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!

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[our view]

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[the water was so clear and blue!]

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[ahhhhh, sand between my toes]

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[fresh ceviche]

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[so gorgeous]

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[cheers!]

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[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]

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[enjoying fresh ceviche]

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[so gorgeous]

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[i’m in awe]

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[scavengers]

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[so freakin’ amazing]

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[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!]

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[yummy japanese restaurant in mexico]

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

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

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[city lights]

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[cloudy moon]

* * * * *

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[sunrise]

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[breakfast]

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[a morning staple]

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

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[sooooo delicious!]

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[oleo resort]

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

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[the view from the hotel]

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[it was so dang hot there day and night]

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[loving these fun huts you can dine in]

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[studying that menu hard]

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

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[the food was so yummy!]

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xoxo

first day of school

it was olive’s first day at school. wow…i was sooooo excited but my heart was crying a bit because my first baby is getting so big. she’s growing up and i am so proud of her, so full of love for her, and absolutely blessed to be her mom. this girl is like a ray of sunshine in my life and i am beyond thankful for her presence.

she’s becomes such a strong, silly, fun person. she’s so respectful and listens so well. she has a heart of gold and is the best big sister to ellie. a few things about her: she loves to make friends. when she sees another tot, she is immediately drawn to them. she’s not shy about that. she will slide on up next to the kid {boy or girl] and make eye contact, smile, and tries to seamlessly join in on their play. it’s the cutest thing to watch.

this girl has a pretty amazing memory. for example, we will see a toy store at the mall and i will tell her we are not going in there now and say to her, “we can go in there after we finish our errands.” she will politely and obligingly say, “ok”. after a couple of hours of shopping and letting this mama finish up what i need to get done, olive will then say, “ok, now we go to the store!” as in the store with the toys. hahaha! i think to myself…how do you remember?! she does this all.the.time. she doesn’t forget!

she’s become a bit opinionated about her clothes but not so much where she takes the reigns. i am still the dictator in the is department but i think it’s adorable when she wants in on what she wears. she usually listens to my opinion but i love that she adds in her fashion twists.

she’s become a bit more open with eating different things. i love that she will take my advice on trying things once. i told her that she needs to try something once and if she doesn’t like it, i won’t make her eat it but it means a lot to me if she tries it. i will totally admit that i am a sucker and i give in to her wants…i can’t help it!! she’s so darn cute! you want peanut butter and jelly? okaaaaaayyyyy. lollipop? suuuuure. whatever you want sweet girl.

anyhoo, on her first day of school. we rustled her awake and fed her a breakfast of fruit {grapes and strawberries} and cinnamon waffles. i got her dressed, hc dropped ellie off at my parents, and we took off to school. the week prior and leading up to that morning, olive seemed excited at the idea of school. we parked the car and her little face dropped. she looked concerned and somber. as we were walking from the car, she asked if i could hold her hand. of course baby girl. i am here for you! i held her hand and i could tell that she was taking in everything, observing it all. she was so calm and serious. we waited outside the classroom amongst all the parents and kids, waiting for mrs. finley to open up the doors. once she did, we walked inside and olive’s face lit up when she saw all the toys!!!

yes, toys make this girl happy. we greeted mrs. finley, walked around – checking out the classroom, dropped off our supplies, and watched olive play. after a bit, mrs. finley called the kids to sit down and the parents to gather around. she went over their every day schedule and a few rules and expectations. i really, really like her. she is sweet and seems so concerned with their well being.

olive already had homework! she needed to color an apple and bring it back for their tree. we took home some more paperwork and after 40 minutes or so, we left the class. we checked out the bathroom {it was so cute with all the mini toilets and sink}, we stressed to olive that if she needed to use the washroom, she needed to remember that she needs to pull her pants down and up on her own, and pretty much be independent. i think that’s the only thing i worry about right now. no one wants their kid to have an accident!

after we walked around the school for a bit of exploring, we then took little miss olive out for breakfast. our first and her second one of the morning! there this girl mowed down her mickey mouse pancakes and a plate of bacon. she cracks me up! gosh, i love her spirit.

well, olive’s first day of school was a success i must say! she was a bit nervous but everything for her, and us, turned out great! i was so looking forward to this day and it was absolutely perfect. i am so proud of my munchkin and i am looking forward to a fabulous school year!

