Just before Halloween, we made the poor decision of a backyard movie night featuring the creepy but lovable, E.T. Hudson loved it and begged for a repeat screening, which we obliged the following weekend. We didn’t know it then, but we’d be paying the price for weeks (months??) to come. Here’s what 2AM sounds like in our house these days:
Howdy y’all! Sheriff Woody and I had a rootin’ tootin’ good time trick-or-treating over the weekend. We gathered at a friend’s house for chili and cornbread and then hit the streets for sweets! Here’s the whole band of littles.
Now anytime Hudson spots someone in boots, he shouts, “Mom, they’re wearing Woody shoes too!”
I wanted to share the fall issue editor’s note here!
“Look mama, the plants are growing!” Hudson shouted a mere ten minutes after we planted them.“I poured the water and digged with the green shovel,” he explained, his eyes widening with every sentence. “And now they’re growing all the way to the top!”
I love when he gets excited about something new, but before long our harsh desert summer claimed every last herb in the planter box. I should have ripped out the scraggly dead remnants, but instead I walked past our planter week after week, a constant reminder of my black thumb. Until one day I noticed the stem of the basil plant clinging desperately to a couple of pale green leaves. “Huh,” I remarked audibly.
“What is it, mama?” Hudson asked.
I pointed to the planter, “Maybe we should water this guy?” No sooner did the words leave my mouth than Hudson appeared with a watering can in tow.
Even as I write this note, I can see the now fluffy green plant towering in the shade of our patio. It not only survived, but came back stronger. Fall has a way of doing that – clearing out the dead leaves to make way for new growth.
Last fall I made the conscious decision to clear out things that hindered personal growth. Like the overcrowded planter box, we needed to prune. My husband and I invested in the relationships that we wanted to grow and took a step away from ones that hindered growth. We purged our home in preparation for a renovation. And although things looked a little bleak as we stripped away layer after layer, I’m grateful now for that season of our lives.
Autumn’s kaleidoscope of falling leaves reminds us that change can be beautiful. We take our cues from the shedding foliage and acknowledge that less really is more. This issue celebrates the things we love most about this season of transition. A season of gatherings (page 60) and thankfulness (page 32) and pumpkin spice latte popsicles (page 52).
I can’t guarantee how long our basil plant will last, but I’m hopeful that when her leaves make their way to the ground she’s simply making way for growth.
P.S. The full issue is live here.
Seven years ago this morning, I woke up and began furiously writing my wedding vows. Somehow, we settled on writing them ourselves despite my penchant for procrastination, so I quickly scribbled down some thoughts, and then with a bridesmaid in tow, we headed to the store for champagne. Priorities. Side note: I forgot my ID, so my bridesmaid had to go to another cashier, while I hid in the parking lot! I was too nervous to actually drink a mimosa though, because I still had a long way to go on the vow-writing front.
I’m so thankful to a family friend that recorded them, so that each year on our anniversary, I can remember the promises I made that day. Promises like watching Friends reruns together before falling asleep and making him pancakes on Sundays, but also real promises like to always forgive and always think the best of him. Before our wedding day, we had dated for four years and chose each other again and again. I remember naïvely thinking that we had faced tough times and come out the other side, so the next forty years would be a breeze. I had no idea just how big our challenges would be, but in those challenges, I have seen the kind of man Ryan really is. A man who is determined and forgiving and who relentlessly loves his family. When he is hurt, somehow he loves harder. I don’t do that! I want to though. And I’m grateful that I get forever to figure out how to love bigger and do this wife thing better.
And since the most romantic way to spend your anniversary weekend is at a pumpkin patch with your toddler (haha but really no way I’d rather spend it!), here are a few photos from our weekend.
Hudson brought along a measuring tape and ran the numbers on each of his favorites to make sure we took home the biggest. We might need to work on his units of measurement though, because after measuring this one, he proudly announced, “This one is three dollars!”
And here is Ryan describing to Hudson how “gourd-geous” this pumpkin is. Hudson is not yet into cheesy puns, but we’ll keep at it.
And the extra large and lopsided one we took home!
As soon as we stepped out of the car, the scent of pine needles and campfires filled our lungs. Crisp autumn air doesn’t hit our desert city for another month, so we were in heaven. This pint sized welcoming crew greeted us.
We love camping with friends, and though we normally opt for a cabin, the kids loved staying in a teepee, exploring together, and screaming at the sight of creepy crawlies. We grilled up some dinner, and I think I ate my body weight in roasted marshmallows.
We brought up some homemade banana bread for breakfast, and our friend Sophie made pumpkin muffins. Yum.
Before we headed back to town, we stopped at a fall festival up north. Hudson loved the hay maze, and for some reason (Hudson’s sweet talking) we took home our fifth pumpkin of the season, and it’s not even October yet!
Today, we brought home our fifth pumpkin of the season. It’s not even October yet. I can’t help it! Then Hudson begged us to carve it, and I didn’t have the heart to say no. He kept a notebook nearby, and every time we completed a step (cut off the bottom, scooped out the seeds, etc.), he would record it in his book, confidently announcing, “Step check!” It was very encouraging haha!
We called for backup on the actual carving.
Hudson named the owl Frixon. When I held it up, he shouted, “Mama, I am SO proud of you!” And here she be!
Somehow I survived a weekend of solo parenting. Ryan, on the other hand, enjoyed a (much deserved) boy’s trip celebrating our good friend’s bachelor party festivities. Hudson who had just woken from his nap and could barely keep his eyes open lunged right for his papa the moment he walked through the door. Ry dropped his luggage from both hands, and they sat like this just long enough for my heart to explode.
My competitive streak really comes out when playing games, but I tried to keep it in check since most of the ping pong balls missed the table thanks to Hudson … and myself, let’s be real.
We worked up an appetite, but since I already had dinner ready at home, we just grabbed a happy hour plate of crispy prosciutto deviled eggs. Hudson calls them “goubled eggs,” and they are the best in town. For only $2.50!
Followed up by foosball and life-sized jenga, we had a ball. (Ha. I just can’t help the puns.)