We are four weeks into the school year and I'm happy to report that all feels pretty darn good around here. While Beau took on increased responsibilities at work late this summer, I decided to let go of my doctorate for the time being so I could be a constant at home doing all the things I love to do. Instead of my nights being consumed by night class, papers to write, and articles to read, I am breathing a sigh of relief this semester and reveling in a much more manageable schedule that allows me to pick Cruz up from school, prepare dinner, take Mila to dance (eek!), and spend more time reading things I actually want to read! Compared to last year at this time, I feel like a completely different person!
We are also in the midst of one of my favorite seasons, a time when the leaves change, the days get shorter, and everything seems to call us home. After a summer of sunshine, travel, and late nights outside, I always love how fall shifts us to staying in more - with comfort food on the stovetop, football on TV, candles and coffee in the mornings, and soon, Christmas lists and birthday planning. It's pretty easy to list lots of good things when September comes around...
318. Our morning routine. I love the half hour I get with just Cruz between 7:30 and 8. I make him breakfast, pack his school bag, we brush our teeth together, and we walk hand-in-hand to the bus stop to meet Jaycie and Claire and Bus 35. We worried that forgoing morning daycare would make our weekdays hectic, but it's had the exact opposite effect. And that wave through the tinted windows of the school bus sends me to work every morning with the biggest smile on my face.
319. A slow Saturday morning that included a new striped throw, blueberry coffee on the couch, and a morning of decorating for fall while the kids made a pillow fort in their pajamas. I listened to Ella Fitzgerald, packed away my sailboat, and replaced it with pumpkins and lots of yummy scents.
320. Target dollar bins that inspire fun plans for pumpkin bread deliveries and a "Friendsgiving" in November.
321. A Sunday night sunset with the French doors swung wide open.
322. Soft pink leotards and a sweet pair of ballet slippers for my tiny dancer. And her signature dance move. :)
323. Back-to-School summer parties at friends', with a giant slip-n-slide, a bonfire, and one gorgeous backyard view.
And their faces. :)
324. Cul de sac living. Our little circle includes sixteen kids under the age of 8, so we've become quite accustomed to looking out for one another! We lost our daughter for a minute the other night, until we were blinded by her Elsa dress from the front of the house. There she was, on top of the electrical box, putting on quite the show for the neighbors. The four little brothers across the street are learning a thing or two from Mila and her doll strollers, plastic high heels, and princess dresses. They are very intrigued by her!
325. End of summer harvest with rows upon rows of these pretties!
326. A family date night at Palmers, with mini-golfing and lot of pillow jumping.
327. Spontaneous puddle jumping with bright red ladybug boots. I love that she twirls and isn't afraid to get messy.
328. A Sunday baking afternoon. We made little loaves of pumpkin bread to deliver to teacher friends, and I had a little helper while Beau and Cruz watched the Bears on TV. Any chance to wear an apron and use my Kitchenaid is a good thing!
329. Dinnertime conversations that go like this:
Me: Cruz, what is something you did at school today?
Cruz: We learned about leadership and I got to be the door holder for my class.
Mila: And me and Aceton hided in a cupboard and the teacher telled us "Get out of there!"