A Day at the Pumpkin Patch

My kid is obsessed with Halloween.  When people hear me say that he has loved the holiday since he was only nine months old, they often respond with, “Ohhh…of course he does because it’s all about candy!”  Nope.  I purchased a few Halloween books just before his first Halloween and he became fixated.  The same books still remain some of his favorites two years later.  Halloween isn’t just focused on come fall, its a year round interest for my little guy.  His excitement for Halloween has nothing to do with the candy.  That’s just a random element that he is aware of but it doesn’t fuel his love.  One key component?  Pumpkins.  Ryan is completely fixated with pumpkins.  Last year, we ended up at that pumpkin patch several times because it proved to be such a rewarding activity for us as a family.  David and I couldn’t wait to recreate that experience again this year!

Our favorite little local pumpkin patch opened this past week so we headed out as soon as we had time.  We love going to Upchurch Farm in Cary, NC.  It’s not overwhelming like some of the massive patches which feel more like  fairs.  There is a corn maze, a corn kernel pit, animals, a jump pad, a straw playground and they offer hayrides.  That is perfect for us at this point in Ryan’s life.

When we told Ryan that we were heading to the pumpkin patch, he began asking us questions non-stop.  (Yep, we have officially entered the bazillion questions a day phase.)  David and I were so psyched that this was just as exciting for Ry as it was last year, if not more.

We started the morning out by heading to the patch to find some pumpkins.  Because Ryan was so much older this year, he was able to more involved.  He selected his own pumpkins and also made solid attempts to help David pull them out of the patch.  He could have walked around all day long.  The only way we were able to pull him away was by telling him that it was almost time for our hay ride.  This proved to be the winning activity of the day.  The fact that my truck-obsessed kid was able to ride in the back while a tractor pulled him was golden.  It really was a pretty magical morning, all in all.

We ended up at the Farmer’s Market this past Sunday to hunt for some white pumpkins.  Ryan had overheard me tell David that I would love a few white pumpkins for our front porch and so he began telling us that he “needed” a white pumpkin.  We got out of the car at the farmer’s market and he spotted the massive amounts of pumpkins and literally began to skip-run.  Thankfully, the trip to the farmer’s marker (aka. no entrance fee) proved to be a far less expensive way to bring some pumpkins home.   This Saturday, we are heading with my family to The Museum of Life & Science in Durham for their annual Pumpkin Patch Express.  Basically, you ride the train there and at the end there are activities…and a makeshift pumpkin patch.  I’m pretty sure that our front steps are going to crack from the weight of all of these pumpkins.

I wish that I could say that the ones from the museum will need to be the last ones that make their way to our house but my nieces have the day off of school next Monday and so will are planning on heading back to Upchurch Farm one final time.  My sister-in-law made me feel better (about the amount of pumpkins we are accumulating) by saying that it’s not like we are going to Target repeatedly and buying toys.  This is such a wonderful activity for Ryan and she reassure me that allowing him to hunt for pumpkins isn’t the same as spoiling him with plastic objects.

Here are some pictures of our time at Unchurch Farm…crazy to believe that we will have two littles in these pictures next fall!

Hope you all have beautiful day!



My Two Year Old

Oh my goodness, the day is here.  My sweet little baby is turning two.

When you have a baby, everyone seems compelled to offer the obligatory warning, “Just wait.  It goes by quickly”.  Truthfully, anytime someone said this to me following Ryan’s birth , I would grit my teeth and smile.  Please don’t already start talking about how time will pass us by.  We endured so much to have him here with us.  Allow me to bask in this moment…these precious moments with my baby boy.  I need to remain in the present, not focus on the future.  

Well, as much as that cautionary phrase annoyed me to my core, it conveys truth.  As much as I tried to be present and focused on my little one, time began to pass at an alarmingly fast.  One night when Ryan was six months old, I panicked about the fact that he was already halfway to one.  In that moment, I felt like I was suffocating.  Would I perfectly remember these edible little feet?  His sweet rounded belly…would that image be clear in my memory?  I spent the next half an hour studying every bit of him, only to stop once convinced that I could draw every single detail.  Every freckle, every crease of his tiny ears, every perfect detail that made up my son.  I wanted those details to be permanently imprinted in my mind forever.

