Saturday, November 26, 2011

Better late than never, right?

Early in October, the Moms group that I am a part of planned a day to go to the pumpkin patch. When the day arrived to go, it was cold and drizzling - not exactly ideal for a nice fall trip to the patch. The trip was cancelled and it was not re-scheduled. I was really bummed because we get a really nice group rate where the hayride, play area access, petting zoo, selected pumpkin, and snack are all included (way cheaper than you could do it on your own). Kennedy always loves it and I do too - I'm a HUGE fan of traditions so I just figured Tim and I would pick a weekend and take her but then our October was gone before I could blink and we never made it out there. I kept seeing people post pictures on Facebook and or blogs from their family trips to the pumpkin patch and I was just flat upset that we hadn't made it happen. So...the first Sunday in November was a beautiful one and we figured better late than never and packed up after Avery's nap and headed on out to Boyd's. Unfortunately their website hours were incorrect and when we got there, they notified us they were closing in an hour! Fortunately for us, however, they let us in with access to the play area and patch for free! Yay!
It was a gorgeous afternoon - sunny and cloudless - weren't the trees beautiful? Surprisingly there were still quite a few pumpkins left.
I only had to take this picture about 10 times to get one that was decent. No smile from Avery but at least they were all three looking at me. I have to act CAH-RAZY to get the girls looking at the same time - seriously...C.R.A.Z.Y!
After I can't even remember how many attempts to get one of just the girls I gave up - pick your battles, right?
We hadn't really planned to pick out a pumpkin since Halloween aka jack-o-lantern season was over, but Kennedy really wanted one and I figured it'd be cute on the porch until Thanksgiving was over so we went on a hunt for what Kennedy thought was the perfect pumpkin:  
In the end, she and her Daddy thought this was the best Taylor porch pumpkin:
I've decided that after Halloween is THE TIME TO GO to the patch from now on- we were literally almost THE ONLY ones there so Kennedy went up and down each slide all she wanted. I'm pretty sure in kid world it = best day ever!
There is one slide out there that is super big and the line is always ridiculously long when we go out there. It's a slide that makes me all nervous and well, kind of "special" because big kids like this slide and there's no monitoring at the top by staff so the big kids will just cut in front of the little kids (sometimes pushing and sometimes not) and Kennedy will stand up there for 10 minutes sometimes - not exaggerating. It's one of those moments where it tests your Mommy patience because I know it's important that she learns to exert herself if necessary and I know waiting in line skills are important too, but when an overweight 13 year old named Billy Bob the 5th goes up for his 10th time down the slide and pushes my baby back when it was her turn - LAWD help me, I just can't take it! I digress....there were no crowds this time (insert hallelujah chorus here) was BIG fun that she could just run up and down and her Daddy could help her - no pushing, no cutting, no impatient kids behind her and no anxiety ridden Mommy - it was seriously wonderful.
seriously - wonderful:
After she finally had enough of sliding, we climbed up to the top of the haystack. The view was so pretty with the sun setting and I was just happy we made it happen even though it was late in the season!
Next year, Avery will be running around too - hard to believe but I'm sure it'll be back around before I know it!

I've enjoyed having a warmer than usual November because it's given me some outside time with my girls. Avery loves her swing and she's started to prefer the "hanging on" position which just makes me laugh for some reason because she literally is barely moving.
Kennedy's been all about throwing the leaves whenever she can. I'm hoping her Daddy decides they'd look better in a lawn bag than all over our yard and play set soon (;hint hint Daddy).

Before I jump into my Thanksgiving posting (which will likely come in December sometime: ha!) I must share this super cute picture that I got of "Uncle Jonathan" with my girls at Adayln's 1st birthday party (that still seems strange even typing it - how is she 1???) Kennedy LOVES him to pieces and I thought this picture was super sweet.
Look at this sweet little peanut - I mean, really? She and her party were just over the top cute and Abby's done a whole series of birthday posts if you'd like to see the details. I was particularly fond of her sitting pretty in her little party hat.
Abby and Jonathan worked really hard on the party and it turned out just as sweet as it could be. Adalyn handled it all really well and even took interest in opening her presents.

