Wednesday, November 1, 2017


"October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces."
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Lately, life has been a whirlwind of alarm clocks and homework assignments and spelling tests and baths during the week, balanced with the weekend fun of birthdays and holiday excitement. We enjoyed a fairly warm fall--perfect for raking the leaves in the backyard, only to run and leap into the piles, the leaves flying up and scattering about, leaf fights following shortly after. We painted pumpkins on the driveway, leaving behind a colorful and glittery mess in our wakes. We made a wall of paper ghosts that the boys kept adding to daily; soon the wall was filled with skeletons and Frankensteins and pumpkins and apples as well. We decorated cookies and painted Halloween scenes on canvases. We wore our costumes every waking moment that wasn't during school hours. We practiced our ninja moves, even when swords were confiscated for misuse, and ninjas-in-training were sent to their rooms. We bought candy early, ate it all, and then had to buy more before the big day.

It was a chilly Halloween this year.  35 degrees. We bundled up the kids under their costumes and set out with our orange pumpkin pals gripped in mitten-wearing hands. This was the first year that Jillian got to walk up to the houses with her brothers and truly participate in trick or treating. She tried, and failed, at every house to wedge her way in past the brother blockade to gain access to the big bucket of treats. Once we hit up every house on our cul-de-sac, we settled in for the night with hot chocolate and the Curious George's Halloween movie, as we do every year.

Now it's November. Let the slow build to the holiday season begin.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jillian turns two

"Isn't it funny how
day by day
nothing changes,
but when you look back
everything is different.
-C.S. Lewis

So it happened. My last baby turned two. Never again will I hold a brand new baby that I grew in my body. Never again will I spend endless sleepless nights nursing my baby back to sleep. Never again will I feel those movements inside my belly telling me it's baby gymnastics time. Never again will I ready a nursery, prepare older siblings, and wait months to meet my newest love. And never again will I witness all the many milestones that tick off ever so quickly those first two years. Mostly I am ok with this. I love our family dynamics and don't really wish to go backwards to the baby days. But there's something so bittersweet about closing the door on a chapter of your life with such finality.

So Jillian turned two.  Just like that. We celebrated her all weekend long. And by the end of it, she was able to blow out the candles all by herself.