The Day After the Snow Day

Friday, November 16, 2018

The three older kids have been put on the bus and the baby is still sleeping. The house is warm, and it is quiet. My focus for November was supposed to be, appropriately, "Thankful", and yet I've not done a great job at pausing to think of things I am thankful for. It's been so busy-- photo sessions and rehearsals and church callings and visits and lunchdates and flu shots and even a snow day. It's been challenged by upsets in the routine. By fresh things to worry about. By colds and coughing coming from various rooms in the house. 

But right now, the day-after-the-snow-day, with the older kids dressed, fed, combed, bundled, and sent off to school and the little bundle of energy and opinions still slowly stirring to the morning light in her room... with only the sound of the dishwasher and the furnace quietly in the background, I am taking a very intentional moment to pause and say, "this moment is a gift, and I am at peace." I am feeling the calm of the in-between. And I am thankful. I am the MOST thankful for the life in between the calm--- those crazy kids, that steadfast husband, the friends and the family and the adventures and the life experiences-- but this morning I am also profoundly grateful for the pauses in between, when there is enough space to reflect and remember. If not for these beautiful pauses, I'm afraid my life would just keep sweeping me along and I wouldn't be able to say, as I whipped past another experience, thing or person, "that was amazing! I'm so lucky! Hooray for this adventure/humorous mishap/life lesson!" Perhaps that's a skill I need to work on-- to be able to grab those realizations in the middle of the frenzy-- but that's a hard one. And I'm not there yet. 

So for today, I am relishing this sunny, quiet, peaceful morning pause. And with it, all the hard stuff and the crazy stuff and the good stuff I've been experiencing all this month are settling into focus and I am able to say THANK YOU to all of it. I am thankful for it, every bit. "Life is brutal. But it's also beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life's brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly they can't be separated...So now I embrace both, and I live well and hard and real..." -Glennon Doyle Melton 

Happy second-half-of November. I hear a Larkin beginning to squawk, so this moment is nearly done. Time to get back to work. 

Halloween: The Year of the Waterbear

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween 2018: The Year of the Waterbear

It's the yearly tradition of Halloween costume portraits, huzzah! From oldest to youngest (and weirdest to most common), I present to you my cute, crazy kids, all decked out and ready to trick-or-treat.
Noah, age almost-11:  He learned about waterbears/tardigrades this past year, and they have risen to the prime position of "favorite animal" for him. It made him extra proud to see them featured in the summer move Ant Man and the Wasp, and has read endlessly about them, sharing random facts about them at the dinner table. So when he decided to be one for Halloween, I wasn't the least bit surprised. His costume was the only one I had to make this year, and despite it being kind of epic, it was really really really easy.  Check out my fluffy, stuffed, fleecy, clawed waterbear:
And for reference:

This kid--- fantastic. One-of-a-kind. And REEEEALLLLY huggable in this getup. ♥

Lucy, age 7.5: Well, it was no surprise when she began talking about being a unicorn for Halloween. I figured the more rainbowy the better. But it was in early September when she took her idea to the NEXT LEVEL. Upon spotting a"ride-on unicorn" costume at HomeGoods, she begged to have it/be it for Halloween. Better yet, she decided that she didn't want to be the formulaic "princess riding a unicorn", she wanted to go ahead and still be a unicorn herself. So her costume became "Lucy: The Unicorn Riding a Unicorn."  Still with lots of rainbows. 

(And extra-special shoutout to my friend Beth Maue for the perfect custom unicorn shirt she made for Lucy. It became the perfect base for her costume! 

With two trunk-or-treats and these photos under our belts, Lucy has had plenty of chances to get her unicorn makeup done. She ADORES having glitter on, and probably would let me draw rainbows on her face daily. She also requested a tulle tail, so we made her a super-simple flowy one together. 

This last shot? My very favorite of her. ♥

Quinn, age 5.5: this cute kiddo had other ideas for his costume for most of the summer. But then Joe got them hooked on the new remake of the 80's robot cartoon Voltron, and that was that. Quinn decided he REALLLLY wanted to be Voltron. Luckily, A.) I'd only bought an $8 mask for his other idea and hadn't gone any further with it yet B.) The online shop for Spirit Halloween had a Voltron costume in his size. EASY PEASY.

 When Noah was this age, he had the equivalent style of costume as Bumblebee from the Transformers, and I think if a 5-year-old-boy wants to be a faux-muscled robotic character in the cheap polyester costume, THEY DESERVE THAT. It's a joy for them, and I love how they light up to become the character they love.  I mean, look at this cute kid. ♥

Larkin, age 2: I had a million ideas for this one. But I ended up going with one of the most classic kid costumes of all time. Second only, maybe, to a witch. A black kitty. She loves our actual black kitty Fiona,  she's down with getting a kitty face painted on (thank you, liquid eyeliner!!), and she has a perfectly darling "NEOW!" (yes "Neow", not "Meow"). Now that I have seen her all dolled up in full costume, I cannot imagine her in anything cuter than this. A perfect 2-year-old costume. 

And she was REALLY willing to cooperate for photos. So because of that, and because she's so CUTE, and my last baby, I just.... took ALL THE PHOTOS. And I'm sharing all the photos. I bet you money you won't get sick of them, even though you'll be scrollin' for awhile. I mean, all those expressions. She's a darling black kitty heart-melter. That's all. ♥

(She's saying "NEOW" here...)

For all the madness of getting costumes ready, and then getting them dressed at LEAST three different times during the season, usually beginning two WEEKS before the actual 31st (meaning I have to get to work earlier than I usually do, haha)-- so much work that Joe and I mostly don't even bother to attempt costumes of our own, which we want to remedy someday-- for all of that, I LOVE this. I love costuming my kids, finding a way to make their harebrained ideas a reality... And I LOVE seeing them so free and joyful in their final getups. And though getting the portraits is almost always a study in mom-photographer-frustration, I NEVER regret making them a priority and making them happen. I have YEARS of these portraits in my archives now, and hope to have years ahead of many many more. 

Happy Halloweeeeeeeen, friends! Have a spooky, sweet night! 

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