Top Ten of 2014

What a great year! Here are our ten favorite moments from 2014:

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10. A fun weekend in Coeur d’Alene with the Strickler Family.

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9. Lainey got a pretty dress for going to the bathroom in the potty. She’s officially potty trained!

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8. Lainey turned two in March!

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7. Henry and Lainey attended their first Cardinal’s game! Go Cards!

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6. Lainey was a flower girl in Uncle Jaron’s wedding. She rocked it!

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5. We had a great Christmas in Illinois (and it was Henry’s first Christmas).

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4. Lainey started dance, and had her first recital. What a cute bumblebee!

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3. We had a blast on the Robinson camping trip. Lots of time with cousins!

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2. We were surprised with the news that we’re going to become a family of five in 2015.

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1. Henry joined our family in February, and boy do we love this kid!

2015 is bound to get crazier, and we can’t wait! Hope your 2014 was wonderful!

Busy Days in Illinois

Story told by: Lainey

We’re still in Illinois, and have been having lots of fun with our family!

Christmas, 2014

Uncle Matt, Aunt Elisa, and my cousin, Graham, arrived at Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house the day after Christmas! The weather was incredibly warm, so we made sure to get outside and enjoy ourselves.

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I may have been a little much for Graham at times. I just have so much to say!

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All of the guys were playing football, and Henry managed to snag the ball for a bit.

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Henry sure loves Grandpa!

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We took everyone to Bonkers the next day to get out some energy. (This was a much better option than breaking everything in Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house.)

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Grandma even demonstrated her amazing flexibility by climbing up with me to ride on the swing.

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On the day before we left Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house, we got some family pictures. In order to get Graham to sit still, he got a banana. People were trying to get me to smile, but I wouldn’t cooperate. Henry was the only one who was ready to go!

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Uncle Matt, Uncle Jeff, Mommy, and Uncle Jared all got pictures together before we left!

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Great Grandma unfortunately had to spend two days of our visit in the hospital for low potassium. She was such a trooper, though, and came home as soon as she could to jump right in to the chaos! She had enough of her spunk back to wear her Michigan hat in support of Coach Harbaugh coming back to coach Michigan. Go Blue!

It was so much fun to have everyone together! After this, Uncle Jeff flew home to Florida while Uncle Matt, Aunt Elisa, and Graham drove back to Chicago. Uncle Jared came with us back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house!

Christmas, 2014

On the first night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, they surprised me with a Frozen bed tent. I was in heaven!! I loved it, and couldn’t wait to go to bed. (Mommy and Daddy were big fans of this great attitude.)

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The next day we went to Chuck E. Cheese. I was a little intimidated at first, but after eating lunch, I had warmed up enough to try out some rides.

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I was an expert horse rider.

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I loved going down the slide (with new friends close behind).

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And Henry loved hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.

Mommy and Daddy got some time in with skee ball. (Mommy beat Daddy a lot, but I promised that I wouldn’t write too much about that.)

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Henry, Uncle Jared, and Ericka cheered on Mommy and Daddy.

We had another busy day today that started with a visit to the children’s museum.

I splashed a lot in the water works table.

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While I ran around playing doctor and shopping in the store, Henry played in the baby section of the museum. He may have liked it a little.

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Mommy and I made some quick deliveries around town!

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Daddy and I played on the giant piano, but I wasn’t heavy enough to make the keys play. I had to really jump on them to make some music.

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My favorite part of the museum was the painting section. I spent about 25 minutes here!

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I learned that it’s encouraged to paint on the walls, so I can’t wait to try that out when I get home!

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And while I painted, Henry naturally entertained himself with outlet covers in the floor.

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And Grandma entertained him as well!

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After a quick nap for Henry, and no nap for me (because I simply didn’t want to miss anything), we went bowling!

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I’ve been bowling several times before, but I was very expressive this time. Any time I knocked down a pin, my shouts of glee could be heard halfway across the bowling alley.

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The bowling crew! We went out for a fun dinner after this, and then we went to sleep at home without a peep. We are some tired kids, but we’re gearing up for a few more days of fun before we have to fly home!

The Gender Reveal

Story told by: Lainey

Baby #3

Mommy and Daddy found out the gender of baby #3 before we left Washington, so we decided to surprise the family with the news on Christmas Day! We had chocolate-covered Oreos with sprinkles inside. Everyone got a cookie, and took a bite at the same time (except for Uncle Jared who cheated and took an early bite).