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[first day of school]

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[a slight look of concern]

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[she looks so much like me here]

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[she got real serious here]

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[putting her bag up]

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[excited over the toys]

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[dada helping her raise her hand]

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[with mrs. finley]

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[grabbing her backpack]

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[such a big girl]

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[treating my girl to breakfast]

xoxo

brunch avec mes seours

brunch – my favorite time of day.

my sister, kim, suggested that we try a new place for brunch. i was game. i am always up for new places and new scenery. after many exchanges of text messages, we finally decided on a time and confirmed that the new brunch restaurant, aforementioned, was the eatery du jour. to make commuting easier, my sister, thuy, stopped by our house and we drove together!

for it being only a few towns away, it seemed like it took forever to get there! we decided to circle around and pull up next to the restaurant to drop off my sister and ellie {who fell asleep}. well as i neared our destination, a parking spot was opened r i g h t next to the place! ahhhhh, luck would have it! i parked {ellie woke up!} and we all walked a few steps and arrived at owl and lark.

it was so super cute inside! it had a clean, cozy, eclectic feel to it. the decor was a bit farmhouse modern and fun! it’s the type of place where you order your food and then wait for it to be called. we nabbed the big center wood table and settled in. we were still waiting for kim to arrive and when she did, we all gasped! she matched the girls!!! it was the gingham girls club!! soooooo stinkin’ cute!!

we ordered our food, i fed the girls, and we waited for our meals. as it arrived, they were the prettiest brunch dishes i ever did see! so artfully done, almost too pretty to eat! well, if looks could kill, this sure slayed by taste buds!! my avobagel was beyond delicious!!! i was in love! it was savory, tasty, flavorful…it hit all the senses in all the right places!  i loved the chewiness of the bagel, the smoothness of the avocado, the bite the beet had, and the bitterness of the arugula. my words do not give this avobagel justice! yum, yum, extra yum!

we all slowly enjoyed our entrees, relaxing in the comfy environment, playing with the girls, and truly having a fun time! after we ate, we decided to walk down the block to a water fountain. it was so beautiful out. a perfect sunny day. the temp was just right and i thoroughly enjoyed sitting outside, with the slight wind cooling my skin and watching olive be so joyful by the fountain.

we actually hung out there for quite a bit. olive loves making new friends. it’s one thing about her that i am so excited about. i love how easy it is for her to get along with others. how she’s so bold with getting out there and saying hello. i don’t ever remember being like that as a child and my husband was definitely not that way either. so, it warms my heart to see her so social!

well, it was time. i needed to get the girls home for a nap and try to get other house chores accomplished. play for the day but at some point, i have to be the adult again and get sh*t done. argh.

it was a beautiful, beautiful morning/afternoon. i loved eating at owl and lark, i loved hanging out with my seesters, and i loved living in the moment. happy day lovelies!

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[auntie thuy and ellie]

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[i love yarn weaves]

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[aren’t these babes so cute?!]

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[perusing the menu]

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[banana bread and somebody can’t wait!]

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[the cutest toes]

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[enjoying her bread]

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[delicious avo toast!]

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[me and a beautiful girl]

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[check out those sneaky little hands]

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[isn’t she the cuuuuuuutest?!]

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[my sister kim, having fun with ellie]

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[loving the fountain]

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[enjoying the beautiful day]

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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!

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

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[a favorite place…southport grocery]

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[yasssssss!]

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[we had to check out the cubs store!]

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[i’m so ready for the cubs to WIN!]

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[enjoying our time together sans kiddos!]

