Category Archives: vacation

Family Vacation–Siesta Key

Hey! Happy Sunday. . . we are getting ready to pack up and head back to MN from Florida. We’ve been in Siesta Key for the past week enjoying warmer weather and beach time.

I thought I’d pop in to share some pictures!

View from our condo. . .

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Beach!

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Jake’s first time in the ocean (gulf)

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Baby flip flops

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Beach runs, sunsets and naps

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The best caramel latte from Buddy Brew Coffee (seriously, on my top 5 best ever list!), enjoying it while at my medical conference lecture (the reason we went to Florida)

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Sharing.

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Meanies Mini Donuts <—must have if you go to Siesta Key

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Beach time

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Gorgeous sunsets

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Pool swimming

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Perfection during nap time

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Mini golf fun

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And feeding the gators

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Beach pictures <love>

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And now wish me luck on our 3 hour flight back home with an 11 month old. Winking smile

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Disney World Tips

Here it is. My BIG Disney World tips post.

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**disclaimer: this is just my own thoughts and tips after our very first trip to Disney World with two young kids.

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Before your trip:

1. You can make dinner reservations 180 days in advance, so as soon as you book your trip, get on My Disney and book away!

2. If you can swing it, I would highly recommend staying at a Disney property. We stayed at the Grand Floridian and it was so beneficial.

*If you stay at a Disney resort, they will provide transportation to and from the airport

*They will take your luggage from the airport directly to your hotel room.

*If you stay at the Grand Floridian, you are one monorail stop away from the Magic Kingdom, literally about a 3 minute ride.

*Free transportation to any of the parks. We took a bus to Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs.

*You can book fast passes 60 days in advance. Fast passes are basically a cut to the front of the long line by getting in the shorter line.  You can pick three fast passes per day at the park. These are HUGE TIME SAVERS if you pick the right rides/attractions.  You sign up for a fast pass time on the My Disney Experience (either website or phone app). You have an hour window to use the fast pass. There is actually a 5 minute lag either way, so if you’re fast pass is from 2-3, you can get on from 1:55- 3:05.

On your trip:

1. IMHO, only plan for one park per day. I think the park hopper tickets would be a waste of money with young kids.

2. Plan for a rest day. It’s hot in Florida. The pool is a great place to spend the day and rest your feet.  Smile

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3. Bring snacks.

4. Plan to spend a ton of money on food and for it to not be good. Seriously, the food was awful and super spendy. *Dessert from the candy store at Magic Kingdom was the exception* Character buffets are worth it to be able to sit down in air conditioning and get something to eat while meeting all the characters. We did one with Cinderella and one with Winnie the Pooh and I would recommend both for the experience, not the food. . . I will say that Luke seemed to enjoy the food and they definitely did a great job catering to the kids with mac and cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets, etc.

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5. We usually made one food reservation per day and then ate snacks or stopped for a quick bite to eat along the way.

6. Plan ahead for what/when you’ll eat. .. or at least think ahead. Lines tend to be super long so if you wait until you are already hangry, it’s not going to be fun to wait another 20+ minutes before you get food once you decide where you are going to eat. . .

Decide ahead of time if you are going to do signature books for Characters to sign and/or pin trading.. . and come prepared. We didn’t know about signature books for the characters to sign, so we missed out on that one. We got some pins for Luke to trade on our last day and he LOVED it. I wish we would have gotten him started sooner, and I wish we would have bought some ahead of time to trade as they are pretty spendy in the park.

All of our character visits were worth the wait. We tried to fast pass most of them, but they were really the highlight of the trip.  Other fast pass suggestions for Magic Kingdom:

  1. Peter Pan’s Flight
  2. Jungle Cruise
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean

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Another highlight, the Safari ride in Animal Kingdom – so cool! Try to do it early in the morning when the animals are most active. .. and fast pass it!

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Beware of FOMO. You can’t, won’t and shouldn’t try to do it all in one trip/day. Seriously, you could drive yourself nuts because every time you turn around something new or different is going on in front of the castle or down main street. My best tip is to just enjoy the trip. Take your time and soak it in, and just stick to one or two areas per day.

I wasn’t sure what the dress code is for Disney. . . I went for the comfortable Lululemon route and would highly recommend that to anyone. Comfortable tennis shoes are a must!

If you have a young baby, Disney has a Baby Center in each park. They have a quiet room for nursing, changing tables, a place to mix up formula and warm up bottles. They also have a room for the bigger kids to watch a movie or read books while Mom and Dad are taking care of the baby.

We carried around a backpack for all the things we would need while at the park. We had sunscreen, a small first aid kit with band aids and Advil, water bottles, snacks (granola bars, applesauce packets, fruit snacks), backup phone charger, supplies for Jake (light blanket, diaper, wipes, bottles, etc.)

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Random suggestion for parents with kids – have a souvenir rule and prep kids ahead of time. Scott and I decided that Luke could pick out one souvenir per day. We prepped him for that rule ahead of time. So, no melt downs or fights while we were there because he knew the expectation and rule ahead of time.

It is a truly magical place. Enjoy it and enjoy watching the kids soak it all in!

