Wednesday, October 1, 2014

These Cousin Days

These "cousin days" as we call them, are the best. Right now we have a full house while my sister and her family live with us in the midst of house-hunting. I stay home with the three children while Hank, Abe and Lauren go to work in the morning. I take all three to preschool drop off, bring two of them back, put them down for naps, feed them lunch, and get Henry again. I share this here because it's such a different world with three instead of two, doing even the smallest everyday things. Get everyone ready, get in the car. Shoes? Check. Waters? Check. Henry's lunch/backpack/jacket? Check. I buckle them in (god bless the third row) and off we go. Then it's time to unload- I put Charlie in the Ergo, Lucy on one hand, Henry on the other, and we walk into school. This maneuver took practice, figuring out which order to get everyone out, which way was best. But now that I've got it, I feel like Super Mom for those few minutes after we all have a successful morning.

Our usually slightly loud house is now a very loud house. Who knew adding one more child into the mix would take it to a whole new level? But it's a happy loud, kids screaming and laughing and playing. Crying too, but when else in their lives are we going to be able to all live together, make meals together, spend every evening at home together?

I'm so grateful for this cousin time. This sister time, Auntie time, Uncle time. The kinds of days that might seem long when I'm in them, but certainly short in retrospect.

So as these days fly by I do my best to capture the bits and pieces, to preserve tiny parts of this stage in our life. Henry and Lucy on the couch, reading. Abe and Hank working out in the garage. Running errands with my sister. Making dinner for all of us.

It certainly takes a village, and I'm beyond grateful to have mine right here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Beautiful Mess Book Club- Discussing Middlesex

Just a note to direct you over to A Beautiful Mess today, if you'd like to join in on the discussion of the novel Middlesex via their book club.  I'm having a great time moderating this month, and I can't recommend this book enough. Read more over there!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Arizona Love: Apple Picking at Date Creek Ranch

Growing up we always went apple picking (and peach picking, and strawberry picking, and blueberry picking). But surprisingly, there aren't a lot of u-pick places around these parts. My sister and I had been talking about apple picking since last fall, but I'd been unable to find an orchard nearby with a crop for picking. Then I stumbled upon Date Creek Ranch in Wickenburg, which is about 60 miles away from us, although it feels a lot longer since half the drive is on a very windy mountain road. It's a beautiful place, a little bit of desert, a little bit of green orchard, and lots of animals and fruit all around. Their regular picking season was coming to a close when I found them, but they were kind enough to open their orchards to us on a non-weekend day so we could explore the ranch (thank you Kimberly!). Their last weekend for picking is actually this upcoming weekend, so if you end up going, let me know! We had a blast and the kids were in HEAVEN.

Date Creek Ranch is a generational, family-owned ranch, and if you have a minute, read more about them here. It's a great day trip either coming from Phoenix or from up north by us, and we will absolutely be back next year with the whole family for their Apple Festival and BBQ. I mean, how cute is this place? And let me tell you, the apples are AMAZING. Organic and delicious. Our apple pie plans for this weekend can't come soon enough.

Here are some photos from our day:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Last Weekend of Summer

The last weekend of summer calls for some extra fun, don't you think? So we packed everyone into the car and headed to Sedona, which is about 60 miles or so from our house. Sedona is one of my favorite places in the world, and if you've been there before you probably know why! It's absolutely, breathtakingly, beautiful. If you've never been, put it on your to-visit list, now! There are so many fun things to do there with the whole family (I actually have a post coming up soon with some favorite stops), but this little park if one of the best. Crescent Moon Park is a little bit of everything- beautiful scenery, tons of open space for kids to run, water for swimming, mountains for climbing, shaded picnic tables, and miles of trails.

I hope you had an amazing last weekend of summer too! I think we're finally ready to welcome autumn with open arms.

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