MIDSUMMER ARTS FAIRE 2016

I start looking forward to this as soon as May flips over to June. If you ask me, it's the best annual event in Quincy. Depending on the day you go, there's always something wonderful happening. On Friday night, the park is alive with the blue's from Blue's in the District. You'll have to find your way through a sea of families and friends enjoying the food, music, and some BYOB.

If you have a child, or know one, you must bring them Saturday morning so they can become little artists! There is a tent dedicated to hands-on activities for children, and a children's art gallery where they can buy inexpensive art. While the children make masterpieces, you'll enjoy some excellent listening music from various local artists. You might even find yourself in a drum circle, or cooling off in the splash pad.

Of course, don't leave until you've strolled through the art booths and made your wish list. Our dreams came true when we got to take home some of that beautiful blue pottery you'll see later... After you've shopped your heart out, head on over to the food court where you can indulge in some kettle corn or spoon wave and stay hydrated with a lemon shakeup. And if all this isn't enough convincing, come for the love of community. Come for the impromptu entertainment on a park bench, for running into an old friend who always feels like a fresh friend, for the fluffy dogs, and for the smiles. See you next year!

Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Fiare
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL

June 1, 2016

Looking at these photographs now I already know I'll ugly cry when I see them years from now. Age one is mostly fun. Every day has it's own ups and downs. But one quickly turns into two, then three, then thirteen, so I'll take in every moment of one while I'm here. 

At one she is loving kitties, chips, saying hi, reading books, and petting her chickens. She dances to the same Sesame Street song every day. She picks up sticks outside and makes tiny shooting sounds with them like her big brother. She gets all dramatic when you rinse her hair or when she sees a bug or when you're eating a chip and she should get one (or ten) too. She squeals when she sees babies "BEBEEE," and plays mommy to her (thankfully) fake baby at home. She likes to take all the underwear out of my drawer and wear as many as she can around her neck like jewels. When she's feeling generous she'll give out a few kisses and a hugs and giggle about how excited we get over them. She has the most expressions of any child I've ever seen. We're all on the edge of our seats to hear the thoughts behind her expressions. 

But my all-time favorite part of one is just before sleep when she let's me cradle her body in my arms while she drinks her bottle. I take in her smell, her sighs, her little fingers on my face, and heavy eyes almost shut. It's the one moment of the day when there's nothing but stillness and quiet between us, but so much felt and mutually understood. Cheek to cheek she finishes her milk and slips into milky dream land. And I say to myself, I'll just steal one more kiss, one more smell of her hair, one more time to put my cheek on her cheek, and then I'll lay her down. Because soon she'll be two, then she'll be three, then she'll be thirteen and I'll take in every piece of this moment while it's here. 

Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer

THE HAPPY PLANNER

This planner makes me deliriously happy. The moment I held it, some part of my soul awakened. I was finally holding in my hands the answer to all my life's organizational quandaries. Where have you been all my life, you nifty little thing? This isn't your ordinary planner. Come see what I mean!

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Right away, you can tell this is something special. The cover is shiny, it is held together with pink hearts, and it's covered in peonies. I am happy.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

It has a place for your john hancock. You get to remind yourself everyday that this gorgeous planner is allllll yours.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

It has the month view split into two pages so you have plenty of room to fill up your happy days. Phew, look at my August. I'm going to need a vacation after all that vacationing.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
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What crazy person doesn't stop to smell the peonies?! This would complete me if it had an everlasting scratch n' sniff right here.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

I believed I could be organized, and so I am!!

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Here's the daily & weekly view. I can't wait to fill up this space with lists, lists, and more lists. Really, my life is one long list.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Has your planner ever made you blush? Mine just did

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Birthdays, important dates, holidays, it's all here. Heck, it even asks you what you're drinking, pinning, & dreaming... well since you've asked: wine, wine slushies, & wine on my patio while everyone naps :)

The Happy Planner Create 365
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

This organizational bliss can be yours too. The planner is called The Happy Planner and is made by Me & My Big Ideas company. I got mine at Hobby Lobby using the amazing 40% off mobile coupon they're always accepting. But HERE is their online store which has a bigger selection and a variety of accessories.

