Monday, September 30, 2013


This past Saturday we headed up to Lebanon for the annual Applefest, one of my favorite things in the fall.  It's basically a festival with local vendors selling homemade goods and as well as delicious apple themed yummies.  There is everything from homemade fall decor to local fruit farms with fried apple pies, cinnamon doughnuts and caramel apples.  

It was so fun and the boys had a blast and enjoyed some yummy food.  

One vendor was telling these Alpaca's sweaters and blankets.  They brought some Alpaca's for the kids to enjoy.  They are so soft and make the sweetest "maa" sounds, almost like a baby!

It was fun just walking around.  I found a wooden pumpkin that lights up to put on my porch!  We finished up by letting the boys play on the firetruck the local fire department had on display.  

Saturday night we were so excited to welcome back some sweet friends who have just moved back to Cincy after being on a job assignment in connecticut the past three years.  They have a little girl Olivia who is three and just adorable.  The boys had the BEST time playing with Olivia.  They were so sad when she had to go home. 

We can't wait to hang out with them again!  

It was a perfect fall weekend!  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Beautiful Mess

MOPS has been apart of my life for the past four years.  This year I have the privilege to co-lead with my sweet friend Laura.  I wasn't sure I wanted to lead and take on that much responsibility but I felt God urging me to step up and lead this fantastic group of moms.

I see MOPS as a ministry for moms of preschoolers.  When I first started and was a new mom these women really ministered to me and helped get me through that newborn phase, the terrible twos and juggling two kiddos.  

This year our theme for MOPS is A Beautiful Mess: Embracing Your Story!  We all have a beautiful mess!  For instance,  this morning I had to get up super early and get ready before the boys got up, then get then up, changed, fed and get ALL my stuff together for our first MOPS meeting today.  I had most of it together last night but it's always hectic getting us out the door in the morning.  

Life can be crazy, especially with two small children and a husband who is going to school full time and has different schedule every day. There are so many days that the laundry doesn't get done, the cleaning doesn't get done and you get take out for the third night in a row because of a busy schedule or I just don't feel like cooking.  

I get comments all the time from random onlookers who see me and the boys and say "Oh, I miss that age"!  I do believe I will miss this age!  The boys are sweet and innocent and messy and wild but they are the greatest gift God has ever given me.  This is my beautiful mess and I love them so deeply and wouldn't trade them or this stage for anything in the world.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Our Weekend

It was a beautiful fall weekend here!  We have had a tradition lately of making homemade pancakes for breakfast on Saturday morning!  The boys slept in past 9, hallelujah!!!  So thankful for this age that they will sleep in especially on Saturday mornings.  We started our weekend with pancakes. 

Ryan got up early from his nap/quiet time and Matt needed to study so I took Ryan with me to run some errands at the mall.  He was good for the most part except he kept asking to go play with the trains (in the toy store).  

Sunday we went to church and came home for lunch and naps.  It was a nice relaxing day finished up by playing in the backyard with the boys!

Loving these cool fall days!  We are spending time outside as much as possible before it gets too cool!  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Five on Friday

I'm linking up again for Five on Friday!

1. This week has flown.  I can't believe it's already Friday!  The boys both had great weeks at school and I seemed to get caught up on some housework and other little projects I have going on.

2. We went to a birthday party tonight for our friend and cousin Evie.  She is turning five in a few days.  It was so great to see and catch up with friends and family we don't get to see very often.  The boys had a blast running around and playing so hard.  I'm sure they will sleep great tonight!

3. One of my projects I've been working on is finishing Colton's Christmas stocking.  Yes, I've had it for over two years and I have yet to finish it.  I must get it done by Thanksgiving!  I should finish soon!

4.  I made these fun ninja cookies this week for our friend Will's birthday!  They turned out so fun!  I love the colors!

5. We don't have much planned for this weekend but I hope it's full of playing outside in this perfect weather and watching some football.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Skillet Baked Ziti

I made the most delicious pasta meal last week!  I found it on my favorite food blog  I love that it was simple, fairly easy to make and only used one skillet.  I thought it was going to be bland but after tasting it when it was done it was AMAZING and so flavorful.  We all loved it!  The ricotta cheese mixture really gives it a wonderful flavor and taste.  So so good and definitely will make again, probably next week.   

Skillet Baked Ziti
6 garlic cloves (minced)
4 teaspoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cans (28oz) crushed or diced tomatoes
3 cups of water
12 oz (3 3/4 cups) ziti pasta
4 oz (1/2 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 cup mozzarella cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 475
2.  Combine 1 teaspoon olive oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt in large non stick skillet over medium-high heat (about 1 minute)
3.  Add crushed tomatoes, water, ziti and 1/2 tsp salt
4.  Cover and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat as needed to maintain vigorous simmering, until ziti is almost tender, 15-18 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile combine ricotta cheese, 1 tsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
6.  Stir in cream, parmesan, and basil into the skillet an season with salt and pepper to taste
7.  Add dollops of the ricotta mixture with a spoon and sprinkle mozzarella evenly over ziti.
8.  Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese has melted and browned, about 10 minutes.  Let cook slightly and sprinkle with remaining tablespoons of basil.  Serve.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I don't have much today but just wanted to share these pics of the boys riding their bikes/car.  They both had a great day at school.  It was gorgeous outside so we headed outside after naps.  

