Friday, June 21, 2013


Today begins the 1st day of Summer! We celebrated by having a picnic at the free Splash Pad in town and making it home just in time for it to downpour!

Lauren loves visiting Blackberry Farms (similar to Living History Farms in Iowa) on their free days. They offer free pony rides, hay rides, train rides, a carousel, and many other fun "3 year old" things!
 We were joined by many of our friends. Here are Friend Ethan and Olivia...not to be confused with Cousins Ethan and Olivia!
Going down the slide together, she is such a great helper! 
 Entertaining Miles by pushing and pulling him around
 Boxes and Laundry Baskets, we should really sell all our toys.
 Lauren started swimming lessons. It is awesome that the teacher comes to you so we met at a friend's relative's house for our "private lessons".
 She loves being in the water
 Miles sat on the edge and watched. Next summer he wants in!
 Speaking of Miles, he must have been watching my attempts at a pull-up and tried for himself.
 Lots of park adventures, love having a park within walking distance of our house. Hopeful that our next place will as well. 

 I said goodbye to AWESOME social work co-workers 
 The whole support staff: social workers, psychologists, and 1 counselor
 Lauren has perfected her pumping and now only needs help getting on and a starter push

 Going to really miss "Music Under the Stars" in our Town Square on Friday nights

 Lauren was so lucky to receive this "ice cream treat" from Grandpa Larry; I put that in quotes because the ingredients actually said frozen confectioners sugar...blech! 
 Going to miss watching these girls establish relationships with each other

 And the littles are going to miss each other too!
 Miles was "sleep-awake" in the picture so we had to capture it. If you missed my post on that, Lauren created that word to describe a similar feeling to what most people say is "LaLa Land". 
 Grateful for summer and getting to be a seasonal stay-at-home mom, looking forward to the next month in Illinois before venturing to Iowa. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Road Trip

We made a road trip back to Iowa to look at houses. 

Miles and Lauren were troopers in the car and being toted around the whole time. Definitely not a fun drive and looking at houses wasn't thrilling either. We were so excited and had the appointments set up a few weeks in advance. I think I had much higher expectations and dreams of living on an acreage, kind of bummed with what we saw. Put an offer on a ranch in town, similar to what we have now, but I'm not 100% "in love". 

Miles has been wanting to be a big boy lately and only drink water from Lauren's water bottles. 
 The highlight of the trip was visiting my grandparents in Spirit Lake
 Miles has been showing us his "standing up" a lot lately and even ventured out to try a few steps this weekend. We've counted up to 4 and he continues to try with all his might!
 Outside box play. Miles wasn't thrilled with being inside
 Where's Lauren?
 The best toy in the world!

 All cramped inside

 Sitting with Great Grandpa Elmer
 Lauren LOVED Great Grandma Norma's orange cookies
 I even let Miles taste a Ritz cracker, big step for me!
 On the way home, Kyle let Lauren buy a candy necklace
 It's a great car snack because you don't have to reach for it every 2 seconds, it stays attached! Now if they only had a healthier option!?!?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lauren's 1st Day of Summer School

Lauren's birthday is September 4th. For many of you that would not be significant but if you are moving from Illinois to is very! Illinois requires children to be 5 on or before September 1st in order to enroll in Kindergarten. Iowa, on the other hand, is September 15th! Hence the decision to move back to Iowa now before Lauren would either be required to "skip" a grade or be the absolute oldest in her class. 

To get her ready for 4 year old preschool in the Fall, we put her in a summer school program at our church in Yorkville. They meet once per week for 2.5 hours. Of course, Lauren LOVES it. She has been talking about going to Preschool at Cross Lutheran for quite some time so we were super excited when we discovered the summer program since she will not be attending there in September. 

I made her a sign and told her to write her name. I figured it would be fun to watch her penmanship change over the years. Lauren, being the goof she is, made her 'E' extra funny and decided to add an 'M' instead of 'N'. When she was finished, she quickly held it up, laughed, and said, "My name is LaureM!" Well, I guess she knows her letter sounds!

 Miles wanted everyone to know he was back there too!
 So excited for school! I was able to drop her off and then head into work late.
 Walking to the door.
 "School Entrance"
 She walked in like a pro and found a seat amidst her besties (Miyah and Marissa).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Our House

has watched... 
a little girl learn to walk, talk, and be independent
a mommy complete graduate school x 2
a daddy complete graduate school
a little boy be born in the comfort of his parent's room
a multitude of friends play
pets join the family

We will miss our first house!
 he got a little too excited with a rope
 this has been my dream kitchen (yellow stove and sink)
 our family's #1 hang-out
 our love of books has continued to grow
Lauren's bedroom 
 There is something about this house that makes me happy! It is so bright, cheery, and just the right size for our family. We've put lots of blood, sweat, and tears into fixing this place up. 
 Our kitchen pre-dishwasher and painted cabinets
 Our bathroom before 
 Our house before...nasty landscaping, no fence, plain door, foundation and gables not painted, old roof/gutters
We are moving mid-July; Iowa-bound. More to come later.