Category Archives: firsts

First time to the CIRCUS!

April 27, 2015


Confession – I secretly live vicariously through my daughter

I love to do kid stuff!!!! And I can’t even begin to tell you, how excited I was to go to the CIRCUS! It was Ivy’s first time and I haven’t been since I was a little kid (bc it’s like, sooo uncool to go as an adult without kids), so I was VERY anxious to go! I had bought tickets the day they went on sale and requested front row (crazy mom), haha! I knew that would keep Ivy’s attention if we were right in the action, and I may or may not have done it for my own well being also :) But let me tell you, we had the best seats and it was so worth it! Ivy (and I) loved every second of it! Even John had fun!


We started with getting cotton candy (let’s face it, this was for me) and a toy for Ivy. I am a cotton candy junkie and basically ate the entire bag when Ivy decided she didn’t like the sticky on her hand. I didn’t complain… more for me! Later, we indulged in some circus dogs, popcorn, and a snow cone. YUM! Heaven! Junk food = HAPPY.

And the toy was a lifesaver! She loved to wave it around and how it lit up and flashed different colors. She held it the entire time! Got every penny out of that $2 toy!

Circus2015min-3 Circus2015min-4

Seriously contemplating getting a second bag


Junk food junkie (like her Mom)

And of COURSE it wouldn’t be the complete circus experience without an animal ride! We decided to go with the pony ride since she’s a little too little for the camels or elephants still. She loved it! I was envious… can a huge pregnant lady get a ride too? Wouldn’t that be a sight?!


We visited the camels and elephants too, her favorite was the camel!


Denim top, striped leggings, glitter Toms


Well, the circus was just as fun as I remember as a child. I love making these memories as a family and sharing the fun times with Ivy. And next year, we will have TWO kids at the circus! Whew!


Weekend Shenanigans

April 20, 2015

This weekend was full of parties and events! It seems that way lately, each weekend we have had has been so busy! Lots of fun with friends and kids for Ivy to play with.

Friday was so nice out! One last day before the cold came again, these 50’s are killin’ me! We met Grandma Keating (my mom) at the park for an hour before our dinner date with Dadda.

April18Weekend-12 April18Weekend-13

Weekend mornings are the best. I LOVE when Ivy wakes up and we go in to see her. She’s always so happy in the mornings and so damn cute with her bed head and holding on to her blankie or stuffed animal. The best is that she gets to STAY in her pjs! We all do! No rushing into our clothes to get to work! I LOVE keeping her in her pjs, so cuddly :)


We decided to head downtown for breakfast and coffee, or tea for me. I love our downtown! I like just being able to walk around and see the sights. We headed to Pappy’s, a new cafe and eatery for some delicious yogurt, breakfast, and coffee. Major props to their food and yogurt! SOOO good! Gourmet ingredients, yum! Then we I just HAD to have Josiah’s carmel roll, so we ventured a couple blocks to our next stop. Ivy says “walk, walk.” We can’t even hold her anymore! And she’s started RUNNING so this girl is a force to be reckoned with.

Downtown stroll

Our downtown has some really neat old historic features and the bridge is one of the coolest. Ivy strutted her stuff like she owned the place! Ivy in the City, there’s a show…

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I love this mural along the river too. Ivy made sure to point out the circles and sun! She loved all of the colors. This girl is getting so smart!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset April18Weekend-20

After downtown, Ivy had Zoo Cub class so we headed out to the zoo. These classes are great! The class features a different sound each time and focuses on animals that make that sound. This time was “squeak” and they got to pet a live chinchilla! So hilarious! They also read a book, painted a zebra, and went to visit the monkeys.

April18Weekend-22 April18Weekend-25Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

We continued with the zoo and had to go see the goats. I’ve been trying to get Ivy to be brave enough to feed the goats herself! She always makes me hold her arm up and put the food in her hand! Too scared still! Well this time after a little bit of that, she got brave enough to do it herself and she was HILARIOUS! I swear she was showing off for Dad. She had so much fun and I was just dying laughing. PROUD MOM MOMENT! You go girl! And she always likes to go on the camel, sooo… :)


Saturday night we had a Diapers and Keg party to attend for our friends. These are so much fun! It’s the second one we have been to and I love them. What a good idea for a couples party and we all know how many diapers you use! Might as well throw a party to get some. I was missing out on the keg, but Ivy was quite interested. That’s the Koch in her! EEEEK! She was obvs quite observant with how to work one! Thankfully, she never pushed it all the way down :) But she did enjoy drinking water out of her little shot glass. I mean, perfect size for her!!! Ha.

