Category Archives: friends

Labor (or lack thereof) Day

September 2, 2014

Labor Day was gonna be a good one this year. Weather looked nice, we had some days off of work, and we were headed to our our cabin, Cedar Ridge Hideaway, in Yankton. I was quite anxious to spend the weekend with the fam and enjoy the last few rays of summer sunshine until fall rolls around (sigh).

The weekend was full of boating, friends, the great outdoors, and a random helicopter ride. Yep. Ivy rode in a heli. This girl, I’m tellin ya, she is all over the place! But, that’s what kind of parents we want to be, expose our kids to just about everything. And if she can go in the heli, by golly, she’s goin in the heli. Although she was more into trying to grab the throttle and the door handle (freaking out at both of those), I tried to hold her hands down and take in the beautiful scenery. The Lewis and Clark Lake and Missouri River are just amazing. It looked so much bigger up there! The cliffs were shining and the water was gleaming as the sun was setting amongst us. It was extraordinary!

So here it is, our Labor Day weekend.

Labor Day 2014-4Labor Day 2014-3 Labor Day 2014-27 Labor Day 2014-16

Anchored off and taking a playtime break

Labor Day 2014-34

Favorite thing about the river, are the bright cliffs. Perfect photo op.

Labor Day 2014-35

Labor Day 2014-51 Labor Day 2014-53

Labor Day 2014-39

John’s brother Jeff and his lady Amy

Labor Day 2014-40

Justin and Emily

Labor Day 2014-48

Pretty much obsessed with this photo

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset


Labor Day 2014-67

Helicopter ride!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset Labor Day 2014-76

Check out THAT view!

Labor Day 2014-81

Here is a sky view of our cabin!

Labor Day 2014-84

We even had the pilot drop us off at our cabin! John said it best, “Only a $120 cab ride!” Ha

Ivy 11 months-38 Ivy 11 months-61

Labor Day 2014-54

We ended the night with a bonfire. I LOVE BONFIRES.

Labor Day 2014-93

Labor Day 2014-87



30 ain’t so bad

June 8, 2014

So, today is my birthday. I’m 30. 3 decades old. That sounds WAY too old for my mind. The question I got a million times, “how does it feel to be 30?!” Well, not much different, so far. Today, John, Ivy, and I were soaking in the hottub, and I looked out at my husband and baby girl as they were playing and smiling at each other and couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear. If this is what 3o is, it ain’t so bad at all. A husband that is caring, kind, loving, and so damn funny, and a baby girl that is curious, smart, cute, and also so damn funny, well, it just all makes me smile. I’d say my life isn’t so bad for 30. It’s sort of the age that you are just finally stable in your life. Stable with my family, friends, career, and mind. Like John and I were saying, the 30’s are where you just hit cruise control. All the mess and irresponsibility and passion and change and growth of my 20’s, is what led me to today. My 30’s. Pretty good, man, pretty good.

We celebrated my birthday yesterday with a big birthday bash! We always try to have a summer backyard shenanigan, so paired with my birthday was perfect. This party just made me laugh!!! We borrowed a friend’s bounce house and the kids just LOVED it. Looking out in the yard and seeing all these kids run around like crazy and babies playing on the blanket in the grass, just made me chuckle. Oh how the parties have changed :) But, I was glad I had my own little baby Ivy out there in the mix, playing with the other babies and watching the chaos around her. I love being able to get her in to social settings. All of our friends came and celebrated and we enjoyed good food, good beer, and good company. So, I just sat back as the sun peaked through the clouds, watched the party around me, cracked my refreshing Summer Shandy, and enjoyed being 30 :) Cheers…


Smoking 2 10 pound pork butts for the party! Rub is on, hickory chips are in, git it!


 Corona cooler is packed with plenty of beer! Glad people showed up or John and I would have been quite intoxicated.

Kaylee30-27 Kaylee30-28 Kaylee30-13 Kaylee30-17

MMMM, red velvet cake from Queen City Bakery. Hubby nailed that order!

