Category Archives: friends

Girlfriends Weekend in Minneapolis!

May 6, 2018

Time for a girl’s trip! I hadn’t left Faye yet so I was so overdue for a getaway! I was so ready for a some time away with long-time girlfriends that make you laugh till you cry! And also excited to go shopping and actually try on clothes without kids and eat at some hip fun restaurants while devouring delicious food!

We have a group of 10 girls from high school (Sioux Falls Roosevelt!) that were besties and we’re all still close! We try to get together once a year for a girl’s trip and this year we did Minneapolis. Six of the girls still live in Sioux Falls, three in Minneapolis, and one in Chicago, so Minneapolis is a close pick!

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A Weekend with the Girls

January 18, 2016

I love me some girl time. And this weekend was one for the books! Five of us girls that have been friends since before high school met in Minneapolis (two live there, one in Chicago, and then myself and another friend from Sioux Falls) for some serious fun and time away from kids, husbands, and LIFE. Which was much needed. I hadn’t been away from Leo yet, but I was ready to leave him and Ivy with John and get OUTTA there!

We stayed at the downtown Hilton and with a sweet hookup from our friend Tori, we ended up with the Royal Suite! It was amazing! Lots of room for us five rowdy girls :) THREE bathrooms. Awesome.

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One of the big reasons why I wanted a trip besides some girl time was for dining out! I LOVE going out to eat and all I wanted was some delicious food and wine! And one of my favorite things about Minneapolis is how incredible the buildings and decor are everywhere. All the old historic buildings are my favorite! We chose a couple restaurants that I hadn’t been to yet, so I couldn’t wait to check them out.

Friday night, we headed to the restaurant Bachelor Farmer. Delicious wine and food and great convos = a fun kick off to the our weekend with the girls! Capped the night off with a cocktail at the Marvel Bar as we chatted and gossiped about everything!

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Saturday morning Chelsey flew in from Chicago for a 24-hour girl’s trip so that was really exciting seeing her! We all jumped in the car and headed to Libertine for brunch. Really hip decor and WHOA, the chicken and waffles were probably my favorite meal of the whole weekend!

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We did a little shopping at H&M (I got this and this blouse) and headed back to the suite to rest up then spruce up for the evening.

We went to Hey Day for dinner and checked off another extraordinary meal. Our convos there are not ones to be repeated about our past lives :) Ha, but we reminisced about our high school days with some fun memories and some good laughs along the way.

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Ok this picture. OMG I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time! Tori, the second in on the right, goes “where’s my body!!!??!” And we all DIED. Her head is perfectly sitting on top of the backrest and her all black coat is making her look bodyless! BAH! We laughed so ridiculously hard about it ALL night and as I’m writing this I’m still laughing! Maybe one of those times you had to be there, but holy hannah, it was funny!!!

After Hey Day we went to my FAVORITE – Spoon and Stable for some refreshing cocktails and to admire the decor. I LOVE it in there! By far my favorite place in Minneapolis! I love all the white and high ceilings and the bar is gorgeous. That wine cellar isn’t too shabby either ;)


We closed the night there as we talked about everything girls can possibly talk about (wait, that is probably not possible!) and finally hit the sack at 3am! Way too late for this mama but it was too much fun being out with the ladies!

Sunday morning Tori and Chelsey headed out, so Gina, Sally, and I enjoyed one last stuffing of the face at Moose and Sadie’s.


Well. This girl’s weekend sure felt good. Girlfriends, gossiping, laughing so hard you cry, wine, delicious food, shopping, dressing up, looking fancy, and sleeping in. This weekend couldn’t have been any better. So much fun being around people that you’ve known for practically your entire life. So lucky to have such great friends! And fun to have secrets about each other that only we know! I really love being a girl :)

And. The kids survived, ha! I had a lot more trust in John this time around from before when I left him with Ivy as a baby. I guess he’s got some practice under his belt this time. He sent me this picture from the mall and I think Ivy did just fine under his care, hehe. Well, minus her outfit… (they’re pajamas) : / haha

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Sure missed the kids though. It’s always a little sweeter of a hug and kiss when you haven’t gotten one in a few days. Love these two.

