Falling for Fall

Falling for Fall

Falling for Fall:  Why this Season has become my Kindred Spirit

 

I had my tennis shoes all laced up for a walk, baseball hat covering my unwashed hair, and was about to snag baby from the crib when I heard it.  The “tink….tink tink” of rain against the metal parts of our house.  I’ve been hearing it at night lately, too.  A soothing sound that prompts me to pull the covers around me even tighter and drift into a deeper slumber than I’ve had in months. 

Plan B:  put baby down for a nap and sit down to write.  As the rain gets louder outside, I crack my windows so the forceful sound invades my house, and breathe in the pure, tranquil air that is unique to a fresh downpour. 

Aaaaahhhhh. 

Refreshing.

I’ve been really, really trying to wait until at least September 1st to write about fall.  But I can’t.  I am just too in love with this very specific turning point in the year, and I can FEEL that we’re in it.  Right now.    

It’s that time of year when you realize you are OK letting go of the vacations, beach days, outdoor adventures and warm nights that come with summer.  OK with packing up the shorts and unpacking the sweaters.  OK with fewer dinners from the grill and more from the slow cooker.  More than OK is how I feel.  I LOVE fall. 

Up until about five years ago, I was a summer girl, through and through.  I thought summer would always be my favorite season.  I was happy as a clam to spend endless hours baking in the sun (insert skin cancer warnings here), getting tan as can be (and here), dipping into every lake, ocean and pool within reach (and here).

Growing up, like all American kids, summer symbolized freedom, and fall symbolized the surrender to those three dreaded words:  back to school (also known as back to alarm clocks, back to homework, and back to pasty white skin).  Maybe a big part of my newfound adult adoration of fall, is that none of these changes apply to my post-student self (well, except the skin tone one…but I wear a lot more sunscreen these days to begin with).

While summer tends to embody a carefree spirit, spontaneity, letting loose, and stretching ones boundaries – FALL represents stability, a return to the comforts of routine, a renewed appreciation for home, a cozy hibernation after the long exposure of summer. 

Summer has always been summer and fall has always been fall.  I realize it is I who have changed.  I have become a person more in tune and akin to fall and all that it represents – it has become my kindred spirit.  The older I get, the more I LIKE summer, and LOVE fall.  It has come to be the season that most represents the values I hold dear:  Home.  Family.  Tradition.  Comfort.  Introspection.  Peace.

Plus, it is just so damn hot in my house all the time.

 I am ready to stop sweating over the stove. 

Godspeed, fall, Godspeed. 

The greatest thing in the world is not where we are, but in what direction we are moving.”- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Image

 

30 for my Thirties

30 for my Thirties

Feeling grateful to be 30!  Had a great birthday with little A and big A, and scribbled together this list of a few of the things I hope to fill my days with over the NEXT decade…my goal is to have ALL of these outings, accomplishments and quirky experiences (like milking a cow) proudly crossed off my list by the big 4-0….wish me luck!

30 FOR MY THIRTIES…

1.  Write a novel

2.  Buy a house

3.  Grow a vegetable garden

4.  See Zac Brown Band live

5.  Get a short, sophisticated haircut

6.  Volunteer to lead a PEPS group

7.  Give Anderson a sibling

8.  Read 100 new books

9.  Camp on a beach

10.  Ski and stay in a quaint little Colorado ski town

11.  Travel internationally – it’s been too long!!

12.  Learn how to cook with shellfish

13.  Make my kids’ birthday cakes

14.  Learn to sew and make my kids’ Halloween costumes

15.  Get caught up on photo albums

16.  Run a half marathon (extra points for a full one ; )

17.  Do some sort of home improvement task on my own, like tiling a bathroom or a kitchen back splash

18.  Become a published writer again

19.  Family vacation to Yellowstone National Park

20.  Become certified to teach childbirth/parenting prep classes through Swedish – and teach!

21.  See more sunrises

22.  Go to a Seahawks game

23.  Take a road trip spanning at least 5 states

24.  Milk a cow

25.  Adopt a puppy

26.  Have a really, really organized home

27.  Create a piece of art I’m really proud of, to hang in our house

28.  Join a book club again

29.  Be more intentional about visiting out-of-town friends

30.  Love others as I want to be loved, and never be too serious to laugh with my kids.

Farewell, Twenties

Farewell, Twenties

Today is my last day as a twenty-something. 

