Friday, October 21, 2016
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
I know I'm bypassing Halloween temporarily, but don't for one moment think that I'm not pumped to celebrate that holiday first! But in the land of shopping, you have to plan way ahead. Waaaaay ahead. As in, we should really be talking Christmas right now (because if you don't snatch up what you want now, it will surely be gone when the actual holiday rolls around), but I'm not quite ready for that. Instead, today I bring you a little bit of Thanksgiving goodness. These are all some fun things that I'm eyeing right now. You better bet, those turkey candle holders are already mine! And the impulse buys have been out of control every time I step into Crate & Barrel lately. I imagine I may be adding a few more things to my home to make Thanksgiving dinner extra special. And can we talk about how copper is taking over the kitchen?! It's everywhere, and I'm actually really loving it.
So while you all should be a tad selfish and pick up some goodies for yourself, I really put together these items with the thought of hostess gifts in mind. I am firm believer in manners & old traditions. If you are having dinner at someone's house, and especially if you have going for a holiday dinner, you best have a hostess gift in hand! And what host doesn't love getting something festive for that particular holiday or season?
Sunday, October 16, 2016
The thing is... I was a having a real rough day that morning. Little things had been getting to me more, throwing me into the dreaded funk. Nothing had been going to plan. Naptime was cut short. I just wasn't feeling like my usual chipper and excited self. Conor & I talked about rescheduling our pumpkin patch visit, but it was really the only day in the near future that worked with both of our schedules. I called my mom on the long drive out to vent. Hoping that letting it all out, would help me let the little things go. And thank goodness, the moment we pulled up to the farm, I was excited & filled with joy. It is one of my happy places, and I was finally there with my little family!
We always go on a weeknight, because the place is practically empty. No lines. No crazy people to navigate around. And you all know how much I love going places at Sunset, but even more so in the Fall. Harvest sunsets are stunning. The deep rich colors & warm glow don't even seem real. And this particular night & particular sunset may have been one of my favorites.
Finn was much more timid than I would have expected. While he loves slides at playgrounds, he was not fond of the big haystack slides or the potato sack one. Liam practically ran laps doing the slides on repeat, but Finn was content to watch from my lap for the better half of them. And then he refused to ride the little train, so again he watched from the sidelines. His reluctance to join in completely surprised me and doesn't seem to fit with the rest of his personality, but I enjoyed the snuggles while we watched big brother have the time of his life. He did however love the corn box and could have stayed there all night!
So often throughout this night, I found myself just taking in the moment. Noticing the wild smiles & giggles from my boys. Watching Conor with them. Even though it's been a year and a half since Finny as born, I still so often find myself in awe of the fact that I'm surrounded by boys. My boys. And at times, I think that I'm just destined for boys. That it will always be this way, just with parhaps another thrown in the mix (not an announcement). I watched them play, noticing all the families all around us and remembering special memories from my own childhood. For our past is the foundation that we use to develop our own traditions & memories. Apparently, I was feeling all sorts of nostalgic and warm & fuzzy.
As sunset was nearing, we jumped on the tractor for a ride out to the actual pumpkin patch. Finn was nonstop smiles throughout the entire bumpy ride. All the boys wanted was more & more bumps! He could not have been holding onto Conor any tighter, but he loved everything about it!
Pumpking choosing is serious business. I'm such a sucker for the tall & skinny; yet, every year I plan on mixing it up. And then I never do. Liam was adamant that we need two big pumpkins and two small pumpkins, so the search was on. Picking pumpkins straight from the vine is of extreme importance to me, which is why I love this particular farm. I love that the boys get to see how exactly how the pumpkins are grown, and that they literally have hundreds to choose from. I think we picked some rather perfect ones, with Liam being able to barely, just barely, carry his own!
Another night that will not soon be forgotten. Liam had such a hard time leaving, knowing that we won't be back again 'til next year. And he will grow impatient as we wait until closer to Halloween to carve them. But gosh, it was a good night. And these photos are some of my favorites. They will help hold our memories to enjoy in all the years to come!