Photo Jan 18, 11 35 28 AM And now John is getting me back with a guy’s trip to the Black Hills this weekend :( But, soon enough, will be our trip to the BAHAMAS!!!!!!


A golden first birthday party for Ivy Rebecca!

September 29, 2014

Ivy 1st Birthday-151First Birthday. I just can’t believe I’m even writing this. It’s been so funny, remembering me last year at this time, so huge and awfully uncomfortable, anxiously waiting for the unpredictable arrival of Ivy. J u s t waiting. And then, October 1st at 9:11pm, she was here. All 7 lbs 9 oz of her cuteness all bundled up in my arms. And now, here she is, all 20 lbs of her sitting in her high chair, daintily picking at her vanilla bean buttercream cake, my little baby, my one year old little baby. It’s all just too much, but I’m full of smiles. Full of smiles watching her, just like I have been all year, in trance and awe of  how she has grown, what she’s capable of, and how different she is each and every day. It’s all incredible, this human life, how fast it really goes and how much a human changes. So here we are, surrounded by friends and family, watching her eat her vanilla cake, singing Happy Birthday, smiling and laughing. I loved this moment and took it all in!

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Her adorable crown is from Little Blue Olive. And that gold glitter tassel garland is from Studio Mucci.

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She kept clapping with us as we cheered her along and sang Happy Birthday. HUGE SMILES.

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Why are all of these people just staring at me?

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We got her this chair and she loved it. Sat there the whole time opening presents! She was so funny sitting in it. Her own big girl chair :)

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So she can do construction like her Daddy! (Dump truck here) Girls can do boy things too! Thanks Natalie :)

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Story Time with Ivy

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Adelyn, Aiden, and Nora, just watching in to see her presents from Grandma and Grandpa Keating

With an infant, the days can be like a rollercoaster whiplash of unexpected behaviors. But some days, just some days, you get a day where it’s simply perfect. The naps work out, no crazy infant mood swings or temper tantrums, and no crying. Her birthday party was one of those days (squeal of excitement! EEEE!). She had a great night’s rest, got up and took some 1 year family photos with Finished Vision (full of smiles and funny behaviors! Can’t wait to see them!), took her 2 hour nap, and then the festivities were here. Perfect. Hallelujah. And she was the best little baby for all of her party!

Switch to me, and I felt like the infant with my crazy-woman-setting-up-for-party-mood-swings and the stress of party planning (Pinterest, I curse you still, read more here). I spent her nap time setting up the decorations. I surrounded my party decor ideas with photos (and obvs gold glitter, for her golden birthday!). And tons of them. A YEAR worth of photos! I got this idea off of Pinterest, of course, and just loved it. With my obsession of Instagram, I printed these cute little squares from Prinstagram and up went my photo wall banner. 2 hours later (yep, seriously underestimated the time it would take me to put that together, ugh), I had a monthly display of her growth in pictures from birth to now. I’ll admit, it was a terror organizing the pictures by month (thank god I had my blog!) and assembling it with those damn little mini clothespins and twine that just would not stay put with my cute gold washi tape (insert ugly masking tape to save the day), but in the end it was all worth it because it was fascinating looking at how much she has changed since birth! I can’t wait (oh wait, yes I can) to see what she will look like at year 2!

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Obvs ordered too many, sooo these were the leftovers that didn’t make the cut. (They’re still cute though, Ivy, Mommy loves you! tehehe)

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Got that Happy Birthday banner here that matched her party invitation

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It was so much fun doing this chalkboard! It’s permanently there so it was an easy decor idea! I loved thinking of what she loves, says, and can do. And that’s as creative as I get with those squiggly lines : /

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Birthday cake was sooooo delicious! It was from Sugar’s Baked Goods and Sweet Treats and Kari was so easy and nice to work with! I love that watercolor design! I got the idea for that design from the Dainty Obsessions magazine that she was featured in.

We went with a vanilla bean with vanilla bean buttercream, NOM NOM.

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 The answer is YES. It was as good as it looks.

