Hi everyone! I hope you all had an amazing Memorial Day Weekend and got to relax and spend some time outdoors with the ones you love! It was so so beautiful out- like perfect temperature, sunny, and there was even a little breeze. Greg and I could not wait to just be outside all weekend.
Happy Monday… well almost Tuesday! I hope you all had a relaxing Mother’s Day and got to spend some really fun time with your cute moms!
It was my sweet mom’s 50th birthday and Mother’s Day all in one!
My little brother and sis turned 21! Greg and I went to Chicago this weekend to celebrate with them, and it was the perfect weekend. Sweet family time, laughs, hugs, and spring in February, and two birthdays!
We drove in Saturday evening after Greg got off work. We got ready at my parents house, and Olivia and I ended up matching perfectly. We had both had gone shopping for outfits to go out to dinner in, and we both picked out fluffy shoes and blush! It was so cute and perfect. It was like we had a total sister thing going on lol.
After relaxing and getting to hang out a little we headed downtown to the Kerryman. We were all really excited to try this restaurant because my dad, Kevin, Greg, and I had won a gift certificate to it in a raffle in an Irish golf outing we had played in together. My mom made our reservation for 9 because if it’s made any earlier when Greg and I come up it’s always a huge rush or we’re late for the reservation, and she never wants us to be in a rush on the weekend, which is really cute and thoughtful. 🙂
Well, by the time we got there for dinner the Kerryman was already in semi-club mode. It was really funny because it was noisy, and there were people everywhere. We sat down for dinner, and then the lights above our table started flickering. We all started laughing because we were not expecting the restaurant to also be a total party place, but honestly it was kinda perfect for a 21st b-day celebration! Ooh, also, the food was really, really good!
After dinner, we wanted to explore a little. Kev, Liv, Greg, and I decided to take a walk and find a bar to have a cocktail at. I loved walking downtown with all the pretty lights holding Greg’s hand. The city can feel like total magic, and it did! We ended up having a margarita at this quiet Mexican restaurant after almost going to a piano bar… apparently Kevin did not have the right shoes for that place lol. Quiet, little places like that are the best, though, because you can have the best conversations with the people you are with, and we did! We were all laughing and just having so much fun together.
Kevin, Greg, and I ended our night in front of a fire back at my parent’s house at 5am (crazy!!! lol) because we were just having the best time!
Christmas is one of our absolute favorite times of year! Last December, Greg and I got engaged on the 23rd so Christmastime will always hold a special place in our hearts. On Christmas Eve we hunted and then got all cleaned up, and went to Greg’s aunt’s house. His whole family was there, and it was so fun seeing everyone. When we got home on Christmas Eve we still had presents to wrap and lots to get ready because we hosted Christmas Day for our families! Greg and I made a pizza, wrapped presents, and then we dozed off on the couch for like an hour before we went to bed lol.
When Christmas morning came, we got up early together and exchanged gifts just us two and had some coffee and cuddles together. I put on Christmas music (I like the Jessie James Decker Holiday pandora station), and we cleaned and cooked together, with the help of Greg’s sister Katie before our families came. Greg is a master chef in the kitchen. He did most of the cooking because he is such a pro. Seriously, everything he makes in mouthwatering. I always try and copy his cooking, but his always turns out better. I was really just in charge of cleaning up and making the gluten free brownies for Greg’s grandpa; brownies are my speciality lol. Oh and my sister, Olivia, made the green bean casserole.
We were super excited to have everyone over at our place for Christmas, and it was really special and fun. We had my mom, dad, my brother and sister (Kevin and Olivia, Greg’s grandparents, his dad and dad’s wife, Colleen, and his two sisters (Katie and Emily). It was so nice having everyone together to eat, have some drinks, yummy desert, open presents, and have some good sports on in the backgrounds thanks to my dad and brother :)! My mom made pretzel jello, which Greg loves. Greg’s grandma made the most amazing salad, and Olivia made a turtle cheesecake that turned out like it was professional! Christmas always makes me and Greg feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and we definitely felt that way being able to share all the fun and create really special memories with our families together.
