happy halloween

oh, i was sooooo excited for halloween!

i couldn’t wait to match the girls! i was so stumped for quite awhile on what i was going to dress them as. i hemmed and hawed over so many ideas but alas, i chose fairies. olive loves tinker bell, so i thought it was fitting for her to be a fairy princess and ellie as well!

i ended up curating their costume pieces. i shopped only small {meaning small businesses that were handmade} and quickly put together their sweet, whimsical costumes. i loved every single piece i purchased. the best part? olive can and still wears all the pieces after halloween! it ended up being her most favorite outfit to date!

we dressed up both girls and went outside to take pictures {the weather was amazing!! not cold or rainy! it typically is every year!}. that was a complete debacle. olive couldn’t hold ellie upright {her costume was too slippery} and by the time i decided to lay both girls down on the blanket on top of the grass, they were both in sour moods and wouldn’t stop crying. seriously?! fml trying to take a decent picture! ha!

after pics {i needed a shower because these girls stress me out sometimes!}, we started our trick or treat journey. it was the cuuuuuuutest thing to watch olive! i did a few a examples for her but after that, she got it! i loved watching her be so independent and sweet! she would quietly knock on people’s doors and not move so it was difficult for them to open the door. ha! she would quietly say, ‘twick o tweet’ and ‘dank you!’ to every person who gave her candy. man did she get brownie points for her cuteness…so many folks gave in and would dump candy into her basket or give extra because they say ellie. olive made out like a bandit for only hitting a few houses!

as we walked along the block, we chit chatted with neighbors and got to know quite a few people on my parent’s street. olive did such a great job and really enjoyed the whole process! after a eight houses {which probably took more than a half hour}, we asked if she wasted to go home and she said, “yes! go home!” and go home we did!

once we arrived home, olive loved checking out all the trick or treaters at the door. she’s finally starting to break out of her shy shell. granted, she still doesn’t really talk around others but she was quite brave with the strangers while trick or treating and loved peeking at all the kids coming to the door and would actually walk downstairs to say hi!

we waited for the trick or treating curfew to end and then packed up our stuff to go home. we tried to get olive’s costume off and that turned out to be the biggest debacle of all time. i mean major meltdown…she flipped out. how dare we tell her to take off her wings and skirt?! we were the devil in her eyes. she screamed and cried and went completely bonker hysterical on us. that was a loooooooooong process that we soooo regretted. ugh.

anyhoo, once we got the little bugger into the car…we finally made it home. phew! that was a knock down dragged out fight but we kind of won. hc stuffed her into the car seat with the compromise of her holding her wings instead of sitting with them on. oy.

overall, it was an awesome halloween. the weather was so fantastic, soooo many people complimented her on the costume, and she had the best time! i love halloween, i always have but now i love it more with our kids in it! it’s so fun and delightful to see such joy in her eyes!

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[such a beautiful fairy princess]

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[i looooooooved their costumes]

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[walking house to house, trick or treating!]

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[her trick or treat bag…collecting goodies]

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[me and my girl]

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[walking towards the cool halloween house]

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[soooooo pretty]

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[hitting up a house for candy…knocking on the door. oh how i loved watching her do this!]

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[her loot]

xoxo

cubs, pumpkin carving, and cookies

we had invited my family over one night for pumpkin carving, watching the cubs game, and decorating cookies. we tend to do that…mix occasions and everything together!

it was a lovely day out…not too cold, not too hot. an typical fall day of weather. we decided to do burgers and simple side salads for dinner. we pulled out everything cubs that we had…napkins, cheese plate, coasters, wine, we carved a cubs pumpkin, and my sister brought over cubs dessert! woo hooooooo! we were ready!

everyone just did their own thing…the kids were playing, us gals were talking, and the boys were talking, grilling, and watching the game. it’s so interesting how we congregate with like species with similar interests! hahaha!

these are the days that i really enjoy! afternoons where you just go with the flow, relax with family, eat, have fun, and chill. we started our pumpkin carving excursion outside but the mosquitos were in full force so we relocated the artwork inside. the carving attempts were a bit competitive but honestly, mine was the best. ha! i was so carefree with my carving that i got slack for it…whatevs! i win with my perfect cat carving! meow!

after we carved our pumpkins, the kids decorated pumpkin cookies – well, they pretty much ate their cookies whilst decorating! i don’t blame them, they were oh so yummy. i am a sucker for sugar cookies. a total weakness!

we had such a great time with everyone. the cubs won against the giants and we were super happy!!! it was a great evening indeed! go cubs go!!!!!

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[i love ellie’s expression]

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[go chicago cubs!]

