The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Monday, October 28, 2019

About the best pumpkin patch

Acorn Pumpkins at Gordon Skagit Farms
Pumpkin picking at Gordon Skagit Farms
Pumpkin Patch display in Mt. Vernon
Pumpkin Patch display in Mt. Vernon
Pumpkin Patch display in Mt. Vernon
Fall dahlias
Pumpkin Farm
Growing up my family always purchased pumpkins from the big containers at the grocery stores. There's nothing wrong with that, in fact, I'd say we were all quite happy and didn't think a thing about it. However, my husband spent most of his adolescence in the farm town of Snohomish about 30 miles north of Seattle so his experience involved pumpkins straight from the patch and he shared this tradition with me which I now insist on every year. The patch is where it's at!

Every year, I take pictures of the kids dawned in adorable fall outfits exploring the pumpkin patch and they are some of my favorites. What I loved especially loved about Gordon Skagit Farms is the variety of types and sizes. I had never seen some of these types of pumpkins before in my life! The farm's pumpkin displays were truly one of a kind and really added to the experience. We had to drive quite a bit further north than we normally do but it was well worth it! It's about 60 miles north of the city.

I'm not sure if this is true, I could Bing it, but I'll save that for another day (and perhaps post) but I think seeing things that are pleasant to the eye really add to one's overall experience and leaves that person feeling better just by being prettier.

We extended this trip with some fall leaf peeping along the Cascade Loop. This was an amazing day trip that I will share photos from soon!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

How to Organize Your Kid's Art

File Folder to organize kids art
An alternate title for this post is: How to throw away your kid's art. If you have children then this post is for you because no doubt, if they're school aged, they bring home so much paper that you no longer wonder about who fills the world's recycling plants. Since my first child started school, he's come home with so much paper - art and schoolwork as well. It can feel extremely tempting to keep everything; after all, it's all just so adorable and you can't believe how much your tiny human is learning and growing and expressing himself. However, these moments are best soaked up and remembered in the present. I definitely encourage you to keep a few things throughout the year. At most I've maybe kept 10 items per kid per year. No one will care more about your kid's paperwork than you do in that exact moment that you see it for the very first time. I imagine, I'll look at their paperwork a dozen more times throughout my life and I'll think back fondly. Saving all the schoolwork won't stop the clock from moving forward and won't keep your precious little people little forever. The only thing it will do is take up space in your house and mind. So recycle away, my friends! Look at it, savor it and toss it.

Part of getting organized and staying organized means clearing the clutter so once that step is out of the way, you can begin to get the paperwork in order. I highly recommend a filing folder container where you can hang file folders. As you can see from the photo above, I've labeled each hanging folder with the kid's name and grade (I plan on each child having their own container but for now it's all in one). I then collected the small amount of papers I had saved in various places throughout my home and placed them neatly (had to fold some of them to fit) into this container. It gives me peace of mind knowing the things I want to keep are safe and easy to locate. It's also easier for me to enjoy looking through the container because I know where everything is and I know how old my kid was when he made whatever it is I want to look at. I have a shared folder for little things I've saved that they drew or "made" before they were school aged. There's not much in that category because a lot of toddler "art" from preschool is mostly made by an adult and the kid just adds a couple little things so I don't feel like I need to save that (cute as it may be).

Sunday, October 20, 2019

About Halloween books for kids

I'm a sucker for books and especially holiday children's books. In our house we have a basket in the main room which has a rotating selection of books depending on the holiday or season. At the end of each holiday, I actually pack the books away so that they stay nice and are exciting when they come back out again the next year. Every year it's fun to add a couple new books to the mix. Since my kids are still what I would consider little, I haven't wanted to add any books that could potentially cause bad dreams so we've stuck to the sweet side of this season and strayed away from anything having to do with ghosts or super creepy characters. Celebrating each holiday with kids is made all the more special when you have traditions that can be excitedly anticipated and relied on. One day I hope to be able to read these books to my grandkids!

Are there any really good Halloween or Fall books that I'm missing? Let me know if you have any good recommendations!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

About savoring time with my kids

This is the last school year with my little girl at home. Next year, she'll be off to kindergarten and our life will look completely different. Next year will bring a lot of big changes. Most of which, I feel like I'm waiting for. I see them on the horizon; I want to prepare for them as much as possible; Because I know they're coming, I kind of just want to get there. So how do I thrive in this period that feels like just a lot of waiting? Waiting for things to change, waiting for things to begin.

It's so funny how much I want to just get there, to the change, while simultaneously wanting to savor this last year with my baby girl at home. Just me and her. It's even funnier how much I've wished to be through these hard years with babies, just surviving, but now that they're almost all gone I'm missing them and have begun to deeply understand how fleeting childhood is.

All I want to do is gobble up these years where the kids love all the cute, fun little kid things. The sweet holiday decorations, the days of making simple art, the darling clothes, the days when I can still pick out what they wear, the constant demand for cuddles at the end of the day, the hundreds of times they get out of bed to tell me something or give me a hug, just their sweet, sweet nature.

It seems like I could forego the good changes the future holds just to stay in these little years forever. Such is everything in my life. I get so focused on the end result that I forget to savor the moments in between. A trait I've loathed about myself for at least the past decade. Though I've been learning to savor small things: like family vacations to Palm Springs and warm summer days. Perhaps through learning to savor the small things, I can savor this seemingly long school year knowing I'll never have another year like this because we can't turn back time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Fall Chex Mix

Fall Chex Mix Recipe
Chocolate Chex Cereal
Reese's Puffs
Pretzel Sticks
Brach's Autumn Mix
Nestle Chocolate Chips
Nestle Butterscotch Chips
Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Pour all ingredients into bowl, mix and voila! You can really add or subtract whatever ingredients you desire but I suggest a good mix of sweet, salty and chocolate. I was quite surprised at how addictive this mix was. Snackers beware of this highly addictive chex mix. We enjoyed this over the weekend and then I sent the rest with Matt to share with his work. After all, my mom always said, "share the fat"!