This particular planner comes in lots of different themes. It is an 18 month calendar that takes you from July 2016 - December 2017. It has a laminated cover and the monthly tabs are laminated which makes finding each month very handy. There are so many little details and nice touches that make this a planner you'll look forward to using every day. 

Something that I did not realize when I first purchased this was that the binding makes it so that you can easily remove and add pages to your planner. I am so freaking excited about this feature! I design pages often in Photoshop so I will be designing my own pages like Meal Planning, Workout Week, Grocery Lists, Client Workflow, etc. I purchased the paper puncher to add in my own pages, along with some sticky notes, highlighters, and elastic bands to keep my place. I haven't been this excited about a purchase in a long time. It is a little bit of a splurge up front, but for under $50 including all of my accessories, I'll be happily organized in style for the next 18 months. YES!!

Let me know if you have The Happy Planner in the comments!

I am not affiliated with The Happy Planner and received no compensation for this blog post. I just really love this product so far and hope it makes someone else just as happy as it makes me.

WE'RE CHICKEN FARMERS!

I've solved the riddle in case anyone is still wondering...the chicken came first. At least for us! We got baby chicks around Easter and they've grown so fast since then. We're officially chicken farmers! I'm over the moon in love with them, and the fact that they're even here, in my yard, in my life. They all have these funny personalities, they're very smart, but yet they pathetically need you to tuck them in and put them to bed at night. I knew that I always wanted chickens, but (A) I didn't think everyone would approve and (B) I never knew I'd love them this much! If you're on the fence about getting chickens, just get them, you'll love exploring your inner farmer. Except now it feels strange to ask June if she'd like chicken for lunch... 

Onto the introductions!

Meet Mae! They're all sweet but she's one of the sweetest . She perks her head up and comes to me when she hears my voice. We think she's the wise one of the group. She'll be the old lady who stays in while they all go out and party. (Buff Orpington)

Meet Mae! They're all sweet but she's one of the sweetest . She perks her head up and comes to me when she hears my voice. We think she's the wise one of the group. She'll be the old lady who stays in while they all go out and party. (Buff Orpington)

Meet Mable! Mable is the most curious thing I've ever met. She's also fearless and will come up to anyone to say hello. She is our worm eating champion, she nabs them when we bring one in for the group to fight over! (Red Sex Link)

Meet Mable! Mable is the most curious thing I've ever met. She's also fearless and will come up to anyone to say hello. She is our worm eating champion, she nabs them when we bring one in for the group to fight over! (Red Sex Link)

Meet Blanch Flash McGunderson. Her name was a collaborative effort while our family was sitting around the fire one night. She's super fast and flighty. She steals Mable's worms. She acts like the baby of the group even though she's close in age to them all. Good luck catching her! And if you do, she'll cry! (Tophat)

Meet Blanch Flash McGunderson. Her name was a collaborative effort while our family was sitting around the fire one night. She's super fast and flighty. She steals Mable's worms. She acts like the baby of the group even though she's close in age to them all. Good luck catching her! And if you do, she'll cry! (Tophat)

Meet Stella! Stella acts like she's tough but really she's a softie in disguise. Not too long ago I would pick her up and rest her on her back in my hand and she'd sleep while I pet her.  (Silver Wyandotte) 

Meet Stella! Stella acts like she's tough but really she's a softie in disguise. Not too long ago I would pick her up and rest her on her back in my hand and she'd sleep while I pet her.  (Silver Wyandotte) 

Meet Pearl! This is Justin's little baby, but really all of ours. She is the same age as the big girls but she's pint size! Everyday she's a little fuzzier. She is really as adorable as she looks. You'd think she'd be timid at this size - she isn't. She let's my one year old come right up to her and pet her. She is one awesome little gal!  (Silkie)

