{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} – Halloween!

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life, as inspired by the women at Like Mother, Like Daughter~


These two girls are pretty – pretty sweet, pretty fun, pretty lovable, pretty silly – and I am pretty grateful to be their mom.


“This how Ms. ‘Lyssa calm her baby,” she told me as she swayed back and forth, gently bobbing from foot to foot. She’s right; our friend Alyssa often rocks her little one just like this during church. I love that she’s watching and observing and learning, even in the small, everyday things, and that she chooses to emulate the many adults in her life worthy of such imitation.

Halloween has never been my favorite holiday, but seeing it through the eyes of a preschooler makes it a bit more enjoyable. We carved pumpkins (Katie told us she was “wery disappointed” when her jack-o-lantern grew moldy and we had to relocate it to the compost pile), we attended the preschooler trick-or-treat hosted by our local downtown businesses, and we spent Halloween evening enjoying pizza and conversation with friends who live in a prime trick-or-treating neighborhood (the trio of preschoolers tripping over each other in their excitement to give out candy was about as cute as it gets).


This hairstyle is the result of giving Abby mashed potato pancakes for breakfast. Strange, how it doesn’t have the same effect on me.

Jonathan recently got a new phone – the Pixel 2 – which has a nice camera on it, prompting him to take more photos (hurrah!). I logged into his Photos account to download pictures from pumpkin-carving, and came across these (shh! Don’t tell!).  Cell phones were designed for taking selfies with little ones, right?


I’ve been sitting here for the past twenty minutes, well aware that nap time will soon end and my window for finishing this post will close and yet unable to come up with something to write for this week’s {real}. I scrolled through photos – a couple of times – and I flipped through my journal. I scanned the headlines and looked at texts I sent and received. I thought about my not-so-great parenting moments and considered confessing an instance of hypocrisy.

There were some false starts, some half-baked ruminations on things I’ve been considering lately (little things – like feminism and #MeToo, like staying home and societal expectations, like comparison and wanting to be all things to all people, like the theology of work and how it plays out in my life – things easy to knock out in a few paragraphs at the end of a weekly post, ha!).

In the end, though, I’m left with this (which is, perhaps, the most real {real} of all): I don’t have any images of the ugly or the difficult or the not-so-picture-perfect moments (though they certainly happened), and I don’t have any commentary on what’s happening in the broader world outside my home.

All I have is one more photo of a cute gap-toothed kid, and the reflection that, sometimes, what’s real doesn’t share well online, doesn’t lend itself to easy presentation, easy words, easy photographs, that sometimes, I forget to pull out my camera to capture a moment, – and that’s ok (and maybe even better than ok) – that sometimes, my thoughts don’t coalesce, don’t deign to be shared on a neat schedule.

What was real this past week is what’s real most weeks: good food and good conversations with friends, shared desserts and quick games of cribbage after the girls are in bed, piles of laundry and dishes to wash, cat vomit and dog puke and pumpkin guts caked to the floor, laughter and tears and smiles and screams. In other words, the stuff of life, the stuff I’ve shared time and time again.

Those are some of the {pretty, happy, funny, real} moments around here this week. How about you? Capture any contentment lately?

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