31 October 2015

Happy Halloween from the Rockford Peaches

This was our first year dressing up for Halloween as a family, and I think we're hooked. A tradition has been born! When it came to brainstorming costume ideas, Andy gave me a "Let's go as the Wallachs." Noted: He was was going to need a little coaxing. The week before Halloween, we I narrowed our choices down to two favorites. The Rockford Peaches was the obvious winner considering I needed to pull together our costumes quickly, as well as provide an easy transition into costuming for my baseball loving beau. Marin was the other deciding factor.  I wasn't sure what she would think about the whole baseball theme, so we had Elsa on back up.  BUT, to my surprise, when she tried on her pink baseball outfit, she immediately jumped in my lap and yelled, "I WUV IT!" Well, that was easy.  
On top of costume fun, this year was especially great because Marin really GOT IT, the running up to the door, saying "trick-or-treat", etc. She is sometimes shy with strangers, so I wasn't sure how she would feel about interacting with so many of them.  But, she ran door-to-door with so much excitement. She spoke up.  She said all her "thank yous" (well, most of them).  Honestly, I could cry just thinking about all the joy and gusto on her face tonight. BUT, I'll refrain from tears this time because we all know the rule about that now don't we? ;)

28 October 2015

Tricks AND Treats for Toddlers

Happy Halloween week! We are having fun this year getting into this spooctacular holiday.  Since Marin is a little older and understanding more, we are taking a fun and light-hearted approach to Halloween, avoiding the scary side of things because, well, she is a kid AND you know, we want to help direct her mind to "things above." My mom used to make holidays so much fun for us, and I'm hoping we can do the same for our family.  So, here are a few fun and kooky, not-so-spooky, tricks-and-treats that we've been enjoying this Halloween.

- Oreo bats and ghoulish grin apple slices were super easy to make and Marin thought they were just the cutest.  I also think these "boo" nanas and these hot dog mummies looked yummy.

-At our last trip to Target and the library, we picked up this book, this book, and this book.  All keeping the light-hearted approach to Halloween.  I also thought this book looked cute.

-And as for Halloween crafts and activities, we had tons of fun bedazzling baby pumpkins. Marin has also LOVED these window gel clings.  We are talking tons of quiet and peaceful entertainment! I think they would be a fun activity for long car rides too.  We might do this activity with all our extra eye ball stickers from pumpkin decorating.  Ooh, and I also have a small bag of fake spiders that I picked up at Target, and I'm SURE there is an activity (or prank) somewhere in our future that will include those little critters.

Okay, I hear a little ghoul girl waking, so I am off!  Happy Halloween week, everyone!

26 October 2015

The Zoo + Owl-O-Ween + All the Birthday Parties

You guys, I'm pooped!  We started the weekend off with a trip to the Atlanta Zoo with Mimi and Papa, where Marin actually got to feed a giraffe. Amazing!  She hesitated at first and started to run away, but THEN in some burst of little girl heroism, jumped in my mom's arms and reached right up to that big, friendly guy. The picture makes me smile so big.
On Saturday, we went to two birthday parties that were SO much fun.  I'm sure Marin thought she had won the lottery because there were playgrounds, bounce houses, and sweets for hours upon hours.  By early evening, we were headed home, played-out and cupcake-covered, to regroup and change clothes before leaving for the Owl-O-Ween hot air balloon festival.  We were actually up in the air about going (unintended pun) but I'm so glad we went because it was such an amazing sight.  We walked around for an hour, trick-or-treated at a couple of the hot air balloons, then made our way home. That night after baths, I asked Marin what her favorite part of the day was.  Somehow we got distracted in conversation and jammies and I didn't end up hearing what it was.  But, as I was tucking her into bed, she reached her arm around my neck and with a big grin she whispered, "Mommy, my favorite part was hot air boons."  That little spark in her eye made all the trekking around seem like a magic carpet ride, so my mommy heart was bursting. So good.
Sunday was a bit more chill.  We churched, we grocery shopped, and we headed to the last birthday party of the weekend for our sweet little neighbor, Isla.   I love these happy, tiresome days with this sweet crew! Cheers to a great weekend and a slow, rainy Monday!

23 October 2015

Fri-yay! + Favorites

WE MADE IT! Happy Friday! We are so ready for the weekend.  Both girls had bad colds this week, so everything felt a bit like overtime. Sick babies wear my heart out. I'm so glad they seem to be on the mend though, just in time for a fun-packed weekend! Today we are headed to the zoo. On Saturday, we have two birthday parties and tickets to go to this on Saturday night.  It will be our first time going, so I'm pretty excited to see what it's all about.
Other than being so glad for the weekend, I thought I would share a couple other Fall-ish favorites I'm enjoying lately.

I got this pair of jeans from Old Navy last week for such a steal.  I'm still in jean awe about this purchase.  TRUST ME, amazing. Plus, they ride a little higher on the tummy which I love because I grew two humans in there, so yeah.

Andy, Marin and I just made these adorable cookies to get us in the Halloween spirit. They were only $3.99 at Target and were super easy and fun for Marin to get involved with. Plus, they turn out just as cute as the picture.

While we're on the topic of sweets, I sing the praises of these little pies every Fall.  And so I shall again. They are DELICIOUS!

I've been reading this book this month, and it is a breath of fresh air, so funny and engaging.  If you are a lady in need of a good laugh and/or a tender pep talk, this is your book. It takes all sorts of literary bells and whistles to keep my short attention span entertained and this has nailed it. SO very good.