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fun Fall Weekend

It was a great fall weekend! Saturday we took the boys to a local fruit farm to pick apples.  I was surprised how many people were there but it was gorgeous out so I can't blame them.  It was so cute with animals running around and fun activities for the kids.  The boys loved it!  Love this picture of Matt and the boys!  

You could pay a quarter to feed the goats so we let Ryan try his hand.  Ryan did great and and loved feeding the goats.  Colton was NOT into feeding the animals! So funny!  He just wanted to look at them. 

After seeing the animals we headed out to the apple orchard.  Ryan loved seeing all the apples and finding just the right one to pick.  He did great!

Colton enjoyed it too however he wanted me to hold him the entire time.  Fun!  I think he felt unsure walking in the tall grass and all.  It was all good and he did get down a few times to contribute to the bag.

The fruit farm had a little country store so we stopped in to get some goodies.  We got some apple cider, of course a caramel apple and a cinnamon sugar doughnut.  Yum!  The caramel apple was amazing!  I wish we had gotten two!  

After we left the farm we headed to grab some lunch.  We stopped in this cute sports grill and had the best hamburgers.  It was the perfect fall day in my book....except that the Vols lost to the Oregon ducks. 

Matt and I had a great date night Saturday night.  It was a last minute idea but I'm SO glad we decided to go.  We needed the time away!

Sunday we spent time relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday, Fall and Fashion

 The first week of school is in the books!  Ryan did awesome and loved every day of school!  I'm so thankful for wonderful teachers!  I hope he always loves school and loves learning.  

Colton did great at school on Tuesday but he's had a hard time adjusting to big brother being gone at school.  He fussed and cried pretty bad at the gym when I dropped just him off but today he was much better.  He adores his big brother and used to having his around all the time.  Praying he adjust quickly!

Today felt like the first real day of fall.  The temps finally dropped and it was time to pull out the jeans and tennis shoes and put away the shorts and crocs.  

I bought my first pair of FRYE riding books last week and I cannot wait to wear them!  I'm so excited.  I love fall fashion!  These are some fall looks I'm loving!


I'm looking forward to watching my VOLS play against the Oregon Ducks!  We probably won't beat the number 2 ducks but I'm hoping for a good show by the Vols. 

Lastly I can't wait for a little date night with my honey on Saturday night!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back to School Cookies

Speaking of back to school...I made these special teacher treats for Ryan and Colton's new teachers.  After I got the pencil and school bus cookie cutters last week I couldn't wait to make these fun treats.  

I made these adorable pirate and princess cookies for a friend in Georgia.  The pirates and map are some of my favorites.  The pirate ship is one of my new favorites.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ryan's First day of Preschool

Today was Ryan's first day of preschool.  He is now in the 4's class and goes four days a week.  He is growing up so fast I can hardly believe it.  

He was all ready and excited about his first day of school today!

We came outside to take pictures and Colton decided he wanted in the picture too.  He's just used to taking pictures with his big brother.  Don't they look adorable and so grown up.  I know one day I will look back and think how small they are but today they look so big to me.

I want to cherish these sweet young years when they are innocent, sweet (most of the time) and I get to hang out with them all day.  So blessed!

By miracle we got to school super early, like 20 minutes early, so we jumped to get a picture by the school sign.  Ryan loves his preschool and has so many friends there.  I love his preschool too and so thankful for their teaching and loving on my kiddos. 

Ryan was excited that Daddy came to drop him off at school.

Ryan and his girlfriend Jillian.  They are so cute and so funny!  Jillian pretends that she is texting Ryan all the time.  Cracks me up!  When I ask Ryan about Jillian he says "oh Jillian, she loves me".  We will have to save this for their rehearsal dinner in about 20 years.

Love these three!  Elizabeth, Ryan and Nicholas.  They have known each other since they were babies and just a few weeks old.  Crazy!  So glad they are all in the same class again this year!  

When I picked Ryan up I asked him how his first day was and he said "it was awesome mommy"!  Love it!  So blessed and thankful!  Excited for a wonderful year.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Colton's First Day of MDO

Today was Colton's first day of Mother's Day Out!  He was less than thrilled to wear his backpack and carry his lunch box but he did sit on the front porch for me and say "cheese.  He looked so cute all ready for school this morning. 

He is in love with the Little Blue Truck book and would not put it down this morning.  

I'm super excited for him to be in "school" and know he is going to do awesome and love it!

We dropped Colton off without a hitch.  He went right on in and followed Ryan to his classroom.  No tears from anyone.  So proud of this big boy.  

He went in and started playing with all his new friends.  When we came to pick him up he was so excited to see us.  His teachers said he had a great day and was all smiles the whole time.  Such a cutie pie, just love this little bear.  

After we dropped Colton off, Ryan and I headed to his preschool to meet his new teachers for the year.  He loved seeing his new classroom and seeing his friends.  

I was so glad to see most of my girlfriends whose kids also go to our preschool. I have been missing them.  I did Bible study with most of them this summer but haven't seem them in weeks.  It was good for my momma soul.  Love my friends and SO thankful for them.  

After orientation Ryan played on the playground at school with some of his friends.  I told Ryan it was a "Ryan Mommy day".  He said "oh mommy, that's sweet".  Loved spending some one on one time with him today!  We grabbed lunch together before heading to pick up little brother.  

It was a great day.  I'm looking forward to getting into our routine and enjoying our favorite time of year!