Tag Archives: fall weather

A Johnny Appleseed kind of weekend

5 Oct

My friend Katina and her family decided to go apple picking with us yesterday in Ellijay, GA (which is now the host of two of my favorite yearly events: birthday tubing and apple picking), and we had a blast.

We chose out the Red Apple Barn and it couldn’t have been better. At first I was a little worried given the amount of people there, but we easily got on a hayride to the orchard and didn’t feel crowded there at all. We got there around 2:30pm, and when we were done picking at 5pm there was a much bigger hayride line, so we were lucky.

Sixty degrees and warm in the sun. Couldn’t have been better fall weather!

It didn’t take him long to figure out how to eat a whole apple.

I don’t think I have ever picked an apple off a tree and eaten it before. Just like growing food at home, it was so much more delicious than buying it at the grocery store.

Walt definitely ate more than he picked.

He had such a blast walking around the orchard, stuffing his cute little apple face.


Apple coma. This was one of my favorite Walter moments ever. I love how much he loves being outside.


Katina and I were friends in 6th grade, and now here we are with our husbands and kiddos!

After spending a couple glorious hours in the orchard (much more than I thought we would), we roamed the pumpkin patch. I really loved how relaxed and friendly everyone was here. They even have apple cider and apple cider donuts waiting for you when you get back from picking.

We picked out a couple pumpkins to take home with us between more apple bites.

Walt didn’t give up his last apple til we got in the car and I took it from him. We ate a bag of yummy boiled peanuts on the way home to Nini’s house for dinner, where we ate a delicious roast, drank amazing wine, and watched Crocodile Dundee.

We convinced my mom to light her fire.

Walt fell asleep on the way home, which he never does. We’ve driven home from Chattanooga at 10pm and he never fell asleep. But I guess it was a big outdoor day and he was exhausted. So adorable.

Today we lit our first fire of the season, because it’s been downright chilly!

It’s definitely been a weekend that makes me thankful I live in beautiful Georgia with great friends and family.


Playing in the afternoon sun

3 Dec

I love having Grant Park just down the street from us, and with lots of free parking too. It’s so easy to go for a walk or play in the grass. I imagine that if we stay in this house for a while we’ll be playing catch here in a few years.

This last time we went, I knew I should bring my camera. I’ve been playing with the settings and was very excited to try out my new knowledge in a different location. It always seems like creative education is never ending. Let’s be honest. No true education is ever really finished, is it?






Did I mention this boy loves to run already?



This is the one that really makes me believe Dave’s aunt is right. They are clones.

Left-handed pitching training.

A little boy and his park

30 Nov

It is possible to find very pretty parts of Atlanta, even downtown. We went out for a little afternoon walk and let Walt loose in Grant Park. We will be doing it again. He loves having the freedom to roam where he pleases!




Aunt Ridgely’s Bean Soup

24 Oct

Yesterday I had the soup on the stove literally all day and when the roof guy came by to check out a spot the repair guys had missed, he walked in the house and said, “It smells like soup!” and to be honest, it made me feel good. It was chilly outside even at 1pm.

When I first heard of this soup, I was nervous. I’m not that big a fan of beans, and when I found out it was all we were having for dinner, I thought I’d go to bed hungry. But I had two bowls that night and ate the leftovers later in the weekend too. It’s one of those recipes you could throw in any leftover vegetables you have lying around and play with the spices too, but here’s the base.

I buy the 16 bean bag of soup, ham flavored, but throw away the spice packet they give you. It’s in the rice/bean aisle and it’s really just a bag of 16 types of dried beans. Soak them overnight in about 4 inches of water.

Drain and rinse the beans the next morning. Put them back in your stock pot and fill it with new water. I usually fill the pot about halfway.

4 chicken bullion cubes (Knorr)
A large diced onion
A couple tsp of minced garlic
A quarter round of cooked ham, diced (doesn’t matter if it’s pre-sliced or not).
Worchestershire Sauce
Extra lentils

Let cook at least 3-5 hours on low and serve with buttered, toasted bread. Yum.


Happy Colder Days

23 Oct

I love the colder weather. While it can be a bit depressing that it’s dark so much more of the time, it also means soup weather. It’s a good day when you can just throw stuff in a pot full of water, let it cook all day, and have a delicious meal at dinner time that warms your bones. And the fact that it only gets better as the days go by means that I don’t have to cook as many meals that week either! I love cooking, but it’s nice on busy weeks to not have so many dishes to clean up after we get the baby to bed. And soon it will be cold enough to have a fire going too. Our old oak tree has served us well two years and counting.

I also love that feeling at night when it’s so dark outside, you know it must be 10pm, but it’s only 8 and you can get so much more done or relax for a couple more hours. However, the flip side of that is when it’s 7:30am and there’s no light coming in through the windows, it must mean a few more hours of sleep. I’m looking forward to daylight savings time for that reason alone. Luckily the baby has been sleeping longer and later in the morning, usually getting up around 8ish. It’s a miracle!

Yesterday I took Walt to the library for his first story time. We were late, and of course when we first walked in he started screaming a bit. Excited about the story? Perhaps. But he loved it when the guy finished reading the book and everyone clapped. His face scrunched up in his happy smile, and he clapped too. They played a song between every book, and Walt danced and enjoyed trying to touch his head, shoulders, knees, and toes. They have a craft time afterward, but I left that for the older kids since there weren’t very many spots. We picked out some new books and headed out. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Walt watch all the other kids and adults. He is definitely becoming more social and more communicative the more he moves around and interacts with the world on his own terms.

So instead of summer bug songs and the hot, bright sun, it’s crisp wind and crackling leaves under our feet. I like the changing seasons because it reminds me of all the different reasons this world is interesting and beautiful. And Walter gets to wear super cute long sleeve shirts.

Look, Nana’s holding me and I’m happy!