While we're gearing up for 60 and 70 degree days this week, last week we felt the autumn chill. The crisp air, the cooler mornings, the return to school and the dwindling garden are reminders that fall has arrived.
Our weekend was one of embracing the season, family time and celebrating. Just the way we like it.
Friday evening we went to a Fall Kickoff event with the (new) homeschool group we joined mid-year last year. We attended one or two group events last spring, but not much. The kids have had some interactions with some members of the group as there is some overlap in the members also being in the same 4H group they are in. We planned that intentionally when we joined.
I must say here that Friday evening was a blessing and what I needed. I was quite apprehensive prior to the event on Friday. I just didn't know how I'd/we'd fit in, if it was going to be like our past group and how/if we'd find a new home in this group. We all agreed as we drove home that night that it had been a good time. Each one of us felt welcomed, invited, wanted. From the moment we stepped out of our vehicle, in the line waiting for food, running around in the yard, or just sitting around with the moms, we were introduced, people talked to us and they made us feel needed there. If you have ever been in a group (not just a homeschooling one) that has been less than friendly and you'e struggled to fit in, you know where I'm coming from.
With that, again I'll say that Friday evening was the perfect way to start our very nice weekend.
On Saturday we had plans to have my parents over as a pre-birthday celebration for Lily. Her birthday isn't until next Sunday, but we'll be busy Saturday and heading out of town on her birthday.
The biggest plan on the agenda was a huge right of passage, if you will. Lily was going to get her ears pierced. *yikes* She'd been talking and asking about it for months and we kept pushing it off. During the summer we decided that we'd move up the age limit we once talked about (13) and consider them when she was 12. Being that we'll be leaving to go out of town, we moved it up to this past weekend so it fit our plans better.
Just as I went to get mine pierced (I think I was 13) with my maternal grandma, Lily wanted my mom to join us for the big event.
She handled it really well and hardly flinched. I was pretty concerned since Lily isn't real pain tolerant. She was a tough cookie. She looked pretty nervous as the lady was getting everything ready and she was acting like she was fine. Being her mom though, I knew that the almost constant jiber-jabber from my girl was her way of keeping her mind off of what was about to happen.
Afterward she said it wasn't that bad and she survived. Hooray!
Once we heading back home, we enjoyed homemade pizza with my parents for supper. Lily's choice instead of cake (she doesn't like frosting) was homemade apple pie. Hubby was kind enough to clear his afternoon to whip up the pizza and the apple pie. Delicious.
As always, a visit with Papa and Grams always puts smiles on our faces. It was a very good day and a very special day. Man, I cannot believe Lily is almost TWELVE. I feel old now.
Sunday we declared family hiking day and headed out just after Mass and brunch. We drove close to 40 minutes away to Inspiration Peak, the highest point in Minnesota. It's a beautiful view at the top and a woodsy journey up there.
At the top, you can see for miles. My camera just can't do it justice. In another week or two the fall colors would be just glorious to view from the peak.
The kids enjoy the downhill descent, but little ones need a hand to hold on to with it being so steep.
Our next stop was a State Park about 20 minutes away. Even making the miles to trek there is beautiful this time of year. Taking in the scenery and all your eyes can survey when your heart is being grateful, really takes your breath away.
We had been to this particular State Park last fall with friends and our kids had a blast. We knew we needed to get there again this year. We hit the wooded trails and probably meandered through at least a couple miles worth of bountiful trees with acorns popping beneath our feet as we made each step.
The autumn air wasn't too chilly and the sunlight peaking through the trees above made for the perfect fall scene.
The crew, giving into mom's need for lots of photos to remember our day together.
All smiles as we finish out the weekend.
I hope your autumn weekend was a wonderful one, wherever you are in the autumn spectrum.
Tonight I sip on pumpkin spice cappuccino while huddled on the couch in my fuzzy robe.
Tomorrow we hit the books again and plan ahead for some time away and more birthday celebrating next week.