Bringing Fall: Hallmark

This post is another Hallmark sponsored post. I am being paid by Hallmark to write it, but all writing, ideas and opinions are mine. Thankfully, Hallmark and I share the same idea–that little moments are to be celebrated and that good people, good efforts and good intentions deserve a spotlight. See Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion for more details, like them on Facebook, and/or sign up for their e-mail messages HERE.

There are three things in life I really, really like: babies, fall and holidays. And if you have a baby on a holiday in the fall–well, hallelujah. You can call it a day.

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I don’t know exactly what it is about fall. I mean, summer’s so live-it-up with its bathing suits and lemonade stands and late night barbecues, spring is renewing, winter has the whole Christmas thing going for it, but fall…fall is home.

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The thing is, I’m raising my kids at a latitude that doesn’t include so much of my childhood fall associations. No leaf piles, no scarlet maples, no chilly football games with steam that rises from my hot cider cup. And that is exactly why it’s even more important for me to bring it. I enjoy a good challenge. And, as it has been in other areas of my life, I find out what really matters when I have to work a little harder to create my intended outcome.

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It isn’t leaves and temperature drops and cold rosy cheeks at a football game that make fall what it is. It is the grounding rituals of tradition, the return to the foundation of what matters most…our home, our family, our stories.

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It did’t hit me until I had my own kids–the impact of all the traditions my parents created for us. For all the times I returned back home–even long after I had grown up and moved on–and relied on my past for the good feelings of seasons and family…I now hold the torch.

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The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home.

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When my siblings and I get together, it isn’t long before we’re recalling childhood memories. And, out of all the painful ones we could tell of the divorce years, you know what we remember? We remember holidays. My mom’s cinnamon rolls. My dad’s creative ideas for Halloween costumes. Having company. Cider mills. Trips to Greenfield Village.

And I think about that a lot. What will my kids remember? If it’s measured by present enthusiasm, I’d say Lainey will remember decorating the house for Halloween. Because she ran into the kitchen today, excitedly out of breath and smiling. She carried a mummy candy dish she found in the garage. “We have to decorate the house,” she announced, “because Halloween’s coming this soon.” And she demonstrated just how soon by holding up her thumb and forefinger with a tiny space between them.

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I hope my kids will remember the way our kitchen smelled in October when their hard work of measuring and stirring paid off with rising pumpkin bread that seeped a preview scent through the oven.

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I hope they will remember how I let them make messes.

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…how the inside of a pumpkin feels.

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…how slimy seeds transform to something good and crunchy.

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It might seem silly, all the extra work. I mean, for God’s sake, our pumpkin patch is practically a movie set erected in the middle of a simple field behind a church. But sometimes I think that makes it even more special. It’s called making lemonade. And I dig that.

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I love the challenge of creating seasons my kids will remember. And I had to smile this weekend when I found an old dress I had long forgotten, hidden in my closet. It’s brown and orange, cozy and warm. I was so excited to find it, I pulled it out and squealed. Lainey, behind me, smiled and said, “Mama, are are you excited because that dress looks like fall?”

And right there, I felt I did my job as a fall-loving, celebration-creating mom. She gets it. My little Florida cracker understands fall because I make efforts to deliberately deliver season changes when they don’t come naturally for us. And I think that’s what I love so much about fall. I feel my power as a mom more–that honor of writing the pages of their childhood. With cozy nights and candles, baking and gift-making, setting the table for holiday meals, and planning–always planning for more opportunites to be together. With neighbors, with friends, with family.

In Naples, Florida–34.5 degrees north of the Equator–we are making fall memories.

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And I am so excited about the coming months. Blank pages–that’s what they are. I will fill them with good things. Things my girls will remember.

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Cozy, comfy, homey.

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I am looking forward to our first fire in the fireplace, choosing which neighbor we’ll ding-dong-ditch in our attempt to leave candy at their doorstep, more crafting, more baking, soups and bread, and the magic of Halloween night.

What’s your favorite fall tradition? Hallmark and I would love to know. Bring it.

Comments

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  1. First comment! Halloween. I have a twin sister and our birthday is Oct.29th. Two little in costumes. Some years matching, some years complimenting and some years contrasting.

  2. “…that honor of writing the pages of their childhood”……you said it girl! Love these words. xo

  3. Pumpkin cupcakes, apple picking, pumpkin carving, the marathon, and thanksgiving with my family… bring it!

  4. We are celebrating our first fall in our newly built home. I hope to begin new fall traditions. I’ve just started collecting items to decorate my house…baking pumpkin everything is my favorite fall tradition…until Thanksgiving, when we have our annual family walk (42 grandchildren, 16 dad/mom/aunts/uncles/gma/gpa) LOVE THE WEATHER CHANGE!

  5. I love the cool crisp air, the gray skies, the new rains. (We had our first fall rain yesterday and K was so excited to wear her rain coat and boots and she asked me if I had a rain hat because I needed one.) I love the colors, the overall changing happening all around me and the smells that come from baking and yummy goodness and the comforts of being warmly tucked in at night and hearing the rain on the tin awning. Ah, fall. I can’t wait to get to the pumpkin patch this weekend! And to make K’s little dress – she’s dressing up as Olivia for Halloween.

  6. The chilly air walks in the trees w/ the leaves crunching under foot…perfect backdrop for memories (& photographs)

  7. Ding dong ditching with candy on the doorstep is brilliant! I’ll have to steal that idea!!! And fall in Florida is very different than fall in CT but they’re both amazingly good!! I luckily get to head back north next week for my sisters wedding (a fellow lover of fall) and see falling leaves in brilliant colors, pick crisp apples from trees in an orchard that I have picked apples in since I was a baby, to smell fall in the air. I love Florida but I cannot wait! I’ll pick an Apple for you!!
    ~Beth

  8. I love this post! and I agree that Fall is the best season! I just told my husband today that Fall makes me want to be together as a family, go to the park, and just hang out together. I have already baked several batches of pumpkin bread/muffins, and I foresee many, many more!

  9. My favorite Fall Tradition would be going to the Cider Mills here in Michigan where we live. But a close second is driving to Traverse city for the fall color change. One day I would love to take the kids there to see it, when their a little older.

  10. Fire pit parties, keeping my babies up waaaaay too late :)

  11. Everything in Vermont is my favorite tradition. I love the woodfires, the crisp air, cider pressing, leaf piles, thick scarves, frost on the ground, the feeling of excitement and holidays coming on.

    I live in damp, dreary seattle now…and I am homesick.

    You need to post a picture of your favorite dress!

    xo
    Melina

  12. Hayride with my three littles and picking thier pumpkins right out of the field. Best thing about Fall hands down.

  13. I love apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes, fall colors(deep purples, gorgoues oranges, mustard yellow, browns, and cranberries!) I love fall fells, and the leaves changing colors. I get soo excited for fall because it just as you explained a time when soo many memories flood our thoughts…those Octoberfest Parades, highschool football games sprent nestled up to your best buds to stay warm, and carving pumpkins! Oh I could go on and on. Yes I love love fall! I hink my daugther even though only 19 months can see my love of the fall already, we are decorating the house, playing in costumes, trying hot chocolate, and will be baking pumpkin bread tomorrow!!!

  14. what a creative, wonderful mommie :) love fall glad your sweet babies will have so many wonderful season memories!

  15. Love it…love it all! My favorite fall tradition that we do is on the first day of fall we have chili and star shaped corn muffins for dinner. We have been doing it for 16 years, the whole time my hubby and I have been married. I have two older step children who I helped raise….they are now 23 and 26. Our 26 year old daughter has been married for 3 years now and I have to share with you I felt like that moment…that moment of I have done something special that they will remember and carry with them. When she was getting in from a work trip on the Friday the first day of fall and she told her husband that it was the first day of Fall and they should be having Chili and Star shaped corn muffins…he said then why aren’t we headed home?! Well of course it was too late for them to make the over 2 hour drive…but the next day they made Chili and Corn Muffins…and to her it was FALL! I look forward to her starting her own traditions. I hope my little ones that are still at home will feel that way too someday…these silly things I do…are HOME!
    Hugs!

