anniversary in mexico

i have said this story quite a few times over the past year but after this post, i might be done. our original plan last year, for our five year anniversary, was to go to nyc. i love nyc. there’s something so old world and classic about this electric city but we ended up getting pregnant and gave birth to ellie right before our anniversary. so, taking a trip was out of the question with ellie only being over a month old, near our anniversary.

we love celebrating those roundabout numbers but we felt it was fit for us to still book a trip away for our sixth anniversary! hc decided to schedule a trip to mexico. i was game. i am all about tropical destinations!

i was sooooo looking forward to our time away. we try to get away, without kids, at least once a year. it’s so important for us and our marriage. every couple should try to do this. of course you miss your kids terribly but it’s sooooo nice to have time with just us two…do things at our pace and just take care of each other.

our travels to cancun was smooth. no craziness, no bumps, and once we landed, it was so HOT out! hc contracted a private ride for us to the resort, he said he knew better than to cram us into a shuttle with a bunch of other folks. haha! he knows me so well!

we arrived at our hotel and it was lovely. unfortunately, the room reserved for us was not available due to a malfunctioning air-conditioner. so, we bunked in a room that was soooooo tiny! gah, it was so small but they promised us a room that we had originally booked by tomorrow.

so the next day, we got coffee, went to breakfast, hit the pool, and then checked to see if our room was finally ready {they delayed it a bit later than what we were expecting} and they said we were good to go! they updated our bracelet info and we walked over to the third tower, to our room.

we walked in to the best surprise! the room was beautiful! it had the MOST gorgeous view of the sea, it was sooooo much bigger and better, and they had decorated the room in celebration of our anniversary!!! how sweet and amazing was that?! they scattered rose petals all over the floor with candles, created a heart out of the petals on the bed, and left us with chilled champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. i was so delighted!

hc and i did a lot of relaxing. a lot of sleeping. a lot of lying around, pretty much doing nothing and we loved it! we tried a japanese restaurant called hakka…it was surprisingly delicious. we ate at their 24 hour cafe – they served breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night dining. we sat at the pool a lot and drank a lot of coconut margaritas. those drinks were super tasty and went down way too easy! ha!

we stayed local and it was perfect. i really enjoyed the people. i was pleasantly surprised at how sweet, kind, polite, and how hard working everyone was. it really hit home to my heart. i really appreciated illiana, roman, alberto, and everyone else who serviced our needs. they made our stay amazing and we really enjoyed seeing them throughout our stay there.

i was overwhelmed by the caribbean sea. it was stunning. the water was so clear. the sand was so soft and white. the color of the sea was so vivid. it changed from bright blue, light blue, and emerald green. i was mesmerized. i loved the sound of the ocean, the crashing of the waves, the awesomeness of it.

on our second to last day there, the waves became much more powerful and they closed the beach late morning due to the water breaking very high onto the shoreline. i blamed hurricane irma. although it was over 2500 miles away, the size of the hurricane was 400 miles wide! that’s huge! it was a gorgeous day but the waves were so angry…it was telling us something.

so, let me tell you about the crazy nature occurrences that were all happening at once. over a week ago, there was hurricane harvey that battered the coast of texas and destroyed so many towns, homes, and flooded a huge part of the area. around the same time, there were the monsoons at bangladesh that flooded the area causing so much destruction. at the same time, there were the wildfires burning a majority of the west coast!  while we were in cancun, there were three, yes three hurricanes swirling all around us. irma {atlantic/ cat 5}, jose {atlantic/ cat 4}, and katia {gulf of mexico/cat 1}. then, on thursday night…the day we flew in, we were lying in bed and i noticed the bed shaking. i nudge hc and asked him if he was shaking the bed. he looked at me like i was crazy and said no. i repeatedly asked him, “do you feel the bed shaking?!”. he said yes and we laid there for a bit feeling the tremors. hc then stood up and looked out the window to see if if was windy outside or maybe something was going on to cause the building to shake and tremble. nothing made sense so hc got back into bed and the bed continued to shake and tremble. i was a bit freaked out. wtf. what was going on?? after a few long minutes, the trembling finally halted. we truly had no idea what the heck that was until the morning when hc saw that an earthquake had rocked the west side of mexico! the biggest earthquake to hit the country in 100 years. how bananas was that?! to sum it all up, within a week, we’ve had monsoons, flooding, multiple hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, and an earthquake hitting us hard. i think mother nature was readjusting itself after the eclipse we just experienced.

