Posts Tagged ‘family’

Hey

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

I’m still here. Sort of. I guess. I mean, I’m definitely still alive and a mom of four kids and married to the same guy and living my life. But keeping track of all of it, sharing it on the internet, posting regularly to my sad little mommy blog hasn’t been at the top of my to-do list.

But I was looking for a memory the other day, pictures from the last time I took the kids to Washington DC, and so I googled my own blog. It’s very handy to have a decade of our lives documented in a searchable way, with tags and SEO headings and alt text and one million pictures. So here I go, let’s document some shit.

Quick life update: we’ve moved. We sold our 1913 craftsman home in Connecticut (it was heartbreaking, I hated it, I’m sad every single time I see a photo taken there) and moved to Northern Virginia so my husband could take a job in Washington DC. He’s still in the Navy. We’re renting a house in Herndon, which is part of Fairfax County. Fairfax County is where I lived from the age of 15 until about 20, when I stopped coming home from college and decided I was never going back. Surprise, I am now back.

I have so, so, so, many feelings about being here. We don’t live so close to my high school home that I drive past it every day, but we do live close enough that I use the same roads, often go to the same shopping centers, and see a lot of the friends I’ve kept in touch with for the last 20+ years. Sometimes I feel 17 again, driving with my windows down and singing along to the radio (the rock station I listened to as a teen has the same morning DJ, it feels like a time warp). Then I remember I’m on my way to Costco in my yoga pants to buy 7 lbs of chicken to feed my enormous family. I will not be sitting at home later, 3-way-calling a boy I like on my private line while one of my frenemies listens in and then tells me there is no way he’s going to ask me to Homecoming. I will be dropping off a PTA donation on the neighbor’s porch and sewing black spots onto white t-shirts so my children can participate in the town Homecoming parade dressed as dalmatians.

Besides a daily identity crisis, our new lives here are pretty great. Northern Virginia is a really nice place to live, especially as a military family. There are opportunities galore for free tickets, cool events and day trips.

On Monday, everyone was off of work and school, so we drove out to Great Family Farms in Bluemont where we did every fall thing in one day. Animals, mining for gems, bounce pillows, cow train, hayride, rope swings, ninja course, apple cannon, corn maze, cider donuts and more. Five stars, highly recommend.

(Evan is 12 now, Caroline is 10, Lincoln is 7 and Finn is 5)

Halloween 2019 – Harry Potter

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Last year, Evan really wanted to do Harry Potter costumes for Halloween, but he was outvoted by everyone else who wanted to do The Greatest Showman. I have no regrets about that because those costumes were amazing. I let him do a mini photoshoot in our neighborhood, but didn’t throw myself into it the way I did with our real costumes.

This year, everyone was all in on Harry Potter, although after we made a list of character options, no one actually wanted to be Harry Potter himself. Evan and Caroline wanted to be Weasleys (Ron and Ginny), Lincoln chose Malfoy because he wanted to be mean to his siblings in character, and Finnegan was convinced to be Dobby. I decided I wasn’t dying my hair red again this year, so Mrs. Weasley was off the table, but Professor McGonagall would be perfect. We even convinced E that he should participate in our pictures although he wouldn’t be here for trick or treating. He refused the following costumes: Snape, Prof Quirrell, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Mr. Weasley and anything that required makeup. He settled on being a Death Eater, although now I might be questioning whether or not he’s a good person. Just a little bit.

Because I am nothing if not extra, I decided that not only would we each be an HP character, we were also going to make as many props as possible so we could turn our minivan into Hogwarts for the town Trunk or Treat.

I’ll have details on Hogwarts later, but the rundown on our costumes is at the bottom of the page. I won’t make you read all that before you get to the pictures.

Finnegan (Dobby) – I made the ears and tea towel outfit from fabric store supplies. It took two tries to get the hat right, but it wasn’t that bad.

Lincoln (Draco Malfoy) – Robe is this year’s Target robe, white shirt is H&M, sweater was already in his closet, black dress pants are Walmart, shoes are from last year’s costume.