  16. I just wrote about one of ours yesterday! Making apple cider with my parents & kids (with apples from their orchard) with my grandma’s apple press:
    http://cohesive-pieces.blogspot.com/2011/10/just-little-of-everyday-sort-of-magic.html?m=1

  17. This is awesome! Living in Florida but having grown up in Missouri, i truly miss the season changes every year. I want to raise my kids in Florida but them missing out on all that makes me hesitant… But youre right! I’ll totally bring it to them! :)

  18. I totally wanna come over. And I live in the North East! LOL! Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. No season is more beautiful, in my opinion. :-)

  19. One of my favorite places was likely one of your own. I grew up nearly a neighbor to you and loved going to the Montrose Orchard. We would get our pumpkins there and don’t get me started on the bakery. Two words…cinnamon rolls!

    So, like you, I love Michigan Falls. I don’t live there any more and I miss fall…but going home this time of year is the best!!

    Rock on fellow Michigan girl!

  20. I lived in south Florida my entire life until I moved to SC with my husband 3 years ago, and every year, my mom would throw a First-Day-Of-Fall party that would knock your socks off! Air conditioning cranked up, fire in the fireplace, and every pumpkin-cinnamon-Autumn goody you could imagine! She still throws one every year, and now so do I in my new home! Momma’s like you make your kids smile – even when we’re 25 😉

  21. Chili after a walk in the woods in the crisp fall air with all of my people and the wild, rowdy dog.

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  23. KATY! Montrose Orchard! I lived in Montrose for years! We lived at that orchard in the fall!!

  24. Kelle~I never want your posts to end. Your words & pictures & outlook on life is so inspiring to me. I was born on the eve of Halloween so all through my life fall has been hailed as a celebratory time. In our family there are 6 birthdays from September thru November. So for us, fall is a time to really
    C E L E B R A T E!! This year, we’re talking about a birthday costume party..how fun will that be? Oh..and the decorating!! We wave our holiday freak flags proudly!!

  25. Our favourite fall traditions are pumpkin carving, of course, puddle-jumping, decorating the house and collecting leaves for various arts projects like mobiles and collages.

    You are writing a beautiful book for your daughters. And, from looking at your pictures, it seems like Florida totally has the fall vibe going.

  26. It’s funny, autumn is ok here, but because Halloween is not a big deal in Australia there isn’t a big event to hang on the season. Spring makes us look forward to longer days, summer is Christmas and the beach, sometimes Autumn is just what proceeds a long cool winter. Easter usually marks the end of summer for us, and that can be a little depressing (maybe I need to think of it differently).
    Maybe one thing about Autumn, and it’s not really a tradition, it’s the light. Autumn sunlight is totally different here in Tasmania, the air is crisper, the sky is bluer. One of my favourite memories is of spending an entire afternoon on a picnic rug in a park with my husband just talking and well, doing what new couples do best, snuggling! Thanks Kelle for making me remembering that, might be something I have to bring back next Autumn!

  27. Montrose Orchard…I know!!! I thought you might notice that. I loved that place. The bakery, the bees in the wall, blue berries and pumpkins. It was like Sunday heaven when we would drive over. I grew up near there, in Flint Township and went to Carman Ainsworth High Schoo. So, that kinda makes us neighbors. I live in Indiana now, but can go home often.

  28. my favorite fall tradition is the way my family celebrates thanksgiving. It is far from the traditional tradition, but its our tradition. We celebrate with our neighbors form when I was a child. So my childhood babysitter and her parents and now her children! Every year my mom panics and tries to find all the “cool recipes” for the year and then asks us each what we want. We always want the same ol traditional things, she gets sooo frustrated because she cant make the “cool” things. 😀
    Of course just like everyone we always eat wayyyy too much and enjoy the football games. Oh I love thanksgiving. I can’t wait to share it with my boyfriend this year(last year we did seperate things, i hope i can convince him to join me this year)

  29. The chill in the air…..excitement…..fall in all her Beauty, Even as she dies her leaves falling away, she gives us her most beautiful prescient until her very end.

  30. Gathering, harvesting, raking leaves, picking pumpkins, decorating and loving……..simple things done together!

  31. This line just killed me: “The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home.” I adore you, and this is going to be taped to my fridge, to remind me that with every action, word and memory I am writing my children’s stories.

    Dee

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  33. Hands-down homemade beef stew, homemade rolls, James Taylor in heavy rotation, cider-in-mug-in-hand, fire blazing, cute socks on, and all my loves with me! I heart FALL!!!

  34. I envy your ability to create Fall/October memories when it’s only the 4th day of the month. You’re rockin’ this Fall thing mamacita!

    My favorite fall tradition? Baking! My mom started the tradition of making holiday cookies in the Fall. In October, there were little sugar cookie pumpkins. In November, chocolate chip cookies and brownies. In December, sugar cookies shaped like Santa, Stockings, and Snowmen. My favorite part was icing them and drenching them in sprinkles! I still love decorating them the same way, to this day…only now I have the company of my husband and daughter! :) It brings back such great memories of my childhood! I hope my daughter grows up to love it as much as I do!

  35. Katy…I was Carmen Ainsworth District for awhile before we were homeschooled. Went to Randals Elementary. What year did you graduate?

  36. My favorite fall tradition is taking our littles on our annual trip to the HUGE apple orchard/pumpkin patch about 2 hrs away. There’s fresh cider and homemade apple pies and pumpkin pies, plus apple cider donuts (yum) and a petting zoo and tractor/hay rides. We picked 30 lbs of apples alone this last weekend. There’s a LOT of apple crisp in my house these days.

  37. P.S. Love the new header! So festive! It’s awesome! :)

  38. After reading a book called “Animal Vegetable Miracle” (get thee to a bookstore if you haven’t read it!) I am inspired to make pumpkin soup….INSIDE the pumpkin! It sounds like a real challenge, and I’m totally excited to head out to the farmer’s market this week and pick out the perfect soup bowl :)

  39. Golden light through changing trees, college football, pumpkin patch, apple crisp, fire in the fireplace and a cup of hot cider…all in the same day, in that order.

  40. KELLE…I just about jumped off the couch. I went to Randals all through elementary school until I went to the Junior High. WOW!! I graduated in ’93 and I would guess we could have been there at the same time. WOW!!! How long were you there??

  41. And there it is- the reason I let the little things go. The reason my laundry is sometimes piled a little too high and the reason the dishes sometimes pile in the sink… I’m too busy writing that book and I want the chapters to be more than just me cleaning and worrying about things being just so.

    We love pumpkin picking around here in the fall and long family walks when the weather is cool. It’s just about time to light the pellet stove and I can’t wait!

  42. This is crazy. I was only there for third and fourth grade. 87-89. Mrs. Kemp, third grade and Mrs. Kerspilo, my favorite teacher ever, for fourth.

  43. Hi Kelle- I’m back just to share a link to a decorations company http://www.devra-party.com/ They make honeycomb tissue paper decorations. They are so reasonably priced (everything is sold by the dozen) and have all sorts of themes, Christmas, fall, etc. I know you like to make a lot of your decorations but some of them are so awesome. Like the bumble bees, or the strawberries etc. I ordered some for a party this year, and even with the postage to Australia they were a bargain! Anyway just thought you might like to have a look!

  44. LOVE nella’s “oh” face at the pumpkin seeds. precious. and also – so impressed that she leaves her pigtails in. we have the pigtail fight about once a week and then i contemplate cutting bangs for suki just to make my life easier.

  45. *Lainey is always beautiful, but in today’s pics she’s exceptionally gorgeous.

    *Love Nella splattered with pumpkin slime :):)

    *I have the same mixing bowls :)

    *Our Fall traditions will now be a combination of old and new.

    Old: I make A LOT of crock pot soups starting in October, and we always drive about 20 minutes to a farm/pumpkin patch and buy their fresh apple cider by the gallons.

    New: We accidentally grew pumpkins in our backyard, on our carport, and into the neighbors drive-way, so we have our own to choose from. We also have a new cobblestone patio to house a fire pit and will have friends over for crock pot soups and cider :)

    *A confession of sorts: I was mad at God after Nora was born. And not to be cheesy in ANY way, but “I once was lost, but now am found”……again. He never lost His grip on me, but I was “blind” to the true gift He was giving me. But now I “see”…..He truly does give you the desires of your heart, even if you didn’t know they were there. I say all this because I immediately teared up seeing the children’s bible you were reading the girls (I actually spied it on your previous post….cried then, too :) Feels so good to be “back”.

