a fun afternoon

it was a very long, long awaited playdate with kim and famille. like way too long! let’s be clear…it was one year since i had seen them last! whaaaaaaaa? kim and i planned 5 different times to see each other but each time, unfortunately, something always came up for kim and we had to cancel every time.

well, the waiting was over and we secured a date and boom! it happened! olive was so excited to see brady! when she woke up in the morning, she said to me she needed to hurry up and brush her teeth cause she wanted to go see brady! hahaha! too damn cute!

we could have left on time but i am at fault for wanting to do one million more things before we walked out the door, then once we did…we literally turned back around cause i forget to get the girls to the bathroom and we had a long car ride ahead of us! arghhhhh. we finally hit the road one hour after we were suppose to leave. like wtf. i am usually not this late but this was probably a record tardy start for me!

we arrived in no time, quite surprisingly and the girls couldn’t not wait to get inside! once they stepped foot inside…i didn’t see them for an hour. just kidding but they literally ran away from me and were outta sight. LOL i hugged kim and we started chatting. as i have said in the past…the girlfriends i have {kim is no different}, we have this tendency to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. no joke…time literally flies by when i am with kim. we can gab about anything and everything!

it was super nice cause the kids are at an age where they are very low maintenance and they all play so well together. so, mikey {kim’s hubby} kept the kids entertained as they ate their lunch and kim and i ate our lunch in another room. that was awesome.

before i knew it, three hours flew by and we needed to go! olive had gymnastics and i knew traffic back home was going to be a nightmare. we quickly said our goodbyes {sadly…no one wanted to leave, including me!} and headed back home.

it was such a fun afternoon and a much needed catch up time with kim! i told her, we cannot have another year go by where we don’t see each other! i don’t think that has ever happened in the 10 years that we’ve known each other! crossing our fingers we can squeeze in a zoo date before school starts.

cheers to good friends!

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[olive ellie, brooklyn, brady, and mason]

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[so darn cute]

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[kim and me]

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[such a sweet family]

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[brady’s selfie]

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[how sweet are they?!! melting]

xoxo

the morton arboretum

a couple years ago, hc and i bought a year membership to the arboretum and we probably went a couple times but then it expired and we never renewed.

this year, we fully went in and purchased a two year membership because we totally feel like the girls are at an age where they play well together and they are so active! so it made sense and we know we will go more than twice a year!

the day we went was beautiful. sunny, warm, but not too hot. after we signed up for our membership and grabbed drinks at the cafe, we headed out to the children’s area and the girls were so excited! they immediately became involved with everything that catered to their curious minds. it was great. hc and i just sat back, conversed, drank and the girls kept themselves super busy with their surroundings.

we slowly made our way around the area, stopping at each section so the girls could throughly explore. we made our way through the pond/water area and the girls became excited at the idea of taking off their shoes and wading through the creek, in which they did. i had to help ellie walk through it back and forth while olive independently jumped around.

in one section of the creek, olive became a bit too zealous and slipped and fell on her behind! oh, poor olive! she soaked her entire bottom! no matter, i reassured her it was ok and i knew, with the warm temps, she would dry up quickly.

once that was over, we slowly made our way back to the entrance. i assumed the girls were hungry and i was right, so we stopped for some yummy snacks. as we headed out, the girls also spotted some very large lego creations along the way. they were so cool!

it was a great day. the temps were perfect, the sun was shining, and the girls had a wonderful time exploring the playgrounds! we can’t wait to go back, it’s such a huge area and there’s so much to see and experience there!

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[the maze]

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[caution first]

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[taking the lead]

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[kids playing, parents drinking]

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[hair clips by little blue olive]

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[olive owning the play area]

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[she’s so spunky and sweet]

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[sprinkler]

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[ellie braved the jungle gyms!]

