Need fall bucket list ideas?

ya’ll, the best time of the year is here…FALL! i’m all in for cooler weather, crunchy leaves, and spooky season! what about you? do you have anything fun planned this fall?

need some inspo? don’t worry, i got you covered! check out my list below for some fun ideas to truly enjoy this time of year!

  • a sport’s fan? watch lots and lots of football. one of my favorite parts about fall is the return of the nfl season. i love cozying up on the couch on a sunday and watching football all day long. whose your team?
  • maybe an odd time to do it, but go camping! pack up the family and enjoy the outdoors and what this weather has to bring. my favorite campground in the northern illinois area? this place, by far!

  • carve some pumpkins! as much as you hate the mess of pumpkin seeds scattered on the counters and floors, the kids usually enjoy it so just do it!

what’s on your fall bucket list?

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.

family halloween costumes

who doesn’t love a good family halloween costume? i’m all about being that ‘cheesy’ family with matching halloween costumes, but with 6 of us it gets a little challenging to find ones that fit us all,

last year we all dressed up as minions and it was difficult to find some in all of our sizes, so this year to make things a little simpler we decided on going with a superhero theme. that way we could all find costumes in our sizes, but still have the same theme.

i thought i’d share photos of our day trick-or-treating at the campground, and share links of where we bought of each of them in case you decided to dress up too!

each of the little girls dressed up as batgirls, one in pink and one in purple. they both looked so cute with their capes and bright colors.

i wish you could have seen mason’s face when he opened his spiderman costume. there were days straight that he just begged to put it on and wear it around. we found his costume at costco, and now are only wishing we got him other superhero costumes too for him to dress up and play in throughout the year.

mason was stoked when his big sis wanted to be spidergirl so they could match, the two of them together always make me smile!

we’ve already got ideas flowing for what we’ll be dressing up as next year and are already looking forward to it.

will you and your family be dressing up this year?

a recap of our year – 2019.

2019 started off challenging, but has ended being one of the very best years. i’m taking this year as something that i will look back to, and be grateful for where it took me.

and in 2020, i’m ready for more, more of this happy life.

i took a few minutes to look through my year in photographs, and wanted to share some of my favorite moments with you.

little miss mahkena turned 7; it’s so hard to believe she’s already that old. we celebrated with a disneyland-themed birthday with some of our friends and family, and that girl sure got spoiled.

the girls and i moved into our own little place in town. we knew it was only temporary so we weren’t too picky when looking for a place to rent, but it sure turned into quite the perfect little home for us three, and mazi girl.

i had a work conference in austin, texas that i had the opportunity to attend. john was able to join; we went down a few days early and made a vacation out of it. it was so nice to get away together and enjoy some texas sunshine.

welp, it was inevitable. this was the year i turned 30. and as much as i dreaded it, it turned out to be the best birthday ever. we spent it in chicago and attended a cubbies game.

every five years, my family has our family reunion and this june it was held near st. louis. we drove up the wednesday before to spend a bit more time with family. we rented this little cabin and spent our days swimming, at the zoo, and just catching up with everyone. we’re already looking forward to the next one.

and just like that kaylei turned 11. before we know it we’re going to have a teenager and i’m so not ready! we rented the community room in town and had an art-themed birthday party. i loved that some of her friends from school were able to join us.

the girls and i moved up to roscoe, in with john and the kids. we were super exited about the move and as a little nervous as they were, i think the girls were excited to start new schools.

i got to attend my first nfl game, and even though it wasn’t the chicago bears, i thorougly enjoyed watching the vikings play. i’m already looking forward to going to another one, and hopefully soon!

we were excited about trick-or-treating this year. with 6 of us and everyone being a good sport about the entire family dressing up, we had some fun. we went as minions for trick-or-treating at the campground and went with grinch, dr. suess, and winnie the pooh characters for the night of halloween.

with the holidays coming up and needing photos for our christmas card and wanting new canvases to hang up within our home, we had leigh photography take our family photos this fall. she did such an amazing job at capturing us all.

we spent thanksgiving together with our families and made sure to continue with our tradition of shopping with all the crazies on black friday. needing anything or not, i love that we still continue to go every year and enjoy all the people watching.

we ended the year with lots of family time for christmas. we made sure to take part of all the holiday festivities from cookie-baking to wearing matching pajamas. there is nothing better as a parent than watching the joy on your kids faces on christmas morning. having us all together is my favorite.

