Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin Patching

We finally made it to the pumpkin patch this last weekend after having a few delays with weather and other engagements the last couple weekends. The kids were super excited and so we were all out the door by 9:30 am on Sunday morning and our first stop was Starbucks for some fuel before hitting the road. We're lucky in New Jersey to have so many farms to choose from, all in close proximity. Some of the places we've gone the past 2 years are a bit over-the-top with bounce houses, rides, and just a lot going on. We wanted to go somewhere a little more low key that still had a few activities to do, but wasn't insane.

We ended up at Conklin Farms and it was pretty cute. We went through the corn maze, saw some farm animals, took an extremely bumpy hayride, and picked out our pumpkins. It was so cute seeing the kids pick their own pumpkins. Hayden wanted a red one (like the bright orangey red ones that are very instagramable, haha) and Charlotte requested a "tiny one". We ended up picking 2 (small) carving pumpkins and few decorative pumpkins. Here are a few pictures I snapped of our fun morning together:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

What I've Been Reading...

I have always loved to read and it's still a daily habit of mine. I usually only read at night in bed but I would always rather read a book than watch TV. I deviated from my classics of last year but here are 5 books that I've read recently and recommend.

The Orphan Master's Son: I got this book a few years ago right after it won the Pulitzer but put it down after a couple days. I picked it back up again about a month ago; it was a long read but really interested. It's about one man's life in North Korea. It's fiction but still fascinating to see the stark differences in the culture and the rights of the people. I think it feels apropos of our current international politics as well.

Emma in the Night: This book I bought in the airport between flights this summer. It was a really quick read and so fascinating. It's pretty dark and deals with mental health but it's one of those edge-of-your-seat mystery books that is a page-turner.

Beartown: I read A Man Called Ove (by the same author, which I would also recommend!) earlier in the year but this one has a very different feel. It's about a small town and how they deal with a difficult situation. It's really interesting to see the perspective of so many different characters and this one too feels appropriate for some of the more serious issues of this day and age.

The Underground Railroad : I always love to read historical fiction of this time period and this book was no exception. It was definitely hard to read at times, but a beautifully told story of a very courageous woman.

Hillbilly Elegy: The root of this book is a memoir about a family that for better or worse truly loves each other. The conditions described are heartbreaking and the loss of the American dream for so many is felt in the pages of this book.

I realize now that this list is a little heavier than I anticipated- I definitely do read chick lit and a lot of lighter books but hands-down I would recommend all of these books as ones that really make you think and feel.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Halloween House

Hayden is very interested in the spooky aspects of Halloween for the first time in his life and we've already visited multiple Halloween stores searching out some creepy decorations. I felt like this was the year to break out all the Halloween decor that's been sitting up in the attic, unused. If you've read this blog forever, you might remember how dedicated to Halloween decor things were BC (before kids) so I actually had all these decorations on hand.

Here are a few spots in our house that got the Halloween treatment:

Our front table got the spookiest decorations with ravens, spider webs, and potions. 

The kids really enjoyed wrapping cobwebs everywhere. I've been saving this white crepe paper and the giant eyes for just this project....

Note, the mantle is supposed to have 5 mini pumpkins but one is missing; that will be fun to find next spring...

The playroom got a dose of Halloween as well- nowhere was safe! 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday, Friyay!

Happy Friday, everyone! We are glad to see this week out the door- poor Hayden ended up getting strep throat and he's been on the mend for the last few days.

It finally feels like Fall weather here after a lot of warm humid days in a row. We're planning a belated trip to the pumpkin patch this weekend after we got rained out last weekend.

Tonight, Nick and I have a date night! We haven't been out in awhile and have had a pretty busy week so it will be great to have some time together to finally just relax and chat.

For the last few weekends, Nick spent time building a wall in the basement to separate the playroom from the rest of the basement and guys, it looks so good. We went with a shiplap/barndoor kind of feel since it's a basement and it doesn't have the same vibe as the rest of our house. We have to add a little more trim and paint everything- I can't wait to show you! Here's the inspiration picture that we've been using (NOT our actual house!)

On a more somber note, we've been closely following all the fire news and praying for all those affected by the fires in California. The areas that are currently burning aren't too far from where we used to live and where most of our families are still living. Everyone we know is far enough away and safe but the devastation so many people are facing is heartbreaking. If you can donate at all, here's a helpful link.
My dad sent me this picture- you can usually see Mt. Diablo very clearly right from their door. The air quality all over the Bay is terrible.

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