Halloween Preview

>> Sunday, October 17, 2010

This last week has felt very much like fall. We returned from Florida to temps in the 60's and autumn color all around. This weekend has been right around 70degrees with clear blue skies and crisp fall air. Love it!!! We have been making applesauce and carving pumpkins and other fun fall things. Tonight I even caved and let the boys try on their Halloween costumes... SO, SO Cute!!! Well.... see for yourself:

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While Daddy's Away....

>> Friday, October 15, 2010

Mommy and the boys will play, I guess.

After a week in Florida, Hubby picked us up from the airport on Tuesday and left Wednesday morning for California for some meetings for work. He'll be home late, late Saturday night. And while I had some help with the boys in Florida, it still feels like I have been flying solo for quite a while.

When he's away, though, I strangely feel free and flexible. We have been running random errands and playing outside and getting together with some friends. I cooked last night but otherwise we have been grabbing food on the go or eating unconventionally. Hubby is not a fan of breakfast for dinner but the boys LOVE pancakes so I think I might make them pumpkin pancakes for dinner tonight to go with all the fall fun we've been having the last few days. And because Hubby goes to bed so early and often has work to do in the evenings, it has not really felt all that different in being alone at night. It is hard to do the boys' bedtime solo and I don't really like that Hubby isn't in the bed sleeping when I go upstairs. And I don't like turning off the TV and all the lights to get ready for bed. I am not usually worried about someone breaking in but in that moment when I go upstairs and lay down in my empty bed, I suddenly start to feel a bit afraid of what I would do if there was an intruder or something. I love my pup, but unless the burglar was violently allergic to barking and licking, I'm not sure he would actually protect me from anyone. Although he may alert me.... anyway.

I took the boys on a 2+hour walk yesterday afternoon since we didn't really have anywhere to be and no real reason to stay inside. We played in the leaves and collected sticks and found a worm and pretended to be fighting the aliens who were following us. We got home around 5:30 and ate dinner and read stories and then put the boys in bed. It was a fabulous, laid back evening. Not that Hubby is up-tight or demanding in anyway. There is just something about flying solo that makes me feel free to bend the "rules" a bit.

I will certainly be glad to have Hubby home. I am kinda used to having him around. :) And it feels like I have been without him for too long. I don't know how military wives or people whose hubbys travel a lot do it. I guess you just adjust and find what works for you. I, thankfully, just have 2more days. We'll make the most of it!!

My precious Lucas

Playing in the leaves

My sweet, crazy Caden
(after seeing these pics, I went and got them both haircuts today! HA!!)

my view of a beautiful fall sunset from my kitchen window- just too pretty not to share

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Florida Fun

>> Monday, October 11, 2010

After a week in Florida, we leave tomorrow to go back home. The weather has been absolutely perfect... well, maybe a little hot. But fabulous none-the-less! We have had a good mix of low-key days and on-the-go fun. There has been some drama with my family... there usually is... but I still love them and love being here.

Being at the beach helps me think. It restores my soul. Something about feeling the sand in my toes and hearing the roar of the waves brings calmness to me. It definitely helps wipe away my worry and anxiety and feelings of guilt or failure. Sitting in the sand, I am whole and content and renewed with strength. When I am on the beach and seeing the boys run laughing through the water, I forget my fears of not living up to others expectations of me. To watch Lucas and Caden play on the beach brings me more joy than I can comprehend. Even Caden's epic meltdown didn't ruffle me (I wouldn't let him dump the bucket with the shells I had collected and he lost his mind!)... well, didn't ruffle me TOO much.

As much as I love the beach, I am ready to come home too. I miss Hubby and need a mental break from some of the drama. If I could stay on the beach the whole time, it might be different. Someday maybe. If anyone has a beach house or a million dollars they want to give me, I wouldn't refuse. :)

Here is a little snapshot of some of the fun we have been having. Good thing cameras don't preserve the drama. These are the things I prefer to remember anyway.
We went to a small carnival down on Destin beach. The boys rode some little rides and then my dad and I and the boys went up in the Ferris Wheel. I loved being up at the top and seeing the beach stretch out in each direction. Very cool.

