Feeling... the light and air change just enough that my summer despair is starting to lift. Apparently it happens every year about mid-September!
Loving... creating my delicious fall-inspired home-brew coffee each morning: for my small pot of coffee each morning I use two scoops of decaf coffee, two scoops of Trader Joe's pumpkin spice coffee, and one scoop of regular coffee. (I like my coffee strong!) In my brewed coffee I use two tablespoons of half and half and two tablespoons of pumpkin spice Silk almond creamer. It's so good I prefer it to getting coffee out anywhere. Recently I spotted the above pumpkin spice coffee scene at Target. Is the seasonal coffee out of control? Yes. But am I excited for it? One hundred percent.
Purchased... a completed photo book of Maeve's first year! And it just so happened that a 40% off sale was running on Blurb on that day I finished! I'm thrilled to have completed this project and love the way it turned out. Already Maeve loves to ask for it and points to herself when we say, "That's Maeve!"
Reading... in a bit of a slump lately. Maeve is getting more interactive when we are home and we don't have mid-day walks yet so my audiobook listening time has nearly evaporated. I really miss it. I hope it will reappear with longer daily walks. Currently I'm listening to Chasing The Thrill about the real hunt for a treasure chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains. On my Kindle I'm reading Get A Life, Chloe Brown which is an enjoyable romance with a bit more depth of character that I'm enjoying. A book I recently finished and loved is The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai.
Thinking about... our meal planning/grocery shopping system. This is one area of my life that continually feels like more work and stress than it should be. Normally I excel at these types of challenges and am great at putting strategies in place that work for me. But this is a tricky one with many layers! What I really want to do is block some time out for myself to work on this. I think I need to update my recipe binder organization and come up with some recurring meals along with associated shopping lists. Sara is having a meal planning retreat which sounds amazing! If I lived closer I would go!
Cooking + eating + drinking... the limited edition lemon poppy seed Perfect Bar is a favorite filling snack lately. My fall coffee is definitely bringing me joy. I've made Pinch of Yum's spiced chickpea bowls twice and think they will stay in rotation. I also made Pinch of Yum's roasted broccoli salad, subbing Beyond Meat brats for the bacon and I added red pepper flakes. OMG it was so good! The most satisfying thing I ate in September was pizza from Spinato's during our Labor Day staycation. We get the L'Italiana pizza which has seasoned spinach, roasted red peppers, and feta. It is so good!
Grateful for... some great health test results for Chris after he's been having some weird and aggravating symptoms for more than a month. The symptoms aren't gone but it's not serious and there are some fairly easy treatments that should help. Hooray!
What the boys are into... Cedric is finally playing on a basketball team after wanting to since he was 4. He would have started last year but COVID. He asks to practice at a nearby court nearly everyday and counted down the days until his first practice and game. During his game I was so impressed with his dribbling and how he passed to his teammates. And he made a few baskets, too! He asks us questions like, "What is the best thing to eat before my game? I know LeBron eats fish before his games." He also asked me if he could change his name to LeBron to which I said not until you are 18. Recently I loved a still life portrait that Cedric did of our living room couch. I love all the details he captured like the rumpled pillows and even the toys under the couch!
Dash is enjoying third grade and seems so big all of a sudden. He understand sarcastic jokes now and generally seems more mature. He's learning cursive and announces what new letter he's learned when he gets home from school. We taught the boys how to play the card game war during our Labor Day staycation which was a hit. For bedtime reading we're working our way through Favorite Greek Myths, edited by Mary Pope Osborne for Magic Tree House fans, as well as the A to Z Mysteries. I just started reading the boys Superfudge by Judy Blume, and it has them cracking up especially since the story line includes two brothers welcoming (or not) a baby sister.
What Maeve is doing... oh Maeve is doing so much! She is almost 18 months old and this age feels golden. She is scrumptiously cute and chubby. But understands and communicates so much it blows me away every day. She has routines and she likes to stick to them. She wants to nurse in the red chair in our room but first please remove that pillow or any clothes hanging on the back of the chair. She wants to bring a book the carpet to look at it with you but please sit down right here next to her and she will be the one reading the book aloud in a very confident babble. She is also very into taking everything out of drawers or cabinets and strewing it everywhere. Just when you've finished cleaning one mess you turn to find she has created a new one for you. I love getting to experience girl clothes and toddler girl clothes are a particular kind of adorable. I'm enjoying planning a fall capsule wardrobe for Maeve with dresses, leggings, and cozy long sleeve tops.
Looking forward to... our Colorado Springs trip for fall break! Also, cooler weather, being outside, getting back in an audiobook groove, cozy books, hearty meals, wearing jeans and not sweating, delighting over all the seasonal items at Trader Joe's. So many things! My spirit has been COVID-weary and very hot lately. The fall will help.
I hope you found good things in September, friends!