Caroline (Ginny Weasley) – robe is borrowed from a friend but the label says it’s Rubies Costumes *I don’t think it’s the same as the one currently on Amazon, based on the reviews*, shirt was from Goodwill, sweater from Old Navy, skirt is French Toast from Amazon, socks are from Amazon, shoes were already in her closet.

Evan (Ron Weasley) – Robe is last year’s from Target, white shirt is from last year’s costume, sweater was already in his closet, black pants are from Walmart, shoes were already in his closet.

All the ties came from Amazon, but they were adult-sized so I shortened and hemmed them.

E (Death Eater) – Robe is from Amazon, plain white mask was purchased on Amazon but I decorated it with hot glue and paint, everything else he already owned. Tattoo is fake and also from Amazon.

Suzanne (Prof McGonagall) – I made the robe with cheap fabric from the fabric store and lined the sleeves with Deathly Hallows fabric. Hat is from Amazon, decorated with fabric store feathers and a button I had in my button box. The brooch, shirt, skirt, and boots are all from Goodwill.

I made all the wands with chopsticks from Amazon, hot glue, and paint. I got the idea from this tutorial and it was VERY fun to make them.

Props: Scabbers the rat is from Amazon, the spider is part of our Halloween decorations, and we made baby madrakes out of tin foil, homemade clay and craft store supplies. Tom Riddle’s diary is from Amazon and the cauldron is from CVS.

We took the pics at Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Notable alumni include a bunch of governors, CEO of the Boston Red Sock, and the founders of Tom’s of Maine, Momofuku and Shake Shack. Non-notable alumni include lacross stick in a bowtie Tucker Carlson. It’s about 40 minutes from our house, but it was totally worth the drive because it was gorgeous and a pretty good stand-in for Hogwarts.

(exact links coming soon)

There you go, our family Harry Potter Halloween Costumes for 2019! Three years in a row makes this a pretty definitive tradition now, so if anyone has suggestions for next year I’m open to them. I don’t think I have very many years left where Evan will agree to be anything besides a Fortnite character or a scary mask, so I’m going to keep being as extra as possible while I can.

Let’s Go Fly A Kite

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

Norwich Winterfest Parade 2018

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Here are just a bunch of photos from our super fun day at the Norwich Winterfest Parade. Caroline got to be a judge, the weather was great, and we brought home so much candy we still have some almost a week later.

Sometimes our town looks like the place they film Netflix Christmas movies (I’m obsessed with Netflix Christmas movies), and this was one of those days.

Christmas Tree 2018

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Previously at Geers Tree Farm: 2017 / 2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2013 and for a REAL throwback, 2009

This Christmas season is happier all the way around because E is here to enjoy things with us. We still enjoyed them while he was deployed, but knowing he was missing out dulled the shine of everything just a little. Plus it’s nice to have two adults around when you put up outside Christmas lights so one can call 911 when the other falls off the ladder. (No one actually fell off any ladders.) It’s also super nice to have another adult to wear the baby on his back for tree hunting so I can take pictures that have the baby in them.

We went to Geers Tree Farm for our tree, just like we do every year, and it was perfect. It wasn’t actually as cold as it looks in these pictures. I mean, it wasn’t like the year we didn’t even wear coats, but there was no wind and the sun was shining and I ended up taking off my scarf because hiking around is hard work and I got warm. We took the wagon ride up to the same hill where we’veĀ gotten our tree the last four years and then walked most of the way back, enjoying the view. The farm was the least crowded we’ve ever seen it (going at 9:30 am on a Friday was a good call!) and we were home with the tree up and decorated before noon.

We actually ended up with a slightly smaller tree than we usually do, but that’s ok because our living room isn’t that big and we’re going to have to fit presents for 5 kids and 7 adults in there on the 25th. I’ll tell Caroline that’s why Santa didn’t bring her a pony – there just wasn’t room.