Thursday, October 31, 2013


Today's meteorological conditions were nothing to write home about, except one thing.

It rained overnight, and when I went out for a run at lunch, I was admiring the wet leaves on the ground (because bright leaves that get rained on are particularly beautiful leaves). Then I noticed that in some yards, the rain droplets had just stopped and froze on the leaves - not literally froze, because it wasn't that cold out today, but they just paused. It was amazing. I was really peeved that I didn't bring my camera on my run but just enjoyed the little droplets-on-leaves whenever I noticed them.

Then it got even better. On my walk with Wish after work, hours later, I looked in the grass and noticed that the droplets were still around. How could this be possible!?

Luckily, I had my camera this time.

They are magnificent. I live in my state's capital city, and nothing stirred their little patch of earth all day.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More pumpkins

Oh yes, we carved again!

For the last few years, two of our friends have hosted a pumpkin-carving party at their home. They pull two tables together, the living room and dining room fills up with people, soup is served and there's usually a World Series game on in the background while people carve. These friends had a baby five weeks ago - the sweetest little baby - and so Josh and I just assumed the pumpkin party was on break for a year. Then notification rolled in: the party was on!

Josh and I picked up our pumpkins en route to the party. He had a plan to work on a Tennessee "T" and I had no plan at all. We arrived and spent some time with all the wonderful babies in their Halloween costumes. (The pumpkin party's average age has definitely dropped since the first pumpkin party, and I love it!)

Then we headed over to see what was happening at the carving station. Josh traced his T from a print-out, a controversial move at this party, where there is a stencil division in the overall contest:

Close up:

The squares are meant to echo the checkerboard endzone at the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium. Carving them all out would be pretty intense, so Josh brought along his drill.

I'm not kidding.

He drilled holes through each box he planned to cut, and then squared off the edges.

It looked neat even before the candle went in:

Anyway, what was I doing while he was crafting the T? I was stumped for awhile.

When in doubt, go for a grin, yeah?

When all of us were done (I promise there were more people than just Josh and me - I just like to know that friends are totally on board before I post their photos!), we arranged our pumpkins for the reveal. I am always impressed with the designs that get churned out. Here are a few, in the light:

And then the lights went out!

I have a soft spot for the one on the far right, which is an absolutely gigantic pumpkin with a carving design that reminds me of "Where the Wild Things Are" for some reason. I love them all, actually.

One more look at our work:

Thanks to our fabulous hosts (and the rest of our friends) for a fun party, and happy almost-Halloween!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ten wedding details

Right away when Josh and I got engaged, exactly 10 months before our wedding day, we knew we wanted to keep the planning process simple and relaxed. We were so excited and grateful about making this commitment to each other in front of our family and friends, and we wanted to keep the focus on that, without getting too tied up in the details.

Like many people before me, though, I felt a little overwhelmed early on by All Of The Options for every part of a ceremony and reception, for things I didn't even know we were supposed to think about. The choices got easier, more fun and more meaningful to me when I looked at the details as a chance to connect to a memory, story or person whenever possible.

This word count is gonna get crazy. Here are three quick takeaways:
  1. My mom was an incredible source of ideas and knowledge and enthusiasm and energy, and so much of our wedding details happened because of her.
  2. The Etsy online marketplace was a wonderful resource for me.
  3. Most of these details don't actually include my new husband. To clarify: He was a huge part of the planning (I think he actually coordinated more components of the wedding than I did) and we had so much fun working on our plans together. But: these kinds of details, as he would say, are not his jurisdiction. (I am planning another post that gives the broader view of the whole day.)
In no particular ranking, with no possibility of ever being a comprehensive list, here are some of my favorite details. (I'll share more photos later on, once we get them from our photographers.)

1) The flowers: I grin when I think of our flowers. My mom, who has a florist's eye, spearheaded the project, with help from two of my aunts and my friend Sara. This group assembled everything the day before the wedding: an arrangement for each dinner table plus the five bridesmaids' bouquets and my bouquet. (Mom also made all of the boutonnieres and corsages, but that happened ahead of time. I am telling you - she's amazing.)

