Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016 and Lessons from Toddlers

The thing about children is that they always care more about enjoying the experience rather than having something go perfectly as planned. Such small things bring them such immense joy. They truly, innately, see joy and beauty in simplicity.

I've been taking a page from Juliana's book lately on that. My happiness is usually contingent on how well something has aligned with my ideal plan or how "perfect" it is, whatever that means. Not Julie. If she's with people she loves, doing things she loves, she's about as easy to please as they come.

My mom sewed this darling hooded ghost costume for Juliana's costume this year. For FOUR months Julie has said, "I wanna be a ghhoooooost for Halloween and scare ALL the kids!!" She was like white on rice: knew exactly what she wanted from the start.

But the second she tried on her ghost costume, which we all expected to be a smashing hit, she couldn't handle it. It has a big hood that ties around her neck. However, she got Mitch's lovely genes on that one and cannot handle ANYthing touching her neck or throat or she gags. Like truly gags and almost pukes until we pulled it off. HA HA. She hated it. Just flat out said, "no thanks. I don't wanna wear it. I don't yike it."

I was not into the idea of making another costume so last minute, so I spur-of-the-moment offered something off the top of my head: "a kitty... do you wanna be a kitty?" I knew that could be easy. "Yes!" said Juju. Okay then!

It was then that I realized that she wanted to just be with her little friends and have a fun Halloween. She didn't care about anything else, and neither should I. So I drew a little kitty face on her and we called it good. She loved it: thoroughly thought she was in full-costume. She was happier than she ever was in a big, grand costume. I was both relieved and surprised.

And so, our Halloween day followed suit. We nixed the unnecessaries out of our day and decided since, really, it's a day for kids to enjoy, we'd do what was fun for Julie. We ate dinner at chic-fil-a, and took our time trick-or-treating: not trying to beat any clock, schedule or bedtime.

Simplify, enjoy the experience, not the fluff.

Lessons from toddlers. They're usually pretty good ones.

I call this the "twonager face"

Picked up Mitch from class. Peas in a pod.

I think she makes about the cutest chocolate-faced kitty ever, don't you?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Old-Town Williamsburg, Virginia & a Few Updates

We have a thing for the east coast in the fall. It sucks us in bigtime. The best place to experience it, in our opinion, is in a colonial setting- it's seriously euphoric😍

I spent a lot of time here as a child, and its fun to bring my own little family here now that we live so close by.

We like driving up to Williamsburg (and Jamestown) and spending the day/weekend there. It's like taking a step back in time and it's a great way to slow down the modern-day fast pace of life. For the entire old-town area, there are no streets for cars, so you can let your kids run around with a lot more ease. Juju wanders around collecting acorns, running around the grassy fields, and playing with wood toys while Mitch and I (and my mom this time!) sit on a bench, eat lunch or sip hot cocoa.

I can't express how much I love the beautiful marriage of the natural almost year-round green foliage and the sharp pops of east-coast autumn colors. They contrast so beautifully and are what I think makes the fall season so breathtaking out here.

Sometimes you just gotta sit in a tree.

This is what I'm talking about. Beauty even on the ground, everywhere you look. 

She decided she wanted to lean against this post..? Ha ha. And wave to every person passing by. 

The MOSS, guys.

Not pictured, by this barn: Juju playing with a little baby lamb 😭

Already making plans to duplicate every detail in our next home. Don't black lanterns just make you so happy? 😍

In other news, we've accepted a full-time offer with a company that we are reeeeally excited about! For those of you not familiar with the process, Mitch interned with them this past summer and they made us a full time offer for when he graduates, which is next May- so he is in his LAST (!!!) year of school for FOREVER! Four years of grad school and we are done-zo! It's bittersweet.

We'll announce where we are moving soon!