I don’t know why, but Minnesota in late October is my favorite time of the year. Can a place be a favorite time? Hmmm.

It’s so perfectly melancholic. I love the way that the wind smells like the snow that will come, and the under notes of smoke from farmers burning their brush piles that has somehow blown its way to wherever I am. The stark naked trees patiently await their snowy adornment. It’s perfect. Miserably, depressingly perfect. Minnesota in late October is my spirit. It’s grouchy and negative and hopeful all wrapped into one. Summer is great. Spring is great. But give me Minnesota in the fall and my soul songs.

That being said, Justin is sure to be sitting at home fretting about the horrible moping I’ll be doing for the next couple of weeks when I return back to Iowa. He always has to hear about my love of St. Paul and how we must move there and buy a little creaky house and shuffle through leaf flooded sidewalks. I’ll get over it. But it’ll take a while.

For the record, Ollie is enjoying himself too.






weekend update: green jeans edition

Someone grew into his Christmas jammies two months too early.  I’m going to have to find a back up pair just in case he grows out of these ones too.  Oh my heart is breaking.  And then the green jeans.  I had to tell him to suck it in to get them on, so that’s probably his last time wearing those.  Cruel, cruel world.  But seriously, how cute is that outfit?

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ollie this week

Ollie has been a goof this week.  He still has an ear infection and is on his second round of antibiotics for it, but despite being sick he’s so happy and fun.  I don’t know who he gets that from but it certainly isn’t me!

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the farm






Here is the second batch of pictures from Justin’s grandparent’s farm last weekend.  It was such a perfect day.DSCF1519 DSCF1522 DSCF1525 DSCF1530 DSCF1533 DSCF1538 DSCF1546 DSCF1549

When Ollie is under the impression that Justin is driving too wild he hangs on with both hands to his car seat.


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We had a fun weekend.  On Saturday we went to Justin’s grandparent’s farm where Ollie had a blast.  He conquered his fear of pine trees.  Learned about horses.  Cuddled everyone.  And barely slept.  He was a little sleepy today, but it was worth it.  These are the pictures from Justin’s mom’s camera and my cell phone.  I’ll add the ones from my camera tomorrow.


Today was probably the last good day of the year, so Ollie and I took advantage of it.  We went on a nice long walk and then played in the yard.  He loved picking the grass and eating it.  And grabbing leaves and trying to eat them too.  We also learned that Ollie is afraid of pine trees.  He kept trying to touch it and then hiding his face in my shoulder.  Adorable.

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Perhaps it’s coincidence, perhaps there are no coincidences, or it could be due to the fact that the Earth passed through a heliospheric current sheet yesterday (whatever that means), but it seemed like everyone just had a bang up day.  Bang up meaning not the best.  But also not the worst.

Example not the best: The brakes died on Justin’s (my) car and he had to take the jeep to work leaving Ollie and I to fend for ourselves on grocery day.

Example not the worst: The brakes died in the driveway.  They could have died anywhere in this hilly town but they chose the driveway.  I have a feeling that had nothing to do with the heliospheric current sheet and everything to do with God intervening.  Shout out to Jesus.  Thanks!

Also not the best is Ollie’s new habit of waking up at 6 am.  It’s too early.  Ugh.

image1 (9)All geared up to walk.  What better to do when you’re stranded without a car?  Ollie says thanks to Grandpa Gross for his jacket.  He likes it a lot but not the hood…

image2 (8)Possibly my new favorite picture of us.

image3 (8)Cool kid in his beanie.

image4 (8)Being a clown.  This picture was taken 45 seconds before he grabbed a handful of his own poo.  Then things snowballed and he just had to take a bath.

image5 (6)Ollie the Orator giving an impressive speech to himself in the mirror after his bath.

image6Rocking a mohawk.

image7He didn’t feel like taking an afternoon nap, so he had to come sit by me on the couch for a while.  He was delighted with himself for sitting there like a big kid despite the fact that he was wearing his nap sack with duckies and stars on it.

pumpkin patch

We never actually saw the pumpkin patch at the pumpkin patch.  Clearly we were doing something wrong.  Apparently we should have taken the tractor ride?  Maybe that would have brought us to the old patch of pumpkins.  Instead we did the corn maze wherein Justin tested my sense of direction.  Newsflash: I don’t have one.  Even using the “map” they gave us.  We went in to find station 1 and ended up at station 6 (that was Justin’s doing) then he said “now you lead us out of here.”  So I did.  We made it!  A word of advice though, never go in a corn maze when you have to pee.  It makes everything more stressful.

Ollie was dubious of the whole situation.  The corn.  The pumpkins.  Even the weird guy that I accidentally said hello to.  Please note that I don’t call strangers “buddy”, nor do I call my guy friends “buddy” so please go ahead and assume if I say “what’s up buddy?” I’m talking to my child.  There’s really no need to say hello to me like you know me weird beard corn maze guy.

DSC_0002Judging the indian corn.


DSC_0014 DSC_0016Tapping the pumpkin.  You can’t trust something until you’ve tapped it for a couple minutes.

DSC_0022In this picture I imagine he says “so I guess these are my pumpkins… now what?”

image2 (6)He listens very well when he’s read to.  So does Lady.  Stupid dog.

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image4 (6)Church outfit.  So cute!

IMG_5839Exersaucing like a boss.

pumpkin spice pancakes

Here you go, Mom.  These are delightful.  Ollie likes them.  Lady likes it when Ollie shares them with her.  They’re grain free, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, and nut free.

It’s important to note that Justin is pretty apathetic towards anything pumpkin spice that isn’t slathered in cream cheese frosting.  He doesn’t have bad taste, generally, but come on.  Pumpkin spice season is basically the best time of the year.  That is until mint + chocolate season starts.  I think that pumpkin spice pancakes can stand without any frosting, though if you feel like adding some I won’t stop you!


1/4 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup tapioca or arrowroot flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 pinch allspice

1 pinch cloves

1/2 tsp Molasses

1 Tbl melted butter or coconut oil

1 Tbl Maple Syrup or sweetener of choice

1/4 cup pumpkin puree (more if you like)

2 eggs

coconut or other milk added until pancakes are runny enough.  (Runny?) I’d guess about a 1/2 cup

Mix up and cook as per usual in your favorite pancakey way.