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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july snapshots.

i thought the summer was never going to get here, and now that it’s here, it’s almost already gone. summer is f l y i n g!

this month was busy with making new memories and here are just a few photos i took to capture my july.

this year’s 4th of july included lots of water fights and giggles.
time to thin out and re-pot on of mahkena’s succulents. this one she knew exactly who she wanted to give it to.
pops trusted us with his baby for a few days while he went on vacation.
the girls ended their yearly fundraiser and donated over $800! beyond proud of them.
big mama still as sassy as ever.
lots of time by the blowup pools this month.
and as always, working so hard.
celebrated miss kaylei’s 11th.

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?

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

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.

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.