Apple Picking

Picking fruit on the farm

Picking fruit on the farm

I love so many things about the fall and living out in the country. One of my very favorite things is picking apples. I remember, as a little girl, getting loaded up in to the car and going apple picking out at this farm that isn’t actually a farm anymore but it does still exist as a store and winery. Since I can’t go there for apple picking anymore I have found other places to take Sydney. This year we headed out to Macintosh Fruit Farm to pick some apples and enjoy a nice day on the farm.

apple picking

apple picking

Sydney was so excited about this. I knew she wouldn’t be too much help, but she did pick a few before she just picked up an apple and started eating it. She loved running through the apple trees while I filled our bags full of apples. After we picked our fair share of apples we headed towards the back of the orchard and found some Asian Pears so we filled up a nice bag of those as well.

pulling an empty wagon...riding in a full one

pulling an empty wagon…riding in a full one

It was nice to fill up a couple bags of fruit, straight off the tree for us to take home. After we filled up our wagon we headed back towards the farm for some shopping in the store, some play time, and some lunch.

play time on the farm

play time on the farm

Sydney is currently obsessed with farm animals so it was awesome that they had a couple houses and a donkey for us to check out. She played on the playground and even played in the little sand pit they had. She was so happy playing that she didn’t even want to go eat lunch even though I knew she needed to eat. I eventually was able to pull her away and we enjoyed a yummy lunch and then picked up a few things in the store before we headed out. Overall it was a really great day and I think we’ll actually try to go back before the season is over. Now… what to do with about a bushel of fruit? Lots of cooking and baking for sure.

 

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Weekending

Farmer's market flowers.

Farmer’s market flowers.

I love weekends when we have plenty to do but also enough time to wind down before we head off to the next adventure. This weekend was just one of those weekends. Friday night we headed out to Target but we stopped at McDonalds for some ice cream first because why not, right?

Agricultural Fair.

Agricultural Fair.

Saturday we headed downtown to check out the farmer’s market and there was also an Agricultural Festival downtown. Sydney is OBSESSED with Old McDonald Had A Farm and every.single.morning she wants me to sing it on the way to school AND we pass cows and horses that makes her morning (and afternoon). She was SO EXCITED to see all these farm animals set up at the mall downtown. We go down there pretty often so for her to see these guys down there her day was made.

Moooo!!

Moooo!!

One of the table gave her this cow face. She loves it. She spent quite a bit of time this weekend holding it up to her face going “moo” in the cutest, cutest voice possible. It is the best. She has such an awesome personality that I can’t get enough of her.

Apple Harvest Festival

Apple Harvest Festival

Sunday we headed over to the fair grounds for the Apple Harvest Festival. We live in apple country so there are a lot of apple related festivals around these parts (hello, Appleblossom.) This is a cute little craft festival with a children’s zone and an apple booth that shows all the different types of apples that can be grown (plus they give away a free bottle of juice and an apple – which was speaking Sydney’s language so we definitely go in there). The craft vendors are nice, but we didn’t buy much other than food (apple butter = yum!).

Play time

Play time

Sydney spent quite a bit of time in the kids zone jumping around on the blow up things. She loved this slide… until she got up there one time and did not want to come down it at all. So that was when we decided to find something else to do. She really did enjoy herself and it is so crazy to me that she is this little big kid. Where did my baby go? Before we headed out we got our face painted… even me. Because when your daughter says “you too mommy” you say yes and you get a pink heart on your cheek to match.

Twins.

Twins.

She is my favorite person in the whole world and I love spending time with her. She makes my weekends full of fun but we still make time for naps and relaxing which is how we rounded out our Sunday evening. And there you have it, another awesome weekend in the books.

Wilsons Wild Animal Park

Petting Zoo Fun

A couple weeks ago Sydney and I had a whole Saturday ahead of us with no plans and nothing to do. Since she had such a great time at the Zoo when we went this summer I thought maybe she would also enjoy a petting zoo so we headed to Wilsons Wild Animal Park.