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xoxo

fantastic bug encounter

we were invited to preview the newest exhibit at the field museum! and it did not disappoint!

i was super excited to have the girls experience something different and fun. the whole collaboration was well thought out and the field museum did such an excellent job welcoming us!

traveling to the museum took a pinch and we were given complimentary parking – sweet! we quickly parked and walked right into the very close entrance. we were greeted by a few  staff members, asked to sign in, and given visitor passes to wear. then a kind lady led us through the building up to where the exhibit was.

we were then greeted again by staff members at the entrance and given additional information on event and were told to enjoy and have fun!

the entrance was so cool! video screens lined the walk way and it felt like we were walking through an enchanted forrest with butterflies fluttering all around us!

once inside, the rooms were outstanding! everything was informative, interactive, and so beautifully designed! the girls immediately gravitated towards everything in there! olive was obsessed with the immersive chambers and they both were so delighted and intrigued by all the different displays of bugs!

i was pleasantly surprised by ellie! i was nervous she wouldn’t have great time because she is terrified of bugs! i was reassured by a field affiliate that she would indeed have a good time and not be scared and she was right! the whole space is so colorful, bright, and fun…ellie was not bothered by the bugs and didn’t seem to care. what i loved most was i knew she felt safe, so therefor she wasn’t scared! she was so brave the entire time and i can’t believe she came so close to the live bugs at the bug zoo! she was closer to the live bugs than olive cared to get!

we explored the whole exhibit and loved all the rooms. olive loved the praying mantis chamber, all the games, and i think her favorite bug was the swimming/diving beetles! i loved how wonderfully designed it all was. the details, the thought process behind each area, and how creative the space was for the children.

i have to add that the gift bag was bugtastic! they were so thoughtful and generous in giving us such a wonderful treat when we left the exhibit! it was filled with sooooooo many goodies for the girls {lots of toys} and mama {pampering products}!

we even ran into a few other blogger friends at the event! the afternoon turned out so fun for us! after our visit at the fantastic bug encounter, we headed down to south michigan ave to find a place to eat. it was so sunny and warm but once we parked the car, it became dark and the sky opened up! the rain poured down as we waited outside the building under an awning by the el. the girls had a blast standing outside while it rained all around us. watching them giggle, be silly, and laugh endlessly filled my heart with so much joy.

after dinner, we stopped by another eatery and purchased ice cream shakes for the girls. they sipped their sweet treats while we walked back to the car. while on route, as were about to cross the street, i think i knocked ellie’s shake out of her hand trying to guide her and it fell to the ground! ughhhhh! i quickly picked it up and salvaged it! LOL the straw never touched the ground and the shake was still in tact although half of it spilt out. yes, i was that mom who pulled the 5 second rule, even on the dirty streets of chicago. hahahahaha!

our afternoon was beautiful. i thoroughly enjoyed our day together as a family. it’s been awhile where we have spent it in the city on our terms…not just running from one event to the next, driving in traffic just to get somewhere but it was more so a slow moving day, where we enjoyed our time and we weren’t strapped to a timeline or an outside agenda!

thank you field museum for being such a consummate host. the whole experience was top notch and we had the most lovely day!

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[ready to explore!]

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[these girls have my whole heart]

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[i post multiple pics because ellie’s faces are too cute!]

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[sweet kisses for ellie]

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[praying mantis]

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[the very cool immersive chambers were outstanding!]

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[everything was so interactive! so hands on]

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[checking out the bug zoo…the girls did not hold the bugs but they were much closer to them than what i expected!]

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[millipede]

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[she was so mesmerized by the associate who was feeding the ‘swimming beetles’]

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[origami a bird and watch it fly!]

