Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wrapping up October

We've been busy around here, and nothing illustrates that better than this past week.  In just seven days, we carved pumpkins in Isla's classroom, went to dinner with some friends, finished the schools #1 fundraiser (Pack-a-Thon), attended the schools character parade, Jordan volunteered as a watch dog and planned a Halloween party for 60 of our friends at the house.

Take a look at our fun and busy week:

Pumpkin Carving
  


Pack-A-Thon

I went to take photos for Holden's class for the yearbook, so was able to grab these of the kids enjoying their last day of Pack-a-Thon.



Watch Dog/Character Parade

The word "Watch Dog" evokes major feelings in our house.  It's Isla's favorite day at school, and actually a really great program.  You can read more about it here, but basically it's a day where the Dads accompany their kids to school.  They spend the whole day there, and while they do get to hang out with their own kids a lot, they are utilized throughout the school and spend time with all the kids. Every time Jordan comes home from Watch Dogs he is absolutely exhausted - (HUGE shout-out to all our teacher friends out there)!

At our school Watch Dog sign-ups are released a couple months at a time, and they fill up immediately.  There are definitely days that are coveted - one of the largest being the schools Halloween Parade (Character Parade).  Jordan was lucky and was able to sign up for this sought after day.



Helping a student out of his car in the rider line // After the morning announcements...

Wilson is just a TINY bit more famous than the Watch Dogs...

Character Parade


Our sweet little Lion from the book Dear Zoo


You always get to go to "specials" with your kids.  Isla's special was music, so naturally Jordan brought his guitar.  

The kids loved it!

Halloween Party

The Halloween party was another huge success.  Every year we stress out and wonder how it's all going to come together.  Its totally worth it though - its so fun to dress up and see everyones costumes.  Our friends are definitely creative!  This years costume contest winners were Barb and Hopper from Netflix's "Stranger Things".


Jordan and I dressed as Karate Kid.  I'm Mr. Miyagi, and Jordan is Daniel.  Our friends Melissa and Andy completed the group!  


Trick-or Treat

Okay... so this one is technically the beginning of the next week, but it seemed an appropriate place to put it. ;)


Chunk, Sloth and a Zombie Bride...


As much as I like Halloween, October is always totally crazy.  With Isla's birthday, and Thanksgiving in November, I'm sure it won't slow down all that much!  However, I'm totally looking forward to my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving) and the start of the Christmas season.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

St. Peters Pumpkin Patch - A Five Year Tradition

For the past five years we've been getting our pumpkins at the same place - St. Peters Pumpkin Patch.  I like it because after five years, I've found the perfect light and way to photograph our kids without a million people in the background.  Our kids like it because they get to run around and pick out pumpkins.  If Isla could, she'd buy the whole patch.  Jordan doesn't love it because of the overpriced pumpkins, but he's a good sport and plays along for the three of us.





 I can't believe how old my babies look - especially when I compare them to past photos here (2015) and here (2014) and here (2013) and finally here (2012).   These past posts also illustrate why I no longer ask the kids to pose for photos together...

I hope everyones enjoying their Fall!  We are super busy over here gearing up for our annual Halloween party.  Also, it's Pack-A-Thon week at school, Jordan's a Watch Dog, theres a School Character Parade and Trick or Treat.  Lots more to come from the Fife Family - so stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Napa Valley

As many of you may know, Jordan takes a trip to Napa every year with work.  Of course every year I am insanely jealous.  Last year my friend Nicole and I went for our annual girls trip - I loved it so much and was beyond excited when we were offered a free hotel room for the weekend.  So, as you can see - there was literally NO WAY we could pass this up.

I was even more excited when I read about how popular this time of year was.  This is grape harvesting season, and therefore the most visited time in Napa.  The leaves are changing and the weather is absolutely perfect!  

We took an early flight to Sacramento, and arrived around noon.  We headed straight for Sonoma to make the most of our short two days there.  


We visited a tasting room, and had a quick lunch at the cheese factory.




As you can see it was an absolutely beautiful day.



While Jordan checked in at the hotel, I went outside to play with my low density filter.



That night we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Bouchon.  After trying for a full day to get into French Laundry on the exact 30-day-out mark we were a little discouraged, but our meal at Bouchon totally made up for all that.  It was a perfect dinner with amazing service, a beautiful atmosphere and of course the best company.  We couldn't have asked for anything more.



After dinner we walked down the street to a dive bar and had a fun game of pool with some locals.



It was a really fun night, and we were home early enough for our day full of wineries and tours the next morning.





Downtown Napa (Jordan's run)




Pine Ridge 


We started the tours out at Pine Ridge Vineyards.  This was the only winery that we planned to have a guided tour through, and it was a good choice.  Our tour guide "Buddy" was awesome, and the tour was quick but totally encompassing.  We started in the vineyards, headed to the cellars, had a seated tasting in a really cool wine cave and then finished at the tasting room bar.



The wines were fabulous, and it was a perfect way to start out our day.

The day started pretty cold, which was actually kinda nice since it's not something we're used to at all in Katy, Texas.  The other amazing part of the area was all the Fall colors.  It was absolutely beautiful, and if you can get to Napa in October, I highly recommend it!


Darioush




Regusci



Domaine Carneros



Dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni



At the edge of the parking lot was a crop of Dariush's vines



It was such a wonderful trip.  We met some great people and saw some beautiful things - and the best part?  We got to do it together...

A HUGE thanks goes out to Amit and Arpita Bhandari, and the best babysitter ever - we are so grateful to have Becca to watch the kids and keep us worry free!

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