Thanksgiving 2018


It should be noted that Thanksgiving 2018 was a lovely affair. Obviously I’ve neglected this special little blogging place of mine over the past two years, but wanted to make sure this got in the record books.

We’ve always done Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, which is lovely. I legit love Thanksgiving. This year, everyone had something going on. Bro was going to his wife’s turkey day, sis was headed to Door County. SO… we decided to head to California to see my favorite people on this earth. AKA my other “sister.” AND of course, my aunt & uncle and my cousin’s lovely manfriend.

The trip was magical and Thanksgiving was AHHHMAZING. It’s ridiculous how easy Thanksgiving is when you show up as a total guest. Normally, at mom’s, I am planning menus leading up to Turkey Day, helping cook  and setting up the day prior, and there early that day to cook some more.

This Thanksgiving, all slaving was done by my incredible Aunt and my mom’s cousin, Melissa. And oh my did they go above and beyond. Not to mention the fact that Melissa lives in a little California dream of a house. It was FANTASTIC. We brought some wine and a centerpiece (made by the kiddos) and then boom. Done.

While poor Melissa and Aunt Helaine probably needed a week of sleep to recover, the whole thing felt wildly easy, relaxed and just perfect to me.

It should also be mentioned that little C spiced things up when Mark forced her to taste the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are her nemesis. She showed him when she instantly barfed right there at the Turkey Day table. Lesson learned.


The rest of the trip was equally magical. My cousin’s boyfriend’s brother & his gf were there visiting, too! They are absolutely adorable and all four of them crashed at our airbnb one night. It was just so much fun.

Photos from the travel to Cali…

From our trip…

Highlights: Exploring neighborhood parks, venturing to the Grove & taking the Trolley, swimming at our AirBNB pool, picking oranges every morning from our AirBNB’s orange tree, Asian Day Spa-ing with Stef & Mom, Henry’s first time sleeping in a big boy (racecar) bed!!!, dipping our toes in the ocean, & of course, excessive time with my favorites.


And, what’s a trip to Cali without some Disney magic, right???

All in all, A+ trip.

Disney World!


Remember MONTHS AGO when I built up so much hype about our trip to Disney and then literally NEVER POSTED A SINGLE WORD ABOUT IT? Oy. Okay, well, I’m going to post some words about a day that was glorious and wonderful and fun.

To begin, we’ll just say that I did my due diligence in terms of researching, planning, scheduling, etc. With only one day in Mickey’s presence, I wanted to make sure Charlotte and Henry (but mostly C, because H didn’t really notice) got the most out of the experience. SO, all of my research concluded with this carefully thought out schedule…

Disney Itinerary R

To access the full doc:  Disney Itinerary R

Now, some might say that I over-planned or that they’d worry such a rigid plan would feel stressful, but let me just say, we ALL enjoyed my psychotic planning. We were able to see everything we wanted to see – parades, rides, meet and greets, etc – in such a strategic way that it felt like a natural transition into the next ride or activity. I had booked all of our fast passes ahead of time (maybe 2 months out?) and our dinner reservation a month out. It was AHHHMAZING.

A few pretty important items that we packed: double stroller, neck fans!!! (it was SO damn hot and these were so crucial. They were cheap and effective), snacks (pouches, etc), sunscreen for us and the kids, hats for the kids.

Also, matching shirts…

So now, the photos and fun details…

We missed the park opening… because let’s be honest… we are ALWAYS. LATE. When we first got in, we started waiting on line to see Minnie and Goofy, but ended up leaving to start the rides because it was taking way too long. In hind sight, I do wish we would have seen Minnie. C still talks about how she wasn’t able to give Minnie a hug and a kiss. A month or two ago, she came up with the idea that we should bring her Minnie stuffed animal back to Florida to give to Minnie as a gift. So sweet.


Our first ride was Dumbo. Being that it was C’s first ride, I wanted to pick something that was in the open so she could see exactly what was going to happen. It was a great first ride. When it was over, she instantly said that she wanted to stay on. And thankfully, the magic of Disney had rubbed off on her, because despite her wants, there were no meltdowns… the whole day… with either child.

After Dumbo, we walked to the next ride over… the barnstormer. It was a mini roller coaster that seemed fast, but not so fast. I let C watch it and asked if she’d like to ride. YES!

