brunch in the city

it’s been a while since i’ve blogged anything. a few things contributed to this…one, my computer went kaput on me {part my fault and more on that later}, it’s still kind of ‘broken’ but i’m just getting by. i really need to get it looked at but {cue the little violins} i feel like i don’t have enough time everrrrrrrr. the idea of dealing with apple help makes me want to crawl under a rock. two…i have been feeling uninspired and overwhelmed {was it the winter blues??}, maybe that was causing me to not want to crack open my computer and type.

the whole situation with my phone and computer crashing and all the time we spent trying to fix everything was exhausting. i just needed a break. plus, i took a break from going out! nothing new, since after valentine’s day…there isn’t much in-between and relaxing was in order!

we did head out the weekend prior with my girlfriend olivia and her guy aaron but i really wanted to just enjoy my time with them. i didn’t want to snap a million pics and plus, it was at night and i didn’t feel like being intrusive with a camera and a flash!

i’m so glad i did because it was wonderful to catch up with them and just relax, enjoy our time together, and soak in the city. we went to sushi in bucktown and then had a night cap at a new hotel lounge across the street and it was just perfect!

well, the following weekend, i had a date with my girlfriend dana. ohhhhhh, my darling dana. she is 6+ months pregnant and looking fabulous! the holidays and winter always puts a damper on catching up with my friends. it’s not always as easy, so this date was long overdue!

we met up at our stomping ground {southport grocery and cafe} and had the best time. i absolutely loved catching up with her. we talked babies, we talked about giving birth, we talked about nursing, life, friends, hubby’s, and everything else in-between. i really think the tables next to us were appalled or shocked at our topics of conversation. i exclaimed that i loved child birth. yes. it’s true. as painful and crazy as it was to deliver both my girls, it was the BEST moment in my life {besides getting married to the love of my life}.

words really can’t describe childbirth and the miracle that it is. i absolutely loved being pregnant and i absolutely loved giving birth to my two beautiful girls. i view it as the most powerful thing i have ever done in my life. i could do that over and over. no joke. so, that is why the tables next to us gave us the side eyes. hahahaha!

anyhoo, we shopped a bit afterwards and then called it quits. this soon to be mama needed her nap; and i am allllllll about that because there’s really no sleeping after the baby comes. hahaha!

ohhhhhh, i am glad to be writing again and i am so glad to be on the move with my sweet friends!

happy week lovelies!

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[the mama to be]

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[coffee and juice]

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[goofy smiling]

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[we always have our go to favorites]

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[i can never pass up an omelette, biscuits, jam, and potatoes]

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[i love the good stuff they sell]

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[i love their displays! they’re always so pretty]

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[iphone selfie…gosh, the the camera phone make us look so well rested!!! ha!]

xoxo

reunite

we were looking forward to our visit from carol, ted, and family! it’s been awhile since we have seen them and we are in dire need to plan a trip out to them! whether it’s to seattle, whistler, or their new abode in breckinridge…we need to travel out to the pnw!

carol and i have been friends for ages. we used to live down the street from each other, 4 houses apart to be exact. we’ve been through thick and thin, our ups and downs, and continue to survive life’s craziness and remain friends. we were inseparable for years…years! we saw each other almost every day. her parent’s practically adopted me as the other daughter. i went to her house every day after school. ate dinner there almost every night. helped her dad with his campaigns. did bad things together. did good things together. we drove around like punks in her sh*tmobile. got drunk together. went shopping together. i was there for her when her uncle aaron passed. when her dogs passed. and one of the saddest moments in my life, i was there with her when her dad passed. literally. we sat in the hospital together, by mr. kagann’s side, when her dear dad took his last breath. he was like a second father to me.

with over 30 years of friendship, i could go on and on and on about the many crazy things we have done, been through, and stuff we should probably never talk about. hahaha! well, we grew up, got married, and had kids. we both have fabulous husbands and beautiful children. carol is blessed with three and me, with two wonderful girls.

her hubby ted is a gem. he is hilarious, {sickly} humorous, and kind. these two crack me up! i love hanging out with them. so, the stars aligned to where we could get a day with them while they were in town. let me tell you…when carol and ted come into town, they are booked every day.

the kids played together…well kenzie and olive played together while shelby moseyed off on her own and travis was deep into some sort of game on his iPad. us adults, drank, laughed, and ate ourselves silly until it was time for them to go home.

we were sad to see them go but we were so happy to have spent a wonderful evening with the whole gang! thanks for stopping carol and fam! we hope to see y’all soon!