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[chicago cubs napkins & cheese plate]

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[reagan loving his cousin ellie]

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[oh bennett… that face]

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[we’re looking like a bit of a hot mess…let’s just say it was a very casual evening]

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[dan working on his craft]

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[hi bennett…how many family members does it take to carve one pumpkin? ha!]

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[these kiddos and their iPads]

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[pumpkin cookie decorating]

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[hey olive, you’re suppose to decorate…not just eat the cookies!]

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[bennett hard at work]

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[sweetest smile]

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[yummmmmmm]

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[potty training requires interesting outfits]

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[my spooky cat carving]

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[i love carving pumpkins! so fun and spooky!]

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[c for chicago cubs!]

xoxo

goebbert’s pumpkin farm

it was a perfect day to go to a pumpkin patch!

we decided to meet up at goebbert’s pumpkin farm. it was definitely a pumpkin circus! this farm had everything under the stars for kids, halloween, october, and autumn! there were a gazillion pumpkins to choose from, a haunted house, haunted hayride, games, petting zoo, play areas, entertainment, you name it, they had it!

once we arrived, we waited for everyone else to get there and then met everyone in the food area to grab some lunch. we had a great time noshing and chatting it up with everyone. the kids were having fun and the weather/temperature was perfect! once we ate {our hotdogs, nachos, pretzels, chips, and many other healthy choices of food}, we packed up and headed on our adventure to explore the area. my sisters and lan have been here before but i {and the fam} have not. so it was all so novel and unique to us!

olive was a bit overwhelmed at all the big kid playing and didn’t like the corn maze. it didn’t make sense to her so she got scared and started crying. we took her to the kiddie’s web play area and she felt right at home. she loved it! she just kept walking around and around and around. we let her play there until we were summoned for a hayride. i wanted to do that, so we got olive out of the web and walked over to the hayride area.

once that was done, we bought tickets to get into the another fun area of the farm where they had the petting zoo, pig races, and other fun activities. the kids were having a blast. it was awesome to see olive like certain things for the first time. like for example, earlier this year, around easter, she didn’t care for a petting zoo and this time around she was alllllll about it! she was sooo excited to see all the animals and loved trying to pet them! it just melts my heart to see her so happy!

after we visited all the fun rides, activities, and cool play areas, we hit the shop to buy pumpkins and sweet treats to take home. we had to buy apple cider doughnuts…it’s not fall without a dozen or two! we eyed the pies, candies, and popcorn but went with the yummy doughnuts.

after being there for almost four hours {yessss, it was a long time but it did go by fast!}, we headed on our way home. it was so much fun and always an autumn must do! we love fall…it’s my favorite time of year! happy cool nights, warm layers, and hot apple cider!

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[so many pumpkins and gourds to choose from!]

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[it was soooooooo bright all day!]

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[pretty mums]

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[how cute is this?!]

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[ellie pretty much slept through the whole pumpkin farm excursion]

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[scooby dooby doo!]

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[reagan the giraffe]

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[their version of a kid’s meal]

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[how tall are you this fall?]

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[heading into the play yard]

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[she loved the spider web play area!]

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[she reluctantly posed for a picture for me…diiiiiiiiiiva]

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[getting ready for a hayride!]

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[our scenic route on the hayride]

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[the kids boogie-ing down to the music at the empty theatre]

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[best pic i could get]

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[checking out the play area]

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[silly kids]

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[first time she was interested in petting the animals!]

via tandeminlove.com[she was sooooo happy!]

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[she’s so cute]

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[how cute is this giraffe? i felt so bad for the caged animals…]

via tandeminlove.com[enjoying her end of day treat]

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xoxo

happy birthday R!

it was reagan’s ninth birthday…ninth?! whaaaaaaa?! like seriously, where has the time gone? i can’t believe he is nine. i remember him coming home from the hospital and he was so darn cute and small. now he is nine and so grown up. wahhhhhhh!

well, we decided to all gather around my parent’s house to celebrate this special day. we ate pizza, hung out, watched the cubs vs. the giants game, and had delicious cake. thuy brought home balloons, i brought over a present, and it was very low key and fun. olive always has a great time with her cousins, she ate all her pizza, and acted super silly {and emotional} as usual.

ellie was passed around and being so cute. i love her! she is so calm and cool. she only cried when she became tired. poor thing has been fighting naps lately. she is still wondrous at night sleeping like a champ but it’s hard to get her to nap and then she is cranky in the evening.

the boys had to get home because they had school in the morning and we left shortly thereafter. olive really wanted to go home when she saw r + b head out the door but when she realized we weren’t all leaving, hello meltdown! i know she understands but her emotions get the best of her! she just cried and cried even though i told her we were leaving soon! oy vey!

we gathered our belongings and headed on the long journey home {just keeding…ya know it’s only a minute and half drive from my parent’s! ha}. anyhoo, we got home, got situated, and finished watching the rest of the cubs game…in which they WON!!!!! woo hooooooooo! oh they so needed to WIN!

so all in all, it was a fantastic evening with family, celebrating r’s birthday, and it was topped off with a cubbie win! what a perfect night!

