Sunday, November 23, 2014

Girl Scout Skate Night

The area Girl Scouts council had a skate night fundraiser at Kate’s Skate in mid-November.  Ella has an awesome group of girls in her Girl Scout Juniors troop and just about all of them came that night.  Jack tagged along, too.  It was a fun night—mostly for them as I was in charge of holding the table and watching everyone’s bags—but I think I should get some mom props here because we were in line when the skating rink opened and closed the place down 3 hours later. 

{ella came straight from tennis, hence the skating skirt look.}

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tracy’s Birthday

I headed down to Atlanta for a quick visit for my sister’s midweek birthday, definitely a birthday that I couldn’t let pass without squeezing her…definitely an important birthday to celebrate.  The birthday celebrations were left to Instagram for documentation, but I did get out the big camera to capture some images for the Crosson family Christmas card while I was in town.  Tracy had already picked out the card she wanted to use, so we knew going in that we wanted a vertical shot of Ivy, vertical of all 4 kids, etc.  Love these faces!  Sweet Ivy turned one a few days after I left and she was so incredibly sweet during my visit.  She was either in my arms or holding my finger and leading me around the house the whole time I was there.  Wish I could check in on this crew every week. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fall Farm Fun

Our big fall activity this year was at a rural farm maze with my good friend Lauren and her kids.  This farm north of Charlotte had quite the set-up for fall—lassoing, apple slingshot, cow train, hay pile, and a corn maze.  The corn maze was actually pretty fun because you could choose a subject (and the choices were varied, they had something for every age—sports, movies, science…we chose Disney Channel) and then you would make your way through the maze by answering trivia questions based on the subject matter.  At signs throughout the maze, you would answer a question and either go right or left based on the answer.  We made our way through the maze fairly fluidly (the Disney Channel knowledge with this bunch is pretty deep…Lauren may or may not have known all of the answers), although we might’ve reaped the benefits of a few self-made cut-through trails.  Fun fall day on the farm!  Love this family (our “family from another family” as Jack has said).  And, even though it was after Halloween, this filled the square for that pumpkin patch we never made it to this year. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Instagrammin’ in October

October was a fun month with a lot of great outdoor time.

starting on my october 100-mile challenge. #walkruncrawl | 4.5 miles down, 95.5 to go. #october100 | enjoying omb’s new location. | ella’s first tennis tournament. #goella | my girl helping me get some miles in. | our sentinel. | gotta’ love when your kids beg you to have lunch with them. | so lucky to have back-to-back lunches this year. | polo fest! | dreaming of spain. #segovia | she met her goal of a sub-8-minute mile. #750 | logging the miles. #october100 | first year of mile run—fastest in his class. #702 | crimping his girl’s hair. #greatdad | nonni and papa! | great soccer weekend in winston-salem. #andnogoodpicstoshowforit #5goals | done and done. #whole30 #october100 | crazy sock day. #myoldsoccersocks | the purple fairy. #happyhalloween | spooky. | my boys ready for some trick-or-treating.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween

After such a busy, and stressful, year we’ve been trying to focus on more of the big important stuff (q.t. with friends and family, and planning a big family trip at the end of the year—to Spain!—have taken a lot of our time) and that has meant simplifying a little bit this year.  The Halloween decorations never left the attic and we never made it to a pumpkin patch, but we did enjoy family game night—which, I have found, is a great way to create family inside jokes…including such gems as French Darth Vader and butt DNA (don’t ask)—and purposeful learning together (on Spain! Did I mention we’re going to Spain?? I’m just a little excited. :) ).   Last year we got creative with the Halloween costumes, trying to use what we had on hand rather than purchasing new costumes, and we had told the kids that every other year they could perhaps get new costumes.  So, even though there wasn’t much Halloween festivity around the Williams household for most of October, we were busily putting together new costumes that last week.

Ella has arrived at the age when she and her friends make plans together and then get the parents on board.  This year, she and her girlfriends decided to all dress as fairies and trick-or-treat together in another neighborhood.  The girls are all in her Girl Scout troop and I know the moms well, so, although we knew we would miss spending the time with her, we knew she’d be safe and have a great time—and how sweet is it that they were going to be a gang of fairies (seeing the “tween” options, I know it could’ve been much worse, even though she wouldn’t know why at this point.)  Ella decided to be a “purple fairy” so I was given a detailed list of purple (Ella’s favorite color) items for her costume (wings, tights, hair spray).  I did my best and even threw in some purple lashes (that I personally think sent the costume over the top).  I’m fairly inept when it comes to doing hair and makeup—I’m hoping one day Ella will be my live-in stylist—so it was a personal victory that I actually pulled off two french braids and applying fake lashes.  Ella was thrilled with the finished product.  The plan was even for her to borrow a purple tutu from a friend as the finishing touch.  But, I captured a few photos of Ella at our house pre-tutu. 

Jack’s Halloween costume was an entirely different ordeal.  He got an awesome Iron Man costume for his birthday and was committed to wearing it for Halloween, so we thought we were off the hook for buying him a new one.  The day before Halloween, however, he came home all deflated because he said several friends had told him that dressing up as Iron Man was “too baby-ish” and “sooo 1st grade”.  As we had initially told him we’d get him a new costume this year, and coupled with the fact that he’d be trick-or-treating without a buddy (his sister or our next-door neighbors as they would be out of town), I caved and said I’d take him to Target on Halloween (the kids had no school that day for the end of the quarter) to look for the purple morph suit he wanted.  There was no way I was getting anywhere near Party City or a Halloween store on Halloween, so he’d have to settle for Target.  Of course, the hoards of prepubescent boys in the area had already wiped Target clean of any morph suits that might fit Jack so we hunted through the now disorganized Halloween aisles of Target for a good 20 minutes to find him another suitable “non-baby-ish” option.  Luckily, we found a skeleton suit and light-up mace that seemed to fit the bill (there was a little pinning to make sure his hip bones weren’t down by his knees, but maybe that just means it’ll fit him next year, too).  Jack was happy. 

Jack helped Jonathan put together a pirate costume and the two were off for a good hour and a half of trick-or-treating.  Jack was really sensitive about how his dad’s leg was feeling during all of their walking, but I’m pretty sure Jack was tired of trick-or-treating first.  Ella was out trick-or-treating when the hail started at 8pm but, luckily, her group knew several families in the neighborhood and she was able to hang out at someone’s house until it stopped.  The hail and then rain put an end to the night of trick-or-treating for everyone, but our bowl was nearly empty anyways and both kids definitely already had quite a take.  So, even though we were lame and didn’t deck the house with the Halloween lanterns and pumpkins, we had a great Halloween.