    Lovin’ God, lovin’ Jesus, lovin’ life, lovin’ you!

    Happy Fall,
    Kelly

  46. I love every ity bity peice of fall. And in my head, I will always think October is 50 degrees, smell that cool crisp leaf burnt air, and crave a cup of warm cider… even if its 88 degrees outside and there isn’t an apple orchard for hundreds of miles. And side note, many many good memories at Greenfield Village. Had my first rock candy there and am brought back to that third grade class field trip, dressed in 1800s cloths, everytime I see one.

  47. Oh my gosh. I sorta remember those names. I would have had Mrs. Nancy and then Dr. Dunstan for those grades. I’m a few years older than you, I would have been in 6th and 7th while you were there! I grew up on Calkins Road..my parents are still there. They run a lawn and garden business on Lennon Road. Which is now where our pumpkins are grown!

  48. We LOVE how you posted this…as we also just did a blog about what fall means to us here: http://paigeandmitch.blogspot.com/2011/09/fall-is.html

    The small traditions and meaningful moments you create with your kids is what we are most excited for when it comes to our big transition into parenthood.

    We found out we were expecting, about the same time as we discovered your blog and while we were very surprised, and timing was not perfect your beautiful way of parenting has helped us to become over the moon excited to be parents these past 8 months. You make me so excited to be a Mom. So thank you.

    Much love from Canada!

  49. Hate to say it and make you feel sad……but trick-or-treating at Greenfield Village. It’s full of historical goodness and plenty of sugar!

  50. I’m right there with you. Fall is my favorite, too. I’m already scrambling trying to cram every favorite fall ritual into our limited weekends.

    We can check off sitting next to the pep band at a chilly Friday night football game.

    I have several butternut squash waiting to be roasted.

    There’s a fall festival with hayride and face painting this weekend.

    Then a trip to the pumpkin patch, some decorating, maybe a haunted house and a couple costume parties.

    And you gotta squeeze in hot cider, pumpkin bread and raking leaves in before Thanksgiving because BAM! then fall is over and the Christmas music starts (not that I don’t love Christmas too).

    But it sadly seems like fall gets shorter every year.

    Reading your blog even got my “fall freak flag flying” a few weeks ago. I found this awesome vintage wool skirt that I could so see you wearing. It’s like rainbow plaid … only fall hues. Hard to describe but unique and awesome. I had to buy it.

    So you can add figuring out what to wear with it to my fall list!

  51. I think you’ve probably written about your patchwork quilt in the past but I have to ask you again where you got it? My sister and I had one very similar to it when we were kids and after seeing yours I can still get a sense of how it felt – it has long since fallen apart but I’d love to replace it! Thanks!

  52. I love giving out candy for Halloween and seeing all of the little kids costumes.
    I love football.
    I love the changing colors of the leaves on the trees.

  53. I love your ardor for fall; I’m so with you on the orchards and cider and seasonal bliss. Thanks for the joy, today! And happy Autumn!

  54. Fall is my favorite time too- I love pumpkin patches, fall scented candles, and the crisp and colorful leaves that blanket our yard. The best thing however, was that my little boy was born on Thanksgiving of last year. Nothing, absolutey nothing, can make me love fall any more than that.

    Thank you for your beautiful words. You are one helluva good mama. :)

  55. My favorite fall things are scarves (they are my addiction!) and anything pumpkin (especially pumpkin bread and pumpkin spice coffee! so glad you keep traditions alive for your girls!

  56. I too am a FL transplant from the midwest and miss apple orchards, changing leaves and harvest season with all my heart. But my kids are learning that fall means pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING from coffee to cookies, open windows, grapevine wreaths and “Booing” the neighbors. All wonderful in their own way.

  57. I will never in my life forget when both my husband and I got the swine flu on Halloween. We searched and searched for “Hocus Pocus,” asking anyone to drop it at our doorstep so they didn’t even have to come in and be exposed to the flu. We were so sick. We never did get the movie that year, but we did stay in bed watching movies ALL. DAY. LONG. It was my favorite Halloween ever…and we were so sick. Now, we always have to watch Hocus Pocus on Halloween :) Interesting that the memory that I remember most is the feeling of being with my husband, not my sickness!

  58. “The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home. “

    Wow Kelle, you hit the nail square on the head with that statement. I try, each day, to remember that I’m writing my child’s memories. What an important job.

    My favorite holiday tradition is that my family has a certain order in which we open the gifts. There’s no mad scramble and everybody opening at once. We take turns, going around the room, so we can enjoy the reaction and happiness of our family members as they open their carefully selected gifts. I want Henry to know those kinds of memories of his childhood.

  59. I do so love reading your posts. They never fail to make me smile.

  60. Dear Kelle,
    I live in Michigan (am new to this area having been here only a year)…and am just now experiencing the joys of Michigan cider mills! In fact, I thought of you and your “love of Fall” this weekend when I was at a Cider Mill in Northville, MI. You would have loved it! Hot cider, warm donuts, a blistery 55 degree day, my baby girl wrapped in a blanket in my arms as we waited in line to get our cider. It was a great day!

    My favorite Fall tradition? Hot chocolate. I don’t know why, but I associate Fall with Hot chocolate. I purposefully don’t drink it all Spring and Summer so that on the first “cold” day of Fall I have the perfect excuse to curl up on the couch and make myself a cup! Yum!

  61. thank you for the reminder that we , as mothers, set the tone of our homes and fill our children’s hearts and memories with what we put in!
    I need to get busy making more good memories, I have let the busyness of life get in the way of my true calling!
    So, thank you for waking me up! I can’t wait to get started again!

  62. Jumping in the leaves, of course! My 5’1″ 250# grandma showed me how when I was three, and I’ll never forget it as long as I live… the total abandon with which she hurled herself into that pile. That’s what fall is all about! :)

  63. My family goes to McGlasson’s Farm every year for a pumpkin pickin’ good time. I am one of 8 kids, so getting all of us together, along with 21 grand kids can be a task, so the farm is a wonderful, wide open place for my incredibly large family to gather. McGlasson’s is a beautiful, take-your-breath away kind of place. Fritters, cider, pumpkins, delicious apples, and the scenic drive home is inspiring, comforting, and well, it leaves me speechless.

  64. My favorite fall tradition (besides baking pumpkin chocolate chip bread and ordering many pumpkin spice lattes of course) is the family trip to the pumpkin patch. We too are in Florida (Tampa) and I have never been to a “real” pumpkin patch- all I’ve ever known are the imported ones. So that is fall to me and my favorite tradition.

  65. Kelle, I don’t post comments a lot here (okay maybe never?) because usually I’m like, number 1,578 on the list so I kinda give up. But seriously, SERIOUSLY, this is the best post you’ve ever written. I LOVE IT. Thank you so much for sharing with us. The quote about writing the story for our kids? Already up on FB. (I quoted you, don’t worry. :)

    This was such an encouraging post! :)

  66. vistiting our local pumpkin patch! makes great memories!!

  67. I’m a seasonal person too, so last christmas, I was like WE ARE BAKIGN SOME REAL GINGERBREAD MEN. not sugar cookies cut into gingerbread men like I usually do, but REAL GINGERBREAD.

    It was the WPRST gingerbread to ever touch my mouth.

    I’m going back to the sugar cookie cutout gb men this year. Sometimes, the plan backfires, ya know? Kinda like how we didn’t go to the pumpkin patch until halloween night, hence we didnt have pumpkins until then…oops. SLACKER.

  68. I love in the one picture you have a jack-o-lantern in the forground and a string of christmas lights in the background.

    My favorite fall tradition is leaf pressing and the annual trip to the pumpkin patch.

  69. I too, love EVERYTHING about fall…I love the colors, I love the scents, I love the food, and I especially love that it is my anniversary in less than a week! (My love of fall is of course why we had our wedding in October.)

    I also love that the colors are Virginia Tech Hokie colors!!

