Happy 6th birthday Finn!

Finn is officially 6! We had such a fun weekend celebrating him! Maybe it’s because he’s more humble than his older brother, or the fact that his birthday is close to Christmas.. but I totally love to spoil this kid! Yes, I already love birthdays but he’s so fun to celebrate! It started on Friday, when he had a little birthday party in his Kindergarten class. Then on the morning of his birthday, on Saturday, he woke up to streamers, balloons and a pile of donuts! He opened some presents that morning, then got to go to the Wild game with Luke that afternoon! I’d say it was a pretty special day. Then on Sunday, he had his birthday party at Cheap Skate, which was a huge success! He had a handful of friends from school and hockey, and all of his little cousins. He turns into a squirrely little wild man! He motored all around on the scooter, played arcade game and of course, inhaled a cupcake or two. Success!

I couldn’t be more proud of my big boy! He’s been an absolute joy to have in our family for 6 years and he’s just the perfect little piece to our family puzzle. He always brings the calm factor, or maybe the easy factor. He plays so well with others and is always such a peacemaker. He has a lot of little friends and I can totally see why. He’s sweet, silly and so easy to get along with. It’s so fun to watch him grow! We love you Finny!

12.17-2 12.17-3 12.17-4 12.17-151 12.17-157 12.17-179 12.17-17712.17-17012.17-6 12.17-7 12.17-9

Hockey Pictures!

Sports are expensive. There’s A LOT to pay for. So, after seeing a massive bill for below average hockey pictures, we decided to skip ordering and to take our own. After all.. I am (or was) a photographer. It was so fun! The boys really got into it. And don’t tell anyone, but Finn is a total natural. He was shooting us so many great looks. And Leyton (the little mini Luke) wanted to get a little crazy with poses.. they’re pretty great, as you will see. :) The little siblings also got to jump in on some! Love these big boys!

11.26-1 11.26-2 11.26-3 11.26-4 11.26-6 11.26-7 11.26-8 11.26-9 11.26-10

11.26-11 LF2 LF 11.26-12 11.26-14 11.26-15 11.26-16 11.26-17 11.26-18 11.26-19 11.26-21 11.26-22 11.26-23


Thanksgiving weekend 2017

We had a full and wonderful weekend! As I sit here Sunday night totally exhausted (and ready for Monday morning).. I’m trying to think back over our weekend and it was one of those weekends that was all a bit of a blur. We weren’t crazy busy, but well… being all together, all the time.. that’s exhausting, but yes, wonderful too. We hosted Thanksgiving this year! This time last year, we were in the middle of lots of decisions about our theoretical new home. I remember my mom saying that we should host Thanksgiving the next year, which sounded like a dream! And Wednesday night, as Luke and I put the finishing touches on prepping our house for the next day, we couldn’t help but reflect on how grateful we are for this house, and for the lives that fill it. We are so so grateful!

My family all came over on Thanksgiving day, included my parents, Tyler, Nathan and Erin and Ryan and Lisa’s family from Des Moines. It was so fun to be all together without anywhere to go all day! We played, ate tons of food (I made the turkey!), played football outside and just relaxed. At night, Erin, Lisa and I went shopping (we deserved it after that long day) ;)

The rest of the weekend was filled with lots of family time, a little bit of hockey and getting our Christmas tree! We haven’t done the tree farm thing in a while, but we thought our little family could handle it this year! They did great.. it was so fun. We searched and searched for about 45 minutes and finally found one we thought was perfect. Turns out it’s so big, and a little crooked, but oh well! It was a fun memory!


The kids wanted to have cereal at the table the morning of Thanksgiving. The loved having their little kid space and even prayed together before eating. It was honestly such a sweet moment, I was tearing up behind the camera!

11.23-7 11.23-11 11.23-14 11.23-18

https://vimeo.com/244585284 11.23-19 11.23-24 11.23-27 11.23-28 11.23-34 11.23-385 11.23-390 11.23-396 11.23-402 11.23-408 11.23-410 11.23-440 11.23-443 11.23-452 11.23-459 11.23-461 11.23-462 11.23-465 11.23-469 11.23-480 11.23-48611.23-493 11.23-497 11.23-505 11.23-510 11.23-51311.26-211.26-4

Christmas tree day!