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[bff’s for over 30 years]

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[the cutie couple]

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[sweet shelby]

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[playing together]

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[travis in his little world]

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[yummy dessert]

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[the sweet kiddos]

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{expand the screen for optimal viewing}

video by: hc

strobe lights by: kenzie

singing by: olive

xoxo

fun times

my mind, lately, has been extra mush. i blame kids, myself, life, doing too much, and old age {just to name a few things}. haha!

i was texting my friend matt the other week about something…of course i can’t remember what but at the end of our thread, i said, “oh, we should get together soon!” and he says, “we are…this coming weekend.” durrrrrhhhhhh. the one good thing i still remember to do is to, at least, put things like that into my phone calendar. because if i didn’t, pure chaos would ensue!!

well, matt and johann arrived and the fun began! i looooove these two. they are real, honest, and hilarious! we let the libations flow, the raw conversations come out, and the love between all of us is almost palpable.

olive completely warmed up to guncle matt and johann. they were her new besties! she loved to constantly showed them her toys, showed off, and wanted their attention. it was so sweet. hopefully not in an overbearing way because i don’t like it when a child constantly interrupts the conversation{s}…i believe sporadic or moderate breaks in dialog is the key to cuteness before it oversteps the boundary of annoying. and yes, i did say annoying. not by any fault of the child but we have to control the balance between adult conversions that we yearn to enjoy versus a kid taking over the show. ya know what i mean??

but really, she’s just too darn cute! that sweet little girl voice and that still slightly chubby cheek face just melts my heart. i mean, i could definitely talk, listen, and hear her all day but when we have our friends over, my babes need to understand it’s wine time. hahaha! but who am i kidding?! my mom job is 24/7, even with friends over.

anyhoo, we had a grand ol’ time with them. we laughed, we argued, we drank, we ate {an amazing meal cooked by hc – i’m so lucky he loves to experiment with different recipes!}, and we drank some more. i think between the boys {a little by me}, they polished off a couple bottles of wine and almost a whole bottle of whiskey. uh, yes…matt and hc were going toe to toe! although hc had the edge that he was at home with no where to go!

after many hours of hanging out, at last, johann and matt decided to head home. we had such an amazing time with them…as usual! we love them so much and always look forward to our nights {or brunch} with them!

thanks boys, for making it out to our ‘hood!

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[my sweet girl who’s growing up so fast…]

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[hc, matt, and johann]

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[my boys]

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[demolished apple pie]

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xoxo

CNO

let me start by saying it took us months for us to plan a get together for the ‘three’ of us. one weekend after another, we were busy, busy, busy! fiiiiiiinally, we were able to tie down a date and voila! we met up on the rainiest of rainy night there was!

we all met at dana and scott’s pad in ravenswood {we arrived exactly when irina and patrick arrived! we totally ran into them at the front of the building! talk about timing!}. we decided to start off with drinks there and then scoot on over to a restaurant in their ‘hood. scott and patrick drove over to the eatery {don’t ask} and hc, dana, irina, and i walked. we were so lucky to get a pocket of no rain during our trek because the rain that day was no joke!

we finally made it to our destination and grabbed a booth. it was a wee bit cozy with the six of us but no matter…i hate not hearing others around me in a conversation and we didn’t have to scream at each other. i’m definitely not a fan of environments like that.

we laughed, we talked, we ordered drinks, and ate lots of yummy food. i love these peeps. such a good, good group of human beings. everyone is so funny, witty, engaging, sweet, and thoughtful. there’s no place for a dull conversation around these folks!

during dinner, the rain ensued. the downpour from the sky was no joke. we watched in amazement as the water right next to the restaurant slowly raised up on the street and by the gutter. we wickedly laughed as people walked through it, completely taken off guard at how hight the ‘puddle’ was! it was so dark, rainy, and most pedestrians couldn’t see how deep and high the water was! one person after another would run/step through it, shocked that it was almost up to their knees! eep!

