Sunday Afternoons, Alone Time, and a Nature Book Giveaway!

Sunday was another bright and beautiful day! And we had plans to visit my dad and stepmom out in the “country”. They live about an hour and a half from us, in a small town in Michigan. The cute type of town that has antique stores, a small local hardware, a toy store, a tea shop, and a other little boutique shops lining the four streets of downtown. My stepmom had invited us out, asking if Billy could help my dad with a few projects around the house, and threw in the promise of a meal – and that she would watch Wyatt so I could wander the downtown for some alone time. We would have gone despite the promises, they are family, and family helps family. But, I couldn’t pass up the call of some time shopping by myself either.

The drive was easy and pleasant, and we pulled into my dad’s driveway about noon. We piled in the house, the scent of bubbling soup on the stove greeting us as we walked through the door. Their house has a room with a wall of windows that I am in love with. I would 100 percent be sitting there summer or winter, looking out into the yard over tea or a glass of wine in the evenings, coffee in the morning. I can never have enough windows or light. We went in and visited a bit, then Billy headed off with my dad, and I kissed my kiddo goodbye and headed out for some shopping.

I am not a huge shopper by nature – but I don’t mind a turn around an antique store. I can spend some time in one, just marveling over the things being sold. Little teacups, pieces of furniture, old photos and paintings and clocks and watches and jewelry and wooden boxes – well, you know. I love to look at the old photos and wonder about the people in them, what were their lives like, how did their photos end up for sale. I always look at the books, and usually buy one or two.

As it was Sunday, half the stores were closed. But that didn’t stop me. I had the streets to myself. The stores to myself. I just wandered through happily looking at the wares, picking things up, imagining. Listening to the conversations of the people who worked there. (Sadly, one woman had just lost her dog the night before.) And I even purchased a few small things, although quite a few objects were calling my name. One of my friend’s is all about antiques – her whole house is pretty much all antiques and is insanely gorgeous. One day I will do a photo tour of it as it doesn’t seem real. But anyway, she has a talent for finding perfect pieces. I am not that person, but I will spring for some things that catch my eye. My style is more eclectic/boho than antique but it is still fun to putter about.

I liked both of these pieces but left them in the store. But I am loving that little bench and I feel like I need it in my kitchen. I have a library card catalog in my kitchen right now that I want to move to the basement to our art area to fill with art supplies, and a little bench might be nice there instead. And I have no idea why I liked that small chest of drawers – it just appealed to me. But, I wasn’t buying furniture Sunday. I was more about enjoying the look around and the time.

I did buy a few little things though.

I have always loved Gwen Frostic, and whenever I spot her art or books in the wild, I buy them. One of my favorite things that I did this year was visit her old art studio in northern Michigan, so when I saw that they had two of her books of art and writing, I knew that I was buying them. And one is even signed! Then that little sugar and creamer set was just adorable, with its pastoral scene. And only eight dollars for both pieces, which to me seemed like a deal!

After perusing the shops, I strolled the streets, which were peaceful.

Before I knew it I had explored the whole downtown – ending at the Tecumseh Brewing Company. I contemplated having a drink outside but decided not to this time, and opted to head back and see how the kiddo and grandma were doing.

Kiddo was doing wonderful – when I walked in he and my stepmom were enjoying a small picnic on the floor of raspberries and blueberries. He was perfectly happy and content. Grandma had given him ice cream as well, and they had a good time throwing “snowballs” (the plush version). The three of us hung out for a while before being rejoined by Billy and my dad, and we sat down to a delicious lunch of tortellini bean soup and sandwiches. I love that soup! I make it all the time but mine is never as creamy as Shellie’s. I think I need to let it simmer longer. Or something.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back home. It had been a great day visiting and we are planning on going back soon. It is much nicer to see them in person these days!

And now – the giveaway!

If you read here, then you might know that I love John Lewis-Stempel, a British nature writer. I am in love with his work and my husband has gifted me through the years with his books as Christmas gifts. And as my birthday is next week, I am going to make like a Hobbit and gift a copy of The Private Life of the Hare – it is a short read about hares, and is simply gorgeous as well! To enter just drop a comment below and make sure I have your email address. Winner will be picked at random and contacted via email. Sadly, only U.S. only for this giveaway this time. Giveaway ends November 15th at midnight – the night before my birthday! And if you just want to comment but not enter that is cool too! Just let me know!

Updated November 16:

And the winner is….Deb from Readerbuzz!!