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
Day 2: Sand Dune Arch Trail (Arches)
This was a roughly 3.5 mile hike that starts at the super popular Sand Dune Arch. Just as you would expect, tons of sand. We brought shovels & pails for the boys to play with here. I'm sure they could have spent a good hour or so right at this arch, but we were all excited to hike instead. The trail also takes you to Broken Arch as well as Tapestry Arch. The trail was mostly empty which we loved. Liam learned how to follow cairns (stacks of rocks that help you stay on the trail; especially over slick rock where it isn't obvious). This was our favorite "hike" within Arches National Park.
Day 3: Negro Bill Canyon (Moab)
Everyone's favorite hike! 5 miles round trip and enjoyable and stunning the whole way! You slowly climb up to Morning Glory bridge which is breathtaking & massive. You cross over a stream at least 9 times, which adds a bit of fun to the trek. While most of us managed to keep our shoes dry, Liam wasn't as lucky. But I'm fairly certain he didn't mind the jumping & splashing and try to do it all by himself. We did this hike at sunset, which made it particularly stunning. The rocks are lit up by the sun that slowly drops.
Day 4 Morning: Mesa Arch & White Rim Overlook (Canyonlands)
Canyonlands was relatively unexciting. Definitely worth a look & a drive if you have lots of time in the Moab area, but not a favorite by any means. The Mesa Arch "hike" (1 mile round trip) was super busy. Even a tour bus was there. We took this opportunity to let Finn hike the whole thing, since he always wanted to hike. The White Rim Overlook was 3 miles (I believe) and gave some stunning views. Also some scary views due to massive drop offs! If I were to go back to Canyonlands, I would want to check out the southern part of the park where there were slot canyons, but we didn't want to drive that far.
Day 4 Afternoon: Dead Horse Point (Dead Horse State Park)
We hit Dead Horse only because it is literally on the way back from Canyonlands. There really isn't any hiking to be done here. It's more of a stop, look, take picture, leave kind of place. Not worth the effort at all. It's the "grand canyon" of Utah, but again, not worth it. I'm sure it's something special at sunset though; so if I were going to go, that would be the time.
Day 5 Morning: Corona Arch (Moab)
Everyone's second favorite hike! It's about 3 miles roundtrip, but it's a tad difficult. There are safety cables at two separate spots to help you climb the slick rock, as well as a ladder. Those little elements made the hike exciting, and it just so happens to be one of the most stunning arches. Liam handled the whole hike just fine! I was constantly proud of his efforts & determination, such a good little hiker! You really earn your view of this hike!
Day 5 Evening: Mill Creek Canyon (Moab)
Our third favorite hike! Mill Creek is the local swimming hole, with beautiful waterfalls. Also super slippery rocks that almost make the whole thing feel like a waterslide. Why yes, I did fall in. And yes, I had my camera on me. But luckily, I somehow kept it inches above water before being able to hand it off to Conor! But first the hike in... You have to cross the stream twice, and when I say cross, I mean that the water will be nearly up to your waist. Fun, yet chilly; and obviously, the little ones needed to be carried over. We packed in beers, champagne, and meats & cheeses to make a whole little evening of it. And then of course, Conor had to start chatting it up with some guy who convinced him to climb up the waterfall and jump in. In the one small spot that is actually deep enough for that kind of jump. I did not approve, was getting somewhat angry, but he survived. So yay for adventuring!
Day 6: Delicate Arch (Arches)
This is the big one. The one arch that you always see in photographs. And it is pretty spectacular! But it's also super super busy, and the hike is relatively uneventful until the last few minutes. Again we had to deal with a tour bus, which made us all a tad grumpy. Lots of ledges & drop offs, so we had to keep the boys super close to us. It was probably their least favorite hike for that exact reason. Worth it for sure, but somewhat underwhelming; especially after all the other amazing things we had already seen!
Day 7: Windows & Double Arch (Arches)
We made these quick stops before leaving Moab on our last day. There is no real hiking involved, mostly just a get out and walk around it type thing. Super super busy & touristy. The windows were relatively unexciting in my opinion. Double Arch was actually a gorgeous, but it just doesn't have the same awe & beauty when you don't have to work for it. It's one thing to have hiked for over an hour, and then come around a corner to some stunning sight. It's quite different to just step out of your car and give a little "wow." But again, totally worth the stop!