September 2021; our month in video

September has come and gone and you know what that means: a new video recap of our month! It was a family-filled month with school starting back up, hotel overnights, backyard camping, and birthday celebrations. Putting these videos together always make me appreciative of the life we have and the people in; we truly are lucky.

See what we’ve been up to!

AUGUST 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

August was full of more birthdays, mini getaways, and football games. Here’s a peek at our month and the life I’ve thankful for.

JUNE 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

Happy June ya’all!

This month was full of celebrations between Father’s Day and birthdays, backyard adventures, and bringing home our new Winnie girl.

Here’s a look at our month; hope you enjoy!

32 THINGS IVE LEARNED IN MY 32 YEARS

32 years old today, and there has been quite a few things that I’ve learned through the years. I’ve made good choices, stupid choices, and learned that sometimes the only explanation for your actions is, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” But through it all, I’ve learned.

And firsthand, from my own experience these are some of things that I’ve learned:

Seafood is still disgusting.

Your children pay attention to EVERYTHING that you do. Literally EVERYTHING. Don’t say anything in front of a 3-year old you don’t want repeated.

Soul mates do exist; believe me. I’m one of the lucky ones that found mine.

Having a big family is such a blessing. A benefit too; more kids to pay for a fancier nursing home when you’re older.

Life is much better with a golden retriever.

Work at a place where you actually like your boss and co-workers. Life is way too short to deal with Karens.

No matter how old you get, shots still suck.

Record your life. Have those memories to look back and smile at later.

Friends change and that’s okay. Sometimes the unlikely friends are the best friends.

Grey hairs come a whole lot sooner than you expect.

“One more episode” actually means four more episodes.

Hanger, it’s real.

Kitchens are made for dancing.

I will never be as happy as my two dogs.

McDonald’s Coke taste better than any other coke.

The person who invented Grocery Pick-up is a genius and all we mothers appreciate you.

At this age, you can pull a muscle in your sleep.

Costco is a very glorious place.

Airfryers are the bee’s knees.

Have date nights weekly with your significant other; make that time for each other.

Don’t get drunk and order food on Doordash; you will probably end up with $70+ of Chipotle on your front doorstep. Oops.

Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. That time is so valuable.

Even if it scares you, still do it. Try those new opportunities.

It is possible to wrongly cook macaroni & cheese…sorry kids.

Sometimes those college degrees aren’t worth it.

Chips and salsa are the best snack.

Dad jokes are actually funny.

Never turn down the opportunity to take a good nap.

Caffeine is your friend.

You don’t need to buy every single houseplant you see.

Getting forehead kisses will never get old.

You can never say “I love you” too much.

my thirtieth year.

with a new year and turning thirty-one, i always enjoy a new year to reflect, refresh, and cultivate my goals for the upcoming year.

last year i turned 30, and i thought it would be fun to reflect on my first year in my thirties. it was big year for me; lots of personal growth and finding true happiness with my life.

i hope you enjoy some of these thoughts, moments, and experiences that i’ve had over the past year.

life isn’t done alone. surround yourselves with those who lift you up.

and it’s okay to let go of friendships that aren’t worth your time. some friendships end, and that’s okay. focus on nurturing those close friendships; those are the ones that matter.

don’t let fear control you.

fear can hold you back from living the life you were meant to. don’t be a victim to what scares you; in fact do the things that you’re afraid of. i did so many things this year that scared me, and yes, they terrified me to make those leaps, but the result was so worth it.

sometimes it take thirty years to find your person.

guys. don’t settle. real love is worth waiting for. when you find that person, you’ll know.

age is just a number.

life flies by, and before you know it you’re turning 30. frankly, i was afraid. i was terrified. but 30 came and went and this year i think i realized more than ever, that age is just a number. my thirties are looking pretty great, and i’m just getting started.

travel often.

now is the time to do so.

be vulnerable.

that doesn’t mean you have to be an open book, but don’t be afraid to let people in sometimes. you’ll grow so much from it and even make incredible friendships along the way.

your family is pretty damn cool.

yup, i said it. as you grow older you realize just how much you’re like your parents; how much you enjoy spending time with them and your family.

stop stressing about that to-do list; slow the heck down.

life is too short, and i promise that to-do list will still be there.

thank you for reading; i truly hope that some of these reflections made you smile. i appreciate you joining me alongside this journey. cheers to 31!

puppy-themed birthday party | mahkena turns 8

people warn you that having kids is exhausting, but they forgot to mention how tiring it is to throw a kid’s birthday party. so much planning, so much time preparing for it, but after seeing how happy your child is during it…’oh so worth it.

