Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pumpkin patch X 2


What better day than ever to post about our fun at the pumpkin patch this year?

So this year we went to the pumpkin patch TWICE.  Which seriously makes Jimmy oh so happy.  LOL.  Ok not really.  Because Jimmy is not a fan of activities like this - but I drag him to them anyway and he somehow plays along.  Good husband, right?

We had nothing to do on a warm afternoon in early October and I was interested in trying out a different (and FREE!) pumpkin patch (Schaaake's pumpkin patch) that my SIL had told us about just 20 minutes does the road in Lawrence, KS.  While we go with the Matlocks each year, I knew we would be making another visit - but I also know that October weather in KS in just in case....we packed our crew up and headed down the road to see what it was all about.

It was a bit crowded, but I love that they had a free hayride out to the actual patch and we got to run around and pick out pumpkins.  The kiddos LOVED it! Perfect weather.

This right here makes me so thankful that we (A) live in Kansas/midwest and have beautiful land like this and (B) makes us want to move out of our neighborhood and buy some land and plop down on this beautiful Earth.  Maybe some day, right?! 

It was a good trip and a great (warm) way to kick off a busy busy October.

Then when it was FINALLY a little bit cooler - we set a date and time and headed back to Schaake's pumpkin patch with the Matlock family.  So fun!!!

We played on the play sets they have there for a while and the kids ran around...then we hopped on the hay ride to go out to the pumpkin patch and check out what they had left!!!

Daddy's girl :)

And the cutest little Matlock family!!  Mae will be here in no time!

When we got out there, the boys went WILD.  They were running all around the patch and actually ran so far that we had to yell at them to come back.  Luckily they were headed in the direction AWAY from the strip club that is next to the property (the outhouse - don't ask Jimmy how he knows about that...might have been too much fun in his college days...)

Maddie wanted the HUGE pumpkin!

Love my girl and my NEW scarf.  Got it from Nordstrom Rack.  Seriously - go buy it!  I think I first saw Lizzie from This Happy Life post about it and I had to go see if I could find it there!

And look at this amazing shot that Emily got of our family at the patch!!!

And three of the kiddos (with a fourth in Emily's tummy!)

Us and our kids - not sure why my legs are wide open.  Lol.

Here's a fun little throwback to 2012 too!!


and 2014:

After the trip, Jimmy asked if we wanted to check out the newly opened Jefferson's restaurant.  (It burned down and they put it all back together, which is awesome!!).   OF COURSE I said yes because who doesn't love wings?!?!?

Maddie liked playing with the markers!

AND guess what?  We know have "our" table at the Jefferson's in Lawrence with our Carter dollar bill that we decorated!!!

Oh and on top of the delicious food - we found out that Maddie LOVES ranch.  Like so much.  So much.

After a fun day at the patch + delicious lunch....the kids were pooped and fell fast asleep.

Here's to hoping that they sleep this soundly tonight after all their SUGAR from trick or treating!!

Happy Halloween friends!!  Can't wait to see everyone's pictures of their kiddos and family's from Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween 2015 - TURTLE POWER!

Happy early HALLOWEEN!!!  Are you excited that it's finally tomorrow?!

This year's family costume was easier said than done.  Why?  Because having a three year old that actually has an opinion that is hard to sway is easier said than done.  He originally wanted to be Gru from Despicable Me...then Maddie was going to be a Minion, I was going to be Lucy, Toby was the minion dog and Jimmy...he was El Macho.  this was all per Charlie.  

That kid.  HOwever, Jimmy as El Macho would have been freaking awesome.

As I was ordering costumes for that....I quickly realized after receiving the adult size Gru mask from Amazon that didn't even fit Jimmy or I that I was going to have to convince him to be something else.  Because he wasn't going to wear the Gru mask and without the mask it's a little difficult to even tell what he is.  

I got creative.  He is pretty much obsessed with Ninja Turtles as well.  So when I told him I would also buy him the weapon to accompany his outfit - he was in.  He wanted to be Raphael...but long story short I got all the rest of our shirts off Amazon (like Charlie's costume) and I wasn't about to get one that wasn't Prime shipping.  The only 2T one for Maddie that was Prime shipping was of course Raphael.  So I convinced him that purple was the coolest color ever (it pretty much is) and Donatello was the choice!!  Funny how that works out ;)

As usual, we took our annual Halloween card photo shoot in our backyard.  This time we got to sit on our new amazing stairs too!!  

We just got a little bit into it with the homemade masks and everything too!  Oh and our weapons and hand gestures.  But seriously so fun.  And who doesn't love a good ninja turtle?

Since Maddie has no choice - I had to girly hers up a bit and took a stab at my first homemade tutu.  It was more intimidating than I thought, but once I got a plan, it was super easy and turned out great!!  She loves it too!! 

And to the 2015 cards!!  It get harder and harder for me to spend $$ on these each year and they don't seem to be getting cheaper (hello one of the reasons it was nice to work at Hallmark...employee discounts!), so I'm sorry if you didn't get one, but I hardly ordered any this year!!

But thank goodness for the Internet, right!?

I was actually somewhat on the ball this year with these costumes (even Toby's Master Splinter robe aka brown fabric), so I had a little more selection options then in years past because I could wait for them to be printed and then delivered versus the need to pick up in the store in one hour.  And thank goodness because I got these from Walgreens and they were SO much better than the in store ones that were perforated on the sides (AH!).

Check out our Halloween cards from year's past as well:

2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2009

One of the saddest parts was not having our full family with us like we did last year.  Milly and Willy were sorely missed this year for Halloween fun, but I'm sure they are looking at all the fun from doggy heaven and eating all the dog cookies they want!