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[enjoying the park]

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[i love this field]

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

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[i’m in love]

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

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xoxo

ellie’s first birthday!

all the anticipation, all the anxiety, all the planning, all the crafting, all the energy, and all the time that went into planning ellie’s first birthday was finally here!

oh my goodness. i really don’t know why i do this to myself. i love party planning and yet absolutely hate it at the same time. hahaha! planning and executing it causes me so much strife yet the creative part, the vision, the beauty of it all brings me so much joy!

it all stemmed from my monthly photos of ellie. well, if we really want to rewind it, it truly originated from her room decor! her room started out with the idea of monochrome black and white with pops of pink and green. i had felt flower garlands handmade for her room to give it a feminine edge and soften the color of the space. from there, her monthly pics incorporated the felt flowers and voila! her party theme was born! i decided upon the influences of rifle paper co. because 1. i have alllllllllways been a fan of this company’s signature look  and 2. their brand fit perfectly in with ellie’s flower themed birthday party!

so, i created, made, bought, gathered, prepared, and finalized all the details of her party {mind you…i started physically planning at least 3-4 months out but i probably mentally planned for it all 8 months out…haha!}.

her party invites were rifle paper co {see them here on instagram} and i was able to incorporate quite a few items such as the wrapping paper, cards, card stock, place cards, etc. to really tie it all together. i was also super excited to have had signs {one welcome sign and one sign in sign for her birthday book} made for her party from erin german, a local calligrapher with who i had taken a class with to learn calligraphy myself!

so, with that said…i had a pretty welcome sign for all our guests {over 70 folks} and a sign in table for her birthday book. i had a book personalized for her birthday {from pottery barn kids}, added in rifle paper in the front so all our guests could write a birthday wish for her to eventually read when she gets older!

hc and i made a photo booth for our guests to have a little fun! we did this for olive’s party and i wanted to do it again for ellie’s. we had a wonderful bar table, complete with towels, bottle openers, ice, chilled garnishes, liquor, soda water, beer, pop, juice boxes, pellegrino, wine, champagne…you name it! everything you needed to create yourself a tasty cocktail.

i also set up the food table with all the essentials, cute little signs to identify the food & ingredient, enough plates, napkins, extra plasticware, and food nets to keep pesky bugs off the goodies!

each table had linens and centerpieces made up of flowers, rifle framed paper and cards, pails had calligraphy to identify the plasticware, and salt and pepper. i wanted each table to have it’s own purpose and function to make it easy for our guests when they sat down to eat.

we also had a piñata filled and ready to go. i even made favor bags for each kiddo for when the piñata broke, they would have something to hold all their gathered treats! unfortunately, we totally forgot about it! eep! we were so busy running around! it was the thought that counts, right?!

we even had a water slide bouncy house for all the kiddos! best thing ever if you are having a kids party!

last but not least…the dessert bar! my favorite, favorite part of the party! who doesn’t love desserts?! i think it was the prettiest part of the soiree! this area truly incorporated the flower theme in and out!

i have to thank my sister, kim, for gifting us with her talents and the flowers. she arranged all the vases and supplied all the gorgeous blossoms. without the flowers…my party theme would not have been complete. i am so grateful for her support! the decor looked absolutely stunning with all her amazing arrangements.

when the guests arrived, they signed ellie’s book, grabbed their drinks, maybe took a photo, and mingled. ellie was sooooo good with everyone. the sweet little babe was passed around all afternoon and she didn’t mind one bit! an hour or so after the party began, the food was finally served and of course, after that, we did the ubiquitous smash cake! as with olive’s smash cake moment, ellie was like, “hmmmmm, i’m not sure” but then she got into it. she was a sight to see, digging into that cake! it literally was too sweet! ha!

once all the markers were hit, i finally grabbed a drink and began to unwind. gosh, hosting a party with that many people is pretty darn stressful! i now could relax and truly mingle without having to ‘do’ something for the party and it was glorious!

slowly the guests departed {not without a candy favor!} and the party started to dwindle as the evening rolled in. overall, it was a fantastic afternoon. everything was perfect, fun, pretty, and most importantly…we celebrated ellie, the star of the party.

oh ellie, although this mama went a bit nuts throwing this party for you, but hopefully you will look back only to know and realize how much we love you and how much you mean to us. you are such a precious gift and we are so blessed to call you ours.

happy one year my beautiful child. we love you to infinity and beyond.

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[welcome to ellie’s first birthday party!]

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[sign in table…i created a personalized birthday book and filled the front pages with rifle paper for guests to write their birthday wishes for ellie!]

