Saturday, November 14, 2015

Princess Elsa

For the first time in three years, we actually had decent weather for Halloween! And just in case you were wondering..... the craze of all-things-Frozen has not yet died out with our little ones.  I don't know the final numbers, but I can confirm at least two of Lucy's classmates were also going as Elsa.  And while out trick-or-treating, I bet we saw at least five.

I will call the moments below her "pre-game" warm up.  I swear, if I have to listen to that "Let It Go" song one more time, I may pull all my hair out.  It doesn't make the song any more endearing that there are about 50 different versions of it on YouTube, with the Chipmunks performance of it being one of Lucy's favorites. Try listening to that ten times in a exaggerating.

And here is her pre-game meal:

By this time, Lucy was VERY excited to go out trick or treating.   
Can you tell?

Getting the final touches put on 
(the gloves, of course, "to control my powers, Mommy").... 

We have been capitalizing on some gorgeous fall weekends.  
Fires in the backyard are one of our favorites....

He probably won't like that I posted this pic, but I like it
(minus the bright, orange construction headband). 
It makes me wonder, what is he thinking about?

Brian has blazed a trail in our back woods...
 Just call him Paul Bunyan.

I have to say, it is quite magical. 
 I think Lucy really likes it.

Yes, we let our child stoke fires, 
and stand on unstable piles of logs. 

We found this lone survivor in the back yard.  

I think it stayed around just long enough 
so I could get this picture
and be reminded of summer one last time.

Our thoughts are now shifting to all that is to come,
with lots of celebratory events in our near midst.  
Can't wait!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Fall, Glorious Fall

We have been soaking up the season around here.

It is our favorite time of the year, and we couldn't be happier.  And just as the surroundings are changing around us,
so too have there been changes
in the Barnes' household , both big and small.  
More on that in a moment, although you may notice some of the smaller changes in the pics....

Brian's sister Bridget made her annual trip
to help celebrate my birthday. 
 As always, it was wonderful to have her here.

So, yes, one of the small changes you may have noticed:  Lucy's hair.  But only because my hairdresser has created a beast.   You see, when Lucy went to get her hair cut the last time, my hair lady decided to treat her like a princess, and curl up her hair something fierce.  And ever since then, well......Lucy wants me to curl her hair. I will say, I love it like this.  But truly---a beast has been unleashed!

One of the nights Bridget was in town, her and Brian's cousin came up from Lexington for a visit.  
We had wonderful weather, and Jessica got to have "beer night-fire night"  with us.
We had a great time.  

Another major change:  my beloved niece is in college!
 At Valparaiso University!   
So, we made a trip over to western Indiana to see her.
And to celebrate my wonderful sister's birthday. 

You may notice one of the other small changes in the pic below.   Lucy has begun to lose her teeth! You can see her showing off her new grin.  True to who Lucy is,  losing it did not come without drama.  And just today, she lost tooth #2---again, filled with the drama.   And what is it with her classmates telling her that $2 is not very much from the tooth fairy?  and that the tooth fairy brought them Beanie Boo's (a very trendy stuffed animal)?   Brian has already figured it out (of course he would) and for $2 a tooth, that adds up to $40!  Entirely too much for a child to get, just for losing teeth!

Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that my sweet niece is a college freshman!  
Seeing her there on campus only furthered my disbelief!  
Where did that little girl go?????  
She is all grown up, and I couldn't be prouder of her!

And then there is my sister....
I realize what a blessing it is to be with her year after year on her special day.
 And what a blessing she is for a sister.

We are official "church crashers" now.  Kind of like wedding crashers!   After spending the day with Lindsay, and touring Valpo, we all headed to church together.  It just so happened that this church we were visiting was having Halloween festivities that night, including a chili dinner and 'trunk or treat.'  We were all pleased as punch when we heard the news.  So, what else were we to do, but crash the church party?  It did not disappoint.

Since Lucy didn't have a costume for Trunk or Treat, 
we improvised and put this hat on that she got at the college bookstore.   Kind of pathetic, I know.   
We must have been pretty obvious crashers to all those there.  But it was a wonderfully welcoming church; they didn't seem to mind!

An early gift to me: 
Lucy didn't have school the day before my birthday. 
The weather couldn't have been better.  
We took a picnic to the park and had a wonderful celebration.

These mommy-daughter days are so treasured now that I am back to work.  
Yes, that is one of the bigger changes around here.  It has not come without big transitions and adjustments to our schedules and routines.   There are all kinds of insights I have gathered in this process, with one of the biggest being how blessed I was to have those five precious years at home with Lucy.

And just like clockwork, the ladybugs  Grammy came to see us.  I haven't seen any ladybugs since this day.   Just the day before my birthday, with my girl, on our little special outing.   Perfect.

Since going back to work, I have also realized how blessed I am to be in a profession that is a true vocation. I have enjoyed getting back to helping others.  
 I think about how Lucy is absorbing all of this, and what the changes are like for her.  
This work-home balance needs constant attention, but with God's good graces, we are adjusting .

  My dad, sister, and Lindsay came to Cinci to celebrate my birthday with me.  
We decided to surprise Lucy and not tell her that Lindsay was coming.     
It was so much fun to capture the moment when Lucy saw Lindsay ....

Don't you wish you could bottle this feeling up below?  and just get it out when you need a shot of joy and pure happiness?   I would be a wealthy woman if I could figure out how to do this......

Lindsay taught Lucy how to play Happy Birthday on the piano for me!
(Hair below, courtesy of Lindsay.  So cute, right?)

While at Valpo, I bought a shirt like Lindsays. 
We decided to wear them together on my birthday.  
 I love this girl so.....

Lucy took this pic:

We went to one of my favorite places for my birthday:  Cozy's Cottage.  
Same place as last year.

This pic below just about sums it all up for me.  
How blessed I am to have enjoyed such a wonderful month of October.
With those I love.   Nothing better.
God is so good.