We had a fun-filled Halloween weekend which started Friday with a Fall Harvest party at daycare. The kids got to wear their costumes and even Brayden got to join the parade via the infant buggy. Lauren was what I called “Pink Tink”… she wanted to be Tinkerbell, but we found a pink princess dress and wings that she was quite happy with so it was more of a princess fairy look. And Brayden was a cute (and toasty warm) giraffe.

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We picked out some pumpkins and had fun carving them into Jack-0-Lanterns. Lauren picked out the faces for the two smaller ones and thought they were all very cute, especially when there were candles in them.

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Since it was a nice night, we walked around our neighborhood for trick or treating and it was a fun change from going to the mall. Although it got a little chilly toward the end, both kids were troopers and Lauren especially liked riding in the wagon. Josh and I had to remind her to say “Trick or Treat” at every house, but most of the time she just got shy and held out her bucket for candy. People were way too generous with the candy- we’ve got quite a stash here which is not good for someone with no willpower (me)!

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Hope you had a happy Halloween, too!

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Lauren and Brayden, you both look so cute in your costumes. And it was fun to see your pumpkins
    on the front steps . . . scary! We had so much fun with you . . . I'm lonesome already! Love, Grandma Mary



By: Steph | Tags: , , , ,


Brayden has had a tough few days- just cranky and hard to please. His top two teeth started coming in last weekend and so we thought that was part of the problem; he’s been drooling like crazy, giving him a rash on his chin, neck, and chest and he chews hard on anything he can get in his mouth. Then Sunday night, while Josh playfully turned him upside, I happen to notice that all four of his top teeth are coming in- poor little guy! His cranky mood throws us off so much because we’ve never really had to do much to keep him happy. Of course Lauren can still get him to smile or laugh just by walking into the room so we ask her to entertain him most of the time.

Lauren played solo a lot on Sunday and it’s so funny to listen in and watch her play with her dolls. She likes to play school with them, sitting them in a circle for group time and reading to them. She also included me in one of the group times and announced that she was chewing gum. After telling me it was just pretend, she continued to “chew” gum for most of the game we were playing- quite convincingly, too! She is quite observant and doesn’t miss much these days.

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  • Opa Rob says:

    Brayden- Hope you are feeling better! Hard to get those little teeth in but once they're in you'll be chewing on pizza and all that good stuff like your big sister Lauren. Sounds like Lauren might be a teacher instead of a dentist. Good teachers are very important and I'm sure you'd be great. Hope to see you all soon.
    Love, OPA

Bible Celebration 014

Lauren started Sunday School this fall and our church had a Bible dedication service where all the three year olds were given their own Bible. She is also singing in the Starlite Singers group at church. It took Lauren a couple of rehearsals to get comfortable and participate, but she seems to really enjoy singing and can carry a tune pretty well! Her group has already sung at two services- The B-I-B-L-E and This is the Day that the Lord has Made. She and her best buddy Tyler are quite a pair; along with twenty or so other 3-5 year olds, the choir director has her hands full. These two see each other every day at daycare and now every Wednesday night for choir practice and every Sunday at Sunday School- and both of them often ask if they can play together on Saturdays, too!

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  • Joanne Keck says:

    Great pictures! I heard her singing This is the Day the Lord Has Made in her room last weekend — sweet little voice. Love you lots, Nana


Mmmm… Cookies

By: Josh | Tags: , ,


The past two weekends Lauren and I spent some time making some of my favorite cookies. Lauren is very into tasting each ingredient so it was interesting to watch her reaction as she tasted sugar, molasses, flour, etc.  Who knew a kid would like to eat plain old flour? We made my Grandma’s Ginger Snap cookies.