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[cousins]

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[super auntie thuy, reagan, and olive screaming, “cheeeeeeese!”]

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[seriously cutting this cake]

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[sorry for the fuzzy iPhone pic but it’ll definitely do]

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[birthday presents]

xoxo

morton arboretum

it was a perfect day to go to the morton arboretum. there was a slight chill in the air but the sun was shining and there was no rain! it had rained all week and it’s always such a bummer when the temperature isn’t so hot but you can’t get outside to enjoy it! we weren’t sure what we wanted to do at first but i knew i wanted to do something! i never want to waste a good day of lovely weather! so, we packed up the kids and went our merry way to the arboretum!

it was early and we found a great parking spot. we decided to eat breakfast there first. i was super bummed because we got there 10 minutes too late for them to serve us breakfast! whaaaaaa? it, literally, was sitting in front of us and a bunch of the kitchen workers came over and pulled it to the back. huhhhhhh? for reals? i thought, you seriously can’t serve me this food?! what a waste! so instead, i ordered a bacon and sausage quiche. at least i got a brunch item! we sat in their restaurant area and enjoyed our food. their dining area has such a beautiful, scenic view!

once we finished, we immediately walked towards the children’s play area. i love that olive is at an age where she is confident playing on her own and isn’t so afraid to be near other kids. i also love that every play area is pretty much enclosed and you can’t lose your kid! we hit play area after play area and olive was having a blast! it was so adorable to see her so excited, curious, and having so much fun! we explored most of the children’s area and finally made our way out after a few hours.

as we walked towards the exit, they had a fall festival going on where they were selling food, beer, kettle corn, cotton candy, and other goodies! we purchased a bag of kettle corn and sat down at one of the outdoor tables and enjoyed our treat. olive loves, loves popcorn! i was super cautious about her eating it when she was younger. i would either break off the kernels or buy “popcorn” that wasn’t really kernel popped but now she’s a pro! we had so much fun just simply eating our popcorn and being silly. just for the record…ellie slept the entire time!

oh, we had such a marvelous time! it was awesome to have such fun family time and pretty cool to see my baby girl have so much fun! we didn’t get to explore everything there this time so we can’t wait to go back again, hopefully in a few weeks before it gets too cold!

happy fall y’all!

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[she thought it was funny that she had water on her finger and it was extra funny she put that said finger into her mouth]

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[ellie bear all snuggled up in her stroller]

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[she was actually standing in front of glass…you can see the reflection]

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[going into the children’s garden]

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[she loves tunnels]

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[nothing can stop this child from being near any water!]

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[peek a boo!]

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[she loved every play area]

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xoxo

apple pickin’

we had a wonderful day planned! we were getting up early to go apple picking at a fun orchard up north. well, who knew it would be sooooooo dang warm? that was a recipe for disaster!

we had been to royal oak farm a couple years ago and really enjoyed our time there. this time was such a sweet disaster! haha! one, we weren’t dressed right for the oh so hot temperatures. two, olive had multiple meltdowns. three, hc refused to wear the ergo, so he was carrying ellie {not having your hands free when you have two kids is not a smart thing, especially if you are able to avoid it}.

we ate lunch first but the food they offered was very fried, sugary, and limited. the flies and bees were ridiculous. i mean RI-diculous! they were all over us and the food. my mom didn’t want to eat, thuy didn’t want to eat and was a bit grumpy, and we were ready to just go pick apples. although, olive was hilarious about the bugs. she kept giggling, screaming, and saying, “shoo, shoo bug! shoo!”. it was very, very cute!

we got into line to purchase our bags and we all herded onto the hayride towards the orchard. olive thought it was fun and really enjoyed being in the wagon being pulled by the john deere tractor! we arrived at our destination and began apple picking. oh my goodness, it was so hot! it was 90 degrees and the sun was beating down on us! my mom and sister wanted green apples but they weren’t ripe yet, so we kept walking around trying to find green apples. hc didn’t want to hold ellie anymore so he left to go get the stroller. while hc was gone, olive had a few meltdowns and wanted me to do this, that, hold her, she cried, mumbled, and did a bunch of things i couldn’t really help her with because i was holding ellie…sweating in the sun!

