October — My Favorite Month

I cannot believe that tomorrow is the last day of October.  This month has gone by quickly, has been busy and a good one, and is my favorite month. It is the time of football, the World Series, fall leaves, cooler weather, and pumpkins.

It is also a time for celebrations.  My husband and I got married in October, our son was born this month, and we also celebrate the birthdays of both of my parents, three nephews, and several friends, and the anniversaries of a few friends.

We also had our fall break this month and some down time to enjoy the leaves changing and the cooler weather.  Although at the time of the break, it was still pretty warm.  It is still nice to have a break to enjoy ourselves during the hustle and bustle that school has become.

This was photo was taken a few falls ago in North Carolina. Don’t you just love the colors of those leaves? I sure do. I like the vibrant reds, yellows, and golds.

Along with a lot of fun and happy celebrations, we have also had to say goodbye to some loved ones this month.  I found out that over the weekend, one of my pediatricians had passed away and one of my friends from MOPS also died.  So sad to lose both of these wonderful people.

These losses are bittersweet since they leave behind family and friends and those who loved them so very much.  Both made the most of their lives and I have learned from them.

This month, we also had a school field trip to an interactive STEM museum and a historical center.  Both were fascinating and we learned a lot.  Ian and I enjoyed the day very much, as did his friends.  So many fond memories that I will cherish.

Also in October, I usually end up with a sinus infection or cold.  It seems to happen each year because of the ragweed and changes in temperature.  Sure enough, it did again this year.  I am finally feeling better after a week of being sick and on medication.

On this next to last day of my favorite month, I am thankful for:

  • Warm sweaters and socks
  • Homemade chicken noodle veggie soup
  • Hot tea and hot coffee
  • Naps on the couch
  • Library books
  • Time with my guys
  • Sleeping in on the weekend
  • Family time
  • Birthday parties
  • Lunches or dinners out with friends
  • Family photos
  • School field trips
  • PTO members and activities
  • Halloween candy and costumes, but nothing very scary
  • Hugs and messy hair in the morning
  • Late breakfast on Saturday
  • Watching the World Series
  • 19 years of marriage
  • Our 10-year-old son
  • All that my parents taught me
  • My family
  • My friends
  • Meals and laughs with family
  • Movies at home
  • Ian’s school and all of our friends
  • My many blessings

I truly enjoyed October.  I wonder what the next month will bring?  I am sure a lot of fun activities and more time with loved ones. We cannot wait.

Flashback Friday – Fall Beauty

fallback1Hi and Happy Friday!  Yesterday was the first day of autumn or fall, my favorite season of the year.  Did you have a good one?  I did, but the weather sure doesn’t feel like fall, at least not yet.

This photo was taken two years ago in North Carolina.  The colors of the leaves was gorgeous.  I don’t know how this year will be since it has been so dry and hot.  We shall see.

Don’t get me wrong I really like the summer and we always have a great time and enjoy the time we have together.  However, fall is when the weather is the best, our routine comes back, and life is very rich with so many great activities.

There are so many things that I like about the fall:

  • Pumpkin Spice lattes
  • The chill in the air
  • Not sweating on our walks home
  • Celebrating my wedding anniversary with my love
  • Celebrating Ian’s birthday
  • Celebrating my parent’s birthdays
  • Celebrating two nephews’ birthdays
  • Celebrating cousins’ birthdays
  • Football games
  • Hot drinks
  • Cozy blankets
  • Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Baking items
  • Campouts and campfires
  • Premieres of favorite shows
  • Amazing smells and scents
  • Lovely reds, brilliant golds and oranges
  • The crunch of leaves
  • Long sleeve shirts and jeans

I wonder what this fall will bring?  I hope it will be cooler weather, fun times with family and friends, and some great food and drinks.  Take care and enjoy!

Throwback Thursday – It’s Fall Y’all!

TT.Fall.1Can you believe that yesterday was the first day of fall?  I sure can’t.  The summer season flew by.  I do love fall though and always enjoy this time of year.  Happy Fall Y’all!

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a photo of Ian from fall 2011.  He turned 4 years old that year.