Duck season is officially over in central Illinois, but Greg and I have started field hunting for geese! I absolutely love field hunting. It is super comfortable, and you can get all cozy in your layout blind. I even bring a sleeping bag and blankie with me so that I stay extra warm. They’re camo, too, of course! Hunting on the water for duck is not always the warmest or most comfortable experience because it’s wet, but in a field you can hide well and just stay warmer. If you are a new hunter or want to try waterfowl hunting I would recommend field hunting first because sometimes the lack of comfort while hunting can be shocking, and field hunting is the perfect way to ease into the sport.
At first we weren’t sure if we were going to get to field hunt this year because we didn’t have an official spot once duck hunting was coming to an end, but one of Greg’s super sweet coworkers knew of a farmer who had land with water, field, and geese, and the farmer is letting us hunt it. I am just super excited about this because field hunting is my favorite.
These pictures are from two hunts from this weekend. We hunted the eve of Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve. It was merry and bright (lol) to be able to hunt those two days together! We would have also hunted Christmas morning, but Greg and I hosted Christmas day for our families (totally magical and fun and more about that tomorrow). Plus,the weather was beautiful. Setting up decoys, Greg and I even got a little sweaty and had to take off our jackets.
This is also a really sweet spot. Driving to the field the geese were swimming on the water. We didn’t harvest anything either day because we’re still kind of scouting the land, but we did see a TON of birds! Watching the sky while hunting is one of our favorite parts. Geese flew over us and we could just hear and see them so clearly. It is honestly fascinating watching animals in nature like that, and I always leave our hunting spot feeling a deeper connection to Greg and nature. It is a total endorphin high because your heart just gets pumping as the birds get closer to you!
We’re going to go hunt this spot again this Thursday, and hopefully have some better luck. We learned some lessons like hiding our layout blinds better, and we think we have the feeding times for when birds get to the field nailed down. We are just itching to get out again because of how many birds we did see on those 2 hunts!
This past weekend I had the best time celebrating my 23rd birthday with Greg and my family! I love love love birthdays. They always feel so special, especially when you get to share them with the ones you love the most. I also think getting older is fun. It’s like each new birthday comes with a new year where you get to experience new things and learn more. It is so awesome! Plus the older people are, the more wisdom they have to share, which is so special. I have been so lucky to have so much wisdom and good advice shared with me.
Greg and I had the best weekend. I opened my presents early on Saturday when we first got in because my mom and sister were so excited to give them to me and I was so excited to open them (so cute). None of us can keep presents a secret! Then on Sunday we went out to this cute little breakfast place called Elly’s with my brother and sister. Afterwards we went to the mall and window shopped and held hands. 🙂
On Sunday night we went to a restaurant in Rosemont called Hofbräuhaus. It was a German restaurant and super yummy. The boys got their big beers which I think are called steins. We also all had the yummiest meals. It is just the best when we can all get together and really enjoy each others company. There was also a lady singing German songs, the waitresses had on the little German outfits, and there was lederhosen, which made the restaurant even more festive! I think Greg could totally rock a pair of lederhosen.
It was also snowing a lot; this is one of the best parts about having a winter birthday. Sometimes you get snow! After dinner we enjoyed the pretty Christmas lights… but just for a second because Greg threw the hardest snowball at me lol so we got in huge snowball fight! I think I won because I threw one at him and he tried to block it with his hand and it exploded in his face lol. We then ended the night with some chocolate ice cream and the coziest car ride home.
Snow, snow, snow! I love snow. It just makes winter so pretty! This hunt started with the perfect duck hunting weather. It was chilly, but not too windy. We totally expected a really good hunt, but then all of a sudden, the snow started coming faster and faster. The visibility wasn’t great, but we did stay out for quite a while hoping that the snow would stop falling and that we could see some birds come in. They didn’t, but we had so much fun hanging out on the water even in the chilly temperatures!
