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  • Harper's first pumpkin patch + trip to Google

    Two Fridays ago it was a beautiful day and Mike was off work, so we decided to take Harper to a pumpkin patch in the south bay.

    There were pre-picked pumpkins as far as the eye could see. Most of them were in good shape, so it was kind of hard to decide which ones to get.

    We ended up with two orange pumpkins and one white one. If it were up to me I probably would have taken home two giant wagonloads. I just love pumpkins. :)

    Harper got to sit on the big tractor, just like Mike did as a kid.

    And we had to sit her on a giant pumpkin just because.

    In addition to carving pumpkins, they had all kinds of squashes, gourds, and even popcorn.

    We took home one hubbard to cook. When she's a little older I think Harper will enjoy some of the other stuff they had, like a hay bale pyramid and wagon rides. There's also a whole park with farm animals there.

    Since we were so far from home already and we had some time to kill before dinner, we decided to drive around Silicon Valley. I had never been to Stanford or seen any of the social media headquarters, so it was fun to check them out.

    The Google campus is huge, and full of surprises like these sculptures.

    I didn't realize employees could borrow these multi-colored bikes to ride around anytime.

    I couldn't believe how many people were actually using them!

    Mike showed me the parking lot dedicated to electric vehicles.


    I love how someone has carefully swept around the sign on the ground.


    Tesla spotted in the wild!

    After that we spent some time in downtown Palo Alto, which has a really nice shopping area. They even have the only Plan Toys retail store, which was fun to check out.

    I loved our day of exploration, but man is it expensive down there! We were pretty happy to go back to our little bubble (with one new toy, of course).

  • Pumpkin patchin'

    We had so many good photos from our trip to the pumpkin patch, so I had to share.

    It was a little strange to go on such a hot day (probably 80 degrees but felt like 90 in full sun), but we still had a lot of fun.

    Mom: not in Kansas anymore.

    Harper was determined to pick up pumpkins, throw them, or pull them in the wagon.

    She really liked climbing this hay bale tower, which scared the bejeezus out of me.

    She is so fearless. She went all the way to the top.

    She also zipped through the hay maze.

    They had this crazy pumpkin house that was basically a yurt that we used to get some shade.

    Then Harper got to sit on the huge pumpkin.

    We took a few pumpkins home for carving later. I might have gone a little pumpkin crazy this year, but I just love them so much!

    Fall is really the time I miss the Midwest and the change of seasons. I'll be going back to Kansas in November for my grandma's funeral, so I guess I'll get a taste of it then.

  • Halloween peanut butter cookies

    I had to share this cookie idea I found on Pinterest. There it says to use a cookie mix, but I tried it with my peanut blossom cookie dough recipe and I think it was well worth the extra time.

    All you need to do is add about a cup of peanut butter chips and a cup of Reese's Pieces candy to the dough. Then you press it into a 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees until it's just starting to brown on top. Maybe 20 minutes?

    When the pan comes out, press in a few candy eyeballs (which you can find at craft stores like JoAnn and Michaels). Let the pan cool, then cut the cookies into rectangles. They are SO GOOD, especially when they are still a little warm.