mahkena turned 8 and we spent the weekend celebrating with friends and family. this year she asked for a puppy-themed birthday party. that girl and her love for animals is so my favorite!

pinterest came to the rescue once again; i found so many cute ideas for decoration ideas.

mahkena isn’t the biggest fan of cake so this year she asked for a donut “cake”. we also had “pupcakes” for those that didn’t or want donuts.

amazon had quite the array of dog birthday party decorations so we ordered a few of those and sprinkled them throughout the house.

for the party gift/activity for the kids, we bought a pack of plush dogs and i made up some pet adoption certificates. the kids got to pick a dog, name and adopt them, and then create them a beaded collar. mahkena really enjoyed it and it was fun to see some of the names the kids came up with to name their dogs.

mahkena’s friends and family spoiled her so much; she was grinning from ear to ear the entire time. it was well worth all the effort to making her day so special. i still can’t believe our spunky, free-spirited little girl is already 8.

thank you to all who came or wished her a happy birthday. and an even bigger thank you to my guy for being the best partner in giving our girl the best day.

february fun | slumber parties, valentine’s day, and the everyday adventures

the month of january seemed like it lasted half a dang year, and now february seems to be just FLYING by. as much as i’m looking forward to warmer weather, i wish it would slow down a bit just so i could enjoy each of these moments a little bit longer.

this month is only a little over halfway through, but i’d thought i’d share some of what we’ve been up to.

you guys, we adulted and got a costco membership. we’ve only just got it and have explored the store three times already. what are some of your must-haves from there? thus far, the street tacos are a must!

we had some family over for the superbowl. good food, drinks, and even better company. i was glad the chiefs won, but honestly, i would have been happy if anyone won that wasn’t the packers.

mahkena has always had such high envisions for her school’s valentine’s day party box, and this year was no different. she found an idea she liked online and we made it come to life. i enjoyed getting crafty with my little one.

kaylei had some family and friends over for a slumber party. based off all the photos, i’d say she had quite a lot of fun. there was lots of pizza, dancing, and even donuts in the morning for breakfast.

by far, this valentine’s day was my favorite. i spent it with my better half and we made a day out of it. we checked out new cars at the chicago auto show, stopped at one of my favorite spots for dinner, and just enjoyed the alone time. everyday, i’m thankful to be sharing my life with this guy.

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.

10 things i love sunday.

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hello friends, and happy sunday.

i came across a post like this recently, on a beautiful mess’ blog, where the 10 things i love sunday shared ten random things that are currently going on in your life, or things that you’re currently loving.

here are my ten:

1. my coworkers

not many people can genuinely say that their coworkers are their friends; fortunately; i’m one of the lucky ones. i’m so appreciative to have these girls in my life. i’m always guaranteed to have lots of laughs when they’re around, and lately, they’ve been some of my biggest supporters.

2. fall felt fedora hats

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i’m typically not a hat person, but fall fedora hats might have just changed that.  they dress up any outfit, and a huge benefit: they tame down my afro. it’s a win-win.

3. campground trick or treating

every year we go trick or treating at the campground my parents are usually visiting. this year we had a unicorn and a cubs player that got carted around in the golf cart. it had rained previously in the day, making it a little bit of a muddy mess, but what fun is camping without it.  its been a fun tradition with my girls and i enjoy all the adult alcoholic treats too.

4. country music

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i’ve always listened to many different music genres, but lately country music has always been playing. especially mr. kane brown; a recent favorite of mine.

5. the fall season

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i’ve always loved the fall season, and this year is no different. the cooler weather, the autumn scents, and the fall wardrobe…just a few of my favorite things.

6. watching my youngest attend cheer clinic

my youngest has always loved gymnastics and cheerleading, but has always been too afraid to try them out. every year our town’s high school cheerleader’s put on a cheer clinic for those that would like to participate and i finally convinced her to do it this year.

they spent one evening after school learning two routines and a dance, and then performed it during the halftime of the friday night football game. she was so proud to wear her new shirt and matching big bow and show us all that she learned. that little girl’s smile is so contagious!

7. coffee

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need i say more?

8. my new game day hoodie

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i am obsessing over my new game day hoodie that i ordered off of a shop on etsy.  the material is so soft! i’m going to be definitely ordering more in all different styles.

9. amazon 

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amazon has been my lifesaver lately, especially for my girl’s halloween costumes. this year they will be where’s waldo and a bunny, and nowhere has them! amazon came in clutch once again!

10. watching the bears game with friends

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last weekend i went and joined a coworker at a local bar to watch the bears football game and had such great time! football, beer, food, and great company…how all sundays should be spent!