We had a wonderful evening tonight. We went to our friends’ house and ate pizza and drank wine around their bonfire.
It was an evening of not caring what the kids ate for dinner or whether they kept their coats on (it wasn’t that cold). It was an evening of catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in way too long, hearing our first “ghost” stories, and getting dirty with soot and sticky with half-melted marshmallows.
I actually tried to take a few pictures. As you can probably imagine, they didn’t turn out well. Firelight is beautiful in person, but not as amazing when it’s captured by an iPhone camera. Round, red cheeks, flushed with cold and running around the yard. Pizza crusts on the ground, getting sniffed out by the dog. Sand, dirt, and grass making a nice coating inside jackets and boots. Scarves and hats blocking all the faces from view.
I guess I’m okay with it.
I’m really okay with it.
Because these are the times that the pictures are etched in our memory by the firelight, and not by the flash. The faces with rosy cheeks and big grins aren’t because we shouted, “Say cheese!” They’re because we just played. We threw caution to the wind and let them throw logs (and their paper plates) onto the fire. We let them go in and out and out and in without micromanaging. We snuggled the children that weren’t ours and let our own run wild and share sippy cups. Because who cares? It was fun. It was fall, and fire, and friends. It was blurry photos, but who cares about that? We had fun.
Happy Monday, and happy Halloween! I’ve never been more happy to not be in the classroom as I am right now. Monday + Halloween is the worst elementary school combo I can think of.
Since it’s already November, I’m linking up with Anne in Residence and A Short Blonde for their first Wednesday link up as well. I haven’t done a little update in a few weeks, so here’s a little bit about what I’m currently doing!
Celebrating || my bestie’s new baby girl! She arrived last week, and I was excited to be able to spend most of my time in the hospital during her labor. It’s such an interesting and beautiful process, and it was really neat to be a part of it from the outside, versus being the mother in labor. Here’s a picture of sweet Adele being snuggled by my J.
Hoping || for a few good pictures for a Christmas card! My friend Mary Catherine was sweet enough to come take pictures of our family last night, and when I get done writing this post, I plan to go through them, and try to arrange a few for our Christmas card. There’s a sneak peek below…
Wearing || blanket scarves and ponchos and big sweaters. This is sort of new for me, but I found a couple of things at Target and one at TJ Maxx that I fell in love with, and they’re going to be my favorite accent pieces this fall. A couple of them are tribal patterns, which I love! They don’t work super well with coats, mostly because they’re bulky, so it’s likely that I’ll drop them when it gets really cold – maybe around Christmas time. This photo is a peek from our shoot with MC yesterday, and I’m wearing one of those pieces I love!
Enjoying || a quick date with Hubby yesterday afternoon! My mom has been in town for the past few days, and during naptime, she let us go to our local beer growler store and enjoy a couple of flights. It’s been a while since we were able to just sneak out like that. Our dates usually take a lot of planning.
Eating || So. Much. Pho. It’s such a good fall treat, and fairly healthy. If you don’t know anything about it, it’s basically chicken noodle soup, Vietnamese style. You can also get different kinds of meat, but it’s delicious broth, rice noodles, onions, bean sprouts, and toppings like cilantro, Thai basil, lime juice, and/or hot sauce. The weather cools off, and there’s nothing I like better to eat. The kids like it as well, so that’s an added bonus! But all this pho does remind me that it’s almost RAMEN TIME!
Googling || blog post topic ideas. I know that seems a little trite, but I’m going to join some writer friends in publishing a blog post every day for the month of November. It’s a spin-off of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which works for me, since I’m not writing a novel (and don’t really plan to). But I love writing, so NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) is a perfect excuse to write and write and write some more. When I began this blog, I wrote something almost every day for the first several months. But as I got busier and wrote about a lot of things that I’d been saving up for, ya know, the first 28 years of my life, I ran out of QUITE as much material. That being said, kids are constant fodder for writing, and the world is constantly changing. I plan to keep it up!
Well, this catches you up a little bit on my life. What’s going on with you currently?
Celebrating || Hubby’s birthday last Friday! His band played at our favorite pub for their ten year anniversary party, so the celebration was even bigger than normal! My parents were in town, and the kids got to hang out and party too, which is always fun! We were glad to celebrate Finnigan’s Wake AND Hubby!
Enjoying || cooler weather – finally! The afternoons are still warm enough to need short sleeves, but the mornings are delightfully chilly. I’ve even started a fire during breakfast, just to take the chill off! I don’t mind bundling up when I wake up, but my kids have complained about “freezing” when they get out of their beds. Just you wait, little babies! Eating || pumpkin pancakes! We eat a lot of pancakes at our house, and so why wouldn’t I be adding some pumpkin in?! I typically just add pumpkin into our regular pancakes, instead of buying the pumpkin-flavored mix. They just taste better, they’re a little healthier, and I don’t have to add anything to my grocery list.
