house on the rock

since our plans to go up to a friend’s lake house fell through, hc suggested we go to a place he’s been to before called house on the rock. i was like, the what on the rock? well, it’s a really weird house built on a rock. plain and simple. i thought, ok…let’s do it! why not. he had time off and we might as well travel somewhere, not too far away, and have some fun!

i packed up everything but the kitchen sink…even though it was a one night get away, we still hauled a lot of stuff. hc packed up the cooler with drinks and goodies and we were ready to hit the road. it was going to be a 3.5 hour drive. not too shabby…a totally doable ride with two little ones!

we had fun driving towards our destination, although trying to find a decent place to eat was almost impossible. we did not want the typical fast food stops and we didn’t want to go to a seedy joint with slot machines. ugh. mile after mile, we had nothing. then we started to get hangry. snacks weren’t cutting it and i didn’t want to fill up on junk {well, i eat junk every day, so i don’t know what i am talking about} but anyhoo, i finally mapped out a place called baumgartner cheese store and tavern. hells yes! we were in wisconsin and you always have to hit up something cheesy {no pun intended}.

this place was perrrrrrfect. it was quaint, cute, and everyone was so dang friendly. our server, kyle, was the nicest kid everrrrrr. the kids had a blast sitting by the window and we ate the most random, fulfilling things. it was kitschy and fit into the aesthetics of our road trip perfectly!

we ordered beer, chili dogs, popcorn, and our meals came with pickles and blocks of cheese. yasssssss. ellie made us crazy with her restlessness but we survived and had a really good time eating there! kind kyle even snapped a decent picture of us in front of the restaurant!

we hit the road again and made it to our destination within an hour and a half-ish. the area was green and pretty. we pulled up to our ‘resort’ {total joke} and checked in. we then drove a second to get to our side of the hotel and it was freakin’ desolate. apparently NO ONE visits the house on the rock on week nights and they definitely don’t stay overnight. hmmmmmmm.

their restaurant inside the hotel was closed and there was no one in sight. we decided to hit up the hotel pool and have some fun. olive had a blast, she loved that she could stand in the pool and ellie was terrified. after some time in the pool, we headed back to our room and this is when shit got real!!!!

as we were walking down the hallway, there was a man {not a boy}, a grown man sitting on the ground, looking at his phone. olive ran by him and i called her back, because she went too far past our room. she backtracked and stood, maybe five feet away from the man. he looked very annoyed, so he got up and scurried away. as he passed me, i was going to say hello, but his eyes were looking down at the ground and he seemed flustered. then he passed hc and he actually said hi to the man but the man didn’t even respond and scuffled past hc. okayyyyyyyy, odd.

honestly, it kind of freaked me out. i said to hc, “what happens he is a serial killer or someone crrraaaaaaazy?!!!!!” hc was a little disturbed by this man’s behavior too! well, that just gave me anxiety all night. we and this man seemed to be the ONLY guests at this hotel. i am not joking. the parking lot was empty. ohmergawd.

we all had fun back in our room and when it was time for bed, we put the girls in the adjoining room, far away from the door. hc and i decided to sleep on the bed in front of the door. holy crap, i was like dude, strange hallway man,…if you try something, i will stab you with my blush brush and beat you with my flip flop!!!! in the middle of the night, hc woke up to use the bathroom and it rustled me awake. ugh. i was filled with anxiety, so much so that i laid awake freaked out over the creepy dude in the hotel!!!

morning came and all was well but really, that guy freaked me out! we got ready and hit a breakfast place that looked yummy, and it was! after a decent meal, we drove over to the house on the rock. the entrance was soooo pretty, so green, lush, and filled with very large pots filled with pretty flowers!

we started our journey inside the house and finished in two hours?! we did kind of speed through all the rooms. i found the house {now, not to knock hc because he really does like this tourist attraction} to be so odd! it really creeped me out. there were clowns everywhere and doll after doll after doll after dolls. it smelled old and gave me a very strange vibe. the girls were frightened by some of the displays and disliked the very loud music some of the musical attractions played.

it was definitely a fun trip and worth a visit {it’s like american pickers on acid}. after touring the whole place, we jumped back into the car and headed back home {and hit horrible traffic!}. we finally arrived and it was sooooo good to be home sweet home. our favorite place to be!

