Weekend vibes

Right now I’m staring an odd open space in our living room because we moved our furniture for the a Christmas tree but haven’t put up the tree yet. The boys convinced me this weekend to start getting Christmas out, so I’m slowly putting everything up including this guy:

It does feel a little weird to put up Christmas, especially because it’s 75 degrees again, however, in a weird year, I’m rolling with it. And apparently we have reached the plague where hundreds of lady bugs and giant praying mantis show up:


I mean. I’m hoping she eats lady bugs. In exciting news we had a baby deer show up in our backyard:

It was sooo cute! It was jumping and prancing around, I love having the tree line behind us! Sadly J missed his last baseball game of the season because he has an ear infection. However a giant cookie from Edgar’s Bakery helped ease the disappointment:


And playing Mastermind with B:


I also cooked up the sweet potato casserole I mentioned in my Friday Favorites:


I may have added marshmallows on the topping because my boys wanted marshmallows. Happy Monday!

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Last bit of Fall…


I hope your Halloween was as classy as ours was! Yesterday, in one fell swoop all of the Halloween decor came down. The boys pitched in and were a huge help hauling it all up the stairs to go in its respective attic boxes. I need one more plastic tub for storing, as we got a few new Halloween items this year, but once the items go in that it is officially put away. The boys are already chomping at the bit to get Christmas put up, but I’m holding them off for one more week to enjoy the last bit of our Fall items. Also, because I really need to replace a fall storage box that broke in our move, so I can’t quite put it all away yet. Plus, this week I’m planning to read each of our fall books one last time with the boys:

And I’m still enjoying that I actually created one big bow for my lighted pumpkins (next year I’ll get the rest done):

And our little turkey needs a quick moment to shine:

Because soon it will be Christmas trees and all the winter things!

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Pumpkins and daffodils

We headed out on Sunday to pick our pumpkins…..

 


At Lowe’s. Usually we go out to a local pumpkin patch, but that wasn’t happening this year. Then we headed home and began cleaning, drawing designs, and carving pumpkins.

 


It was laid back and the boys even went with the vibe and picked really traditional designs. Which honestly are the scariest pumpkins of all:

And our front door looks so festive!

This was one of my favorite things that I chose for the house. I love the contrast of the black door with the red brick, it just makes everything pop that we put around it. After we finished carving pumpkins, the boys had homework and afternoon sports, so I set to work planting the twenty daffodil bulbs I bought.


I was originally looking for tulips, but they were all out, so daffodils it is! I love planting flower bulbs it’s like the ultimate slow cooker of gardening, ha! I find the best time to plant them is the day after it has rained steadily all day. The red clay dirt here gets very compacted and can be really difficult to dig when it’s dry. I also have a bulb planter that has measurements to show the right amount of depth for the bulbs. And gardening gloves! Super important so I don’t destroy my hands digging in the dirt. I’m so hopefully they grow beautifully in the Spring!

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Fall hiking favorites


We love hiking in the Fall! The leaves are starting to change color, it’s not blazingly hot, and it is significantly less bug filled, which we all find to be a plus. It’s really glorious this time of year:

It makes for fun hiking for us all:

And camping for the boys:


And I have to share my favorite Fall hiking gear:


This is really perfect for hiking at this time of year because it’s lightweight, but also provides a little extra warmth when it gets cool in the shade. J is in full on Under Armour which is his clothing of choice. My pants are NorthFace, my tank is Athleta, my pullover is Lily Pulitzer, and then my shoes are my standard trailblazer.

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Life lately

It’s hot. I always forget about this time of year and then we get here and I’m like “oh yes, this is winter/summer”, which means instead of being so cold you can’t go outside, it’s so hot you can’t go outside. That being said A and his cousin J have still had some golf matches:


And J has been helping me water the plants:


We made Thanksgiving in July with a smoked turkey and grilled peaches topped with vanilla ice cream. Honestly I’d like to make this a new tradition:

And Chloe has taken to snuggling in J’s weighted blanket if he leaves it lying around:

And finally this grasshopper looking like it dropped from the sky onto the planet is very 2020:

 

 

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Life lately


Besides drawing all of the Castle Crashers, here is a little of what we’ve been up to around here!

The boys built a robot with my Dad and it may have been their favorite part of the summer (or last four months) so far…

Rounds of basketball once the sun goes down is a summer standard…

I did a 5k 2 minute walk/2 minute run with B on Saturday and I was pumped that I actually didn’t stop! I think my face is still on fire from it, ha!

We’ve spent some time watching the baby geese (who are about all grown up) flight test their wings…


And finally, we celebrated the Fourth with just us, but we got some excellent fireworks…

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Blevins Gap Nature Preserve

Nestled behind one of our local churches, this hiking preserve has three different trailheads ranging from very easy and family friendly, to much more elevated and advanced. Since we were testing it out for the first time we did the straightforward Jones Valley loop:

This little loop is a walk around a long stream.

It is only about a mile from start to finish and great for younger kiddos, or ones who love looking for rocks and minerals like J:

It’s beautifully shaded, and the light streams through the trees while you’re walking which is really fun to see:

At about the halfway point of the loop, there is a fork in the trail that takes you up an incline of the Bailey Cove Trail portion. In addition, at the very beginning of the trailhead is the Fanning trail which is a 3.8 mile trail that is a much steeper elevation. We were not prepared for that trail, but have plans to go back and do it in the future. All three are great hikes for the weekend!