I stopped by my aunt's house the day before the wedding and marveled at the whole process unfolding in her backyard. Here is Mom with one of my aunts at one of the work stations:

Mom is well-versed in flower language and I am not, so we had looked at bouquets on Pinterest to help identify what I liked and didn't like. Beyond that, all I knew was that I loved bright, bold colors, especially that poppy-orange shade that showed up in lots of places at our wedding.

When I saw a draft of my bouquet, I couldn't believe how spot-on it was. I love, loved it - and didn't want to let it go.

Everything is real - and in some cases, home-grown by my family - except for the poppies. I love poppies, but they're too fragile to count on, so my mom tucked artificial poppies into my bouquet. Also, earlier in the summer, I smelled dill and it reminded me of the dill from our gardens when I was growing up. We ended up using dill weed flower in the wedding bouquets, and I loved that, too.

2) Our ring dish: "I think we should get a ring dish," I told my perplexed groom about a month before our wedding. (We didn't have any plans for a ring pillow or anything, so the plan at the time was for the best man, Josh's brother, to carry them in his pocket.) I saw some pretty options on Etsy and chose an ivory clay dish about four inches in diameter with a lace stamp over part of it. It's engraved with a few words ("i carry your heart") from one of our readings, the E.E. Cummings poem with the same name. I loved this little ring dish. It's on our dresser and I like seeing it.

3) The calligraphy: This spring, I signed up for a calligraphy class (with Sara!) with the idea that if I liked it, I might be able to address our invitations in calligraphy (and if it didn't work out, it would be a fun class to take with my friend). I was far (far, far, far) from an expert in the subject, but after six weeks of class, I felt comfortable enough to give it a try.

I had pictured a couple of weekend afternoons devoted to the project, but it worked better to spend half an hour or so at a time. (My letters got worse if I worked much longer!) Even though it took more time than I expected, I was very happy I did this. It helped me with names and gave me an uncanny memory for peoples' addresses (a weird consequence worth noting), and I loved spending a few minutes as I worked on those envelopes to think about every guest.

4) My headpiece: Once I chose my wedding dress back in January, I pieced together the rest of my accessories. I decided not to wear a veil - in fact, I wasn't going to wear anything in my hair. Then my mom suggested something called a "headpiece," which sounded to me a lot like a nice hat but actually includes a wide range of accessories. I was kind of overwhelmed by the options, but my mom really helped out here, too. She asked what I thought of using one of my grandma's brooches in the headpiece, which I loved, and also suggested using the lace that was cut out of my wedding dress during the hemming. (I'm 5'4" and needed a lot of hem.)

She sent me a mock-up of what she was imagining, and that was it. My headpiece was all set:

This was maybe four inches long, and you'll see how it fit into my hair soon.

5)  My bracelet: I wanted to keep the rest of my jewelry pretty simple. I got a necklace with a single pearl on it from Etsy, and then found earrings (also on Etsy) that coincidentally matched the brooch in my headpiece almost exactly. My bracelet, though, tied with the headpiece for my favorite piece of jewelry. My sweet aunt restrung one of my grandma's pearl necklaces into a two-strand bracelet. I loved how it fit and I loved that I could look down at my wrist and have a reminder of my grandmother so close.

6) The ties: The only part of the wedding planning process that was more difficult than I expected was our darn colors. As previously mentioned, I love vibrant colors, and with a green light from Josh, I chose to incorporate a poppy-orange and a deep bluish-purple around the wedding. (Orange ties in to some of our favorite teams and schools!) I definitely did not understand that these would be very weird and hard colors to find together. (A bright red ended up finding its way into the mix by the time we got married.) We found purple dresses for the bridesmaids and chose black suits for the groomsmen, and we thought it'd be nice to find a tie that pulled together the orange and purple colors. This turned out to be really hard to find.

Thank goodness for South Carolina's Clemson University, which happens to have nearly the right orange and purple as its colors. We found orange- and purple-checked ties via a Clemson vendor and almost got them, but they had a few tiger pawprints (the mascot) on the ties and we weren't wild about that. Then I found Handmade by Gigi, an Etsy store run by a person who makes bow ties in a wide range of Southern schools' colors (and lots of other colors). I saw this one and loved the fabric, but Josh and I wanted neckties, not bowties. I contacted the seller and asked if she could do a special order for neckties, and she did! She was one of the fabulous vendors with which we were lucky to work.