Well, hopefully it won't be December before I post again because I have some cute pictures of our Thanksgiving and it was so nice to have Tim's parents in to join us. Tim and I can now officially say we've tackled our first preparing of the Thanksgiving Turkey and it was good! I've had to work some over the holiday but it's still had it's moments of relaxation and time to just be truly thankful for all we have. Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to start thinking of Christmas and what better way to do so than with some good ole' Christmas movies? A friend of mine shared this incredible TV schedule and I straight up printed it out. I'm a sucker for all Christmas music and all Christmas movies! Bring em' on!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In my mind I'm going to Carolina...

Although I've grown to love Kentucky, "home" to me is always going to be South Carolina. My Mom is in SC, my high school friends are in SC, and it's where I grew up...thus - it's home. Unfortunately, because it is SO FAR AWAY - I don't get to go very often (as in until recently it had been over 2 years since II had been there). I've been to the beach each summer which is close, but I've not actually stayed with my Momma and been to see friends in over 2 years which just boggles my mind - it's crazy really. With the way my work schedule had been (M, W, F) it was virtually impossible to make it down there and usually for holidays we all meet in the middle so I never quite made it down until a couple of weeks ago. My big sister Melissa is on maternity leave and she and I decided that since my schedule allows me to take a long weekend and since she is off on leave - we'd go together. Once we picked the time we'd go, we both contacted our friends and planned when we could get together, but mostly we wanted to just spend time with Mom. It was a crazy trip down which included a broken GPS, rain almost the whole way and a minor fender bender (no one was injured thankfully) so needless to say I was more than thrilled when I stopped in Charlotte to pick Melissa up and she offered to drive. Hallelujah! We were a bit apprehensive about all three kiddos fitting in the back of my Jeep, but fit they did:
I always wondered if Tim and I added to Team Taylor would we have room in our present vehicle and now I know ~ we most certainly would. Now...packing all their gear for any trip longer than a few days (jury's still out because holy moly at the stuff):
Kennedy proved to be an excellent paci-putter-inner and Declan was thankful:
The fair was in town while we were there and my Mom really wanted to take Kennedy. This was Kennedy's first experience with a fair this size, but let me just tell you that intimidated she WAS NOT - she was ALL ABOUT IT! This was her first ride and!
We went pretty early so she virtually walked right up and onto each ride of her choice. It was so funny watching her because she'd basically finish with one ride, then go sprinting to another ride while we all tried to keep up behind her. I kept telling her not to run off like that but then the excitement would just overtake her and she'd do it over again. Thankfully, because the crowd was slim when we went it wasn't too big of a deal and we mostly just laughed at how exhilarating it all was for her. Oh to be 4 again!
She tried her first elephant ear and fair corn dog. Melissa and I decided there seems to be no future fear of "carnies" in her future as she took to each ride operator as if they were family. God love all those people - they could have been the stereotypical minimum wage worker - agitated by their job and life in general, but they weren't. Most of them acted as if it was opening night and would hold her hand and ask her which car, animal or swing she wanted to sit in as if it was their life's work not only to make her happy but make it the best experience EVER! As a Mom - you just appreciate that kind of attention and attitude. Now, I can't say if they really were excited about their job or if they were just smitten by her fair permagrin. Either way, I don't really care -I'm just thankful because she had a blast. She was asleep before leaving the fair ground parking lot.

I have not been to the fair in FOREVER before this and let me just tell you it was some excellent people watching - excellent I tell you. I must confess that for some reason I kept envisioning the scene from Joe Dirt where he operates the fair ride. Do y'all remember that? Well, if you don't: no worries....for your viewing pleasure -
I know right? Bahahahahah - it kept making me laugh while I was there. Hee hee hee........

