if we were having coffee. round four.

life has been a little busy, but you know what? that’s okay. i’ve enjoyed the adventure and creating all these new memories lately.

want to know whats been happening in my life? perfect. pull up a chair and grab whatever you’re drinking; i’ve got some things to share with you.

if we were having coffee, i’d tell you that i haven’t had a lot of coffee in my cup lately. more so tequila. or vodka. i promise you i’m not an alcoholic; i’ve just been enjoying my recent trips away.

i enjoy my job, and lately it has given me a lot of opportunity to travel. it’s been nice to get away from small-town living for while and carry less stresses.

if we were having coffee, i’d tell you that i moved. i had mentioned previously, but the beginning of the year was chaotic with life changes, and even though its been quite the ride, they’re what was needed. including a new place to hang my keys at night. #parkitonmarket

i’ve now got this tiny little house and as much as i worried that it would be too small; it’s perfect. it’s homey and we’re all close. plus, mazi girl seems to agree.

if we were having coffee, i’d tell you about how my girls finished up their soccer season. let’s face it…they hate running. so maybe it wasn’t the best idea to follow in their mother’s footsteps and play. oops.

will they play again next year? probably not. when i asked my youngest if she’d like to sign up for it again next year…her response? “if i can sit on the bench and watch the whole time.” welp, atleast you’re honest mahkena.

if we were having coffee, i would share with you how my littles got to experience “bring your child to work day” at my work. kaylei and mahkena sure enjoyed themselves meeting my coworkers, a guided tour of the building, and learning what I do.

we spent the morning working hard, ate lunch in the park, and made sure to make a pit stop on the way home for some froyo. we get home and kaylei makes the comment, “mom, I want to work where you do when I grow up, but maybe not dress as “fancy”. so not dresses. got it, kid.

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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.

a photo journal – missouri

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this blog post is way overdue, and i mean 6 months overdue…oops. i was going back and forth debating to share it, but it’s memories and something i’ll enjoy looking back at later.

back in september we celebrated my grandma’s 75th birthday by throwing her a party. we have a very LARGE family, and we were so thankful that a lot of the family and her friends were able to come.

because it was just going to be a weekend trip, i rode down to missouri with just my parents and sister.  it was nice to have that time with them since i hadn’t taken a family vacation with just them since i became a mother over 10 years ago.

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my dad is a go-getter in the morning, so were up and at ’em at 5 in the morning and ready for our 8 hour trek.

as a family we’ve drove to missouri MANY times growing up. a large part of our family is from there, so we spent lots of time there. and as many times as we’ve passed through st. louis and commented that we should go up in the arch, we never did. we made the same comments this time, except this time dad convinced us to actually go and made a u-turn.

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anyone that knows me knows that i HATE heights and small spaces; so i was freaking out a bit. the four of us had to squeeze into this tight car that traveled up the arch, where it would eventually let us get out of at the top and look out the tiny windows over the city of st. louis.

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after two quick glances out the windows and a few quick photos, my trembling knees were ready to head back down. i enjoyed the experience, glad i did it, but i have zero intention of doing it again.

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back on the road, and a long nap later we were about there. i was so ready to get out and see grandma.

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grandma was waiting for us inside the hotel and her smile says it all.

we spent our first night there just visiting with family and setting up for the party the following day. i love that we can go months, and even years, without some of us seeing each other and just pick up right where we left off. i love my big, crazy family.

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saturday morning we woke up, got ready, and finished up all last minute preparations for the party. everything turned out so well and grandma especially loved that we decorated in her favorite color.

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a big part of my responsibility for the party was creating a book for grandma, filled with notes from everyone that i collected over the previous few months. some people wrote sweet “i love you’s” and others shared some of their favorite memories with her. giving grandma her gift and seeing her face light up when i told her what it was, was well worth all the work put into creating it.

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before everyone left, we got a few photos of grandma with all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren that were able to make it. that lady is loved by so many!

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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.

30 before 30.

 

i’m a lover of lists and enjoy being able to cross things off of them once they’re complete. it keeps me on track and motivated to get things done.

me turning 30 is scarily just around the corner for me; i’m already dreading it so much.

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i’ll be 30 in less than 8 months and am not sure why i’m just now sharing my 30 before 30 list with all of you. but what time is better than now?

1. create a blog

2. visit another country

3. go on a plane

4. get a tattoo

5. buy a house

6. take a pottery class

7. plant a garden

8. go to a nfl football game

9. get my bachelor’s degree

10. see the ocean

11. visit an art museum

12. watch the sunrise and the sunset in the same place

13. watch a movie at a drive-in

14. swim under the stars

15. take a wine and painting class

16. take a yoga class

17. find an active hobby…cycling or running

18. go on a girl’s trip

19. have a booth at a craft show

20. learn to do a handstand

21. do something that terrifies me

22. dye my hair a different color

23. ride in a side-by-side

24. go on a road trip with no planned destination

25. go on a scavenger hunt

26. journal weekly.

27. let go of a floating lattern

28. do a wine tasting

29. pay for a stranger’s meal

30. kick off my 30’s with an adventure

*those in bold i’ve been able to accomplish