Sisters, friends, blessed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Sleepover

Hadley went on her first sleepover this week.  And all the way to MN to boot!  She could hardly think of anything else leading up to her special night over at Grandma & Grandpa's house, and it was everything and more than she had imagined!  Here she is (self) packed and ready to go.

Meeting up with Grandma & Grandpa to make the exhange, she was not one bit tenative or apprehensive.  Instead, she barely remembered to hug me, and only looked back once to smile at me with excitment in her eyes.

Meeting back up with them the following day (Piper in tow this time), to grab a little coffee & treat, and get our Hadley back. 

She had a wonderful time, and is already asking when she can go again!  She most enjoyed going out to eat on the pontoon, and swimming in 100 degree pool water (just especially for her)!  And only at Grandma & Grandpa's house do you get to have a root beer float with lunch :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Birthday Trip

The girls and I took a little birthday trip to celebrate Piper in MN earlier this week, where we were spoiled with yummy food & treats, thoughtful gifts, special summer activities, and lots & lots of family love.
Sunset pajama cruise on the lake with Grandpa & Grandma.

Playdate with cousins at the park {Piper & Jeremiah}.

Hadley, after just having gone across the monkey bars by herself for the first time!

Hadley & Savannah were super cute little buddies, especially now that Savannah can really see with her new glasses!

I love how Brooklyn was just as excited to give their gift, as Piper was to receive it!

Time for the highly anticipated debut of Kyle's cake decorating skills... Tigger was a HUGE success!  Guess we know who's making the cakes from now on :)

Hadley had to get her Kenzie love in (7 months old now!).

On to play a little T-ball with Grandma.

I think she's destined to be a ball player with that look of joy!

Much to Piper's delight, both sets of great-grandparents made it to the Tigger party as well. {Oma & Opa Steck} Note the dirty knees - that is the result of her big sister tagging her a little too hard during freeze tag.  Not to worry, Piper did elbow her sister when she tried to get in one of the Tigger cake pictures!  Sisterly love.

Great Grandma & Great Grandpa Graham

And last, but certainly not least, a little fishing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Auntie Kara Love

Earlier this week we were blessed with a visit from Auntie Kara.  The girls could not have been more pleased to have her all to themselves for the day!  We started out with a little coffee & treats, hit the Farmer's Market, a park, and wrapped up the day with a little T-ball and bike riding (in other words, Kara was a trooper!).  It was the perfect day. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our First Decade

Ten years ago today, Kyle & I said two of the most simple and yet meaningful words to one another.  I do.  And here we are today, still saying those words to one another as we go in and out of daily challenges and adventures, together.  We are incredibly blessed by God's grace and patience over our first decade of marriage, and look so forward to what is yet to come! 

I know its difficult to tell what this picture actually is, but those of you who were there will remember Kyle taking full advantage of, "Now you may kiss the bride" and dipping me so suddenly that all the photographer got was blur!  A very happy blur. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

When You are Three

In reference to Hadley's 3rd birthday blogpost (click here), these are a few new things that Piper gets to do as three year old... For starters, the crib rail is off, and she has decided that her big girl bed is actually kind of fun!  So far so good.

Go on a lunch date with Daddy!

Finally chew gum (hard to see it in her mouth).  This is by far the most exciting for her, and almost equally exciting for Hadley too.  In addition to needing stock in bandaids, we may need it in gum soon as well.

Not having to share a bike anymore!  Piper is the proud new owner of an orange Strider bike, and loves riding it up and down our sidewalk already.

Getting to enjoy what she wanted MOST for her birthday, a Tigger & Pooh cake. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Piper is Three!

Hard to believe our 'baby' is three years old today!  But she is definitely all three... She's been following her big sister's orders with a little less enthusiasm these days, and with a bit more of her own sassy flair.  She's still as considerate and polite as ever, always smiling with those flashing blue eyes, and is quick to laugh at just about anything, but does know how to work that whine pretty well these days.

These are just a few snippets of Piper's oh so loveable but often sassy personality over the past couple months...