7) Our papel picado: Josh and I love papel picado, which is perforated tissue paper banners that you can find at Mexican markets. (We have some hanging in our kitchen.)

Some of our wedding elements were inspired by this art, in our invitations and in ivory papel picado hanging at our reception that wove in our names and wedding date. (Thank you to AyMujer on Etsy!) Our candleholders used papel picado more directly. I bought plain vases and several packs of the paper banners, and on a chilly spring Sunday afternoon, my mom and sister and I used spray adhesive to glue papel picado onto the vases, which we used as candleholders at each table.

I have three of those pieces now - red, yellow, and blue - and I've used the red one as a vase, but I need to see them in action as candleholders. (Thanks to Mom and my sister for their help with this!)

8) My hair: Early this summer, Mom and I talked about my hair and decided that, if a couple of trial runs went smoothly, she would do my hair and makeup for my wedding. (She does hair professionally, so I was in very good hands, but we both wanted to make sure this wouldn't add too much to her plate that morning.) I was so grateful she was open to doing this, and I loved having time alone with my mom that morning as we got ready for the day. Also, I was really happy with what she did to my hair, seven thousand bobby pins and all. (See the headpiece now?)

9) Our dessert: When Josh and I started talking with caterers, we thought a lot about the dessert and weren't quite sure what to do. (Dessert is important to us!) We thought about a traditional cake, and one friend told me about pies at her wedding, which sounded great. Then, one day, I was thinking about getting some ice cream and it hit me. We love ice cream. Why not ice cream? Two of our friends had ice cream sundaes at their wedding in Washington, and we thought it was about the best thing ever.

Once we decided on ice cream sundaes, the pieces came together quickly. There are a few really good ice cream shops in St. Paul, but our favorite is Grand Ole Creamery. We set up a catering order and chose two kinds (birthday cake and sweet cream), and the shop sent two people to scoop the ice cream, and then our guests chose their own toppings. My sister grabbed a sundae for me right before we started the dances, and after the first few songs, I went back to our table all by myself and had a few bites, and it was so good. We were so happy to be able to serve our favorite ice cream, from one of our favorite shops in our city, to our guests.

10) Our guestbook: I must have read about alternative guest book ideas early in the wedding planning process, because right away, I wanted to do a thumbprint tree guestbook. There are lots of options on Etsy and other sources, so we chose a design with our names and wedding date printed under a bare tree, plus a few thumbprint-shaped ink pads in red, orange and yellow. (Y'all know how I love my colorful leaves.) Then we printed it at Kinko's on a mounted poster board, and set up a little station at the reception with the ink pads, the poster and some wet wipes to remove the ink.

As we made our plans for the wedding, we often wondered what it would be like to see so many friends and family members from different parts of our lives in one place. Picturing it felt so special to us, and we loved the idea of a visual reminder of that in our home. We weren't sure if people would be into making thumbprints with ink, but we thought it'd be worth a try.

Josh and I arrived at the cocktail hour maybe 10-15 minutes after the rest of our guests, and one of the first things I vividly remember seeing when I walked into our venue was the guestbook poster, already nearly full of thumbprints. I am pretty positive that I squealed.

It's hanging on our wall and I see it lots of times every day, and I love it.

Friends, I could go on and on and on. It was a wonderful day, and we can't say this enough: we are so, so grateful for the friends and family who helped with the details that made it even more special for us - and for everyone who helped celebrate, with us and from afar.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Marvelous Monday: Week 43

Hi, Monday!

It was a full weekend, but I managed to squeeze in some good couch time, too.

Wish is definitely not a night owl. When we're hanging out in the living room in the evening, there's guaranteed to be a moment around 8 or 9 p.m. where he gets up and ambles out of the room. We call him, and if he comes back, it means he was foraging and/or causing mischief. If he doesn't come back, it means he went to bed. Usually, I go into our room and find him curled up in the bed, giving me a look that makes it clear that he thinks I'm a lunatic for staying up so late. Then I pick him up and bring him back into the living room for a snuggle (see above) before he goes back to bed.

Anyway, Marvelous Monday begins the week with five nice tidbits:

1) Yesterday was another Sunday slow-cooker project. This time, I tried a recipe pretty close to a soup my mom made for my brother and me on Saturday: copycat Olive Garden pasta e fagioli. We ate it for dinner last night and I'm excited for leftovers this week.

