Random update

By: Steph | Tags: ,

It has been too long since the last post. We’re busy and the kids haven’t been very photogenic recently, but I wanted to write a little something for those of you who still check in on us…

Brayden is 18 months and so entertaining at this age. He’s starting to say a few words and mimic what you say, like “where is it”, but most of it still sounds like jibberish. He’s still obsessed with balls, cars, planes and now trains. The very first thing he says in the morning is “cheerio”. I think he would eat all day long if he could.


Lauren is imaginative and funny. She tells us stories and her expressions are just as entertaining as the story line. She loves her babies and plays school or shopping, usually she goes to Target. Josh made her a mask, shirt and shorts out of paper bags last night and she couldn’t stop giggling- who said entertainment needs to cost money!


We still have some power struggles and the slightest issue can become a major meltdown- her hair isn’t curling just right, she doesn’t like the outfit she picked out, she wants to wear her swimsuit to Target… makes me nervous for when she’s 14 instead of 4.

But they can both be so sweet and play really well together. Some moments I would like to bottle up and remember forever – or at least through the next meltdown.


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  • kk~ says:

    gosh la la is such a beauty. and brayden- what a sweetie. i think you two need a date night soon, so i can watch the little mermaid or something.


Afternoon at the Zoo

By: Steph | Tags: , ,


Going to the Minnesota Zoo is one of my favorite activities with the kids. This visit we spent most of the time at the Farm and at the water fountains. The goats are always fun – Lauren was a little scared to feed them, although she loved brushing them. And I tried to let Brayden feed them, but all he wanted wanted to do was eat the feed pellets himself – yuck!

Brayden loved the water fountains – he’d go right into the stream of water, turn around spitting water out and end up with the biggest smile on his face. Guess he’ll be our little water bug!

There are currently several Dr. Seuss characters placed throughout the zoo and Lauren had fun spotting them. She enjoyed posing with a few of them, too.


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  • Grandma Mary says:

    What a fun summer you guys are having! Brayden, you are fearless when it comes to anything that splashes or gets you wet! And Lauren, you could be a model! So much fun with all of you last weekend . . . hugs and kisses to my Company Girl and Little Buddy! Love, Grandma Mary


Brayden’s Walking

By: Steph | Tags: ,

Brayden’s been walking for awhile now, but it’s news since the last post! The weekend before Memorial Day weekend, he started walking from the porch to the living room couch and back again- almost like he was practicing. It was so funny to watch him weeble wobble around and try to keep his balance. Now he’s almost running but still takes a few tumbles when his feet get going too fast. I forget how much work it is to run after a toddler all the time!

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  • Amy Velsor says:

    Oh Brayden!!! What a big boy you are!!!! Walkin' walkin'!!! Way to go!!! we love you!!


Spring is here!

By: Steph | Tags:

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It was so nice to see the sun today- we’ve been waiting for some warm spring weather! We’re ready to start working in the yard and being outside with the kids. I’ve started running again and have taken Brayden in the jogging stroller a couple of times now- pushing my big boy makes for a tough workout! We also got a trail-a-bike for Lauren to use along with practicing on her bike with training wheels.

Our boy is growing and learning more every day. Brayden loves to play in Lauren’s room and has started to take interest in books, just like his big sis. He just started waving bye-bye and is closer to walking- he likes to walk along things and push the walking toy, but hasn’t taken those first steps yet. I think once we start spending more time outside, he’ll get the motivation to walk instead of having to sit on a blanket or crawling on the driveway!

Lauren continues to make us laugh and test our patience. She’s very much into doing things herself and often times I forgot she is still only 3 yrs old. The conversations we have seem very grown up and she’s started asking a lot of big questions about life (and death). She’s very good about entertaining herself and loves to read, color and play with her babies. We’re having some struggles with shyness and self-consciousness in a large group setting, but hopefully it is just a phase and she won’t be stuck to our leg throughout dance class forever!

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  • Karla says:

    Love these pictures! Ah, especially the family pic of you four in front of the fireplace.



