The worth of each day: Life lately, November 2021
Fall feels like a number of transitions, one right after the other. We are now bridging into late fall, with lots of frost in the mornings, first sightings of bare trees, and darker, cozier evenings at home. Of course, there is talk of Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon too, along with early preparations for those. I do tend to be swept by the momentum of this season, if I'm not careful. I'll admit that Christmas music accompanies us throughout the day sometimes, and I've already done most of our shopping, but I do want to be intentional to savor the almost-but-not-yet. To not wish away November and it's baring of trees in favor of the glow of Thanksgiving and Christmastime. There is great beauty and contentment in this month, as well. I don't want to miss it.
Here are a few little life things from the last weeks, little bits of life I want to savor:
Driving through our town, admiring the leaves. So much fall color! We have our favorite little segments of road that are particularly beautiful each year.
Several weeks ago, an apple orchard trip with the three of us. The orchard we like to visit seems to be busier and busier every year, so we didn't linger. However, we got to ride in a trailer pulled by a tractor (a dream come true for a toddler boy), pick apples, and taste them too, and pick up some apple cider and donuts for a special treat. Cooper absolutely loved it, and still talks about it and asks to go back.
A girl's night, with homemade sourdough apple pie(!), apple cider, wine, conversation. So refreshing, and becoming a more regular thing with some of my girlfriends. My friend hosted in her beautiful home with so many Scandinavian homey touches.
Family dates downtown, and Cooper's first experience of hot cocoa (hot cacao, made with cacao powder + coconut milk + coconut sugar from one of our favorite local shops). We walked around, him between us, wanting to hold "both hands," one each of our hands. Showing him the ice rink, now flooded, bright maple trees aglow, and the crews adding lights to the trees.
Helping daddy rake leaves, thrilled to have his own rake to use. Picking "blueberries" off our burning bush, and pointing out, "other burning bushes" near grandma and grandpa's house. He notices everything.
Making apple crisp with the remaining orchard apples + showing Cooper how God put stars inside the cores when He placed the seeds. Oh, how he loves the little stars (I do too).
House projects, like putting up new shutters, new exterior lights, hanging a new clock and framing some prints.
Easing back into sourdough bread baking! A dear friend bakes regularly and gave me some of her starter. We have missed the smell of freshly baked bread in our home. And Cooper finds it so much fun to help me bake. He wears his own apron, too.
Very seriously monitoring some recent road construction down the street. "Go see diggers," is a common request from our littlest family member.
Fika, with tea and homemade apple cider donuts, or with sourdough and grassfed butter.
"Walking under lights" on one of our downtown streets with strung lights: Cooper's favorite.
A movie date to see "Dune" with Nicholas while my SIL watched Cooper; thank you, Katelyn!
Lots of play with knitted hearts. He will walk over to us and hand them to us, saying "I got this for you."
The daily leaf watch: seeing the colors change and the leaves start to fall, peeking at gold and orange and red through all our windows.
Working on a craft I've barely ventured into since childhood: counted cross stitch. I forgot to mention in my recent post about creative projects that my friend Maeve and I are doing a little stitch-a-long together, using this pattern (she also has kits available). I underestimated how much I would enjoy the process, or how much I would want to work on it a little bit every day. Maeve and I have a few video chats scheduled throughout this month to chat and stitch together, and it's so much fun.
And of course, there are the regular life activities of family walks, snuggling with daddy after work, grocery shopping, errand running, Cooper building with his tiles, house cleaning, laundry washing, etc. Those things happen, and there is a beauty to the routine of that as well, even if I don't write about them as much as the sparkly, memorable moments.
Every day has worth, from the belly laugh of a toddler, hearing him sing Go tell it on mountain, go tell it on mountain, that Jesus Christ is born, to the sweetness of a quiet morning. The crunch of leaves underfoot, the hush of coming cold. Oh that I would eyes to see and ears to hear His little mercies in the everyday. They are there.
Starting sometime in the fall, I made a point to be a bit more creative and find new to us trails to hike on and explore. Since then, we have found several new favorites for when we are in the mood for a hike, regardless of the season.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
2021: A year in review
Every January, I assemble a blog post of sorts that catalogs our year. Largely organized in list-form, I touch on the big and little things, events and thoughts and experiences that shaped our life over the last year. I do find this incredibly helpful as a sort of reflection, a glance back on the Lord's faithfulness, to show me, time and time again, that He is a good God. And with that mindset, I feel less encumbered as we continue on into the new year, more ready to face a full year of new, fresh days, with the heart attitude that regardless of what the days will hold, mundane or exciting, difficult or good, I can walk into the future with hope and trust in Him. Plus, I do enjoy looking back on a lot of the little details of our life, the ones that make me smile or think, Oh, yes! We loved that! What a little joy in our life.