valentine’s day ’19

i was quite excited for valentine’s day! we had a fun filled day planned out and although it was the only day that was warm that week {50 degrees amongst the 20 degree other days}, we were pretty much spending the day indoors. our morning started with olive’s parent teacher conference {the teacher had such great things to say about olive!} and we cruised back home to cook a late breakfast and surprise the gals with valentine’s day gifts!

after a delicious heart shaped pancake, bacon, and hash brown meal, we just went about our day finishing up cleaning, the girls played with their new trinkets, and getting random errands done.

as the day wore on, thuy stopped by to spend the afternoon and evening with us, i started to set up the girl’s dessert table for some festive treats. we then decided it was time to start dinner, so while hc prepped the pizza dough, sauce, and cheese, olive cut out the heart shaped pepperonis! she also helped place all the pieces onto the pie before it went into the oven.

dinner was savory {the pizza was sooooooo good hc and olive!] and desserts were even sweeter! soon our day was coming to an end. it started out so great with wonderful feedback for olive at school, hc whipped up a decadent heart themed breakfast, we had fun shooting cute pics for the kiddie dessert table for two, and creating heart shaped pizzas for dinner! it was such a relaxing, slow, peaceful all day celebration. i couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend valentine’s day! it was perfection!

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[i gave these pink pails filled with goodies to the girls for valentine’s day]

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[they were loving their surprises]

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[she’s so sweet]

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[she loved her gift!]

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[she loved the magic marker]

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[yummy heart pancakes, and bacon and hash browns, for breakfast]

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[i had so much fun setting this up for the kids!]

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[sweet vanilla cupcakes for the girls]

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[my favorite]

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[pink milk]

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[that face of should i touch the frosting or not?!]

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[mmmm, got it!]

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[delicious raspberry bars…my favorite!]

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[she was throughly enjoying the frosting]

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* *** *** *** *

H E A R T  S H A P E D  P I Z Z A

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[olive cutting heart shaped pepperoni’s]

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[she’s like POW, heart shaped pepperoni…booyahhh! hahaha!]

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[now for the toppings! we made cheese, pepperoni, bacon, and mushrooms]

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[hc hard at work! always the consummate cook]

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[it’s done!]

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[ellie checking out my sister’s phone. you’ll love the next pic!]

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[a picture with the pizza and ellie showing us a picture of the pizza! LOL]

xoxo

pink heart milkshake

in celebration of valentine’s day, i decided to make olive a fun festive milkshake!

i’ve seen on instagram, the web, etc. these really cool looking crazy extra adorned milkshakes and i wanted to attempt one myself. i was inspired by a few pictures, focused around love day. so, off to the store i went to gather all the goodies!

i bought vanilla ice cream {you can buy strawberry flavored ice cream to get the pink look – i used two drops of food coloring to achieve the desired color}, spray can whipped cream, sprinkled soft cookies, heart marshmallows, festive sugar cake decoration candies {we bought x’s and o’s}, conversation hearts, doughnuts, and heart sprinkles {or valentine’s day themed sprinkles}. oh, don’t forget a festive pink, red, or heart straw! aaaaand some powered sugar and a lollipop stick for the doughnuts…more on that in a bit.

i poured 2-3 cups of milk into a blender, added a few scoops of ice cream {it really depends on how many people you are feeding and the consistency/thickness you want your shake to be!}, two drops of red food coloring, and blended it smooth.

for the doughnuts, i make an icing out of powered sugar and water. i used several tablespoons of the sugar and a teaspoon of water. mix and add until it’s thick and paste like. i dipped the doughnut {this was olive’s favorite part} in the icing and olive sprinkled each one with the hearts!

i did prep my garnishes before i made the shake but {tip} you can also store the blender container in the freezer until you are ready to pour! i used a hobnob glass {i love the vintage look of it} and once the shake was poured, i sprayed A LOT of whipped cream {you need a lot ’cause one – it settles quickly and two – you need it to hold your flair!

once the whipped cream was sprayed, i added the cookie, threw on a couple marshmallows, strategically added in the x and o’s, conversation hearts, and placed the stick with the doughnuts into the milkshake. i stuck in the straw and voila!!! a super extra cute festive milkshake!

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[she was soooo excited!]

