My Nautical Baby Shower

I’m seriously the luckiest girl in the whole wide world to get to have these amazing baby showers thrown for my little guy! This post is about my nautical themed shower thrown by my best friend, Amie! Her attention to detail was impeccable, there were things I missed in person that I only just now noticed looking at the photos!

Of course, she didn’t do it alone… I’m so thankful for all the girls who helped her plan, craft, and set up that day! And to her hubby for his help in “crafting” and her mama for watching her kiddos and more!

Every corner of the backyard was decorated, it was truly amazing!

This backyard may look familiar to you if you’re a long time reader…  it has graciously hosted many the event, such as Brittany’s lavender bridal shower and Amie’s cherry blossom shower.

Of course, we have to start with the invitation. Amie found these PERFECT invites on Etsy… but she let me address the envelopes! I was so excited to get to help in this small way!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Invitation

Isaiah’s nursery is nautical themed so Amie used his room as inspiration for colors and the overall look. But she took is so far above anything I could have dreamed of. View her Pinterest board here.

When you walked up to the house, this table greeted you! Each guest was asked to leave me a message with words of encouragement as I enter motherhood.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Entrance

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Message in a Bottle

Once I got into the backyard, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. There was so much to look at!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower

The tables were each set with a different centerpiece…

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Behind the guest tables, sat the gift table and this amazing fabric banner.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Gift TableSams Nautical Baby Shower Isaiah Banner

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Mom to Be ChairSams Nautical Baby Shower Trees

But before you got to the guest tables, you had to walk by this darling drink table! Some of these decorations are from my office and Isaiah’s room too!

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Sams Nautical Baby Shower Shipwheel Decor

Some of my favorite decorations though were under the pergola where the food table was… which by the way, the food was amazingly delicious!!

Amie’s husband BUILT the boat centerpiece. It was incredible.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Food Table

How cute are these little boats that hung above the pergola! I’m still trying to think of a way to hang the garland in his room because they are just so cute and perfectly rustic!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Boat GarlandEach food item was labeled with a message in a bottle. These were just too cute! Creative! And Crafty!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Food SignPlus the main entree of chicken salad croissant sandwiches were made to look like crabs. Cuteness overload!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Food Crab CroissantSams Nautical Baby Shower PlasticwareA table was set up for some of the games… guessing how many “fish in the sea” and a ladder was set up with family photos to guess who is who.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Game How Many Fish in the SeaSams Nautical Baby Shower Game Who is WhoSams Nautical Baby Shower Game Who is Who Instructions

A lot of the graphics were revised by my friend Courtney from a set I bought off Etsy here.

Guests that brought diapers (THANK YOU!!!) were entered into a drawing for a prize. The saying on the tickets was so perfectly themed.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Diaper Raffle

And lastly, the shower favors were homemade bath salts! Amie bought this container of Epsom salt from Hobby Lobby and then followed the instructions, like adding essential oils to the salt, to make the bath salts.

Sams Nautical Baby Shower bath Salt Favor

Sams Nautical Baby Shower mantel Decor

Thank you so much to my hostess with the mostest, my Amie Belle! You really outdid yourself! I couldn’t be more thankful for such a perfect day to celebrate my son!

Sams Nautical Baby Shower Hostess Amie

And a big thanks to all my friends and family that attended. My boy is so loved and I couldn’t be more appreciative for each and every one of you!

 

Two Month Old Isaiah

Sam Allen Creates Handlettered Isaiah Baby Two Months

In a blink of an eye (definitely less than 40 winks), my little 6 pounder of a newborn has magically transformed into a (over 9 pound) happy and smiling 2 month old who is chunking up all over the place!! His little scrawny arms and legs are gaining “biceps” and rolls. They may be tiny, but they are on their way to be mighty!

His second month of life was just as interesting as the first… the best part was getting to see our sweet baby look us in the eyes and light up with a smile. I thought I had got all those hormonal cries out of my system, but the first time I saw my babe smile at someone (great grandma Carol!), I just about bawled my eyes out. I love to see the joy our boy brings to so many people. It’s truly amazing and I’m so lucky to be this boy’s mama.

