joomla counter

Gin headshot

Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).

Pillow Talk

As I sit here waiting for kids to come and ask for candy at our door, I am scrolling through Instagram and Facebook to see everyone's costumes. I am always impressed, even jealous, at the creativity people have around All Hallows Eve. Halloween and I have never really gotten along and it took me a little while to figure out why. I think it was around the time when I was attending parties in college that I realized I don't like people hidden behind masks/make-up (clowns and I have had to come to an understanding). I also think that I have some long-time resentment toward the holiday because when I was younger, I was allergic to chocolate, red food coloring and nuts, so by the time my candy was picked over by my older sister, I was left with very little to call my own. Pretty sure that's why I buy candy that just about any trick-or-treater can eat and have some non-edible treats too like pencils, yo-yos, and bubbles.

As a mom, I've come to appreciate the creepy, goofy festivities of Halloween through my children's eyes. Kind of the same way that I've come to appreciate animated movies - I know, it's silly, who doesn't like animated movies? "Inside Out" really turned my opinion around. Now, does that mean I dress up for Halloween? No, I wouldn't go that far, but at least I've found the ability to appreciate the holiday.

Steve and I have a good thing going where he goes out trick-or-treating with the kids and I stay home to pass out the candy. I think it works for him because he can take a walk (have some candy), talk with the other parents (have some wine), and not have to do the work of passing out candy (but, then returns home to eat some more candy). I like to stay at home because, well, I get to stay home, feeling oddly secure while I, you guessed it, have some candy and maybe some witch's brew too.

With each Halloween, I like that my kids have a fearless quality about them in that they want to dress up; it's fun to hear them discuss their ideas for costumes with their friends, and I also think they like the anticipation of being scared, and of course, getting all that candy! It also doesn't hurt that I have years of their older cousins' costumes that they can try on - it makes for fun wardrobe changes as they go to different Halloween events, parties and trick-or-treating. Anna supported her brother by being a cheerleader to her brother's Zombie Football Player during this weekend's celebrations, then she transformed into a butterfly for Halloween night.


Parenting is learning to open yourself up to doing the things you may not like (watching soccer on a cold Saturday morning takes a lot of love). If I didn't try, I would miss out on seeing Jack and Anna's priceless reactions to new experiences or hearing them say, "Mom, remember when...?" I also limit myself from learning new things if I don't put myself out there. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Pouches' Community Corner

Postpartum Support Virginia

 pouches cartoon

For new and expectant mothers in the Fredericksburg area, Postpartum Support Virginia stands as the help and support for women and their families who are experiencing postpartum depression. Founded in 2009 by Adrienne Griffen, Postpartum Support Virginia offers one-on-one support, free peer-led groups, a robust site of information including screening and diagnosis overviews, fact sheets, and training sessions.