Visiting New England in October!

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I guess I’ll just start off with the truth.

We almost moved to Boston this summer. Or I should say, we almost moved back to Boston this summer. There was a job opportunity that we were seriously considering, and during that time, I was chatting with Everett & Daxton all about New England. Well, we ended up staying put because another (better) job kept Stevie working right here in Georgia, which was a relief because we have so much family here, but after sharing with my boys so much about Boston, I thought we ought to take a trip. And what better time to visit than autumn in New England??

I’m going to break this post up into a few so that I can share about where we ate, what we did, and most importantly (to the boys!) - where we played. Because we played a LOT. I will do a separate follow-up post about traveling with our two boys this time around - please let me know in the comments section if you have specific questions!


Downtown Boston

This shot cracked me up because it was COMPLETELY candid and they all looked so pensive.

This shot cracked me up because it was COMPLETELY candid and they all looked so pensive.

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Color like POW.

Color like POW.

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I love this statue. She’s representing the angels who worship at God’s throne.


Beacon Hill, Massachusetts

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Are you seeing the streets lined with gold? Goshhhh.

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Just casually posing on the quaint cobblestoned alley. LIKE ALL BLOGGERS DO. Sometimes we’re a little bit ridiculous.

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Outfit Details


Loft Top (half off right now!), Madewell Jeans, Banana Republic Scarf (similar), Franco Sarto Flats, RAW Bronzing Studio Tan, (my leather jacket was purchased overseas, similar styles here and here)

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My little sweetheart.

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I never want to forget them like this. Everett is wearing this top and these pants, Dax is wearing this top and these pants.

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Leaf confetti.

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Not the tour we were on but I wanted to get a shot of how the truck goes into the water! So cool!

I think this is our only family photo of the trip but gosh, isn’t Daxton just the sweetest? That child is growing up.

I think this is our only family photo of the trip but gosh, isn’t Daxton just the sweetest? That child is growing up.

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What We Did.
We walked the historical Freedom Trail (if you go without kids, I HIGHLY encourage doing The Freedom Trail Run - it’s a 5k tour of the Freedom Trail and ends with a ferry ride back to where you started! SO efficient and helps you squeeze in a workout while you’re traveling!) We wandered the Boston Public Garden and the Boston Common, which are two of the most amazing public spaces you will find in Boston (I’ve previously overshared the Public Garden here and here).

We also found several amazing playgrounds, one in Beacon Hill called the Myrtle Street Playground, where we played with the kids for a few hours one perfect morning. The golden leaves kept falling around us like confetti and the air was cool and I just thought, “This is it. A perfect moment that I don’t want to forget.” Whatever those golden trees are, I need to plant one here in Georgia. We also played at the Esplanade, on the Charles Bank Playground along the river, and this was the perfect way for the boys to get out wiggles when they were sitting in the stroller for too long.

We also took a Duck Tour in the afternoon, which Everett was really excited about, because (all you boy mamas, listen in!), the tour truck transforms into a boat and goes into the Charles River. Yes. My boys were losing their minds a little, because at any mention of “transformer”, they are shook.

We took the boys to the Curious George toy store in Harvard Square and let them each pick out a toy. It’s kind of a fun thing we’ve started to do - minimizing the toys we buy at home but letting them choose something to play with when we travel. I think it helps them create a special memory reminder of our trip AND gives them a little something to play with on those long travel days where extra patience (and distraction!) is sometimes needed. Our one rule is that the toy must be small enough to be packable! And by the way, they picked out some of these Green Toys and we are loving them!

Where We Ate.
Call me boring, but we did a lot of Starbucks on this trip. My boys are carb monsters and tear through the muffins and bagels like its their job. I like having a few things I can count on them actually eating, so we did a lot of Starbucks in the AM. My order is a grande Americano and the Bacon, Egg & Gouda breakfast sandwich - it’s so good! We also packed the boys apple sauce pouches, snacks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day, which really helped them feel comfortable (because they eat a lot of this at home!) However, Stevie and I didn’t hold back! We loved our juices and smoothies at The Juicery, dinner at our favorite restaurant in Harvard Square called Grafton Street, and a must-have yogurt at Berryline. Yum.

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This trip was such a blast and we did so much on each day! I’ll share in a separate post about hanging out in Charlestown, where we ate the BEST brunch and cannolis, and why we took an impromptu trip to Maine for the day ;)

A Little Mouse for Halloween.

This little guy makes me laugh so much. He wouldn't put on his costume all day long, even though his preschool had a party and parade. But after a little bribing ("Everett, there will be candy if you put on a costume...") he seemed to catch on that Halloween is FUN. I've actually never given him a piece of candy ever, but I know he's had some here and there with cousins and grandmothers and at school. So he understood the incentive! And boy, what a cute mouse he made.

