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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, November 20

Pajama party

Yesterday, we gathered for our 4th annual pajama party with Laena, Braeland, Sharon, Lilly, Levi and Pam. I'm so thankful and grateful that we continue to do it every year. They just keep getting bigger and I love that they (Laena, Braeland, Lilly and Finn) have been friends since they were SIX MONTHS OLD!

The first year we went to the mall and had a group picture with Santa. The next two years, we just went to our houses because, well, it was easier! But since it had been three years since our last one, I thought it would be fun to go back to Santa for another PJ pic (afterall, how much longer are they going to agree to do it?!?!).

2016: Levi, Lilly, Laena, Braeland, Finn, Mac and Korri.
After the pics (and me running to Costco to get my wallet...don't ask!), we headed to our house for dinner, games and crafts. Oh, and LOTS of running, yelling and playing :)

Everybody had fun and we moms even got a few minutes to chat! During this season of thankfulness, it makes me grateful to have people in our lives that love us so much and make us a priority. Thank you for continuing to make these special memories with us!!!

Here are the older group pics. They've grown so much!!!



Friday, November 18

Winter is coming!

You know how you can tell today is the first snow of the season? Everybody is outside playing in it! After school closing early due to the weather, Korri went out as soon as she got home from school, so this is the SECOND time she's played outside in the snow today!

Ha, I won't be able to pay them to go out in a month, I'm sure. Here is a time laps of 6 hours, from when it very first started snowing this morning until just now:


Also, how do you know you are the third child and this is the first snow fall? You end up wearing whatever mom can find around the house:

Lumber jack hat, pink coat (we told him it was red, but I don't think he cared either way!), last year's boots, one black skeleton mitten and one pink butterfly mitten and hand-me-down snow pants! Hey, it works. Note to self: must buy Mac WARM mittens tomorrow! These cottons ones won't cut it in the snow!

I've heard this winter is supposed to be bitterly cold with tons of snow. I guess this is the beginning. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Happy winter to you all!!

Thursday, November 17

Give Them Tomorrow

World Prematurity Day is observed on November 17 each year to raise awareness of preterm birth and the concerns of preterm babies and their families worldwide. Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about one in 10 of all babies born worldwide. Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide.

As you all know, this is a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts. After being born 14 weeks early and weighing less than 2 pounds, our son Finnegan is alive and healthy today. Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick.

In addition to Finnegan's journey, prematurity has had a profound impact on our lives. We mourn our dear friend Logan, who was born too soon thirteen years ago. And our nephews Austin (born 5 weeks early), Zander (born 5 weeks early) and Zachary (born 7 weeks early). Yet we are able to celebrate that Finn's sister Korri, brother Mac, and cousins Ben and Katie were born full term thanks to treatments that efforts like World Prematurity Day bring to the forefront.

What can you do to help? You can easily get involved by going purple — that includes wearing purple to represent the March of Dimes and prematurity awareness, lighting your home or office purple and getting creative to inspire others to raise awareness by going purple. You can help raise awareness on social media by posting about World Prematurity Day, changing your profile picture to a World Prematurity Day one or filter your current one purple and you can make a donation today. Give them tomorrow is a universal call to do something today to help moms and to save babies. You can help us fight premature birth to change lives.

As always, we will be walking on May 13 for March of Dimes to support the March of Dimes and their efforts to end preventable child deaths by 2030! Join us in this global movement to save the smallest among us.

Here's Team Early but Tough (fka Team Finnegan) at a few of our walks:


Back to the 50's

Every year, the Kindergarten classes celebrate the 50th day of school by dressing up in 50's style clothing. And Korri just "happens" to have a poddle skirt/dress, thanks to Memere! You see, Korri's American Girl doll, Maryellen, is from the 50's and one of her outfits is a poodle skirt. And because Memere loves American Girl and Korri so much, she got Korri the matching poodle dress for her last birthday!

