All Things Fall

It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to sit down and type out some words.  We’ve just been hanging on and trying to soak up this season of slow/full.  Fall is maybe my most favorite time.  Ask me again in the summer when we’re all tan and hanging at the wave pool every chance we get and I might have a different answer.  This time before full on winter hits, feels slow and steady and all balmy…minus all the doctors’ appointments. 🙂  It’s a super low key time for our family…almost zero commitments…soup for dinner like it’s our job…all the seasonal movies and books…a steady flow of baked goods…house shoes officially out and upon my feet shortly after entering the house.

Fall also feels deeply sad because this is the time of year we never got to experience with Everett.  I think about him all the time and the things he would have loved and the things we so desperately wanted to experience with him.  It’s been an unending season of tears and I’m wondering when they will end…when will everything stop feeling so hard without him.  We just keep doing what we can and trying our best to honor his sweet little life and keep his fire burning in our hearts and our home.  This year it looked like rainbow painted pumpkins coupled with our deep love for our FuShuai.

Just within the last week it finally feels like legit fall in Tennessee and the leaves have finally started to turn.  All the kids’ summer clothes have been donated or put away for a younger sibling and all that’s left are all the long sleeves and pants.  You can now regularly find Amon hidden soaking up the heat from our floor vents.  He is our resident cat.  And Leo insists on wearing his coat, hat and backpack almost every time the kid leaves the house.

Winter, Leo, my niece Nia, Aunt Becky and I did our obligatory trip to a pumpkin patch with Winter’s preschool class.  We made the drive, learned how pumpkins grew, saw the animals, took trips down the giant slide and picked our pumpkins before the rain settled in and ushered us all home earlier than we’d planned.  But we did it.  And it made me feel a tad more accomplished than I did when we arrived.

We bought our pumpkins, gutted them and carved them with neighborhood friends.  Winter, Amon and Andrew drew out what their jack-o-lanterns needed to look like and Josh and I set out with knives in hand to make their jack-o-lanter face dreams come true.  Leo stirred up pumpkin guts and then proceeded to fling them all over our table and dining room floor.  Josh washed, dried, salted and baked a giant batch of pumpkin seeds and in two days tops they had all been consumed.

Some costumes were chosen early, some just days before.  I made Harper’s life by finding Leo a small pirate costume so they could be pirates together.  I wish you could have heard her upon seeing him all dressed up.  It’s love with those two…big giant googly-eyed love.  We trunker-treated with friends and family before Halloween even arrived.  The kids played games and ate way too much candy and Winter insisted on waiting through a line of other kids to get her face painted with a rainbow.  And of course she did.  I expect nothing less from her and her love for Everett.

Last year we started a new tradition of a fun dinner Halloween night.  It was our saddest Halloween and we all needed a pick-me-up.  Traditions can be born at anytime and remind us of harder times and pinholes of light in the form of fun paper plates, marshmallow pumpkins and eyeball ice cubes.

 Six kids X a bazillion pieces of candy meant we really didn’t even need to go trick-or-treating, but Josh Kelley insisted our kids still needed to knock on some doors come Halloween.  We drove down our street and parked and then walked or skateboarded down a few neighborhood streets increasing our Halloween candy intake by far too much.  Winter and Amon and the crunching of leaves beneath their fast moving feet led the way.  After one house Winter got emotional and cried about missing Everett.  She then shared with me she thought he would have been the orange or black Power Ranger with her and Amon if he was here with us.  Again with that love.  It’s her most powerful gift.  And with warmer weather surprising us our night ended with sweaty half dressed kiddos and our living room floor covered in their piles of candy.

Promptly after Halloween we took down Halloween decorations and I pulled out the kids Thanksgiving art.  Turkeys and scarecrows.  This past weekend Josh went ahead and put up his twinkle icicle lights on our back porch.  Our calendar is already marked for what weekends the house Christmas lights will go up and then our Christmas tree.  It’s Josh’s most favorite time of the year.  He doesn’t ask for much so we’ll all happily oblige and take part in his Clark Griswold-ness and love every minute of it.

I wanted to say thank you for all the kind comments, emails and texts on my “Where I Am” post.  You guys are always the kindest and I deeply appreciate that.  Essentially this space is like our family scrapbook with a few recipes and cuss words thrown in the mix. 🙂  But it’s always nice to know someone else out there in this wild, beautifully hard world can relate as well.  Please know you have my sincerist gratitude.


  1. Glad to hear from you and your precious family; I’ve missed ‘seeing’ you. FYI…for my 40th year of life, I’ve made a list of 40 things I want to do this year. Topping the list is the Kindness Advent that you introduced me to about 4 or 5 years ago. I’ve wanted to do it for so long, but I’ve let having a 3 yr old (as of last Friday…I believe you two share a birthday) and an 18 month old keep me from doing it. Not this year. Thank you for giving me an idea that brings so much excitement to my heart!

  2. BarB cole says:

    Your family is amazing and I marvel at your strength. Your love and devotion for each other is remarkable and we think of you often!!!!
    Hugs from WV.

Leave A Comment