first day of school

i truly had intent to post this well over a week ago but liiiiiiiiife. we were so busy leading up to our trip {i could name the 100 millions things we had to do and had going on but i’ll spare you} and i even brought my computer, with intent – again, to finish this post and publish while i was on vacation but that didn’t happen either {i’m a weirdo when it comes to unsecured wifi streams and won’t log into anything, so therefor, i didn’t log into my web account to finish this post! i should have known…}.

anyhoo, long intro to olive’s very short first day of school. i executed all the necessary preparations. i had pre-picked out her outfit, packed her backpack with the required essentials, filled out all her forms needed, and gathered all her school supplies the night before, amongst other things! olive was very excited for her first day of class this year! she loves going to school, she loves meeting new friends, and she loves to learn.

we got ready and we were all extra early. hc took ellie over to my parent’s house and no one was up and ready to go there! whaaaaaaa? we wanted to get to school early because one: the parking lot gets sooooo full and two: it’s her first day! we didn’t want to rush around and wanted it to be more relaxing and fun. my dad finally came out and hc ran out of the house like flash to come back and pick us up! we screeched the wheels on our way to school, of course the parking lot was fullllllll, and we were late – running our way into the building! ugh! what a start!

to top it off, i couldn’t remember what the classroom number was!! so there we were, walking back and forth, trying to figure it out. i ran upstairs to the office and they told me which room number it was and we slowly snuck into the room! we got called out and the teacher told me to come sit up front with the other parents, with olive and i obliged.

after the introductions and details of the how their day would look, the kids were given the green light to explore and of course, olive beelined for the doll house and barbies! after some time of playing, we circled back together for some final details and then everyone was dismissed!

we then took olive out to breakfast to celebrate her first official day of class. it’s the little things like this, that make me happy and i hope it makes olive happy too! i love making certain occasions and moments in life special. i really hope that actions like this will positively resonates with olive.

it was a great start to the school year and a wonderful start to our morning! we loved having hc there to make events like these whole. although, i had a #momfail moment later on in the day when i completely forgot to take them to their gymnastics class! heyyyy, you win some, you lose some. hahahaha!!

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[my girl]

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[she was being so silly…she kept dancing all over the place!]

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[mean mugging]

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[i love her]

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[always so somber and cautious]

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[going for the doll house and dollies]

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[she loves this doll!]

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[drawing at breakfast, getting ready to eat her rainbow pancakes!]

xoxo

kim’s 29th birthday!

we celebrated kim’s birthday this past weekend at pacific standard time, a restaurant of her choice.

so, funny story…i had text hc about our reservation time and confusion ensued. here’s our conversation {modified for your enjoyment}.

me: dinner is at 5 at pacific standard time

hc: 5? downtown? well, if you really think about it, 5pm is really 7pm cst but it’s still cutting it close to get to the restaurant.

me: hun, pacific standard time is the name of the restaurant. thuy wasn’t confused when she said the dinner reservations were at 5 at pacific standard time.

bahahahahahaha!

we all, almost, arrived on time {thuy was a bit behind}. our time was well spent drinking tasty libations and lively conversations between us before we placed our order. our server was detailed and encouraging during our time there. i loved how passionate she was about the menu, the food, and her astounding memory! she absorbed our appetizer {and we ordered a lot} and entree order with no glitches. everything came as specified and i was impressed!

we ohhh’d and ahhhh’d over our meals, we shared plates, and became giddy as our tastebuds were delighted! everyone throughly enjoyed kim’s cod…yes, that was written out comically, but we really loved her fish! it was my, and most, favorite dish!

the food kept on coming and we merrily passed along each plate to consume everything in sight. as our belly’s filled up, our evening out together dwindled. our server then brought out a surprise dessert for kim’s birthday – we awkwardly sang happy birthday and kim angrily blew out her candle {you would have to have seen my instagram story to understand}, and we cheered!

after dinner, we took a few pics outside and enjoyed the gorgeous warm temps. warm summer nights are an absolute favorite of mine! it was a wonderful time out celebrating my sister kim! happy birthday kimberdo!

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[pacific standard time]

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[ma seours]

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[lan. agata, and dan]

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[kim’s amazing cod, like, seriously…it was sooooooo good]

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[the half eaten delicious pappardelle]

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[this dessert was decadent and delicious]

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[happy birthday kim!]