after dinner, irina and patrick said their goodbyes {they had parked right by the restaurant} and scott, dana, hc, and i walked back towards their place {and thankfully during a dry spell from the sky!}. we were being sooo silly! of course scott and rich stayed back and talked while dana and i walked ahead and gabbed. since dana and i were wearing rain boots, we were being super silly and decided to run through puddles! ha! we saw a big puddle ahead on the street we were crossing, we giddily held hands and ran across the street, laughing hysterically as we splashed through multiple puddles! oh em gee. we were having a blast!

we finally reached our car and said our goodbyes. it was a fun, fun evening spent with two fantastic couples! evenings like this always have a place in my heart!

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[me and my lady friends]

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xoxo

brunchin’

brunch time!

it was a last minute but really awesome get together. hc wanted to work on the house, so i had a day with the girls. the day prior, i text olivia to see if she could meet up and she could! score! then sunday morning, i text dana {on a whim} if she was available and she was, so bam! i was going to meet them for brunch. yeahhhhhh! i was so excited…the stars were aligned for us to meet.

 it was a gorgeous day, albeit on the hot side {not warm, hot} and i was excited to sit outside and enjoy the last bits of summer {or really fall because it officially became fall a few days prior}. we have had a streak of really warm days – like some days in the 90’s {and humid} but no real complaints here!

the girls and i cruised to the city and found parking right next to the restaurant {we decided to eat at bang bang pie}. yassss. olivia and dana were already there, so i just pushed our way into the outdoor eating area and found them at the first table!

before we started into our gab fest, we decided to peruse the menu and order right away or else we would sit there talking and talking and then one hour later, finally order {ok, we’re not that extreme but it’s a close description}! ha! olivia brought us menus and they both stepped into a long line to order. at one point, while we were sitting there, i saw the line stretch out onto the sidewalk in front of the restaurant!

i sat outside with the girls while olivia and dana ordered our food. olive really took to the gravel on the ground. she really, really liked it! i just cringed. i’m such a neat freak but held back because she was completely enjoying it! let kids be kids {with black fingernails and all}. ellie loved it too, but i had to make sure ellie didn’t eat the small rocks! hahaha!

after they ordered, we just sat back and enjoyed our afternoon under the shaded umbrella. we talked about life, we enjoyed the sunshine, the food, and each other. ellie was pretty fussy at first…unfamiliar environments get under her skin but then she eventually lets up and calms down. so, the first hour or so, i was so preoccupied with her that i couldn’t completely join in on the conversations {it’s sometimes hard when your baby is crying and clingy to get absorbed into the dialog right in front of you but c’est la vie!} but once she stopped crying and being so needy, i was finally able to relax a bit and focus on my two friends!

after more than a couple of hours of hanging out, we decided to leave. more so on my part because i had a pedicure appointment mid afternoon i couldn’t and wouldn’t change! ha! it was a great time with all my girls! my only regret was that i left without pie in my hurried state of leaving to get to my appointment! bah! oh well…next time bang bang, hopefully i won’t forget my pie!

cheers to friendships, brunch, and cute baby girls!

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[it was so hot out!]

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[she LOVED the gravel but man was it dirty, dusty, and dirty…did i mention dirty?! haha!]

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[i love the umbrellas]

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[me and my sweet babes]

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[sausage biscuit with an egg and maple candied bacon….yum! check out that little hand]

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[my two girls with my sweet, darling babe]

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[she’s so sweet…it cracked me up that she was so calm and collected sitting next to olivia and dana. typically she would freak out but she was kind of loving it]

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[could my girls be any more serious? so much so, that dana and olivia were dying]

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[she was LOVING the cup of water…olivia loved giving it to her!]

