Happy Easter!

By: Steph | Tags: , , , ,


We had a fun Easter weekend at home.  It started with a family festival at church on Saturday morning where we made a flower pot, sang songs and Lauren got to hunt for Easter eggs.  She loved opening the plastic eggs over and over again, whether there was a treat in there or not!

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Saturday evening we painted a few eggs at home which actually wasn’t as messy as I expected.  Josh had a hard time finding the dye kits this late in the season, but he came home with a kit that included stickers and paints.  Our colorful eggs were a fun centerpiece for our table today!

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We had a delicious Easter dinner with our friends Manda and Micah- we decided on crab legs for the main feast and a feast it was!  They brought some yummy goodies for dessert, including a cute Hello Kitty marshmallow treat for Lauren.

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We hope you had a blessed Easter, too!

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Lauren, we loved looking at all the pictures of you celebrating Easter . . . you just looked so grown up and so smart doing everything that the “big kids” do! Thanks for the great family picture, too! I would love a copy of that one! Love you guys, Grandma Mary


Miss Independent

By: Steph | Tags: , , , , ,


Lauren says “I do it!” only about a hundred times a day.  And when she wants to do it, whatever it is, she does not want our help!  This usually means whatever we are doing will take 10 times as long, which can be a problem as we try to rush out of the house in the morning.  Most of the time, her growing independence is fun for Josh and I to watch, especially when a task is followed by a very proud “I did it”!

Grandma and Grandpa Hall were down for another visit- they can’t seem to stay away for very long :)  Lauren had fun making cookies with Grandma and probably ate a cup of frosting, which was followed by a major sugar rush!

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Lauren is also very into her babies… she is currently obsessed with her baby stroller and she takes them on several walks around the house every night.

We took Lauren to her second Wild game on St. Patty’s Day.  She really wasn’t interested in the game very much, but she loved the gift shop and Charlie Brown.  I guess she needs to be a little older before she appreciates a professional hockey game!

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We’re thinking of all of our family and friends in North Dakota right now as they fight to keep dry.  Our prayers are with you during this unsettling time.

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  • Amy J says:

    she is such a cute little girl!!!! Thanks for the update!!!


We spent a wonderful week in Arizona visiting Rob, Joanne and extended family!  It was a treat to get away from the cold weather for a while and we had some fun outings while we were there.  Lauren did really well with all of the traveling and schedule changes.  She was very happy to spend time with her Nana Jo and Opa Rob!

Our first outing was a trip down to see Grandma Merle in Green Valley- she took us down to Tubac, and for a minute I got nervous that we were going south of the border!  We didn’t quite go that far, though, and had a nice afternoon walking through all of the artsy shops.

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We went to the Phoenix zoo and, arriving early on a week day, it was almost like we had the zoo to ourselves!  Lauren really liked the giraffes, hippos and baboons and had fun playing in the zoo playground.

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Another day was spent in beautiful Sedona.  The red mountains and plateaus of that area really were amazing to see.  Most of our time was spent hiking and driving to some scenic spots.  We got a baby carrier backpack before we left and Lauren loved it so much that she couldn’t wait to get in it.  Josh convinced us to walk out on a stone archway at the top of the hike which made Nana Jo pretty nervous!

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One of the trip highlights was a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.  The Garden is currently featuring the glass artwork of Dale Chihuly and his pieces are really beautiful.  At night, the pieces are lit and the art takes on a whole new look.  Lauren’s favorite was a row boat filled with multi-colored glass balls.  Some of them were placed outside of the boat and every time we walked by, she would say “uh-oh”, like they had fallen out accidentally!

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The rest of our visit was spent relaxing on the patio, visiting with family, and enjoying time together.  It was sure hard to come back to the cold of Minnesota, especially with the dump of fresh snow we got last week!

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  • Amy says:

    Looks like an amazing trip! What amazing photography…every photo looks like a postcard!! Lauren is growning into a KID, no more baby there!! She is more and more adorable all the time!!


What a wonderful holiday season we had with our families!  We spent Christmas in Grafton and it was great to see my brothers, mom and dad, and lots of extended family.  Lauren especially had fun with my cousins’ kids and loved being part of the gang.  She received a harmonica from her uncles that she learned to play very quickly- I think she’s inherited the same musical genes!

After a brief stop back at home for a few days, we headed north to the cabin for New Years with the Kecks.  It was beautiful with lots of fresh snow and between sledding and snowmobiling, we got to enjoy it!  Lauren thought sledding was pretty fun until we wiped out on the sled a few times- she did enjoy a slower ride with Erin and Annie.  She loves to hold Annie, kiss Annie, and play with all of Annie’s toys.  We got a preview into the “mine” stage and realize we need to start stressing “share” more!

