Seven Quick Takes in a busy time

Next week, I’ll have the whole week off.  Woohoo and hooray for Thanksgiving Break!  In the meantime, things are busy ’round these parts.  Much has happened (I realized I never did a post on Halloween… how?!).  So, I’m going some Quick Takes to catch up.

1) Halloween!

Halloween was pretty great. Mark went as a monkey and it was adorable.

He also was a skeleton for part of the day — a gift from my sister.  They’re supposed to be pajamas, but I think he’s pulling it off as an outfit. 
Little monkey butt!
Monkey face!
Mark LOVES pumpkins and he was fascinated that these glowed.  The one on the far right is his.  I let him give input on where the eyes go, so… I turned it into an emoticon. 🙂

We went trick or treating at my in-laws’ house and at a few of the other houses in their neighborhood.  Clearly, we were showing off Mark way more than we were actually getting candy (he didn’t eat any, so we didn’t seem like it would be fair to trick or treat for us!).

2) Soccer season is over.  :-/

Unfortunately, Ryan’s team lost in the semi-finals a couple of weeks ago.  I’m always sad to see soccer season end, but I’m always a little bit happy to have a husband again. 🙂

3) Mark likes hiding in boxes.  


I don’t know what it is with this kid, but he really likes hanging out in here.

4) We took some decent family photos!

My lovely sister-in-law agreed to hold the camera and press the button if I posed all of us.  While I’m anxious to try out the remote shutter control that I got, it seemed like a little bit of pressure to try it out for some family photos.  We turned out pretty well, all-in-all, I think.

IMG_7054 IMG_7028 IMG_7065-2 IMG_7102 IMG_7125-4

5) New words and phrases (and technically a sentence!)

Oh, goodness, the kid does not stop talking.  He repeats SO MANY of the words we say (battery, potty, book), but he has a lot of other new words he uses on a regular basis: shoes, bat, ball (okay, that one might be old, but I don’t have my list in front of me), Costco, please, cheese, yes (sometimes), no (much more often), silly, neck, and back.

He’s also started stringing together some sentences of two or three words.  The other day, Ryan was making faces at Mark and I said to Mark, “Dada is silly, huh?” and Mark said, “Dada silly.”  Then, he was with my mother-in-law and he turned to her at one point and said. “Mama went bye-bye.”  I have to admit, seeing his language develop is one of my favorite things!

6) Current Favorite Reads

No, not mine.  Mark’s favorites right now are The Escape of Marvin the Ape and Goodnight Gorilla.  I think these are his current favorites because he likes making the monkey noise (AH AH) and the other animal noises (blowing raspberries and moving his arm like an trunk for elephant and kind of roaring like a lion).  Luckily, they’re both pretty great books, so I don’t mind reading them over and over and over again.  🙂

7) If you’re a friend or family member, you’ve already heard, but…


Yup!  We are so excited to become a family of four in April!  It’s crazy to think that soon there will be a little baby girl in our midst, but we are super excited!

Pumpkin Patch!

This post is much-overdue, but last month we went to one of the pumpkin patches outside of town with some friends.  It’s becoming a tradition to take the kiddos, and we had a great time!  Here are some fun photos from the day:

Ensley and Mark are so cute looking at each other.  🙂


Though, still cute even when they look at the camera.  
He literally had no idea where to start first.  There were so many pumpkins!


Ensley’s dad, Mike, caught a frog.  Mark stared at it.  Ensley grabbed it.  Pretty typical of their personalities.  
There is just so much joy on his little face.  🙂
You can almost tell by looking at him, but he’s grunting while he’s trying to pick up the pumpkin that’s nearly as big as he is.  
Yay for fun family time with pumpkins!
For the second year in a row, this is how we made it through the corn maze.  For the second year in a row, he totally fell asleep halfway through.  🙂

Gratitude Project: Info

My friend Jen got me started on the Gratitude Project a couple of years ago.  The premise is simple: for the entire month of November, you post somewhere (Twitter, Facebook, your blog, whatever) every day all of the things you are thankful for that day.  Some days are easy to think of lots of things, while other days take a little more time to come up with just…one…thing.  But, it’s so, so good to do.  Here’s why: our newsfeeds and twitterfeeds are full of people complaining about stuff or saying how great their third vacation to Hawaii was this year that we feel all KINDS of jealous.  So, it puts things in perspective.  I know I have things to be thankful for and sometimes I need to remind myself of those things.

Now, it’s not a brag of all the things you did that day.  The purpose of putting it on social media is to hold yourself accountable and to make others realize their small blessings are important too.

I won’t post each one here every day, but I’ll do a kind of digest every few days and include some pictures here if I want to.

In the meantime, I’m going to work on my Halloween Post and Pumpkin Patch Post because I am woefully behind.