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.

Last weekend of summer..

Before I begin, thanks for all the kind and encouraging comments on my last post. This was the first enjoyable post to write in a long time...

Oooooh do I have trouble saying goodbye, especially to summer. But I kind of already did it when we went back to school. This weekend gifted us the most gorgeous weather and time to take us wherever the wind blows. Or where the sunflowers grow, I guess.

An Instagram photo of a gorgeous sunflower field in Yellow Springs caught my eye on Friday night, and I asked the kids if they wanted to go the next day. This would be our fourth trip to YS in a year, so they actually knew what I was offering. YES! I promised a stop at Young's, after the flower field. 

This is terrible, but #realmom time. I have found that the easiest way to make my kids happy on a road trip is to stop at a gas station on the way out of town. We pick 2 snacks (yeah, not organic and grass-fed) and a bottle of water for each. The novelty of food not brought from our house is enough to keep them happy for most of the trip.

We were there in no time, and this trip seems shorter each time. And the field was gorgeous!  Both kids were as excited as I was (maybe not as excited as Larkyn, who proclaimed it "the best day of my life!"

There were approximately 6700000 bees, so I was a little wary, but we got a few photos and then I just let them run free. Not too free, because it is near a super busy road and half of Ohio was in town to visit said flowers.

When we started being destructive with sticks and doing backward somersaults, showing the world our undies, it was time to head to Young's. 

Let it be known: I LOVE COWVIN's CORRAL. A shaded bounce house, corn bin, slides and ride-on equipment for $4/kid is my idea of mom Heaven. They were so happy.

Do not make me leave this pool of corn. EVER. 

She used this pose the entire way down the slide. Every time. 

We took a quick look at the animals, and a nice man gave Larkyn the rest of his goat feed to give the animals. Rhys was hell-bent on getting his fingers pecked off by turkeys, but she was really into feeding the animals once the man showed her they wouldn't bite.  We planned to get ice cream, but as usual, the line was WAY too long for this mama, and we headed home. I have an idea for a fasts or a pager system at Young's...

"No, Rhys, this is not for you. This is not chocolate."

That night was the church festival across the street from our house. Every year since we moved here, we have walked across High Street to Saint Michael's for the rides and general chaos of festivals. Only this time, Rhys could ride too! We had a late night and too much sugar, but so much fun.

What a lovely night of funnel cakes and ice cream. I am never going to bed tonight. #truth

Our Labor Day was spent playing at Shale Hollow and having Nana over for a Labor Day picnic. Daddy had to work, so no cookout. If there is one upside to your husband having to work/be in school a LOT, it is that the menu becomes your decision. So, fried chicken it was!

I am grateful for the 3 days signaling the end of summer and letting us pause to drink it all in...
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