Okay, I know I am slightly biased, but darn it! Aren't they cute?
Carver spent the last 24 hours shouting "Expelliamus!" at everyone--so much so that the batteries in his magic wand quit working right before he left to go trick or treating. Zinabu, as you can see, opted for the Green Power Ranger costume, which is starting to get a little grungy as he's been wearing it for 4 days straight! Lily, bless her heart, made her own costume and is a "worker at a bug museum"--in her own words.

My mom, brother, and sister-in-law came over for pizza while the kids jumped around with ants in their pants, waiting for it to get dark outside. I hope your candy-filled Friday was extra sweet!



Last year--Z's first Halloween--we had a running joke that Zinabu must have thought America was the best place in the world. You dress up, ring doorbells, and people give you candy. Jackpot! This year Zinabu is torn between being Spiderman or the Green Power Ranger. He's been sleeping in the Spiderman costume but wearing the Green Power Ranger costume during the day. I'm curious to see what he eventually decides.

The only child in the family that would touch the pumpkin guts. She rocks!

Playing with knives, er... carving a pumpkin, I mean.

A portion of the leaves found in every one's clothes, hair, socks, shoes, underwear, and ears after a great day of rolling around in them.


Things To Do!

There are a few reasons why I love these photos. First, they're completely unrealistic because the woman is smiling in every scene. She looks darling, sure, but that is so not true to life. Second, I am putting this woman's age at 21, so she has not hit the wall yet of doing the same chores day after day, suddenly realizing it will be like this forever. I wish there was an image of her when that reality flashes across her mind.
One thing you should know about me is that I hate being busy. Some people thrive off of a long to-do list and get energy from places to go and things to do. I am {not} one of those people. There are always chores to do, but on top of that it seems like my to-do list gets longer. This week has become crazy busy and I found myself writing a list of things to do that could only come from having three children, two of which are in elementary school. Here is a brief look at today:
1. Wake up
2. Make breakfast
3. Pack lunches
4. Shower(oops, no time to shower)
5. Get kids to school
6. Work at school book fair for three hours
7. Get Z from preschool
8. Eat lunch with Z and clean up breakfast dishes
9. Go to the thrift store to find accessories for Halloween costumes
10. Pay for one Harry Potter robe, one khaki vest for a zookeeper, one green Power Ranger costume.
11. Stop by Target to get this and that
12. Go to Hobby Lobby for supplies for Lily's class to decorate their puppets
14. Stop by Obama campaign office to replace yard signs stolen from our yard
15. Get Lily from school
16. Make doctor's appointment for Lily. Attempt to use cell phone!
17. Play at the playground and chat with the moms
18. Wait for choir to finish and get Carver
19. Make pumpkin pie for 4th grade harvest party tomorrow
19 1/2. Make cornbread for 4th grade harvest party tomorrow
20. Help with homework
21. What? Is it almost 5:00? MAKE DINNER!!!
22. Kiss hubby when he comes home
23. Dash to Bible Study
24. Come home and finish jewelry orders
25. Get ready to do it all again tomorrow!


We've Come So Far, And Still...

See here for disturbing news. I know Obama has great security, yet I also know this has to be the biggest fear his wife has. Can you imagine each and every day watching your loved one get up on a stage in front of thousands of people, praying he isn't shot because of the color of his skin?


Happy Birthday, David!

My incredible, incredible husband is another year older today. I told him over dinner that he is much too good for me and I will never be able to show my love for him as much as he deserves. He's pretty darn great.


I Surrender

I have joined the ranks of cell-phone owners. It is official. As you can see in the photo, I am the new owner of one of those devices that is supposed to make my life easier--but I'm not buying it. We're dropping our land line, and as far as I'm concerned the phone will just sit on the kitchen counter 98% of the time.

I confess it is nice to take it with me in the car in case I have a flat tire or am attacked by a vampire. It is also good to know that the school can get in touch with me if one of the kids gets sick. But since I'm always at the school volunteering, I'm not that hard to track down. Those are the only two redeeming values the phone has, though.

The first time I used the phone, we went to Carver and Lily's cross country meet and we were meeting David there. I spotted him walking toward us and I couldn't resist calling him and saying, "Here we are! See us? We're waving at you!" when he was only 8 feet from us. I hate when people do that, and David knows it, so he burst out laughing. Aren't I a bundle of fun?


Recipe For Insanity

1 mediocre mom
3 exuberant children
1 Monday
3,456 questions from a four-year-old
4 errands
a heaping bag full of library books that threatens to throw my back out again
a dash of impatience
add a splash of muddy water tracked all over the kitchen floor

mix the ingredients together and simmer all day long. make sure you have 3 kids who want to listen to their library books on tape at the same time with only 2 tape players in the house. this is a crucial step as it adds just the right spice. of course you will be tempted to put everyone to bed early, but don't forget the homework and dinner and laundry. after tucking the kiddos into their snugly beds, be sure to read a new york times bestseller for fun or you could experience an oven fire.


Let's Hit The Pool!