As much as we love going home for the holidays, it is nice to be back at our home and settling into routine again- Lauren was very excited to get back to daycare and to see her friends.  It was a little harder for me to get excited about working a full week again, but I’m managing okay :)

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year!

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  • Nana Jo says:

    It looks like a wonderful Christmas was enjoyed by all in Grafton! We loved having you at the lake over New Years too. Thanks for all the wonderful pictures — it is so much fun to view them over and over……it’s amazing
    to see how much the girls have grown, and ARE growing! I see changes every time we are together. I don’t think I will ever forget the look on Lauren’s face as she came out of the bedroom after pushing the test button on the carbon monoxide detector:) Fun times. Love you all, Nana Jo


Wow, I just realized we haven’t posted in a month! The last few weeks have been busy, starting with Josh and I traveling to Boulder, CO, for a family friend’s wedding. The weekend was great- Boulder is a cool city and the weather was perfect for walking around Pearl Street. Josh was their photographer for the weekend and kept busy by capturing all the great shots of the wedding festivities. I did my best to assist him, but mostly enjoyed spending the weekend with my good friends.

Lauren spent the weekend at home with Grandma and Grandpa Hall and I’m sure she really wore them out! She has been really into dolls lately so they went out to the new American Girl doll store… Grandma said Lauren had lots of fun taking the dolls in and out of the baby highchair.

Lauren also loves her baby cousin, Annie- we all spent Thanksgiving together and every time Annie made a peep, Lauren said, “Baby?”  She gave her numerous kisses and loved when she got to hold her for pictures. We went on an adventure to pick out Opa and Nana’s Christmas tree; the tree farm had wagon rides and buffalo. Lauren wasn’t too sure about the buffalo, but I had fun feeding them!


I can’t believe it’s December already.  We put up our Christmas tree the other night and Lauren wasn’t as interested as I thought she’d be… she was more entertained with the box that the ornaments were stored in, although she does like to remove the ornaments from the tree now!

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  • Amy says:

    p.s. Your Christmas Card is adorable too!!! Even Phil made a comment about how cute it was!!!!


Halloween Fun

By: Steph | Tags: , , ,


We had a fun Halloween and although Lauren didn’t really understand trick-or-treating, she sure liked her kitty costume after several dress rehearsals!  She didn’t want to wear her costume at daycare, but seeing all of her friends in their costumes must have gotten her excited to wear it for the night.  We had our friends, the Klabos, staying with us for the weekend- we all ventured out for trick-or-treating in the cul-de-sac and then at the mall.  Lauren would hold a piece of candy until the next stop and then try to trade that one for another piece… she didn’t understand that it was all hers to keep!

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  • Nana Jo says:

    Glad she put her costume on — she was a purrr fectly cute little kitten. Looked like you all had a great time. Lauren, your Daddy was a clown the first time he went trick or treating and that was in Germany! Love you all!



It’s been a while since our last post because there hasn’t been too much to report!  We’ve had a lot of down time in the past month which has been really nice.  November and December are looking quite busy already so we’ll enjoy these weekends of rest and relaxation!  Josh did get out hunting last weekend so my Mom and Dad came down to stay a few days… between playing, reading and shopping, I think Lauren wore Grandpa and Grandma out!

Lauren has started to talk a lot more in the last few weeks.  A few of her favorite words are “up”, “bye bye”, “Koda”, “Dada”, “book” and something that resembles “help”.  Some of the sounds that come out of her mouth are so funny- especially when her facial expression is so serious, like we should know exactly what she is saying!  She also loves to dance and carry around her Baby and her new purse from the Arizona cousins.

Lauren has a kitty costume for Halloween but the dress rehearsal tonight didn’t go so well- she cried and screamed the whole time she had it on.  Hopefully she warms up to it before next Friday!

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  • Grandma Mary says:

    Lauren, I’ll bet you want to be a “princess” instead of a kitty, don’t you? Grandma will have to send you a magic wand . . . you will be a cutie no matter what you wear!
    Grandpa Nick thinks you can say “Grandpa”, too . . . keep practicing and surprise him! Can’t wait to kiss those rosy little cheeks!! Love, Grandma Mary

2008 Portland OR

We recently spent a week visiting my brothers in Oregon.  My parents went, too, and we all had a great time together!  We stayed busy in Portland, taking in some of the area sights and spending time with Jeff and Jon’s friends.  The highlight of the trip was spending the holiday weekend in Pacific City on the Oregon coast.  Mom and I had spent a lot of time looking for a beach house and the one we finally decided on did not disappoint.  It was the perfect place for all of us to relax and enjoy the beautiful views.  The weather was nice for the time of year, although the ocean water was quite chilly- Lauren did not like getting her feet wet!  She did like playing in sand and running along the shore  with her uncles.  Lounging on the deck, sitting at the campfire, listening to the waves crash on the shore… so many memories of a wonderful family vacation!