    Another thing I love, Nella’s cream sweater from the pumpkin patch. I must have that for my daughter, Kayla who is almost Nella’s birthday twin (Kayla’s a year younger). Can you tell me where you got it?? :)

  70. I was so excited when I saw that you had done this post. As I’ve said before….I love living the magic of FALL through you & your blog, as Autumn is a very merged & un-noticed season here. But after reading this & discovering that Florida doesn’t really put on a “hey-it’s-fall-so-stand-out-look-at-me show” too…just like here in Australia….. yet you still embrace it & MAKE IT HAPPEN!!! That’s cool! And I’m motivated this year too!!! Halloween is also something that Australia is slowly starting to embrace. A local ‘cheap’ shop had aisles & aisles of halloween stuff last week & I got EXCITED!!! Any chance to dress up, mingle & celebrate is a good reason I say :)
    xo

  71. I love Lainey’s comment on your fall dress – how cute! My son is 16 months old & our Florida fall traditions I want to make with him are pumpkin carving, lots of baking, movies with blankets & (electric) fires, excited anticipation & preparation for the holidays, & lots of just being together. He just learned what a pumpkin is & is very enthusiastic about pointing them out in the stores :)

  72. I think a new fall tradition was started today. We changed things up and went to the apple orchard instead of the pumpkin patch and got apple cider slushies!!! YUMMM!!!

    My favorite fall tradition is jumping in a pile of crisp leaves and my annual October jewelry party. I have had one every year for almost 10 years. I am about to get out the fall decorations and already have the “Cowboy” candle burning (smells like leather and cologne all rolled into one).

  73. Coming from Canada: Fall means Thanksgiving! A time where family is gathered, food is shared, memories are made. Thanksgiving weekend my family gathers where we spend the weekend together, picking apples in the orchard, going for walks along the lake, spending nights under quilts telling stories and playing games. I am counting down the sleeps (3) until I leave my University home-sweet-not-home and get to enjoy my Thanksgiving weekend with the family.
    Fall is my favourite!

    hillarymacdonald.blogspot.com

  74. Vests, scarves, sweaters, raking leaves, apple pie, rosy cheeks and crisp mornings. I love digging out my vests…and fall is the only good thing about making the switch from flip flops to socks and shoes. Love fall, love love love it!

  75. I love a good maize maze. Don’t know if we will find one this year thanks to the drought. We will see, I guess.

  76. Christmas is magical, halloween is creative but my favourite holiday is Thanksgiving. And as a Canadian where our Thanksgivings are much more low-key that’s saying a lot. I just love the simpleness of getting together with no fussing over gift-giving. Just good people, good food and time to reflect and be grateful for the things that really matter.

  77. Pumpkin candles, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, pumpkins, rain, cozy sweaters, blankets, soups for dinner….I could go on and on! :)

  78. We know it’s fall when my husband and I make Pumpkin Spice Bread from Williams Sonoma. We registered there for our wedding and received a beautiful cathedral cake pan. Every fall, we buy their Pumpkin Spice Bread mix and make it in the cake pan from our wedding registry. I love seeing it sit in our glass cake pan with it’s beautiful dark pumpkin orange color. It brings us beautiful memories of our wedding (also in the fall, our favorite season). While we make the cake together, we remember and talk about the memories that we have from our wedding. One day when we have kids, I hope that we will still be doing the same….baking with them in the fall and sharing memories of our wedding with them.

  79. I gave birth to one of my babies on Thanksgiving Day and it made Fall my favorite time of year. My own lil turkey. She’s getting married this November so we will have one more reason to love Fall. Your pics are precious as are the people in them. Blessed Fall to all of you!

  80. “The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home.”

    This rocks me to my core. At this moment I feel like someone else is writing the pages of our story…we took a leap of faith to move our family back home where my husband and I grew up. We both found great jobs,weighed the pros and cons both emotionally and financially. Our realtor was optimistic our house wouldn’t be on the market very long. So we packed up our materialistic things and moved our family of four into my parents basement to create new memories of family and home with our babies. We were on top of the world. Well that was 6 months ago with no such luck on our house selling. I’ve been in a rut and haven’t been able to put my feelings into words until now. Thank you Kelle! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to kick some pessimistic a** and get myself out of this rut. My fall freak flag needs to fly a little higher. We can make family memories right where we are at this moment, because home is where the heart is and my heart is with my hubby and two girls!

    PS. We like to bake our pumpkin seeds with chex mix seasoning…amazingly good!

  81. My family has a campout each fall, it is next weekend, in Missouri, where there is plenty of fall. We have about 50 people come, it is the only time of the year I see most of them and it is the best fall tradition I can think of.

  82. now i am curious to see your fall colors dress!
    sadly, i don’t have any fall traditions i can think of. i will have to create them!

  83. love, love, love this post. love how you capture your sweet girls. our favorite fall traditions are cider candles, glittering our pumpkins (I have 3 girls), and turning everything into pumpkin flavor…pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin dip…you name it, we’re whippin’ it up!

  84. jumping in leaves, decorating pumpkins, FOOTBALL, and smores

  85. The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home
    Ah! I love this! This is what I think about when I dream of my future children, but you wrote it so perfectly. Beautiful, just beautiful. And your girls will have some incredible chapters :)

  86. My baby was born on Halloween…baby…fall…holiday. Perfect :)

  87. I have the same issue- it’s Pismo Beach, CA, where it’s 80 degrees in October, and then again in Jan, and again in April, and just showers once in awhile throughout. I love sweaters and hardly ever get to wear them. I love to sit around and think of family traditions for our kids (party of one, so far- age: one) but my husband is an only child and his parents took him places and did the normal stuff, but nothing carved out, nothing Peted and Repeated. So of course he has that whole “well MY parents didnt do that, so we wont” and I have the whole “um, blank canvas here! lets get excited!” thing goin on. I always win, though. This year we are having a toddler Halloween party. I hope we just keep going and are that family that throws a Halloween party every year. If only to be… AWESOME!

  88. Greetings from the Pacific Northwest! For the month of October the Halloween Trickster comes to our house. He hides things for my daughter to find on random days throughout the month (mainly halloween books bought for a quarter at thrift stores. I stock up all year) He also leaves tootsie rolls in shoes, turns jacket inside out, puts the pillow on the wrong end of the bed and moves things around the house. That silly trickster is so much fun! You never know what he’s going to do next! To read more about him, check out http://www.chasingalittlegrace.blogspot.com : ) Happy October-ing! L-o-v-e your post!!

  89. Man, I wish you were MY mom! (Not that there’s anything wrong with my mom. I would want both of you.) I guess I’ll just have to try to be a mom LIKE you.

  90. The family & I love to drive through the canyons here in Utah. We call it a “Fall Frolic.” We take a picnic and a leaf-collecting basket. After bringing home the most vibrant leaves we can find, we wash ’em, dry ’em, flatten ’em for a day in a heavy book, and then string ’em. They make the most beautiful garlands for our house!

    Love, Bree

  91. Harvest Festivals. We are going to two different ones this weekend and one on the 15th-the BIG one. The one I dreamt about all year. I love anything and everything pumpkin: pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin scones…you get the picture. I love fall candles. I love collecting leaves every day outside with my girlie. She never grows tired of collecting them. I love being snuggled under warm blankets (we don’t have a fire place or heat–well, minus two portable plug in heaters so it gets chilly in our house) watching holiday videos. LOVE FALL!

  92. I was born on Halloween, and my husband was born on Thanksgiving. :) And he’s obsessed with roasted pumpkin seeds, so we’ve already made two batches.

  93. Making “Harvest Bread” with my girls every October 1st, decorating the house and going to Mother Nature’s Farm here in Gilbert AZ every year! What fun!

  94. Love this post! We started the tradition with our two little ones of going to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin. The other day I had my fall scentsy burning and a fall candle burning. We walked into the house and my Mason who is almost five says “Mom, it smells like Halloween!” I want to build more memories and traditions with my littles!

  95. Love this post! We started the tradition with our two little ones of going to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin. The other day I had my fall scentsy burning and a fall candle burning. We walked into the house and my Mason who is almost five says “Mom, it smells like Halloween!” I want to build more memories and traditions with my littles!

  96. I have a lot of favorite Fall traditions… but as a born and raised Ohioan, now teaching Kindergarten in Phoenix, AZ- I know how you feel. Teaching kids what Autumn (and Winter for that matter) is, when they clearly have no idea, has become my personal duty. I will bring them pumpkins, I will burn Fall smells on my classroom Scentsy, and we will bring the Fall outdoors inside. That’s what we WILL do!

