Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fall Festivities.

Since the first arctic front has come roaring in {and out again}, I guess fall is basically over- which is a shame, because it is my favorite and I feel like it was unusually short-lived this year.

Fall looked a little different with a newborn this year- forgoing more football games than normal and just generally sticking closer to home. However, we did manage to get to a few fall favorites amidst the transition.

Instead of your usual Punkin' patch this year we decided to venture to the Myriad Gardens for their annual Pumpkinville event and get our pumpkin fix. The bug absolutely loved it- she thought everything was so cute and it was great to have so many hands on things for her to enjoy. The birdie was content to just hang out in the wrap with Mama, while Daddy was the on site photographer and enjoyed tinkering around with the bug too.

The pumpkin in the middle was the 1st prize winning pumpkin at the OK State Fair-
weighing in at 310 lbs!

Hay maze- perfect size for preschoolers and toddlers.

This area was absolutely adorable! A perfectly themed vanity area.

This girl loves listening to her daddy explain anything. 

Goin' fishin'

Making pipe cleaner ghosts and spider rings.

I love how the bug loves her little sister so much already.

Awake just in time for a quick meal and change before we left.

Halloween in Oklahoma is always one of two extremes- very hot or very cold with hardly one in between (making costume planning an adventure!). It just so happened that this was the year for the coldest day of the season yet to come, and the day the girls (Nana included) decided to go along with Ouma's class to the Orr Family Farm. If it weren't for an extra coat to act as a blanket, extra hands from grandmas, and the sun finally deciding to show its face, this mama would have pulled a 180 and called it quits for the day. Mama panic set in when I had my almost 2 month old in the cold and crazy Oklahoma wind trying to catch her breath in between gusts, making me feel like I had made the wrong call. But, once we got settled with the aforementioned accommodations (the first being the coat going over the wrap and covering baby), she was probably the warmest and coziest of the bunch. Phew. What ended up causing initial stress ended up being a lovely day with some of my favorite girls. We even got to hit up the new-ish Dairy Queen on our way back home, Nana's treat.






That evening for the Big Event, Ouma and Oupa came over for some dinner and to help out with the trick or treating. They stayed with little bird while Mom and Dad got to trick or treat with our big girl. She loved dressing up with Mommy (we went as Tinkerbell and Peter Pan this year) and having some one on one time with both of us. I think it was good for our hearts and we love living the holiday through her. For us,  it is about pushing back darkness with light and hospitality- greeting our neighbors, dressing up for fun, and well, the candy part isn't too bad either. ;) 



Friday, November 7, 2014

September 2, 2014.

After a couple months of settling into life with two little ones and getting back into the groove of watching another kiddo or two most weekdays, I am ready to start posting again. I have wanted to write this post from time to time, but let's face it- when you are in the newborn phase of your life any down time you have is devoted to rest of some kind or you know, showering.

My writing also tends to come when my heart is yearning to remember and today is a day of remembering. It is the anniversary of my dad's passing and with each year I try to push back the sadness and choose to reflect on the life since then that he would be proud of and love. I choose to honor him by writing about and celebrating life.

September 2, has come and gone, but is still vivid in my mind- the emotions, remembering the physical and mental aspects of what my body went through that day, all to bring in our second beautiful and perfect baby girl into the world.

The details of that day are intimate moments that I share about when asked and some that only my husband (and if the medical staff remembers me) know. I chose to go as natural as possible, despite the fact that I had to be induced. It was hard. It was painful. I almost and basically did give up and gave in, but the Lord knew better. I did it and it was worth it. Recovery was better in every aspect- physically, emotionally, and mentally. And now I get to enjoy the fruits of that labor.  I get to admire the beauty of what was created for our family through the frustrations, the mess, the joy, and the learning of loving another little person.