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[olive is so dang cheesy, i loooooove it]

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[my sweet babes]

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[baumgartner cheese store and tavern since 1931]

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[i love her kisses]

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[they can be so sweet together!]

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[sharing popcorn]

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[she cracks me up!]

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[gourmet meal: chili cheese dog, a pickle, and a block of cheese]

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[she loves to give kisses]

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[she found dada’s hat]

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[hotel room]

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[hotel pool time]

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[hanging with dada]

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[she loved the jets in the tub!]

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[such a ham!]

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[olive loves to pose!]

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[big flower urns at house on the rock]

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[the infinity room – it juts out 218 feet from the house with no ground support]

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[she was so excited to sit on the bunny figurine]

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[largest carousel ever, with no horses]

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[so creepy]

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[olive loved looking at the fishes]

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xoxo

lazy pool day

we love our lazy pool days! although the weather hasn’t been on our side the last week or so. any day i had available to go to the pool, it rained or it was too cold. what?! such a bummer!

so, we finally had a beautiful day and off we went! we got ready in the morning, sprayed on copious amounts of sunblock, and packed up our things! the pool was full but not crowded. we headed to our favorite kiddie pool {the one and only!} and the girls got right in. there were a few kids in the pool and olive was scouting out some new friends. once it hit noon, a huge group of women in this area, with their kiddos, all left to have lunch. the kiddie pool pretty much cleared out and olive was so bummed. my girls and maybe one other kid was in the pool and olive wanted to go home. whaaaaa?

she seemed a bit sad all the kids left but i couldn’t seem to convince her that it was only temporary and that they were all coming back after they ate. well, she wasn’t buying it and i was indifferent, so we gathered our belongings and left. as we drove away, hc drove right by us!! oh em gee! first, what was he doing home? and second, we had to convince olive to go back.

it didn’t take much for us to say to her to change her mind, and ta da – we headed back to the pool with hc! yayyyyyyy! we chilled {with tasty libations hc concocted} and olive met another friend and was having the best time! ellie just moseyed around in the pool, doing her own thing.

we then walked over to the food area and ordered lunch. then the funniest thing happened. while ellie was sitting next to me, enjoying her food, she proceeded to pee the biggest puddle on the bench. whatever…they clean it anyways, she was soaked from the water, and we were at the pool! i was dying. ellie stopped eating, looked down at the puddle, and then continued to finish her food. hahahaha!

the rest of our pool time and afternoon was so relaxing and splendid! it was such a wonderful surprise to see hc and have him spend the rest of the day with us. it was the best kind of lazy pool day!

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[on our way!]

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[she’s so silly]

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[snack time]

xoxo

gymnastics

we signed olive up for gymnastics. a long overdue activity but nevertheless, we finally did it!

we all went to the facility to get olive signed up. as we were heading out the door, i told olive what we were doing. she didn’t seem thrilled. when we arrived, she still didn’t seem enthusiastic. once we walked inside and started chatting with the lady behind the desk, olive walked around, a bit, to explore.

after a minute or so, she walked over to me, beaming, grinning from ear to ear. i then asked her, “are you excited?” and she then shook her head up and down. she was so excited! she was loving what she saw and loved watching all the kids practice down below!

on her first day, she couldn’t wait to get started. i took her downstairs to wait and she was totally eyeing all the other girls down there! oh so funny! she made a comment on how they didn’t have their shoes on…i said, “that’s fine. we’ll take your shoes off in a bit”, then from the corner of my eye i noticed, as we were sitting on the bench, that she was slowly pulling her shoes off with her toes. i started laughing. i told her it was fine and that she could take her shoes off now.

she then started bouncing around and doing things i wasn’t sure what it was. kind of showing off to the other girls, like – look at me! i know how to do gymnastic type of stuff. *eye roll*. {please watch the video down below}

her first day was a success! she absolutely looks forward to it every week! we also signed ellie up for a mom and tot class! yay for me? hahaha!

i’m so excited to get both girls in gymnastics! what activities do your babes love? i’m always open to suggestions and seeing what my girls might love!

via tandeminlove.com[i told her, let me take a picture…uh, POSE.]

