Category Archives: birthdays

Where the Wild Things Are Birthday Inspiration

May 21, 2016

Leo is turning ONE soon!!!!! EEEK! I seriously cannot believe it, the second kid grows up so much faster! :( I remember like it was yesterday holding that sweet newborn in my arms (see birth story here). And not to mention, he was born on MY BIRTHDAY! How special! The best gift in the world, delivering a brand new healthy baby boy in my arms. However, the worst gift ever to be in LABOR on your birthday, COME ON! But all ended well and now I get to share my birthday with him! Except, basically that means I don’t have a birthday anymore, ha, but I’m happy to celebrate him instead of me turning older!!!!! Haha :)

After browsing through Pinterest (see Leo’s 1st birthday board here), I stumbled upon this wild thing 1st birthday party and it was to die for! I LOVED the black and white with the copper pops of color. So I decided on a Where the Wild Things Are birthday party theme and have found so many fun items! Totally into black and white right now!

Here is some inspiration I’m going for to celebrate Leo turning ONE!


Where the Wild Things Are Party

black tie balloon, plate, party hat // gold crown // black and white crown // mini black and white party crowns // 1 cake topper // gold 1 balloon // striped romper // wild man outfit // gold moccasins // happy birthday banner // party animals invitation

I LOVE the crowns and invitation! The crowns are adjustable which was a must for Leo’s BIG head! :) And the invitation comes in a whole suite with several fun signs, thank you cards, and a bunch of other stationery that is all you need for the party. One stop shop!

And of course Mama has to match! This romper is perfect!

I can’t wait to celebrate my sweet baby!!!!


 And now after the fact, here’s his party and how it came together! See the whole blog post here! But here are a few photos :)

Leo 1st Birthday Small-44LeosWildOne2img_4086Leo's Wild One Party // Apple of My Ivy blogLeo 1st Birthday Small-2

Again, see more of Leo’s party here!

Happy 2nd Birthday Ivy!

October 1, 2015


Dress // Bow

Happy 2nd Birthday Ivy Rebecca!!

You are quite the smart little lady! You are adventurous, fun, independent, wild, and a pretty princess at heart :) We love you so much!  You are taking such good care of your little brother, always telling me when he needs something or “baby brother’s crying mama,” (as if I didn’t hear), and your hugs and kisses melt our hearts. Such a good big sister! I’m so proud of how you’ve grown and I hope you continue to be a mix of your sweet and spicy self!

We love you sooooo much!!!!!! Hugs and kisses!!!

Birth, 1 year, 2 year

And of course the birthday girl had to have cupcakes for breakfast today, YUM.

Photo Oct 01, 9 51 57 AM

After cupcakes, we had Kindermusik, then went to open gym gymnastics, then lunch with Grandma Keating at Five Guys, and currently you’re singing to yourself in your crib, NOT SLEEPING (which is much too much of a habit lately.) And tonight we are going to Chuck-E-Cheese’s! We’ve never taken her there yet, I’m quite excited to see what she’ll be like!

And Mom bragging moment → look at this smart little girl singing her ABCs! A bit distracted but hey :) And I just love how she gives Leo his toy at the beginning :) SWOON

Hope you have a great birthday Ivy! We love you!

Ivy’s Fairy Birthday Party // 2 Years Old

September 29, 2015


Ivy’s flower fairy birthday party (see inspiration board here) was a huge hit! We had the cutest little fairies running around, great treats and apps, friends, family, and perfect weather! Her second birthday party was so much fun and we always like spending time with friends and family. Most of all, I love seeing Ivy smile and giggle for two hours straight! That’s the best :)

Fairy Food Table

Tassel Garland // Floral Garland // Gold Happy Birthday // Circle Pink and Gold Garland // Flag Felt Garland // Pink and Hot Pink Circle Felt Garland // Pink Floral Tablecloth // Pink Paper Cups // #2 Pink Balloon // Pink and Purple Balloons // Beverage Dispenser (sold out similar here) and stand //

Thankfully, I had almost all of the decor already from Ivy’s 1st birthday party and just some random garlands I have in Ivy’s playroom or bedroom, so really all I had to buy were the balloons and tablecloth, which was great! I tried to stick with my floral fairy pink theme and I think it turned out! :)

Ivy2ndbirthday-12 Ivy2ndbirthday-13

The cake was from The Cake Lady (inspiration photo here) – it was gorgeous AND delicious!! The cake stand wood slab was used at our wedding for our wedding cake :) Fun to reuse! And I made the cake topper with two of the wands and washi tape! Here is the DIY video I followed. Very easy!!! Ivy ACTUALLY blew the candles out! I was pretty impressed! Even though she may have bumped into the side of the cake a little :) haha

