Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Favorite Time of the Year

Fall. I love fall. I love the colors. I love the warm sunny days, followed by crisp, cool evenings. I love the apples. I love the smells. But this fall has been SO. FREAKING. RAINY. I feel like I've hardly been able to get out and enjoy the outdoors the way I like to this time of the year.

So today after we went apple picking, we took a little walk off the Savage Mill Trail to enjoy the views and the colors.

Apple Picking 2011

I swear today has been the most beautiful day of this fall! We decided to go apple picking and headed to Rock Hill Orchard.

Jessie and Jilly both enjoyed the trip, and snagging a couple apples while we picked!

As always, a self-portrait attempt. Jess was sitting on my lap, but clearly no where near tall enough to make it into the picture.

And the requisite self-timer portrait attempt. Which would have turned out awesome if it was in focus. Grrrr.

Just for kicks...some apple picking blasts from the past:

2008, Larriland Farm

2009, Rock Hill Orchard

2010, Larriland Farm, with NEW baby Jessie in the wrap!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Living Room Makeover!

Those of you who are my FB friends will likely have seen a couple pictures of this makeover as it happened over the weekend. But here's the background story and some before and after pictures. My Uncle Frank used to have some really nice quality wood furniture in his home. When he died, I was lucky enough to have been able to recycle some of those pieces. Like the desk that I'm using right now to type this post. In addition to the cedar chests, desks, and other pieces of furniture, there was a nice dining room set. You know, the big kind, with six "real" chairs and a table that expands with a leaf. For years my parents have stored it for me at their house - thank you Mom and Honey! And this past spring, I started noodling around with the idea that we could use it at this house. Not in the kitchen mind you, because our tiny Ikea table is already too big in the kitchen.

We have an alcove off our living room where my piano lived, joined by many kids toys, dress up clothes, etc. That area, unfortunately, became the place where my aging and sick cat enjoyed peeing the most. But as an idea formed in my head, I started working with it. Finally, late spring/early summer, I solidified my plan, but knew I couldn't carry it out until after Gus moved on. Sadly, we had Gus put to sleep in August, and shortly after I started getting excited that maybe my makeover idea for the living room would work. A couple weeks ago, John told me about a Boy Scouts camping trip coming up. I asked Bubby if she and Paw-Paw could take the girls for that weekend so that I could transform our living space. Thank you, Bubby & Paw-Paw, for having the girls over last weekend!!!!

Now that you know the story, and that I've been itching to do this project for literally MONTHS, here is the before (I actually had a big, wood coffee table in the middle of the floor, but we had already moved it out before I realized I should at least take before and after pics).

CAUTION: these pictures contain lots of messiness!

And the after...

Now there is still some aftermath to deal with - obviously way more stuff came out of this room than is going back into it. And that kitchen pass-through is still a cluttered mess. At some point I'd like for us to swap the positions of the piano and the green chair, for easier tv viewing from that chair. Even still, to say that I'm excited about the change is an understatement!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Every year we've made it a tradition to visit a pumpkin patch or two during the fall. This year was no different, only we had such a beautiful weekend, that we convinced daddy to come along! We went on Sunday, so had to pick a pumpkin patch that was open until at least 6pm, so that John we could watch the Redskins game at 1pm, so didn't visit either of our normal pumpkin patches. Instead, we headed west and visited Gaver Tree Farm. It was quite nice - we only did the hay ride and pumpkin patch visit, though their fall-fun-festival looked really cool, with a huge bouncy thing, big corn maze, and littler mazes and activities for littler kiddos. It may warrant a trip back before Halloween at only $5/person over 2 years during the week.

Jessie had a blast at the pumpkin patch, especially now that she's fully on her feet!

Jilly had fun picking out various pumpkins. She wanted all of them.

I tried getting the girls to pose together...

And I had John take a couple pictures of me and the girls together. They didn't exactly cooperate for that either.

Here we three are last year!

Jilly from 2009

And Jilly from 2008.