Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Halloween Pre-Show

We kicked off the Halloween weekend with a party, a hayride, a bonfire, a chili cook-off, and pumpkin carving. Whew! And there's still trick-or-treating to come. So much fun!

I'm an autumn tree. Cute, simple, and warm.

Girls night out! Chris had his own party to go to. (It just hit me typing this that he's old enough to have his own party to go to. Bittersweet.)

He did join us for some pumpkin carving. I like having him around because he doesn't mind the goop and mess. (He also came to the bonfire and chili cook-off. Two things he wouldn't miss for any other party. He tried every chili there. He takes competition (and chili) very seriously. )

The butterfly queen and her best friend Cleopatra

Who knew Rapunzel's best friend is a Vampire?

Charlie Brown, The Great Pumpkin is sitting out ready to be watched. Candy is in the bowl. Costumes are set out. We're ready for more fun to come.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch today. The pumpkins are beautiful this year! Orange and slightly green, with lovely shapes and nice twisted stems. It was a great fall day too, crisp air, sun shining. A perfect day for picking perfect pumpkins with some of my very favorite people.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekends Are For...

...running a race with your dad in crisp, forty degree, fall air. For finishing strong, as your cheer squad claps and yells your name. And for eating a plate-full of french toast washed down by yummy hot chocolate afterwards.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Soul's Work

She ran in, cheeks flushed from playing outdoors, and curled up beside me. I started running my fingers through her hair and listened as her mind unwound.

She told me of the beauty of the birds as they chirped in trees just outside. Then she counted on her long, delicate fingers the days until Halloween and then the days until Thanksgiving and then the days until Christmas. She asked about why we celebrate Christmas and then why do we celebrate Easter. She buried her face in my chest when I mentioned Christ dying. That part makes her sad. But her eyes peaked out again when I got to the part about Christ living with his Father in heaven now. She innocently said, "like your father." What's that, I asked. "Like your father is in Heaven too." Yes, like my father.

Then she curled up knees and snuggled in deeper. I kept running my fingers through her hair, breathing in the sweet scent of her. Quiet, we sat, mother and child. A moment, my heart was refreshed, as was her's.

She bounded off again as spontaneously as she had appeared. The feel of her lingered. I closed my eyes and thanked God for her, for them all. For the beautiful lot that is my soul's work.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Today was my children's elementary school fall festival. I love school events like this. I love seeing their personalities shine. I love the high-pitched squeal that girls make before they hug. I love that the fifth graders walk around in posses thinking they're so cool as they shove cotton candy in their mouths. I love the games and the hula hoop contest and that my kids are at ages when they still love giving their teachers hugs. I love the tradition in it and that they're making memories they'll have forever. And I love knowing that one day, when they take their own kids to a fall festival, it will be just as nostalgic for them as it is for me.

She put her sister in "jail". She thought it was hysterical. Luckily so did her sister. And these are the exact moments I love.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Scarred October

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy Autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

-from Princess: Tears, Idle Tears by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I was driving home today and noticed the colors of Autumn. Slight splashes of orange, red, and yellow have begun to appear in the trees along the highway I drive near blind from familiarity. They may have fallen and disappeared completely without notice if I hadn't glimpsed them. I feel that it's Fall. I feel my heart tugging at me prompting me to see, to feel. But I'm missing it.

Our life is a blur of movement. I drive, I listen to lectures, I come home, I take kids to activities, I work. If we're lucky we eat a quickly made dinner before 8pm. Then its baths and a story. Kisses and bedtime. And back downstairs to clean up and repack it all for tomorrow before I can crawl into my own bed.

We're in the process of transitioning from one chapter of life to another. I have to remind myself that transition is temporary and that, eventually, the new will become normal. But right now, as autumn swirls around me, I miss our old normal. We didn't pick apples this year. There is no apple butter. We've pressed no leaves because we've had no time to walk around collecting them. My house does not smell of freshly baked pumpkin muffins. I miss silly little normal things like that. But I also miss deeper things.

I miss having a partner. I've done transitional a lot in my life. But I've never done it alone. I miss companionship and sharing the craziness with someone. I miss going to bed with someone and waking up beside the same someone everyday. The same someone who understands the day ahead of you. Who understands the confusing emotions in the loss of the old mingled with the excitement of the new. Who understands that sometimes you just need to cry and sometimes you just need to sit down.

Maybe October isn't passing me by. Maybe I'm ignoring it. October has big heart-shaped scar right in the middle of it. A scar I'm not ready to deal with. I don't just miss having a partner. I miss my partner. I miss the normal I use to know with him.

But there's nothing I can do about that. So I'm ignoring it and transitioning.

I know I've been quiet. I'm here. Well, not here so much as somewhere. Somewhere, moving on, raising kids, and letting October fall away like the leaves that define it.