Isaiah 2 Months First Smile Documented

The worst part of the month was finding out at his one month checkup that he may have pyloric stenosis… after he vomited ALL OVER the doctor’s office. We had to get an ultrasound straight away… but thankfully all that came back fine and the doctor determined that Isaiah has GERD. However, Isaiah’s mama thinks that all this is quite an overreaction to a one time vomiting incident…

ANYWAY, all that to say…. this month can be viewed in 2 parts. The first half was dealing with a very fussy Isaiah, but that second half of smiley Isaiah made it all worth it. We got through the worst part of the month which only left some amazing and fun weeks to be had. Not only does Isaiah give us some big gummy smiles, but he makes these cute little “laughs” when he gets excited and he kicks his leg like he’s running to catch one last ride at Disneyland before it closes. My heart just bursts at the thought of it. Everyone said the first 6 weeks were the toughest, but I had no idea how rewarding the time right after those 6 weeks would be.

Isaiah 2 Months Grin

Isaiah may have hated baths to start with, but once we figured out a good water temperature, he has grown to LOVE them. He’s just starting to smile and kick around in them, but for the most part he just relaxes in the water. He closes his eyes like he’s at the spa for the day. Just these past few days, we’ve even been putting just his legs in a partially filled sink to calm him down and it works like a charm.

Isaiah 2 Months Bath

He still loves to be outside. Another tactic to calm the fussy baby. During that tough 5th week, walks outside were my go to way to calm the babe. When he’s in my arms, he just stretches out his neck as far as he can and takes it all in.

One last thing to mention that Isaiah loves… his daddy. Only Andy can get him to sleep by singing and he gets the best smiles out of him. He just lights up for him. It’s the cutest and sweetest thing—even though I am SO jealous!

We’re still struggling with napping… we alternate between his swing, his carseat/stroller, and the Ergo during the day… but his sleeping at night in his crib has steadily gotten better and better. Just this past week, he has slept in 5 hour stretches to start! You guys, I slept for at least 4 hours in a row! It was AMAZING!

Isaiah 2 Month Crib

Our list of nicknames has grown… Peach Fuzz (one day you’ll have hair, baby boy), Wolverine (one day your mom will get better at cutting your ever growing and long fingernails), and Dad’s favorite: Bog of Eternal Stench (those farts of yours are LOOOOUD and boy do they stiiiiink!).

It’s crazy to think of those rough first 6 weeks now that we are on the other side. I already miss so much of it… after that first night where he slept 5 hours straight, I (deliriously) thought to myself, but doesn’t he need me more often than that?! I’m so thankful he’s growing and growing so well, but wow did that go by fast (edited to add, after I wrote this on Sunday, he only slept for 2 hours at a time all night so we’re not quite there yet :P). I can only imagine how quickly the months and years to come will fly by. So for now, I will savor his sweet sleepy cuddles, hold on to him just a bit longer while he fits snuggly in my arms, and wake up with a smile as I get up in the middle of the night when I hear him crying out for his mama (edited to add: I thought of my writing these words when he was getting up every 2-3 hours on Sunday night and it did help, thanks me for reminding me to love it ALL). Being this boy’s mommy makes me so happy, so blessed, and so overcome with a joy I never knew.

Isaiah 2 Month Cuddles

To the boy that has changed my life, my heart, and my soul forever… I will love you forever and ever from this time that you fit in my arms to the time you are grown taller than me. That day will be here before we know it, so from now until then, I will continue to cherish each and every moment—the crazy times and the wonderful—with you by my side.

Baby Isaiah’s Newborn & Nursery Photos, and Birth Announcement

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I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to have these photos done… I just can’t believe these are of MY baby. And they are just so darn cute. I love them all so much!

