Tuesday, December 11, 2012

fall recap

Our Disney trip was a vacation of a lifetime. We had a blast and created so many wonderful memories. But we had to quickly snap back into reality once returning home. It was back to work and school and all of our other ongoing commitments. The biggest plus to being home was that we had a whole bunch of fun things to look forward to. Fall is a beautiful time of year here in Indiana, so we wanted to take advantage of what our area has to offer and squeeze in as many Fall activities as possible. 

We took the girls apple picking for the first time this year. There is a very nice apple orchard just a few miles from our house that we had never been to. Olivia had visited before as part of a school field trip, but we wanted to start a family tradition of picking our own apples each year. 

Having never been apple picking before we made the mistake of going too late into the season. We were told that we welcome to go out to the orchard, but there may not be much left. So the four of us just started walking around looking for any apples that were left. It didn't take long for Olivia and Cecilia to spot some yummy ones of their own. Olivia's went straight into her bag, Cecilia's went straight into her mouth. Despite being late to the apple season we still manged to find a ton of yummy apples to take home with us!

The girls really enjoyed themselves and we enjoyed the many apples we picked that day for weeks to come. We will definitely do this again next year...just earlier.

We went right from apple picking into all of the pre-Halloween festivities. First on the agenda was the annual Zoo Halloween. We look forward to this event each year. I just like any opportunity for the girls to wear their costumes more than once. 

Olivia loves the various treats that are passed out at the Zoo Halloween. I enjoy looking at all of the super cool pumpkin and gourd displays. Of course I could not get enough of my little Minnie Mouse and sweet little flower either.

Another fun fall activity we always look forward to is the annual Fall Family Festival at Olivia's school, Peace  Montessori. Olivia loves running around with her school friends and there is always so much to do! 

The highlight is always the trunk-or-treat. The parents volunteer to decorate their trunks and hand out treats. The kids love it! Cecilia tagged along with us this year and enjoyed watching her sister run around with all of her besties. I have been blown away by the wonderful friends Olivia has made during her time at this amazing school. She has been with some of these kids since the beginning and has developed some very special bonds. As Cecilia will be starting at this school next year, I can only hope for the same thing for her.

Thankfully we had some fun pre-Halloween activities because the actual Halloween ended up being a bit of a disappointment. The weather was cold and rainy and we were forced to take the girls trick-or-treating at the mall. Yuck...won't do that again! Once that terrible experience was over we decided that we would drive Olivia around our neighborhood and let her run up to a few houses. The rain had died down and she was excited so we let her have at it. We discovered that driving her from house to house is a slam dunk way of scoring a lot of candy in a short amount of time!

It turned out to be a good Halloween for the girls, despite the nasty weather. As always she made out like a bandit...more candy than a single child should possess! Olivia is already talking about what she should dress as next year. I am secretly brainstorming cute sister costumes!

The biggest event of our Fall was celebrating Olivia's 6th birthday. Not that it was easy realizing that my baby girl was about to turn 6, but it was fun dedicating an entire weekend to celebrating this milestone. We kicked off the birthday weekend extravaganza by having dinner at Takaoka. It has become our tradition to take her to her favorite restaurant each year for her birthday. I did this as a kid and I love that I have passed this tradition onto her. Cecilia came with us this year and she was fascinated. Hard not to be entertained by someone putting on a cooking show right in front of you. The food was delicious and Olivia can't wait to go back again next year! 

The following evening was Olivia's family birthday party. For the first time this year she was going to have a birthday party with her friends, so we still wanted to do a little something with the family. The theme this year was rainbows...chosen by Olivia. As always I enlisted the help of my very creative and talented mother to help with rainbow themed party treats. Not only were they pretty, but quite tasty too! The rainbow twizzler party favors were my idea though.

Decorating for a rainbow themed party was a piece of cake. Speaking of cake...my nephew's wife came to the rescue once again and baked an amazing cake for Olivia. Not only was it shaped like a rainbow, it had six layers...each a different color. It was almost too pretty to eat! It was the perfect touch to Olivia's party!

Of course she received some wonderful gifts from her guests. Cecilia was right there during the present opening, checking out all of the goodies. Even though this was Olivia's party she had to make her presence known at all times. Her wonderfully kind and generous sister was more than happy to share the spotlight.

Just when we thought Olivia's birthday weekend was over, there was still one more party to throw! She had been looking forward to her first "friend" party for months, choosing to have a gymnastics party at a gym nearby. 

She invited 12 of her closest friends for some fun and games, and of course tumbling. They jumped on the trampoline, played games with the parachute, dove into the ball pit, along with many other fun activities. There were lots of smiles and giggle's and kids just having a good time. 

Cecilia enjoyed herself as well. There was no way she was going to sit on the sidelines while Olivia and her friends had all of the fun! She made her way onto the trampoline, into the ball pit and many other onto many other apparatuses. 

After they were done tumbling it was present opening time. All of her sweet little friends gathered around as Olivia opened her gifts. I got a kick out of how the other kids were on pins and needles as she opened each present. 

The sweet finish to the party was of course, candles and cupcakes. It warmed my heart to see Olivia's best friends gathered around, wishing her a Happy Birthday. She is truly blessed to have these wonderful kids as her friends. Boys, girls...she simply gets along with everyone!

When the final party of the weekend was complete, and the last present was opened, Olivia could say without a doubt that it was, "the BEST birthday EVER!". 

So now my baby is 6. Not sure how we got to this point so quickly, but here we are. Although my attempt to freeze time has been unsuccessful, I could not be more proud of the person my little girl has become. She is the most caring, thoughtful, energetic and determined child I know. I am truly blessed to be her mother.

Lets not forget about Lady Cecilia. This firecracker keeps us on our toes each and every day...and always with a smile. Usually she is doing whatever she can to make us laugh, and most of the time it works. Cecilia's talking has really blossomed in the past few weeks. She will say just about anything you ask her to. It may or may not sound like the actual word, but she tries and it is simply adorable. Currently, her favorite thing to say is "good girl". She walks around the house calling herself a "good girl" constantly. A little egotistical if you ask me, but she seems pretty confident in herself. Oh, and she prefers to read in the nude. She cracks us up!

It was a busy Fall, leading right into a busy Winter. We are in full Christmas mode right now and loving every second of it. The holidays are so much more fun with two little girls to enjoy it with! Can't wait until Christmas morning!