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Apple Picking at Centennial Farms

Happy first day of fall!! Of ¬†course, with weather in the 90s for the next few days, it definitely doesn’t feel like fall. But that won’t stop me from busting out my fall scented candles and pretending that I won’t melt if I step outside the front door.

Last week, we noticed that one of Don’s weekend days was supposed to be in the upper 60s. We had been planning on shooting our gender reveal photo that day but the baby wouldn’t cooperate so we didn’t find out what we’re having. I was definitely pretty disappointed so I decided to cheer myself up with a trip to the apple orchard.

Apple picking has been a favorite family tradition of ours for years. We usually end up going on super hot, sunny days. I was seriously giddy over the fact that we could wear “fall clothes” and I didn’t have to worry about kids complaining about being hot. It was cracking me up looking through last year’s apple picking photos and noticing a lot of similar pictures–including a picture like the one below of Desmond’s scrunchy face and wearing the same exact shirt haha. Yes, he still fits into that shirt one year later. I also noticed that I posted that blog post on the first day of fall last year. I guess you could say that I’m pretty predictable?

With Don’s work schedule this year, we were unable to visit our usual orchard. But we were able to find another one, Centennial Farms, that was open on weekdays. We thought it was great but my major complaint was the lack of apple cider donuts. Huge disappointment for this pregnant woman! Donut worry, I did get my donut fix from my dear friend who got an extra one from the other orchard.

Of course this year was special because it was Clementine’s first time apple picking! She spent most of her time practicing her walking and throwing our apples out of our apple basket.

Those faces! Don’t they make you want to pinch her cheeks? Clem’s bonnet is from Stitched Hearts Co. The shop is taking a short break through October 21st, but I wanted to share a bit about her shop. The mama who makes these bonnets just lost one of her twin girls, her beautiful 10 month old daughter, Vivian, to a heart condition a few months ago. As I scrolled through her pictures, I fell in love with this precious baby and my heart ached for their family.

Bekah (the mama) is so sweet and thoughtful and has decided to start her shop with a mission to donate a bonnet to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for every bonnet purchased, in memory of her daughter. I only recently “met” Bekah on Instagram but I was so encouraged by her story. She’s been such a sweet person to get to know. I also love her bonnets ūüėČ I get so many questions about Clem’s bonnets so I thought you all would love to know about this shop too! I’ll go ahead and link her business and personal Instagram accounts in case you want to follow along!

Can I just say that as much as I love having a family vlog, sometimes I get really annoyed that there’s a phone or GoPro in all my pictures haha. But I get fun family videos out of it so I guess I can’t complain too much.

These pictures of Clem! They make me smile every time I look at them! We pulled her in the wagon on our way to pay for our apples and she absolutely loved it! She kept giggling as she bumped along.

Also, Evangeline’s outfit? Total love! Her hat and dress were found on clearance from Old Navy the day before.

So the whole day started out all fun and happy but I feel like there’s just always a point where everything goes downhill at once–and quickly. And that was pretty much right before we took these group shots. There was a certain 2 year old that kept crying about apple peels stuck in his mouth and the sun was starting to peek out from behind clouds. So there was whining starting to come from every direction (I won’t lie–I was complaining too haha) So when we realize things are getting to that point, that’s when we usually pack up fast and leave whatever we’re doing. Of course I had to quickly get these group shots before we left and I’m so glad we did, even if we don’t look like the most chipper bunch.

I’ve been waiting nearly a year to get a shot of them all standing in a row! Now I need a new stair step photo with them all standing!!

As much as I was disappointed to not find out the baby’s gender last week, this trip definitely made up for it! Plus it gave us the chance to put a lot more thought into the actual gender reveal next week (pending baby’s cooperation!) Seriously, it was so fun! Now we need to put together a fall bucket list. Obviously we’ll hit up the pumpkin patch but please let me know some of your favorite fall traditions!

