happy halloween?

I have a love-hate relationship with Halloween. I hate gory stuff, can't watch scary movies (or even Law and Order SVU) because of the nightmares that follow, and am generally opposed to a holiday founded on the pagan tradition of hiding from the devil by wearing masks.
However, I LOVE costumes and playing dress up. I love trying to think of ideas for "group" costumes (before we settled on the tooth theme, I considered an insect theme [with burke as a glowworm], an agriculture theme [with burke as a carrot] and tried unsuccessfully to come up with group themes that included a peacock or a hedgehog). I love fall treats like caramel apples, chai tea and pumpkin dip. I love the fascination that kids have with dressing up. And seriously- a holiday with lots of free chocolate? I'm in.
So if you celebrate Halloween, have a fantastic day. And if not, I get it. For now, Burke and I are off to spread some joy around Denver. He's wearing his extra costume from nana (the cutest little bunny rabbit) as we run around and do errands... I'll post pictures of our family tooth-themed getups sometime this weekend! :)


pumpkin carving!

burke with my "g" pumpkin and ian's political pumpkin

tom's sick jack o' lantern

I have such great memories of carving pumpkins growing up- newspaper spread out across the family room, bowls of goop dotting the floor, the smell of roasting pumpkin seeds, checking out our work by turning off the lights and putting candles in our masterpieces... This is certainly a tradition that Adam and I will continue with our family!

Since Burke can't wield a knife yet, this year we had friends over for "fall fest"- pumpkin carving, cider sipping, and pumpkin pie devouring. And now I have enough roasted pumpkin seeds to snack on for a couple weeks (or at the rate I'm snacking, enough for today- haha!). I love fall!


colorado wedding

We made the trek through the mountains to Colorado wine country last weekend for a friend's wedding. It was GORGEOUS... perfect fall weather, beautiful scenery, lovely people. Congratulations Tiffany and Tucker!



I know that I used to post quotes from my students last year... The fun continues, even without my own classroom. Here a few quotables from my days subbing:

Daniel: I thought you had a baby.
Me: I did.
Daniel: Why didn't you bring him?
Me: I thought he might be a distraction.
Daniel: But we're fifth graders now- we could take care of him.

Leticia (to another student): I had Mrs. G as a second grade teacher and she smells just the same now as she did then.

Mrs. Voss (another teacher): What's a reunion?
Hiram (remember him from last year?): It's where we all get together and talk about the good ol' days.



One of my favorite things about being at home is that there is time in my schedule for 'extras.' If a friend needs dinner, I am available for the grocery shopping and the cooking... Or if, say, a friend is getting married in the mountains next weekend, I have time to bake cookies for all her welcome baskets. Love that! :)


kojo giveaway!

If you head over to the kojodesigns blog today (or for the rest of this week), you'll have a chance to win a set of FREE personalized stationary (you could even get it personalized in someone else's name and use it as a Christmas gift)!

We're gearing up for the holidays and are bribing people for their opinions with a giveaway... and I'd love to see one of y'all win. :)


bad, bad news

Remember a few months ago when I asked y'all to be praying for Adam's dad's health? After a brutal summer of radiation and chemo, we got some really bad news last week that his cancer has spread. Even worse, it's too widespread and too far along to cure. Mark will still get chemo (a different kind than this summer), but the purpose of it will be to buy time (the doctor said 18 months-ish).
Needless to say, we're devastated by this news. I will try to give periodic updates on here, and Evette (adam's mom) will be keeping a more complete journal at caring bridge (also in my sidebar under "Mark Gentry updates"). I don't know if there's anything else to say, really. We love y'all and cherish your prayers.


aspiring roller

Burke's little friends at play group, Annie and Caroline (both born within 8 days of him!), have been rolling around him for the last couple weeks. We're trying to get on board (well, sort of... I've heard not to encourage mobility too much- haha!)... but so far the only rolling is "mom-and-dad-assisted-roll-overs." We'll get there. :) In the meantime, I love watching Burke during tummy time!



Today I was thinking about how right now I sort of feel like a rock in a fast flowing river- being crashed and tumbled and chipped- and about how I wish I could just find a quiet pool to sit in for awhile.
As y'all know, I am definitely a people pleaser. And those of us who like to please people have a hard time when that's not happening. There's a lot of that in our life right now... some feeling too busy to maintain relationships that we know we should be investing in, some feeling misunderstood, some clashing of priorities, some weariness from being on the defensive (some stress of too much talking politics with the upcoming election!). It's not neccesarily bad... I don't think that relationships are being damaged or anything like that... just tumble-y.

I was rocking Burke earlier- he was cuddled into my shoulder, I was swaying, he was cooing and singing. And all I could think was that I wish it were me being rocked and soothed.
My prayer is that in all of this tossing around, I would be content to let life flow over me... that I would take the chipping away as part of the Lord's sanctification, that my little heart wouldn't get too bruised by things that don't matter, that I'd be able to simultaneously be a peacemaker and a speaker of truth, that I'd be wise in my time management and gentle in my interactions. Maybe you could pray those things for me too...


family pics

One of Jord's many great talents is taking fabulous pictures... you know how some people just seem to have an eye for that? Well, she does... and I love to utilize her fantastic photo taking skills as much as possible. While she was in town last week, she took some darling pictures of Burke, as well as some family pictures of all three of us (Evette needed one for their Christmas card). I generally take the pictures around here, so I don't have many pictures of me and the Itsy Bitsy- it's so fun to have these!



Happy birthday to my favorite sister-in-law! Hope your day is filled with diet coke, gorgeous fall weather, some pre-phillies game festivities, reese's, a pedicure and all sorts of people making you feel special! We love you!


4 months!

We had Burke's 4 month appointment last week and I thought I'd pass along his stats. :)

He is now 14 pounds, 11 ounces... in the 35th percentile for weight (really!?! 65% of 4 month olds are bigger than him??? He seems so chunky to me...). He is 26 inches long, which is the 75th percentile for height. And his head is 17 inches in circumfrence, which is right about the 50th percentile.

It was good to hear that he's doing well, growing at a healthy pace... not so fun to get shots (I seem to mind more than he does).


mini identity crisis

Between Adam starting dental school and us attending a new church, we have met an army of new people lately. In general, I like meeting people- I love learning what they're about, what their passions are, where they've been... However, the frequent meet-and-greet status has been kind of tricky because, for the first time, as I meet people I don't have something that I "do."

Now, I could write a whole post (or several!) about the merits of being a stay-at-home mama... I think that God has put me here, I think that it's great for Burke, I wouldn't change it for the world. I also think that the job of being a mom is a really important, and a really tough job...

I guess that it has just been interesting to not have my identity tied to a vocation. I mean, I still love kids, I still feel called to serve the poor... my passions haven't changed. But it feels more difficult to communicate that now. Like I have to explain myself... "I'm a mom- but I used to be a teacher... and not just a teacher at a regular old school, a teacher in a really low-income area..." I know, it's ridiculous. Obviously, as people get to know me, they'll understand that I am interested in things other than cloth diapers and the merits of various brands of strollers (which I am actually interested in, too). It just feels hard to communicate that right now...

It makes me wonder if my identity was a little too tied up in "doing" instead of "being" in the first place?


starting early

Burke has a special affinity for Sonic cups... He knows good stuff when he sees it! :)


thai take out amidst the boxes

Jordi and the girls are in town for the week- YAY! And tonight we all celebrated mom and dad moving out of the extended stay hotel and into their house- double YAY! It was so fun to eat thai take out in between towers of boxes and to think about the fun to be had in this house and in this new season with mom and dad in denver. :)