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My favorite festival is Rodale's Organic Apple Festival. We went (with a sick baby) and loved it, as expected.

It happened on the first official day of fall and...although I no longer think I have a favorite season (it used to be fall) because living with Nolan is like living out every thing with fresh eyes and so much more is beautiful now...fall is already really, really good over here.

The season just kind of spilled out of that first day.

We did all get sick, one after another, but we went on an impromptu apple-picking trip. It was an off time, so we had the play area all to ourselves, almost the whole place to ourselves (with the exception of employees). We fed goats and chickens and tried apple cider donuts for the very first time.

My husband made apple sauce while Nolan and I slept and it. is. DELICIOUS.

I made this apple pie smoothie (making a few substitutions based on what I had available) which I had to wrestle from Nolan. (Really. Every time I tried to take a sip, he tried to pull it away from me. )

Tim introduced me to the simple but incredible dessert that is thin slices of fresh apple cooked in butter. (I will be eating those every day until I am tired of them.) (Maybe I'll try cooking in coconut oil, too?)

The "baby" (he's not so much baby any more) and I have been getting longer stretches of sleep- usually 4 to 5 hours in a row each night, which translates into a lot more joy for both of us. I have been laughing so much and so hard lately and crying some happy tears. I like that.


Celebration in Carb Form

I was planning to write the last installment in my The Path of a Sometimes Vegetarian series. After all, there is a conclusion, and it seems fitting that I share it after 2 ramble-y posts about how I've come to meat-related choices in the past.

But the air's been crisp for days. Still climbing in temperature for hours at a time, but every day, there has been at least a few moments that have felt like fall.

The scarves and jeans, pumpkin, apple picking, apples, apples, apples, perfect hiking weather, hot coffee, coziness, and vibrant falling leaves come together to make fall my favorite season.

I know it isn't technically fall yet.

But it feels like it, and I've had my first tastes of it in the forms of all of the above.

So yesterday, instead of writing about meat, I decided to celebrate by turning freshly-picked apples and cans of pumpkin puree into edible, somewhat healthy, and (crossing my fingers) delicious expressions of the season.

I chopped, stirred, and measured.

I had chocolate and ice cream readily available to me even before apple muffins and pumpkin pie came out of my oven, and in full celebration mode, I wanted some of everything.

Have some of everything I did.

(It was all delicious.)

And it was too much. Too much food, too much sugar, too much weight in my belly.

I'm a little embarrassed by the "too much" part of things. Mostly because of my history with overeating as a coping mechanism. Because I've learned that listening to my body leads me to be a better fill-in-a-role-here. Because I feel I (and everyone around me) deserve better.

So, okay,  I celebrated. I went a little too far. Carbs and sugar are my alcohol of choice. If I could go back, I'd rein it in a little, but I can't, and I know that I get an opportunity to make a better choice very soon.

And I celebrated. Fall. My favorite season, and even better? The season my son will be born in.

Who can be too upset about that?

I'm linking up with Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary's series,

Just Write.


One-Woman Fan Club

For all the griping, struggling, and binging I engage in, it might seem that I am mostly likely to be found thrashing around in a glass half-full of dirty water.

Admittedly, sometimes I am. But I also see life as a gift. It does frustrate, anger, and freeze me in place sometimes. I let it. I choose to let it.

Today, I choose to share a bit of some of the small things I'm currently digging:

1. Sweet potatoes. Really. A humongous sweet potato was the star of my breakfast this morning, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Dare I say sweet potatoes just may be my favorite vegetable? Lucky for me, they are quite bountiful during my favorite season and prevalent on my favorite holiday. (Oh, and Tim doesn't like them, so...more for me!)

2. I am currently reading  In a Heartbeat, by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. And I am feeling inspired. It's The Blind Side from the Tuohy's perspective, and it is heavy with discourse over what it means to live life generously. For them, it is about doing small things with great love (not striving to do something "big"), giving without an agenda or any expectation of what-do-I-get-in-return, and giving with a cheerful heart.) Love, love, love this book.

3. Those little heart-shaped leaves that stare me in the face while I practice yoga. Last week, they were green, outlined with gold, and the heart-shape was so obvious. I thought about taking a picture, but didn't. Maybe next time I can arrive early enough to snap a picture without disturbing anybody?

4. The fact that my husband is telling me to, "go shopping!" But I kind of want to wait until my favorite shopping buddy comes home.

5. There is Green Mountain Fair Trade Gingerbread coffee in the cafeteria! A  packet of Stevia in the Raw from home, one of those stirrer straws (I like to drink out of them), and I am a happy girl.

6. The idea of hosting a vegetarian Thankgiving dinner (Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday!). Not on the actual day, of course. Just for fun. Hmm....


Oh, Fall

Summer is coming to a close.  I know that today's temperature was somewhere around 90 degrees; I felt it as soon as I ventured outside during a break at work, regretful of my work pants and mint ice cream-colored sweater (however cute they may have been). I know that there are technically a few more weeks until the beginning of fall. I know that there are some who are dreading the beginning of this next season.

But y'all (I do think in y'all's sometimes), I am elated about fall. School is beginning, and although I don't have kids of my own, that means a lot for me. I get to see my kids with a whole lot more regularity, partly due to weekly meetings, events, and planned outings, and partly because it is no longer the norm for families to wander off to other parts of the country for days or weeks at a time.It means that I get to see my (younger) girls with more regularity, as well, because their own schedules become more predictable. I'm dreaming of soccer games and cooking classes and games of red light-green light.It means perfect weather for hiking, apple picking, sweaters and jeans, pumpkin everything, and plain old soaking up just how beautiful this world can be when everything turns into rich hues of red, gold, and orange.It means evenings spent outside with a cup of something hot (and maybe sweet) while talking with neighbors, before heading inside to dinners of comfort foods: thick soups, homemade bread, mashed potatoes. 

And scarves! And Thanksgiving! Oh, Fall...

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting 
and autumn a mosaic of them all."
-   Stanley Horowitz