Monday, October 31, 2016

Small Joys

Happy Halloween folks!

It's been an exhausting month. This whole month has felt like sitting in one doctor's office after another. Probably because we averaged about two or three doctor's appointments a week. It was brutal, but thankfully all routine. I've just reached that lovely stage in the pregnancy where I get to see my doctor every two weeks instead of four, then there was that nasty gestational diabetes screening, plus an extra ultrasound, and weekly visits to a physical therapist for my back. Then there were a couple of appointments for the kids (well check-up, dentist, flu shot). Except for the one dentist appointment that was for him, I was able to schedule most of these appointments while my oldest was at Joy School, but I still had my little Henry as a tag along companion. Thankfully he's been pretty patient about all this doctor office stuff. We have the routine down. He sits in the corner in the stroller, munches on his snacks, and babbles quietly to himself while I get poked and prodded and whatever else. Oh boy, but I am ready to be done with doctors forever!

It's just been another long month where I desperately need to remind myself of the little things I'm grateful for.

First up?

1. Another year of literary-themed coordinated family Halloween costumes!

charlotte's web, costume, family themed Halloween, literary themed Halloween
I didn't think we were going to be able to pull it off this year, because Josh is finally old enough to have opinions about these things, and he's been rotating through suggestions since August (first he wanted to be a ghost, then he wanted to dress up as his cousin Kate...). But after we had such a positive experience reading Charlotte's Web last month, I asked if he would like to dress up as Wilbur, and he was thrilled at the idea! So we quickly assigned the role of Charlotte to Henry, Farmer Zuckerman to my husband, and I got to be the Web (well, really, the baby bump got to be the web, I was just the blank canvas). We'll see what happens next year, but I really get a serious amount of joy out of literary family themed costumes. It's just the best.

And just for funsies, here's a montage of all of our literary family themes from the past few years:

Literary Themed Costumes, Halloween Costumes, Family Costumes, Coordinated Costumes
2016: Charlotte's Web
2015: Curious George (the adults were H.A. and Margaret Rey, far too boring to be in the picture)
2014: Various Picture Books (Harold and the Purple Crayon, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom, and Ms. Frizzle)
2013: Not literary themed, therefore not included
2012: The Wizard of Oz (technically based off the movie, not the book, but too cute not to include)

2. New Glasses!

Black Glasses
You guys, it really is the small things in life. I've had my old glasses for about eight years now, and while the prescription was still accurate, they had definitely seen better days (the coating was beginning to scratch off the lenses, which made them a bit fuzzy to see out of). Usually I'm a contacts girl, but with this pregnancy... I just can't bring myself to bother. So I got myself to the eye doctor (oh year, another one of those appointments), got my prescription updated, and ordered this new pair online (a bit of an exercise in faith, considering I didn't try them on first). I love them so much! My husband is still adjusting to the new look (my other glasses weren't quite so... bold), but they are exactly what I wanted, and now I'm actually excited about being a glasses girl! (P.S. Don't judge this picture too harshly, I never take selfies, and wow, they are surprisingly difficult! I guess I just lack the coordination or amount of practice other people have, but it really takes some work to get a decent looking selfie, which I discovered when I tried to get this shot.)

3. An S.I. Belt. I mentioned earlier that I've been going to physical therapy for my back. I thought my favorite part of this experience was going to be the back massages, and while those were nice (except for the part where my back was so messed up that the massages actually left me feeling crippled with lactic acid release for the rest of the day), my favorite, favorite, favorite thing has been the S.I. belt my therapist had me get. I'm not sure what the S.I. stands for, but somehow this thing compresses my spine and hips back into shape enough that I can actually function now! I put this belt on first thing in the morning, and by the end of the day, after hauling my flailing and tantruming two-year old around and making dinner and doing dishes and bathtime and bedtime, I can still manage to stand on my feet (before at that point in the day I was pushing a chair around as a crutch or crawling on my hands and knees). This is not a pregnancy belt, it's used by all sorts of people with back issues, so if you have back pain, I highly suggest asking a doctor or physical therapist about getting one. It's been a miracle worker for me.

4. Solo Travel

Knoxville Tennessee Church Red Door

At the beginning of this month, I had the opportunity to present a paper at a conference in Knoxville TN. It was a very short trip (I flew in late Friday night, presented Saturday morning, then flew out early enough Sunday morning I was home in time for 9 AM church), but it was so fun! I presented on a panel (and shared a hotel room) with two of my friends from grad school, and while the conference itself was a great experience, the most fun part was getting to spend the afternoon wandering around Knoxville a bit. What an adorable little city! I really, really need to spend some more time here. Also, traveling without kids? AMAZING!

5. Halloween Decorations
 I know I already talked about these here, but it's so funny what an insane amount of joy my simple little decorations brought me. Halloween is still far from my favorite holiday, but even I get a lot of joy just participating and putting forth the effort to make things a little bit special. Not everything is worth the effort, but some things are.

What's brought you joy this month?


  1. I'm still a little sad that you didn't pull off a Kate costume for Josh😉, but he made a cute Wilbur!

    1. Yes, I know, but I think they discourage cross-dressing at the ward trunk-or-treat ;)