This Thanksgiving went nothing like Clay and I planned but it turned out absolutely wonderful because I unexpectedly spent it with both of my brothers. The three of us haven't been together in years. Literally years.
Things in my family will never be how they were or how they're supposed to be, but Luke, Cory, and I are still close and bonded and forging memories and traditions that work for us, and for that, I am incredibly thankful.
It's the very last thing I ever pictured myself doing, but one of my best friends suggested I co-lead a troop with her at our daughters' school because there wasn't one. So I did, and I still marvel over how we went from attending weekly sorority meetings in college to planning bi-weekly scouts meetings at an elementary school. God, time flies.
The whole process has been at times frustrating and very time consuming and a bit expensive but immensely rewarding. Emerson and Amelia are absolutely overjoyed with everything Girl Scouts has provided them and Bonnie and I have had the opportunity to really get to know and interact and lead our 14 girls.
There is one girl in particular who I have watched - and personally encouraged! - transition from very shy to much more open and comfortable expressing herself, and that reason alone is why I will continue doing this.
In a time when young girls are especially sensitive to bullying and self-doubt, I love helping empower them and raise their self-esteem, and Girl Scouts is a major way to do that.
We took the kids on their first ever haunted hayride (Narls loved it, Em not so much).
There were many an evening spent with candles and TWD and Beetlejuice.
We met up with friends at our town's Monster Mash family Halloween party.
And snuck in spiked hot chocolates for our annual trip to Crossroads.
Indulged on many festive foods & drinks.
And watched Em and her besties do a Halloween-themed flash mob dance at the Farmers' Market.
A friend and I bought (and stuffed!) 28 plastic pumpkins for our kiddo's second grade class party.
Clay and I spent Halloween morning jetting between our two favorite little people's Fall Festival classroom parties.
And then we spent THE COLDEST & SNOWIEST HALLOWEEN NIGHT EVER trick or treating. Seriously! In. the. snow. My fingers were froze despite being tightly clenched around a steamy mug of a caramel vodka hot chocolate so I only took two pictures that in no way even come close to the amount of snow that was falling. It was cold. And snowy. I can't reiterate that enough.