I got some excellent snuggle time with my one and only nephew Declan. Seriously - look at that handsome mug!
Most of the snuggles were reserved for Honey - oh how my kids love her and oh how I love that they love her - there's just nothing like family. Because our time together is always so limited, it's just precious.
Melissa and I got to visit with some of our Charleston friends while we were home. Crispin met us for breakfast one morning at the IHOP. Kudos to him - he braved breakfast with two women and three children and he is newly married with no children so that's something to brag about in my opinion!
I got together with several of my girlfriends from high school too. Every time I go home I make a point to see these girls. I'm so thankful that we have stayed friends all these years. We've been friends since middle school. I switched from private to public school in 7th grade and that is when I met these girls so that is over 20 years (that is insane - I kept re-calculating that in my head thinking I had to have messed up...nope, just gettin' old!) We've obviously matured, married and had kids but the friendships have stayed the same and I'm so grateful for that! Kaye isn't pictured here unfortunately because she'd already left for the night but pictured are Jennifer, Kelly and Casey. Kaye and Kelly don't have children so it was a bit high octane for them I'm sure, but I'm glad they joined in the chaos because I loved getting to catch up with them.
All our kiddo's. It was an act of God (and bribery with Halloween candy)  that they all sat still for this.
Just us gals!
After Jennifer and Casey posted the above pictures on Facebook I just kept thinking about how long we'd all been friends and in lieu of my reminiscing (Kennedy and Jackson) in my last posting I decided it would be fun to try to find some old pictures of us girls. Well, let me just say first that I have always been a big scrapbooker so I knew right where to go to find old pictures. My "scrapbooking" hasn't always been fancy though -
Oh my word - it had been a long time since I'd opened that scrapbook and it gave me lots of laughs and smiles. I think the main picture there was taken at a Beta (honors society) club event our freshman year? I'm in the red dress. To my left is Kelly and to my right are Jennifer and Kaye. Below that big picture and in the middle is a cut out picture of Casey and I. I know you're lovin' that vest and pant combo I'm rockin' - just let my Mom know because I think she sewed it: aww yeeeahhh! I'm not sure who of all my friends reads this blog but Kelly and Jennifer if y'all read this: I love your hair in your high school yearbook pictures! Ha! 

Once visiting with friends was done it was all Honey time from there on out....just what Kennedy wanted clearly:
Declan too (nobody can rock a colic hold like a Grandma and don't you forget it!)
I may have had to shake a maraca and act like a crazy idiot to get them all to look...of course my Mom isn't. Oh well - I tried! =)
oh, but wait for it...wait for it - Yes! Score Mommy/Aunt Lindsy! Totally frame worthy.....
There was absolutely NO way we were going to make trip down South and not see Kennedy's other cousins. She kept asking..."Mom, we are going to see Catherine and Maggie, right?" I may have answered that question 242 times or at least like 10 - she LOVES those girls. We broke up the trip on the way home with a night stay in Winston to see my other sister and the girls.
We tried to rise as early as humanly possible and get ready for our drive home on Halloween day - we were desperately trying to make it in time for trick-or-treat and clearly from my last post - we made it. I wanted a few pictures of the girls in their festive outies but Avery was the only cooperative one. She's a pretty cute cooperative one though:

Not sure when I'll get to make another trip home, so I'm so thankful we were able to make this one. I had so much fun getting to just be home. Hopefully it won't be two years before I return ;)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Seasonal Fun

