Annual Washington County Fair!

The county fair in Stillwater is definitely a tradition for our family. I love looking back at past years trips to the little fair! And it’s so cute that they have memories from it and look forward to it every year. It’s a perfect size for our crew.. we eat way too much fair food, ride a couple rides, see the animals, watch some pig races and that’s about all we can handle! It was such a fun day this year. We started our Saturday with a bagel store stop in the morning, then went hiking around Minnehaha falls, made a little stop at a splash pad, relaxed at my parents for a bit before hitting up the fair! A full but very fun day :) We love making memories with our kids!

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July!

 

Look at me having some sort of system to this blog thing! It’s my attempt at recording what little bits I can of memories during this rapid pace of life we are in! We are loving summer and taking full advantage of all summer has to offer. By this point in the summer, most people have commented how fast it’s going and how they still have so much to do! But for us, we’ve done it all. A few times over. Well, Leyton does have a few things still on his summer bucket list.. a trampoline park (I thought he’d seen enough of those in the winter) and camping out in our backyard.. which we will get to! But I feel like we’ve done a lot!  July brought us more trips to the beach and to the parks, a trip to the zoo with some friends, 4th of July festivities, lots of sports for the boys, and on it goes! Yes this is a bit of a massive photo post but I love all these sweet memories!

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Love this photo of the whole crew one morning. Luke and I were just talking about how much money these kids are going to need for college (blah) so I sent him this picture and said, “let’s just keep everyone home and hang out a bunch.”
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They love taking her down the slide and she loves it just as much! :)

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Celebrating Nathan Brown’s birthday one night :)

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Everett LOVED soccer! (No surprise) He jumped right in there and love kicking the ball and scoring goals!

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Summer is also meant for really messy lego rooms :)

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We had a sleepover with Emeri, Willa and Alba! Very little sleep but so much fun!

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We went to visit our friends beautiful farm out in Wisconsin! Such a fun night getting our friends and all the kids together.

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A little bike ride with my big boys! Oh, speaking of which! Finn learned to ride a bike in July! As we know with Finn, he can’t be pushed or persuaded to get rid of the training wheels. So, we didn’t bug him about it and one day he decided it was time to get them off! He just needed a couple lessons and he was off! We’re so proud of him! I’ll add the video of his first solo ride. (Leyton’s commentary is also the best)

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Finn did great in T-Ball! The big guy is really growing up :) He did a great job hitting the ball and running around the bases!

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And! Everett’s got the potty training thing down! So surprisingly, he was the easiest to train! And yes, he always wears masks :)

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We had a visit from my friend Angela from Iowa! So fun to get this crew together. (And explore Minnehaha falls!)

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And lastly, Luke and I had such a great date together last week.. shopping, kayaking on Lake Harriet and eating dinner. I love that man!

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O’Leary Cabin 2017!

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We love our summer tradition of going up to Kevin’s parents cabin! It’s so fun to get all the little ones together and just embrace the chaos under one roof. They have such a beautiful cabin and it’s honestly so relaxing to just have no agenda besides being outside, boating, tubing, fishing, playing in the bunks, playing games, roasting smores and eating! It’s crazy to watch these kids grow up so fast right before us. Luke and I were getting all sappy the other night looking back at this from just 3 years ago. I love the 3 year old Shea McCoy Everett combo. They are silly and wild and love to wrestle.  And it’s crazy than in a few years they’ll be giants like Leyton that will probably be throwing full punches at each other. (seriously Leyton looks so big I can’t handle it!) And the Finn Leyton Emeri combo is so cute, they’re loving being the “big kids”. And Willa jumps right in there with everyone. And Griffin walks around protecting little Ivy, it’s the cutest. We were just missing Alba this year! It was so fun to be together, we’ll definitely be back next year!

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June & the beginning of summer!

