Catching up…

Whenever my head is full of this and that, I have trouble getting a good blog post together.  I’ll try to get on track!  We’ve been busy enjoying lots of family time.  The last few weeks have brought a local festival, plenty of beautiful weather, and even some company from back home.

We think our girl might be working on a tooth.  She munches on her bottom lip like this all the time.  The boys think it is hilarious.

(Don’t ya just love the “peacock couch.”)

We were delighted to have hubby’s brother and his wife visit from “up North.”  We had a fun weekend showing off our new town, peeking in the windows of our new house (shh!), and cheering on our Steelers.  The visit gave me the boost I needed to make it until Christmas.  Counting down the days!

Feeling like fall (and a heads up!)

How about that little scarecrow?  Pretty cute, huh?  J’s whole class dressed as scarecrows for the preschool’s annual Fall Fest.  It was a sweet day of games and treats and wonderfully cool weather.  I have always loved autumn.  It is, by far, my favorite season, and I am definitely missing the colored leaves and the chilly weather.  But on the morning of the Fall Fest, I had to go buy Charlotte a little jacket.  It was seriously brisk.  Brrr!  And I say that with a big old smile on my face.

A bit of exciting news!  About a month ago, I was asked by MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers) to participate in the “blog tour” of the organization’s latest publication, MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering.  I am so excited to participate in the blog tour.  I will be posting my review on Friday, October 28.  Here’s the best part:  you can enter to win your own copy, right here on Warm As Pie.  Leave a comment on Friday’s post, and I will enter your name in a drawing to win MomSense. 

Botanical Gardens

Over the weekend, we enjoyed a nice dose of nature at a nearby plant sale event.  The weather was gorgeous.  Sunny, not too hot, and we finally got to see one of the treasured highlights of our new community, a botanical garden.  The garden hosts an annual plant sale combined with all the fun of a traditional Oktoberfest.  You know…German food, pumpkins, polka.  Here are some of the scenes from our weekend.

Change

{Written yesterday.}

Right now, it’s a little after 1 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon.  My three-year-old fell asleep across my lap as I nursed my three-month-old.  Then the baby fell asleep, so while I snuggled her in the crook of my arm, I managed to reach over the little man and grab my laptop.  These are skills I never imagined I would have prior to motherhood.  With the laptop balanced precariously on my knees, let me tell you a little about my life before anyone wakes up.

If you’ve been visiting my blog much lately, you know that my family has gone through a lot of change lately.  A lot.  Most of these changes have been positive (when I have my rosie glasses on).  My husband got a job, one that he has been preparing for his entire adult life.  The job is in a setting that is truly ideal for him.  We’ve been embraced by his co-workers.  We’ve found a new church with lots of wonderful families with children near the ages of our kids.  I’ve met moms who have been warm and friendly.  We are in a climate that is hot but beautiful, and we are in the process of buying a house that we love.  Both of the boys are happy in their new schools.  Blessings abound.

But change is hard, even when it is good.  We miss our families terribly.  I miss having lunch with my mom, chatting with my dad, running over to the in-laws on the weekend.  I miss scrapbooking Saturdays, card parties, our old library, and our church family.  I even miss our pediatricians’ office.  How weird is that?  I miss my La Leche League group so much.  {Girls, if you are reading this, I wish you were here!}  I miss my vegetable peeler; I know that’s very silly, but it was a really great peeler.  Honest.  I miss my knitting book.  I miss ALL of my books.

So if I’m feeling the pinch of all this change, just imagine how it feels if you are only three or six years old.  Nothing seems to be the same.  Our bedtime routine feels different.  Sleeping through the night has turned into many, many wakeful moments at all the wrong times.  These moments often come with unexplained tears, and I can only imagine that these are tears of sadness, frustration, and even a little fear.  One night–absolutely exhausted and about to completely lose my patience–I said to my three-year-old, “Everything feels different now, but what is still the same?”  He paused, then said, “God made me.”  Yes.  I immediately thought about my post from a few weeks ago.  I was surprised by J’s answer.  I hadn’t prompted him to think spiritually on the matter.  I certainly wasn’t in the teaching frame of mind at 4 o’clock in the morning.  I was nowhere near the “God has a plan” frame of mind when I was snatched from my sleep by an unhappy preschooler, but J’s quick answer cleared my head and brought me back to something I’ve been considering for awhile.

I know that not everyone who reads this blog shares my faith or practices it in the same tradition, but stick with me.  I often think that in calling my little family away from our extended family at this point in our lives, God is calling me to rely on Him.  To find in Him comfort, connection, strength, patience, and stability.  He wants me to trust Him.  I’m not expected to understand or even like it all, but I need to trust that He has a plan that is better and more fitting than my own agenda.  That’s hard.  I spend all of my time planning and dreaming.  I’m always browsing the internet for the next graduate school program, the next course I can take, the next book I can read, the next organization that I could join or start or research.  I forget to live and be.  Life might be totally willy-nilly, but God made me.  He made me with a purpose; He made me with love.  Those concepts don’t change.  I can feel free to dig in and be still in the present without fear of the future.