Now that the party is over, the big question that could alter future parties – was a big party worth it? On one hand, I would have loved to have a simple party like this one with about 1% of the struggles I had with this party, but on the other hand, I really value being surrounded with friends and family. It’s a very important part of my life and try to model that for Ivy. And to share this golden birthday party and Ivy’s big day with our loved ones was a day that I will hold dear to my heart. Watching her and the other kids interact with each other and run and play like wild in the back yard, made everything worth it. Seeing her smile and have fun with her friends made the day that much better. So, was it worth it? 5 minutes before her party I would have said NO, but reflecting on the fun we had and the special moments between everyone there to celebrate Ivy, I say (in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice…) heck yes it was :)

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Cohen saving his damsel in distress! Hop on Rilynn! And Adelyn – THAT DRESS <3

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Daddies. Babies. Smiling. SWOON.

Happy Golden Birthday our little Ivy Rebecca. We love you. XOXO Mommy and Daddy

So long, summer

September 22, 2014

Summer 2014-70Summer, my favorite season, is now coming to an end.

I love summer for many reasons, the bright sunshine, the scorching heat, the exhilarating outdoor activities, the smell of freshly cut grass, the vegetables and flowers at the farmer’s markets, the juicy burgers on the grill, and mostly, the cheerful moods everyone is in. I love summer. I even turned 30 this summer, and still loved it.

Fall, on the other hand, is a gorgeous season. I love sweater weather, boots, fires on the patio, and the changing colors of the leaves and trees. But, it’s the calm before the storm of winter with what’s looming ahead. The bitter cold of South Dakota winters and, ugh, I’m actually going to stop right there because I am NOT ready to think or talk about winter. I want to talk about summer and live it up until 9:29pm, when fall specifically starts (or so says the almanac).  So here. Here was our summer, little tidbits of random that didn’t make it in an earlier post. This was our spectacular summer. (Siiiiiigh).


Summer Memory – PLAYDATES

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Ivy and Natalie

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  Ivy, Natalie, and James

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Spending the warm summer hours at McKennan Park. Favorite.

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Summer Memory – BOATING

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Summer Memory – FAMILY

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Grandma Betsy would meet us at McKennan Park for Children’s Theatre

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Grandma high fives at Lake Madison!

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Cousins Anna and Nora reading to Ivy. SWOON

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 A visit from Grandpa Bill!

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Hanging with Auntie Jillian

Summer Memory – Just. Plain. Fun.

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Spent lots of time on our patio

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LOVED visits to the Great Plains Zoo – I hadn’t been there in YEARS! So I think I enjoyed it as much as Ivy :) And Erin and Natalie were regulars with us too

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STUD at her walker

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Loved the cool hottub

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Jazz Fest

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Like a good teacher’s baby, loves books :)

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Lots of time at the pool

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Backyard Shenanigans

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Loves to swing

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Became obsessed with her blankie

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Enjoyed mornings in bed watching the news with Mama

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 And she STOOD on her OWN this summer! WOO HOO. (Don’t mind the tampons in the pic : / )

Overall, summer was damn good.

So long, summer. So long.

I’ll begin my countdown to next summer now.

A Day at the Apple Orchard

September 21, 2014

The beginning of fall is one of the best times of the year. And today was Just perfect outside as the fam loaded up in the Jeep to the Country Apple Orchard for the Apple Festival. I remember last year, I was super pregnant, just a week and a half from delivering Ivy, so today was a bit more enjoyable :) And even better, I had my own child now to join in on all of the fun family activities! We met our friends Andrew and Erin and their daughter Natalie there and Grandma Betsy even tagged along.

After picking a whole bag of apples, I’m already drooling over some apple crisp. I request double crisp topping for me, please. Nom nom.

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rows and rows of ripe red apples

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Natalie and Ivy

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So festive with her apple shirt! Cutie Natalie

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Chomping away on a tasty apple

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Walking through the orchard

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Sweet as apple pie

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Grandma Betsy

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Ivy’s favorite book right now is Clifford’s Animal Sounds and she is obsessed with animals. So she was REALLY excited to see chickens, goats, donkeys, and we even had her ride the little ponies :) She loved it.

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So funny. When the horse would shake its head, Ivy would too. Gah!

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