We've made it to the last quarter of 2016 and that familiar feeling of celebration, traditions, and so much cozy has once again settled into my bones. I love chilly fall mornings with the windows cracked open, comfort food on the stove top, and scented candles lit before bed as much as the next person, but there's something about October that goes a lot deeper for me. It's the month I became a mom for the first time and everything seemed to carry a new weight and a new beauty to it after this. Life became so much more precious, and I felt such a longing to notice, savor, and remember it all. And for all the big moments that have grown a little fuzzy over the years, I vividly remember so many small things that were new, and fragile, and so beautiful about that first fall with Cruz. Like taking him on his first walk the week Beau went back to work. I was overjoyed and overwhelmed all at the same time, but found solace in a bundled up walk around the neighborhood, where I breathed in that October air, listened to the sound of crunching leaves beneath my feet, and watched as the leaves danced from the trees and every so often found their way to Cruz's blue hat and teeny hand up by his face.
That season has come and gone, like all good seasons do, but every year around this time, as the days get a little shorter, and the nights call for cozy, we get to celebrate Cruz's birthday, anticipate the holidays and a season of gathering, and practice simple rituals that carry a little more beauty around this time of year. This season calls me home more than any other, and it opens my eyes to the small, simple, and sweet pleasures that exist in the midst of all the hustle and bustle.
Good Things // October
330. Up before the kids on a rainy Saturday morning. The windows were open the night before and the house had a chill to it that begged for extra blankets and something hot in my hands. I curled up on the couch with a book and my favorite mug, and thoroughly enjoyed the five minutes of quiet before the kids greeted me with their bed-head and requests for cartoons and cereal.
331. A much-needed weekend at home. The older I get, the more I realize just how important it is to carve out time to be here. To be selective and protective of our time, which paves the way for plenty of opportunities to reset and slow down. And this weekend was calling for just that. I felt it in my bones. Beau had been out of town for work and it was nice to stay in our pajamas for most of the morning, sit side by side together in Mila's room with our coffee and watch the kids play, and plan our day by the hour.
332. Drawers stocked with new jammies...for all four of us. :)
333. Tree hunting with the kids. We adventured to Waverly Saturday afternoon to pick out some trees to plant. And we didn't hear a peep from the kids the entire time we were there, just their little heads poking up from above the plants every now and then. They played together so well, and seemed to be pretending they were in their own forest. We did pay for this a little as they reappeared later completely dirt-covered from head to toe, but their wild imaginations and sibling love was well worth it. And Saturday afternoon tub soaks are the best time for bath.
334. A stay-at-home date night with Beau. While it's fun to get out of the house and see a movie every now and then, date nights in are becoming a favorite of mine. We put the kids to bed, turned off the lights and lit some candles, ordered Indian food and set the table nice, and drank two bottles of red. And then, Monopoly. And a killer free parking score that cost me the game. :)
335. A visit from Papa and Grandma last Sunday after Beau left for a work conference. I made butternut squash soup and a homemade apple pie, Dad watched football, and Mom helped me narrow down outfits for family pictures. It was easy and relaxed, and I tried to talk them into staying for the week!
336. A week of solo parenting and the beauty revealed in the mess and stress of it all. One night, we had a picnic at the playground; another night, we made apple snacks; and our favorite night included mummy hot dogs for dinner and spooky stories before bed. It wasn't all cupcakes and candy corn, but the week reaffirmed my belief that us moms, we are superheroes.
337. How serious they were about this pwah-jects. Leaf sun-catchers for our windows...
338. Little bites out apples on the counter.
339. Dutch apple pie, ala mode.
340. Chilly Friday nights at the soccer field, and reconnecting with old friends through our big kids.
341. Snuggles from our soon-to-be six year old.
342. The numerous apples Mila would consume after returning from the apple orchard. She kicked a cold faster than ever before, and I'm chalking it up to all the apples she ate. And there's just something adorable about little ones eating apples. Especially in their pajamas. :)
343. Sunday drives and a spontaneous stop at a new playground because it was that nice outside.