We rode our golf cart a few neighborhoods over where the houses aren't decorated too scary and the sweet neighbors wait on the porch with candy. We like to go extra early, because I don't want to expose Everett to anything too scary. This little Halloween tradition has been in our family over the past few years, with all of Everett's local cousins. And friends, too!

I like dressing up, but this year that was the furthest thing from my mind. If anyone asked, I was a woman having contractions (true story you guys) and Stevie was my supportive husband, helping me get through them. Hence me stalking slowly behind them in the golf cart while they walked like normal people. Walking brings on those contractions, so I am trying to curb it. Braxton Hicks they call them, ha. More like Baby lightening punts straight into my special area. This is real life. But I had a really cute view from behind my man and my mouse, so it was manageable :)

Thank goodness for my super woman buddy. She swooped in from time to time in the midst of wrangling her own clan of super heroes, bringing me lots of good cheer.

I mean, how cute are these cousins??

Our clan of heroes, animals, villains and FRIENDS. So grateful for this crew. And so grateful to Aunt Lauren, who sponsored Everett's mouse costume :)

I hope your Halloween was a blast, too! And now that we're past this holiday, I can officially prepare for the very BEST holidays of the year without being in too much violation :) Much love to you, friends!

At the Pumpkin Patch!

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He keeps asking to go back "to the farm".

I don't blame him, it was kind of a dreamy experience. October at its absolute finest.

First of all, it was cold. The temperature was 45 degrees when we arrived at Wargo's Pumpkin Patch last weekend, and we did all the things that you do in October at a Pumpkin Patch. We drank muscadine cider, took a brisk hayride, fed the rowdy goats, and let Everett pick out a zillion pumpkins because they were like $1 each. Oh, and that doesn't include the 15 minutes that I sat in reverent silence and relished the glory of my Styrofoam cup of hot boiled peanuts. Now if you aren't from the south, I forgive you for not knowing what on earth that is. But I wish for you to know. It has been years since I tasted the steamy, salty glorious treat that is the hot boiled peanut, and oh heavens. I already want more. Correction, need more.

To be honest, just a little over a month ago, I didn't think our little family would make it to the pumpkin patch this year. I was having trouble at the end of our New York stint, and with all the contractions and pressure I was feeling, just walking was a real challenge. And I remember thinking, "I won't even be able to accompany my son to do something special like the pumpkin patch!" I know that sounds a little pathetic and morbid, but I've really been making it my mission to do special things with Everett and Stevie while we are still a family of 3. And the thought of not being able to do something like this just seemed so sad and ridiculous, because I am a healthy person! I shouldn't be having so much trouble just being pregnant! Anyway thankfully, I am feeling much more rested and, you know, able to walk (ha!), so making it to the pumpkin patch actually felt like a real victory for me. And for us. And for fall.

Of course, the joke is sort of on all of us here in Georgia, because suddenly the temperatures have jumped back up into the 80's and we are all wearing sandals again. Why, Georgia - why?!!

Have you made it out to a pumpkin patch this fall? What's your favorite part of the whole experience? xox

Outfit Details:
Blanket Scarf (borrowed from my sis, similar here and here), Free People hat (past season, similar here), Gap Maternity Shirt, Gap Maternity Jeans, Anthropologie Sweater (past season, similar here), Frye Boots (on sale here!)

P.S. - Many, many thanks to Julianne who Instagram direct messaged me about this particular farm - such an awesome recommendation! You guys, please reach out on Instagram - I would love to connect with you!

Halloween In St. Augustine.

Last weekend was, quite literally, a blur. A stupendous, messy, spastic blur. It actually feels more like a dream than something really that actually happened, when I sit down to think of it. My family all convened in St. Augustine, Florida to celebrate my sister's wedding. But we also celebrated my niece's birthday the night beforehand with a massive party and oh yeah, this was all on Halloween, too. It was crazy fun and also just a little bit crazy. I am so grateful when my family is all together because it's a rarer occasion these days. It's one of those things that has to be cherished, and every time we're all together, I can't help but hope and wonder when the next time will be. Is that fatalistic or something? Never living in the moment? I don't know, but I try. I really try. I just love these souls so much!

My beautiful Aunt Shirley flew in for all the occasions and I truly can never get enough time with that amazing woman. She's the kind of person you want to corner at a cocktail party, stuff hors d'oeuvres in your face and just listen to - listen to her brilliance (she's a PhD in psychology, WHOA), listen to her traveling tales, listen to her Italian embellishment. It's just the very most fun.

My sister knows how to party. She dressed up her daughter the birthday girl as Star Bright, and she was Star Light (Star Bright's mom I think? I'm not up on my unicorn fanfare). I was completely lame this year and sort of forgot about costuming me and Stevie - oops! There's been a lot going on! But Everett went as a little fish. To be honest, he wasn't really that into it either. I think he was mesmerized by his Auntie Star Light, to be honest. Okay, I was a little too. I mean. LOOK AT HER.