A not-so-great picture of my attempts to make our new rental feel like home. I love autumn!

Small Town Fun

There are moments when I feel like I’m living in a movie.  I have always thought of myself as a country girl stuck in a city life (over the last 7 years), but I could definitely get the hang of small town living.  Yesterday we went to the homecoming parade.  It was great fun!  Highschoolers threw candy to kids lining the curbs.  We saw the marching band, the school clubs, and floats by the elementary schools.  While the boys scrambled for Nerds and Dum Dums and Tootsie Rolls, hubby and I chatted with new friends.  It was a beautiful, breezy afternoon.  I left feeling relaxed and grateful.

2nd Blogiversary!

I am not at all surprised that I began this blog just as summer turned to fall.  The autumn season inspires me in so many ways.  I love that as the outdoors grow cooler, the inside becomes warmer and cozier.  I am reminded of all that people do to make our homes warm, comfortable places.  We turn back toward the rooms of our houses as summer’s activies come to an end.  In those rooms, we stir soup, bake bread, and wash up blankets to be draped over the arms of couches.  All of that change makes me want to set goals and make changes on the inside of me, not just my home.

As I move into my third year of blogging, I am in a very different place geographically.  Here, we don’t need the hot, hearty soup.  We aren’t ready for cozy blankets.  In fact, while our family up north is pulling out the woolens, I haven’t noticed any real change in the temperatures.  Nonetheless, I do feel inspired.  The hot weather holds steady, but the year still passes.  We are moving into the time of year when we shed the old to make room for the new, and I want to carry that rhythm into my life and my blog.

I feel pleased that my blog has become a positive and pleasant habit, a part of my routine that I certainly miss when life pulls me away from the computer (as it should).  Blogging has pushed me to keep my eyes open for beautiful moments and quiet lessons in my daily life.  And it has become more fun and rewarding as I’ve watched my readership grow.

Thank you!  I hope you’ll stick around.

Giving Thanks…

For childhood memories,

For children making memories,

For waking up to the smell of onions, celery, and butter in an iron skillet,

For families–growing, learning, loving,

For the bright orange of sweet potatoes and the darker shade of pumpkin with just the right amount of cinnamon,

For pie filling that didn’t fit, baked in a little dish for nibbling,

For the land and its natural resources–May we never take them for granted–

For a God who is both provider and savior…

We give Thanks!

A Big October Weekend

We were certainly on the go this weekend.  But I’m not complaining.  We got to spend time with some of our favorite people in the world.  (Missed you, Kristy!)  “We” is my parents combined with my husband’s family and a few extras!  On Saturday, we headed to a local family-centered amusement park.  During the weekends in October, kids can trick-or-treat in the park, and the whole place is “dressed up” for autumn and a mild, kid-friendly version of Halloween.  As a not-so-thrilled-about-Halloween gal, this was a good fit for my family.  The weather was gorgeous.  The costumes actually got finished in time, and they didn’t fall apart!

On Sunday we had a surprise baby shower for my sister-in-law.  I’ll share some of those fun details in another post.

Exploring the Pomegranate

Do you ever say “no” or think “no” to something just because it wasn’t in the plan, or it might be messy, or it just feels like trouble?  I almost said “no” to a pomegranate in the grocery store on Wednesday afternoon.  My boy–a curious, inquisitive little munchkin–was immediately captivated by this reddish, purplish gem.  He held it, sniffed it, hugged it (yes!), examined its odd “stem” (that’s not where it really connects to the plant), and emphatically explained–despite my protests–that in “Bible times,” people could just bite into this fruit.  See, our storybook Bible shows a pomegranate instead of the traditional apple in the Adam & Eve account.  That was evidence enough that this was the fruit from the Garden. 

So despite my desire to hurry through the store to get home (who was I kidding?), I agreed to purchase the mysterious pomegranate.

I told my boy that we would have to Google pomegranate to be sure that we were eating the right parts.  He exclaimed, “We’re going to be scientists!”  So as culinary scientists, we proceeded to read up on our specimen and prepared to dissect.  I was immediate reminded of the myth concerning the pomegranate and the droplets of “blood” inside.  I’ll have to look that up again.  Truly, the fruit was beautiful, but how odd that the seeds are the only edible part.  We had such fun investigating and playing scientist.  For $1.38, we had a productive afternoon of exploration.  I’m so glad that I didn’t say the “no” out loud.