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Disney World–Magic Kingdom Day 2

Happy Friday!

I’m popping in today to share my last recap post from our Disney trip!

One of the best pieces of advice I got while planning our trip to Disney was from Becky and it was to take a rest day.

Best. idea. ever.

After two days at the park, we were all more than ready for a chill day.

And Luke couldn’t wait to go swimming in the pools.

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Jake didn’t mind hanging poolside. . .

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As long as he didn’t actually have to go in the water. Winking smile

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Much better..  .

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After our afternoon in the pool, we went to Disney Springs for dinner and to wander around. They have the biggest Disney store in the world there and Luke picked out his souvenir. . .  a pink Minnie Mouse dog carrier with Figaro in it! Not exactly what I would have picked but he loved it. Smile

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Then, we spent one more day at the Magic Kingdom.

And oh man, it was HOT. 90+ and sunny!

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Character lunch with Winnie the Pooh and friends.

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More wandering. . .

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Luke became an honorary pirate from Captain Jake Sparrow.

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We met Tinker Bell. . . Luke kept asking before we met her if she was going to be little or big. Smile

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We caught the parade.

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And finished our Disney vacation with the fireworks.

Our last day was more swimming, taking the Magic Express back to the airport and getting back home.

Luke is already asking when we can go back. . . Winking smile

And I’m super excited for the weekend – we have Luke’s 5th birthday parties, friends party tomorrow and family party on Sunday. I’ll be back on Monday with a recap.

Have a great one!

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Filed under Jake, Luke, Recap, vacation

Our Trip to Disney World–Animal Kingdom

Day 2!

We headed to the Animal Kingdom.

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First stop: African Safari.

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oh my goodness. it was so cool! we saw crocodiles.

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and giraffes.

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I didn’t take too many pictures because Jake was sleeping and I was trying to hold him tight to me with all the bouncing to keep him asleep.  .. but we also saw elephants – including a baby one! Lions, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses. This “ride” is a must do it you go to AK.

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my only complaint was that the ride was so fast! It would have been nice to slow down a bit. . . but I also understand they are trying to get lots of people thru fairly quickly.

Then, we got to meet Mickey and Minnie.

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Iced white chocolate mocha was #necessary.

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And then after a super scary, horrible dinosaur ride (according to Luke), we met Pluto and Goofy.

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And ended our day with one more ride.

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After some souvenir shopping. . .back to the hotel for showers, PJs and bedtime!

Day 3 at the pool and Day 4 at Magic Kingdom coming up next!

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Filed under Jake, Luke, Recap, vacation

Our Trip to Disney World–Magic Kingdom

Wow.

What a trip!

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A friend told me that when you have kids, if you take them with, you call it a “family trip.” If you go alone, it is a vacation. Winking smile 

No, seriously, we had a great time. Luke had such a fun time, Jake was a trooper and Scott and I had some fun too.

I wanted to share a few recaps from our trips. . . because holy pictures. And I also plan to share a recap of some tips and tricks from our first time for anyone planning to go with young kids.

So, today, I’ll share pictures from traveling and our first day at Magic Kingdom.

Excited to hit the road. . . best decision ever, spending a bit more for a early afternoon flight. Everyone was in a much better mood than when we try to do an early morning flight!

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Jake did great on the flight. . . slept most of the way there.

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How we roll thru the airport. Winking smile 

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We stayed at a Disney resort, so the transportation from the airport couldn’t have been easier. <—more details in my tips post.

I booked dinner at a Character Buffet dinner at the hotel. It kicked off our trip perfectly. Luke got to meet some characters and eat some dinner.

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Prince Charming.

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Cinderella.

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The evil stepmother <—she was awesome!

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Here she is trying to convince Luke to come work for her in the castle.

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Those faces.

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And we didn’t have to travel very far and were able to get the kids in bed at a decent hour so we were ready for our big day at Magic Kingdom. And again, I cannot say enough how easy transportation was from the Disney Resort.

We hit Magic Kingdom right when it opened at 9am. . .

We started the day at Beast’s Castle with breakfast.

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And then we went to meet Ariel.

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Jake pretty much fell asleep after breakfast and took a great nap in the Baby Bjorn.

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So, Scott and Luke checked out Dumbo.

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And then we popped over to meet Donald and Pluto.

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Had to check out the Mad Hatter spinning cups.

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well. . . they did. Jake and I don’t do spinning rides. Winking smile 

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It was on my Disney bucket list to meet Gaston.

Jake started crying immediately when we got to our turn. Gaston said to him, “It’s ok, I know I can be overwhelming!”

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Ahhhh I cannot believe I forgot to show my guns. Winking smile 

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Family selfie with the castle.

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And then probably my favorite thing of the whole day..  . meeting Belle. She. was. awesome.

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One more ride. . . the magic carpets.

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We finished the day with dinner at the park and then picking up treats from the candy store. We didn’t stay for the fireworks the first day . .. a quick boat ride and we were back to our hotel room to shower, put on PJs and collapse into bed.

It. was. wonderful.

Day 2 coming up!

