autumn heart stirrings

"I am delighting in the arrival of September and the perfectly cozy way that it has begun. It poured down rain all day yesterday, and today the clouds remain and the chill in the air is lasting along with it. We've been lighting candles and wearing sweaters, sipping hot beverages and making the inaugural loaves of pumpkin bread, welcoming our beloved season in with the widest open arms."


This was the start to my journal entry the other morning. This was the first of those beginning of the day thoughts as I sat this past Saturday morning, taking in the a.m. hours of the 2nd day of September, happy in the fact that this month had arrived again.

As I sat there looking out the windows at the cloudy morning, a sweater wrapped around me, feeling giddy that my favorite season was upon us, the giddy turned to gratitude.

I was grateful for the change in the season, for the fact that they always do change. It's a constant, one of those things you know will come, bringing their own rhythm with them. It's one of those beautifully faithful things, a reflection of the One who placed the seasons just as they should be.

I was grateful for the refreshment of it, the new page it was turning in this year. Limbs begin to stretch that haven't been used as much, fresh thoughts and plans stir, you feel a bit more awake at the start of a new season. How wise of the Lord, and how kind, to give us the chapters in a year.

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I was grateful for that pure joy I felt, the same feeling that springs up in my soul each year at this time. The arrival of September and the coming of fall will never cease to feel like that friend to me. That dear old friend who shows up at your doorstep with your favorite hot beverage and one of those rather wonderful hugs.

And I was grateful for the gifts of words that morning. Words that give a bit more life to the things that stir inside of you during quiet moments like this. Words that allow you to put your heart thoughts on paper, to hold onto, to read over later, to not just think anymore, but to see before your eyes, which, I believe, there's something really sweet about. 

I was grateful for words that morning because of what that cozy, cloudy September 2nd morning, with it's delightful chill in the air revealed to me about my God. I want to keep these realizations, these thoughts, these moments where I come to love Him even more because of who He is as dear, close reminders. He is in it all, all the pieces of the days of the chapters of every year, and He's using it. That chill in the air, the first red leaves I spot, the way the crisp air smells just a certain way. These things aren't lost on Him, they are fashioned by Him, and He's showing Himself to me, to us, through each one.

This was how that journal entry of mind ended the other morning..........

The way September has begun has felt like a gift to me, a sweet and tender way that the Lord has shown me the grace-filled ways that He knows and loves me so intimately. He knows my love for fall and all things cozy, my happiness when a day is full lot rain, the pure joy I feel in the changing of the seasons and the new rhythm that fall brings with it. It is such a comforting thought, a humbling thought, to realize again that the Almighty One, the One who calms seas and breathes life, the One who holds all things together, the One who sets rainbows in the sky and raised up mountains to sit so high with such beauty, that He is the One who knows the most intimate pieces of me, pieces I don't even fully know, and He loves me with the most tender, most kind, most perfect love. Oh, what a thought!"

A Very Autumn-ish List


With every entrance of fall comes our annual "meeting of the minds": the writing down of our fall plans. We take some time one afternoon or evening in early September & make our leaf-crunching, cider-sipping, pumpkin-carving list of all the autumnal delights we plan to enjoy.

Our list changes a bit with each year, especially with AK growing up & being able to lend her *almost* 6 year old little voice to the mix (which I rather love). But there are always the traditions that remain, the bits & pieces that, for us, are a integral part of making it fall.

And this year I have a new batch of sharpened colored pencils (which make me feel especially You've Got Mail-ish) & an empty journal to add a bit more creativity to our bullet list of ideas. There's something about seeing those reds & oranges spread across the page that give the words that make up that list a bit more life. It's the little things, right?

image via pinterest

image via pinterest

~ A Bucket List of Fall Things ~

collecting leaves on a walk through a park.

coffee shop runs for pumpkin, chai, and caramel flavored beverages.

picking apples at our favorite family farm.

a family photoshoot.

lighting pumpkin candles every single day.

making our "thankful" tree for November.

baking multiple loaves of pumpkin bread, with and without chunks of chocolate. 

multiple walks on our favorite trail in town. 

picking out new soup and stew recipes to try.

an evening of pumpkin carving and s'more making in the back yard.

game nights in the sunroom with candles lit, cider piping, and wool blankets spread out.

viewings of You've Got Mail and Anne of Green Gables.

rotating a sweet bowl with fillers from a variety of Target candy bags.

multiple trips to aforesaid family farm for pumpkin donuts, cheese, cider, and wine.

reading in the sunroom with the autumn breeze blowing through.

afternoons of more baking with AK while our soundtrack playlists serenade us.