Let’s just say that there was NOT a lot of breathing for either of us on that ride. It was FAST! I’ll post the video, but afterward as we were getting off, C said excitedly, “That ride was SOOOOO FASSSTTTT!!! I no like to go so fast!” It’s funny because when we put her to bed that night, she told us that her favorite part of the day was going “SO FAST!!”

After the barnstormer, we went to the Winnie the Pooh area and waited in line to meet the characters. Our next fast pass was for the Winnie the Pooh ride, so we waited to see the characters and then immediately went on the ride. It was pretty silly meeting them. Charlotte was so excited, but ultimately, very timid with the characters.


In contrast, Henry LOVED them. He was petting them, high fiving, laughing and loving every minute. It was pretty darn silly.

The Winnie the Pooh ride itself is a little scary and just intense. There’s constantly so many sounds going at one time, moving from one scene to the next quite quickly. And, of course, it seems like there’s an excessive amount of time in the “Heffalumps and Weasels” rain storm nightmare. PASS!! I could have done without that one. And C seemed like she wasn’t a fan either. I feel like I remember her saying she didn’t like it, but then maybe asking to do it again later.

Somehow, by the time we finished the Winnie the Pooh ride, it was time for lunch. We went to the Pinocchio’s Village Haus for a ridiculously priced kids meal. BUT, the positive is that we were able to find a seat easily.

Clearly the only logical follow up to lunch is the teacups. SO, we tested our luck and took C on the teacups. Simultaneously, Henry began his only nap of the day… which lasted maybe 30-45 minutes.

After the teacups, we went to the Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Grotto ride. This was the only ride we waited in line for, and probably only waited about 20-25 minutes. All along the way, there were cute little things to look at. It was an easy wait and nicely shaded, which was great. Because, did I mention that it was 97 DEGREES THAT DAY!?!?! Hot.

The Little Mermaid ride was one of C’s favorites! She seriously just LOVED it! It’s a cute little story type ride where you get to hear tons of songs and see all the characters. Thumbs up to that one.


After little mermaid, we decided to take one more ride on Dumbo before catching the train to Main Street. I nursed Henry while we took our flight – nursing bucket list?! Of course, C loved Dumbo once again. It’s seriously just a great one. Especially on a hot day.

The train was pretty awesome, too… EXCEPT, we had to fold up our double stroller to ride, which meant making everything nice and tidy again… which was far from where we were at. We had things stashed in every cup holder and pocket. Thrown in the under storage, etc. We were littering our items through the entire line. But, no worries. The train ride was great, gave us an opportunity to sit and reapply sunscreen.


When we got to Main Street, it was time to grab ice cream (and a GIANT starbucks coffee for me) and watch the Festival of Fantasy parade. In true form, we were cutting it close, but ended up getting a great spot and really loving the parade. I think it’s the parades and shows that really make Disney unique from other Amusement Parks. Getting to see your favorite characters, seeing the spectacle… it’s just fantastic. And seeing it through the eyes of a 2/3 year old is just magic. Charlotte believed everything she saw. Whether it made sense or not, she totally believed it. She experienced true magic throughout the day. No questions asked, totally naive, untainted trust in the Disney magic. It was just pure and awesome.

When the parade was over, we went over to use our next fast pass for the Buzz Lightyear ride, which is just so much fun. Maybe less fun for C than some other rides, but the adults enjoyed it!

Then, we headed back towards Main Street where C and Mark watched the Friendship Faire (hello, more Frozen characters and songs) and my parents, Henry and I waited for our dinner reservations at the Crystal Palace. I also had to nurse little Henry while we waited.

Dinner at the Crystal Palace was fun! I hadn’t realized that it was only Winnie the Pooh characters there, so it was a bit of a bummer that the kids wouldn’t get to meet any other characters, but seriously so much fun. I just love the character meals. By that time, C was pretty hot and exhausted and didn’t really want to interact with the characters; although, she enjoyed watching Henry play with them.

The food itself was pretty decent! I mean, let’s just be real… it’s not about the food. And when is a buffet really THAT good? But it did the trick and was super fun (and air conditioned!).


