The Blur of Fall

The way my fall went this year was manic. To be completely honest, it was the most stress I have ever put myself under in my life and I’m super thankful it is over. With an insanely time-consuming final project for a course I took alongside another course, a library advocacy spiel I researched hours for and presented on and waited for weeks for results, school somehow being incredibly unproductive because of this meeting or that situation, homecoming ceremony involvement, my kids not sleeping well, potty training and big boy bed transitioning, processing through some concerns we have for one of our children, attending a gorgeous Colorado wedding, celebrating 100 birthdays in September/October including [both kids and] my sister and I’s with a weekend trip to Wichita, as well as my dad’s 60th birthday fiesta, worrying about my sweet grandma’s health along with all the other “normal” stuff, I’m pretty sure I had involuntary heart palpitations by the end.

This weekend marked the official conclusion of insanity. I know the holidays are around the corner, but they pale in comparison to the disgusting busyness that was the fall for me. And you know what I did this weekend? I did what I wanted. I didn’t do laundry or a single dish. My parents lovingly volunteered to host my children on Saturday day and night (saints), and Logan had planned to work on his garage project all day. So I took out our lawn blanket, some pillows, and a few books and I sat and read for four hours, soaking in the last of the warmth of the season. Then I took a long walk by myself. I went on a date with my husband and watched a nerdy WWII movie. And I woke up at 8:30am the next morning.

It was glorious.

Grateful for some R&R this weekend, and I’m feeling full.

Even though it has been crazy lately, we still have had some really lovely times. Thought I’d share some of them through my annual fall photo explosion.

Evie lost her first tooth eating a peach at Carol Lee on her birthday!

Evie celebrating her birthday with monster cookies at school!

Week 1 of school complete! These kids are da bomb.

The big Martin family reunion! Glad Holly and Revery got to come back!

You don’t even know how much crap we brought home from the white elephant auction. Sheesh.

The whole Martin crew

A late birthday trip to Wichita with these lovely ladies. Memories at Botanica and Little Lion!

Family trip to Jade’s wedding in Colorado. Snowy, cold, but fun!

The Salina crew at Camp Robben! 🙂 photo cred: Robyn Bunch

I made a lot of apple cider donuts for the wedding reception… so many good treats on that table, wow! photo cred: Robyn Bunch

Our splurge night on vacation. At the Embassy Suites eating our room service meal watching Moana!

The kids’ first memorable trip to the mountains!

One of our stops on vacation was the Denver Children’s Museum. Evie enjoyed the workshop station. She built a recycled race car, pretty much all by herself!

Olan loved the bubble station and spent a LOT of time at the fire station too!

Evie was also super pumped that she made it to the top of the altitude climber!

Evie took this one. Fun in Denver!

Our 6th grade Halloween party… Extreme Twister!

Gotta have a pumpkin patch experience!

Evie holding a chicken at Britt’s. She loves animals! She chased this one around forever until the worker dude helped catch it for her.

Britt’s with Uncle Cole!

The first days of daycare at Emily’s! We love her so!

Olan sure loves cake!

Our family babies on Halloween!

The Domino Duo on Halloween!

Olie got bucked off of Great Grandma P’s horse!

Pretty darn adorable.

Halloween loot

This is my super awesome team at school. We made tie-dye t-shirts and it was a blast! Don’t these friends look like so much fun!?

My dad celebrated 60 years of life and we partied with a fun fiesta full of food!

Visiting my dear Grandma C!

So good to see Aunt Lindi. She looks like my mom’s twin!

Olan in heaven.

Evie’s first kindergarten birthday party! Happy birthday, Lillian!

Homecoming ceremony with my sweeties.

The end of the millions of tomatoes. Whew.

Olan enjoying some outside fun at Emily’s!

Fall Conference was in September… our annual Russell’s run after clean up was a success!

We saw and toured a really old WWII plane. Ask Logan about what kind. I have no idea. It was neat, but flippin’ hot! And our Elliott friends were with us, but not pictured.

Our annual Wichita birthday shopping weekend, one of my favorite family traditions.

And while I was shopping, Evie woke up and made Olan and her breakfast all by herself for the first time. Good job!

Evie lost 3 teeth in TWO WEEKS! She’s up to 4 teeth gone now! That last top tooth was a doozie.

Another visit with my Grandma C for all our birthdays! 🙂 Homemade German Chocolate Cake made by my mommy!

Evie enjoying nature!

That snaggletooth. Stayed in waaaay too long, including family pictures.

Evie won the cake walk at SES Fun Night!

Part of our Grow Group playing Pit at Thommas’ place one Friday night. These are my peeps!


Birthday Parties!

Birthday Whirlwind.

Evie turned 6 on August 16, and we celebrated the next day with a campout party in our backyard! Complete with a weenie roast and trail mix bar, we had such a good time partying with a full house of folks.

Olan turned 3 on September 20, but since Fall Conference is always that same weekend, we got to celebrate a weekend later! We partied it up with a donut themed shindig at our home, with just close family. It was lovely. A perfect, overcast, chilly fall day.

