a photo journal – summer 19

the summer of 2019 is officially over for me as my girls have started back up with school. this summer had its lows, it’s highs. and everything in between. but looking back at all the pictures that i’ll be sharing in this post, it was the best summer of my life.

so many life changes occurred, so many new adventures, but i smiled more than i ever have before. this summer is one i’m definitely going to miss.

throughout this post i’m going to be sharing lots of photos from this summer and telling you all about the things i did.

that being said, this was my summer of 2019.

i brought in the very beginning of summer by turning 30. i struggled with the idea of turning thirty so much, but it truly has been the best year of my life thus far. being thirty, i see a woman who has grown and changed so significantly. i can see a shift in my confidence, my purpose, my passions. most importantly i see a woman who has learned the importance of patience, kindness, an open heart, and love. i love this chapter of thirty so much.

i got to celebrate my thirtieth at one of my favorite places with one of my favorite people. cubbies, beer, and dancing; truly my best birthday yet.

my girls got to come to my work for “bring your child to work day”. they got to see a day in the life of what i do and enjoyed it so much. i love working for a company that offers so much to their employees and their families.

i got the opportunity to travel to austin for work and made a little getaway out of it. the whole experience was amazing and if you haven’t been to austin, i’d highly recommend it. i can’t wait to go back!

i’ve never been kayak fishing and jumped at the chance to go one day this summer with my dad. we didn’t catch anything, but it surely was relaxing and memories that i’ll have forever with him.

our family reunion took place this summer in missouri. we only get together for it every five years, so it was something we were all really looking forward to. i’m already looking forward to the next one and seeing everyone together again.

we celebrated kaylei turning 11 with our closest friends and family. she enjoyed her ‘art’ party and sure got spoiled.

we spent a weekend up in minneapolis to catch a preseason game of the vikings. if you’ve never been to an nfl game, go! the whole experience was so surreal and something i already want to do again. and to set the record straight…i’m still a bear’s fan.

and lastly, i moved. new town, new adventures. and boy, am i sure excited to write this chapter.

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finding ME time in motherhood.

if you’re a mom, you know EXACTLY what i’m referring to. there is no denying that motherhood is the best job in the world, but it can be TOUGH. there is absolutely nothing like it; you will never feel so much love, guilt, stress, or anxiety from any job aside from that of a being a mother.

with all the hustle and bustle, and losing your mind a few times here and there, let’s talk about what this post is all about…you time! it’s absolutely a must, and as guilty as you may feel taking that time for yourself, it’s so important to do so. moms…you’ve got to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of anybody else.

so here, i thought i’d share a few ways that i enjoy sneaking off for some me time:

relax in a bubble bath

this is my go to. even if i have to wait until my girls are in bed, i look forward to it so much. a bath bomb, a good-smelling candle, and some music. give me twenty minutes and i get out feeling so calm and refueled.

journal

i really enjoy writing. it lets me get all my thoughts out of my head and on to paper. simply just a way for me to decompress and de-stress.

drive time

i have a pretty decent commute to and from work every day so i’ve learned to quite enjoy that time alone, especially when i can have the windows down and blast some of my favorite music.

errands

yes. i said it…errands. “going out” for me now is running errands. alone.

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?

a photo journal – wndr museum

i encourage you to seek adventure. fill your life with it and have stories to tell. we live in such a big, beautiful world and most people live and die in the same corner in which they were born and never get to experience any of it. don’t be most people. life is meant for spectacular adventures.

i was in dire need of some time with friends and adventure. so my friends chelsea, brandi, and i decided to take a day trip into the city. to avoid traffic and parking downtown, we took the train in while enjoying drinks and catching up.

we were all hungry and decided to grab some dinner at one of chicago’s staples, lou malnati’s. the three of us hadn’t hung out in quite a while so it was really nice to chat for a while over good food and some margaritas.

i was super excited for our plans after dinner; we had purchased tickets to check out the wndr museum located in the west loop. walking through the doors of the museum, i knew immediately that i had found a new favorite activity…pop-up museums.

if you haven’t heard about the wndr museum and exactly what it is, it is a new pop-up in chicago, and it’s main attraction is Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room.

the wndr museum opened in september 2018 as a temporary art exhibit, but due to its popularity, it has now earned a permanent location. the website describes its theme as a place where science meets art.  

in an effort to maintain its popularity and presence in the city, the museum will close periodically to assemble new exhibits.

wndr is a space where beauty and imagination meet. each of the rooms is filled with illusion and beauty , making your mind wander.

there were lots of opportunities to leave your own mark throughout the museum and contribute to the artwork.

we spent about an hour there, and then headed back to the train station to end our girl’s night. i would recommend everyone to go to the wndr museum; it really was such a neat experience and lots of “instagram-worthy” photo opportunities.

check out the awesome video time out chicago captured of the wndr museum below.

if we were having coffee. round 3.

long time no talk! i feel like i haven’t posted in forever, but it really hasn’t been that long. two months, maybe.

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but let’s face it, life got on top of me. the beginning of the year has been chaotic with life changes, and even though its been quite the ride, they’re what was needed.