Meet Pearl! This is Justin's little baby, but really all of ours. She is the same age as the big girls but she's pint size! Everyday she's a little fuzzier. She is really as adorable as she looks. You'd think she'd be timid at this size - she isn't. She let's my one year old come right up to her and pet her. She is one awesome little gal!  (Silkie)

Meet Sophia! I named her Sophia for my one year old daughter who loves the Disney Jr. princess show, Sophia the First. She is timid but nice when you get to know her. Her fur reminds me of a chipmunk and she will lay blue or green eggs for us!  (Easter Egger) 

Meet Sophia! I named her Sophia for my one year old daughter who loves the Disney Jr. princess show, Sophia the First. She is timid but nice when you get to know her. Her fur reminds me of a chipmunk and she will lay blue or green eggs for us!  (Easter Egger) 

Meet Lola! She started out as this cute, tiny little grey fuzzball. Now she's the falcon of the flock. She thinks she's top dog, but really we all know Mae is. She will also lay green or blue eggs! (Easter Egger) 

Meet Lola! She started out as this cute, tiny little grey fuzzball. Now she's the falcon of the flock. She thinks she's top dog, but really we all know Mae is. She will also lay green or blue eggs! (Easter Egger) 

Meet Pepper! If ever there was a chicken who could have a heart of gold, who's loyal to the end, it would be our Pepper. She's not timid, but let's you come to her. She'd be the cool friend you have that is quiet but there to give you advice when you need her. (Barred Rock) 

Meet Pepper! If ever there was a chicken who could have a heart of gold, who's loyal to the end, it would be our Pepper. She's not timid, but let's you come to her. She'd be the cool friend you have that is quiet but there to give you advice when you need her. (Barred Rock) 

This one-of-a-kind coop was built by my amazingly talented love, Justin! I couldn't believe he was building this. I tell him all the time with how much he comes in handy, I'll probably keep him around a while longer : ) I plan to post our coop plans along with the watering system, on another day!

This one-of-a-kind coop was built by my amazingly talented love, Justin! I couldn't believe he was building this. I tell him all the time with how much he comes in handy, I'll probably keep him around a while longer : ) I plan to post our coop plans along with the watering system, on another day!

Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee
Quincy, IL Candid Photographer
Quincy, IL Child Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL child photographer
Raising Chickens Urban
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
Quincy, IL Jennifer Lee Photography
See how happy they make me?! : ) It won't be the last of the chickens on the blog, not at all. 

See how happy they make me?! : ) It won't be the last of the chickens on the blog, not at all. 

Dream Big in Color Fun Run 2016 Quincy, IL

I've been meaning to put a 5K on my calendar for a few years now. For all the usual reasons, I never got around to it. While looking through my daughter's school papers, I found a sheet about The Color Run happening in a few weeks. Color + Running = Count Me In! I had a feeling Jubilee would feel the same. You see, she's 13 and there isn't much that interests her beyond Starbucks, Instagram, and Netflix. I asked if this would be cool enough, and she gave me a resounding yes! On race day, it was everything I hoped for - lots of laughter and so much colorful mess. I will honestly always cherish this morning that we spent together.  

Thank you QPS for putting on such a fantastic event for the community. Our whole family is looking forward to next year!

PS - Make sure you see the crazy cool video that Justin took of a color explosion; it's the best part of this post! And on a side note, the photos are a team effort between Justin and I. Some photos were created with my iPhone and some were with my professional camera. Thanks for stopping by, let me know you were here and leave me some comment love! XO Jen

8:22 AM. Look at us ... so zestfully clean. If you're wondering, I braided her hair first then she felt stupid so I braided mine so she would feel better and we could be twinsies, then she took hers out last minute and I ended up feeling like the stupid one. But if it's possible for braids to help unleash your inner-child, I thank them. That girl came out and had so much fun : )

8:22 AM. Look at us ... so zestfully clean. If you're wondering, I braided her hair first then she felt stupid so I braided mine so she would feel better and we could be twinsies, then she took hers out last minute and I ended up feeling like the stupid one. But if it's possible for braids to help unleash your inner-child, I thank them. That girl came out and had so much fun : )

And we're off! The route started at the high school, went west on Maine Street and turned left on 20th and looped back around to Maine Street to end at the high school. Running/walking on Maine was one of my favorite parts of the 5K. 