Both events were so much fun. I love parties. I love my babies. Life is good. Enjoy the media from the days!

Love all the decorations borrowed from a friend! Beautiful!

Trail mix bar

Our lovely neighbor, Cheri made these for us! Little campfire cupcakes!

Cousins Josie, Reagan, and Zack with Evie

Friends Payton and Tabor came along to party!

Great Grandma and Evie – one of my favs!

The marble galaxy that Uncle Cole got for Evie was and STILL is a hit! Evie is a builder!

My sweet excited six year old!

Evie got a coding robot from her Baldwin grandparents. She thinks it is so fun! She also got the Kiwi Crate subscription from her Henry grandparents. My, she LOVES seeing those arrive on our front porch! This month’s was a disc shooter build. Legit.

We got rained out of the REAL camp out, but we moved the tent inside and slept in the basement! We all got great sleep, surprisingly! Silas, Evie and I were sleeping on the wild side!


The easiest cake ever.

I made a donut pinata this summer in hopes to save a few bucks. It was fun! It would have been more fun if it didn’t take like 8 hours. Ha!

Get it!

Silas and Evie smacked the crap (candy) out of it after like 10 minutes of beating on it. I make my pinatas the highest of quality, what can I say?


O: Year 3

Olan’s third year of life starts today! This kid has not fully crossed over into evil toddlerhood yet, and man, this stage is just so much fun. I’m glad to have been able to hang on to it for a little longer than Evie allowed… so thankful. I just know we’re going to go through the dreaded potty training and the sleepless big boy bed transition all at the same time, while I’m pulling my hair out taking two classes at a time and teaching full-time. Jesus have mercy. Ha! But for real.

Enough of that doomsday riffraff.

  • Olan is starting out year three as more of a daredevil. His gait and demeanor is that of an athlete. The way he runs and throws and perseveres… I guess we’ll see where that takes him!
  • He is all about baseball, cars (I love watching him babble while he lays on the floor and zooms cars around), tractors, trains (he literally knows where all the train tracks are in town and asks to go over them), heavy construction machines (good thing Grandpa Henry has given him some up close experience!), Paw Patrol, dinosaurs – everything a little boy would hope to love.
  • This summer, we got to go to Sky trampoline park a few times, and he loved it. Jumpy jumpy jumpy for infinite.
  • He loves to play “chase” around the house, and I’ve not been able to wear him out yet. He could run forever. He sweats like his Grandpa Baldwin! 😉
  • He is definitely an introvert. He is still shy around new folks, and loves being held and snuggled by momma. I still can rock that 37 pound baby at bedtime, believe it or not, AND he loves it. He wants to “hide” under his blanket to be tucked in, which I’m like, “Why?” He’s so hot under his super thin swaddle blanket, but it’s what makes him feel secure. Okie doke… weirdo. 🙂
  • Olie’s speech has just skyrocketed. He says everything, and pretty darn clearly now. He can kind of say his alphabet, but has little drive to finish. He counts to 16.
  • He enjoys reading books, but almost never opens one on his own. If I start reading something, he is all about it though. We gon’ need to fix that. Ha ha! Super into Green Eggs and Ham at the moment.
  • He loves to play, of course, but over the summer months, he has adopted a new catch phrase, “Play with me, momma!” in his squeaky little dude voice, and it’s pretty difficult to turn down. Goodness, he is freaking adorable.
  • His imagination has bloomed in wonderful ways this year too. Daddy is the best play-er around, and they dream up all sorts of fun things to play, including wrestling. Both our kids love to wrestle and tickle with dad.
  • He is my little encourager. “You’re a good cook.” “You look pretty!” “Thanks!” “How was your night?” “Can I help you?” are phrases I hear pretty regularly from Olan. Love that big heart of his.
  • He can get Hulky angry, so don’t let his politeness fool you forever.
  • He’s learning how to make friends. Some of his pals I hear about often are Lydia, Marley, Silas, Evie, Ariya, Payton, Nolan, Adeline, Ames, and Thomas.
  • Olio is quite the jokester. He likes to pick on Evie (she haaaates this), and can seriously make us laugh for real! He’s made up a few words that he knows gets us going… He’ll randomly answer questions with the word “bap”, and whenever we ask where he lives, he gets a smirk on his face and says, “I live at Kansas Wesleyan!” Goofball.
  • Olan can be pretty particular. He will not wear a collared shirt willingly. He picks out his own shirts each day, and he has certain pants he likes. I don’t know where this Nike snob business comes from (okay maybe I do), but he adores his Nike shoes, and there was a time when he’d throw a fit if he had to wear anything else. They learn young that Nike is superior. Ha! It is interesting that I don’t feel like I have endorsed this in a big way in our household, but somehow he’s got a preference.
  • He’s always been a great eater, but lately he’s become much more picky. Boo for picky eaters.
  • Wearing 4T clothes, size 10 shoes, and sleeps from 8pm-7am and 2-4pm. It has been a dreeaaammyy summer.

Olan is the loveliest little guy you’ll meet! Welcome to year three, little buddy!


Blog at