Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Filling Fall with Fun, Friends and Family

My little "hiker"
Kids that love the outdoors become adults that love the outdoors
As the days got shorter and the temperature got (slightly) cooler, we found ourselves spending every last minute outdoors.  We headed to the nearby zoo and state park, hiking trails during the day.  I figured this would be the last summer I hiked with a little one strapped on, so I smiled through the little kicks I would occasionally feel as Lila happily rode behind me.

Kenneth and Scott hitting the Womble Trail
The girls getting ready to hike
In mid-October we met up with our dear friends Kenneth and Michelle in Arkansas.  Earlier this year they moved to Texas.  Arkansas is the midway point for both of us.  We rented a large house and spent the weekend hiking and mountain biking.  The evenings were spent wading in the creek behind the house and sitting around a campfire.
Our crew
A gathering of some of our favorites
Our 5th annual bonfire was upon us and it was one of our best parties yet.  Our fabulous musician Neil Yockey was back for a repeat (x4) performance, the hayrides were packed with happy kids and parents, and the food table was stocked with delicious dips, soups, cookies and crockpots full of deliciousness.  With nearly 90 guests enjoying an evening on the farm, it was wonderful to have family and friends join us for dinner.  We're already looking forward to having everyone back next year.

This Halloween I had one unicorn costume to create and one dinosaur costume to purchase.  My create vs. purchase decision is based on how long and how much it would take to make vs buying in the store.  We filled the week of Halloween eating spooky face pancakes at IHOP, spooky sprinkled donuts from Krispie Kreme, a visit to their aunt and uncle's office to trick-or-treat, a party at the local library, a school party, and finally trick-or-treating in their grandparents subdivision.

This will go down as one of my favorite Halloween day/nights to date.  The kids are now old enough to understand (to their delight) that they get to walk around in the cool night air and receive treats from multiple houses.  Earlier in the day I was able to help at Paisley's school Halloween party, which filled my heart and made him happy to have his momma there.  As night approached we headed to Scott's parents home for soup and sandwiches before hitting the streets.  Due to the unusually warm weather, many people were out on their porches handing out candy.  The streets were filled with more children and parents than I had ever seen.  Paisley saw friends from school and loved running the streets with his cousin Cam.  I could complain about all the sugar consumed over the past few days, but the happiness on their faces and memories made make it all worth it.

Camping kiddos
We pulled the camper on its finally trip of the year and headed back to the private property where we love to fish and four wheel.  A long weekend with friends was enjoyed by everyone as we said goodbye to the last bit of fall weather and welcomed the cold night air that only the start of winter can bring.  We are already looking forward to more camping next year.

Just when I think fall is my favorite time of year, I look forward to the next two months of holidays barreling down on us.  Here comes the days of overeating turkey and dressing.  The family slumber party at my sisters home.  The Christmas trees and twinkling lights.  The neatly wrapped gifts and tunes of a Pandora Christmas.

Our fall was full and so is this momma's heart.  Looking forward to the next season!