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xoxo

hb bennett!

my sister kim and her husband, terry, coordinated a birthday dinner for bennett’s ninth birthday. bennett really wanted to do hibachi, so benihana’s it was!

we all met at the restaurant {we were running behind due to our – mine and kim’s – haircut appointment in the city…i barely made it home to get ready, finished decorating bennett’s present, and ran out the door, with the family, to the restaurant}, we were a little late. they wouldn’t seat everyone until we got there! phew…we were 15 minutes behind…so not too bad but not good.

once we were seated…the usual routine ensued. i ordered a lychee cocktail and decided on the seafood entrée. when the chefs came and started their entertainment…olive was mesmerized!!! she giggled and squealed and looooooooved every second of it! she was sooo darn cute! i couldn’t take my eyes off of her! it was so cute to watch!

we then sang happy birthday to bennett, the kids were running around, and we all just relaxed and mingled. it was super nice we had side by side tables in the corner of the restaurant. it’s secluded and perfect when you have a large crowd and rowdy kids!

dinner was delicious and we were having such a great time! once everything wrapped up, we all decided to head on over to everyday’s a sundae for some ice cream. it was a perfect night for that. the temp was perfect and everyone really enjoyed themselves. we hung out, the kids played, and we ate yummy ice cream!

it was such a perfect evening together. we had a wonderful time celebrating bennett’s birthday and created beautiful summer memories together!

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[waiting to get my hair done…it was a mess that day!]

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[waiting nook]

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[got my hair did and checking out]

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[dad and mom]

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[the birthday boy with his brother]

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[adoringly looking at bennett]

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[cheers! lychee cocktail]

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[where’ ellie?]

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[kim, ellie, and terry]

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[barbara and lynne]

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[birthday boy, make a wish]

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[peeking at mama]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[goofballs]

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[yum yum! ellie loved the ice cream]

xoxo

grace’s birthday

we celebrated grace’s birthday with a dinner night out with family.

as i wrote in the previous post…we had a really long day out and ended up going from my sister’s family work party and visiting my brother’s place to dinner afterwards. we were hoping to head home, give ellie a nap, and change our clothes for this birthday celebration for grace, but none of that happened!

c’est la vie! we left dan and agata’s place to head to the restaurant and arrived a little bit early but everyone was already there! we ran into grace and family in the parking lot and saw dick, jane, and wendy at the bar.

we were seated right away and socialized with one another as the server did her job taking drink orders, apps, etc. i ordered a delicious but very strong rosé drink. olive and anabel got along so well. ellie just clung to me or hc and we chitchatted amongst each other until the food came. i ordered the scallops and risotto and it was very good! i was pleasantly surprised. i have never eaten at this chain restaurant, season’s 52, {i’m not a fan of chain restaurants} but it was surprisingly good!

we celebrated grace, sang happy birthday to her, showered her with gifts and love, and we all had a wonderful evening together. it was such a great time with everyone, we never really get to go out, sit down, and really spend time with one another. i mean, we all see different parts of this group separately but it was nice to have us all together…not just shuffling kids back and forth or going from point a to point b!

happy birthday beautiful grace! you are growing into a strong, sweet, smart women! we love you!

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[rich and grace]

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[papa, gramma, and aunt wendy]

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[grace and edwin]

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[anabel and olive]

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[pilar and jay]

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[rosé lemonade]

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[grace and moi]

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[make a wish!]

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xoxo

family day at northrop

 my sister, thuy, had invited us to join her for her work’s family event!

we all agreed to go and then my brother, dan and his girlfriend agata, had invited us over to their place after the family event!

the original plan for that day was this – hc was going to go to the cubs game and i was going to the event with just the girls and then to dan and agata’s place afterwards. well, hc ended up not going to the cubs game and then made plans to go out that evening for grace’s birthday. i thought, ok, we can do this. we probably won’t stay that long at thuy’s work event and we were going over to dan’s for a late lunch.

of course i rationalized that all in my head without really asking anyone what our real time frame was going to be. so, on this day…we had definitely underestimated our time and over scheduled ourselves. i didn’t expect to stay as long as we did at the family event, i didn’t expect to get to dan’s so late, i didn’t want to rush out {we were seeing their beautiful town home for the first time}, and hc and i didn’t plan on not going home to give ellie a nap and change our clothes for dinner that evening! it also meant a lot of driving around for us. we were in a pickle. so we decided that we were going to stay at dan’s and go to dinner from there…casual clothes, grumpy ellie, and all.