And we're off! The route started at the high school, went west on Maine Street and turned left on 20th and looped back around to Maine Street to end at the high school. Running/walking on Maine was one of my favorite parts of the 5K. 

Every few blocks was a color station, manned with people ready to coat you in powdered color. My favorite was blue and hot pink, I may have went back through a few times. Just don't forget to hold your breath and shut your eyes...and keep running straight!

Every few blocks was a color station, manned with people ready to coat you in powdered color. My favorite was blue and hot pink, I may have went back through a few times. Just don't forget to hold your breath and shut your eyes...and keep running straight!

Quincy, IL Photographer Color Run
The home stretch, at the intersection of 30th & Maine, looked like a sea of tang. (the drink)

The home stretch, at the intersection of 30th & Maine, looked like a sea of tang. (the drink)

Quincy, IL Color Run
How could we resist the opportunity to roll around on Maine Street, legally, in broad daylight? It wasn't on my bucket list, but now I'll never have to add it. #blameitonthebraids

How could we resist the opportunity to roll around on Maine Street, legally, in broad daylight? It wasn't on my bucket list, but now I'll never have to add it. #blameitonthebraids

In true Jubilee style, she's making a powder angel. 

In true Jubilee style, she's making a powder angel. 

Ugh...that smile will always melt me.

Ugh...that smile will always melt me.

Quincy, IL Big Color Run
We still need more color...

We still need more color...

Better...

Better...

Perfect. 

Perfect. 

We pulled across the finish to find this sweet surprise, a party with music and MORE color!

We pulled across the finish to find this sweet surprise, a party with music and MORE color!

T-shirts and frisbees were tossed into the crowd, and lots of cute kids were on shoulders to catch them.

T-shirts and frisbees were tossed into the crowd, and lots of cute kids were on shoulders to catch them.

Quincy, IL Photographer
We welcomed newly finished runners with more color explosions.

We welcomed newly finished runners with more color explosions.

Quincy, IL Photographer
A quick view from the stage.

A quick view from the stage.

I couldn't help but think about all those washing machines that will be hard at work in a few hours. (and showers and car washes)

I couldn't help but think about all those washing machines that will be hard at work in a few hours. (and showers and car washes)

 I just loved her perfectly placed colors : )

 I just loved her perfectly placed colors : )

Quincy, IL Photographer

Watch the color explosion video here!

Jennifer Lee Quincy, IL
Quincy, IL Dream Big in Color Fun Run
Color Shower!

Color Shower!

Quincy, IL Big Color Run 5K
Quincy, IL Dream Big in Color Fun Run
Quincy, IL Big Color Run 5K
Quincy, IL Big Color Run 5K
Quincy, IL Big Color Run 5K
Quincy, IL Big Color Run 5K Walk 2016
Quincy, IL Photographer Jennifer Lee
After a countdown, the stage unleashed a final burst of colors onto the crowd.

After a countdown, the stage unleashed a final burst of colors onto the crowd.

Quincy, IL Dream Big in Color Fun Run
Quincy, IL Big Color Run QPS
Quincy, IL Big Color Run 5K
Quincy, IL Photographer Dream Big in Color Fun Run
Quincy, IL Big Color Run
Quincy, IL Big Color Run 5K Walk
I could sit and photograph these kinds of rainbows all day : ) 

I could sit and photograph these kinds of rainbows all day : ) 

Quincy, IL Dream Big in Color Fun Run
Quincy, IL Photographer
What the color looks like when it's all said and done...

What the color looks like when it's all said and done...

See you next year! Next time we'll bring some towels for the car ride home. : )

See you next year! Next time we'll bring some towels for the car ride home. : )