  97. Here in Australia we call it autumn and like you it is probably my fav season.
    Partly this is due to the fact that my sister, my Dad and I all shared b’days in autumn. (April/May)
    We got to experience the joy of that as well as the beautiful change in seasons, the autumn leaves, the light and shade at that time of year.
    There is just something special about it and where we live in Tasmania we get that real change of seasons with cooler and crisp days.
    Birthday traditions are my favourite to share with my kids, closely followed by Christmas and we also enjoy summer, living by the beach, BBQ’s and going to stay at the shack with cousins, aunties and uncles.
    Every year I think about what new tradition we can create for all of the above and share as a family.
    Thanks for sharing yours.

  98. My family spends most weekends here in Minnesota by the fireplace, wrapped in down blankets, eating fudgy brownies right out of the oven, while playing board games. It’s pure delight.

  99. what a powerful and heartwarming post (more so than you usual brillant posts),and the pictures speak more than you written words.

    i LOVE fall too, but being from and still living in chicago there is more of a noticeable change unlike in florida. i love that you do all that for your girls, you make them excited for new things, for family and for traditions. hooray for you,kelle!!!

    my favorite part of fall, besides sipping on numerous pumpkin spice lattes is driving up to WI for our family’s annual pumpkin patch day :) a long standing family tradition that even as a 24 year old i still love.

    happy fall

  100. This time last year I was lucky enough to be able to visit my family back in Michigan. I the golden aspens we get here in Colorado, but there is something special about a Michigan fall…it’s never complete without a trip to Greenfield Village and the Franklin Cider Mill.

  101. Hello Kelle,
    Your words echo the exact same enthusiasm I feel about Fall. I just made a post about why I love Fall so much and the bottom line is to make wonderful memories. It’s all about spending quality time with my husband and kids, to be out and about doing Fall-yish activities, cuddle on the couch while we watch a suspenceful movie, an excuse to stop at a coffee shop and indulge in delicious warm yumminess … Cozy times and I love it!

  102. our pumpkin patch is the same way and we love it. I am a lover of everything fall and holiday too, they excite me so much.

    My favorite thing about fall beside buying all the themed clothing and decorating the house would have to be layering clothing. I love scarfs, knitted headbands and knitted hats. I make a ton of them and we just cant get enough. I usually end up leaving the house with way too much on, but hey who cares? Not this girl i know that much :)

  103. I love fall best of all too. Living in SoCal means I artificially create fall too. And I go all out. I have two (kinda) fall babies (ok Reagan is officially still summer by a couple of days) and when September hits I pull out those leaves and pumpkins, light the candles and start baking!

  104. Pumpkin patches, apple pickin’, pulling out fall scented candles, bundling up in sweaters, raking and jumping into leaf piles, and going to Boo at the Zoo (at our zoo)..these are all going to be traditions for years to come for my little one. :)

  105. Did you get your fall leaves yet? I remember that a friend of yours would send them Michigan. Originally from Minnesota, my friend and I moved to Arizona in 2006. Then, this summer I moved back to Minnesota while she’s continuing her life in the desert. I decided that I’m going to start the tradition of sending her a box of fall leaves. She has no idea and I can’t wait to hear her reaction!

  106. My littlest will turn 1 on Halloween:) And the twins turn 4 on Christmas…bring on the holiday babies!

  107. Absolutely beautiful imagery and words again :) I don’t have memories like that because it’s not big in South Africa

  108. Apples are more fall to me than pumpkins. We would go to Blake’s Orchard and pick a big bushel of apples, then my mom would make everything apple – apple sauce using the manual food mill, apple pie with cool whip, and the absolute favorite apple cake. Pumpkin pie comes in a very close second for fall symbolism, but apples do the best job kicking off the season. I love fall, too!

  109. I just love pumpkin patches. The color orange and deep green and brown. The chill. Football Games… good times.

  110. omg, its only October 4th and you’re already doin’ the Fall thing… in full steam! Good for you :)
    Again, you inspire me… in the big things and great.

  111. Even though I live in a country that doesn’t really take to “Halloween” (thinking it’s not really a Scandinavian tradition and hence: not so celebration worthy) I stick to Halloween like glue and started that when my firstborn was a small child!

    I LOVE Halloween. I love reading scary ghost stories to my children. I love scooping out the insides of that pumpkin (especially I enjoyed one year when my firstborn grew a gigantic pumpkin on our balcony – it took over the whole thing!).
    I love the lit candles, the meals the togetherness.
    And I, especially, love that it is an american tradition since America is my cup of tea 😀
    ***
    I also am a fall-freak and I feel reborn as soon as fall shows!

    I realized, reading this post, that it really is a challenge creating seasons where you live, I hadn’t really thought about it that hard before.
    Great job!

  112. This is a really beautiful post. I don’t have my own children yet, but you’ve made me feel really excited for it! :)

  113. Our memories are made with pumpkins…pumpkins everywhere. Also we have hundreds of kids that trick or treat in our neighborhood. It’s a great atmosphere. I loved your sentence about “I am writing their book and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and….” Great thoughts.

  114. Homemade vegetable soup :) Yum, yum, yummo!

    Cxx

  115. growing up, there were four families, each with a big sis/bro and a little sis/bro…and we were all best friends and our parents were, too. every october, we would drive an our away to a haunted hayride. while the parents waited in line, we kids would get lost in the corn maze, pick out pumpkins, and drink hot chocolate. pure magic.

  116. I love all the “punkin” pictures! Our tradition is doing a few jack o laterns. The kids love to pick wacky patterns for Daddy to carve!

  117. I love that you squealed at your fall dress find : ) I am sure we will see pictures of it.

    I am glad we live in Pennsylvania where we have pumupkin fields that are rea. I wouldn’t mind forgoing the mud though. : (

    Our favorite fall thing to do is to make carmel appleas. All of Kaishon’s little friends are coming over tonight to do so. FUN!

  118. Since I live a province away from my parents, I look forward to the fall visit home for Thanksgiving in October, which happens to be this weekend (yay!). My mom truly does make the best apple pie in the world and I get excited just thinking about it. I love when my family is all together because we are so spread out geographically. We usually always take a family walk and pick apples at an orchard right down the road. My parents grow pumpkins so we go through quite a fuss picking out the best of the best to keep for ourselves. I return home loaded down with apples, pumpkins, leftover pie and a warm feeling in my belly. It is heaven.

  119. I love this post, totally gave me happy tears. Fall is just my most favorite time of year. I live in upstate NY so we do it up with all the leaves and You have a place to visit if you ever feel the need, fall is the star here. I can’t pick a favorite, I love it all. The colors, the smell, the tastes, the cold, the enchanted pumpkin walks through the woods and how it all leads to my favortie holiday, thanksgiving. Thank you again for sharign your rockstar moves with us all, totally gets me even more inspired to be a great mom.

  120. I, too have always loved fall! Our traditions are only just beginning to be made, but the thought of how my kids will remember them thrills me.
    I was just having this same conversation with a friend of mine after our visit to our pumpkin patch – our kick-off to fall. We enjoy a yummy farm-made apple fritter, we tramp through the muddy you-pick field and take dozens of pictures, we ride the tractor, we gather crazy gourds and take dozens more pictures. I crop out the port-o-pots and deliberately do not include the farm-hand shanty or the road that runs 20 feet from the straw bails and pumpkins…I know that they will not rememebr going there these early years, but that, in time, this will make up the story of their childhood memories…I want that storybook filled with happy, cozy, colorful pictures of good times.
    I love how you speak of the power we have as parents here, so true.
    Your girls are so very lucky that you care enough to go the extra (thousands of) mile(s!)to deliver this for them.
    Happy Storybook Writing, Happy Memory Making…
    Love,
    e

  121. Wearing sweaters, picking out pumpkins, taking photos of the gorgeous colors of the leaves, pumpkin pie and sitting with the kids by the fire pit. Usually there’s marshmallows involved.

    This is my favorite season, especially here in the Midwest.