The kiddos

Here are the kiddos, minus a couple running around! Each of them got their own wings (which I found at the Dollar Store, heck ya!), a wand, and a floral headband! Ivy had a special crown I got for her that was personalized with her name on it from Mosey Handmade, it was beautiful on her! They were all so adorable! And even the mamas got a floral headband :)


For an activity, I had the kids make their own pixie dust! I loved this idea (from this party)!! I got mini glass jars (when they were 50% off) from Hobby Lobby for their pixie dust, and filled other glass jars with glitter! Then we super glued the cork lids shut. It was so messy and there was glitter everywhere, but the kids LOVED it! And I had fun too :) Thankfully it was outside!

Ivy2ndbirthday-5 Ivy2ndbirthday-6 Ivy2ndbirthday-17GlitterIvy2ndbirthday-8

Next were presents! She got a TON of dolls and barbies! She was in heaven! And the best part was she got new sleeper gowns! Ivy has been OBSESSED with this Anna and Elsa Frozen gown that my mom got her a month ago, and she MUST sleep in it during naps and bedtime (you know how the toddler negotiation thing goes…). So my friend Shannon got her a Cinderella and Minnie Mouse one, she LOVES them!

Ivy2ndbirthday-19 Ivy2ndbirthday-10

John and I got her this bounce house! It’s going to make winter tolerable! It can fit in our basement, which is soooo fabulous.


And Leo was in good hands during the party with Shannon!

Overall, Ivy was in heaven being as girly as possible! She’s turned into quite the little princess and is much more girlier than I ever was! I will have to say though, that it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen #bigsmile

Fairyphotoshoot-4 Fairyphotoshoot-1

2 more days until she’s actually 2!!! I think we might take her to Chuck E Cheeses for her birthday on Thursday. They still sell beer there, right?? ;)

Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Girl!!! We love you!

Flower Fairy Birthday Party Inspiration

September 24, 2015

This Sunday is Ivy’s Second Birthday Party!!! Her actual birthday is October 1st, but we are celebrating this weekend instead. I can hardly wait! Ivy is totally into fairies and princess anything right now, so I decided to do a fairy party! Except I’m doing FLOWER fairy so that I can add a little pretty to it instead of so girly :)  She will be in HEAVEN wearing her fairy wings and wand I got her! And all of the other kids will get them too! It will be so cute seeing all the girls (and boys!) prance around our yard. I can’t wait to see it! And, sunny and 79 is the forecast, holla!!!

Here are some Flower Fairy birthday inspiration items I found along the way!

Flower Fairy

Pajamas // Olivia // Castle Toys // Wand // Tutu Set // Flower Crown // Fairy Sweater // Shoes

Floral Serving Tray // Tassel Garland // Cupcake Set // Balloon / Fairy Invite // Thank You Cards

Here are some other fairy parties that I found. Aren’t they amazing!

Follow along at my Pinterest board


Twinkling Fairy Tea Party

Fairy Party

A Fairy Teaparty

Floral Cake

Floral Cake


Ivy’s (coincidence!!) Flower Fairy Birthday

Woodland Fairy Party

Woodland Fairy Tea Party

Very anxious to celebrate! And EEEEEEK! I can’t believe Ivy is turning TWO! (Screaming face emoji!)

Here is her FIRST birthday party

Leo’s Story

June 15, 2015


It was really hard to believe that we were going to have our SECOND child any day. I was in disbelief. It had gone so fast. I wanted to savor every second I could to have a little bit of a life still and to enjoy my time with Ivy, giving her maximum attention, because that would be gone soon.

The few days before Leo’s birth, we decided to have people at our cabin, risking going down to Yankton, just an hour and fifteen minutes away, for one last getaway before baby arrived. I figured we would be safe, I wasn’t due until the 18th. We enjoyed the weekend filled with boating, beach, grilling, and tons of playtime! On Sunday, John and I decided what the heck, let’s stay one more night since Monday was my 31st birthday (EEEK!), and celebrate it by boating and basking in the sun. It was a risky decision, because I had thought I had had a couple tightenings going on, but too hard to tell. And I had some things going on down there that I thought, hmm, maybe these are some signs of labor moving in, but, we decided to stay anyways! I just wanted to be on the boat! :)

LeoBirthmin-23Of course, I woke up at 1am and sure enough, a contraction. I decided I better stay awake and monitor/time them since I had had a quick labor with Ivy, we would certainly need to head back to Yankton soon if they progressed. Well they didn’t progress or get closer. They were ten minutes apart, then five, then twenty, sort of all over the place. So maybe they’re just Braxton Hicks, I don’t know, I didn’t have any with Ivy, so I was unsure, but something was going on. I decided to let everyone keep sleeping and I’d go shower and start packing us up to head back to Sioux Falls.