Lucas drove the JetSki by himself! He loved it! One time, he forgot to gently press the throttle and we got up to about 30mph...which scared us both. Ha!! But after that, he begged me to go again, and again. And this was Caden's first ever ride on the JetSki. He was an immediate fan, as you could have probably guessed.

We visited this local butterfly house, who just happened to be having their annual MonarchMadness event where they release some of their butterflies and have a huge party to celebrate it. The boys both got to hold and then release a butterfly which was super cool. We also happened to be in the right place at the right time: just as we were standing at the cage watching some caterpillars, one of them broke open and formed his chrysalis. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. We had a great time!

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A Rainbow of Possibilities

>> Monday, October 4, 2010

"Mommy, color with me!" This is one of Lucas' new favorite things to do. Sometimes coloring with him involves taking direction well ("color Superman's cape red and his shirt is always blue") and sometimes I get to sit back and watch him create his own little masterpiece. He is particular about making sure things are the correct color. He would prefer to have a picture to look at for reference, especially when superheros or characters from ToyStory are involved. It is fun to watch him intently trying to stay in the lines (he is getting really good at it) and find just the right color to make Batman or the Green Lantern or Buzz Lightyear look their best.

But my favorite coloring times with Lucas are the ones when his vivid imagination takes over and he just colors and draws the things he sees in his creative mind. He loves to pick a location (ie: the jungle or the ocean or the Joker's evil hideout) and create an entire storyline with the things he adds to the picture. It is pure joy to watch. Nowhere else can he create the world to be exactly as he pictures: a world where there is a tiger in the jungle but he is being hunted by the evil Joker who knows that most tigers are on the endangered species list so Batman must come to rescue the tiger and he brings Superman and WonderWoman with him and then all the jungle animals and the beluga whales have a big party to thank the superheros. That is not the world I would create, just the exact scenario Lucas wanted me to help him draw just a few days ago. This kid simply amazes me.

We recently bought him his own pack of 64 crayons. The box that has the cool sharpener in the back (which he thinks is super cool). You should have seen his face when he opened the box and gazed on these beautiful new crayons in "any color I might need." The joy on his face in that moment is only rivaled by the joy on mine as I watch my little love relish in the worlds of his own creation.

A new box of crayons is a fun thing... so vast with possibilities. Kinda like you, kiddo.

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Taking Steps

>> Sunday, October 3, 2010

It was a perfect fall day- chilly in the shade but warmer in the sun. Perfect blue sky accented with the changing autumn leaves. I loved being outside, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine.

First, I ran a hilly 5K at the Morton Arboretum at 8am. It was pretty cold at first, but 5min into the run I was plenty warm. It wasn't my fastest time, but not my slowest either. And with the hills and some mild congestion, I am pretty happy with my time. I would have rather it been about a minute shorter but I guess I'll have to shoot for that goal next year.
Truthfully, I am proud of myself that I have (mostly) kept up with the running this spring/summer/fall even through this whole Lupus journey. I do feel like I have kinda stalled in my progress. I can run a bit further, but am not really getting faster. Although overall the joint pain is better than it was a few months ago, the fatigue seems to be more the factor here. I just don't have the energy to run as often. Maybe this fall I can improve on that a bit.
Either way, I ran today without walking, even on the steepest hill. And I am pretty happy about that.

After the run, I drove over to the Naperville Riverwalk for the Walk for Lupus. After my indecision and plea for company, I decided to register and had two of my dearest friends offer to walk with me. I felt so loved and supported. It was a 3mile walk on a beautiful day with two amazing women and it was SO great. Truthfully, it was a bit surreal being in this crowd of people who are in some way affected by Lupus. And it stung a bit to see some people walking today in memory of a loved one. I admit that my mind wandered a bit, thinking about what may be down the line for me. What will my life with Lupus look like? But as I walked with these women who have loved me and supported me through so much, I realized that I will deal with Lupus just like I did the walk today and the run: one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

I am still very much processing today's thoughts from the run and especially the walk. But most especially this whole Lupus thing and how I am adjusting my life to not let Lupus or fatigue or joint aches define me.
More on that another day. But for tonight, I am happy with the events of this perfect fall day. I am a blessed girl.

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