To celebrate, I am eating Golden Grahams for breakfast as I write this. 

My twenties have been good to me.  From being in college, to setting up a college fund.  From living at home, to buying a home.  From never having had a long serious relationship, to being with Aaron for five and a half years now.  Life has certainly changed and evolved over the last decade, mostly for the better. 

This blog won’t be perfect or polished, as I’m squeezing it in during nap-times, to make sure I get it done today.  I just wanted to write on this day, as a 29-year-old, to mark this time in my life, look back and look ahead. 

Obviously it’s impossible to encapsulate (or even remember) all the major milestones of an entire decade in a short blog entry, but I just wanted to give a shout out to some of the events, experiences and people that have made my 20s memorable. 

Before age 20, I had only traveled to three states:  the West Coast.  Since then I have traveled to close to 25 more and have witnessed so much more of our country’s natural beauty, vivid culture, kind people, and feats of human achievement.  I love to travel and can’t wait to see the rest of the states…heartland here I come!   

Throughout these travels I’ve had some once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like attending the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C. and the Country Music Association awards in Nashville.  To be surrounded by people of such talent and achievement always inspires me. 

I’ve driven the skinny bridges over the Florida Keys, traveled Southeast Alaska by ferry, ridden a mechanical bull in Vegas, walked along the creeks of my husband’s tiny hometown in Iowa, and laughed until I cried at Book of Mormon on Broadway.  I could go on and on of course, but these are just a few experiences that have shaped me, stuck with me, or in the case of the bull, shamed me.  ; )

I have gotten to write! The beginnings of a novel that’s been in the works for several years now, for local television and magazines, for my University’s paper, and now for this blog.  I have discovered some of my favorite books, like Snow Falling on Cedars and The Secret Life of Bees.  I have re-ignited a passion for reading and writing.

I have learned how to be a business owner alongside Aaron and have witnessed the brilliance and brawn he exerts daily to make our company thrive, and to provide for our family. 

In my twenties I lost an amazing grandmother and gained an incredible son. 

I married my wonderful husband.

I got to walk through each week of pregnancy with my also pregnant best friend.  A journey I will never forget. 

I have had my mind blown by the magnificence of the human body through the wonder of giving birth. 

I have met so many good people, forged new friendships, and allowed those that had run their course to drift away. 

I have gained nieces and nephews, brothers- and sisters-in-law, a mother-in-law and our family dog.  All have made my life fuller and richer, and have taught me a great deal. 

I have celebrated with both of my parents as they retired after decades of work providing for my brothers and me.

I became a runner!  Not a hardcore everyday runner, by any means, but someone who actually makes it all the way around the lake.  Amazing! 

I have seen my friends do amazing things like become doctors and mothers and world travelers and philanthropists. 

I have had seasons of drought and seasons of plenty in my faith.  Both have been important. 

I will close with a passage from The Color Purple, which will be the last book I read in my twenties as I plan to finish the final pages today:

“She say, Celie, tell the truth, have you ever found God in church?  I never did.  I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show.  Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me.  And I think all the other folks did too.  They come to church to share God, not find God.” 

I love that passage.  To me, it’s a reminder that God isn’t fancy or formal or formulaic.  God is in us, and seen through us, His greatest creations.  We share bits and pieces and glimpses of Him with one another more than we’ll ever know.

So bring it on, 30!  I am BLESSED to have reached this age and would not dare take it for granted or look this gift horse in the mouth. 

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. –Author Unknown