I Heart Fall.

Saturday was just one of those days...One of those golden, picture-perfect Fall days that I've tucked into the depths of my heart as a gift from the Lord.  One of the family traditions I hope we always continue is an annual trip to the Apple Orchard.  I'm not kidding when I tell you it's one of the highlights of my year! 
The kids had such a good time and so did Travis and I.  We kind of decided to go last minute because we wanted to take advantage of a warm, sunny day and I'm so glad we did.  I had "picture opportunities" on the brain, so fair warning, I did not disappoint myself!  I took 150 pictures and picked 30 to share with you .  Excessive?  I don't care.  I loved the whole day and night!  Last year we stayed home because I was due any day with Carter and just couldn't imagine all the walking.  Two years ago we took Ava, who was just 6 months old!  I can't believe that was 2 years ago...
So this year, with 2 kids in tow, the blessing was not lost on me.
Travis and I did this kind of thing for years before we had kids.  I love those memories with him and I'm grateful we made them, but so often I would look at all the women who had their arms full of babies and strollers and wonder, "Will that ever be me?"  Four years ago, I was only weeks removed from a miscarriage.  I was reeling with grief and disappointment and honestly I just wasn't sure how much more  I could take.  We had been trying for a baby for years and finally I was pregnant.  And then I wasn't. 

What I couldn't see then in the midst of my pain, was that the Lord had this day, already planned for me.  He had my best in mind and He had Ava and Carter in mind.  He knew my arms would be full one day, but not until the time was right.  Seeing these two little people is seeing God's faithfulness and His character on display.  I just love Him so much and days like this just make me want to throw my hands up in praise.

He has been good to me.

So here are some of my favorite memories from our day...
Saw this old truck when we arrived and knew it was a great picture spot!
My new favorite picture with my little Ava Page.
Checking out the goats! 
Does this kill you like it does me???
Look at those little jeans, side by side. 
Carter was so thrilled that was tall enough to stand and look over that fence board.
That hat.
So hoping we're going to get a second year out of it.  I love it on her!
And then there's this little heartbreaker.
Can you stand those eyes and that little chin???
Carter looks so much like my nephew Dominic here and like Travis and his sisters.  He is definitely taking after Trav's family!
Kids for sale?  Only when they're naughty :)
I took at picture of Ava in this spot when she was 6 months old and it's probably in my top 5 pictures of her.  Ever.  I so desperately wanted the same picture of Carter but he was all about going anywhere but there.  He was moving so fast I barely caught a glimpse of him :)
I did manage to get this one to sit still and smile!
A profile shot was as close as I could get, but I wasn't sad.  I love that little profile!
And I love this little nut too.  She was loving that window!
Pictures like this one make me fall in love with this guy all over again. 
So glad he asked me to marry him :)
This cracked me up.
This orchard has a scarecrow festival and lots of people enter and compete.  This was someone's take on Hulk Hogan and I thought it was hilarious.
There were also some traditional scarecrows for all you purists out there.
Carter was missing his nap, but he was so good trying to hang in there.
He's always up for some cuddle time with his Mommy, thankfully.
I even got some cuddles out of both of them!
Ava had her eyes on this little train from the minute we arrived and her sweet Daddy happily went with her.
Around and around they went :)
After the kids played a little bit, we took off for the orchard and the pumpkin patch.
We went on a tractor ride to get to the pumpkins, which was the hightlight of the day for Ava.  She looks so serious here, but she was really just out of her mind excited!
And Carter just soaked up the chance to get some more snuggles.
Ava found the perfect pumpkin and was very proud that she was strong enough to pick it up and carry it.
And Carter approved of the pumpkin we picked for him.
My favorite shot of the day.
My two little loves.
It was a precious first orchard trip for this little guy!
And also for this little gal.
So crazy to think she was only 6 months old the last time we were here! 
She saved her biggest smile of the day for dinner.  When she successfully stacked 6 coffee creamers on top of the ketchup bottle.  Which made the whole table proud and rounded out our perfect day at the orchard :)
These are the smiles of two grateful and contented parents. 
We had such a great day with our kids at the Orchard, but even better, we have such a great God. 
In the words of my handsome husband, "Happy Fall, y'all!"


petrii said...

WOW!!! How adorable!! It looks lik you had a beautiful week.

Love you friend ~~ Dawn

Darla said...

150?!?! Wow! The pictures are great.

Rebecca Jo said...

The colors everyone is wearing is even "Fall-like" :) Such cute pictures!

6 creamers! High fiving Ava - talent! And she looks so proud too :)

Ron and Peggy said...

You look so good Stephanie!