Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Apple Pickin'

A couple weeks ago, Lucy came home from preschool with an apple core in a ziploc bag.  When I asked why she brought it home, she said she asked the teacher to save it for her so she could bring it home and plant the seeds in our backyard to grow an apple tree.  After that, I casually asked if she'd want to go pick apples at a fruit farm and she responded with a very enthusiastic yes!  We didn't have any plans this past Saturday so I asked Lynn if they'd want to join us at Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala.  They've gone quite a few times so I figured they'd be able to show us the ropes plus Lucy & Olive could play together.  We made the 35 min drive out east and arrived shortly after 10:00 AM.  They open at 9:00 AM but it seems like we had beat the crowd because there really weren't a ton of people out yet.  They rotate between different apple varieties in the "U-Pick" orchard so we were able to pick Fiji and Golden Supreme.  We paid $15 for a small bag and crammed as many apples in as we possibly could--we ended up with a little over 30!  Lucy was loving it and enjoyed munching on an apple while picking.  Once our bags were full, we drove out of the orchard and over to the main entrance of the farm where they have a barn that's set up as a market--tons of pumpkins, gourds, jellies & jams, cider, other fresh fruits & veggies, and baked goods for sale.  The weather was absolutely perfect too, it felt hot but a nice change in the cooler temps we'd had the past few weekends.  We had a great morning and I'm looking forward to adding apple picking to our Fall bucket list for next year!

Cece & Lucy in their matching script Ohio dresses for game day before heading out to the fruit farm

Lucy tasting an apple to make sure they were good

Todd trying to give Cece a bite

Lucy & Olive picking apples 

Matching dresses requires an overabundance of picture taking

Helping Lucy find a good apple (the Fiji apple trees looked fairly new since they were so little so we eventually ventured over to the Golden Supreme trees which were much bigger)

Family photo

Best attempt at getting a picture with all the kids

Lucy wanted to make sure our bag was as full as can be so on our way back to the car, she stopped to pick a couple more Fiji apples

On the drive out of the orchard, they had cut outs set up so we stopped to take some pictures..

and Lucy needed to pose in each cut out

Ladybug Lucy


Once we made it over to the barn, we found more photo opp spots

One more of the girls before heading home

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Weekend with the In-Laws + 9/11 Stair Climb

For Christmas last year, we gifted my in-laws with a weekend of fun in Columbus which included tickets for the Columbus Food Adventures tour of German Village and the Parade of Homes and this past weekend was when they came to enjoy their gift.  They drove into town on Friday in the late afternoon so we made reservations to take them out to dinner at the new Cap City Diner in Dublin. It was our first time over to the Bridge Park area and it was really nice!  I can't wait for more restaurants to open up so we have more options closer to home.  

View of Cap City Diner from the parking garage

Cece knew just what to do with the crayons (and I was actually surprised she didn't try to eat them)

 On Saturday morning, we took Todd's parents to the Worthington Farmers' Market to walk around and grab some pastries for breakfast.  We ended up spending almost 2 hours there and my mother-in-law even bought some cheese and olive bread.  In the afternoon, his parents headed down to German Village for their tour while we got Lucy's 4 year photos taken at the Park of Roses.  Their tour was 4 hours long so by the time they arrived home, the girls had dinner, the OSU football game came on, and shortly after, the girls went to bed.  Once they were down, I popped a bunch of appetizers in the oven that I prepped earlier that day.  We snacked throughout the game and I started to fade quickly in the third quarter (much like OSU) so I called it a night.

Lucy legitimately changed Cece's diaper all on her own and did a great job

 Lucy loving her time with MaMa & PaPa

Matching OSU shirts for the girls (Lucy insisted we all have matching shirts and I'm a sucker for matching)

 Clearly, Todd wasn't included in that

The girls with MaMa & PaPa
We even stopped and got some donuts from Peace, Love, and Little Donuts for the next morning

We each picked one flavor to try

Appetizers for the evening included pizza sliders, spinach artichoke dip, corn dip...

 and for dessert we had a Buckeye Trifle (peanut butter chocolate brownie trifle)

Had to add a few buckeyes on top too!