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[and pose…]

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[and pose. ha!]

xoxo

ballet recital

olive had a winter ballet recital that was very informal. her spring recital was much more formal. full costume, make up, and a full line up on stage!

i don’t know why i was filled with anxiety. call it the typical mama nature. i was nervous about olive’s will to perform {we practiced together but you know…she’s only four!}, i was nervous about getting there on time. i was nervous that i would forget something on her costume. i was nervous we wouldn’t get front row seats. i was anxious about having people over {which we do on the regular}. it was just one of those days. don’t you have those too? eveything i stated above, i always encounter or do all the time but that day, i was filled with tension.

well, i survived and got over it and everything went super, duper smooth! we got ready early, had enough time for pictures, arrived early enough to grab seats [although our invited guests arrived earlier than us!! yahoo! what a relief to not have to fight for seats and  nab front rows! we needed at least 18 seats for all our attendees.}, olive met and greeted with her guests, got checked in, her costume was in tack {i remembered her ballet shoes!}, and we were able to relax before the show began.

the lights went down and the first act performed. olive’s group was the second act and i was so excited! the curtains closed and a few minutes passed by. then the curtains swooshed open and the crowd gasped in awe {a lot of ohhh’s and awwww’s}, little ballerinas on stage looking so cute!

olive did so well! she was poised and did a great job executing her routine. i loved watching her and was so proud. everyone was giggling at how cute the little ballerinas were. at the end of their performance, when they all jumped forward into their final positions, was so stinkin’ cute! just watch it on the video…pardon the small screen capture. i was taking pictures and my sister recorded the performance.

after the recital {17 acts all together!!!}, i went to pick up olive to meet her guests. everyone showered her with flowers! it was too cute! we all headed back home to our house to welcome our guests for the after party. we had pre-ordered food {although we had a situation with picking it up} and set the house up {a little decor + dessert table} before we left to be ready when everyone arrived.

it was fun, relaxing, and perfect. everyone enjoyed their food, their drinks {ahem…missy and aunt wendy}, and the desserts {diy’d the cake!}. the weather was perfect for an evening outside. what a beautiful day! olive’s recital was awesome and our evening together as a family was even better.

great job on your ballet recital baby girl! you were absolutely fabulous!

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[my darling babe before her recital]

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[she’s so cute]

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[first act, imagine dance team, then olive’s group!]

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[ellie enthralled]

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[ready to begin!]

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[true colors pre-k jazz/hip hop]

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[how far i’ll go/ballet]

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[na na na pre-k ballet]

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[sing! tap]

www. tandeminlove.com[na na na pre-k ballet II]

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[the end]

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[olive and ba]

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[olive and super auntie thuy]

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[dan and agata]

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[barbara and lynne]

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[grandmas]

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[gifts from grandma barbara and aunt lynne]

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[she loves her whale unicorn from aunt lynne – narwhals]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[diy cake]

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[fresh peonies from our yard]

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[french macarons]

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[flowers from her recital and gifts]

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[dessert table]

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[flowers from reagan]

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[sweet girls – olive looks like my sister’s daughter]

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[grainy {my flash died} photo of ellie eating macaron]

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[hide and seek]

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xoxo

memorial weekend

it was a wonderful weekend. a really wonderful weekend.

thank you to the men and women who have given their lives so we could live freely. we are forever in debt and grateful for your sacrifices.

sunday was very impromptu and perfect. we decided, last minute to hit up the pool. fabulous idea! then we invited our family over, last minute, for a grilling evening adventure! oh, it was just what we needed!

pool time was fantastic! we packed up our things {well, hc did a majority of the packing! thanks hubs!} and jumped into the jeep and arrived at the pool club we just joined! we were so excited to check it out. we shopped a few places last year and this year, we decided to join a swim and racket club. we loved that it is private, well kept, and offered quite a few amenities. plus, it was time. it was the right time for the kiddos and we were ready to join a place!