He was fascinated with these pine cones.  He was in a corduroy outfit and very curious. He is still curious about life around him and a great reader!

I just love the fall. This is my favorite time of year in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I love the brisk mornings and evenings, the warmer days, and the lovely blue skies. I love that there isn’t the humidity of summer, and even on rainy days, it’s okay since we can be inside and enjoying baking and relaxing.

TT.Fall.2A few things about fall/autumn that I love are:

  • My mom’s pumpkin bread
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies
  • Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Soups and chowder
  • Clear blue skies
  • Cool nights
  • Vibrant orange and red leaves
  • Football games
  • S’mores
  • Being outside without sweating the entire time
  • Shorter days and time inside together
  • Fall premieres of favorite television shows
  • Birthday and anniversary celebrations
  • The smells of apples, cinnamon, maple, and nutmeg
  • Brisk walks and bike rides
  • Soccer games
  • The World Series
  • The fun of a camp fire or bonfire
  • Hayrides and choosing a pumpkin for Halloween

A few quotes about fall/autumn:

  • “Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.” ~Hal Borland
  • “Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.” ~Leo Tolstoy, to Nikolay Strakhov
  • “Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn’t begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings…. My year begins in Autumn.” ~Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • “Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings.” ~Terri Guillemets

I wonder what this fall holds in store?  I can’t wait to find out.  Have a great one!

Fallback Friday

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  This fall, on some Fridays, I will post some old photos of fall and some of what we were doing for Fallback Friday.  This may be in lieu of Throwback Thursdays some weeks.

Today’s photos are of Ian in the fall of 2011 exploring a few things we found in the yard and of the pretty leaves as they had changed, also in 2011.

fallback2As I have mentioned before, there are so many things that I love about fall.  Here are a few:

  • Warm and fuzzy socks
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Homemade soup
  • Baking breads and cookies
  • Sitting under a soft blanket
  • S’mores
  • Football games
  • Pulling out a favorite sweater from the back of the closet
  • Telling stories around a campfire
  • A chill in the air
  • Trick or treating
  • Celebrating birthdays and our anniversary
  • Walks in the evening
  • Pecan pie, apple pie, blackberry cobbler
  • Brilliant reds and yellows of nature
  • Raking leaves and then jumping in them
  • A hot cup of tea while reading a great book
  • The time change with a longer evening
  • Fall break

I also like the extra time we have inside as a family since the days are shorter, and the opportunity to use my inside exercise equipment as well as enjoy some outside exercise that is not so humid and sweaty. With all of the treats I enjoy at this time of year, I have to be sure and balance them with exercise.

I wonder what fun adventures we will have this fall?  I know there will be plenty and they will be great!

Feels Like Fall

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know about you, but I love fall!!!  The weather is cooler, the leaves change, and pumpkin is everywhere.

Fall/autumn doesn’t officially start until September 23, but it is starting to feel like it.  This photo was taken two years ago during the best time of year for leaves changing in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I love all of these colors!

Today I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season and it was great! So yummy.  And, we have pumpkin spice cream cheese, which is also fabulous.

This morning when we left for church, I felt a slight chill in the air and grinned from ear to ear.  After the very humid summer, this was such a nice change.

In the fall, football games can be watched all weekend, the fun of the World Series can be enjoyed, we can dress up in Halloween costumes and visit our neighbors, evening walks and bike rides are more pleasant, and we can enjoy s’mores at a bonfire.

It is also the time of year for my son’s birthday, my anniversary with my sweet hubby, our nephew’s wedding, another nephew’s birthday, a niece’s birthday, birthdays of cousins and in-laws, and my parents’ birthdays.  It is a time of a lot of celebration and fun.

Also in the fall are long sleeve shirts, jeans, socks, boots, hot drinks, chili, soups, sweatshirts, baking pumpkin bread and cookies, pumpkin pie, butternut squash soup, the smells of apples and cinnamon, fires in the fireplace, crunchy leaves, the amazing reds, yellows, and oranges on the trees, hayrides, and extra-long cuddles.

