Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkins and Pie, Oh my!

If there is one thing I enjoy as much as a beautiful orange pumpkin, it is a delicious slice of pie. Sunday night our youth group combined two of my favorite things for a night of pumpkins and pies. I managed to photo bomb my own picture (Ryan was using the real camera) but hopefully you can get a glimpse of how many wonderful pies there were. And this isn't even all of them! We had pumpkin, apple, peach, chocolate, and razzleberry pies plus little pumpkin cheesecake, cupcakes, and cookies. We ended up having 16 pies and 36 people, so there was plenty of pie to go around.
Middle school girls enjoying scooping out the pumpkin goo. Their faces are priceless. 
We've carved pumpkins every year that Ryan has been a youth pastor, but there were some people there who had never carved a pumpkin before. 
This year we had the foresight to cover not only the tables but the floor as well with table clothes. It helped a bit with clean up. 
Making some intricate designs. The options for pumpkin carving are endless! 
At the end of the night we had everybody who was still at our house light their pumpkins on our back porch. Don't be frightened, they're friendly pumpkins :) 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Boo at the Zoo

Friday we spent most of the day at Boo at the Zoo, the Halloween themed zoo day for the Fort Worth Zoo. They had lots of pumpkins, candy, games, and tons of little kids dressed in cute costumes. I've wanted to go in the past but glad we waited until Eva could enjoy it more. Friday morning was a bit chilly as we bundled up our little tiger (let's ignore the fact that she's really a leopard), but that made for perfect zoo day weather. 
I know we've all seen animals so the photos I am including are purposely unique. This one? The gorilla was eating a pumpkin! Even the animals enjoy a good taste of pumpkin in the fall. I'm sure he'd drink a pumpkin spice latte too if he could. 
The baby elephants! These were both born within the past 6 months. Baby elephants are covered in fur and very cute. Also they weigh over 300 lbs at birth. Ouch.
My tiger couldn't wait to see the real tigers! We told her the day before that we were going to the zoo in the morning so she woke up that day saying, "Tiger???" She was really excited. When we were looking at the white tiger she asked "Orange one?" because she remembered from 6 months ago that there were two! What a smartie.
Fact: Kangaroos are terrified of pumpkins. Or at least this one was. He was hop close to it, look intensely at it and then bounce away like he was scared. I couldn't stop laughing. 
Riding the carousel! 
A month or so ago Ryan got to be the one to ride with her and this time it was my turn! Hurray!!! 
She was so cute standing in line and then walking up to give the man her ticket.  She's turning into such a little person.
Wow. What an athlete. She might make it to the tic-tac-toe Olympics one day. 
Waiting for the train to come to take us back to the front part. I love the way she climbed up the rail. 
We had never ridden the zoo train before and it was pretty fun. Not a very long ride, but the path was breezy and peaceful. 
This was clearly the toddler monkey of the bunch. He was bigger than the baby but obviously still young. He was also swinging, and climbing, and jumping all over the place. Just like my toddler. We laughed a lot at this crazy monkey. 
Acting like a monkey while I tried to take their picture! 
Our last stop was the lion. He performed for us and let our a great big "ROOOAAARRR!" Much more exciting than when he was snoozing away the first time we passed by.

Perfect zoo day = happy family.

Call me crazy....a Halloween costume confessional.

I've never been one of those people that was super "into" Halloween. I like the candy part. Wearing a costume is fun but I've never gone all out. Before having a child I was perfectly happy to stay in and watch a suspenseful movie (the kind of scary that isn't goory or evil). Our first Halloween with Eva we ended up deciding to get her a Halloween costume at 5PM on Halloween evening, which we picked up on our way to go eat dinner that night. Last year I already knew I wanted her to be a pumpkin because I'd been planning that for years. And then there is this year......I mentioned in a post a while back that I was thinking she would be some kind of animal for Halloween. Something cute that she could make the sound to go along with. She loves animals and really, how cute is a little kid dressed up like an elephant or cow? Too cute. Enter costume #1.

Costume #1 was a mermaid costume. I saw this one day and thought it would be perfect because it didn't have a hat/head part. Eva typically doesn't want to wear a hat for very long. I also thought a mermaid would be pretty girly without being a princess (since I figure we have many years ahead of us to be a princess). She likes fish. She likes the Little Mermaid. Done. Well, I took it home, got this cute photo of her in it and about 2 minutes later the tulle already ripped. I don't expect a costume to be designed to last forever but it should hold up through a night of trick or treating at least. So I returned it to the store. 