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[oh my sweet babes! they had such a great time at the museum]

xoxo

father’s day 2019

we celebrated father’s day at hc’s parent’s house.

on mother’s day…we do what i prefer and on father’s day, we do what hc prefers and it all is fair and square. we got up and got ready at a very slow pace {ahem…if it’s a day off for me…i can never get out of bed quick}.

i had the girls give hc his gift in the morning…flowers, a bag of man treats, and a six pack of unique beers. they were so cute trying to carry it all to him!

once we were at his parent’s house, we all just sat around chatting. his sister missy, his aunt wendy, grace, his parents, his cousin kevin and kevin’s kids, mila and nolan were all there. it was so good to catch up and just relax.

it’s been awhile since we have seen kevin and the kids and it was super nice to have him there! it reminded us that it had been too long since we’ve hung out and we need to see them more often!

after an hour or so of being there, lunch was ready! jane had made chicken, burgers, and salad. we all gathered around and had a really good time conversing while we ate.

father’s day was very low key but filled with a lot of love. sometimes all you need is to be with the ones you love and that’s it.

happy father’s day hc. you are an amazing dad to the girls and they absolutely adore you. thank you for always doing your best and going above and beyond every day to provide us the best life possible. we love you to infinity and beyond!

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[our gang]

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[handmade gifts]

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[my favorite girls]

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[my sweet babe]

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[dada and his girl]

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[oh that face…she melts our hearts]

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[mama and son]

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[hc, jane, and kevin]

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[his favorite uncle]

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[so sweet]

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[desserts are always welcomed]

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[father and daughter]

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[grilling kind of cake]

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[daddy and daughter]

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[olive was so excited to give dada her gift]

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[as close as ellie would get to aunt wendy]

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[homemade frames for dad]

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[ellie was upset and screamed for grace to console her! it was so darn cute!]

xoxo

spring recital ’19

oh, how i love the spring recital.

olive’s first formal recital was last year and it was so special and oh so sweet but this year felt even better! why? we were seasoned, we felt more confident, and i was less anxious. LOL

i think the most stressful part about the recital is reserving all the seats for our invited guests. most people wouldn’t care, worry, or think it’s a big deal to nab good seats but it’s my purpose. haha! i find it important to be front and center for my girl and that her family can see her clearly! my problem is that i invite 15-20 people each time and i semi-feel like an ass blocking off that many seats! but not enough to not do it, so it’s an endless mind battle in my head. i’m filled with anticipation until i do so and then once it’s done, i can relax. phew!

our family trickled in and everyone was situated in their seats and ready to watch our baby girl perform! olive’s group was first to perform. she danced her ballet routine to ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ and then her group was fourth in line to perform and they tapped their way to the song ‘rainbow’.

watching the little kiddos dance is so darn sweet and cute! they are usually all over the place with their moves, never in sync, and so darling in their costumes. when it came time for them to end their routine with a final pose, it was like a comical show with them not knowing what they were doing or arguing with each other on how they were suppose to pose and end the act….hahaha! ahhhhh, their innocence is so heartwarming!

olive did such a great job! she practiced at home {a few times} and was so focused during her performance! i am so blown away she doesn’t get stage fright or even appear to be nervous. she just goes with it and i love her for it!

after the show, i picked up olive and brought her out to her adoring crowd. she was showered with flowers and gifts…what a welcome! our family snapped a few photos of the shining star and we all cruised back to our abode for a late lunch and fun.

once home, our guests slowly arrived while hc and i ran around preparing random things for the party. i snapped pics of olive with all her guests while hc prepped the food. once i was satisfied with all the snaps {olive so patiently obliged to all the photos, although she wanted to play! oh, she’s so sweet and kind!}, i took everyone’s drink order and finally stopped for a moment to visit with them.

it was so sweet that auntie lynne bought flowers for both girls {she didn’t want ellie to feel left out} and gifts for them both. she’s always so good to them! they are so spoiled by their family!

about an hour and half later, kim and reagan stopped by after his baseball game and joined in on our fun! the weather was so amazing! rain was in the forecast but it stayed away and it turned out to be the most perfect day.

the whole afternoon was so good. the food was delicious. the drinks flowed. the girls were super happy and our guests were comfortable. we couldn’t have asked for a better time.

spending time with family is always the best. words can’t describe the joy, content, and happiness we feel to be surrounded by our loved ones. happy recital day miss olive. you did such an amazing job in your dance routines and you are one blessed girl to have such wonderful family around you.

