everything is figureoutable



How are you all doing with back to school?

I am tweaking a lot this year and it looks a little something like this:

Wake up before the kids. like an hour before them. this gives me time to make a pot of coffee, drink it (haha … i wish i was kidding), and check my phone from the night before (I don’t keep it in the bedroom and I go to bed early).

The kids’ backpacks are on the floor in a row with anything else they need that day (shoes, snack, water bottle).

They are responsible for filling their water bottle and putting their shoes on without yelling, “I can’t FIND my shooooooooes!”

Then I take them to school, work out (with the baby so not sure I should say work out as much as it is walking and picking dandelions or doing sit ups with avery giving me wide open slobbery kisses when my head hits the carpet), and then the rest of the day is a blur of laundry, errands, all things baby related, etc. Very important and exciting, I know.

Get kids after school and have DINNER. This is the biggest tweak. They are starving after school and want to eat, eat, eat.

Since Rylan doesn’t make it home for dinner with us, eating early doesn’t hurt anything and it makes the late afternoon and evening so much more smooth.

Yesterday it was sloppy joes in the crock pot, the day before baked french toast (horrible recipe, mind you). Whatever I can make ahead and have ready.

Then we can do homework, take showers, play, get the baby to bed (worst time of day as you know), and I don’t have to worry about dinner, too.

The kids getting enough sleep has always been my thing as a mom. I’ve got great sleepers and I think it’s because I am a bit of a hard ass about bedtime routines.

There is a sleep chart blowing up all over FB about how much sleep kids need.

Claire goes to bed at 7:00 and Caeden at 8:00 which is right on par, thank goodness. (Sometimes I wonder as it is still light out when Claire closes her eyes…)

Then I to go to sleep at 8:01 like an old person.

Anyway. The whole ‘eat after school’ thing is really working great and wanted to share just in case your kids stuff themselves with junk after school and then don’t eat dinner later (like mine last year).


p.s. Tomorrow I will list all of Claire’s Matilda Jane size 6 on FB. Her size 2 and 4 sold out in an hour or so. Such cuteness!

My profile is https://www.facebook.com/valerie.koop


claire + second grade



We might be the last kids in the country to not be in school yet …

And just like every year, I take back to school pics a few days early because the morning of is usually so chaotic and the kids are nervous and not in the mood for pictures.


Here is bear in her favorite school dress.

Second Grade on Monday.

Her teacher is a doll and I love her already.

Here’s to my baby girl looking so grown up.


it’s a choice





16 months | daily life



loves to sweep, mop, and dust

loves when i sneak him the leftover Nutella off of the butter knife when making claire a sandwich

loves to be outside and tries so hard to keep up with the big kids

loves to play peek a boo, hide and seek, and roll the ball

likes to be naked and will run as fast as he can away from me if he sees me coming with a diaper

doesn’t speak a lot of words, but will say “hi” and “yeah!”

loves his daddy and chooses him over anyone else in the room (including me!)

gives hugs and kisses to us all day everyday – he is the biggest snuggle bug

is my sweet little boy, my sidekick, my fuss pot.

16 months looks like this.


ana | black hills children’s photographer | in the moment photography | family photographer


Little Beauty!