Friday, November 11, 2011

I Love Fall!

The leaves are a gorgeous yellow, orange, and red. Anytime I drive anywhere I say to the kids "can you believe how gorgeous these leaves are?" Nate says "Why Mom?" I guess he'll really appreciate them when he's older. We are baking pumpkin cookies, pancakes, muffins, and eating pumpkin ice cream. The weather is brisk enough for light jackets and long sleeved shirts, and the crisp air smells magical. I LOVE FALL! I guess it reminds me of trick-treating in the snow as children and of family get- togethers coming up. I also love the warm, cozy feeling of being in my house bundled up in a blanket with a good book. Alas, now that we are a few months into fall, I definitely have some catching up to do.

At the beginning of the season, it was finally cool enough to go camping. So we packed up our 10 man tent and headed to Prince Wiliam Forest Park with our friends the Cranes, and some of their friends. All the kids got along great, and enjoyed finding sticks together, playing tag, roasting (and eating) marshmallows, and watching the fire. Nate and Kaitlyn loved their new sleeping bags, and once the settled down from all the excitement of camping, finally went to sleep. Us adults, stayed up and talked late into the night as well as sang around the campfire. It was a great way to welcome the new, crisp weather.

We spent Labor Day at Burke Lake Park with the Hunts. The husbands took the kids on the train and to the playground. While the wives went running for 5 miles around the lake. The weather was wonderful and it was a perfect day for a run and to spend some family time outdoors.

My baby moved out of her crib:( I guess she's not a baby any more, I'm in denial. The kids and I have been spending rainy days inside painting, baking, reading, and doing a lot of rough housing!

At the end of September, we went to Cox Farms for their preview weekend- only $5 a person and the best deal in town! We love that place- it has a hayride, complete with sound effects and a Disneyesque tunnel, barrel slides, haystack slides, and a huge dinosaur slide that you use burlap sacks to go down. They have lots of mini slides as well as farm animals and the best part, all you can eat apples and apple cider. As a bonus, you get to take home your own mini pumpkin. We went to another pumpkin patch several weeks later with Nate's preschool, but it wasn't nearly as good. Even still fall festivals are always a fun way to celebrate the new season:)

Here is Nate's preschool field trip to Clark's farm in Fredericksburg:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall is here! But first, let's do a little recap of the end of summer...

I celebrated my 30th birthday, yes, my 30th!!! I can't believe I'm already 30. I'm supposed to have it all together by now, right?! Well, maybe I can shoot for that goal by 35:) Andrew took me out for a nice Italien dinner using a groupon, and then to see Guys and Dolls and Wolf Trap, an outdoor theater. It was a perfect way to celebrate! My hubby is so good to me:) On my actual birthday, I got a sitter so I could get a mani/pedi, new clothes, and new running shoes. It was definitely relaxing and I highly recommend it. That evening, we went out with the kids and then came home for a homemade icecream cake- half PB and chocolate and the other half mint and chocolate. What a perfect way to celebrate my 30th:)

The kids and I kept busy by going to lots of playgroups, including an awesome splash park, Burke Lake Park, which has a cool train and carousel, Pirates Cove again, and the lake and pool.

My cute, crazy kiddos:

KK let me french braid her hair!

The kids' favorite pasttime is trying on our shoes!

KK loves to put as many "headbams" on her head as possible
Nate did this puzzle all by himself with no help (the 2nd or 3rd time!)

The kids and their "Dora backpacks" from a birthday party, and of course, KK in her sunglasses- she's obsessed!

Later in the month, we went to OBX with our good friends from Maryland, the Murphys. We had an awesome week with great weather and enjoyed laying out in the sun, swimming to our hearts' content, playing games and watching movies late into the night, and we even enjoyed a date night sponsored by Court's mom- she watched the kids and paid for dinner- she was great and the kids had to fight over who got to spend time with her. We stayed in Corrolla in a resort community, complete with great sidewalks to run on (Court and I were both training for the Ragnar), lots of swimming pools, a tram service to and from the beach, bbqs, movie nights, and a 5k. We wanted to do the 5k, but Hurricane Irene cut our trip short and they evacuated everyone the day before it was supposed to happen. We were a little rebellious and went to the beach the day they evacuated tourists. It was gorgeous weather and we just couldn't leave! Besides, by the time we left that night, there was no traffic so it was a win-win:) It was a perfect vacation, and we were all well rested by the end of it.

Our beach house! (j/k-next year?)
This was really our beach house. It was cute and quaint and had an amazing master bath!!
waiting for the trolley to the beach!
the kids loved the tram ride everyday and it was a nice way to get to the beach!
our cool set up
I got lots of good R&R!
so I looked like this most of the vacation!
This is how KK liked to relax at the beach

Nate tried the boogie-board one day, and actually got a few pretty impressive waves, but the next day he wasn't even interested.

KK thought boogie boarding on the sand looked a little less dangerous than in the water
Grandma playing with the kids

Andrew turned me into a mermaid!

Walking to the pool

KK thought the goggles were a new, cooler form of sunglasses...
so she wouldn't take them off,

not even at home!

Spencer and Nate (and buzzes) enjoying their ice cream. They were best buds, it was like we never left Maryland:)

Sammy leading the kids in "We're going on a bear hunt"

My favorite time was early morning when the tide was low and we could collect shells. We even saw some dolphins!

Nate thought the raft looked a little less dangerous than the boogie board!
Nate loved every minute of the beach!

We found a cool lighthouse on our date
after our date night- we went "restaurant hopping" and then came home to settle in for a good movie, "Soul Surfer", while the kids were sleeping

Here are the kids at the popcorn place we went to on our date, we took them back the next day
sporting my new hat!

kk sporting her new glasses!
All good vacations must come to an end sometime- the kids played so hard everyday that this is typically how they looked on the way home. Thanks for such a great vacation Murphys!!!!