Category Archives: grandpa

Merry, Merry Christmas!

December 27, 2015

We had a splendid Christmas indeed! Full bellies, good faith, and surrounded by friends and family. The night even ended with “White Christmas” as the snowflakes softly fell to the ground. It was magical and a perfect ending to a memorable holiday. This year, I was quite anxious for Christmas since Ivy was another year older. She tore through the presents, sang Christmas carols all day month long, and was a jolly little girl all day. Unfortunately, still scared of Santa, buuut, she was happy Santa still brought her presents! Christmas is so magical with children around. It brings me back to my childhood and all of the family gatherings to celebrate the “most wonderful time of the year.” And this year was even better than the last, with two children to wake up to on Christmas morning. To cuddle and hug and wish them a Merry Christmas and sing out with glee that SANTA was here! And to cherish these memories that we make together as a family, pretty special times! Here’s a little glimpse into our Christmas as a family. Hope yours was a Merry Christmas as well :)

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Our fun started on Christmas Eve! John and I hosted and we had a huge ham to cook! We went to church and headed back to our house for a big feast with my family and John’s family. YUM. The ham (recipe here)  turned out sooo delicious.

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The table turned out pretty good for working with what I happened to have at home! Here was my inspiration for the table decor and the place setting cards


HAM. Sooo good. The glaze… mmmm. Recipe here

The next day it was Christmas morning! I couldn’t WAIT to get the kids and tell them “It’s Christmas!!!” We had been talking about it every day with Ivy as she would try to take a present from under the tree! So now it was finally time to open the presents!!! Ivy was a PRO! That’s maybe not a good thing ;) And we can’t forget…. it was Leo’s FIRST Christmas! He just got all clothes, since I apparently bought every toy imaginable for Ivy : / #handmedowns


Cutest little outfit. That reindeer butt.Christmas2015-4

Ivy is obsessed with Calico Critters right now – she got the camper from Grandma and is SO excited about it!

We also got Ivy this dollhouse, and I finally found the BEST doll family for it! I had been looking forever and they were all so strange looking. They’re from Hape and there is a grandpa, grandma, dad, mom, son, daughter, and a youngest daughter. They’re really awesome and bendable! I really like them!


Y-bike scooter

We celebrated the morning with the Kochs and the evening with the Keatings (my family) and by the end we were totally completely exhausted AND stuffed from delicious food!!!

Ivy even blessed us with her singing of “Jingle Bells”

Leo with his cousin Tya!

And later that night… SNOW. Pure magic. So beautiful! “May all your Christmases be whiiiiiiite”

Santa  – maybe Ivy will let go of the death grip and actually sit on Santa next year. Leo didn’t seem to mind, haha.


Hope you had a Merry Christmas!!

Now on to the New Year! I already bought this “party in a box” from Target to celebrate! Can’t wait!

Cousin Chaos!

October 27, 2015

This weekend was a fabulous weekend! We met the Sweeney cousins, Anna and Nora, in Minneapolis for the weekend, and it was go-go-go for about 2 days straight. A TON of fun though! I wish they lived closer! We don’t get to see them enough!

Friday night we went swimming at the hotel and those girls are like little fishes! Even Ivy was showing off her swimming lessons skills and got dipped under water four times!

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Most of Saturday was spent at the Mall of America. Our hotel, the Radisson Blu, was connected to the Mall so that was very convenient with four kids! The kids loved all of the rides!

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The three girls walked around the mall inseparable… so sweet


Saturday afternoon we went to the play the Jungle Book at the Children’s Theater. It was a really great play and the kids sat still for two hours, I couldn’t believe it!


Emmie and Papa were so thrilled having all the grandkids around!

See you girls at Christmas! Wishing cousins lived closer!! And missing you Becca. Your girls are growing up so nicely! They’re sweet and polite and just pretty much the best… you’d be proud.

Weekend Shenanigans with the Dads

June 24, 2015

We have been so busy! As if I didn’t expect that with two kids now, but we have been all over the place lately! No slowing down at all. We are adjusting to two, but it’s going very well. Leo is a really easy baby so far, just goes with the flow… and he has to to keep up with this family! This last weekend we took him to our cabin in Yankton on Friday, then headed north to Lake Madison to spend Father’s Day with John’s family. His sister’s kids, Anna and Nora, are in town and are having a BLAST with Ivy! It is so much fun to see her interact with other kids, I love it. She’s taking advantage of having them wrapped around her finger :) We also had a family wedding on Saturday so lots of relatives got to meet Leo and see Ivy again. It was a busy yet very very fun weekend! Action packed the rest of the summer!


