Tuesday, December 30, 2014

pumpkin patch - times two!

So, we left off at the end of summer.  I guess that brings us to the beginning of fall!  

Our favorite fall tradition is a trip to the pumpkin patch.  Sadly, the Gardner patch that we went to for the first time last year, was closed for remodeling this year. So we had to break tradition just a bit and visit another pumpkin patch instead. We were feeling extra ambitious and ended up visiting 2 different places on 2 different weekends.  It was definitely a different experience than last year, since Lilly was actually able to participate and enjoy everything this time. (last year, we could barely keep her awake long enough to pick out a pumpkin...)

The first pumpkin patch we visited this year was at the Louisburg Cider Mill.  We visited this one by ourselves, on a gloomy Sunday morning.  Surprisingly it was still packed with people, despite the weather.

Lilly didn't waste any time, and immediately climbed a stack of hay bales.

She didn't want to stand by herself for a picture, so we got to document how tall both she and daddy were this fall. :)

One of her favorite parts was the corn maze.  I don't think I needed to say that though, the photos speak for themselves!

Her absolute favorite activity there was the giant slide.  Matt took her down with him a couple of times, and then she wanted to go herself.  And then she wanted to go again.  And again.  And again.  We had to drag her away from that thing!

After all of that, we finally made it out to the pumpkin patch.

We only ended up leaving with one small pumpkin - they are a little pricey for my taste!  

Once we got in the car to head home, Lilly promptly fell asleep. That, to me, is a sign of a good day. :)

A couple weeks later, we tried out a new patch in Spring Hill called Hickory Creek Ranch.  It was small, but not very crowded and had a lot of fun activities for the kids.  It was an unseasonably warm day - like shorts and t-shirt weather.  So funny to compare the pictures, with coats and hats in our first trip, and shorts and sunglasses the next time.

I didn't realize how hot it truly was that day either, and dressed Lilly in long sleeves.  Oops.  I really just wanted her to wear this shirt to the pumpkin patch...so what if I ended up having to roll her sleeves up! :)

This pumpkin patch also had a corn maze - which was actually a lot bigger than we realized!  We walked in, and thought it would just be a quick trip through, until we found ourselves lost in the middle with no idea how to get out.  Ha!  We did eventually find our way to the end.

We started a tradition last year of going to the pumpkin patch with Lilly's cousin Lexi and her family.  Although we weren't able to go to the same place, we still were able to go with them, and get lots of pictures of the girls.

We put the girls together on this little tractor ride thing, not really knowing what to expect.  The tractor started up, and promptly drove our children right out of our sight.  And then didn't come back for what felt like an hour.  We were all hoping that Lexi and Lilly were both on the ride when it came back...we're talking a 4 year old and 1 1/2 year old here, you never really know what is going to happen!  But they both came big with big smiles on their faces, so it worked out just fine in the end.

They also had a cool jumping pad, which the dads and kids really enjoyed.

Obligatory cousins in the pumpkin patch photo!

{last year's picture of the girls just for fun - my how they have both grown!!!!}

This one was just for fun.  The girls were clearly not as entertained by it as the parents were. :)

And I'll end with a little family photo.  We were all hot and sweaty by this point (not usually what happens at the pumpkin patch!), but it's an improvement over last year's family shot where Lilly is completely passed out. :)  This is also right after I randomly decided to die my hair...not a blonde for the first time in my life!  It looks way darker in this photo than it does now, but I think it's a nice change. :)

Next year we'll probably go back to our trusted KC Pumpkin Patch, assuming they're open for business!  I love our little family traditions like these, and can't wait to continue them as Lilly and Lexi grow up!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

{merry christmas!}

I know, according to my blog it's still the end of summer.  I'm working on that.  In the meantime though, I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!  From our family to yours.

Monday, November 10, 2014

summer fun

First of all, can I just start this off by saying IS SUMMER REALLY OVER?!?!  I am in serious denial.  It feels like just yesterday we were basking in the sunshine and putting the snow flurries behind us.  I can't believe it's already over!  

Anyway, this summer had to be one of the best I've had in a long time.  I'm sure this is entirely due to the fact that I got to spend it soaking up the warm days with my favorite girl.  We really jam packed a lot of fun into this summer.  The thing we did most though, I have to say, was head to the lake.  We've always been "lake people" - ever since Matt and I first started dating we've spent many a summer weekend at the lake.  I never experienced all of these outdoor adventures growing up, but for the past 8 summers I've learned the ropes and consider myself a seasoned pro at this point. :)  Now that Lilly is old enough to really enjoy all that going to the lake has to offer, we really made it a point to head out every weekend we could this summer.  I have so many fun memories to share from our various trips, but we all know how perpetually behind I am in blogging, so I thought it would be more fitting to just do a little summer recap, with pictures from all of our different lake and camping trips.  I'll warn you now, there are like 40 pictures in this post!  And they are actually all iPhone photos - I bring the big camera to the lake every now and then, but it's much easier to tote my phone around so that's where I end up taking the most pictures.

So, let's get this recap party started!

Our first trip this year was Memorial Day weekend, to the Moss family cabin in Warsaw.  This is where we go most often when we head to the lake, and where Lilly gets to clock a lot of quality time with her big cousin.

