Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Fall is upon us here in Washington, and it's such a treat to snuggle under warm blankets at night, light scented candles at dinnertime, eat heartier, autumn foods, explore the pumpkin patch, and take walks through the forest covered with leaves.

Life feels blessed and full of contentment this year, especially when I compare this season to last fall, amidst Matthew's palate repair and all the adjustments we were still making on a daily basis.

This year fall is a time to play--with an afternoon spent together with my sister Amy and her two kids at a local pumpkin patch.

Maya has found her pumpkin

Sam and cousin Parker show their silly poses to my camera

We've also spent many Saturday mornings alongside the soccer field watching Sam's games. Matthew and Maya bundle up and come along with us.

Matthew has especially enjoyed his view from Daddy's back in the Ergo baby carrier. Aaron's been the referee for some of Sam's games, so both Aaron and Matthew get front row action watching Sam's newly developing soccer skills!

Here Sam is shooting to score while Matthew helps Daddy ref the game

We've also been lucky enough to take a few beautiful autumn hikes, like this one on Spencer Island last Sunday with my mom. Maya and Sam are excellent hikers, smiling the whole way, and their enthusiasm for the outdoors is contagious.

And even Matthew joins in the fun, as he's learned to hike and walk with the rest of us. He's content to enjoy his stroller for the first bit of the journey, the insists on walking on his own two legs at the end. Here his "Sissy" is trying to catch him as he giggles and runs down the final stretch of road toward the car.

We are blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the country, where autumn shows up in all her splendor to decorate our days with vibrant leaves and a gorgeous fall forest.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Changing Seasons

We’ve been busy around our house, enjoying the last warmth of summer as the seasons begin to change and autumn arrives with all its splendor.

The mountains have been calling, and finally this Sunday we spent the day hiking with some friends. The weather was sunny and perfect, and autumn was calling us with her crisp air and changing leaves.

  Our hearts are full of outdoor adventures: hikes, gardening, walks in our neighborhood in the rain. The big kids are back into the swing of school, and Matthew is gearing up for the developmental preschool program just after he turns three (he starts preschool on December 2). And in the mean time, he's still enjoying the urban nature preschool at the college where I teach, even days when it pours down rain all morning.

We are thankful for regular family rhythms and for all of Matthew’s new developments (gross and fine motor skills, new signs, and even a few intentional sounds from his mouth). Our boy is settling more and more into life in our family. Tonight he helped me clean up the toys in his room, taking great pleasure in chucking his toys one at a time into the wicker toy basket.

 When he finished, he ran around the house squealing with delight. It seems that every moment of living brings Matthew excitement and joy these days—and it’s quite contagious around our house. Despite long days at school and work, despite shorter days and dark, rainy nights, there is a lightness and a buoyancy around our house that we all feel—built upon the foundation of Matthew’s joy and delight.

As for the rest of us, we are enjoying Saturday soccer games, a few final al fresco meals in our backyard, and all the warmth and peace that autumn brings our hearts.

What a good thing life is--full of laughter and energy, wearing us out when the days are long, but filled with blessing and goodness despite it all.