Halloween 2011

Let it be remembered that on October 31, 2011, Halloween was cancelled.  (Gasp/shutter/quite wimper) Thanks to what they're calling yet another natural "disaster" over in in the tri-state area the majority of citizens are without power. The ridiculously early snow storm that apparently rained down flakes of iron caused multiple branches to break off the surrounding trees simiply resulting in a mess of power lines.

Thankfully, we're one of the few (three houses in our ward) that I know of that still have power. Which has been extra nice because we have Phil's parents and sister in town and 55 degree weather and cold showers doesn't really spell hospitality.

But how does Halloween get cancelled? Your town cancels any sort Halloween fesitivites until this coming Saturday and tells you there's no trick or treating until then either. On the plus side, Phil got to stay home from work today because the train lines weren't running. So we did pizza and painted pumpkins...and I think we're gonna call it good.

(Frankly, I'm a little disappointed this whole thing has been delayed. I was quite looking forward to moving on to Thanksgiving and Christmas. So even thought we might go trick or treating Friday (they did get in our ward Halloween party and trunk or treat a couple weeks ago), the Thanksgiving decor and Christmas music come out tomorrow and nobody is stopping me!)

He Delivered

My wonderful dad sent me the photos of their visit last week so now I can document our fun.  Aside from the general hanging out, catching up, showing them around town, we took one day to visit Liberty and Ellis Islands. And because seeing the city from a distance just really didn't do it for them, we took another day to go into the city. Although I think we cummulitavely walked a marathon, we were able to cover Times Square, 34th St (Empire State Building and shopping) and made our way south to the financial district to check out where Phil works and to visit the 9/11 memorial.

 Penny and Mom waiting to board the ferry! It was very rainy when we got there and later lightened up a bit. My mom had purchased a poncho at that little stand behind her. Sadly, her wearing it was something I never got to see.

 Penny and I waving 'hi!' to daddy!

 Ryder ridin' the ferry with Nana.

 We made it! To Ellis Island Immigration Island --not Migration...like you might thing from the photo. That's a whole other island entirely.  (we had to hurry, it was a hot spot for photo taking).

I can't help but looking at us all together in this photo and thinking how happy were the number or our ancestors who came through this same point. I LOVE THE U.S.A.!

 Ryder and I finding out way to the potty while inside the museum. This building was very beautiful. I would love to go back someday minus kids so I can take some more time reading and looking at everything. It totally put my mom and I in the mood to brush up on some good historical fictions  from this era. Know any good ones?

 Move over Lady Liberty! There some other LAY-DEES comin to the island today!

 I'm quite convinced my mom totally showed me up with her poses... I am not surprised.

 My handsome Daddio

 Times Square! Someone's excited!

 A little lunch here. Very fun. Nice people and very cool things to see. 

 Awwwhhh....love them

Still in Times Square...and still excited! 
Can you see the city just doesn't have the same effect on Phil anymore. The magic has just worn off for him ;)

 The magic and excitement may have worn off a smidge for all of us at this point after we discoverd we had to walk FORevA to get to the entrance of the memorial.

 We think it was worth it though.

In front of the memorial. Grateful we got to visit almost exactly 10 years later.

The Freedom Tower.

We still had a long way to walk back to catch the PATH to get home. The shortest route there was through a couple of buildings (thankfully). The final stretch was probably an uncovered 30 yards. Of course, there just happened to be a monsoon-like downpour when we poked out for the final haul. I have never been in a rain storm like that. And that's saying something here. Every man for himself! I was pushing Ryder. Phil had Penny (he bolted). My parents....all I can say is that once I was in the station I turned around and through my smeared make-up and sprinkled glasses I saw in the distance a blurry view of my mom bent over wiping her make-up off on my dad's shirt tails. This along with the hysteria only a downpour can cause made my mom and I laugh all the way from NYC to Hoboken. ~Sigh~ Still laughing about it now. 

So fun, that week was. So fun. 