Nataly Paige, our little birdie, we are thankful for you. We are thankful for the journey we had to meet you and we look forward to the journey ahead. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014


A little over a month ago {that seems to be the trend on when I update lately...} we went on our last "hurrah" trip before baby #2 to STL. It was my home away from home most summers growing up, and now that my grandparents and aunt/cousins no longer live there, I still have an excuse to soak up the gateway city- Adam's brother, Gareth and my best friend, Hilary and her husband currently live there.

The hubs and I have been up there 3 times since we have been married- in fact on 2 of our 3 trips I have been pregnant- we just didn't realize it yet on the first one.  The first and third trips were also planned around the fourth of July holiday, while the middle trip was a spring break trip last year just shortly after the Bug's second birthday.

The 4th of July celebrations in STL are probably some of my all time favorite things- there are a lot of free activities {including concerts by major artists} and most things you pay for are still pretty reasonable according to the Oklahoma standard. My heart drifted to memories with my family growing up from time to time, but this trip was pretty special because I got to introduce Adam's mom- "Ouma" and the bug to my favorite time of year, and we had pretty perfect weather to go with it! It was in the 70s for most of our trip -summer in STL is usually hot and humid like in OK- minus the glorious wind, so the weather was a wonderful gift for a 7 month preggo.

With MC being a bit older this go around, we were able to really enjoy a lot more sites and activities with her. The highlights included The Magic House {a children's museum in my dad's home suburb of Kirkwood, MO} and Grant's Farm {an interactive farm owned by the Anheuser-Busch family that dates back to Ulysses S. Grant}, a trip down to the new Ballpark Village around Busch Stadium {no Cards game this go around, unfortunately, but it was still great to see the park}, Ted Drewe's for some famous frozen custard, and last but not least our little girl's first fireworks show. All in all- a fun packed 5 day getaway, spent with family and friends- just what we needed in our summer.

The Magic House

I swear that MC would have stayed her all day if we could- by passing lunch even- to play and explore. There are things to do around every corner and in every nook and cranny, plus a garden and water area outside as well. It is truly a child's play land (plus- lots of fun for grown-ups too!)

Grant's Farm

Grant's Farm {as I mentioned above} dates back all the way to Ulysses S. Grant. The Anheuser-Busch family now owns it and they have kept the charm {with of course some modern amenities}. So, just pay $12 to park and you are in to enjoy the whole farm- tram, shows, etc. {and 2 complimentary beer samples  a piece- as is custom for anything sponsored by Budweiser in STL}. There are a few things that cost extra- feeding goats and of course food, but overall not too bad to get a farm experience for the price of parking and no individual admission. They even have a few exotic animals like elephants and tropical birds.

However, on the day we chose to go {the day before the 4th of July} it seemed as if the entire city of STL and its visitors had the same idea. So, after about 2 hours of waiting in line in the car to get in to the park itself {and witnessing a car accident} we made it to the park. {We were so thankful that the bug was more patient and content than the grown-ups in the car. }Once we were inside though, we soaked it all up- goats, clydesdales and all. The hubs even got to go down on stage during the animal show to hold a really, really large snake and MC got to ride a carousel for the the first time.

Ballpark Village and the 4th

We didn't get to take in a Cardinals' game this trip, but we got to participate in the next best thing- going to the new addition around the stadium, Ballpark Village. We got to try out their new restaurant, see the stadium itself, and just take in some St.Louis landmark/scenic views.

On the evening of the 4th we headed down to Forest Park where Fair STL was located this year. It is usually around the arch grounds, but due to construction it was moved this year. And, although it was a bit crowded {as to be expected} we enjoyed some free music by Bonnie Rait, Gavin DeGraw, and other artists, a tight rope walker, and of course fair food and fireworks. Plus, we got some more free entertainment from the littlest one in our party- who knew sunglasses and water bottles could be so funny?

and lastly {but not least}, some time with Uncle Gareth...We don't see him often, but MC absolutely adores the time she gets to spend with him {and of course, Amanda too!} He spoils her with books and reads them to her and she spoils him with attention. Such sweet moments. We look forward to his next visit.

Thanks again, STL! You didn't disappoint yet again- until next time...