An Almost Autumn Weekend

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Hello, readers.  I’m excited to be back on the blog with you in about two week’s time!  This feels like a victory.  I hope you are witnessing the start of a nice, long stretch of consistent posting.  I’ve missed you and this place.

Saturday could not have been a more beautiful September day.  The sky was crystal clear–the kind of blue that requires you to pause in awe of that true, true color.  The air was cool, and I had to rummage through bins of long sleeves and pants to find something for the kids to wear.   Late Saturday morning, the guys headed out on their outdoor adventure (hiking, fishing, the works) while Charlotte, Mom, and I went to an Apple Festival.

I’ve been excited for this festival.  It felt like the ultimate celebration of the impending autumn–a season that I’ve missed profoundly.  I loved our time in Florida, but my goodness, I missed fall and all that goes with it.

So the weekend was all about autumn, and the Apple Festival certainly brought out many of the things that I love about the season.

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(I apologize for the if-y photo quality.  I’m trying to fumble through the new way of adding photos through WordPress.  I haven’t quite got it yet!)

Election Day Soup

It’s Election Day in the good old U.S. of A.  I am far more excited about the FACT of voting, the right to vote, the concept of voting than the actual choosing among candidates.  Two imperfect (who isn’t?) men with a variety of ideas on a variety of topics are vying for the same job.  I will choose the person who I believe will do the most good with the position, and I hope you will do the same.  I refuse to see the “other guy” as a monster, and I have no illusions that the man getting my vote is going to save the world.  Someone will hold the office of President for four years, and the world will go on.  And that, my friends, is as political as I will get on Warm As Pie!

You know what I really love about Election Day?  Election Day Soup!  Let me tell you a little story.  In 2000, I was eligible to vote in a Presidential election for the first time.  I was really excited.  I was in my senior year of college, and I had a wonderful boyfriend with a little black pick-up truck who was willing to make the trip from campus to my home precinct.  The ride was 1 hour and 45 minutes long, and my future husband barely batted an eye.  The power had gone out due to a storm, so I voted in the glow of a generator-powered spotlight.  I had my picture taken in the booth, something I hear is now illegal.

Not wanting us to simply vote and turn right around, my Grandma Sunny invited us–along with my parents–to have dinner at her house.  She made her family-favorite broccoli cheese soup and homemade buns.  Nothing–I mean nothing–beats Gram’s buns.  My mouth is watering just thinking about them.  Anyway, my boyfriend had never been to Grandma’s house (although they did meet once before), and he later confessed that he had never had soup as a complete meal before.  Funny.

We had a wonderful time.  All of us were laughing and talking and sopping up delicious, creamy soup with big chunks of homemade buns.  We told stories and giggled over silly memories.  Cory had Gram laughing, and I knew she truly liked him.  I remember sitting in Gram’s dining room feeling very much in love and realizing that life was very, very good.  I have made her broccoli cheese soup on Election Day ever since.  I know I’ve never missed a Presidential election, and I’ve even pulled out the broccoli & cheese for a good number of the annual elections as well.  I’m a sucker for a tradition, and this one holds some truly delicious memories.

Wishing you a happy Election Day and a blessed autumn!

Thinking of Thanksgiving

It felt strange to celebrate our first major holiday without our families.  We received a generous invitation to dine with new friends.  What a sweet offer!  But having just closed on our new house, we wanted to give thanks in our very own diningroom.

(Please pardon Miss Drooly.)

After dinner, we went back to the rental home for apple pie and some Skype time with family.  My sister-in-law took this picture of her younger son “Skyping” with my boys.  Celebrating Thanksgiving in our new town and new house was joyful, but what I would have given to jump through the computer screen into the arms of the people I love!

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!