Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Beginning of Fall Fun

Last week we were invited to go along with our friends to the Maryland Zoo, and it was a blast! When I told Noelle earlier in the week that we would be going to the zoo, she kept talking about it and couldn't wait to see the giraffes. She has also decided that she would like to be a giraffe for Halloween, so we are on the lookout for a giraffe costume. She loves watching her Baby Genius movie about baby animals and singing the song about baby giraffes being six feet tall- it's the cutest!
Beverly and I have been friends since before we had kids, and now we have four little stair steps between the two of us.

On Saturday we headed up to visit Luke's family and go to the fall festival in their town. There were a bunch of vendors and little fair rides, but the highlight was seeing Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Lyd. We hung out with everyone for a bit at Grandma's house before we headed over to the festival. The kids played Plinko, got balloons, and ate sticky lollipops. And once Jonah had had enough, we headed back- and, of course, Jonah fell asleep in the five minutes it took to drive back to Grandma's house. Since our van was in the shop up that way anyhow, I drove Jonah home while Luke and Noelle waited for the van to be ready.

Earlier that day after dropping off the van to get worked on, we had strapped Jonah into the infant car seat in the Fit to drive home. Technically he's a little bit too big for it, but close enough that we made it work. Well, on our way back, he puked up all the juice he'd had that morning and completely drenched himself and the seat. Poor kid was really upset, and as Luke was trying to take apart the seat so we could get everything washed, we decided it just wasn't worth it. The seat has already been expired for a year and a half, and we had decided we are going to replace it if we ever have a third. So now the carseat is sitting out on the curb ready to be picked up on trash day. The sentimental side of me is sad to see it go since both of my littles spent the first year of their life traveling in that seat- lots of memories! (But also, that seat is so gross and needs to be tossed!)

our little climber

With Noelle at school on Monday and Tuesday mornings, Jonah and I have had some fun one on one time. The last two Tuesdays we've made it to library time for the 0-24 month olds and Jonah has enjoyed the songs and play time. I remember the one on one time I had with Noelle and taking her to the library, and in general, it's just so adorable seeing all the babies crawling and walking around together!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Harvest Festival and Hershey Park

We've had some busy but fun weekends! And with October just around the corner, I'm sure we'll be adding even more fun with fall festivals and visits to the pumpkin patch.

Two weekends ago, our small town had their Harvest Festival. The day started off kind of dreary, but we headed down later on in the afternoon and wandered around to look at the vendors. They had a whole parking lot blocked off for fun kids activities that were mostly free. There were some fun farm animals that Noelle was quite excited to pet, and then we spent a good 15 minutes at the sensory tables that were set up. Jonah, of course, decided it would be fun to mix the rice, pasta, and sand all together.

This past weekend, we headed up to Hershey, PA for the day to visit one of my closest friends from our Grove City days. Amy has a 2 1/2 year old, and along with our husbands, we took the kids to Hershey Park (big thanks to Amy and Austin for getting us free passes!) I was nervous about how Jonah would do, thinking he wouldn't want to sit still long enough to go on the rides. I figured he would be trying to stand up while the ride was in motion, and could picture him being dragged around in circles as he fell overboard. BUT he did so well! The kids rides all had belts that pulled pretty securely across the kids laps, and I think he was entertained enough by the motion and scenery that he didn't even try to get up. Even though I didn't get a great picture of the kids actually smiling, Noelle did keep asking to do more rides, so I'm convinced she was having fun!

At one point, the guys took the kids on some rides while Amy and I went off and rode the Great Bear roller coaster. I don't even know the last time I went on a roller coaster, and it was so much fun! I screamed my head off and enjoyed every second of it! We traded off, and the guys went to ride a coaster while we took the kids on some rides. We finished up our time at Hershey with a tour of Chocolate World- with of course a free treat at the end. Noelle claimed that the tour was her favorite ride, which is of course entirely free and not even inside the park. The kids were both asleep within ten minutes of starting our drive home, and slept for most of the two hour car trip. A good first time amusement park experience for both Noelle and Jonah! And a fun time with Amy, Austin, and Micah!