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[table centerpieces ~ rifle paper and cards framed, flowers, salt and pepper for our guests, and bundled flatware wrapped with rifle paper]

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[working on my calligraphy…i wrapped plasticware in a napkin and tied it with rifle paper]

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[sisters]

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[olivia and hc]

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[gorgeous flowers by my sister kim]

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[matt, kt, karen, johann, and tony]

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[piñata favor bags…calligraphy by me]

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[part of our bar table…we had cocktail garnishes, pop, pellegrino, juice boxes, wine, and pretty much any drink you needed!]

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[my party staple…paper straws]

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[jay, hc, dave, carrie, and lori]

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[getting the food table ready]

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[practicing my calligraphy! i created food signs for each dish we were serving]

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[irina and her sweet family]

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[e for ellie]

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[bethany, darren, and their cute, cute kids]

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[mike, kaitlin, julie, chuck, mary, dianna, and todd]

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[jeri and john are about to have their third baby!]

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[john and laura]

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[dessert bar]

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[i love these paper flowers!]

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[ellie’s smash cake]

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[french macarons]

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[grace and edwin]

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[rifle paper co diy 12 month banner for miss ellie]

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[twelve months of ellie]

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[flower donut tower]

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[ellie with her auntie missy]

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[smash cake time!]

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[not so sure of the cake…and i totally didn’t realize her crown was tangled. wahhhh]

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[you can’t tell from this pic but this balloon is ginormous]

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[scott and dana]

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[gorgeous arrangements by my sister kim]

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[love these girls!]

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[water slide bouncy house]

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[the silly nephews]

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[salt water taffy]

xoxo

happy twelve months ellie!

ahhhhhhhh! happy one year my sweet baby girl!

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height: 28″

weight: 17lbs 12 oz

i am soooo happy and in disbelief that you are now twelve months old. this time has absolutely flown by. she has become the cutest, most cuddly, smiley babe. her light just shines so bright when you are around her. she is so sweet, fun, and easy going. i love that she doesn’t mind others holding her. i say that because olive didn’t like anyone holding her, so it’s so refreshing to not be the only person holding your baby! babies are meant to be held and passed around to different people! the chubby cuteness makes anyone happy!

well, ellie’s top two incisors have now come in! she now has her four front teeth. they’re so cute! her teething period for these weren’t so bad. there were some days/nights where she was a little fussy but it wasn’t intolerable for her or for me.

she can now feed herself! we tried and tried and she finally got the hang of it! now she is a pro and professionally puts e v e r y t h i n g in her mouth. from branch bits that are dragged in through the door by hc’s shoes, to grass, to dead bugs, and pieces of lint that might possibly lie around on the ground. yes. i am quite the neat, clean person but now i have to be EXTRA neat, tidy, and clean. i am constantly vacuuming because she will pick up the tiniest piece of whatever and put it in her mouth!

she had gotten better at learning sign language {so far she knows more, eat, milk, all done}, clapping, and waving. it’s the cutest thing to see her respond to our voices and make the sweetest faces! i love watching her scrunch her face, pout her lips, and pretty much any facial expression she makes! it’s a sign of her growing and showing us her emotions and i love it!

she can copy specific sounds like uh oh, dada, pitches we make with our voices, and such. it makes me so excited that she can ‘talk’.

she can stand on her own. she’s attempted it many, many times and has had success! she raises herself from the sitting position and stands up for maybe 5 seconds or so. she’s very good at walking along all the furniture and will take little steps if you hold her hand. i don’t foresee her walking within the month {she’s a very fast crawler!} but very soon!

baby girl can sip from a straw! she refused to do so last month, then a couple weeks ago she was like, yeah…i can do this! it’s so darling to see her drink from a straw, she’ll drool but can get a good amount into her mouth. she’s very good at climbing stairs too! as usual, she can get up the stairs but has yet to learn how to get down the stairs! haha!

wow, i can’t believe this is my last monthly post. i can’t believe she is one. i am in disbelief. i am going to cry. i love her so much, it’s insane. i am so blessed and always want to cherish each moment with her and not take for granted how lucky i am to be her mama.