That's a horn.

That's a horn.

That's a tail.

That's a tail.

That's my sister.

That's my sister.

We are weird people.

I love it.

A few more of the evening's festivities:

That's my family - we are strange, we are off-center, we are goofy and over-dramatic and overly-celebratory and emotional and about a million other grand adjectives. I adore these precious cogs in the universe, weaving in my world a steadfast harmony of perfect, fearless love and overwhelming acceptance and appreciation for each other. I am learning learning learning all the time about this love - this love that trusts and celebrates and doesn't entertain a worry for the future. I'm grateful for this family that allows me to practice that love, day in and day out, letting me make epic mistakes, holding my hand while I figure out the right way, and encouraging the heck of that journey. Love is such a journey, friends. I am learning how to cultivate this pure kind of love, so I can be the best wife, the best mom, the best daughter and sister - and those are all the same kind of love, but they're really different too. Sometimes I fail at showing the right kind of love. Sometimes I'm a crummy sister. Sometimes I'm a selfish wife. Sometimes I'm a scared mom. But I am trying, re-trying, re-working this stockpile of love in my gut, attempting to get it right. To show it right. To be right-minded. And really - aren't we all? Well, those are my Halloween revelations for you. I guess that star light really hit me smack in the head. I hope your Halloween was happy and fulfilling and sugary, my friends :)

PS - I am heading into another wedding weekend! My dear old friend is getting hitched and I get to be with her every step of the way this weekend. I am the luckiest, being surrounded by ALL THIS LOVE. xox.

Intentional October Update: Week 1.

It's time for an update and a check-in with you! How's your Intentional October going, friends? I'm going to be honest with you - mine has been hard. Harder than I thought it would be! I was so jazzed about this - but actually putting it into practice everyday has been really really challenging. I don't want to wake up early. And I really miss zoning out and watching TV at night. Discipline is hard!

I'll give you a rough overview of where I'm at:

My Tactics:
1. Wake up early.
5:30 AM to be exact. - Um, this has been challenging. Really really really.

2. Drink a Nalgene of water.
Right when I wake up, before consuming anything else. - This has been great. I actually crave my enormous Nalgene of lemon water when I wake up. It's hard to drink the whole thing so early, but I'm really trying to force myself to get it done within the first hour of the day. I feel so much better all morning long.

3. Have 10-20ish minutes of quiet time.
Reading, praying, journaling. - This has, surprisingly, been my favorite! I have paired it with some early morning stretches, and I am loving this time. I'm no yogi, but I feel exhilarated, stretching in the quiet morning hour. Making this action a part of my morning prayers seriously makes me feel like I am moving mountains here!

4. Exercise in the morning.
For the most part, getting myself outside to run has just been awful - I am wheezing and crampy and I feel like my lungs are going to explode. I guess that's what they call being out of shape, huh? But yesterday I finally had a break through run with my sis-in-law Lauren and I actually enjoyed the run. So, progress! But I've been at the gym a few times this week, too, and I am feeling good about getting back into some light weight lifting.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast.
This has been good. I'm still trying to figure out the best time to eat in conjunction with feeding my kid and exercising in the morning, but I am really enjoying a half a banana, sliced, on a buttered waffle in the mornings. Have you tried Kerrygold butter? I am obsessed. People are way too down on butter - this butter is so gooooood.

6. Tackle the biggest item on my to-do list.
This has been great. I feel so much more productive and accomplished by midday! My mornings are pretty full, especially with a baby in tow, but when lunch time rolls around I feel like I have tackled a TON. But I also feel like I need a nap, haha. I get jealous when I put Everett down for his nap and I have half a mind to just jump in the crib with him. Babies are so lucky.

7. Read in the evenings.
I am officially sucking at this one. I want to read, I SO DO, but I am not getting in bed early enough to read before I want the lights to go out. I read a few times this week, but a few times I also dropped into bed so exhausted, and later than planned. Which nixed the reading. I'm currently reading The Happiness Project, which is giving me some good tips for this intentional journey I am on.

8. Go to bed early.
Lights out at 9:30pm. - This has been really hard to do. Why is it so hard? Why are there so many bedtime activities that MUST BE DONE? I find myself at 9:15 folding laundry, picking up Everett's shoes that he has thrown in the bathtub, and decluttering my bedroom. 9:30 just comes around SO EARLY.

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The consensus? I've still got my work cut out for me. I am not as disciplined as I would like. I mentioned here that the focus this past week would be on ourselves, and then we would expand from there. However, I am going to take another week to really hone in on the discipline aspect for myself. It's another self-focused week, to tweak the things that haven't gone right, and create a rhythm for these activities to thrive in my life.

How are you doing with your intentions? Have you hit any roadblocks this week? What activities are working for you? Any advice for the class?