olive was such a diva. she picked out her heart sunglasses, asked to wear her hat, and strutted around like a boss. haha! ellie loooooooooved the water. she’s a mermaid!! she was having so much fun! it was the cutest thing to see! olive is more reserved and was bothered if the water hit her face. oh olive! ellie didn’t care! she dipped her face in the water and ‘swam’ around like a pro.

we were having such a great time! we loved the pool – it was clean and well kept. the grounds looked very well manicured, the parking lot was freshly sealed and painted, and the tennis courts looked so nice! we’re so excited for summer!

after the pool, our family came over for a fun alfresco dinner. hc cooked up a storm, we made pink vodka lemonades, we ate outside {it had cooled down to a perfect evening temperature}, and the kids played. it was a lovely ending to a great day.

honestly, if every day could be this good, our life would be utopia.

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it was a wonderful weekend. a really wonderful weekend. thank you to the men and women who have given their lives so we could live freely. we are forever in debt and grateful for your sacrifices.

[we’re ready for the pool!!!]

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[i love them. so, so much!]

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[pool ready]

www. tandeminlove.com      [hiiiiiiiiii! we’re so excited to be at the pool on this hot day!]

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[my water baby!]

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[the sweetest profile]

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[she was too cute in the water]

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[olive lounging and drying off]

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******

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[pink vodka lemonade]

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[agata and ellie]

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[look at the plane]

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[i loved that my dad purposely kicked up his feet for the picture]

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[really dan?]

xoxo

play time

my friend, kim and i have been trying to plan a get together for months. literally months!!! our conflicting schedules, cancelled play dates, sick kiddos, and busy months have delayed a get together that has been long overdue!

fiiiiiiinally, we were able to settle on a date and we stuck to our guns. i headed out to kim and mikey’s abode in no time flat. they live far away but not too far away. it may take 50 minutes? sometimes faster, sometimes longer – it all and always depends on traffic and what time of day it is.

i love coming over to their place because it’s so much more kid friendly. mine and hc’s place is more like a museum {kind of…not really. ok, just a wee bit}…plus, once our basement is finished, it will be so much more fun and kid friendly when the playroom downstairs is set up!

anyhoo, olive was quite excited to see brady and play with the plethora of toys! when we arrived, of course ellie needed to be in my arms and get comfortable before she explored on her own {it only took about ten minutes}. i was so excited to see kim! immediately, we started gabbing and gabbing. when kim and i first met {oh…9 years ago??}, we couldn’t stop talking to one another. ha! we went on and on about everything you could imagine! we just instantly clicked. so, when we get together, time just flies by!

i brought over stan’s doughnuts and kim provided lunch! the kids started to warm up to one another and the rest of our time there was relaxing, fun, and filled with lots of cute moments.

we were there for several hours but honestly, i felt like i could have stayed all afternoon! the kids were being silly together and i was having a great time catching up with kim. her hubby, mikey ran out to grab the adults tacos and such, while kim prepared a quick meal for the kids.

after lunch, we yapped, hung out, i nursed ellie, the kids played some more, several diaper changes ensued, and then we ate doughnuts! much to my dismay, i needed to round the kids up to head home. olive didn’t want to go, i wanted to talk more, and ellie needed a nap!

we said our goodbyes and sadly went on our way home. oh, how i love hanging out with kim, see her growing crew, and i love that our kids get to play together! oh, and we got to hang with mikey too…we never get to see the busy guy!

thanks for having us over kim! we always have such a great time seeing everyone and hopefully it’s not months until we see each other again!!! i see pool and zoo dates in our future!

{p.s. picture overload…lots of multiples but i couldn’t narrow it down!}

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[sweet girls]

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[olive’s face cracks me up. it’s her awkward, not sure face. hahaha!]

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[sweet girl was obsessed with brooklyn’s toys!]

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[this babe is too much!]

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[the cutest kiddos around]

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[gnawing on an apple slice]

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[ellie eating her mac n cheese!]

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[i love her hair]

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[ellie baby]

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[oh how i love this pic of them!!!]

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[look at mason’t stare down!]

