One month ago today was the last day at my old job. It was a glorious time of rest and walks and house projects and socialization.

And, of course, HALLOWEEN! Henry and I had a lot of fun planning out the costume construction, and I think they turned out great!

Carvers hard at work

Joe got pics of the final products, so I’ll try to add those!

Trick-or-Treating was great! Missing it last year was such a bummer, so we were happy to get back out there. We always stop in to Donna’s for a visit before we start, and she took our family photo. (I was Edna Mode, the super-suit designer from The Incredibles)

One house re-rigged up their social distance treat delivery system from last year, which was pretty fun to see in action!

We leave out a bowl of candy every year while we’re away, and it usually doesn’t get taken. This year the whole bowl was emptied! Maybe it was Henry’s wonderful sign that did it.

Henry had to endure his second quarantine session of the school year, so we had a lovely week home together. I processed our home-grown foods (apple and amaranth) next to him while he did his school work. He actually helped me discover a brilliant way of separating the seeds from the husks. Blowing lightly across them, the husks fly away and the seeds stay on the plate!

Total mess, but it was effective and efficient in a way that was a huge relief to me at that point.

One of the weekends we spent at a cabin in Wisconsin with a dozen of our closest friends. Joe’s parents’ cabin was just a few miles away, so we switched between hanging with friends and family.

It was chilly, but not so chilly that we could resist the call of kayaks

Over at the homestead, we watched some playful otters in the lake

We watched until it got dark, and then Grandma busted out some glow sticks

The next day, Jim showed us the damage from some beaver overpopulation. They built a new lodge right by where the tiny house will be, using…all the trees they could find! So we all worked together to put some wire around a bunch of trees to protect them.

And the boys maybe did a little exploring

The next weekend the boys got their first vaccine doses! There’s a clinic at the Mall of America, so it actually ended up being a really fun outing.

I super love how big my kids are getting, and enjoy them more every day. But there is just something about littles that makes me feel giddy. Luckily, we’ve got these two to watch grow.

Every week they have new things they do or say that I’ve never seen or heard them do before. It’s so cool.

And speaking of doing new things…

Today was Day Five for me at my new job. I have put a LOT of elbow grease into the room, getting it cleaned up and feeling cared for. Next steps are organizing the jumble of supplies and hanging artwork up on the walls (I didn’t do that bulletin board, but I love it, so at least something’s staying).

It was a difficult start, getting used to an entirely new school culture and knowing no one or nothing. Wednesday morning I was up in knots. But Joe and I did some processing, which helped me to shift some of my ideas and expectations. It all went better.

Then I watched my boys at gymnastics that night. They’re so willing to try, to fall, to land on their butt for the 100th time. Then they just get back up and do the next thing. It’s a good weekly reminder for me that new skills don’t come without trials and experience. You just have to do the thing over and over!

That night I went to the Chvrches concert at the Armory, basked in the music, and danced my cares away.

Refreshed and ready to fall on my butt, I headed in Thursday morning with a sense of calm. And the next two days felt pretty great! Not a bad way to end the first week of a new job.

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and you know what that means…birthday time!

Last night’s Family Dinner was a double birthday celebration: 11 & 91

We even had Ellie in town to celebrate with us.

Last night was the Beaver Moon. “Heeeeeey, Moon!”