  122. Jumping in leaf piles with my kids!

  123. My favorite fall tradition??? That is so hard because this really is my favorite time of year. I think for me it’s going to my mom’s hometown for the Fall Foliage Festival. On the drive there we get to see gorgeous fall leaves. While there we get to reconnect with family. The parade on Sunday is your typical small town parade, but it’s great! This year we are adding in a trip to an apple orchard close by to our trip. I’m excited to get loads of apples to bring back and make applesauce and apple butter and apple pies and apple turnovers. I hope it will become a new tradition that will last for generations..is that hoping for too much!?!? I don’t think so!

  124. If it is any consolation to you, I was born and raised (and still live) in Naples, FL. My mom, however, is from northern Pennsylvania. She instilled in me a love of fall so intense that I feel like I was raised up north also. Fall to me is apples, pumpkin bread, pumpkin patches (I take my kids to the same one as you), hay rides, apple cider, boots, changing leaves (even if you have to use your imagination…and I do), long evening shadows in glowy-yellow light, mornings that I can open my sliding glass doors, cinnamon candles, Steve Miller Band (not sure why, but their greatest hits cd is my fall anthem), homemade soups and chili, and three boxes of fall decorations so I can deck out my house with enough fake fall to sustain us. My girls also live for fall now, squealing when they see me drag out the fall decorations, knowing that night we will have pork tenderloin with cinnamon apples, stuffing and butternut squash. So we are doing something right by recreating the season that mother nature doesn’t see fit to bring to us. Your girls will always remember the effort you’ve put into this beautiful season. I promise, it will stick with them always!

  125. kelle, we’re in naples too! we have to know where oh where is that fab pumpkin patch? what church? we have to take our little grandchildren there to pick their pumpkins!!! thanks!

  126. Every year our entire family goes apple picking at McQueens apple orchard! We have hot cider and warm donuts! The little ones get pony rides! I love watching them get on their tippy toes to reach that perfect apple!

  127. I’m so thrilled to have a new fall tradition – pumpkin patch pictures with my little girl!

  128. I love, love, love fall. This year my son is just old enough to help me decorate the house. I still have a few left in the garage. Every time we pull in the driveway he squeals “Look Mommy. Palloween decowations.” Yes that’s spelled correctly. I love it! I think we’re going to work on making one new “decowation” every year.

  129. You may no longer visit my blog after I tell you this – but it is usually my thing to hate fall. Not because I don’t like the traditions but because it reminds me I’m going to be really really cold in a couple months. And there is nothing I hate worse than shivering and convulsing in my car during winter.

    But lately, I have embraced the fall. I have printed one of those bucket list printables and we’re going to do it all. But not watching football. I also hate football. I know. I’m weird.

  130. I love fall for the colors and smells it brings with it. I decorate the house with pumpkins and scarecrows and fill the house with scents like baked apples and zucchinni bread. It really makes me think about everything I have and how far we have come together. Love it!!

  131. Fall is the BEST – so glad your babes are learning to love it, even in Florida! They are awfully cute in the pumpkin patch :)

    We’re trying to get the little dude out to enjoy as much fall as possible, apple picking last week and the fair this weekend. I think going to the fair(s) is one of my very favorite fall traditions, but really the whole season just does it for me. The season is where I belong. Cozy warm clothing, cider, getting the fireplace going, pie, etc. It’s just all my favorite.

    This is the first year in my new home and the first year in my relationship, so I guess some of the traditions we start this year might continue, and some of the ones I definitely want to continue are apple picking, making pie just because we can, and going to the fair. The rest remains to be seen!

  132. Cherie, St. Monica’s church on Immokalee…just a little east of Oakes Blvd.

  133. I just have to say – I found your blog not to long ago – -and I just want to thank you for your wonderful writing. It makes me smile and brings me happy thoughts. I have a 2 year old little guy — my miracle baby, and I want to raise him with lots of warm memories and traditions.

    Your blog just makes me smile and makes me think of my little guy….your girls are beautiful and your an inspiration to mammas everywhere :)

  134. definitely going to pick out our pumpkins. oh and booing the neighbors. do you do that? you package up a couple of gift bags with fall goodies and a note saying to pass it on. then you put it on their porch, ring the bell and RUN! it’s so fun. we dress all in black and really do it up…laughing all the way down the street. then they put of this ghost picture on their front door showing they’ve been boo’d and they pass it on. SO FUN!

  135. I freaking love fall! I live in Minnesota and summer should be my favorite since it can be so fleeting, but fall and spring are in a race every year to out do each other! I love layers of clothes, scarves, wearing a hoodie with shorts, noticing that just yesterday the leaves were only green but now, wa-bam! it’s a colorful tunnel to drive through! I love the smell of fires in the evening, the cozy beverages that one only drinks in the months before Christmas; Hot Totties, Cider, hot chocolate with ginormous marshmellows. Fall makes me want to read more under a blanket with the window open, it makes me want to cozy up with loved ones and watch the sunset. Fall creates a quietness within, like my soul is calming down for a bit of hibernation.

  136. As a kid, my mom *hated* Halloween (with seven children, costumes, candy, and trick-or-treating were, shall we say, overwhelming). So, in desperate defiance, I live up Halloween by carving my own pumpkins, dressing up my dog (bumblebee this year!) and taking my nannykids trick-or-treating with a level of enthusiasm that should be saved for winning the lottery or birthing a child.

  137. Your posts always echo what is in my own heart! Fall is absolutely my favorite. The kids and I haul out all of the all decorations–many of which belonged to or were made by Gram, so we take extra time to remember her. There are smores in the fire bowl, spiced cider on the stove, and every soup and chili recipe I can find. Cozy sweaters and quilts beg for an extra story, and life just becomes a little more comfy. Love every minute!

  138. My favorite fall tradition/memory is the making of Russian tea (a black tea infused with spices and fresh orange juice). Growing up, my mom would make a pot of tea each week beginning in October and keep making tea until the first warm spring day the following March. Now, it doesn’t feel like fall has truly arrived until I’ve made my own first batch of Russian tea to share with my family and friends.

    Thanks for sharing your fall joys. What a beautiful way to get into the cozy feeling of the season.

  139. aww kel…this is what you and i live for…holidays and traditions. there is nothing better. and throw in babies and making sweet memories at home…..i dont want it to ever end!!!!!
    my favorite fall traditions….baking pumpkin bread and tyler’s chili, our neighborhood BOO game, decorating the front doorstep, reading halloween stories that come out of the big orange box, my mom making the girls’ costumes, finally opening the windows, neighborhood wagon rides and our annual halloween driveway party. ahhh i cant wait!!!!! xoxo

  140. I can’t tell you how much I loved this post. (o: I live in south Texas where we kind of have to manufacture fall too because it doesn’t really feel like it here. I decorate my house and go to the pumpkin patch (which is much like yours) even if it’s almost 90 degrees out. I loved what you said about writing the pages of their childhoods. I’ve been very thoughtful about that as a mom. I only have one, and a boy – I hope for more someday if God has that for us. But I think often about the kind of childhood I want to have for him. All of my decorating and parties and all of the things I do to bring the seasons in, much like fall, are things I hope he grows up and can remember with fondness. That baking pumpkin bread, going to the pumpkin patch, Halloween costumes, and carving parties – were part of traditions that he remembers.

    This year my husband and I were thinking of camping at home with him. With the drought, if we were to go anywhere to camp, we wouldn’t be able to have a fire, so we’ve thought about maybe starting an annual indoor camping trip one night to do during fall.

    Thanks for sharing this. All of your words made me feel warm inside.

  141. With a husband often working on Halloween, it fell to me to take our kids trick or treating….and my sister, who would drive 45 minutes up to our small town to walk with me. My kids are teens now, and not so much into trick or treating. But my sister has little boys who love to dress up, so now I drive the 45 minutes down to her. I love that I still get to share in this childhood excitement!

  142. There is a click the universe that happens in September to let you know that Fall is pending. Whether you’re ready for it or not it just happens. The air becomes crisp and smells fresher. The leaves begin to change slowly at first then they all just fall off their trees. Like shedding away the heaat and welcoming the bone chilling cold.

  143. Every year my husband and I splurge and rent a convertible and put on coats when we put the top down and drive 1.5 hours up to the NC mountains to Blowing Rock, shop all day, eat at our favorite pizza place, and then get in the car and drive for awhile on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s FREEZING usually, but it’s beautiful.