Field Trip: Fossil Park, OH

One perk to homeschooling – being in charge of your own field trips. So if we felt like packing up early and driving to Ohio to check out a fossil park on a Monday morning, no big deal. Bonus – going at that time pretty much assured we would have the place to ourselves. Which we did.

I had been looking for some places to take Wyatt to introduce him to the idea of fossils and rocks- we are about to begin a whole rocks and minerals unit in science and when I can get him outside or hands on, I do. I found one north of us, about four hours away, and then my brother sent me the link to another, this one only an hour drive south. This is where we ended up going – Fossil Park, Ohio.

I will admit at first look it is a bit underwhelming. Like a place teens would go to have fires and beers or like a crumbling parking lot somewhere. I was like, well, regardless of how this turns out, Wyatt will have gotten out to play in an environment that is unlike any other he has been to before. There wasn’t too much to see, just gravelly ground, a large container of water, and a few little tables and benches. Pretty simple set up.

We were optimistic, as we generally are. I had read the website and printed out a few materials before we left, including an information sheet that had illustrations and descriptions of the types of fossils we could hope to find, which we had reviewed in the car on the drive. Fossil Park is the remains of a shallow sea bed from the Devonian Era, 375 million years ago. No dinosaurs. We had our milk jug with the top part cut off, also suggested per the website, to use to keep our treasures in. After a brief glance around, we plopped onto the ground and started searching.

I found a piece of a trilobite right away, and I felt very victorious. Giddy almost. Billy was systematically combing through the dirt, I was sort of attacking things a bit more energetically and also trying to teach Wyatt, who was busy stuffing his overalls full of rocks and fossils, neglecting the milk jug in his excitement. He was pretty proud of his collection.

Let me stop a second and talk to you about these overalls. This is not an ad or affiliate or anything, I just really love them. I bought them for him in the spring – as Wyatt scoots a lot right now while we work on walking, he literally goes through pants like crazy. Anything harder than grass just tears the seat right up – and eventually, him, if I don’t watch. These Key Apparel overalls are like the toughest purchase I have ever bought him. They have withheld an entire spring of playing outside, and now, a rock quarry. They are a little worn but still intact. I can’t stress enough how durable these overalls are! They are from a farm supply outfitter, so they are made for hard work, but if you have an active kid that goes through clothes like crazy, I highly recommend these overalls. I only wish he could wear them in the summer – but the very thing that makes them so durable would also make them too hot for the summer. So we will count our blessings and be happy that he can wear them at least in the spring and fall.

Back to the fossil hunt. We were busy at work, Wyatt and I near the top of the quarry, Billy near the bottom, sifting and examining. I was explaining different things to Wyatt, showing him different pieces. We were alone in the quarry for quite a while before a man came walking in, and after a few minutes he came up to us. It turned out that he was the Parks Project Manager and super nice! He told us about what we could find, and even dug with us for twenty minutes, giving us his finds and telling us what they were. It was really cool and like having a personalized guide. He was telling us as well, that they have big plans for the quarry and next year it will be built up more.

We stayed quite a bit longer than I anticipated, almost two hours. Wyatt had fun, and so did Billy and I. I felt sort of like a kid again, sitting in the dirt, just exploring and looking for neat things. I think Billy did too.

We came home with a nice collection in our milk jug! We found a bit of trilobite (top of the big rock), brachiopods (the shell looking piece), and then lots of crinoids, which are bits of sea lilies. I am holding a bit of stem (the long cylinder) and then bits of the stem, the flat washer looking cheerio thing.

If you plan to visit: Expect to get dusty! We were cracking up at how much dust we had on us. Also, when Wyatt’s overalls came off at home tons of small pebbles fell all over the floor, so expect that too. You can only take your collection jug/carton, and water on hot days, no eating or drinking is allowed in the quarry. You can take a brush to dust your specimens. As for being ADA accessible, I would say it is pretty accessible honestly. There is a wheelchair ramp leading down to the quarry, and while it would be a rocky ride inside it can be done. It would be trickier if using a walker or crutches, unless the person scooted like Wyatt. Alternatively, you can sit at the tables and benches and collect from the pile behind the tables as well. Also check the website – it is really informational, and has great printables available, including how to use your visit in your lesson plans.

Overall, we had a really good time! We would definitely go again.

