November 4 and thanks

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Thanks, everybody, for your kind words and interaction and teasing over my button collection of which I am quite proud Seriously, it has been fun getting back into the blogging thing. I never realize how much I miss it until I get back to it after a long break. Getting the words to flow is still like having teeth extracted, but hey…we are only four days in. It’s gotta get better, right?

Defying all expectations, the leaves have finally turned color here in Virginia. Serious colors, mind you. Like don’t-even-have-to-tweak-the-color-on-the-edit-button colors. And we have had the windows open. It’s that rare, in-between weather that is cold in the morning and comfy during the day, and as the sun goes down, you have to pull on a sweater. AKA…the best time of the year. Autumn in Virginia is like no other place. Sure, we live 18 miles out of DC, which makes my people say things like, “it’s not REALLY Virginia,” and “yeah, we are south of the Mason-Dixon Line, but it’s not REALLY the south.” Y’all. As I sit here looking out over our deck, and see nothing but color and I hear all the birds singing, and smell all the fresh, outdoorsy smells of Fall, Washington, DC is a zillion miles away. And that, folks, is about as political as you will see me get here on This Girl.

So, it’s Sunday. Sunday has taken a turn for us the last few months. We get up earlier and enjoy some time with Mad Max, a walk, some breakfast. I don’t know about y’all, but Sunday with children was never a day of rest for us. Seemed like it was the perfect opportunity for Satan to get us all worked up, stressed out and hollering, just in time to grit our teeth, put on The Face, and stroll into church like we had it all together and everything was just peachy. And though our children are long grown, it has taken us this long to get out of that mindset and embrace the calm and loveliness that truly is the Sabbath. We have been going to church earlier and grabbing brunch and just enjoying the day before heading to the barn in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Then off for a bite to eat down in Clifton, or eggs on toast back at the house, the rest of the evening is full on chill. I mean, that is what it is supposed to be like, right? Some days, yeah, I do miss the Sunday soccer games, being on the go all day long, trying to squeeze some actual Worship in between games and school projects, no really, I do miss that at times. But this empty-nester slice of Heaven right now…it’s pretty good, too. And it’s all just in time for The Holiday Season. I kinda like this time of year where Summer ends, Halloween comes and go, and it is a full-on sprint to January 1. The best part is Family. The month of November is already jam pack full of weekend trips to see our people and our people making the trip here to see us and I can. not. wait. And seriously, if I start to complain even the slightest about any of it…call me out. Because this stuff right here…the hustle and bustle, the coming and going, the plotting and planning, the cooking and baking, the hugging and laughing, all of it…this is Life. And I’m thankful for it.

See Y’all tomorrow.

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October 1.

It’s the kind of morning where you slept on the couch because you tossed and turned for an hour before you decided to be kind to your Man who doesn’t sleep when you don’t and therefore, hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in months. And you wake up on the couch and realize you just had the best sleep you have had in a year.

A morning where it’s 4:30 am and the house is as still as a church the day after Christmas and you realize, I’ve missed being up and about this time time of the day.

The kind of morning that kitties come running to greet you; wondering why it’s still dark, but happy to receive their morning treat. The treat that only comes from you and only first thing in the morning. And suddenly they scatter, tails up, eight soft pads moving quickly across the kitchen floor because the puppy is up.

A morning you stand in front of the coffee pot and can’t see beyond your own reflection in the kitchen window; can’t see through the darkness but you know the trees and soon, the sun, await on the other side of the glass. 

And you say aloud, “crap” as you realize you are out of raw sugar and will have to settle, again, for the addicting white substance you have come to loathe.

The kind of morning where coffee isn’t needed; it’s wanted. And it’s greeted like an old friend you see daily but haven’t had a heart to heart with in ages.

It’s a morning where you feel hope for the first time in a long season of grief and despair. Hope that sits on your heart and refuses to move. That pushes the past to the back of your brain where it is seen and felt but can not wound.

A morning where the government has officially “shut down” and you know that on the other side of the TV remote there awaits a mob of experts blaming him and her and them and each other and you sip from your ceramic mug assured by Him, the One who is eternally in control, that this too shall pass.

An October morning where you are itching to light the fireplace but won’t as it will herald the arrival of The Holiday’s. As if the retailers haven’t already.

A morning you woke up and your second thought was, “I start a new journal today” and you spend a few moments dreaming through the ritual of that first clean page that awaits the pressure of a favorite purple pen gliding across its lines, crowding out the vastness with the details of life. And you can’t wait to get started.

A morning when you catch yourself thinking a brand new house would be lovely and then you hear the faint squeak of the oak floorboards and you recognize the sound of your Man’s footsteps. And you realize how calming the sound is to your soul and you whisper a thanks for old houses that become homes.

The kind of morning you wish every morning could be.

Love you guys.

Monday thankfuls.

…sitting with My Girl watching her baby brother (her “munchkin” who is 6’3″) football. We took selfies; we laughed; we lamented on how very lucky we are, despite the tremendous loss and pain…

…puppy breath with puppy snuggles…

…feeling overwhelmed because we have All This Stuff…

…Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap…in all the yummy Fall flavors…

…purple anything…

…Queen Elizabeth roses growing in my front garden…

…having all my babies with me, Sunday morning, in the church pew…

…after Sunday lunch with sweet friends…

…my baby, all grown up, entering his Senior year of high school…

…books, books, books…

Love you guys.