apple of my eye

On Saturday morning we headed to Brown's Orchard in Loganville, PA
It was beautiful up there and we had the most perfect fall weather.
Between munching on apples and the free cider samples we definitely got our money's worth
And came home with a bag full of the most beautiful apples I've ever seen


five on friday

1- Oh Autumn.  Sweaters, soup, a cool breeze, leaves, football, pumpkins, new tv shows, apple-picking, perfect weather.  This week has been absolutely delightful, and I'll take many, many more just like it.

2- After Mattie's antics on Monday I'm afraid things didn't get much better.  Apparently she's decided to start her terrible two's 8 months early.  Her bad behavior culminated yesterday when she threw my phone at my face, leaving me with a painful fat lip.  But when she's not being a demon, she's a cuddly, happy, sweet angel and her vocabulary is exploding, which is so much fun.        

3- We had a little scare this week when Jilly fell in love with a Rainbow Barbie dress at Target.  She's been fully committed to an Elsa costume for the past year.  So committed that we have an Elsa dress hidden in my closet (thanks to her Nana who saved the day by finding one at Costco and mailing it to us.)  We took a picture of the Barbie dress at Target and Jilly talked about it/stared at the picture nonstop for a couple days but I think we've finally talked her down from the ledge and are safely on Team Elsa again.

4- I re-watched the last few episodes of Gilmore Girls this week.  Never ever in the history of television has there been a more perfect series finale.  Bryan watched with me (or sat next to me watching something else on the computer) and was a little underwhelmed by the show and overwhelmed by my emotions while watching.

5- We got out our Halloween decorations and the girls have been feasting on four-year-old candy corn we found in the box (literally, it was one of those stuffed animals that's full of candy and I know we got it that long ago.)  So far neither of the girls has gotten sick, and Mattie has finally mastered signing please in return for the candy so I'm just gonna go with it.

Happy Weekend!!


Just another Manic Monday

This morning started as any other- breakfast, dishes, get dressed, get Jilly dressed again when she changed her mind, etc. but went downhill fast.  I don't go to Walmart very often, but I was in the mood to torture myself so we headed there with a semi-long list.  Just to further my torture I gave into Jilly's pleadings for "the fun cart" aka "the cart from you-know-where."  For a few minutes the girls were strapped in and happy but then Mattie lost it.  She is usually very demure, especially out in public, but not today.  She squirmed and cried til I let her out and you know what she wanted to do?  Crawl through the bottom of the cart over and over and over again.  I spent the rest of our shopping trip either holding her while she screamed and kicked or strapping her into the cart where she screamed and kicked while Jilly screamed back.  It was awesome.  When we were finally leaving someone said to me, "Oh, so that's who I heard screaming through the store."  Ummm, yes, and thank you.

Before we left the house I couldn't find my keys (I blame Bryan because on Sundays he drives and uses my keys) so I used the spare key.  We also have a spare house key so I grabbed it to lock the house.  The house key isn't on any kind of key ring and somehow it disappeared in the depths of my car.  So we made it home with a trunk full of groceries and were locked out.  I was about to drive to Bryan's office to get his key when I noticed I had left the window open (dumb, but lucky.)  I was able to push out the screen and hoist Jilly up through the window and she let us in.  Just last week in our neighborhood newsletter there was a tidbit on looking out for each other and one of the things to watch for was when someone was getting into a house a different way than the front door so I was a little panicked all afternoon that someone would call the cops on us (but, really, no one probably reads those newsletters except for me.)

While Mattie was blessedly taking a nap Jilly and I made pumpkin banana muffins and a mini-loaf to take to our sweet neighbor who is always bringing little gifts for the girls.  Later in the afternoon the bread was cooling on a rack and I discovered this little present left by my sweet Mattie.  And, to add insult to injury, after she took the bite she spit it out on the floor!  Bryan suggested we just frost the bread and still give to the neighbor, but I opted to give her some of the muffins instead.

BUT, after dinner (during which Mattie threw all her noodles on the floor one at a time) we headed out for some fresh air.  We live 20 minutes from the big city and about 20 minutes in the opposite direction we reach beautiful farmland.  Some friends had told us about this amazing field of sunflowers and it did not disappoint.  These pictures don't do it justice- there were bright happy flowers for as far as you could see.  And they did wonders for my disposition.

