...And while the adults enjoyed a night to ourselves, Papa and Grandma kept all five grand-kids and had some fun of their own! Papa Curt had plans for a campout for weeks, so when the excessive rains and flooding hit hard, we're pretty sure he was most disappointed. Fortunately, this particular night was dry and calm, and the kids (well, the three big ones) had a pretty great adventure under the stars together.
...The floods of 2016 came about so fast this year, and hit my hometown county especially hard in Clarksville, Greene, and Shell Rock. It felt so weird to see the same aerial footage we had forever ingrained in our minds from 2008, and we were glued to our devices for several days. School was cancelled a few days, Cedar Falls river levels crested just a few feet short of the historic flooding of 2008, and we were all left reeling for those most affected. We took the kids to see some of the flooding and it was weird to walk down the highway that is usually so busy with traffic.
...Fall nights congregating on the couch in front of the fire is my idea of a Friday night.
...Mila is officially a ballerina. She started ballet in September and goes for a half hour each week at Fusion Dance in downtown Waterloo. Its located upstairs in an old historic building on 4th Street with big windows and pretty wood floors. More on Mila Ballerina for another post!
...Cruz's fire safety
...And this girl is a winner for this sweatshirt alone. She wore it home from daycare one day after she spilled on her shirt. With a pair of red Nebraska nylon pants I might add. It really fits her, as does her name, "Messy Messy Mila," she's fitingly received by her little friends at daycare.
...Reading this book was like receiving a giant hug from Shauna Niequist. I have loved her as a writer since my love affair with her book, Bread and Wine, and her newest gift nearly takes the cake. And I'm not the only one so positively affected by this book. It spoke so much to my dear friend, Katie, that she up and ordered one for every woman at our If:Table! This book is about community and purpose, about controlling the noise around us in a way that enables us to identify and live out our essential selves, the gifts and passions that God so carefully equipped us with. It's so much of what is on my heart right now and this sweet moment at If:Table reminded me I'm in a good place.
...And when it's not congregating around a table with girlfriends, it's sharing chocolate shakes with my family. We always forget about Maid-Rite, and that is unfortunate.
...Target shenanigans. :)
...And more family snuggle time. :)
...A stay-at-home date night after the kids went to bed. I'm already brainstorming through resolutions for the new year and more stay-at-home dates is a must. Preferably with Indian food.
...A few pictures from Brooke's October wedding. And those ecalptus runners.
...A fun Sunday afternoon exploring the vast playground equipment at Orange Elementary.
...A dreary fall morning working from home. I was not in the mood to write student evaluations, but after lighting a candle, brewing some coffee, and making my work space pretty, I suddenly felt like working. Sometimes, it takes just a little extra effort and it's always worth it.
...An after-work picnic with the kids at one of our favorite playgrounds. Picnics cure a lot for us and I'm afraid our picnic days for the year are numbered.
...I spent the afternoon with my favorite boy last week. He had his 6 year appointment and proved to be a healthy, happy boy. Despite his picking eating, Dr. Chandra assured me he was growing "beautifully", in the 60th percentile for both height and weight, 47 inches tall and 46 pounds in weight. After his checkup, we did have to get a yucky wart removed from his knee, and it was a bit traumatic for both Cruz and Dr. Chandra! He was rewarded with two books, three suckers, and eight stickers from the doctor, and lunch at Applebees and a trip to Target from me! He spent a little of his birthday money and spent the afternoon building his newest set of Legos.
...Beautiful fall campus. And my favorite tree.
...And let's not forget the videos! Beau learned "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the guitar for Mila. I love that this one captures how she says "Cruz", and how sweetly she gets up from his chair and wants him to sit beside her.
...After school chats are my favorite. They always fight over who gets to talk and have a million "guess whats?" to share with me.