Cantigny Park

This past weekend our family went to Cantigny Park. This has been on Big Buddy's list forever. They have a tank park with eleven tanks that kids can climb on and explore. For over a year Big Buddy has been reading every book he can get his hands on about military vehicles. He also has a couple journals full of tank sketches. His current dream job is to design tanks/weapons for the military.

Unfortunately, they are in the process of doing some renovations, so only a couple of the tanks were open for climbing. We still had fun reading about all the tanks - I was so impressed that Big Buddy could name and tell me about so many of the tanks' features before I even started to read the info plagues. 

Next to the tank park is the First Division Museum. I was blown away with the exhibits - it was way more remarkable than I had imagined! Their interactive displays transport you back-in-time to all the wars the 1st Division has served in from World War I to Dessert Storm. The museum is also going to be under renovation and will closed from November 11, 2016 till late summer 2017. It was already one of the most impressive museums I've been to, so I'm excited to see the coming enhancements. 

The grounds of Cantigny Park are beautiful and exploring them was the perfect way to spend a warm October Sunday. They have a playground, so Jeremy and I were able to sit on picnic table and have a mini date as our kiddos burned off some of their energy. 

The above two photos makes my heart smile to the point of bursting. Jeremy gets so much joy out of being a dad and our children delight in him. I see bits of Jeremy in all of our children but BabyZ resembles him the most. Together with their matching smiles and deep blues eyes they really are too much ;) 

There is lot of Cantigny Park we didn't see, we didn't step inside the Visitors Center or the Robert R. McCormick Museum. I'm not sure the other museum would hold my kids' interest for very long but it could be a good afternoon date for Jeremy and I.

Small Graces

1 - Friendships 25+ years old. Our fourth annual fall-girls-weekend full laughter, tears, exhortation and encouragement.

2 - That those same friends share my love for chocolate and bring it in abundance.

3 -  Chasing and the giggles that follow

4 - Pumpkins, paint and glitter.

5 - Museums that encourage imaginative play. 

6 - The wonderful adults who will accompany me and my kiddos to said museums. This day wouldn't have been nearly as fun - honestly, it probably would of ended with me being close to cursing the idea of every going to a museum - without the company of Aunt Heidi, Uncle Colby, and Maca. 

7 - New technology...that comes in pink!

8 - Big Buddy lost in a book.

9 - A 'just cuz' gift from Jeremy. 

10 - Having a husband who also goes a bit crazy in the decorating worries, everybody made it safely off the roof. 

This post is part of series inspired in part by Bob Bennett's song "Small Graces".

these are the small graces,
little moments when the miracles come...
small graces leading me to the larger one...

sometimes they slip by without notice
sometimes they are very hard to see
other times it's very clear when they are happening to me.

What I've Been Wearing


I could no longer resist the urge and decided to cut myself some bangs. I never attended to grow my hair out so long - it was pure laziness with a bit of help from baby hormones. I've become attached to the length though but still was craving a bit of a change, so bangs it is. 


I picked this shirt up on clearance at Anthropologie. As a single-income-family I can't afford to shop there much anymore but I think it will always be one of my favorite stores. They seem to enjoy whimsy and color almost as much as I do. 


I think Converse will always be my go-to shoe. I know that a heel or an ankle boot would of made this outfit look a little more polished and would have made my legs look a little slimmer. Sometimes, comfort just wins out. We spent the day at the Adler Planetarium and I needed to know that I'd be able to keep up with my kiddos. I also like the way that Converse brings a casual/I'm-not-trying-to-hard vibe to any outfit. 


I've come to really like casual dresses over athletic leggings. It's a very comfy look but I still makes me feel put together and cute. What are your favorite go-to casual looks. 

Scarecrow Fest

A couple weekends back we went to the St. Charles Scarecrow Fest. This is one of our favorite festivals. St. Charles is very picturesque and is a fun downtown to walk through on a normal day. The color and decorations of the festival just adds to the town's charm. The festival also offers plenty of free activities - a huge plus for a larger family. The biggest draw is obviously the scarecrows. You can meander through the scarecrow contest displays and vote for your favorite. Little Lady's favorite was a mermaid. The boys enjoyed the Star Wars themed's hard to beat stabbing Darth Vader with at lightsaber. 

My favorite free activity is stuffing our own scarecrow. I like a mini scarecrow so we always bring some old toddler sized clothes. We were all proud of our scarecrow but all agreed he wasn't nearly as cute as Baby Z.

We spent almost an hour watching Glowby the Bubbler. I'm pretty sure the kids could of stayed and watched all day. He had so many different wands - honestly, we were all pretty entranced. 

We didn't get to everything but the festival has lots other free entertainment like concerts, magicians, clowns, crafts for kids, car shows, etc. It's not free, but there is also lots of fun food. We bought a large bag of kettle corn to share. I also had to have a piece of roasted corn - Iowa girl for life! We just browsed this time but they also always have lots of unique craft vendors. 

All in all it was a really good day. I'm hoping it works out for us to go again next year. I haven't been on the ball enough to do posts of every year we've made it to the Scarecrow Fest, but here is a post from 2012.

The costume that Baby Z is wearing is a hand-me-down; Big Buddy wore it for Halloween when he was one. I can't seem to track down any pictures of Mini Man in the costume but he and Little Lady have worn it too.  Here's a couple throwback pictures, Big Buddy is in the top and Little Lady is in the bottom.

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