My sister and Casey came over to snap some of these pictures....which are always way easier said than done.  The final pictures turn out good, but the in between?  Hilarious and must be documented!

Maddie and Charlie both refused to put their masks on!!!

But she really wanted to hold it!!!

However, there was no shortage of ninja moves from Jimmy!

They don't' sit when you tell them to sit either.  Funny how that works!!

But they still look pretty cute and are very much in character (as Charlie tries to fight Maddie with his weapon!)

When I said go get Master Splinter aka Toby aka "Sensei", they were all for it.  Toby was not that into it on the other hand.  I wonder why.

Then the hooligans ran over to chill in their chairs.

So of course I tried to get the masks back on...but no one wanted that.  

So we just tried to smile.

Wishing you and your family's the best Halloween - safe and fun!!!  That's the best combination. 


Thursday, October 29, 2015

NYC bike ride

Oh man.  In the middle of October, I hopped on a plane with a few coworkers and jetted off to NYC.  The reason?  A bike ride around New York sponsored by my company to raise money for Autism Research.  This all came about because I had to go to a meeting either the Friday before or the Monday after the race and then someone was like, why don't' you just ride??

Well - the fact that I have haven't gotten on a bike in literally 7 years might have stopped me...but nope, it didn't.  So I signed up for Wall Street Rides Far, rented a bike and helmet and started fundraising.  The fact that all the money raised from the race benefited the Autism Science Foundation  made it even more special and close to my heart because my nephew, Eli, is autistic and the therapy that he got from wonderful teachers very early on has made a world of difference.  He's pretty amazing if you ask anyone, so I loved what a great cause this was going to (and wanted to raise as much money as i could in his honor!).  So thankful to all my friends and family that donated - it was so awesome.  now I just need to finish my thank you notes to them!

Of course, my intention was to get on a bike at least once, but yeah.  That didn't happen ever.  So the first time I got on my bike was in NY about a minute before I had to race.  I fell off on my first try and hurt my woman parts.  Great start, right?

However, we did get these awesome bike jerseys and had a pretty good time.  As much of a good time you can have riding a bike for FIFTEEN MILES.  Goodness sake.

It was HILLY!  And we made it up most hills, but had to stop and walk up this one!

We were POOPED.  I also forgot to mention that we headed out on Friday night after work and had to connect in STL.  Well, our flight from STL to LGA was delayed (of course) and then getting from the airport to Manhattan was not easy - there was the longest line of cabs and no close we didn't' get to our hotel until around 1AM.  Then got up and drove an hour out of the city to the race...we were tired.  After the race, Comic Con was in town, so there was crazy traffic and it took us 2 hours to get back into the city and to our hotel.  As great as NYC is, that in itself made me so happy I don't live there!  Was so frustrating!!

We thought about napping, but decided against it and Megan and I headed on the first subway ride of the trip over to Jill's apartment (our friend that we rode with that works in our NY office).

Jill made us reservations at The Smith and it was SOOO good.  Oh my.

We got a little bit of everything and shared.  Steak salad, mac and cheese and gnocchi.  YUM!

Then made a stop at the oldest bar in NYC!  They only have two drink choices: light or dark beer.  That's it! 

We went to a few more bars and then decided to make our way to Times Square.  The other three people I was with from KC had never been to NY before and while I was so tired and just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep (not to mention we were all so sore!!!), I sucked it up and went with them to see the sights again.  

And of course I had to get a picture with some of Charlie's favorites.  But then they demanded I tip them and made me feel bad for not giving them enough.  Psssh.

We did make a stop to visit our competitor, Nasdaq. 

It was LATE and on the subway home I fell asleep.

After sleeping in until 9 (heavenly and much needed!), Megan and I headed to take a ferry across the Hudson River to Brooklyn.

Then we met up with our friends and went to Smorgaburg, which was like a huge food vendors all in one place in Prospect Park.  OMG.  So good.

Yes, all those things in the above right picture were for me.  Once in a lifetime, right?  
(Shrimp taco, Cheese curds with truffle sauce, mexican street corn and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with sea salt, vanilla ice cream and hot fudge....YUM)

Then we walked across the Brooklyn bridge, which was crazy but fun.  The bikers across it were crazy.

After that, we parted ways and I headed to explore the city a little more on my own.  Got my kids some little cars from a street vendor and of course on my way back to the hotel, made a stop on Wall Street and to NYSE.

I grabbed some sushi to go and sat in my hotel room catching up on work and watching Sunday night shows (ps - east coast time is SO hard to watch shoes because it's so late!).  Megan and I decided to save our company money and just shared a room, but she and Jill went to the Giants football game that night so it was fun to get a little alone time!!

Then next day, the three of us headed to our NY office (a first visit for all of us).  And pretty much what everyone said is true.  The view is unbelievable.  Literally stare right at the statue of liberty.  Pretty much our office in Lenexa is mincemeat compared to the NY view and the London view (that looks at the Tower Bridge on the Thames river in London).

After my meeting and some work, I headed to the airport and couldn't believe the comeback the Royals made (I was watching with some girls on my flight).  Insane!!

The next morning, these two were excited to see me and the feeling was mutual!  (if you cannot tell, Charlie just really liked the police car/taxi cab I got them too!)

It was a fun weekend in NY (and I burned a LOT of calories with the bike ride and walking - it was insane, as I track all that on my Apple watch), but it always feels so good to get home.  Like I always say, visiting cities is amazing.  There is nothing like a big city and the commute and the people and the energy.  But then when I land back in Kansas City and get in my minivan and drive home- I just couldn't love my life more!