Late Summer at the Village

Last Friday I met my sister-in-law and niece at Greenfield Village for an early morning visit. I love it there so much, and as Wyatt and I ease into school, I hope to work some mornings there in to our schedule more often. But, this visit was just for fun, a last little vestige of summer before Dino Girl started school.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning either – not too hot or chilly, and the sun was shining and the sky was so blue. Perfect really. I had my wagon for Wyatt, and my niece wanted to ride in there with him too, so my SIL and I took turns pulling it around while we walked and chatted. And admired all of the gardens!

We made sure to stop and visit at our favorite houses, the Cotswold Cottage and the Dagget Farmhouse. I always joke if the world went sideways for real I would move in to the Cottage at the Village. It’s a real cottage too, moved here stone by stone from England.

And this farmhouse, I love everything about it. When we were there they had the interpreters inside making dye from flowers and spinning wool. The kids were enthralled with the spinning wheel; Wyatt kept asking to do it, while Dino Girl had lots of good questions about the process.

From here we wandered into the last, big garden. The kids were good sports but were starting to fade a bit by this time. And they were ready for the ice cream we promised them. We still had about twenty minutes before the frozen custard opened though, since it wasn’t even 11 am yet, so we rolled up into the garden. I love a late summer garden. I feel like the flowers are throwing all their colors at us, their last final hurrah before they completely fade away in the fall. Like look at me, look at me! So we did.

Finally, finally, it was time for frozen custard!

This little building is so sweet, isn’t it?

We got our treats, ate them up, and by this time, it was time to head home. I had my eye doctor appointment that afternoon so I needed to get back and get ready, yuck. It was a very relaxing way to end the week though, and we had the best time.

Chitchat Coffee Time Post

I sat down this morning to type up my Homeschooling Snow post, and realized that was not what I wanted to talk about this morning. Instead I just feel like chatting over my coffee. Also not sure why there is a measuring spoon in my room…

On Monday, Wyatt returned to therapy. This was a big deal for all of us. I was completely nervous and filled with all the anxiety. Would they tell us Wyatt had lost a lot of skills over the last year? How would he be away from me? How would I be away from him? We have been joined at the hip practically for the past year, so there was sure to be some separation anxiety. I drove there, buoyed by the tough love from my friends, feeling like I just wanted to turn the car around and head home to our safe house. But, we couldn’t do that. This was important. We know to stay safe you wear a mask and keep your distance and wash your hands. These are things we can do. And then when we got there, all worry melted away. This place is familiar. These people are like family. They have known Wyatt since he was a year old and love him and care about him. They would do their best by him as they have for five years.

And surprise, they wanted me to go in! I had been told that only Wyatt would be allowed in but things have lifted in Michigan a bit and I was able to join them. I probably won’t always, since Wyatt does need to get used to being away from me again, but this time, I was glad. I could visit with his therapist, I could see what precautions they are taking first hand. And I got to see the joy Wyatt had in returning and being reunited with Stacy, whom he has known for five years. They have always been a great team. And Wyatt is so motivated right now- I am excited to see what happens and how he grows from this return. More good Wyatt news – he finally finally made the growth chart after six years! It’s been a battle, but this kid is now in the 13th percentile. His doctor did a little happy dance and so did I!

The slow evolution from sad anole to happy Dash. I wish I could have taken home all three little anoles but I couldn’t. So sad and grey in that first photo! In the second he is beginning to feel safer and happier. Then one morning I was delighted to see that Dash was green! The sign of a happy little anole.

And in case you need some happy Harry photos…

This week my dad got his second vaccine, my mom got her first, and my aunt got her second as well. I think my uncle is waiting on his second one still. My mom goes for her second shot on Wyatt’s birthday!

My cute little mommy after her shot. My brother took her – he was messing with her and told her that they got a stockboy from the back to administer the shots. Lol.

Wyatt and I had a fun week together too. We did lots of snow activities, read lots of books, painted, made Valentines, and baked some pretty terrible cookies. I mistakenly used quick oats in our oatmeal cookies instead of rolled – and it does make a difference, just saying. Billy couldn’t even identify what type of cookie we had tried to make. LOL. We haven’t been outside too much lately. The weather has been too cold for us to feel comfortable taking Wyatt out – as he is not independently mobile right now he doesn’t generate heat from expending energy so we worry about him getting too cold. We are going to try to go to the zoo tomorrow, and see a quick list of specific animals – crossing my fingers we can do it, we need some fresh air time.

How was your week?