April18Weekend-33  April18Weekend-32

I still managed to use a red solo cup. I felt like I was in college again. Except with a goofy kid who kept giving herself hugs and kisses in the mirror : / WTF.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

A golden first birthday party for Ivy Rebecca!

September 29, 2014

Ivy 1st Birthday-151First Birthday. I just can’t believe I’m even writing this. It’s been so funny, remembering me last year at this time, so huge and awfully uncomfortable, anxiously waiting for the unpredictable arrival of Ivy. J u s t waiting. And then, October 1st at 9:11pm, she was here. All 7 lbs 9 oz of her cuteness all bundled up in my arms. And now, here she is, all 20 lbs of her sitting in her high chair, daintily picking at her vanilla bean buttercream cake, my little baby, my one year old little baby. It’s all just too much, but I’m full of smiles. Full of smiles watching her, just like I have been all year, in trance and awe of  how she has grown, what she’s capable of, and how different she is each and every day. It’s all incredible, this human life, how fast it really goes and how much a human changes. So here we are, surrounded by friends and family, watching her eat her vanilla cake, singing Happy Birthday, smiling and laughing. I loved this moment and took it all in!

Ivy 1st Birthday-100

Her adorable crown is from Little Blue Olive. And that gold glitter tassel garland is from Studio Mucci.

Ivy 1st Birthday-85

She kept clapping with us as we cheered her along and sang Happy Birthday. HUGE SMILES.

Ivy 1st Birthday-66

Why are all of these people just staring at me?

Ivy 1st Birthday-166

Ivy 1st Birthday-147

Ivy 1st Birthday B&W-4

Ivy 1st Birthday B&W-3

Ivy 1st Birthday-59


Ivy 1st Birthday-139

We got her this chair and she loved it. Sat there the whole time opening presents! She was so funny sitting in it. Her own big girl chair :)

Ivy 1st Birthday-31

Ivy 1st Birthday-44

So she can do construction like her Daddy! (Dump truck here) Girls can do boy things too! Thanks Natalie :)

Ivy 1st Birthday-37

Story Time with Ivy

Ivy 1st Birthday-35

Adelyn, Aiden, and Nora, just watching in to see her presents from Grandma and Grandpa Keating

With an infant, the days can be like a rollercoaster whiplash of unexpected behaviors. But some days, just some days, you get a day where it’s simply perfect. The naps work out, no crazy infant mood swings or temper tantrums, and no crying. Her birthday party was one of those days (squeal of excitement! EEEE!). She had a great night’s rest, got up and took some 1 year family photos with Finished Vision (full of smiles and funny behaviors! Can’t wait to see them!), took her 2 hour nap, and then the festivities were here. Perfect. Hallelujah. And she was the best little baby for all of her party!

Switch to me, and I felt like the infant with my crazy-woman-setting-up-for-party-mood-swings and the stress of party planning (Pinterest, I curse you still, read more here). I spent her nap time setting up the decorations. I surrounded my party decor ideas with photos (and obvs gold glitter, for her golden birthday!). And tons of them. A YEAR worth of photos! I got this idea off of Pinterest, of course, and just loved it. With my obsession of Instagram, I printed these cute little squares from Prinstagram and up went my photo wall banner. 2 hours later (yep, seriously underestimated the time it would take me to put that together, ugh), I had a monthly display of her growth in pictures from birth to now. I’ll admit, it was a terror organizing the pictures by month (thank god I had my blog!) and assembling it with those damn little mini clothespins and twine that just would not stay put with my cute gold washi tape (insert ugly masking tape to save the day), but in the end it was all worth it because it was fascinating looking at how much she has changed since birth! I can’t wait (oh wait, yes I can) to see what she will look like at year 2!

Ivy 1st Birthday-123 Ivy 1st Birthday-5


DSC_0358-2 Ivy 1st Birthday-120

Obvs ordered too many, sooo these were the leftovers that didn’t make the cut. (They’re still cute though, Ivy, Mommy loves you! tehehe)

Ivy 1st Birthday-117

Got that Happy Birthday banner here that matched her party invitation

Ivy 1st Birthday-125

It was so much fun doing this chalkboard! It’s permanently there so it was an easy decor idea! I loved thinking of what she loves, says, and can do. And that’s as creative as I get with those squiggly lines : /

Ivy 1st Birthday-134

Birthday cake was sooooo delicious! It was from Sugar’s Baked Goods and Sweet Treats and Kari was so easy and nice to work with! I love that watercolor design! I got the idea for that design from the Dainty Obsessions magazine that she was featured in.

We went with a vanilla bean with vanilla bean buttercream, NOM NOM.

Ivy 1st Birthday-9

 The answer is YES. It was as good as it looks.

