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!

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.

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.

our summer 2020 family diary.

summer has winded down and the weather is cooling off. the kids are off and back to school and the summer of 2020 is behind us. this summer was certainly different than all others; a whole lot less distractions with a large majority of places being closed.

but truthfully, it was nice. rather than rushing around between places to go, we filled our days with each other instead. we spent so much time together and i’ll forever be thankful for that.

so what did our summer of 2020 look like? a whole lot like this….

visiting the campground and kayaking

one of my favorite places to visit is the campground that i spent most of my childhood weekends at. my parents have a seasonal site there and it’s the perfect little place to get away.

we spent one day kayaking down the river and it was so relaxing. i’m looking forward to taking the kids with us sometime. i know they will love it; especially mason.

birthday celebrations

summers in our home are always full of birthdays. we started summer by celebrating john’s birthday with having family over and ordering pizzas.

in july miss kaylei turned 12 and we took her to a hotel with her cousins to celebrate. we enjoyed the pool for two days straight and the kids all had a blast. i still can’t believe our girl is going to be a teenager next year!

getting a new car

we finally bit the bullet and bought ourselves a new car that would fit all 6 of us. this is our new baby and i’m more than obsessed with it!

backyard parties

one of my favorite things about summer is just being able to hang outside with family and friends. we did plenty of that this summer and it was always so much fun. we would set up the bag set, break out the pool, and enjoy a few cocktails. looking forward to more days like these throughout the fall.

zoo trip

we rounded up most of the family and hauled everyone to the zoo one weekend. we spent most of the morning walking around and then had a picnic lunch out in the parking lot before heading home.

a trip to the sunflower field

it’s always been on my bucket list to visit a sunflower field and once i found out we had one not too far from us, we made a trip there. i got the girlies all dressed up in the cutest yellow outfits, threw some curls in their hair, and had a little photoshoot with them. they will forever be some of my favorite photos of them.

hope you all had a summer just as great as we did!

a photo journal – our june thus far

June is here and it is FLYING by. The good weather has arrived along with more orders to stay working from home. It’s a whole new normal around here, but truthfully I’m loving be able to stay home and spend the extra time with our family.

We’ve tried spending as much time as possible outside, soaking up the sun and avoiding going stir-crazy. I’m so glad that if COVID had to happen, it’s not when it’s freezing outside and we’re forced to remain indoors.

John and I visited my parents at the campground and spent a few hours floating down the river on kayaks with dad. It was John’s first time out on a kayak and he managed not to fall out…winning. We’re already excited to go back out; we can already picture how much Mason would love to go too.

The time we’ve spent inside, we’ve made the best of it. Lots of crafts, family movies, and giggles. All the extra time together is certainly not something I’m complaining about.

Mason got his very own John Deere gator powerwheel and it was the perfect surprise. He LOVES it and is so proud to show off his “tractor”. The girls take turns with it too and they all enjoy having Mazi girl ride around in the back.

All three of our girls learned how to ride a bike without training wheels (thanks babe!) and are super proud. We got them new bikes and our driveway has been a bike track lately. People driving by probably thinking we’re running a day care over here.

John’s birthday is this month so we spent time with family celebrating over the weekend. It was nice to have everyone here together. We ordered pizzas, had some tacos, and lots of yummy dessert. The weather outside was really great too so we spent a lot of time visiting while the kids all got to play.

I just wanted to share a bit of what we’ve been up to this month; hope all of you had enjoyed June as much as we have! ‘Til next time!

a photo journal – iowa camping trip.

for months, we planned a camping trip to iowa with my family and some of our family friends. we were a little hesitant if it was going to even happen due the covid pandemic, but were thrilled once we got word from the campground that they would be opening back up, and just in time!

we spent the morning packing up and heading to iowa. it was a perfect drive a way; not too far, but close enough where you didn’t feel like you spent the whole day in the car.

we planned our visit at a KOA campground in waterloo, iowa. the town is a pretty decent size and they have a lot to do there like a casino and waterpark; however a majority of everything was still closed. the campground had a lot of great amenities too… a dog park, playground, and even a lake that you could fish on or rent some of their canoes.

my parents and our family friends all had campers, so we opted for renting a cabin at the campground we were staying at. i’ve never stayed at the KOA in waterloo, but was decently surprised with how adorable the rental cabins were. they had quite a few to choose from, but we opted for the 4-person cabin since there was only just the two of us.

