November was full of family and friends! First Jesse's mom and sister came to visit, then a few weeks later some of our beloved Ann Arborites came to visit. At the end of the month we trekked to South Carolina to see my family for Thanksgiving. It was busy busy and happy happy!
Now for a photo dump recap:
-I have no memory of taking this picture of Miri in the leaves but obviously I did take it because it's on my computer.
-In November I really started to get into the swing of things at work. I made this fun no-shave November book display with mustaches on the faces of characters on book covers.
-With the elementary school librarian, I planned a graphic novel activity where we talked about the book, did an Acids and Bases science experiment, and built graham cracker houses with gummy worms attacking them (all relevant to the novel, I swear!) The kids had a blast and honestly, so did I.
Oh, here's a picture of Melissa and Juli at that lighthouse park I mentioned in the last post! It was pretty nippy that day but we enjoyed picking out seashells and enjoying the fresh air.
-We tried out an awesome local pizza place when Juli and Melissa were here, and we keep trying to find excuses to go back. Also, I think this is when we learned that Niko can eat half of a large pepperoni pizza by himself 😂
(Melissa and Juli, I'm sorry I have no good photos of you. I promise that next time you fly 2,000+ miles to see us, I will take a moment to get a better picture!)
-We also took Juli and Melissa to the Peabody, which is where I spotted Jesse holding Niko on his shoulders so Niko could better see this interactive dinosaur display. Jesse is the best parent ever.
-I had the kids help me paint with some fall themed colors, which I then cut into leaf and circle shapes and made into a garland to hang around the room. I don't paint as much with Miri as I used to with Niko (I'm not sure why--maybe because Miri is messier than Niko was so I'm a little wary?) so it was fun to get to paint with her this time.
-For a different program at work, we introduced new books to 5th and 6th graders, then made glitter slime with them (made from glue and borax). We somehow ended up with more kids than we had space for (it seemed that not everyone knew they were supposed to register!) so it was a little wild, but it was also a ton of fun. Also, why didn't they teach me crowd control and managing the emotions of 5th graders in library school??
Our Ann Arbor friends came to see us under the guise of babysitting for us while we went to a concert (we saw right through that excuse! They must like us or something. Maybe.) We went to see Regina Spektor, who has both been one of my very favorite musical artists for years, AND who I never happen to be able to see. For a long time it seemed like she announced tour dates in cities that I used to live in, but nowhere I could actually go to. So when she announced she was coming to New Haven back in July, I bought tickets immediately!
And seriously, the concert did not disappoint. She was charming and kooky and incredibly talented, and we had a great evening.
-Oh, we dragged our Ann Arborites to the same pizza joint we took Juli and Melissa to (because we couldn't resist!) Their daughter and our two kids ate the whole large pizza, and I think Niko ate half of it again. The kid is incredible.
(Also, another apology to our awesome friends, who I only got awkward eating pictures of. This is clearly a bad habit I need to fix!)
And then it was the end of the month and we were driving to South Carolina for Thanksgiving! The traffic was terrible and took hours and hours more than we planned to just get out of Connecticut, and we are planning no future trips on holiday weekends because of it. But the kids were really pretty incredible and we made it there safe and sound, which is what mattered.
We arrived on Thanksgiving day, just in time to help cook Thanksgiving dinner. That's always one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving (cooking a ton of really delicious stuff and then not cooking again for days!) so I was glad we got there in time. And I made this yummy apple pie!
My family found some old photos of me so we re-created this photo of me with Niko:
November in South Carolina is absurdly lovely, so of course we went to a part and ate popsicles.
My older brother Albert couldn't make it (being stationed in the UK with the Air Force made that hard) but everyone else was there, and it was so good to see them all! I hadn't met my sister's brand new baby yet, and I hadn't seen my brother Browne and his husband since they got married a year and a half ago (it seems like WAY LONGER than that because we moved across the world and back!) so it was really good to see them. Driving so much for so few days to see everyone was rough, but it was definitely worth it to see these great people.
Both seeing Jesse's family members and mine this month reminded me just how much I REALLY LIKE these great people we're related to (not that I didn't know that, but a face-to-face reminder helped!) and made me recommit to taking the time and money that it requires to make sure we get to see them. I don't know how we got so lucky to be related to such phenomenal people, and I want to make sure we get to spend as much time with them as we can!