The weather in Austin is still very much flirting the line of summer/fall, but it's most definitely an improvement to just summry weather! Some leaves are golden-hued, and the wind today blustered around so many brown and red leaves, as well.

I bought another small pumpkin at the grocery store, bring my mini squash-collection to 4, including one ceramic. I don't personally care for Halloween as an adult without children yet, but there is a sense around Halloween that fall has arrived.

And like I mentioned in a recent post, life is just bits and pieces of little things:

We celebrated the one-year birthday of our friends' little boy. The party and the birthday boy were as adorable as you can imagine.

A dear friend of mine and her husband came to visit Austin on vacation and we got to see them for a bit! The four of us got pizza together. And then on a day that Nicholas had to work, I met Maeve and her husband Kyle for coffee up north (where there was safe water*). Then we went out for lunch at a new-to-me place called Food Heads (soo good!) and visited a local farmer's market and a local historical gem, Heritage House. It was just a full and wonderful day.

And then after a few shifts at work and a very full week, this past weekend, I had three full weekend days off to spend with Nicholas and no plans. I got caught up around the house with laundry, etc. on Friday. And then Saturday morning, we headed downtown for him to get his haircut. I knit and read at a coffee shop while he was at the barber, and then he joined me and we drank hot chai together (because 'tis the season for chai, my cold-weather, non-coffee drink of choice). And on Sunday, we went to church, got tacos on the way home, and spend the rest of the day napping/preparing for work on Monday.

Yesterday, I headed into Austin with Nicholas for our usual Tuesday ritual. He went to his work meeting, and I walked to Houndstooth, which is just two blocks away. I knitted on two different projects, typed a bit on this blog post, listened to my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist and chatted with a stranger about how his youngest daughter is getting married this Saturday.

And otherwise, life looks like this:

  • making trips to the library since I've been doing so much more book reading
  • nestling into my seasonal "reading nook" in the red chair. I never sit there and read in the warm months, but I love that spot for the purpose in fall and winter
  • staying out late and singing along with Gregory Alan Isakov, in concert with a friend
  • feeling homesick in this fall season, but also trying to enjoy the much nicer weather we've been having in Austin
  • running late to church, eating my baked PB oatmeal in the passenger seat while Nicholas drives, but taking breaks from eating so I can hold his hand
  • *boiling all our water for drinking and cooking since Austin was under a water boil notice (we aren't anymore, thankfully!)
  • ordering peppermint tea at coffee shops for something different
  • finishing up knitted baby sweaters.
  • watching 24 with Nicholas (he hasn't seen it since it aired for the first time, and I've never seen it)
  • getting state inspections done on our car
  • staying dry on the rainy fall days (that seem to be less frequent, finally!)
  • snacking on bananas and apples with cheddar and gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread (not all at once)
  • emailing Christmas lists to family members (see below!) and receiving family members' lists!
  • breakfasting with scrambled eggs, sauerkraut and collard greens
  • sneaking a morning picture of us as he came over because he was teasing me about taking a picture of my breakfast
  • swapping out the spring/summer flannel pillow covers for the couch throw pillows for the fall/winter ones
  • casting on new, fun fall-colored socks. I'm calling them my "hayride socks," just for the heck of it.
  • working out more at home, trying to sneak in more walks outside
  • drinking coffee out of our matchy-matchy, his and hers cardinal mugs (the only his and hers thing we have after 5 years of marriage and I love them)

And lastly, I've been thinking a lot about Christmas shopping. Did you know that Christmas is only 8 weeks away? I don't say that to merit breaking out the Christmas music (I don't need a reason to do that. I tend to listen to year-round, as it is ;). But last year I took a long, hard look at how I approach the Thanksgiving/Christmas season and made some huge changes, which resulted in the sweetest, slower season. I'm prone to season-creep, I know, so I want to be cautious about getting too ahead of myself. But we're about 75% done with our Christmas shopping (and I'm 50% done with my very last Christmas knit!) so I'm feeling so much more relaxed. My goal is to choose the same approach again this year with a slow, gentle ushering in of Christmas and Thanksgiving. Christmas and the "holiday season" don't have to be frantic, truly. And after today, I'll settle more fully into a slow, holiday-prep mode with a lot less mental "clutter," having the shopping mostly set aside.

What have you been up to lately? Is it way too early to be nearly done with Christmas shopping?