All's well that ends well.


five fact friday

one.  Something tragic happened to my sweet baby girl this week.  Her favorites words are now "No, no, no, no, no" and "Dop Gi-wee!" (stop Jilly.)  On the flip side, she has started folding her arms for prayers and saying "cheese!" while giving the goofiest toothy grin.  

two.  We celebrated the advent of Fall this week by making an inaugural pumpkin treat (delicious) and all getting colds.  Bryan got sick first and said he survived two days of work by sipping on a Monster energy drink so that's my attack plan today, along with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat, which may very well kill me if this cold doesn't.

three.  Jilly has opened a stuffed animal/doll babysitting service that takes place on my bed every morning.  So, if you need a break from your inanimate animals and babies, she's your girl.  And, in other news, we've been practicing our Elsa braid in eager anticipation of Oct 31st.

four.  This week I had a Girl's Night (complete with cheesecake from The Factory) and I stayed out til 1am on a Tuesday which, in my best guess, hasn't happened since 2006.  So, kind of a big deal.  I'm so lucky to have found some great girls out here to con into being my friends.

five.  We went to the library this week (duh) and my girls were really into the puppet theater.  It was one of those shiny happy moments that I cling to when we return to real life.


soccer mom

For my 20th birthday my amazing roommates through me a surprise party.  Bryan and I were not an item yet but during the party he and his roommates burst through the door with a birthday song they wrote just for me (I was not unique- they wrote birthday songs for many of the girls in our complex, but this fact did not stifle my excitement one tiny bit.)  The song was set to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song and the chorus was "She drives around in a pink minivan, moving 'round town looking for a man, Rachel Anderson, yeah she's the bomb, You know you want to squeeze this soccer mom."  Looking back, it's a little embarrassing that my 20th birthday song was about being a soccer mom, but, hey, I knew what I wanted.

Last week I got to live out my dream as a soccer mom.  My mom took my sister back to school in Idaho and asked me to come stay with my dad, Bethany, and Tyler for the week.  I had a great time staying with my family, and glimpsed a tiny bit of what my life will be like in a few years when I'm busy doing school drop-off, soccer carpool, and keeping on top of teenagers (let's just hope I don't have a one-year-old then!)  We had fun and were busybusybusy.

The girls were thrilled about exploring a new library- Mattie grabbed Jilly's hands and they serpentined through all the shelves.  No doubt all the other patrons loved us.

My girls love their Aunt Beth and Uncle Ty

A huge perk of staying at my parents' is close proximity to Luna.  My girls ADORE this girl.  Mattie went around calling for "Nuna, Nuna" all week.

My first favorite book- and I love that my parents have saved it all these years so I can read it to Jill.

My dad and I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch the Cougars win.

My parents have a landline which was fascinating to Mattie, who'd never seen one before (coincidentally, I read Landline that week also.)

There is an abundance of old dance costumes (some even mine!) for Jilly to try on.  Three-year-old heaven!

 The girls took on Ty at foosball and since Jilly gave herself a point no matter which goal the ball went into,  I think the girls won

 My dad and Ty got right to work honing Jilly's catch

Not pictured: Mattie freaking out when I made her stay in the Child Care at the Y (mother of the year)

We spent one afternoon visiting the Schertz's, some of our great BYU friends.   Sweet Jenna was willing to let Jilly wear her Aurora dress so they were instant friends for life.

At the end of the week we were so happy to return home to Bryan and the beautiful flowers he had waiting for us.


Sunday Scenes

We get home from church around 1:30 on Sundays and have the rest of the afternoon to take naps, play, talk to our families, eat, and relax.  It's the best time of the week and today was no exception.

I'm not certain whose idea it was but I followed the sound of giggles to find Bryan putting every single bow we own in Jilly's hair.  Girl's got style.

Always the copycat, Mattie wanted her picture taken too (but not the bows- smart girl.)

hopscotching while Bryan grilled our delicious dinner

Cromwell Valley Park

kisses for dada 

And, our forecast for the week- doesn't get any better than that!


Sweaty, hot, and happy

Saturday was hot and muggy but we were committed to our "explore Baltimore" agenda.  
So we went to Cylburn Arboretum  
The park includes a mansion built in 1888, beautiful gardens, and a nature center
The mansion and nature center were both closed, so we just walked around the grounds
We'll have to go back in the spring- I'm sure it will be magnificent.

Jilly found her very special jack-o-lantern necklace and assigned me to wear it all day 
(just in case you were wondering...)

Jilly rang this (very loud) bell about 20 times before we had to drag her away

hello humidity

I can count on one hand the number of pictures of just Bryan and me since Jilly was born.  I asked Jilly to snap a picture of us and what do you know- girl's got skillz.  

We were all slick and sweaty by the time we made it back to the car
Both girls were happily soothed to sleep by the blasting A/C
The rest of our day included yard work, Five Guys, and a sweet BYU victory.
Not a bad day at all.