Saturdays of college football and good food.

quiet times to think and be.

setting up baby boy's nursery and AK's big sister room.

visits from family and friends.

pumpkin donuts for breakfast.

buying pumpkins and mums for our front stoop.

re-reading Anne of Green Gables.

our family vacation to Rosemary Beach.

celebrating the birthdays of both my J and our AK.

walks in the evening in the crisp autumn air. 

recording our days and the happy moments and events that fill them. 

This list may be added to as the days go by, but already I think it's brimming with good things.....cozy things.....fall things. Sharing this season with my darlings is what makes these fall days what they are and each year, as AK grows up, there are more nuggets of happiness to be found.

I rather think next year I might just come undone when it's the F O U R of us and we are introducing little man to this most beloved season. I see it now: J carrying him on his shoulders through rows of apple trees, AK teaching him how to carve a pumpkin and handing him "his own" special leaves to hold, putting his little painted handprint on our thankful tree, and all of us just drinking him in as he's donned in his darling plaid shirt and his miniature-sized moccasin holding a piece of sugar-coated pumpkin donut in his chubby hand. Magic.

So tell me, sweet friends, what fills your fall bucket list? What are you favorite traditions, your most savored recipes, your go-to fall beverage? I'd love to know.

Have a gorgeous Tuesday!

hello, dear autumn


images via pinterest

images via pinterest

Look at that palette, you guys. It's the picture definition of cozy.

I realize that September will not make it's beginning until Friday, but my heart has fully plunged into autumn.

We are having a darling friend over this evening and she loves this season as I do, so I'm making Irish stew and crusty bread for dinner with pumpkin cake for dessert. And we are going to light our fall candle and have delightful chats around our table and it shall be one of those nights where life just feels rather wonderful.

This week I will be sitting down and making our fall list. It's our happiest list to make each year. Anna Kate has to come to love autumn as much as J and I and I was so full of pride when, the other day, she exclaimed, "Mommy! It's fall and we can carve pumpkins and make the pumpkin things I like and have cozy days!" as she rubbed her little hands together and one of her characteristic scrunchy nosed smiles filled up her face. And that is one of the biggest reasons that this season is my favorite.

If this pumpkin cake is a tasty as I am anticipating it to be then I will be sharing that recipe on the blog later this week. I have been giddy for the day when fall food scents would fill up the walls of our kitchen here in our new home. It needs all the spicy and comforting fragrances to add some character and some life into it. 

I've begun eyeing and pinning sweaters online and thinking through what are the wisest purchases to make for this fall/winter season as I am not my normal size, nor shall be until sometime in the new year. My sweet mama sent me a maternity cardigan sweater and a tunic top from Gap this past week and they are perfect helps to what has been my non-existent maternity cool weather collection. I told her the cardigan is going to be that one that I reach for especially in the last days of pregnancy and the first days of postpartum. Mama truly knows best. I also need to find a cozy pair of slippers. Do you all have a favorite pair of them? 

Always with the coming of fall my book list gets longer and I long for hours of time to sit with my warm beverage and my book. I'm hoping to crack open several bindings that I've been waiting to begin for months now, especially on the days where a nice autumn rain is falling outside. I'm hoping that November especially affords some afternoons with just such a scenario.

So many delights of anticipation, as Anne would say, exist with the arrival of fall.

I'm just so glad to see it come once again. It never ceases to just make life lovelier. 

"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." -- F. Scott FItzgerald