all the cousins made it to hersheypark!

We went back again to Hersheypark last weekend, and this time we had all the cousins together! It was such a nice day weather-wise so it certainly was more crowded, but we still got to hit up the trick-or-treat trail and quite a few rides. I know it sure is different than normal but there is something so nice about being back to a place that was so much a part of our lives the past few years.... Masks and all!

the ren faire

I have never been here really... at least not to watch all the medieval things that go down there. But we were gifted tickets and had a few free hours in between games a few weekends back so we took the kids. It's apparently quite the deal. Who knew? Plus it was a gorgeous day. Dom loved all the spooky Halloween decorations... the skeletons and pirates especially. He loved the guy on stilts and the glass blowing demonstration. He loved the horses and the jousting. He loved it all and did not want to leave. He cannot wait to go back. David and Letty enjoyed it to be sure but not as much as Dom, which surprises me. They each got to pick out a little tiny souvenir (don't look at me I'm not the fun parent) and that made them even happier. A necklace for Letty, a pirate doubloon and map in a bottle for Dom and a rabbit's foot key chain (ew) for David...

It got super crowded real fast so we didn't stay too long but it was a solid fall Saturday afternoon.

life lately...

Oh the things we have been up to lately! We don't have many free days which is usually my main goal but after months off it is sort of a lot! This month has been flying by though! So! Lately...

We got Dom a Jack Skellington lawn thing.... the kid is obsessed... matching field hockey shirts with my girl at practice...a birthday fishing trip with a friend... all the farro in all the land... when the girls and their coaches all unintentionally match at a hockey game... good sky...niece cuddles whether she likes it or not... Letty got to have a grown up lady dinner with Nonna and Pop.... field hockey games... Nera taking over a box...late night with friends... baseball....I got a job at the kid's school (super part-time but I love it!)... the first last swim... hanging with my main girl at recess.... good sky times two... a new fav, an ew, David shirt from a friend.... quite the fan set up at David's baseball game... field hockey games including a visit from a favorite teacher of Letty's... brothers who "watch" field hockey games...niece cuddles... Matt's birthday...field hockey..... baseball... a post-baseball game lunch with friends...the second last swim...firepits... field hockey girls saw the high school game.... a lunch with lady friends... the third last (and final) swim.... lunch with another friend including yet another burger...good sky... more field hockey.... and the final baseball game of the season...

the fire pit patio

Matt actually finished this final (?) backyard project a few weeks ago I just never got around to sharing. Obviously the final product has Adirondacks and a fire pit on it but then you can't really see the beauty that lies beneath can you? Matt knows all the technical stuff I'm afraid but I loved how it turned out! And thanks to my dad for the lights! Here's to a many nights by the fire pit this fall!

a casual fall drive...

That was an hour away and took two hours to complete... I know the leaves changing is happening sooner than other years and I just so very  much love to leaf peep as it were. So I had a free evening last week and a husband who just puts up with all my antics and I decided I was going to find some beauty! I took to google and had a plan! And I think it was a great success!

my niece is now six!

How are we already in the year where the "triplets" are turning six?! Lena is already there and Dom will be joining soon but I am just not ready for this! These kids were just born! And now they are kindergarteners. Six year old ones! Time you thief you!

But back to the matter at hand... Mikayla had herself a lovely space themed brunch the other week for family to all come together and just celebrate her sixth time around the sun! Of course Rob and Ash go all out for the theme and I am here for it! We all ate some good breakfast foods and of course the opening of the gifts, all rounded out with some glittery delicious homemade pumpkins!

Oh Kayla Rae! You are so loved! Hope you had the very best of sixth birthdays!

we made our own fall fest. with friends!

The normal fall fests we go to are of course not happening this year... so my friends and I sort of made up our own! My friend Toniel's (the brain behind this entire operation) man friend has himself a farm a little less than an hour away from here... and he was very very (very) brave and let us plan a whole little fall themed afternoon! Even if he didn't understand portions of it... Yes, pumpkins can be painted and not just carved! I think he is still her man friend after dealing with all twelve (!) children for an afternoon. I sure hope so... 

The kids had a day off school on the Friday we had this all... and thankfully Mother Nature decided to be kind and give us just the best weather! And just like that six families (!) drove across the river to Etters, bearing our own special brand of crazy! His farm had a corn maize and a pumpkin stand... he set up a huge trailer complete with hay bales so we could all go on a nice hay ride... and Toniel brought paint so the kids painted the aforementioned pumpkins. Oh and cider and champagne for the adults!  It was the perfect fall afternoon and spending time with friends, I mean what more could we ask for? Thank you so so so much for having us! And... I'm sorry. 

an afternoon in gettysburg

This is one of those things that I have just done for forever and so we must continue doing it, mustn't we? It was a gorgeous rare day where we had no sports and no school and so I said well, this is our Gettysburg day! 

We had lunch at The Mason Dixon Distillery and were able to eat outside, always a perk with kids and COVID. Then we headed into the national park to hit up all our normal spots.... except because of the aforementioned COVID all the observation towers were closed. Which is a bummer for me, not so much Matt because: heights. The park itself was just so mobbed and I really was not a fan of that at all. Not sure what got people in the mood to head to a Civil War battlefield on that fine Sunday but they all had the same idea as I did.

The kids did what they love most, climb rocks at Little Round Top and Devil's Den. Lots of rocks. After which we headed to get ice cream only to see this super long line.... so we headed home. A bit disappointed (me) but tired (them).

hersheypark in the dark

We had decided to get a refund for our 2020 season pass tickets because I wasn't keen on having to wear a mask in the summer heat.... but when we all went to get our 2021 passes we saw that for a little bit more money you could get the rest of this year tacked on too... so that is what we did. The heat is gone (sadly, for my pool's sake) so the mask thing isn't really an issue...

The first Friday that they opened up for their Halloween season we were there for it. My mom, my sister and her family, and me and the kids. Matt and my dad did not get passes this year so they enjoyed a lovely kid-free dinner. Rude.

The whole entrance has been totally redone and it is just so pretty and big and open! Season pass parking is so much closer! There is sanitizer everywhere and everyone wears masks and it really couldn't have been a better experience I don't think. We hit up a bunch of rides since there was like zero wait for any of them.... my mom or sister watched kids when need be to help me out... and of course the trick-or-treat trail. Candy! The kids actually informed me that they had fun which is something I normally need to drag out of them.... tell me you enjoyed this kids! Please! But they did that all on their own which just shows me how much they missed it!