She absolutely LOVES boating! Definitely Daddy’s girl


Love her to pieces!!! SMOOOOCH. All dressed up for the wedding // Ivy’s dress

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Anna and Nora doing Ivy’s toes and John’s toes – Happy Father’s Day! Haha


Chillin’ like a villain – look at those pipes! Baby fat… gah <3

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Leo’s onesie // blanket

And for those of you who were wondering, we made it to BOTH of our concerts! Since I had such a quick delivery, my recovery was just as fast! And Leo was perfectly healthy, so we were able to get out the next day, sort of felt like Princess Kate ;) Minus the stunning looks and barely there baby bump leaving the hospital. Nevertheless, we got out in time for Ed Sheeran the following day! AND we also got to go to Kenny Chesney last Thursday. Yahoo!! It was so much fun and it was just enough time to be away from him before rushing home to feed again. The hubs and I enjoyed a beer (or two, ok… three) together too, hooray!



Birthday Bash and Our Weekend

May 26, 2015

This was a big weekend for the Koch’s! John has worked ultra hard the past 5 months and just finished an addition onto our cabin in Yankton, so it was the big reveal and Grandpa Dan’s 70th birthday party! We had the whole Koch clan down for the weekend and had so much fun with everyone. Despite the crummy weather, the cabin and lake were still so soothing for this 36.5 week preggo gal.

We started on Thursday with a trip to the Cottonwood Bar, our favorite for live music, drinks, and ice cream! YUM. Ivy didn’t want to share her ice cream with the birthday boy Papa!

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Memorial2015min-11Dance Ivy, dance!


Happy 70th birthday Dan!


We even got a special visit from cousin Emilie :)

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We braved the weather one day and headed to the lake. We bundled up but it was still nice to break in the first day on the boat for the summer!

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Counting fingers with Uncle Jeff


Captain Ivy!


On Monday, we had the day to just us three. We took Ivy to the Gavin’s Point Fish Hatchery and Aquarium and it was so much fun! We got to feed the trout and Ivy LOVED it. Hilarious. We had to make a trip to the beach too. She wasn’t a fan of the sand. She better get over that fast!

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Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend with your family and friends. We are forever grateful to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Thank you thank you!

Marriage and Cowboy Boots

July 30, 2014

Marriage and Cowboy Boots. An unlikely combination, but when you’re in Cheyenne, Wyoming during Frontier Days, that’s all you see. Boots, boots, and more boots. I’m certainly no cowgirl, but I felt quite left out with no cowboy boots of my own. There were cowboys, cowgirls, and (like I would have been) wannabe cowboys and cowgirls. But most importantly, there was family and a wedding. My cousin Emily and her new husband Lee tied the knot! The Keating side (my Dad’s side) is quite big, with 7 siblings, so almost all of the aunts and uncles and cousins united in Cheyenne where Emily grew up and her parents still live to celebrate the happy marriage of these two lovely people. The Keating side has been fortunate to have 3 years of weddings now! John and I got married two years ago, Ariel and Lee got married last year, and now Emily and Lee. It has been SO great getting to see the family and catching up with everybody each year. Also, many of them had not met Ivy yet, so that was VERY exciting to share her with the family. Like they say, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage :)

Congratulations Emily and Lee, xx

(Beware, lots of photos ahead)

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Isn’t her dress AMAZING? She got it from Anthropologie bridal BHLDN

The ceremony was at Mary and Gary’s (Emily’s parents) backyard – beautiful setting! Emily and Lee are currently working in Taipei, Taiwan so the addition of the Japanese lanterns was just the right touch.


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Emily and her Dad Gary


We even managed to get a good family photo. Heck ya.


Cousin Carson and Andy with two good lookin’ girls :)


Cousin Ariel and Lee – last year’s newlyweds


Uncle Brian with Ivy


My Mom and Dad with Ivy, Phyllis (my Dad’s sister) and Bill, and Pat (my Dad’s brother)

The reception was at The Bunkhouse Bar – now this was a Cowboy Western Bar!

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My family – Dad included! All the way from his job in Afghanistan! From left – Joseph, muah, Jillian, Catheryn, Ivy, Mom Caleen, Dad Bill.


Sister Catheryn and little Ivy


Colleen, Catheryn, Jennifer, Phyllis, Ariel, Paula, and Jillian – lots of cousins and sisters!


Cousin Emily’s brother Andy and his girlfriend Rebecca. We all loved her. Way to go Andy


Cousin Jenna and her boyfriend Nick


 Outside of the Bunkhouse was such a gorgeous setting! These horses roamed around in the pasture and Ivy and John had to go see them. Just. Beautiful.


My Mom and Ivy


Happy little pipsqueak

*On Friday, we went to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo!



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Carson lost the bet!

*Later that night, we had a family dinner at Aunt Theresa and Mark’s house.


Ivy got a lot of boy cousin time!


*Saturday was a leisurely day – we spent the morning walking around Frontier Days and seeing the shops and sights.
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Don’t ask.


Petting zoo!


*Saturday night was the Tim McGraw concert!

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John, Brian, Jillian, Carson, and I


We love you Tim!!!!!!!!


Carson, Brian and Jillian, John, Jenna, and Laura

*And to end the trip on Sunday, we strolled in to Boulder for the day before our flight home. Absolutely LOVE Boulder.

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Well cowboy, that’s a wrap.