My awesome husband celebrated his 30th birthday at the beginning of this week. We’ve been together for about 85% of his twenties so it’s a bit mind-bending for me to have him in a new decade, but exciting nonetheless.

Conor’s mom flew in to surprise him (and our daughters - let’s be honest). The only time I brought out my “big” camera was when we went to the Baylands in Sunnyvale. November in CA is one of my favorites. The weather commits to being cooler, the rain comes… it’s a happy time!

In between our butterfly viewings, we played at the beach. It was pretty much the perfect November day. Hardly a breeze, overcast and comfortable. The girls pretty much played non-stop. It was hard to leave!

Yesterday, Holly had the day off of school. I really wanted to have a great, memorable day with my girls. I miss having Holly home and often I feel exhausted by the time we get to the weekend. Not without a couple Momma melt-downs, we made it to Santa Cruz to see the monarch butterflies. The butterflies stop in the eucalyptus groves on their migration course. We walked down into the grove in the morning and then again in the afternoon before we went home. The butterflies were much more active and showed more movement in the afternoon than in the morning. In between these two visits, we played at the beach. It was a lovely day.

So it looks like I’m in that phase of life where there’s a lot less time for everything including a blog…

I made this baby quilt for Holly’s elementary school’s annual auction. Holly goes to a public school, but it has a unique “open” philosophy. We work in the classroom for 4 hours a week, plus every family takes on additional “jobs.” Once a week for a half hour, I help out the art teacher (this is in addition to my 4 hours in the classroom). Greta comes along and it’s kind of fun for her to feel like she has a job. The school is excellent and I love it. It really aligns with what I believe elementary education should be. We go on a lot more field trips than the other public schools in our district. Our class will go on 11 field trips this year. We also have art and music classes which were cut from other schools with the deep budget cuts that have happened. To get into this school, it’s a lottery system. We feel really blessed that we get to go here, especially because it’s so different from what I would think the Bay Area would offer. Our school aims to raise about $100,000 (seriously!) from the auction. I’m excited to go to the auction and see what’s being offered and what goes for the most money! And hopefully this quilt sells, otherwise it goes to the rummage (garage) sale in the spring!

Halloween was lots of fun this year! As per usual we had lots of Halloween-y type things to attend - ward trunk or treat, joy school party, friend party, parade and carnival at Holly’s school, trick or treating in Willow Glen and finally trick or treating around our own block with friends. Holly was Astrid for all the events, except for Halloween night. She decided to be Elsa and match Greta’s Anna. Greta was something different for most events - Snow White, Unicorn, Mermaid and Anna. She made me laugh! The girls have traded their candy for a toy, but Greta’s still throwing fits like a sugar-crazed three year old… so… maybe it’s the cold virus she caught…?

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