Monday, October 31, 2016

Robin & Robin

I'm writing this on Monday night, and I cannot believe that tomorrow is NOVEMBER! I always like the switching over of a new month because it feels like a clean slate and a new beginning.

And guess what? On Friday, Steve defends his dissertation! He is so close to being done with his PhD! This is a HUGE week for us, and prayers are welcome :)

Part of me wishes October and all of its beautiful colors could stay around forever, but then we wouldn't get to Christmas and the new baby's arrival! :)

We aren't big into Halloween around here, but we did do a few small things to celebrate the occasion. I made a "Bat Hotel" math activity, and Nolan worked on some simple addition equations. I really need to do more stuff like this. He eats it up!

I ordered a dozen orange and white pumpkin donuts for breakfast last week. They were delicious, and the boys were SO happy to see them.

We made some pumpkin handprint art, which turned out super cute. I was surprised that Nolan knew how to spell "Happy Halloween" all by himself!

We also made Frankenstein monsters out of the boys' footprints ;)

Nolan, Ephraim, and I got our flu shots the other morning, so hopefully we'll be having a healthy winter!

Speaking of shots, Ivy made it through her 3-year rabies vaccine and bloodwork the other day, which is always an answer to prayer. For those of you who know her medical saga, we weaned her off of one of her anti-seizure meds, and she has turned from the most lethargic and depressed dog back into normal Ivy!

Saturday marked 9 weeks until baby! I sold some clothes and toys at a mommy market to make room for a few cute things for Baby #3. A few weeks ago, I picked up these little outfits for $2 :)

And then Saturday night, we were off to our friends Amy and Brent's annual Halloween party! Nolan was so excited to dress as Robin Hood! He and Ephraim have been watching the VeggieTales version, called "Robin Good", so technically he was going as Larry the Cucumber dressed as Robin Hood ;)

Ephraim wore Steve's vintage Robin costume, handmade by Steve's great-aunts, with crocheted green gloves and shoes. He was so cute! We thought it was fitting that they could be Robin and Robin.

I took a few pictures of the amazingness that is the annual Halloween party. Walking into Amy and Brent's garage, there was the Ghostbuster vehicle (a decked out white Mini Cooper)!

And a maze of glowing noodles.

Plus there was a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow man illuminated in black lights. It was so impressive! The Ghostbusters theme was carried throughout the house. There were 126 people who came to the party, and everyones' costumes were incredible and creative.

Just a portion of the fun food spread :)

The night was really memorable for these guys!

I'm not looking forward to the time change and the extra darkness, but I do like the coziness of the season, and I'm hoping it will encourage all of us to go to bed a little earlier.

The state of our kitchen! In the past couple of days, Steve has laid all of the tile! It looks BEAUTIFUL!!

 I do miss having a stove/oven, but I have started a list of everything I want to cook and bake once this renovation is complete. It is totally worth it to have to eat cereal and sandwiches for a few weeks!

Hope your Halloween was festive! Enjoy this first day of November!

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!!


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