and i’m thirty!

holy hell. it’s here. i’m officially thirty.

and i think i’m excited. not what i ever thought i would say about turning thirty, the big 3 – 0, a new decade, but it’s here and i’m ready.

this year, as I move into this next decade of life, i’m taking a little bit of a different approach to things. i want to love more; not only my family and friends, but myself too. i want to hold close the little moments that fall into the every day life routine. i want to travel more, have adventure, and see the world, but i also want to come home and celebrate the life that i’ve built there. i want to live fully in every. single. moment without rushing to the next.

but most of all, i want to appreciate thirty and the time that i have lived. it’s so humbling to look back at the life i’ve lived and see all that’s already been written and see how blessed i am. to see how much i’ve grown and learned. to see how i’ve become so strong and ready for the world.

there are some people out there who don’t get the opportunity for one more birthday with a loved one, so instead of hiding and dragging my feet into thirty, i’ve got my arms open and i’m ready.

join along on my 30th chapter because in this chapter, i’m exactly where i’m supposed to be.

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the summer of 2019: my bucket list.

fall is and will always be my favorite season, but after some long cold months, summer comes in as a close second. i love what summer brings…sunshine, cookouts, adventure.

this summer is going to be different. it’s going to be better because i’m spending it with people who make me feel alive, and that’s the way life should be. it may include a whole lot of netflixing and just being at home, but that’s what i look forward to the most. a care-free summer with my favorite people.

so cheers, cheers to the best summer yet!

a few of these things are planned, and some are just some realistic, manageable ideas that i’ve put down on my summer bucket list that i’d like to do:

  • be creative – i haven’t spent a lot of time this year doing what i love most: creating. i hope to get some time in this summer to paint.
  • visit a zoo – always one of my girl’s favorites.
  • go camping – tenting, campfires, and stargazing. that’s been on my list for years! i want to make it happen this summer.
  • have a picnic – pack a lunch and go enjoy the sun. i’ve never experienced this. i want to.
  • messy twister – paint and some summer cocktails. why not?
  • the obvious: go to a cubs game – and lots of them.
  • go to a drive-in movie – something that has always been on my bucket list and still have yet to cross off.
  • hit up the madison farmer’s market one saturday morning – always a favorite of mine!

what about you? what do you have planned this summer?

if we were having coffee. round four.

life has been a little busy, but you know what? that’s okay. i’ve enjoyed the adventure and creating all these new memories lately.

want to know whats been happening in my life? perfect. pull up a chair and grab whatever you’re drinking; i’ve got some things to share with you.

if we were having coffee, i’d tell you that i haven’t had a lot of coffee in my cup lately. more so tequila. or vodka. i promise you i’m not an alcoholic; i’ve just been enjoying my recent trips away.

i enjoy my job, and lately it has given me a lot of opportunity to travel. it’s been nice to get away from small-town living for while and carry less stresses.

if we were having coffee, i’d tell you that i moved. i had mentioned previously, but the beginning of the year was chaotic with life changes, and even though its been quite the ride, they’re what was needed. including a new place to hang my keys at night. #parkitonmarket

i’ve now got this tiny little house and as much as i worried that it would be too small; it’s perfect. it’s homey and we’re all close. plus, mazi girl seems to agree.

if we were having coffee, i’d tell you about how my girls finished up their soccer season. let’s face it…they hate running. so maybe it wasn’t the best idea to follow in their mother’s footsteps and play. oops.

will they play again next year? probably not. when i asked my youngest if she’d like to sign up for it again next year…her response? “if i can sit on the bench and watch the whole time.” welp, atleast you’re honest mahkena.

if we were having coffee, i would share with you how my littles got to experience “bring your child to work day” at my work. kaylei and mahkena sure enjoyed themselves meeting my coworkers, a guided tour of the building, and learning what I do.

we spent the morning working hard, ate lunch in the park, and made sure to make a pit stop on the way home for some froyo. we get home and kaylei makes the comment, “mom, I want to work where you do when I grow up, but maybe not dress as “fancy”. so not dresses. got it, kid.

celebrating us on mother’s day.

raising kids is hard. the thought of raising a child to have confidence, curiosity, knowledge, manners, purpose and empathy sounds both terrifying and exhausting, but i’d like to think i’m doing an okay job at it. like so many moms, i can’t count how many times i have doubted my ability to be successful and to have all the answers.

but kaylei and mahkena, seeing your smiles, your joy, and your big hearts is all the proof i need to know that i’m doing something right.

i’ve realized that mother’s day is not about me at all; it is a day to celebrate us, together.

i owe you girls a thank you for making me a better person, for giving me greater purpose and for showing me what life is all about. i cannot wait to experience all the wonderful things you’ll do in the world, but please… take your time my loves, let’s not rush this beautiful journey.

there’s nothing stronger than a mother’s love, baby girls. i’ll love you forever, to the moon and back.

love, your perfectly imperfect mother

*a huge thank you to my dear friend chelsea from chelsea marie photography for capturing these photos that i’ll forever cherish

last minute gift ideas for mother’s day.

sometimes it’s so hard to shop for those special women in our lives, and being a mom myself, what i could use more than anything on certain days is just alone time to catch up on some zzz’s or enjoy the peace and quiet. simply just offering her some of that time is honestly better than gifting her any material item sometimes.

but if you’re still wanting to give her something and haven’t done your shopping…

two words: amazon prime. it will become your best friend.

here are some favorites that i have stumbled upon and should help spark some shopping inspiration:

diffuser and essential oils

bath bombs

fresh flowers

kindle e-reader

custom jewelry

weighted blanket

hope this guide gave you some ideas of what to give your mom on her special day. and above all us, make sure you tell that woman you love her.

a photo journal – easter at the campground

growing up with weekends at a campgound wasn’t always fun…summer heat, more than enough bugs, and the lack of your friends being there to hang out with. honestly, growing up i didn’t like that my parents had a seasonal site at a local campground and we spent nearly every. single. weekend there for a majority of my life.

that was until i moved out and had kids of my own. now i enjoy the same campground i grew up at. it’s peaceful; it’s quiet, and my girls get to run around and burn off their never-ending energy.

my parent’s still have a seasonal site at that exact same campground. i love that they still do and i can bring my girls there to do some of the traditions that i always did. like easter, for one.

the past few years, if and when it’s nice out we go there for easter and enjoy a cookout and my girls get to enjoy an easter egg hunt. this year was no different.

us girls were in charge of bringing dessert this year, so we chose to bring our favorite funfetti cupcakes which meant for a morning of baking. and with two girls, LOTS of pink frosting.

it was one of the first nicer days of the year so we were all really excited to get there and enjoy the weather. dad had the grill going, mom was in the camper frying up some potatoes, and the girls were eager to hurry up and eat so they could get on with their easter egg hunt.

after being very spoiled by the easter bunny, the girls and i enjoyed some time at the park before heading home.

children only have one childhood. make it memorable and fill with traditions.