Feels Like Fall

Taking it back to last weekend today. If you haven’t paid attention to any sort of weather-related news for a few weeks, the east coast was hit with a hurricane. In our area, it was really just a glorified way of saying wind and rain, but it brought along some cool weather with it and the perfect excuse to kick off my fall wardrobe with my duck boots, so we were not complaining. Not even a missed opportunity to spend our last summer weekend at the pool brought us down. 

Mitchell woke up on Saturday completely adamant that he wanted pancakes. Steve and I recently realized we never go out to dinner as a family. We frequently go out to eat when we have guests visiting, but as the four of us, it’s very rare. So off to Cracker Barrel we went because we were all hungry and it felt like fall and Mitchell’s pancake request made us all want pancakes. We dropped off Mitchell’s busted blue glasses for a repair (thankful for unlimited warranties!), and they were ready to go by the time we were done with brunch. Between the kids, they ate three pancakes, three eggs, a piece of french toast, and two biscuits. They’ve got to be going through a growth spurt. 

Saturdays mean swim lessons, so the pool was our next stop. These have become progressively more smooth as time has gone on,  which makes me SO happy. I know it’ll be years before he can go solo in the pool with minimal supervision, but it’s comforting knowing that he’s getting a little more proficient in the water as each week passes. 

The attendance dropped about 75% with Labor Day weekend. I know a lot of military families travel away for this weekend, but I also have my fingers crossed that this is reflective of the cooler weather and will continue to be a trend throughout the fall and winter. Two teachers to four students is a perfect ratio, and Mitchell was much more on task when the teachers were calling him out for not paying attention, ha! He’s finally becoming willing to try his back float, and isn’t making a liar out of me when I tell the teachers he knows how to blow bubbles because that’s all he does in the bathtub. I am so excited for him to work on his back floats and bobs in the coming months! It’s so fun to watch him learn! 

Next up was a couple of car naps because we headed an hour south to the ice rink to skate. Hockey is one of our very favorite fall/winter activities so it was only fitting! Mitchell so thrilled that he insisted he wear his helmet all the way there! Nothing like doubling up on car safety with a full hockey helmet.

This picture makes me smile because I know it’s just a glimpse of the years to come. I’m so excited for them to be able to share the love of sports together, and happy for Mitchell that he has a daddy that is such a great example to him! 

Taking a one and three year old skating is certainly an adventure. I don’t think I will ever get over how darling that mini hockey equipment is, especially Mitchell’s helmet and those skates. If I could pick a family sponsor, Bauer is definitely on the list of prospects because it looks like we are going to be very good customers over the years to come. For anyone who read my summer must haves post, I’ll point out that the double BOB is more of a year-round must have. It goes everywhere with us. 

Those tiny little skates that Julia is wearing were part of our birth announcement for Mitchell. They were the first pair of skates he skated in, and now he’s graduated to a bigger pair and Julia’s little feet fill them up perfectly. If you’re seeing a trend here, it looks like we’re going to have a pair of skates in every size as they grow up! 

For those of you who haven’t stood in hockey skates before, it’s not easy. You’re on a thin blade and there’s minimal ankle support, so it’s challenging to keep them straight up and down if you’re not used to it. That’s why you’ll see a lot of new skaters with bent ankles, hence the nickname “benders.” Julia stood up on her skates and started waddling her way over to the open door by herself. I was shocked, and I had no one to show since Steve and Mitchell were off skating already. Looks like she may be a hockey player like her momma! And that mini North Face, killing me. I’m more of an Old Navy clearance shopper (for example, her hat and pants are straight from the Old Navy sales rack), but my mom found this gem at a garage sale and it is the cutest! The only thing that would be better is a matching one in my size. It looks like it’s going to fit her perfectly this winter, so cheers to crossing that off of our shopping list this year!  #skinnyjeansandhockeyskates

There was no hope for her limited walking abilities on the ice, but she sure looked cute. We skated around in as many circles as my bent back could stand, and every time we retreated to the bench for a break she exclaimed, “mo!” and promptly signed for more with her cute little mitten covered hands. She loved the experience, and my back is looking forward to next year when she’s big enough to start learning with the sled! We knew she wasn’t really going to be skating, but it was either Julia and I sitting on the sidelines or getting out there as a family, so we strapped on those mini skates and Julia and I are sure glad we did! 

The biggest success of the day was this!! Y’all, he’s skating on his own! It’s not pretty and it’s certainly not fast. But he’s got the balance down and he’s working on the technique! There is lots of falling in his future but I am so proud of this boy. We can’t wait to take him back over the fall and winter and watch him improve! Swimming and skating are our two projects for the rest of the year, which sounds like a whole lot of fun to be had for everyone! He was shocked that he could stand up without the sled or anyone holding him. Up until now, he’s been almost exclusively skating with the sled (see background of the picture), but we’re moving on! Of course, just as he was really getting the hang of it, they cut the lights off and turned on the disco lights, which crushed this photog-mom’s opportunity for the perfect first skate pics, ha! But I managed a cell phone snap/video! We’re having so much fun teaching Mitchell how to skate. I think one of my fondest memories was during our trip to Kansas when we skated for hours while I was eight months pregnant. One year later, he was standing with the sled on his own, and look where we are now! I’ve learned that it’s not always ideal to join in (especially if you’re pregnant or have younger siblings in tow) but I always regret when I sit out! 

A little selfie from the boys’ cheerleaders on the bench! 

After our skating adventures, we headed to downtown Wilmington and met up with one of my best friends, Katie! Katie moved away in the spring, which was a shock to me since she has literally been here since I moved to Camp Lejeune six years ago! Even moving away and then back, she’s always been waiting for me (and Zoe – she loves our dogs!). Not having her here has been an adjustment to say the least, but we were thrilled for her to make the trip back! 

I had no idea how much that husband of mine would love his birthday Star Wars shirt. I think that silly shirt has been his favorite birthday present to date!

For a family who never eats out (just the four of us), we made up for it on this day. Steve has been talking about sushi for weeks now, so we tried a place called Blue Asia with all-you-can-eat sushi! Mitchell was exhausted by this point and had no signs of perking up until his sweet and sour chicken showed up at the table. Julia got restless at the end of the meal, and Steve suggested she and I walk next door to Home Goods while he and Mitchell finish eating and pay the tab. Unsupervised. Husband of the year, y’all. He had my phone so I could take no pictures to prove that I kept the shopping to a minimum. I found the cutest basket for the kids’ bath toys, and resisted temptations on nearly everything else! 

We were all exhausted from our big fall day when Steve pulled into the driveway. If fall is filled with these kinds of days, I won’t be too sad to say goodbye to summer. Now, if we could just make every weekend a four day weekend. 

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