Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thursday was Audrey's actual birthday- not to be confused with the many prior celebrations ;). As goes tradition, I took the day off work for a Mommy-Audrey day full of adventures hand-picked just for my peanut. After dropping the boys off at school and Nanna's we had birthday donuts on our way to a morning full of shopping. After stopping for lunch we headed to the Cincinnati Art Museum. I knew my little artist would love exploring every inch, including the current special exhibit on my personal favorite, Van Gogh. She made some art of her own, took her time admiring the many galleries and stopped by the cafe for lemonade and carrot cake. The perfect afternoon. 

After leaving the museum we took advantage of the most beautiful fall weather to play in Eden Park for awhile- one of my favorite places in the city. There are so many hidden gems- playgrounds and amazing city views- woven throughout the winding streets of Mt. Adams and we soaked it all up before shopping for preschool birthday treats, picking up the boys and heading home to facetime Daddy (he was working nights) in for one final "Happy Birthday" song over cupcakes... She declared it "the best day EVER" and I agree that it certainly ranks at the very top. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

life lately.

In between the bigger Halloween and Audrey birthday celebrations we've been doing a little of this and a little of that with the #1 goal of soaking up as much FALL and each other as possible. 

Luckily for us this warmer than normal fall weather has meant extra time on the boat before we stored it for winter. I can only imagine the joy that will come when we get to place it back in the water next spring! 

It wouldn't be fall without leaf piles and a few weeks ago with the help of Dan's leaf blower we made an EPIC one. The babies each took turns doing the craziest jumps they could think of and Audrey even sweet-talked our neighbor, Mr. Daryl into jumping in too- anything to humor our peanut!

Earlier that day these three very proudly picked out what they wanted to wear to church. Matching pumpkin shirts. Who could say "no" to these faces? 

For the third year we have season tickets to The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati. For the first show, Alice in Wonderland, I took Audrey and Jonah while Dan and Jackson ran a 5K. Before the show my sweet dates joined me for brunch at The Contemporary Arts Center. I mean honestly, I cannot imagine a better Sunday afternoon!

While we were at the theatre, Dan and Jackson ran in the Harvest Hustle 5K. The plan was for Jackson to run in the kids race which was around a mile, but the course wasn't marked correctly and that little guy ran an ENTIRE 5k! That's 3.1 miles, folks. AND he came in 2nd place!? He doesn't get those genes from me. That's for sure. 

 And of course there are so many smaller moments in between that aren't simple at all. They're often the sweetest. Like extra cuddles from my Jonah bear or teaching Jackson about the joys of Mad Libs and watching his hysteric and contagious laughter. It's early morning coffee and the most precious notes that Dan sneaks into Jackson and Audrey's lunches- love is a verb, after all. 

And in the midst of it all there are always coffee deliveries to be made- coffee to roast and package and ship. And this little guy is the best little helper a lady could ask for. 

I have only a few months left of having a sweet 2 year old little boy running around most always pantsless and I want to freeze time. Look at that face. He is THE BEST. Hands down... 

I'll do a post of its own on this, but a few weeks ago I made a last minute, 24 hour trip to Colorado Springs to the headquarters of Compassion International. It was for a day full of interviews in a string of 12+ that I've gone through over the past couple of months and now after accepting their offer I can speak publically about it- as of December I'll be leaving P&G and stepping into a leadership position at Compassion. In short, I get to combine what I do (marketing) with who I am (trying my very best to use my gifts and my time to be the hands and feet of Jesus and more specifically to save sweet babies, in this case from poverty). Dream. come. true. 

The week before my flash trip to CO I took a Friday off work to join my peanut on her preschool field trip to The Creation Museum. I love, love, love one-on-one time with her. 

The last little catch-up was from a trip to The Sky Zone which is an indoor trampoline park. It was a "prize" earned by Jackson for some extra good behavior and performance in school and he very kindly asked Audrey to join him for an afternoon of literally bouncing off the walls. So fun!

She leaves a little glitter wherever she goes...

Last night we celebrated our sweet Audrey's 5th birthday with a small group of family and friends- the house was full of glitter, fairies and most importantly so much LOVE for this girl who has completely stolen our hearts. As Audrey said, "the celebrations have only begun" and how true- I have a feeling we'll be celebrating all week long. Life is good for the peanut. 

An astronaut, dinosaur and Pocahontas walked into a bar...

I admittedly never loved Halloween- until I had babies. And now their excitement is completely contagious. They tend to begin planning their costumes months in advance. There are a LOT of "what are you going to be for Halloween?" conversations amongst the three of them and this year Jonah caught on pretty quickly that HE got to decide- all. on. his. own. His decision? "A blue dinosaur that says RAHR!" Obviously. Jackson wanted to be an astronaut (me too, buddy) and Audrey went back and forth as she always does, finally landing on Pocahontas (the most beautiful version I've ever seen- not that I'm biased). 

Trick-or-treating at hall-ZOO-ween was a lot of fun despite the hot, hot heat. In late October. Crazy! These three pumpkins were baking in the sun but talked me into ice cream to cool them off. I'm a sucker. 

We continued with our tradition of Trunk-n-Treat at Church. Always so much fun to see so many friends and Nanna joins us too which the babies love. This was one of the weekends we were flying solo from Dan while he worked so it was especially nice to have her join us. 

We love these sweet neighbors of ours :) 

On Halloween night we ventured out into our community. I was solo again so our neighbor Miss Ashley sweetly handed out our candy for us while I walked the babies around. I couldn't believe how "into it" people were this year- there were houses with Halloween music, cook-outs where people were handing out Hotdogs and popcorn, at one point we passed a man blaring the "Monster Mash" while pulling a casket behind his ATV. So fun! And we arrived home to Miss Ashley holding down the fort, accompanied by skeletons she had dressed up. The final home we went trick or treating at was Mr. Dave's, our neighbor who had the most dramatic decorations up. We're lucky to live by such fun people who love our babies so much.