Monday, September 22, 2014

My Favorite Things About Fall

When I came across the SITS Girls Back to Blogging Challenge I thought it would be a perfect way to try and get back into the swing of things after my hiatus. I am desperately searching for my mojo but I'm not having much luck. My muse is silent. However you want to say it, I can't get inspired. Maybe writing a quick, prompted post each day will get me back into it.

Today we have two prompts about fall.

1) What are some of the activities you love to do in the fall? and 2) What are some of the traditions you have for the three months before winter hits?

I'm combining my answers otherwise this would end up being one long, repetitive post!  I love fall, or maybe I should say I love the idea of fall. Living in Florida there isn't much of a seasonal change. We have summer with a couple of cool spells thrown in between November and February.

Every year the family and I go to a local fall festival. It runs for a couple of weeks and is filled with all sorts of food and arts and craft vendors. Hello artery clogging, fried yumminess! There is a circus show, live music, frog tossing contest, maze; you name it, it's probably there. They also combine it with the Annual Buddy Walk for Downs Syndrome. For three years running we were part of a team with two families who we worked with who both have daughters with Downs Syndrome. We all got together and raised money for this great event and walked a mile around the festival grounds. Afterwards we spent a few hours enjoying the festival. Unfortunately both families moved away early last year so we thought we would check out a different festival. It was not good! I'm excited to head back to the original one and eat some corn dogs, or kettle corn or elephant ears, listen to some music and watch the kids bouncing around on the bounce houses!

I love baking during the fall. I won a cupcake baking contest at my old job by making pumpkin spiced cupcakes with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting, decorated with a candy corn pumpkin on top. It was a strategic move. There were other, more fancy cupcakes, but I knew the pumpkin spice would win as it was leading up to Thanksgiving and was the right time of year for it. But then again, I am obsessed with pumpkin everything...lattes and creamer; candles and air fresheners; PIES! I could go on, but I w'll spare you.

Another activity I love during the fall is doing arts and crafts with the kids. One year we made pilgrim masks and wreaths made out of paper leaves with all the things the kids were thankful for. (Luckily I made the list!) Last year we made ghosts in a jar for Halloween decorations. Which reminds me, I need hubs to get up in the attic and bring down the decorations.

"Ghosts in a Jar" decorations the kids and I made last year.

Speaking of decorations, I love decorating the house for fall. I've already been contemplating bringing out the Halloween stuff, but I'm trying to hold out for October 1. September just seems too early for spiders, witches and ghosts. After Halloween comes the Thanksgiving-themed decorations. I have a scarecrow family who lives outside our front door, stuck in hay bales. Last year I got to add another member who is now 19-months. Of course, as soon as the Turkey-Day decorations come down, it is time for the Christmas decorations. That is by far my favorite time of year! The lights, the music, the gift-giving. Love!

My list wouldn't be complete without mentioning FOOTBALL!! I am a huge Florida State Seminoles fan and basically live the whole rest of the year in anticipation of football season. I am also a Miami Dolphins fan along with the hubs, my dad and my father-in-law. There's something about sitting around on Saturday night and Sunday watching the games. Obviously the FSU vs UF game is the highlight of the season and that is always played a couple days after Thanksgiving. Hubs and his immediate family are big Gators fans, so its always fun to talk a little smack and get release our competitive selves.

Last year we dressed the baby in her "House Divided" outfit
for the FSU vs. UF game.

Last but not least is Thanksgiving. It's about more than just the the decorations and football. Thanksgiving is my second favorite meal of the year (a close second to our traditional Norwegian Christmas Eve dinner). Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato pie, green bean casserole. My mouth is salivating just thinking about it all. The most important part, though, is being with family and giving thanks for all the blessings in my life. Hubs and I have finally, after five years, managed to get all our kids on the same schedule. (We each have two from previous marriages.) I'm excited to have them all together with their baby sister so we can share the day together.

For me, the only thing that could make fall better would be if the weather was cool and the palm fronds changed colors.

What are some of your favorite things about fall?

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