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xoxo

olive’s last day of school!

ohhhhh it was olive’s last day of pre pre-school!

what. a. year.

i clearly remember her first day of school. she was nervous, i was anxious, and it was such a huge milestone for the both of us! fast forward to the last day of school and it was full of joy, laughter, and friendships.

olive had a wonderful time at school. her teacher, mrs. f, was so kind, sweet, caring, and loving. we couldn’t have asked for a better teacher to kick start olive’s education. she looked forward to every day of school. she loved mrs. f. she loved her my little pony toys that she played with every school day. she said lakshya and collette were her best friends. so many great memories created!

she learned how to put on her coat by herself, the days of the week, recognizing numbers and letters, the weather, colors, drawing, painting, cutting, shapes, the holidays, and so much more!

they hosted a costume parade for halloween {blogged}. they held a winter concert {blogged} and a mother’s day concert {blogged}. olive told me about thumbs up thursdays and special projects they worked on from day to day.

i always had a ritual. every day after school and before dinner. we would pull olive’s backpack out and we would look inside to see what she brought home and we would discuss her school day together. she would tell us about her friends. or what she learned. or whatever the focus was that day. it was my favorite part of our evening, listening to her talk about it.

i feel very fortunate to have been so involved with her teacher and all the fun activities they allowed us to be a part of. my most favorite volunteer event was when it was olive’s birthday and she was star of the day {blogged}! i was able to come in, observe their morning routine, watch olive lead the morning activities, and then i was able to read a story to the class! that was so much fun!! of course, we brought treats for all the kiddos to take home!

it seemed like the school year just flew by! before i knew it, her last day was upon us! i scrambled to put together a gift for her teachers and had to prepared my brain that this was her last day and i had volunteered to help out!

the kids got to take a field trip the ice cream shop – everyday’s a sundae! all the volunteer moms gathered outside the classroom and waited for the kids to come out. each mom was responsible for two kids each for our walk to the shop.

once we arrived at the ice cream shop, all the ice cream was pre-ordered and prepared! olive and her classmate kinley were the only two kids who ordered popsicles {their friend lakshya had pre-ordered ice cream but changed her mind last minute when she saw the other girls with popsicles!}!!! the rest of her classmates ordered ice cream! go girls! be YOUnique!

after the kids ate their ice cream, we all walked to the post office, where all the kids mailed letters to their parents. once we did that, we then all walked back to the school where we said our goodbyes and the kids continued on with their last day of school!

oh how bittersweet! it was such a wonderful school year and such a sweet ending for olive’s last day. thank you, thank you to all the teachers out there that do their best to further these kids minds and show them that you care!!! we appreciate you!

happy summer vacation!

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[waiting for her treat!]

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[she requested a popsicle]

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[oh my sweet girl!]

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[the last one to enjoy her treat]

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[spotted her paparazzi mama]

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[sending a letter to us…how sweet]

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[her new thing…biting the inside of her lip]

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[my diy teacher’s gift – MANI thanks for a great year!]

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xoxo

pre mother’s day celebration

hc’s parents came over to our place, one day early, to celebrate mother’s day!

it was a lovely morning. hc took the kiddos, got them ready, and let me have time to myself for a couple hours in the morning! it was fantastic. i laid in bed for a bit, pouring over social media {ahhhhhhh, i miss those days of just lounging in bed, after slowly waking up!}, got ready, cleaned up the house {again}, and lounged for {literally} a second before everyone got home and hc’s parents came over.

gramma and papa brought over toys for the girls and hc came home with all sorts of surprises! hc knows the way to my heart, pretty flowers, great wine, and starbucks! it was so adorable; i saw them come home, so i swung the door open. olive came running up with flowers in her hand and ellie sloooooooowly wobbled to the door {like sooo dang slow, olive stood at the door beaming and waiting for ellie to coincide with the surprise} with the biggest balloon!!! it was three times the size of ellie! hahaha! it was so dang cute watching them run towards me with the biggest smiles on their faces!

once everyone was settled, hc starting prepping for lunch. we visited with each other and hc cooked up a storm. it was super yummy and it was a very relaxing afternoon spent together.

jane and i drank some bubbly while the girls played and hc cooked up a delicious lunch for everyone {roasted potatoes, vegetables, grilled chicken, sausage, and cole slaw}. after lunch, we relaxed on the couch, watched clips of olive’s mother’s day concert from school, and ate cake! yuuuuummmmmmm!

after several hours, dick and jane left {to get home to sadie, their dog}. it was a wonderful afternoon spent with hc’s parents. it’s always so fun when you get to spend time with family!

