Here’s October. It’s taken a while to get this uploaded.
Here’s October. It’s taken a while to get this uploaded.
This Green Faced Witch and this Queen Elsa (who’s really Harriet) would like you wish you a very Happy Halloween!
Here’s that Green Faced Witch looking extra spooky with a mean face and a real, decorative broom. I made her dress using a pattern for the Wizard of Oz wicked witch. I really wanted her to have an old-fashioned looking dress, and this pattern was perfect! The spider web fabric makes it extra spooky and extra fun!
But she doesn’t want you to be too scared. She’ll rip off her hat and say, “It’s me! It’s Alma!” in case you look too spooked by her green face.
There was no question that Harriet wanted to be Queen Elsa for Halloween. She’s pretty obsessed, and this hand-me-down from my cousin’s daughter was perfect! She’s quick to point out that she’s ‘Just Harriet” if you call her Queen Elsa. She doesn’t want there to be any confusion.
Here she is freezing everything, but not really since she’s not really Queen Elsa, she’s just Harriet:
Now let’s just hope for a dry evening so we can get some good trick or treating in!
This was our 5th Annual Playgroup Pumpkin Patch trip!
Oh my, how we’ve grown!
This year we were back at Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm, but it didn’t feel the same. For one thing, they more than doubled their prices, so we ended up not doing the hayride at all. We were lucky with a warm, non-rainy day. It was also Henry’s birthday, so we all dressed up and had cupcakes. It was fun, despite the fact that we didn’t get to do the hayride.
I have already gone on and on about how much I love these people. Let me just say that I’m so incredibly happy to have them as my tribe and how happy I am to have my girls grow up with these fantastic kids.
reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
knowing it would be so much better live, or in a fully written book.
wishing I could fly to London with tickets to the play in my hand.
listening to my Autumn Playlist on Spotify.
feeling nostalgic, which is apparently my Autumn mood.
wanting to be more creative, more consistently.
cutting all the felt into all the shapes and letters.
preparing to sell felt things at a bazaar next month.
watching all the Friends reruns on Netflix.
getting excited for Halloween.
looking forward to November, when I practice 30 Days of Gratitude.
thinking that I might start a few days early.
feeling like we all need more gratitude in our lives right now.
imploring that we can just vote early and get this shit-show over with.
reading and watching way too much about the election.
fearing the worst.
hoping for the best.
enjoying the colorful days and dark nights.
stopping to watch the leaves.
choosing to see the beauty.
reminding myself that playing with the kids is what I should be doing.
8:23 – I want to remember these girls and the cuddles in the mornings. Now that they share a room, it’s more likely that they will stay in their beds, or at least their room, and chat and play before they come into our room. We do all, usually, end up in bed together for a few minutes.
8:47 – I want to remember how the girls love to play with new things. They made this goo the night before at a Science Fair at the university and were really excited to play with it first thing in the morning.
8:56 – I want to remember this view, with the gorgeous yellow birch, the flaming red dogwood, the landscaping growing up and getting bigger. The junky car that’s been parked across the street for a few months, I’m happy to forget that, if only it would go away.
9:03 – I want to remember how great it feels to wake up to a mostly clean kitchen. I never want to do it at night, but it’s always worth it in the morning.
9:08 – I want to remember these autumn breakfasts. Oatmeal with frozen blueberries for them, tea with orange oil for me.
9:14 – I want to remember how Harriet says “hot cococo” for hot chocolate. I don’t want to remember how she threw a huge fit because I gave it to her in the wrong cup – I’ll just choose to remember that she eventually accepted the cococo in the Santa mug (the one she usually wants).
9:25 – I want to remember that this was not a normal day for us. My To Do List isn’t usually a bunch of chores around the house. We usually actually leave the house. I don’t usually spend the entire day cleaning the house. I do want to remember how good it feels to clean up our messes and be able to have such a wonderful home to take care of. I also want to remember how using the essential oils to clean the house makes it all so much more fun.
9:48 – I want to remember how the girls are actually eager to help me these days. Harriet loves to help me cook dinner. Alma likes to help with the dishes, dusting, and sweeping. I’m working on giving them daily and weekly chores.
9:52 – I want to remember these eggs and these chickens. I love that my chores include getting eggs, taking out food scraps, and giving them water.
10:07 – I want to remember the corner of our kitchen where things build up. Art projects from school, mail that needs attention, empty shoe boxes. These are the things that show our busy existence. I especially love when this corner of our kitchen gets sorted and put where it all goes. That was my job this day.
10:12 – I want to remember how these girls play together. They use their imaginations and really work well together. They used these boxes as houses, horse stalls, tunnels, who knows what else. I also want to remember Harriet’s love for her new boots and her tutu.
10:25 – I want to remember the imaginations in these girls. They had a full conversation between these two candlesticks.
10:31 – I want to remember these candlelit meals and snacks. Candles, while eating, are pure magic.
10:49 – I want to remember the love and care that goes into keeping a house. These wood floors shine thanks to me and my care for them. And essential oils.
11:56 – I want to remember these plates and the little hands that made them. I want to remember these peanut butter sandwiches – honey for Harriet, homemade strawberry jam for me and Alma.
12:59 – I want to remember all the sewing. I haven’t sewn in a couple months, so it feels great to get back to it. I finished Alma’s witch dress, fixed my sweater, and got started on Harriet’s much needed big bed quilt. I love giving my girls quilts so they can always be wrapped up in my love – and a tangible representation of that love.
