mpls sculpture garden

ONE WEEK UNTIL SCHOOL STARTS! With just a short amount of time left for summer adventures, we took advantage of the day… even in the rain! The girls remember going to the “cherry on the spoon park” about 5 years ago, you can see that here, oh my goodness they were so little!! They keep asking to go back every time we drive by so this morning we told them we were going on an adventure and we went! Despite the rain, and chilly temps, hello, we’re still in August over here… we had a fun time exploring and running around!


Summer is quickly coming to an end… you can see our other summer adventures here. We’re all excited for school to start (especially Mama), but we’re checking off the last few things on our summer bucket list before it’s back to a routine. Next up, the Minnesota State Fair!


that’s a wrap!

So long 2nd grade and kindergarten!! The girls rocked it this year and we are so excited for the summer break to start! Well, at least most of us are… [scroll down]


And it wouldn’t be my girls without some silly outtakes ::IMG_8543collage1

aria’s first birthday

ONE ::
Well, little love… here we are. ONE YEAR! And what a fun year it has been!! As much as my heart wants to keep you little forever, it is such a joy to watch you grow. From only wanting to be with Mom, to slooowly becoming more accustomed to other people, to your buck-tooth smile when you sass with your sisters; you are a joy and we can’t wait to see what the next year brings. We love you so much, Miss Aria. Thank you for completing our family. Happy GOLDEN Birthday!


Halloween 2017

When Mama’s coffee obsession goes a little too far…😋☕ But these have got to be the cutest Starbucks barista, frappuccino and espresso bean I’ve ever seen!


It was a chilly night – only 34 degrees, but the girls bundled up and had a blast! Can’t help but think about next year when we’ll have three trick-or-treaters!

family photos 2017

It’s that time of year again… FAMILY PHOTOS!! I have a love/hate relationship with family photos. I love capturing the moment of our family at that particular time of year, but I hate finding coordinating outfits, props, and making candy-filled promises for a tear-free and big-smile-but-don’t-look-like-a-robot time. It just gets to be so stressful, especially as a family of five now. But somehow, this year just seemed easier. Maybe I didn’t care as much or I was just in the mindset that it is what it is, but to make things as easy as possible, the girls wore outfits they already owned and the photoshoot only lasted about 10 minutes, taken in our backyard. And although Aria was in desperate need of a nap, and we have a total of two pictures where everyone is smiling (or at least not screaming)… I still love them so darn much! I’m so thankful for the way these photos are gentle reminders to slow down and enjoy life’s moments as they happen – tears and all :)

DAN17SEPT (2)DAN17SEPT (3)DAN17SEPT (4)DAN17SEPT (5)DAN17SEPT (7)collage2DAN17SEPT (12)DAN17SEPT (13)collage1DAN17SEPT (15)DAN17SEPT (19)Photos taken by Mandy Pardo.

moments matter challenge :: september

It’s been a few months with a new baby, and I feel like we’re in a kinda-sorta-semi-routine around our house so I thought I’d take on another Moments Matter challenge. It’s always so fun to take a step back and think about the photo prompt and how I can interpret it. I started out so strong and actually made it most of the month… but then life got in the way and one day slipped by, then two, and before I knew it the month was over. But, I am really happy with the snippets of our lives that I did manage to capture and it will be fun to look back and remember these moments, which is the whole purpose of these challenges.


Day 1. Embrace :: This is real life – screaming baby, messy house, ponytail, yoga pants… and I’m embracing every moment.

Day 2. Happy Place :: Of course my happy place is with my family, BUT once a week I get to disappear alone to another happy place where my OCD deal-finding and family organization can come alive.

Day 3. Share :: Captured this moment last night of Daddy sharing a moment with his baby girl.

Day 4. Cool :: Keeping cool with water balloons on the LAST day of summer. Back to school tomorrow!


Day 5. Closeup :: Baby feet. Just want to smooch on them all day long.

Day 6. Schedule :: The back-to-school schedule has begun. This girl told me I have to wake her up early enough so she has time to put her makeup on.

Day 7. Small :: Small babe in a big ol bed…

Day 8. Season :: The season of bonfires, s’mores and patio dinners is almost over. We were able to sneak one more in… wearing a swimsuit, of course.


Day 9. Golden :: Soaking in the golden hour with my littlest sunshine girl.

Day 10. Write :: Writing the weeks to-dos, meal planning, and enjoying some (short lived) quiet time. For some reason, actually writing things down and being able to check them off my list makes me happy.

Day 11. Remember :: I want to remember how little you are, the way you fit in my arms and the way your head lays gently on my shoulder when you’re tired. You are growing so fast and pretty soon these baby snuggles will be hard to come by. Soaking it in.

Day 12. Comfy :: That time of day when the warm sun shines in, I’m sipping on a reheated cup of coffee, the babe is still snoozin, and the house is quiet from the morning rush. So comfy.


Day 13. A is for :: …adorable Aria. Had to do it.

Day 14. Funny :: Funny, but perfect shirt for these two when brushing their hair is a daily struggle.

Day 15. Bake :: Lemon Coconut Protein Macaroons – a “healthy” sweet treat!

Day 16. Thankful :: This guy :: Daddy. Husband. Partner. Doctor. Provider. Pretty darn thankful for him and all that he does for his girls.


Day 17. Leaves :: That time of year again… and I love it!

Day 19. Circles :: So many circles here, but those big brown eyes are my favorite!

Day 20. Change :: No better day to change up the decor than on the first day of Fall – although at almost 90° in MN it sure doesn’t feel like it…

Day 21. Door :: The family watchdog protecting her territory. Watch out, she’ll lick you to death.


Day 22. Pattern :: Mondays are for all the fun patterns. And for coffee. Lots of coffee.

Day 23. Treat :: When you find your favorite treat in flavors you’ve never tried… you buy them all!! Decisions, decisions…

Previous Moments Matter challenges here and here.

2nd grade & kindergarten

Another school-year has come. I knew the summer would fly by with a new baby and that school would come so fast, but man, it really did just creep up on us. The summer feels like a blur, but here we are :: Elliot entering 2nd grade and Cora is a Kindergartner! Both girls were excited for the first day, Cora was a little nervous, but having Elliot there with her to ride the bus to school and bring her to her classroom was a big help! I know they’ll be rock-stars this year and we’re all excited to see what this year brings!


**UPDATE** So far the school-year has brought a lot of germs. Both kiddos are sick and Cora has already missed a day of school. Ugh, welcome to the cesspool of germs called back-to-school…