he finally made it back to help but olive was on a roll. every time the hayride came by, she wanted to get on it and we told her no and she cried and cried and cried. she didn’t want to pick apples, although i did, we were super hot and sticky, and it was just a bit crazy.

well, in the end, we got our apples, we took some marvelous pictures, and we were ready to go home! i know, what you just read probably sounded like a disaster of an outing but it was a great day despite the hot temps and the tantrums displayed by olive and her mama! ha! yes, if it was cooler, it wouldn’t have been so intense but i still loved that we did it and spent some crazy time together. we were soooooooo ready to go home and shower though!

well, next year we will make sure the temps are low so we don’t melt in the sun when we go apple picking! i am super excited to use the apples to make apple pie and candied apples this coming month! more fun activities to look forward to!

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[sweet girl who’s ready to have a few meltdowns. eep]

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[having lunch with grandma]

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[apples available to pick!]

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[wagon riding to the apple orchard]

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[ellie’s first wagon ride]

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[thuy and mom on the wagon ride]

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[thanks auntie thuy for the cute family pic]

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[it was sooooo stinkin’ hot]

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[ba with ellie]

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[olive apple picking]

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[auntie thuy chillin’ while we pick apples]

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[mom and dad]

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xoxo

bouncy birthday party

we were invited to mila and nolan’s birthday party!

it was a beautiful, perfect day ~ weather wise. as we were walking towards their house, kevin happen to be outside to greet us and olive immediately laid eyes on a paw patrol bouncy house!!! whoa! she looooooves paw patrol!

the party was in full swing when we arrived. hc’s family was already there and we joined in of the fun. olive immediately ran towards the swing set…she had to get comfortable with the idea of getting into that bouncy house first. she really took to a little blonde girl there and it was so sweet to see her interested and wanting to play with her.

it was great visiting with everyone…i said hello to kevin and ryan’s mom, hc’s parents, sister missy, nephew daniel, girlfriend rachel, grace, and a few other folks. we just hung out, had drinks, and i took a gazillion pics of olive.

after an hour or so, olive asked to go inside the bouncy. no wayyyyyyy! i was excited that she wanted to. she can be a bit afraid of other kids and especially, boys. boys tend to be too loud, crazy, and rough for olive’s taste and she’d prefer not to interact…she’s too demure! i asked her again and she said she wanted to go inside! jane decided to take her; she took off her shoes, and helped her inside the bouncy house and boom! olive took off! she giggled, screamed, and had the time of her life! i was in love! my heart was so full watching her have so much fun! she was a pro…she bounced, fell, bounced, giggled, fell, and repeated every step. we couldn’t get her out! it was such a joy to see her so happy!

after a few hours, we ate, they served cake, and we continued to mingle. honestly, we thought we would be there for an hour or so but we ended up being there for over four hours! we had such a great time. we loved catching up with everyone, especially ryan…hc’s cousin who recently moved out of town. olive had a blast and by the end of the party, we were all tuckered out!

we said our goodbyes and headed out. both girls were zonked out in the back seat and we were all happy campers heading to our home sweet home.

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[i love this girl]

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[silly girl]

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[shining star grace]

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[nice hair ellie]

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[gramma and papa]

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[yup, she’s like, “whaaaaaa? more pictures mom?!”]

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[cousins]

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[she was so independent and excited to be in the bouncy house…first time! she was smiling at gramma!]

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[birthday boy]

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[birthday girl]

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[what a beautiful group of kids]

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[yay! ice cream]

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[toy story cake]

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[ready for cake]

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xoxo

independence day

it was a perfect morning, weather wise. it wasn’t too hot like it usually is on the fourth of july. it was a bit humid but cool.

olive had slept over at her grandparent’s house the night before on a fluke. we had a wedding the night prior and my sisters took olive to eyes in the sky festival with her cousins. we were coming home late and olive didn’t have a nap during the afternoon and had such a fun time that she was completely worn out. i think that was an understatement. she was pooooooooped. she fell asleep at my parent’s house when she got home after the festival and continued to sleep into the morning, waking up at 11:30 am. yup! she was exhausted. so, needless to say…she missed the parade. i was a bit bummed because i really wanted her to be there. she’s at an age where i know she would enjoy it!

well, hc and i made it to the parade without our daughter…whaaaa?! yes, we enjoyed going but it wasn’t the same without olive. afterwards, we picked olive up at my parent’s and headed home to prep a bit because my family was coming over to celebrate the fourth with some grilling. it was a very low key day. kim, terry, and the boys picked up the food and we hosted and grilled. it was fun, relaxing, and very laid back.

it was just my parent’s, kim, thuy, terry, the boys, olive, and my brother dan made an appearance. everyone stayed until about 5-6 o’clock and trickled out after that so we had the rest of the evening to relax. we didn’t see any fireworks…it really wasn’t in our plans {plus, i don’t know if olive would really enjoy it…i find most kids her age are just plain scared at the loud noises!}. we really just enjoyed winding down for the rest of the evening!

overall, it was a fantastic fourth weekend! we had such a great time and loved our low key afternoon with the family! we love celebrating america’s birthday!!