After Finn did it two years ago, I was all set to MAKE her a poodle skirt (it can't be THAT hard, can it?) but when Lynn mentioned wanting to get Korri one of the American Girl matching outfits, I jumped on this one and had her get a size bigger so she could wear it for this. I'm so forward thinking ( can you tell?)! LOL

We did a high pony tail to match but she couldn't find Maryellen's hair scarf to put in it, which would have been adorable. Oh, well. She was going to wear her black dress shoes (she doesn't have saddle shoes) but couldn't find them either, so we went with her school shoes (easier!). I can't wait to see how the other kiddos dress up!! I love special days like this.

Oh, and in case you forgot, here is our little greaser, Danny Zuko, from two years ago:

Saturday, November 12

Double cakes!

Finn and Korri were invited to a double birthday party for their mutual brother/sister friends, Martin (Finn's class) and Maria (Korri's grade and in her dance class). Mac, Reagan and I have gotten to know their mom, Katie and younger siblings this year and when it was their younger sister, Beatrice's birthday last month, I made her some butterfly cupcakes.

And I mentioned that I like to make cakes. So, when planning Martin and Maria's party, Katie asked if I wanted to do their birthday cakes. Yum, yes! I think the last cake I did was Mac's in July! So she gave me ideas on what they are interested in and I said I'd get some ideas to her. We decided on a pokeball for Martin and a Cinderella carriage for Maria.

I used my ball cake pan for both of them and they were actually fairly simple cakes. The hardest parts where 1. making a round cake smooth and 2. getting a long, black fondant ribbon around the pokeball, which Finn helped me with!

Anyway, it was a bowling party and both kiddos had a blast, even though Korri was a little nervous because she "didn't know how to bowl!" Ha, no worries once she got there.

And here are the cakes and the birthday kids.


I was told the cakes tasted great (chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream) and that the birthday kiddos loved them. A success and so much fun!

Thursday, November 10

Muffins and donuts

This morning was the annual Muffins for Moms and Donuts for Dads at Finn and Korri's school. It started at the crack of 7:30, which actually wasn't THAT bad, since we left about the same time the bus normally picks the Bigs up (but Jim, Mac and I had to be ready, too!).

We got to school early because we don't have an actual parking lot at our elementary and it gets pretty crazy. Plus, the line goes down the hall and around the corner if you aren't there right away (lessons we've learned!).

After a breakfast of muffins, donuts, grapes and juice, we headed to their classrooms. Since this was Korri's first MFM/DFD event, we let her pick which parent she wanted with her and she picked me (and Mac got to come along with us!). We played with links and made a necklace with a color pattern and Mac found the trains (shocker!!).

Then as a class, we headed to the gym for an assembly by Critters and Company. I thought Mac would like it and we even sat in a spot so he could see everything going on, but I was wrong. There was too much talking and not enough animals for a two year old. I'm sure the message was good but I have no idea what it was. I eventually left early because I couldn't handle Mac. He normally isn't like that, so I decided it wasn't worth it. I felt bad about leaving with saying goodbye to the Bigs, but they were fine!

Other than that, it was a great morning. I love being in school with the kiddos and see what they do there. Next year should be easier for me because Mac will likely be in...PRESCHOOL! GASP! My babies are growing up too quickly.

Wednesday, November 9


Jim and I had two pretty darn cute voting helpers yesterday:


Looks like Goldy voted (voter fraud?!?!) and voting tuckered Mac out! I figured it out that these two will first be able to vote in 2032, which will be a presidential election year! I wasn't able to vote for a president until I was 21 (the year of the whole Bush/Gore fiasco...this election is making that seem like child's play!).

I think other than Thanksgiving, election night is Jim's favorite day of the year (or of the year there are significant elections). I'm serious! I even watched most of the results come in with him (okay, until like 11pm, I mean, I have kids to take care of today!) and was shocked along with most of the country (regardless of whom you voted for) as the night drew on.

But look, you may be surprised, but the sun still came up this morning! Shocking, I know. Here's the proof, in case you don't believe me.

I'm so over this election. Regardless of whom you voted for, let's come together and pray that Trump does a good job. Wishing he does terribly as a President is like hoping the public defender you were assigned loses so others know how bad he is. But at the end of the day, you're still in jail! Let's make America great again by being good neighbors, being kind to strangers, taking the time to help others, volunteer ANYWHERE, donate to charities that are working to improve causes that are important to you, run for local office, write an actual letter on actual paper to brighten someone's day, smile, listen, chose to be the good. The changes starts with each of us.