We had a very busy, but wonderful month of June! With the ending of school came this mad rush to totally experience everything summer has to offer! Leyton was out of school for a whole hour and we were already at the beach/splash park by our house! Before school ended, I went on a field trip with Leyton’s class to Como Zoo and Leyton and I also got the chance to volunteer for Feed My Starving Children with his friend Noah, which was really great! Let’s see.. we were also in a hail storm one scary Sunday morning in June (long story, but we learned the lesson to next time watch the weather before heading to church) In June, we finally got grass (yay!) and we’ve been playing in it constantly. We finished the screened in porch and we spend so many hours in there! We eat lunch out there, relax, do crafts, play games.. it’s quickly become our favorite spot in the house! All 3 boys were in hockey this month, so we’ve done lots of runs to the rink! We have lots of downtown playing at home, and with the many little neighbor kids. In June, we also went strawberry picking, went to lots of parks and beaches, the farmers market and visited daddy at his work in Minneapolis! Bring on SUMMER!

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Grandview Lodge with the Kirk fam!

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We had such a wonderful week with my whole family in town! The big group of us went up to Grandview Lodge for 4 days. We went two years ago and had such a fun time, we had to continue the tradition a couple years later! It’s rare to get everyone together, so the trip was perfect to just be together. (Here’s the post from last time!) This year we added Nathan Brown to the bunch.. oh and Ivy! It’s so fun to get these kids together. They all keep getting older and cuter and they really get along so well together! We are truly blessed. And Grandview is such a perfect place for all of us. Someone commented that my mom should be a spokesperson for Grandview Lodge (and for Aldi) :) But as she said, “I would come just for the flowers!” The place is so beautiful. We had great weather, stayed in a nice big 5 bedroom house together, and spent four wonderful days exploring the place! We logged in a lot of hours at the pool and the kids were obsessed with the slide! We played on the beach, swam in the lake and the big boys jumped on the trampoline in the lake. We rented a boat, cruised around and some went fishing. We rented bikes, played mini golf and tennis, went on a nature scavenger hunt, roasted marshmallows by the bonfire and ate ice cream everyday! Like I said, perfect! I’m so glad we were able to do this trip again, and we’re all already excited for the next trip! (Forewarning, there’s a lot of pictures! And I seem to be partial to Ivy) :)

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Leyton’s last day of 1st grade!

We are all pretty excited around here.. summer has arrived! Leyton finished his last day of 1st grade yesterday and he already made his bucket list for this summer. It includes lemonade stands, camping in our backyard, beach days, pool days, playing with friends and fishing :) I’m so ready for all of that! I’m excited to have everyone home. I like having them all home to sort of “retrain” them but bad habits learned at school. Leyton did really well during the second half of 1st grade after moving to the new house and joining Blue Heron. It wasn’t all easy, but I guess that what new changes bring sometimes. We had to deal with a few new issues that we hadn’t come across before. We had to have lots of good talks about staying away from the naughty kids and choosing to make good choices. I think everyone else in the class knew which naughty kids to steer clear from, but Leyton, being the crowd pleaser he is, went for the ones he could be goofy and squirrelly with! And he also came home with reports of bad words he learned that had never entered this house before. Again, lots of good talks! Even though all these new “issues” made us both squirm as parents, I honestly love having the chance to talk through all of this with Leyton and I’m glad he’s able to confide in us. He’s our first, so it’s all a bit shocking, but as I told Luke, we’d better buck up and be able to deal with all this, it’s probably just getting started!

Anyways, we made it through the year and he found some great friends! The boys already have a bunch of little neighbor friends and Leyton’s meeting other friends at hockey as well. We’re sinking our roots in around here! We know that God provided this lot and this house just for our family and we’re trusting him with all these changes! We love our big boy and love watching him grow right before us! Can’t believe he’s onto 2nd grade! But before we get to that.. let’s do SUMMER!

 

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Leyton wanted pictures with each of his siblings! :)

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Happy 3rd birthday Everett!

We had such a special day celebrating our big little boy today! I can’t believe he’s 3! 3 feels like a big age. And gosh, this is why I love birthdays.. it’s so fun to celebrate Everett and throw a big party for him, but I always find myself reflecting on his story. His birth, his cute little life so far, his place in this family and how much he’s grown into such a..  boy! Everett was our wild card. I was a little terrified of having three boys. And pretty much since he arrived on this earth, he’s wanted to make himself known. He does everything “big.” He’s loud, he’s wild and he’s hilarious. He’s gets so excited about everything little thing and brings so much life to everyone around him. I honestly can’t imagine life without him and I’m so glad we don’t have to. He fits perfectly in this family and we’re the luckiest to have him! I’m due for a more detailed status update on each kid (more for me so I don’t forget the little things!).. but in short, no he’s not potty trained, yes he still has a pacifier, and he’s still so naughty but also strangely, so wonderful.