11.26-5 11.26-6 11.26-7 11.26-8 11.26-9 11.26-10 11.26-11 11.26-12 11.26-13 11.26-14 11.26-15 11.26-1611.26-18 11.26-19

Now we get ready for the next big holiday.. Christmas! Here comes the lovely way-too-busy December! I am due for a kid update on this little bloggy blog.. I keep meaning to post about how the boys are doing in school! We’ll see if I get around to it before the school year is done haha!

Halloween 2017


We had such a fun Halloween day! But.. I must be getting older because I’m kind of sick of this holiday by the time it rolls around. It felt like 2 solid weeks of ghost, goblins, skeletons..haha, anyways, not the point. The kids love it all! :) We started our Halloween morning with Everett and Ivy at the mall of America! Everett was so excited to wear a costume, of course, and picked his ninja costume from last year! Ivy opted out of a costume for the morning, but apparently was going as her very overtired mom, downing the huge Starbucks. (side note, that girl is hilarious and copies everything I do! It’s so cute) Then, in the afternoon, I went to Leyton and Finn’s school to help out in their classrooms and see their parade through the halls of the school. So fun to be a part of that! And of course, in the evening we went trick or treating in our new(ish) neighborhood. As we suspected, it was crawling with tons of little kids! Our little neighbor kids right around us walked around together and although it was 32 degrees out, they went around for a while! Finn was so funny. He went to like 5 houses, got a HUGE lollipop at one house, and said he was good! He said he got enough candy and was ready to head home! I didn’t argue with that and headed back with him, to join my parents, Erin and Nathan handing out candy to the kids that came to the door. Leyton and Everett kept going for probably another hour! :)

It was a successful Halloween!

10.31-1810.31-20 10.31-21 10.31-22 10.31-23 10.31-1 10.31-2 10.31-3 10.31-4 10.31-5 10.31-6 10.31-7 10.31-8 10.31-9 10.31-10 10.31-11 10.31-12 10.31-13 10.31-14 10.31-15 10.31-16 10.31-17

Ivy, 18 months!

Little miss Ivy is a whole one and a half! She seems so much older lately. After finally learning to walk, she seems like such a big girl strutting all over the house. And she has such a big personality! She’s sweet, smiley but with a bit of a feisty side. She knows what she wants, and she will let you know. She lets her biggest cry out when someone takes away food from her, oh she hates that! She loves her snacks and can often be seen walking around with a whole bag of goldfish, because I’m slightly scared of her :) She is a good eater, but if she’s done eating or doesn’t like something, she throws it off her tray immediately. The dolls and princesses and all things pink are starting to show up a little more around our house, but she still prefers trains, car and little lego guys. She loves her brothers and can handle a whole lot of roughing up from those boys. She thinks she can roll with the big kids and loves to get right in the mix of all the neighbor kids on our driveway. If you could ask her, she would say her best friend is the new neighbor girl Keira across the street. She LOVES her and lights up even when you say her name! But she’s also pretty obsessed with dad and lets out a loud squeal when he walks in the door. We love our little miss personality and love this sweet age!


10.15-21 10.15-20

And of course, because she has a lot of brothers..!10.15-15 10.15-14

The start of fall!

Fall is here and we are fully embracing this new season! There’s a chill in the air is less light during the day. But it also feels different because we are down by two during the daytime. Ivy and Everett are turning out to be quite the little duo and we’re enjoying the slower(ish) pace. But on our weekends, we fully maximize our time with the whole family! So far, one apple orchard and two pumpkin patches! Yes, the camera seems to favor Ivy but it’s understandable :)


10.15-13 10.15-12 10.15-11 10.15-10 10.15-9 10.15-8 10.15-7 10.15-6 10.15-510.15-1 10.15-210.15-4 10.15-5 10.15-6 10.15-7 10.15-810.15-10 10.15-11 10.15-12

1st day of school for Leyton and Finn!

And just like that.. half are gone! Ugh. It’s so weird! I am currently sitting out on our porch on a perfectly crisp day, with a totally silent house. 2 are in school and 2 are napping. It has been yeeeaaars since I’ve had this little window of quiet! I really don’t know what to do with myself. But! Let’s talk’s about school. Leyton was so excited and ready to start school. By now, he’s totally got it down. He has a male teacher this year, Mr. Mathern and he seems so great. Leyton does know a few kids in his class from last year, but considering we came in half year last year, this feels like a new start for the boys.

