Tag Archives: Halloween

Currently – November Is Here!

Happy November, y’all! I am loving the weather, the pumpkins on everyone’s front porches, the warm drinks, and the gorgeous colors around here these days. I’m linking up today with Anne in Residence and Julie of A Hopeful Hood. Join us and let us know what’s happening in your world currently!img_0358

Realizing || that I had been pushing myself too hard. I love running, working out, and being healthy, but I wasn’t getting enough rest/sleep to support my rigorous habits. So I’m trying to take more days off (or at least take it easier) and give myself a little grace when my schedule and lifestyle just can’t fit in that long run on my training itinerary. My second half marathon will just wait until spring.

Stirring || up the first cups of hot chocolate for the children, and spiced cider for myself! If I don’t feel like making the kiddos hot chocolate from scratch, Swiss Miss usually does the job for them… and my favorite store-bought cider is from Trader Joe’s! Less additives, more flavor – and spiked with some bourbon? Yes, please!

I wanted to capture the steam coming off the top of this cup, but I didn’t quite manage it.
Appreciating || the extra time I’ve spent reading recently. I’ve been watching a little less TV, listening to more podcasts (eating them UP actually – post coming soon) and reading every chance I get. “The chance” in my life right now looks like after the kids are in bed, while they’re napping, or real talk: on the toilet. But I’m reading through several at once (usually just one novel at a time, and several non-fiction of some sort) and enjoying spending more time in the quiet with some hot tea in my hand.

Here’s what I’m working with right now: top two I’m currently reading (or finishing finally), and the bottom two are next up. Not pictured: The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin. It’s on my Kindle, which just doesn’t photograph very well.

Investigating || the Enneagram, and therefore learning things about myself I didn’t know before… or, at least, I didn’t have words to describe it. I’ve just learned about the Enneagram (check here for a synopsis of what it is if you’re new to it, too) and finding out my type, and learning about it within a Christian perspective (with resources like this). It’s been so fun to find out my number, and read up on it! I’m a 4w3, categorized by most as The Individualist or The Romantic. The other exciting thing is that our community group is going to walk through the Enneagram journey together as well!

Following || Jess Connolly and Emily P. Freeman on Instagram! They’re my new follows of the month, and they post encouraging things almost every day. I’m also listening to Emily’s podcast, The Next Right Thing. And obviously I’m about to start Jess’s brand new book!

And here are the only Halloween photos I got yesterday. We had a great time with our neighborhood tribe, especially since we had to make up for being sick on Halloween last year!

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EK wanted to be “Blackbird”. As in the song by the Beatles. So obviously she won Halloween.

Halloween Fail

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus

My family is a Disney-loving crew. Hubby and I grew up watching the movies, visiting Disney world, collecting paraphernalia and loving every minute, so why shouldn’t we do that with our kids?

That being said, we recognized this year as the perfect year for a group costume. We could still dictate what the kids would dress up as, and pull off a silly, matching family costume. Because we’re a group of five, we decided on the Incredibles.

True story: Hubby and I were Mr. and Mrs. Incredible before we had kids (see below) because we happen to have pretty good body types for it – aka Hubby is a big, strong dude, and I have short hair and hips. (Disclaimer: our attempt to make Hubby’s hair blond simply turned it green. Oops.)

So naturally, with that being our best costume together ever, we decided to bring it back with our three kids. I started looking for the costumes (less iron-on this time) and rounding up everyone’s parts. I got really excited, and let the kids run around in their outfits several times. This week, Hubby and I finally tried on ours!

Oh crap.

We aren’t huge people. Okay, well, fine. Hubby is a heavyweight wrestler, but I ordered him the largest size so it should’ve been fine. But I’m not a huge person! And I ordered my costume based on their sizing chart! I should’ve known that superhero outfits would be… well… tight. And that a $30 costume wouldn’t be… uh… totally well-made. So naturally, Hubby and I are melted and poured into our costumes. Because I ordered them according to size charts. UGH I don’t want to go to my church’s Trunk or Treat in a costume fit for a Sig Ep party. So I get on figuring out how to be a little more comfortable and less… risqué.