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[i love how she chose to pose]

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[she danced to ‘somewhere over the rainbow’]

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[the final pose]

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[ready for her tap routine]

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[the girls tapped to the song ‘rainbow’]

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[the final bow]

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[inundated with flowers and gifts!]

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[my sweet girls]

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[ellie did not dance but auntie lynne got her flowers to not feel left out! how sweet!]

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[of course we had to coordinate olive and ellie]

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[auntie missy and olive]

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[papa and gramma]

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[the heintz family]

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[barbara and lynne]

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[ba and rimma]

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[no cake topper, so i quickly decorated it with flowers]

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[cousin reagan and auntie kim]

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[so azn]

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[mes soeurs]

xoxo

a day at the zoo

memorial day weekend weather looked dismal. it was supposed to rain every.single.day and who wants that??? it’s the weekend to kick off summer {and to honor those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom} and rain didn’t fit into outdoor plans.

well, mother nature fooled us. it was beautiful and sunny on both saturday and sunday, which turned out great because we had plans no matter what! on saturday, we took olive to the salon for a haircut, lunch, and came back to our abode to work on things at home. then we headed back out to buy flowers at wannemaker’s, then eat and shop at ikea. it was a busy day and night but we checked things off that needed to be done!

the next day, we hosted our family over for some grub and drinks. it was a good afternoon eating and hanging out with the best people. we cooked seasoned chicken, burgers, corn, vegetable skewers and had many other delicious dishes. it was a fun time and the weather was beautiful for us to be outside!

we decided, last minute, to head to the zoo on monday. now this time, the weather looked ominous but we were confident the rain would hold off until later in the afternoon and we were right! we had the most joyous time at the zoo! the temp was just right, the kids were having so much fun, and the adults were living their best life with beers and just having fun with the kiddos. unfortunately, we didn’t get to explore as much as we wanted of the zoo…our time was cut short by the big storm rolling in.

terry was on weather app radar and informed us of the time we had every hour. LOL. then the temperature dropped and we knew the storm was about to hit. we said our goodbyes and started walking towards our cars. i foolishly asked hc to stop so olive could get her face painted but straightened out my head and said, let’s go…and convinced olive that we would do it next time. well, those five minutes cost us! we were a few minutes from the car when the sky opened up and pouuuuuuuuuured on us. like buckets of rain! darn it!

we left the zoo and headed on our way to a restaurant to meet the fam, again, for a late lunch. it was a monsoon out! just sheets of rain coming down and blowing to the side. i was amazed at how many people were actually coming into the zoo as we were leaving. the rain didn’t pass quickly…it rained heavily for awhile!

of course, after we ate, we then went shopping, like fools. the rain didn’t let up and we all were soaked one way or another but truthfully, we really had the best day with everyone. it was good, fun, relaxing, and full of content.

this past memorial day weekend was one for the books.

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[olive just had her did]

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[chowing down]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[stan’s doughnuts]

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[she’s so sweet]

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*****

BROOKFIELD ZOO

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[azn auntie life]

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[kangaroo]

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[he’s so sweet to the girls]

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[thanks hc for taking the photo!]

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[my heart]

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[cheers]

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[beggin’]

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[crazy cousins]

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xoxo

olive’s pre-k graduation

pre-school came and went.

i remembered the first day of pre-school so well. it wasn’t cold nor warm…it was in-between. i was excitedly anxious and olive seemed unaware of what was really happening. i got her dressed for school, a long sleeved white tee, teal jumper, grey knee socks, converse shoes, and i kept her hair down. i snapped a few pics outside and we scurried our way to school.

as we got out of the car and held hands in the parking lot, she became scared and nervous. i saw it in her expression although she didn’t say a word. we walked inside and waited in the hallway and she clung close to us, afraid of the unknown behind the closed classroom doors.