anyhoo, on our last full day in cancun, it was our anniversary! yay! we spent the day at the pool and retired back into our hotel room to relax before dinner. hc had made reservations at a restaurant called navios. it was awesome! i loved it! it was absolutely perfect. the restaurant was out on a pier and there were huts, pretty lights, and calm waters that surrounded us. it was a beautiful scene that elevated our dining experience. hc had made our reservations just in time for us to watch the sunset. once we were seated and within 20 minutes or so, the sun started to set and it was so pretty to watch. the food was so good {the best we had while in cancun} and the service was on point. i thoroughly enjoyed our anniversary dinner at navies, it was a perfect last celebratory evening on our vacation!

thank you hc for planning this fabulous trip for our anniversary! it was absolutely perfect. it was exactly what we needed and definitely a lovely trip to remember. thank you hc for being an amazing partner, friend, and husband. we are so blessed and i am so lucky to have you. i love you to infinity and beyond!

via tandeminlove.com

[our view]

via tandeminlove.com

[the water was so clear and blue!]

via tandeminlove.com

[ahhhhh, sand between my toes]

via tandeminlove.com

[fresh ceviche]

via tandeminlove.com

[so gorgeous]

via tandeminlove.com

[cheers!]

via tandeminlove.com

[honestly, i think my bikini top was upside down. hahaha! backwards cleavage. eep! and that belly pudge…i am proud to say that this body gave birth to two beautiful girls]

via tandeminlove.com

[enjoying fresh ceviche]

via tandeminlove.com

[so gorgeous]

via tandeminlove.com

[i’m in awe]

via tandeminlove.com

[scavengers]

via tandeminlove.com

[so freakin’ amazing]

* * * * *

via tandeminlove.com

[ready for dinner…i literally brought noooooo clothes. ha! while i was packing, my monkeys were hanging all over me and i lost track of what i was actually bringing. i pretty much wore the same thing the entire time we were there!]

via tandeminlove.com

[yummy japanese restaurant in mexico]

via tandeminlove.com[their version of sangria. it was so yummy!]

via tandeminlove.com

[gorgeous moon over the water, right outside the restaurant]

via tandeminlove.com

[someone trying to figure out my camera. haha!]

via tandeminlove.com[so gorgeous]

via tandeminlove.com

[city lights]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[cloudy moon]

* * * * *

via tandeminlove.com

[sunrise]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[breakfast]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[a morning staple]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com* * * * *

via tandeminlove.com

[it was soooo sweet, to celebrate our anniversary, the hotel workers decorated our hotel room and left us champagne & chocolate covered strawberries!]

via tandeminlove.com

[sooooo delicious!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[oleo resort]

via tandeminlove.com

[the view from our room, on the sixth floor…it’s no higher than eight levels]

via tandeminlove.com

[the view from the hotel]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[it was so dang hot there day and night]

* * * * *

via tandeminlove.com

[loving these fun huts you can dine in]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[studying that menu hard]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i was literally so hot, sweaty, and bloated…ugh]

via tandeminlove.com

[the food was so yummy!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

car night

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

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

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

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

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

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

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[hc was digging this jeep!]

via tandeminlove.com

[that’s a big ass truck]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s a junior firefighter!]

via tandeminlove.com

[she wasn’t too keen on going inside]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[she loooooooves fountains]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[dancing to the music]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she wanted this horse so bad!]

xoxo

go cubs go!

