Go Pack Go: Green Bay 2016

Hi! You may not remember me. It’s kind of been a while. I promise I have a good reason that I plan on sharing with y’all super soon! In case you forgot me, time for a reintroduction…Hi, I’m Amy! I love all things pink and sparkly, running, anything Disney, drinking wine and playing with my baby girl and pups. Okay great. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s rewind a bit…

I spent September, October, November and the beginning of December traveling around the world. Literally. I went to Orlando, Cancun, London, College Station and Green Bay. On top of that, I’ve been busy with something else super exciting that I’m just not ready to share yet. I knew that I had a lot going on, so I needed to step away from my blog for just a bit. I’m still busy and I’m not sure how much I’ll be here through the end of the year, but I know I’ll be back at it come January!

Now it’s time to share about my family adventure to Green Bay, WI to watch the Packers!

We had a group of 16 people total, but we all came in separate groups with slightly different plans for the first few days. Mom, JP, Chloe and I flew into Chicago together and met up with my daddy at baggage claim on Friday afternoon. Then we drove up to my aunt and uncles house to spend some time with my dad’s brother and his family.

Saturday morning we got up and moving fairly early and headed out to Green Bay. It was about a 3 hour drive from Rockford, so not bad at all!

We got there and met up with my sister and her group {Matt, Meena, John & Kelsey} at the stadium. They did their stadium tour in the morning while ours was in the afternoon. Before our tour, the rest of our crew joined us {Mr. Buddy, Tanner, Tate and TJ and my Uncle Mike and Aunt Jo!}. We spent most of the day exploring the stadium, touring and visiting the Packers Hall of Fame Museum!

The Hall of Fame Museum is really awesome because they have lots of interactive exhibits. I was able to try on Brett Favre sized shoulder pads, look at all the different jerseys from Packers past, see Lombardi trophies and championship rings and so much more.

 Sunday was game day…against the Texans! Naturally being from Houston, you may assume that we were there to see the Texans play. Not quite. If you’ve been around here long enough, you may already know that I am a born and raised Packers fan thanks to my dad. He even took me to Green Bay from my birthday 5 years ago.

My husband on the other hand was decked out in his warmest Texans gear that he owns. We put a Packers sticker on one of Chloe’s cheeks and a Texans sticker on the other. It seemed only right since we’re a house divided! Just for one game every 4 years. I love the Texans as long as they aren’t playing the Packers of course.

We got out to start tailgating around 9:00am. We met up with a friend of John’s whose dad had an awesome tailgating set up. Everyone was so friendly and willing to share with us! About halfway through, Chloe needed a nap, so we bundled her up and laid her down in the front seat of someone’s car!

While we were there, I got to see the Borques who I’ve known since I was 14! It’s been years since I’ve seen them, so what are the odds that I’d be spending some time with them in Green Bay?!

After a few hours of tailgating, we were ready to head into the stadium! But first, proof that there were 16 of us and we all managed to get together for at least one picture!

The game was awesome and a once in a lifetime experience. It snowed during the whole game! They don’t call it the Frozen Tundra for nothin’. The fans we sat near were so fun while also made the game great. The wind was whirling, snow was falling and the Packers came through with a win! Thanks to our many layers and some hand and toe warmers we stayed fairly comfortable. The best idea I had was bringing several pairs of gloves to switch out as one pair got wet from melted snow or sweat from the hand warmers! JP and I took turns taking Chloe inside the atrium. She did such a great job at her very first football game! I would say that she saw about half of the game and didn’t fuss or whine much at all.

 After the game, we were able to walk over to my parents’ hotel to warm up and hang out in the lobby before heading to dinner. Since it was a beautiful winter wonderland outside, we had to snap some pictures.

We didn’t head back to Chicago until Monday afternoon. We decided to go back up to the stadium for another look through the Packers store where I’m pretty sure everyone got something else to remember the experience. Chloe’s Nonna and Grandpa bought her a Packers cheerleader Barbie in a backpack that she wouldn’t part with. She’s a lucky girl!

Overall it was an awesome trip. The Texans won’t be playing in Green Bay for another 8 years and we were able to see our favorite teams play each other! Pretty cool if you ask me.

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Lately: November 2016

Hello and happy post Thanksgiving back to reality Monday.

