Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rebecca in the Bounce-a-Roo

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Becca is just barely getting the bounce-a-roo figured out, but she definitely loves to bounce. Technically I think Fisher Price calls it a jump-a-roo, and it's super similar to the classic exersaucer, but I never remember what it is supposed to be called. We don't have a lot of floor space in our living room, so I treated the arrival of this new toy like we were at a popular nightclub. One in, one out. The rock and play that saved us many many times since she was born was moved to the basement, and the bounce-a-roo took its place. It's actually nice having the rock and play in the basement near the laundry as Rebecca can rest in it while I move the laundry or grab some things from the deep freeze.
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I know Rebecca's going to get so much bigger, and we'll have to adjust it so it sits farther above the ground. But right now it is on the lowest setting and she is just figuring out the jumping part. The toys on one side are a lot easier for her to manipulate, and she definitely hasn't figured out that she can turn around in it yet. I think her favorite living room toy is still her play mat as she works on her rolling, but she will jump, play and put the little bug in her mouth while in the bounce-a-roo. Oh, and smile at mama. Smiling is her favorite.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rebecca's First Swim

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Rebecca's first swim was in my dad's pool the day after Mitchell's party! I hadn't really paid attention to the sizes of her swimming suits, and one swim diaper was definitely too small already. Good thing Aunt Lu had insisted on buying her this sweet swimsuit from Gap. I ordered a couple more from Target yesterday and have some questions for my fellow girl moms. Am I going to regret the one piece I ordered? Are there any two pieces that actually cover up the Huggies swim diaper or is that always going to be showing? And finally, how is my baby growing so fast that she needs the next size? Sigh.
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Dad got her this awesome float that will continue to get better the bigger she gets. She was interested in the toys, but not quite big enough to sit by herself. No big deal as there are always tons of adults around who want so supervise and hang out with Becca!
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We received these sunglasses as a gift from my Junior League friends, and they crack me up. I couldn't really tell what Rebecca thought about them, but she didn't try to pull them off! As for the pool, we think she liked it. She loves bath time and the feel of the water on her legs, and because she loves it outside, the pool seems like a good fit.
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The pool has a little bit of shade throughout the day, and we were able to create more by dragging one of the umbrellas close by. Perfect for a little baby too young for sunscreen and a mama who is pale 365 days of the year. As my mom says, she may have her dad's dark eyes, but she definitely has her mama's fair skin.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mitchell's Graduation Party

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Our trip to Indianapolis wasn't for Mitchell's graduation but for his poolside party and open house the next weekend. He's a well connected kid, and along with his friend Andy, they expected a lot of friends and family to come celebrate their graduation - like hundreds! Their graduating class was smaller than mine and it's kind of the school culture to go to lots and lots of open houses!

There was plenty of prep work to help with after we arrived, and I designed a few signs to add to the decoration. We made a huge wall of photos with twine, the little signs I printed, lots of 4x4 and 4x6 photos and tiny clothespins. It was awesome to see and lots of people stopped to admire it during the party.
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Mitchell is headed to the University of Miami in Ohio and his friend Andy will be at Xavier. Close to home, but not too close is probably what the boys would say! We have a couple friends in KC who went to Miami, and they loved it so much they were thrilled to hear Mitch is headed that way too.
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Rebecca looked adorable in her little shirt dress, but she was definitely hot at the party. I kept taking her back inside to cool off. She tried to go to sleep on her own, but she definitely knew she was missing out on the fun. I ended up wearing her while she slept and the party went on. She was too sad about all the fun, I guess!
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This was the first time my big stepbrothers and Gabby had met Rebecca, so I tried to get a photo with each of them. Cooper is doing a great job cuddling her up in that photo! And Mitch wanted to show her to some of his friends after she had already gone to bed. She's a pretty cute addition to the family.
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We had tons of chocolate chip cookies, my favorite cake from the local bakery, and two different food trucks! I managed to eat tacos without getting anything on my white pants and later sampled some delicious wood fired pizzas from the second food truck. They spaced the two food trucks out so that there was plenty of food for everyone who came to the open house. After the official party had ended, Mitch and Andy had friends stay and swim. A couple of the boys spent the night and slept in hammocks in the front yard. Lauren and I had a good laugh the next morning when we found them still tied in the trees! Oh to be 18 again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rebecca Claire || Four Months

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Rebecca's been a Lynch for four months! We think she is just delightful, and our whole family agrees. You should watch a crowd of Lynches or Luhrses when she is in the room. Everything else pretty much stops and everyone talks to the baby. She's a darling first grand kid, and everyone is quite smitten.