Feeding animals

Feeding animals

Sydney was not particularly interested in feeding the animals with her hands like I did but she was plenty happy to give them access to the bag of food so it was probably a good thing we got two bags of food.

animals!

animals!

There are so many animals at this park from zebras, to alpacas, to deer, and emu, and sheep and goats and birds and chickens and so many different animals to see and feed. The animals were really friendly and so excited for all the food. We got there pretty early which made it a really nice trip since we weren’t fighting a lot of people to get access to the animals. Not that it ended up being super crowded before we left, but there did end up being quite a bit of people by the time we left.

Camel selfies

Camel selfies

I couldn’t resist this guy. He was so friendly that I couldn’t resist taking a selfie with him. It took a few tries but we finally got it and I’m pretty glad he didn’t try to like eat my hair or anything.

Me and my girl

Me and my girl

She really had a blast and I loved every second of her excitement over all the animals. We had such a great day and Sydney is at such a fun age that these little adventures of ours are definitely something I greatly look forward to.

County Fair.

What’s a summer without a fair? Not a good one, that’s what. I love going to the fair – the sights, the sounds, the rides, the games, the food. It’s always a good time. We went last year and there was no way I was missing this year. We’ve gone every year since we’ve lived out here and I don’t see that changing either. Plus, I’ve created a tradition with this picture and obviously it would be sad to stop.

Fair. 3 years running.

Fair. 3 years running.

This year was all about the rides for Sydney. I wasn’t sure she would be big enough to ride them, but after spending time in Ocean City for Memorial Day weekend when she could ride rides by herself I suspected she would be able to.

Rides are fun!

Rides are fun!

And I was right – she’s 36″ which is just as tall as she needs to be to go alone. So she went on like a dozen rides all by herself like she’s some sort of big girl or something crazy like that. And riding all these rides made her the happiest little girl ever. It was actually pretty difficult to pull her away from the rides. We managed to for a little bit, but we had to go back to ride a few more before we left. We even stayed WAY past her bed time because she was having so much fun I couldn’t pull her away. I mean. This face, right?

Happy girl

Happy girl

Before we got there she was really excited to see the animals and while she didn’t want to leave her beloved rides, she did for a little bit so we could see some of the animals. I think this chick was the cutest one there!

Cutest chick ever.

Cutest chick ever.

There are so many animals to see – farm animals mostly – and some of them are HUGE. I always forget how big cows are until I am standing within inches of them. We even saw a cow named Sydney. She wasn’t quite impressed by that because it wasn’t doing anything but laying around. She waved to a couple goats and said “hi goat” and she LOVED the pigs and we basically had to stop and see every pig we walked past.

Animals!

Animals!

I can see our trips to the fair being more and more fun for her as she gets older. I also see how I will probably have to spend more and more time there as she gets older because it’s going to be so hard to pull her away from those rides she loves. As long as she keeps taking pictures like this for me, I’ll let her spend as much time on the rides as she wants. Because if she is happy, I am happy.

Me and my girl

Me and my girl

Lions! Tigers! Bears! OH MY!

National Zoo.

National Zoo.

Recently Sydney and I woke up early one Sunday morning and we hit the road for the National Zoo and I was excited to check something fun off my Summer Bucket List. I was pretty impressed with my ability to navigate the Metro with a stroller and a curious toddler that doesn’t enjoy sitting still for anything. Also, I had no idea where the Zoo was when we got off the Metro in the city so I walked about 2 blocks past it and had to turn around and go back. The whole time Sydney was asking when we would be at the zoom. Eventually I figured out that I was on the wrong side of the street so that’s why I didn’t see the GIANT sign that said Zoo. It’s all good. We made it and it made for an adventure which is always fun.

She asked me to take her picture in front of this.

She asked me to take her picture in front of this.

We got up pretty early that morning and that helped us beat a bit of the afternoon heat that day. I packed us a bag of snacks, some lunch, and plenty of water and made sure we were covered in sun screen (with some extra in my bag for later!) and we hit the road.

