apple orchard

Monday's musings

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain pitter pattering on the roof. I had every intention of getting up early, and starting a good pattern for the week. Goals.

I had some great goals.

But the warmth of our cozy bed, ugh. My first goal went right out the door. 

However, I DID manage to get up earlier than our boys and that was still progress. Quiet time without dividing my time and attention between our boys was a really great start to this dark and dreary Monday. 

I wanted to post some musings in the interest of being intentional and sticking to a Monday post (remember, I have GOALS my friends). 

Our life.

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Jonah's birthday by taking a trip to an apple orchard. We did the same thing last year and because it was such a great day, we decided to dub this a tradition that needed to happen in our family. This year we invited our good friends and my in-laws along. It was a really perfect fall day with cooler temps and sunshine mixed with clouds. Our friends have 3 little boys, and with our 2 added into the mix, it was a lot of fun to watch them pick apples. I love visiting apple orchards and eating apples right off the tree; the crisp, sweet taste of fresh apples cannot be beat. Our takeaway was about a bushel of apples, because I decided to pick up a bag of "seconds" (already picked, bruised apples) with our own bag we had picked. Of course we picked up some apple cider donuts as well and we added in a whole basket of tomatoes that they sold in their market. It was a good food haul! Here we are weeks later and still enjoying the fruit of our labor. Apples for days and days! Here are some favorite photos from our trip!

apple orchard_jonahsbday_14.jpg

We had a blast celebrating Jonah's special day. Plus, we even have a family photo together! (thanks Erin!)


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-11)

There is so much wisdom in this passage, but a couple thoughts that struck me while reading through it. The unlikely are mentioned. The ones you wouldn't think would really need a special blessing. Like those that mourn. 

We've had our days of mourning, following the loss of our third wee baby this past July. But it says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." While discussing this in my core group at Bible study, one lady mentioned something I found encouraging. She said that she wanted to start praying the blessing on those that the verse was mentioning. As in mourning, to pray for them to be comforted. I guess I had never really thought about praying the ending for the ones mentioned in the beginning. Thinking through all the different types of people mentioned in this passage, I started to think through particular people that would fit those descriptions. It's not hard to think of those that are mourning. I've seen many women walk through suffering in mourning. I love praying specific scripture for others and here is just one more way to do that. I am determined to start doing this in my prayer life. 


I read this post this past week and it was again timely for me. I find myself feeling discontent at the lot God has given me, and question if it's good. Is it really good where I am? This post was shared with me a couple months ago, and at the time I didn't fully get where the author was coming from. The second time I read it, I did. It was a great encouragement and a good reminder to be thankful for where I am and what He has done for me and given me (my lot). 

Here's the post by Loving my Lot: 3 things to tell yourself when others prosper and you suffer

Happy rainy Monday friends!

apples, apples, apples

Last week we rang in the fall season with a family trip on a big special day, Jonah's birthday. It was a lovely, cooler-than-average-for-Georgia kind of day, perfect for spending outdoors. We headed up north where there are heaps of orchards and pumpkin patches to explore. Our choice was B.J. Reece Orchards, mostly because they had apple-picking open during the weekdays. It's a pretty popular place (especially on weekends) and we LOVED that it was so empty during a weekday. It made the whole experience of picking apples even more pleasant because there weren't any crowds to fight. We were able to take our time and take in the full experience as a family. The boys had a blast picking apples, running down the lanes in the orchard and generally being out in the beautiful sunshine and clean north-Georgia air. Not to mention all the apples you can "sample" as you go. I am not sure we have a photo where Aleksandr isn't munching an apple! 

We ended up picking half a bushel, then headed into the shop to see what other yummy things they had for sale (donuts, cider, and bags upon bags of apples). We were not disappointed with our choice of a dozen apple cider donuts, and ANOTHER half bushel of apples. So that gave us a grand total of one full bushel of apples. In other words that's around 50 lbs. of apples! Why so many? We were going to head out with our half bushel when I noticed they had a "seconds" section. Apples that had been picked but were old, or had been bruised. They were half price, and after looking at a bag (it was clear so we could see the apples), we saw only a couple in it that seemed to be "gently used". 

I have to say that I have been having fun seeing how far these apples will go, and Jonah is having fun keeping a tab on how many different items we can create. Yes, he even has a list to check off. Our tally at this point (a week later): apple chips, applesauce, apple crisp, apple butter, apple hand pies, baked apples, apple muffins, apple juice, and apple filling for pies. 

I have a little less than half a bushel left and we have some of these apple items in the freezer, so I'd say we are whittling away at it successfully! I really have enjoyed the apple peeling dates with Jonah! 

After the orchard we headed up to Amicalola Falls State Park. Jonah and I have been there way back when, on our first anniversary, so it was special to get to head back with our boys. It was the first time they'd seen a real live waterfall, and it is such a beautiful one too. A day filled with outdoor adventure made it a very special birthday celebration! 

pumpkin patches, apple orchards and rethinking Christmas cards

With summer winding down and a new school year beginning, we are starting to gear up for fall (and winter) and all the fun traditions that come with it. 

For us traditions have taken on a whole new meaning since we became parents. It was a lot of fun when it was just the two of us starting out, but once we had children we realized how annual trips became a little more special simply because these would be the things our boys would remember in their childhood. And they change so fast! We love looking back over the past couple of years at how they've grown.

Some of our favorite activities around this time of year are the very things we'd like to offer to you, our friends, for some upcoming story sessions. Family and traditions all rolled into one beautiful story.

So here are a couple of ideas...

Pumpkin patch stories
Thinking about picking out some pumpkins to take home and carve? Plan a little bit ahead and make it a day trip with your family. We'll tag along with you for a couple hours as you make the hike to the patch (or ride the tractor), walk through the pumpkin fields, choose the best pumpkins and finally enjoy a little home made treat from us! 

Apple picking stories.
Are you craving apple cider and a fresh, crunchy apple as much as we are? Apple season is near and dear to my (Carrie's) heart as I grew up in apple country (upstate NY). What's wonderful is that we are still fairly close to some orchards where you can pick your own! We'll meet you at the orchard and join your family as you start (or continue) this fun tradition!

And for the upcoming winter season...
Yes we know that it really does feel like winter and Christmas are a long way off, but we wanted to go ahead and let you in on a few things we have planned for the most wonderful time of the year (admit it, you sang that last part)! We'll be sharing more details in the next couple months, but we wanted to put a bug in your ear because we are too excited not to share a bit now!
For Christmas this year we will be offering something unique for your Christmas cards. It will be a creative and beautiful way to share your family story with those you love and definitely something they have never seen before!  So be on the lookout for more details! 

f this piques your interest, send us an email us at:
And of course, if you are not planning a trip to the patch or orchard, we'd love to capture your unique story, no matter what time of year.