Our baby girl is so loved already.  During the past two weeks, two groups of girlfriends have hosted celebrations to help us get ready to meet our sweet little girl.  

My mom and I headed to Sioux City a few weeks ago to see some of my basketball teammates for a reunion of sorts.  They surprised me with a 'sprinkle' for baby girl while we were there.  It was such a special afternoon getting to catch up on each other's lives and a bonus was getting to snuggle one of my good friend's twin boys.  I felt completely spoiled and I am so glad that my daughter will get to grow up knowing these beautiful, successful women.

Love these girls!

Celebration number two was hosted by my Cooking Club/Bible Study girlfriends.  They are the sweetest group of girls and I absolutely love the time I am able to spend with them.  It was a night of girly food, lots of laughs, special moments, and swapping Mommy stories.  These girls are so thoughtful and I feel blessed that our little girl will get to see what friendship looks like with these special ladies.

Yummy bacon wrapped dates...these are awesome.

 Everything was pink and so pretty!

A super special gift...my friend, Annie, knew I wanted a place to hang headbands.  She asked Kevin to find a few pieces of wood from the farm and she made these beauties.  There are some DIY headbands on there as well from my friend, Bri.  

These girls are the best.


THE BEST Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I know I'm a little late on the pumpkin train, but better late than never!  I have made these muffins from The Girl Who Ate Everything three times in the past three weeks and I just can't get over them.  I must share them and you must make them!  They are not the most waist friendly muffins, but they sure are delicious.  The good news is they are muffins, so the portion control is built right in, which makes these the perfect item to make on a fall day.  I hope you try...you will not be sorry!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields: 2 dozen regular sized muffins or 96 mini muffins

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin (15 ounce)
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1 1/2 t cinnamon,1/2 t nutmeg,1/2 t ginger, 1/4 t allspice
2 cups chocolate chips (I like dark.  If you're making mini muffins, mini chips work well.)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place muffin liners in muffin tin.
2.  Mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips together in stand mixer.
3.  Fold in chocolate chips.
4.  Place a few more chocolate chips on top of each muffin.  
5.  Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes for regular sized muffins and 8-9 minutes for mini muffins.  DO NOT over bake. 



Random Picture Friday

I am a little backed up on pictures.  Here is our life in pictures from the past few weeks.  Hope you all have a blessed, beautiful fall weekend!

A chilly Saturday at the Farmer's Market

Visiting Dittmar's Pumpkin Patch

Celebrating Landon's 10th birthday in Ottumwa

A trip to visit 'Papa' at work after shopping for Baby Girl

Grandma Diane and Luke

Papa and Luke...and a DOZER!!

Painting pumpkins with Amelia

A trip to the zoo on a warm fall day

Luke snuggling up to Baby Elliot

Luke and Baby Katie with Grandma

Luke was entertained by the windows getting cleaned this week.


Kansas City {in pictures}

Kevin and I took a quick 'baby moon' to Kansas City a few weeks back.  Here are some pictures from our relaxing weekend.

A relaxing afternoon for me.

Date night

This guy is so handsome...and that pea ravioli...so, SO ridiculously good.

Crepes for breakfast

The man of my dreams...he was a good sport and followed me around IKEA for a few hours.

A super special Zwanze Day beer tasting; Kevin was excited.

We went back the second night to the same place with the pea ravioli.  A bit redundant, but I was craving it and it was so worth it!


Luke using the easel we got him from IKEA.


Tot School: Squares {22 months}

The past few weeks Luke has been learning about squares.  What can I say...I love themes.  Luke doesn't mind them.  Here are the activities Luke and I have been up to the past few weeks:

Square Sensory Basket

Rating: 5/5

Sensory development
Shapes: square

I loaded a basket full of square blocks and Legos.  I wasn't sure Luke would even be interested in this sensory basket, but he asked for it numerous times during the past weeks.  We talked about how each piece was a square and also talked about the colors of each Lego.

Squares and Dot Markers

Rating: 5/5

Shapes: square
Fine motor development

I used a square dot sheet from www.3dinosaurs.com and Luke used a dot marker to mark around the square.  Well, he didn't really mark around it, but we did talk about how it was a square and the colors he was using and he really loved using the dot marker.

Play-dough on a Square

Rating: 3/5

Sensory development
Shapes: square
Fine motor development

Luke used the same sheet from www.3dinosaurs.com and put play-dough on the sheet.  My goal was for him to make a square, but he just used the paper to put the play-dough on.  He also insisted on getting his trucks out and using them on the play-dough.

Gluing Squares

Rating: 4/5

Sensory development
Shapes: square
Fine motor development

I cut out many squares for Luke to glue on his square sheet of paper.  He LOVED gluing his squares on paper...he used up the squares pretty darn fast.

Linked up at:




Random Picture Friday

We have a half weekend at home this weekend and are excited about it!  Fall is a great time of year and we are looking forward to the windows open watching football.  Kevin might even agree to a trip to the farmer's market.  Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Appetizers with some of my favorite teachers

I was able to see sweet Baby Katie in Cedar Rapids while I was there for a girl's weekend.

Girl's weekend with these ladies in Iowa City/Cedar Rapids.

Kevin and Luke had a boy's weekend and spent some time at his buddy's house watching the Cyclones.

Kevin's birthday lunch

Luke was a huge fan of the lobsters at lunch.

Sleeping Luke.

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