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[she’s too cute]

xoxo

valentine’s day books

a few of you asked about our collection of valentine’s day books, so here they are! everything is linked and easy to shop for!

reading is an essential part of our day. i’ll read to olive randomly during the day but we are consistent every night. olive always picks out a book for me to read before bedtime. we first practice letters, words, spelling and such on the cover before i open up the book to read the story.

i believe in teaching and olive learning all day, everyday. i think reinforcing any type of teaching and learning is critical for any parent to do with their kids. it helps them become better at processing problems and propels them to be a bit ahead of the game!

i love decorating for each holiday and creating memories and excitement with my girls. olive becomes so joyful when she sees all the decor and lights up in our house! i think it makes their childhood a little bit extra special, well, at least i hope so!

so here are all the books we currently have. to shop, just click on the book title and it will take you directly to the site to buy! i am addicted to always adding to our slew of literature. books are pretty. books are fun. books are for everyone! {uhhhh i just make that cheesy rhyme up…my apologies!} aaaaaaaand if you have and love a book that we don’t have, i would love for you to leave a comment on what it is! i love adding to our stack!

happy shopping my friends!

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[plant a kiss]

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[olivia and the perfect valentine]

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[love is a tutu]

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[words and your heart]

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[when an elephant falls in love]

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[love]

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[love is]

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[love is a truck]

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[olive my love]

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[pink umbrella]

xoxo

valentine’s day ’18

one day, maybe a month or so before valentine’s day, olive asked me if we could have a valentine’s day party. well, ok! i thought it was so cute that she asked! i then inquired who she would like to come to this party, and she, without hesitation, said, “reagan, bennett, and terry!”. alrighty then. i thought it was hilarious! so i text my sisters and let them know what olive had asked and who she wanted to come to the party. my sister kim said, “well, i didn’t want to come anyways!” hahaha!

so, we had our family over for a fun little party! of course we kept it simple. wink. wink. in all seriousness, it really was a simple and easy party to get ready for! olive and i did some food prep before everyone came over. we cut up some ingredients for the apps and olive helped me cut out heart shaped pepperoni for the heart shaped pizzas hc was going to make!

i decorated the kitchen area and we waited for hc to come home from work. he started pizzas while i started apps. we had mozzarella sticks, jalapeños filled with cream cheese, and guac dip. the heart shaped pizzas turned out so cute and delicious and after dinner, we served a yummy cake!

after dessert, we gave the kids their valentine’s day gifts and the kids played and had a ton of fun. olive is always excited to hang with her cousins! our evening was short for it was a school night. so after a couple hours of visiting, we wrapped up our evening and said our farewells.

the party turned out so cute {if i do say so myself} and a good time was had by all! it was definitely a day of love indeed!

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[kid’s table]

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[she’s such a ham!]

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[heart pepperoni]

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[hc and terry]

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[my girls]

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[cousins]

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[hc and kim twinning]

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[look at that pout face]

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[present time!]

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xoxo

from the heart

for the past few years, olive has made valentine’s day cards for her friends and family. we love this crafty moment; it’s a fun time for olive to learn about valentine’s day, create something pretty, and know that she’s sending out a little love in the mail.

i purchased the typical heart cards from papersource. i have bought them every year there for this purpose. i can’t tell you how much i love that store. when i lived in chicago, i used to go to the one in lincoln park, on armitage, allllllll the time. then they opened up the one on southport and i then had choices!!! i always feel like i could spend hours there looking at everything, wild with crafty ideas!

i pulled out my valentine’s day craft box and gathered all the crafty bits and pieces together to help olive create fun little valentines for her friends. she was loving it! she loves to paint and put stickers on everything! it’s one of her favorite things to do! she was waiting all week to do this!

she painted, then decorated, then signed some, and then got bored. hahaha! i must say, she completed a slew of cards…she does every year. i am always amazed by her tenacity and focus! like daughter like mama! i finished out her cards with a wish and assembled them all in light or hot pink envelopes. i addressed them {practicing my brush lettering}, literally stamped and stamped them, and we placed them in our mailbox to go! we love snail mail. it’s so old fashioned and fun.

happy valentine’s day my friends!

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[she’s ready to go!]

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[i love her little ankle cross]

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[painting her heart cards]

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[i love that smile]

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[kisses!]

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[oh that smile!]

