Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Falling for Fall

I miss home most of all during October, November, and December. I have always loved fall, and when I see friends - those who live in areas of the country that actually experience seasons - posting pictures of themselves picking apples, drinking hot apple cider, indulging in apple orchard donuts (I'm not sure what makes it so, but orchard donuts are the BEST), wearing cozy sweaters, and sitting by the fire, I feel a little homesick. I know I'll have the opportunity to comfortably participate in all of these activities eventually, but it just doesn't feel quite the same doing so in February rather than during the autumn months. I also miss watching the leaves change from bright green to vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, and walking - swish, swish, swish, swish - through piles of dried leaves collecting on the sidewalks.

Thanks to those who knows how much I miss home right now and send me pictures of fall at its finest.

Even better, my mom texted me a video of her feet walking - swish, swish, swish - through the leaves, and my mother-in-law mailed the kids me an envelope of leaves from Northern Wisconsin.

Happy fall, y'all!

Friday, October 23, 2020

High Five for Friday (10.23.20)

After two weeks of work-related travel, Tom finally comes home this weekend!

Somewhere in the midwest, on his drive through.

I voted. It took 47 minutes from the time I joined the line until I walked out the backdoor of the building, so if you add in the four-minute drive to the polling place and the four-minute drive home, I accomplished this "feat" in under an hour. 

As I walked back to my car, I felt accomplished and proud and ever so slightly hopeful. Anxiety and fear still swirled around inside of me, deep in the pit of my stomach, but I tried as hard as I could to - at least for a few moments - allow space for only my positive emotions to flourish. 

VOTE, friends! 


That's my Lily, by the way. These are from her dance company photo shoot.

As a member of the Ballet Brazos Publicity Committee (I think my official title is Vice Chair, but I prefer "Assistant to the Regional Manager"), I've spent the last few weeks working toward an important upcoming event. Taking place next Tuesday, October 27th, Brazos Valley Gives is a community-wide day of giving built around strengthening nonprofits, empowering donors, and building community. We're proud to be a part of this second annual fundraiser, and we'd like to invite you to visit www.brazosvalleygives.org to learn more about the event, the many participating organizations, and the efforts of Ballet Brazos to instruct, educate, and enrich the lives of young people through the art of dance to share quality classical ballet performances with audiences of all ages.

These delightful little babes have been so fun to play with and love on...especially after they stopped pooping all over my house. 😉

Hallie's American Girl doll was on the top
bunk so they had to share the bottom bunk.

This girl can't say no to a tummy rub.

That paw up by her right ear? That's her BACK paw.
She could not love having her tummy rubbed more.

Dorothy, on the other hand, loves science.


...and participating. She's pretty
solid on the Periodic Table now.

A bonus high five - happy birthday, Nuria!

And a bonus bonus high five for Jenn's back porch, without which these socially distant (excep for a photo) birthday gatherings would be possible...

Have a great weekend, friends!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Paint the Pumpkin Teal

I talk about the Teal Pumpkin Project each year around this time, so for those of you who read Chasing Roots regularly, this post may feel familiar. The topic is an important one however, so please give the post a quick read and consider either participating yourself (if you plan to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home this year) or sharing the post so others can jump on board the teal pumpkin band wagon! 

Two years ago, Will trick-or-treated like a "normal" kid for the first time. He didn't have to gently sift through bowls of candy looking for a piece he could safely eat, or say "no thank you" and walk away with nothing at all if the candy offered contained or might contain peanuts. I didn't have to read the labels on or look up the ingredients in any piece of candy he brought home. He sampled anything and everything without fear.

This wasn't always the case for Will and our family. As my regular readers know, Will has a peanut allergy. Two years ago he completed a months-long peanut desensitization, and he just recently entered his third year of maintenance during which he eats 12 peanuts every single day (without issue) to maintain that desensitized state. Sadly, not all kids with peanut allergies are so lucky, which is why, after participating for the first time in 2014 when it officially hit front porches nationwide, we continue to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project.

For those who haven't yet heard of this Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) project, here's the background information and a quick summary. At least one in 13 children (perhaps as many as one in 11 children) have a food allergy, and many more suffer from Celiac Disease, eat a restricted or special diet, or receive their nutrients via tube feeding. For these children - those who can't consume any of the items received while trick-or-treating or who can't trick-or-treat at all - Halloween doesn't have the same sparkle. The Teal Pumpkin Project began as a local awareness activity in Eastern Tennessee and grew into a nationwide campaign to "raise awareness about food allergies and promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters" and aims to ensure every child can experience a safe, happy holiday.

Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project is easy.
  1. Pick out a pumpkin, paint it teal, and place it on your front porch on Halloween.
  2. Provide non-food treats - pencils, erasers, stickers, bubbles, and plastic vampire teeth have been popular at our house - for trick-or-treaters. 
The goal here is not to exclude candy; FARE suggests simply putting candy in one bowl, and non-food treats in a separate bowl. And if you don't have time to buy and/or paint a teal pumpkin, you can buy one onlineorder a fun sign for your front yard, or print out and hang up one of FARE's signs!

Painting a pumpkin teal or putting out a teal pumpkin on Halloween won't cure Will or anyone else of their allergies. But doing so is a step toward increasing awareness and making the world a safer place for people with life-threatening food allergies.

Let's paint the town teal!

I could use an updated photo of Hallie and her teal pumpkin, but
why would I, when this one is so cute? She had NO teeth in the
front - top or bottom - for months, and it was adorable.

Finished and ready for Halloween!

Would you like to win a Teal Pumpkin Project paint kit? Enter by commenting here or by commenting on or liking this post on Facebook. Will will randomly choose a winner on Friday, October 23rd and we'll mail or deliver your paint kit on Saturday, October 24th.

I have no affiliation with nor have I received any payment - financial or in-kind - from the Teal Pumpkin Project in exchange for this post. I just happen to be a big supporter of their work!

Friday, October 16, 2020

High Five for Friday (10.16.20)

May her legacy be a revolution.
Might be my favorite mask yet. (Thanks, Mom!)

I chopped my hair off! 

I get my hair professionally cut and colored once, maybe twice, a year. In between those cuts, my mom - who I usually see about every three months - trims my hair for me. She trimmed my hair when she was in town for Nutcracker 2019, and I had planned on her trimming it again come March or April, when she would have - during a normal year - visited for Hallie's birthday. Ah, best laid plans, amiright?

I didn't see my mom in March, or during the summer months, and let me tell you - my hair was in BAD shape. I wasn't actually quite ready to venture into a salon, but the alternative was letting Hallie have a go at it and that seemed too risky. 

So now it's done, thank goodness. I feel like I've "cut off" (let go of) some of my 2020 baggage, and that's not a bad feeling.

Also, I despise selfies.

We didn't have school on Monday, so we started off our (too hot for) fall day with a trip to the pumpkin patch. 

Also, outtakes. 😂

Trips to the pumpkin patch here in Texas look a lot different than they did in Michigan, at least in terms of layers of clothing.

While adorably sweet, these two have been a challenge! Both Dorothy and Ruby developed some gastrointestinal issues that resulted in A LOT of poop in A LOT of places that weren't the litter box. First we tried a probiotic, which proved challenging, as it needed to be mixed with and consumed by way of wet food, which Dorothy does NOT like. Then we moved on to a stronger med, which took three of us to administer orally twice daily for five days. Oh, and Dorothy has claws like no kitten I've ever met and isn't shy about using them to climb up our bare legs (or anything else for that matter). 

On one of their first nights, we couldn't find either kitten when it was time to tuck them into bed. We knew they hadn't escaped because none of us had been outside for hours, but after all four of us searched the house top to bottom for 20+ minutes with no luck, we started to panic. Finally, while looking under our bed for the fourth time, I happened to see a tiny bit of movement coming from inside the boxsprings...as it turned out, they had torn a hole (or perhaps enhanced a tiny hole that already existed) in the bottom lining of the boxsprings and climbed inside the mattress. We were so relieved to find them that we didn't even mind taking the entire bed apart to lift up and essentially (gently) slide them down to the bottom of the boxsprings so we could pull them out. 

We had to take the entire bedroom apart, but we got them out!

But...even though Dorothy and Ruby pooped on the carpet SO MANY TIMES, and even though we're covered in kitten scratches, and even though they scared the daylights out of us by hunkering down inside our bed, and even though they took far longer to warm up to us than Lilo, Mahalo, and Scrumpy Scrumperson, we love them dearly. And we feel like we've officially earned our foster family stripes with these two!  

Happiness Highlights
Tom brought me home a treat - this delicious brew
plus a mini chocolate cake - as a "it seems like you
needed this" gift. I did need it.

They're back!

Delicious samples - a surprise, delivered
right to my door - from my favorite coffee guys.

Well, this was fun...

The collage I shared on National Son's Day - I
thought it deserved a little screen time here too.

Sleepover in their matching Nutcracker pajamas!

This is how Tom goes to work.

This is what Hallie made/had made/bought Will
for his birthday. It came a couple of days late which
bummed her out, but she was so proud of it.

When it's not too hot outside, Hallie and I
enjoy our morning beverages together on the porch.
I'm so glad we decided to add/update this space!

Happy weekend, friends!