First Metro ride!

First Metro ride!

First stop in the day of first for Miss Sydney was a trip on the new Silver Line. The whole trip took about an hour and we had to change trains but it was fine – Sydney was well behaved and enjoyed herself and it isn’t like I would actually drive a car in to DC so it was basically the only way we were getting there.

She asked me to take her picture in front of this.

Me and my girl

If you have never been to the National Zoo know this – it is huge. Miles and miles of walking to and from various animal habitats. It is also quite hilly… at first you don’t realize it, because you are going down hill, but then you decide your day is over and you go to the main exit to get back to the Metro and BAM! It’s a hill. And a pretty big one. So keep that in mind. It’s been so long since I’ve been to the Zoo that I completely forgot about that big hill.

Checking out the animals

Checking out the animals

I knew going in to this we’d cover a small portion of the Zoo. There is no way to reasonably do it in one day and on a day as hot as this I knew some of the animals probably would be hiding from the heat. We tried to visit most of the inside exhibits to give us a break from the heat and see a fair amount of animals.

Animals!

Animals!

We saw so many animals all day though that we definitely made the most of our visit. Sydney really enjoyed seeing the animals too – until I got her ice cream and then she cared only about the ice cream and zero about the animals.

Animal statue pictures!

Animal statue pictures!

These are some of my favorite pictures. For one, I am fairly certain I have some of me and these animals somewhere in my parents house… one day I’ll probably find them and maybe I’ll share them if I can remember. For two, she was SO excited to sit on that bear – she called it “nice bear” and kept petting it. When I asked her to stand with the panda she made faces which made me laugh. And by the time we got to the Eagle she was basically over my nonsense.

Overall, we had a really fun day! I’m so glad that we had the opportunity to go and that I took that opportunity!! I’m also excited to go back… but maybe in the fall when it isn’t quite as hot haha!

Coffee Talk

Coffee = love.

Coffee = love.

Just a random collection of thoughts I would probably share with you over a cup of coffee…

…this was my Nana’s mug and when I use it for coffee I feel like I’m having a cup of coffee with her (even though she was a tea drinker)

…I found a new coffee creamer I’m really loving. Silk Almond Milk creamer. Of all things. A year ago I would have scoffed at the idea of even trying almond milk, and now I can’t get enough of it.

…I can’t put Almond Milk in my cereal though. Whole milk all the way. Some habits are harder to break than others and this feels like one of those habits.

…I am loving my new job. I don’t talk much about what I do, because it’s not very interesting, but I enjoy it and I’m loving the hell out of this new company I’m with. I feel at home here. And it’s a nice feeling.

…I have a window in my office and I love it. I’ve never had a window before and I feel so important. It’s also nice to have a view of the outside world while I’m suck inside all day every day.

…life has been a little hard for me lately. I’ve struggled with some big life happenings and I’m having a hard time. I feel really knocked down and I’m struggling to get back up. I know I’ll get back up and I’ll dust myself off… but it’s proving harder than I thought to actually do that.

…I’m loving this summer. It hasn’t been too hot (though I could take a few less rainy days) and most days are absolutely gorgeous so we’re spending lots of time outside playing, going to the pool, taking walks, and going to the park. All great ways to spend my evening and time with my favorite girl is always a surefire way to make me happy.

…looking for a new place to live has proved to be harder than I imagined. There is a lot to consider and it feels overwhelming. I almost don’t even want to put in the energy to pick a new place to live even though that is something I really (really!) need to do.

…even though I really want to move I’m really sad about actually leaving my home. I love our home and we have so many wonderful memories there. It’s going to be extremely bittersweet.

…I am NOT looking forward to packing. I’ve been purging the heck out of my house and yet I still feel like we have so.much.stuff. I’ve been slowly packing little things here and there so I won’t be completely overwhelmed with packing all at once but still… not looking forward to it.

