We went to the pumpkin patch last weekend, there’s an occasional nip in the air, and I accidentally watched a few minutes of a football game on Saturday. There’s no question about it now: fall is here, in all of its glory. And although gratitude should be part of my every day mindset, there’s something about red leaves, cinnamon smells, and orange pumpkins that makes me feel a little extra thanks-y.
Besides, the whole point of my last post was to appreciate the good things about each season of the year, of life, of parenthood, so I thought it would be a good time for some reflection on things I’m especially thankful for right now.
- Speaking of cinnamon smells: I bought my first WoodWick candle (on sale) last weekend and I am in. love. It makes my whole house smell amazing, and I love the little crackling sound of the burning wick. Definitely worth the splurge.
- Weather. It’s cool enough now to wear long sleeves, at least in the mornings and evenings. The first few days of reprieve from the summer heat are such a welcome change!
- Pumpkin pictures. I’m about ready to swear off social media until after this year’s appalling election circus is over, but the pictures of everyone’s cute kids sitting in pumpkins is helping to keep my blood pressure down.
- Good books. There’s nothing like getting lost in one, and I’ve read several winners lately. It’s fun to read under a quilt in my favorite chair, on the back porch while the kids play, and basically any other time I’d otherwise be scrolling through the aforementioned social media sites. (Shameless plug: Are you following Windows & Mirrors? If you like book recs, you should be!)
- Hanson. Their 1997 album Snowed In is my favorite thing about Christmas, second only to Baby Jesus himself. So the news that these musical brothers are finally recording a follow up holiday album has made me irrationally excited, despite the fact that it won’t release until next year.
- Truth. As we approach our “big ultrasound” date for Caboose, I’m finding myself fretting more about his well-being, as well as that of his older siblings. As anxious thoughts threaten, I’m thankful for the truth that goes deeper than my feelings: That ’tis grace (not fretting) that has brought us all safe thus far, and grace that will lead us home.
- Jem. Our special boy turns four this month, which always inspires lots of nostalgic Time Hop photos and sentimental reflections. This sweet, funny son is such a gift to our family!
- Birthday pics. This was a tradition that started on accident, but now it’s one of my favorites. Every year I take a special picture of the birthday boy or girl, and then display every year’s pictures for the week or so surrounding the special day. It’s so much fun to see how much they have changed from year to year! (There are lots of ways to put text on photos, but I like PicMonkey.)
9. Clean surfaces. My clutter piles got out of hand during my first-trimester exhaustion, but as I’ve felt better I’ve been getting back on top of some essential household maintenance. The restful sight of nothing on top of the piano, the bookshelves, the mantle has helped my house feel like home again. Now that I’ve been reminded how much I love clean spaces, I’m chomping at the bit to TIDY ALL THE THINGS.
10. “Date” time. Thanks to amazing grandparents close by, Stephen and I have had several opportunities to hang out lately, just the two of us. One evening we got to revisit our favorite Waco haunts. Another night we traveled to Austin to see Newsies. But amid these special occasions, we’ve also enjoyed our nightly rituals of conversation, ice cream, laundry, and The Office after the kids are in bed.
11. Honeycrip apples. These amazing apples are only available (and affordable) in the fall. They’re still a little bit pricey, so I feel zero remorse in buying the cheap apples for my less-discriminating kids and keeping a special stash of Honeycrisps JUST FOR ME.
What is warming your heart this fall?