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[hc knows the way to my heart]

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[gorgeous tulips]

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[flowers for gramma from olive and ellie]

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[a bit of morning bubbly]

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[playing with papa]

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xoxo

mother’s day concert

olive’s school hosted the moms and their families to the mother’s day concert!

i was excited. i love being involved in anything school related. i love supporting olive in any school activities. i find these moments, these years too short. i try my best to be present. i try, i fail, and i succeed. i am not perfect.

olive has become more tenacious, more vocal, more opinionated, and together we have become more combative. she levels out my thinking and really makes me look into the mirror, which i am so grateful for. i realize how difficult i can be, how irrational and temperamental i am. i absolutely love her honesty towards me and it definitely puts me in my place.

being a mother is such a great gift. i feel so lucky to be on this journey. the lessons i’ve learned, the selflessness, and the reflection i must look at helps me become a better person. having children forces me to be a better human as i help them become better human beings. it’s my calling. it’s my purpose. it’s what i am meant to do. children are the greatest gift in this crazy, messed up world!

anyhoo, the concert was so stinkin’ cuuuuuute!!!!! so cute! they did such a great job singing all their songs and i was so proud of olive! she belted out some tunes! it was so cute to watch and hear her sing her songs.

after the concert, each student grabbed their gifts for their moms and walked down to us! it was so fun and sweet to see olive so excited to see us and give me her present! it was a book of handprints…from september to may, celebrating each holiday or milestone throughout the school year. i loved seeing her hand print grow with each month…oh my heart!

after the gifts, they had cookies and water for us to enjoy. it was so darling and fun! i attached a video of one of the songs they sang. you can hear olive so clearly in this one. my heart is so full!

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[getting ready to sing!]

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[waiting for the teachers to call her down to give her gift to me]

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[olive ready to give me a mother’s day present!]

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[my focus was sooooo off but i love her expression here, so i had to post it.

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[how cute is this??!]

[my focus was sooooo off but i love her expression here, so i had to post it.

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[she’s so damn sweet]

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xoxo

brunch with mutts

i met mutters or mutts {also known as danielle}, hmmmmm, maybe 8 or nine years ago??? it might be longer but i honestly can’t remember. she could clarify but that’s not the point. i have known her for quite some time and have seen her grow as person.

she was a single lady {all the single ladies!!}, dating a douche on and off and finally reconnected with an old flame that led into a serious relationship, then into an engagement, then into marriage, then into pregnancy. the circle of life, non? for some, not for all, but definitely a circle that goes round and round for most.

anyhoo, mutts and i were really close all the years we worked together and when i went my separate way, we stayed in touch. she’s a sweet, silly, and sassy lady who cracks me up. i love seeing her, hanging out with her, and now she’s expanding her family and it’s so awesome to see.

we met up for brunch the other week and holy cow! she’s was due in eight days! wowza. i was like, don’t have the baby while we’re eating. haha! just keeding. having a baby is nothing like what is depicted in the movies.

we had a great time. we talked about babies, birth, life, work, kids, and all sorts of stuff. my girls were being great and i was really surprised how calm ellie was being. sometimes, when i/we are at a restaurant for too long, she becomes restless but that day, she was happy as a clam sitting in a high chair.

maybe i was was talking too much but i felt that i barely ate my food! after a hour and a half, we decided to go. mutts was going to go get her nails done and us gals were going to go shopping.

it was a gorgeous day out and we were excited to get out there and shop for new shoes, dresses, and fun stuff…whatever we needed. we said our goodbyes to mutts and wished her luck on her upcoming labor!

well i am happy to say that she delivered her sweet baby girl, skylar, on may 12 at 4:05 am weighing in at 8lbs 4 oz. congrats anthony and mutts!!! we are over the moon at your sweet blessing!!!

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[ellie being entertained by paper]

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[mutts]

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[my sweet olive]

xoxo