The Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Photos

The Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Photos. It’s a rite of passage.  Fall isn’t fall without it. Mom guilt is lessened by it. Children running crazy there, trying to pick up pumpkins (fruit or vegetable?) twice their size. Ahh, the good ol’ pumpkin patch. There was once a time I would have dressed up my  young girls in their matching (hand-sewn)  “halloween” dresses I made and drive them there, orange ribbons tied, to snap photo upon photo. There was also the year I was as big as a pumpkin myself, and the year I threatened the girls to hold their brother’s hand or else. Eventually my enthusiasm tapered off (that and life’s crazy level increased ten fold)  so I began to crash his school field trip to try to get my pumpkin’s photo. 

Insert child three and two what-feels-like-teenagers — and I swerve into the pumpkin patch parking lot hot on two wheels, to meet his class there for their field trip. He is dressed up in his non-matching ‘sports day’ attire for homecoming week, face painted (or tattooed- I cannot tell which), hair disheveled, but who cares. The boy has a smile on his face. As do I for the obligatory pumpkin patch photos are done. Fall can be fall and my mom guilt has decreased. At least for today.

grateful simplicity

 

The Obligatory Pumpkin  Patch Photos via grateful simplicity

 

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The Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Photos via grateful simplicity

The Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Photos via grateful simplicity

The Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Photos via grateful simplicity

 

 

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Extra Dose of Gratitude

Forest Jr. is at it again because one race a month isn’t nearly enough- Kenley wanted to run in two. This time, it was about 1.5 miles (I’m still fine tuning my role as runner mom who knows the details of each event..).  The fall weather descended upon us, just in time for the Friday afternoon XC championship race. A great way to kick off he weekend- elementary students from all around town competing (although it felt a lot more like fun).   She has some sweet, kind friends in her class, and on her team, that practice together twice a week.  And while I am well aware of her somewhat rocky start when she was a baby, I certainly don’t sit around dwelling on it. But… the irony is not lost on me as I cheer from the sidelines watching her run her little heart out-  thump, pound, swoosh, push, beat, repeat- catching me off guard and giving some moments like this an extra dose of gratitude.

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Pre-race

Extra Dose of Gratitude via grateful simplicity

Her straight path ” …Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

 

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Might that be a smile on her face?

Extra Dose of Gratitude via grateful simplicity

Post-race smiles

Post-race smiles

.... And post-race visit to the snow cone truck.

…. And post-race visit to the snow cone truck.

Extra Dose of Gratitude via grateful simplicity

Extra Dose of Gratitude via grateful simplicity

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Half Decade Birthday

It came, we celebrated, then we celebrated some more.  The half decade birthday. We now have a somewhat taller, always confident 5 year old, folks. The little guy went to a bowling birthday party last summer and for the past year has talked of nothing else. Who knew 4 and 5 year-olds could bowl? Raynes was not about to let me live down the fact the we celebrated his fourth birthday in an Alys Beach parking lot. When I tell you he reminded me of this no less than thirty-seven  times, I would not be exaggerating.  Insert a little Sunday afternoon bowling, for the handful of little boys in his class (which was plenty!), and finally I have redeemed myself.  Happiest of days to this sweet 5 year old that has a mind always turning, a mouth always questioning, and keeps my heart ever swelling. 10.17.11

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

Photo credit: Britton

..Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

This is perhaps my favorite photo from the party.

 

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

 

Half Decade Birthday via grateful simplicity

I was running….

I was running….

Oh that Forest- he’s a funny guy.  Kenley (willingly) participated in a local Cross Country race yesterday. The same one she ran last year at this time. It was a hilly course and a toasty 86 degrees. In full disclosure, I was sweaty and a little tired just from watching it all.  I stood on the side of the beautiful course, snapping photos, and next thing I knew she almost ran right past me! She did great– tracking her time (9 minutes 20 seconds) and is looking forward to next Friday’s event. Whose child is she?  I would like to think she got this gene-to-enjoy-running from her Mama, but I think it may be from her Daddy Boone who always loved a good run down Thomasville Road.  It’s hard to believe that this March will be 19 years since his passing. Time, too, has a way of running right past us…..

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Never one to miss out on a opportunity to ask questions (how far did you run? How did you know where you go? Did you win?) he jumped right into his full line of questioning after the event.

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Many Little Milestones

When Kenley was a baby, I went out on a limb and purchased a DSLR camera in lieu of a baby plan from a professional photographer. Following bloggers, online tutorials, and user manuals I taught myself how to take photos of my baby girls. And goodness there are lots of photographs of them- hundreds upon hundreds.  They grew up with their mama always holding a camera so they thought nothing of it, rarely stopping to pose (let alone fuss at me) for trying to capture each and every little milestone.

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

Five years later then their baby brother came along, the camera- now several years old– was always charged and ready to go.  As he got older, our lives got a little busier the once always there camera, was suddenly no where to be found. It didn’t make it on trips, maintenance fell to the way side, and next thing I knew the only photos I had were though on my cell phone. Not that there is anything wrong with cell phone images –it just doesn’t feel the same to me. The shutter clicking makes me happy. The teeny tiny creative ability I have with a ‘real’ camera is often times lost on a phone that I have a love/hate relationship with.

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

 

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

I’m trying to make it a point to set aside time to do the things I enjoy. A quiet cup of coffee in the mornings. A good Devotional. Journaling. Yoga.  Photography. And even this here little blog.

 

What I’ve found is– when it comes to the camera– my girls are now at the age where they definitely do notice the camera, and don’t want it around. Raynes, too, notices and has this weird smile he insists on. That’s what I get for letting one of my little joys fall the way side. But all that’s about to change. So keep on smiling like that little boy. I am happy to capture it — because it too is one of the many little milestones.

 

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity

 

 

Many Little Milestones via Grateful SImolicity