  144. My favorite fall memory from childhood is the annual leaf raking at our church, after which we did a hayride and then burned the leaves to roast hot dogs and marshmallows. Seriously, my favorite night of the year! I struggle a bit like you do, although my challenge is not weather related . . . I grew up in the country on a cattle ranch, where opportunities to celebrate the fall were certainly more abundant than our current suburban habitat. But we MAKE IT WORK, even if we have to have MeeMaw and Paw make their annual pilgrimage to our house to import some fresh country hay bales!

  145. “I feel my power as a mom more–that honor of writing the pages of their childhood. With cozy nights and candles, baking and gift-making, setting the table for holiday meals, and planning–always planning for more opportunities to be together.”

    LOVE THAT! This post made me tear up just a little, especially since this is my first fall as a mom. I love the season changes and I agree that we need to make traditions for our kids! I love what you are doing.

  146. Favorite fall tradition?! So hard to choose! Up here in Ontario, Fall is in full force right now, and it wont let you forget it!! The skies are sparkly blue, mornings crisp, fresh and cold (you can see your breath!) and the leaves… oh the leaves… even out of my office window right now I can see splashes of orange and yellow and red, right downtown in Ottawa. It’s amazing. The smell of wood stoves and spicy/sweet fall baking wafts down every street.

    My all-time favorite fall tradition.. that’s a hard one. When I was a kid, it was definitely the leaf piles! My dad would rake our lawn and stack the leaf pile up HUGE! Then my sister and I, sweater-clad, would jump in it to our hearts’ content. (At which time my Dad would patiently rake the whole thing back up again. Hah!)

    As an adult, my favorite tradition is STILL the leaf jumping! Although baking and crisp fall walks top the list too. Let’s face it – fall is so short, but it rocks so hard!

  147. Favortie fall tradition? That is such a hard one. My dad is in the millitary, so every Summer we move, Fall has always been our “making home” time. I think my favorite tradtion would definitly be pumpkin patches. I can remember ever since I was very little, getting pumpkins, digging out the seeds, carving them with my dad and then eating warms seeds later that night. :)

  148. I am in love with these pumpkin photos. Fall is my absolute favorite season, with all of it’s colors and smells, and flavors. I just wish it lasted longer before the snow started falling around here!

  149. i wrote a similar fall post a few days ago. like you, i am a florida mom trying to show these kids a little seasonal change even if the weather doesn’t play along. here is my effort at creating fall in florida for my babies:)!! http://www.pausebuttonplease.com/2011/10/its-frickin-fall-yall.html

  150. Fall is my favorite season too. Clouds, rain, chilly fall evenings – I just love them. It’s so cosy to be inside. I also love the smell of leaves.
    Your post is brilliant as usual with all those pumpkins:)

  151. PUMPKIN AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP. IT’S LIKE A FALL PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH!

  152. My favorite tradition is “Monkey Day” our very own holiday created by my husband and two kids one year, the Saturday before Halloween, when they decided we all needed presents. I also do a “back to school” cake for each kid every year, with the number of candles for whatever grade they are in. And “The Great Pumpkin” comes to bring presents on Halloween. And the leprechauns arrive with shamrock plants for St. Patty’s Day…I could go on. I guess we do the “tradition thing” up big around here!

  153. I live in Ontario, Canada as well… we have an awesome farm about a fifteen minute drive from us that has a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, and other fun activities… we love to hang there and then pick our pumpkin… and then the carving… and my son always has to pick an awesome Halloween costume… you could say fall for us is Halloween!!! I have to mention too… just a wee bit of excitement when I read about Greenfield Village… I grew up in a town in Ontario that bordered Michigan… we visited Greenfield Village a fair bit!!! And I loved it there!!! :)

  154. I, too, am from Ontario, Canada. Outside of Ottawa so we have the colourful turn of the leaves, the chilly football and soccer games, pumpkin patches, etc. I LOVE IT. My favourite would have to be going to the local apple orchard. We pick apples, do the corn maze, hay wagon ride, and then treat ourselves to hot apple cider and fresh donuts at the little store afterwards. Our Thanksgiving is this coming weekend and I can’t wait!

  155. Been off the grid for a while, but glad to come back & catch up with your life.

  156. I love Fall because it means watching Virginia Tech football with my dad, picking out homecoming dresses with friends, drinking tea in the chill of the mornings, finding new coats and scarves, and best of all, I know my birthday is near!

  157. As of almost 2 years ago, my favorite tradition is Halloween Day. It’s the day my daughter, Georgia, was born.

  158. I love Fall, because it means cooler weather (hear that, Denver weather gods? Come on now…) and sweaters and walks in the chilly air with bundled up kids and dogs and steamy breath and hot chocolate to warm up after our walks. Stew, crockpot meals, and snuggles under quilts. The colors of the leaves.

  159. Baking…and crunching leaves as we walk along. And warm days with sweatshirt-needing nights. And getting back into our (sort of) routine. And having people over for cozy meals. And picking apples and making our applesauce. And I could go on, because I love fall, too. I can’t pick a favorite.

  160. It’s funny because a few years ago I probably wouldn’t have even noticed the change of season from summer to fall…but somewhere along the way, I realized that fall holds so much magic for me! The falling of leaves, fireplace fires, rain, football, pumpkin spice and apple cider, candles…I could seriously go on all day! I don’t know when it became special, but it has! This year I already had a “fall baking fest” where I went bonkers and made everything I could in a weekend that felt like fall! I have a feeling that will be a new tradition. I am also looking forward to a first visit to a pumpkin patch! (yeah…first as an adult…I know I did this as a kid because there is a picture that proves it, but honestly, I don’t remember. I always remember buying our pumpkin out of the big cardboard box at the grocery store). I plan to change that starting with this year!

    Oh, and don’t be jealous – but we had our first fire of the season last night! I live in SoCal so it meant opening every single window in the house…but it was DIVINE and it woke up our imagination and lit our senses in ways that nothing else can. :-)

    Love the post today…love the season…love that I am writing pages in my family’s book one day at a time! And you know what? I love that you and your family are along for the ride!!!!

  161. Love this post! Love this season! I don’t think I can pick just one fall tradition. I love everything this season has to offer, even the cold, cloudy, blustery days. My favorites include going to the pumpkin patch, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, apple picking, watching the leaves change, hot apple cider warming on the stove and filling the house with the sweet and spicy aroma, decorating for Halloween, jumping in a pile of leaves, hanging out by a fire on a chilly night, carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds and scaring the bejesus out of children on Halloween. :)

  162. Oh my GAWD I love this post. It is everything I think and hope when Fall arrives… it’s also my absolute favourite season, and I do everything I can to make sure my girls enjoy it as much as I do. I strive to create memories and traditions for my girls, and hope and pray that they will remember it all fondly in the years to come.

    I can’t pick just *one* fall tradition. We have SO many – all the traditional ones of hikes to look at the changing leaves, pumpkin patches, apple orchards, Halloween celebrations, baking, soups & stews, Thanksgiving (we celebrate both here where we live in Canada and also in Ohio with my Mom in November. Our Thanksgiving is this weekend though!!! nom nom nom!), and I can’t forget BLACK FRIDAY either. There is so much I’m sure I am forgetting as well.. Fall is simply magical!

  163. Pumpkin bread and Pumpkin Patches. Black and orange. And Pumpkin Spiced Lattes. Yum!!!

  164. For some reason I don’t comment often enough, but you must know one thing. Posts like this I am a total sap for… They leave me in tears. Your words are beautiful Kelle! :)

  165. It would have to be Halloween. That is my favorite part of October. My younger brother’s birthday is on Halloween so we always have a huge birthday/Halloween party. I love dressing my son up and in the spirit of it all I dress up too. I love decorating the house, visiting haunted houses, carving pumpkins, and watching scary movies late Halloween night once my son is asleep in bed and I am stealing a couple pieces of candy.

  166. My favorite fall tradition is carving pumpkins and roasting seeds. We get a bunch of friends together and hold a craving contest, although no one ever wins because they all turn out so great. Plus I get all the extra seeds so I can make lots of batches with different flavors. Cinnamon and sugar is my favorite :)

  167. I honestly don’t know if I can pick just one favorite fall tradition. It is my absolute favorite season. The pumpkin patch trip is always a favorite, but so is piling onto the couch with popcorn and cider to watch Hocus Pocus, all squished in together. So is the prep for Halloween night – oh, the anticipation! I am also lucky to have the birthday of my twin boys in October, followed one day later with my husband’s birthday. We have a lot to celebrate during the fall, and I am indeed a lucky woman!