It just so happens that I have a friend who had the same idea I did – family of 5 Disney lovers, young kids – obviously they’re also the Incredibles. I shot her a text – “What do I do?!” She said, “Oh, you’re also Elastigirl: Brazilian Edition?” Yikes. Looks like we are both in a pinch – literally. We each brainstormed ideas of what to put on top to just cover up – black bathing suit bottoms? Probably not that helpful. A tutu? Black granny panties? Finally I decided on a black skirt I have that would cover more than a tutu would, and be more comfortable to boot. Hubby decided to wear a pair of black shorts over his, and a red shirt underneath. Preventing a wardrobe malfunction was a little more difficult than I had anticipated.

So now, after much deliberation on what to wear, how to wear it, and all the excitement building for the last few weeks, two out of our three kids are sick. The other probably will have it soon, so she’s also in quarantine. No trunk or treat. No visiting neighbors. No collecting candy from every house on the block. No wearing our costumes, unless it’s while we sit in our house with the lights off. This Halloween still ended up being a huge fail.

This is us, on our back porch, before I put a note on the door and turned the lights out.

This post is part of my NaBloPoMo, where I publish a piece every day in November. Many of the posts will be writing exercises, sometimes straying from my usual style. 

Currently

Hey y’all! Thanks for bearing with me through a summer of travel, kids out of school, a few changes, and general laziness. School starts for my eldest two kiddos next week, and I fully expect to be back in my writing swing.

In the meantime, there are a few fun things I’ve been involved with that I haven’t had the chance to write about! There have been parties and celebrations, trips and concerts, yummy food and drinks, date nights and play dates. I’ll attempt to recap you a little on what we’ve currently been up to.

Discovering || the gender of our dear friends’ first baby! They hosted a little get-together to share with us whether the sweet babe would be a boy or a girl. We found out that (just like us and most of our close friends, oddly enough) their first baby will be a sweet girl! The mama-to-be Andrea baked cupcakes with pink icing inside, and let our kids all tear into them. It was ADORABLE.

the girls, celebrating adding one to our number!
EK and her buddies dancing

Celebrating || my best gal from college Lauren, as she prepares to welcome her first baby: a girl! Three other friends and I got together to put together a baby shower this past weekend, and it was SO fun. We held it in the same place on our college campus that they held my first baby shower, and one for another friend in our college roommate group. It’s a beautiful space to begin with, so we spend more of our efforts on food, games, etc. than we do on decorations. The crowning achievement for me of this particular shower was the favor. I had seen an Instagram post a while back about a favor that was a splitter of champagne. It had a homemade label with instructions to save the splitter till the baby arrived, then post a photo of a toast on Instagram with a specific hashtag. Since Lauren is a Prosecco lover (as am I), we bought Prosecco splitters, and my friend Andrea (yes, the other one having a baby girl!) made cute tags for them. EK helped me tie the tags on, and I was VERY pleased with the result! They were definitely a crowd pleaser.

i got macarons, but when the mama-to-be is a baker, she wants to contribute, too!
the Salem girls! (and Callie, class of 2038!)
 

Listening || to the Dixie Chicks! I listened to them during their height of popularity, and have tapered off listening to them recently. But when I saw that they were coming close by on their next tour, and on my friend Mary Katherine’s 30th birthday no less, I decided to go. I got together with some girlfriends, tailgated, and went to their concert. I was a little sad that I didn’t know more songs (they were mostly songs off their new album, which I didn’t know very well), and a little aghast at the blunt political statement they were making (I know, I shouldn’t have been surprised) since I just wanted to hear them play music. But all in all, I enjoyed myself! The tickets weren’t that expensive, so I won’t complain anymore.

i stayed that night with my gal pal from high school. love her!
the birthday girl and our photobomber. it was SO HOT that night. those hats were freebies at the venue, and they say, “No hate in our state.” oh dear.