After our 4:45pm dinner, we took a slow walk back to the car. The kids were beat, my parents were beat and we were ready to get the kids in bed so that Mark and I could go back for fireworks, parades and a couple faster rides.

Mark and I got back at firework time. We got greedy and weasled our way to the front, which turned out not to be the best spot. In hind sight, we should have stayed back towards the front of the park where we walked in.


Anyway, afterwards, we went to find a drink. We quickly discovered that there are NONE TO BE FOUND unless you have reservations at a sit-down restaurant. Dang. I settled for a Diet Coke and then we watched the “Once Upon a Time” show, which is a projection on the castle with music. This was my favorite show of the day. It’s just fantastic.

Next, we got a FREE cream cheese stuffed hot pretzel (they were about to close), which was phenomenal, and went on the Buzz Lightyear ride and Space Mountain. Space Mountain is just so fun. I still just really love that ride.

With our adrenaline pumping, we decided we had to go ride Big Thunder Mountain. SO, we literally ran/hop/skipped our way across the park (in the heat) to haul ass to Big Thunder Mountain before the park closed. We made it and rode one more ride before calling it quits on our big Disney day.

We slowly walked back to the Ferry with tons of people hauling exhausted kids, pushing sleeping kiddos in strollers and just dragging themselves. Disney is hard work.


All in all, we had such a great and fun-filled day!

Here are some other photos from our trip to Florida – including our hike to Coco Beach…

First Day in Florida

Charlie woke up singing about the beach where the sharks live from her pink bunk bed (I need to remember to take a picture). She’s already loving her “Florida home,” as she calls it.

This am, Mark & C played while henry napped and Dad and I went to the convention center to set up our trade show booth. 

We finished around 1130, scooped up everyone at the house and headed to downtown Disney.  C was pumped to see Mick-Mouse, but unfortunately, Downtown Disney is more of an outdoor mall than anything else. 


First stop: Irish pub for lunch

After lunch, we explored, saw kids singing, Went on C’s first ride (train fun), and more! Good stuff ❤

And how could I forget, we went to a CUPCAKE store for “puck cakes wif frinkles!”

A Visit From NY

Last week, our favorite New Yorkers came to town! Mark’s sister, Erika, her hubby Mike & the nieces, Emily & Audrey. Unfortunately, we had a rough start to the visit. Poor Audrey was diagnosed with the flu (influenza) just days before coming to Milwaukee. We were supposed to get together for a big family Sedar (for passover) on that Monday, but ended up cancelling because we didn’t want to risk spreading the flu to the kids (they’re still very high risk).

We ended up seeing them on Tuesday (they had arrived on Saturday) and just about every day after. So, while we had a slow start, the trip was really great! Charlotte and Henry ADORE their cousins and vice versa. It was amazingly cute watching the four kids. I’m talking wagon rides and ring around the rosy cute… reading stories together cute… it was good stuff.

Poor little C got so used to seeing her cousins, she couldn’t quite understand why they weren’t coming over the days after they left Wisconsin. In fact, she cried the whole way home from school on Monday because she wanted to see Audrey.

Thank goodness for technology… the kids spent a good 30+ minutes chatting on FaceTime a couple nights ago. AND, we’ll be trekking out to NY next month over Memorial Day! The kids are SO excited, and so are we! It’s going to be a blast.


Missing my Girl

This morning when I woke up, I was feeling excited. I ignored any exhaustion I was feeling. I got up, packed my bag, and we headed out for our farewell brunch and hang time. 

It was another great day. And I was so pumped to be heading home to my sweet bunny girl.

As we made the drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, the nerves began… We were driving right into a storm.

When we arrived at the airport, our flight was showing slight delays. So we waited in line for at least an hour when they made the announcement: our flight was cancelled.

So here we are at 915 pm, bunking up 5 people deep at the Hawthorne Suites. 

Our new flight leaves tomorrow at 630 am for a 110 pm arrival. 

I just want to go home. I’m ready to give my babes so many smooches. It has been way too long. 

With that said, I have to mention that prior to this mishap, we’ve literally had the best time. Santa Fe is gorgeous, the wedding was perfect… It was a great trip. 