Baby #3

It’s a boy!! I really wanted a little sister named Henry, but I’ll adjust to the idea of another brother pretty soon.

Baby #3

Mommy is 20 weeks, and over halfway done with this pregnancy! We can’t wait to meet my newest brother!

Christmas, 2014

Story told by: Lainey

Merry Christmas everyone! I was so excited for a fun day of opening presents! And Henry was excited for his first Christmas!

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Unfortunately we had to wait 30 minutes for all of the slow pokes to wake up. We waited at the top of the stairs because we didn’t want to ruin the surprises from Santa. I wasn’t amused.

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Henry wasn’t too amused at first…

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But he found ways to entertain himself.

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We took our annual “waiting on the stairs” picture. I had a hard time hiding my excitement.

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When we went downstairs, we found out that Santa had eaten our cookies. He left us a note to thank us, and to let us know that his sleigh got a little heavy, so he left a few presents for us at home. We opened stockings right after this!

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Then I got to work on opening presents. Thanks Great Grandma and Grandpa for the awesome horse trailer set!

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Then I opened a beautiful Elsa hat.

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Henry took a turn to open (and eat) some presents.

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He got some fun puppets. He didn’t seem excited enough, so I quickly commandeered most of his presents.

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We got some pictures of Henry in the antlers that I wore for my first Christmas.

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What a cute reindeer!

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Then I opened the most beautiful dress that I’ve ever seen. I’m Princess Snow White!

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And then I opened up a Build-A-Bear from Uncle Jared and a Minnie Mouse from Uncle Jeff. I was thrilled!

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Henry spent some time with Uncle Jeff. He seemed slightly more interested in his sock.

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Daddy got an awesome WSU corn hole bean bag game. Go Cougs!

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While the adults opened their presents, I did this puzzle from Na Na and Ba Ba three times. I love it!

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We played with our toys for the rest of the day! My last request of the night was to do another puzzle with Uncle Jared. After we went to bed, the adults watched a movie. What a great Christmas! Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Eve, 2014

Story told by: Lainey

We flew in to Chicago last night, and then drove five hours to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house. We arrived close to midnight, but it was so nice to be able to wake up here on Christmas Eve!

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After a delicious breakfast, we decorated some sugar cookies. Great Grandma ordered ten dozen cookies, so let’s hope we have enough.

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Uncle Jared tried to get Henry in on the action, but Henry just wanted to eat the plate. He had to go play elsewhere.

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The cookie-decorating crew!

After cookie decorating and naps, it was time to go to the Christmas Eve service. We took some pictures by the tree in our fancy Christmas outfits.

Christmas Eve, 2014

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We weren’t exactly the most cooperative. This is what I did when asked to smile. Makes sense to me.

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We did give a couple of smiles for Mommy and Daddy.

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When we got to church, I sat with Grandma and Grandpa (and once again gave another of my best smiles).

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Henry sat with Uncle Jared until he got fussy. Then Uncle Jared quickly gave him back to Daddy. (Apparently he doesn’t want the maximum amount of bonding time with his nephew.)

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For the majority of the service, Henry crawled around and ate anything he could find on the floor of the church.

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Once we got home, we got a few more pictures. Henry and I were a little more cooperative this time.

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The Steck side of the family! (Uncle Jeff flew in from Florida, and arrived a few hours after this picture was taken. Uncle Matt, Aunt Elisa, and my cousin, Graham, are coming the day after Christmas.)

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After pictures, we were excited to learn that Santa had brought one present for us to open tonight! (You can tell that Henry was highly interested.) It was Christmas pajamas and a Christmas book!

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We put on our PJs and took a picture by the warm, cozy fire!

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We sat right down with Daddy to read the book!

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By the end of the book, Henry was struggling to climb out of Daddy’s lap, and I was rolling on the floor with another book. Oh, well! I’m sure we’ll appreciate this tradition at some point.

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Once Henry went to bed, we watched “Polar Express” while eating Christmas cookies.

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And we ended the night by leaving out cookies and milk for Santa. I won’t say that I’m thrilled with the idea of scary Santa creeping around the house while I’m sleeping, but I’m sure I’ll be excited to see all of the presents in the morning. I can’t wait for Christmas!!!!!!