Last night I hosted a family dinner to celebrate my son’s 16th birthday. Partway through the meal, I turned to my mom and said “wait a second! How can it possibly already be the last week of November? Where did autumn go?”
No really—where’d it go?
Autumn is my favorite season. The leaves, the light, the feeling of things coming to fruition somehow. And while yes, it is the last week of November (and thus, really, the last week of fall, because once December gets here, it feels like winter, don’t you think, even when the weather might not cooperate), there are still a few days left to celebrate. So this week, I hope you’ll get out and do one more fall-ish thing. Scuff through some leaves! Rake them into a pile and then jump into it with your kids! (Seriously…this is so therapeutic!) Go for a walk or a drive in the mountains.
Oh, and scrapbook!
Because yeah, I love fall. But I also love fall scrapbooking supplies. (All that rusty orange…swoon!) This week, we’ll be sharing different prompts and ideas for scrapbooking your autumn traditions. These are easy to overlook, especially in the face of the upcoming tradition-rich December. But stop and think: what things do you do every fall? I made a list to get myself started:
- Wear orange on the first day of fall.
- Go for at least one run in the canyon when the leaves are at their best.
- Ditto one long, lovely, so-in-awe-of-these-trees hike.
- Take the kids to the pumpkin patch we’ve visited every year since 1998.
- Run the elementary school’s 5k fundraiser with the kids.
- Bake pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies.
- Bake pumpkin + chocolate chip cookies. (Only click on that link of you are willing to bake—and then eat way too many of—possibly the best dang pumpkin cookies ever. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!) Bake pumpkin bread. Or pumpkin muffins. Or little heart-shaped pumpkin-spice hand pies. Or, let's face it, bake anything with pumpkin.
- Celebrate the first really cold day by making soup.
- Attend my mom's first-Sunday-in-October family dinner. Bring apple crisp.
- Do a photo shoot with whatever kids will cooperate.
This year, I fit in nearly every fall tradition except for the sugar cookies. I didn’t bake them because the day I traditionally spend elbow-deep in cake flour, powdered sugar, and butter—October 30—I instead spent in the hospital with my husband, who had a pretty major surgery. And there’s nothing like waiting for your spouse to survive heart surgery to put things in perspective. I spent a lot of time thinking about our life together, what makes me happy, what I’d like to change, how we could be better together. But mostly how grateful I am that he’s my husband.
Cue another autumn tradition: expressions of gratitude. There's just something about fall that makes us feel grateful, and I think it's more than Thanksgiving. I think the coming coldness of the winter reminds us of the luxuriousness of the warmth we still have left, which in turn reminds us of all of the other blessings in our lives. And we want to express that! Some years, I do this on Facebook—write a daily post about what I’m grateful for. Other years, I’ve done it on my blog—write 10 or 12 entries in November about my gratitudes. This year, what with all the meds and the suture care and the extra doctor appointments, I just managed to make a layout:
The photo for this one came from #10 on my list. My daughter was home visiting from college, and she talked my son Jake (who is notoriously annoyed by photo shoots) to cooperate for a few pictures. He’ll be off to college next fall, and when I looked at these pictures I kept thinking about how grateful I am to have my life as it is right now. Having a kid leave home teaches you a lot of things. I’ve learned that I can survive the absence and that seeing them succeed is a great panacea for missing them. I’ve also learned that right now is fleeting—you don’t always know when it will change. So in my journaling, I wrote down the little details that make my right now with Jake so unique, because I am so grateful to have it.
I hope you’ll come back tomorrow to see what other autumn traditions we’re scrapping. Until then, a question: What can you still do to celebrate fall?