My friend Jess came over when Isaiah was 6 days old to take these in his nursery. We were in the process of moving and thankfully were able to have his very first room documented like this. To say we love the photos would really be an understatement, but what has also been tugging on my heart is the love from behind the camera. Coming from experience as an auntie/photographer, seeing how Jess saw my son through her lens and having it captured on “film” is just so special to me. You can read her own blog post on the photos here.

Maybe you all can help me pick which ones to frame because I really just can’t decide!

And please stay tuned to the end of the post where I’ve shared the birth announcement photos!

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The white blanket Isaiah is laying on here was knit by my grandmother… I love that little detail! (Rug is from Target)

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I mean come on! Look at those lips!

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We’ve been calling him Monkey Toes since the hospital… as he rested propped up on my legs in bed, he grabbed my bottom lip with those toes. It’s hard to tell here how long those little toesies are when fully extended!

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2 days after these photos were taken, we moved! His room was the last to pack up in hopes that we would bring him home to his first nursery rather than the new house. Thankfully, we had one very sweet week with him in our first home.

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I looooooved his nursery! It was and still is my favorite room in either house! Even though it is highly unfit for a child right now with some of the decorations… those will be removed in time though! Childproofing comes later right?

The crib and changing table are from Babies R Us. The crates (from Michaels) and the lumber for the wall (Lowe’s) were purchased as raw wood and then stained by my hubby and in laws before installing in the room. That wonderful mirror we stumbled across at Hobbly Lobby. How perfect is that?!

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The very next morning after finding out we were having a boy, we started pinning ideas for his nursery. My main focus was collecting art for a gallery wall. I was so excited to purchase art from some of my favorite artists that I’ve been following for years!

The two top prints on the left are from Handlettering Co. The “Skillful Sailor” print was actually purchased last summer in Montana! We had no place for it at all but loved it so much. Little did we know that less than a year later it would be the centerpiece for our baby’s nursery!

The far right print is from This Paper Ship. The far left map was purchased as a plain wood hanging from Michael’s and then I handpainted the map on it in gold leaf paint. The small knick knacks are from Hobby Lobby… Captain Hook and Neverland map prints are both from Etsy! Whew!

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Thank you Auntie Jess for all these photos and memories! We love you so much!


For Isaiah’s birth announcement, I really had NO idea how to get started designing it. There was a lot of pressure on me too (from myself) after having designed so many other birth announcements. I of course wanted to handletter on it, but with my writing being so girly, I found some smaller ways to add it without making it too feminine. Plus I hand-addressed all the envelopes so that was added fun! I really love how it came out, from the photos to the small design details. Like the compass and arrows on the back and the diamond shaped pattern that I traced from the rug in his room. I just love how it came out and I hope you do too!

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Notice the pattern on the far right side…? That’s traced from the rug in his nursery 🙂

Isaiahs Birth Announcement Details 1

Isaiahs Birth Announcement Envelope Addressing

I SO enjoyed addressing all the envelopes to mail these out. It was my creative outlet during nap times 🙂

And I loved getting to design my very own address stamp after crafting nearly a hundred for others through my shop. I went for a fully handwritten and whimsical design. Hopefully the post office can read it for any returned mail!

Isaiahs Birth Announcement Address StampIsaiahs Birth Announcement Address Stamp 2

The end!! This really could have been split into 3 separate posts but who has time for that!?

My Storybook Baby Shower

You know that feeling when you just want to burst because you feel so very loved. I hope you do. It’s such a wonderful, awe inspiring and humbling feeling. I had 4 very dear friends of mine gather together to throw me a baby shower back in May. And this was 1 of what ended up being 4 showers! Yeah, seriously, that loved feeling is just amazing.

Because of my extreme love of books, the girls planned a storybook themed shower. So perfect. And they got so creative with it. From book page banners to the book character themed matching game… it was so adorable! Even the food was themed after books like Green Eggs and Ham! Leading up to the day, especially the drive there, I just kept smiling thinking about it! 

