Wednesday, October 9, 2013

An Apple Tradition...

Fall is my favorite. I say it every year. It just never gets old. I have Madelyn trained well. We'll be driving along and she'll say things like, "oh mom, you won't believe the beautiful tree I just saw! It's your favorite!" It melts my heart. I love this age. Life is so exciting at four. She remembers things from what seems like forever ago and is always blowing my mind with her new knowledge.  We're doing preschool at home and this girl is obsessed with writing! I love it and it drives me Ca-razy at the same time! I'm constantly tripping over piles of little papers; every last piece has been written/colored on. I can hardly wait to throw the mess away and then she'll sneak into the garbage and pull out pieces that she just can't live without. It's a never-ending cycle...

Anyway... back to fall at the Olson house. We have an apple tradition (that I've spoke about before, here and here) with our friends.  Mo and I have been picking apples since Madi was a baby and making them into sauce. We love heading to Beilke Farm and picking delicious apples. This year Mary and Grayson were finally able to come along and the fun was multiplied. The saying is true: everything is more fun with kids...

Okay, maybe not everything, but certainly adventures like apple picking!!!

(Grayson (16 mos.), Madi (4), Em (2), Chase (8 mos.), Blake (almost 3!)
The very first picture and everyone was looking. We knew it was going to be a good day. ;)

And you'll note, once again, Madi is the only girl. She's pretty used to it and quite frankly does a fabulous job of keeping all these boys in line... (Blake & Chase have all boy cousins too-7 to be exact- and Grayson has all boy cousins-4!)

This is a classic Grayson pose. Love the little finger!

This is as good as I could get with my two. *sigh*

Such a serious guy! I don't know where he gets it... :)

She's kind of cray-cray about her apples! I wish I would have kept a count. She had to have eaten at least 4 WHOLE apples on our brief outing. For realsies. All the way down to the core!

Proof that lil' Chase got some love!!! He's such a happy guy.

Boys! They were so entertained throwing things into this giant pit. 

...Until the train came along.

It really is the perfect apple farm. Front row seats for the train!

I'm sort of in love with this picture. When Madi saw it she immediately said, "Oh yeah, I was telling Blake ALL about bees and how they live in little white flowers so you can't walk around without your shoes on or you might get stung!" They're such sweet friends... She talks. He listens. ;)

When we were finished picking we let the kids climb to the top of this GIANT saw dust pile. Grandpa Beilke told us to take our shoes off and try it out. The kids loved it, and honestly it was pretty awesome. This picture doesn't do it justice, but these piles are taller than every apple tree so you can view the entire farm from what feels like an eagle's eye. Simple pleasures!

What a fun morning! I love these sweet friends and their little boys! We have LOTS of memories together and I look forward to many more...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Little Summer Catch Up; Camping Trip #1

I wasn't very great at taking pictures this summer. It was just a weird summer. It felt very "busy" and yet I don't have a lot to show for it! I'm just chalking it up to the kids keeping us distracted and trying to cram all our little family vacations into Matt's 4 weeks off... it makes me feel better anyway...

We went camping (twice) this summer. Our annual Olson camp out came first this year and it was a beautiful weekend on the Breitenbush (after it stopped raining). We love this little river. It was where I caught my first fish on a fly rod, and where lots of Olsons have caught their first fish. The tradition has been to camp here on the birthday weekend of our oldest nephew who turned 16 this year!!!

I didn't pull out my camera enough. Sad story. But I did pull it out long enough to document Emmitt's first fishing experience...

Em and Mia, Riley's girlfriend. 

Oh Winston...

Building/Creating/Mothering something...

Hoarder. :)

Em learning from Daddy.

Pink Crocs and a pink pole. Can't get much manlier than that... Breast Cancer awareness?!? Oh wait, that's this month...

Liv pushing Madi on the hammock. 

We snuck out to fish while Emmitt was napping. I'd say it was a successful nap! ;)

And this was what Emmitt spent most of his weekend doing. Flying down the hill by our campground... or screaming because I wouldn't let him fly down the hill by our campground. It's hard being 2.

And that, my friends, is Emmitt. Pink Crocs and high speed bikes. 

**It should be noted that Emmitt got his own pair of blue Crocs (his sister's were his favorite thing to wear this summer) and a Spiderman fishing pole for his birthday. Family members took pitty on this poor boy... ;)**

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My TWO Year Old

This post is just a little late... 

Not quite a month ago, it happened. My baby turned TWO. 

We went out to Red Robin for Matt and Em's "birthday burgers" and enjoyed the evening with just the four of us.  Emmitt was funny. He got his own kid's meal (quite possibly the first time) and scooped EVERY last bite of his mac 'n cheese into his mouth all by himself, handed us the bowl and said, "more peease". And when the waiters and waitresses brought the boys their birthday sundaes and sang to them, this boy gave everyone a death look.  Everyone could read his mind, How dare you sing to me in public.

I guess you just have to know him to appreciate his personality to the fullest.  He can go from being ever. so. serious. to downright silly in a matter of seconds, but only on his own terms!

Still a little unsure... just hoping he gets to eat the whole thing by himself...