two years later…she loves school. she looks forward to it every time and absolutely loves learning, playing with her friends, and enjoys the creative activities it offers. i think some moms are sad that their children are moving on up but i felt happy, slightly tinged with sadness that this milestone was ending but so satisfied that she has grown so much and has become such an amazing person already.

graduation was quick, fun, and exciting. the kids sang four different songs to us and i actually cried when the announcer said it would be the last time the kids would sing the goodbye song to us…yes, it made me tear up.

olive’s name was called and she walked up to accept her diploma. it was so darn cute! she shook both teacher’s hands and stood there for a few seconds to face the audience with a sly smile. oh, my sweet girl. i love you so.

after the graduation, we went out to brunch at a local place and saw some of her classmates there and they had fun playing together near the end of our meal.

oh baby olive, i am so proud of you. so proud of your growth, your gregarious nature, your willingness to learn, and how far you have come with your knowledge and application. thank you for always teaching me on how to be a better person, a better mom, and level set me to the joys in life. i love you so much and only hope that this world only surrounds you with love, kindness, and faith.

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[she’d always sit like this and i would change her shoes for class on snowy or rainy days]

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[she was fussing with my camera and i snapped this sweet pic of her]

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[she was being sneaky and kept creeping up onto the stage]

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[getting up to accept her diploma]

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[smiling for the crowd]

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xoxo

olive’s first cubs game

hc took olive to her very first cubs game!!!!! i was so excited. hc was so excited. olive was so excited! the day had come and the weather stunk. absolutely stunk. it was cold, rainy, gloomy, and did i mention cold? hc was a bit bummed but i said, take her anyways! bundle her up, bring lots of layers, a blanket, and if it got too cold…you can always leave but it’s the experience that was most important!

so, there they went. olive was so game for it. they explored the area, took pics everywhere, and baby girl was a complete trooper! as elsa said, “the cold never bothered me anyways!” LOL the good news was their seats were under an awning, so they were protected from the ongoing/intermittent rain.

olive enjoyed a big cup of pepsi and of course, a hot dog! she loved the music and bopped along to the tunes and enjoyed watching the game. one of her favorite things about the visit was meeting the cubbie bear! she thought he was so cool, bragged how she high fived him and he picked up for a pic!

this girl was steadfast in staying and enjoying the game despite the crummy weather. so much so, baby girl stayed through 10 innings! yes, 10 innings! after the 10th inning, she said she was ready to go home! i don’t even think i’d survive 10 innings in the cold and rain! i was so proud of her!

hc and olive packed up their items and headed out. she is so darn good! hc even offered her to get a souvenir and she declined. she didn’t need one. whaaaaaa?! gosh, i love her!

her first chicago cubs game was a success! she thoroughly enjoyed it! i can’t wait until she goes again and this time around, it will be warm out! i demand it. i guarantee it. no if’s and’s or but’s…ya got that chicago weather? please and thank you.

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[that’s a big cup of pop]

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{may 11th, 2019}

xoxo

snow day in april ’19

well, here it is again. it always snows in april, everrrrryyyyy year. i only know this for a fact because for the last ten years, i’ve celebrated hc’s birthday in this month and it always snows around his birthday.

well, i knew it was going to snow {hearsay from hc} but i had no idea it was going to snow almost 5 inches {canceling our birthday plans for hc with his family}! whaaaaaaa? we woke up to a snowy white landscape and it felt like christmas. LOL. hc told me it was going to snow allllll day, well ok! we had a cozy day in, we chilled, hc cooked breakfast, we played, and took pictures. hc went outside to check what type of snow it was and said it was prime snowman building fluff. sooooooo, when i put ellie down for a nap, hc and olive went outside to build a snowman.

they rolled it, stacked it, and built it as i mostly watched them from our bay window. they had gathered all the trimmings…coal, a wannabe carrot nose, hat, scarf, and stick arms. i periodically ran outside to capture some good moments while they were in process.