At the open house, Leyton was great and showing Finn around and telling him about the school. Finn was loving it all. He met his teacher, Mrs. Callahan at the open house last year and then after his first day yesterday, he came home and reported that he has the “nicest teacher in the whole school.” So sweet! She seems great and like a perfect fit for our boy.

I am SO proud of Finn! He has taken this all in stride and has jumped into it all head first. He’s grown up so much lately! He has totally taken off on his bike and rides that thing so fast, with zero fear. He’s also done much better at being bold in the swimming pool and again, has no fear. Also, the other day, he had money to spend at Target and wanted to pick out a pretty elaborate lego set. I’m totally not proud of this mom moment, but I said, “are you sure? Maybe you’ll need Leyton’s help?” (Leyton’s always been the lego guy). He said, “no I’ve got it.” And he came home and build the whole thing himself! See why I’m so proud?! He didn’t even flinch when he was getting on the bus yesterday (I was trying to pull some tears out of him, but nothin!)

And now I’m home (in the silence) with just 2! Everett isn’t doing any preschool this year, so I’m back to just having the little ones. Anyone want to meet for a playdate? :)



9.5-099.5-01 9.5-02 9.5-03 9.5-04 9.5-05 9.5-06 9.5-10 9.5-11

9.6-02 9.6-04 9.6-05 9.6-06 9.6-07 9.6-08 9.6-099.6-11 9.6-12 9.6-13

9.6-01 9.6-14 9.6-15


August & the end of our summer!

It’s safe to say, we totally maximized our summer! We spent so much time outside, going to so many parks, pools, beaches, and enjoying what still feels like our “new” house! The kids LOVE playing with the many neighbor kids, they love the trampoline, riding bikes (seriously Finn got so good at riding his bike!), playing in the sandbox, water guns, and on it goes. It’s been such a great summer! We spent every morning the first two weeks of August at dryland hockey for Finn and Leyton. They totally loved it, and Everett and Ivy were champs. Everett has a little buddy that made the time go by quickly. Everett finished his little 8 week skating session. He did really well and totally loved it! Leyton started tackle football (more pictures I’m sure to come). And the boys camped out in our backyard with Luke, which was so fun! I can tell the boys will be ready for school. They are loving summer, but are getting more bored and aren’t as excited when I tell them we’re going to the park or beach. I seriously can’t believe I will have TWO kids in school starting this week!

And probably the biggest news from August is that Ivy finally learned to walk! On August 13th (the boys remember the exact date), she took off! She really wasn’t into it but one night when we were getting ready for bed, she just went for it! We were all freaking out, it was fun :) So at 16 months, Ivy finally got it! Here’s a video of her little steps and tons of pictures! It’s hilarious looking at these pictures and how many bodies are always in the way. No wonder it took her so long!





And just tons of pictures from our wonderful August!August17-01 August17-02 August17-03 August17-04 August17-05 August17-06 August17-07 August17-08 August17-09 August17-10 August17-11 August17-12

August17-19 August17-20 August17-21 August17-22 August17-23 August17-24 August17-25 August17-26 August17-27 August17-28 August17-29 August17-32 August17-33 August17-34 August17-35 August17-36 August17-37 August17-38 August17-39


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!

8.8-1 8.8-2 8.8-3 8.8-4 8.8-5 8.8-6 8.8-7 8.8-8 8.8-9 8.8-10 8.8-11 8.8-12 8.8-22 8.8-13 8.8-14 8.8-15 8.8-16 8.8-17 8.8-18 8.8-19 8.8-20 8.8-21 8.8-23 8.8-24 8.8-25



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!

7.4-17.4-5 7.4-47 7.4-70 7.9-14 7.9-22 IMG_0094 IMG_0103 IMG_0133July17-1 July17-2 July17-3 July17-4 July17-5 July17-14 July17-15 July17-16July17-18 July17-19 July17-20

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.”
July17-22July17-25July17-27 July17-28

They love taking her down the slide and she loves it just as much! :)


Celebrating Nathan Brown’s birthday one night :)


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


Summer is also meant for really messy lego rooms :)

July17-34July17-36 July17-37 July17-38 July17-39 July17-40 July17-41 July17-42July17-47

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


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

July17-49July17-51 July17-52 July17-53 July17-54 July17-55 July17-56 July17-57


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)


https://vimeo.com/227840677 July17-59 July17-60

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!


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



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

July17-63July17-65 July17-66 July17-67 July17-68 July17-69

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!

July17-71 July17-72