I remember that moment so vividly yet here we are a year and a half later.  Ryan turns two today and as much as my heart aches at the thought, it also brings oodles of excitement.  I absolutely love this stage.  He is learning, growing and developing new more focused interests and it is a beautiful thing to watch.

Ryan loves anything having to do with art.  When he hears the doorbell, he runs to greet the UPS man and brings packages into the kitchen.  He asks us to open he box (generally after he stubbornly tries to open it himself) and remove the items so that he can sit in the box with his crayons and draw.  He spends at least an hour each day drawing.  His favorite shows are Curious George and Chuggington and his laughter fills the room while watching his favorite characters.  The kid can kick the heck out a ball but continues to (unintentionally) throw a ball backwards over his head instead of forward.  One of the first things he will do when we walk into a store or restaurant is locate the speakers.  He likes to know the source of music.  His palette surpassed mine long ago.  He devours guacamole at a mind-blowing rate and will always choose fruit over chocolate.  Thankfully, Ryan loves running errands.  Heading out to the grocery store is one of his favorite things to do as he loves to help pick out fruits and veggies and direct us around the store.  His favorite part?  Dramatically pretending to be chilled in the refrigerated section.  He is sweet, caring, calm like his dad.  He is stubborn, hard-headed and curious like his mom.  I joke (but really I am not joking) that 95% of the time, Ryan is like his dad but the 5% he is like me…yowza.  Our days with him are delightfully full and we feel so incredibly blessed and honored to be his mom and dad.  I always tell him, “I’m the luckiest”…

A major thank you to our friend and talented photographer, Cat Wilborne, for capturing these memories for us…








Have beautiful weekend, friends!



Ryan at 18 Months

It is nearly impossible to believe that my little sidekick is officially a year and a half old.  While David and I both have tried out best to savor the moments and remain as present as possible, the past 18 months have passed far too quickly.  It is so interesting because, on the one hand, I wish so badly that we could press pause and slow everything down but then, on the other hand, watching Ryan grow and learn is such a beautiful thing.  Watching him explore, form new interests, and become more independent fills me with such joy.

As many of you know, our journey that lead us to Ryan was nothing short of emotional and tumultuous.  You can read about our experience in more detail in this post, if you wish.  Because of everything we went through leading up to Ryan’s birth, David and I almost didn’t believe that we were in the hospital holding a baby…our baby.  Well, that baby has grown into a toddler in the blink of an eye.

Ryan’s personality is beginning to develop more and more strongly.  We have always joked that he is (thankfully) mellow and cool like his dad but all of a sudden a strong-willed stubborn side has emerged.  So strange because I have no idea who he inherited those traits from…cough, cough.

While he is not a high energy child, Ryan is constantly moving.  He loves to explore and loves anything electronic or mechanical.  If a toy runs out of batteries, he will jump up to search for a screw driver, lead you to the batteries, and help you replace them.  The only times he seems to be still are when he is reading (likely a Halloween book) or devouring enough food for a small army.  The kid can eat and will thankfully eat everything.  He has a much more impressive palette than his mom, that’s for sure.

He has a great sense of humor and loves physical comedy.  He also likes to be scared!

Ryan LOVES running errands and is happy as a clam in a shopping cart.  He likes to wave at fellow customers and smile and giggle at older kids running around the stores.  I am savoring this time because I know it is inevitable that soon he will want to walk around the store himself.  I can only imagine what that will look like.

He continues to make sounds but “Dada” and “banana” are the only two clear and consistent words so far but he is trying so hard to communicate verbally.

 The best part about this age?  He has begun to give unsolicited kisses.  I practically melt into a pile of mush each time.

For now, I will continue to relish in the sweet moments with my baby because I know that he will be turning 2 years old in a heartbeat.









Hope you all have a beautiful start to the week!