Friday, October 21, 2016

Pumpkin Farm, Cubbie Love, and a Due Date

Hello Friday! We've been having some lovely days with warmer weather, sunshine, and gorgeous fall leaves. But this weekend, it's turning to rain and the chilly 40s. . . so November sure is coming quickly. We were happy to have a nice shopping day last Friday, and a trip to the pumpkin farm on Saturday. Here are some of our highlights:

On Friday, Steve taped up our kitchen and began sanding the walls and cabinets, so the boys and I took off for a day of shopping. Our nearest big shopping areas are all about an hour away, and the boys did really well on the trip so long as I was constantly passing them Goldfish and chocolate animal crackers. :)  We were at Target for a good two hours. Nolan and Ephraim couldn't get enough of the train aisle, so I parked my pregnant self on the floor while they checked out the toys.

Nolan always says his favorite stores are Target, KMart, and JoAnn's. I'm not sure why he says the last two - we never go there! Haha.

Trader Joe's had the prettiest pastel pumpkins! We browsed the store and picked up a box of Halloween chocolate Joe-Joe cookies, which the boys were definitely excited about.

And I got a Chai latte with a pump of pumpkin spice and a pump of vanilla for the drive home.  It was a nice treat!

The next afternoon, we headed out to the pumpkin farm! 

Our local farm is fairly small, but they have a fun selection of games and activities for little kids.

Navigating the hay bale maze together :)

Posing as cute pumpkins.

Bowling together.

They really liked riding along in this little "train" pulled by a tractor.

And they each went home with a $1 pumpkin, so we only paid $2 for the whole experience :)

Little drummer boy in church on Sunday :)

Our backyard maple tree is just gorgeous right now - the iPhone didn't even do it justice.

Steve is doing such an amazing job on our kitchen! Here's its current state. . . It's so exciting! And in the meantime, I'm trying to be creative with the CrockPot and microwave! :)

We're rooting for the Cubbies in the NLCS!! It would be so amazing if they made the World Series! #FlytheW #BricksandIvy 

Tomorrow marks THIRTY weeks of this pregnancy!! I am excited to hit this milestone. I'm still feeling pretty good, though a little more uncomfortable with every passing week and pound gained. I can't believe our baby boy will be here in just a little over two months!

Yesterday marked the due-date of the baby that we miscarried in February. We buried our tiny baby deep in the ground underneath our maple tree. At the beginning of March, it still looked like the dead of winter. The grass was bare and pale, and the tree was completely without leaves. And I cried every time I saw the tree, knowing that our baby was lying below it and not growing inside of me where he or she belonged. I knew that the tree would become full and green in the summer, and then right around the baby's due date, it would be in its prime - a stunning red.

Saying goodbye to our October Baby was raw and painful. We had tried to get pregnant for six months, and it was such a joy to know that we were finally carrying sweet baby number three. We believe that life begins at conception. Eye color, hair color, height, gender, personality. . . everything is determined when those two cells combine. He or she was loved, wanted, and desired. We gave the baby a name, and I will forever acknowledge his/her existence, even though it was only for a month on this earth. And when I'm in heaven, I can't wait to find out more about that little soul. 

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge." Psalm 91:4

All that to say, if that baby had lived, we would not be pregnant now with this sweet boy. It's kind of a wild thought. I cannot wait to meet and hold the tiny babe inside of me. We love him so much already. 

At almost 30 weeks now, I hope that I will always remember these three special years that we had with just two sons. And I hope that though life will be crazier, it will be richer with three little boys in it.

Hope you all have a great weekend! XO.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Oh, October. . .

I need to get better at writing little updates on here! The time just gets away from me. As I'm typing this, I'm thinking back on my day, and I'm fixating on the things that have bothered me (whiny children, dog accidents, messy house). . . But as I look through these photos, I see a beautiful life that we've created here at this house. And I'm feeling extra blessed tonight. Take a peek :)

The weekend before last, we went to a fall festival at one of the churches in the community. It was an awesome event - hay rides, pumpkin painting, free food, horse rides, kettle corn, bounce houses, music. We had a nice time!

The boys were still in their church clothes, and of course the first thing they wanted to do was paint pumpkins. By the way, Nolan loves to wear ties! He picks out his outfits, and he will be known to wear a plain white t-shirt with a tie on a random weekday. :)

One morning, we decided to make Shay's pumpkin bread with marshmallow buttercream frosting. The boys helped me measure and bake, and it turned out really tasty! We gave it an A+.

Out on a walk collecting acorns (they're each holding one up). Look at Ephraim's face! :)  It is  impossible to get them both to smile and look at the camera!