Brayden had such a fun birthday party! We had the living room filled with balloons and although he didn’t fully understand the party was for him, he sure enjoyed himself. He let Lauren and Annie help open his gifts- he got a lot of cute summer outfits and sports-themed gifts. And he LOVED his cake- we finally had to take it away from him before he went into sugar shock! We all had a great time celebrating our little guy’s 1st birthday.

At his one year appt, Brayden was up to 24 lbs and 10 oz. I think he eats more than me for dinner some nights! He loves to eat and to play with balls- the ball popper is probably his favorite toy at the time. He isn’t walking yet, but on the verge of those first steps- just this weekend, he was trying a few different moves that were pretty funny. Won’t be long before we’re chasing after him as he runs from us.

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Happy 1st Birthday, Brayden! Such cute pictures of you celebrating with everyone! You are going to be a "speed demon" when you start walking , , , can't wait to see you head to Lauren's room then!
    Love and kisses from Grandma Mary


Brayden Crawling

By: Josh | No tags for this post.

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted a video. Here’s some of the excitement that was happening around the house in early January.

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DSC01902 Jonny and his girlfriend AnneMarie came for a visit last weekend and we all had such a great time! My parents drove down to see them and we packed the weekend with all sorts of fun activities… MOA and amusement rides, bowling, a night out in Minneapolis, some sightseeing and even some sushi for Bumpa Nick. Lauren loved the attention and was sad to see them go- as we all were!

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Mealtimes have gotten lot more interesting at our house- Brayden doesn’t turn much down, but on the rare occasion he doesn’t like the menu for the night, most of it ends up on his face and in his hair. Lauren, on other hand, doesn’t eat much as she’s too busy talking and making up stories. They have been playing really well together and Lauren even shut the door to her room the other night because she wanted them to play alone- I know it won’t always be this easy so I’m enjoy every minute!

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  • Amy says:

    Looks like a really fun and busy weekend!!! The kids are adorable, as always!!!


DSC01874 I’m disappointed that I haven’t done well on my mission to update more, but we’ve been busy! I was thinking that life would slow down a little after the holidays, but this past month seemed to fly by.  We rang in the new year at the cabin with the Kecks, and although the weather didn’t make it easy to get there, it was sure beautiful with all the fresh snow. Annie and Lauren enjoyed their time together as usual and had fun playing outside. Brayden entertained everyone without causing too much trouble since he was still immobile (not anymore though!). And the adults kept busy with Just Dance for the Wii and snowmobiling. Even Lauren got to ride the snowmobile and liked it so much that she didn’t want to get off!

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We also recently took a trip up north to visit our friends, the Rupps. It was great to spend time with old friends and the kids got along great. Brayden was loving the pool filled with plastic balls- he was flapping his arms and squealing, he was so excited. And Lauren hit it off with Mollie and even slept in her room with her (after several trips up to the room to settle them down).

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I co-hosted a baby shower this month for my good friend Manda- when we planned the shower, we hadn’t expected the baby to be here but Will had other plans! He arrived 9 weeks early on Christmas Day and thankfully has mastered many of the milestones needed for him to go home. We hope that day comes very soon!

And my baby is now on the move- he’s crawling all over the place and loves to follow me around. Brayden loves his new freedom but Lauren isn’t so sure about it since it’s now easier for him to get into her toys. No more Polly Pockets left on the floor! Hard to believe that Brayden will be a year old in just two short months.

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  • Amy says:

    Adorable photos, as always!!! They're growing way. to. fast!!!


We had a wonderful Christmas in Grafton with my family- lots of family gatherings, yummy food, and good times. It was especially fun to see Lauren’s excitement now that she understands the holiday. She loved singing Christmas carols and hymns (her favorites are Frosty and Hark the Herald Angels Sing), she repeatedly asked us to read the Grinch, and loved to play with the Little People manger set- it wasn’t uncommon to find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the stable with a big flashlight shining on them. And watching her open presents was so entertaining- she got a crib for her Bitty Baby and her overjoyed reaction had us rolling with laughter. Brayden was like any other 9 month old- the wrapping paper and boxes were more exciting than the gifts themselves! He is so close to crawling and gets very frustrated that he can’t move around yet. It was also pretty funny to watch him with my parents’ new puppy, Tobey. Brayden was really interested in him since he was at the same height level, but didn’t quite know what to think when Tobey got too close for comfort.

