A Third Birthday.


This was truly such a special weekend for us. Our gel turned three on Saturday, and of course we spent the day celebrating. And then on Sunday, we got to celebrate her again with all of our friends and family. It was perfect.

Birthdays are a big deal in this house. We try to go out of our way to make sure that the birthday person feels as special as possible and obviously that’s even more fun with Olivia. Everything is still so fresh and exciting for her, she has absolutely no expectations for the day but loved every single thing we did for her that day.

Friday night, Dominic and I blew up a bunch of balloons and on Saturday morning. We put them in her bed. Since our girl always ends up in our bed around 3am every morning, I set my alarm clock for 7am to put her back in her bed and then she woke up around 745, with a confused look, quickly followed by a smile once we started singing happy birthday to her.

I know that one of the first things that you learn in Parenting 101 is to go with the flow and pretty much not expect anything to go the way you plan it, or more importantly, just don’t have any expectations at all but I will admit that I did have a few expectations for her birthday morning and they were all met. It really was the perfect birthday morning.

Once she played around with the balloons in her room, she made her way downstairs and was so surprised to see presents and a birthday cake.

We sat on the floor with her while she opened her gifts and we were just so excited. Last minute we bought her a few little things to open (a Peppa Pig birthday DVD, a little music box that sang happy birthday, a book of princess stickers and a frozen glow stick wand), and then a bigger gift that she saved for last…..a camera!

I keep replaying the moment she opened up her camera, over and over in my head. She ran right up to me, hugged me so tight and said, “Thank you so much, Mama!” And then did the same thing to Dominic. She was truly surprised and it was so awesome. She opened it right away and started snapping pictures.

After the initial excitement wore off, I made her some birthday pancakes and then we got ready to leave for the day.

We started off her little birthday adventure with the best doughnuts Dominic and I have had and it’s called The Doughnut Vault in Chicago. We first  discovered this place on our first wedding anniversary and immediately put it in the plan to take Olivia on her birthday. Our girl is a doughnut girl so we knew this was the perfect first spot. The doughnut vault is a little place, and there is no seating inside so we went downtown, got the doughnuts, and then went to a target parking lot to eat them.

These doughnuts are seriously HUGE. Dominic took a picture and the doughnut is pretty much the size of Olivia’s head. She really only took a few big bites before deciding she’d had enough and then we ran her inside of the Target to wash her hands and let her have a potty break before heading off on our next adventure.

We knew that we wanted to take Olivia somewhere for lunch where they would sing happy birthday to her. Since visiting the Oak Brook mall was also in our plans for the day, we decided to take her to Red Robin for lunch. She had macaroni and cheese followed by the waitresses singing happy birthday to her and presenting her with a nice big sundae that again, she only took a few bits of.

After we left Red Robin, we had our last big plan of the evening. Every time we visit the mall, Olivia always stops to look through the windows of the Build A Bear store. We’ve never actually taken her in but we figured that since she’s been so into dolls and babies lately, this was probably the perfect age to let her finally experience Build A Bear. I will admit that by the time we got there, it was already like 3:30pm, so she was a little crabby and absolutely not as happy as she was in the morning, (which truthfully, I probably should’ve known) but she did still seem to enjoy herself as much as a no-napping three year old possibly could.

Once we walked in, she ran straight to the little tubs with the different choices of stuffed animals and immediately picked the cutest little long-eared bunny. She was so excited to press the little peddle to help stuff the bunny, and do a little dance before putting a heart inside and as soon as she was finished, she gave her bunny a really big hug and moved on to giving her an “air bath”. I think she got a little overwhelmed with all of the dressing choices but then I heard, “Mama! Booty and the beast! Loooooooooook!” and I knew it was all over. Her mind was made.

I then asked her what she wanted to name her bunny and she so cleverly (and confidently, may I add) replied, “Bunny!” and then we got the birth certificate, put her bunny in her boxed home, walked around the mall for a bit and then made our way home.

Some family came over, we ordered some delicious pizza and we finished the third birthday celebration with a homemade cake made by yours truly. It was delicious, everybody said that it was delicious, and they all thanked me by helping set up for Olivia’s birthday party.

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Happy 3rd Birthday to you, our beautiful Olivia Rose. You are the sweetest little spirit, the most perfect little sidekick and absolutely, positively, the BEST thing that has ever happened to us. We love you to the moon and back ❤️

(You guys, she’s THREE!!)

Conversations with my THREE year old.


About a month ago, I took a video of Olivia asking her a bunch of questions. She was up really late one night, claiming that she wasn’t sleepy, so I took advantage of the opportunity. I have been planning to do this for a while now, and wanted to wait until she was three to start it, but once I took this video, I just had to share. So we’ll say that this is her three year video, and every year around her birthday I’ll make the same video asking her pretty much the same questions. I think it’ll be fun to document how much she changes every year, especially because I’m so terrible at writing in her baby book.

With Olivia’s birthday weekend coming up, I think it’s safe to say that this week is pretty busy. We have a lot of last minute running around and preparations to do still but I am so excited. I love making sure her birthday is as special as possible and this year is absolutely no exception. Next week I will definitely write about our weekend, but this week, it’ll be a little quiet around here, so I leave you with this video. I took it with my phone, but next year I will take it with my camera so I can edit it a little better. I love her little voice :)
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What Olivia Wore.


Olivia received this tunic about a year and a half ago and it was way too big, and I was really upset because I loved it so much. Finally, it fits her this year as a dress and paired with some tights, it was the perfect outfit for the 60 degree fall weather we had yesterday.

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Saving My Sanity.


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized a few things. One thing that immediately comes to mind is the balance you must quickly find, or else you’ll go crazy. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way and went crazy first. Don’t worry though, I have since found a few ways to save my sanity. My biggest and most important piece of advice is pretty simple, but really brutal for some (like myself) and it’s simply to get up early.

Did she really just say that? Yes I did.

I am not a morning person by any means, never have been and probably never will be because I really love my sleep (who doesn’t?). My thought process has always been as long as Olivia is still asleep, I should be too. Right?


Ever since Dominic and I have started the Whole30 (which I cannot wait to write about!), I’ve been making his lunches (and sometimes his dinners too). Instead of making his meals at night (or more so putting them together because he usually takes leftovers for lunch), I wait until the morning to put it all together and honestly, I’ve really grown to enjoy our routine. We wake up between 7:30 and 8am and while Dominic gets ready for work, I make his meal(s) and drink the coffee/tea that he so lovingly makes us every morning. It’s a team effort, and I love that we get about an hour to ourselves to talk, smooch, and clean up the morning’s dishes before Olivia wakes up, ready to take on the day.

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