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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