I already linked last’s year’s apple picking post, but I’ll go ahead and link again down here¬†and the year before here and here¬†if you’re interesting in seeing them!

park, st. louis, Vlog, Whole 30

Whole 30 Results, Kiener Plaza, and a New Van

Are you guys ready for a post that is kind of all over the place? I guess that’s pretty typical for my blog. Instead of dragging it out for 3 posts, I’m wrapping it up all in one. So sit back, relax, and read all about what’s been going on with us (along with our photos from Kiener Plaza–which I’ll share about below.)

kiener plaza

You may or may not know that back in May, I decided to try doing Whole 30. You can read about my first week of Whole 30 here. And you can read my other update¬†here. In that second post, I had laughed at the thought of my friend suggesting I was pregnant. The joke’s on me because I found out I was pregnant about 2 weeks later. Anyway, I said that when I finished the full 30 days, I would come back and report my thoughts. And then I never did. And I know there are definitely hundreds of people checking my blog every single day to see when I’ll report back (and by hundreds, I mean zero. I bet most people forgot I even did it.)kiener plaza splash pad

So at the end of 30 days, how did I feel? The same exact way that I did when I started. No extra energy, only 5 pounds of weight loss, and I felt just as “blah” as I did in the beginning. I didn’t struggle with the limitations (though I was sad to miss out on a few treats during that time) but I did find it annoying to have to always be making a separate meal for myself, along with other inconveniences–like knowing what to eat if I was going to be out and about for a while.

Overall, I don’t think my Whole 30 results are typical. But it just wasn’t for me. Part of me does wonder if it’s because of pregnancy. But the other part doesn’t want to think that because I don’t have any interest in trying again haha. I will say that I’m glad I tried it once and I’m happy to learn that I like sweet potatoes! My favorite Whole 30 meal was pulled pork over diced sweet potatoes with a lot of hot sauce. Now all of the sudden, I’m craving it again!

kiener plaza redesign

So that’s the update you were so eagerly awaiting haha. I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying Whole 30…because, like I said, my results were not typical. But I just wanted to make it known that it’s not always the magical results that people seem to talk about.

So anyway, on to slightly less boring things. Kiener plaza (where these photos were taken.) It’s a little area in downtown St. Louis that just got a little makeover recently. And by little makeover, I mean $$$. They put in a small splash pad and playground so we were really excited about taking the kids one afternoon. We pulled up and saw this tiny little splash pad and I turned to Don and told him not to put too much money in the meter. It looked really wimpy compared to Citygarden (our favorite.) So I thought they would be ready to leave within minutes–just like another recent splash pad visit we had.

kiener plaza reopening

kiener plaza renovation

I was apparently so wrong. They loved it. There was nothing too special about it but they had the best time coming up with games to play together. We let them play for a while before quickly checking out the playground and heading back to the Suburban because our meter ran out. They were begging to go back and play some more but we had already been out for quite a while that day so we ended up heading home. But we will absolutely have to squeeze in one more visit before it gets too chilly.

kids playing in splash pad

Did I mention the fantastic Arch view that we had?

free St. Louis activities

Also–a big breakthrough! Desmond actually touched the water. Every time we visit a splash pad, he’s usually hanging out in the stroller. But he’s been getting braver each time. And he finally touched the water! Maybe this means he won’t be terrified of the beach. We can only hope.

dad and boy playing at kiener plaza

new splash pad at kiener plaza

kids playing

In other news, we bought a van!! Last September we were one month away from having baby #6 and scrambling to find a vehicle big enough to hold everyone. Right away, we found a Suburban and immediately filled it up when Clementine was born. I missed my mini van but was happy to have something to hold all of us.

Then we found out about baby #7 and a new vehicle was one of the first things on my mind. I seriously dreaded purchasing (what I lovingly refer to as) a dorky homeschool van. But I figure that I’m past the stage of looking cool anyway. So a couple weeks ago, a friend sent us a craigslist listing with a 12 passenger van. It wasn’t as “cool” as I hoped it would be–you know, as far as giant vans go. So we decided to wait a week to see if any other listings came up.

things to do with kids in st louis

things to do in st louis with kids

No new listings showed up for the 10 days we looked so we decided to check it out. (**I should note that we like to pay cash for our vehicles and not spend a huge chunk of money on them. So though we did see some other “better” options popping up, we chose not to spend our money in that way.) Our friend, who knows everything there is to know about vehicles, went along with Don to look at it. They agreed that it was a great van and a great deal so we got it!

The down side–it only had 8 seats because the back bench was missing. But pretty much within a couple hours of purchasing the van, our friend found a bench for us on craigslist. He already went and picked it up for us so we are good to go! It was seriously an answer to prayer! So my cool points probably dropped quite a bit. But at least my kids don’t have to climb over seats to get to their spots now haha.

loulou LOLLIPOP cute baby teether

Because Clem didn’t make it into any of the splash pad photos, I give you this gem ^^^

And because I thought this post wasn’t random enough, here’s the newest vlog from Family Funcast! We had planned to work on the video with the kids this past week but life got in the way. But it should definitely work out this week so hopefully we can get that done!

Have a great week!