Let’s start with the invites… they were so perfect! Designed by Etsy shop, PennyAnnDesigns

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I really wanted to start off with a full library for Isaiah so the invite requested everyone to bring a book instead of a card. Then at the shower, there were library cards for the guests to leave inside the books.

Storybook Baby Shower BooksStorybook Baby Shower Library Card

I think one of my favorite parts was this fun backdrop to take photos in front of!

Storybook Baby Shower Photo Backdrop

Or maybe it was the clothesline of baby boy clothes!

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Or maybe it was the dessert table… with my favorite Oreo pops! AND chocolate chip cookies! Yum!!

Storybook Baby Shower Dessert Table

 

Also on the dessert table was a guessing game that they creatively paired with the “Guess How Much I Love You” book!

The whole shower was so creative, I loved walking around snapping photos of the details.

Storybook Baby Shower Centerpiece

Storybook Baby Shower Hungry Caterpillar

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The favors were bookmarks that the girls let ME design! I was excited to get to contribute to the day since they were doing so much for us!

Storybook Baby Shower Bookmarks 1

Game time included a competition using play-doh make a baby and its bassinet and then a fun book character guessing game. I just love this photo of my mom holding the game board.

Storybook Baby Shower Group Game

Storybook Baby Shower Games

Then it was time for presents!! There were so many sweet surprise gifts and thoughtful handmade treasures. Our family is so loved.

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Storybook Baby Shower Group

Thank you ladies for hosting such a wonderful day!

Storybook Baby Shower Friends

And thank you to all who came and even just sent gifts. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you will ever know!

P.S. You can see my friend Jess’ post on the shower here. It was an honor to have her host a shower for me, she’s a master shower planner!

One Month Old Isaiah

Sam Allen Creates Handlettered Isaiah Baby One Month

Before I catch up on my (amazing!!!) baby showers, and his stunningly adorable newborn photos… I wanted to post about my baby boy’s first month—since today is his one month birthday!!

Our sweet little Isaiah William arrived 12 days early and we couldn’t have fallen harder in love with him. From day 1, we affectionately called him Squishy or Monkey Toes. And on the rare occasion when we would get a glimpse of his eyes at high alert, Big Eyes. From all his extra skin that is just waiting to be filled with chub, to his extra long toes that can grab your finger (or even your lip!), to those giant charcoal blue gray eyes… we love every bit of him!

We also learned quickly that he likes to fart, and loudly! One late night while I was nursing him, he let one rip and Andy actually asked if I was the one that tooted! Oh no, that was your son!

He loves to stretch out as big as he can go, throwing his arms up high over his head with a big arch in his back. He hates to have his diaper or his clothes changed, I just think he’s a little modest—and I’m okay with that! He also hated baths, but is coming around to them.

When he gets scared or startled, he really shows us his Big Eyes along with all the wrinkles in his forehead. We all laugh though as it is the funniest face.

We’ve made it through the circumcision, a clogged tear duct and have begun the battle with baby acne.

He flashes us those sleepy grins which sure makes me melt. I think he might even have a little dimple above his mouth.

He loves to keep us up all night long. He struggles to fall asleep because he just doesn’t want to miss a thing! He’ll fight us for hours just pushing his head up with his strong neck to keep looking around. And even once he falls asleep, he keeps on making noises that may sound cute during the day but sure are hard to sleep through!

He’s taught me that a lot can still be accomplished each day on just a couple hours of sleep and one good 15 minute nap. He’s taught me to get ready for the day before he wakes and to never ever procrastinate because you just never know how long that nap of his will really last.

He’s fought over by all the stream of visitors we’ve had. They all graciously pass him off but only with the hope to hold him again.

He loves to have his hands by his face, even in the womb, and ends up falling asleep with the cutest poses that his mommy has to document. Each and every adorable pose, which of course change throughout his nap.

Due to his jaundice at birth, we learned quickly that he loves to be outside to feel that sun on his skin and the breeze on his face. If he’s fussing, he’ll calm right down outdoors.