Enjoying || the last few days of no routine. The kids and I went downtown for breakfast treats and to the park this morning. It won’t be long until we don’t have many morning dates, so I’m relishing that time with them.   

Eating || summer salsa and quesadillas! Between tomatoes and peppers from the garden, and local tomatillos, we have been tearing through salsa. Fresh salsa, cooked salsa, mild or hot… It’s one of our summer favorites, and I’ll be sad when the season is over. 

you know it’s good when it’s all gone!

Shopping || for Christmas! I know y’all think I’m crazy, but I love being the early bird and getting sales before other people are even thinking about Christmas. When I sat down to order our Halloween stuff (I am so excited!) I also got a few things for Christmas presents for the kiddos. Online shopping is the actual best!

Well, that’s a big update on my life- what have you been up to? Are you happy to have school back in session and slip into a routine?

A Mama’s Thoughts on Halloween

  
When you have kids, there are all sorts of discussions about how to raise them. Will you be co-sleeping? Bottle or breast? As they grow, the questions change. When will you potty train? Homeschool or public or private? Can they attend sleep overs?

One thing that we talked about only briefly was whether or not we would celebrate Halloween. My husband’s family didn’t celebrate Halloween when he was young. In fact, in lieu of making him and his brothers feel left out for not dressing up or participating in parties and trick-or-treating, his parents packed them up and took them to DisneyWorld for a few days. And yes, I’d say I’d rather go to DisneyWorld than just go trick-or-treating down the block, but still.

We decided that if we approached Halloween the right way, our children wouldn’t be negatively affected by the holiday. Of course its origins aren’t exactly kid-friendly, but what the holiday has become is kid-friendly. If the focus is on fun, creative costumes, spending time with friends, choosing and decorating pumpkins, and eating candy, there is nothing wrong with that. If trick-or-treating is just a prankless way to show off costumes with friends, then we are headed in the right direction. We don’t need to focus on the scary things (especially the ones that aren’t even real) to enjoy our Halloween.

We have a few books we really like that are Halloween-themed. Little Owl’s Night, Five Little Pumpkins, and Room on the Broom (also a short cartoon you can find on Netflix!) are just a few of our favorites. Obviously, we also love “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” and Curious George’s “A Halloween Boo Fest” is always a winner. Even when it isn’t Halloween, we like watching “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (also obviously at Christmas time), “Coraline” and “The Corpse Bride”. (This is the part where I confess my undying love for all things Tim Burton.) We can have honest and open talks about what’s real and not real, and how we don’t need to be scared of most things in movies and books (children’s books, at least). I don’t want my kids to miss out on the entertainment value of fun movies and the love of reading they already have by greatly limiting their exposure.

So this weekend, you will find us all dressed up, visiting our church’s trunk or treat event, and trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with friends. What do you do around this time with your kids? Are there other books or movies you love for this time of year?

Currently

What an eventful week and weekend we had! Last week was full of visitors, hanging out with friends, and pumpkins. The weekend was a road trip to see my family in Georgia. We ended the trip with a virus that seemed to go through everyone but EK, and we are getting over today as we drive home. More details to come!

I’m linking up with Becky at Choose Happy for today’s edition of Currently. Join us and let us know what you’re up to!IMG_0614

Traveling || seven hours in the car back to NC. I’m literally typing this on my phone while Hubby drives. The trip would take Hubby and me only five and a half hours, but it takes seven or more with the kids, depending on traffic and hopefully well-timed naps and meals. Our new car has been a huge blessing because everyone is comfortable, and I can reach the boys without getting out of my seat. We love the Acadia!

Healing || from a nasty virus that was mostly fever, but included a slight rash on the baby boys. EK managed to escape it, but the rest of us have had a crappy day or two.

Photographing || our pumpkin patch experience! A little hectic, perhaps, with three, but they had a great time! Here’s a little of what Hubby shot that morning:

  
  


Loving || some good time in Georgia. My kids love my family, for which I am grateful.

We also got to see a few good friends, eat at our favorite restaurant there (here’s looking at you, Schroeder’s Deli) and drink a few beers at the new bar downtown. It’s getting to be a nicer downtown than when I was growing up, and that makes it easier to hang out there now!