I took these photos of Rebecca wearing the same 3-6 month white onesie from Gap as in her three month photos, and it might make it until July as well. At her appointment on Monday, Rebecca weighed 14 lb. 13.5 oz. and was 24.5" long. After a big dip in her weight when she was sick, Becca is back up on her curve. The 6 month clothes from Carter's are about to officially be too small, and rompers with their extra wiggle room are definitely our summertime friend. I had purchased too many pairs of pants as it's warm enough for bare legs all the time now!
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Becca's got some new tricks including rolling over from her back to her front. She's done it exactly three times - once when no one was looking, once for me and once for Kip. She is highly social and loves to watch the kids when we go to Kindermusik at church and in childcare while I work out at Bar Method. Her little voice is the cutest, and she grunts, squawks, coos and smiles when you talk to her. No giggling really, but I'm pretty sure she thinks we're funny based on her responses (though not really in a lot of these photos!).
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Our biggest adventure lately with Rebecca is with sleep. She's giving us 12 hours at night pretty regularly with two quick feeds, as long as we're not traveling, and then she gets thrown off a bit. And she's gotten better at getting herself back asleep overnight. But in the napping department, she's giving me a run for our money. Every day is really different, and everything that works at night doesn't seem to work during the day. The pediatrician told me Monday that it could be a couple more months till we get it all worked out, and the consensus between my pediatrician, husband and besties is that I should stop reading about baby sleep because it hasn't helped yet! Bedtime has definitely improved, and I'm thankful for how she sleeps at night so here's hoping naps are next. (I wrote this post during the rarest of rare one hour naps so my luck is probably used up for the week. OR we've turned a corner!)

Becca got a couple new nicknames this month, and one appears to be catching. I like to say "Becca, Becca, Becca bear!" and I heard Kip saying it last night too! Aunt Lu called her Bex once or twice on our trip to Indy, and I still love that cute nickname from The Royal We. Kip and I both still call her "nugget," and it's still an even split between Rebecca and Becca. Using both names may be pretty common until she's old enough to declare a preference of her own.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy First Father's Day Kip!

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Kip came home early the other day from work so that he could be here while our AC was getting fixed (yep, as hot as it sounds), and so that Becca and I could go meet a friend for dinner. After visiting with the AC repairman for a bit, he disappeared. Rebecca and I went looking for him and found him a few feet off the ground in the tree in the front yard! He had decided to get a little bit of overdue pruning done on the pecan tree - overdue in Kip's eyes because I surely couldn't tell the difference. Rebecca and I watched a bit before I went back in and grabbed the camera for some action shots and then took these shots with Rebecca after he got back down.

It is no surprise to anyone who has met Kip that he is a fantastic daddy to Rebecca. He's a natural with children, and kids are definitely drawn to him. Pretty sure whenever I'm with my friend Erica's 2-year-old Maddie I spend most of my time answering questions about where Kip is and what he is doing. Erica said the other day Maddie was talking to Kip on her play phone! When we went to the Royals game on Friday night, Kip was barely sitting in his chair before the third grader next to him struck up a conversation about all things life and baseball. Kids love the guy.

He's exceptionally patient with Rebecca and encouraging as we try to figure out feeding and sleeping. He does not worry ("Would it help?" he says) and is super sweet with our little nugget. She's had her days of needing mama most, but he adjusts better to her phases than I do. Kip wears her in the Ergo, reads her stories and is the bath time resident expert. They walk around outside a lot, and I know he can't wait to teach her all the things he knows. She's a very lucky little girl.

Happy Father's Day to Kip and all our dads! We are definitely doing it up right with dads this year, spending last weekend with my dad in Indy and this weekend with Kip's dad Keith in Manhattan.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Spencer & Rebecca || Becca's First Flights

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Rebecca, Lauren and I spent the second weekend of June in Indianapolis celebrating Mitchell's high school graduation. Yes, I know, I can hardly believe it myself! He turned 19 last Tuesday and is off to Miami of Ohio next year, but more on that later. Rebecca's first flight went pretty well! I wore her in the Ergo, convinced her to nurse as much as I could, and she even slept a little bit. Coming home was another story...

While we were in Indy, we helped with some party preparations, enjoyed the party and then relaxed for the next couple days. On Saturday, Spencer was  playing video games in the sunroom and wanted me to bring him Becca for some morning cuddles. You can't see her little dimple in these photos, but Spencer's classic Luhrs dimples are definitely visible. He's also sporting brand new braces that he was adjusting to while we were visiting.
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Rebecca's sitting is still a skill in development, but she was happy to lean into Spencer while I grabbed some photos. She makes this adorable cooing sound that sounds like "Hi!" so Spencer and I discussed first words. He was a bit surprised to learn that she doesn't have a first word yet and won't for a bit longer. For the record, we asked his mom and his first word was "Daddy."
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It's definitely baby romper season and this one fits so nicely. She's outgrowing a onesie every single day, but this romper has room for a few more weeks of fun. It's the softest thing she owns!