Full Wolf Moon Howl

Two years ago I signed us up for the Kids Moon Club, an online “year-long journey and community tied not to keeping up, but looking up.” I wanted Wyatt to be a part of something, to have some sense of belonging to a group, even an online community. And this was such a good choice. The community of people are amazing and gracious and joyful, artistic and sharing and lovers of nature as we are. And the first year that we participated Wyatt made some tremendous gains, saying some of his very first words – snow and moon. February is the month of the full snow moon, it will always be a little special to me for that reason, but January is the full wolf moon, which is always just fun honestly.

We spent our homeschool day learning about Arctic wolves. They are beautiful majestic creatures for sure. Then we made Wolf Paw cookies, while singing along to the Snow album from the Okee Dokee Brothers, with special emphasis on the song Howl, of course. For dinner we had a very meat centric meal, to be wolflike, with pot roast and meatballs on the menu. (Wyatt loves meatballs) And of course, enjoyed our cookies afterwards.

There was to be a collective howl at 7 pm for the full wolf moon, and I invited my family to howl along from their homes, which sounds pretty odd but it was fun. It was kind of neat to know that we were all doing the same thing together, at the same time. I kind of get why wolves do it. (Although you can see Marlow wasn’t too big of a fan) But the fun wasn’t over yet. We cuddled up on the couch all tumbledy-cozy under blankets, Wyatt still wearing his little hat I made, and read Wyatt’s Gray Wolf letter that was his letter for the month from the Writings from the Wild subscription he has. It was super cute honestly, and really interesting. We talked about how the wolves use their tails to block the cold from their noses, and compared it to how our fluffy cat Miso does the same thing, curls all up tight with her tail in front of her face.

After we read our letter, it was time to choose which wolf we were going to symbolically adopt from the Wolf Conservation Center in New York! A bucket list item for me is to camp there, with the wolves. You don’t actually get to camp with them, but close to them which would be so fun! After COVID I am moving that up the list. Every year we choose a wolf to “adopt” – the first year we picked Zephyr, the second year Deven, and then this year Wyatt picked Lighthawk, a Mexican Gray Wolf.

Over the course of the month, I explored the world of wolves myself. I listened to the Lupinology podcast on Ologies with Alie Ward, which was so fascinating I listened to it twice. Then I watched the mini-documentary Call of the Coastal Wolves, about the sea wolves of Vancouver Island, which was beautifully done. I plan on reading more about these interesting creatures. Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photographer, joined them on this journey. I follow Nicklen on Instagram and his photos are otherworldly and gorgeous.

We have a few more activities left to complete before the new snow moon moves in, the forest story and our wolf coloring page, but overall this has been a fun month. We are looking forward to the snow moon of February!

Winter Hikes

We are winter hikers; we wait all year to get back out there in the cold and snow. There is just something so invigorating about being in a winter wood, the chill temps, the quiet. On New Years Day, I walked the woods alone; Wyatt had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the trail, and Billy offered to stay back so that I could wander. The only sounds I heard were those of the birds, tweeting and chirping, birds of all kinds. Robins and cardinals and blue jays, various woodpeckers – a chipmunk ran in front of me, scampering into the undergrowth. I had my eyes scanning the trees, looking for the long – eared owl that has been spotted there, but didn’t see it unfortunately. When I headed back to the car, Billy told me that he had been watching all the birds as well, from his warm cozy seat. They were simply everywhere.

We took two more hikes that week, one at our favorite trail system, just to get outside and stretch our legs, get some fresh air. The woods were quiet that day, we didn’t see a single soul, nor see any signs of life at all. The birds and the animals must have been huddled up against the cold, wondering just what we were thinking, hiking around out there.

We also trekked out to Belle Isle one morning, and took a walk around the half frozen pond. It was like being in the Arctic, but not as cold and minus the polar bears. Although I did spy some tracks in the snow on the ice; can anyone identify them? I am thinking maybe fox, but identifying tracks is something I haven’t mastered.

It was a beautiful walk, almost magical near the marshy spots and the cattails.

And what better way to end a cold walk in the snow and ice than with hot chocolate and car snacks?

Currently…January

It is not just a new month, it is a new year! Here we go, 2021! It is time for Anne In Residence’s monthly Currently post where we answer one word prompts about different things we are doing and feeling. I always love the insight I gain from these, taking inventory of my own life.

