Trick? Or Treat?

30 years ago, Halloween was one of the highest points of a child’s year. Right up there with Christmas morning, Easter egg hunts, and birthday parties. The excitement of picking out a costume, the thrill of running around the neighbourhood with siblings and friends, collecting obscene amounts of treats, and the days – even weeks – worth of candy, chocolate, and chips to enjoy. I remember being Pippi Longstocking, a parrot, and a rabbit. My mother was the kind of person who would allow us to choose whatever costume we could think of, then she’d make it come to life during the weeks leading up to Halloween. That’s a tradition I’ve enjoyed carrying on with my own children.

These days, it seems things aren’t so cut and dry. More and more people are forgoing the tradition of door-to-door treat gathering, choosing instead to have All Saints parties, trunk-or-treat parties, or just skipping the night all together.

I’m not sure exactly when or how things got so complicated, but they have. There are issues with food allergies and sensitivities that prevent children from being able to eat any of their Halloween spoils. There are fears that a holiday of Christian origins has been taken over by too much darkness and gore. There is a general mistrust of what some kids (perhaps with eggs and TP in their backpacks) might be up to on October 31st.

Frankly, I understand all of the concerns. We try to shelter our children from many things, including a lot of the spookiness that goes along with Halloween. We don’t eat wheat and we try to limit refined sugar, so treat-consumption is somewhat challenging as well. But when it comes down to it, the decision we’ve made is based on one major point: trick or treating is just so much fun.

It’s simply kind of magical. It’s one of those nights when kids can really just be kids. It’s crazy, being allowed to accept candy from strangers. It’s uninhibited. It’s playful. We steer our kids away from houses that are decorated to look creepy or ghoulish, and stick to ones with friendly jack-o-lanterns. We certainly don’t allow costumes that are in any way dark or gory, but stick to ones that are fun and imaginative. (Last year we had a farmer, a bunny, and a carrot.) Tonight I think my kids were only out for about 35 minutes before they’d filled their (small) bags and had all the excitement they could handle. It was more than enough! (Really, more than enough. In fact just a few days ago Princess threw out the remains of last year’s Halloween haul.)

The bottom line is this: I completely respect whatever decision people make for their own families, whether it’s similar to ours or completely the opposite. Send your kids out! Keep them home! Have a party! Whatever fits within your comfort zone is what is right for your family. Our decision may evolve over the years if our needs or circumstances change, but for now Halloween is all treat.

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What I Wore to… Go on a Thrifting Date With My Husband

You know what’s lovely? When your in-laws invite you over for a Sunday supper. You know what’s even lovelier? When they suggest you drop the kids off early and go out with your husband for a while before said supper. *Delightful* (I just happen to have some of the nicest in-laws in the whole world, by the way.) Normally we’d just leave the three “big kids” and take Pooter with us, but they suggested we leave him, so we had a rare time out completely kid-free.

I really did intend to get a picture of me actually wearing this outfit, but our afternoon got too busy. And way too fun.

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Black dress and nude tank top, Old Navy
Flats, thrifted
Nursing necklace, here

First we stopped at Starbucks, for a little “free splurge” – my husband the teacher gets lots of gift cards from his students at Christmas. Then, knowing we needed to get new running shoes for Princess, we went into the shoe store next door. There we saw a pair she would absolutely love – black and purple and sparkly. Oooooh! But for $54.99? Just not in the budget right now!

We went to our favourite thrift store on the other side of the parking lot. First we dropped off two garbage bags full of donations. (Doesn’t it feel good to purge?!) Then we blitzed the store. We didn’t have much time to hunt, but we did well. For under $40 (well under the price of one pair of brand new running shoes for a six-year-old), this was our haul:

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The big ticket item was a Mexx dress shirt for my husband (for $12.99). We also grabbed three books for Christmas gifts, the much-needed running shoes for Princess, Osh Kosh dressy boots for Princess (the faux-fur lining is incredibly soft! She was thrilled with them.), and Columbia boots for me.

Great deals, a lovely afternoon with my number one guy, and a delicious family dinner. Good day all around!

Hiatus Hijinks

Wow! It’s been awhile. How’ve you been?

That’s great to hear.

Us? Oh, you know. Same old. Trips, new babies, school days, pantry challenges, the magic and hilarity of the everyday.

