hb fiona!

we were so excited to attend fiona’s birthday party at olivia’s parent’s house.

her sister, claire, flew into town to host the party but she’s currently living in san diego. so, it was definitely a special occasion with them coming into town to celebrate! olivia’s parents live about an hour and 15 minutes away from us, so it was quite a trip to head up north for the party. my kids are pretty fortunate to not travel so much or so long in the car but they both did well. olive stayed awake the whole time and ellie took a little nap.

we were so late. like an hour late but when we arrived, there were only a few cars by the house and it looked like they were the homeowner’s cars. i said to hc…i don’t think anyone is here! hahaha! and we were right! olivia came out to greet us and told us that only one person was here and it was aaron’s mom! oh my goodness!

well, i didn’t feel so bad being so darn late! we walked inside and we were greeted by olivia’s parents, pam and jim, her sister claire, aaron, her brother henry, and aaron’s mom. soon more people came, friends, cousins, etc. and we slowly caught up with everyone throughout the party.

olivia’s dad jim made a killer chili and there were a lot of appetizers and snacks to munch on. it was very relaxed and low key. fiona was napping and when she woke, it took her a bit to ‘wake’ up. trust me…olive is the same way, so i totally understand how grumpy threenagers can be! once she adjusted, we introduced olive and fiona and they instantly became besties!!! it was the cutes thing to watch! fiona led the way and olive followed. it was soooooo fun to see them interact with one another. fiona’s imagination is wild! she created so many stories, she was so animated, and olive loved every second of it.¬†they walked all around the yard, hid behind bushes and played, sat underneath trees and whispered stories to one another. it was so sweet to watch!

after a few hours of hanging out, we decided to head out. we really had a great time. i love hanging out with olivia and her family! they are such sweet, eclectic people and they are so easy and fun to talk to!

we said our goodbyes…i was a bit sad to leave because i really enjoyed everyone’s company but i mostly enjoyed watching olive and fiona play together! it was a happy day indeed!

via tandeminlove.com

[love these babes]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[grandma and ben]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[rich, ellie, and arron]

via tandeminlove.com

[these two got along so well! it was sooooo stinkin’ cute!]

via tandeminlove.com

[the cuuuuuuuutest girls[

via tandeminlove.com

[they were both into the horse]

via tandeminlove.com

[toddler besties]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[family]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[they loved hiding behind the trees and bushes]

via tandeminlove.com

[she loved fiona’s horse]

via tandeminlove.com

[olivia and aaron]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[their secret hiding spot]

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

matt + panda

we finally had guncle johann and matt come visit ellie + famille!

we had a date set up over a month ago but those plans fell through and we were finally able to meet up! it was going to be a real relaxed casual night. the cubs game was on and we were too busy to put the effort in to cooking a gourmet meal.

hc and i {leading up to johann and matt arriving} were running around like crazy to get last minute things done. it’s always such a challenge when you have multiple young kids! one person has to watch the baby {especially if she’s fussy} and it’s like playing hot potato! pass the baby, pass the baby, you got the baby? can you take the baby? can you hold her for just five minutes while i quickly do something? hahaha!!!!

once matt and johann arrived, we just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. matt is always hilarious and johann always cracks me up with his take on things…i love hanging out with these two fun dudes. they walked through our door with so many presents. it was like christmas for the babes! there were presents from matt’s mom & the guncles. olive was being so shy {ellie was sleeping} and didn’t want to open her presents so i decided to do it for her!

after presents, libations were flowing, and dinner was on the grill. i love our conversations. they are always lively, animated, and full of laughter. time really flies when were hanging out with these two! after we ate dinner, we settled into the living room to watch the game. johann is strongly a sox fan, matt is neutral, and hc and i are the biggest cubs fan! it was quite the intense game but the cubs did it! they made it into the world series! we were sooooooo elated! what a fantastic night! great company and the cubs did it!

after hours of eating, drinking, and lounging – matt and johann decided to call it quits and head home. it was so fabulous to have had them over and finally meet miss ellie baby! oh, she’s just the best! johann is such a natural with babies…oh he’ll be a great dad someday! well, we said our goodbyes to matt and johann and wished them safe travels and then did a dance of joy that the cubs won the pennant and were headed to the world series!

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie, johann, and matt]

via tandeminlove.com

[it was like christmas]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the cutest little card and box of panda socks!]

via tandeminlove.com

[oh these two…johann is so good with kids!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[glazed pumpkin cake]

via tandeminlove.com

[the boys watching the game]

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie saying, “go cubs go!!!!”]

via tandeminlove.com

[yasssssssssss!]

xoxo

neidre was in town!

i was super excited to have received a text from neidre that she was coming into town!

we coordinated a date and the hubs and i were looking forward to seeing her! she is just the sweetest. i love her spunk, her attitude, her outlook on life; i pretty much love everything. you know when you have a person in your life and you only see them once in a blue moon but you have a huge place in your heart for them? that’s neidre. she lives in florida and sometimes we get out there and sometimes she gets out here to chicago but each time, we will make sure we see each other!

we decided upon a sushi restaurant that was a middle point logistically to our locations. we both arrived on time and honestly, i couldn’t wait to see her! hc and i walked in and i saw her hair first…hahaha! big hugs and squealing ensued! we sat down and ordered drinks, apps, and eventually food. i was sooooo hungry and everything was delicious. we have eaten at this restaurant before and i have had a great experience every single time we’ve eaten there.

neidre was staying at her friend kim’s house while in town and kim was a riot! i loved hanging out with these two ladies…they were funny, sweet, and exciting! very gregarious and engaging, so our entire conversation was absolutely compelling throughout dinner.

we shared new stories, old stories, and my husbands crazy teenage angst stories {wow, i never knew he was such a punk}. it was awesome to recount tales down memory lane. after many libations, filling our bellies full of yummy eats, and hours of talking, we needed to get home to our babes to put them down.

it was sooooooo much fun seeing neidre and kim. there is never a dull moment with these gals! we had the best¬†time with them and my heart was so full seeing neidre. she’s so amazing. we said our goodbyes and gave big hugs and parted ways.

i really hope we can meet up with this lady soon! i will have to convince hc on a vacation trip to florida! thanks neidre for being you, we love you and hope to visit you in the sunshine state sometime soon!

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[yummy pear martini]

via tandeminlove.com

[neidre and kim]

via tandeminlove.com

[a delicious surprise inside!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[love these two]

via tandeminlove.com

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!

via tandeminlove.com

[so many pumpkins and gourds to choose from!]

via tandeminlove.com

[it was soooooooo bright all day!]

via tandeminlove.com

[pretty mums]

via tandeminlove.com

[how cute is this?!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[scooby dooby doo!]

via tandeminlove.com

[reagan the giraffe]

via tandeminlove.com

[their version of a kid’s meal]

via tandeminlove.com

[how tall are you this fall?]

via tandeminlove.com

[heading into the play yard]

via tandeminlove.com

[she loved the spider web play area!]

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[getting ready for a hayride!]

via tandeminlove.com

[our scenic route on the hayride]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[best pic i could get]

via tandeminlove.com

[checking out the play area]

via tandeminlove.com

[silly kids]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com[she was sooooo happy!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s so cute]

via tandeminlove.com

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

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

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

fabulous zoo date

kim and i met up for a zoo date take two. the first time we went to the zoo with them, it was such a personal disaster. i was so unprepared and a lot of meltdowns happened, including me. hahaha!

well, this time around…we were ready! we had the right attachment to the stroller, we had snacks, we had lunch, we had drinks, and it wasn’t steaming hot {that is always a recipe for a disaster!}.

we both arrived at the zoo at the same time and we parked right next to each other! we strolled on in…it was so darn perfect out! we did our usual walk and there were a lot of animals out. olive warmed up to brady a lot quicker than what she usually does! it was so cute to watch them, olive at times would call brady’s name and ask him to, ‘come here!’ to see certain animals and brady always wanted to hold olive’s hand! awwwww!

kim’s mom joined us as well and it was awesome to see her! she’s such a sweet, sweet lady! we leisurely strolled the zoo, saw the animals, went into certain houses, and eventually stopped for lunch. the temperature started to drop but it still felt great overall. it was so nice, this time around, to be able to see almost all the animals, walk at a slow pace, and the zoo was kind of empty – which makes it great for us! {less congestion and more animal face time!}

once we got near the end, we brought the kids over to the carousel for a ride. it was olive’s first time on a carousel! i was sooooo excited for her! the only bump in the road that we ran into was that we were a minute too late for the next ride! they cut off the line right before us and poor brady and olive thought we weren’t going to take them on the ride and they both yelled and cried the entire time the ride ran and honestly, it felt like an eternity! haha! finallyyyyyyy, it was our turn and tears turned into sweet smiles! it was sooooo heartwarming to see her so happy! she told me she wanted to sit on the giraffe and the giraffe she got! kim’s sweet mom took on the challenge of snapping a pic of us and she did a fabulous job!

i love spending my time kim and her kids {and mom!}. i feel so lucky that we have become so close! i love this sweet mama! we get along so well, have a lot in common, and it seems like even when we spend hours and hours together, we never have enough time to talk about all the things we want to talk about. well, that’s having kids around for ya, right?!

anyhoo, it was a fabulous second zoo date and i can’t wait until we meet up again! cheers to great friendships!

via tandeminlove.com

[the cutest kiddos]

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s so cool]

via tandeminlove.com

[snow leopards]

via tandeminlove.com

[twinning at it’s best]

via tandeminlove.com

[it’s such a challenge to get all the kids to look at the camera]

via tandeminlove.com

[isn’t brady so sweet?]

via tandeminlove.com

[me and my girls]

via tandeminlove.com

[not one child looking at the camera…hahaha!!! olive’s shirt by @cocoaandheart]

via tandeminlove.com

[mesmerized by the polar bear]

via tandeminlove.com

[her first carousel ride! she had so much fun!]

via tandeminlove.com

[sweet hugs goodbye]

xoxo

cubs game!

woo hoo! i was super excited to get out, hang out with my girl dana, and go to a cubs game!

it all started with these being hc and his aunt wendy’s tickets. it’s quite a long story with some complications, emotions, and tough decisions that ended up being a win for me! i was going to have a day without the kids and i was going to a cubs game! woot woot!

hc left early with the girls which let me sleep in. oh mer gawd! it was like i was single with no kids again. i slept like a log and woke up feeling so rested and refreshed! it was amazing! i leisurely got up and got ready with no kids screaming at me or needing something! wowza! i was on slow mo. i was texting dana and we were both very chill with idea of just doing things at a slow pace.

i finally made it out of the house and on my way to meet dana. we weren’t worried about making it to the game on time {as you can already tell if you read the above paragraphs!}. i parked by her condo on lsd and we walked towards wrigley. it was a beautiful day out…the sun was shining and dana and i were having a blast just walking and talking.

once we arrived at wrigley, we grabbed some beers and found our seats. holy cow! they were great seats…right by third base and the first two seats of the row! woo hoo! we were having a grand ol’ time. we couldn’t stop chit chatting, so much so, we weren’t really watching the game. that was a bit different for me because i am a game watcher. anytime i go to a cubs game, i love watching them play but not this time. eep! they were not playing very well anyways. ugh!

after the 7th inning stretch, we decided to make a run for the bathroom! as we were walking towards the restrooms, we were elated there wasn’t a line! oh em gee…the 30 seconds it took us to walk up to the line, it formed so expeditiously from no line to at least 20 people in front of us! after the restroom, we needed to find the first aid room so i could pump. we walked out of the bathroom and the line to the women’s restroom stretched back so far, it hit the next women’s restroom line! yikes!

we found the first aid area and the women behind the desk walked us to a clean room where another mom was pumping, then another mom came in to pump, and then another mom came in to nurse. it was a milk pumping party in there! thank goodness they have this area because the women’s restroom and the family restrooms were disgusting! there was no room, it was dirty, and no shelf to be able to put your bag/pump anywhere!

after the restroom and pumping, we met up with dana’s friends mara and amanda. before we knew it, it was the end of the game. whaaaaaa?! we left during the 7th inning and by the time we were done, it was the bottom of the 9th…how did that happen?

we decided to go to vines on clark for some more drinks. it was so darn nice out! perfect temperature and weather! it was packed, as expected, but we found a bench spot in the sun, yay! we just drank and talked and had a lot of fun being silly. i had so much fun with these three! amanda and i realized we were picture soul mates! haha! we both love taking pictures no matter what the situation or environment! after an hour or so, we decided to part ways. yes, i missed my family and i was ready to go home. after hours of having fun, i was ready to see my babies!

we all walked back towards dana’s place and we said our goodbyes and gave our hugs. i got into my car to hit very, very heavy traffic and finally made it home to my hubby and girls! it was a fantastic day out! i had the best time and i am so happy to have had a little me time! it was an absolutely awesome day spent with my dear, sweet friend dana!

via tandeminlove.com

[hanging with my bae]

via tandeminlove.com

[3rd base seats]

via tandeminlove.com

[hanging out at vines on clark]

via tandeminlove.com

[amanda, dana, moi, and mara]

via tandeminlove.com

[completing a photo shoot while at vines on clark]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[we dab everywhere]

xoxo

pink aunties

yay! we finally met up with karen and kt!

it was a lovely day…on the warmer side but no matter, we couldn’t wait to see my girls! of course, i was on time and i am usually late with juggling these two girls! karen and kt were a half hour late…thank goodness my dollies are well behaved! a half hour is an eternity when you have kids.

when they arrived, lots of hugs and squealing ensued. we ordered our food and sat down. it’s always a challenge for me to keep my thoughts straight when the kids are around. you feel so discombobulated. i had to keep ellie calm and keep olive entertained or basically, make sure both girls are well behaved and not screaming inside the restaurant. hahaha!

karen and kt are soooooo stinkin’ good with kids and they kept olive going. she was so enamored with karen but karen is soooo good with olive. she loves kids and it totally shows. she was olive’s bestie and olive just adored her.

we yapped and yapped and yapped non stop. i was so beyond excited that kt is engaged. i am so proud that i had set them up! who knew?! i was beyond persistent in setting bobby and kt together. something just told me it was right and now look! one year later they are engaged to be married and i couldn’t be happier for them!

we talked about life, relationships, weddings, kids, babies, work, you name it. we were there for a few hours but time seemed like it flew by! while we were visiting, bobby and his partner katie stopped by to say hi! it was great to see them! i was so glad i was able to see bobby and see the happy couple together.

it was such a great afternoon! i had a wonderful time, i am happy we were able to meet up, and i was glad that they were able to see olive and ellie. i love these two sweet ladies…definite staples in my life.

happy day lovelies!

via tandeminlove.com

[waiting patiently for her pink aunties to show up]

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s so funny]

via tandeminlove.com

[she looooooved looking at the desserts]

via tandeminlove.com

[my pretty girls]

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s such a doll]

via tandeminlove.com

[yaaaayyyyyyyyy kt’s engaged!]

via tandeminlove.com

[two of the cutest ladies]

via tandeminlove.com

[having a blast with karen]

via tandeminlove.com

[me and my girl]

via tandeminlove.com

[bobby paid us a surprise visit!]

via tandeminlove.com

[pink auntie karen]

xoxo

oh kids

last time kim and i met up, it was at the zoo, and it was a bit of a debacle. well, we decided this time around to head on up to kim’s abode to chill.

i made a few wrong turns driving up there {helloooo, so silly}, and it took freakin’ 20 more minutes to get to her house than it should have but alas, we made it. olive fell asleep five minutes before we got there but i was surprised she pleasantly woke up and willingly came inside the house. of course ellie was out! she was on a sleeping marathon.

once inside, i see the little people play set and knew olive would only play with that the entire time! and i was right. she did. brady was being energetic and it overwhelmed olive. awwww, poor girl. she kept staring at brady like he was entertainment and she was super intrigued. brooklyn was napping but when she woke up, she was just super cute {as usual} and minded her own business. these two kids are so stinkin’ cute and they seriously are twinsies! they soooo look like one another…so handsome and beautiful!

well, the kids played and kim and i became engrossed in our conversations…we eventually had lunch and continued on with our play date in fun fashion. i love hanging out there, it’s fun, relaxing, and always a great time. it’s always a hit or miss with these toddlers. near the end of our visit, olive became possessive over the little people toys and didn’t want brooklyn to play with them. oh my goodness…it’s so hard to get toddlers to understand that they need to share…it’s so hard to get toddlers to understand a lot! olive kept crying and i tried telling her that they were not her toys and that brooklyn was letting her play with them. tears and meltdowns ensued. ugh.

it was finally time to leave {without a few meltdowns, ellie waking up right when i was about to walk out the door, the dog barking like crazy, and kim’s brother in laws popping in right then} and after a few glitches, we finally got out the door and headed on our way home.

we had a really great time…the hiccups and craziness make it all the more fun being moms of two kiddos each. i still can’t believe our personal journeys have been so parallel and i am so fortunate kim has become such a great friend to me. love this girl! well, until next time…i always look forward to our play dates!