Lately, things have been a bit crazy. We’ve barely been home and when we have been home, we’ve been going, going, going nonstop!

We spent the beginning of the month in London.

I got home just in time to go out and vote! I’m choosing to keep most of my opinions to myself on the election though. Let’s just say that I pray that our nation comes together. More love and less hate!

I also got to visit with Ashley and see the tiny baby Waite twins when I got home! They were born on November 3rd, and I’m already absolutely in love. I can’t wait for Chloe to meet them soon. Luckily they only spend a few weeks in the NICU and they’re home now!

I spent the day with Ali and we dared to venture out to the Houston Nutcracker Market with our babies in tow! I’m so glad we did because I got some really cute Christmas decorations and gifts for Chloe!

Then we spent the next two weekends in College Station for some Aggie football and family time.

All of a sudden it was Thanksgiving! We were back in College Station with all of our family. First we had an early Thanksgiving lunch with JP’s grandparents at their assisted living facility.

Afterwards we went back to JP’s parents’ house for Thanksgiving with his family and mine!

Once we were stuffed to the brim with turkey and potatoes, we went to the Aggie football game which I’d honestly rather not talk about. On the plus side, my dad got to go to the game and the Aggie band looked fabulous.

Luckily we were able to spend a pretty low key weekend at home after all the craziness of the last month. On top of the traveling, football and holidays, we have another really big, exciting life event that we’ve been focusing all of our spare time on. I’m not quite ready to share, but as soon as I’m ready, y’all will know! That being said, my posts here will probably be a bit sporadic for the rest of the year. Kind of like they have been the last month. I can only split my attention so much and I don’t want to stress myself over getting posts up. I’ll still be around though. A post here and there plus there is always Instagram!

Now go off and have a wonderful Monday!

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Thankful: Blogging

How on earth is Thanksgiving this week?! It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is truly among us. The last two months have been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve been traveling like crazy and while I’m home, we’ve been working on something pretty BIG for our family. Putting all my time and energy in to this has made time fly. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more with y’all soon!

Until then, I thought this week would be the perfect time to reflect on some things that I am so very thankful for. When trying to decide where to begin, I realized that the most perfect place to start is with blogging itself.

I’ve talked before about what blogging means to me. This space has been a place for me to vent, share, create and brag. I can share recipes and crafts that people actually want to try. I can share life stories that people actually want to read. I can ramble on about life and people actually care. Sometimes I don’t realize how special that truly is.

Sometimes I get stuck in a rut and think that no one want to read my ramblings. That’s kind of how I’ve felt lately. I can’t seem to put my thoughts into words. It’s also felt daunting to plan ahead my posts, edit all my pictures or to create a new content. I hope that this week and remembering how thankful I am for this space will encourage and motivate me again.

I’m so thankful for not only this little corner of the Internet, but the bonds that I’ve made through blogging. I’ve been blessed to meet many of the faces behind the blog over the past several years. When I moved back to Houston, I became involved with many girls in one of the Houston Blogger groups. Back when I lived in Pittsburgh, I stumbled upon and followed some Houston bloggers. Connecting with them online was one thing, but meeting them in person was another! My first time to meet many of them was actually at Pinot’s Palette! 

Over the past few years, I’ve made friendships with many of these amazing women! Some I only see about once a year and some have moved away, but thanks to blogging and social media we’ve stayed in touch! Having a group of women with similar interests, values and life views is a blessing.

These women have taught me and encouraged me over the years. They not only supported me in my quest to change my blog and my career, but lifted me up, gave me ideas and checked in throughout my journey.

This blog has allowed me to share my journey through life with so many. Over time, I’ve realized that in sharing, I’ve helped, supported and lifted up so many. I try not to just share all the good, sometimes you have to share your struggles to help others. Sharing my struggles before quitting my job and changing my career was important to me. I couldn’t come out and say exactly what was going on, but in sharing my feelings, I connected with and encouraged others. Sharing my struggles with my stomach problems and the journey I took to find out what was wrong helped other young women to do the same. They realized that they weren’t alone with this sort of embarrassing issue and sought help. 
Some people I have never and will never meet, but I’m happy to be a part of their lives and include them in mine. The number of lives I touch and the number of people that have touched me through blogging is something amazing. It’s a small world we live in these days thanks to the Internet. I’m proud and thankful to have my little corner of the web and will continue to share in this space. Some months I may have more to share than others, but I’m always here.
I’m not sure if this post made total and complete sense, but getting words of this page has been a struggled the past several weeks. Today I just let my thoughts and feelings flow. Just another reason why I love this blog.