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset Kaylee30-10 Kaylee30-14 Kaylee30-22 Kaylee30-29 Kaylee30-21

Ivy and Ben acting really interested in each other :)


The girls! Jenna is the next 30 year old weasel!


Ivy’s BFF Natalie and her daddy Andrew


Mom’s 30! She liked the balloons. I just noticed they match her Bison Booties!

Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset

Clapping Happy Birthday Momma!


This girl knows how to R E L A X


This was my view this morning… 30 ain’t so bad, ain’t so bad at all…. xo

8 Months

June 1, 2014

Ivy is 8 months going on 18. Seriously, Ivy is like a crazy Tarzan monkey girl and into EVERYTHING. She is restless – needs this, needs that, wants to look at this, wants to look at that. I mean, I love it, because she’s so curious and inquisitive, but can I just CUDDLE my baby for one second? OH NO. Mom, I don’t cuddle. This gets me nervous, if 7 months was like a crazy drunk person (sorry for the analogy), what is 8 months going to be like? She’s even starting to throw little tantrums (which aren’t so cute anymore). Umb, excuse me? Are you 8 months or 18 with that crazy talk. Slow down Tarzan. Sloooooow dooooowwwnnn

Well this week was a HUGE week for her! As John described her, “she’s like South Dakota weather, changing every 30 seconds.”

1) Biggest change, she’s CRAWLING! Oh my goodness, I thought I had a crazy girl before, well now that she’s all over the place, umb, I can’t even take my eyes off of her! It’s pretty fun though, her cute little butt and chubby little thighs cruising along the floor, it’s pretty dang sweet. And SO cool. I mean, you were just BORN. Didn’t I just read that you were the size of a medium shrimp (which was SO weird to picture, btw)? But she’s LOVING it. She loves to go get a new toy or go crawl to Daddy (who happens to be bribing her with something because we all know she wants that toy, NOT to cuddle), so she’s enjoying seeing all new sights with her new proud talent. 

2) Obsessed this week with her sippy cup. She’s mastered to tip it up and she just CANNOT get enough of it. Is that water in there or Red Bull, because I have to check sometimes :/

3) Pulling herself up. Seriously. We JUST lowered the crib and now she’s already pulling herself up. Does that mean she walks soon? Isn’t it after they crawl it’s only a short time after that they walk? OMG. I’m not going to google that because I don’t even want to know. Ok lady, slow down… danger ahead…

4) #4 has to be 4 because now she has 4 teeth! She got her 2 upper teeth this week. Just pushed through the gums today. Little baby teeth are so cute. Those teeny bright white pearls just poking through. So sweet.

Well, I guess looking back at her 7 month saga, 8’s gotta be pretty good too. I say BRING IT ON.

DSC_0112 DSC_0037 DSC_0026

Thighs <3


Set up our baby pool for the summer! She LOVES it! And we start swimming lessons tomorrow!!

IMG_5065-3 IMG_5082-8

Ivy helping (or maybe trying to steal) Natalie with her bottle.


Jess and James and Erin and Natalie over for play time. AND I LOVE my Oh Joy for Target Beach Mat. Perfect for our patio and for the beach in Yankton. CUTEST colors! Even for James :) hehe


These three little fishies will be in swimming lessons together!


Sippy Cup ADDICT

DSC_0043 1

DSC_0029 2

Love her baby face in this one :)

First trip to the Great Plains Zoo!


Haha, uuuumb, ok, sit however you want. Ready for her bike ride with the Burley!


Ivy’s first track meet! State meet in Sioux Falls. She’s gotta lose those thunder thighs, but in a few years she will KILL IT.

Memorial Day Weekend

May 27, 2014

I always look forward to Memorial Day. It’s the kickoff to summer with a weekend full of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces, while soaking up some sunshine, boating, grilling, drinks, and friends… the perfect combo to start the summer off right. We always head down to our cabin in Yankton, Cedar Ridge Hideaway, to enjoy the best of Yankton, the Lewis and Clark lake. This time, we got to take the new Jeep! I sat in back with Ivy, the wind blowing through our hair (her little baby hair wispies were so funny), the sun shining through the spider shade cover, and the all-around sensational feeling of ahhhh, summer’s here :) We even had the hot weather to top it off! FINALLY.