“making a big life change is pretty scary. but you know what is even scarier? regret.”

 

but hey! i’m back! i have things to say. posts to post.

so let’s get to what this post is about…pull up a chair and grab whatever you’re drinking; i’ve got some more to share with you.

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if we were having coffee, i’d tell you all about how my youngest just turned 7, and i still can’t believe it. there are days where she’s more sour than sweet, but i wouldn’t change a thing.  she’s becoming into her own personality a lot lately and i’m really love her free spirit.  she’s got such a good heart,  is creative, and makes me laugh till i cry often. it’s hard for me to accept that my baby girl isn’t really my baby anymore, but i can’t wait to watch her grow up and become the best version of herself.

if we were having coffee, i’d want to tell you about something that i did that i’ve always been hesitant to, but just took the leap. and i can’t say this  enough…i’m so glad that i did. i booked myself a boudoir photo shoot with Leigh Photography (Rockford, IL).

i’ve had so many people express their opinions about my choice to do so; some were extremely supportive, and some…not so much.  but, if other people’s opinions affected half of the things i chose to do, i would have missed out on so many amazing opportunities and adventures.

Alyssa, owner and photographer of Leigh Photography, said it best…

“Life is short, do the photo shoot. If I had one piece of advice to my potential Boudoir babes, that would be it! I don’t care what age, size, color, height, bra size, or nationality you are. Boudoir is for everyone. Everyone deserves a little ‘feel good’ action! Do the photo shoot!”

if we were having coffee, i’d share with you all about my recent visit to the Wndr Museum in Chicago.  never heard of the wndr museum and curious what it is? it’s the newest experiental museum in the city; a place where art meets science. for all social media users, it’s full of perfect photo ops, including 19 art installations.

my friend and i took the train in and met our friend from wisconsin at the train station.  we made a night out of it by grabbing dinner at one of chicago’s staples, lou malnatis pizzeria, had a few drinks, and then ventured to the museum. if you haven’t checked it out already, i’d highly recommend taking a trip to wndr.

if we were having coffee, i’d rave all about how my girl’s rocked their basketball season this year. and honestly, i’m sad that it’s over. both of my girls played this year, and i LOVED being their biggest fan on the sidelines cheering them on every saturday morning. they both said they’re playing again next year, but until then, i’ll be their cheerleader through soccer season.

if we were having coffee, i’d chat all about how lucky i feel to have the support system that i do. days have certainly been wild lately, and some have been extremely hard. but i truly believe that those who really matter, have been there for me through it all and helped kept my head above water. i’d much rather be with them through any storm, then warm and safe all alone. only surround yourself with people who lift you higher.

30 before 30.

 

i’m a lover of lists and enjoy being able to cross things off of them once they’re complete. it keeps me on track and motivated to get things done.

me turning 30 is scarily just around the corner for me; i’m already dreading it so much.

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i’ll be 30 in less than 8 months and am not sure why i’m just now sharing my 30 before 30 list with all of you. but what time is better than now?

1. create a blog

2. visit another country

3. go on a plane

4. get a tattoo

5. buy a house

6. take a pottery class

7. plant a garden

8. go to a nfl football game

9. get my bachelor’s degree

10. see the ocean

11. visit an art museum

12. watch the sunrise and the sunset in the same place

13. watch a movie at a drive-in

14. swim under the stars

15. take a wine and painting class

16. take a yoga class

17. find an active hobby…cycling or running

18. go on a girl’s trip

19. have a booth at a craft show

20. learn to do a handstand

21. do something that terrifies me

22. dye my hair a different color

23. ride in a side-by-side

24. go on a road trip with no planned destination

25. go on a scavenger hunt

26. journal weekly.

27. let go of a floating lattern

28. do a wine tasting

29. pay for a stranger’s meal

30. kick off my 30’s with an adventure

*those in bold i’ve been able to accomplish

august favorites.

how is it possible that i’m posting august favorites already? i feel like july just ended and i was dreading summer coming to an end. august has been busy with preparing for my girls to start back up with school…first and fifth grade this year; my babies are getting old!

i wanted to share with all of you a few of my favorites from this month; a few new, a few old:

bath and body works foaming hand sanitizer

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bath and body works came out with a new line of hand sanitizers; and these ones are foaming. i picked this one up from their new fall scent line and have found myself just using it because it smells amazing. it’s a perfect size to keep in my purse and my girls love using it as well.

rae dunn

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i’ve always been a huge fan of rae dunn’s pottery pieces, but much more lately since she’s come out with her new desk collection.  i’ve bought all of the one’s i own from marshalls, tjmaxx, and homegoods, but you can also find her work here.

r.h. sin poetry

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i’ve always been drawn to poetry, the feelings and emotions that are put on that paper can be so relatable. lately, ive been reading a lot of pieces written by r.h. sin and have found so much comfort in them. you can purchase some of his work here.

t-sign easel

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i lost my last easel, yes i know, dumb, but i have no idea where it went. so in the market for a new one for my craft room, i came across this one on amazon. it had great reviews, and my favorite part is that it can be converted into a table top easel.