hc sprung on me the idea of a cubs day date! hell yeahhhhhhh! i was so excited to 1. go on a date and 2. go to a cubs game {thanks aunt wendy!}! it was such a beautiful day – sunny skies and perfectly warm temps.

we dropped the kiddos off at my parents and headed into the city for brunch at southport grocery {my top three brunch spot}. we sat outside, i ordered my usual, and we absolutely enjoyed a conversation uninterrupted! the sun was beating down on my skin and it felt fantastic. after brunch, we walked down towards the field.

the front side of the ball park was finished and hc and i strolled around, taking in the new sights. we headed into ‘the park’ and grabbed some tasty beverages. we just hung out on the green, people watched, downed our drinks, and then headed into the cubs store to peruse the racks.

we finally traipsed inside the ball park {i pumped}, grabbed more drinks, and found our seats. right away, hc started gabbing with the people around us. it’s so funny to me that i am usually the gregarious one and hc is typically the quiet one but the tables were turned in this situation. i just prefer to mind my own business and hc wants to be everyone’s best friend. hahaha! well, it works!

as usual, i seat danced to every cheesy song they played…i think it’s my second most favorite part of being at a cubs game…seat dancing. it’s like the best thing everrrrrrrr, besides the cubs winning! we drank beer, ate hot dogs {with grilled onions, of course}, and cheered on the cubbies!

they kicked the white sox derrières and i was ecstatic! go cubs gooooooo! go cubs goooooo! hey, chicago, what do ya say? the cubs are gonna win today! peeps started waving the W and i jumped on my feet to boogie down to the cubs song!!! yeahhhhhh! i was so happy! woo hoooo!

hc and i trekked out the park and cruised straight to the car. i secretly wanted to stay in the city and continue our day date into a evening date and have dinner but we needed to get home to the kids…we were gone since mid morning and with the crazy traffic ahead of us, the kids were pushing the limits of their stay with my dad {he’s just so frail these days}.

it was a perfect date. we definitely don’t have too many of these of late and shame on us…we should! although, being away from the kids gives me heart palpitations. i can’t help  it! i am obsessed with their cute little faces. i throughly enjoyed our time out, i love my hubby so, and was so satisfied that the cubs WON and that they won against the white sox! ha!

via tandeminlove.com

[he’s like, “what are you doing? um, doing what i do best. hahaha]

via tandeminlove.com[my old ‘hood. when i was single…i would always go to julius meinl for coffee or sometimes just hang out]

via tandeminlove.com

[a favorite place…southport grocery]

via tandeminlove.com

[yasssssss!]

via tandeminlove.com

[we had to check out the cubs store!]

via tandeminlove.com

[i’m so ready for the cubs to WIN!]

via tandeminlove.com

[enjoying our time together sans kiddos!]

via tandeminlove.com

[enjoying the park]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i love this field]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the place to get grilled onions on your dogs! mmmmmm]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i’m in love]

via tandeminlove.com

[7th inning stretch! take me out to the ball game…]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

mom’s day

what a beautiful day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

hooray for moms!

via tandeminlove.com

[celebrate mom]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[table spread]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[mimosa bar]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[make your own mimosa!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[family]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the sweetest nephews]

via tandeminlove.com

[sweetest souls]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[we sure do love our moms]

via tandeminlove.com

[dessert table]

via tandeminlove.com

[the colors are like a unicorn cake!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i love a pretty dessert table]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[siblings]

via tandeminlove.com

[with ba]

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[with our wonderful mom]

via tandeminlove.com

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

xoxo

hotlanta

my oh my! i have been waiting to write this story!

our trip to atlanta was amazing and cray at the same time! the amazing part was being in atlanta with our friends and enjoying the beautiful scenery all around us. the cray part was our traveling debacle and sick kids.

it starts with our uber ride to the airport. i was sitting next to olive and halfway to the airport, i noticed that she formed a red welt on her left cheek. i pointed it out to hc and he said it was probably a bug bite. i was perplexed. a bug bite?! there wasn’t a bug flying around in the cab nor did i really take my eyes off of her on the way there to see a bug biting her. well, it then disappeared. humph, ok.