2) It's Halloween week! We don't get trick-or-treaters at our door, but our Halloween tradition is to take a long walk around a busy neighborhood after the sun sets to see the trick-or-treaters and their costumes. Also, I need to get Wish's costume(s) out and see if I have time to make the new costume I had in mind for him.

3) As I briefly mentioned earlier this fall, I've been collecting and pressing leaves - like, enormous quantities of leaves. I had a project in my head that would require lots and lots of leaves, when in reality, I am probably one of the last people in the world who needs to spend more time looking at leaves. I pressed tons and then realized, as one reader warned me, that they had faded more than I had hoped.

Anyway, there were a few that stayed vibrant, so I tried a few alternate projects instead. Here's one outcome, which fit perfectly into a kitchen reorganization we also did yesterday: nine pretty leaves in different shades, glued onto ivory cardstock and popped into a 12x12 record frame I had on hand:

4) I was randomly browsing the upcoming classic movie showings, mostly to find scary movies to watch for fun during Halloween week. I found a showing of "Gone With the Wind" next week, set the DVR, and I'm very excited to finally watch it.

5) I'm carving another pumpkin tonight!

What's marvelous about the start of your week, Reader? Favorite scary movies? Any projects going on this fall around your house? And most importantly: have you carved your pumpkin yet?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A lovely jaunt

Today I got to take an easy run through the park reserve near my parents' house in the Twin Cities suburbs. It's a very dear place to me, one of my favorite places in the world: the trails where I trained for skiing, where I learned to love running, where you can cover 12 miles (actually, up to 17) without encountering a stop light.

On any day of the year, it's good for my spirit and heart and soul. Today, with the morning light and bright leaves, it was simply spectacular.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Those pesky ears

Today I looked over at my darling pup, thinking he was napping, and saw instead that he was not only wide awake but appeared to be trying to spy on me.

I love the dog dearly, but he's not good at hiding.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The big wall

I am terribly excited about this home project because it's more than two years in the making!

It even showed up in my 101 in 1,001 list:

#72 Decide how to decorate big wall in kitchen and do it.

We have this big old blank wall in the main room that includes our kitchen, dining area and desk space. There is no furniture in the vicinity, unless you count the railing of the spiral staircase that leads downstairs, so it really is a blank wall. I think single pieces of art would get a little lost in the space, with the exception of one of those gigantic murals. (I considered those but could never make a decision - and it probably wouldn't be practical wherever we lived next.)


Also, as I mentioned a long time ago, this paint looks wildly different depending on the time of day: anywhere from buttery gold to canary yellow. I like it best in the morning's natural light, when it's more muted.

Earlier this year, I decided a gallery wall might be the best option, so I started collecting frames in various sizes and thinking about what artwork I'd like to include. My first inclination was to enlarge lots of photos of our friends and family, but there are lots of other spaces around our home where those photos take center stage. I decided to choose bright pieces that, in most cases, connect to some of our favorite places. (More on this in a moment.)

Over the weekend, I decided to take action!

I thought I would have an impossible time organizing the frames before hanging them up, but the arrangement came together pretty quickly. The internet was very helpful in guiding me through this process. I think poster paper is the recommended medium for the preparation, but I used quilting batting from a big old roll I have. I drew the corners of each frame on the batting and marked where the nail would go:

(Also, I rarely stage Wish in photos. He just always lurks around because he's mildly curious about what could possibly be diverting our attention away from him.)

Then I tacked the batting on the wall and hammered in the nails. I hung the frames, assessed the arrangement, and made a few more adjustments - two inches higher here, an inch to the left there.

And voila!

I love the color it brings to the wall. There's room for the collection to grow - I tried adding a horizontal 11x14 frame in the lower right corner, but decided I liked the oval-ish thing going on right now.

