The Halloween Sweet Spot

8 and 6. Those might just be the absolute perfect ages for Halloween. Costumes, candy, school parties, ‘booing’ friends, carving pumpkins, ghost stories – they love it all!
I will admit that I loved coordinating the kids' costumes when they were little and they made for some pretty darn cute pictures.

But when they were that little, Halloween was more about what I wanted and the kids didn't really get it. Now, I happily sacrifice the cute coordinating outfits in favor of them using their imaginations. I love seeing what costumes they come up with each year. And as long as I don't have to make it - anything is fair game! Trick-or-treating with little ones can be hard work, and one scary clown sighting can ruin the entire night. We're past the hard work/scare easily stage and in what might be the very best stage. My kids are so excited to go trick-or-treating this year - and they want to go with us, their parents! Another couple years and they will be going with friends a…

Pumpkin Patch circa 2011 #TBT

This is one of my favorite Fall posts and Izzy's first trip to the Pumpkin Patch! Hey kids, what's with the expressions? 

Better late than never. We made it to a pumpkin patch this weekend. The pumpkin pickings were a little slim, but so were the crowds so it all worked out. Combined with the beautiful weather on this late Saturday afternoon, we couldn't have asked for a lovelier day.

I Heart Words

Family, time, love, work, friends, age, health, laughter, happiness, grief, life. These are just words - words that fail to convey the tangled web that is my thoughts these days. But that's how life is, sometimes words just aren't enough. And other times words are everything. Words can fall far short of conveying our thoughts, but there is also nothing more heart wrenching than words left unsaid. Finding the right words and putting them down can offer perspective, be restorative, and help process a life event. 
I have a friend who wears a shirt that says "I ❤ words." It always makes me smile. I need to get one of those shirts!
I love finding the right words and having them exist beyond my thoughts. I love to write and I miss doing it here.
I don't know how many people actually read this blog in the past, but I'm always surprised when someone mentions it to me out of the blue - often someone I've never met. That happened to me yesterday and it made me mis…

Sports and Swings

I stumbled across these images the other day and thought at first about how much these two amazing little people have changed. But then I realized how much they have stayed the same. Charlie has always been happiest on a court or a ball field with a bat or ball in his hands. Charlie's favorite parks were the ones with a tennis or basketball court nearby. I usually kept a bat and ball in the trunk of my car and on a nice day we would stop at a park on the way home from work.

And from day one, Izzy has been content to go with the flow and follow along - she only needed her fingers and some space to explore.

And as brothers do, they take their sisters things just because they can.

Barely walking, not talking, and she could tell her brother what she wanted. My hat please!

Not that he would listen...

That look! I have seen this exact look a million times on my now almost 5-year-old girl.

Another day, another empty court...

Even if I forgot a bat and ball, Charlie would find a way to p…

School Daze

School took off in a flurry and we're moving at mach speed in only the second week of September. First grade has been a much easier adjustment than Kindergarten (love our teacher!), so of course we had to put Izzy in a new school to keep it complicated. New schedules, new drop offs and pick ups - even dress codes we have to pay attention to (no jewelry or finger nail polish - so sad for Iz!). Her new school is Montessori and we love it. But every time I walk in the building I feel as if I shouldn't touch anything for fear of moving something out of place. Wow, what a system! Oh, and construction delayed the start of her school year, which is really not cool. But we have a part-time nanny who has continued from the summer and she is amazing! She saved us from the construction-schedule debacle. We are looking into adopting her very soon.

Today we had First Grade Lunch on the Lawn with Charlie. This is not a friendly event for working parents. Lunch starts at 10:50…

Back to School!

How can it possibly be that time of year again?! Summer went way too fast. We have two half days of school and one full day this week, so I'm pretending this isn't really it, the end of Summer. We've had a good Summer and I want it to last and last. I also want time to slow down as C and Iz are growing up way too fast! First grade and Pre-K this year, doesn't seem possible!

Both Charlie and I were a bit nervous, but we put on our brave faces and only a hint of tears surfaced for both of us. Ryan and I walked him into the building and Charlie held our hands. One of these days he won't want to hold our hands, won't need us to walk him inside and to his classroom.

The teachers had written all over the sidewalks of the school with chalk, things like "It's a Great Day to be a Dragon!" and "New Friends" "Smile" "Learn." And my favorite, "Hug Your Mom!"

I know Charlie will be just fine. He will learn, thrive, grow…

How does your garden grow?

I've never had a green thumb and I've never met a house plant I couldn't kill off, but I am really enjoying my vegetable garden this year. Last year was our garden's rookie year and while we had some cucumbers and peppers and a few cherry tomatoes towards the end of the summer, that was about it. Squirrels got all our tomatoes, some things never grew, and I had no idea what I was doing.

In year 2 we've made significant improvements, including going with a Square Foot Garden approach. We also put a wire net around the bed to keep the rabbits and squirrels out, and so far it seems to be working. I did a little research into companion planting (which plants grow well next to each other and which don't) and focused on planting things we like to eat and that would be fun for the kids to watch grow. I did not start seeds indoors or anything like that, so some plants like carrots (Charlie's favorite!) are slow to grow and harvest. I planted many of the vegetables…