the world spins around because of your soul here on earth. we are so fortunate to be blessed with such a beautiful girl and my love for you is immeasurable. i’m trying so hard to grasp this concept of motherhood…it’s the most complicated, rewarding, daunting, joyous journey i have ever faced and been on in life. i am beyond thankful you are mine and i am yours.

ellie ~ from the day you were born to one year later, we are so in love with you! i love your smiles, giggles, hugs, clingy ways, patience, curiosity, clumsy ways, and sweet nature. i am in awe over you and can’t wait to see the great things you will accomplish in life! we love you so much!

xoxo

a riverside father’s day

father’s day is, obviously, all about dads. so, this father’s day, i decided that i was going to gift hc with a day of whatever he wanted to do. let me tell you, i knew in advance what he would want to do but i asked him anyways.

yep, he wanted a day in the garage. so be it. the day before father’s day {we had plans to spend actual father’s day at his parent’s house}, hc spent the entire day in the garage. he organized, cleaned, worked on his jeep, etc. and he was a very happy dad!

the next day, we traveled up to his parent’s house to spend the afternoon celebrating with his sister missy, gramma, papa, and grace. we all had lunch together then we all hopped onto papa’s boat for a fun ride on the river. it was such a beautiful day! the sun was shining and the temp was perfect. the only glitch was ellie versus the life jacket. well, ellie – 0 life jacket – 1. the life jacket won. ellie was not keen about having on a life jacket. we, at first, put on the infant life vest on her and she had a meltdown. that thing is obnoxious. it’s stiff and restricting. yes, i know it’s the l a w to have one on children under 13 but man, it was tough watching her scream. she couldn’t move her head, she cried, and it broke my heart. we decided to put a kids life vest on her instead. it still bothered her but at least she had one on that allowed her to move her head a bit more. the other one was like a straight jacket!

unfortunately, ellie cried throughout the majority of the boat ride. only when we were 15 minutes away from home did she fall asleep. on a good note, olive had a blast! she enjoyed the boat ride and giggled and screamed throughout our trip on the river! it was so stinkin’ adorable to watch her have a great time!

alas, our boat ride came to an end and we came back to gramma’s and papa’s house for dessert! gramma jane had made the cutest rainbow cake. olive absolutely adored it and loved the marshmallows even more! that sneaky girl kept picking off the marshmallows before we even cut the cake!

we relaxed a bit more after dessert, after being there all afternoon and into the early evening, we finally gathered our belongings to head home. the babes had a great time being doted on by their grandparents and we had a wonderful time visiting with everyone. according to hc, he couldn’t have asked for a better father’s day! yay!

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[baby ellie in her firetruck dress]

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[sausage sliders]

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[grace marie]

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[lunch alfresco]

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[auntie missy and ellie]

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[sadie chillaxin’]

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[getting a life jacket on ellie…not her favorite thing]

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[desperately trying to make ellie comfortable]

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[olive is loving it]

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[ellie not crying for a few minutes…haha!]

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[she finally fell asleep, 15 minutes out from being home]

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[daddy holding ellie]

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[silly girl]

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[eagles nest]

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[fox river]

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[rainbow cake]

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[olive excited over the rainbow cake]

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[picking at the marshmallows]

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via tandeminlove.com[gramma’s garden]

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[hammock time]

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[i’m stuck]

xoxo

happy eleven months ellie!

happy eleven months!

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wahhhhhhhhhhhhh! what?! next month she will be one. it can’t be. it just c a n’ t be!!! my little, itty, bitty baby is getting so big.

well, let’s focus on this milestone. she’s officially eleven months young and i am loving her sweet self so much!

she is so happy! she’s so sweet. she’s so laid back…just like daddy. she truly is a kind soul. she loves to cuddle and snuggle. it’s the damnedest thing. i love how affectionate she is. she loves to be held and gets upset if i put her down. she is so loving and i absolutely love it!

she’s not into feeding herself. like at allllllll. she won’t feed herself puffs. she won’t feed herself yogurt snacks. she won’t feed herself period. i have come to find out that she doesn’t like puffs but she really does like the yogurt bits but she won’t put them inside her mouth! well, we’ll see how she does next month!