After spending the first week of his life in one house, we then moved to our new house in the same town. He’s spent every night by our side in his bassinet but just these past couple days—now that his new nursery is complete—he’s been sleeping in his crib. That first night, he slept better than he had in days… I just held him close after one of his late night feedings, crying, knowing that my baby boy has grown so much in such a short amount of time. He truly is my heart, living outside my chest.

My sweet Isaiah, my little love, here’s to the many more months and years to come.

Isaiah One Month

Maternity Photos with Janet Rayne Photography

I had the longest list ever of things I looked forward to doing while pregnant. Many of those came and went as I mentioned in my last blog post, but taking maternity photos was top priority.

So thankfully I LOVE THEM!

And a big thank you to Janet, of Janet Rayne Photography, for her patience on my unrelenting demand for the golden hour light—as you can see, she definitely delivered on that.

 

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Pregnancy Update

28 weeks pregnant

So apparently getting pregnant meant abandoning my blog!

I always thought I’d be one of those adorably put together pregnant mamas that took gorgeous weekly photo updates that incorporate the baby size fruit of the week with glowing light and compositions. Or that I wouldn’t bail on all other aspects of life except the things that *have to* be done everyday.

But I am so not.

Gender Reveal

I didn’t start taking weekly photos until halfway through the pregnancy. I am over 2 months (or is it 3 now?) behind in my pregnancy devotional and even further behind in my pregnancy journal. I get my shop orders done and anything outside of that for friends and family takes me forever and a day and absolutely nothing personal has been worked on like my daily lettering or THIS BLOG. Oh and the house basically became a disaster of clutter (I literally just finished unpacking from our big trip last fall this past month!). Oh and the bills that I have missed paying (multiple times) and the other random mail that I keep finding from December and January… I can keep going but I think you get the point.

Baby Isaiah at 17 Weeks

Having that awful morning sickness, from week 7 and on, left me drained and constantly behind.

But guess what? I LOVE being pregnant and am going to miss it sooooo much!

With a less than a month left to go, I’m already getting very sentimental about missing my baby bump. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to snuggle my baby boy in person… but I will miss this easy way of always having him near and knowing he’s safe. I’ll miss the pregnant happy glow and the sweet looks from strangers. I’ll miss feeling his crazy kicks and what can only be some amazing dance moves as he moves from one side of my tummy to the other in one fluid movement.

So now here we are, coming up on week 37… dilating and effacing away! Ah!!

Maybe the next post will be introducing my little boy to the blog world… or maybe it’ll be my maternity photos or the amazing baby showers. Expectations are out the window so we’ll just have to see!

Isaiah's Coming Home Outfit

Two Oh Fifteen

I totally missed the months where the reminiscing posts are made, but I still want to take the time to look back on the crazy year of 2015. It was a year I will never ever forget…

January + February

These months were so work-centric. Tons of overtime and I know I’ve shared so much of Etsy based stuff so I’m just rushing past this… if you don’t mind 🙂

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March

The month started off with a bang, just mere months after celebrating the BIG 1,000th Etsy sale, I made my 2,000th sale! And after that very stressful 2014 year of working a “getting busier by the month” Etsy shop while maintaining a full time job, I finally decided to put notice in at my job to be able to fully focus solely on my shop. Even though I still worked both for another few strenuous months, there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Your New Friend Sam Bubble Mailers

April

Following a weekend trip to Salt Lake City for BBQ, my best friend Amie and I with her little 4 month old, Hudson, in tow, we traveled to go see the missing piece to our set: our bestie Joyce in New York.

New York Amie Joyce Sam 2015

May

In May, Andy and I traveled up the state of California to the coast of Oregon where Rooftop BBQ took calls in every category at the Coos Bay BBQ Competition and won Grand Champion! We then drove from Oregon to Colorado (yes, we are crazy) to compete in Loveland, spending a few days at my aunt’s in the mountains where we got some rest and work done before the competition and the drive home.