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[her painted masterpieces]

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[putting her final touches on the cards]

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[full focus]

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[ta da! the almost finished product!]

xoxo

classmate vday cards!

now that olive is in school, it’s been fun creating birthday treats, teacher christmas gifts, and now we get to be creative for our valentine’s day cards!

since good ol’ pinterest has been around, creative ideas are in overdrive or overload or overwhelming. it’s like a pot o’ gold of ideas. well, of course i pinterest’d a valentine’s day card concept from there! i loved the one where you take a photo of your kid and stick a lollipop in their hand! i’m sure y’all have seen this one!

olive’s valentine’s outfit du jour for the pic? a heart headband and my little pony pj’s. that’s my girl! we love hanging out in pj’s all day every day!

everything cost just a few dollars apiece and it was quite inexpensive to make! everything was on ‘sale’ {i only quoted this because, lately, sale is usually the regular price}. the most time spent was looking for the supplies, only because i do love to shop and find the right pieces! my problem is that i love to look at everything, every shop, every possible option…not to find the best deal but to find the best stuff to execute the ideas that float around in my head.

hc printed out the pics for us, i bought the supplies, and olive helped assemble all the lollipops onto the cards! i stuffed each heart covered plastic baggies with a card, a few pieces of candies, a bubble wand, and stickers! voila! cute, fun packages to hand out to her classmates on valentine’s day!

olive was quite happy with the final results and i can’t wait for her to hand out her sweet valentines to her friends at school!

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[she looks thrilled doesn’t she?! hahaha!]

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[what do i do with this lollipop besides eat it?]

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[she did it!]

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[focus!]

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[i love that smile]

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[ta da! her valentine’s day card]

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[a valentine’s day card, bubbles, stickers, and candy!]

xoxo

happy love day!

our valentine’s day dinner was low key for us but snazzy fun for the girls!

sometimes hc and i will get out the weekend prior to valentine’s day for a fancy dinner with just the two of us but this year we weren’t feeling it. we were too busy and didn’t really put any thought into it. i know, i know…we should probably be more focused on us and do more fun stuff like that and we will. i desperately cling onto the innocence of my girls and love spending all my time with them and hc.

so, we decided to keep it simple with us and do something fun for the babes {ok…i did something fun for the babes!}. i concocted, in my head, a valentine’s day themed dinner for them. i shopped a week prior for cute little items for a festive table spread {target is my friend} and dug through my vday box of decor goodies in the basement {i am a hoarder of anything holiday}.

i grabbed fresh balloons on valentine’s day and came home to assemble the fun table for the girls. i put presents and cards inside their valentine’s envelope, i filled pink glass jars with bubble wands, candy, and toys. they had heart shaped plates, with heart design cups, with heart shaped strawberries, and heart shaped sandwiches. i sprinkled the center of the table with more toys and decor. overall, i loved how it looked! so festive, fun, and cute {if i do say so myself!}!

olive loved it all! she was so entertained by all the goodies, ate her fun food, and had a blast playing with everything. she especially loved going into her envelope and finding her card and presents!

as for our dinner, hc made the most delicious heart shaped burgers everrrrrrrr. the entire dinner was yummy and perfect! we had the best valentine’s day dinner all together. it was fun for the girls, relaxing for us {key word…relax}, and super fun spending it together!

i loved how we spent our holiday evening. it was perfect and cute! it was low key, full of love, and we celebrated as a family…how it should be! happy valentine’s day indeed…not just on the 14th but every day!!

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[festive, festive, festive!]

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[candy hearts, games, toys, treats!]

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[at first, they kept staring at everything! ha!]

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[checking out their goodies!]

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[hearts galore]

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[love these fun babes]

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[gorgeous flowers from the hc]

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[cute little heart burger hc made for dinner!]

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[she was so excited to open up her envelope and see her gifts!]

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[she looooooooves trolls]

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[gathering her goodies]

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xoxo

makey valentine’s day cards

yayyyyyyy! it was our yearly ~ let’s makey valentine’s day cards for everyone!

i love doing this every year with olive and love that she has fun decorating all the cards. i can’t wait until ellie is old enough to do this with olive, it’ll be cuteness overload when that happens!

i rummaged out all the fun decor i had stored away and created a fun little space of heart explosions, lots of red, and crafty stuff galore. olive was so excited to dig into all the valentine’s day goodness. she started out with painting the heart cards but became restless and went crazy with the stickers. she totally loved putting all the festive stickers all over the cards and loved the little, what she called alien, poms! those were her most favorite items, although they were just for fun and wouldn’t mail very well in a flat envelope! ha!

ellie joined in on the fun for a bit but soon olive finished up all her valentine’s day cards in style. this mama then addressed and mailed them out to all her sweet little friends! we hope all her buddies enjoyed their sweet little surprise in the mail! olive wants to know if you will be her valentine?! muwah!

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[long story: i bought one heart envelope on sale {super cheap, yearssss ago} and ordered it to get embroidered with olive’s name. it arrived not embroidered! i was super upset but apparently i must have ‘deleted’ the personalization part of my order and that was why it arrived blank. i called the company and figured out what had happened and i wanted to order another one because i wanted olive’s name on it! the customer service person was soooooo nice and helpful and told me to not bother to send the other envelope back because it was so inexpensive and it wouldn’t be cost efficient to send it back. well, thought, what will i do with an extra envelope? i almost gave it away but ended up keeping and found it in my valentine’s day box of decor this year! how perfect?! i then got the second envelope personalized with ellie’s name! it was meant to be!]