We headed back around 8:30am, stopped for a quick Starbucks, and I drove us home while John answered a bazillion voicemails. The contractions still weren’t bad or close together. They were getting a little more uncomfortable, but nothing major.

We got home around 9:45, John headed to his office to get a bid out quick because I was sure I had a couple hours still since they still weren’t close together or bad (in denial… good strategy, haha), well then by about 10:20, they were all of a sudden UNBEARABLE, STRONG, and a minute apart, lasting a minute. WHOA. Came out of nowhere! John got home, we quickly packed our bags, which we hadn’t done yet, which was a really bad decision! I couldn’t think with my contractions so strong and close! I don’t even know what I threw in there! Anyways, my Mom came over to take care of Ivy at 11:00am and we were at the hospital by 11:15am. The contractions were rough and uncomfortable, but I was breathing through them.

LeoBirthmin-5They offered me a wheelchair and I declined, remembering with Ivy that I thought I probably still had an hour or two of labor, well I was wrong. As we were walking upstairs, all of a sudden I felt like I needed to start pushing! EEEK! So I took the wheelchair offer, and we booked it up there! They brought me to the triage and I sort of panicked telling the nurses no I don’t need to be here, I need to push! The assured me that they HAD to check me and of course, I was dilated to a ten and ready to push! HOLY CRAP.

The nurses raced us to the delivery room, doctor scrubbed up all ready, and told me I’d be having this child any minute. WHAT! Still in shock. With Ivy I had labored for an hour and a half at the hospital, then pushed for an hour before she even arrived! So I was expecting something more like that again. WRONG. Well, just four hard pushes later, and we heard Leo cry… that sweet sounding newborn baby cry… the best cry ever. He was here.

Leo John Koch // Born Monday, June 8, 2015 // 11:38am //8 pounds 3 ounces // 22 inches


They laid him on me immediately and John and I just looked at each other like, DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?! We could not believe it. Both thinking, WHOA, that was close.

If you know Ivy’s birth story, you know we had to go to the NICU because of fluid on her lungs. Leo came out very blue and I panicked and begged the doctor and nurses to suction him out really well and asked about his color. They assured me that was a normal color and he was already turning pink and looking great. No NICU this time? THANK GOODNESS. Huge relief.

We had it our way this time. A perfectly healthy little baby boy. ON MY BIRTHDAY!


I soaked up the skin-to-skin, exactly what I had been looking forward to since I was robbed of it with Ivy. I held him so tight, glancing over every baby wrinkle, counting fingers and toes, enamored with his adorable looks, and falling in love with our new little baby boy. It was just how I wanted it. How each mom deserves to have it. Cuddling with their new, perfect, healthy baby.

I could not have been more happy at that moment. We finally had him. Our baby boy. What a spectacular birthday present! The best!


It was an insane 20 minutes of birth. I only tore “skid marks” I guess is what they called them, so I needed just one stitch. I have healed up much faster this time and barely had any swelling.  I remember them asking me later if I had scanned in a birth plan, and I laughed like, nope. My birth plan was to wing it, and that’s exactly what I did. The Doctor was hilarious. She told me I “dropped it like it’s hot!” Haha! I apologized for rushing them and told them next time I’ll come in sooner, but she just laughed and said, that’s how every birth should be! We love these kinds! I actually did too. Just walk in, and have the baby. It was pretty nice! I’m SO thankful! FEWF!

Later that evening, I couldn’t WAIT to see Ivy and introduce her to Leo! She strolled in with Daddy and I immediately started crying. So overwhelmed with feelings and emotions! I was incredibly happy to give her a sibling but also a bit sad for having to share time now. She crawled up on the bed and wanted to see him right away. She was so adorable with how tender and loving she was! SWOON. She gave him kisses and really wanted to hold him. I was captivated by their interaction and visualizations of their times together in the future danced in my head. Siblings really are the best.


And that’s Leo’s story. Fast and furious. Exactly how I imagine him to be… :)