Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Happies

I have done it.  I have officially, happily jumped into Fall.  I am enjoying comfort food, scarfs and boots, candles lit and all things cozy.  Here are some of my Fall happies from the weekend...

1.  Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins.  I went to the pumpkin patch with Ava last week, but we just had to do it again this weekend as a family...

Layla was bummed that she didn't get to go for a field trip like her sis so Saturday morning, we bundled up and headed to the farm.  We have gone every year since Ava could walk.  In fact, check out this blast from the past..

It was a cool morning, but the sun was out and the air was crisp..perfect pumpkin patch weather.  And, thanks to my sometimes annoying punctuality we got to be on the first hay ride up.  (which meant we got it almost to ourselves with just one other family and our pick of the best pumpkins of the day thank you very much.)

After the hay ride it was onto playing in the hay bales and seeing the animals.  Ava was all about the baby goats...this girl has a big soft spot for animals.

2.  Bar-b-q's Despite the Weather.  Even though it was cold outside, we had company over and threw food on the grill.  It all started with the ridiculous amount of potatoes I still have.  I figured I'd make some potato salad and homemade fries, have my sisters and their families over and get some of them eaten.  It worked out well, but I still have a ton of potatoes...I guess I should have made some more varieties...mashed, baked, scalloped.  Beyond food, it was a fantastic evening...lots of noisy kids, yummy food, laughs and even a fire to top the night off.  I wasn't into the fire initially because I thought it was a little too cold.  However, sitting out there with my nieces and nephews and seeing how their little faces were mesmerized by the flames made me forget that it was cold.  Especially my littlest nephew who kept exclaiming "hot"  And, if he got a little too close, four cousins reaching for him saying "No, Jacob"  Their kind hearts and way they look out for each other just melts me.

3.  Pizza Pie.  I know a lot of people are anti carbs, however I have quite a love for them.  When you take a pizza, which is already so fantastic, and add an extra layer of crust on top it just takes it to perfection.  This was our date night dinner for Friday and we didn't leave one piece behind.  It was stuffed with artichoke hearts, cheese, garlic stuffed green olives and few tomatoes cuz they have to go in everything we make for the next few months.

Matt patiently waiting....

4.  Fall Running.  This time of year it has gotten too dark to run outside in the morning when I usually do.  The treadmill has come out.  However, on weekends I can push my run back and do it outside.  This time of year I find myself planning my path to get to the areas with the biggest trees so I can take in the changing colors of leaves.  This weekend as I was running in the cool air you could just smell the leaves and I soaked it up.  I found it invigorating.  Add to that two things...I now get to run listening to Pandora because of my new phone so better music and we had hamburgers the night before at the bar-b-q and the iron my mainly vegetarian diet doesn't include made me run like a total rockstar.  Love it.
5.  The Return of Artichokes.

During the summer I do not buy vegetables.  We eat what we grow and what we get in our CSA.  Obviously neither includes artichokes and my girls have a total love affair with them.  Now that the growing season is over I bought some as soon as I saw them at the grocery store.  Tonight I cooked one up and was met with squeals of delight at the dinner table.  One time, Matt and I were watching an Anthony Bourdain episode when he was in Italy. All they cooked was artichoke because it is what was in season at the time.  In their country, they eat a ton of what is growing and then when it's done, it's done until next year.  Yea, my girls would totally dig artichoke season in Italy.  

6.  Wii Dancing.  Family activities in the evening have turned indoors which means more hide and seek, board games and of course dancing.  Tonight we did the latter (after a very diplomatic family vote).  We broke out the Wii dance games and busted a move.  

It all started as fun and games, but then I had to go and get a little competitive. After a 2 out of 3 loss to Matt we called it quits.  I still don't believe I lost, I blame the remote...I have years of dance experience and have the trophies to prove it, right Amy?  No way I could have truly lost.

7.  Layla Loves.  Layla has been getting into the school thing lately, much to my relief.  I still get a little sadness here and there and few tears in her eyes.  It has made me wonder if everything is going okay at school, if she's making friends, liking her teacher etc.  Sunday night I realized there really is just one reason for it, and it's the same as my saddness over it.  I was tucking her in and telling her what an awesome weekend I had with her.  She got a sad look in her eye as she realized the weekend was over.  I asked her what was wrong and she looked at me and said.  "I miss you when I'm at school"  As I gathered the broken pieces of my heart at this statement I replied..."Me too, baby.  Me too"

So there.  I'm on board with Fall and embracing it for all it has to offer.  We will spend the next months, snuggled inside.  I will light candles as I cook dinner, kiss my girls little rosy red cheeks after they've played outside and throw an extra blanket on the bed. 

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