olive was humming/singing christmas songs as she built the snowman…it was the cutest thing to hear. ohhhhh, she’s the sweetest! she did such a great job building it with hc. she was all about finding the right items for the snowman and helping hc with all the accessories.

they put the finishing touches on the snowman and he looked marvelous! hc and olive were so proud! i must say, he was a good-looking one! we snapped some good pics and walked inside happy and satisfied with our lovey snowman. the only bad news for him is that it’s only getting warmer! by the evening, he was the leaning tower of pisa. i told hc he will topple over by morning! c’est la view monsieur!

even though it snowed and almost everyone in chicagoland almost crapped in their pants with anger, we really enjoyed it and loved every moment of it! it was f u n!

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[bundled up and ready to roll]

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[strolling in stride]

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[they’re so proud of their snowman]

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[yeahhhh, he’s drinking a beer]

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[she’s so proud!]

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xoxo

spring break staycation

olive loves hotels. she loves staying at a hotel. she loves sleeping in them. she loves watching tv in the room. it cracks me up how much she loves being there. from one vacation to the next, olive will always hint to me how much she loves flying on a plane and staying at a hotel.

well, for spring break, we decided to do a staycation in our favorite city! there would be no airplane but definitely a hotel stay! on our way there, olive kept exclaiming how excited she was for our ‘family vacation!!!!!’. so adorable!

we stayed at the millennium knickerbocker hotel and my sister {last minute} ended up staying at the park hyatt hotel, a few blocks away! they were suppose to fly to california but some health issues put a stop to that, so they wanted to get ‘away’ and booked a room at a hotel off the ave too!

so it was extra fun having family with us! the kids jumped on beds, swam, ate, stayed up way too late, ate some more junk food, shopped, perused toy stores, explored, and then some!

the weather wasn’t so great {hello chicago!} so we didn’t venture outside as much as we liked but if you’re staying in chicago, i highly recommend visiting millenium park, lincoln park zoo, the shedd aquarium, the science and industry museum, peggy notebaert nature museum to name a few!

we loved eating at food life in watertower place, ghirardelli’s, aster hall at 900, benihana’s in the hancock building, eataly are some great places to take your kiddos!

we had such a fun time with the kiddos! they loved staying at the hotel, exploring new places, and breaking all the rules!

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[immediately chillaxin’]

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[the sweetest sisters]

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*****

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[watertower chicago lego store!]

*****

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[walking hand in hand]

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[my world]

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s so cool]

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[really olive?!]

via tandeminlove.com

[swim time at the park hyatt hotel!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[having fun with dada]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s so happy]

via tandeminlove.com

[sweet kisses]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[laughing at the boys]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[best of friends]

*****

via tandeminlove.com

[ellie was enamored with the park hyatt’s dog, parker]

via tandeminlove.com

[she was too cute with her!]

via tandeminlove.com

*****

via tandeminlove.com

[this awesome new eatery is at 900 north]

via tandeminlove.com

[ordering our food]

via tandeminlove.com

[these three…ellie is not quite there yet]

via tandeminlove.com

[this was so so so so good!]

via tandeminlove.com

[she loves to talk. about. everything.]

via tandeminlove.com

[the sweet lady behind the counter gave olive her little chocolate heart for free!]

*****

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[this picture just kills me. i love her so much, it hurts]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[silly sisters]

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[ellie is always running off somewhere]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she loved this ponycycle!]

via tandeminlove.com

[they’re so cute]

via tandeminlove.com

[wonderoll rolled ice cream]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she loved american girl doll…what little girl doesn’t?]

via tandeminlove.com

[silly babes]

via tandeminlove.com

[she was so excited!]

*****

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[oh my]

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[ellie insisted on wearing these glasses at night]

*****

via tandeminlove.com

[she loved seeing al the fish and animals – ellie screamed, terrified]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[she’s so sweet]

via tandeminlove.com

[it literally sparkled]

via tandeminlove.com

[olive loved how big this fish was!]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

xoxo