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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Sunday, June 30

In loving memory

In Loving Memory of
Gregory D. Walsh
April 14, 1954 - June 25, 2013


It is such a healing gift to be surrounded by your love for my dad, my sisters and me and our families. It brings us girls all such great happiness to see how much dad affected all of you and how much he will be missed. This clearly came as a great shock, so please bear with us as the four of us are still adjusting to living in a world without a father.

Greg was known as Son. Brother. Father-in-law. Nephew. Uncle. Cousin. Business Owner. Friend. But the two names he held dearest were Dad and Grandpa Egg. He would tell anybody who would listen how much he loved his girls. Growing up, he would nap on the floor in the living room...with four small children. Yeah right! We would climb all over him and wrestle with him and play this one game...try to put your finger in his hand while he was "sleeping" without him grabbing it. I think he won every time, but that was the fun part...getting caught by him. 

Occasionally when mom would have to work late, dad would have to figure out meals (which he never actually "figured" out). This is how "garbage stew" was invented and I don't think the world is a worse place for it now becoming extinct. Basically, I think dad's thought process was, "put all leftovers from the fridge in one pot, open a can of beef stew, heat, stir and voila: dinner." Yum?

And he was ALWAYS there to fix any and everything: the toilet, the rutty driveway, the rotten garage door, the squeaky floor, the car when "somebody" crashed into a telephone pole, the OTHER car that stayed in our family for WAY too long and had something break every week, it seemed. And dad (even once we were in college and beyond) would figure it out. He loved being needed and if he showed his love through acts of service and helping others, he really truly and deeply loved us girls. It is funny how things that annoyed you, now become what you hold onto. Dad liked things quiet and orderly and when they weren't, he would let us know with a "say girls!" Oh, that irritated me so much but now, I'd give anything to hear it one last time.

Being Grandpa Egg. While many probably think being called "Grandpa Egg" is a little weird, I think he secretly thought it was the neatest thing because it made him special. After all, who else is a Grandpa Egg? It wasn't because he had a weird shaped head or anything...Austin, the first grandchild, couldn't say "Greg" and shortened it to "egg" which stuck like glue. In fact, I don't even know if my kids know dad's real name! He wasn't one of those grandpa's that took the kids fishing or threw a ball in the backyard. He preferred to sit back and took great joy in watching them have fun and run and laugh and play. When Jim and I talked to our kids about Grandpa Egg going to heaven, Finn was worried that when Finn goes to heaven, he won't know anybody there. But Jim told him that he wouldn't be alone because Grandpa Egg would be there.

We would like to thank each and every one of you for coming. The support that has been offered to us over the last three days has been amazing and a blessing. We could not have done it without the continuous presence and support of Grandma and Grandpa, Vicky, Lisa, all of dad's siblings and the funeral home. They've held our hands, answered questions, given opinions and recommendations, done things that we weren't able to do and took care of things that we may never even know they did. 

No, dad was not perfect. Who of us is? He was terrible at communicating, had questionable grooming habits (at best!), he always had a beer in one hand (usually on ice?!?!) and he rarely made an effort to keep in touch or get together. He was however, a great listener, a thinker, a handsome son-of-a-gun when he cleaned up, a hard worker, a man of integrity and more than anything, he was my Dad. For that I am ever grateful.

You will be dearly missed, dad. I love you for who you were and who you weren't. No matter your short-comings as a father, you were MY dad and I wish you were still here and able to watch your grandchildren grow up. And I wish more than anything we could have looked at you, said goodbye and given you one last kiss. But you are free now and can be happy. I will miss you forever. Please watch over us and give us a helping hand whenever you are able, just like you did in life. I love you, dad!

Thursday, June 27

My dad

As most, if not all, of you know by now, my dad passed away. He was 59 years old. He was found at his home on Tuesday, June 25 around 1:30 pm. My mom called me with the news at exactly 4:05 pm (isn't it weird how certain details like that are burned into your brain). An autopsy was performed and we should be getting the preliminary results of that in the next day or so but it will take 5 weeks to get the full report, although "natural causes" are suspected.

