ten thoughts on a wednesday |45|


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whose idea was daylight savings? i'd like to have a stern word with that person. who in their right mind wants it to be lighter at 5:30am than at 5:30pm? who?? also, whoever came up with it did not have young children. when the clocks turned here in london, gabriel started traded in his 5:30am wakeup call (brutal) to a 4:15am wakeup call (death). i just think we should abolish daylight savings, it's awful! (in complaining about this over the past couple of weeks i've learned a little bit of history about daylights savings, factory work and conserving electricity etc, but i'm still mad - ha!)

my mom and dad were in town this week! they were here just for about 48 hours, but man it's so great to have them around. there's so much joy in our home when grammie and grandfather are here! moses and gabriel are obsessed with both of them and it's soooo so so much fun to see my parents with my children. my parents have thirty one grandchildren (mo is number twenty eight and gabriel is number thirty one!), and every single one is adored and feels so special when they are with g&g. 
i only snapped a couple pictures, but the past few days included lots of good stuff: a daddy-daughter bike ride through notting hill, moses falling on the ground overcome with laughter watching grandfather juggle, great deep discussions about important things after the kids were in bed, some grandparent babysitting, reveling in the outrageously beautiful foliage in hyde park, the boys snuggling in bed with grandfather first thing in the morning as he told them stories, walks around our pretty neighborhood, and gabriel grinning at his grandparents like crazy.

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socially, i've always been a floater. it's just somehow a part of my nature to often spread myself wide instead of deep when it comes to friendships. (i do have some very close friends, but for the most part i seem to always be dipping into several different "friend groups.") there are pros and cons to this, and i've recently been reflecting on why i am this way and if it would be good to work to tweak this about myself. i'm not sure. 

on a somewhat related note, i've been thinking a bit lately about how i've changed over the past few years. and i think i have become much more introverted. i used to be pretty much 100% an extrovert, but now i sometimes find myself feeling pretty drained, rather than energized, by spending time with others. i'm not sure why this has evolved, but it's interesting to think about. i love that as humans we grow and mature and unfold and become over time. it's a process we can find so much beauty in. 

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^^ someone got a haircut! :) ^^
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^^ simple pleasures … there’s this green toy truck at our grocery store that moses loves. it’s coin operated, but we never pay to make it move - mo is perfectly happy to just play in it as is. ^^
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^^ our garden square looking lovely in autumn! ^^

a friend posted these words, penned by st. francis of assisi, on instagram the other day. they really touched me and made me want to be better.
lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, lights;
where there is sadness, joy.
o divine master, grant that i may not so much seek 
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
for it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

christmas is popping up all over london, and i'm giddy about it ... but today i appreciated spoting this beautiful homage to autumn holding strong amidst the encroaching tinsel and baubles:
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i forgot to include this photo in my last ten thoughts post when i mentioned my sister saren and her daughter eliza coming to london! 
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one day during their visit gabe and i met up with saren and eliza along with our favourite schwartz girls for afternoon tea! it was such a fun gathering of gals. 

this week i remembered how one of my colleagues when i was teaching middle school in the bay area had this phrase plastered across the front of her classroom: every challenge is an opportunity. i love that! and i want to make it a mantra that comes to my mind whenever i am confronted with challenges. 

isn't it awesome that we get a new, fresh start every single morning?! or really, every single minute? we don't have to wait to be better, to begin again, to refresh and reset. i have been failing in a lot of my recent goals/resolutions but i'm trying to remind myself that i can just start again right now! and i'm infinitely grateful for my faith in the endless second chances that are available to those with pure hearts because of the saviour, jesus christ. 

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i've been wanting to rename this blog for many years. but i cannot, for the life of me, think of a name that i like! do you have any suggestions?! 

happy wednesday! life is beautiful!

halloween-time 2018

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it was so, so, so fun to watch moses start to really understand and enjoy halloween this year. at the beginning of the month he learned about trick-or-treating and decided on his costume (and was very definitive about what his baby brother should dress up as, as well!). he was so excited to visit a pumpkin patch and was fascinated by pumpkin carving. and then on the big day he added the word “spooky” to his vocabulary and could hardly contain his joy as we headed out to trick-or-treat.

halloween is not a big holiday in the uk, although it seems to be becoming a bigger deal in london. now that we had a child old enough to really appreciate it all, i'm excited to celebrate more heartily next year. here's some snippets of halloween fun around here:

we traveled two hours each way to a pumpkin patch outside of the city, and met up with some friends there. it was quite the trek, but it was fun. moses loved playing in the big piles of hay and haystacks and picked out a tiny pumpkin for us to bring home.
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we had some fun playing in the leaves in kensington gardens to commemorate my dad's birthday (jumping in the leaves is his very beloved and always honored birthday tradition):
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we carved pumpkins with some friends. (this picture below is not a great one of ian, haha, but i wanted to capture and remember moses peering inside the pumpkins, so curious and excited! and that's not gabriel on ian's lap, it's our friends' little boy ;) )
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moses requested one smiley face with five teeth and one surprised face. so that's what he got!
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gabey baby's first halloween!
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we enjoyed little snippets of halloweeny-ness and pretty foliage around the city:
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and were all so excited about dressing up. moses chose costumes based on his two favourite animals. gabriel got to go to a pre-halloween party for the youth at church with dad (ian was "dressed up" as a zookeeper with gabriel the giraffe strapped on him, ha!) and moses got to go to joy school in his costume (here's a little elephant waiting for the bus on the way home):
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on 31 october, i saw more christmas decorations than halloween decorations around london ... but also walked past this house that looked spookishly autumnal:
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and on halloween night i made a valiant effort trying to get a cute picture of both boys in their costumes. moses was just trying to be in zoo-animal character while gabriel sat there a bit stunned by his wired-on-halloween-excitement brother :)
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there are a few pockets of neighborhoods in london that do trick-or-treating. lucky for us - one of them is just around the corner from our flat. some of the houses were super decked out and the atmosphere was so fun! moses was thrilled about it all and it was so fun to walk with him up to doors to say trick or treat! it was already completely dark when we headed out (curses to daylight savings time!!) and it was pretty crowded (and so exciting) so i wasn't able to capture much of our trick-or-treating fun in pictures. i'm sad that people put up their awesome decorations only for one night! i did catch a few leftovers on my run this morning (pic on the right)...
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after trick-or-treating (moses was done after less than ten houses because he just wanted to eat his treats already! ;) ) we went to a little halloween party our neighbor friends threw. as we walked we passed a stranger that said, "ahhh, it's a three headed monster!" when he saw ian with gabriel on his chest and moses on his shoulders. haha!
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moses was so amused by the eating-a-donut-off-a-string game, and the pinata at the party! it was such a fun night.

i think halloween for our little family is just going to get busier and more fun with each passing year! bring it on!