Needless to say, it was a wonderful 2nd birthday celebration. Our little man brings us so much joy and we couldn't imagine a feistier more loveable second born!

The following weekend we celebrated with family. Emmitt's football party was a big hit, and so was the food...

Uncle Neal with all the little cousins (minus the Westons-yes, there's two- and Brandon); the big boys were watching football. All these boys spent the entire evening jumping off the edge of the pool in the background. So. Much. Laughter. It was fabulous. I don't think Emmitt could have wished for anything different. I mean, the kid has 9 boy cousins (almost 10, yup, another boy is on the way...) and we were only missing Jude. :(

Snuggling Nana, all to himself...

Brandon & Em (5 months apart) sporting their new jerseys! 

Happy birthday, Em Bug! We couldn't be more thrilled to be your parents.  You constantly keep us on our toes and ensure we sleep well at night (when you're not in the same house as us). Thank you for being so adventurous and curious. We pray you make it to adulthood (and beyond) on a daily basis, but most importantly we pray that you grow up to love Jesus with all of your heart.  And yes, you're still the smoochiest little boy I know. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ten Years

In August we celebrated our TEN year anniversary. We were extra spoiled/blessed/lucky to get to spend this special anniversary on the beaches of Mexico where we honeymooned ten short years ago.  My mom was ever so gracious to watch the kiddos for us for six days (my dad was gone to Alaska) and I spent my first night away from Emmitt in a different country. 

I know, go big or go home, right? 

As can be expected, we missed the kids SO, SO much, but we quickly reminded each other that they were extremely happy spending a "vacation" at Nana and Papa's house... and they were! Taking care of chickens, playing with dead skunks (sick, I know), and running wild and free in the country is way more fun than mom and dad. We know where we rank...

Our Mexico adventures included swimming in the Sea of Cortez for hours, short boat rides to Lovers' Beach, snorkeling, laying by the pool and reading books! We're crazy like that. 

Oh, and sleeping through the night. Did I forget that one? That one's sort of huge. 

I somehow managed to not take any pictures of the hotel courtyard. Ooops! Not to fret though, their website does it pretty good justice.  We even snuck in a few rides down the shark slide just so we could tell the kids all about it. And for the record, it's fast! Definitely Emmitt's style...

Fresh off the plane!

Laying by the ocean every night...

This was the view from our room. 

We found a smokin' deal on our "vacation package", which included a five night/six day stay at this all inclusive resort (all you can eat and drink, um, heck YES) as well as transportation from the airport.  The catch? A timeshare spiel ... we're really good at saying "no" though (Have you met Emmitt?) so we didn't mind wasting 2 hours of someone else's time so that we could spend $350 to spend six days in paradise.... this picture was taken from the time share floor during our presentation... Thank you, but no thank you! :)

A little visitor at our resort...

This is the very tip of the California Baja, where the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez meet. It's pretty much gorgeous.  There's always lots of sea lions squawking on the rocks and every seven years the ocean level drops enough that people can walk on the beach through the arch. Also, on a side note, right after our boat "captain" (I use this term loosely. For those that have ridden on a Glass Bottom Boat in Mexico, you know what I'm sayin'.) dropped us off, he said that he was taking another group out here and they saw a whale shark under the boat. He'd lived in Cabo for over twenty years and it was only the second whale shark he'd ever seen. Kinda crazy. 

On the opposite side of Lovers' Beach is "Divorced Beach". The theory is that if you swim in the ocean (Pacific Ocean) - the water is really dangerous and you won't make it out alive, so couples go over here and come back solo... It's a beautiful beach, but Matt did point out that there were a lot of buzzards on this beach (for real). Ha!

Eating dinner with this view for our anniversary! We always play the "reminisce" game on our anniversary where we name exactly where we were and what we were doing for every anniversary. It's getting harder and harder, but so far we can still identify them all.  I think the most entertaining was our 4th anniversary...we re-roofed our house until it was completely dark out and then took my mom to Ixtapa (she had helped us all day and Dad was out of town)! 

Cabo was much better, no offense mom. ;)

You can't snorkel without a selfie, right?!?

Attempting to get "free" wifi at Starbucks so we could call the kiddos...

This was looking down from a two story Starbucks on a Sunday morning in downtown Cabo. We watched a bunch of locals do Zumba in the street and a crowd of kids hang out and skateboard.

A classic Marina picture. :)

Our hotel from the front. 

This was looking down the beach from our hotel as the sun was rising! It was fun to be up early before people were out and about. (We're talking like 7:30 or 8:00) 


This was the main resort restaurant. I think one of the best things about Cabo is that no restaurant has a roof. Giant umbrellas serve as shade, but other than that everything happens outside. Soooo beautiful! This was where we ate breakfast every morning (and dinner most evenings)!

It felt as though it looked... a little too good to be true. However, nothing compared to squeezing our kiddos when we got home! The expression on Emmitt's face was priceless.  He ran back and forth across the room between the two of us giggling with excitement! 

I can't even explain how wonderful it was to relax for six days. Our agenda was empty and we enjoyed one another's company all day long. What a wonderful way to celebrate marriage to my best friend.  Here's to another 50, babe!!!