we were in line at the security check in when olive did the potty dance. she had just come off a very bad bout with diarrhea and when baby girl needs to go to the bathroom, you take her immediately! never in my life did i ever have a reason to get out of the security line and, honestly, didn’t know what the protocol was. so, being in an urgent state to take my daughter to the restroom immediately, i jumped out of line and starting dodging underneath the stanchions. oh myyyyyyy goodness! three security men and a dog almost jumped me and olive! everyone was yelling at us – ‘whoa, whoa!’ and yelling other things at us, i didn’t hear or understand. i turned to the tsa lady manning the line and said, “my daughter needs to use the washroom!”, she then let us through. holy cow! i had no idea you couldn’t do that?!

once we were inside the bathroom stall, i pulled down olive’s pants and noticed her red skin and white raised welts running up and down her leg! i freaked out, i didn’t know what it was, so we walked out to hc and i showed him. he was worried. he went over to the AA counter and asked someone to come over to help us. they said they could call the paramedics and we said yes. we didn’t want to board an airplane if olive wasn’t well. we wanted to make sure she was ok before we went anywhere!

the AA folks were so accommodating. they said to not worry about our tickets and we were free to rebook, they even gave us a cab fare pass just in case we came back to the airport, and the ladies who helped us were so kind. while we were waiting for the paramedics, olive’s ‘rash’ was spreading everywhere. it was on her arm, then her other arm, then her other leg. her fingers and toes started swelling and turning purple. oh it wasn’t good. olive started crying because she didn’t like all the attention on her.

the paramedics came and we agreed to go with them to the emergency room. olive was so upset. they strapped her into the car seat inside the ambulance and she was crying. they were poking at her and trying to get her blood pressure, etc. and she was scared because i couldn’t be by her side. they made me sit across the truck, seat belted in. it was tough to not be able to console her. nothing is worse then seeing your baby upset and you can’t make it better! once they stopped treating her and the sirens were going, she was finally amused and started smiling!

we arrived at the hospital and she was put into a room. the doctors checked her out and basically said that she reacted to something in the environment and asked us repeatedly if we changed anything in her routine. no, no, no. the only thing different about that morning was the uber ride. we then concluded it was the dirtiest car we have ever been in! yuck!!!

we stayed in the hospital for an hour, the doctors wanted to monitor her and make sure her welts and rash settled down. they gave her some medicine and gave us the green light to fly. we checked out and called for a cab, which took almost a half hour to get to the hospital!

when we arrived, we went straight to the counter and gave them our story. they were looking at flights and the next flight out they could get us on was at 5:45! ugh! our initial flight was at 8:30am and we had been up since 5am! then the attendant told us that our original flight was still here! what?! are you kidding me?! they said it was delayed…holy delay! they contacted the plane and said that we were here and on our way. they pushed us to the front of the security line but that was when things got hairy.

one: we have kids, that means we are slower. it’s not like we were two adults rushing through easily. two: we have kids. hahaha. we had a stroller and a gazillion bags. three: they decided to check olive’s suitcase. arghhhhhhh. i forgot that she had full sized liquid items in there and when i packed it, i assumed we were going to check it – we didn’t. four: the gate was alllllllll the wayyyyyyy at the end of the airport. you try running that far with a stroller, two kids, and so many bags! we were running like turtles! once we got to our gate, the plane took off! are you keeeeeeding me?! hc was fuming!

he called AA and was trying to figure things out. we were rebooked onto the 5:45pm flight but they said we could try stand by at a 11:15am flight. bad news? it was allllllll the wayyyyyyy on the other side of the airport. holy cow. so we hauled ass to the other side, i think i walked miles that morning. once we arrived at the gate, we sat down and chilled for a second. i needed to pee but before we knew it, the attendant walked up to us and said we were on! ohmergawd. we then had to break down the stroller and get ourselves together because, honestly, i wasn’t expecting to be on this plane ride! they were giving hc a tough time with something, i really can’t remember what, but hc told us {me and ellie} to go ahead and board the plane.