Visitation is at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock, MN tomorrow, Friday, June 28 from 5 to 7 pm, with a parish prayer service at 6:30 pm. After the visitation (probably around 7:30 or 8) my sisters and I (and our significant others) are planning on going to the DeGraff Liquor Store to have a drink to salute dad. Please come and throw one back with us if you are around! He would have loved having us all there. His funeral will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Murdock on Saturday, June 29 at 11 am, with visitation one hour before the funeral. A light lunch will be served immediately after the funeral, followed by burial services at Saint Francis Cemetery in Benson, MN.

We've been going through lots of pictures over the last day and a half and here are a few:
Dad with Finn and Korri at Austin's birthday party, April 2012 - Now one of my all-time favorite pictures!

Dad and Mom practicing walking me down the aisle at wedding rehearsal, October 2007

Dad and Mom walking me down the aisle at my wedding, October 2007

Dad (with Grandma and Grandpa) visiting when I was in the hospital before Finn was born, January 2009

Austin with Grandpa Egg (sorry, not sure when!)

Me, Finn and Grandpa Egg, April 2009
You will be dearly missed, dad. I love you for who you were and who you weren't. No matter your flaws as a father (because doesn't everybody have them?!?!), you were MY dad and I wish you were still here and able to watch your grandchildren grow up. But you are free now and can be happy. I will miss you forever. Please watch over us and give us a helping hand whenever you are able, just like you did in life. I love you, dad!

Wednesday, June 19

Lil Slugger

Last night was Finn's first night of t-ball! He had mixed feelings about it and after his lack of participation last summer AND Jim not being able to attend, I did too! But Coach D does an amazing job of getting the kids to pay attention and participating. Last year, Finn had a really hard time running around. The grass is tall, his legs were so short and he wasn't very skilled at running yet. However, last night, he joined right in and ran with all the other kids even if he was one of the slowest...I don't care because he did it with NO complaining!!! After warming up, coach was talking about the bases and asked Finn to demonstrate how to run the bases. Finn was SO proud, you could totally tell and he did a great job. I have a feeling T-ball is going to be much more fun this summer!

Here Finn is batting and running the bases. I think the bat was a little too heavy, but he managed. I love how deliberate he is about stepping on each base!

Oh, and Korri did a great job of sitting and watching, even though she was very upset with me that I "forgot" to bring snacks. Oops! I didn't think it was necessary since they had JUST finished dinner, but I'll remember next week :)

Tuesday, June 18

Dry again!?!

We didn't pressure Finn about potty training, but did mention it once in a while and had standing incentives in place, should he decide he was ready. One of said incentives was if he was dry for 24 hours (that means one nap and one overnight), he could go to Chuck E Cheese's or Choo Choo Bob's. He earned this incentive six weeks ago (and we are/were SO proud).

All that being said, Korri basically potty trained herself just after she turned two. I realized she was often dry during the day and switched her to panties with very few accidents! I wasn't ready since Finn was about a year older when he daytime-trained (although I've been told girls train earlier). We hadn't even put any incentives in place to get her to do it (perhaps having an older brother who does it is incentive enough!)! Same for the above mentioned scenario...which she accomplished YESTERDAY! She was dry for nap on Sunday and she was dry when she woke up yesterday morning. I was shocked and made a HUGE deal of it. I just can't believe it. She might be nighttime-trained before Finn (which is fine and NOT a competition).

But since I wasn't even THINKING about Korri being able to do this, we hadn't put in place any incentives, which Finn immediately said to Korri, "Now you can go to Choo Choo Bob's!" Huh. I guess he was right, but I thought he'd forget about it. Nope, we had a showing last night, so I had to come up with something to do with the kids and immediately, Finn said that we had to go to Choo Choo Bob's because Korri had a dry diaper...and Korri agreed! I even tried to steer her in the direction of going to the mall or park or something else. Nope. So we headed over to Choo Choo Bob's and played for about an hour before going next door to the cafe for dinner. The kids were great. Korri got to pick something to take home and she picked...Koko from Chuggington! LOL. I think this is her very first train that is her own and she did NOT want her big brother to even touch it.