Mom and Dad, I'm already planning our adventures for next time!

I Love (Leaf) Fall

Do you ever ground yourself? You say something like, I can't do anything I actually really want to do until all of the stuff I need to do is done. Well, today I was SO grounded and I'm pretty sure if I was a teenager and paid the same mind to my mom as I'm doing to myself right now, I'd be in double-dutch.

But it's the holidays! So who cares! And so I shall spend my potentially productive moments making a "I 'heart/leaf' fall" sign until my hearts content and no one can stop me!* If you feel like you need a zest of fall spirit to your office or home bullitin board, download here.

I may not be getting much done around the house, but we did find time yesterday to halloween-ify our house a bit more with some owls. I'm pretty sure these are as simple as owls get. Penelope even enjoyed making her own until her stinker streak sat in and she emptied the container of crayons on the floor right before choosing to stay out of dodge for awhile.

Ryder was clever enough to make his owl a neck tie.  In the back there was Penny trying to figure out whether or not she should put herself into time out after the crayon incident.

Instead she just kept poking this face around the corner.

And here is Ryder's owl with it's awesom neck-tie. Can you guess which one is mine (think looney).

* This one I actually got the idea on wonderful Pinterest. I purposely didn't go back looking for it because I didn't want it to be the exact same. I was going for simplistic and modern, which is fitting for my skill level. It was also my first time working with the gradient tool, which was very fun. 

Back to Real Life

They came and they went; gracing us with a 5-day long burst of delight. How fun it was to see my parents and get to show them our new stomping grounds. They were a joy to have in our home and I feel like their time here flew by way too quickly.

 I love these two.

And just like any event worth capturing, I forget my camera on some our adventures (It was raining! So I opted for the point and shoot, but the battery was dead. I really did try.) Anyway, as soon as my daddio gets me some of his photos, a follow-up is an absolute must. It's totally worth the wait, I'd say.

Sadly, we partied hardy and on the morn of my mom and dad's departure, I was left with a frown and some funky head cold thing that made my noggin feel like an achy mess. I dealt with this by doing a big, fat nothing the rest of the weekend and now I must deal with the consequences. Upon the close of this weekend I must face my reality: a messy house, and a rather large stack of annoying stuff.

But it was fuuuuun while it lasted.

Hope is the Thing

...And we’re back! Well, sort of.  The ‘ol blog was in dire need of a makeover. I also  changed the name. Sorry. I know that’s annoying. And although I liked Owl Notes, it was a name picked on a whim because it seemed cute and fun, but nothing that really held any personal relevance. Not that every blog should have a title chalked full of meaning--I just wanted something a little more relevant to the things and life I like to write about.
So I thought long and hard about what I did want to name this blog. Mostly because I don’t want to do this to you again (or myself for that matter) and decide in 4 years that I need to rename it just one more time. Luckily, I was smart enough to ask my mom for some ideas and she pointed me in the direction of a poem by Emily Dickinson about hope:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

The more I thought about it, the more perfect it was! Hope not only has a lot of personal meaning for me for many reasons that I can hopefully communicate through my blog over time, but I feel it is so appropriate for my life and everybody else trying to make it in this big bad world. From hoping that your jeans will fit to hoping that your kids will sleep through the night OR from hoping to raise children that love their Savior, Jesus Christ to hoping you might find a few moments in the middle of all of that to blog. I’ve realized my everyday life adds up to one big, ginormous hope fest!

These two being best friends--is something I hope for

As it should be. I think a big part of this life is centered around hope. Hope in our Savior, hope in our family and friends, and hope for the small things that make us happy. So, for as silly an unimportant as it is, I’m excited for this change to my blog.
The design isn’t quite finished. As I’ve explained before, I am sloooowly teaching myself how to use InDesign (a lot of hopes tied up in that one), not to mention figuring out how to make my blog look the way I want it, but I was missing actually writing on my blog--so it's just going to have to be a work in progress. Just like everything else in my life :)