i walked on with ellie and realized that we all had separated seats. olive was in the back, hc up front, and me in the middle of the plane. nope. that wasn’t going to work with olive. my daughter was not going to sit by herself. the attendants so kindly put hc and olive together and i sat next to this sweet man from romania who lived in london. what was also wonderful was the fact that a few people volunteered to switch their seats so we could be together!

let me tell you, i was so thankful the plane ride was so short. i didn’t get to go to the bathroom before we boarded and seriously had to pee soooooooo bad! ellie was fantastic throughout the first part of the plane ride until she became tired. {i always keep a paci in the diaper bag and didn’t think twice to check if it was still in there, so when we arrived at the airport, i rummaged through to find it and someone had taken it out of the bag!!!!!} i had no paci when ellie got tired, so there i was on the plane with a cranky, tired baby and no paci to soothe her. she screamed, cried, yelled, shrieked and i all i could do was shush her, calm her with my voice, and rock her. i couldn’t calm her down. she didn’t want to nurse. she was so upset! i finally started to forcefully rock her back and forth, back and forth {mind you, this plane we were on was sooooooo small} and it started to work. she started calming down and within minutes, she fell asleep! thank goodness!

we finally arrived in atlanta and that was when the fun began! it was warm, we were finally there, and we couldn’t wait to see everyone! we just wanted our traveling time to be over with! ellie was still cranky and hc and i were just spent. we got our rental car and once we were on the road…we could finally breathe and relax.

we arrived at johnny and janice’s gorgeous house and settled in. they were the most gracious hosts. janice had made little gift bags for both girls {how cute and sweet was that?!} and prepared the room and bathroom for us with fresh linens and towels. after we dropped off our luggage in the room, we sat back with drinks in our hands by their pool. wooooo hoooooo! we were so ready to relax and have fun!

unfortunately, a day later…ellie wasn’t feeling well either. the poor girl was screaming bloody murder when she had a bowel movement. we thought maybe she might have had what olive had prior to our trip, a virus that was causing olive to have severe diarrhea. after another day, we realized it wasn’t the same case and that ellie was suffering from either hemorrhoids or something of that sort. oh my, my poor poor baby girl. she was miserable. we had to take her to the urgent care to give her relief and to hopefully get her on the road to recovery. both olive and ellie were trading nights on who would be most miserable at night. it was a tough vacation. i think i slept less on our trip than i did at home!

well, we made it through. we, honestly, had a terrific time in atlanta! we fell in love with the area they live in and really enjoyed all the shops, restaurants, and quaint corners the city had to offer. it was absolutely gorgeous down there! johnny and janice have a sweet situation going on!

of course they were so wonderful and treated us like family! they were excellent hosts and showed us all the great little spots around town and made fun suggestions for us on the days we explored on our own. i loooooooved it down there, i truly did!

then came the day to leave, i was ready to get these babies on the road to recovery. i was super sad to leave but excited to go home because, truly, there is no place like home! i am sure everyone would agree with me! we headed on over to the airport and found our way around. we were trying to check our bags and check ourselves in but we were having difficulties. hc was trying to check olive in but something was malfunctioning…then a ticket printed out and i grabbed it, thinking it was her confirmation & boarding pass. we walked back and forth trying to get through security when a nice old man said, with our stroller, we could go through the special needs line. ok. soooooo we walked all the way back the way we came. oy!

the special needs line was amazing. everyone was sooooo stinkin’ nice and we basically cut in front of everyone! we arrived at our gate and settled in. we bought food, went to the bathroom, and we were ready! as they called our group, we got into line and when they asked for our tickets, i rummaged through my purse and pulled out what i had. it turns out that a receipt had printed out instead of a boarding pass for olive! we managed to get olive through security without a ticket! whaaaaaaa?! ugh. so hc told me to go ahead and get seated while he checked olive in. gahhhhhhh. he finally sat down with olive and as we were buckling in our seat belts, hc asked me if i put away olive’s suitcase. um, no. suitcase? what suitcase? sh*t. hc ran to the front of the plane and scanned the gate area to see if we left olive’s suitcase behind. nope.