I've added a few fall touches to our house in the past couple of weeks. This is one of my favorite paintings - a watercolor of a couple walking alongside Lake Michigan in the fall. I love that Gold Coast Chicago skyline in the background!

This lit-up pumpkin might be my favorite decor piece of any season. It looks so beautiful at night! I bought it at Michael's last year.

My friend Sharon dropped off a pot of mums and two pumpkins for our outdoor decor :) Such a fun surprise!

On a Friday night at-home date :) We've been watching a lot of "Last Man Standing." Not the best show in the world, but funny and easy to watch.

A few days ago, I tried making French macarons for the third time. I was so pleased with how they turned out! They are not easy cookies, and this is the first time they looked authentic. And man alive, the chocolate ganache in the middle was delicious!

I'm getting excited to make another batch! However, that will have to wait because our kitchen is under construction! We started tearing it apart TWO YEARS ago, and it's remained in limbo ever since. Steve had a short fall break this week, so he had some time to work on it, and he's made a lot of progress!

It's going to look so nice when the retro look is updated!

I brought these donuts to MOPS on Tuesday. Mmm!

Two-year-olds and stickers, haha! 

Yesterday, Nolan made his name out of Duplos. He has been doing some really incredible building lately!

He still LOVES school time at home. He looks forward to it everyday, and he really stays engaged and interested in all of his workbooks. We did some uppercase and lowercase letter matching with ice cream cone cards this week, and he rocked that activity. He also knows how to write and spell all of the names in our family with no help. I love this stage!

Last night, we were a little stir-crazy and went for a drive through the country to see the fall leaves at their peak. Pennsylvania is gorgeous right now! 

As cute as they come!

Thanks for checking in with us :) Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Life Lately

With the trees starting to change color and the temperatures dropping, October is officially here! I'm looking back on September today and all of the memories we made this past month. :)

MOPS started up again! We've had two meetings so far, and how I missed seeing all of my friends on a regular basis! It's also great to have that special, mom-based spiritual feeding as well.

I tried making macarons for the second time in my life, and I was nearly successful! A few turned out the way they should (without cracking), and I'm hoping to give it another go this week :)

Nolan started AWANA Cubbies! I went to AWANA from 3rd grade to 8th grade at my church growing up, and LOVED it, so I knew it was something I wanted my boys to experience as well. Nolan is already memorizing scripture and having a really fun time with the other kids. The morning after he got his vest and handbook, he was found wearing the vest over his jammies at 6:30 am.  ;)

Ephraim continues to be the instigator of all of the fights in the house, and he is a force to be reckoned with (for only being 2.5). However, he has us all wrapped around his little finger because he is JUST. SO. CUTE!

The last thing to bloom in our summer garden-- Autumn Joy. These perennial plants have been growing since early spring, but the tiny pink star flowers opened recently, and they make for gorgeous, easygoing plants. It's fun that the leaves look like succulents!

I forget where Nolan was, but there was one night that Ephraim and I were alone and went on an evening walk together. We collected acorns, stomped on their crunchy caps, and sniffed and admired the many bright goldenrods in the alley.

Being the second-born, he just eats up one-on-one time!

Our house is NOT a quiet one these days, so any moment to slip away and drink some coffee in peace is special. I'm not sure why both boys seem to be going through crying/fit-throwing stages at the same time, but hopefully one of them grows out of it before the baby comes!

When we were in Chicago in August, we bought a cooler at Target, filled it with ice, and picked up 8 Lou Malnati's deep-dish frozen pizzas to take home with us. Smartest decision we ever made! Friday nights, we've been popping one in the oven, and that nostalgic taste of my hometown pizza just makes me SO happy! Mmm!

There has only been one Lowe's Build and Grow workshop this fall, and the boys really enjoyed making these Fireboats :)  Daddy wasn't there that day, so actually Mommy was the one who put them together (high-five!)

I'm finally getting into the pumpkin spirit these days! It's always hard for me to let go of summer.

Last week, my friend Melissa had a baby sprinkle for her third baby girl due this month. The shower was on a refurbished early-1900's parlor train car. The pink and blue nautical theme was beautiful, and the details were perfect!

As Melissa waits for her third baby girl, I'm waiting for my third baby boy! I'm at 27 weeks now, which is pretty exciting!

Things are getting real! I took the lovely glucose test on Friday morning, so hopefully the results are fine.

Friday night, we went to see some of Steve's youth group kids in the high school homecoming parade. It was really chilly, but we had fun collecting candy and watching the firetrucks and convertibles drive past!

Blurry, but too cute. :)

Hope you all had a great first weekend of October!! I'm off to bake some pumpkin bread and enjoy this cozy season. XO.


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