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[ellie is like, “hey lady, give me that water!!”]

xoxo

ready, set, i do

happy wedding shower kt and bobby!

ok…here’s my long story. i’ve never set anyone up before. never cared to. never tried to. never had an urge to.

one day, officer {scott} warren came in to visit me and he brought a crew of dudes with him. after talking to scott for a bit, i was eyeing this guy {dressed in layman’s clothes and leaning up against my table} and asked if he was single. scott looked at me like, “what?!” and i said, “katie…let’s set him up with kt!” the first thing i noticed about bobby {an undercover detective at the time} was that he is tall. yes. i needed a height requirement for kt.

well, after that, scott said let’s do this and we exchanged info and bobby n e v e r called kt. wtf. like seriously wtf. it’s katie. she’s beautiful, sweet, and so damn kind. i was pissed. whatever. anyhoo, throughout the next year. i stalked bobby and asked every cop that i saw about him. i asked if he was a good guy. i asked all sorts of crazy questions. i don’t know what it was about me wanting to set bobby up with katie. it’s not like i knew who he was but i knew my gut was telling me to set them up.

then one day {one year later}, officer perez came in and i questioned him about bobby. he went on and on about bobby being a good guy and he just broke up with this girl amanda, yadayadayada. okayyyyyyyy. he’s single. omg, katie just became single tooooooooo! i text scott and said, “let’s do this!!”

long story not short…a couple years later…they are getting MARRIED!!!!!! YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!  i still can’t believe i set them up. i am soooooo freakin happy for them. katie is a true sweetheart and deserves someone who will treat her like a queen and dote on her and bobby is it.

they are getting married this november {i am sad i will not be able to attend – my brother is getting married on the same DAY in los angeles!} and i can officially say i was their matchmaker! anyhoo, they recently had their wedding shower {a football theme!} and me and the fam bam were able to go! it was cute, fun, and super sweet! i had such a great time hanging out with katie, bobby, and their families!

olive had a BLAST hanging out with all the kiddos and loved the bouncy. i was so excited to see her so independent and having so much fun. it melts my heart that she is so social and willing to get out there and meet new people! she’s so sweet!

we all had a great time and it was so awesome seeing bobby and katie, listening to the sweet toasts from their sisters, and getting to know their family a little bit more. even though i won’t be at their wedding, i can’t wait until they are married! much love to you both! i am so happy for y’all!

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[i asked olive to choose and she picked this one]

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[i made this chalkboard welcome sign for their shower! kt picked it up and it got smudged in transit, so don’t mind the imperfections! eep]

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[me and the bride to be!]

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[i love this sweetheart!]

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[i love this sweet babe]

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[the cutest little booty]

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[the crazy couple]

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[my sweet baby girl]

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[oh that pouty face]

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[bobby and kt]

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[matrons of honor – colleen and bridget]

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[bobby’s sister]

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[cheers!]

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[sweetest  babes]

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[kt’s mom and friend]

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[kt and kar]

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[soy and kar]

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xoxo

housewarming

dana and scott just bought a new place together {they were married last year!}. a sweet home for the sweet couple!

they invited us to their housewarming party and we couldn’t wait to see their new place! it was a hooooot day. the commute was long but the good news was, we found a parking space right by their place!

dana was so surprised to see us! the day prior, i was sick. soooooo sick. i wasn’t sure if i was going to be able to come to her party. i was a mess – chills, fever, aches, pains, it was awful but one day later, what a difference it can make. i felt soooo much better. i was still sick but when you can get over a horrible hump like that, you feel like a new person even though you are still recovering.

we were so excited to be there! dana took me on a tour of their new home and i love her beautiful place. i am so happy for them! right after we arrived, that was when everyone started to trickle in. her parents showed up and i love her parents! jeff and marcia are so stinkin’ cute!

it became crowded in their condo and hot! there were so many bodies within their place, the temperature inside soared! i knew hc was uncomfortable. he becomes miserable when he’s too hot. ugh. time flew by and before we knew it, we had been at their house for several hours! it didn’t even feel like it, i was having a great time! ellie was uncomfortable though. she was being so darn clingy and didn’t like the fact that everyone was ohhh’ing and ahhhh’ing over her. it kind of freaked her out.

we decided it was time to leave, although that is when olive got real comfortable, befriending everyone there! she was being so cute, running around and being silly to anyone who would pay attention to her. she’s such a fun gal!

we were so happy we were able to make their fun party and see their beautiful new home. they are such a cute couple and i love them! many blessings to you both – may your home always be filled with laughter, love, and comfort.

