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.

JULY 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

July has come and went; and summer is almost over! As much as I hate watching summer go, I love all the memories we’ve been making thus far.

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

JUST A LITTLE CATCHUP; OUR LIFE LATELY

hey everyone! i hope you are all enjoying your summer months; can you believe fall is almost near? i figured we were long overdue for a catchup and i had a few minutes to draft something up.

i feel like our family is always up to something; so this is what our life has looked like a bit lately…

IOWA CABIN TRIP

over memorial day weekend my parents typically go to a campground in iowa with some of our family friends. this year we had the kids and made a family vacation out it. this was probably our first one yet all six of us together and we’re already looking forward to the next.

we rented the cutest little cabin nestled on the campground’s pond, perfect for fishing and letting the kids play on the beach. during the days we were there we did lots of playing at the park, dipping our toes in the water at the beach, and fished with papa. by the time the sun went down, the kids were all pretty tired so we’d enjoy a campfire here or there and then settle in for bed. it was the perfect little getaway and are already looking forward to going back next year.

4TH OF JULY

4th of july is always one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. it’s a perfect holiday to celebrate and really gets the summer going. this year we decided to have family over for a backyard party. we rented a large bounce house/water slide and broke all the kiddie pools. we spent most of the day in the sun and were all so exhausted by the end. i’d call that a successful day!

PUP-DATE!

winnie jo is almost 16 weeks now and is growing like crazy! i’m really trying to enjoy her still being on the smaller side and a big furball, but man, everyday we can tell she’s getting better. mazi and maci have really adjusted to her being around and are constantly playing. it helps out out so much by tuckering her out and lets us get a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. she usually wakes up only once or twice at night now to be let out, versus the every-hour schedule she had when we first brought her home. going from two to three dogs was certainly an adjustment, but she’s fit in quite perfectly and we love giving her her FUR-ever home.

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.

EASTER 2021

i hope you all had a wonderful easter whether you were celebrating at home relaxing, around the table with family, or alone. we were so lucky this year with amazing weather here in illinois; it always makes the day a whole lot more enjoyable when the sun is shining.

this year was a little different for us as we only had the two littles with us while the older girls were spending the holiday with their dad’s family. we missed them bunches and can’t wait to celebrate with them when they come home.

we started our morning searching around the house for easter baskets. it only took a few trips around each room for the kids to finally find them and i think they were more than happy with the surprises the bunny left them…new jammies, shoes, swimsuits, toys, and candy. they sure got spoiled!

the four of us made sure to sneak in some quick family photos in our matching outfits before leaving the house. i still can’t get over how adorable the kids looked with their hair all done and in spring colors.

aubrey and i got our matching dresses from amazon; you can find them here. i was pleasantly surprised with the quality of them and how comfortable they were. us girls sure loved that they had pockets too!

we went to family’s for a big breakfast and it was perfect. the food was delicious, the mimosas were tasty, and being able to spend that time with family was my favorite.

the kid’s got to do an easter egg hunt around the house after breakfast and finished with buckets full of candy and big smiles on their faces.

the rest of the day we just spent time together and enjoyed the nice weather with a cook out and a family walk. we had a great easter and sure hope you did too!

OUR CHRISTMAS: 2020

i hope you all had a warm, wonderful christmas! our’s was lovely and spent at home.

i feel like with all the anticipation and excitement of christmas, it seems to take forever for the day to finally be here and then once it’s here, it’s gone in the blink of an eye.

this year was a little different for us because the kids spent christmas morning with their other parents, so we didn’t wake up to little giggles and kids jumping on our bed waking us up so they could open presents. it wasn’t full of chaos of wrapping paper flying everywhere and the house was a whole lot more quiet. but john and i enjoyed the morning together and we were okay knowing that the kids were probably having the best time at their other homes.

around 10am the kids came home, faces filled with smiles and telling us all about their mornings. they were happy to be home and even more happy after seeing more presents piled for them under the tree. we all changed into our matching family christmas pajamas and nestled around the tree.

the kids sure got spoiled with things that they wanted and were eager to start playing with it all.

but john and i had one more big surprise from them that we had been hiding from them for weeks.

if you know our girls, you know they have been begging for a bunny for YEARS. we surprised them with a new addition to the family that they’re absolutely head over heels with already.

welcome to the family, Miss. Bun Bun.

for the next hour or so the kids got to play with all their new toys and had us running around like crazy putting everything together. that time was my favorite; just knowing we were all together and just truly so happy.

mom, dad, and my sister came over early in the afternoon to do our round of christmas. again, the kids got spoiled rotten, even the pups!

after all gifts were open the rest of the family showed up for our last round of christmas. i love how large our immediate family is and there is something so special seeing the kids with their cousins.

after all the gifts were opened, we started dinner and had quite the variety! everything was so delicious and our bellies were all very happy.

after dinner, everyone started to wind down and head home. once again, the house was quiet. the kids all were occupied with their new gifts and john and i relaxed and reflected on how great the day was.

from our family to yours, we hope you had a very merry christmas a wishing you all a wonderful new year!