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We hope you had a wonderful Christmas as well!

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  • Nana Jo says:

    Great pictures of Christmas in Grafton! I know how much your parents loved having you all together. Toby is the cutest little puppy too…. Love, Nana Jo


Snowed In

By: Steph | Tags: , ,


We had quite a snow storm here this weekend- over 15 inches of snow fell yesterday. It does have a winter wonderland feel to it, but I was disappointed that my mom had to leave a day early to avoid the storm and my company Christmas party was canceled. Aside from venturing out to church this morning, we’ve been cooped up in the house all weekend long! The kids enjoyed watching the plow in the cul-de-sac and the living room was definitely a disaster (although not much worse than usual). I made cookies most of Saturday, delicately decorating sugar cookies until my hand couldn’t function anymore. Between that and shoveling a foot of snow last night, my arms are going to hurt tomorrow!

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I had to link this video of the Metrodome roof collapsing early this morning- crazy!


We also had a holiday party with some Cobber friends last weekend- we try to get a picture of all the kids at the end of the night and this is the best I could do. I think we should plan to take the picture at the beginning and hope they will be more cooperative!

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  • Nana Jo says:

    Fun pictures — and it looks like more snow is on the way! See you all soon. Love, Nana


We had a great time spending Thanksgiving weekend with the Kecks. We hadn”t all been together since July so it was fun to see how much Annie has grown up and I think they were a little surprised at how big Brayden is- he almost weighs as much as his 2 1/2 year old cousin! The girls were so happy to see each other and played well together for most of the time- Lauren found out that Annie doesn’t submit to her requests all the time anymore. Lauren was especially excited to go to the movie Tangled- I don’t think she took her eyes off of the screen for one second. It was a really cute movie, but  there were a couple of scary parts- thankfully the girls talked more about the funny parts than the scary ones!

Erin, I had to post the picture of you reading to the girls in bed- the best part is how serious the girls are while you are laughing so hard… some day they will understand the worries of a flattering camera angle!

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And Lauren helped me make a layered turtle cheesecake a couple of weeks ago- it is one the of best homemade cheesecake recipes I’ve had, if I do say so myself! You can find the recipe under the “Food” tab.

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Looks like everyone is having so much fun! Just know how Rob and Joanne treasured every minute of the holiday with a full house! Lauren, you are SO lucky to have your cousin Annie to play with . . . ask your mom how much fun she had with hers! Love to all of you, Grandma Mary


Rainbow Cake

By: Steph | Tags: , ,

DSC01774 Josh and Lauren made me the most colorful cake for my birthday- the inside was like a rainbow! I had fun celebrating with my family and even my brother Jeff was in town for the weekend. Birthdays don’t get too crazy when your 3-4, but I did get out a few nights so that was a change from the norm.

We’ve had a couple of off weeks with the kids- both have had to go to the doctor and Brayden had a fever last week that lasted for 4 days without much of an explanation. Josh has had the pleasure of taking them in for most of the appts. and it didn’t help that Brayden got very familiar with the dr. office by day 2 and would start crying/fussing as soon as they walked in. Poor kiddo got a finger prick every day! Thankfully the fever broke on Friday afternoon so he was much more comfortable over the weekend.

And it was a weekend of snow! We woke Saturday morning to a winter wonderland- well, Lauren was the only one excited about it I think. But I dug out the boots and she and I made the most of it by making a snowman and throwing snowballs. It sure looked pretty outside although I’m not sure I’m ready for winter yet!

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Stephanie, celebrating your birthday with you and family was so much fun! And Josh and Lauren's cake tasted as good as it looked! Hope Brayden is feeling better, too, poor baby! Hope your snow is gone now . . . we don't have ANY up here! Bath time pictures of Lauren and Brayden are so cute . . . remember whenJonny used to climb in with his PJ/'s on if you or Jeff were in the tub? Love from Grandma Mary