Making || SO. MANY. SOUPS. We have been experimenting and looking for recipes for different soups to try. Everyone in our family loves a good soup, we can usually make them fairly healthy, and it’s a less expensive way to feed everyone. On deck this week: butternut squash soup, and zuppa toscana (here’s a similar recipe, but we almost always just improvise).
Anticipating || a visit from my brother and his girlfriend this weekend! They’re coming to spend some time with us and the kids, and I’m REALLY excited. We haven’t gotten together in a couple of months (summer was busy for all of us) so I’m extra glad for some time with them! We plan to hit up the local pumpkin patch, and hopefully have a little Oktoberfest, among other fall-related activities!
What’s going on with you currently? What’s your favorite soup recipe for this time of year? Have you gotten your pumpkins yet, or celebrated Oktoberfest?
It’s October! Finally! I love October’s weather, colors, tastes and smells. Here’s a little about what’s been going on in my life…
Cheers-ing || Hubby’s cousin Liz and her new husband Taylor! Their wedding was a blast, and EK’s first that she will actually remember. She had a blast watching “the princess bride” (I made sure Liz knew that was her new title), dancing and eating cake. She also wore a dress I wore when I was her age. That was a special detail for me.
Organizing || D’s new room! We recently moved him from the nursery (across the hall from our room) to his new room next to his siblings’ rooms. He’s farther away from us, but since he’s sleeping much better, that’s not a big deal. I think he likes being downstairs with his brother and sister, especially since it’s usually J that wakes him in the morning now. We’re mostly just taking out all of his clothes that he’s outgrown, organizing his diapers, sheets, etc, and putting some art on the walls.
Dreaming || of wearing the boots it’s still too warm to wear. Here in NC, it’s definitely cooled off, but it’s not quite fall weather yet. The afternoons are still quite warm, even if the mornings are chilly. If I don’t get a change to change midday (like usual) I have to layer to keep from sweating to death in the afternoon.
Buying || a couple of new dresses. Well, hopefully soon I will be. I don’t have much time to shop, and I’m always nervous to get things online. But many of my fall dresses are too big now (no complaints here!) and so I need a few dresses with sleeves to get me through the next two seasons. I don’t mind wearing a sleeveless dress with a cardigan, but many of mine are either thin (and I’d freeze when it gets cold), or they’re too summery-looking to put a sweater or boots with. Either way, I just need a couple more dresses that are long or 3/4 sleeve for church, or the occasional date night!
Listening || to Hillsong’s “Of Dirt and Grace” album. The tunes are stripped, mostly live versions, and I love it. The songs sound so much different, and much more worshipful, when they’re more realistic to how you’d do them in a worship setting versus in the studio. There are even songs that I didn’t think I liked until I heard them that way, and I like them now. It’s interesting how production can make such a huge difference.
Happy Monday evening! Yesterday after church, I drove to Raleigh to spend a few days with my friend Katelyn. She had back surgery two weeks ago, and her hubs had to go back to work, but she wasn’t quite ready to be on her own. So here I am, babysitting my friend! We have been catching up, grading papers (she’s a third grade teacher!), resting, and meal planning for when I leave tomorrow evening. Hopefully she will be fed at least for the week!
Anyway, here’s what’s been going on besides all this…
Pretending || to be a tourist in my home town! I read a post recently about having wanderlust, but not being able to travel, and being a tourist wherever you live instead. I liked the idea a lot, and so I mentioned it to Hubby and figured we would try it! Trying new restaurants, walking whenever we can, and taking pictures as if you were on vacation. In. The. Bag.
Wearing || boots and skirts! It’s not really cool enough here to wear boots, but when I got dressed for church yesterday, I couldn’t say no to the boots. They were looking longingly at me… or maybe I imagined it. Either way, my pencil skirt and blouse NEEDED some boots to complete them.
Enjoying || being back in the fall groove with my Thursday morning women’s service. They break for the summer, and so we’ve started back up, and this past Thursday, got to meet the new ladies in my small group!
Relishing || the last few days (weeks?) of summer sunshine. It’s already light for less hours a day, but the sun is still warm. And as much as I love fall, I also love the sun. So I’m soaking it up while it lasts.
AND! Just because I noticed this post looks like I’m a mom of only two, here’s a picture of the baby, who could probably walk if he wanted to but he is too lazy.
I hope your weekend treated you well, and that you have good things going on this week!
Hey y’all! Thanks for bearing with me through a summer of travel, kids out of school, a few changes, and general laziness. School starts for my eldest two kiddos next week, and I fully expect to be back in my writing swing.
In the meantime, there are a few fun things I’ve been involved with that I haven’t had the chance to write about! There have been parties and celebrations, trips and concerts, yummy food and drinks, date nights and play dates. I’ll attempt to recap you a little on what we’ve currently been up to.
