Hi. I’m Kate.

Photo by CaSondra Shim Photography

I'm a wife, mother, sister, and friend. I crunch numbers by day and drive tractors and hunt dinosaurs by night.  I love dark chocolate, red wine and anything to do with birds.  In my spare time I like to read, run, kayak, and snowshoe.  Hahaha, in my spare time what I actually do is fold the laundry, sweep the floor, and wonder who missed this toilet this time.

I started this site in December 2007 when my husband, Collin, and I were trying to start a family. Thinking (hoping) it would happen quickly I stopped drinking alcohol. This may not seem like a big deal but you should know that we live in Wisconsin. Enough said, right? Since I was no longer having a glass of wine to unwind at the end of the week My Merlot became that release.

Like many things in life, our journey to parenthood was not exactly what we expected, but after several months, numerous doctor appointments, and a round of fertility drugs, we received the good news.

Since that time our family has grown from two to five.  Six, if you count the 120 lb dog, and you should because she takes up more room than any of our three boys (and makes just as big of messes!)

On December 11, 2011 we lost everything in a fire that destroyed our home.  I debated mentioning this here and ultimately decided yes, it is a part of who we are.  This experience has affected us, both good and bad, in innumerable ways.  Without being overly dramatic, it feels as if the trajectory of our future was forever changed on that cold December night.

Welcome to My Merlot.  Pull up a chair and take a seat; I'm about to pop open a bottle of wine and we'd love for you to join us.  This is our story.


the boys.

Keaton Bruske
born in December 2008
Photo by CaSondra Shim Photography
Keaton is an active little bugger who would spend all day outside if he could. Sometimes we let him because the screaming that ensues when it’s time to come in probably frightens the neighbors. He loves to tell stories, most of which involve deer, bear, or wolves. He is serious, an extremely hard worker, and has his Mama’s temper. He’s known around here as Keats, Keaters, The Stink, Stink-a-Link, and Bruske – yes, like the beer. Keaton's birth story can be found here and the story behind his name is here.

Hutton Andrew
born in June 2010
Photo by Natural Intuition Photography
Hutton is blue-eyed, curly blonde-haired, and full to the brim with spunk.  He's a thrill seeker and we are shocked that we have yet to take him to the ER. He is sure of himself and he knows exactly what he wants, which is a nice attribute until it's something he's not allowed to have. Hutton is also a lover, always the first to give in and give back in any brotherly fight, and he is focused and orderly, lining everything up in rows.    He’s known around here as Hutt, Hutty, Hutton Button, Bender Boy, and Frank the Tank. Hutton's birth story can be found here and the story behind his name is here.

Nolan Hank
born in May 2012
Photo by CaSondra Shim Photography

I once read an article that said a pregnant mother can usually define the personalities of their children using just one word - with Nolan I chose "goofball" and this sums up his personality perfectly.  Our third baby is such a ham.  Nolan's arrival was the bright spot in an otherwise difficult year.   He is adored by his big brothers and it's understandable why, he's pretty hard not to love.  His laugh is infectious and his checks engulf his face when he smiles.  But he's busy, oh, he's busy.  Crawling, pulling himself up on everything, and making mess after mess.  He's known around here as Nonie, Nolie, No No, Rollin' Nolan, and Little Buddy.  I have yet to write Nolan's birth story or the story of his name.  I will get on that.  One of these days.

You can contact me at katekono AT gmail DOT com.