We spent the holiday weekend with friends and were quite busy enjoying the sunshine! John completed some maintenance to the cabin and Ivy and I and our friends took walks to sit at the beach to soak in some rays. The best part of all, we got to take the boat out! Ivy LOVED her first boat ride! She just staaaared at the waves! I am anxious for the water to heat up so we can go swimming. And babies in swimsuits, come on… :)  I anticipate a lot of fun and happy memories with her on the boat and at the beaches around the lake. What a lucky girl.

IMG_5031-2 IMG_5030-2 DSC_0085-2 DSC_0075-2


Enjoying our Friday night boat cruise together


Justin and Emily tagged along while Ivy is helping Daddy captain the boat. Aye aye, mate


Shannon and Ivy


 John finally got his Yeti cooler! Grab a bev, Shannon. Livin’ la vida chillaxin’

DSC_0113-2 DSC_0111-2 DSC_0118-2

Smooches for Daddy. Thighs <3

IMG_5027-2 IMG_5038-2 DSC_0108-2

Breakfast on the deck


IMG_5016-2 IMG_5003-2 IMG_5001-2

Embracing our inner Miley


Toesies in the sand



Reunited and it feels so good

May 18, 2014

This last week was a REALLY good week. We had our last days of school and I get to be back together with Ivy again all day every day! Pretty sure I started my summer break countdown before my students did :) We celebrated by heading down to our cabin in Yankton with some friends for the weekend. While I was celebrating, Grandmas were not. Betsy, John’s mom, and my mom Caleen have been taking care of Miss Ivy while I have been at work, and Ivy has become their little pride and joy too. I am so thankful that Ivy got to spend time with her Grandmas! My mom was the more calculated one with her being the nurse, on the other hand, Betsy was her free-spirit self getting Ivy accustomed to all sorts of things and getting plenty of action. Either way, Ivy was in fabulous hands. For the Koch’s, Ivy filled a void that they needed after a tough year last year. Dan would have his morning bottle-feedings and rock her to sleep before he left for work, while Betsy would take her to stitch group on Thursdays and share her with all of her friends. The last couple months while it has been nice, I had to drop Ivy off at Hardee’s to meet Betsy and Dan with their morning walking group. It was so funny each time bringing her in there, she knew all of the women and would always give each of them a big smile greeting. Ivy got plenty of attention, that’s for sure. Plus, with Ivy being with Grandma Betsy, it was nice for John and his brother Jimmy who would often stop over for lunch or sometime during the day to see Ivy. I think Betsy had a visitor every single day. Good for Ivy because she likes to be in the action! It would certainly keep BOTH of them busy! Ivy and I are looking forward to trips to Lake Madison with Dan and Betsy and spending time at Camp Koch this summer. Betsy has it all set up for Ivy! Now for swimming lessons in June!

Here are some funny pictures that Betsy would send me


Hi Mom, just having fun with Gramma BetsyIMG_4868

Daily Readings


Uncle Jimmy, multitasking at its best. Ivy’s not impressed.

IMG_4826 IMG_4597 IMG_4704

Visiting the Butterfly House with Kristi and the Sweeney Girls


I don’t like tarantulas!


Smiles at Grandpa!

IMG_4710 IMG_4713

Reading cookbooks


Lunchtime with Daddy

IMG_4880 IMG_4881

Drums don’t belong in your mouth silly girl!


Sniffing lilacs


Ivy wouldn’t be a Koch if she didn’t have a sweet tooth! MMMMM




Silly girl

We spent Saturday at the lake with Shannon. Finally some sun!


Shannon’s going to be Ivy’s Pediatrician in October!


Summer looks good on you baby girlIMG_4920 IMG_4921

First time touching the sand. She loved it! But not the cold water, EEK