5 Days Post Due Date

Last night I woke up at 11:30 or so from my first “painful” contraction. I put the word painful in quotes because I know it will get worse and really, it wasn’t terrible. Anyway, I had the thought of, “this could be it,” but thankfully was able to get back to sleep. Alas, this was not it and here I am on day 5 post due date.

Today I am back at work after having Monday and Tuesday off, which has been nice. I’ve been trying to get as much done as possible and really tie up loose ends. My productivity was interrupted; however, by an appointment to go see my friend’s momma who has SO GRACIOUSLY offered to attempt to fix my dress for the wedding I’m in this weekend.

I had been putting off getting the dress tailored until I had a better idea as to what my body would look like. As you might imagine, I did not think it would look like it does today, which is ginormous. In fact, I was hopeful that I’d have a 2-3 week old baby by the time the wedding hit. Clearly not the case.

Anyway, I didn’t think it was going to be a huge job because last time I tried on the dress, it seemed like everything fit but the chest portion. Turns out, this is not the case anymore. My friend’s mom is adding in 5 inches of fabric from top to bottom in attempts of making this dress fit. The challenge? I only have extra fabric for the top, chiffon layer, not the bottom layer of fabric. So, while we did the best we could to match, the underlay fabric is a bit darker. Oy. I’m going to be a fat, sweaty, disheveled mess. Hopefully it will magically turn out perfectly.

As a little pick me up, I did grab an ice cream cone form Baskin Robbins on my way back to work. So that was nice… maybe not what I needed, as I’m clearly pretty giant, but helpful… from a mental standpoint. I’m feeling great again 🙂

Minus my feet that is. Holy smokes. Yesterday I spent about 6 hours sitting at our kitchen counter and when I finally looked down at the damage to my feet, it was too late! They were SO swollen… like, I’ve never seem them look worse… they’re flippers.

I'm sorry, but what is that limb? I don't recognize it...

I’m sorry, but what is that limb? I don’t recognize it…

Oy. They’re a little better today, but I can literally feel them jiggle when I walk. That’s just not good. Other than that, check out these fun pics I rediscovered yesterday from our honeymoon…

Swinging in Fiji

Swinging in Fiji

My hubbers.

My hubbers.

Perfection in a single sunset.

Perfection in a single sunset.

Pre-Honeymoon Cali Goodness... Look how agile I was.

Pre-Honeymoon Cali Goodness… Look how agile I was.

Me & my guy.

Me & my guy.

The Babymoon / 1 Year Anniversary Celebration

We are officially back from our jaunt to Mexico… in fact, we’ve already gotten right back into nursery prep mode. Last night we picked up the crib, glider, and ottoman from Babies R Us and did all the caulking around the trim in the nursery. As my Milly (Mother-In-Law) says, 0 to 60 in no time 🙂

But, before I get too far ahead of myself, I have to say, we had a REALLY great trip. After the worst winter ever, it was so nice to feel warmth… and the sun. Oh did I miss the sun. However, I did get pretty damn fried the first day. I really think it has to be partly because of the pregnancy, because wow did I fry. To the point where I had to take extra strength tylenol just to be able to pee.

Beyond that, it was wonderful. We stayed at the Excellence Playa Mujeres and honestly, couldn’t have picked a better resort. We were worried about spring breakers debauchery run-off from Cancun, but didn’t have a single issue. We got a pool or beach lounger whenever we wanted one, the crowd was a lot of couples (due to the adults only status), and there were tons of activities.

We did trap shooting with an air-soft gun, an aloe vera class, played tennis (Mark only), took a yoga class (me only), saw tons of shows (even a Mexican version of Michael Jackson), and relaxed a plenty.

My first time shooting and I was a rockstar! 2 out of 3! Poor husband didn't hit anything :)

My first time shooting and I was a rockstar! 2 out of 3! Poor husband didn’t hit anything 🙂


Our lovely room.

Our lovely room.


Exploring Isla Mujeres via golf cart with the hubs. Took a giant catamaran sail boat over to the island for a nice day trip.

Exploring Isla Mujeres via golf cart with the hubs. Took a giant catamaran sail boat over to the island for a nice day trip.




Delicious dinner at one of seven restaurants! This was one of our faves... the Italian, Toscana.

Delicious dinner at one of seven restaurants! This was one of our faves… the Italian, Toscana.