These kids of mine keep growing up so quickly! Where is the pause button?!?!

P.S. They both had potty accidents at daycare yesterday which NEVER happens. In both cases, they were playing too hard and didn't want to stop. Who can blame them?!?! LOL

Tuesday, June 11

Oh how I've missed you

After a rather dreary morning, a much loved friend that we've missed dearly visited us yesterday. Her name is Sun! Holy moly. It was so nice to be outside and it be sunny and the kids could play without getting all wet and full of mud! Finn informed me after picking him up from daycare yesterday that he needed a bath because of all the sunscreen and sand because it was REALLY hot today. Um, Finn...75 degrees is not actually THAT hot...we've just become accustomed to 55, cloudy and rainy!

The kids and I headed over to Costco after daycare to get a few essentials (I don't remember the last time we had milk at home...shame on us...but we do now!). The kids were absolute ANGELS so they were rewarded with getting to eat dinner at LeeAnn Chin for some chinese chicken, as Finn calls it. They were amazing there, too. I really think they can tell when I'm hurried and rushed and I wasn't last night. I need to remember that. Jim had just gotten back from a trip up North when we got home, so we all played outside for about half an hour before the aforementioned bath needed to be had!

We started with roller skates and blades. They are still learning, obviously, but are able to walk very well on the grass. Korri falls constantly on the sidewalk, but it getting pretty good at catching herself and being able to stand back up...only to fall right away again. Finn can "step" on the sidewalk but not roll yet. Then we moved on to bike and scooter. Oh what fun it was to be outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. I NEEDED the sun!
More videos on our video webpage (link to the right).

Monday, June 10

Oville weekend

We had three showings and an open house last week. Hopefully something comes from all of it! Jim edged all of our sidewalks before we left on Friday and while it was a LOT of work, they do look really nice. You never know what could make the difference.

This weekend we went to Oville. It was a little warmer than it had been for Memorial weekend but not by too much. I brought winter coats for the kids and me because I HATE being cold (and I actually used mine). Ron and Lynn graciously watched the kids so Jim and I could stay out at the cabin for a little down time. John and Kelsie were around and were able to hang out with us most of the weekend...it had been a LONG time since that happened.

We picked up FIVE bundles of firewood for the weekend and used almost all of it Friday nights. Oops! So Jim and John forayed the shoreline for sticks and driftwood Saturday morning. They actually found a lot. However, I do NOT recommend doing so with sandals on, like Jim did!

Sunday morning was a lazy morning (since the adults MAY have drank a bit too much the night before). Aunt Kelsie braided Korri's hair and Korri barely moved at all! Maybe we need Kelsie to come do Korri's hair every morning :)

Thanks for the hospitality and company Ron, Lynn, John and Kelsie! We all had a great time, but I am also looking forward to a weekend at home this weekend!

Thursday, June 6

Stranger Danger

This is a topic that I haven't really focused on with Finn. So when I received the following email from the daycare Director, I thought it was a good idea and relieved they took it upon themselves:

"Your preschooler has been taking short walks around the property-when it is not raining! Along the way they encounter many people who want to talk to – give handshakes to – or give high 5’s to your child. Some children will actually walk away from the group to talk to strangers. (I HIGHLY doubt it was Finn...he is too shy and a rule follower, but you never know!) This is a serious concern for Shannon and Debi (preschool and pre-k teachers) who have been diligent talking to the children about personal boundaries and the difference between a stranger and someone mom or dad know. Your child’s safety is our primary concern. As a result, Shannon has contacted the NE Precinct’s SAFE program. We are pleased to have Officer Juarez coming to talk to the preschoolers about Stranger Danger and personal boundaries."

So, that was this morning, and I received this notice afterward:

"Officer Juarez came with several of his fellow officers to talk to the children today about Stranger Danger and staying safe. Please note: They brought a coloring booklet for you to read with your child and said to be sure and read the parent tips at the bottom of the pages. Those will go home with you tonight.


NECDC presents Officer Juarez talking about Stranger Danger!