Costume #2. Eva loves the original Monster's Inc. LOVES, as in she would watch it multiple times a week if I let her. She has a "Boo" baby doll (the little girl from the movie) that she plays with all the time. So the creative, pinterest loving mama inside of me decided that probably I should sew her a Boo costume. For only $8 (plus my heart and time) was able to create this costume. It's not toy store perfect but for a 2 year old to wear while begging for candy I figured it would be cute. I especially love the mop hair and Styrofoam eyes. Every time I put it on Eva, she was excited about how it looked, but not excited to wear it. The hood is the cutest part of the costume, but she only wants to wear it for a nanosecond. And I may have stitched the arm part so that it's too tight for her to be comfortable. Should I make her wear it anyway because I put time into it? The logical part of me says yes. The loving part of me says no. I decided that Halloween should be fun for her (isn't that the point?) so next we have costume #3. 
Costume #3. Look! It's a cute little animal costume for a toddler! She can go "grrrrr" and act like a tiger (which is basically the same as a leopard). If only I had thought of this idea in the beginning. Oh, wait. I did. I should really listen to my instincts more. The good part is that I got this on sale at Old Navy for only $5 since I waited so long. They only had 2 costumes left in the entire store and this was one of the ones I had looked at before getting the mermaid and it was in her size. I'm pretty sure that's what they refer to as a Halloween miracle.

So, yes, you could definitely say that I like to over think small decisions. All for a holiday that I don't even care that much about. It's okay if you judge me, I kind of judge myself. Whatever. In the end I only spend $13 and we now have 2 fun costumes to play in (remember, I took back the mermaid). Plus Eva loves the tiger costume and even seems to be okay wearing the adorable head part - although my back up is a leopard print bow. Like most mamas, I am really excited for her to wear her costume. We are planning to go to Boo at the Zoo this Friday so she can make her "tiger" debut. Grrrr :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Family Reunion

On our way home from East Texas we made a stop in Lindale, Texas for a family reunion. All of the family on Ryan's mom's side were gathering at the home where his great grandmother used to live. One of the most important reason's we attended the reunion was to get to see Ryan's grandmother, Mamaw. Mamaw has had some serious health concerns the past few months and we've been praying she would be well enough to get out of the hospital and be there with everybody. She remembered Eva and Eva was so sweet to her. Eva's eyes are closed in this photo because she was about to lean in and kiss Mamaw on the cheek. I'm so glad Eva got to sit in her great grandmother's lap. Thank you LORD that Mamaw was healthy enough to be out for a while!!!! 
And then there are these giggle boxes. You know how much I adore all of our nieces. They couldn't be any more beautiful. Ryan's pretty handsome too :) 
Ryan says he has tons of childhood memories of family all gathered on this big front porch. I would love to have a home with a big porch one day. 
Silly cousins in the hammock. I love their faces even though the photo is a bit blurry. Eva thought swinging in the hammock was hilarious. 
On the swing set with Nana! Eva got to use the "big girl swing" as Nana gently pushed her. Ryan's cousins also have some younger girls so there was lots of friends to play with. 
Family photo! My sister in-law probably thought she could photo bomb this and get away with it. Nope. I will post it anyway! 
Time with family is always special. So grateful Eva gets to grow up with such fun cousins!

Monday, October 21, 2013

East Texas in Fall

This past week was a busy one. Ryan got to attend a pastor's conference in California while Eva and I stayed home. When he returned we headed to Hughes Springs, Texas where he grew up. We always stay with his family friend, Joyce. We spent lots of time visiting, playing games, and eating way too much food. While it was a really good time away, I'll be honest and say that traveling with a toddler is hard. They don't quite grasp the meaning of "let's just relax." She did sleep the most of the way there and back - which was unusual and awesome - but oh man, did she have a lot of energy and opinions about what she wanted to do.