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Bethel Springs Land Trust Hike


We are finally all moved in to spend several months with my parents while we wait for our new house to be completed. We almost feel at loose ends because there is no packing, or really anything that we have to do on the weekends. My sister and her family had gone on a hike a week ago and recommended it to us, so we set out on Saturday morning to try it out. Located off of Hwy 431 in Madison County are several trails at the Bethel Springs Nature Preserve. There is a little scenic loop at the start:

And then there are three trails, The Mill Trail, Fallen Sink Trail, and Carpenter Trail.

All of them lead toward one of the largest waterfalls in our area. The Mill Trail is the quickest to the waterfall as far as distance, but parts of it are very steep, so we took the slightly longer and slightly less steep Fallen Sink Trail & Carpenter Trail combination.

There is a lot of tree cover, so it helps to keep the temperatures slightly cooler, and the waterfall at the end was definitely worth the hike! It was about 2.5 miles from the bottom to the top of the waterfalls and back. To give you an idea of how steep it is my Apple Watch said I’d climbed 22 flights of stairs by the end of the hike.


Some of the things that are really helpful to have on hikes like this are B’s hiking backpack:

And hiking poles, even just having one for each of the boys makes a big difference in the descent from the top back down:

I wear Nike Pegasus trail runner shoes:

And the boys all have Merrell hiking shoes, except we realized when we were moving that both boys needed new boots. And then put that on our list to buy, and then didn’t buy, so I’ve now got it on my list. Their regular sneakers are fine, but the Merrell’s have better cushion and traction for the steeper hikes. I also love my adidas running shorts, and the Zella tank top because they are durable, but also light weight. I also love Athleta Powervita sports bras, which I have at least six of, and always buy when they are on sale.

We have plans to try to attempt the Mill trail in the future, when the boys have sturdier shoes, and the boys want to get closer to the waterfalls next time we go. You can go right underneath, but there were several groups there already and we wouldn’t have been able to keep a good distance. It was a fun way to spend our Saturday morning! To find out more about waterfall trails in the Madison County area there is a great post here.

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What’s Up Wednesday


Here is a bit of what we’ve been up to lately!

 

1. What we’re eating this week…

Leftovers. And cleaning out the freezer and fridge before we move. Texas chicken chowder was one of our favorites this past week when we had a cold snap (again).

2. What I’m reminiscing about:

Baseball season. J is missing it a lot right now, and we are missing watching him play!

3. What I’m loving:

These two palettes are my favorite right now. Pick them up before the Sephora sale ends!

4. What we’ve been up to:

Schoolwork at home. And long walks on the sidewalk around the neighborhood.

5. What I’m dreading:

Probably the final pack out of our house. We’ve got most things done, but all those little things you have to do right at the end is stressful to me because I like to have it all done in advance.

 

6. What I’m working on:

Converting a face to face course to online only for the Fall. It’s about a 60-100 hour process so that’ll be most of my summer work. I’m also trying to create a schedule for it, so it’s not completely overwhelming. I took a tip from Mo Willems and am working on a color coded spreadsheet. The screenshot above is just the first page.

7. What I’m excited about:

Sitting out on my back porch this fall with this backdrop.

8. What I’m watching/reading:

The Last Dance. We are watching this with the boys on ESPN2 (the ESPN version leaves in all language, etc, just FYI). If you loved basketball as a kid, or have kids who love sports or basketball right now, it’s a great documentary to watch.

Seinfeld Episodes. We are going through all the episodes of Seinfeld at night, because there is hardly anything else on. And I cannot watch another episode of House Hunters.

I’m reading The Tatooist of Aushwitz during the day. I tried to read this before bed, but then I couldn’t sleep, so I’m reading it during our quiet reading times in the afternoon.

I’m reading Living Forever Chic at night. Just a fun escape from our everyday reality.

9. What I’m listening to:

Samin Nosrat’s podcast Home Cooking.

 

10. What I’m wearing:

Shorts and T-Shirts or exercise clothes.

 

11. What I’m doing this weekend:

Packing.

 

12. What I’m looking forward to next month:

The pool at my parents, and maybe getting my hair done if things open back up.

13. What else is new:

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Life Lately

We are in the midst of week three of social distancing, which is actually physical distancing. B has done the majority of our grocery shopping and we have spent a lot of time hanging out in our front yard, backyard, and taken the occasional drive by our house under construction. This is technically the boys’ Spring Break, but we are still trying to keep a semblance of a schedule because we are going to be doing this thing for the foreseeable future. I thought I’d share a bit of our life lately around here:

This is my view in the late afternoons when the boys have their time to play electronics. And when I do the majority of my online work and Zoom meetings:

We have been trying to walk on any day we can as well:

I love this picture because it’s so deceiving. They were arguing here about I don’t know what. Anything. Everything. They spend a lot of time together right now.

J has loved his teachers at school posting story time on YouTube and we sit and watch those quite a bit:

Some of the story times have also had activities and one day we made butterflies:

I’ve been virtually working out at least five days a week, and sometimes I have extra help:

And we are still loving Mo Willems lunch doodles and it’s something the boys look forward to every weekday:

And A has been helping with dinner quite a bit:

The boys have done really well so far with this crazy time that is at times difficult to understand or explain. However, it’s not perfect and there’s a lot of times we all feel like this:

And that’s a bit of our life lately!

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