"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hello, Fall // Happy Things

"I am made for autumn. Summer and I have a fickle relationship, but everything about autumn is perfect to me. Wooly jumpers, scarves, thin first - then thick, socks. The low slanting light, the crisp mornings, the chill in my fingers, those last warm sunny days before the rain and the wind. The moody hues and subdued palate punctuated every now and again by a brilliant orange, scarlet or copper goodbye." -Alys Fowler

We're now fully engrossed in all the things of fall around here, and I just love it. Last year at this time I had recently been promoted, was facing work trips multiple weeks in a row, and was still trying to find my footing in my new and expanded role. We had just made the tough decision to take our house off the market, and I was a little stressed with all the things. Because of that, I feel like I kind of missed out on my favorite season in 2015. I look back at posts of beautiful pictures and wonderful memories from last fall, but I also remember the underlying anxiety and nerves that I felt through it all.

And though life is never perfect, I'm feeling a whole lot more refreshed this fall than last. We're definitely still busy, we do have more decisions to make again coming up soon, but I'm feeling a whole lot more grounded in my job and even in my faith. I've also learned a lot this year about taking time out for me - even when it seems there is no time. I'm in a good workout routine, and though I don't seem to be shedding the pounds, it does help me clear my mind, lift my mood, and I am noticing increased flexibility again. ;) I've committed to and have been having a lot of success with daily Bible readings and devotions. I found an app on my phone that lets me choose my devotion/topic of choice for the week and then sends me short but daily readings to my phone every morning and is persistent in not letting me forget to read it with its frequent reminders. ;) Whereas bubble baths used to be a cold winter's night occurrence once in a while, I've now discovered how relaxing and stress relieving a good soak in the tub and a chapter out of a book before bed is for me. Even when it's 90 degrees outside! And... I even started going to a chiropractor to deal with all my neck issues. Now if I could just find a way to get that extra hour of sleep in!

So no, things aren't perfect, but they are pretty good.

And now one week into September. Two weeks into school. Two weeks into football practice. And just a very short time away from our long anticipated vacation. It's going to be a very full month ahead. Get ready for lots of pictures. ;)

We've welcomed in this season and this September in the best of ways and with all the things we love. Baking and football games and twinkly lights and scented candles and sunset dinners. And we're only eight days into it!

So without further adieu... happy things from our first week of this beloved season.

//dinners on the deck by candlelight after football practice. Go Fish with Brandon who is becoming quite the cards lover. Two new steps built on our front deck just waiting for a pumpkin or two to sit atop of them. And - my favorite candle that I scored two of earlier this summer during a Bath & Body Works sale. They've been sitting in a closet since June and I couldn't wait to light them that first time.

//the way this one loses himself in play on easy-going afternoons.

//how I swore I was not going to purchase any mums this year and then couldn't help myself.

//decorating. My favorite. A new color palette and so many pumpkins that even our basement family room is starting to get dressed up for the season, too.

//all the windows open every chance we get. This one's a big fan and cries whenever I have to close them up again. Isn't she pretty? We have a special bond, Lucy and I. :) (If Cody read that, he would be rolling his eyes right now).

//a new football team, a head football coach and a Sunday afternoon spent drawing up plays for the first practice.

//we haven't played a game yet, but we're pretty excited to watch our Chiefs this fall.

//best friends on the same team again. From football to basketball and eventually back to baseball again... the three musketeers. God's design, I just know it.

//the clumps of grass I find on the hardwood floors of his bedroom after he's taken his cleats off for the night. They remind me that I get to do this. I get to sweep up grass clumps and clean grass stains and wash sweaty bed sheets. I get to.

//and speaking of football, the Cedar Valley Fan Rally night. We conversed with some of our favorite coaches and players over our favorite OP pizza one night - two days before college kickoff.

// how big they both look in their jerseys and how cute he looks in a backwards hat.

//a night spent at Mulligans with friends and family. A very exciting UNI win, hours of shuffleboard and a very late but satisfying bedtime for our kiddos. We just love football and being a part of it all.

//blue September skies. There's something about them.

//a picture perfect Sunday afternoon for trail rides and snail shell collecting.

...Brandon loves collecting things from nature but made the mistake of putting a bottle full of snail shells into his closet one night - until he discovered the lingering stench from within his closet the very next day. ;)

//impromptu sunset dinners by the river. I loved this night.

//apple picking adventures and the smells in our kitchen afterwards.

...lots more to come!