Rooftop Barbeque Grand Champion Oregon 2015

Watercolor Envelope Addressing from Sam Allen Creates

June

Toward the end of June, one of my best friends from high school, Brittany (who you’ve seen around here quite a bit!), gave birth to her sweet baby girl. While I don’t get to see them very often and not even close to enough, I was so happy to take her newborn photos and get some extra cuddles in with the lil’ princess. More photos here.

Jeannette Newborn Photography Dana Point 811

July

In July, Etsy was at it’s peak. My full time job had finally and officially ended. I started working on my sign designs that as I know now, would end up being sold in Hobby Lobby (!!!!). One of my best friend’s wedding was coming up in less than 30 days so there was lots of painting, work to do and celebrations to have… and then we left for a road trip to Montana for my family reunion in which we flew back early for the wedding itself! Whoo!

Sam and Lindsey Newport Cruise

Sam Loves Buffalo Selfie

August

My beautiful friend Lindsey’s wedding was sandwiched right between our TWO Montana trips of last year. It was such a beautiful day and the wedding was a blast! I was so honored to get to stand up with her as she married the man of her dreams!

Lindsey Fogleminh Wedding - Melissa McClure

A week later, Andy and I drove right back up north to compete in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. In Wyoming, Andy won his second Grand Championship of the year and I can’t believe I got to be there by his side. I’m so incredibly proud of his talents and love when he gets recognized for his amazingness.

Rooftop Barbeque Worland Wyoming Fair BBQ Competition

September

This was our month to relax and recoup before the BIG trip to come.

Owen at the Beach, September 2015

October

At the start of October, we were already in the midst of our cross country trip that would be taking us to Missouri, Tennessee and finally to Florida before the long journey home.

In Missouri, Andy and Joe competed for Rooftop BBQ at the (Invitational and Open) American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City. They not only got some high trophies, including a first in brisket, but they also were awarded their first ever PERFECT score!

Rooftop BBQ American Royal

From there, we spent a couple weeks crashing at my cousin’s house (more on our time in Missouri here) before heading on to Tennessee where Rooftop competed at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg—winning another top ten call for their brisket (it’s really that good, seriously).

Before making the final trip east to Florida, we spent a few days around Nashville including a cave tour! I’m 5 weeks pregnant here… even though we wouldn’t find out for another couple weeks!

Cumberland Caves

November

The start of November 2015 is where we found ourselves in the midst of a brand new adventure. The morning of November 2, hours before we planned to tourist around Walt Disney World… we found ourselves excitedly staring at a positive pregnancy test. After so many years, it seemed like a lost dream. I’ll be posting more about it (soon), so for now I just wanted to share our first official family photo at the Happiest Place on Earth.

P.S. The photographer who took this for us was the first official person to find out about the pregnancy! Ah!

Allen Baby Announcement Walt Disney World

December

The last month of 2015 is a total blur as I spent the majority of the month in the throws of morning sickness… but we did manage to have a quick photo session with my friend Courtney and make an announcement about our little one to come!

Allen Pregnancy Announcement Christmas Joy

So all in all, 2015 was a pretty spectacular year!

xoxo

Luellen and Walkenhorst Family Portraits, Montana Reunion Photography

Hi there! As I recover from that crazy road trip of ours, I thought I’d share some photos from our family reunion this past summer…. my dad’s brother in law just turned the big 7-0! So that side of the family had me take some photos of the generations as a gift for grandpa Jim!

These were all taken around the yard of our rental house just outside Glacier National Park! It was truly a gorgeous place with an unbelievable view!

From left to right we have the Walkenhorst family with my cousin Katie, then my dad’s sister Diane and my uncle Jim, and then the rest of the Luellen’s with my cousin Tom…

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Grandpa with son and son-in-law…

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And Grandpa Jim with Grandson Jake…

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Grandma and Grandpa with the grandkids.

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Here’s my cousin Tom and his family who were our gracious hosts in Missouri last month!

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Later that week we took some more photos but of just the Walkenhorst side…

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And that wraps up our family photos from the trip… so fun! Next up, my cousin Jake’s senior photos!