Life with the parents and life in Iowa!

We are halfway through our stay at our parents and we are loving it here! Everyone is quite comfortable and we are definitely making our mark around here (like literally, the walls are full of Everett marks). We are SO excited about the progress on our house (it’s framed!) but are cherishing this time of being with my parents. We have gone on a lot of beautiful fall walks, we are constantly at the park and even made a few new friends in the neighborhood. The kids are doing great and are so comfortable here! Over the weekend we went to visit my brother’s family in Iowa and had so much fun playing with the cousins! But Mr. sensitive Finn was whimpering as we put him to bed the first night saying that he wanted to go back to grandmas!

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Family pictures 2016!

As we were driving to this photo shoot, Luke commented how this one feels extra special because it’s finally of our complete family! These can be hung on the wall with no one missing. We just grow up from here! :) As always, this was a pretty chaotic half an hour, but we got some good shots! It’s pretty much action shots these days, but I love them all!

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Ivy Noelle, 6 months!


Yes, I’m a little late on this post, but on October 1st, our baby girl turned 1/2 a year! I LOVE this age. She’s SO smiley, so happy and usually, very content! She’s rolled over a couple times, but otherwise, she really has no desire to move (fine with me haha!) but is so content just laying on her back, watching the action around here and making SO many noises. Seriously, she yaps! It seems so stereotypical “girl” to be such a talker! She’s definitely our most vocal one. Could be a combo of trying to match the noises around her and just being a chatty girl! Last weekend, I took her to a weekend away with my girlfriends and she yapped non stop! She loved hearing the sound of her voice and every once in a while I would put her paci in her mouth and she would breath a big sigh, like yes, I needed a little break. :)

She’s an average sleeper. Oh, the sleeping game! Someday, someday we will sleep. We’ve been trying to let her cry a little so she can learn to figure it out on her own. But it’s not easy! Especially living at my parents where she’s right next to us. So for now, some nights are great, some pretty brutal, but it’s a season. Right? Right. We just started trying food with her. We tried oatmeal cereal and her belly had a tough time digesting it and it made her pretty crabby. So, we’ll wait a bit and try again. Must be a shock to her little body! She LOVES her brothers and puts up with so much already from them. Leyton carries her around and they are constantly in her face, smiling at her and kissing her. It’s the sweetest! She has the biggest, squishiest cheeks and really no sign of hair yet! We’re waiting little girl! Until then, she’ll have to deal with tons of massive bows.

I can’t believe she’s been in our family for 6 months. Time seems to fly by! But I also can’t imagine life without her. We’re complete with our Ivy doll! Thanks for being so sweet, so smiley and such a wonderful little gift to us Ivy! We love you!

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The start of fall fun!

The time has come for us to cram in all of the fall activities that we can before the snow falls! Haha, I know, my attitude is average about saying goodbye to summer. But I do love the crispy fall air and all the things we can do as a family! Over the weekend, went to 101 Market for the corn pit, the petting zoo, the corn grenade and all the other fun activities! We stayed over night at Mimi and Papa’s and between running a bunch of “home” errands, we had a great weekend!

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10 years of Luke & Kristen!

On September 23rd, Luke and I celebrated 10 years of being married! It is CRAZY to think of all we’ve done together in the past 10 years. The years just keep flying by and honestly, being married to him is the best. It’s so easy and it’s been the best adventure. These past few years have thrown us into a crazy world of so many kids and even though our time together is much more sparse than in years past, I still feel like the luckiest girl to be married to Luke! He’s my best friend, my teammate and co-leader of our wild tribe. He still makes me feel so special and so loved. Yep, the luckiest!

We were able to get away for 5 days to Nashville and Kentucky. It was HEAVEN. We split up the crew between both sets of parents and even though I shed a few tears leaving little miss Ivy, it was honestly so wonderful! We had so many slow, wonderful meals together. We laid by the pool and went on walks. We went out, listened to music and we shopped. We went to a vineyard, watched the sunset while splitting a bottle of wine! On the 2nd half of the trip, we met up with friends and went to Luke’s college friends’ wedding (in a cave in Kentucky!) It was amount of time to get away and just be together!

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The trip was also great to have time to talk about the many, many house decisions we need to start making! Floor plan, windows, doors, lighting, tile, all of it! Here’s the brief update on the house.. we close on our lot this Friday, ground breaking hopefully next Monday! So we are in the middle of a million decisions! Now, because we are totally custom building this house, that means we have endless options (pinterest and I are best friends lately). That is SO good and so hard for the designer mind in me! It’s overwhelming but actually really great to choose everything at once. So the doors, the doorknobs, the trim.. it will all match! (amazing, I know) Here’s the mood board I have going so far! We are so excited and are loving the process. But more than anything, we are so thrilled to have a place for our family, a place for our kids to grow up in and to continue making so many wonderful memories together. We are so blessed!