well, it all turned out wonderfully. thuy’s work event was fun! pictures were not allowed inside, so when we went outside to the ice cream trucks, i snapped a gazillion pics! the family event was great – they had bozo buckets, fun activities for the kiddos, food, balloon animals, face painting, free hats, and many other goodies! we perused the gift shop and i bought the coolest bomber jackets for olive and ellie! ellie wore hers and received so many compliments!

after the family event, we cruised on over to dan and agata’s place. their town home is so nice! i loved how fresh and modern it looked inside. they were cooking burgers and had delicious sides for us to eat. it was all so very good! agata’s mom made an app and a decadent dessert for all of us as well! it was all very relaxing and fun.

we could have stayed for another couple hours but alas, we needed to head out to get to our dinner plans. it was such a fun and eventful day seeing where thuy worked and where dan lived! i will have more on our dinner gathering in my next post!

[we bought this bomber jacket in the gift store. so many people complimented her on it!]

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[best face paint artist i ever did see]

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[rocking her cool bomber jacket]

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[they had ice cream trucks

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[i love that smile]

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[ice cream time]

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[my girls]

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[hats required]

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[playing with play doh]

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[mom and agata]

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[twinning bromance]

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[mom and ellie]

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[thuy and mom]

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[ba with his boys]

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[kim, ellie, and moi]

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[my sister kim throwing ellie up in the air]

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[agata and dan]

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[fresh fruit dessert made by agata’s mom]

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[having fun with agata]

xoxo

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

ice cream date turned festival fun!

my sister, kim, text me asking if we wanted to meet up for an ice cream date. well, yes. the only place we ever go to is everyday’s a sundae. so, we hustled, got ready within a few minutes and out the door. as we neared the downtown area, we saw that heritage fest was going on! oh my! we were so unaware.

i called my sister and we were in a pickle. we didn’t expect the crowds and the crazy parking, so we weren’t sure if we wanted to stay or go to another place to get some ice cream.

well, we decided to stay and we met in front of the shop. we discussed our options, get ice cream or walk the festival. we decided to walk the festival but needed to get out cash, so we walked to an atm and hit up the grounds.

we started backwards, the kids grabbed ice cream first, then dinner. hey, it’s summer and it’s festival season! we perused our food choices and decided between corn dogs or corn dogs or corn dogs. hahaha! festival options are limited, yummy, and greasy!

the evening weather was beautiful. the temperature a bit cooler than usual but still lovely. we walked around, sat down to eat, the kids ran off to play games, and i took a gazillion pics. the kids were so cute together. olive was loving the games and prizes and just followed the boys around. game after game after game, we called it a night after the last one they played. it was the high striker and olive really wanted to play. the mallet was heavier than her! the women running the show reassured me olive would do well. hint hint. as olive tried with all her might to swing the hammer down on the target, the women hit the weight upwards and rung the bell! that was so sweet! olive, excitedly, picked out a prize!

we walked back to the car, loaded the girls into the jeep, and told olive to hold on tight to her huge plastic blow up barbie doll {it was probably three feet tall}, so it wouldn’t blow away in the wind!

it was such a fun night…impromptu and full of fond memories. i love life moments like these. cheers to summer nights!

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[she was so excited…i’m not sure for what – the jeep ride? the ice cream? seeing her cousins?]

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[my silly girls]

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[she’s so cute]

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[she was being sooooo silly]

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[rapunzel]

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[she loved her princess dress]

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[my babies]

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[rotary fest]

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[the crew]

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[they love each other]

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[i caught this cutie pie trying to catch up to the group. it was so cute to see her hustle]

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[she’s all caught up to the group]

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[olive loved the blow up character behind her]

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[gosh i looooooooove her. them. my girls]

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[eating ice cream]

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[kisses for her daddy]

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[eating corn dogs and fries]

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[overwhelmed by the plethora of prizes]

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[picking out prizes]

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[showing off their prizes]

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[she was so excited that the bow lit up!]

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[games, games, and more games]

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[the mallet was heavier than her. the women running the game was so kind. she hit the bell so olive could win a prize!]

