1. I always am so sad to see summer go, but we have been seriously fall-ing it up and it’s made the change in weather a bit more bearable! I have, yet again, been leaving my ‘good camera’ by the wayside and honestly, even my iphone photo taking has been slacking! I stole a lot of these photos from Andrew’s phone—so this is a rare post where there are actually quite a few photos of me!

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    Picking out pumpkins at a local farm. Lyla was OBSESSED with that goat and we stood there just watching it for way too long before finally convincing her it was time to pick out a pumpkin.

    high school parade
    We have made it a tradition to go to our old high school’s homecoming parade every year. Lyla LOVES parades and this one threw out crazy amounts of candy, so it was extra great! (I swear she was having fun—that picture with me was just her being stubborn because she was NOT in the mood for photos! I had to sneak that one of her and Andrew…)

    fall leaves
    Just some cute shots of us girls, hanging out in the fall leaves! That shot of me is from a couple weeks ago, with a 27 week baby bump.

    downtown fall fest
    Have I mentioned how great our town is? We stopped by this local fall festival after Lyla’s dance class one morning and they gave out free pumpkins to decorate (she chose to make hers a kitty face—of course), had a free bounce house, free face painting, and some other fun FREE stuff. Honestly though—how often do you find things that are actually free anymore?? I sometimes feel funny about still living in the town I grew up in (and there are certainly things about it that I’m not very fond of) but this fall has made realize what a great community it is. Every weekend we find fun things to do, especially for kids.

    arboretum and apple dumplings
    Penn State’s Arboretum is a favorite spot of ours (the new kids area is amazing!) and they were having a little fall fest last weekend. We walked around a bit and then got some kettle corn and sat and listened to a band play.
    During the week, Lyla and I made apple dumplings (my specialty!). She was actually super helpful and rolled out the dough and wrapped up the apples, with minimal help. It kind of felt like I was passing on some sort of family tradition of her, which was pretty cool.

    So that’s what we’ve been up to! A lot of fun and not a whole lot of updating on this blog, haha. I guess this photo dump post serves the same purpose as posting regularly anyway. Tomorrow marks 30 weeks for baby and I’m hoping to have Andrew take some photos, weather permitting.

     

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    A few pictures from a couple weeks ago when we went to visit Amanda and her family in Virginia. It was definitely an ‘Indian summer’ kind of weekend, which of course, I loved! It was nice to drape my growing baby bump in a sundress, rather than the restrictive elastic waistbands or low rise jeans that I’ve been trying to tolerate. We went to a little fall fest (no good pics from that because I was too sweaty to bother…) and just hung out and relaxed.

    1,2,3- The “big girls” eating mini slices of watermelon from the yard.

    4- A random shot of Milena that doesn’t go with the photo set, but was too cute not to share!

     

  3. preschool q

    Lyla’s first day of preschool was last week!

    As expected, she was totally cool with the idea of being left alone with a bunch of kids/strangers, while I drove away (crying). I am so proud of her for being so independent and so brave. She looks a little glassy eyed in these photos because the poor kid was battling a cold (that I’m pretty sure we picked up earlier that week at the orientation for school…it’s gonna be a long, germy winter!). She was actually in quite good spirits, despite the mouth breathing and lack of sleep. I did get a better, smiley photo with my phone but it is too grainy to post here.

    I have this weird sense of relief now that Lyla has started preschool. As far as developmental stuff, I know that she is already ahead of a lot of kids. She can spell/write her name and write all the letters of the alphabet, knows her numbers and how to count, is super well-spoken and does well socially, interacting with others. I just always had this nagging guilt that she was missing out on making friends with other kids her age and learning to take direction and be part of organized activity. It is also a good transition for me—to learn how to spend time alone, to get dressed in clothes that I’d want to be seen in public while wearing (haha), and to mark things off my to do list that I normally wouldn’t have time for. I also made the huge step of giving up my evening/seasonal job that I was supposed to start this week. I was really dreading the late hours (my shifts were 5-11 p.m.) and not being home to make dinner and rest each evening (pregnancy is exhausting…). So after a lot of prayer and internal debate, I decided I needed to be brave and take the risk. I have some projects in the work that I’m hoping will replace the lost income. I’m sure I’ll be sharing/promoting that stuff here as well. ; ) It is a good feeling to get rid of some little pieces of my life that were constant sources of worry/discontent.

     

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    Buddies.

    A couple weekends ago, Lyla helped Andrew wash his car. It was too cold to be wearing a bathing suit and playing in water, but this has been their summer routine and she always gets so excited about helping her daddy.

    I think everyone assumes that Andrew was over the moon when he found out we are having a boy. I mean, he was excited, but he would’ve been just the same if we were having another girl. Lyla is such a go-getter—wants to try new things, do everything “herself” (even when we assure her the assistance of a grown up would be immensely helpful), and is interested in anything and everything physical/outdoorsy/athletic. She is the best of both worlds. Mama’s sweet little artist who loves to put on “lips” (lip gloss) and wear princess crowns. And daddy’s little tomboy who loves to play catch (and is quite good at it) and splash in mud puddles. We didn’t decide to have another baby to fill any kind of void. Our family is complete just as it is right now. But with a kiddo as fun and joyful as Lyla, we figure adding another can only add to our joy.

    (how sweet is that photo of the two of them looking at each other?? so. much. love.)

     

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    23 weeks

    We are trying to soak in the last bits of summer, hitting up the playgrounds and taking walks. Lyla starts her preschool program next week (3-4 days a week for 2 hours, baby steps!) and I’m excited but also kind of sad that our days will be so planned from here on out.
    Baby boy is kicking and moving a lot. It is kind of pathetic how much harder pregnancy has been on my body this time around, three and a half years later (I turn 31 this weekend!). I wake up at night with aching hips and a sore back, and I’ve been falling asleep on the couch by 9 p.m. way more than I wish to admit. I guess it could also be because I carry around a 30 lb. toddler a lot of the day now….