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[copious options]

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[she loved her ‘aliens’]

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[painting away]

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[she did such a great job!]

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[i love her]

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[she’s so fun]

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[gahhhhhhh, i love these girls!]

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[i couldn’t help but post every pic of her making the cards…she was so into it!]

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[her favorite items from the day!!]

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xoxo

heart pies

mmmmmmm yum yum!

i made heart pies the other day in lieu of valentine’s day! every year, i try to think of something fun to make/bake in celebration of valentine’s day. thank goodness for pinterest!!! i definitely need it to be easy and fun, stress the easy part…’cause this mama ain’t got time for that. bahhhahaha!

i found this idea and thought, perfect! easy and fun! just what i wanted. i bought the ingredients and waited for a good moment in time {maybe ellie’s nap?} to execute this cute recipe!

you could either make your own pie crust or buy the store bought kind. it depends on how much time you have carved out for this type of activity. i was stressed for that so i did the latter but i highly recommend making your own pie crust…it’s more delicious that way {my favorite pie crust recipe is here}. i felt the store bought pie crust was a bit too bland, good but homemade is always better!

anyhoo, time was the factor so pre made pie crust it was! i rolled out the dough, cut out the hearts, filled each heart with cherry filling, buttered the edges, fluted the edges with a fork, then brushed the tops with egg, and then sprinkled it with sugar! phew! that was a mouthful!

the best part when i was making these pies? olive! she wanted to help and i was over the moon! it made my heart so happy to see her interested and so eager to help me put together the pies! she rolled out the dough, she cut out the hearts, she helped scoop out the pie filling, flute the edges, and she even cut the x’s onto the pies! yes, i gave her a sharp knife and she x’d all the pies! she did a great job handling the knife {with my guidance of course!} and i was so proud at how well she cut into the dough and made the x’s! such a big girl!

she was so excited that she had helped out with making the pies and was even more excited to watch the pies bake! i told her that once the pies were done, she could eat one and that just made her eyes sparkle! my heart was so full seeing her eyes light up when i gave her a sweet little cherry heart pie pop! she devoured every morsel! yum!

i definitely want to make these again…maybe round pie shapes instead? we had so much fun baking together, i can’t wait to conjure up some more creative treat ideas so olive and i can have more mommy and me time! yay!

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[ellie chillin’ while olive and i make pies]

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[mama’s little helper]

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[rolling the dough]

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[she loved pressing the dough into a heart shape]

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[she was so excited to see the heart shape she pressed!]

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[the sweetest face]

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[my favorite jelly jam]

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[spooning on the filling]

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[buttering the edges so the pie seals together]

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[sealing the heart]

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[the finished product!]

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[devouring her pie pop]

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[she’s the cutest]

xoxo

it’s a girl!

eep! happy valentine’s day!

yay! and it’s going to be another baby girl for us! yup! we are pregnant with a little baby girl! how exciting! i knew it! i knew it! when we announced our pregnancy on christmas eve and day to our families, i told everyone that it was a girl before i really even knew. haha!

it was definitely hard to keep it a secret. oh my. everyone and their grandma asks. i would definitely say being pregnant is a cause to not telling the truth. you deny that you’re pregnant the first twelve weeks…you tell people you don’t know the gender because you know peeps are going to harass you. it goes on and on but i am sooooo glad the cat’s out of the bag and we can talk about it, get excited, and plan for this baby girl!

i am all about olive having a sister! she does have grace but grace is so much older and unfortunately, not around as often as we would like. so, a sister close to olive’s age is going to be so much fun, so much fighting, so much craziness! i am looking forward to it. i feel like sisters are built in best friends. i think women really hold families together. i love our mother/daughter bond and i can’t wait for olive and her baby sister to do things together, hand in hand. i am ready for some crazy girl time!

as hc always says, it’s almost impossible for him to have a boy. he has a group of best friends that all have little girls. between the four of them, i think they all have 9-10 girls? and no boys! they call themselves the X men. haha!

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[my favorite! look at her pose]

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[i love these pics so much!!! obvs, this is not a maternity dress…haha, but even when i was skinny, these darn pockets still stuck out!]

well, happy valentine’s day indeed my friends! we are so excited to welcome our baby girl! we can’t wait to meet you sweet lady, we are so in love already!

xoxo