Life Lately – October 2015

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I’m going to be that annoying person who lives in San Diego and complains about the weather… I apologize in advance.

It’s October 9th and there’s pumpkin stuff EVERYWHERE.  Fall is my favorite season and I can’t wait to bake pumpkin and apple goodies, put a fire in the fireplace, watch football, and be cozy with my family.  We got a little taste of fall at the beginning of the week.  It rained for a couple days!  My mom was still visiting on Sunday and after braving the elements for church, we got to be cozy at home, bake an apple crisp with good friends, and put on a fire that evening. Loved it!

Last fall at the pumpkin patch!

Last fall at the pumpkin patch!

A lot can change in a few days… It’s supposed to be 95 degrees in our part of town today.  I’m watching my email to see if Teo’s soccer game will be cancelled due to heat.  I’m already praying that next Saturday will be much cooler, as we’re planning our annual pumpkin patch outing.  Going to the pumpkin patch in shorts and t-shirts just isn’t the same.

Where’s my beloved fall?!

Anyway, life has been busy and full lately, hence the lack of new blog posts.  The transition into the new school year coincides with the fall busy season at my office (all of the tax returns that were extended in the spring are due either 9/15 or 10/15), which makes for a abrupt end to the relaxed, unscheduled feeling of summer and sudden start of the fall routine.  Also, my time as President of our congregation concluded at the end of September.  So, there was a flurry of activity as I planned for the Congregational Meeting and election.  I experienced a few days of chaos, but I kept reminding myself it was just a season; this too shall pass.

And it did.

Dennis’s birthday is at the beginning of October.  We look at the period from October through February as the “holiday season” – his birthday, Halloween, our anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Sienna’s birthday, Teo’s birthday, my birthday, Super Bowl, and Valentine’s.  Whew!  For me, this time also fits (pretty well) between the two busy seasons at my office, so that also contributes to the feeling of “holiday”.

I had a surprise gift for Dennis’s birthday.  I’m not a great secret keeper.  When I planned a trip for us to go to Miami to see a Dolphins game and a University of Miami Hurricanes game back when we were dating, I wanted to keep the secret until right before we left, three months in the future.  I only made it 3 days!  I told my good friend Andra that story, so back in June she bet me that I couldn’t keep this birthday gift a secret.  I’ve thanked her several times for helping me keep the secret, because the competitiveness kept me from spilling the beans.  It was so fun to give him the gift – tickets to The Phantom of the Opera musical – on his birthday last Saturday!   He loves the music and movie of Phantom, but hasn’t seen the musical live yet.  We’re remedying that tomorrow!

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Our big project for the fall is putting in a drought resistant landscape in our front yard.  We were approved for a rebate through the water district.  They’re enticing people to remove their lawns and put in California native plants that require much less water.  A lot of neighbors have done it and they look really nice!  So far we’ve had five hideous Cyprus trees felled, the lawn and a couple big bushes removed, and the basic drip irrigation system installed by professionals. Now, it’s our turn to get to work. We have a plan that involves a rock path, lots of lavender and succulents surrounded my mulch.  I’ll post pictures when we’re done.

The kids are doing what kids to – growing too fast, learning and playing a lot.  Sienna’s thriving in second grade with a great teacher!  She’s older and very laid back, but has this authoritative presence that makes the kids listen and respect her.  It’s a great fit for our little one!

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Teo is getting so big.  Listening to him talk, it’s clear that he’s out of the Toddler phase and transitioning toward school age. He’s loving soccer and had progressed a lot in his skills and aggressiveness the past few months.  In a recent game, he had about five slide tackles to get the ball!  Dennis and I are having a blast watching him play!

Today my new baby niece is two months old!  My brother Rob and his beautiful wife Leah welcomed Greyson Belle on August 10th.  I haven’t seen her yet and am anxious to cuddle with her!  We’re planning a trip up to the bay area the week before Thanksgiving to meet Greyson and catch up with the family. I can’t wait!

Speaking of babies, this weekend my sister finds out the gender of her third child!  They’re doing a gender reveal party, which we’ll also miss since it’s up in Humboldt County.  This is when living so far away really stinks!  But, I’m excited to learn if we’ll be welcoming another baby girl, or if the Poffs will have a trio of boys.  Very exciting!

As for me, the yearning for another baby that had consistently tugged at me the past couple years has subsided.  I think having Teo fully out of the baby stage has helped me to look forward and enjoy having bigger kids.  Sienna and Mateo are really fun!  It’s a joy to talk with them, see their personalities and interests evolve, and go on adventures as a family (without the stroller!).

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Life is full.  The Lord is good, all of the time.  My daily life is firmly rooted in faith.  I had a friend ask me the other day if I went to church every week.  “Yep, I do.” was my reply.  I went on to honestly explain, “I go every week because I want to, not because I have to.  I don’t know anything that’s more valuable and fulfilling than going to the divine service, taking Holy Communion, and being with my church family.  So, yes, I do go every week.”

Living intentionally and being present in the moment are only possible (for me) when I trust in the Lord and rely on his grace every day.

I hope everyone is enjoying the transition to fall… whether or not it actually feels like fall where you are!