"Every day you either see a scar or courage.
Where you dwell will define your struggle."
I didn't want to let any more time pass without posting photos from the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays and as I dive head first into Christmas preparations (which combined with being 9 months pregnant and in full nesting mode makes my holiday freak flag flap in high whirlwind mode).
There is so much to be thankful for....
triumphantly climbs the stairs like this,
runs with reckless abandon while laughing hysterically,
always gives me this adorable look from under his hat,
has a love of climbing up and down chairs,
and loves letters like Big Brother at this age.
Our annual tradition of Daddy creating a huge leaf pile for the kids to jump in.
Spooky lunches and decor.
And my hubby who continues to get Dad of the Year Award--he chased Cash around all night so I could spend time with my friend, Debra, and give my big belly a rest, he searched for a spy hat I dropped in the pitch black dark for far too long, buckled two sugar-high kids into the car while simultaneously dissolving near meltdowns and managed to give a Halloween shoulder ride to one cute Candy Girl all uphill and with a smile on his face.But its moments like this that kinda' make it worth it
(Background photo check: I have actually started to make peace with the huge mess our house continues to stay in trying to remember that its the moments and not the mess that counts.)November has brought us fallen leaves and although its a sad entry for me into a darker season for more reason that one, I see sunsets like this that I feel propelled to throw my snow boots on to run outside and capture because its all about finding the beauty in the darkness.
And darkness always gives way to light and new days where more beauty can be found....
(Post-haircut combined with a defiant "I heard you say get off this table" smile.)
(When she comes up to talk to me she always squeezes me in a hug and her mouth falls below my big belly. She is whispering so many things to me and all I can see are her big, beautiful brown eyes.)
(A typical going-to-school outfit.)
(...or to the doctor)
(or making brownies.)
They have started taking bags or backpacks since their collections get bigger and bigger each week.
(Notice the bat in the back pocket for spontaneous games of baseball.)And trying to get a pre-church family picture looks a little something like this...
Cheering on Daddy as he ran in the NYC Marathon and busted out an amazing time of 3:40 considering he was not trained for it.Hunter has excitedly been preparing for his birthday party for months. He was so excited to address all of his classmates' invitations this year.
Our first snow of the season which was light in coverage but big in tiny imaginations.
(She said, "Oh Mommy, I just wuv' the snow!")
Decorating for Thanksgiving.
and celebrating for a fourth year with our good friends Amy, Neil, Coop and baby-to-be Harper.
Giving thanks for the continued love and support from friends,
(Thank you again Andrea, Allison, Sari and Marlo for my awesome bracelets!)
(Yummy cupcakes and manicure treats from my CBS group.)
his daily requests to talk to and kiss Baby Everly,
and Acts of Kindness that continue to fill my heart.
Although days and seasons may bring darkness, I know that if we continue to lean on faith in a wonderful God and encouraging family and friends, then we'll make it through.
And, if we combine that with our best defiant smile, we'll give those dark days a big, fat kick-in-the-pants.
The most damaging phrase in the language is:
"It's always been done that way."
Note: I have to give a HUGE shout out of thanks to our favorite girl Kathleen. She knows how important it is for me to decorate for the holidays, make silly lunches for my kids and try to keep things "normal" as our Menoni family defines it. If it were not for her, I would never be able to accomplish half of my holiday-freak-flag-to-do list nor would the floor ever get swept. She helps make our house a home.