It’s hard to believe three years have passed since we lived in Old Town. I grew quite nostalgic a couple weeks ago when we visited the old neighborhood, but this weekend a little (big!) piece of our DC life came to us right here in St. Louis! We last set teary eyes on our dear friends the Haughs when they moved away from Old Town, leaving a giant hole in our hearts—Lyla and Ethan were the cutest of buddies and Mae had just arrived (in dramatic preemie style much like our Peanut). Cara tops the charts as one of my all-time favorite friends, though we only shared a zip code for exactly a year.
So it was, again, with teary eyes that I greeted them at our front door last Thursday! Fresh off a four hour drive from their current residence of Bloomington, IN, the girls were buzzing with excited energy to see Ethan and meet Finn. Lyla with her two front teeth missing, Mae with her incredible soft curls…both much bigger in size but smiles the same. I knew they would be sweet, but I can’t even describe the absolute loveliness of these little girls. It was a joy to spend time with them.
Because I couldn’t let them wait a second longer, Lyla, Mae, and I snuck in to a quiet, post-lunch school to break Ethan out a little early—they laid eyes on one another and got shy for a moment, then Ethan and Lyla kind of patted each other on the arm and back, smiled, let out a few happy giggles, and were once again friends. All three kids couldn’t wait to start having some fun.
So where else would we head to show of St. Louis?
A quick trip up to the top of the arch was the perfect afternoon adventure. Finn was there too, he powered through nap time to join the big kids…just not many pictures. From there it was just a whirlwind weekend of magical moments.
There were pumpkin crafts and playgrounds and Blackthorn pizza. A trip to the Science Center and a stop at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. Finn got so many snuggles from Lyla, he grew quite attached. The kids got along extremely well, truly enjoyed each other’s company, and Cara and I had evening time to catch up over a glass of wine (or two).
There’s a point where girls and boys are just different. “Say cheese!!” gets mixed results—Ethan doesn’t do jazz hands, Lyla rocks them with a hip pop.
We couldn’t let the trip end without an attempt at recreating an old picture…I showed the kids my original version and they humored me with posing. The result is kind of blowing my mind.
The ease of being back with our friends after so many moons apart made me wonder why the heck this hadn’t happened sooner. I’m still kicking myself for all the things I didn’t do before Finn was born, since traveling and seeing friends is even easier before the second kiddo arrives on the scene. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Be smarter than me.
Life goes by so quickly, too much time flashes between phone calls and visits. There’s always an excuse—moving, having a baby, work, back surgery, school—so making this happen felt like a big win.
The weekend was delightfully exhausting, after the girls left Stu and I had Oktoberfest beer booth duty for school fundraising, bike rides, the usual Sunday chores. My eyes can barely stay open to finish th…..
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Last week I was putting on shorts in the hot, hot afternoons, cursing the tan that left my legs too fast, lusting after the scarves and boots gracing the covers of every catalog delivered to my house.
This weekend? It’s fall. Like over the top, in yo face fall and we couldn’t wait to soak up the chilly breezes. If it’s even possible, we may have gone fall-crazy. It was slightly disgusting and over the top, the stuff of annoying #fall hastags and gourd-covered Facebook pages. It started with the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Annual Market, an event we’re sure to hit every year.
I couldn’t believe how cold it was, we left the house in multiple layers and fuzzy things like hats and fleece—luckily I found an Ethan hand-me-down hat with a velcro strap to keep it on Finn’s head, he’s NOT a hat guy. He was pissed at me all morning…until I placed him in a pile of pumpkins.
He tumbled around with his baby buddy, Mia, and refused to smile for 99% of my pictures. Whatever, he was clearly happy. We’ve been pointing out pumpkins for weeks now and Finn is totally in the know.
A trip to the MOBOT Market Days wouldn’t be complete without a ritual cow-milking, Ethan gets more brave every year. This year I suggested he stick his head under for a taste and he was almost game (I actually had to stop him, to the delight of the UMSL student’s handling the bovines).
Spending the morning with the boys at the market was wonderful, they are such good kids. We must have walked by a hundred booths and the complaining was extremely minimal. Finn came around to hats when we procured new ones at the Dinohaven booth, I’ve been eyeing these adorable fleece caps for years and could wait no longer. Ethan’s hat has Dino spikes and a tail, he is obsessed.
After big naps, I pulled out Ethan’s old Ugg boots for Finn (they barely fit), I put on my new fleece-lined tights (which are so comfortable they may stay on my legs till Spring), and my handmade wrist warmers—courtesy of my sweet friend Allison—were dug out of storage. A blanket went in the stroller. These are just a few of my favorite things.
We made short walks in the wind, took off Ethan’s training wheels for a few wobbly trips down the alley, and watched the (tragic) Nebraska game by the fire. Dinner was a chicken stew with roasted butternut squash (adapted from this recipe) and our coveted Schlafly Oktoberfest.
And, not to be too cliche, but our Sunday morning began with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancakes with a side of the most fantastic Bolyard’s breakfast sausage. Fall tastes sooooo good.
I know it’s a box mix, not usually my style so I get it if you just wrinkled your nose at this pic, but seriously, this stuff is incredible and only on sale for this season so hurry.
I think we all feel a bit more like ourselves when less skin is exposed and short exertions don’t cause trickles of sweat. Summer is just a cruel joke and swimming is supposed to make up for it. Plus, isn’t trying on jeans SO much more fun than squeezing into swim suits? Speaking of, I traded in an old pair jeans at Madewell on Sunday and got $20 off a new pair! Hello new denim. The deal goes through Dec. 31, 2015, and you can trade in any brand. Old jeans are shredded and turned into insulation for Habitat for Humanity houses. Pretty sweet little deal.
Seeing Finn all dressed up in his sweatshirts and socks and funny hat and fancy shoes, he looks so much like a little boy.
Hope you are feeling fall-ish wherever you read this! It’s here.