**I {{HEART}} Fall**

It's always been my favorite
time of year.

Every year, I look for new Fall photo opportunities. Everything is so full of vivid color. I love seeing the leaves on the ground and crushing them with my feet when I walk. I love the hint of crispness in the air and the smell reminds me a bit of home---you know, the smell of burning fields? haha! But it's totally true! I just feel so happy and alive! Which is slightly ironic because, in essence, everything is in preparation for winter hibernation. Go figure.

The girls and I went for our first neighborhood walk yesterday. It was in the upper 70's and there was a cool breeze. Perfect for walking! We rolled over some crunchy leaves and it just felt so fall-ish. I love our new neighborhood. Everywhere you look there are tall, mature trees. It just 'feels' nice. Don't get me wrong, our old neighborhood was fantastic and totally quiet! But there weren't many trees and there weren't any parks within walking distance. Here, there is one just a couple of blocks away. We are very excited and I can't wait to take some new fall photos outside. We have a gloriously tall tree in front and a really cool fence next door that has a large tree stump and cool river rocks in front---totally picture perfect! All we need are some pretty fall-en leaves and VOILA! We are just a few weeks away, I think! Fall was the inspiration for the new pictures I took for the Blog header. Do you not just LOVE the header?? OK, I'm biased, but it's my favorite, to date. I can't believe how GROWN-UP and all SUPERMODEL-Y the girls look. Totally gorgeous. I love them (I mean the girls this time...but I love the pictures, too!)

Also, Fall brings our wedding anniversary (September was picked for a reason!) and Tony's birthday. I already did a post about the anniversary but Tony's birthday was Sunday. His family came over and we celebrated with a BBQ, football watching and cupcakes. They were a new creation for me and Tony said they were "one of my best efforts" (which is his highest compliment). They were banana-chocolate chip with a brown butter frosting. If you've never had brown butter frosting, you are totally missing out. It is perfectly Fall-ish to me. So good on everything, but really good on pumpkin things and anything spicey (like cinnamon, not pepper, lol). Try it. You will be in love. Back to the birthday---too bad the Steelers lost. There's always next week. We really need Troy back. Like, REALLY. I hope he heals faster than they expect. The rest of the evening was capped off with a viewing of Footloose the movie. An oldie, but a classic. We sang the songs for the remainder of the day.

I also love Fall fashion. I love the colors, I love sweaters and I love boots. Did I mention I love boots?? Love. I wish they weren't so danged expensive. Someday. Oh and hats. I need to expand my Fall hat collection. Again, someday. I know that is superficial, but it's how I feel!

So get out there and enjoy your Fall weather (and food and fashion). :)


Lost in the shuffle.....

No, I'm not talking about my lack of blogging....wait....maybe I am.....yeah, I guess technically I am...

I have failed to mention that Tony and I celebrated our 6th Wedding Anniversary on the 12th this month and our 5th Eternal Anniversary on the 11th. We weren't able to go out (YET! Unless you count going to the grocery store with the girls...which sadly, is a fun 'outing' for us) but Tony did bring home some lovely things for me and our new house (and most were on clearance! I LOVE that he saved some money, too!!!!)

-a clothes steamer with attachments for cleaning! Awesome!

-a toaster

-a couple silicone trivets and kitchen towels by MARTHA

-a couple sauce pans

-'The Princess Bride' movie on BluRay-which he hates but knows I love.
("Anybody wanna peanut??")

-some gorgeous red roses

-And a TO DIE FOR chocolate cake---I think it was called "Chocolate Kiss". It had layers of chocolate cake filled with strawberry glaze, strawberry cream frosting, topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate covered strawberries. Oh-MAH-Gosh. SOOO delish. It could be a new tradition! :D

Thank you HONEY for being a very supportive and hardworking husband and father. I don't deserve you!
I love you.

Seriously? A MONTH???

I honestly do not believe that it's been an entire month since we've moved in. Yet, it feels like a millennia (mostly at night). I don't want to jinx it, but just in the last week, the girls have been sleeping through the night, even with colds! They REALLY have had a hard time adjusting to their new house and beds and room. I'm sure it's so scary to have nearly everything you find familiar taken from you. Poor babies. But I figured the '21 day habit' rule would apply, and it's pretty much held true! It's been so nice to get a solid 7 hours of sleep each night. Although, I've been sick too so I have been waking up stuffy and coughing a little, but I'll take it over lying on the hard floor in their room just praying that their eyes will close and they won't pop their little heads up to make sure I haven't left the room!!! :/

But the girls have been overjoyed to have their own space to stretch out in and explore. I can already see growth in their motor skills and even their interactions have improved. We have also tried potty training for a couple weeks now and they are hot and cold. Some days we have 8 or 9 'stars' per child on the 'Potty Time' chart, and then there are days when there are none. Sometimes I can't get them to sit on it no matter WHAT I try. But I'm not going to force it because I don't want it to become a punishment. We had ONE good morning in 'big girl underwear' until one of them decided to NOT use the potty---which was 5 feet away. They immediately went back into diapers. Probably not the smartest idea, but I just couldn't handle it that day. I will try again in a couple days when I can just commit to doing just that (ha ha, right?) No really, we are just going to stay home for three days and I will be following them around 24/7. Sounds fun, right??? I wish I had the money to just hire someone to do it for me!! (I sound like one of those 'Real Housewives' people now....shame on me!) Ugh. I dread. But it's necessary. We already bough 30 pairs of underwear (we can discuss the usage of the word 'pair' when referring to underwear and pants another day----makes NO sense to me AT ALL....)

We are no where near being unpacked. As we speak, Tony is still packing boxes and boxes of 'stuff' that we still have at the other house. We have to get everything out by tomorrow because it is being painted and then next Tuesday there is new carpet coming in. I just am so overwhelmed because we can't find time to get it all done. It's so daunting. I'm not good at balancing all the demands I have---kids, husband, two houses, church callings and other volunteer positions....when will I ever figure it out??? We just barely brought things like dishes, measuring cups/spoons, and mixing bowls over last week (Thanks to my mom and sister, Shaunie! A post to come about their visit coming soon!) Our poor garbage man with our over-flowing cans of paper products!! Good thing we also have recycling pick-up here!
I've really tried to get into the habit of having the girls help clean up their playroom before naps and nighttime every day. We've done well so far, but the past couple of days I just can't seem to get it together. I'm letting the stress of it all get to me again. But I will gather myself up and start again tomorrow. At least that's my goal, anyway!

One thing I've learned is that hard surface floors are a lot more work than carpet. Not only do you have to remove the debris by sweeping or vacuuming, but then you have to mop it. And our floor has a matte finish to it so every droplet or toe-print is visible! Annoying! Not only do I, first, vacuum it, but next, I steam mop it to sanitize and THEN I have to mop it with a special 'polish' cleaner. Just to do the main living areas takes me an hour! Uh, yeah...I have that kind of time...NOT! Needless to say I went from doing that everyday to every other day (or, to be more honest, I have decided to lower my standards a bit and live with the never-ending foot prints and droplets. I can only stand so much 'driving-me-crazy-ness' that I have to let some things go. shh. don't tell...)

But all in all, it's so wonderful. And someday it will be all put together and decorated.

I dream of that day.

Just don't ask when that might be..........