i scream, you scream, we all scream halloween!

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It's our favourite time of year! We have been playing the Halloween movies, we have got the decorations up, we have the costumes ready. We had planned everything, but it was time to do the best part, pumpkin picking! 

Now, this is was super important to me this year. As you may know, my life has been filled with a lot of ups and downs the last year and half. Life has been a complete adjustment (to say the least), but I was determined to make sure that this year was special. Every occasion, had something special about it to make sure that we felt as home as possible. I've been pushing myself to find more about who I am, and what I want out of life. One of the biggest things, was recreating parts of my childhood that meant the most to me. For this season, it was pumpkin picking. Since I was pregnant with Leoh, I always imagined what it would be like to go to a park, and see him run around the pumpkins. To pick one, and carve whatever character meant the most to us that year. Since having him, I haven't done it. I picked up pumpkins from the shop, last minute normally. But, not experienced what I envisioned so heavily. 

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Now, to back track a bit here. The occasions this year, have so far gone to plan. Which is actually amazing, despite all the circumstances. This all came down to one thing, and that was my friends. Hands down, my friends and loved ones made every single part possible. Whether it was Easter, and the kids got to have a full Easter egg hunt, and Easter Sunday dinner. Playing in the football (soccer) in the garden, and eat away at the chocolate eggs. To my birthday, I only wanted to just spend it with my friends, and they threw a little birthday party. Where we all danced, goofed around and just had fun. Hudson's birthday, which the kids got to explore the zoo and we had a meal with our friends, seeing him dance to Ice Ice Baby with chocolate cake around his face was one to remember. Now, it was Halloween. This is my ultimate favourite season, and how could we make sure it's perfect. 

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We have been making a good amount of friends the last 6 months, to a point where now I can say we have one heck of a social life. Constantly seeing friends, going on adventures and spending time with some great people. So many great moms, so many great little ones that the kids have befriended. To see my boys, so content. It means everything to me. Their happiness is what keeps me going. It's the fuel for me, that keeps me alive and driven to make sure I don't ever stop driving us into the life we need. I miss home, I miss my family, I miss my loved ones. But being able to fill in the deep hole in my heart right now, is keeping their childhood remarkable. 

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So I had been searching for a while to find any sort of pumpkin fields, and friend of mine asked us to go with her and her son, Hudson (yes, we both have little ones named Hudson). So, we went along. It wasn't exactly what we imagined, but it wasn't about how I envisioned it. It was about the experience, and finally doing what I wanted to do for years. What I always wanted to do with them, and finally felt like I was strong enough to do so. I say this, because maybe someone reading this can understand. But, when you are made to feel so small that your opinion means nothing, you lose yourself entirely. Your hopes, your dreams, your life, it disappears before your eyes. And you never think you will ever get that back, that you will never live those dreams again, and you just give up. This past year, I haven't given up for a single second. I've only gotten stronger, and I've made sure every single goal is met. But that, is all for a different blog post that will be entirely dedicated on my journey of finding, me. 

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The boys got to run, and play. They ran through the fields, crawling underneath the strawberry vines and jumped down the brick steps. They chased another, and shared their lunches. They climbed over the pumpkins, and tried their hardest to pick them up. Hudson (my Hudson) kept thinking he could throw them like bowling balls (that was fun). They just got to be, kids. 

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To rewind even further, four and half years ago I moved to this country. I didn't know really anyone, and I didn't realise how hard it was going to be making friends. Maybe it was the situation, maybe I wasn't strong enough or confident enough to approach people the way I do now. I had lost myself, and I found it difficult trying to speak to others while questioning if everything I said was okay, or if I was just making a fool of myself. The friends and loved ones had encouraged me to love myself, and that especially helped built my confidence. From the person I was, to where I am now is entirely different. To who I was surrounded by, and to whom surrounds me now. They say, you are who you surround yourself with. And it's true, you have to surround yourself with people who inspire you, who encourage you and who push you. People who support you, and love you. Individuals you strength your positivity, and hold you when negativity overwhelms. Tough love is bullshit, that's not a love worth fighting for. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking. This is what my friends, and my loved ones have taught me. This is what this autumn has brought to my attention, to bring to yours. 

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To all my friends and loved ones, thank you. Thank you for everything you do for me, every encouragement, every hug, every meaningful conversation. I'm so thankful for you all, and I'm so thankful I've met you all in all the different circumstances. 

Lastly, to anyone reading this, challenge yourself. Push yourself further, think of your goals and your dreams, write them down, and make them happen. Even if you take one step, you are one step closer. Surround yourself with people who make those dreams closer to reality.

And most important, learn to love you. 

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Sincerely, 

Shannah Lauren