fall traditions

It was quite a weekend. Soccer on Saturday morning, a quick stop at our favorite pumpkin patch close to home, and a neighborhood fall festival on Saturday afternoon. Life rarely slows this time of year.  Fall is brief in Georgia, and it’s gone in a flash if you don’t squeeze out every last bit of it.

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I love to watch them try and pick the perfect pumpkin. They all look the same to my jaded eyes, but my kids will grow attached to one particular one because of the shape of its stem or its particular size. It’s a meticulous process.
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The weather was absolute perfection for us all weekend long. Chilly mornings and evenings, but perfect breezy sunshine during the day.  You could tell everyone else was high on fall sunshine, too. Kids and parents alike. All smiles.

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And it’s never a dull moment with these two. They are gaining on each other in the best way. I love watching them play together and walk at the same pace these days. Even though I am usually lagging behind a bit.

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I had a hard time deciding what moment to record in my happiness jar on Saturday night. There were so many seconds I snapped in my head, stepped out of the frame to say pause, perfection.  Thank you, God. I see what you did there, and I feel it.

Saturday’s lunch was boiled peanuts in a wagon. You know you are a southerner through and through when your kids turn down popcorn for boiled peanuts. I love sharing traditions with them, and I know nostalgia will tint their lenses as they grow older. And mine, too.

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Sunday brought Jude’s birthday party. This kid is obsessed with Legos, so it seemed the obvious choice. He saw the idea in the pages of an Oriental Trading Company catalog a while ago, and I ran with it. It was cheap and easy, and he had a great time with his little friends.

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I kept it simple with my favorite spinach dip, pizza bites for the kids, and a veggie tray.  I ordered cups and napkins from Oriental Trading Company, and this cool Twister game which the kids used as a playmat on the back patio rather than a game, but who cares. The weather outperformed herself, and there was warm apple cider and good conversation and kids running everywhere. It was a perfect way to ring in Jude’s sixth year.
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A friend of mine made the cake which totally stole the show. Jude added Lego men to the top before guests arrived, but the rest was totally edible with tiny fondant Legos. So cool, right? She dropped it off late Saturday night after she finished it, and the kids were already sleeping upstairs. So he came down the stairs Sunday morning to find it in the dining room and was SO excited.

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By 5pm or so, guests were gone, and Norah played outside while I cleaned up and Jude cracked open some new Legos to busy himself.
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It was a crazy weekend to say the least, but as I said on Instagram last night, the rearview perspective is always kinder somehow. I’m thankful for these familiar traditions and big milestones to remind me of how far we’ve come and what we have to celebrate.

Something clicked this month as life feels as normal as it ever was. We are a family anyway – just shaped a little differently than many others. I’m still sharing my same traditions and memories with my two, and I finally don’t feel like some huge piece is missing. The wheels don’t feel lopsided anymore. I can hold my own balance, and there are no empty spaces when I’m alone with these two. As I looked around at the happy chaos this weekend, I realize that we’ve created a community somehow. When I wasn’t looking, it emerged. My closest sphere takes the shape of just the three of us, but beyond that, there’s a bigger orbit we are a part of. I’m grateful for all of it.

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