I love the summer out in California since it isn’t humid (at least not to me), and I love the fall in Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. To me it is the prettiest at this time of year.

I wonder when the leaves will start changing this year?  I can’t wait to see them.  Happy Fall!

I Love Fall – First Day Today

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Sunday!  Today, September 22, is the first day of fall. I heard on Good Morning America that it officially starts at 4:44 p.m.  I always thought it started in the morning but apparently not.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer and all of the fun we had.  Summer is special in its own way, but fall is my favorite of the four seasons.

In the summer, I love to be in San Diego, California, especially July.  For several years we did just that and it was fantastic.  So many wonderful memories, beautiful scenery, and fun people to be with.

But, the fall in Tennessee and North Carolina cannot be beaten. This photo I took last fall – actually in mid-October while in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  Isn’t it beautiful?  I love the brilliant color of the leaves.

There are so many things that I love about the fall, also called autumn.  Where do I start?

  • First of all, I got married in the fall and we had a lovely wedding.  And, my son was born in the fall as well.  Actually both were in October.   Getting to celebrate with my two guys is the best!
  • Fall is also the time of my parents’ birthdays and two of my nephews, several cousins, and some other dear friends and family as well.
  • Fall is a time for gorgeous yellows, reds, and oranges.  It is the time for pumpkins and dressing up for Halloween.
  • Fall is the time of screaming fans at a football game, listening to the marching band at halftime, watching the World Series on the television and cheering like crazy.
  • Fall is the time of pumpkin spice creamer and lattes, cinnamon and nutmeg, and lots of candy.
  • Fall is the time of wearing sweaters, the brisk air, and the changing of the trees.  It is also the time of hot chocolate, hot cider, and all things pumpkin.

I love eating my mother’s pumpkin bread with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and a cold glass of milk.  YUMMY.  This truly is a treat for me.  I also love the fall since Silk Nog is sold this time of year.  I am allergic to eggs so this works for baking at this time of year.

Fall is the time of crunchy leaves and brisk walks.  It is the time of trick or treat, and back to school.  And, the time of fall breaks, a pot of chili, sitting under a blanket reading a good book, and enjoying being inside together.

Next week, Ian will go on his first field trip – called field study.  I am hoping to be able to go.  The trip is to a pumpkin, fruit and berry patch.  It will include a hayride, getting a pumpkin, a corn maze, time to eat lunch, and many other fun activities.  Isn’t that fun?  And, so perfect for fall.

A few quotes about fall/autumn:

  • “The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • “Oh how we love pumpkin season. You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin…. We anxiously anticipate it every year.” Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer
  • “Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” ~Jim Bishop

I wonder what fun and amazing things this fall will bring?  I cannot wait to find out and see, touch, hear, taste, and smell this amazing season.

Fall is the Word for June 7

5minutefridayHi and Happy Friday!  Here we are on the first Friday in June!

I can’t believe we are 6 months into the year already.  Time time certainly flies, doesn’t it?!

Today’s word for Five Minute Friday is Fall.

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Now GO …

Confusions said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

This is a great quote and something that I thought of at first when seeing the word for today.

Life is full of falling down and then picking yourself back up again.  A roller coaster you could say.

My husband and I are teaching our son that life is full of things that you don’t want to do.  We are also teaching him that sometimes bad and messy things happen.

And you know what he is learning, when you spill something, you clean up.  When you make a mess, you clean it up.  When you make a mistake, you fix it.

I think this is very important in a world that seems to be missing teaching kids about failing or losing.

Have you noticed in recent years that all kids who participate in sports get a prize or a trophy?  While I think it is great to recognize and celebrate all kids being active in something, I still think that they need to learn how to lose and lose gracefully.

If they don’t learn that while young, what will happen during the big game in college or on the first job interview that they don’t get?

We can learn a lot when things don’t go our way.  We find out what we are made of and what we can do.

I am all for making dreams come true and having a positive outlook on life.  But I also want my son to know that it’s not the end of the world when he falls or fails.

Okay … STOP.  Time is already up.  My those 5 minutes go quickly.