We celebrated Everett’s GOLDEN 3rd birthday ninja style! We set up a little ninja course for the kids, broke a piñata, ate hot dogs and cupcakes.. it was fun! My favorite part is that gold costume. That kid loves his costumes!


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Happy birthday Luke!

Ok, just to preface.. this video is very accurate of our stage of life right now. Luke’s out golfing (haha, to be fair, it is his birthday), while I’m wrangling the 4 crazies. We get ready for bed when I remember to do this video. “Quickly kids! Get outside to the front porch!” Total chaos. It’s windy, they’re wild, we’re all a mess, so one take is all we’re getting! But we love you babe and we all LOVE living this crazy life with YOU!

(and what happened to our sweet Finn?!)

Finn’s last day of Preschool!

And just like that.. our little Finn is headed to elementary school! What?! Oh boy.. I don’t know if I’m ready for this! It’s a good thing we have a whole summer to be in denial. Preschool is easy, and sweet, and super part time. Kindergarten is ALL DAY! I know I know, I wasn’t nearly this weepy with Leyton. But Finn is my little buddy! We hang out, we cuddle and we pretend he isn’t growing up (haha I’m know I’m sounding like one of “those” parents). I’ve been extra sentimental lately about this new season. For over 3 years, it’s just been Finn and I every afternoon while the little ones sleep. We have a couple hours of great hang out time and I’m so going to miss it! Last week, Luke and I were gone on vacation (we went to Cabo!).. Finn was extra cuddly the day we got back. I said, “what do you want to do today Finn?” He says, “tickle! In your bed!” So we did! We play games, we paint, we color.. it’s the best.

But! I am SO proud of Finn and I honestly feel so confident about him heading to Kindergarten in the fall. Although he is more timid and cautious than Leyton, he’s grown up so much in the past couple of years.  He is still fairly quiet and shy, but he has a greater sense of confidence and has felt so much more comfortable this year in preschool. He has a couple great friends in preschool (Teddy and Levi) and loves being with his buddies! He is confident with coloring and working on his letters and reports often about the projects they did and the books they read. His teachers were amazing and made it such a great experience for Finn! We couldn’t be more proud of our little buddy!!

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Easter 2017

It was a busy Easter, like they all are, but we honestly feel so blessed to have both sets of families to visit in one wild day! This year, we started at church in the morning, where we saw all of our cousins in their cute Easter attire. By the way, I think I’m finally learning to give up a little on cute Easter outfits. Everything was picked out, matching perfectly and ready to go but (and I know this is crazy), when you don’t get a decent picture of it all, it barely counts! Haha. The boys were a mess right away after church and wanted to change asap. I’ll try to remember to save my money next year. So after church, we headed to my parents with Tyler, Erin and Nathan. Following tradition, the adults hid the eggs and let our three boys go crazy searching for candy filled eggs! We had lunch and the kids played logos while the adults sat around for a bit talking about our favorite parts about the Easter message and what the message of Christ’s death and resurrection means to us. It’s so great sharing our love for the Lord with others in our family! (We also talked about how strange of traditions the bunny and the eggs are haha!)

We then headed to Luke’s side, where Mimi and Papa had their pool open for the first time this year! So nice to have almost 70 degree weather in April! The boys were so excited to get in the water. Leyton and Finn are both in swimming lessons right now and are doing really well at learning how to swim and being more comfortable. But speaking of the one who hasn’t learned to swim.. before we could get wings on Everett, he was so excited, yelled a big “woo hoo!” and jumped right in the water! I quickly realized that he couldn’t touch or swim back up so I jumped in after him, fully clothed! Wild start to the swimming season :) But we had an Easter egg hunt, ate a great meal, watched Uncle Nate play in the wild game, and had so much fun with everyone! I love this group of little cousins, they’re so sweet and so fun together!

Every year, it’s such a treat to watch my kids learn more about Jesus and who He is in their lives. With such innocent hearts, they absorb so much about the stories in the Bible and how important Jesus is to our family. I am so grateful for our redemption in Christ, new life and the opportunity to impart this on our children. So many reasons to feel so blessed this year!

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