Halloween certainly added to the activity of this week. It's a favorite of my girls. And, why wouldn't it be? Candy, dress-up, class parties and cousins...what's not to love? These kids totally get this holiday now. Every single Halloween since they were babies we have gotten together with my sis and her kids. They have gone from this...
Big kids, running houses ahead of parents trick or treating. Instead of hitting a few houses we go for a few blocks. Giggles, happy faces and lots of candy. Parents stroll behind, chatting, laughing and feeling thankful for a mild evening without snow. Our neighborhood is full of families and on Halloween night it seems as if surrounding neighborhoods join ours in trick or treating. The sidewalks are full of princesses and super heros, houses are decorated with jack-o-lanterns, skeletons and spiders. It feels exactly how I always imagined being a parent would feel like. I really love it.
Other Halloween fun-
I helped with Layla's class party. 23 sugar-hyped first graders. Their energy was contagious, it was a lot of fun.
All the kids full of animation talking about their costumes and where they were trick or treating. If only we could all feel this excitement every day.
The girls insisted on putting fairy wings on the dog, so we had a fairy, butterfly Sadi...
Always the good sport, the wings stayed on the entire time we were out trick or treating. I do believe she received more attention than the kids. Once home the kids partook in the tradition of counting, sorting and trading candy. I took it upon myself to make sure I got a Twix from every kid to get my own sugar fix. Friday I took all the Halloween decorations down and felt incredibly happy that the next holiday involves no decorating. Not that I don't love it, but I tend to get over holidays as quickly as I get into them. We do them full force so when it's over, I am done. Thanksgiving is one of my favorites for the simplicity of it. Again, I love the traditions we have with so many of our holidays, but having one that only involves food and gratitude is pretty awesome. I will savor having the house as is before Christmas explodes all over it.
Ava continued her horse back riding lessons this weekend. She loves it. I have mixed emotions. Seeing her face light up of course thrills me. However, seeing my little 50-pound girl on a 900-pound animal freaks me out a bit. This week she learned how to canter. (This is between a trot and gallop our little horse encyclopedia informed us). Ava couldn't stop talking about how fun it is to go fast on the horse. The girl is hooked.
She talks about one day needing a truck because you have to have one to pull a horse trailer. Every book she reads is about horses. She plays horse with her sister. At least a couple times a day she offers up horse facts or mentions one of the horses she recently rode at lessons. She is horse crazy. This is so funny to me. I grew up in the country. My grandpa always had horses. We didn't ride them often, but they were basically in our backyard. We would feed them apples and carrots and I liked them, but wasn't into them. My cousins also had horses we were around often, but again I didn't feel a strong draw to them. I always resisted the country living ideas. Looking back I have so many fond memories of growing up this way...playing in the fields and barn with my sisters for hours and hours. We didn't have playgrounds, just acres of land we could run wild in. We did and it was great, but as soon as I realized what cities were I was fascinated. I wanted bigger. More excitement than cows and horses and dirt rodes. There was a brief part of my childhood where I wanted to run away to Hollywood and become famous and I resented living in little old Montana where I could never get discovered. Eventually I had my opportunity to leave and check out city life and funny enough ended up back in our lovely Montana town. Now, as an adult I have found such a great blend of city and small town living. We are in the same town I grew up in, but instead of the country we live right in town where we can walk or take the bus to where ever we need to go. The town has grown up and offers so many things we loved when living in a city, but it all still feels safe and community oriented. I always think we are giving the girls everything, less the Hollywood part, that I always wanted as a kid. And, then there is Ava who wants exactly the opposite. It is so funny to me. Matt, the total city boy and myself, the wanna be city girl get a daughter who dreams of living on a ranch with horses and driving a truck so she can haul her horses around. I know she is only eight and hobbies change. At eight my sister was totally obsessed with dinosaurs and unicorns and she got over that and I certainly didn't become an actress, but you never know. As different as it is from our thoughts, we want to encourage her to follow her dreams. And, if horses are in her future then I will watch every horse lesson she has. Even if I partially cover my eyes during it because it makes me nervous.
There are perks to horse back riding lessons. Like seeing this baby colt at the arena...
She was a sweetie. And when she got comfortable with us, we even got to pet her. Under the watchful eye of her mama.
In the midst of this week we got a new addition to the family. A new nephew. A new baby to love, snuggle, kiss and spoil. There is nothing like a new baby to bring joy to a family and this little guy sure has done that.
He is my 6th nephew. I only have girls, so I have a soft spot for these boys in my life. I think babies are like weddings. Such happy occasions and when you experience one you can't help but reminisce about your own. Whenever I'm at a wedding, I think back to the day Matt and I made those same vows to one another and it makes my heart feel full of happiness with memories. When I hold a newborn baby it takes me back the days my own girls were born. The love bursting that I didn't even know I was capable of. The wonderful, but overwhelming feelings of the new chapter of our lives. Because life goes so fast, I am grateful for these flashbacks. It keeps the memories fresh in my mind.
And, nothing makes you stop, slow down and take in the moment like holding a tiny, newborn baby. In all the busyness of our lives these past few weeks, I made sure everything stopped to snuggle this baby. These are the moments.