Homecoming 2016

It was January 2001 when I transferred from monstrous Ohio State to little Otterbein College after one disastrous quarter at OSU. I knew I needed the accountability of a smaller school, and I thrived there for the next 3.5 years. A huge part of this was due to pledging to Theta Nu.

I'll spare you all the details, but pretty much as soon as I started school, I went through rush and immediately had built-in friends. Some people laugh at the idea like it's "buying friends", but it was the perfect way for me to start fresh and join a group of girls who are still my friends.

Every fall, we try to go back to Homecoming, but I think this was Rhys' first time. They loved it!  Minus the confetti cannon blasting into power lines during the parade and me almost crying over the parking situation, it was the perfect morning with my sisters and our little Violets...

The theme was super heroes, so this guy was loving it. 

You ain't nothin, Spiderman...

Clapping along to the Theta Nu cheer

Candy thrown at you: Obviously the best part of parades. 

And active sisters who need to be added to my babysitting list...

Alumnae plus our spawn

Mommy, don't step on it. 

The line for the bouncy houses was out of control, so we walked uptown for Schneider's donuts, cookies, and a loaf of amazing pecan roll bread. 

Future cardinals??

Pumpkin time!

I have probably titled four posts with those same words: Pumpkin Time! What else is there to say other than the end of September is always "pumpkin time" for us. By the time Halloween actually arrives, we usually have about 10 of them, all shapes and sizes, inside and outside our house.

Last weekend, we took a road trip (because that's our Saturday morning thing, it seems) to Radnor. There, we found Lehner's pumpkin farm. It was so perfect for younger kids, with it's jumpy pad, barrel train, and tons of ride-on toys. The major attraction for me was the indoor playground with a full restaurant so parents can eat while the kids play!!

Rhys was all over the place this day, so no photos of anything that didn't include him in my line of sight. Too many state routes and cornfields for him to explore. His favorites? The mini donkey and tractors. Hers? Running amok with her BFF Declan and the giant bounce pad.


Hanging onto traditions: Apples

In a city that is growing with more and more choices every year and the temptation to try something new every weekend, it is the traditions that keep me grounded and which I most anticipate. The simple things like picking apples.

We have always gone to the same orchard, but because of rain the night before, we arrived to a closed orchard. I'll admit, pandemonium followed. We had already been in the car for 30 minutes and the nearest orchard was 30 more minutes away. My backseat was in mutiny, and I couldn't focus on where the map was telling me to go. Just get me some freaking apples.

Luckily, we found an amazing orchard (Legend Hills), where we will definitely return year after year. It was low key, had a great market, and we were free to pick whatever apples we wanted.

The staff suggested the Melrose and Golden Delicious for their ripeness that day, and we added a few other nearby varieties.

Lakyn loved the hunt for the perfect apple, Rhys loved taking one bite and throwing it as far as he could.  Nana was a big help, too. I have big apple sauce and apple crisp planned for these guys...

A month of changes

I can't believe Larkyn has been in school for a month. I worried and worried about her sensitive little spirit and how easily she crumbles under pressure. The night before kindergarten, we both cried.

Her, because she didn't want us to "smile and wave" to her while she was driving away on the bus and me because I thought she wasn't ready. You read a lot about my worries this summer, and at that time, they were REAL! I thought we'd be in counseling by now.

It turns out that it was a lot of wasted energy, because this girl LOVES kindergarten. She loves packing her lunch, picking a snack, and getting herself ready by herself in the mornings. And she especially loves the bus. She got on so quickly that first day that I couldn't even get a picture. And I did promise that I wouldn't smile and wave (the horror).

We've had a few "somebody was mean to me" conversations, a few fits about her lace-up Nikes not lacing perfectly, and she is pretty tired at the end of the day. But overall, this is going WAY better than I ever thought.

A week after school started, we entered our first race together (or ever). She pushed through some major perseverance struggles and finished the 1.5 miles with a smile, acting like the last 1.3 miles of tears didn't happen. It helps to have the American Girl store and Snocones waiting at the finish line. She has grown so much in one month.

Hulking out of the stroller...

The lace-up shoes I mentioned before...

And Rhys man. Hmm. We have definitely entered the terrible twos (which didn't exist with big sis, so I wasn't prepared for this). We have some sleep resistance, some aggression, and laughing/escaping when he's told "no".  He brought out the word "stupid" this week, and we had to start ignoring it. The more we put him in time out and corrected him, the harder he laughed.

All the boy mamas, raise your hands. Is this really happening?

For Matt, he will soon be switching jobs from a job he has had for years. There are two prospects out there, and we aren't quite sure which one is the best fit. But that will be a huge milestone in our lives.

And me. Well, I am doing a lot of slowing down, saying "no thanks", and prioritizing. While I will definitely still be here blogging, it won't often be in the same capacity as before. Yes, there will be food, my kids, and Columbus activities. But I am blogging for fun now, and it may or may not help you plan your day in Columbus :) And it may be a month later than it used to be, because I have naps to take and babies don't keep.

I have been working on my photography website and can't wait for the logo to be sent to me so that I can show you!

Big changes for all of us, for sure.
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