Okay, so this is kind of a cheat because I haven't actually tried it yet, but it looks really yummy and interesting. I have plans for this and our dinner table. I will let you know how it goes.

I hope you and yours have a fun weekend!


20 October 2015

Sarah D Visits the A

We had one of the very best weekends! My good friend, Sarah, flew in Friday morning and stayed all the way through Monday which made for an extra long, fun-filled weekend palooza. There is something really special about this lady and our friendship.

I think the thing about a friendship, especially ours, is that no matter how long it has been around,  it seems to carry with it the spirit of where and when the friendship began. Sarah D and I met in middle school, when life pretty much still held the simplicity of childhood. We were silly, flirty, oddly comfortable in our own skins. It was before heartbreaks, jobs, and BIG responsibilities. Most of our friendship has been long distance, but when we get the chance to visit, I could swear those two effervescent teens are somewhere in our midst, even 20 years later.

I'm so grateful for her friendship and who she has always been to me. She is good, so good, like the kind that insists she'll hold your baby so you can eat your taco first type of friend. The weekend was tons of fun. We dined, we drank loads of coffee, we played with my babes, we laughed so hard we cried, we talked about life and where it might lead us in the coming year. Oh, and we threw some acro-yoga in our street clothes and a petting zoo in there too, just for good measure. We really do miss this bright spirit when she leaves. Until our next adventure, Sarah D!

12 October 2015

Apple Picking

Saturday morning we woke up to dew, white overcast skies, and crisp Fall weather. The forecast was reading a small chance of rain. Even so, we decided that after breakfast we would chance it and drive the girls to North Georgia for some apple picking. After getting everyone bundled, we were on our merry way, Andy handing me the keys to drive because he knows I love to drive just as much as my sixteen-year-old self did. The girls were a delight the entire drive and at every passing farmhouse, open pasture, picturesque overlook, or cow for that matter, I was showing my old lady stripes by turning to my comrade with "Isn't this just so beautiful?!" Hey, it was a pretty drive.
We pulled up to a bustling apple metropolis...and a really muddy parking lot. So THIS is how it's gonna be. There shall be mud. Onward.
We trekked our little bunch through the orchard, a very slippery, wet orchard. Andy taught Marin how to pick the apples, showing her that their origin does in fact precede the grocery store. The first one she picked on her own sent her flying onto the wet ground. The mud seal had been broken. We all laughed. Once our small apple bag was full, we played tag through the orchard then headed back to the store for fried pies. It was a short trip, but oh so good. Love this little bunch of mine, down to my very core. ;) 

09 October 2015

Decorating Baby Pumpkins with my Girly Girl

Happy Friday! We've really been feeling the October vibes over here this year. I think having kids has jolted me into finding extra value in all the festive things there are to do out there.  In the end, it just makes for tons of fun memories together, and in this case, memories over a little pumpkin decorating.  I think I've mentioned before that Marin "WUVS PINK!" She proclaims it at random through out the day, every day.  So this year I bought a bunch of $1.00 white baby pumpkins from Trader Joe's and some pink stickers, glitter, and other pumpkin bedazzling materials from Michael's for a little October activity with my girl.  It never ceases to amaze me how the smallest ideas can be such big fun. Whenever you can add pink glitter to a baby anything, you will come out winning every time. We had a blast!

08 October 2015

That One Time I Took our Kids on a Road Trip by Myself

Yesterday, half past breakfast and a quarter til Brite’s first nap, I started to plan the day ahead of us.  I didn’t have any pressing errands to run, no play dates on the books and Andy’s plane wasn’t due to land until late in the evening.  The schedule was looking pretty barren, SO I looked at my two comrades, “Ladies, road trip?” 

The same friends who came to visit last weekend live only an hour and a half up the road in Chattanooga, so I thought we’d give it a shot.  Sometimes you just gotta go for it, ya know? I texted Erin to make sure they were available for this long distance play date, and to our luck they were excited to let us crash their Wednesday. 

Within 10 minutes of sending the text, the car was packed and the girls were settled in their car seats.  We were pulling out of the driveway just before noon.  Brite was asleep by the time we got on the highway and Marin was pretty content to play I-spy and pretend we were characters from Frozen for most of the drive.  The farther down the road I got, the more confidence I gained that this was in fact a brilliant idea, me and my girls on a gorgeous day out on the open road.  We pulled into one of our favorite parks in Chattanooga just around 1:45. 

We spent a few hours with Erin and her kiddos, playing in the park and then at their house.  It was such a fun day and I was pleasantly surprised by how easygoing Marin and Brite were for such an out-of-routine kind of outing.  By 6:00 we were giving hugs and hopping in the car, so grateful for friends who love adventures too.

Marin and Brite were asleep within the first 20 minutes of our trek back, and just as I started to puff with pride for conquering such a big outing on my own, we pulled into stand still traffic on the highway. Can it just go with out saying that the ride home wasn’t quite the travelling perfection that existed just five hours prior.  Nope.  It involved crying and Marin throwing up all over herself and her car seat.  I pulled into our driveway with a half naked toddler, a screaming baby, and a minivan that smelled like vomit.  But, we made it! Me and my girls, doing the things that make our hearts alive (and exhausted and a bit feverish).  It might be a while before I attempt a feat like this with out Andy, but it feels good to know the three of us can spread our wings if we so dare.  And as I clean crevices I didn’t know existed carseats, I’m just positive that we’ll look back at this and say “Remember that one time…” which is a tell tale sign that whatever follows those words was probably well worth the, well, vomit in this case.  Until next time, friends.