Kyle: Piper! Honey, you can't do that, you could really get hurt, and its not good for the garden. 
Piper: Its okay, Daddy, my pretend Daddy said that I could do it.

Hadley: There is someone at that cemetary, Mama. What are they doing there? {Sounding very concerned, as we drove by.}
Piper: Well Hadley, {with a resounding 'duh' in her voice} they gotta bury people's skins there.

Me: Please grab your waterbottle for the car, Piper.
Piper: I can't, Mama. I am holding Bambi {pretend Bambi}, and he can't hold anything.

Hadley: {Sneezing}
Piper: Its okay if you 'God bless you' on your snack, Hadley, but don't 'God bless you' on mine!

Hadley: {Singing happily about something in the car.}
Piper: Hadley, stop singing.  Its too loud.
Me: Piper, Hadley's singing is just fine, maybe you could sing a little too, or watch out the window for animals. 
Piper: {Loud sigh} You know, Hadley, when you grow up your name will still be Hadley.

That's our, Piper, and we love every bit of her!  In the words of one of Pipey's favorite books by Sandra Boynton (Happy Birthday, Little Pookie),

"Here's to a child who is joyful and clever.  Happy Day.  Happy Year.  Happy Always and Ever."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Laura & Mary Weekend

The girls have anxiously been awaiting our 'Laura & Mary' weekend all summer long.  Asking weekly, if it is Laura & Mary time yet?  Perhaps I should clarify... we have been reading the Little House in the Big Woods books by Laura Ingalls Wilder every night before bed since January.  The books have sparked many interesting conversations over the last several months, and have given us something wholesome and special to look forward to every night as a family.  We decided to make a weekend out of it, and took in several other sites as well.  The drive along both the Wisconsin & Minnesota border of the Mississippi were incredible and the tiny towns enchanting.  We stopped to grab a cup of coffee in the Lake City marina below. 

Appropriately caffeinated, we headed to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN.  It was amazing!  Piper is pictured below with Harriet, their oldest (and yes, really alive!) bald eagle.

We even got to see the Eagle Show, where live eagles eat their meal, and Hadley was asked to be part of the wingspan presentation!  I am not sure who was more surprised that she said yes, us or her?  We were pleased to learn that she and a loon have a similar spread, hehe. 

Quick stop for a little picnic, and then on to Pepin, WI, the birthplace of Laura & Mary.  We enjoyed several little museums and tribute locations in Pepin, and then headed 7 miles out to the actual acreage that Charles Ingalls bought back in the 1860s.  The house is now a replica, but that didn't matter in the least to the girls. 

Then it was back to the hotel for a little swimming, and of course... bed jumping!  It was our first attempt at staying in a hotel room as a family.  Let's just say that the first night may have been thee most sleepless night we've ever had.  Thankfully, the trip (or shall we say the girls) were worth it, and the following night was much better.  Phew.  As usual, this crazy hair picture makes Piper nearly cry, but it is too funny not to post!

Before leaving Red Wing, we took in their River City Days parade, where Hadley loudly proclaimed, "This is the most candy I have ever seen in my life!"  And Piper proudly said to me, "They have our flag, Mama" every single time an American flag came by.  It was a simply wonderful family weekend.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Pedaling... finally!  After much practice and patience (Mom & Dad included), Hadley learned how to pedal her training wheel bike this week!  And the joy it has brought her is contagious.  SO much fun.
The funny part, now that she can finally ride it, her little legs have gotten too long for it!  Maybe its time for Piper to give it a whirl?

Piper is pretty content to just ride her trike. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

More Guests

We were further blessed this weekend with a visit from Grandma & Grandpa A!  We spent time chatting over coffee, playing legos, eating lunch out, and even slip-n-sliding a little bit before they had to head back home.  It was a great Sunday with them here!

Piper, showing Grandma A just how old she will be next week!

Piper's birthday present from them was very camoflaged to say the least!  And I think you can read Hadley's body language in this picture with Grandpa A, when she realized that some of it was even for her!