Another Halloween with this fearless crew! 🎃 👀
Spencer as Griezmann, World Cup Champ 🇫🇷. Gordon as the Black Panther. Eliza as Witchy-Poo ☠️. Sami as Princess Peach 👑. Ali as Luigi 🍄 (and Mario, who makes a cameo further down).
This was quite possibly Eliza’s last trick-or-treat. 😢
I thought we had a deal Liza. That you would stop growing up, and this easy innocence would hang thick around us, forever. You are so beautiful. And earnest. Still full of innocent joy. But you’re right. That cocoon of wonder, wrapped in naivety, was never the plan. Just part of the plan. And I love who you are becoming.
Ali and Sami, now and then you tire of each other, want to break those twin chains. But mostly, you are good to each other and happy to be together. Even in costume.
A couple nights ago, as we ate dinner at a new pizza place in town, I started mimicking everyone’s mad face. We were laughing so hard. The only face I couldn’t pin down though, was yours Sami. Because you are so rarely mad. You have one, but it’s elusive to me. Mostly, you wear this pretty smile.
Ali, I’m still bummed you lost your mustache at school. It really did make your costume.
But look at that power jump! This is how you are tackling life lately. Dance Company, a new school for 6th grade, books, mornings (which are not your forté), and your personal goals. Keep on keeping’ on. I’m so impressed with you.
Spence… oh Spence. I’m not sure why this was your pose of choice. 😂 But you were determined. So this is how the annals of Arvy history will remember your 3rd grade Halloween. I’m sure Griezmann would be proud.
Maybe it’s the leaves? I mean this is the prettiest bridge around.
Gord. You were all cat prowls and ninja moves in this costume. Gripping the bridge with those claws.
Funny thing, you haven’t even seen the Black Panther movie yet. But a new super hero on the streets? Word travels fast.
Doug made his much anticipated Halloween dinner. The kids have come to love it almost more than trick-or-treating.
On the menu that night: 🌽
Steamed ogre hair (broccoli), mummy-wrapped frankenstein toes (hot dogs), scarecrow brains (corn bread), ghost blood to drink (sprite with dry ice), werewolf bones with troll snot (apples and caramel dip), and frozen ghost brains with magic dirt for dessert (vanilla ice-cream with chocolate magic shell). Bravo Doug.
Then they were off! Here’s our darling neighbor Lydia, one of the girls’ besties, as Mario! Broken collar bone and all. Such a trooper.
Love this group of gals.
Eliza and Katherine hit the streets a little later. Liza helped me light the jack-o-lanterns and greet trick-or-treaters for the first hour or so, while Katherine took her younger siblings out.
We had fewer trick or treaters than past years but it was a cold night and mid-week, with lots going on at school the next day. Since moving closer to the perimeter of the neighborhood, we’re not in the center of the action anymore, and I do miss seeing all the neighbor kids in costume!
Last image from Halloween. This monster of a guy. Our new neighbors, the Barrats, old friends from college days, surprised everyone with their amazing costume. This is Greg, who is already 6’9″, on stilts, to make a whopping 8’8″ as Frankenstein. His wife was the perfect Frankenstein’s Bride (wish I had a picture of her!) and the two were the hit of the neighborhood party.
A few other pics from our autumn adventures.
Just as the aspens were turning from green to gold, I took the kids up Big Mountain to hike part of the Great Western trail.
Can you spy Eliza? She blends in with the reds on the mountainside.
Our first chance to see the colors.
The next weekend we drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon to check out the aspens and the ski resorts. The slopes were a sea of rolling yellow.
I loved this contrasting scene of summer mixed with autumn. Pink geraniums holding out until the first freeze.
Inspiration Station. With an inspiring view every way you turn.
The following week, Doug and I took a birthday trip to NYC. Just the two of us. It was absolutely blissful, fun, fascinating, and a renewing change of pace.
When we were on the plane coming home, Doug said, “What are we going to do tonight with the kids?” and I thought, “Kids?! We have kids? Oh yeah… ” Of course we thought about them so many times on our trip, but I had really shifted gears and was loving my stint of independence. 😂
Hamilton was everything I hoped it would be. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and singing along in my head, every song. Doug was thinking of all the other things he could have bought for the price of his ticket. Ha! Bless him for making this little dream of mine come true.
We also saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Wow. We weren’t sure what to expect, but the “magic” and special effects were mind blowing! It’s a two part play. First act is two hours in the afternoon. Then you grab dinner somewhere and return for another two hours in the evening. Surprisingly, it was over in a blink. So engaging. So insane. We ended up LOVING it! ⚡️
View from our hotel at sunset.
NY was the perfect getaway. So wonderful being in that charming city again, together.
Last week of October, we took a drive up to Logan to visit Little Bear Bottoms Farm. Yes, that’s bear. Not bare. Although we did have a really good laugh joking about the latter. We heard they had an amazing Haunted River Trail. And they did.
And hey! Look! I spoke too soon! There’s Sami’s mad face. Captured perfectly. Eliza apparently thinks it’s hilarious that Sami is irked. And Spencer flat out refused to join the photo op. Maybe the ground was too dirty for his Marilyn Monroe pose.
Always a party of ups and downs with this crew.
Walking through the corn maze reminded me of this little video made by the awesome Shaun and Nicole Johnson. If you haven’t checked out @johnsonfiles on IG, you should. Shaun is a crazy talented improv artist. He cracks. me. up! Watching them reminds me how very important it is to laugh and be silly. Their motto is “finding humor in challenging times.” My heart goes out to them as they deal with infertility. We know that discouraging road. But they are laughing their way through life and helping others. Here’s another favorite. I could watch it a million times. Seriously.
We picked out pumpkins for carving. (You just drive your car through the patch and load ’em into the back.)
Then, two weeks ago, we had the most warm and beautiful Sunday. None of us could stay inside. We spent the entire afternoon outside, reading in chairs, watching the leaves drift down, jumping on the trampoline. Doug piled a bunch of soft leaves inside the trampoline and the kids made it their hangout for a few hours. The leaves weren’t crunchy yet. Instead, they felt like a blanket, so the kids brought out books, papers, and treasures to make it their own little spot.
They passed notes and wrote stories. We knew there wouldn’t be another day like this. And there wasn’t. Just days later the weather changed, a cold front blew through, and all the leaves came down from the trees.
Fall is magical, I think, because it’s gone before we can get our fill of it.
Now. One last thing to share with you.
I just purchased this gorgeous, thoughtful, study guide for Advent. You can find it @thesmallseed. Last year, Multiply Goodness and Small Seed joined up to create more in-person meetings and scripture guides like this. It would make a lovely gift and I’m looking forward to using it for our family study during December. Purchase here.
Friends, I hope November is a month of daily gratitude for you. That you will feel overwhelming thanks for all the good that is yours. I love this part of Mary Oliver’s poem, Invitation:
“It is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.”
The world seems to have halted on so much heartache and destruction lately. It’s wrenching to consider at any level below the surface, and I’ve felt a great deal of discontent over it. I still do. But it has driven me more frequently to God’s words, to the Book of Mormon and other scripture, for the peace I always find there.
I am discovering that, more than ever, I need that constant reminder, sometimes several times a day, that God is over all. That in Christ, we find a solace the world cannot, and will not, offer us. And even in its brokenness, this place, this life, is glorious — full of opportunity to change, make fresh starts, and send out kindness that will push back the dark.
Happy November all.