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[what makes these kids happy…]

xoxo

father’s day ’18

we had a packed agenda for father’s day!

we headed out in the morning, drove north, to have lunch and hang out with hc’s parents. then several hours later, we drove back south to have dinner with my family.

it was a fun, whirlwind of a day but nonetheless, very fulfilling.

we started the day getting ready and scurrying out the door to make it to his parent’s house on time. it was a hot, hot day. so daaaaaang hot! we melted a bit outside, hanging out. i just couldn’t do it. when i am sitting outside, sweating, like really sweating, i have to beeline inside to the cool house. i. just. can’t. do. it. i am not outdoorsy and add in heat {and no pool}, i’m dunzo.

our afternoon was relaxing. we had lunch and hung out with rich’s parents, his aunt, his sister, and grace. plain and simple. after four plus hours, we packed up and headed south to meet my family for dinner.

there we met up with dan, agata, my parents and sisters. once we were seated, olive was being a riot. she was being so darn cute looking at the menu, as if she knew what she was looking at or for! ha! she’s too cute! she decided that she wanted to eat chicken and fried rice. good choice my girl!

olive entertained us and ellie was restless! she was in that fussy mood but the poor babe slept only a half hour that day, with all the traveling and distractions we had all afternoon. dinner was actually very good. we have eaten at this particular restaurant before and the service and food was always ok, but this time around, we were pleasantly surprised at everything!

  father’s day was well spent with our families. we had fun celebrating the dads in our lives!  thank you to hc for always being a wonderful father to our girls. they adore you. your patience, love, and silliness make our girls light up! we love you to infinity and beyond!

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[she’s so cute]

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[she’s a doll]

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[auntie missy getting her work out with this little one]

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[she’s a nut]

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[papa and dada]

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[jane and wendy]

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[watering the flowers]

*****

{part deux}

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[my sweetie looking over the menu. haha!]

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[kim and olive]

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[dan and agata]

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[thuy and mom]

[olive, is that you?]

xoxo

ballet recital

olive had a winter ballet recital that was very informal. her spring recital was much more formal. full costume, make up, and a full line up on stage!

i don’t know why i was filled with anxiety. call it the typical mama nature. i was nervous about olive’s will to perform {we practiced together but you know…she’s only four!}, i was nervous about getting there on time. i was nervous that i would forget something on her costume. i was nervous we wouldn’t get front row seats. i was anxious about having people over {which we do on the regular}. it was just one of those days. don’t you have those too? eveything i stated above, i always encounter or do all the time but that day, i was filled with tension.

well, i survived and got over it and everything went super, duper smooth! we got ready early, had enough time for pictures, arrived early enough to grab seats [although our invited guests arrived earlier than us!! yahoo! what a relief to not have to fight for seats and  nab front rows! we needed at least 18 seats for all our attendees.}, olive met and greeted with her guests, got checked in, her costume was in tack {i remembered her ballet shoes!}, and we were able to relax before the show began.

the lights went down and the first act performed. olive’s group was the second act and i was so excited! the curtains closed and a few minutes passed by. then the curtains swooshed open and the crowd gasped in awe {a lot of ohhh’s and awwww’s}, little ballerinas on stage looking so cute!

olive did so well! she was poised and did a great job executing her routine. i loved watching her and was so proud. everyone was giggling at how cute the little ballerinas were. at the end of their performance, when they all jumped forward into their final positions, was so stinkin’ cute! just watch it on the video…pardon the small screen capture. i was taking pictures and my sister recorded the performance.

after the recital {17 acts all together!!!}, i went to pick up olive to meet her guests. everyone showered her with flowers! it was too cute! we all headed back home to our house to welcome our guests for the after party. we had pre-ordered food {although we had a situation with picking it up} and set the house up {a little decor + dessert table} before we left to be ready when everyone arrived.

it was fun, relaxing, and perfect. everyone enjoyed their food, their drinks {ahem…missy and aunt wendy}, and the desserts {diy’d the cake!}. the weather was perfect for an evening outside. what a beautiful day! olive’s recital was awesome and our evening together as a family was even better.

great job on your ballet recital baby girl! you were absolutely fabulous!

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[my darling babe before her recital]

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[she’s so cute]

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[first act, imagine dance team, then olive’s group!]

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[ellie enthralled]

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[ready to begin!]

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[true colors pre-k jazz/hip hop]

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[how far i’ll go/ballet]

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[na na na pre-k ballet]

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[sing! tap]

www. tandeminlove.com[na na na pre-k ballet II]

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[the end]

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[olive and ba]

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[olive and super auntie thuy]

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[dan and agata]

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[barbara and lynne]

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[grandmas]

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[gifts from grandma barbara and aunt lynne]

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[she loves her whale unicorn from aunt lynne – narwhals]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[diy cake]

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[fresh peonies from our yard]

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[french macarons]

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[flowers from her recital and gifts]

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[dessert table]

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[flowers from reagan]

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[sweet girls – olive looks like my sister’s daughter]

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[grainy {my flash died} photo of ellie eating macaron]

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[hide and seek]

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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