two yellow leaves

a couple days ago i walked outside into the backyard, and two bright yellow leaves stared up at me from their newly fallen position. i almost took a step back in surprise.

fall never comes in august around here.

when i was a kid growing up in pittsburgh fall seemed to work its way into the leaves by the end of august without fail. it would be a week or two before school was scheduled to start, and the leaves on the giant tree at the end of our driveway would always have a tinge of yellow. it seemed like that happened to tell us to prepare ourselves. fall was almost upon us. school was coming. we couldn't escape from it for much longer.

back then i didn't appreciate fall quite as much. summer meant a break from school, and fall meant that break was over. but once i got to college i realized how much i loved fall. and that love has not dissipated in the last ten years.

once i got to college i realized just how much i loved the cool crispness of the season. i loved playing soccer and going back to school. at that time i felt more at home and in my element at school than i did at home anyway.

besides, in the fall the world held promise. we were starting over. we had a clean slate.
a new soccer season, a new semester.

this year is different than the last ten years. this year my baby boy is starting preschool. which means for the first time since college the school year matters a lot more. granted it's only a couple of days a week, but it's still crazy to me that he's old enough and big enough for preschool.

i'm excited for fall. i always am. i love cooler weather {especially when i'm training for something}. i love watching soccer games and steeler games. i love bonfires and s'mores. i love layers and boots. i love pumpkin flavored food. i love how the beauty of the leaves and the world ablaze with color can make you stop in your tracks.

i also love walking outside and not immediately sweating. it seems like summertime here actually drives us inside instead of out. we wait until the cool times of the day to head out into the world, and subsequently get covered in mosquito bites.

i think i expect more from fall than it can actually deliver though. every day is not beautiful and magical. and i'd like to do more to enjoy the season than i actually get to do. that said, i'd still take a whole lot more fall than i tend to get most years. pittsburgh spoiled me that way. maybe i'm just rewriting history, but more often than not fall actually arrived by the end of september, and had switched to winter mode by the time christmas rolled around. it felt like that was the way it was supposed to be - where there's at least a chance it'll actually snow on christmas.

don't get me wrong, there are great things about living in charlotte. sometimes i just miss home. sometimes i miss the leaves changing in august. sometimes i miss my family being close enough to see them more than a handful of times a year. sometimes i miss what still seems normal to me.

every year i wait with bated breath for fall to finally roll around. and every year i get disappointed because i didn't do all of the autumnal things i wanted to do before the holiday season is upon us. everything usually feels rushed and like far too much - like i'm trying to fit two seasons into one somehow. i probably am.

this year i'm determined to slow down a bit in the midst of the chaos and try to actually enjoy the season and not just pin lots of fall-inspired things on pinterest. but i have to make a point to do that. i have to decide that is a priority and actually make it a priority. that's where things tend to fall apart. the actually making it a priority thing. it's especially tough when there are things like an unfinished kitchen in our world right now.

i digress. i think that maybe a fall bucket list is in order. i can cheat on some of them and put things on there that i know we'll do because they're already planned. things like taking keane to a farm and {i think} picking out pumpkins. the preschool takes a trip to the farm every year, so i might as well check that one off now.

and things like spending a weekend in the mountains. peter's team has a game in asheville on a friday in october, and since his sister lives fairly close to there now we can pretty much put that one in the "done" category too.

i'd also love to go apple picking and do a corn maze. i know i'll spend a decent amount of time outside with marathon training, family walks, and time at the playground. i'd also really like to get a fire pit going in our backyard here like we had at our old house. and frankly, just sit outside with my coffee and enjoy the weather - once the weather is actually enjoyable when you're not sitting directly next to a pool, that is.

anyway, i think this is a good start:

{found via pinterest from the pinning mama}

happy friday!


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