First up – Beginning: Ugh so much! I am one one of those people who like a firecracker starts the new year off with a bang, off and running. I start out strong every year, and last year I was doing great but then we all know what happened. Lol. We are starting the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge, and also the Kids Moon Club again. I am also starting to plan our garden for the spring, and I am starting my “houseplant journey” as well, adding plants around my house, and I am loving it. I even bought a moisture meter, so I am feeling pretty committed. We also have a list of house projects we want to accomplish, wish us luck!

Feeling: Recommitted to our goals and values as a family. Hopeful. Slightly introspective. Inspired.

Organizing: Books, so many books. I just bought a new bookcase with a bench for Wyatt’s room, and happily spent time going through his books and organizing them all. I am also trying to organize our homeschooling supplies a little better.

Resolving: To be more patient. I am not the most patient person in the world, and I am working on that this year. I have infinite patience with children and animals, but in other areas of my life, not so much. And in fact, we always play a little game on New Years Day where we draw an animal and adjective from a hat and that is our word and animal for the year – this year I got patient bobcat. Not sure what that all means, but I can definitely work on patience. Wyatt and Billy got similar adjectives and the same animal – and they already embody them. Fearless Bear (Billy) and Courageous Bear (Wyatt). I am also resolving to try more new recipes this year. Last night I made foccacia bread and a Smoky bacon potato corn chowder, and they were amazing so I am off to a good start!

Wondering: Probably the same as everyone. Aside from the big wonder, I was also wondering the other day if we were ever going to have a non-cloudy night for skywatching events this year. Lol. Maybe this is our year!

Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas for Children

I think most of us are facing a different Christmas this year – one that looks a little less like our normal traditions. And while we may be celebrating differently, some of us may be choosing to shop differently as well. Maybe going into less stores and opting for more online shopping, like me – in which case I am thinking the sooner I get started the better, as shipping may be a little slower than normal. As I consider my list this year, I want to try to patronize small businesses and artists more than usual as well, since this year has been tough on makers, so I will be purchasing a mix of gifts for the littles in my life this Christmas, and trying to be mindful. Here are a few things that have caught my eye this year! (Just make sure to check shipping dates if something happens to grab you!) This list is geared for younger kids, and I am sure a lot of it will find it’s way under our tree or as a gift to one of my nieces.

Wooden Play Dough Stamps: These are so adorable! I love how sturdy they seem, and easier on little hands to push! Wyatt and all of his cousins are play dough fanatics and I can see them all having a good time with these. I linked to the woodland set, but there are a few others like dinosaurs and unicorns, sea creatures and mushrooms.

DIY Personalized Puzzle Kit: There is so much about this that I love. All of my nieces have non-traditional names and can never find anything personalized, and at least two of them love art and putting puzzles together. If ever there was a more perfect gift!

Preschool Sewing Kit: I actually bought this for Wyatt to practice with over the summer and he really liked doing it! I thought it was creative as well as teaching hand-eye and fine motor skills.

Personalized Baking Set: This one ships from the UK, so if you are not in the UK, make sure it can be sent to you and what shipping costs and time will be before ordering! I just can’t with it’s cuteness though.

Wooden Puzzle for Kids: So, I have puzzles on here twice… but they were so different I thought it would be ok. These are so cute and I am a fan of wooden puzzles for kids.

Wooden Toy Kitchen: Ok, so this is brilliant. One of the best things we ever bought Wyatt was his toy kitchen – but it is so big and takes up so much space in our house! He still loves it and plays with it everyday though so although it has its own area, it stays up. However, had I seen this I may have been considered this as an option! It is perfect for small spaces or even for people who may not want to give up house space for a toy kitchen.

Handmade Knit Fox: I am totally in love with this fox. We bought Wyatt a knit badger for Christmas his first year, and he still loves it and sleeps with it every night. His name is Henry and I am always afraid something will befall Henry and then where will we be. I am tempted to pick this fox up just in case.. (update: I had a different fox here originally, but it sold out so I added another)

Stocking Stuffers:

Felt Mask for Pretend Play: The kids in my life love pretend play, and wearing masks and headbands and capes and clothes – and I thought this unicorn was super cute.

Felt Beard: This is definitely making its way into Wyatt’s stocking this year. Billy has a beard and Wyatt always pretends he has one like his dad’s – now he can have a play one!

Personalized Patches: I just think patches are neat. I like to get them and put them on Wyatt’s backpacks that we use for exploring.

Wooden Owl Pendant: I can see just about every kid I know wearing one of these. And they have different versions available as well!