The most heavenly few hours EVER.

The most heavenly few hours EVER.

So, I need a pool and a hammock... no biggy.

So, I need a pool and a hammock… no biggy.


We got the sweet baby girl a little outfit from our first out-of-country family vacay!

We got the sweet baby girl a little outfit from our first out-of-country family vacay!


This could be why I gained so much weight this month... breakfast on our balcony.

This could be why I gained so much weight this month… breakfast on our balcony.


Mixing up a mask in our aloe vera class (I'll post the recipe soon).

Mixing up a mask in our aloe vera class (I’ll post the recipe soon).

Marky lathering up in our aloe vera class.

Marky lathering up in our aloe vera class.


Our anniversary! ONE fabulous year with my love.

Our anniversary! ONE fabulous year with my love.

A special babymoon gift from our concierge. Sparkling cider and a freaky baby cake!

A special babymoon gift from our concierge. Sparkling cider and a freaky baby cake!

The weirdest and funniest St. Patty's Day beer tasting event EVER.

The weirdest and funniest St. Patty’s Day beer tasting event EVER.


Enjoying the balcony on our last morning.

Enjoying the balcony on our last morning.


Bon Voyage!

Bon Voyage!



I just had my doctor’s appointment today, which went well. The doc was very surprised (and maybe a little pleased) that I didn’t really have many questions at all. Everything is looking good, although, I did gain a bit of weight this month. She said I needed to put on a little extra because I was low before… but I put on that little extra and then a little extra after that. The nurse said if I get back to my normal eating habits and workout regimen, things will likely even out. Nothing to worry about… but I will definitely not be indulging as I was. EXCEPT for our one-year anniversary cake that is being delivered tonight. SO excited. Our cake lady added the mini cake into our wedding cake package. She made the cutest little design… love birds with eggs in the nest.

Our anniversary cake! Can't wait to see it (and taste it) tonight!

Our anniversary cake! Can’t wait to see it (and taste it) tonight!


Other than that, I’m feeling really great! Still have random aches and pains in the back and cramping in my hip, but nothing to complain about. Also, the little nuglette continues to practice her acrobatics in my belly. She is quite the wiggle worm. Oh I just love her. Can’t wait to meet her!! Only 3.5 months left!

















The Best Year of My Life

I can’t believe how fast time is going. Tomorrow the hubs and I will fly to Mexico to celebrate our ONE YEAR anniversary. Yes, to all you marriage veterans, this doesn’t seem very long, but I literally feel like our wedding was a few months ago. It’s crazy to think that an entire year has already gone by and now we have a wee little one on the way who will be here in less than 4 months. Craziness.

So, in honor of the most amazing year of my life, spent with the most amazing man I’ve ever known, today’s blog is my Top 10 list. The 10 highlights of this past year we’ve spent together…

1) Exchanging our personal vows to each other in front of our friends and family. I cannot explain how grateful I am to have gotten my husband to agree to pouring our hearts and souls out in front of an audience. The words that this man said to me literally brought tears to my eyes. How could I be so lucky? He’s amazing and that moment was one of the best of my life.



2) Loving and laughing with my guy.  We have so much fun together and I absolutely love my time with him. It’s almost a little pathetic. If I could be with him every second of every day, I’m thinking I’d do it in a heartbeat. Everything just feels a little better with him around.

Splish splashing in Cali.

Splish splashing in Cali.

3) Learning to SCUBA in Fiji together. This was a big accomplishment for us, as Marky has some serious anxiety when it comes to water. But, together – with an amazing Fijian dive guide – we did it and were able to explore over 100 ft under the ocean… together.

4) The Mark/Toby morning routine. Most mornings, I get up first and when Mark and Toby finally drag their butts out of bed, Marky will carry Toby into the bathroom where I’m getting ready to say good morning. I get a sweet, sleepy kiss from both of them and I absolutely love it.

5) Telling Marky that we’re pregnant! The overwhelming excitement we shared at that moment and the monumental concept of the whole thing is just incredible. We created life together. And we made a commitment to each other and to our future baby to bring love and reason and morals and knowledge to her life. We extended our vows beyond each other.

Breaking the news to the daddy-to-be!

Breaking the news to the daddy-to-be!