Some of the very important information that was presented included:
  • Children should know their last name and phone number if they can. However you do not need to tell anyone or everyone this information. Finn and Korri know their full names, but not a phone number...hard when you don't have a home number any more! 
  • It is very important to tell your child – if you are playing with a ball and it goes into the street – DO NOT run out for it. Get an adult to get it for you. We've told this to the kids often, since we live on two busy streets and Finn ACTUALLY did it one day. We were so proud of him. 
  • If someone you do not know tries to offer you candy or a puppy or a toy – tell your child to go get an adult.
  • NEVER take things someone offers you unless Mom or Dad are there to say it is ok.
  • Bikes and scooters stay on sidewalks and always wear a helmet. Finn is fanatical about both!
  • Have an adult with you when talking to strangers.
  • If someone you don’t know wants to give you a High-5 -remember hands have lots of germs that can make you sick. So unless it is your teacher or someone in your family no HIGH-5’s.
  • If you get lost you should look for another mom with children or a worker from a store, park etc. I never thought about it but what a great idea to have them look for a mom! 
  • And lastly keep your doors locked at home.

Anyway, I thought these were interesting and wanted to share with you! I love our daycare!

Monday, June 3

Chuggin' along

After Baby Steps on Saturday, mom graciously agreed to watch the kiddos so Jim and I could go out on a date! We went to see Hangover 3 at our favorite place (ShowPlace at West End) and then we went to dinner at El Patron (same menu as El Loro). I think we are getting old because we both agree that we like to go to the early movie (we went to the 5pm showing) so then we don't have to rush for dinner and are still home at a decent hour. Old folks, I know!

Sunday was crazy busy! First, Kristine and I met Becky and Renae in St. Cloud to try on bridesmaids dresses. We tried on a lot and I think Renae knows which one she likes the best, but in Kristine-like fashion, wants to make sure she has seen them all! It was fun. Oh, and Becky made Rhubarb Crunch. Um, yummmm-o!

While I was gone, Finn had his first "friend" birthday party to go to! It was a girl from daycare, Elizabeth, who turned 5 and is one of his close friends. It was hard for me not to be there (my baby is growing up), but in true Super Dad fashion, Jim took some pictures for me (and even chatted with the other moms that were there!!). While they were at the party, NeNe came over to play with Korri. I'm sure neither one of them had any fun ;)

Then basically, right when I got home, we packed up and brought the kids over to Lilly and Levi's house to play so Jim and I could go look at houses. Lilly and Levi have the best toys and lots of room to play (oh, and a new swing/play set had arrived earlier that day!!). Jim and I almost didn't want to leave! But we did and looked at 6 places. It is hard to look and seriously consider houses when your house hasn't sold. When we got back, we hung out and the kids played. It was so nice. Finn said, "I for sure want to come back here!" And Pam said that Korri is/was super sweet...Pam knows the key to my heart :) Lilly gave Korri a pair of really cool shoes that Lilly out grew...and Korri hasn't wanted to take them off since. They are pretty neat, so I can't really blame her.

Here is Korri driving one of the amazing toys Lilly and Levi have:
video
Kristine: I see one of these in Zander's future!!!

Sunday, June 2

Baby Steps

Yesterday we had a fabulous time at Baby Steps 3K 2013. Baby Steps is an event to celebrate, educate and fund raise for the neonatal program at Children's! I can't help but be a little melancholy, but also so joyful and thankful at this event. It is so personal to me because it is obvious the place that kept Finn alive and took care of him for the first 85 days of his life. They had a record turn out of over 1700 walkers in their third annual event. We could not have custom ordered more perfect or beautiful weather (especially considering all week it said 70% chance of rain!!). In this case, I'm glad when the weather folks are wrong.

In a demonstration of her never-ending support and love for our family, grandma came to join us for the walk. As you know, we participate in both the March of Dimes walk and Baby Steps walk every year. This year we fund-raised for March of Dimes, but still participated in Baby Steps. We've said it possibly one thousand times, but I will say it one thousand more, thank you to our wonderful family and friends. We are truly lucky to have the amazing support system that we do.

Here are some pics from the morning (Jim was sick and wasn't able to join us):