This past weekend, my parents and brother made the drive down from my original home state of Minnesota for a visit with us! The weather and the fall colors were beautiful throughout the entire visit, so we spent lots of time outdoors.
On Saturday evening, we had my hearty beef and vegetable stew from the crockpot, along with homemade sourdough bread. And then we went to bed relatively early, since we go to our church's earliest service on Sunday.
On Sunday, we went to church, and then headed home for some downtime, and books to be read with grandma, and legos to be played with. I opened up some birthday gifts from my family, along with some gifts for the boys. Lunch was leftovers, and then we all went on a walk around the neighborhood, choosing our route to pass the prettiest fall leaves. We found hedge apples on our walk, and at Cooper's insistence, we brought one home so we could cut it open and see what was inside. It was a beautiful fall day with warmth from the sunshine and a slight breeze, warm enough to be very comfortable. Back at home, we had coffee out on the deck, and of course we cut open the hedge apple to investigate. (I hadn't heard of them before, but apparently they aren't edible, but are sometimes used in seasonal decor).
Nicholas made a fire and we made s'mores, after a last-minute trip to the store for marshmallows. For dinner, we had burgers on the grill, on homemade sourdough hamburger buns, and refrigerator pickles from our garden.
On Monday, Nicholas had to work, but the rest of us did my usual farm store visit for our raw dairy. And then we drove to Chellberg Farm, which is in Indiana Dune National Park. We visited last year around this time, and the fall colors were beautiful then; the fall colors did not disappoint this year either.
The route we took wound through prairie, into woods, and over bridges, and wove through forests of a deep gold. We hiked around a three mile loop (Cooper walked the entire way! Finn needed to be carried, but he walked around a mile of it). It was another beautiful day, blue skies just peeking out.
This particular loop has enough interesting things and scenery changes that it does seem to keep kids fairly entertained and engaged with lots of new things to explore. And there is so much history about the Swedish immigrant family that originally owned the farm.
And after our "big adventure" with the little boys, we came home for tick checks and showers and a dinner of chicken tacos I had in the crockpot all day, with rice and lime and avocado. A yummy, easy, and filling dinner after a big day!
Some of my other favorite little moments from the weekend:
- My mom brought homemade zucchini bread (so yummy), and we snacked on that and sourdough nisu (Finnish cardamom) bread– a recipe I highly recommend. Both breads were the perfect accompianment with coffee.
- Cooper wanted to read book after book with my mom. She works at their local library and always has the best picks!
- Finn asked to sit on my dad's lap on the swing, and the two of them played trucks together.
- My brother, Matt, was a good sport, per usual, when Cooper asked him to play with him in the basement or look at his flashlight and multitool for the hundredth time.
- One birthday gift I received from my family was a necklace that had been my Grandma Donna's– a simple pendant that we think might be peridot. I love it.
- Finn carried his own little rake the entire time on our family neightborhood walk
- My mom brought a craft for Cooper to do– a little owl made out of popsicle sticks and googly eyes and felt. So cute! Cooper loved it.
- Talking with my parents about memories that you don't realize you are making in the moment, and the importance of paying attention to little things that years later, you may wish you had noticed and made an effort to preserve it in your mind.
- My brother taught Cooper how to play "Pooh sticks" from Winnie-the-Pooh, a nostalgic thing from my childhood.
And that was a wrap to a very sweet visit with family! We love you guys so much.
Despite my writing in the previous post that fall felt like it passed the baton to winter, we've actually had some rather warm and sunny weather here. Trying to enjoy the ease of outdoor time without winter layers, just yet!
In some very real ways, autumn felt like it lasted for only a few weeks. September was a very warm month–hot even–and then our temperatures quickly dipped from the seventies to the low fifties and forties. I love this time of year, so I savored any adventure we had amongst the fall color.
A few weekends ago, my parents and brother drove down from Minnesota to visit. It had been a few months since we had last seen them, when they visited back in April, and we all wanted to celebrate a belated birthday for Cooper!