Festive Family November To-do List

Wow! The month of October was packed full of fun and memorable events.  Not only did we get to cheer on our boys in blue to their first championship in 30 years by going to the longest ever game 1 of the World Series,  I think we completed nearly every item on my ‘festive family to-do list’:

  • We celebrated our German heritage by going to Oktoberfest in Hermann, MO with a great group of friends. Hermann is a beautiful, quaint town by the Missouri River. We appreciated having a baby sitter so we could enjoy the wineries.
  • There are so many great pumpkin patches in the Kansas City area, it was hard to decide which to go to. We finally chose a fundraiser pumpkin patch at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Overland Park, KS. Cecy loved riding in the red wagon with our pumpkins and we loved that our money went to a good cause.
  • I made a pumpkin pie
  • We hosted a Halloween brunch for Cecy’s first birthday which is coming up in November. We invited a few of my best friends who also have little girls. The girls ate pumpkin pancakes, danced to Monster Mash and looked adorable in their Halloween costumes. I think we might make this an annual tradition!
First time trick or treating
First time trick or treating
  • We enjoyed autumn leaves while hiking in Colorado. Cecy also enjoyed stomping on the leaves (she is walking now!) at Leawood City Park in Leawood, KS. We were excited to find this park because the playground was built for toddlers.
  • We missed the parade but enjoyed the festive atmosphere at BearFest Village for Missouri State University’s homecoming.
  • We made a family photo book and I love how it turned out. I bought the personalized book from Lakeshore Learning.
Enjoying October Outdoors
Enjoying October Outdoors

I don’t see how we can beat the fun we had in October, buy we will try. My festive family to-do list this month includes:

  • Visiting Central Park in New York
  • Celebrating Cecy’s first birthday
  • Partaking in Wild Turkey Wednesday
  • Baking something with cranberries
  • Focus on gratitude
  • #OptOutside Black Friday

October Festive Family To-do List

Haha that picture brings back memories of last fall. My oh my was I ready to meet Cecilia and I can’t believe how much life has changed from one year ago. I really thought she was going to be born on October 28th, even though her due date was November 1. I was wrong! She was born on November 10th.

As she gets closer to her big 1 year old birthday, our little adventures are becoming more and more fun. September was a busy month for us.  My favorite activity was picking apples with Cecilia! I’m planning to make this an annual tradition.

Now that October is just a couple days away, I’m making a festive family to-do list:

  • Celebrate our German heritage –  Oktoberfest
  • Go to a pumpkin patch
  • Make something pumpkin-y
  • Plant mums on our front porch
  • Dress up for Halloween
  • Enjoy the changing leaves
  • Go to homecoming parade
  • Have a bonfire
  • Make a family photo book for Cecy to help her remember our out-of-town family
Am I missing anything?

Twin Sisters Peaks in Rocky Mountain National Park

A couple of months after our wedding my husband brought me to Estes Park, CO. The first hike we went on was Twin Sisters Peaks. When we made it to the top, I looked over at the surrounding mountains in awe and instantly fell in love with the area.

Newlyweds - Mountain Love
Newlyweds – Mountain Love

Fast forward three years and we hiked the same mountain plus a baby and a sister-in-law! We began at the Twin Sisters trail head which is located six miles south of Estes Park on Highway 7.

Me and my mountain baby
Me and my mountain munchkin

I was excited to share this summit hike with my little one, but next time we will probably leave her home with a babysitter. My husband carried her, but that meant I also carried a lot of weight in my pack so the three of us would have enough water, snacks and gear. Baby gear = diapers, wipes, sunscreen, hat, change of clothes … we could have over-packed!?

We were slowly chugging up the mountain with extra weight on our backs when we ran into the landslide area about 1.5 miles in. We navigated over loose rocks and a steeper slope.

Landslide Damage
Landslide Damage

Once we crossed, we found that the landslide wiped out several switch backs so we had to make it up three steep vertical climbs that were approximately 20-25 yards each. This was the part that I was most concerned about with our baby, even though my husband was very careful.

*2020 Update: This section remains steep, but has been improved.

Despite the new challenges, this is such a fun hike and the views of Longs Peak from the top are truly amazing. This was my sister-in-law’s first summit hike which was very cool to share with her too.

Round trip is about 7 miles reaching 11,413 ft of elevation on the West Summit, a gain of 2,253 ft. The East Summit is slightly higher, but we decided to shorten the trip this time by going up just one side. The final approach to the East Summit is a fun class 2 scramble.

View from the top
View from the top

2020 Update on Twin Sisters hike:

My husband recently hiked Twin Sisters (late May 2020). He took this video from the top of the East Summit on an early morning. Twin Sisters melts out sooner than some of the other summit hikes in the area, so it’s a great early season trail. It’s always good to check trail reports/conditions to make sure you have the right gear, especially during the spring when weather conditions are always changing. For the most part, the trail is similar to the conditions we wrote about nearly 5 years ago. We include Twin Sisters on our list of 9 hikes with amazing views.

View from East Summit of Twin Sisters – Spring 2020