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Travel Tuesday: Cancun, Mexico

Earlier this month, I took a mini getaway to Cancun with some dear friends from high school to see our friend Jaci get married! Nicole and I decided to leave our babies at home with their daddies for some much needed R&R. Plus it gave us so much time together to catch up one on one.

We arrived at our resort NOW Sapphire Riviera Cancun on Thursday afternoon. Naturally we hit the beach and the bar as soon as we got some food in our bellies. We spent a lot of time at the beach and enjoyed relaxing, reading and spending time out in the sun. Aside from the wedding itself that’s about all we did. And it was perfect. So let’s talk a little bit about the resort itself…

Beach: It was beautiful and clean with clear blue water. There were constantly employees out cleaning up seaweed that washed onto the shore, coming around asking if we needed anything to drink and making sure we were comfortable.

Decor: It was beautiful! There were water features all throughout the resort. The decor was tropical and tasteful, and felt luxurious.

Size: The resort was big, but not too large. It was a nice walk to get from one place to another without seeming like anything was too far.

Activities: There were plenty of activities offered throughout the resort. We didn’t partake in many of them because we were interested in spending as much time relaxing as possible. There was a children’s area, gym, pool activities, kayaking, paddle boarding and more. They also offered a variety of excursions for an additional fee.

Pool: It was HUGE and gorgeous. There were plenty of lounge chairs in and out of the water. The pool bar was large and usually had quite a few people hanging around. The bartenders did a great job manning all the people ordering drinks without making anyone wait too long. The activity staff around the pool also did a great job of getting people involved with dancing, playing volleyball and participating in all sorts of games. They also had some small touches like the kayak that went around periodically handing out fruit on a stick!

Now on to what I consider the important part, the whole reason we were in Cancun…Jaci & Mike’s wedding! After spending a day at the beach, we got all dolled up for the festivities.

The wedding ceremony was held on the beach at the far end of the resort. Jaci looked absolutely STUNNING! Her dress fit her like a glove and her hair and make up were perfection.

The ceremony was short and sweet with personal touches. They had a friend officiate which made the occasion even more intimate. After the ceremony, Jaci and Mike had everyone gather together for a group picture on the beach. It will be so special to have a shot with everyone who attended the wedding!

After that, Jaci and Mike were off taking pictures while we enjoyed cocktails on the patio deck where the reception would take place.

The reception was a blast. We ate. We drank. We danced. We partied. Just the way a wedding should be.

After the reception, a lot of people went off to the resort night club for the after party, but Nicole and I decided to head back to our room and hit the hay.

I woke up early the next morning and decided to go for a run on the beach. I was awake, so why not!

The trip was just what I needed. Relaxing and beautiful. Besides the wedding itself, there was nowhere in particular we needed to be and no rush to get anywhere. Nicole and I travel well together. We’ve always been able to do things together and separate with no problem at all. I guess you can do that when you’ve known each other for 16 years and lived together for 2 years in college.

I’m pretty sure I need another trip like this sometime in the relatively near future. I mean, Cancun is only a 2 hour flight and there are plenty of well priced resorts! Maybe I’ll bring JP and Chloe along next time.

Now I’m going to pretend I’m spending today at the beach when in all reality I have a dishwasher to unload, dogs to walk, a toddler to chase after and a house to clean…
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Guess Who’s Back?!

Back again. Amy’s back. Tell a friend. You’re welcome. A little Slim Shady for your Monday morning. If that doesn’t brighten your day just a little bit, I don’t know what will!

But seriously, I’m back! Back home and back to normal life. The last week was absolutely amazing. Some people thought I was a little crazy for taking my 15 month old toddler overseas to London, but it was one of the best decisions! We did so much together as a family. It was such special time that I’m so thankful for. Since I had Chloe with me, I did things that I probably wouldn’t have done without her. I took in much more of my surroundings. I went more slowly. I appreciated more of every day. Pretty special if you ask me.