Forgive the glare and the bored animal.
Emily at Em for Marvelous just did a similar project, and I liked reading about where she got the pieces she chose, so here are my details:

Clockwise from far lower left: a print of the Colorado flag, one of our favorite sunsets from Orcas Island, an old Twin Cities Marathon poster, a print from Seattle's Pike Place Market, a New Yorker cover filled with cartoons of dogs wearing clothes (the obvious outlier in the "favorite places" display), a notecard of a house either from Orcas Island or Half Moon Bay, a square print of a rural Vermont scene, a photo I took at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and another Orcas Island print. Over the year, I picked up frames whenever I saw one deeply discounted, mostly at Joann Fabrics and Target. My favorite frame story is the one holding the New Yorker cover, which I picked up for a dollar at a garage sale and spraypainted black.

However a project like this turns out, I learned that it becomes exponentially more fun when the finished product includes pieces that makes you grin when you walk by it. Check #72 off the list!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin party

There was a lot happening in September, and my brother and sister and I missed our designated sibling hang-out date for the month (although we did spend a lot of time together as a family). Some of our sibling hang-outs have been seasonally appropriate, so when we got back on track this month, pumpkin-carving popped into my head right away. It's one of my favorite fall activities, and Josh and I usually carve at least one pumpkin - and often more - every October.

As it turns out, though, my brother and sister haven't carved pumpkins in ages. What!? Maybe last night changed their minds. Maybe I just need to demand sibling pumpkin carving parties every year from now on.

While I finished the lasagna soup, they started scooping out the seeds. (In the picture below, my sister is cleaning out my pumpkin - as I was cooking, she did all of my prep!) My brother's pumpkin was the smallest, but he gets bonus points because his pumpkin started out covered in dirt, looking straight out of a pumpkin patch instead of a Target bin. He also was embracing the seasonal theme because he impulse-bought a box of Count Chocula and then tried to replicate the Count for his pumpkin. Lots of spirit points.

Wish took a few laps around the work station, and once he figured out he wasn't getting lasagna soup or pumpkin parts, he plopped down in disinterested defeat.

Josh and I usually carve in the living room, but the dining room was a good spot.

My sister started sketching a house design and was definitely the most vocal about the highlights and lowlights of her pumpkin-carving experience, especially when she mangled most of our carving tools!!!

She was dubious, but right away, it looked good!

My brother boldly started tracing the intricate Count Chocula design, with the plan to carve and shade to show the various details, and pretty early in the process, he realized he was in too deep (but looked jolly just the same).

He switched gears and tried out one of the patterns we had on hand for a spider, which turned out great. He'll try the Count next year, I bet.

And me? I thought about doing a Tennessee "T," but held off for now - if the Vols upset Alabama on Saturday, though, all bets are off. For my first pumpkin of 2013, I stuck with an old beloved favorite: the design I've carved most years, if not every year, since 2004. Boofus! (Once you see his face, you'll see the appeal.)

After I finished carving, I had to make a run to the store to get candles after realizing I didn't have any votives on hand (or chocolate chip cookies for that matter, either). When I got back, everyone was done!

Then it was lighting time! Individually:

Brother's spider:

Sister's house:

And Boofus:

All together now, please!

That's a merry trio of pumpkins if I ever saw one.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Marvelous Monday: Week 42

Today it snowed a little bit.

And in more fun news, here's my mom, my grandma and me at my cousin's wedding on Saturday!

Five marvelous tidbits to begin the week:

1) There's a grocery store called Kowalski's with a few locations around the Twin Cities, and whenever I go to their deli, I always look for their lasagna soup. I love it. Over the weekend, I found the recipe and tonight I cooked it for my brother and sister. You know a recipe that concludes with instructions to "stir in ricotta and top with mozzarella" can't go too wrong.

2) Another soup report: While Josh was doing all of the torta prep yesterday, I slung a bunch of vegetables and spices into the crockpot and it turned into vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes. Last night I wasn't sure about how it smelled, but it was just the ticket today at lunch after a chilly run. From September through April, I could eat soup every day.

3) Speaking of: I ran four miles today and scurried a little faster than usual because it was cold!!

4) I finally visited our garden plot, which has been neglected for the last few weeks. (The cold nights lately appear to have not been kind to my plants.) I am happy to report that the rosemary and sage are still going surprisingly strong, and much to my delight, I found these kind of cute and kind of homely little things!

5) And finally, later in the evening, this happened:

Hope your week is starting out well, Reader!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Torta party

I'll continue yesterday's Daily Summary theme!

