I'm not too sure if I've said it before but I LOVE fall ;) It is absolutely my favorite time of year. I don't particularly care for the bipolar Alabama weather (if it could be 60 degrees year round that would be perfect!) but everything else about this time of year is so much fun! Leaves changing, spooky Halloween decorations, pumpkin everything, football (roll tide!)...not to mention pumpkin patches, trick or treating, fall festivals and more!
Photo by Elles Photography
Every year on the first Saturday in October the Madison Street Festival is held in downtown Madison, Alabama. It's always a fun little event filled with lots of local vendors, food trucks, a parade and stage performers like local singers and dancers. They have tons of fun activities for kids too like an arts and crafts tent, a small petting zoo and pony rides.
This year we went early so that we'd have time to look around before it was nap time. Unfortunately it decided to rain for a lot of the morning so it wasn't as enjoyable as it has been in past years. It did slow up a couple of times so we got to visit some of the vendors and see the animals. Raley saw the pony and said "I wanna ride." I thought she'd be too small or too scared to ride but she loved it!
There are a few different pumpkin patches around the Tennessee Valley. We've gone to Tate Farms the past couple years and it's always lots of fun. I've also heard great things about Lyon Farms in Taft, Tennessee so we are hoping to get to visit that one next year.
There are tons of fun things to do at Tate Farms including a little train ride, playgrounds with big slides, live rabbits and goats to pet, corn pits, inflatable bouncies, and a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch to pick out your own pumpkin. You can also buy pumpkins and gourds in all shapes and sizes and beautiful mums. Raley's favorite is always the corn pit.
"This pumpkin surprised"
She loves the animals
This year we got to enjoy Disney on Ice: Let's Celebrate. It was a really cute show filled with all kinds of Disney characters celebrating different holidays. Raley was enthralled. And she was so cute in her little Snow White costume.
The next weekend was our niece Payton's Pumpkin Patch birthday party in Atlanta. (you can read all about that here.) We were so excited to celebrate Payton's first birthday with her and as always, Raley was excited to see her cousin!
Mimi, Papa and their girls
Each year there is a Family Fall Festival held at our church. The whole community is invited and it's always lots of fun! They have lots of little games for kids to play and win prizes, bouncy houses, face painting, hay rides, live music and yummy food. Raley's favorite was the bouncy house, although it's not mommy's favorite! She's so small that if there are lots of big kids in there it makes me super nervous! She didn't like when it was time to get out. We all love the hay rides too!
She loves suckers. Me, not so much.
So if you don't know, Halloween is my FAVORITE holiday! I love all the spooky decorations, dressing up, going to parties, and trick or treating. This year Raley was Little Red Riding Hood. Her Aunt Lindsey brought her back this super cute little German girl dress from Germany. So all I had to do was get her a little red hood from Walmart and her outfit was complete! We were excited for her to get to wear it not just on Halloween, but to a few other events as well. It's so much fun to dress up!
The Thursday before Halloween was the Mother's Morning Out Harvest Celebration where kids got to dress up, play games and eat snacks. I love seeing all the cute little kids in their costumes! Before I took her to the Harvest Celebration we went to visit her Gigi at work so she could see her in her costume (she was on a business trip on Halloween.) Gigi had set up a little trick or treat around the office. Raley had lots of fun and it was great practice for the trunk or treat that night!
I think this girl loves Halloween too! She loves to look at all my "scary dudes."
"I wanna hold scary dude's hand"
Thursday evening there was a trunk or treat at church for the younger age groups. It was our first year to participate in the trunk or treat and we had so much fun! We loved all the decorated trunks and cute little costumes. I'm excited to make this a yearly tradition!
For our trunk this year I played off the Little Red Riding Hood theme and made Grandma's House out of bulletin board paper. I dressed up as Grandma and David was the Big Bad Wolf. I didn't want David to look too scary as the wolf so for his costume I got a gray sweatshirt from Walmart and made a wolf face on the hood out of foam. For my costume I got "Grandma" looking clothes from the thrift store and spray painted my hair gray.
On Halloween night it rained and rained and we were afraid we wouldn't get to go trick or treating. I was pretty bummed because going door-to-door trick or treating was such a fun childhood tradition for me and I want Raley to get to experience it. We didn't get to go last year because of the weather, plus she was a little young to really understand what was going on. But luckily, the rain slowed enough to allow us to get a little bit of trick or treating in. We didn't go for long because it was starting to get late and pretty windy but we had fun while it lasted! And everyone loved her cute little outfit!
More pictures with "Scary Dude" before church last week - I love it!
"Good boy, Scary Dude"
This weekend we went to Under the Christmas Tree at the Von Braun Center! There are tons of vendors there from local boutiques and stores and people selling things like Scentsy and Usborne books. My favorite part is sampling all the locally made jams, pepper jellies, dips and slaws. I've fallen in love with pepper jelly and cream cheese....yumm!!
Santa is always there too! We've gotten a picture of Raley with Santa at Under the Christmas tree for the past 3 years. She was barely a month old in her first picture with Santa! Last year she cried the whole time, but this year she warmed up to him a bit. This entire past week we've been reading about Santa and talking about how nice Santa is in preparation for seeing him this weekend. Every time we talk about Santa, Raley would say "Give Santa biiiig hug." It must have worked because the first thing she did was give him a hug. She was a little shy to sit on his lap but we finally got a little smile out of her!
Tuckered out after a big day of shopping
It has been such a fun (and busy) beginning to this Autumn season but we are having a blast! I'm trying to soak up as much quality time as I can with my sweet little girl before our new little angel gets here in January. We are excited for more fun activities coming up in the next few weeks!
Next week we tackle potty training. I'll make sure to let everyone know how that goes!
*Update: it didn't go well!
What is your favorite thing about Fall?
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