Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Or Happy Howl-oween, depending on who you talk to around here.  
From the Dark Side!

A Top Ten show of my favorite pictures from Halloween.

1. The Dark Side Rules - Jacob is a wicked Pumpkin, Sam a Storm Trooper, and Chris Kylo Ren.

(FYI, Those are not Mickey Ears on Sam, it just so happens the googly eyes on the front door popped up right behind his head.)

2.   Oh, there they are!  Ready to aim and Fire!  

3.  I love how even the vicious can smile so sweetly. <3

4.  Friends show up, and one is dressed Just Like Jacob!  

Jacob and baby Alexis made the cutest pumpkins.  They got quite a kick out of eachother!

 5. Hold Still for Holloween!

Our Trick or Treating Crew!  
Jacob and baby Alexis look so adorable together.   She loved his bright outfit too.  
Chris was super at holding her up for the group shot.  It's hard to maneuver a 4 month old.  

6.  Jacob and John John. 

 Best friends.   They were pretty sweet together too! 

 7.  Their First House to Trick or Treat

Our mad crew ran next door to us first, but no one was home. So we went into the neighborhood next door, because the houses are close together, and it's better lit when the sun goes down.   They did well, really striking gold at every home!

 8. Wherever we go, that's where the party's at!

There were a few homes with fire pits set up in the driveway, which is a great idea, I want to do that next year!  The kids would run off ahead, being able to spot the crews ready for us.  It was very different for me to allow such distance, but they all did a great job, even keeping an eye on the little ones.

9. The Great Pumpkin Floor Picnic

After we returned, we had a pot of Chili in the crockpot and some warm cornbread.  They had to have some sort of dinner before they had candy.  Their idea of dinner was cornbread.  So they only had one candy each. Someone had given them root beer, so we shared one while Trick or Treating.   So they weren't too sugared up, and they were happy to all sit and watch Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin before calling it a night.  

10.  Sam and I were toast.

Sam curled up next to me in his white longjohns that were his costume.  Daddy called for him to come to bed, but we were too comfortable all snuggled up.  For once, he wasn't being a wiggly giggly pillow, but my sweet snuggly warm sweetboy pillow.   I had Chris take our picture, just so I could remember this moment.   Snuggly sweetboy moments are getting fewer and fewer.  
So, also are our happy Trick or Treating Experiences.  But this year's was a great one!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weeeeeeeeee wenttt to a wedding.

The weekend before last, we surprised the boys by taking a trip to Great Wolf Lodge without their knowledge.  I had told them we were going to the wedding of a couple of friends, which was true....  I just fibbed a little on which weekend we were going to the Wedding.  

What a Beautiful Fall Day for a Road Trip! 

We left right after Eric got home from work on Friday.  

We didn't go to the Rehearsal, for we weren't involved IN the wedding, but Kelly and Amanda were kind enough to invite any visitors coming to town for the wedding (like us) to the rehearsal dinner.  

It was a Cookout at Amanda's family home.   There was a nice fenced in backyard, and the kids could play without me worrying about too much crazy.   Food had been catered, and was ready as soon as the brides arrived.   They set up kids tables on the deck, and had tents with chairs for the grownups to eat.  We actually got to enjoy adult company as the kids got to play with other kids.   Hooray!

Amanda and Kelly
They've been together for a decade.  
We met Amanda in 2010 when we came through South Bend when Eric ran the Marathon here, and she made sweets for Jacob's Baptism.  We've known Kelly since College, she and Eric played Sax together.   We go way back.   We were so happy for them when they finally set the date!

The best part of the cookout was the Fire Pit. 
It was a Chilly night and

All three boys tried to sleep on the pullout couch together in the hotel. 
But it didn't work.  Jacob is way too wiggly.  Still, for a moment they looked pretty adorable.

Since the wedding was later in the day. 
We took a quick morning swim, and went to lunch in Middlebury at the Essenhaus. 
I'd heard so many good things about this place, I wanted to take Eric.  We ate the buffet, and it was amazing. Amish Home Cooking at its finest!  

So Stuffed! 

We came back to the hotel, and quickly got dressed for the wedding. 
The kids were thrilled to have Disney Channel in the hotel room.  It's their special treat. 

These boys clean up pretty good. 

The Brides-To-Be ready to walk with their Dads. <3

From our seat in the back, I snuck a quick pic. 
I hate being that obnoxious person holding up the phone to take pictures. 
But for some crazy reason I left my beast camera at home, so phone camera it was.  

We now pronounce you Kelly and Amanda Rider-Shelle!

Kelly and Amanda didn't just have one pair of colors for their wedding, they chose the whole rainbow!  They had found these fun fedoras that were rainbow and lit up  as a special treat.  I just happened to snap this photo of them, as we were walking into the restaurant. 

