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Pickin' Pumpkins

This weekend was Matt and I’s big celebration of having turned in the last pieces of our book. It had been exhausting work filled with lots of late nights and less quality time together than we’re used to. Our poor kids suffered from us writing a parenting book as our deadline neared (irony, much). We needed to shut down the computers and spend time together as a family, as partners in life – rather than in business.

Even the cold and windy rain couldn’t keep our spirits down. We had the most wonderful day getting muddy, exploring farms and spending time together – out of the house and away from the computers!  We started the day at Fields of Athenry, a wonderful local farm that has the best lamb we’ve ever had in our life – they also happen to be where we get our rendered lard, which we’d sadly been out of for a few weeks.

We got to the farm before their store opened so we walked around their lovely grounds a bit. The quail and alpaca were fun to watch. The turkeys were huge and beautiful. The barn cats were adorable and snugly (even though there was a sign to the barn that said “keep door closed, cats eat baby chicks!”).  And the big ol’ dog insisted he join our family portrait in front of the sheep, which we all found hilarious.

Once the farm store opened the boys bopped around the store, playing at the awesome kids’ table they have set-up, while Matt and I picked up some much missed meat: lamb sausage (loose and links), uncured bacon, rendered lard, tallow, organ meat and bones for broth. We packed the goods up in our cooler and headed off to Great Country Farms to pick some pumpkins and get even dirtier!

Each of the boys were thrilled with their pumpkins! The rule in our family is that you have to be able to carry your own pumpkin.  Each year the pumpkins we pick get bigger, and the boys feel proud of how strong they are to be carrying them.

We hesitated about going to the farms (which we’d been planning for weeks) because of the rain and cold, but looking at these photos reminds me of how wonderful snuggling together on the chilly ride to the field, getting muddy and drinking warm cider after was. It’ll forever be a day I remember – so relieved, so focused on one another, such a wonderful day!

When we returned in the late afternoon, Matt and I quickly packed an overnight bag, kissed the boys goodbye, warned Uncle Andrew not to damage any of them, and took off for a night away. NOT included in said overnight bag was ANY technology. We didn’t even bring our phone chargers so that we’d be discouraged from accessing the internet too frequently.

What they don’t tell you about writing a book with your spouse is that it is very stressful and it will turn all of your time together into “writing time” instead of “couple time”, “romance time”, or even “friend time”. The past three months, even when I would call back home, all our conversations seemed to turn to one topic: what’s going on with the book.

So, with the book turned in, it was time to celebrate us and all we’ve accomplished by spending a quiet night at the Intown Uptown Inn in downtown Washington, DC. It was exactly what we needed! We got time alone, we got to go to bed by 10, and we got to sleep in all the way to 8 AM (that’s 4 hours more than usual for those without kids and a blog)! There was even a silent auction and (open bar) party going on downstairs, a fundraiser for the 16th St. neighborhood, that we got to attend for free. The proprietor, Sandy, was a very gracious host, and very accommodating to our specialized diet – she made sure we had grain-free options for breakfast and helped us find a local bakery with gluten-free goods. In fact, when we mentioned why we had come (turning in our book), she was very interested and asked us many questions we were happy to answer.

If you’re local, you should definitely check it out. The food was fantastic, there was an oxtail and beet stew for dinner that will be replicated this week and the bacon omelette stuffed baked potato kept us full for a day of walking and touring the city.  We visited our favorite DC spot, the Eastern Market. Where we picked up a variety meats (locally made pepperoni and chorizo) and sausages to make most paleo folk weep (cherry venison, basil chicken, rabbit with ginger, and boar with sage)

All in all, it was a fantastic day, a fantastic night, and we have come back to our normal routine refreshed and ready to go conquer even more of our tiny slice of the internet.

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