Today included:
  • sleeping in until 9 a.m. (wild and crazy!)
  • perusing cookbooks, grocery shopping, and getting soup into the crockpot for the week's lunches
  • a few home projects that I'm very excited about and will tell you about soon
  • watching the Broncos football game
  • Sunday dinner made by my husband, featuring homemade salsa, guacamole, and black bean and chorizo tortas with avocado and queso fresco
Oh, man, those tortas. The recipe was from Rick Bayless's Mexican Everyday and I can't wait to try more of those.

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Today included:
  • being part of a wonderful, fun celebration with lots of family at my cousin's wedding
  • watching (and later, listening to) a huge, huge, incredible University of Tennessee football win
  • coming home to find (besides a happy dog) a surprise package from our photographers containing a bunch of prints that we hadn't seen yet from our own wedding
I can't believe it's only Saturday. What a great day.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Turkey tips

In honor of Throwback Thursday, here's another one from the archives - this time, to give you some guidance as you begin thinking about cooking a turkey this fall:

I've been thinking about trying to cook a turkey sometime this season, and I know my household is already excited about the 30 minutes it's going to spend in the oven, thanks to these golden instructions.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Marvelous Monday: Week 41

Marvelous Monday! Here we go!

1) Rain is moving in to Minnesota for the next couple of days, and on a chilly night, I am very happy to have a surprise cozy new pair of wool socks, knit by my grandma in the exact shade of our bridesmaids' dresses.

2) I am also happy that a big batch of soup is simmering on the stove for the week's lunches. It's the Runner's World tomato chickpea pesto recipe that you guys know I love, appearing for the first of many times this season.

3) We spent yesterday at home helping my parents with a project. Dinner together and a family wave commenced afterward:

Also, we found this wacko horse puppet that my family has had forever. He resurfaces at the strangest times. He likes to poke his head out of sunroofs...and sneak up on my brother.

4) We finished Season 2 of "The Wire" and have launched into Season 3. You know you're hooked on a show when you start to think passersby look like the characters from your program.

5) This post would not be complete if I didn't mention a wonderful surprise visit today from Molly and her baby! She brought me a soy chai and a donut, set up a running date, Baby squeezed my hand, and then they were on their way. That's a serious day-brightener.

What's marvelous about your week, Reader? Did you fall asleep in the eighth inning of last night's turned-out-to-be-wild ALCS game? (No? Just me?) Do you have favorite fall soups you'd like to tell me about? And finally, this is unrelated to my post, but I need some book recs. What have you been reading?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pike Island hike

This morning, Josh and I took Wish to Pike Island for a little adventure!

Pike Island is part of Fort Snelling State Park, and I wrote about visiting it as part of a long run last September. There's a wonderful trail on the island that, I learned in a spot of research today, was named the Twin Cities' best urban hike in 2011, and I was excited to show it to Josh.

The trouble about discovering marvelous places hours into a long run is that one's memory cannot always be trusted when trying to bring loved ones to said places a year later. Something you remember being "just a few minutes from here" could be a pretty long walk. Sometimes you access a place from a pedestrian-only path and have absolutely no clue how someone driving a car would find it. Sometimes you might try to steer a loved one away from the main (and correct) parking lot because you remember a "large paved road," which turns out to be a bike path. (My apologies to my patient, bemused husband.)

If you want to visit Pike Island, do not fear! Just park in the main Fort Snelling parking lot. It's easy, I promise.

Once we got there, it was easy to find the trail that led to the bridge to the island, and we started our loop. You can meander on a wide dirt path or along the Mississippi River - and eventually, if you walk all the way around the island, you get to see the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers. We explored the river first.

Then we hopped back up the riverbank and started down the trail.

I'd guess we saw about a dozen people along the three-mile loop. The skies started out cloudy, then all of a sudden it was completely clear, and then a few minutes later it was almost completely cloudy again. I was mystified. It was beautiful.

We took another family photo, but Debbie Downer on the left is looking a little morose. I think it's because he's used to being picked up lately only to be treated for his ear infection (sigh), so while he seemed to be thrilled with the hike, he wasn't very excited to be picked up for the photo.

The weather is definitely changing, and we made a resolution to squeeze little adventures like this into weekends this fall whenever we can.