Category Archives: family

Easter Weekend 2017

April 18, 2017

Such a fun Easter weekend! And it was GLOOOORIOUS outside both Saturday and Sunday! I love when Easter is a little later into April, last year there was still snow on the ground in March! This Easter we had two days to celebrate. We went to lunch with the Easter bunny on Saturday and it was a huge hit! Leo was OBSESSED with the bunnies, following them around everywhere and giving them hugs. It was adorable. Ivy was more into the Easter egg hunt, running around to gather as many eggs as possible. She definitely got some practice, that was the first of three Easter egg hunts they got to do!

Easter morning was filled with beautiful music and a sentimental sermon at Church, followed by the second Easter egg hunt. Leo would stop to see what was in the egg each time, so he never gathered too many, which we didn’t need more candy anyways! We headed back to our house with my family and my husband John’s family to be together for Easter brunch. It was beautiful outside for the third and last Easter egg hunt, brunch, then drinks and socializing on our patio the rest of the day. So nice to relax and enjoy some sunshine while the kids ran around on sugar highs! :)

Ivy… such sass with that hip pop!

Ivy’s dress // Leo’s shirt // Leo’s pants

And I celebrated 33 weeks with the baby! Feeling huge lately, but I know how much bigger I have yet to get!


Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day! What a day to tell someone how much you love and appreciate them! Holidays are always a good reminder to spread the love :) Our house shared LOTS of hugs and kisses this morning, great way to start the day! Love our family so much! So lucky to have a loving husband and kids!

Ivy couldn’t wait to wear her Valentine’s Day dress again (from Vivie and Ash)! It’s the cutest! These kids were all wound up on their Valentine’s Day candy Ivy got from preschool today! Thankfully that sugar rush wore off, naps ensued (praise the Lord!), and I gotta get ready for our date night tonight! Dinner and a movie… those words haven’t gone together in a LONG time! Can’t wait to catch a flick! Huge bag of extra buttery delicious popcorn for dessert please :) Hope you all have a fantastic and loving Valentine’s Day!

Love you hubs, can’t wait for tonight!



San Diego!

January 28, 2017

We were due for a family vacation. After Napa and Bahamas with just John and I, it was time for the kids to experience a new place! While Zika is still freaking me out, we chose to stay in the US and decided on San Diego as a fun place for kids and great weather! Unfortunately, our 6 day vacation hit 4 days of the worst rain SoCal has seen in years : / Flooding and cold ridiculous weather, it was such a bummer. But the two days of sun that we did get were beyond fabulous!

Photo overload!

We stayed at the Omni La Costa resort, which was incredibly beautiful! I chose this place because they had amazing kids pools, slides, a splash park, and a Kidtopia kids club where we could put the kids while enjoying an adults only infinity edge pool. However, with the rain and 50 degree weather, we only used the hot tub a couple mornings. Such a bummer!!

Since the weather wasn’t cooperating for pool time, we got out and about every day with the kids! There is sooooo much to do in San Diego! The first day of sunshine we got we headed to the San Diego Zoo which was SO much fun, I am a total animal and zoo lover! Ivy and Leo were growling like all of the animals and had a blast seeing the gorillas and lion.

We ended the zoo a little early and headed to Mission Beach which was gorgeous! There were huge waves to watch and Ivy and Leo LOVED to stick their feet in the sand and water. It was Leo’s first time to the ocean so that was extra special!

Back to the rainy days : / We spent another day at Sea World. This wasn’t planned, but it was either the Kids Museum or braving it and hitting Sea World, so we decided to brave it! Ivy and Leo had a great time feeding the sea lions, seeing the aquariums, and watching all of the shows with the dolphins and killer whales.

Lastly, what I was looking forward to the most was DISNEYLAND! I realized we were only an hour away from Anaheim/Disneyland, so I said we HAVE to do Disney! I am a total kid inside still and I could NOT WAIT for Ivy to see the princesses that she loves! It was our last day and finally sunny and beautiful! Perfect for Disneyland! Ivy made sure to pack her princess dress and it was super cute! Everyone at Disney called her Queen Elsa all day, they make it so special and magical!

The very first thing we saw was Minnie! She was so excited! Leo ran away with terror, it was hilarious!

Ivy about FREAKED when we saw the castle!

And she also FREAKED seeing all of her favorite princesses!

They had a blast on the rides too!

Gah, it was so much fun. Regardless of the rain, it was great to get in some quality family time, especially with Daddy because we never get him full time!

While vacation doesn’t really feel like a vacation when you bring kids, the memories I see in the photos and will have forever are so worth it! Seeing Leo growl like a lion and dip his toes in the sand, and seeing Ivy totally in love with the Princesses are memories that we will love forever!