First days of school, Leyton & Finn

Leyton started 1st grade last week! He’s officially a grader, as he says :) These school transitions are pretty easy with Leyton. He loves the structure and the activity of school, that there’s really no fear or hesitation when it comes to day 1. He was a little shy when he met his teacher, Mrs. Dargay, the week before, but was so excited to see his name on his desk, along with the names of a couple other friends he knew. We decided to put Leyton in Lincoln Elementary, his White Bear Lake school for half of the year and then when we move, he will start at the new school. We are hoping to be in the house sometime in January, so he will make the change then. Being the social and adaptable boy he is, we feel good about moving him halfway through the year. Until then, this is a much easier drive for us! And he was thrilled to join his old friends. We’re so proud of Leyton and how great he is with getting along with others and having such a fun, positive attitude all the time. It’s pretty sweet though.. without fail, every morning so far as we turn somewhere around 4th street, I pray for our day. I watch him in the mirror squirming around, stretching, yawning, telling me his belly hurts. Those are his nervous signs :) When this first happened, I asked him how his stomach was feeling and he said, “it doesn’t hurt like I’m sick. It’s just those scared feelings in my belly.” Sweet boy! He did this last year for the first couple of weeks, after the nerves wear off and he gets more comfortable!

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Finn is starting his second year of preschool, at Eagle Brook church in White Bear. I drop him off every Tuesday and Thursday after dropping Leyton off so it works pretty well. After Finn’s emotional few weeks around here, I was a little concerned if he’d be ready for this. But, when we went to meet his teachers earlier this week, he saw a few friends he knew from last year and jumped right in! He gave Leyton and my mom the full report of the kids he saw and the names of his teachers. I was relieved! Again, I think this structure will be a great thing for him. Finn is still in speech therapy twice a week for his stutter. His progress goes up and down, which they say is normal. His teachers/therapists and doing such a great job.. so we will be patient and help him how we can! We’re so proud of our big boy! I can’t believe he’ll be 5 this year.. that’s just crazy! The boys wanted some silly pictures with him this morning :) Love these boys!

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The 4 kid update!

I guess this is just the new norm around here.. must less frequent blogging and very sparse updates. I blame it on 2 sort of obvious things.. Instagram being the new mini-updater, and, just way too much going around here to remember all the little updates! I knew my updates from kid 1 to kid 4 would be much different but I still want to remember as much as I can about this rapidly changing stage of life! So here’s the broad update on each child.


Leyton will start 1st grade next week! We are both so excited for school to begin. As much as I love the chaos and the spontaneity of summer, school is a very great thing for Leyton. He loves the structure, all the different activities and the social life! He definitely feels a lot older lately. Although he is still “young,” he gets bored easily with the little ones and can only do so much toy playing before he resorts to wrestling and running circles around the house. He and Everett are a little too much alike. Everett will do anything and everything that Leyton does, which means they rile each other up and drive everyone else crazy haha! Leyton and I seem to clash a little more lately and it seems like a huge chore to get him to obey even the simplest things. I’ve seen this happen every so often and I honestly think that sometimes he needs a break from me. There are days when I feel like all I do is say no to him, which is so exhausting and I really don’t like it. But there are still enough times when he is so sweet and surprisingly thoughtful that help me get through this stage. Leyton and I went on a bike ride the other day, just he and I and it was so sweet to be with just him. It reminds me all the great benefits of having an older, more self sufficient child and it was so great to have real conversations with him. I will always have a special place for my firstborn!


Finn! Finn’s been a little more of a mystery lately. Since moving to my parents, he’s put his full range of emotions on display and seems to be having a more difficult time with all the change. We’ve know this about him, that’s he more sensitive and more emotional than his brothers. Whereas before, he would play so well with either brother, lately he gets angry so quickly if things are going quite right and usually leads to him getting angry and hitting. It feels like I’m constantly mediating and trying to help Finn get those little emotions out and helping him not get so mad. We just pray that his sweet, softer personality won’t be stifled by his more outgoing brothers. That he feels like his voice is heard in this wild family and that all the combinations of siblings would blend so well. And it’s so sweet to see him with Ivy. He loves her! During one of his more frustrating moments, we were talking about who was rooming with who in the new house. I asked Finn who he wanted to room with and he said, “you Mom! Or Ivy.” My sweet boy.


Everett’s still a power house and is such a hilarious little guy. He’s tough as nails and such a brute. (I know, what a contrast coming after Finn) I think we made our way out of one of my least favorite and more difficult stages in boyhood and into such a great age. He adds more cute words to his vocabulary daily and is a pretty easy going boy. Easy going in the sense of always being up for anything and always ready for an adventure. If you ask him if he wants to go on a walk/go ride his bike/go find your ball.. anything, the answer is always a huge “ok!” He’s constantly moving, constantly talking and won’t dare be caught watching TV or really sitting down at all. He loves his apple juice, his constant snacks, his hockey sticks and balls of any kind. He loves Star Wars, super heroes and legos. He will do anything Leyton does and he thinks he’s way older than his little age of 2. We love our crazy boy!