seriously. we can’t do airports without a glitch! we were so perplexed! what the hell did we do with olive’s suitcase?! we back tracked our steps and realized that we left her suitcase on the conveyor belt at security. yup. we just walked away from it and never looked back. omergawd! i can’t believe we did that! so days after we were home, we finally tracked down her luggage and had it sent back to our house!

so, in the end…our traveling experience was freakin’ nuts but our actual vacation in atlanta was da bomb {as you will see in all the pictures}! we loved visiting them, loved hanging out with everyone, loved exploring the city, and love the A family. thank you to johnny and janice for being so generous, kind, awesome, and opening their home up to us! much love to y’all!

via tandeminlove.com

[olive ready to go and having fun at the airport she has a flummoxed look here because i was calling her name from afar and she had no idea where i was. hahaha!]

via tandeminlove.com

[checking out her goody bag]

via tandeminlove.com

*****

W E ‘ V E  L A N D E D

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie already throwing down beers, literally]

via tandeminlove.com

[johnny and janice’s beautiful backyard]

via tandeminlove.com

[their amazing pool]

via tandeminlove.com

[fitz the cute dog]

via tandeminlove.com

[their gorgeous outdoor dining area]

via tandeminlove.com

[dining area]

via tandeminlove.com

[the beautiful gazebo with a fireplace]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[delicious made to order pizza]

*****

S H O P P I N G  T I M E

via tandeminlove.com

[she woke up and found the toys]

via tandeminlove.com

[baby bed head hair]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[opening up their welcome gifts!]

via tandeminlove.com

[olive loved watching fitz]

via tandeminlove.com

[her hair was getting wild from the the heat and humidity!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[we loved ponce city market!]

via tandeminlove.com

[how sweet were these girls holding hands?!]

via tandeminlove.com

[apparently this is where you go up in an elevator and there’s an arcade and such upstairs]

via tandeminlove.com

[you can never have too many macarons]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[delicious little french bakery]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i loved these pink chairs]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she really wanted the red/pink lollipop]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i told her she could have her lollipop after a bathroom break and she immediately gave me this look! hahaha!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she was so stinkin’ cute licking it! she licked it almost straight through the middle]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[some very cool bikes at a very cool store we were shopping at]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[this babe. she did this all on her own! what a model!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[oh these babes! they were all so cute!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[oh how we love this beautiful family!]

via tandeminlove.com

*****

P O O L  D A Y

via tandeminlove.com

[flexing her muscles]

via tandeminlove.com

[poolside babe]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[nice sunglasses]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the most delicious nachos, tasty beverage, and must have shades]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s sooooooo darn sweet]

via tandeminlove.com

*****

D I N N E R

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[my sweet girls]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

*****

G E O R G I A  A Q U A R I U M

via tandeminlove.com

[good morning!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she was so excited]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[this fish was HUGE]

via tandeminlove.com

[this whale shark was freakin’ amazing!]

via tandeminlove.com

[hc had to try the gin and tonic in a can!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[my smiley babe]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[waiting in line to get her face painted]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she was talking to the lady but also a bit anxious]

via tandeminlove.com

[she was such a good girl]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[the lady said close your eyes…she complied, hahaha!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[beautiful seahorse!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

*****

E X P L O R E

via tandeminlove.com

[breakfast at sweet melissa’s]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she thought it was funny to put everything on her head]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[little shop of stories]

via tandeminlove.com

[the cutest cards]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

my big birthday weekend

i was so excited for my birthday weekend!

hc had planned a fun agenda and i couldn’t wait to relax and celebrate. i still can’t believe i have hit the big 4-0. whaaaaaaaa? seriously, wtf? what happened? i still feel eternally 28 but those wrinkles and gray hairs are finally catching up with me. eek!!!!!

