory, seasoned breakfast potatoes, crispy thick cut bacon, and yummy buttermilk waffles served with sweet butter and maple syrup! wow! we were all so impressed.

we set up tables outside. how could you not?! the weather was simply amazing!

i had a calligrapher draw up menus, place cards, and station notes for our party! i love little details like that, it always adds a lovely touch to any party. i decorated our tree {aka the photo booth}, put flowers everywhere {thanks to kim!}, and created a dessert and mimosa table. i also bought little potted flowers for all the moms to take home! everything was so last minute but it all turned out so darn pretty {if i do say so myself!}.

everyone trickled in around noon and soon the party was in full swing. we all enjoyed hc’s divine brunch buffet, created our own mimosas, and soaked in the warm sun outside. after brunch, we all just relaxed here and there. i think that was the best part of the party, we all just chilled and enjoyed each other’s company. the kids played in the yard, hc took, almost, everyone for a ride in his newly assemble jeep, and we celebrated all the moms.

being a mom is the best gift, best journey, and best thing that has ever happened to me. i am thankful and so blessed to have my two little girls in my life. nothing prepared me for this miraculous role called motherhood and i can’t thank God enough for this amazing privilege to be their mom. cheers to all the mothers out there who love, give, and sacrifice so much for their kids.

hooray for moms!

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[celebrate mom]

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[table spread]

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[a pretty pot of flowers for our lovely mom’s to take home]

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[mimosa bar]

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[make your own mimosa!]

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[family]

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[the sweetest nephews]

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[sweetest souls]

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[we sure do love our moms]

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[dessert table]

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[the colors are like a unicorn cake!]

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[i love a pretty dessert table]

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[siblings]

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[with ba]

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[after a few hours, i finally poured myself a mimosa…soooooooo yummy!!!]

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[with our wonderful mom]

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[i kept saying, “olive, get in the picture…olive get in the picture!” and this is what i got. bahahahaha!]

xoxo

easter sunday

ohmergoodness. i am finally posting about easter. it’s been a whirlwind in life of late. i don’t know why it’s been so busy and hectic for me. i feel like life hasn’t changed much but yet, i am constantly chasing time!? smh.

anyhoo, my sister kim had planned an easter brunch at maple and ash…a yummy little restaurant in chicago. i was excited to go because we had celebrated new years there and it was epic. so, of course, i was stoked to eat brunch there!

we arrived pretty early, well early for us, and casually walked in & got seated right away. my family wasn’t far behind us. once everyone arrived, we ordered beverages and waited for our server to explain any necessary information guiding us in our soon to be brunch consumption.

we then took off and starting gathering copious amounts of savory sorts onto our plates. it was yummy! i loaded my plate full of bacon, fruit, sausage, and pancakes and i am sure i am forgetting what else. ok, ok, i put a lot of food on my plate because i was going to feed olive! hahaha but i did eat most of it, darn that breastfeeding! i am always hangry!

i love maple and ash. it’s so pretty, fun, and always a great time. we love the service and food there and we always have fun interacting with the staff and exploring new palates.

it was a great time out with the family and it was an absolutely gorgeous day out! what a fabulous easter it was. ellie’s first easter was awesome and olive’s 4th was just as amazing. i love celebrating holidays with the family and it brings me such joy to see my girls enjoy it too!

xoxo

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[brunch menu at maple and ash]

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[she’s so sweet & highly emotional]

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[sisters]

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[bromance]

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[the seafood starter was amazing]

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[aren’t they sooooooo cute?!]

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[i captured the sweetest moments between these two loves of mine]

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[my love]

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[the delicious bunny cookie]

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[uncle dan and reagan]

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[cheeky little monkey]

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[happy easter!]

xoxo