Jordan and Kyle Rudolph aren't from Minnesota, but they call it home.
The Vikings drafted Kyle in 2011, and Jordan joined him in Minnesota in 2012 after graduating from Notre Dame. Since that time, they've become ingrained in the Twin Cities community and built a family.
Jordan and Kyle welcomed twin daughters, Andersyn and Finley, in October 2016; in January 2019, they became a family of five when their son, Henry, arrived.
The Rudolph family is deeply committed to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, where Kyle and Jordan opened Kyle Rudolph's End Zone in March 2018. From visits with the patients and families to spearheading fundraising efforts, the connection to the hospital is a family affair.
We caught up with Jordan recently to chat about her involvement with the hospital and get her thoughts on becoming a mother of three. We also asked for advice on winter play spaces and "must-have" items for new parents.
Q: You had the unique experience of starting out parenthood with twins; what was the transition like going from two to three when you welcomed Henry last January?
A: Honestly, going from two to three wasn't that difficult for us, and I think that is because we only had one newborn and not two. Bringing home one baby from the hospital made me instantly feel like I was forgetting something (laughs). I think having a baby during the offseason rather than in-season made it a lot easier, too. I had Kyle home 24/7 to help with Fin & Andi while I got Henry adjusted to life outside!
Q: I know Henry just turned 1 year old – Happy birthday, Henry! Have you noticed any differences in demeanor yet with adding a boy to the mix?
A: Oh yes, Henry is 100-percent boy and into everything. He is so busy. We barely baby-proofed the house for the girls … but this guy is another story. He opens every cabinet, door, drawer, toilet, etc. He'll be keeping us on our toes, that's for sure.
Q: We've seen the fantastic work that you and Kyle do at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital; how has having children yourself influenced your work with and connection to the hospital?
A: We love Masonic Children's Hospital so much. It means so much to Kyle and me. We are hoping that all of our kids see that and want to be involved as they grow up. It also just puts things into perspective. Having kids made me so much more emotional at the hospital. Those kids and their families are the strongest people we know, and we would do anything to just bring one moment of happiness or joy to each and every one there.
Q: I know it's probably hard to narrow down, but what do you most enjoy about being a mom?
A: I love seeing my kids succeed or learn something new. It is so fulfilling. They get so excited and cannot wait to show me. Seeing how proud and excited they are brings me all the joy in the world.
Q: Why do you feel it's important to connect with other moms of young children, especially fellow 'Vikings' moms?
A: We are all in this together. Making those connections gives you someone to get advice from, ask questions, vent, cry, [make] comparisons, [notice] differences, cheer on, etc. Connecting with Vikings moms is so important. The guys have such a crazy schedule, and this life is so unique; having other women to connect with is so fun and encouraging. The play dates make long days go by faster. And if anyone understands what you're going through … it's them.
Q: Winter weather can be challenging in Minnesota. Do you have any recommendations for fun, indoor play-spaces in the Twin Cities?
Q: And lastly, what are two or three 'must-have' items for new parents?
A: My must haves for new parents include a lightweight infant car seat (Nuna Pipa Lite), a great nursing pillow (Nook Niche) and a good sound machine! I think I could have a top-10 list – so this is so hard.