Anticipating || the busy season of holidays! The first thing I did when we got settled in the car was open my calendar and see the madness that’s building, culminating at Christmas. I’m excited, but also a little nervous we just won’t be able to get ourselves together to make it all happen. We are notoriously late all the time right now, since, ya know, only a couple of us can do anything by/for ourselves. And every time I think I’ll get up earlier to help the process along, it’s a terrible night for at least two kids, or I battle stress-induced insomnia. I’ll sleep when I dead, right?

Preparing || our Halloween costumes! We have D and EK nailed down, but we are still determining J’s outfit. You’ll see some pictures soon!

Well, there’s our crazy week, fevers and traveling and all. What are y’all up to? Any Halloween plans?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, y’all! We have a nice, slow week we’re settling into, and I couldn’t be happier. Here are a few funnies from the past week to brighten your Tuesday!

 
EK, looking at Hubby holding D: Aw! Wook at his small toes! Aw! Wook at that! He’s putting his foot on your weg! AWW! WOOK! He is SO CUTE!

I have several friends that work at the college I went to, one of them being my college roommate Anne, who I sometimes pick up and take to lunch. One day, EK was with me and we drove to campus to see another friend. As we pulled onto campus, she said, “Mom! Is this where Anne lives?!” When I told Anne about it later, she said she certainly was there more than anywhere else!

EK: What time is it?
Hubby: 7:53
EK: Woah! Cool!

Annie: EK, your shoes are on the wrong feet.
EK: It’s okay. It doesn’t manners.

J drops his fork: Uh oh! Fook!
Me: Careful, there…

We have a book called “Build a Burrito” and it’s a counting book in English and Spanish. EK always insists on trying to say the Spanish before I do, and also says “turrito” instead of burrito.

EK, showing her folded slice of pizza to Hubby: Daddy! When you was a little boy you made your pizza a taco like this!

(I’m realizing in this moment that we’re obsessed with tacos.)
EK: I want a soft taco! A soft one!
Lauren: What do you want inside your taco?
EK: M&Ms!
Lauren: Girl after my own heart!

Hubby goes to wake EK up for church, and she pulls the covers over her head.
EK: Dad! Leave me alone!
Hubby: Are you 16?!

Halloween.
EK: Daddy, what are you gonna be for Halloleen?
Hubby: A toothbrush!
EK: No. I’m gonna be Mulan and you be Mushu.
(EK has vacillated on costume ideas from Doc McStuffins to Mulan and back.)

Before EK goes to bed, I ask her what her favorite part of the day was. This week, this was one of her answers: “Wearing a princess dress and dancing with my brother Joe.” Melting a mama’s heart. 

Picking up EK from school, with D in the car: Aww! I really missed you, little Davis!

I thought we’d end with a sweet one! How is your week? What are your kids saying?

Currently

This week’s edition of Currently is on INSTAGRAM! If you already follow me on Instagram, you know I’m a big fan… If you don’t yet, follow me (@whitneymaeve) to see what I’m currently up to! If you want to link up, add your link at Hannah’s Joyful Life and use the hashtag #currently on Instagram.

In the mean time, here’s a couple of photos of the kiddos from Halloween…

Three little rodents... and we didn't even plan it! Mama Deer holding her little field mouse, Rafaella and Master Splinter, and April O'Neil interviewing Mickey Mouse!
Three little rodents… and we didn’t even plan it! Mama Deer holding her little field mouse, Rafaella and Master Splinter, and April O’Neil interviewing Mickey Mouse!
It's hard to get all four of them looking and smiling, so this one might be the best! At least no one is crying!
It’s hard to get all four of them looking and smiling, so this one might be the best! At least no one is crying!

After we got a few pictures of the kiddos dressed up, we had dinner together, and then we all went out to Hubby’s gig. It was a night of being silly and dancing. What fun!

What did you do for Halloween?

And don’t forget to link up to tell me what you’re currently up to!