Mama Might was born out of a desire to share the mutual experience of motherhood, but it turns out that motherhood is a lot of work! So much work, that we’ve found ourselves with little time to write. We wanted this to be a place where we talk about what’s real, and the reality is that we’re all in this same busy season of our lives. So why not talk about that?

Watch this space for regular glimpses into our lives: what we wore (No designer labels here!), what we ate (Who loves a food budget? We do!), and who we are (…evolving?).

Speaking of evolution, we’d like to introduce you to our newest Mama Might co-author, Katie! We can’t wait for you to get to know her.

As always, we welcome contributions from anyone in the Mama Might community. Have a story to share? Leave us a comment here, or get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by! You’re welcome here anytime.

Feeling Christmas-y? A Mama Might Give-Away!

I’m one of those people whose thoughts turn to Christmas as soon as the weather begins to cool off and the leaves begin to change colours. Of course I realize that it’s still a full three months until Christmas Eve, but there’s no time like the present when it comes to getting a jump on handmade gifts.

So in the spirit of gift-giving, the Mamas want to share a little gift with one of our readers as a way of saying thank you for your support as we get this blog up and running. We recently hit 200 Facebook likes, and had intended to do a give-away right away to celebrate. Illness has kept me out of commission (well, illness on top of being 18 weeks pregnant!), so I got a little behind. Next thing I knew, we had already hit 212 likes! So now it’s really time to celebrate!

To enter this give-away, leave a comment on this post. Tell us something – anything! Whether or not you’re getting ready for Christmas yet, what your favourite thing about fall is, what colour your socks are – anything goes.

For a second entry, simply share this post on Facebook or Twitter, and leave a second (separate) comment on this post letting us know you shared. (This is going to work on the honour system, and we trust that everyone will leave a maximum of two comments!)

The give-away will remain open for one week, to give everyone a fair chance to enter. At the end of the week we’ll select a winner at random, and she/he will win this handsome brown bird ornament:

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But how about we sweeten the deal a little?

If by the end of the give-away we have reached 250 Facebook likes, the winner will win the brown bird and this lovely Christmas dove!

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So there you have it. Leave a comment, share this post, and leave a second comment! Easy as pie! Mmm… pie!

Why Blog?

When I first mentioned to my mother that we were starting up Mama Might, she asked me why. “Do you feel like you’re offering some sort of service to the people who might read it?”

Huh. Service? No, not really. Entertainment? Maybe. Hopefully. A little.

I guess I hadn’t really considered that the why was so important. I just knew that I had things I wanted to say, and I had friends who had things they wanted to say, and all of us just needed a space in which to say them. The whole people-read-this-stuff part is just bonus.

I want to be able to write about things that interest me. I want a place to sound off when I’m cranky because being a mom is hard and so often thankless. I want a place to rave about how beautiful and amazing my children are, and how blessed I am (even when I’m so frequently ungrateful!) to be their mother.

ImageI want a place where I can come and share the big and little things that God is doing in my life and in my heart. I want to be goofy here, I want to be open, and real and vulnerable here. I want to share my best with you, and sometimes you’ll get glimpses of my worst, too.

And I hope for the same from the other Mamas who share in this place.

I want us to get to know each other here. I want us to grow in community, even if we’re separated by far too much land mass in real life. I want us to support and love each other here. I want us to share more laughs than tears, even if sometimes we laugh while we cry.

And you? What do you want? What do you want to read about here? What would you like to share about here?

Is It Just Me?

Do you ever wish you had a remote control for life? Just so you could fast-forward through nights with a fussy baby, and pause those moments where everything just falls into place?

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Do you ever wish you could get a do-over for those times when you completely blow it?

Do you ever wonder what life would be like without your little ones, and then realize you wouldn’t trade them for all the hot coffee, tidy living rooms, privacy in the bathroom, free time, or extra cash in the world?

Do you ever wish you could bottle up their natural wonder and awe?

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Do you ever wish your kitchen would stay clean for more than 20 minutes?

Do you ever wish you could be totally caught up on laundry for more than 30 seconds?

Do you ever sometimes wish this parenting gig wasn’t so danged hard?

Do you ever wish you could have 10 more kids?

Do you ever find yourself daydreaming about the end of diaper changes, potty-training, teething, and toddler tantrums?

Do you then find yourself worrying about the teen-aged years?

Do you ever question whether your home is the messiest, your kids are the crankiest, your life is the most disorganized?

Do you ever just fall to your knees, at the end of your rope, and find yourself giving up and giving thanks at the same time?

Or is it just me?

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