Discovering || the gender of our dear friends’ first baby! They hosted a little get-together to share with us whether the sweet babe would be a boy or a girl. We found out that (just like us and most of our close friends, oddly enough) their first baby will be a sweet girl! The mama-to-be Andrea baked cupcakes with pink icing inside, and let our kids all tear into them. It was ADORABLE.
Celebrating || my best gal from college Lauren, as she prepares to welcome her first baby: a girl! Three other friends and I got together to put together a baby shower this past weekend, and it was SO fun. We held it in the same place on our college campus that they held my first baby shower, and one for another friend in our college roommate group. It’s a beautiful space to begin with, so we spend more of our efforts on food, games, etc. than we do on decorations. The crowning achievement for me of this particular shower was the favor. I had seen an Instagram post a while back about a favor that was a splitter of champagne. It had a homemade label with instructions to save the splitter till the baby arrived, then post a photo of a toast on Instagram with a specific hashtag. Since Lauren is a Prosecco lover (as am I), we bought Prosecco splitters, and my friend Andrea (yes, the other one having a baby girl!) made cute tags for them. EK helped me tie the tags on, and I was VERY pleased with the result! They were definitely a crowd pleaser.
Listening || to the Dixie Chicks! I listened to them during their height of popularity, and have tapered off listening to them recently. But when I saw that they were coming close by on their next tour, and on my friend Mary Katherine’s 30th birthday no less, I decided to go. I got together with some girlfriends, tailgated, and went to their concert. I was a little sad that I didn’t know more songs (they were mostly songs off their new album, which I didn’t know very well), and a little aghast at the blunt political statement they were making (I know, I shouldn’t have been surprised) since I just wanted to hear them play music. But all in all, I enjoyed myself! The tickets weren’t that expensive, so I won’t complain anymore.
Enjoying || the last few days of no routine. The kids and I went downtown for breakfast treats and to the park this morning. It won’t be long until we don’t have many morning dates, so I’m relishing that time with them.
Eating || summer salsa and quesadillas! Between tomatoes and peppers from the garden, and local tomatillos, we have been tearing through salsa. Fresh salsa, cooked salsa, mild or hot… It’s one of our summer favorites, and I’ll be sad when the season is over.
Shopping || for Christmas! I know y’all think I’m crazy, but I love being the early bird and getting sales before other people are even thinking about Christmas. When I sat down to order our Halloween stuff (I am so excited!) I also got a few things for Christmas presents for the kiddos. Online shopping is the actual best!
Well, that’s a big update on my life- what have you been up to? Are you happy to have school back in session and slip into a routine?
Last night, Hubby and I sat outside on the deck and played cards with friends. It was ever so pleasant outside, with the lights strung around us, the cicadas chirping and a slight breeze. I might’ve even had a chill by the time we went inside, hours after the sun had gone down. It just made me even more excited for the start of fall. It’s always been my favorite season, so I decided to share with you a few reasons why I’m so excited for it to get here.
School. This one is big, maybe even the biggest, for me. I’ve spent my entire life either as a student, a teacher, or now the parent of a student, and so my goal-making, fresh starting, and excitement of all things new happens in the fall. We begin a school year excited for new opportunities, anticipating fall and winter holidays, trips, and weather, throwing ourselves gladly into rigorous schedules, and making short- and long-term goals for ourselves and our families. As a worship leader, it’s the time that several more ministries and church-related things start back up. As the mom of young kids, it’s the time that I get a couple of mornings a week of free time (thanks, preschool!) to write, to read, and to be “me” instead of “mom”. Those things excite me almost more than anything else!
Boots. These are treasured items in my wardrobe, and yet something I just DO NOT wear when it’s warm outside. They’re the first thing I lose in the springtime, because I sweat just thinking about wearing them in the hot. But I sure do love pairing them with dresses, leggings, and skinny jeans. They are almost my only footwear during the cooler months.
Scarves. Just like boots, I’m not great at wearing them in the warm weather. I get a little claustrophobic with something around my neck if it’s hot. But I love scarves for their pops of color, multiple uses, and the way they can replace a statement necklace for outfit completion.
Candles. I love scented candles! I also love candlelight, and so when fall is here with the yummy cinnamon smells and even on to Advent for the Christmas tree scents, there’s usually a candle lit somewhere in my home.
Fires. Whether from a candle, a hearth, or a roaring bonfire outdoors, I love to be near a fire! I like bundling up, cuddling, drinking and dancing near a big fire. Hubby’s friends used to pick up discard trees from around their neighborhood after Christmas was over, and have a huge bonfire in early January. I think that’s a brilliant idea and will be reinstating it this year.
Leggings. I’ve recently started loving leggings even more than I did a few years ago, maybe because they’re so comfortable and practical to wear while pregnant. I have several funky patterns, bright colors, and tunics with which to pair them. And THEN, I toss on a pair of boots for the fall-style win.
Well, now you know what I’m looking forward to. What are your favorite things about fall?