my favorite thing about weekend getaways camping is how relaxing and non-stressful it is. just being able to sit outside, hang out with our friends and family, and enjoy the fresh air. and after being cooped up inside for the past few months, it was even more enjoyable.

all three nights that we were there we did some fishing around the lake. the fish were biting, and even though they were all on the small size and just catch and release, it was fun. the guys caught a fair amount, me on the other hand? one. and it doesn’t even really count because i told the guys that i wasn’t leaving without catching a fish and my father being the patient man he is when he is ready to go, he is ready to go. so he hooked one and let me real it in. so, there’s that. but thanks pops!

if you’re from the midwest, you know what “bags” is and you play it. often. and it’s an essential when camping. you gotta. so being the illinoains that we are, the bag sets were out and lots of lots of rounds were played.

the families that we went camping with were ones that we grew up with. people that we’ve known for many, many years and after growing up and having kids of my own, i don’t get to see them as often as i would love to. it was so nice to see them all again and reminisce about all the camping trips we took as kids and laugh at how old we all are now.

as always, our mini vacation went by way too fast. the weather wasn’t too bad while were there, the company was great, and just being able to get out of the house was something we all needed. i’m forever thankful that we get times like this and have the opportunity to do so. we’re already looking forward to the next one!

around our house: quarantine 2020.

this blog has always been a space for me to share the beauty of our family’s moments, whether if it’s from the view of the city streets or the comfort of my couch. a place for me to document all of life’s adventures, and this year has been quite the adventure thus far.

no words are needed for this post, but just photos of some of our every day moments around the house while in quarantine.

it may be a crazy time in the world right now, but i am so thankful for all this extra time we’ve been able to spend together, as a family.

our stay home diary.

our quarantine life has become our new normal, for now atleast. i feel a lot more settled than i did when we first were told to stay home five weeks ago.

whether we like it or not, this will be one of the defining moments of our lifetime. and for that reason, i want to remember all the little moments, and thought i’d share.

obviously some parts are tough – missing family and friends, a different routine, the fear of someone we love becoming unhealthy, etc. this period of time has certainly reminded me of what’s important.

but there are so, so many positives – we’re healthy, we’re happy, and we’re together.

our kids are happy. they’re still learning, but having fun. they’ve spent plenty of time face-timing friends and family and we’re lucky that the weather has been pretty decent so they’ve been able to spend lots of time outside.

we’ve been doing more things together and i’ve been enjoying all the extra time we have together now. nearly every night we’ve been taking a family walk in our neighborhood. moments as simple as that are what i’ll remember from all of this; the memories we’re making.

we’re doing things around the house that we’ve put off. we’re doing lots of grilling out and enjoying eating dinner on the deck. trying new recipes have been a new hobby of mine, and i’ve even broke out the ‘ole paint and paint brushes again.

because the kiddos have been able to stay up a little later due to starting school (e-learning) later in the day, we’ve been using that time to have lots of family movies. we make popcorn and all lounge on the big couch. thank goodness for netflix and disney+.

enjoy a few more photos from our quarantine memory book…

until next time…stay healthy and enjoy all the extra time with your family. we’re all in this together!

march memories | family diary

i think we can all agree that march 2020 was one for the books. it was a strange month for all of us. it started off promising, but then covid-19 ran rampant and ended with people being ordered to stay home.

amid everything, we were still able to do a few things this month and are making the very best of the situation. the silver lining throughout it all is the extra time that we’re getting to spend with our family. that is something that i’ll never complain about.

here’s just a little peek into our march…

mahkena’s birthday party

mahkena turned 8 and we spent the weekend celebrating with friends and family. mahkena’s friends and family spoiled her so much; she was grinning from ear to ear the entire time.  i still can’t believe our spunky, free-spirited little girl is already 8.

quarantining / working from home

in the middle of march we were ordered to begin working from home. it’s definitely a change, but one i’m quite enjoying. the days seem to go by a lot faster and the plus side, my new co-workers are pretty cute.

date adventures

luckily john and i were able to get in a few date weekends before all the chaos began. we spent a few nights away, tried out some new restaurants, and enjoyed a pool suite within the area. looking forward to more adventures as soon as everything goes back to normal.

lots of family time

one thing is certain, all the extra family time has been wonderful. the kids are enjoying e-learning and not having to go to school everyday, and with the decent weather lately they have gotten lots of time to play outdoors. i have a feeling it’s going to be quite tough for them when they actually have to return to school.

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as much as i hope things will all go back to normal soon, i’m afraid that’s not going to be the case. in the mean time, stay healthy out there and hug your family a little tighter.