…I really want a piece of chocolate right now. (fit people can indulge in sweet cravings every once in a while!)

…I really need to get my hair cut and colored… but I’m not actually in the mood to sit through that.

…I’ve been working at my new job since the end of May… and I haven’t repeated an outfit once (seriously). I worked in a far more casual environment for the last several years (think jeans + t-shirts all day every day!) and it is actually nice to wear “nice clothes” to work even though I didn’t think it would be. I feel a little more adult lately.

…I recently drove by the Middle School I attended and noticed the sign out front said it was celebrating it’s 20th year. TWENTY. That’s bananas. And it makes me feel super old.

…I graduated college 10 years ago this year. Next year will be my 15th year out of high school. That also makes me feel old. That’s maddness. Because it feels like yesterday I was finally turning 16…18…21… and now? I’m creeping in to my mid-30s and that doesn’t seem as old as it used to (when I was like 16..18…21…).

…and now I’m done because that’s all I’ve got. Plus I need a cup of coffee. And a snack.

 

 

Summer Bucket List

I’m itching to get out of the house and be outside this summer. Sydney is at a fun age and she is also at an age that she has so much energy and she needs to do something with it. Since I’m a working parent I want to capitalize on our weekend time but I don’t want to pack so much stuff in to our weekends that there isn’t any time to actually relax and enjoy our summer time together. With that in mind I put together the beginnings of a summer bucket list. Some things we’ll definitely do and some things I’m not sure if we’ll actually get around to doing but I don’t want to get to Labor Day and realize we’ve done nothing but coop ourselves up in the house all summer long. That doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable summer at all.

Museums.

Smithsonian Museums

Smithsonian Museums

One of the many things I really want to do this summer and for many summers to come is explore the museums we have at our disposal. We are fortunate enough to live so close to DC that we are free to explore all the wonderful Smithsonian Museums it has to offer. However, that does mean we generally do not explore it at all because it’s so close we can do it whenever we want. I’m in favor of visiting the American History Museum because it is my favorite and the Natural History Museum because it’s really cool but there are plenty of other museums we can visit too. We’ll see how many we get to, but I’m hoping we get to a couple for sure.

The Zoo.

The zoo!

The zoo!

I know this is one of the Smithsonian Museums, but this is something I really think Sydney will enjoy so it get its own spot on the “to do” list. There are also a couple other places that involve animals that I think Sydney will enjoy like the Leesburg Animal Park and Wilson’s Wild Animal Park so even if we don’t get to the National Zoo I’m hoping we can manage to squeeze in a trip to see some animals somewhere.

Great Falls National Park

Great Falls

Great Falls

Great Falls is a beautiful place and not that I think Sydney will enjoy the scenery for all it has to offer it is a large place she can run off all the energy she has.

Farm Life.

Great Country Farms

Great Country Farms

We have a ton of farms around here and many of them offer a variety of activities for kids, some family festivals, and u-pick fruit throughout the season. Great Country Farms is one of the many farms I enjoy visiting and I know we’ll end up at one of our local farms this summer.

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

This is one I’m not entirely sure we’ll actually get around to doing this summer but I’m not counting it out just yet. I have many fond memories of visiting Luray Caverns with my family as a kid and there is so much to do down there that I think we could make a fun day out of it. There’s obviously the caverns as a main attraction but there are also two museums nearby and Toy Town Junction which sounds awesome and I think I might enjoy that a little more than Sydney because it’s a collection of toys she won’t actually be able to play with. There is a garden maze that she could run her way through and there is a zoo nearby that is a rescue zoo with about 250 retired zoo animals and unwanted and abused animals. I’d like to go there just to be able to support and learn about the animals.

Parks.

fun time at the park

fun time at the park

There are so many awesome parks near us that we’ll definitely be heading to plenty of these. Local parks are especially nice when I’ve been cooped up at the office all day and just want to get outside and just enjoy being outside and with my girl.

What are some things on your summer bucket list? I’d love to hear about some of the fun things you plan to do this summer!