Now that the party is over, the big question that could alter future parties – was a big party worth it? On one hand, I would have loved to have a simple party like this one with about 1% of the struggles I had with this party, but on the other hand, I really value being surrounded with friends and family. It’s a very important part of my life and try to model that for Ivy. And to share this golden birthday party and Ivy’s big day with our loved ones was a day that I will hold dear to my heart. Watching her and the other kids interact with each other and run and play like wild in the back yard, made everything worth it. Seeing her smile and have fun with her friends made the day that much better. So, was it worth it? 5 minutes before her party I would have said NO, but reflecting on the fun we had and the special moments between everyone there to celebrate Ivy, I say (in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice…) heck yes it was :)

Ivy 1st Birthday-16

Ivy 1st Birthday-111

Cohen saving his damsel in distress! Hop on Rilynn! And Adelyn – THAT DRESS <3

Ivy 1st Birthday-23 Ivy 1st Birthday-22

Daddies. Babies. Smiling. SWOON.

Happy Golden Birthday our little Ivy Rebecca. We love you. XOXO Mommy and Daddy

Independence Day Craft

July 7, 2014

I love having friends that have their own unique qualities and passions. The kind of best buds that make you reflect on what you do as a mother and as a human being. The kind that influence you to be better than you are today and spark new interests that you didn’t know you even had. My friend Erin is one of those people that just always makes me THINK. Her charisma and enthusiasm for being a friend and a mom are very inspiring. She has this contagious holiday spirit that is so much fun. In fact, you walk in to her house around a holiday, and she has the front door all decked out with the holiday theme and decor all around the house to uplift you into the holiday spirit. She is SO good at that kind of stuff! Like, why don’t I think of doing that?! Even better now, she gets to do little kiddie crafts with her daughter Natalie to help with the holiday decor. This woman was meant to be a MOM! Her second calling is definitely a kindergarten teacher :) She is awesome at these kinds of things. So Ivy and I were quite excited to get the invite for the “4th of July craft.” We couldn’t wait! Jess and James joined us for the baby’s craft.

4th of July 2014-6

Pretty proud of her handprint flag!

4th of July 2014-5 4th of July 2014-1

Erin and Natalie making Natalie’s handprint for the flag

4th of July 2014-2

Here goes James – get your hand on that stamp pad!

4th of July 2014-3

James liked the activity! 
4th of July 2014-101

Behold… the finished product ;)

Swim, Swim Little Fishy

June 16, 2014

PROUD MOM moment! My little baby just got her first award! Completing swimming lessons! Well, it was more of a certificate (not to be downplayed at all), but it was pretty exciting receiving that and seeing her name on there. I was so proud of her! It made me remember all of the medals and certificates I received throughout my years and I fluttered into the future and envisioned Ivy getting all sorts of awards and certificates in her upcoming years for sports, academics, or whatever her teeny heart desires. Indeed, that first one was pretty special :)

We joined the “Ducks in Diapers” (the class is as cute as the name!) class at Swim America. The class focused on kicking and using their arms, which Ivy was WAY more interested in what was going on around her than to know to kick. But hey, she is only 8 months, it’s more just about getting them in the water. We were excited for this because if you’re a Koch, you are in or at water as often as possible. With our cabin by the lake/river in Yankton, and with John’s parent’s cabin at Lake Madison, Ivy is bound to be a little fishy all summer. In fact, John remembers skiing with his Dad at a very young age, holding on to the rope and standing on the skis, pretty talented for a little tyke. So, John can’t wait to get her in the water! Hold off for a couple years though, ok Daddy ;)

Ivy joined the class with her friends Natalie and James. It was so much fun to see the 3 of them together and I got some much needed social time with friends Erin and Jess. We were all brave and swished our babies underwater! It was funny to see their reactions!

Best part of all, BABIES IN SWIMSUITS :)

Swimming Lessons-51

Swimming Lessons-28

Swimming Lessons-1 Swimming Lessons-41

Natalie (6 months), Ivy (8 months), and James (5 months)

Swimming Lessons-34

BFF’s holding hands. SWOOOOON

Swimming Lessons-5 Swimming Lessons-15

Practicing holding on to the edge. Go James! He WANTS that turtle!

Swimming Lessons-13

Floating on their backs. They’re supposed to be practicing kicking here…

Swimming Lessons-7

Kick, kick, kick

Swimming Lessons-19

Swim through the hoop Ivy! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

Swimming Lessons-30

Grandma Betsy even came to visit 2 of the days!

Swimming Lessons-56

 Haha, SO FUNNY. But very proud :) Go Ivy, xxoo