I fully intend to really post about traveling internationally with a toddler. The dos and don’ts since I figured out quite a few of them. Today I just want to share a brief recap of my trip with pictures from my iPhone. JP has my Nikon and won’t be coming home until Friday, so the really good pictures will have to be shared another day.

We arrived in London just after noon. It took a while to clear customs and meet up with JP. {Yes, we flew separately! He had to fly British Airways for work and I had enough miles on United for free tickets!} Then we took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and the Underground to Waterloo. After getting settled at the hotel we walked around a bit before having our first British meal…fish and chips. Then it was off to bed to get ready for our trip!


We went on a Muggles Tour of London and it was a BLAST! As a huge Harry Potter fan, it was super awesome. The best part is they also hit key British landmarks and facts that weren’t actually HP related as well. It was a well rounded, great tour. Our guide, Hannah Weasley, was great. I have to share all the pictures from my camera later on! We ended the tour at none other than Platform 9 3/4!

We started our journey at London Bridge! 
And ended at Kings Cross Station

We ventured out to London Tower! We started with a tour from one of the Yeomen Warders or Beefeaters. In case you’re wondering, there are only 37 of them and they’re the Queen’s guardians of the Tower of London and are responsible for guarding the Crown Jewels. They must have a minimum of 22 years of military service to even apply for the job. Once they are selected, they have the job for life. They also give tours of the Tower and do an exceptional job of explaining the bloody history of the tower!

We captured a wild Chloe and put her out to view in the menagerie!

The day that will forever go down in infamy. The day that JP an I had norovirus in London and spent the night throwing up our guts and the day in our hotel room feeling worse than we had in years. Not only that, we had a toddler to take care of and entertain over 5,000 miles away from anyone we know. It was a rough day. Chloe just wanted to go outside, so eventually we were able to walk down to the grocery store to buy some Sprite and crackers. Then we kept going just to stay out of the room for a bit longer and found a park for Chloe to play. She had the best time while we were just trying not to vomit or pass out.

It turns out the restaurant we ate dinner at on Sunday night had a norovirus outbreak. In fact, they had to shut down because hundreds of people ended up sick! What are the odds that this was the one place we decided to eat?

We started feeling a bit better, but still didn’t feel great. JP had to actually go to work, so Chloe and I went on an adventure. We started with a quick trip to Buckingham Palace, which Chloe slept through completely. Then we went on to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We found Princess Diana’s Memorial Playground and stayed there for a few hours wandering about. We also fed the ducks and pigeons, walked around and spent the whole day outside after being cooped up the day before. I think the fresh air helped a lot!

We went to Harrods! You can’t go to London without wandering around Harrods for a little while. We looked at all the beautiful things and refrained from buying things we didn’t need. After Harrods,  Chloe needed some more time at the park, so we wandered around some of the gardens. Later that day we went to Trafalgar Square before meeting up with JP for his work happy hour!

We were pooped from several buys days in a row, so we had a quiet morning before heading out to Hamleys Toy Store! Seven floors of toys galore! Chloe absolutely loved it, and let’s be honest, so did I. Chloe wanted all the stuffed animals and baby dolls, but we ended up getting her a Hamleys Beefeater Bear since she met a real Beefeater after all!

I swear she’s happy. She was watching some of the toy demonstrators and was mad that I wouldn’t let her go play right that instant! 

Our final day and JP finally was able to rejoin us! We spent all day at London’s Natural History Museum! This was something I was really looking forward to. I love museums, but I’ve heard that this one is amazing. Plus it was great for kids. Well the tales lived up to our expectations! We had the most wonderful time. Of course, my favorite exhibit was the Dinosaurs. I’ve loved dinosaurs for quite some time. I don’t know where my obsession came from or where it officially started, but I just love them. Luckily I’ve been able to share this love with Chloe. She loves them and can even tell you what sound a dinosaur makes! Again, most of my pictures are on my camera and I’ll be sure to share the best ones and tips for visiting the museum later.

Time to go back home. It was a slightly overwhelming and exhausting day, but we did it. Chloe has proven to be a great little traveller and I am so proud of my girl!

