Catalyst. Ukraine. Lace. Pumpkins. Maleficent. These things have nothing in common. What started as a little craft tutorial, became more of an update post. So here goes…
At the beginning of October, I attended the Catalyst leadership conference in Atlanta. This is a yearly thing Joe and I always look forward to going to. It is amazing. Every year. This year, however, Joe couldn’t go, so I took my good friend, Kimberly.
I loved the theme, “Give Us This Day” and the reminders to trust God, have patience in the process, find joy in the journey, not take daily blessings for granted, and live in the present.
I brought home these t-shirts to my babies.
Joe was invited last-minute to go on a mission trip to Ukraine. He went with a Chick-fil-A/Lifeshape group to train FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) leaders. It was a wonderful and profound experience for him.
And, while he was there, there happened to be a marathon.
He was training for the Marine Corps Marathon which he was to run at the end of the month. He needed one more long training run and I wasn’t comfortable with him running 21 miles through the streets of a country he didn’t know. That’s me. So, he tacked on a few extra miles and ran the Kiev Marathon. That’s him.
He was gone for a total of 12 days and we were really glad when he came home.
A few days later, we celebrated our 13th anniversary. The traditional gift is lace and Meme, Hannah and Joseph planned out this sweet celebration. We danced to our wedding night waltz, “Moon River”, lit our candle and wore lace squares.
We received thoughtful gifts: a lace-patterned tie for Joe, and a beautiful necklace with an enclosed-lace pendant for me. With my mom’s generous gift card to our favorite local restaurant, we decided to include the kids.
Before our big DC trip (which I might get around to posting about), the kids and I did our pumpkins: a jack-o’-lantern for the front porch (that also rotted while we were in DC) and the annual painted variety.
Joe baked the seeds and we’ve been enjoying them most nights with our salad at dinner.
Hannah decided pretty early on that she wanted to be Mal from Disney’s Descendants for Halloween this year. And it wasn’t long before she came asking Joe and me to be her parents. Mal’s parents: Hades and Maleficent.
This might be totally lost on you if you don’t follow the interests of this age group, but Hades and Maleficent had a girl, Mal, and she’s trying to go against her family nature and be good. There are three Descendants movies so far, and this girl is obsessed.
Hades is ruler of the underworld…and has blue hair. And we all know who Maleficent is…the Mistress of Evil herself.
Request granted. I ordered “snakeskin” horns and a black dress off Amazon (I drew the line at the heavy (hot), long-sleeved costume gown). I did my research, decided I didn’t want to pay $50 for the official costume staff, and started scheming on how to make my own. (It’s always better than way, anyway.)
I have a friend whose husband spends a lot of time outdoors for his work. He offered to find and cut me a branch that would become my staff. I was so excited when my friend gave it to me – perfect height and substantial.
The same day we did our pumpkin carving and painting, I did my staff.
I made a ball of yellow sketch paper (leftover from my grad school days; yellow “trash” is what we called it) and covered it with blue tissue paper and twisted black tissue paper around the ball to make the enclosed-stone appearance of the real deal. Then I pulled out my markers and added some color, detail and dimension to the blue tissue paper, using a gold paint pen for some glimmer.
Using black duct tape, I secured the ball onto the end of the staff, then Joe wrapped the wood all the way down. He’s meticulous when it comes to these sorts of the things, so when he offered to help I was happy to let him.
Done! I like how it turned out. Mine versus the $50 store-bought one:
Joe bought blue hair color spray and I did my makeup and put on my horns. Mal’s parents were ready to bring some evil to the streets. I had a terrible migraine all day, but finally, around 6pm, I was ready and maybe a little excited to be one of my favorite characters.
And, of course, Mal was excited.
We also had a boy named Hiccup (How to Train Your Dragon) with a fun light-up sword and his dragon, Tallulah.
There was a slight break in the rain long enough for a quick candy-filled lap around the block before heading to a friend’s house for taco soup and sweets. And a lot of fun answering little trick-or-treaters, a wicked laugh or a “Well, well” thrown in here or there.
It was a busy October, and November has flown by on its own merit. With school stuff, church stuff, and afternoon activities, our days are full. Also…
Tallulah turned ONE on November 3rd.
A year ago this week, we held her for the first time.
She’s grown a lot! She loves to run and play fetch, eat treats and have her belly rubbed. She follows me around the house all day and loves to be under her Daddy’s feet while he’s working or cooking dinner.
I have wanted a “child” named Tallulah for a really long time and finally got her. She answers to several versions of her name, Lula Mae being the most popular. She is doing great, and we love her so much. It’s hard to imagine life without her. Funny how that works…
Fall soccer has wrapped up for both kids. Joseph’s team finished second overall with an undefeated regular season record, and Hannah’s team finished last with no wins. It was a character-building season for her, and we are thankful this one is over.
Joe marched in the Veteran Parents’ Parade at the school, and we attended their Thanksgiving feast.
We are trying to stay healthy (amidst various things going around), preparing to decorate for Christmas, and looking forward to seeing family over Thanksgiving break. I hope you have a wonderful one!
On that note…if you didn’t catch my last post, you can see our Halloween table that easily converts to Thanksgiving. If you haven’t put up your pumpkins yet, that is…
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