This trip is where we discovered Lilly's love for the golf cart.  I mean, look at that face.  Pure joy right there. :)  (also, look at that bald head and those tiny little teeth!  I can't believe how much she changed over the course of the summer!)

I was a bit worried about how she would handle the life jacket this year, but she actually did really well.  It wasn't exactly her favorite part of the trips, but she didn't complain and usually just fell asleep on the boat rides.

After Memorial Day weekend, we decided to get serious about this lake and camping business, so we bought a camper!  We found this beauty on Craigslist for a steal.  She was born in 1984, just like me - although I like to think I've aged just a little better. ;)

That photo was from the day we got it (just in time for Matt for Father's Day...) so it's been cleaned up quite a bit since then.  And it's made several lake trips now!

As you can see, Lilly approved the purchase. :)

Aside from our usual trips to Warsaw, we also made it out to Truman Lake a couple of times to hang with some of our favorite people - my friend Ashley and her family.  

Lilly is an excellent camp fire supervisor.  She will constantly remind you that the fire is hot.  Just so you don't forget.

For the 4th of July, since we were actually in town this year we spent the weekend at the cabin in Warsaw (the past couple years we've gone to Texas as you might remember.  This year, though, that family came to us for the week before the 4th, so we got the best of both worlds and got to see them and then head out to the lake for the holiday).

You may have noticed Lilly's extensive swimsuit wardrobe (and you've actually only seen 3 of 5 so far....).  I might have a slight problem.  But, come on, how can you resist?  Do you see how cute baby swimsuits are?!? I only actually purchased one new suit, the rest were either gifts or bought at consignment sales.  So, that makes it perfectly reasonable, right??  Right??

And of course, we were back on the golf cart not long after arrival.  We managed to get the whole family on for one ride, Daisy included!

Despite the looks on their faces in this next picture, both girls had a blast running around together.  They just didn't care to stop for us to take their picture!

We are usually up much earlier than everyone else thanks to miss 7am (but now that we have the camper it's not a problem!), so we spend a lot of those mornings taking family walks, or sitting on the dock drinking our coffee/milk.  

Along with learning to drive the boat...

We were feeling extra adventurous this year, so the moms all took a tube ride. Somehow I was nominated to also take one with the teenage girls before this.  Both equally entertaining, but completely different adventures.  The first time, I thought I was going to fly out at any moment, and screamed my heart out.  Then with the mamas, I just died of laughter.  

This summer we also discovered Lilly's love of 4-wheelers.  And by love, I mean OBSESSION.  She would ride on one of these things all day long if we let her.

We thought it would be easier to just teach her how to drive it so we didn't have to take her for rides all the time..... ha.  If only!

Besides our 2 usual lake stops, we added a 3rd this year.  Matt's parents are building a home in a lake community, so we also spent some time there camping and watching the progress of their house going up!  They have pools so we got even more water time in, which as you can see Lilly was not complaining about.

Her love of corn on the cob was yet another thing we discovered this summer at the lake.  She had it for the first time on this trip, and we never looked back.  I already knew she loved corn, but giving it to her on the cob?  Best. Thing. Ever. 

To add yet another destination to our lake passports for this year, we took a trip just the 3 of us (well, 4 if you count Daisy!) to lake Miola, just 30 minutes or so South of us, and camped for a weekend there.  It was really our first little family vacation, and we had a blast.  I think we'll add several of these little trips in next year, it's a great weekend getaway!

Not surprisingly, we brought corn on the cob for dinner. :)

Story time in the camper...heart: melted.

This lake had a swim beach that we spent a lot of time at, since we didn't have a boat to ride around on.  Lilly loved playing in the sand!

They also had a great playground. With baby swings!  I swear I had the hardest time finding these swings anywhere.  Am I crazy? Do they just not put these in playgrounds anymore??  Sort of a moot point now, because she does just fine in the big swings.  But still.  Drove me crazy this summer!

This next picture is one of my all time favorites...taken in the camper over breakfast.  My favorite part is our matching bedhead...ha!

As summer started to wind down, we made sure to get back to the cabin once more, for Labor Day weekend.  Lilly practiced her campfire supervisor skills yet again.

And we went on morning 4-wheeler rides.  Anything to entertain the baby at 8am when everyone else is sleeping. :)

Our last trip of the year was on one of the last really nice weekends in September, and we headed back to Truman.  Lilly had an absolute blast, and was cracking everyone up the whole time.

Apparently I was too busy laughing at her to take many pictures, though.  I did get this one of her giving Teddy a ride on the little power wheels 4 wheeler she inherited from Lexi.  Man does she love that thing.

Well, there you have it!  That's our summer in a nutshell.  We had plenty of other weekends full of fun, but it seems like we spent more time at the lake than anywhere else.  And I wouldn't have it any other way!  I actually got a decent tan this year, and Lilly discovered her love for several new things - the water, motorized vehicles of all kinds, corn on the cob...to name a few.  I am already looking forward to next summer when she'll enjoy all of these things even more, and hopefully be able to enjoy swimming even more!  Just to hang on to summer a little longer, I enrolled her in fall swim lessons at our community center.  We've had 2 so far, and she loves every minute of it.  I'm planning to enroll her in the next level for spring, and by summer time she should be ready to do some serious swimming!  I'm so happy she is turning out to be my little water baby. Especially given my addiction to child size swimsuits. :)