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And we also made Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Lauren, you can make cookies for Bumpa next time he comes . . . especially the chocolate ones! Do you know how to make M & M'ies cookies yet? Can't wait to see you and Brayden and your mom and dad, too! Love and kisses from Grandma Mary



It’s been hard to find time to sit down and write posts lately, although I can’t think of specific excuses why I’ve gone so long between updates. I guess it’s called “life with two small kids” but I’m sure families with more than two kids are thinking, that’s nothing! Honestly, I like to consider myself an organized person who usually remembers birthdays, weekly commitments and feeding the dog, but I have never felt so distracted and unprepared for daily life as I have over the last six months. And even now that Brayden is sleeping through the night (yay!), I continue to feel tired and out-of-sorts for most of the week. I catch myself thinking that it will all get easier when he naps more regularly, or starts eating the food we eat, or even so far as when he’s potty trained… and then I remember all of these wonderful baby moments that I will miss. As much as I’d like life to be easier these days, I know I need to sit back and cherish these times that Lauren wants me to play babies with her or that Brayden’s face lights up when I walk in the room in the morning. And enjoy that they love each other so much right now that all Lauren has to do is look Brayden’s way and he laughs harder than at anything Josh or I try to do for a few giggles.


Brayden is now six months old and continues to be a very happy, content baby for most of the time. He was 20.5 lbs yesterday at his dr. appt. and is in the 90% percentile for both weight and height. He’s eating solid foods three times a day and has not turned away any food that’s been put in front of him! Brayden is sitting up pretty well and our new activity is to stack up blocks for him to knock down. He’s also gotten very “grabby” and Lauren doesn’t not particularly like when he pulls her hair- at least he doesn’t mean to do it at this age!

My newest goal is to update more often- even if no one is following anymore, it’s the best place to record milestones and post pictures of the kids since I really don’t have the time to scrapbook for them!

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Brayden, you are just the cutest boy . . . can that smile of yours get any bigger! The picture of Lauren strolling you like one of her "babies" reminded me of how your mom used to dress up Jonny in wigs and tutus . . . he never complained either! Love all the pictures and thoughts on "time flying by", too! Hope you are having some of "October's bright blue weather" down there and "counting like misers, hour by hour" these beautiful days together! Love, Grandma Mary


State Fair

By: Steph | Tags: ,

Yes- we’re still here and have a lot of catching up to do! I’ll start with our day out at the State Fair, which might have been the coldest, windiest day of the summer. But we couldn’t not go and miss out on the yearly “cheese on a stick” photo! Brayden got to join in on the tradition, too.

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Josh had the good idea to take pictures of everything we ate and we had fun trying some new things this year. Josh and Lauren started the day with mini-doughnuts and I tried the strawberry scone from French Meadow Bakery.  We also had fried pickles, cheesy breadsticks, and a salted nut roll, along with the old standbys- cheese curds, pronto pup and Sweet Martha’s cookies- yum!

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Lauren was excited to go on the rides, but she was pretty serious while she was riding them.  She and Josh rode the big slide and Lauren told him that next year she would ride on her own carpet and race him.

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We walked through the horse, pig, sheep and cow barns- we even found a cow named Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty for those of you who don’t know your princesses). But I think her favorite thing of all that day was eating her cotton candy. Both kids were troopers throughout the day and we enjoyed another year at the fair!

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  • Erin says:

    I'm not quite sure how to deal with how big Brayden looks in these photos!!! The last time I held him he was still so small! And of course Lauren is as cute as ever! Looks like you had a great day at the fair.


4 Months Old

By: Steph | Tags:

DSC01537 Our little guy is sure growing- he’s up to 17 lbs. 12 oz. at his last appt. and has grown out of most of his 3-6 month clothes! Brayden’s rolls are so adorable and he’s such a happy baby. He’s almost rolling over and close to sleeping through the night now. He grabs on to everything (including hair) and loves to watch Lauren. It is the cutest thing when she laughs and he smiles back at her. We’ve gotten quite a few laughs from him, but it takes a little work. Smiles, on the other hand, are pretty easy to come by.

I boxed up the newborn clothes last weekend and it’s hard to believe he was wearing those tiny onesies just a few months ago. Time is going so quickly, but it is fun to experience all these milestones again and we’re so lucky to have a happy, healthy baby.

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  • Amy Johnson says:

    Grandma Mary…ah-hem…HUSKIES??? Don't ya think he's gonna be a COBBER??? ;)

IMG_4808 We celebrated the 4th of July at the lake and also got to celebrate our niece Annie’s birthday; she turned 2 on the 3rd. The girls have so much fun together (as long as Lauren gets to be the leader) and they love the lake. Fishing, getting pulled in the tube (by Josh, not a boat), Nana’s special snacks, smores… what’s not to love, right? It was great to spend the weekend together and especially fun to watch Annie blow out the candles on her Elmo cake.

