Monday, October 27, 2014

A Fall of Firsts

As we are nearing the end of October, I thought I'd do a recap of all of the fall fun we have been having lately. Fall has always been my favorite time of year, but experiencing it with a toddler makes things so much more interesting! We have been crossing things off our fall bucket list left and right, with the exception of the ultimate fall activity which is rapidly approaching. This year the tot will get to partake in the trick-or-treating festivities, and I am so very excited for her! She loves people and adores other kids, so I can't wait to see her little face light up as she waddles door-to-door in her costume with her pumpkin bucket in hand. And to add to the weekend excitement, two of our favorite people are coming to town to meet the tot, take in the Mizzou/Kentucky game, and celebrate Jake's birthday, so I'm sure this weekend in total will be nothing short of epic.

We started the month off with a trip to the pumpkin patch. I hadn't been to one in years (and Jake had never been), so it was the perfect fall activity to begin with. We met up with my mom, sister, nieces, and nephew on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, which meant that the place was packed! There were kids and parents and pumpkins everywhere, but it made for a pretty interesting time. Thankfully, there were plenty of activities to do, from playing in a giant box of corn to the petting the farm animals to riding a hay wagon out into the patch to see all of the pretty pumpkins. Taylor's favorite activity? Riding around in the twins' Radio Flyer, of course, and petting the animals. We had to carry her out of the barn kicking and screaming, because she refused to leave the piglet pen (which was perhaps the sweetest thing ever). After our pumpkins were purchased and the tot was fully covered in dirt, we called it a day and headed for home. We no sooner got on the highway and the tot was fast asleep. Success indeed.

We have also been spending a lot of time in my hometown this month, because - let's face it - nothing beats the countryside in Missouri this time of year. The trees create a backdrop of red, yellow, and orange that is simply amazing. We took full advantage of nature's beauty (and the 80 degree temps) this past weekend when we headed out to the farm for a family photo shoot. Everyone must have been in the fall spirit, because we managed to get some pretty great shots of the entire family (a feat that has never been accomplished until now). Attempting to wrangle my sister's kids and the tot into the same photo is always a challenge, but allowing them to run around and play on the farm created the perfect atmosphere. Everyone was a little sweaty (as we were decked out in jeans, sweaters, and boots for a fall appearance) but full of smiles. The farm is a place that is near and dear to all of our hearts (more so now since we are nearing the anniversary of my grandfather's passing), so it was extra memorable capturing those moments in one of our favorite places.

After our sweaty family photos, it began to cool down just in time for our annual church hayride that evening. My dad recently purchased a new tractor and was down right giddy about pulling a wagon this year. He was even more excited that his youngest granddaughter was going to be along for the ride. I was a little bit leery as to how the tot would do seeing how she doesn't like to sit still or be held but, surprisingly, she did very well. The hay bales were set up along the edge of the wagon so she was able to get down and walk around in the center. She bounced around from person to person, even crawling up into their laps on occasion. Once the sun went down, the tot didn't last much longer. She snuggled into her daddy's arms and was out for the rest of the ride. It was simple yet refreshing, and something we aren't able to do in the city.

Sunday after church, we spent the afternoon celebrating my dad and brother-in-law's birthdays. We had a delicious home cooked meal then sat out on the deck and watched the kids play. Unfortunately, Taylor napped through the majority of it but, once she woke up, she was refreshed and ready to go! We spent the rest of the afternoon taking wagon rides around the yard and playing in the leaves. We wrapped up the weekend with lots of hugs and kisses before heading back home. This has been the most incredible month, full of so many activities and new experiences for all of us. All of our fall fun makes me so excited for the upcoming holidays. I can't wait to dive into our Christmas bucket list soon, but, for now, I'm going to soak up the rest of fall for as long as possible.