We really enjoyed our time in Indy, and Rebecca slept pretty well for being in a new place. When we flew home on Monday, we were on our own as Lauren stayed behind to do depositions. I had practiced how I would do without her help while we were going out, so I felt pretty confident. But boy did we struggle a bit more on the way home! As Dad dropped me off, I poked her in the eye loading her in the Ergo. She screamed a bit, but it didn't really start watering until we were in the air. We sat on the tarmac for an extra 30 minutes which was hot and tricky because she already wanted to eat making takeoff a bit harder on her ears. About halfway through our quick 75 minute flight home, Rebecca had a huge blowout of her diaper all over everything. She made a spectacular mess.

I really couldn't decide what to do, so I ended up just staying put. I was in the window seat, and I wasn't sure how I was going to manage to get out past the two businessmen with my backpack, Ergo and baby to try to change her. And I could tell it was going to be a mess! God bless the two men sitting next to me who carried on like there wasn't a smelly 14 lb. situation in their row. She cried a bit coming down, and I tried the best I could with nursing and a pacifier to help her little ears adjust. After we landed, I loaded her in the Ergo and grabbed my suitcase before Kip helped me get everything cleaned up. She slept all the way home after not sleeping at all on the flight. We ended up going to urgent care that evening to get her eye checked (it was literally fine by the next morning!), and life went on. I could definitely laugh about her accident by the next day. She's a baby, and that's what babies do, sometimes at really inconvenient times.

Friday, June 17, 2016

A Trip to the Zoo

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My friend Vicki and her husband Daniel work abroad for the State Department - you may remember that we visited them in Serbia in 2012. They are both from the KC area, with big families and plenty of friends, and so it feels like a real treat when we get to spend time with them while they are home! Last Thursday, Mom, Rebecca and I loaded up the stroller and met them at the zoo for some Kansas City fun.
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We walked a good portion of the zoo, and they did even more after we were done with the heat and left around 1 o'clock. The zoo has an amazing number of painted boards where you can take photos. I never noticed it before but sure do now after taking Gwen and Cameron's photos in every one we found. Those boards are just the right size for the kiddos and often had little steps to make sure kids could reach perfectly.
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Zoo highlights were seeing the penguins (always a favorite), lunch inside air conditioning, and riding the train around the zoo. It was Becca's first train ride, but in the picture above I actually think she's busy making eye contact with Gwen not noticing the awesomeness of the train. We saw the koalas on loan for the summer, and while they are extremely cute, they don't do much!
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A little hot and sweaty but everyone is definitely pretty happy in this photo. It looks like each of Vicki's kids are holding one of Rebecca's hands which is just the sweetest. We were so happy for a day with these guys while they were home!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sunday Afternoon at KC Bier Co.

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The heat and humidity arrived already in Kansas City. Even though it's only the middle of June, it feels like we should be opting for indoor plans and making choices that include air conditioning. I'm a wimp in general, and Kip is often tired of the heat after working outside all day, so we like to keep it cool. But a couple Sundays ago it was still nice enough to meet the Strubes and Andersons outdoors.

While our friends had been before, it was the first trip for the Lynches to Kansas City Bier Company. It's a local favorite because of their gorgeous patio complete with locally made beer inside and a place for the kiddos to play outside. The toddlers we were with loved picking up and dumping the rocks on the patio and playing in the little playhouse.

KC Bier Company's beers are available around town, but we were able to try a couple new ones since we were at the brewery. And we ordered a pretzel to snack on that was pretty amazing!
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When we saw the Andersons earlier at church, I noticed Olivia Claire was wearing the exact outfit I had laid out for Rebecca Claire to wear to KC Bier Co. later that afternoon. Here's the crazy part about dressing them in matching outfits - it's not a new romper! We received ours from our friend Leah, and her baby Reese wore it five years ago. And Erica's old neighbor passed one to Maddie and now Olivia. Hand me downs for the win! It's so funny they are both in the right size for our girls in the summer too. 
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And this little guy is as charming as ever. Collin was busy watching some grown-ups play yard games, but I got a quick smile. Love watching these kiddos grow - won't be too long before Rebecca can join in too!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vera Turned TWO!

