a happy shark

Grandma Margaret saved the day and we will now have a happy shark on halloween. My mom came over and helped me behead the costume, which ended up really doing a number on the body part of the shark so that she had to take it home and sew it back together for me. And at the last minute we added shoulder straps to keep the whole suit up. The legs are still inches too short, but he doesn't seem to mind. Mostly he just wanted to show Scooby-doo-whop, our little goldfish, that he was a fish too. A fish called a shark.

pictures of october

It's been a stunning fall. The trees, the weather, the pace of life. It's all been pretty awesome. Ivar is outside with his dump trucks and diggers moving dirt around like it's his job. Elsie likes to talk about all the big, round, orange 'kumpins' we have by our house. The cat family is either more snuggly, or my kids are more aggressive at snuggling but either way there is a lot of love between the cat family and the Groves family these days. Monday we were barefoot, walking the sandy beach of the river nearby. Yesterday we were bundled in winter gear moving from vehicle to building as quickly as possible. I believe the next season may be upon us...

the princess and the shark

A few weeks ago I was at a park with my friend Ali and we took turns going to the garage sale across the street. It was there, hanging in the tree, that I spotted these two costumes, each for a deal. I took them down off the branches and decided my halloween costume shopping was done. The kids would be a shark and a princess. They were thrilled and the anticipation has been building all month.

But today I had them try these costumes on. And even thought the shark costume says 3T and even though I thought Ivar might be able to squeeze his 4T (and sometimes 5T) self into this suit, it still was too small. And even though the princess dress looked tiny, at second glance it is actually a fairy costume, size 8. Since Elsie is a size 3T, this is problematic. It is supposed to be a short dress on a taller girl. Apparently I couldn't tell this when I saw it hanging in the tree.

Today we had a trial run of our costumes and it went down something like this. Ivar hates things that are tight. Or five inches too short, tight in the crotch and tugging his neck down to accommodate his body.

Elsie loves her dress, though it is hilarious. She is proud and walks like the beautiful girl she is. I figure I may have five solid years with this little costume. We might as well break it in now.

But Ivar is another story. I am not sure what we are going to do between now and Friday. He is set on being a shark. I'm wondering if I may have to decapitate the hood to make the tension between the legs and the neck a little less for this very angry shark. Whatever we end up doing on Friday, I am so glad I had my camera today.

minnesota love

For Sara and Lisa's birthdays this year I invited them out for a Barnwood Birthday Bash. I had no idea what we'd make, but knew we'd come up with something clever because these ladies are clever. Two days before they were to come and I still didn't know what we'd make until I saw this blog post by a new-to-me minnesota blog I'm following called apartment wife. It was there that Jennifer showed a picture of her own Minnesota with a heart and I finally had a plan. Because it was adorable. Thanks Jennifer!

And I'd like to include a special shout out to the guy at Menards who helped me find everything I needed for this project. I had both kids in the big basket of the cart and 20 minutes to find my supplies. I could tell the guy didn't enjoy helping me shop one bit, but I kept on enthusiastically with my list, "okay! now nails! where are they?!!" "And next, I need little metal things the size of my finger that will connect my wood with screws. The ones I saw on this blog I found this project on had holes in them..." He was happy to see me go.

We started out the morning pulling a bit of barnwood off our barn. Just the part that is falling down. And surprisingly, for how fragile the structure looks, the barnwood was hard to get off. Once we had our wood, we figured out how to use the circular saw. Which was awesome and empowering. We used safety sunglasses and were very careful of our fingers. Then we used the drill to screw in the metal things that held the boards together on the back side. Power tools are awesome.

Now back to Sara and Lisa. The best part of having these two ladies as my sister-in-laws is how inspirational they both are. They each live full, intentional, beautiful lives. I feel empowered when I'm with them and that is a sweet, sweet gift in this sisterhood.  I'm so glad we live so close to family in this lovely state of Minnesota.

happy birthday rory

rorysbday from Becca Groves on Vimeo.

I captured a little slice of our life today when we made this video for Rory's birthday. It has it all: silly potty talk, blueberries smooshed on Elsie's bottom and a smothering big brother.

Happy Birthday Rory. The best gift? Our sweet family.