The Minnesota Project: December

December was busy.  And with the cold weather keeping us indoors, and the holidays keeping us busy, we didn’t get to explore too many new places.  But we did get out- even it was just to visit our favorite haunts…

Capped off swimming lessons for 2016 (at the Ridgedale YMCA)- the boys really improved his year, which was fun to see.


Had an Ikea playdate/photo date with our fellow MN blog circle participants, Jo Davis and Emily Ockwig.  B/c who doesn’t love Ikea photos?!


I got to accompany Finn’s class on a field trip to the Mill City Museum.  (Checking out the river from the observation deck…)


Celebrated Max’s Young, Wild and Three birthday at The Little Gym of Edina (which is actually in St. Louis Park). Highly, highly recommend them for parties.  Max had a blast.


Made sure to hit up our faves, Brueggers and Target…


And of course we got to see Santa (at J. Arthur’s Coffee in Roseville). Max was pretty sure Santa was his new best friend (which is pretty cute considering he doesn’t associate Santa with presents- he just really likes the guy)!


Hope everyone had a great holiday season and a great end of the year. 2017 here we come! Make sure to follow the blog circle around to see what everyone else was up to in December.  Next up is the talented Jo Davis!


30/30 part 2

And here are the rest.  (Two posts in one week- first time ever!)

16/30: How we put our coat on


17/30: Flashlight reading


18/30: Mornings with attitude/New Batman mask


19/30: Max was here/Mornings are cold


20/30: Having Mommy take a picture of the picture on the phone so she can go back and draw it later (yup)…


21/30: Brothers out to dinner


22/30: Feet


24/30: Max likes snow


23/30: Coloring the picture that Mommy was told to draw


25/30: Don’t worry, Finn’s got it covered


26/30: Going to school/Walking home from school


27/30: Hot chocolate/Max adores puddles


28/30: First bike ride of the spring


29/30: “Whatcha lookin’ at, Mommy”/It’s hard work pushing Max up the hill


30/30: The thug life


10 months old today!

IMG_8808Things about Max at 10 months:

1. Kind of a giant- wearing clothes his brother was wearing at 18 months, and bursting out of them.

2. Almost walking.  We’ve taken a few unofficial steps, but give it a week or two…

3. LOVES to climb stairs, turn on the bathroom faucet, empty the dishwasher, and eat whirly birds (all things we’re not allowed to do).

4. Happy 99.9% of the time.  Such a smiley baby (except, apparently, in any of these pictures).

5. Has the world’s best big brother- who might not always be gentle and listen to cues, but tackles and hugs and kisses with the best of intents (usually…).



Happy 10 Months, Maxer!



a finn-tastic “four”



Finn’s fourth birthday came and went to much fanfare (naturally).  We’re kind of birthday fans over here, if that wasn’t obvious. Finn’s actual birthday was on a Thursday, and we celebrated at school on Friday, and his party was on Sunday, so we had (what he called) a Home Birthday, a School Birthday and a Friend Birthday.

Since Finn is a tiny bit into superheroes and costumes, we, of course, had a superhero themed party.  I wasn’t entirely sure what to serve at superhero party, so we went with a build-you-own hot dog bar, because who doesn’t like to build your own anything??

Finn's 4th Birthday(Photo credit:

And we had Robyn from I Heart Kids Art ( come and make superhero capes and wristbands with the kids… Which we then displayed in our photo booth.


Not going to lie, this was my favorite part… (how cute are they??!)

Superhero Pic Collage


Some more cuteness…



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Don’t worry, Finn didn’t forget about his other favs (TMNT).  They’re kind of superheroes, right?  His cake was TMNT and of course, he insisted on eating the fondant Leo head straight up…

Finn Turns 4-65 Finn Turns 4-63(Photo credit:

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Happy 4th birthday to my favorite superhero… I hope you always remain as fun, creative, quirky, and independently minded as you are right now!

a birthday look back

In honor of Finn’s upcoming “4 birthday” (and b/c I didn’t have a blog to post these pictures at the time), here is a look back on Finn’s first three birthdays.  As always, the pictures make it look much cuter than it was, thanks to my lovely and talented friend, Kirsten (, but hey, isn’t that what pictures are for??

For his first birthday we did a county fair theme, starting with a trip to the Steele County fair the Friday before (my parents grew up in Owatonna, and it was a must do every year growing up), and ending with a fair themed picnic.


Finn's 1st Birthday Collage

Finn1Party-125 copyHis second birthday was (naturally if you knew Finn at the time) an Elmo theme.  The kid loved him some Elmo.  This pic was taken about a month after his actual birthday, but is hands down my favorite pic of Finn…

VonRuden Fall 2012-51-2His actual party was an Elmo themed picnic (the beauty of an August birthday- we can always have it outside).Finn 2nd Birthday CollageFinn’s favorite episode at the time was Stinky’s Annual Birthday Flower, which we had to watch again, and again, and again (and again).  So Stinky came to the party too…

Finn Turns 2-48“Elmo loves his goldfish… his crayon[s] too..” (Try to get that song out of your head… you’re welcome.)

Finn Turns 2-43


Finn Turns 2-86Finn Turns 2-92

Finn’s third birthday was a make-your-own picnic “theme”, if you can call it that, (which you can read all about here: Finn’s 3rd Birthday), however he did request an Elmo cake, which he put his face right into and took a bite.  Somewhat fitting since he never really did much of a first birthday cake smash.  You gotta do it at least once, right?

Finn Turns 3-58

Finn Turns 3-65-2

I keep promising to scale back and have yet to follow through. Which means I have to do the same for Max… back to Pinterest!





mighty max is six months old (aka we survived half a year with two kids)!

So, yes, I was a little nervous about how two kids was going to work.  Pretty sure my second thought after we found out we were expecting was, “holy [bananas], what did we do?!”.  We’d finally gotten to the point where we’d found our groove with Finn- out of the baby stage, but still taking naps (in other words, perfect)- and we felt the need to alter that?!  Crazy, I know.  And yes, there are people that do it with two or three or four (or more) and survive, but I was sure that wasn’t us.  Thankfully, I was wrong (and no, I am not often wrong- ask my husband).  Max slid right into the groove like he had always been here.  Granted, we sleep a little less, and no one naps anymore, but I barely remember what it was like before he showed up (although, to be fair, that might be slightly due to the lack of sleep).  Max is a smiley, happy, sweaty, rosy cheeked, always busy, giant ball of fun with fantastic blue eyes and a great grin- pretty sure we’re gonna keep him.

Maxwell Patrick VonRuden Keogh: 6 months old, 19lbs, 6oz, 27.25 inches