Christmas Card

December 20, 2016

I am a huge fan of stationery! So Christmas cards are ultra exciting for me! I love choosing which style I’m into this year, and then a fun family photo to go with it. It’s a process because I’m like, SO INDECISIVE. I have a problem where I have to look at a million cards to make sure I don’t like one better before actually choosing one. But I really don’t complain because there are so many gorgeous and lovely cards out there! I really do love it and it brings me so much joy to send them out to our family and friends.

This year I used Minted, and have the past 4 years. I LOVE their cards. They offer so many fabulous designs and I always find my favorite there! Plus, they offer FREE matching envelope designs and recipient addressing, which is like, AMAZING because it saves me soooo much time to not have to write in addresses myself! Plus the matching envelope designs are really beautiful.

I chose the “Just Merry” design this year. I love more simple cards and the merry script on the bottom of the card was so pretty and simple. Plus, the white and funky script matched our urban photo (see more of our urban family photo shoot – photos by Emily Mitton Photography) perfectly! Love the black and white contrast!

garland by The Strand

And, I always pay the little extra to do the back of the card. I like to write a little bit about our year, what Ivy and Leo are in to, what John is up to, how my year went, etc., I think it personalizes the card a tad and I know my extended family appreciates the updates!

It’s been so much fun going to the mailbox each day! I LOVE seeing what designs and photos everyone uses. Really enjoy seeing our closest family and friends smiling at us each day on our board! So much cheer :)

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Our Family and Home

November 30, 2016

Sioux Falls people and businesses have been so good to us! Between John getting all sorts of home renovation exposure in the media (most recent news article here) with his business John Koch Construction, and then also my blog, we have both received so many generous opportunities to work with local businesses! We are so appreciative and thankful whenever someone reaches out to work with us.

In October, our family was selected as the family feature for our neighborhood magazine, Southside Living, and this was so nice! Such an honor. Our home has been featured several times, but never really our family! So it was a nice new change! I love that John gets interviews to help expose his business. It was fun to do a family photo shoot at our very own home and to get to include Ivy and Leo in the interview.

Get to know our family here!

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-05-32-pm screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-05-00-pm screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-1-05-18-pm

Then! In November, our home was featured in the Etc. for Her magazine. Back to back months! I LOVE our house, and it’s always so much fun to talk about it and see it in pictures. NOT so much fun hiding all the toys in every cabinet and closet, but I love having a spic and span home for like 20 minutes for photos! I always love talking about how we made this house our home and the updates we did to it. I thought the article by Mary Michaels was written really well! And the photos by Julie Prairie Photography were magnificent!

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

mural commissioned by Shaine Schroeder
© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016 © Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

ivy’s pink room – see more pictures and sources here and here© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

leo’s hipster nursery – see more pictures and sources here

© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016© Julie Prairie Photography 2016

buffalo print commissioned by Shaine Schroeder

See the November issue, our article (p. 26), and more pictures here!

The magazine is still on stands around Sioux Falls, but not for long when the December issue arrives!

Thank you again Southside Living, Etc for Her, and Julie Prairie Photography for including us in your magazine! So honored. Thank you!

Our Thanksgiving Weekend

November 29, 2016

After stuffing our bellies with tons-o-food at Thanksgiving (see that post here), the fun continued with lots of family time! My sister Jillian, her husband Brian, and their daughter Alexandra stayed with us and we jumped ahead to celebrate Christmas with them while they were in town. So fun and adorable to see all of the cousins ripping apart presents! Ivy was going NUTS opening hers and basically everyone else’s! I’m loving seeing her really understand and enjoy Christmas this year!

Here’s a sneak peak into our busy weekend with the family!


These kids LOVE sound books!thanksgiving2016-46 thanksgiving2016-52

Leo finally getting some boy toys!thanksgiving2016-50

Celebrating Christmas is so much fun with kids! Love seeing all the magic in their eyes

After the kids terrorized the house, we took off to an ugly sweater wine party to enjoy some delicious wine, cheese, and time with friends!thanksgiving2016-60

On Sunday, we got ready to go to a Polar Express brunch to see Santa, so of course the kids had to wear some pjs! HOW CUTE ARE THEY!!!!

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Yippee!!! Santa!! Christmas!!thanksgiving2016-42boy pjs | girl pjs

We headed to the brunch and Ivy couldn’t WAIT to see Santa!!!


I’m so excited that she didn’t even cry!!!!! FINALLY! 3 years of torture on his lap and now she can finally enjoy Santa! She was so proud up there telling him she wanted a Barbie with blonde hair and a tutu, haha. Love that girl! Leo, on the other hand, just went up to him, grabbed his present, and ran back to Daddy, it was so hilarious!

We had such a blast with cousins and family! Sad it’s over as Ivy keeps asking, “Where’s Alexandra?”


Cousins. Too freaking cute.