she’s still nursing. the feedings have spaced out quite a bit {although i still pump every few hours just to keep the milk going strong}. she definitely loves nursing more than the bottle. of late, she’s been refusing the bottle but i think that had a bit to do with us trying to feed her prune juice with the breast milk and that just turned her off and she boycotted the bottle overall. i hope this babe nurses for awhile because i just can’t bear the fact that she is growing up!

she’s a fast crawler! she can get to point a to point b in 3 seconds flat. hahaha! i think she’s obliterated the ‘i will fall down while i am sitting’ phase. she is still a wee bit klutzy but she’s managing quite well. she might crawl head first into a wall here and there or try to grab onto something and completely miss and fall on her face but she’s surviving and doing pretty well!

she officially has said dada as her first word and truly knows what it means. one afternoon, we sat outside alfresco for lunch and i picked up ellie to walk around a bit because she was fussy. we were walking inside the restaurant, trying to cool off, when we walked up to the window we were sitting by and she saw her dad. she then said, “dada! dada” pointing to her dad. i decided to walk around another lap and come back up to the window and see if she would say it again. she did. we walked around another lap and came back up to the window and she said it again. that was when i knew she knew it was her dad. sigh…

she does get sick so much more often than olive did as a babe. poor thing has been sick on and off since december. temperatures, sickness, coughs, ear infection, blocked tear duct, eye infection, fissure, etc. you name, she got it. this babe is susceptible to so much!

she’s climbing on up on the weight and height ladder but is still a tiny babe. she’s gained quite a bit of weight the last month or so, so that is a great sign! overall, she is still a petite babe but oh so cute! i love my little chunker.

she’s become a solid sleeper. even with the teething. i can see her top tooth coming in but she’s been great at night. she typically goes down around 9pm and sometimes that is late for her. she will sleep through the night up until 6, 7, 8 am. typically 7am is her sweet spot but it ranges. she will go down for a nap around 10am and then again around 2 or 3 pm. it was a rough few months with her in the beginning but she fell into a routine around seven months and i couldn’t be a happier mom. although, i need to get it together and go to bed earlier myself!!!!!

this babe loves to clap, repeat our sounds, and wave. i love watching her grow, learn, and become a confident little babe. she can stand up on the furniture and walk around on her own. she had attempted to stand up on her own. she loves to throw everything we have on our coffee tables down on the ground. she loves to be mischievous. she definitely gets into more things than olive ever did. she will break things {my lovely cake stand…yes, i am heartbroken this cake stand doesn’t exist anymore to replace}, throw anything out of her way {my slippers}, and put anything anywhere it doesn’t belong. hahaha!

oh, baby ellie…i am so in love with you!! we love you so much and i am so torn that you are my last baby. you are so sweet and cuddly and i can’t even stand it that you are growing up. my heart swells with so much love for you and your big sis. you gals make my world go round and i am so thankful that y’all are mine.

xoxo

happy ten months ellie!

happy ten months ellie!

via tandeminlove.com

[photos taken on 5.15.17]

height: 27.5″

weight: 17 lbs 4 oz

oh this girl is a riot! she’s so fun, funny, and so darn sweet! my most favorite thing about her? she’s so happy and smiley. my heart melts when i walk into her room in the morning and she gives me the biggest grin from ear to ear. seeing her smile makes me so happy, it just starts my day off right!

she’s a crawling fool. this babe is f a s t and will crawl her way around the house to check out what’s happening with others in different rooms. she crawls on her hands and knees and can really get places with her cute moves. she’s really picked up on this milestone in the last month and now she can’t be stopped! hahaha!

she’s mischievous! this girl is curious, on a mission, and will get her hands on anything! she loves to explore and she loves to grab a hold of anything in sight. she loves to play with our shoes by the door…this bugs me so! yuck…dirty shoes! she touches everything she shouldn’t and knocks things down in nanosecond! i told hc that she is our trouble maker. she gets into things olive never had any interest in. for example, i have a jonathan adler giraffe that is a few feet tall that has always sat in olive’s room on the floor. olive never touched it, never had interest in it, and just never bothered to play with it. well, here comes ellie. once she started crawling…she immediately found the ceramic statue and grabbed that poor giraffe by the neck and wrestled it to the ground. oh ellie! anything within her reach becomes a ‘toy’. i told my hubby c that we need to screw the dresser drawers into the wall because ellie is that kind of kid! eeepppp!

