Many of you know that I hate goodbyes or leaving or departures in general. Leaving the mountains was no different, but was definitely made easier by knowing that we were headed to Sky Top for the day.
We started going to Sky Top when Morgan Kate was just a little over a year old. We had THE best time and have been back each year.
One year we went early in September and there were tons and tons of apples to pick, but no fall colors. One year we went in late October and there we hardly any apples, but gorgeous colors and scenery. Another year we went mid-October and kind of had the best of both worlds. This year we lucked up again. There were still a few apples on the trees and the fall leaves were stunning.
One of my favorite things to do at Sky Top other than eat the fresh donuts is to take pictures in front of the "How Tall This Fall?" sign.
I also adore taking pictures with all of my family.
Not only were there apples and amazing colors, but the weather was perfect. Just cool enough for a sweater and some boots.
We did venture down to the bottom of the apple orchard this year, even though we swear we are never doing it again. It's one long hike down and even worse coming back up. But, this year we were a little smarter. We let MK pick one or two apples at the bottom, but that was it and that's all she was really interested in. Less apples to carry back up meant a much more delightful trek. And there were tons of apples at the little store to purchase that were already picked and bagged for you. Totally my style.
Once we get to the bottom we always stop and take a rest. This is another one of my favorite parts. We talk and laugh and eat apples and horse around. It's always so much fun.
Another year of memories in the book. Already making plans for 2013. Woo hoo!
We haven't spent the weekend in the mountains in for what seems like forever. The last time I remember staying overnight, during the fall, in the mountains was when I was about 14 years old. Maybe a little younger. We've been for day trips, but no overnights. This year when planning our annual trip to SkyTop to pick apples, we decided to make a weekend out of it. And to rent a mountain house. Best. Idea. Ever.
My parents went down on Thursday night in order to enjoy a little time together before for the craziness arrived. The craziness meaning the rest of us.
We arrived late Friday evening and spent the rest of the night chatting and putting puzzles together (Morgan Kate's request) and just relaxing. We were all quite content.
Saturday morning we awoke to the most beautiful sight. We sat on the porch and drank coffee. We took our time cooking a big breakfast and getting ready. It was so my kind of morning.
After breakfast we headed out for a hike. Actually, I thought we were just going for a little walk. And that little walk turned in to an actual hike.
It was awesome and provided a great background for family pictures. I was a bit obsessive with my picture taking.
The weather was perfect and the hiking was really nice. The fall colors were in full effect and we enjoyed every minute of it. Morgan Kate kept up with the rest of us until almost the end and then wanted a piggy back ride to the car.
For a long time I've thought summer was my favorite season. And I do adore it. However, I think fall may be my new favorite or at least a close second.
The trip was so nice because we had no agenda. Not set plans. Nothing to do, but enjoy the mountains and each other.
After hiking we headed out for ice cream. My parents had been the day before and raved about it, so we all decided to go. It did not disappoint. I chose a milkshake and it was probably the best milkshake I have ever had. No lie.
Morgan Kate enjoyed a big scoop of "purple ice cream".
We spent some time walking around these cute little shops and then headed back to our mountain house to watch the football game.
Morgan Kate must have been worn out from our hike earlier in the day because she napped for almost four hours. When she finally woke up she wanted to spend some time outdoors playing and skipping and taking pictures.
I was able to get some pretty adorable shots of her and some sweet, sweet pictures of she and my mom.
Our house was ah-mazing. It was three different levels with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. It also had a huge kitchen and living area, as well as a game room. The inside was so nice, but the outside was my favorite - huge wrap around porches with spectacular views.
Saturday night we grilled steaks and roasted marshmallows and made S'mores. Again, so relaxing.
As usual, the weekend flew by and it was Sunday before we knew it. Leaving the house and my family was hard, but the fact that we were leaving to go apple picking made it a little easier.
We had THE best time and we are already making plans for next year. There is nothing better, in my opinion, than relaxing, unwinding and spending time with those that are near and dear to your heart.