2:03 – I want to remember how much I love Christmas and how much I love making good things for our family. These blend perfectly when I use Christmas Spirit oil (Orange, Cinnamon, Spruce) in my homemade hand soap.
3:13 – I want to remember how Harriet is the queen of the pout. She will sit down and pout, or just stand in the middle of the room and pout. Here, Alma is her horse who ran away. The pout went away once the horse came back.
3:20 – I want to remember these colors and snacks. Pink and honey for Harriet. Blue and jam for Alma.
3:52 – I want to remember these slow, cloudy days when I don’t get around to taking my shower until well into the afternoon. And my old Cal Young tie dye t-shirt that I use for my hair after my showers.
4:15 – I want to remember these days of forts, and make believe, and reading corners.
5:31 – I want to remember how our friends came over, bringing us a fake Christmas gift for an upcoming music video, and how it was fun to wish them Merry Christmas in October. I also want to remember how they all came inside and hung around for a little bit. Surprise guests and good conversations fill my bucket in a big way. Even if I forget to take any photos. Especially when I forget to take any photos.
6:11 – I want to remember this season and the comfort food that it brings. This was a baked potato bar, using lots of things we happened to have on hand.
6:18 – I want to remember “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; let this food to us be blessed. Amen,” and how Alma and Harriet say “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest; let this family to us be blessed. Allmen.”
6:49 – I want to remember the chaos that falls at bedtime. It is a constant battle to get them going in the right direction to get their teeth brushed, jammies on, and everything else that needs to be done when there are so many other things that they’d rather be doing.
7:03 – I want to remember the calm that settles when we’re all in our bed, reading a story before they head to their own beds. A few final cuddles and they race to their room.
7:04 – I want to remember how the girls need just a little bit more chaos before they can settle into their beds and eventually fall asleep.
I want to remember the time that Jesse and I get after the kids are in bed. We watch shows, get stuff done, clean up a little, read books, and eventually fall asleep ourselves.
Did September fly by for everyone or was that just me? Seriously, it feels like I blinked and it was over. I’m not complaining because October is my favorite, but you know. The days are long and the years are short and the months are shorter.
Today was different than other first days. The girls were excited. Our time at home was relaxed and slow. We got out of the house a few minutes later than we’d wanted. We showed up to a very full parking lot. We got some rushed photos near the school sign. We went into Alma’s classroom, where the circle time had already started. I told her to go find her name on the floor without a hug or a kiss or anything. She sat by her teacher and got to be the first calendar helper. We waved and exchanged some excited, nervous smiles. We took a grumpy Harriet out to the playground, where her class begins their day. We dropped off bike helmets and extra clothes. We showed Harriet how she can still look in Alma’s window to wave to her. Then we left. On our way down the hallway, we could see Harriet, peeking in at Alma, no longer grumpy. We walked back to campus together. Now I am sitting at a table in near silence, enjoying the solitude, looking forward to nine whole months of time that I know the kids are being enriched, socialized, educated, and loved. And looking forward to nine whole months of time that I spend by myself, thinking, planning, writing, reading, walking, or with teenagers, working, teaching, talking, learning. Man do I love the first day of school.
Sometimes, when you go camping in the forest, the fairies find you. I mean, this probably usually happens, but sometimes you see the evidence.
During our camping trip, the girls found beaded necklaces hanging in a tree by the fairy log. As Alma put it, “This is AMAZING!”
Alma and Harriet wrote them a thank you note and let them know about our fairy door. Lately Alma’s been pretty sad that the fairies have never visited us in the door. I suggested that maybe the fairies just didn’t know about the door. Alma had me write our address and that they should fly safely since it’s a long trip from Wind River.
During our trip, Alma lost her necklace in the rocks. Luckily when we got home, the fairies had been there. They left a note thanking Alma and Harriet for telling them about the fairy door and even returned Alma’s lost necklace.
There’s always time for a little bit of magic, right?
There is nothing worse than seeing your child’s blood on the outside of their body. If there is one truth about blood, it’s that it belongs on the inside. But, sometimes thing happen that destroy that truth.
This weekend, while camping, it was a rock that destroyed that truth. A small rock in the middle of a path, directly in front of another rock that stuck out of the ground just far enough to trip my oldest daughter.
All the kids were running laps on a path that was alongside our campsite. They ran and ran and ran. Then one of them fell and they all stopped. I don’t remember getting to Alma, but I do remember the blood. It was already pouring down her sobbing face. I scooped her up, said, “JESSE.” and don’t remember getting down to our picnic table.
I do remember exactly what went through my head:
Everyone rushed to help. Devon got the ice. Heather got the band-aids and wipes. Jesse, somehow, miraculously had a pocket full of paper towels. Antonio and Drew got the lollipop. Harriet got Sarah Bear.
Thankfully the bleeding stopped pretty quickly, and we were able to see that it was more of a puncture wound than a cut. It clearly didn’t need stitches, though, in my opinion, it looked crazy how deep the wound went.
I also remember exactly the things that Alma said as I held her in my arms, bleeding:
The rest of the evening was spent sitting in laps and getting extra cuddles. I watched Alma carefully for signs of concussion, even though I had no idea what the signs of concussion were. I only cried once, and not where Alma could see me.
We stayed two more nights and Alma bounced right back. The bump has gone down and the cut is healing nicely. The only wound that remains is the piece of my heart that broke along with the skin on Alma’s forehead. But that’s the thing about parenting, and that certainly won’t be the last bit of my heart that will feel my daughters’ pain.