Fall Shorts

Some of you hang out here because I never return your phone calls or emails and you like to keep in touch.  So here’s some glimpses of our life on the ground these days, in no particular order and with no moral lessons attached:

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Stephen is re-entering the normal world after spending a summer in youth-pastor-land.  Summertime is “the busy season” of youth ministry, and his busyness was compounded by the fact that both of our extended-family vacations had been scheduled in July and August.  His goal is to get caught up on e-mails and find his desk surface and normal weekly routine just in time for Tres to arrive and turn our lives upside down again.

He does continue to love his work at our church, despite the fact that working in such close proximity to so many human beings has its fair share of challenges and frustrations.  He has lots of plates that he keeps spinning, from small groups to Sunday School administration to regular youth events.  Every day is different and unpredictable; the up side is that every day is different and unpredictable!

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Here we are in our coordinating University of Wisconsin gear. Abby calls this her “Mad Frances” shirt. That girl kills me with her literary references.

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Our chickens have started laying eggs!  Abby delights in feeding them scraps from our table (fruits and veggies only…no bits of chicken, cows, or deer.  That just seems unnatural.)

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Our fall activities have all kicked off as of this week, and we have a comfortably full schedule of busy mornings and restful afternoons.  Abby has given up naps completely, except on nights that we’ll be out late, so I’m trying to teach her the art of “Quiet Play” in her room.  Some days it’s a success, some days, it’s neither quiet nor playful.  But a reward for an hour(ish) of Quiet Play is a couple episodes of Busytown Mysteries, so you can understand how she’s pretty motivated to make it work out if at all possible.  Honestly, I’m not getting too worked up about this particular routine right now, because I know that any habits acquired this close to Baby Time will be forgotten upon arrival of said Baby anyway.

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Did I mention that she just turned three? We had a delightful color-themed party that, alas, did NOT include my baking that legendary Pinterest seven-layer rainbow cake.

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I’ve been counting down the last 10 weeks of pregnancy (5 to go!) with a giant to-do list.  I’m calling it my “Diaper Pail List” (because why would I use an already-made-up term like “Bucket List” when I can customize it in such a fun way?).  It includes projects that are fun (scrapbooking, making a Christmas stocking, organizing closets), projects that are not fun (deep clean bathrooms, clean out deep freeze), and practical projects (cook freezer meals, sweep beneath area rugs, vacuum AC vents).  They’re all activities that will be much harder to accomplish with a baby in tow, or ones that would just get blown off for another 6 months.

My freezer meal strategy, for those of you who are interested, is simple: I’ve never had enough motivation to plan and shop and cook for 12 hours in order to put away 40 meals in a day.  So I’ve located about 10 recipes (mostly soups) that look good, and I try to cook one or two per week.  I double or triple the recipe, and we eat that meal for dinner and then I try to put three or four meals into the freezer.  Storing away meals I’m cooking and shopping for anyway keeps this freezer-meal project from requiring a big chunk of extra work or money.

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Abby is doing her own preparation for the arrival of her baby brother or sister.

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My two favorite days of the whole year are the first cool day in the fall and the first warm day in the spring.  This year, fall blew in right around Labor Day (not to stay, of course).  We’ve been spending as much time as possible outside, enjoying the mild weather and cool breezes.  Inside, we’re celebrating fall with pumpkin decorations and spicy-smelling candles.  The change of seasons is absolutely glorious!

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I finally got an iPhone.  No, not the 5.  Only a week in, I’m still determined to be the Master of my own Technology and to use my newly-aquired powers for good and not for evil.  I’m resolved to continue having conversations with my family members, to read books, to keep healthy boundaries with social media sites.  But I’m not writing any tutorials on productivity and intentional living with the iPhone just yet.  I know that smartphone abuse is a black pit that has sucked in individuals far wiser and more disciplined than me.  I’ll keep you posted.  OR you can follow my progress on Farmville through all the requests I send you and know that I’ve succumbed to the dark side.

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How’s this for a belly pic? I’m at an authentic Wisconsin Starbucks, ordering, um…water, of course.

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I don’t actually play Farmville.  If you ever see that I’ve started, please stage an intervention.

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I’m in a bit of a lull with my for-fun reading.  Any suggestions?

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Well, the clock is striking 10:30 which means I’m about to turn into even more of a pumpkin than I already am.  Check back in soon…I have a couple of blogs in the queue!  Everything is happening a little slower than usual these days, from getting up out of chairs to getting thoughts onto a blank screen.  But I get there eventually!

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9 responses to “Fall Shorts

  1. Cute update…however I think that is the winery, not Starbucks. But I’m sure you were still ordering water 🙂

  2. Love the arrow by the belly!!!

  3. i love all the pictures 🙂 and mom is right…the belly pic is at the winery.
    Can’t wait to meet Baby Tres!

  4. First of all, “Mad Frances” is hilarious!
    I also love seeing a picture of a kid’s birthday party that was NOT planned and decorated exclusively using Pinterest.
    I love the belly picture too. I haven’t had much fun reading lately either (unless baby food books count as fun…and I don’t think they do) but if you’re looking for something short and sweet, try “The Importance of Being Ernest” or “I’d Like to Buy a Vowel.” Both are good and don’t require a lot of commitment.
    Love the updates!

    • The Pinterest rainbow party ideas were in-sane! We had a Pinterest-free birthday bash, but it made me want to stand next to all my cute decorations and say, “This was really MY idea!” Can’t win either way.

  5. Still going to recommend Games of Thrones!

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