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  • Carol & Dave says:

    What a wonderful time you guys had! Making great memories!! Josh you are a terrific photographer! So fun to get the family together, especially when you are so spread out. Love to all. Carol & Dave


State Fair ’08

By: Steph | Tags: , , ,


We enjoyed a day at the MN State Fair over the weekend- it was a beautiful day to be out and enjoying fair food!  We had the usual (corn, cheese curds, cookies, malt, bull bites) and tried a few new ones, too- pronto pup, tater tots on a stick, and a pickle dog (pickle wrapped in cream cheese and pastrami).  Lauren loved the tater tots and the strawberry malt, but she did not get to try the cheese curds… it’s a little early for all the cheese and grease!

This year she was able to enjoy a couple of rides- Josh took her on the gunny sack slide and I took her on a carousel ride.  I think she was a little nervous on both of them since she didn’t seem to smile too much.  That surprised me since she loves when Josh swings her by her feet or throws her in the air.  Lauren really liked the Birthing Center where she could see the baby animals up close… she got to pet a lamb and a little piglet!

IMG_3534 Lauren had her first official day in the toddler room today.  When Josh picked her up, the daycare girls said that if the level of dirtiness determined the day, Lauren had an excellent day- her shorts are so dirty that I just might have to toss them.  Sand in her hair, in her shoes, in her diaper… she really plays hard with her new friends!

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My mom and dad came down last weekend to celebrate Dad’s birthday with us.  The weekend went too fast as always… Saturday we headed over to the Mill City Farmers Market and Como Zoo.  It was a gorgeous day to be out and we had fun watching Lauren react to the zoo animals.

We were recently in Fargo for our niece Anne’s baptism and it was great to celebrate her special day with everyone.  Anne is growing and becoming more alert, but she is still such a little peanut!  Lauren had fun crawling in and out of Anne’s bouncy seat – she is turning into quite the little climber.

Lauren spent most of yesterday in the toddler room at daycare.  She will officially move to the room at the end of the month, but they try to acclimate them to that environment a few weeks before bringing them over.  She came home last night with sand in her hair, dirt on her knees, and completely exhausted!  And when I dropped her off with the infants this morning, she looked at me like, “where did all those fun kids go?”!

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  • Great Auntie Laurie says:

    That’s an awesome picture of you Lauren (and that very old man holding you)!!! I am so glad Grandpa got to spend his birthday
    with his favorite little girl! Love, Great Auntie Laurie


The Zoo

By: Steph | Tags: , , , , , ,

2008Jul20_0365We took advantage of the beautiful day today and went to the MN Zoo!  Lauren had a great time looking at all the animals- she especially liked the fish and the prairie dogs.  And when she wasn’t checking out the wildlife, she was observing all the kids around her.  She also had some fun with the water fountains- a great way to cool off at the end of the day!


We were able to meet baby Anne last weekend and she is the tiniest, sweetest little baby.  I’ve already forgotten the peacefulness of holding a newborn… so small and not wrestling out of your arms like a toddler!  She is so precious and we can’t wait to see her again.

DSC00366This past week has been a little more challenging than usual… we’ve weaned Lauren off the Nuk, went down to one nap a day, and came down with pinkeye!  Poor baby looked pretty rough with her puffy, swollen eyes!  Given all the changes this week, it was great to spend the weekend at home enjoying some family time.  Josh and I even got out on date to celebrate our 6th anniversary!

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  • Amy says:

    LOVE LAUREN UPDATES!!!!!! Thank you for the new pics…and the news even if it wasn’t all fun news. Love you guys…



We hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July weekend!  We spent the weekend at the lake and enjoyed the beautiful weather with family and friends.  Lauren liked being in the water and even got a very slow ride on the jet ski.  It was a little harder for Josh and I to sit back and relax- Lauren keeps us running after her as she is constantly on the go!

Anne ClaireAnd there is a new baby in the Keck family!  Erin and Joe had baby Anne Claire on the 3rd and she’s a little peanut at 5 lbs. 13 oz.  Anne arrived 2 weeks early, but she’s healthy and doing well.  Lauren was smiling at the pictures of her new cousin and it will be fun for her to have a little girl cousin.  We can’t wait to meet her!

We’ve also been to Grafton recently and have some other trips planned this month.  It seems like we spend the week unpacking and doing laundry just to pack it up again and leave a few days later!  Summer is going too quickly, as it always does!


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  • Erin says:

    I love those pictures of Lauren eating the watermelon. Looks like the best way to enjoy it :) We are excited to see you this weekend and have the long anticipated “meeting of the cousins”!
    Love, Erin