Ah, Halloween! Not my favorite holiday of the year, but I'll go along with it. This year we headed back to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (thanks to the annual pass Matt got for his birthday) to celebrate at Goblins in the Garden. It was a rough start - the parking deck was full, leaving us to look for street parking in the neighborhoods across the street and then endure a half-mile trek just to get to the entrance... and again, the heat. Stupid fall. But we persevered (and perspired) and eventually gained entrance. It was super crowded but we had fun decorating pumpkins, building in the Home Depot kids workshop area, and just generally running around.

Decorating pumpkins at Goblins in the Garden

Not-so-scary black cat
And can you say yay to the easiest Halloween costumes ever?! The girls decided early on to be black cats, and surprisingly never wavered from their decision. A trip to Party City for ears and tails, then another stop at Target for black shirts, pants, and skirts, and boom. The least stressful Halloween costumes were complete. And they can actually wear these things again.

I love how Annie always checks to see what her big sister is doing when it comes to posing for pictures.

Halloween was on Monday this year (oh the horror). I hosted our usual neighborhood meal share, everyone jumped into their costumes, we gathered the rest of the troops, and set off to get our loot. Usually the boys opt for gross, creepy costumes, but this year was fairly tame (baseball player, pink unicorn, etc). I don't think the fake blood even made an appearance! Matt surprised us all by participating in his work costume party and nailed his look as Men in Black/Secret Service agent. I wore my token witch hat and called it a day.

Our Halloween crew!

Happy Halloween!
Wondering how this Halloween compares?
Halloween 2015
Halloween 2014
Halloween 2013
Halloween 2012
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2010


Pumpkin Patch!

We made our annual trek to a pumpkin patch. We headed back to Kinsey Family Farm this year. It's a little more low-key - no corn shooters or mazes. There was a lovely tractor ride, however, and so many pumpkins to pick from. It has been the warmed fall I remember in a long time... we wore long sleeves more for the effect than anything else. (It's just wrong to wear shorts to an October pumpkin patch, but that's Georgia for you.) Happy fall, y'all!

Hay ride!



And then it was October. And October is the worst. October is the time of final assessments and report cards and conference reports and Parent-Teacher Conferences, a week of 20-minute back-to-back nonstop talking meetings. Some parents I know. Some parents I'm having the first real conversation with. Some conferences are easy, some not so much. It's just a tough, stressful time. We came back from fall break and immediately jumped into two weeks of this overwhelming stuff.

But then it was done, everyone could take a big sigh of relief and enjoy the respite for the last couple weeks. Here is the happier side of October:

My Uncle Hans and cousin Amanda came for a visit from Sweden! Amanda is studying to be a teacher and needed to do a research project. Seems like quite a distance to go for a little research, but hey! They came up our way for fika one afternoon and we spent a delightful time making fun of American Gevalia coffee ads, discussing the horror that is American politics, and eating Swedish candy. (Actually, Matt and I hoarded the candy. Even though my relatives brought the girls their own little bags of candy, we replaced it with fake Swedish candy from Ikea and kept the good stuff for ourselves!)

And everyone was smiling at the camera on the first take! Miracle!

Building a Home Depot birdhouse.

Annie rocked her first trip to the dentist!
 The other highlight of  my October was hosting my dear, dear bookclub friends. While we no longer bother pretending we actually read/discuss books, we still cherish our time together. There are two new members of our club now, and the babies were so well behaved, we have decided our next "meeting" will be a Family Book Club. We'll even invite the husbands! Oh, how I love these ladies. They have been a part of my life for the last 20 years, and you just can't manufacture bonds like that.

The triumphant return of book club!

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