she is still nursing. yay! and she will be for awhile, i just know it! her appetite is growing with solids..sometimes she will eat two containers of food in one sitting! i am still trying to get her to drink from a straw and learn how to feed herself. those are two things she is taking her sweet time around!

her sleep patterns have been amazing! i am so excited that we’ve gotten over all those months of being sick {since december!}…that really put a deep damper in ellie’s sleep routine. but now, she’s been sleeping though the night and waking up around 6-7 o’clock in the morning! woooo hoooo! i can’t wait until she really does sleep in {if that would ever happen!} but it’s been most fabulous currently, so i will take it!

this girl loves to repeat sounds, she loves to clap, and she loves to wave! her hair is finally long enough in the front where i can actually clip it back! she loves to follow her big sister around and watch what she is doing. she loves to snuggle and give wet kisses. she loves to be thrown around and rocked back and forth. she finds it hilarious when you flip her upside-down {don’t upchuck that milk ellie!}!

she has been a dream and we love you soooooooo much baby girl. you are so incredibly sweet and darling. this past month has been amazing and watching you grow makes our hearts so full. we can’t wait to see what next month has in store for you! happy ten months sweet ellie!

xoxo

happy nine months ellie!

happy nine months ellie!

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[pics taken on 4.14]

heyyyyy baby girl! i seriously thought you would be crawling by now! nope. it’s currently not your thing but you have certainly gotten a lot more mobile. you scoot, scoot, scoot around the floor and can get from point A to point B in a unique way but there is definitely noooooo crawling. you tend to scoot forward, then really push backwards, then you will pivot, and move into a different direction by repeating the same moves. you go girl. whatever works for ya!

she’s become a strong consumer of solid foods. she will chow down quite a bit with the container of food{s} we give her and sometimes asks for more. we were soooo great at making food for olive but really dropped the ball with ellie. we buy her organic foods off the shelf and it suits her, and us, just fine. i really wish we had the time to whip together homemade meals for ellie but alas, it all ends up being good. her favorite foods are fruits and she’s finally starting to like the vegetable and protein blends!

she is still nursing. my milk supply has been consistent but the difference i see with my back up supply is drastically low compared to what i stored with olive. when i nursed olive, i constantly pumped. like constantly. i pumped on the hour every two hours, i pumped when she slept at night – at 3am every night the first year. i pumped if her naps were longer than two hours and i stored a ridiculously amount of milk! now we are the verge of running out with ellie! i can’t believe it! i am hoping to nurse ellie for as long as i can and i hope i don’t completely run out of my back up supply! the good new is, she’s almost one and cow’s milk will be introduced but until then, i think i need to step up my pumping game!

she’s become a lot more solid with her nighttime stretches. she will typically go down around 9pm and sleep until 5 or 6am! woo hoooooo! now if i can only learn my lesson and go to bed when she does!!! her naps have become more consistent but she’s not completely regular with the timeframes. she will typically, or at least we try to put her down around 10am and then again around 2 or 3 pm. she will usually nap for an hour in the morning and a bit longer in the afternoon. there are some times she will fight it and nap for short periods of time and then she gets super duper crabby around 5pm…really girl, just nap!

she’s so happy and so funny! she will make the craziest noises and tries to mimic us! she loves to scream and make silly faces. this past month, she has clapped her hands and waved to us. i love watching her grow and seeing her hit these fun milestones! those are the best moments. i also love that her bald spot has grown in, i totally knew that it would once she started sitting!

she’s still so tiny and i love it. i am savoring her tiny moments. i cherish her soft skin, her sweet breath, her fresh smell, her chubby thighs, her fat cheeks, her big belly, her teeny toes and fingers…oh the list goes on and on. i don’t want to forget her state, her baby stage, her sweet innocent being. oh ellie. i love you so much and i am such a lucky lady to have you as a daughter.

happy day sweet lady, you are so loved.

xoxo