via tandeminlove.com

[yes, quite the odd pic…brady and olive were playing ‘doctor’. hahaha!]

via tandeminlove.com[she’s such a doll]

via tandeminlove.com

[yummy caesar salad for lunch]

via tandeminlove.com

[she was content playing by herself…eep!]

via tandeminlove.com

[i was seriously stupid taking this selfie. i couldn’t look at the camera…hahaha!]

xoxo

lunch time date

it had been forever since i last saw jodi. there were a few times we tried to get together but those dates fell through but not this time!

we started our morning in the backyard on the play set. olive wasn’t so keen with jett yet but then again, she’s kind of like that overall. she likes to observe first and then interact. it only took ten minutes or so for her to finally play with jett! they both started on the swings but jett and olive wanted to play kick, so that is when they starting to talk and play! woo hoo! after that, they were non-stop and it was so stinkin’ cute.

after a half hour or so, we headed inside. jodi and i talked, caught up, and the kids played and baby ellie slept and slept and slept! she was tired! i prepared lunch for the kids and then had lunch delivered for me and jodi. unfortunately, our fridge recently broke and i couldn’t store any food in the house for our get together, i had potbelly deliver their tasty sandwiches, chips, and cookies! yum!

the kids tore up all the toys and had such a blast playing in olive’s room. they were jumping on the bed like monkeys and being so darn cute with one another. it was so sweet to watch. jett is a sweetie and olive was having fun with him! i wanted to take a million pictures of their cuteness together!

after a few hours, it was encroaching on nap time for everyone, so we gave hugs and kisses and said our goodbyes. jett gave olive a sweet little kiss and her look was priceless. you’ll have to scroll down to see the capture. it’s hilarious. jett is so happy and proud of himself and olive is like, whatevs. haha!

anyhoo, it was awesome to see all of them! we were just missing matt! love that hubby of jodi too! we had such a great time hanging out {i just needed to chillax and let the kids be messy…ugh, my ocd is terrible}. i hope that it’s not too long before we see them all again! love this family!

via tandeminlove.com

[jodi and asher]

via tandeminlove.com

[isn’t jett so darling?!]

via tandeminlove.com

[she was super super shy at first…]

via tandeminlove.com

[enjoying the play set]

via tandeminlove.com

[isn’t he so cute?]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[so olive finally warmed up to jett!]

via tandeminlove.com

[that frown…so cute!]

via tandeminlove.com

[lunch time]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[jett just kissed olive…not impressed..hahaha]

xoxo

city folks

we were so excited to have aaron and olivia come out to visit! i always love my time with these two beautiful people. it’s always fun and entertaining.

they came over early afternoon for a late lunch. hc and i just came home from shopping and we bought a few good eats from our local grocery store and decided to make it a casual lunch.

as soon as they arrived, of course hc had to show off the new car to aaron and olivia went straight inside to say hello. i was running around, doing my typical br stuff, when she walked in. she greeted olive first and then i came running around the corner to let her know i was just putting stuff away and i would be right out.

we hung out in the kitchen and immediately started chatting up a storm. that’s a big connection between me and olivia…we talk like it’s going out of style. we can gab like there is not tomorrow. i love that about us, our friendship. of course we didn’t even notice how long the boys were gone or when they even came in, we were too engrossed in our conversations.

we offered them some tasty libations from our stash & olivia brought over champagne as a baby gift. that cracks me up. it’s sooooo olivia to give me champagne as a baby gift. i love her. i love how quirky she is in the most awesome way. her gift giving is always so unique and thoughtful. of course we had to pop it open and imbibe it! it was absolutely dry and delicious!

we served lunch, we sat around, we talked, laughed, and enjoyed our silly subjects that were grotesquely funny and very non pc…mainly coming from mr. aaron himself. his creative mind cracks me up!

anyhoo, their main purpose was to see baby ellie…well, that little nugget slept up until they left! the little baby woke up right when they were about to leave and we were able to squeeze in a quick crying pic before they walked out the door!

well, nevertheless, it was an amazing visit as usual. i love hanging out with these two! it was a lovely afternoon indeed!

via tandeminlove.com

[my cheerleader pose]

via tandeminlove.com

[love these two]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[nuts in a cup…]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[baby ellie was not a happy camper…she was HUNGRY, but we had to squeeze in a pic before they left!]

xoxo