It never fails to take me by surprise when that first pop of orange makes its way into the foliage. I know the days will grow shorter and the nights cooler, but until they actually do, I am somewhat in denial. Don’t get me wrong, I love fall, but something about it keeps me waiting on the doorstep. Once those fall colors start coming in, however, I dive right in and embrace the change. It’s almost as if I need that signal from the trees. They know it’s time for change before we do.

I was feeling antsy this weekend with the coming change of season. There is so much pressure, at least in Minnesota where fall is short-lived, to fill it up with apple orchards and bonfires and all things pumpkin. And now with Henry in our life it would be easy to get wrapped up in the season with the single pursuit to DO IT ALL. After all, this is the only year he will be learning to toddle about amidst pumpkins and leaves. But doing everything – even though the crisp air and Pinterest boards beckon me to try, that’s not what fall is about.

Sure, I love pumpkin muffins and homemade applesauce (and made some of these tonight!) but I want to honor the bigger change the trees are encouraging us to make. After a summer where everything is “out” – blooms and birds and even dinners, enjoyed al fresco, fall is our chance to start focusing “in.” This season has a way of stirring up creative energy – have you noticed this too? I want to use the fall to rekindle my creativity and find time to write, I want to use the extra hours of quiet and dark to focus on making our home warm and bright, I want to embrace a new routine and open a few new books, and I want to feel ready for the winter that lies ahead.

I still have a wish list of fun family activities I’d love to do “before the snow flies” (a fast approaching deadline here in the northern region) like a baby crawl-a-thon and a family photo shoot, but I’m trying to be realistic with my expectations. In the kitchen I am excited to cook up a few soups and I’d love to bring back the Apple – hasn’t pumpkin gotten a little out of hand? What at are you looking forward to this fall?

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