I was up early on Sunday to head downtown for the Columbus 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at the Chase Tower.  I work primarily with firefighters and one of the departments I work closely with is Upper Arlington (part of my job is training them--I go to their station & run them through a workout).  They always have a decent sized team participating in the event so myself, along with two of my coworkers, joined their team this year.  Since they wear their full turnout gear, my coworkers and I each wore weight vests.  It definitely is nowhere similar though to what they're doing because what's challenging for them is getting overheated with all their gear not necessarily the weight of it. Next year we want to wear turnout gear to get the full experience.  It was an incredible event to honor and remember the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.  We walked a little more than the equivalent of the World Trade Center towers (110 stories) since we did 24 stories five times.  We each wore a badge with the name and picture of one of the 343 firefighters who died that day.  When our team finished all five sets of 24 flights, we walked outside where we would read the name of the firefighter on our badge and ring a bell.  Again, just a very memorable event and day that I was honored to be a part of.

Hanging out before the start of the stair climb

There were a few hundred people there participating

Our team before the stair climb

 Lots of happy faces once we were done

 Ringing the bell on the way out after announcing the name on my badge

Our team after the stair climb

We even made the local news! (My coworker sent me this screenshot of her TV)

Once I got home from the stair climb, Todd, the girls, and my in-laws had already come home from church and had breakfast.  Todd's parents left shortly after for the Parade of Homes and then were just driving back home from there.  We spent the rest of the day grocery shopping, cleaning, and getting everything ready for the week ahead (normal Sunday stuff).

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Labor Day Weekend Part 2

By mid-morning on Sunday, we were all itching to get outside since it had stopped raining and the sun was shining so we decided to head to the zoo for a few hours.  Apparently I didn't realize it was going to be significant warmer than Saturday so I had myself and the girls in long pants and long sleeves.  I'm glad I had a tank top underneath my hoodie and the girls could just push their sleeves up.  Todd wanted to see the gibbons in Australia so we started on that side of the zoo and then made our way over to North America to see the elephants and rhinos (Lucy's request) and then head up to Africa to feed the giraffes (also Lucy's request).

Todd with his girls

There was a tiny baby gibbon that we got to see

Lucy feeding the giraffe

and I helped Cece feed it as well

Sunday evening, we met my dad at the St. Michael Festival, which was the grade school I went to and church we belonged to as a family for awhile before switching to St. Joan of Arc.  Lucy rode some rides first, then we stopped to eat dinner, and finished our evening with some games.  Always a good time and more often than not, I run into people I haven't seen in forever.

Grandpa & Lucy going down the giant slide


Pure look of terror on her face although she claims it was so much fun

She rode the kiddie roller coaster next

Again, first time around she wasn't so sure but then the second time around she had a smile on her face

She also did the bounce house

Best pic I could get while eating under the tent and listening to music

Lucy picking a duck from the duck pond

Cece got a turn too

Both girls also did the lollipop tree 

  Todd & I played milk can toss (and won!) and he also played bottle tip up

Our original plan on Labor Day was to head to Zoombezi Bay one last time before it closed for the year but it never seemed to get quite warm enough to swim.  The sun was warm when it was out but it was pretty windy on Monday which would've made it colder when in the water and we've learned our lesson with Lucy that if she's cold swimming, she'll only last a very short period of time before wanting to sit out and eat snacks (which we could easily do at home!).  We decided instead to head to Emerald Fields park in Dublin near our house to let the girls enjoy the nice day.  I hadn't taken the girls to that park for a few months so it was a nice change of pace from Murphy Park.  Once we got home, I made creamy cheddar pasta salad and summer corn salad to go along with our brats and hot dogs we were grilling out for dinner.  

Playing at the park

Working on her taking some steps

Cece hates swings (will literally cry the second you set her in one or sit down in one with her on your lap) but loves slides

Hanging out


Creamy cheddar pasta salad

Summer corn salad (so good and will definitely make again!)

The extra long weekend was great (well, besides some toddler meltdowns on Saturday) and had me refreshed for a busy week ahead!  Work has been insanely busy and now that Lucy has swim lessons, tap, and preschool, it makes for a hectic week.