My favorite part of this hunt was the blind that we hunted out of. We had to drive the boat out to the blind and we sat above right above the water. The best part of all was that the blind had a heater in it! We didn’t know that it would have a heater in it; so we didn’t have a lighter. Greg and our friend Pat played around with it, and Pat was able to get it to light using a battery and some paper towel. It was super cool and totally felt like Survivor or something lol. That really helped me stay out really long in the chilly weather which made Greg super happy! Hopefully, we’ll get one more kinda snowy hunt in before the season ends (but this time maybe we’ll see some birds)! 🙂
Oh man, this week has been a crazy week! I had so much to get done at work, but honestly getting all of that completed makes me feel so accomplished and inspired; which is the best feeling ever, especially coming into the weekend! The only downfall is that I did not have time to blog, but I am excited to post this because this is our Thanksgiving post. Thanksgiving is one of my top three favorite holidays! I love how it is all about family, love, and gratitude.
Greg and I drove up to Park Ridge on Wednesday night. We were so excited to get to spend a few days with my family because these past few months have just been so busy. On Wednesday we stayed up late with my whole family, and then slept in a little on Thursday. When we woke up, Greg and I went for and got a holiday latte and went back to my parents house for some extra cuddles with each other. We relaxed for a little, and then it was time to get ready!
Before dinner Greg and I went to a little park by my parents house. It’s the cutest little spot. It has pretty trees, water, and even ducks (one of our favorite animals)! My parents also love this spot. They take a little drive there to have lunch or have a little chat. I think is just so sweet! There is nothing better than a good spot.
Afterwards, we went to my Auntie Mar and Uncle Steve’s house for such a yummy dinner. My favorite part was the ham and getting to spend so much time with Greg and my family. Greg loved the smoked turkey, too. Thanksgiving just made my heart so happy!
I know this post is a little late, but I wanted to share my top 10 things that I am grateful for. Anytime is a great time for gratitude, and this year has been amazing!
9. Having so many great opportunities. I feel so blessed all the time.
8. Our townhouse because it feels like home. So cozy.
7. My mom and I found my wedding dress! It’s perfect, and I am so happy we got to do that together. Also, she is just the best shopper; she found the magic dress.
6. The fact that Greg and I get to be married in June!
5. Greg’s little sisters. Little sisters everywhere are just so fun!
4. My job. It is rewarding, exhausting, inspiring, energizing, challenging, and more.
3. All of the amazing things Greg and I share. I love how he shares his passion with me, and I can share mine with him.
2. My amazing, supportive family (mom, dad, Kev, and Liv) and getting to spend any time we can with them.
1. Greg and his love, kisses, hugs, cuddles, talks! I could go on and on!!!!
Thanksgiving is just the best any time of the year!
This past weekend Greg and I went hunting in Wisconsin! It was the perfect little weekend getaway. We drove up on Saturday evening, stayed at the Lake Lily Resort, and got to hunt some place we have never been to before together.
Our hunting trip started Saturday night with our drive to Wisconsin (we always love being in the car together), a quick trip to the Walmart in Kenosha for a hunting license, and some nachos, wings, and grilled shrimp when we arrived at Lily Lake! We also got to snuggle up in our hotel room before our 5 am wake up call to go hunt.
Greg researched this hunting spot a ton. We totally thought that it was going to be the perfect spot to hunt, and we were hoping to see tons of birds! We were also totally prepared with our new wadders and decoys, but when we got to our spot the lake was dried up! It just made me think of The Notebook, where Noah tells the story of how this lake froze, and the birds flew off with it! I think the birds must have flown off with this lake last year lol. Luckily, we were able to set up our decoys in a flooded field and spot a few birds.
My favorite part about being in Wisconsin was running into the different hunters. Hunting is such a big sport in Wisconsin. In just a few hours while we were watching for ducks and geese, we ran into a group of deer hunters and two groups of pheasant hunters! We also met the cutest little hunting puppy named Boo.
Hunting in new places is so fun and totally feels like a mini vacation. We are so excited to take more trips this year!