Here are few more great quotes that I wanted to add:

  • “Most important thing in life is learning how to fall,”  Jeannette Walls
  • “Sometimes it takes a really good fall to learn where you stand,” Hayley Williams

I wonder what I will learn the next time I fall.  I am sure that it will something since I make mistakes.  The blessing is that I can learn from them and teach my son about them as well.

To read other thoughts on Fall, please check out Five Minute Friday –http://lisajobaker.com/2013/06/five-minute-friday-fall/

Thoughts and Thanks

Another week has come and gone.  Hope it’s been a good one for you!  Mine has been good but quite busy as most are these days.

I can’t believe it’s already 10 days after Ian’s birthday.  We had been so excited about him turning 5 years old and now we are almost two weeks after the big day already.  My time flies.

Today I wanted to share a few random thoughts from the week and a few items that I am thankful for.

————

First is a quote that I read a few days ago.  Socrates said, “May the outward and inward man be one.”  This has stuck with me and I have been thinking a lot about it.  To me it basically means to be yourself and be comfortable in your own skin.

I hope and pray that you are comfortable with who you are and what you believe in and stand for.  I also hope that you don’t feel the need to wear masks or hide yourself.  People who are worth knowing and truly care about you will love you anyway.

It is hard, though, at times, to completely put ourselves out there warts and all.  Hopefully we can figure that out as the times present themselves.

—————

Last night as you know was the Vice Presidential debate.  My mother wrote a thought-provoking item on Facebook that I have to mention.  She noticed that the people who support Obama think that Biden did a better job and the people who support Romney thought that Ryan was better.  No surprise there!

Here are a few of her words, “Intelligent, thoughtful people draw opposite conclusions from watching the same debate, because we see the world through our own perspective and we look for an echo of what we believe in what we hear.  We need to remember that we all have the privilege to decide and vote according to our criteria.

“It is time to ask that the Lord’s will be done in this election, and that loving concern for others, civility, tolerance, mutual respect, reason, and a spirit of cooperation will settle upon us as a nation,” was her conclusion.  Well said Mom!!

It was a lively debate and I must say that I really like knowing that so many people are engaged in the process this year and care about voting.  For many years, a large portion of the population hasn’t exercised the right to vote.  I hope that changes this year!

What I don’t like is when people are mean or attack someone who feels differently than they do. I would like to think that people can present their view without attacking someone else’s, but I realize that is quite naive.  I want to echo my mother’s prayer about our attitude and remembering to respect one another.

————

I love the fall!!  This week we have had to pull out our sweaters when we’ve gone outside and have to wear socks to keep our feet warm.  The weather is changing and with that, the change to gorgeous fall leaves.

Last weekend we made pumpkin spice pancakes on Saturday morning with turkey bacon.  Such wonderful tastes of fall with the syrup on the pancakes!  Ian helped us make this yummy breakfast and it was a blast!

Last weekend, I also had my first pumpkin spice latte and it was DELICIOUS!  Don’t you love the tastes of fall?  I sure do.

—————–

There is so much to be thankful for!   I hope you have some items as well.  Here are a few of mine:

  • After putting on a dressy outfit, Ian telling me, “Mommy, that outfit looks great!”
  • Enjoying an autobiography about Dick Van Dyke.  I will be writing about this when I finish it.  I have liked him for years so it is fun to read about his life.
  • Finding inspiration in a quote or a comment that someone has made.
  • Looking with anticipation at my sister’s choices for a photo a day challenge that she is going with some of her friends.  They are very clever and creative.
  • Watching a friend debut on a new television show this week.  He did a great job, I must say.  The show is “Chicago Fire.”  Please check it out.
  • Cherishing a date night with my dear hubby with dinner out and time to shop.
  • Painting my fingernails and toenails with confetti nail polish for a birthday party.
  • Seeing Ian set up and play with his new train set, which he received at his party.
  • Realizing how precious it is to live in this county and be able to think and believe as we want to.
  • Listening to differences of opinion and learning how other people tick (so to speak).
  • Receiving a hug from my son and husband.

May God bless you this coming week!  Hope it’s a great one!!