Sep 24, 2015

Things and Stuff

"Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits." 

Hey, I'm a bit under the weather today, okay? Not every title can be poetry.

Yesterday was the first day of fall. My birthday was a few days ago, but I feel the same excitement on this day each year. It's become a stereotypical, Pinterest-y season that has everyone talking about Starbucks and plaid, leaves and boots, pumpkins and apples. But it's a stereotype I'll gladly own, because fall has always been my favorite. It feels new to me in a way that even spring can't compete with, and it never ceases to inspire me. Fall is for back to school, cardigans, and baking, but most of all, it's for writing.

My birthday was my 31st. Last year, I felt a sense of bewilderment at how I arrived at 30, and a sense of relief that beginning this new decade didn't mean my life was basically over (which is what I assumed of my parents, because 30 might as well have been 80). This year, I checked to see if my face was wrinkly, and promptly forgot I had a birthday at all. Old age will do that to you.

Everyone took the same picture, but I love it anyway.
Life is fast paced lately. The calendar is filling up quickly. Busy can be good, if done the right way, but I'm having to remind myself of that when my introverted soul would much rather be safe at home. Home, however, has become a busy place itself; Millie and I are in our first month of homeschooling. The mornings are beginning to settle into a bit of a routine now. I've planned very lightly themed weeks- this week is apples. Right now, we're focused on learning better to read and write, which makes up arguably the most important part of kindergarten. We're also doing math in simple ways, like learning the value of coins, understanding the calendar, etc. And while we're on this subject, I just need add that I don't know how my mother homeschooled without Google. I've already had to look up a couple science questions that a five year old asked me. 

Checking into the hotel for our quick Indy trip
Walter is having some two year old stubbornness, but he is still a sweetheart who loves his mama. It's amazing, and a little sad, to observe the way his speech is progressing into longer sentences and bigger vocabulary. He's always been an easy baby. This age, though, is the sweet spot, I think. Even though I desperately miss his early days, I love that he's old enough to tell me some of what he wants or needs, but young enough to still feel small and snuggle on my lap with a book about trains.

Marriage is still going well- really well. However, with that goodness comes fear. With a past like ours, I worry that things will come crashing down around me at any moment. Happiness doesn't come easily in some cases. It has to be learned, too. I'm trying to memorize that feeling and trust it.

We've started attending Wednesday night Bible study at our church. I'll be honest and say that this is very hard for me when it comes to the social aspect. I feel so drained at the end of it. The speakers are thought provoking and interesting, but the second half of the night is a small group. It's like a miniature party full of women. Most women seem to enjoy chatting in a group like this, but it is not so pleasant for a girl like me. I try to smile and not look mean, but spend a lot of time staring at my hands and paging through my book. The first week, I texted Sky (who was in the men's group down the hall) and told him I wanted to leave, because I'm mature like that. Last night went a lot better, mostly because I clutched my caramel apple cider like a security blanket, and curled up in bed when I got home.

Millie joined a children's choir here in town. While I'm as introverted as they come, Miss Amelia Kae is the absolute opposite, and I'm glad she has an outlet to make friends and have a little spotlight. They'll have a winter concert near Christmas and another concert in May. I can't wait to watch her on the stage.

Speaking of Christmas- my Mom is coming to visit again this year. I haven't seen her since last December, and that's hard when she's one of my favorite people. We're already planning to bake (i.e., she shows me how to bake) and enjoy Christmas-y things together. The most exciting part of her visit is that we're driving to a Chicago suburb to see It's a Wonderful Life in a theater, and meet the actress who played ZuZu, Karolyn Grimes. It's incredibly significant to me, and not just because it's my favorite movie in the entire universe ever of all time. She and one of the other "Bailey children" are the only actors from the movie still alive. Meeting someone who has been on camera with Jimmy Stewart is going to be amazing. Typing that probably makes me 71 instead of 31.

Millie might be having fun
And last, but not least? I had the privilege of meeting Kim from She is Fierce, and her awesome family! You can tell from the photo that Millie had wonderful time, too. They came through Champaign last week, and were gracious enough to spend time with us one night. We talked about Canada, I moped about being American, and it was lovely. For some reason, meeting bloggers is easy for me- maybe because, unlike my church group, I've felt connected to so many girls for so many years, it's as if I already know them well when we first meet. I guarantee that the 5 or so people who read this blog know me infinitely better than nearly everyone in "real life".

That about sums up my world right now. I thought about writing a prettier post, but realized that so much has been added to my life lately, I should probably explain some of it before I tell you how I feel about it. Soon, I'll wax poetic about everything autumn, but for this afternoon, we'll catch up like the old friends we are. Sit down with a cup of something hot and tell me how you've been.
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