Jude’s 8th Birthday, Halloween, & Nerf Guns at Carlton Landing

Our House


Last week blew by in a blur of nursing home tours, hospital visits, a night spent with my Mom at the nursing facility, parent teacher conferences, a counseling session (because when the going gets tough, get yourself to talk to someone), and wrapped up with Jude’s eighth birthday party.

I won’t lie – it was a long emotional day that Thursday. I’d spend the night with my mom the night before and my feelings were raw from lack of sleep and helping my mom stay comfortable. It was maybe one of the hardest weeks ever, to see my mom in such a state. Not even really herself at all. Working hard to buoy up my Dad and support him (because often the caregiver of someone chronically ill is the one who needs more support than the ill person themselves). And still trying to maintain my own little family.

The house is a wreck (especially as I’m approaching Mistletoe Market next week – inventory is EVERYWHERE in this house) and I feel the overwhelm threatening to swallow me, but frankly, all that matters right now is that we are all loved, fed, clean-clothed, and together. End of story. So everything else can wait. We survive now so that we can thrive later, as we have done in the past.

My oldest baby is eight. EIGHT. And he wanted to have a nerf gun war with his buddies, so I threw together a casual party after school Thursday with his best pals. Everyone brought a nerf gun and after liquoring ’em up with red velvet cupcakes (haha) and providing approximately 200 Nerf bullets (darts? ammo? what are they?), I let them loose with a pile of cardboard boxes and told them they could have the run of the cul-de-sac and the back yard.

Naturally, the baby sat in the middle of it all and chewed on Nerf darts (but only for a second til I apprehended him and snapped a picture).


It was maybe the most brilliant, inexpensive, and fun party we’ve ever done. After two hours they were exhausted, and almost all of them went straight to basketball practice afterwards.


Carlton Landing was on our schedule for weeks, and we almost didn’t go due to all the craziness with Mom. But my counselor reminded me that my first responsibility is to my husband and children, and that it would do us all good to get a break. So that’s exactly what we did. And it was heavenly – that perfectly crisp fall air, some drenching rain, and loads of time snuggling the littles. My in-laws joined us, and we ate tons of comfort food and generally did a whole lot of nothing.


For Halloween day, we had another quick Nerf gun party for Jude and his CL buddies, followed up immediately by trick or treating.

Archer was Mickey Mouse (can you even? I MEAN LOOK AT MY BABYYYY).


And of course we had a Mummy cake. Because Halloween.

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And Simon and I were mouseketeers! Annette Funicello forever!


Jude went as an extremely realistic Harry Potter. If he ever needs glasses, he’ll rock them undoubtedly.

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Finally Sunday morning, a few hours spent at the dock in a sugar coma. Jude and his Papa fished (they caught FIFTEEN) and while the baby napped, I took a kayak out onto the glassy lake.

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Here’s to a better week. I cannot say thank you enough for all your thoughts, notes, and comments about my family. Mom is doing so much better. I’m amazed at her improvement, although she still has a long way to go. My Dad is also doing a lot better too. More updates later!

xoxo –

with love,

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