i really can’t tell you what i imagined what it would be like turning 40. i never really fretted about it or thought i would have a big hurrah for it. one, we ended up having a baby and two, i am one of those ‘moms’ that really loves to spend time with her family. don’t get me wrong…i love having date nights with hc and spending quality time with him but i have become a moooooooooommy. it doesn’t feel right when the kids are away, especially if we are out locally. i miss them dearly. now, give me a warm, tropical get away with hc…i can be convinced to leave the kids behind. hahaha!

anyhoo, we started out our morning quite chill – coffee, chaos, and cuddling. we packed everything but the kitchen sink to take downtown with us. oh my goodness. we seriously pack everything when we head out the door with the kids. first on our agenda was to meet the fam at macy’s on state for a fun holiday outing! we love looking at all the decor, hearing the christmas music, listening to the jingle of all the bells around us, and just enjoying the crazy chaos of the store. we met up on the 7th floor for lunch, bought toys, headed down to the walnut room to view the tree, and then we were off to the ornament area to pick out our ornaments of the season!

after spending a few hours at macy’s, we headed on over to block 37 to do some more shopping. after eating, shopping, a trip to starbucks, more eating and shopping, we finally retired to our hotel room. hc had booked a lovely room at the james hotel. it was so cute and cool! i loved the decor inside! our room was super cozy and i really enjoyed the warmth and friendliness of the staff.

as soon as we were inside, olive was out. she passed out in the car and actually stayed sleeping while i carried her into the hotel and up the elevator and into the room! olive slept, ellie laid around, and hc and i got ready for dinner! olive woke up a bit later and relaxed in front of the t.v. with ellie. it was too adorable to see them chillin’ together!

we got all jazzed up and went to david burke’s restaurant for dinner. it was sooooo awesome. we loved our server, we loved the food, and we loved how kind everyone was! everything was delicious and we had such a great time with my brother dan, who joined us for dinner. what made the night even prettier was that it had started snowing and it looked so serene and lovely.

after dinner, we retired to our hotel room. olive and ellie got cozy on the bed again and hc had ordered dessert and wine to be sent up for this birthday mama! it was a perfect end to a perfect day! i had such a wonderful time!

 the next morning, we headed to southport grocery for brunch! while we waited, we picked out gift baskets for our neighbors {something we do every year}. i love shopping there and gathering fun goodies for the christmas baskets. they have the most yummy, delectable treats to make any recipient happy! we enjoyed a fabulous brunch and spent the next hour shopping along the street. oh how i love chicago during the holidays.

it was a fabulous birthday weekend and i have to thank hc for conjuring up a fun filled agenda! i wouldn’t have celebrated it any other way. i was sooooooo happy to have my hubby and children by my side to bring in the big 4-0! as olive would say, “this is sooo ahhhhhmazing!”. i couldn’t agree more baby girl! cheers to a new decade!

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[crazy cousins]

via tandeminlove.com

[loving her necklace]

via tandeminlove.com

[macy’s on state]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[chestnut room tree]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[we put her down on the couch and her hair became electric!]

via tandeminlove.com

[poor thing…i made her stand in front of every christmas tree. hahaha!]

via tandeminlove.com

[i love christmastime]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she was like NO MORE PICTURES! eep]

via tandeminlove.com

[so festive and fun]

via tandeminlove.com

[so gangsta]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[hotel living]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[chillin’ and relaxin’ in our hotel room]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[fancy kids meal]

via tandeminlove.com

[back to the hotel room and ready for bed!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[dessert and wine delivered to the hotel room]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she was being so silly…she wanted me to take a picture of her with every.single.one. of her figurines]

via tandeminlove.com

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

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!

via tandeminlove.com

[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]

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie bear all snuggled up in her stroller]

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[going into the children’s garden]

via tandeminlove.com

[she loves tunnels]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

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

via tandeminlove.com

[peek a boo!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she loved every play area]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo

multitasking apple pie

hc helps out with the apple pies every year. he’s very good at it and now that we have a new baby and a toddler…multiple hands at multitasking is a must! we tried our best to make the apple pies while ellie was sleeping…she is the one we have to hold if she gets fussy, otherwise, olive is easy! she just entertains herself with her iPad or toys.

we got pretty far along before ellie woke up. i had peeled and sliced all the apples, hc made the batches of crust, and he was on to the walnut base. i took care of ellie and then wrapped her up in the carrier to finish making the apple filling.

we have made the same recipe every year but next year, i think i might want to replace the walnut filling with almonds. i think it’ll be a better compliment! every year, we get better and better at it…one year we had too many leftover apple slices but not enough to make another apple pie, one time we were short on the dough to make the top crust but this year we hit the nail on the head! we had the perfect amount of apples {pulled less than what the recipe called for} and we had copious amounts of pie dough to make a hearty and healthy sized crust for both pies {we doubled the recipe}! i even made cute little leaves for the tops of the pies…something i didn’t get to do the years prior because we would never have enough! hahaha!

we assembled our pies, brushed the crust with milk and sprinkled it with sugar, baked them for an hour, and let them cool down on baking racks. later that night, i sliced the pie and served it with ice cream ~ yummmmmm! it was delicious! i must say…it was our best pie yet!

happy fall y’all!

via tandeminlove.com

[apples picked from the orchard]

via tandeminlove.com

[making apple pies in pj’s! what i do best!]

via tandeminlove.com

[peeling and slicing apples]

via tandeminlove.com

[my awesome helper]

via tandeminlove.com

[walnut base]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[rolling out the dough]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[i love this messy haired babe]

via tandeminlove.com

[sweet baby ellie]

via tandeminlove.com

[the finished product]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[apple pie a la mode…the only way!]

xoxo

renegade craft fair

for our 5th anniversary, i wanted to go to new york city. that was our plan. then we got pregnant and had a baby so nyc was out of the question, for now.

we planned a very simple evening out. hc’s parents so kindly offered to watch the kids for our anniversary night. we got ready and headed out the door…so excited for our alone time! i really wanted to hit up the renegade craft fair in wicker park. it was in our old hood and i love how it has sooooo many amazing vendors. plus, i told krissy, from earth cadets, that i would pay her a visit! {check out her shop, it’s local and full of awesomeness}

it was an absolute perfect day, just like our wedding day {our special day had temps in the mid seventies and it was a clear, sunny day}. we found a sweet parking spot, walked our way into the fair, nabbed a drink or three, and started to walk the fair. it was fabulous. we had such a great time drinking and perusing all the handmade goodies.

i know i say it all the time but i loooooooooove chicago. i love the city. i love the culture. i popped into krissy’s shop, found cute matching shirts for the girls and said hello to her! it was great seeing her and chitchatting for a bit before we finished up the fair.

we headed out to the restaurant {coast…where we had our third date} and scored another fab parking spot! we were seated right away {hc had made reservations}, ordered apps, and clinked our wine glasses in celebration of our marriage! as usual the food was amaze. i love coast because it’s exactly how sushi should be done! yummmmm.

we took our time, relaxed, and reveled in our time together with no kids! the funny but awful part of our evening out was that we were spent. oh my goodness. olive and ellie were sick and olive had a horrible night of sleeping, as in she hardly slept and either did we {ironic that it wasn’t our newborn who kept us up but our two year old!}! so when we finished our dinner…we were soooo ready to come home. hahaha! we were going to fall asleep!

nevertheless, it was quite an amazing day. hc made it so special and i am very thankful for his romantic notions. we completely enjoyed the craft fair, our dinner out, and had the most wonderful anniversary date night!

via tandeminlove.com

[yesssssss, chicago cubs wine! hc bought this for our byob anniversary dinner]

via tandeminlove.com

[our super, duper casual night out]

via tandeminlove.com

[our old hood]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[soooooo many awesome vendors]

via tandeminlove.com

[two beers for hc and vodka lemonade for moi!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo