First of all, I cannot believe it is NOVEMBER. This is the time of year I start to stress out because I know what’s coming: Children for Children concert (more on that below), Turkey Trot (you can sign up HERE if you want to join us! And it’s early-bird registration right now), Thanksgiving (Dave’s whole family is coming to town and we’re hosting…WooHoo!), Dave’s birthday and Christmas. I am working on being more proactively organized this holiday season…any awesome tips from anyone out there on that? I feel a stressed need to get organized, but also just so grateful we’re not putting on a WEDDING this December! That was nuts last year! But SO grateful for all those memories with Max and Abby, I can’t believe it’s almost been a year!

I’m sorry I’m slow getting out the information about how to put on your own Children for Children concert I offered to send last week (back HERE). My sweet niece Hazel is going to get her instruction kit to me this weekend and I’ll post it on Monday…and also send to those who have emailed so get excited! Ha! In the meantime if you want to get going, start brainstorming with your kids to put together a list of families you’d like to invite and also be thinking about a charity that means a lot to you that you’d like to support. We are raising money for Family Humanitarian this year since we want to keep bonds with the people we met and love from there, and it’s such a great organization!…you can join us on that cause if you want but there are so many awesome ideas locally and afar to think through! This is such a great way to help kids become more aware of all the needs out there in the world and that they can take an active part to reach out, I love it. Excited so many would like to do their own concerts, maybe I’ll list the ones my family is doing on Monday to spur some ideas along with Hazel’s “tool kit.”

This weekend I get to go to Time Out for Women. The last time I went I was a speaker all those years ago (some of the posts on that back HERE). It is so strange how life has twisted and turned since then, and I’m so grateful that I got to have that experience and also that I get to go as a spectator this time. I’m excited to see my friend Emily Freeman who was a speaker back then as well. That woman is amazing I tell you! If you ever want to know the scriptures better check out her Instagram platforms and all the other things she’s doing on her website HERE. She has a youtube video each week on the Come Follow Me program for our church and it’s so good. Check it out HERE.

Ok, so on to HALLOWEEN wrap-up! It has turned chilly here in the desert! Just in time for soup and sweaters for Halloween.

Halloween is such a weird holiday, don’t you think? As a young mother i was so exhausted when it was over, and I had a love/hate relationship with all the hair-dos and make-up and costume accessories, the “groudhog day” of doing it over and over again for so many different things. It’s crazy you can miss something so tiring and that you didn’t really love all that much in the first place. HA! But it’s nice to be on this side of it with only two to worry about costumes for…ok, really one because Claire took matters into her own hands.

Lucy was Eliza Hamilton and I’m not really quite sure what Claire was. She was going for some kind of a punk, but I’m thinking maybe she just dressed up as a teenager. Because I’m pretty sure teenagers have that face a lot. Haha!

Here’s a more smiley version:

Eliza, oh I mean Lucy planned this one out a long time ago:

Down to the hair and all. She just instructed and I followed those instructions:

I made a big pot of soup and we had our neighbors over for dinner and then the kids headed out…Claire and all those other “teenagers” to a giant party, and Lucy with these girls to trick-or-treat:

But the crowd kept getting larger:

And ended up this big:

We are in such a tricky phase of life with Lucy because she wants so much to be with all those kids, she is SO social, but I worry so much about her holding them back, and the possibility of her getting emotional or too tired or too itchy or it being too dark. At this age they want to run from house to house and it’s dark and at this age boys join in. That is not the best combination for Lucy. But we sent her off with her cane and her flashlight and a prayer, and those girls wrapped her under their wing and she was gone chasing around the neighborhood for almost three hours.

I don’t know that I could ever explain how that felt as a mother to keep checking in and having her friends tell me she was just fine. And to have her come back all aglow from a night well spent. That may be the last year for trick-or-treating for that crew since they are all just growing up. I’m so happy it was such a good one for Lucy.

We set out our cul de sac with our neighbors and handed out candy and drinks all night:

And snuggled around that fire up there because it was a chilly one for us desert-dwellers!

Lucy came home and sorted/traded candy with the neighbors (I guess this has become a much-awaited-for tradition):

We cleaned up our giant mess of a kitchen, dropped off a bday gift for one of our good friends, tucked Lu in bed for sweet dreams about a Halloween well spent after a sweet friend gave her the cutest Halloween gift:

People are so good.

And then Claire and I sat on the counter and talked about “the funnest party of the year” that she and her friends had been at, dancing their hearts out all night.

We were all dead this morning, but it was a good Halloween.

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