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The following weekend was the annual Fedje get together in Detroit Lakes. My brothers flew home for it and Jeff came a day early to spend time with Lauren; he took her to her first big screen movie, Toy Story 3, and she loved it. We always look forward to the reunion weekend, especially the golf scramble and fish fry! Lauren soaked up all the extra attention and Brayden entertained everyone with his cooing and smiles.

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  • Nana Jo says:

    What great photos of your family Steph! I know what a treasure it is to have everyone together. Brayden is such a content little cherub — love the photo with the blue blanket too. Looks like he got lots of cuddle time. Josh was quite the "motor boat" for the girls enjoyment!


3 Months Old

By: Steph | Tags: , , , ,


Our sweet boy is now 3 months and is such a smiley, happy baby. Brayden really only fusses when he’s hungry or tired- he hasn’t been sleeping that well at daycare so he gets a little cranky when I keep him up too late to play with him! He’s sleeping pretty well at night now, usually waking up just once, so that’s been helpful as I’m back to work full-time again. It was really hard to leave him the first few days, but it’s a little easier to get out of the house and make it through the drop-off with each passing day. And it just makes me appreciate the weekends even more!

Brayden is becoming so much more aware of his surroundings and loves to watch Lauren. She gets him to smile just by the way she says his name. To watch the two of them interact is more entertaining and emotionally touching than I ever could have imagined. Brayden has also started to “talk” and laugh in the last few weeks and loves to lay on his changing table and have conversations with us as we change him.

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Brayden was baptized on June 13th at St. Andrew and we had a fun day celebrating with family. He wore the socks and shoes that Josh wore for his baptism 33 years ago! His uncles Joe and Jonny are his sponsors and Joe dedicated a verse to him- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13). God has truly blessed our family with such a precious baby boy.

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  • Nana Jo says:

    Brayden, You are getting so big! Your giggles and smiles are contagious. Love all the new pictures and looking forward to seeing you and cuddling this weekend. Love, Nana Jo


DSC01428 Lauren turned 3 last Monday and she had a Jungle Book themed party. You would think that she’d want a princess or Ariel theme, but she has her ways of surprising us. Thankfully Nana Jo came through with a cake with Mowgli and Baloo on it or else it would have just been a jungle party. The party got a little crazy with five kids (ages 4 and under) but Lauren had a great time and enjoyed having her cousin and friends celebrate with her.

Lauren is fully into the make-believe/pretending stage and still loves anything princess. For her birthday, she got a pair of Ariel clip-on earrings and high-heeled shoes that she dresses up in almost every day after daycare. I think she walks in heels better than I do! We definitely have our struggles with her independence and stubbornness, but most of the time she is a sweet girl who is smart, funny and totally in love with her baby brother.

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Lauren, we had so much fun at your party! You looked so cute all dressed up like a princess . . . it reminded me of how much your mom loved to dress up in her Auntie Laurie's prom dresses and her Grandma Wanda's high heels! Love to all of you . . . please give your brother a BIG kiss from Grandma Mary

DSC01301 We’ve been busy traveling over the past couple of weekends and have had fun spending time with our families. It started with a trip up to Grafton that included some time with my extended family- Lauren had a blast with my cousins’ kids and had her first DQ chocolate malt and dilly bar… in the same night :) Unfortunately she got bit by a mosquito near the eye again, causing it to swell shut, and hit her other eye on a chair so she looks pretty beat up in some of the photos!

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We then headed to Fargo for the weekend to see Erin and Joe’s relay team run in the Fargo marathon. It was quite an accomplishment for Erin to run after her recovery from Guillain-Barré syndrome last fall. We had fun cheering on the runners and celebrating with the Keck crew over the weekend.

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We also enjoyed a long Memorial Day weekend at the lake and had some great weather up there, which is a little unusual for this time of year. It’s so fun to watch Annie and Lauren together now that they are more interested in each other. The girls had fun fishing off the dock- I think they caught a fish almost every time they dropped their line!

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  • Erin says:

    Love the new website layout!! Can't wait to celebrate with you all this weekend!



By: Steph | Tags: ,


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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Brayden, that smile of yours just lights up the whole screen! What a handsome boy you are with your BIG blue eyes . . . wish I could give you a hug right now! Love, Grandma Mary