Meanwhile, we'll be soaking in all the time we can get outdoors before it gets too cold!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Kristen and David's Wedding!

It's hard to believe it's been a week since we left for our long weekend in Dallas for Kristen's wedding, and now we're already settling into our new routine of preschool and MOPS meetings!

Last Thursday we took the kids and dropped them off at my mom's house. I bought a new hairbrush for Noelle since I hadn't had one to pack for her the last time we left the kids for a weekend, and she was excited about going to "Nanny's" and using her very own purple hairbrush. She was so excited, she was ready to head over to her house on Wednesday just so she could use it! We took the kids and all their gear inside my mom's house, and then nonchalantly said goodbye and headed off to the airport. Both kids were eating sandwiches, and thankfully did not cry as we walked out. I, however, had to hold myself together as we drove away!

(It's ALWAYS when Luke and I are both leaving the kids somewhere that I think about the fact that we still have no will in place should we die while we're gone!)

Once we got to the airport, we realized that this was the first time we were flying somewhere together since we've had kids- our last flight together was when we spent some time in Brazil with a group from our church in the summer of 2011. Everything went smoothly, and we got to Kristen's house around dinnertime. Her house was wedding central for the weekend and we jumped in to help with flowers, photo guestbook stuff, packing up the U-Haul that transported everything to the venue, and whatever else needed to be done.

We picked up Amy and Austin from the airport on Friday, and I have to say, it was SO great having that time with Amy, especially when Kristen was dealing with preparations and visiting with family and friends who had come for the wedding. I loved being able to catch up with her, and our husbands who have only seen each other a few times, bonded over music and general goofiness (#hashtag! #letsgetreadytobrumbalow). It was also determined that three of us and our husbands should plan vacations together! The entire weekend made me miss those sweet friendships we had in college, but I'm so thankful that we've kept up and still see each other.

Something also worth mentioning- whirlyball! I had never heard of this until this past weekend. It's basically a combo of bumper cars and lacrosse/basketball. I was skeptical and wasn't so sure about trying it, but when Luke, Amy, and Austin all jumped in to play, I decided to try. And I'm so glad I did! It was hilarious- to the point that I may have peed my pants a little! I was dying- I suck at bumper cars (really, I just learned that you turn the wheel all the around to go in reverse!), and it was too funny watching people race for the ball in their car and try to scoop it up. Such a good time!

Kristen and David's wedding was beautiful! It was held at the Venue at Waterstone, which had the perfect little "island" for the ceremony, and a rustic barn for the reception. Kristen did so much DIY, and every detail was thought out, down to a corner just for the kids to play in with a castle and all! The ceremony started at 6, which made the Texas heat a little more bearable, and the sunset was beautiful as we finished up pictures and headed in for the reception.

They had a lot of family to celebrate the day with them, and one of the details I loved from their ceremony was something unique they planed at the end. Kristen's sister-in-law to be made a chalkboard sign for each person in the wedding party to hold as they walked back down the aisle that said "Married for X amount of years." So when the ceremony was over, and I was walking down the aisle, I met Luke who was holding our sign that said "Married for seven years." Then halfway down the aisle, we kissed and the photographer snapped a picture. There was a sign for everyone who was married in the wedding party, each set of parents, and ended with Kristen's grandparents who have been married for 65 years! It was a great way to honor the marriages and to celebrate God's work in each of them.

Meanwhile, Noelle and Jonah got passed off from Nana and Grandpa to Grandma and Grandpa on Saturday afternoon. From everything that I was told, most of that went smoothly, and in general, the kids did great! It felt so good to pick them up on Monday and hear Noelle yelling that "mommy was home!" I definitely missed them, but it was also nice to be able to just have fun with Luke, and catch up uninterrupted with some of my closest friends!