Tuesday, November 8

Daughter Day!

The boys were at Grandma's all weekend, so after having an overnight at NeNe's on Saturday night, Korri got to spend Sunday and yesterday with Mommy and Daddy! She LOVED the attention. Sunday, after letting us watch the football game, the three of us headed to Costco! I needed a few things and this kid LOVES to shop.

Then on Monday (no school), we decided to go to the mall. Again, she had a blast. She got to play at Creative Kid's Stuff forever, watch clips and color at the Disney Store, try on some silly hats and eat lunch at Leeann Chin while playing games on their iPad. It was fun having just her to think about and feel special.

For the record, she was NOT happy when the boys came back Monday afternoon.

AND...this might be one of my all-time favorite pictures (from the boys' visit):

Tuesday, November 1

Bat Family

It all started, as most things do for us, with a trip to Costco. They had the cutest Batman costume and Mac loved it. Trying to be a good parent who demonstrates some self-restraint, I didn't get it. But I kept thinking about it and how if Finn's old Spiderman costume still fit him, that would be super cute together. It was still there the next time we went, so I got it. SO CUTE!

Then Finn said he couldn't find his Spiderman costume (I don't think he LOOKED for it either!) and that he really wanted to be Batman like Mac. Costco happened to have two versions of the costume (one old-school from the TV show and one from the new Batman vs. Superman movie). It didn't take much to twist my arm, so I got it on my next trip there (these trips started in early Sept, I think!). While there, I got Korri a Supergirl costume to go with the boys. Then I got home and while she was gracious about getting a new costume, she also asked why SHE couldn't be Batman, too?!?! Good point. So I exchanged Supergirl for Batgirl on yet another trip there and the rest is history.

Well, sort of. I like to wear some kind of costume when I take the kids around, usually a witches hat, or angel halo or something like that. But I thought, why not go for the Batman theme, too? I ordered a Batman sweatshirt (duh, I'll use it plenty more than just Halloween) and a mask/cape set from Amazon for fairly cheap! So fun. Then Korri asked Jim if he would be Joker. You don't have to ask him twice. We looked at costume stores and he looked online and decided he liked the Riddler costume better. So NOW the rest is history. Here is our Bat-family:


You never know what you're going to get when it comes to the weather on Oct 31 in Minnesota. I'm always thankful when we don't have snow to deal with, which we didn't this year. And while the temperature wasn't very cold (in the 50's), it was very windy and damp as it sprinkled most of the day but held off for most of Trick-Or-Treating, thankfully. I brought the stroller, since this would be the first year that Mac would actually be going up to the houses (last year he was happy to just sit in the stroller and watch all the kids).


He did great! He kept getting back in the stroller after each house, which got a little cumbersome. Korri was an amazing big sister and helped him up and down the stairs and held his hand between houses, after I convinced him to walk between houses, which took much less time). I was really impressed with her helping so much.

I love that my kids are ready to be done after 30 minutes. They get a few pieces of candy and are ready to go home and sort it and help daddy hand out candy. Perfect. This year, we told them they could each pick out 10 pieces of candy and the rest was going to school. Their school has a program where money is donated to a food shelf based on how much candy the kids bring in and then the candy is donated for care packages for soldiers! I love that. What impressed me most? Two things. 1. they didn't even squawk about not getting to keep/eat all of their candy. 2. They had a problem with picking 10 pieces, not because they wanted more but because they picked out a few favorites and then had to figured out what other pieces they actually wanted! Also, they each ate ONE piece of candy before bed and didn't even ASK for more. Gotta love 'em. Oh, you'll be shocked to know that every piece Finn saved...was chocolate!!! Ha, ha. Of course it was.

Needless to say, Halloween is a special holiday for us. I love how much my kids love it and how much time we spend together leading up to it and on that day. I can't wait to hear them tell their memories of Halloween's past when they are older. Also, Jim does such an AMAZING job decorating that it just feels super special. Trick-Or-Treaters were taking their pictures in our front yard/cemetery!

Now, to start thinking about what costumes they will let me dress them up in for next year. Any suggestions?