My parents took the three oldest kids out for fabulous cultural experiences.
First, Grammie took Ashton to see James Taylor perform at the Conference Center. As Ashton plays guitar, this was totally inspiring for him and he loved having some special time with his Grammie (and look - he's actually taller than her now!)
Grammie took Eliza to see amazing teenagers play at the annual "Salute to Youth" concert at Symphony Hall. We were all inspired by such devoted, talented young people. Eliza started violin a few months ago so this was perfect for her.
I got to tag along for Salute to Youth. Such a fun date with my mom and my daughter.
Grandfather took Isaac to see a wild and wonderful circus involving a huge live orchestra playing wonderful music while crazy acrobatics and motorcycle feats were performed. Grandfather even got his face painted by the wife of the guy who crossed the Grand Canyon on a tight rope a while back - they were both in the performance. Isaac was very impressed.
It was so great to be with my dad for his birthday. Sadly, it was raining like crazy so we couldn't jump in the leaves together. But we took this picture with the leaves and I showed my dad the "Poem in Pictures" I did for him. And the kids showered him with homemade cards and love. Plus we had some nice soup and birthday cake. He seemed pretty pleased. What a great guy I have for my dad!
I took Silas out for a special little date and he just had to have me take a photo of him riding this horse. There are these horses up and down 25th Street for months every year and the kids love them.
After a cold snap at the end of September that got me scared that we were in for an all-too-early winter, October turned out to be gorgeous weather and the changing leaves made me happy every single day.
Here's my view from where I do my Power of Moms work every day while the kids are at school.
One day a kind friend dropped off a box of donuts for us as a surprise. The kids were so excited! Nothing like enjoying a tasty treat on the front porch on a perfect autumn afternoon...
All the kids in the neighborhood did a lot of hanging out together during the precious warm, golden afternoons.
Here are most of the girls of the neighborhood, having a spontaneous trampoline party (wow, has that trampoline and the whole backyard over-haul been a wonderful investment!)
Eliza doesn't have sisters but she sure is blessed with great girl friends up and down our street!
I've had such beautiful runs in the mornings lately, listening to podcasts and enjoying the crisp air and the beautiful colors as I crunch through the leaves and feel so happy (and sometimes so achy - my hips have been bothering me which is pretty annoying). I like to run through the peaceful, beautiful cemetery nearby and up and down the streets of our neighborhood.
One morning a week, I go hiking with a friend. We do a really hard hike that goes straight uphill for a couple miles and takes us 2 hours round-trip. I love the exertion and the fresh air and the great conversation. I come home exhausted but so happy.
Fall was gorgeous up on the mountain:
Here's the view from 1/2 way up the mountain:
We'll strap some special spiky grippy things on the bottom of our shoes (I think they're called Yak Tracks) and keep hiking all winter. I've decided this is my winter sport. It's great exercise, I love being outside, and I love accomplishing a mountain in the beautiful snow.
Isaac had his last cross country track meet which sadly wasn't his best race. He had a horrible side ache and felt like he was about to die but kept running anyway and still made a pretty good time - but was sad it wasn't quite good enough to qualify for state. He had so much fun running this year, though. And wow, that kid is fast.
That's him at the front, practically flying.
Sunday before last, my dear friend Allyson Reynolds and I got together to eat the most delicious (and spicy!) Thai food and have a good old-fashioned slumber party with great talks at my parents' condo in SLC so that we could be there bright and early the next morning for a segment on the morning news about our new Power of Moms book (Allyson and I are 2 of the 12 main authors).
Here we are, somewhat blearry eyed after a too-short night of fitful sleep, capturing the moment in the mirror as we headed out to the TV station (it was a bit nippy outside so Allyson wore my mom's lovely circa 1980 mink coat - we were laughing pretty hard):
It was beautiful and peaceful as we walked the two blocks to the KUTV studios:
Here we are on the set - so excited about the book!
(I guess Allyson was more excited than me...)
Here's the clip if you care to watch it: