Last weekend Ryan and I were sitting around, watching TV, drinking some coffee while Annabelle was in the other room taking her morning nap. The "cool" temp had me missing upstate New York, and craving all the goodness of fall. So I googled "Pumpkin Patch, Tampa FL" and to my surprise found a few good leads. A couple of clicks later, I stumbled upon HorsePower for Kids. Its a little farm about 20 minutes or so from us, that offers "horse therapy" to inner-city and at-risk children. Throughout the month of October they have this Fall Festival every weekend as a fundraiser for their organization. How cool is that! So we decided to check it out! Of course, being the fall-freak and picture taking lover that I am, I immediately had to go find cute outfits to put Belle in for the obvious "photo shoot" we HAD to have.
Belle woke from her nap, had a quick outfit change, and off we went!
We figured since we left right after her nap she would be ok for a few hours out and about. She has been very interested in her surroundings lately, and is always so happy and smiley during the day (and sometimes crazy hours of the night), so I was a little bummed about her reaction to the whole thing. haha. She looks absolutely MISERABLE in all of these pictures! We're not sure if she was just tired, or maybe just a bit overwhelmed/overstimulated by all of the action, but she was very quiet the whole time! just kind of quietly looked around, took it all in. But it was fun anyway, and I'm still in love with the shots we got.
See? Not thrilled at all! I promise, we were not torturing this poor child!
(Oh, these lashes and cheeks! <3)
She wasn't so sure about this pumpkin...
(What's going on over there?)
OH, wait, whats that?! Is that a smile? Almost...
(love love love love love love love)
As we approach the upcoming fall/winter holidays, I can't help but feel emotional about how lucky I am to have this beautiful little soul to share them with. I am crazy about holidays. I just love the "cozy,""homey" feelings they bring, how they make me feel just completely consumed with love. My parents clearly did an awesome job making holidays memorable and special for me. Having Annabelle makes me so excited for this holiday season! It is almost overwhelming to think that I am now responsible for making these kinds of memories for her. I want her to feel the love and specialness of the holidays that gets me so excited for them each year.
Fall is one of my favorite times of year. And yes, part of me is saddened that I am not in the Adirondacks to really experience fall in all of its glory, and I wonder if Belle will be able to love fall as much as I do, even if she doesn't get to experience it that way. But I also think that the feelings that I have about fall and holidays in general are due to the memories I have with my family. And now, I welcome the opportunity and the challenge to create those memories for my daughter. I will do this by continuing with our family traditions, but it is exciting that I can also start new traditions, and they will all come together to make wonderful memories for her. Even if those traditions include going to a "Fall Festival" with palm trees, 80* weather and a "pumpkin patch" that is nothing more than one row of haybales surrounded by a few pumpkins.
No matter where we are, the holidays will come, and she...
...she will feel the love.
A little preview of her Halloween costume. My little Baby Bee. <3
These next few pictures just melt my heart. Which may be weird because they probably won't be all that special to anyone else. But, I was IN LOVE with horses when I was a little girl. and I can't believe this is my daughter, my little girl - here, looking at, touching and sitting on a horse. A REAL little person doing REAL, awesome things. I have to keep saying "real" because, I honestly still can't believe she is!
Oh, wondering what the heck that picture was about?! hehe. There was some great live entertainment. A woman probably in her 60's sang songs while a man played on a keyboard. And yes, she came out as Lady Gaga and sang a Lady Gaga song. Ryan made me take the picture, and then he just made me post it. :)
Aaaand, one last attempt for a smiley Mommy-Baby photo= fail. But its still cute.
Our Fall Festival Adventure! These pictures are from last Saturday, and yup, we went back again today! Ryan and I were joking about how we spend our weekends now that we are parents. When we got there today they were giving people those paper bracelets so that you can re-enter. And Ryan made a joke about how they are usually used in bars. He leaned over to Belle and said "Your Mommy and I used to get these from going out on Saturday nights" and I laughed and thought about the difference in our lives from then to now. Funny how a bracelet can get you thinking something like that. We have some great memories from before we were parents, but you know what? I wouldn't trade any of these Saturdays for those old ones.
And one last pic before I go-
yup, thats a smile! Finally. In the car. On the way home. (Good timing, Belle) :)
Feeling blessed, oh so in love, and...
enjoying our parenting Adventures