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Vera turned two in early June and her parents put together a darling dinosaur party for her, complete with a dinosaur egg hunt and a fantastic brunch spread. Donuts and cake are pretty much my perfect menu for a party (see also: our wedding). Little Maddie and Vera are friends at daycare, and it was so cute watching them play with the balloons. Pretty much the perfect party decoration and play toy!
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We tried to get a picture of the boys in their Royals gear, but it's tough to make a crowd ranging in age from 15 months to 5 look at the camera at the same time. Two sets of brothers, Beckett & Everett and James & Robert!
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There were lots of littles at the party. Everett currently wants to be a babysitter when he grows up so he was thrilled to hold Rebecca for us in his lap! Becca is the youngest and James is the oldest, and we love this busy crew of book club babies and friends.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A Shower for Meggie.

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Lauren is a bridesmaid for the lovely Megan later this year, and we're ALL having so much fun in the festivities leading up to the big day in September. Lauren and Megan have been friends since their sorority days at K-State, and she has always been a Luhrs Ladies favorite. Getting to celebrate with Meggie is an added bonus because she's been in Chicago at PA school the last couple years and is preparing for a move to Colorado. A wedding is an excellent excuse to hang out and catch up!
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Rebecca was awake and cute for most of the party, but she definitely needed a snack and a nap after a while. Megan's shower was the second party of the day for the baby, and she was definitely worn out after all that attention. I wrote about it on Instagram, but Kip didn't understand why she would need to wear something different to each party. But with all the cuteness she has in her closet, I love to change her whenever I can and whenever there will be photographs. This lovely yellow dress was borrowed from Miss Olivia, and she was darling in it.
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The hosts planned Megan's shower at McLain's Bakery, one of my very favorite Kansas City originals. Their location is open for private events after they close on the weekends and weeknight evenings. We had a lovely spread of salads, sandwiches, and obviously cookies! McLain's is opening a second location 2.2 miles from my house, and I think will even have a drive through. This is obviously fantastic and terrible news as their cookies are really some of the best, and it will be the closest independently owned coffee shop to my house!

There were three little stations around the room to leave notes for Megan and Rehaan. Questions and answers from me (in italics) below:

  1. What's something that should go on their marriage bucket list? Eat dinner at the bar. It's actually easier to have conversations sometimes when you're huddled up together knee to knee and elbow to elbow. 
  2. What's advice that you have for the newlyweds? Whatever tasks you each preferred to do before you got married, keep them! If Rehaan does the ironing best, let him! (And I recommended a new iron to make the job even easier because apparently he does like to iron. Just like Kip!) 
  3. What's your favorite memory of Megan? When she had jello shots in her purse in Aggieville!
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Megan's sister (a new K-State grad), mom and grandma were all there for the shower. Her grandma told me very sweet stories about her experiences at the American Royal, a place you know that I love. They are all from Lyons, Kansas, and we think the whole family is pretty awesome. (See this article for more proof.) It was fun to shower her with gifts and help them prepare for their Colorado move, and we can't wait for the celebrations to continue!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Five Books of May

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May was a good reading month as I finished up school and had some good stuff loaded up on the Kindle to read.

The Turner House was Leah's choice for book club in May, and I found it to be a fascinating character study of an African American family in Detroit during the housing market collapse. It is not dense in plot, so I often found myself wondering if something was going to happen but not much does. There are some elements of the supernatural, and it was a National Book Award Finalist. And I'm not surprised.

Booked is the second book written in the style of The Crossover, Kwame Alexander's Newberry winner that I read and loved last year. He does these books so well with just the perfect combination of soccer, middle school drama, family, and beautiful words. My mom just read The Crossover, and they are both fantastic. I'm for sure adding this to the list of options I'm going to give teachers this fall when they pick new books for their classroom libraries.

The 19th Wife is a blended story about Mormon polygamists in Brigham Young's time and modern day. It can be a bit creepy, and it sometimes was a bit much to read in the middle of the night while nursing Rebecca. It also was approximately 100 pages too long. The historical part follows a real woman who left the LDS church after she was tired of being one of Brigham Young's wives (maybe the 19th?). She's interesting, but her sections were just a bit much. If this topic interests you, I still cannot forget Under the Banner of Heaven that I read about ten years ago. I was on a road trip with my mom and read many of the passages aloud to her as we went, and it stuck with her too!

Kate picked out Circling the Sun for the Kindle, and I had myself convinced it was not a real person as I read (and loved) this historical novel set mostly in colonial Kenya. I think I was just not paying attention because Beryl Markham most certainly was a real person and fascinating. It's an easy read but well done. If you read and enjoyed The Paris Wife about Hemingway in Paris, you should follow up with this one. It takes you to a whole new time period and setting!