As I was browsing Pinterest, I came across the 50 Rules for Dad of Daughters. If you haven't read it, you should. I thought I would share a few of my favorites. 1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good. This is so true. I watched my daddy love my mom this way and I knew that one day, when I was a grown up, I wanted a man just like my daddy. I wanted someone who would say "I love you" multiple times a day. I wanted someone who would tell me I was beautiful, even if it was five minutes after I rolled out of the bed. I wanted someone who would hug me and kiss me and pinch my backside just cause. I found him. 2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Travis is all about quality time. Yes, he enjoys doing his "man" things, but most of the time he's perfectly content just to be with his girls. And we don't have to be doing anything special. Some of our favorite times are just being at home TOGETHER. 7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely. Already happened. Will happen again. Travis typically chooses wisely. 9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway. This is one of Morgan Kate's favorite games and she always has a way of suckering Travis in to play. 16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK. Already done. She "played the game" for about thirty minutes and then was ready to move on. The worms didn't bother her, but she very much disliked the crickets. Once when I was little my daddy took me hunting. I thought it was the greatest idea ever. Once we got there, my mind changed a little. It was hot, we sat on the ground and I didn't really like having to be so quiet. In order to entertain myself I took a bottle of bug spray and sprayed every bug that flew by. Needless to say, I didn't go back. 18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise. Travis does this every single day. Multiple times a day. Along with, "You are smart", "You are creative", "You are so special". He is the BEST daddy. 20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home. Travis is anxiously awaiting this day. 23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice. Travis not only encourages this, but taught her how to do this. 24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway. Accomplished. 28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late. Baby girl eagerly awaits his arrival every day. Even more so when he's been out of town or out of the country. 34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently. She's already asked. He's already attempted to let her down easily. Sweet girl. 35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing. Happens. Except one of us usually crawls in her bed. 37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind. I assure you all that MK's definition of "higher and faster" are definitely not the same as Travis'. When she says higher and faster, she really means higher and faster. Travis does not. He doesn't like for her to swing higher and/or faster. I thought the entire article was so good and not only reminded me of Travis and MK, but of me and my daddy.
It's been awhile since I've blogged about just our girl. Tonight seemed the perfect night to catch up.
Since this first picture is of our baby girl catching some zzzs, I figured I'd start with our nights/mornings. Almost a year ago bedtime was the worst part of our day. Seriously. There were days when I'd call Travis from work and beg to come home after bedtime. It was awful. She hated going to bed and we hated dealing with bedtime. Thank goodness things have changed. There are now, some nights, where our girl will ask to go to bed. She will tell us she is tired and ready for sleep. My mom says I did that when I was little, so I guess she gets it from me. Most nights she is fast asleep by 8 and those kind of nights make for some really nice mornings. She is not an early riser by any means - which suits us perfectly fine. We have to wake her up each morning during the week and we always have. I guess staying home those first two years and not being on any kind of schedule does that to you. Or maybe she just likes to sleep in. Anyway, when she's had a solid ten plus hours of sleep then mornings aren't so bad. We usually wake her up just minutes before we head out the door. Her clothes for the day are already out and we just put those on real quick, brush her teeth and she decides one ponytail, two or a bow and we are out the door. No worries. She does eat breakfast, just not until she gets to Roddey's. Reason #12,567 that Roddey is so amazing. When the princess doesn't get at least ten hours then mornings consist of a lot of whining, crying, slow moving, fussing and other type things that really just don't start your day off right.
Morgan Kate is really into playing doctor and teacher and mommy and really anything where she can pretend. She loves to pretend. She also loves to play on the iPad. She's better with the iPad than I am. She loves reading and singing and dancing and playing outdoors. She loves painting and building and cooking. Morgan Kate still has her "friends" - Daba and Mimi. She talks to them a lot and includes them whenever she is playing. It cracks me up to hear her conversations with them. Wowzers. She also loves to help. She wants to help work in the yard. She wants to help bake and cook and clean up. She wants to help fold clothes and put clothes in the washer or dryer. I love how helpful she is!
She's still a pretty good eater and she will try anything. I love that about her. Just the other night she wanted to try raw horseradish with a piece of her steak because she saw her daddy eating it. She said it was okay, but kind of spicy. Some days she eats and eats and eats and other days she barely touches her food. I don't push the days where she eats like a bird and on the days where she's eating really good, I don't limit what she eats. I kind of let her make those decisions and so far she's done a great job.
She came home Friday with a fever and was so pitiful. She just wanted to be held and snuggled and that was perfectly okay with me. I mean I wasn't okay with her being sick, but I did enjoy the extra snuggle time. Saturday morning she woke up fever free and has been ever since. I'm still not really sure what was going on. Morgan Kate LOVES school. It makes me smile so big. She gets so excited on her "school days". She comes home and tells us about what they did and who was there or who wasn't there. She's quite fond of one little boy in particular. She talks about him all.of.the.time. Whenever she mentions him she just lights up. I mean, is it normal for a four year old girl to be so smitten with a little boy?!? We are going to seriously have to watch her! Ninety-five percent of the time she is just the sweetest thing ever. She's so thoughtful and so caring. She loves to hug and she will hug ANYONE. She uses her best manners and just has a smile that melts my heart. The other five percent of the time she can be quite the drama queen. However, I will admit, the drama usually occurs because of lack of sleep or not feeling well or being overly tired or even being hungry. As long as we do our best to avoid those things, she is an angel. Morgan Kate, you make your mommy and daddy so proud and we love you SO very much!