A Great Fall Weekend!

This weekend marked the 14th anniversary of my mother’s passing. It was very much on my mind through the entire weekend. However, there were so many other things going on that there was more happiness than sadness.

My brother came into town from Ohio and got to meet his niece for the first time. We have done many video chats prior to this, so when he came in, she recognized him and the hit it off immediately. It was such a wonderful moment. I’m sure we took a gazillion pictures, but my favorite one, he actually made his Facebook Profile Picture:

Uncle Chris and Ella

My brother and I drove down and picked up Dimitri and we all piled into the van and went to Crossroads Village. They usually do a Haunted Train Ride for Halloween, but because of Covid-19 they are not running the train. Instead, they are doing a nightly drive through of the village. It is all decked out for Halloween. My brother caught some pictures. It was a very nice time.

At the end of the drive, every passenger in the car got a goodie bag. I had to laugh because Dimitri opened a candy necklace, took a bite and said it was gross. I remember loving them growing up. I tried it and it was a bit … chalky!

We then came home and it was pumpkin carving time! We went to the orchard last weekend. We picked pumpkins and didn’t get the chance to carve them, so we did it this weekend.

Dimitri carved a skeleton playing a trumpet. For Ella’s, we took a drill and drilled holes in it. It looks like polka dots when the candle is in it. She loved touching the pumpkin guts, which surprised all of us.

Ready to carve
Determined
Yay! Polka Dot Pumpkin!
The finished product

On Sunday, we met my friend Jennifer at the park to take some family photos. Everything fell into place for the session – Dante was not working, Dimitri was here, Sam was off work that night, and Jennifer was available. We were worried that Ella wasn’t going to last long, as she was a bit tired. She loves being outside and we ended up getting some really amazing pictures!

The plan is to get one of the family pictures made into a canvas to go with the canvas we have of us with the baby. I also plan on printing some to frame and hang in the hallway. There are plenty to chose from. I wish I had a cubicle or an office at work so I could frame some of them to look at while I work. Here are two of my absolute favorites:

My Beautiful Girls – my wife, Sam, and my daughter Ella
My Three Wonderful Children – Dimitri, Ella, and Dante’

Both of these will be framed!! Perfect photos!!

After the photo shoot, the boys and my brother and I went to the cemetery to visit my mom’s grave. Dante’ has such fond memories of her. Dimitri never got to meet her and it bothers him a lot. They both got very emotional. It was nice to have some time there with them.

Monday, Sam worked days, so she was home by afternoon. We took a drive and grabbed pumpkin spice latte’s from Starbucks. When we got home, we raked up a big pile of leaves. We put the baby in her winter coat and let her sit outside and play in the pile. Look at this cutie:

The temps are cooling down. There is already snow up north. I’m glad to have been able to enjoy such a wonderful fall weekend with family.

Autumn in Michigan

The weather has been nice enough over the past two weeks for us to get out and really enjoy the fall weather! It’s been pleasantly warm with temps in the high 60’s and low 70’s. I’m glad, because this has allowed me to take Ella out for walks in the stroller through the neighborhood. At one house, the red leaves on the ground were so bright, I took her out of the stroller and let her play in the leaves.

After we got home, we both sat on the front lawn and watched the cars go by. She just loves to be outside! She loves to watch the squirrels, listen to the birds and wind chimes, and play in the grass.

This week Ella turned 8 months old! She has 4 teeth and two more popping through. She’s pretty much crawling like a champ and will no doubt be walking before we know it! To celebrate, we took her and her brother to the orchards to go pumpkin picking. I hope that this will remain an autumn tradition.

At the orchards, you can purchase pumpkins that are already picked, or you can take the hayride and pick your own from the pumpkin patch. Naturally, Ella needed to go on her first hayride, so we did that! She was SO tired when we went, but I was still able to get some amazing pictures. This one is my favorite from the hayride:

I love how she is cuddling with mom! She was loving the ride and the colors were just awesome. She wasn’t really sure what we were doing when we got out to the pumpkin patch. At one point, Sam made her sit on a pumpkin … she was unimpressed!

I love the way Ella looks at her brother. She lights up when she sees him. I have no doubt that she and him will have a strong relationship. After we got our pumpkins, there were quite a few pumpkins out in front of the orchard. I had Dimitri sit down among the pumpkins and then sat Ella next to him. While there are some really great pictures of them looking right at the camera, my favorite is probably the one below. She reached over and put her hand on him and they both are kind of looking at each other. A priceless moment!

I’m hoping that the weather cooperates in the next week or two, as I’m hoping to get both boys over and take some family pictures outside. Sam bought a cute outfit for Ella and shirts for everyone that match the polka dots on Ella’s outfit. I can’t wait to go out and get these pictures done!

Fall is my favorite season and I just love looking at the beauty of God’s creation! Happy Fall!