Letter Subscriptions:

Writings from the Wild: I love these monthly letters from the “wild” and so does Wyatt. I signed him up for this two months ago, and they are informative and beautiful – plus Wyatt loves getting mail so that makes it even better. It is inexpensive as well, only a few dollars a month, and right now they are having a sale, 15% off if you enter Christmas15 (off 6 or 12).

Letters from Afar: These are neat, and if Wyatt was older I would definitely get it for him. They look gorgeous!

Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

One of our most beloved family traditions every year is our trip to the pumpkin patch and orchard. We have been doing it since I was a little girl, when we would go with my cousin and follow it up with chili for dinner and cake to celebrate my uncle’s birthday. This year, it almost didn’t happen, for obvious reasons. But the kids have been studying pumpkins all week and we needed to find a way we felt comfortable going, if possible.

So we did! Billy, Devin, and Chrissy took a day off of work for our “field trip” this year, we got up early so we could arrive right when it opened, and we chose to go one of our favorite orchards, one that is a favorite because it is just about the pumpkins there. No rigmarole or fair like atmosphere – just an orchard, pumpkins, and for adults, a hard cider tasting room, where they make the cider onsite. We didn’t do any tasting this year but we definitely bought some to go.

We pulled up around the same time almost exactly, and headed off through the grounds, which we had all to ourselves. We kept our masks on, as good practice for the kids, and my mom as well, and maintained our distances although it was just us.

Well, us and this dog. He was with us our whole excursion and didn’t stray too far from my niece’s side. He lives there and decided to hang out with us.

It was an absolutely glorious morning – sunny, warm, a bit crisp. The perfect day for our adventure. We messed about in the orchard, laughed about our dog friend and honorary group member – we are the James Herriot Primary school after all..

Then we headed to the store area to shop for our gourds and pumpkins and all the good things. All the pumpkins were really up there so no picking through the patch for one but that is ok, much easier to lug them the two feet back to the car then all that way. We did have to run in to pay and to pick up our cider, and I also added a jar of honey from their hives to my order.

And the dog’s name turned out to be “Greater”. All Creatures Great and Small, anyone?

Happy Fall everyone!

A Misty Morning at the Orchard

Wyatt and I met my SIL Chrissy and my niece L. at the orchard yesterday, and I am so glad that we went. I was very nervous, it was 8 days post surgery and it would be our first outing too. I am glad I felt brave enough to say yes, because we had fun, despite the slightly damp day.

Chrissy and L. met us at the orchard at 11:30, and Chrissy masked up and headed into the store to grab out bags for picking while I stood between the cars and watched both kids. Then we headed back to the orchard, where they had row after row of apple varieties to choose from. Our little caravan of two headed all the way to the end before turning around and deciding we wanted to head for the honey crisp first. We parked and we put a blanket down as our base and went up and down the rows plucking the apples from the branches. The kids thought it was super fun! When we finished that area, we wandered over to the golden delicious and braeburn section, and added more apples to our bag.

Our bags were filling up and getting heavy, but we were not ready to call it quits yet. We had one more small section we wanted to check out, the winesap apples. I have to be honest, I am not certain what these apples are like but we liked the name. Wyatt was super tired by this point so I stuck him in the back of the Subaru to hang out with while Chrissy and L. explored the field across the way, looking at the pumpkins, looking so autumnal sprawled out in the dew among their vines. L. came bouncing back, filled with excitement and wanting to show me the baby pumpkin that she saw so Chrissy stayed with Wyatt while I followed L. across the little bridge to the pumpkins. And we saw some enormous pumpkins as well as some teeny baby pumpkins. I guess fall has arrived, at least to our part of Michigan! I joked with Chrissy too, that she looked like a character from a Jane Austen novel walking through the fields..

By this point all of our feet were soaking wet and squishy, so it was time to call it a day. I would have loved to have had a picnic among the trees for Chrissy’s birthday (did I mention it was her birthday?) but it was too gross. We loaded the kids up and headed back to the front, making a little stop at the pick your own flowers field, where we realized we had no way to cut a bouquet. I never realized that one day I would be standing in a damp field lamenting that I didn’t have a pocket knife, but there I was. (and I came home and added a pink Opinel to my Christmas list..I will never go without flowers again! Lol)

All in all, we had a great time. I am so glad that we went, despite my anxiety, because I really think being with family, a change of scenery, and the fresh air did Wyatt and I both a world of good. I am so happy that we were able to share in Chrissy’s day! And look at this happy face!