2020 Christmas Decorating

hey there! i hope you’ve been enjoying the first few weeks of december so far. we’ve been keeping busy around the house, nestled in trying to stay warm as the cold front is starting to roll in.

if you’ve followed along for at least the past year, you know what this post is going to be about already. christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year and i always try to start decorating for it first chance i get. this year was no exception; we got the home all “christmas-ified” the day before thanksgiving, with our new matching christmas family pajamas worn proudly.

hope you enjoy a quick scroll though our holiday home decor for the year…

we decorate two trees; one we use for all family ornaments. one day when our kids are grown and have families of their own, i can give them their ornaments as keepsakes. until then, i’m so grateful for the paper ornaments, unicorns, and dinosaurs. in my opinion, there is nothing cozier than a tree covered with lights filled to the brim with family ornaments.

speaking of family ornaments; we get every year and this year’s was very fitting.

our second tree is upstairs and glistens in the main living area. we enjoy the bright lights and matching buffalo plaid decorations that is scattered throughout our home. having multiple trees is my favorite and i’m sure we will slowly add more throughout the years.

decorating the christmas tree is one of my favorite traditions; it’s always just so special having the family do it all together. the boys always have the responsibility of putting the star up at the end and i smile so big every time i see mason so happy to do so.

we scatter our stockings along with the dogs stockings on both our mantle and stair railing. i love adding bits of garland and twinkling lights on the railing.

and that, friends and family, is at least a partial tour of our christmas-ified house! happy holidays!

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.

our christmas: 2019.

i feel like with all the anticipation and excitement of christmas, it seems to take forever for the day to finally be here and then once it’s here, it’s gone in the blink of an eye.

i can’t believe the holidays are over; and with this year being even more special, i hate thinking about how fast it went.

we had a busy few days…wrapping last minute gifts, preparing the house to host, and the holiday events, but i would’t change them for the world.

christmas eve is easily one of my favorite days to spend with family and continue with our traditions. we had the morning to get last minute things done around the house, and then around lunch time family started showing up.

for lunch, we had baked mostacciolli, ham sandwhiches, salad, garlic bread, and the most delicious desserts. all the kids were super excited about opening gifts, so as soon as lunch was over, we let them all open their presents.

i’d say they were all pretty happy with what they got based off of the grins on their faces.

i love that all the cousins got to spend christmas eve together and create those memories.

around dinner time, my family came over for our annual christmas eve traditions. we typically always choose something fairly simple and non-traditional to make for dinner…this year we decided on homemade pizzas. for being the first year, and never attempting them before, they turned out really well and the kids even enjoyed them.

every christmas eve since i can remember, we’ve always opened a few gifts from family members. we sit around the tree and one-by one open one. it’s always enjoyable to see what each other got.

before we knew it we, were watching christmas movies and realized it was time to get the kiddos to bed. but not before they put out milk and cookies for santa, and carrots for the reindeer. i just love how excited they get for this!

once the kiddos were all tucked in and sound asleep, the adults stayed up and had game night. we played one of our favorite card games well into christmas morning.

we went to bed with everything prepared for the next morning, with plenty of gifts under the tree. we were going to have some very happy kids in the morning.

i swear i’m only a morning person on christmas, and apparently our kids are too, because they sure were bright-eyed and ready to go super early.

family stayed over the night before so as soon as everyone was awake and ready to go, we all sat around the living room and started with our stockings. probably an unpopular opinion, but stockings are one of my favorite parts about christmas.

our family probably does it a little different than most, but we then went around one -by- one and each opened a gift, starting with the youngest first. i love that we do it that way just so we can see everyone open what they got, especially the kids.

we spent a good two hours opening gifts, laughing, and enjoying the looks on the kid’s faces when they got something that they really wanted. the aftermath of gifts and wrapping paper in our living room was no joke.

before everyone left, we made some cinnamon rolls for breakfast and enjoyed the rest of christmas morning together.

christmas 2019, was one for the books and without a doubt my favorite one thus far. i loved spending all the time with family and making memories that we’ll cherish forever.

from our family to yours, we hope you had a very merry christmas a wishing you all a wonderful new year!

#famjams: matching holiday pajamas for the family.

i’m all about making this christmas the best one thus far for our family; starting new traditions and keeping up with the old.

i’ve always pictured waking up christmas morning and having the entire family in matching holiday pajamas. i’m a sucker for those festive, picturesque holiday photos all nestled under the tree opening christmas presents.

this year, i wanted to find matching ones for all six of us, as challenging as it would be to find some in all of our sizes.

shopping during black friday this year, i had “matching pajamas’ near the top of my shopping list. unfortunately, finding six pairs that were all the same was a lot more difficult than i had anticipated and had no luck.

later that day, just when i had given up looking in store and decided to just find some online during cyber monday, the girls and i were walking through meijer grabbing some grocery items and we stumbled upon the motherload.

piles upon piles of matching holiday pajamas, but as soon as i saw the sets with buffalo plaid, i was sold. the girls and i rustled through the pile and found some in each of our sizes and threw them in the cart. the best part is that they were all 50% off!

i’d be happy to share a link of the sets that we got with all of you, but unfortunately, i don’t believe they are sold online. but feel free to check out meijer’s holiday items here.

will you and your family be wearing matching holiday pajamas this year?