I subscribed to the email list over at Modern Mrs. Darcy for her daily Kindle deals and have only made two purchases so far. As Kip says, how much money is this really saving us if you just buy more books? So I'm trying to be really picky.

Crenshaw is sitting in my office at school so I snagged it on the Kindle on sale for only $1.99 a couple weeks ago. Katherine Applegate pulls on all the heartstrings with this one. The main character is a fifth grade boy whose family is on the verge of being homeless...again. There are flashbacks to the first time it happened, when he was a first grader and they lived in their van for several months. I read it in a single day, and I think it would be a good read for elementary kids and maybe our sixth graders who tend to love Katherine Applegate's book, The One and Only Ivan. The subject matter is tough, but it's so well done. I read it in a day and highly recommend.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Four Generations at Memorial Day.

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It's no secret that my husband loves to be outdoors and that my family is so proud of our roots in north central Kansas. Spending Memorial Day visiting my grandparents and staying on the farm was a no-brainer. Kip packed up his fishing gear to try some farm pond fishing, and we made the journey up on Saturday morning. Rebecca did great on the almost five hour trip up, and our first stop was to visit my grandparents in Superior, Nebraska. We had dinner at the Buffalo Roam in Mankato and enjoyed a quite evening on the farm convincing our baby to sleep in a new place.
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The next morning was perfect. Kip set out for some fishing, and Mom & I took Rebecca on a little walk before we met my grandma and Keith for lunch at the marina at Lovewell. We ate well all weekend, enjoying all the smoked meat at the Buffalo Roam and more barbecue at the marina on Sunday.
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Capturing four generations of our family together in a photo was important to me. We were able to enjoy ice cream treats twice with my grandparents - root beer floats on Saturday and ice cream sundaes with strawberry syrup Kip and I made last year. It was totally on accident - we had jam that didn't set (it was my fault!) so we relabeled it as delicious syrup. We talked plenty of baseball with my grandpa - it was the weekend of the Royals amazing come from behind wins at home. On both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Kip and I drove around the farm while Becca snoozed in the back seat listening to the Royals come back in fantastic fashion, high-fiving after every run!
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Baby has a plethora of patriotic outfits to chose from to celebrate summer, and Memorial Day was the perfect day to break out the red, white and blue.
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As we got up to leave Monday morning, I insisted on a couple more photos. This is the first photo of the three of us since the Queso Crawl, and Becca is in the Solly in that one. My shirt is stained, I look a little tired, but I love it. The Lynch family as we were on May 30, 2016. Kip's wearing a shirt from our church, the old red barn is behind us, and it was the end of a great weekend on the farm.
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Thankful for our family that welcomes us each time we come, the "vacation home" on the farm we get to stay in, and a chance to unplug and be with loved ones for a long weekend.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Manhattan Weekend

 photo Blog_1270.jpgWe went to Manhattan May 13th through 15th so that Kip could try to hunt turkeys. He was unsuccessful, just like last fall when he tried to hunt deer. He always enjoys sitting in the middle of rural America by himself, but it was a bit of a bummer to have two seasons without much luck. He did go much later than he normally would have so that could have affected the outcome. But between our new baby and a couple weekends of sickness, that was the best we could manage in 2016!

Rebecca and I spent the time he was hunting with Grandma Karen, Grandpa Keith and Uncle Kenny. We met a friend for coffee on Saturday and took long Saturday afternoon naps as we tried to fight off the virus that was sticking around our family.
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I got in my head that I really wanted to take Rebecca's photo in front of Higinbotham Gate. Because it was graduation weekend and Kip was hunting, we waited till Sunday on our way out of town to take the photo. There was still a small crowd of graduates in a line, some even waiting to take a photo with their cap and gowns from the day before!
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Rebecca wanted to nap through the whole thing so she was definitely a little fussy about the interruption of her sleep. She was looking pretty adorable in a onesie with her name on it and a purple megaphone that you mostly can't see in the photos! Thankfully the headband that Rachel made her shows off some purple really well.
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A note for Becca: Rebecca, truthfully, we'll be really excited wherever you go to college in 18 more years. We just wanted you to know your roots and the place that Mom & Dad loved for very different reasons. Because Daddy grew up in town, K-State was his whole world. That's where Grandpa Lynch was a teacher. And your mama, grandma, Aunt Lu, and great-grandpa Lauren all loved going to school there too. We all love the football, the pretty blue sky behind the limestone buildings, and the kind Kansas people. So just in case you choose K-State too, we have these photos of you in front of the gate. We can recreate the photo at your graduation in 22 years. Or 23 if you are like your Mom and Dad (but hopefully 22!)