Overall, our trip was nothing short of amazing. We loved spending time together exploring a city that we love so much. I can’t wait until we get to go back again! JP will be returning in February, but without his girls. We still have so much more to see, so I know we’ll be back again!

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Happy Halloween from…

…my little monster!

Since we’re off in London today, we won’t be trick-or-treating around our neighborhood. Luckily Chloe and I already did that at Disney World with Julie! We were the cutest, friendliest monsters around. I did pack our costumes just in case we find some fun festivities in London!

And just because she was the cutest, tiniest Snow White, here was my little Chloe last Halloween!

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Guess What?

Hey y’all, guess what? I’ve been busy this week. Guess why?

In about 12 hours I’m flying across the Atlantic. 

With a toddler. 

By myself.

Guess what? I’m kind of scared and a little nervous. Y’all may remember my rough experience on our way back from Nashville. It’s been our only bad flight out of 8, but I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget it. We’re flying out at night, so I’m hoping she’ll get some sleep on our long journey. Cross your fingers and say a prayer for us pretty please!
Guess where I’m going? 
JP is heading there for work to meet his new boss and team. Chloe and I decided that we wanted to go too! JP is taking a couple of vacation days at the beginning of next week to explore with us. Then Chlo and I are on our own doing all the fun little kid things in London. Let me know if you know of something fun we MUST do!
Here’s to London and traveling around the world with a toddler! If you want to see our adventures, follow along on Instagram!

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One Thousand

Five years, 10 months and 8 days ago, I sat down at my desk in my new home in Pittsburgh and typed up my very first post on this blog. I had no idea what I was doing, and I definitely didn’t realize what this space would become to me.

Today I am posting my 1,000th post. ONE THOUSAND! This blog of mine has come so far over the past almost 6 years. I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t for y’all. The awesome family, friends, random strangers, internet/blogging friends that have supported me along the way.

This blog is so much more than a blog. It’s a place for me to document my life. It’s a place for me to vent. It’s a place for me to share my love of writing. It’s a place for me to show off my pictures no matter how good or bad they are. It’s a place for me to be me.

This blog has been with me since we adopted our little Maggie and lived in Pittsburgh during our first year of marriage.

This blog has been with me for our move from Pittsburgh back to Houston where we bought our first house.

This blog has been with me through football seasons, adopting Moose, and traveling around the world.

This blog has been with me from my career change and struggle to find myself.

This blog has been with me for the birth of my baby girl.

This blog has been with me from race training to half marathon to marathon to running again post baby.

This blog has been here for me through thick and thin.

I love what this space has become. I love being able to look back on it and smile. I love each and every one of y’all for reading it.

So here is to 1,000 more posts in this space of mine. Who knows what else it will become over the years. No matter what, I know it’s here for me.

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To the random stranger…

Yesterday I was walking with Chloe and was almost hit by a car. By far the closest call I’ve ever had and the most shaken I’ve been. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you already saw my post and read the story. If you don’t follow me…then you should! But here’s the background story:

This smiley girl and I had an interesting morning. We walked to Whole Foods for breakfast before heading to the park. On our way to the park, we were nearly hit mby a car. Luckily it was only a close call, but it was so close that I had to run out of the way of the vehicle to not get hit. I was shaken and upset. What bothered me even more is that not one person checked to see if we were okay. There were several cars that saw what happened and everyone was too busy trying to get to work to even roll down their window and check on the mother pushing her baby in a stroller. The car that nearly got us didn’t even slow down. I’m pretty sure she will never know that she almost hit us. I guess what I’m getting to is be careful when you’re driving and watch for pedestrians! As a runner and walker I try to watch for them, but even I am careless sometimes! Also if you see something happen or even almost happen to a pedestrian, Check to see if their okay!
A photo posted by Amy Gougler (@acgougler) on

As I walked away from this incident, I was definitely upset about the lady who will probably never even know that she could have seriously injured me and my child. I was even more upset about the fact that not a single person checked to see if I was okay. There were several cars at the stop light. Someone could have rolled down their window even. But no, everyone was too busy and worried about getting to work to comfort the mom walking with her baby. It’s moments like this that make me disappointed in the world around us. Disappointed in people. Disappointed in God. Why are you letting this happen? I don’t try to be disappointed in God, it’s far from His fault. But sometimes it just feels like it is. In moments like this, I try to turn things around. Think about the good in humanity, not the bad. Instead of dwelling on the rude and hateful people in this world, focus on the good people that go out of their way to make their friends, family or even a random stranger’s day brighter.