Ivy is such a sweet little thing! I can’t believe tomorrow she’s 5 months old! She’s turning into such a girl. She’s so smiley and so happy and she yaps all the time! Seriously, she loves laying on the floor making so many noises, it’s adorable! We are so lucky to have this little lady in our family. I can’t wait to watch her as she grows up being surrounded by these boys. She loves watching them and smiles constantly at their little faces. Although she’s so sweet, she isn’t the best sleeper at night. Her naptimes are great, but she thinks she needs to eat at night and we’re trying to convince her that she doesn’t. I probably shouldn’t worry about it and let it go because she’s my last baby, but I really miss sleep! We’ll get there. Those chunky cheeks and those bright eyes help me forgive a lot of wrong!

These kids are definitely a lot of work but I am constantly reminding myself that even though this is hard, I wouldn’t have it any other way! We are so blessed with our four!

Cabin Weekend 2016

We had such a fun weekend away! We went to Kevin’s cabin, once again, with the whole Prosser crew. I know I should be used to it by now, but there are moments when we all look around and realize how many little cousins there are! It is so fun to watch them together. First of all, Leyton’s huge and seems so much older to me. The fact that he can get his own food.. he can eat it without needing it cut up into little pieces, or told to “eat 5, no 3, no 2 more bites.. or to seat down, or to quit touching your cousin or else…” (that’s the rest of the crew) It really is so nice! He and Finn and Emeri stick together, and share a bunk bed room together (that’s wild) Then there’s Willa, Everett, McCoy and Shea that group together (they are SO funny), Griffin tags along thinking he’s a big kid, then we have the two sweet little babies, Ivy and Alba. No one really sleeps, there’s at least someone crying at any given time, bedtime is a total circus, but it’s honestly so fun. This year was a downer for Finn. He felt really sick (long story, stomach issues) and went into urgent care while we were up north. He pretty much just laid around, but that’s totally allowed when you’re at the cabin. There’s a lot to do and everyone had so much fun.. I think the pictures speak for themselves!

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Ode to Mallard Ponds Drive

Today we are saying goodbye to our house in White Bear Lake. I am way more emotional that I thought I would be about all this! Luke and I have bounced around two a couple places since being married, but this house, this 5 year house.. this is an emotional move. See, this is the baby house. This is where all my kids were little. We spent so many hours in the house, we made a million memories and saw so many changes.. and now we will leave that behind.

As I pack each room, my mind is flooded with so many memories. Oh, this house. This is the house that we brought our only child Leyton to, and gave him one room for his bed boy bed and one room for his trains. This is the house that I started labor in on a cold December night while a few of our friends were over. And this is the house where I almost birthed our second mystery baby in our master bedroom. And a few days later, we introduced Leyton to his new brother Finn. This is the house where we popped a balloon filled with blue confetti to announce to our friends and family that our third child was a boy. And come June, on our driveway, my sister wrote “Welcome home Everett” to announce to our neighbors that he had finally arrived. This is the house that we brought home our 4th baby, our long awaited baby girl. This is the house where our dog Easton ran around the neighborhood and killed bunnies and squirrels way too often. This is the house where I balled hysterically in the kitchen when Easton’s new owner came to pick him up. This is the house where Leyton took his “first day of Kindergarten” picture on our front porch. The driveway where Leyton learned to ride a bike and where he hit 2 trucks and the neighbors house while hitting golf balls in our front yard. This is the kitchen and the living room that were filled with music on a nightly basis for our family dance parties. The living room where the boys made forts, jumped on the couches and played pillow city. The bathroom upstairs that crammed three little boys to brush their teeth together every night. This is the house where Luke worked in the little room in the basement for two years. The years when we ate a slow, chaotic breakfast everyday as a family. When Luke would take breaks from work to jump on the trampoline and the hockey sessions on the deck stretched into mid morning. This is the house with an office for my photography that eventually transformed into a much used office for the boys. The basement that has seen so many toys come and go. The basement where dad pummeled the boys everyday after work, where there’s constant battles with nerf guns, nunchucks, swords, or the many other weapons that are restricted to the basement. This is the house where the kids logged in hours and hours playing with toys.

The walls of the this house have heard so many hilarious conversations, too much crying and so much laughter. Although we are excited for the next phase, it feels like we are closing a chapter with this house. It feels like the next house is the big kid house. The house they will remember much more than this house. But I will remember. I will remember this sweet, sweet time in our lives. I will be forever grateful for this wonderful house. I can do this next adventure.. as long as I can bring my family with me, it will always be sweet.

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Leyton and Finn’s soccer


Soccer was so fun this year! Leyton and Finn were both on a soccer team, and as you can imagine, their experiences were quite different. It took Finn a couple weeks to come around to the idea. And once he did, he mostly just stood there, tolerating it all. He did better during practices, participating in the activities. For games, he mostly just stood there, occasionally making eye contact with me and giving me the thumbs down. But on the last week of the season, something clicked and he was moving! He would run after the ball, yelling “that’s my ball!” He even gave me a thumbs up a couple times. Win. And Leyton was so fun to watch this year! He’s really good! He’s so quick with those long legs and he does so well playing defense and just runs like crazy. Everett loooves soccer. He plays with his friends, kicks the ball around and demands gatorades like the big boys. And of course, Ivy’s along for the ride! It has made our summer pretty busy, but it’s been so fun! Proud of my boys!

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