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Filed under family, Jake, Luke, Recap, vacation

Friday Favorites: Bumpin’ in Charleston

Hey hey – Happy Fri- YAY!

I have to work all weekend long but that’s totally ok, because Scott and I just got back from a long weekend in Charleston, South Carolina. I was there for a medical conference and Scott tagged along. My Mom came and watched Luke and they had so. much. fun. And Scott and I enjoyed extra sleep, good food and quality conversation and time together. It was perfect. I think I took a total of 3 pictures. . .

Tour of Fort Sumter.

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34 weeks.

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Checking out the harbor and watching the dolphins swim.

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Food highlights include Lewis BBQ {get the brisket}, King Street Cookies {two words – s’mores cookie}, Old Village Post House {delicious steak}, Another Broken Egg {get the biscuit beignets}, 82 Queen {brunch!}.

And I can’t believe I never shared any Halloween pictures. ..

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And doesn’t Halloween seem like forever ago already??

And how is Thanksgiving next week?? This pregnant lady is SO excited for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m most excited for mashed potatoes and gravy. . . and pie. . . and Jennie-O sent me another turkey to make for Thanksgiving this year.

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We made it last year and it was SO good. Juicy and delicious.

And SO easy to make!

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Other life stuff. . .

I just finished this book and I can’t recommend it enough. SO good!

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Trying to find a diaper bag..  . I think this one might be a winner.. .

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Every night in our house. Candles forever.

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I totally went out of my comfort zone with grey nails. And I love them!

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And this latest package from Krusteaz makes me SO excited for Holiday baking!! This baby better stay in until I have a chance to get some baking done! Winking smile

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I know Luke and I are going to have some fun with these decorating edible frosting pens!

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And I’m still teaching BODYPUMP twice per week and loving it. Fingers crossed that I continue to feel good and can keep teaching until the end! I picked up  these old navy maternity workout pants a few weeks ago. love the subtle design and they are super comfy.

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And now off to work. . . have a great one!

Whatcha up to this weekend? What have you been loving lately??

Linking up for Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under baby, baking, body pump, husband, product, Recap, vacation

Fri–YAY– San Diego + Life

Hey!

Happy Friday!! Plans for the weekend?? I have to work tomorrow. . . but I am looking forward to picking out pumpkins on Sunday and watching some football!

I am already missing the beach in California. . .

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The seals in La Jolla.

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And hanging with these guys.

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Otherwise, we’ve been getting back to life as usual.

Krusteaz sent me some pancake and muffin mixes. . . and these Pumpkin Spice muffins are so good that I’ve made two batches in two days. Tip – add chopped pecans. So good!

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Loving my 30 minute BODYPUMP + CXWORX combo on Friday mornings. . . and 30 weeks tomorrow!

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And lastly Friday morning snuggles are the best. Smile 

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Have a great weekend. . . what are you up to??

Linking up for Friday fun with Heather!

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Friday Favorites: San Diego

Happy Friday from San Diego!

I am in town for a medical conference and Luke and Scott are tagging along for a long weekend.

Pretty in pink. Vacation nails are a must, right?

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Successful 4 hour plane ride.

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And we didn’t waste any time hitting the beach!

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Total parent fail. . . I didn’t put Luke in his swim suit thinking that he would just get his feet wet. . .

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Yup. . . he ended up soaked and sandy from head to toe.

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So, we stripped him down to his underwear and thankfully they had beach showers to get most of the sand off. . .

and then he got to air dry in the car. Winking smile #winning

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I’m in my conference this morning and then planning to hit up the beach again this afternoon! If you have any San Diego suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Have a great weekend. . . what are you up to??

Linking up for Friday fun with Heather!

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Weekending. . . in pictures

Hey! Happy Tuesday. . . I am still smiling from a great weekend at the Lake with friends. I thought I’d pop in today and share some pics from the weekend!

All good weekends start with ice cream. . .

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And a trip to the splash pad. . .

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It was overcast Saturday morning. . . but then the sun came out for a beautiful afternoon on the water. . .

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Sunset boat cruise with best friends.

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Sunday morning fishing. . .

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I’m already looking forward to next year’s weekend! Smile 

What did you do this weekend??

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Filed under Lake, Recap, summer, vacation, weekend update

Fri-YAY. . . Summer Vacay: 2

Hey! It’s been way to long!! I know, I know. . . it’s all my fault. Winking smile

Anyway, I’m here today to share a little recap of our second week of vacation. Spoiler alert, we’ve gotten really good at just hanging out and not actually doing much of anything. . . #staycation

We had a play date . . . complete with ice cream.

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I attended CXWORX training.

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And passed!!

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Now..  .just working on quickly learning the rest of the release so I can videotape while I can still lie on my growing belly!

I finally framed our family photos and had Scott hang up a picture ledge.

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Lots of park play time.

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And puppy walks + a baby belly. Winking smile

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We are headed to the Lake this weekend with some friends. Looking forward to sunshine, boat rides and lots of laughing. Smile

Your plans for the weekend?? Favorites from the week?

Linking up for Friday fun with Heather!

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Filed under Abby, Luke, Recap, summer, vacation