The Reception was a fun to do at the restaurant where Amanda works. 
We took over the place.  Kelly had insisted that Amanda take the days off prior to the wedding, so that she didn't end up doing all the prep for her own wedding.   Being in the Biz, they had many connections to some of the best food in Elkhart.  And this place was great.  
We popped back to the hotel for a quick power nap between the wedding and reception.  
Thank goodness, that put all of us in a better mood.  

The boys were ready to party with everyone else. 

Time for some sparkly juice to toast! 

I should have known there would be music on the cake.  

They were admiring their cake. 

Time to cut the cake. 
They were quite classy, didn't even smear it all over each other. 
Each layer was a different kind of cake: the top was lemon which is what I ate, there was a chocolate layer, which the kids tried.

As it happened, we were seated in the bar of the restaurant.  
Most of the things that one associates with the reception, the toast and speeches, we didn't hear.  
The cake was in the bar, so we got to see that.  
But I had a Great View right through the doorway into the main room where they were doing their First Dance. 

Just a candid moment while they dance.  
Love Wins! 

 And all was right with the world. 

The next morning, we traveled back home. 
And I didn't take any pictures except this one. 
Jacob loves Bugles.  He got a big kick out of them, once I taught him how to put them on his finger. 
He calls them "Witchy Fingers". 

The next day, Monday, the big boys went back to school for Fall Break was over.  
And it was our Anniversary.  Our Dating Anniversary.
We've now been together for 22 years. 

Eric and I got rid of the kids for the evening, gave them to Mom and Dad, while we went for a walk through the Butler Gardens, and went into Broadripple, and found a new sushi restaurant just opened up.  It was an all you can eat sushi place.  We can eat a lot, and we did it justice.  The food was good. 

But I'm sure the rumor is going to get out that the place was good.   We ate really well this weekend. 
It was a Fall Break Well Done.  

Sometimes, I feel like we are the old fuddy duddies.  We don't enjoy bars and crowds like we used to.  We don't take many adventures, or venture forth with the kids very often.  But the occasions we do, it's Worth It. On occasions like this past weekend, I am reminded of how we were when we first got married.  We were young, child free, and just love to hang with our friends.  That hasn't changed a bit.  And I love seeing friends that still have that same priority, and that same quality that brought us together as friends to begin with.  Eric and I were friends first. So were Kelly and Amanda.  It's kind of crazy, we have been married for 18 and half years, and together for even longer, and that is pretty darn awesome!  I love when Love Wins.  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Going to Luke's

What a Beautiful morning!   
Before the kids got out of school for Fall Break, Jacob and I did a little something crazy on Wed. 

Have you ever watched Gilmore Girls?  
It was turning 16 years old this year,  Sweet Sixteen!  
They are releasing a reunion show miniseries on Netflix, coming the day after Thanksgiving. 
To celebrate, all across the country, local coffee shops were recreating Luke's Diner and giving away Free Coffee.  "Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!'

So I took Jacob, and we went. 
The line was huge!  I wish I'd met with some friends, because there were a lot of girlfriends out there attending this Luke's recreation.   And obviously, they were all big fans of Gilmore Girls.  

Jake and I were prepared.  I had brought the stroller, and ipad, just to entertain him if we needed to wait a while.    We did.  We waited about 45 minutes in line.  

But how cute is this sign at the Coffee shop?!

I'm ready for Luke's coffee! 

This place is pretty small, but very homey.  Behind the counter, everyone was decked out like Luke, in flannel and a backwards cap.  They even had a No Cell Phones sign!   

Woohoo!  Guess I know where I'd be on November 27th!  Watching Gilmore Girls!

There were tip jars for each of Rory's guys.  Am I Team Jess, Team Logan, or Team Dean? 
Actually, I always thought she and Tristan (in the first two seasons) fit best together.  I wish they'd developed that a bit more.   I don't think any of these guys were her equal.  But I voted for Jess.  At least he was smart, and recognized her for the gift she was, in spite of not having his shit together for most of the show. 

My free coffee, and to protect the innocent, a quick snap behind the counter.  
Cool place. 

Yes, even I dressed up like Luke.   I was totally sporting my vintage flannel, birkies, and backwards hat.  I totally stepped back in time, I swear I wore this same outfit to class and band all the time, 20 years ago while I was in school.  

After I got home, I found each cup had a special Lorelai Quote.  
Here's Mine.  

Now my cup has a special place of honor, on top of my coffee maker. 
What a fun adventure!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Coltsy Cuties

I like to try to get a picture of the boys in the fall in some sort of festive fall garb.  
Usually it's either their Butler shirts, or their Colts jerseys.  
This year, it's the Colts! 

Sorry Sam looks like such a goof.  
I can't decide why he smiles like Chandler from Friends. 

In this case, Sam muffed the shot by storing gum in his gums.  

I still like this shot though, Chris is a good big brother. 
They're all silly geese. 

 If only there was slightly less motion, at least their smiles are real.  
It's like trying to herd cats. 

The closest to the winner.  
Even when they aren't all looking at me, at least they are Cute. 
Go Horse!