Friday, December 10, 2010

Fall Festivities

10 weeks under my belt and I think I'm flailing a little less. It has been a BUSY ten weeks with many relatives visiting, Josh's business booming (meaning long hours and lots of traveling), seasons changing, and the usual day-to-day craziness that is our lives.

Doesn't Dean look happy? Poor guy had bronchitis.

This Halloween Josh and I took the kids to a "pumpkin patch". This was no ordinary pumpkin patch. Actually, it wasn't a pumpkin patch at all. It was a fall theme park that just happened to be on someone's farm. There were bouncy castles, a petting zoo, huge tunnels through hay, barns with hay 5 feet deep to play in, and 2 story slides on potato sacks. There was a tractor ride that took you to a field where there were hundreds of pumpkins spread out and every person got to pick their own (I guess that justifies calling it a pumpkin patch). We had a great time.

When the actual day came around Dean dressed up as a dinosaur/dragon and went trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, with Jess and Cooper in tow as Batman and Robin. He LOVED the idea of everyone giving him candy. Who wouldn't. Josh and I made sure to ease him into the sugar high capital of the year, by consuming the majority of his earnings ourselves. A sacrifice we took very seriously. The hard part now is getting Dean to understand that you only go trick-or-treating once a year.

We traveled up to Michigan this year for Thanksgiving to be with Josh's family. The original plan was that Dean and Josh would drive up with all our stuff, accompanied by Uncle Zach and Aunt Elizabeth (and Bowser her bulldog of course), while Riley and I flew (we weren't ready to attempt a drive that long with a 2-month-old). Josh ended up traveling all week on business and rather than fly back to NC just to leave that same day to drive 13 hours, he opted to fly directly to Michigan, leaving his brother and sister to drive the 13 hours up with our 2-year-old. Thankfully he is a really good traveler and Uncle Zach and Aunt EB are very patient people!

We had a great week with almost everyone from the immediate family there. Joel's new fiance Catherine and Elizabeth's boyfriend Michael were out of the country and could not attend. They were both greatly missed.

Josh and his Uncle Kim carving the turkeys.

It was SUPER cold most of the time we were there, but that didn't stop Josh, Dean, and Bronwyn from getting out in the kayaks for a spin around the lake.

It was a full house with 8-9 adults (depending on the day), a 2-year-old, a 1-year-old, a newborn, and 4 big dogs. We had great time visiting, playing with the kids, and eating to our hearts content...DAILY. My mother-in-law, Bronwyn, sent my sister-in-law and I off to the masseuse while we were there - a pampering for mothers in need. And the grandparents babysat a few times to let us "kids" go out together and have a few drinks. It was really nice to have that adult time, not to mention all the help with the kids.

One day that everyone seemed to be working or have other plans, my sister-in-law Lauren and me took our 3 small children an hour away to the Ann Arbor Children's Museum. We were optimistic that we could get everyone there, have fun, and back home with no big upsets...and we were RIGHT! It was great fun and 4 out of 5 of us (because I was driving) even managed long naps on the way home! Sadly, we managed the whole day without taking a single picture though .

Dean and my nephew Noah watching the sun rise over the lake.
Noah and Aunt EB's dog Bowser. GG got him pjs with bulldogs on them because they act and look so much alike.

Greatgrandma Barricklow and Riley

Noni and Riley

GG and Riley

Pop and Riley

Aunt EB with Dean and Bowser

With Christmas coming and Josh's business still incredibly busy the chaos of the season seems to be upon us. We managed to get a Christmas tree and put up decorations inside, although our lights for the outside are still in a heap in the living room. Laundry goes undone, floors go unswept, and faces go unwiped, but we're happy and healthy with so much to be thankful for. It's been quite an amazing 11 months and I'm sure this last month of 2010 will not disappoint!

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