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[the start of the parade]

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[veterans]

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[revolution reenactment]

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[kind of being shy]

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[omg, these kids. love them]

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[checking out the chipmunk dad caught]

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[oh bennett]

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[yummmmmm]

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[38 weeks pregnant]

xoxo

grace and daniel’s grad party

i can’t believe grace is headed to high school this fall. what?! what happened? i remember when she was barely six years old. i met her 4 months into being six, so i could almost say since she was five years old just to be more dramatic!

well, it was a hot day and the party was held at gramma and papa’s house. hc and olive went up the night before to help them set up and such. i drove up with my sister and parents the next day. i got so car sick from the ride {i really think it’s because i am pregnant, because normally i don’t get that way}, that when we arrived, i had to go downstairs and lay down for awhile to get myself together before i could go to meet and greet all the guests! the car sickness dissipated, i put some food in my belly, and after 15 mins or so of laying down, i was ready to go!

olive was in great spirits and she was the most social i have ever seen her! she was giddy and open to others, which is something i rarely see when she is around people she doesn’t know. she was playful and super smiley…i was loving it!

i made my rounds and said my hello’s to everyone. it was so great to catch up with friends and family! grace had her group of friends and daniel had his group of friends and it was so interesting how they never intermingled! grace and daniel aren’t just cousins, but more like brother and sister. they are both almost the same age and in the same grade but different schools so, it was fascinating to see how, now socially, they weren’t meshing…???

olive was a tired, sweaty mess and by the time everyone left…this poor girl was dunzo. she didn’t have a nap and was having a complete meltdown. this babe was zonked out in the car ride home and pretty much slept for 13 hours from that evening until the next morning. a much needed sleep!

anyhoo, i had a great time hanging out with everyone and it was nice to see my family there too! i can’t believe grace is heading into high school! wow! my how time flies! she has grown into such a beautiful young lady. hc and i are so proud of her! she has done remarkably well in school, is such a sweet girl when she’s with us, and is the best big sister to miss olive. she is so good with her and it’s the sweetest thing to watch. we love you grace and can’t wait to see you flourish in high school!

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[the graduate! such a pretty girl]

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[some fun decor]

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[dick and jane]

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[ready to eat cake]

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[ice cream scoops]

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[yummy cake]

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[mom and dad]

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[love this babe]

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[daniel and friends]

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[love this babe so much!]

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[having fun with anabelle]

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[hc and me]

xoxo

daniel’s confirmation

my baby brain is in full force. i had this post all set to publish but i totally forgot! ugh! story of my life currently. i haven’t published a lot on my blog due to my forgetfulness!

so, our nephew, daniel, went through his confirmation a few weeks ago! we are so proud of him! i, honestly, have never been to many masses that aren’t catholic. i have been to a presbyterian mass recently and now, a lutheran mass. it’s very rare for me to attend other religious mass unless it’s a special occasion.

we arrived just in time to see daniel walk the procession. the mass, of course, was very different for me. a lot of people say that the lutheran religion and catholicism is very similar…maybe by certain beliefs but the masses are dramatically different!

anyhoo, it was a beautiful celebration and it was awesome to see daniel so grown up, involved, and reaching a millstone in his journey with the Lord!

after mass, we headed on over to the restaurant to have lunch with the family. we made a pit stop at starbucks because, since we were running behind that morning, we didn’t get to grab a snack or anything before mass and i was starving!!! being preggers and not eating right away is a bad combo! we enjoyed our lunch with the family…olive really enjoyed the pizza and drinks! she was too darling and it was fun to sit down with everyone and chill.

lunch was short and sweet and afterwards, we snapped some cute photos of daniel and grace outside. of course, i nabbed several dozen pics of olive! how could i not?! it was definitely a beautiful day!

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[it was like overnight and he grew up!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.comvia tandeminlove.com
via tandeminlove.com

[such a wonderful moment]

via tandeminlove.com

[sweet little babe]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[almost everyone got in on the pic!]

via tandeminlove.com

[cousins…like brother and sister]

via tandeminlove.com

[so vain…she loved seeing her reflection in the car!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[watch out! the diva is walking her runway!]

xoxo