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[unfamiliar environments equates to a fussy ellie]

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[sweet sisters]

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[my sweet babes]

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xoxo

brunch time with my gals

mhenry, here we come!

i love going to this restaurant. it’s one of my top three favorite brunch places in chicago. what made this trip even more exciting?! meeting my gals, dana and olivia!! yeahhhhhh. i love these babes and i, seriously, have the best time with them every.time.

my trip in was interesting. i took my usual route but forgot about lollapalooza…whaaaaaa? so, i had to detour down michigan ave. yuck. i avoid the avenue like the plague but on this day, it was inevitable. i needed to get on lsd, so i drove down to oak and finally got on! my cruise through the avenue was not bad, thank goodness, due to it being so early in the morning!

i decided to not go straight on hollywood {the line of cars made me avoid it} but turn left onto sheridan but the blocks are so long on this road that i ended up driving past my destination! as i turned down thorndale, a car pulled out in front of me and it was driving soooooooooooooo slow. no joke. s o  s l o o o o o o w. as we inched towards a light that was doing it’s countdown {9, 8, 7, 6…}, this car was probably moving at 20 mph or less and we got the red. arghhhhhhhh. i pulled up beside the car {old folks} and reminded myself, this could be someone’s grandma…be nice, be nice. well, the light turned green and i smoked this car. as i drove down the street, i looked in my review mirror and this car was just passing the intersection as i was two blocks away. gahhhh! i drove a few more blocks, parallel parked my car, grabbed my stuff, and starting walking towards the restaurant. as i did that, the old lady finally passed me. hahaha!

we all arrived within minutes of each other. we were seated right away and started our gab sessions. we talked and talked and talked. it was so great catching up with these ladies! they gave us our check and we continued to talk. a server came by to grab our check and we still hadn’t given our cards. we gabbed some more. then he came by again to grab the check. still empty…no cards. we shared some more stories. then he came by one more time and i said, “gosh, we need to pay the check!”. so, we finally put our cards into the sleeve and immediately another person grabbed our check and came back with the receipts. we were so oblivious.

we finally dragged our arses off our chairs and walked outside. omg. there were, at least, 25  people waiting for a table. hahaha! that is probably why they came to our table for the check so many times!!! there was such a big wait! eep. regardless, we had such a great time there and never felt pressured by the staff to leave or at least, we were not concerned, worried, or picked up on any bad vibes.

it was so good to see my gals! after brunch, dana needed to get to a jnf meeting and olivia invited me over to check out her new abode. it was great to hang out with miss olivia a bit longer and check out her new dig!

it was a gorgeous day and i had such a great time out without the kiddos! girl time is crucial as a mom! typically, i slightly don’t want to {gosh, i love my baby girls!} but i know it’s good for the soul to get out there and do something for me!

cheers to sunday brunch! it’s my favorite!

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[my favorite girls]

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[staples]

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[blissberry pancakes – my go to every time]

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[checking out her new house!]

xoxo

happy birthday b + b!

my girlfriend, kim, tends to have her babes in mid/late july or august. so, naturally, after having her third baby in july, she decided to have a joint birthday party for her first two kids, brady + brooklyn in july.

well, here’s the story. kim and i were exchanging text messages about the party. she initially said it was starting at 3:30pm and then a week before the party, we exchanged a few more text messages and she wanted to confirm that we were going because she wanted to finalize the count for food, dinner at 4:30pm. i was, for sure! we were going to be there and we were super excited to attend the party.

the day of the party, i told my husband that the party was going to start at 4:30, so we had some time during the day to do whatever. i did say to him that i thought it was odd that the party was so late, especially for a kids party! well, we did random things and around 3 o’clock, i headed out to the store to pick up some birthday gifts for the babes and a little gift for mason. we were lollygagging and so late already…on our defense, ellie was sleeping and we didn’t want to wake her up.

anyhoo, kim texts me and says, “are you still coming?”. um, what? it was only 4:45 and we were about to leave and that wasn’t going to make us terribly late to a party that just started. i text her back and said, “yes! didn’t the party start at 4:30?”. she text me back saying the party started at 3!!!! ohmergawd!!!! what?!!! i freaked out! we were sooooooooo late!