Okay, so there are benefits to being married to an assistant principal of a high school. We have access to the pool! The kids had a fabulous time--especially because they had it all to themselves. I cannot believe we are at the point that the kids can be in the pool without me! And I was hardly even nervous--just mildly. Zinabu can even jump off the diving board with his swimming vest on. He loved it.
Despite all my moaning and groaning (thanks for listening) this weekend turned out to be fantastic. My back is better! Hooray. I woke up this morning and did an easy run and felt great. Woo hoo!!!! We also got to scream our lungs out at a college hockey game (thank you, thank you, Uncle Jim!) and play outside and hike because the weather was so beautiful. So I didn't get to run my race, but I have my health, my family, and I even got to sit next to a sweet friend in church this morning. I am so blessed.
New topic: Did you know that Colorado is a swing state for the election? Do you know that if I see one more political ad I will vomit? We are inundated with attack ads and snippy half truths from both sides. How many more days until the election? It can't come fast enough.
Oh, and here's a question for you. What do you do when your 4-year-old knocks over the (school-owned) bass and breaks it?
I'll leave you with that.


Diana, Disappointment, Distress

Our weekend with Diana was {wonderful}. Sorry Shannon! I have no photos! I am a complete loser in the picture department, but look at the previous posts to find some lovely photographs from Zinabu. Does that help?

It was cold while Diana was here, but that didn't stop us from enjoying every minute with her. She does the nicest things for the kids, like leave them rolls of wintergreen Breath Savers in their backpacks to discover after she'd left. We miss her so much already.

I officially cancelled my hotel reservation in Denver for the half-marathon. I knew last week I would not be able to run my race, but I had toyed around with the idea of keeping the hotel room for myself or to bring Lily with me for a girl's weekend away.

Then I got the idea to cancel the hotel, take the refund, (David, don't read this part) and spend a day at Anthropologie buying all kinds of goodies for retail therapy.

A sweater like this...

Bask in the environment of this...

and buy all new plates and cups in orange! Like this!!!!

But I am finally admitting to myself that I can't sit in a car for that long, and it takes an hour to get to Denver. My back is better, but I think I just need to spend the weekend resting. People keep asking me, "Why isn't your back better?" or "Why aren't you resting?" and I look at them with a raised eyebrow and say, "Have you met Carver, Lily, and Zinabu? My three kids? Yeah, they're the reason I'm not resting." Life does not stop, and while I've tried to take care of myself, there's only so much you can do. So I truly believe that if I can lie down all weekend and not sit in a chair (that's what hurts the most) I might just get better.

Then, just maybe, I can think about running again. I miss it.


Recently Noted

Carver got into a scrap of trouble today. One of his teachers pulled me aside after school and reported she had to tell him 3 different times (in a 20 minute span) to be quiet. When we got home I told Carver he needed to write a letter of apology to his teacher. This is what he wrote:

Dear Mrs. Samuels,
Sorry that I disturbed you. I will (try) to not talk next time.

At least he was honest!


Zinabu's Perspective... With Tequila

So imagine my surprise when I turned the camera on today and found 41 new photos. 41. Again, 41!!!!! Zinabu had been playing photo-journalist but as he can't hold the camera still, it looks as if he was punch-drunk when taking each picture. My favorite is this first one. Reminds me of The Blair Witch Project.

A photo of a shark book. Nifty.

A picture of his shirt--that he's wearing. I'm guessing he held the camera under his chin and took a shot pointing straight down.

Our kitchen. Looks like an earthquake started at this moment. The 37 other photos are just as enthralling, but I'll spare you.


*f a l l --i s-- h e r e*

lily has decorated the house with hand-drawn bats. so cute!

after a burst of rain in august, our pumpkins exploded. we have about 20 to pick--and i think we'll harvest them tomorrow with aunt diana

the red maple in our backyard is gorgeous

pumpkins from Target are nice too

orange lights look s p o o k y on the black cabinet

and because i know you're dying to hear about it, these are my current shoes that i love!

{h a p p y --f a l l--e v e r y o n e}



Never a dull moment.


This is not my dog. We have no dog. Rather, this is how I feel. And about what my back feels like, too. Can it be that I have run my brains out for {nothing}? And don't give me that "oh but you must be in such good shape" garbage. It doesn't feel like it counts if I don't get to finish the race. My back is better, but not completely well yet. To be honest, I'm not a competitive person. I am not running this half-marathon to get my personal record or finish in the top ten (laughing hysterically at the thought!) I just want to stay in shape and be proud of myself for having finished. If I can't run, I'll sign up for another one next spring... but it remains to be seen if I'll keep training in the snow all winter. Don't hold your breath.
In other news that has nothing to do with me, we are sooooooo excited that Aunt Diana is coming for the weekend. We pretty much live for her brief trips to our home. I'm sure she can't wait for endless bass concerts from Carver, pet shows from Lily, and mindless chatter from Zinabu! Isn't she sweet for coming despite all that? It's her own personal marathon, I'm sure.
Hurry Diana!


Achy Breaky Back

I did something really awful to my back. Don't know what and don't know when... only that on Tuesday morning I realized, "Hmmmm, it feels a little tight back there." Two hours later I was walking like Quasimodo and I haven't been the same since. I have some kind of muscle spasm going on in my lower back. You should watch me try to put on a pair of socks. I am quite the bundle of misery.

This also means I have not run in 5 days. Unless I wake up tomorrow with a miraculous recovery, I doubt I'll be running anytime soon. {I} {AM} {MAD}!!!! I have been training for 5 months for this dad-blame half marathon. I have felt great until now. The half marathon is in 16 days and I will probably be out of shape again by the time it rolls around.

To be honest, that's the least of my problems right now. Have you noticed how many tasks around the house require you to bend over? Laundry. Dishes. Tying the laces of your 4-year-old's shoes. Spitting toothpaste into the sink. My lower back screeches in agony whenever I attempt the slightest curvature of the spine. Eee gads.

Of course, I'm not as bad off as Heather. She broke her elbow {ROLLERSKATING}.

Enough said.