To the random stranger on the plane who told me that she knew I was a great mom:
Thank you for boosting my confidence in my ability to navigate this crazy journey called motherhood. It’s far from easy. Thank you for making me feel good about myself in a stressful situation. {Luckily Chloe was pretty good since her previous flight experience was a nightmare.} Most importantly, thank you for going out of your way to tell me this. You didn’t have to say a word, but you chose to and it made this momma’s day!

To the random stranger who gave me her Mickey ears:
Thank you for being so kind and generous! I told you that I loved your Nemo/Dory themed Mickey ears while washing our hands in the bathroom. I left the bathroom and joined Chloe & Julie then you came out and offered them to me! You made them yourself and were leaving the parks that day, so you didn’t really need them anymore. Thank you for making my day because of your kindness.

To the random stranger who works at Disney gave me a free cupcake:
You rock! Thank you for being awesome and making my last day at the Disney parks super awesome! I was totally eying those chocolate/peanut butter Darth Vadar cupcakes, and then you gave one to me…for free!

To the random strangers who encouraged me while running on the beach:
Thank you for making me feel like a rockstar that morning! I had laid in bed contemplating whether or not to run. I didn’t really want to get up, but decided to do it since I was awake anyway. Thank you for encouraging me and telling me I looked fabulous. It made me feel fabulous. I was definitely glad I got my bootie up thanks to your compliments and these views.

To the random strangers who played with Chloe and I at the park:
Thank you for being as outgoing as I am and not afraid to let your kids play with us. So often we’re at the park and other people come and act as if no one is there! Thank you for interacting with us and encouraging your children to help Chloe and play with her. It made her time at the park better and it made my hear so happy.

A big thank you to the random strangers out there that are kind, offer compliments, help others and go out of their way to just be a good human. You help me to remember that there are good people out there amongst the bad. I only hope that people see me as one of those good people.

Today I challenge everyone to go out of their way to make someone else’s day. Maybe even a random stranger. You have no idea how much you could help someone with even the smallest compliment!

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90+ degree October days…

Holy hotness! Y’all it’s been too toasty in Texas this year. Apparently there were two really nice weekends with cool mornings and highs “only in the low 80’s.” But of course I was gone for both of those weekends. The first weekend I’m back home and have outdoor plans its sooooo hot! Not just warm, it’s hot. And humid. Good ol’ Houston “fall” weather.

Don’t worry, we didn’t let the heat get the best of us! We started our Saturday taking Christmas card pictures and meeting Santa with Meeker Pictures, the photographers that shot my sister’s wedding! Sneak peeks will come a little closer to Christmas. After pictures and a nap for my little, we hit the local pumpkin patch!

She ran right up to all the pumpkins as soon as we got there! It was super cute and fun to see her reaction. She went right up to the “Chloe sized pumpkins” and grabbed the most perfect, round, flawless pumpkin I’ve ever seen. You’ll notice that it’s in all of the pictures because she carried it around the rest of the time we were there.

Mom and I brought Chloe to this same pumpkin patch last year on a random week day. She was absolutely adorable and so tiny, but clearly had no idea what was going on. I love seeing how much my girl has grown and learned over the past year. How did my baby get so big so fast?

It was definitely worth going out there on a weekend this year because there was so much going on, but it wasn’t too crowded. There was a bake sale, BBQ, face painting, a silent auction and they had local dance companies come out to perform! Chloe loved watching the dancers and listening to the music. She even did a little dancing herself.

I’m a sucker for themed photos especially if I can actually get one with the whole family! They had a cute little set up for pictures, so I had to get one of our little fam.

And how could I not get a sister picture while we were there? We kind of like each other…a little bit.

Overall, despite the heat, we had a great time outside at the pumpkin patch. I’m looking forward to real fall weather now. I know I’ll miss the heat and I’ll be ready for summer again come February/March, but it’s time for the holidays to start. I’m ready!

And here’s one more from last year just because she’s tiny and hilarious…

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