Eva's favorite part was Joyce's cat, Little Bit. Eva LOVES Little Bit. Little Bit does not feel the same way about Eva. But when she would be tolerant, Eva go to pet her. Too bad I'm allergic to cats so Eva will never have one.
When we got to Joyce's the first thing we did was to show Eva the fish pond. We took her there a year ago but she didn't remember anything.
She also spent lots of time on the swing with Miss Joyce. I do love a good porch swing. 
Every  time we go to Joyce's the weather is either hot or freezing or raining. Thankfully the weekend we picked to go was perfect. It was cool and absolutely gorgeous weather for walking around outside. Every little kid should have a place like this where they can run and learn about nature. I wish Eva could do this every month day.
While we were there we planned on taking a family Christmas card photo using a tripod with our own camera. This was one of my practice shots. It cracks me up that it looks so much like the stern photos people used to take. Can you imagine using a shot like this on our card???? We won't.
And we won't be using this outtake either! I'm sure most family photo sessions have a moment like this. Those cute little diva's just can't last too long. I've figured out there is a reason why professional photographers get paid good money to snap some family pictures - it's not easy working with a toddler and setting up a great picture. One day I might need to hand the camera over to a professional.
Look at those trees! They are so tall and beautiful! Joyce's family has owned this land for forever and her parent's once had a log cabin in the same location where the modern house now sits. Can you imagine the adventures a kid could have out here?
Loving my little girl! This wasn't a planned shot, she just got tired so I picked her up right as Ryan had the camera out. Good timing. 
There is also a private pond and pier that we walked down to. One afternoon I sat and had my quiet time down there and it was so peaceful. While I'm dreaming of having land like this I think I'll add a pond and pier to my dream.
Better pump that water if you want a bath! Haha, well not quite. The water in the house is well water but we didn't have to pump it ourselves. Can you imagine life like that? Also at this point it started to drizzle and you can see the rain drops splashing into the water behind Eva. Be still my heart. 
Thankful for nature. Thankful for time with God. Thankful for time with my family.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Weekend Update in iPhone Pics {10.13.12}

This weekend update is sponsored by the iPhone selfie - helping people take their own picture since 2012. Seriously, this post has a ton of these type of photos....on to the weekend.....Thursday morning kicked off our weekend since Ryan took the day off for HIS 27th BIRTHDAY!!!! We started the day with orange danish rolls and presents. I made him a Dr. Pepper cake similar to a diaper cake where I stacked cans of Dr. Pepper, wrapped it in ribbon, and attached other fun gifts (mostly small giftcards, candy, and $10 bills) all around it. After breakfast with went to Southlake to do a little birthday shopping.
Thursday evening we kicked off our new small group!!! Our previous group was getting large and we had new friends looking to join, so we split. I will miss our old gang, but I am totally excited for our new group too! We did birthday cake for Ryan and I got one last picture with my pregnant friend, Rachel. I was predicting that she would have her baby the next day. I was wrong but....he may make an appearance later in this post.....
Friday morning we went to Grapevine Mills mall to do a bit more shopping. Ryan likes to scope out all his options before making any purchase :) Eva got to ride the the carousel and the rocket ship at the mall, and she loved both!  She was a great little shopper so we wanted to let her have some fun too. She also got 2 new pairs of fleece footie pjs. Lately she has decided that it's funny to take off her pj pants AND her diaper several times during the night so we decided to switch her back to footie pjs to try to keep her dressed throughout the night.  Also please disregard that pacifier in the above photo. I know she is getting way too big for her beloved binkie and plan to tackle that transition soon.
Friday evening we headed out to the Byron Nelson HS football game to cheer for our Bobcats! They had their "pink-out" night in support of breast cancer so we wore our pink too. The band had pink feathers and the Dazzlers, Eva's favorite part of the game, had pink poms for their routine. 
Saturday morning Ryan and I went to see Captain Phillips at the movie theater. I would definitely recommend this movie - so much suspense! I would rent it and watch it again when it comes out on DVD.There were also some really great previews for all the Thanksgiving and Christmas premiers, which means that come April we will have some great choices at Red Box :) 
Saturday evening we went out to Celebrate Roanoke. Think of this as a small town festival that resembles the Fair except that it's 99% smaller. Fried food. Games. Kid's activities. Live Music. We rode the children's train twice because that was Eva's favorite. We listened to Brave Combo, the famous Denton based band that played at my parent's wedding. Eva got a free snake balloon animal, which promptly popped when it fell in the grass.
Sunday morning we had our youth serve at church with set up and tear down and then had a pizza party back at our house. I got to hang out with some of my favorite middle school girls - including Nicole, who always helps with Eva. After nap time we played out on the back porch and then.....we got to go meet baby Grayson! He arrived Saturday afternoon (a day after my prediction). He was born in the same hospital as Eva so I took a picture by my favorite hospital portrait holding a cup of wonderful hospital crushed ice (so many memories). I absolutely LOVED holding this little man. He is so tiny and yummy.

Whew! What a weekend. Today is actually a holiday for lots of people, but we are going back to normal. Have a great week!