A couple of weekends ago Billie, Abby and I made applesauce. It's something they've done annually, but I've yet to join in on the fun until this year and I'm so glad I did because the product of our "labor" is oh so yummy! Each year I've heard Abby talk about the little machine thingy they use that makes the whole process seamless and tons easier (not that I would know regardless because I was an applesauce making virgin...if you will) but this year I got to see it in action. Said little machine thingy is called a victorio. Online it looks like they cost about $60.00 and now that I know what it does, I'd say that $60 is well worth every penny if applesauce makin' is something you're interested in! We purchased the apples at a local orchard at about $18.00 a bushel (please know that when I say we...what I mean is Billie's husband Derek was nice enough to swing by on his day off and pick em' all up for us - thanks Derek!). The apples were washed and cut into quarters (with no regard to dark spots, skin, seeds, stem, etc.) and then placed into big pots of boiling water until they became soft. The apples then go straight from the pot into the victorio and that fancy little machine basically does the rest. You mash the apples down with the red plunger-like device (don't y'all love all my fancy schmancy terminology?) like Billie is doing here:
Then you turn the crank on the side like this sweet little helper was doing:
She was completely into it!
On one side the victorio spits out the seeds, skin and stems and on the other side of a filter it spits out the applesauce - ahhhmazing right? I don't know exactly how many bags of applesauce each bushel made, but I'm thinking about 15 quart size freezer bags of applesauce. In other words - I'm thinking I won't need to be spending money on Mott's anytime soon thank you very much. Thanks for letting me join you girls - it was so fun and team Taylor is pretty pumped about our applesauce stock pile.

Halloween kind of snuck up on me this year. We still haven't been to the pumpkin patch (gasp! - I know!). I just feel like we've been crazy busy and once my scheduled Moms group outing to the patch got cancelled I just didn't work it back in anywhere and now Halloween is over - bummer! I was thinking I should still go though - I mean, I hate to not have any pics of the girls with pumpkins....that just seems wrong, doesn't it? Anyhow, I digress - Halloween snuck up on me but luckily we had the items necessary for the girls' costumes. Kennedy said she wanted to be a ballerina: check on all ballerina purchases necessary = score! I did buy a little canvas bag and ironed on some applique stuff for her to carry as her trick or treat bag, but otherwise we had all we needed and then some truthfully. It's a girls world over here! Avery's little outfit has been in our family hand me down collection for quite some time. Is she the cutest little Clemson cheerleader you've ever seen or what?
Don't you love how I'm hiding in the above picture. I'd been in the car for like 8 hours on my way back from Charleston (details in another post) - I wasn't feeling very kodak momenty...I love that the final product is a perfect shot of my mid-section: nice...real nice honey. Speaking of my sweet is this picture of him with his baby girl. I'm kind of in love with it.
I was all pumped about trick or treating this year because last year she "got it" and this year I figured she' be all out sprinting between houses to get as much candy as possible (not that I  ever felt that feeling myself as a child ;) but instead she just wanted to stay at our church's fall festival and go up and down the blow up slides as much as humanly possible. My original plan had been to go trick or treating for about 30 minutes in a nearby neighborhood and then head to our church for the festival. trip home took longer than expected and once we got them changed and fed I had a small window before I was ready to collapse so we headed straight to church. Once she'd "made her rounds" I asked her if she was ready to go and trick or treat and she basically didn't seem to care about trick or treating (I seriously couldn't fathom that she'd not trick or treat AT ALL...I just couldn't do it). I kept telling her it was going to get too dark and too late and if we didn't leave she wouldn't get any candy (our church was so overrun with kids and activity that the candy basically wasn't the star of the show if you can imagine that on Halloween night). Ultimately Avery started melting down so we had to leave and when we got in the car we gave her the option to go back to the festival with Daddy or trick or treat in our neighborhood with Daddy once Avery and I were home and I could tell it was very hard for her. Truthfully, I'm so glad that she loves to be with our church family so much because we do too, but I'm such a traditionalist when it comes to holiday happenings that I really wanted her to get a few trick or treating visits in. She did decide to trick or treat down our street rather than returning to the festival and she was very pleased with her treats that she was given. This is she and Jackson at the festival. Jackson goes to school with her and she just adores him. We've been in small groups with his parents and we just love their whole family. I'm glad these two are such buddies.  
When they were smiling for the picture above I kept thinking...we took this same picture at Trunk-or-Treat two years ago but I didn't think I'd be able to find it and then I did:
My how they've changed...sure am glad their little friendship has grown with them. Sweetness.