2020, this is our year.

a photo journal – halloween 2019

along with my favorite season, comes one of my favorite holidays. it’s a great kick-off for the rest of the year’s festivities and as an adult, it’s a fun excuse for us adults to get dressed up.

this year we all took part in two separate trick-or-treating events, so we went with two different family costumes.

a few weeks before halloween, we took the kids to the campground that i grew up at and walked them around for trick-or-treating. finding costumes for the six of us was a bit tricky, but once they were all on, it was absolutely worth it. i must say so myself, we make a pretty cute minion family.

the weather was less than cooperative, and even though we all got soaked and muddy from all the rain, the kids got spoiled with lots of candy.

halloween, take two. this one was the real deal. and again, the weather wasn’t very cooperative, but this time with snow.

kaylei had already decided to dress up as winnie the pooh, which made it super easy and i just grabbed her a onesie at walmart; perfect for the cold weather.

the two little gals were set on being cindy lou who and the grinch, so once that was decided, i tried finding something relatable and went with the dr. suess theme and ordered john, mason, and i thing costumes.

the family came over and we rounded all the kids up for trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. the snow and cold definitely didn’t stop them from getting loaded up with lots more candy.

i feel that before we know it, our kids are going to strongly resist wanting to join us with family costumes, so until then, i’m going to enjoy every moment of it.

halloween 2019, less than ideal weather and all, was my favorite one yet.

why i love fall.

there is no denying that i love fall. everything about it from the crisp autumn breeze flowing in through the open windows, cuddles under the cozy blankets, and football. how can you not love this season?

before we know it, we will be flipping our calendars and the cold winter months will be upon us. in the mean time, i wanted to share a peak into my fall and some of my favorite activities that made it so memorable.

trips to the farmer’s market

i love everything about farmer’s markets. the atmosphere, the fresh flowers, the food trucks. this year i got to take my oldest for a bit of one-on-one time and we enjoyed that time together with some delicious tacos and picking out a pumpkin for our front porch.

family halloween costumes

yes, i’m that cheesy mom and have always wanted to be that family that dresses up together. for this year’s trick-or-treating at the campground we dressed up as minions and the kids got spoiled with tons of candy.

pumpkin carving

you can’t have fall without some cute pumpkins sitting on your front porch. as messy as the process is, carving them is all the fun, especially when you’re doing it with your favorites.

adult trick-or-treating

yup. if you haven’t experienced adult trick-or-treating yet, you’re missing out. i look forward to this event every year with my parents at a campground that they visit, but this year was extra special and definitely going to be hard to beat.

decorating for fall

i love all that fall has to bring, especially the home decor. we decorated the front porch with our carved pumpkins and a few things that have been picked up from craft fairs. our table was also festive with the fresh bouquet of flowers we brought home from the farmers market.

now that i’ve shared some of my favorite memories from this fall, what have been some of yours?

a photo journal – 2018, looking back gratefully

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“without rain, there are no flowers”.

2018 was really, really tough for me…so many ups and downs, adventures and surprises, challenges, and successes.

but i’m taking this year as something that i will look back to, and be grateful for where it took me. and 2019, i’m ready to live.

as exhausting as this year was, there will be always be moments that i’ll be grateful for. i took a few minutes to look through my year in photographs, and wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

2018 began with my first trip on a plane and out of the country. i was given the opportunity to photograph a friend’s wedding in mexico, all while spoiling myself with some cocktails and much needed time on the beach.

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kaylei has really enjoyed playing basketball, and as 2018 rolled in, her second season came to an end. i enjoy watching her play so much, twice as much as she enjoys showing off her well-deserved medal.

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we took the girls on our first big family vacation. the beginning of the trip was spent in virginia beach, where they got to experience the ocean for the first time.

the second part of the trip, we drove out to washington, dc and did all the typical touristy things.

the girls began a new school year.  it’s crazy to believe that we already have a fifth and first grader!

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we enjoyed the summer with friends including our fair share of cubbies games, cookouts, and county fairs.

my grandma turned 75 in september and my mom, dad, sister, and i took a quick trip down to missouri to help throw her a birthday party. a bunch of our family came and i really enjoyed the mini vacation with my parents and sister.

one of my favorite memories from this year was the mother-daughter trip the girls and i took to the apple orchard this fall. so many laughs and pictures taken; these are moments that i’ll never forget.

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as always, halloween is one of the girl’s favorite holidays. 2018 was no different with our very own where’s waldo and bunny rabbit.

the first snowfall this winter and the girls had to use the opportunity to catch some snowflakes and play in the snow.

kaylei and mahkena had a quick visit with santa, and for the first time, mahkena wasn’t terrified of him.

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2018 basketball season began in december and this year, mahkena followed in her big sister’s foot steps and decided to play too.

christmas came and went by so fast, but not before lots of eating, gift-opening, and time with family.

2018, thank you for all the lessons. 2019, i am ready.

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!