we then ran around grabbing stuff left and right. gahhhhh. i couldn’t believe i messed up the party time! we hit the road and slowly drove there…hc recently learned a hard lesson with speeding so it was painful to drive the speed limit. yes, keeping it real. i am a lead foot and absolutely terrible at driving the speed limit.

we arrived and told everyone we only came to eat and leave. hahaha! just kidding! it actually turned out perfect…it was intimate and it was super fun just hanging out with kim and her family! that was the best. i loved having uninterrupted time with everyone and it was very relaxing. we ate, sang happy birthday, and then the kiddos opened up their gifts. olive was too cute…she was having a blast with everyone and it’s been such a joy to see her blossom socially. she loves making new friends and plays so well with anyone she meets. it just melts my heart to see her grow.

after a few hours, it was time to leave and i was a bit sad. i always have such a great time at kim’s house, whether it’s a party or it’s just a play date – it’s always wonderful to hang out with her!

well, i can’t wait to celebrate all three kiddo’s birthdays next year {since they were all born just weeks apart!}!! happy birthday brooklyn & brady {& mason}! y’all are so loved!

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[the dino luau party theme!]

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[a unicorn and her buddy brady]

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[leis]

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[with the hostess with the mostess]

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[sweet baby mason being fed by grandma!]

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[the cutest, most festive cakes!]

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[detaaaaaails]

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[my stern unicorn babe]

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[the sweetest babes]

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[blow out the candle and make a wish!]

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[i’m so in love with her]

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[my loves]

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[yummy, festive lemonade]

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[kim and mason]

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[this pic killlllllls me. it’s so dang cute!!!]

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[brady is so cute with olive]

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[this babe. this pic. this pose.]

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[i mean, their outfits!!!]

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[sweet boy]

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[she’s ready to open her gifts!]

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[she’s so excited!]

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[the cutest baby bum]

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[the cutest dino gummy favors]

xoxo

catch up

it was time for another reunion with the s family! we love getting together with kim, brady, brooklyn, and soon to be new addition baby s!

i grabbed a coffee and hit the road. we cruised there, i mean cruised there!!! the kennedy renovations were completed and whoa! what a difference does it make! the roads were open, there wasn’t a construction zone speed limit, and no congestion to fight through.

i arrived in the area so early {for a change!}, i decided to stop for gas and take my sweet time because i always find myself driving like a maniac, hoping i’m not too late {to any engagement}! hahaha!

as i pulled up onto to her driveway, sweet brooklyn was peering out the window! that was so cute and a wonderful first reception. typically, it’s brady looking out the window but on this day, we were graced with brooklyn’s pretty mug.

olive excitedly walked up to the door and we busted through her front entry way! hugs were exchanged and the fun began! brooklyn was obsessed with ellie and olive immediately ran to all the toys. brady was being shy, and kim and i started o catch up with all sorts of life adventures.

let me tell you, kim is so preggo and so darn cute with that baby belly, that it makes me miss mine. well, i still have a bit of leftover pudge from being pregnant but that’s not the same. haha!

i may say this a thousand times but i love hanging out with this mama. she’s a sweetheart, we have so much in common {from similar timelines of life or to our disposition on many subjects} and we truly enjoy each other’s company. brady and olive play together so  well and brooklyn is currently obsessed with ellie…it was too darn cute to watch her ‘dote’ on her as ellie cried about brooklyn’s overly affectionate ways. plus, i found out a cute fact: ever since brady had met ellie when she was a newborn {maybe a week old?}, he’s called every baby he’s seen since, ellie. how freakin’ cute is that?!

after many hours of us chatting, the time had come for us to leave. ellie needed a nap and we didn’t want to be in the thick of rush hour traffic. so, we said our goodbyes – my favorite part because it’s so darn cute to watch brady and olive kiss and hug their farewells!

hopefully we can meet up with kim before she has another bundle of joy {due in july!}! cheers to great friends!

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[the cutest friends!]

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[brooklyn is obsessed with babies]

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[cutest sequence of pics]

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[my sweet friend]

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[hugs and kisses goodbye]

xoxo