6) Running and jumping into his arms. While this is very fun, that’s not the only reason I love to jump into my husband’s arms. Sometimes I feel like a child with my love for him. I get so overwhelmed with love that I want to squeeze him… or hit him. Like a Kindergartner. Something about our run & jump routine fulfills this need. Side note… this is probably what I miss most since being pregnant. A giant belly is not conducive to such expressions of love.

That's the face of someone who just got hit by 110 pounds running at top speed.

That’s the face of someone who just got hit by 110 pounds running at top speed.

7) Baby & Pregnancy Planning. It has been SO amazing to plan out our pregnancy, birth plan, and child rearing techniques with my husband. His interest in EVERYTHING relating to the delivery is incredible. Already I feel like the most supported mama-to-be in the world. He’s not afraid to read about or watch the gory delivery details. He just wants to soak it all in so we can make the best decisions for me and for our sweet girl. He worries about me and takes care of me. And, he takes the time to read our parenting book and talk through a bazillion parenting scenarios. We have so many, “what would you have done in that situation?” conversations… and I love every single one. I couldn’t have a better partner.

8) Making up. While I don’t love disagreeing or arguing, I do love how we’ve been able to grow from all of our disagreements. With every fight, we get better and better. I cherish the fact that we take every opportunity to adjust our own actions in order to be a better partner for the other. I feel like we have a really great balance of give and take and I feel so comforted knowing that this is something we will only improve on.

9) Mark’s face when he felt the baby kick for the first time. Maybe just Mark’s face period. I just love him. I love seeing him light up and I love being able to share such insane and miraculous milestones with him.

10) Valentine’s Day! Not many men would take their wives all the way to NYC to see a musical. But my hubs had no problem. We spent an amazing and spontaneous day/night walking around, shopping, eating and just being in love. It was the perfect reminder of what we have together. Easy love.

So, lovey, happy anniversary! I love you madly. Here’s to another year of amazingness and to our celebration of the best year ever… which officially begins in less than 24 hours. Oh, and thanks for making me feel like the luckiest lady around. You’re my best friend (if you were with me, I’d give you a high five).


I have fresh fruit juice, sun and sand on the brain! Can’t wait to take my sweet inside baby and the love of my life to MEXICO… tomorrow!!! Also, I’d like to apologize to any of you who may run into us there… I may or may not be rocking a 6+ month belly in a bikini. It just has to happen. Please drink accordingly 🙂

It’s Literally -22 Degrees F

Seriously, Wisconsin? This is bonkers. I can’t even comprehend this craziness. Last year the coldest day of the year was -5 and truly, it was a relatively warm winter with minimal snow fall. This is just unreal. The public schools have now had three “cold days”… ie: temperatures are so severe and dangerous, all are warned to stay inside. Sounds lovely, huh?

Anyway, this crazy weather has increased the already urgent desire to get our dang one-year anniversary/babymoon vacation planned. The vastness of the Internet seems to act as a total inhibitor when it comes to vacation planning. I end up OBSESSING over every review and feel severely overwhelmed and incapable of making a decision. BUT, I’m hoping that we will finally get something solidified this week. That would be such a relief. 

I just want to sit in the warm weather with my hubs, sipping a non-alcoholic cocktail, enjoying the sunshine, loving life and celebrating the best year of my life. Ahhh. I almost feel more relaxed just thinking about it.

Speaking of my hubs, I can’t believe that in March, it will have already been a year since our wedding. Time really does fly when you’re having a great time. And, on top of getting to celebrate on vacation, we get to enjoy when we get back… because as part of our “cake package,” we negotiated in an anniversary cake. So, 14 servings of this tasty treat are coming our way…

I can almost taste the sweet deliciousness now...

I can almost taste the sweet deliciousness now…


And just for fun… some wedding memories…

Ugh, my husband is so dang cute.

Ugh, my husband is so dang cute.

Sharing the wine.

Sharing the wine.

Enjoying each other (and the speeches).

Enjoying each other (and the speeches).

First dance!

First dance!

One of the last dances.

One of the last dances.



Nothing new to report! I ate like crap today and am feeling pretty crappy in response. Urgh. I’ll be better tomorrow! Oh! And did I mention it’s freezing?