Bon weekend friends! My apologies if you came here from Instagram hoping for some juicy, life-altering news. We are indeed moving, but not abroad as we had expected when we sold our home two years ago. We’ll be staying in Chester County, Pennsylvania which we love (and where we’ve been for 8 years now), but moving out of our industrial loft and into an apartment complex. This will be another temporary move (1-2 years) which we had hoped to avoid, but we decided the pros outweigh the cons (I’ll spare you the list). Our current home has been a refreshing change of scenery for the past two years, a fun challenge as an interior designer, and a super pinterest-worthy space. Speaking of which, I’ll be sharing more of it before we move (or soon after). It’s funny how a hard deadline like moving can light a fire to get things done.
This time around the kids are old enough to grasp the idea of moving and that home is wherever we are. The walls that surround us don’t define our family, and that’s been a big lesson for us all. As we did before, we’re involving the kids with as many decisions as possible to better equip them emotionally for the move. The fact that our new place has an awesome pool and is dog-friendly is already helping to soften the blow…and yes that’s a hint that we’re looking to add a furry member to our family soon! If you have children and have any tips to help ease the stress of moving, please share. Also, if you’re interested in some goodies from Henry + Marie’s closet (as well as a few random items from mine), follow @shopfleurishing on Instagram – there are many items already listed, with more to come. Spring cleaning is in full effect!
image courtesy of ashley lynn fry photography
We might have to call 2016 the “year of the train” for us – we’re on a roll! This was our first experience at the Strasburg Railroad in Lancaster – I think it’s going to be a new holiday tradition. One of their most popular events is the Santa Express Train, which has been happening since 1959! I couldn’t wait to give the kids the experience, and I was pretty excited myself, having never been on a vintage steam train. We had the pleasure of being pulled by the #90 locomotive, circa 1924, and rode in the passenger car #58, circa 1911. After geeking out over all the equipment (I have my Dad to thank for the interest), we boarded the train and anxiously awaited the arrival of Santa. See more on my Steller story!
Cutting our own Christmas tree has become quite the tradition for our family. I grew up cutting fresh, and have such happy and hilarious memories of the event – it’s incredibly nostalgic for me. Even though we’ve been doing it since before we welcomed Marie + Henry into our lives, it became so much more special with them in tow. It’s hard to believe this is our fourth year doing it as a family! They are just so big now, I can’t get over it. I mean, we let them both carry the saw this year – that speaks volumes. Their bond is truly unbreakable, their friendship and love so very precious.
I’ll be honest, it feels very odd to return to my usual content, especially since this happened before the election. While I’m resuming my “regularly scheduled programming”, please know that behind the scenes I am working harder than ever to do my part in brightening the future of America. I plan on sharing a separate post with helpful links very soon. Thank you to all of you who have commented, emailed, and reached out via social media to thank me for sharing my thoughts. You are not alone – we are not alone. So here’s to forward motion, to progress, and focusing on the positive.
We had every intention of introducing the kids to an old-fashioned train for years, but somehow it only just happened. While we have many options in our area, we chose the WK&S Railroad in Kempton, a privately owned heritage railroad company founded in 1963. They operate over a landlocked remnant of a former Reading Railroad line – ring a bell, Monopoly fans?! They have quite an impressive collection of motive power, to include two Porter steam engines (circa 1920’s-30’s) that they are currently restoring. The 1940’s coach we rode in has been immaculately preserved, and was pulled by one of their three diesel engines. The gentleman you see below has been working at the railroad for over 40 years, and uses a family heirloom timepiece to keep things running smoothly – this place truly transports you in time.
Our love for Pennsylvania is most palpable in the fall. We live for the rolling countryside, rich autumnal hues, crisp temperatures, cider donuts, pumpkin patches, and yes…apple picking. It’s a tradition for us, and the kids have loved it since before they could walk. Thankfully, even though we moved, we’re still in the same county and our favorite orchard is within a reasonable distance. We spent a glorious afternoon there and enjoyed a private hayride during golden hour. We returned home with a bushel of red delicious apples, a few pumpkins, and hay-filled boots. Click through for more!