  168. I share your sentiments exactly. Although a little unplanned fall brings my wedding anniversary, my daughter’s birthday and the anticipated birth of our next baby. Even living in a place where I know the next season brings cold and misery I welcome fall with open arms.

  169. My favorite fall tradition is baking yummy goodies full of warm spices and brown sugar that make the house so smell oh so good and taste like… well like fall. :)

  170. The gorgeous trees when their leaves turn the brillant colors of fall the way our Michigan trees do. Did you know there is no actual purpose for leaves to turn colors? It’s just one of God’s gift to us every Fall – love that -and LOVE the picture of Nella looking into the bowl of seeds with that cute “O” face!

  171. My 3.5 is so excited about Halloween this year. And she is so excited about all the leaves that are falling off the trees too. Speaking of leaves, and as a long-time reader of your blog, isn’t it about now that you should be receiving a special parcel from your good cousin (? or friend) in Michigan?!

  172. Growing up my parents never really celebrated seasons or made a big deal out of much other than the important holiday’s like Christmas and New Year’s. I love reading about how your family celebrated and made this time of year special for you. Sure, we picked out a pumpkin for Halloween and went trick-or-treating, but that was about it. Even Thanksgiving wasn’t much of a big deal.

    I want to change all of that for my children. I want to celebrate fall. I want to take them apple picking, go on hay rides and enjoy the sweet smell of apple cider and hot cocoa. Along with the usual pumpkin patch visits, Halloween fun and football madness. I also want to bake with my kids. I want to let them help me and make a mess in the kitchen. I’m excited for Arya to be old enough to understand what it’s all about.

    I love that even though you are thousands of miles away from where you grew up, you still enjoy the same things you did as a kid….even though the area you live in doesn’t invite it. I love the picture of you and the girls carving pumpkins with palm trees in the background.

    I look forward to seeing your wonderful fall moments and imagining what your house smells like with all of the wonderful scents you describe! :)

    Happy Fall-ing to you!!

  173. Beautiful blog and post! Quoted you in my newest post! :)

    allthesillylittlethings.blogspot.com

  174. pumpkin and apple picking in the crisp Pennsylvania air with my family by my side.
    i love your blog. i don’t comment often, but there is always something in your posts that just brings it all full circle for me.
    and i love the girls’ sweaters.

  175. As an Ohio girl living in N.C. I can totally relate to having to create fall memories in spring like weather. We love Halloween in our house. My husband actually proposed to me on Halloween and then years later we were blessed to have our son on Halloween. He came out with orange hair to boot, our little pumpkin.

  176. Apple picking. :o)

    I moved here to Massachusetts from San Diego, California just 4 years ago. Yes, I grew tired of the “perfect weather” and came to a land with 4 seasons….and I couldn’t be happier!

    One of the first traditions I started upon my move here was apple picking. Same family-run orchard every fall, making a big field trip of it with my husband and a group of our friends. We indulge in eating apples the moment we pick ’em (because NOTHING is better than a freshly-picked apple, right off the branch!)…drinking apple cider…buying half a dozen cider donuts…romping around the pumpkin patch…buying something from the market…taking WAY too many pictures…riding the tractor hay ride (NONE of us have kids yet, so we are overgrown, super-excited kids sitting among families).

    A day of apple picking is heaven to me. It’s what I look forward to with the coming of every fall. This year, I was more than eager for summer to end so that Apple Picking Season could arrive. I love me some apples….I love me some New England livin’… :o)

  177. Seriously, you just expressed exactly what I feel in my heart. My heart has been happy lately–just peaceful with life in general. And this post about made me cry (or maybe it’s the crazy hormones and lack of sleep from having a brand.new.baby). So, thank you! Thank you for expressing what I can’t because words are NOT my forte. This post just made me happy.

  178. There is nothing like fall in Michigan! I have to say my favorite part, especially now that I have a child, is preparing for a night of trick or treating and having the costume all figured out for whatever weather we end up with that day. Whether it’s nice, rainy or snowing even we’ll be ready!

  179. Hi Kelle, I am a long time follower of your blog and I have been really inspired by your photographs to do more with photography! I recently entered a photography competition and my photo has been selected as a semi-finalist. It would be amazing if you could vote for my photo, and pass it along to your fans and followers. My photo is the one of the flags! Thank you very much- Ellen Heuer http://www.universitylanguage.com/finalists/?twitter01003-2p

  180. Living in beautiful Missoula, Montana I get to put away my summer clothes and bring out the fluffy sweaters and warm blankets (which I just did today:) I also look forward to our first snowfall and then hate the stuff by February!

  181. There is not a single thing about fall that I don’t love: the weather, the leaves, the sweaters, candles, baking, the return of hearty meals, the decorations…you name it and I’m a fan.

    My favorite fall traditions are probably baking pumpkin chocolate chip bars (a Martha Stewart recipe – just made the season’s first batch on Monday night) and attending a Harvest Party with our kids. Oh, and making jack o’ lanterns out of construction paper and hanging them in the window.

    That first picture of Nella at the pumpkin “patch” – GORGEOUS! Absolutely beautiful.

    And, yes, I couldn’t agree more – babies + fall + holidays = bliss. I am one of those blessed to have had a baby on a fall holiday. My middle child was born right on her due date – Thanksgiving 2008. The best Thanksgiving EVER!!!

  182. I love everything about fall. A couple weeks ago I decorated my house for the season. It looks so great! I love to make different kinds of pancakes for fall. I’ve already made apple cinnamon pancakes and maple walnut ones. Soon I’ll be making pumpkin ones. I love putting the warm flannel sheets on the beds as well as an extra blanket. Love burning fall candles, especially my apple cider one. Tonight I made soup for the first time this season, Lemon Chicken Rice Soup which was perfect for todays rainy day. I also love baking any baked good with pumpkin in it. I especially look forward switching to standard time when I get an extra hour of sleep.

  183. we read a lot of stories about dwarfs….we have long walks in the woods, collecting all things fall {like chestnuts, leaves, moss and acorns}. we do A LOT of crafts as well and we’re having a huge feast in kindergarten where we’re feeding mules, drink warm cider and celebrate all things fall!

    i love that season as well:)

  184. I totally agreee with you about fall. I live in South Carolina, but grew up having cool brightly colored falls. (80 degrees is not condusive to sweaters and boots.) I miss it, but love everyday of showing my kids the comforts of fall in our home. I think your post was everything that my heart feels and my mind thinks–and you translated it beautifully. Thank you for being you.

  185. From South Dakota where fall rocks super hard. But had my first two babies while living in Arizona after college:( I swear I had seasonal depression from lack of changing leaves and crisp, fresh air. Your post could have been me those 6 years in Arizona. Oh the gymnastics I went through to create season changes!

    Best memories: As a child, hayrides, cider and carmel apples on the farm. My grandma always whipping up the best homemade costumes. As young adult, Saturday morning college football games and performing at halftime in marching band. As an adult, everyone going home to the farm for the Pumpkin Festival and taking over the tiny town to celebrate fall. Thank you for the warm, fuzzy post:)

  186. Our favorite fall tradition…our annual Apple Day with best friends picking apples followed by hot chili and yummy baked apples…couldn’t be more perfect!

  187. I love this post! I adore fall … busting out the hallowe’en decorations and squishng my hand inside pumpkins and dumping pillow cases of candy onto the living room floor and jumping into a huge pile of leaves and buying new school clothes and supplies… and I can’t wait to create memories that last with my own little ones!! My little girl’s first hallowe’en is this year and although she won’t remember it, I will excitedly dress her up as a carrot and pose her with our pet bunny, give out candy at my parents’ house, watch a spooky movie, make apple pie, celebrate with family and decorate my house as always! Your post puts so many of my feelings about fall and hallowe’en into words and I love that! Happy fall!

  188. As the mother of two boys, I have often wondered if my husband and I have done a good enough job at creating memories for them. It has always seemed to me that this must be so much easier with girls. They are more sentimental, aren’t they? Well, my oldest son proved me wrong lately as he was packing for his first semester in college and mentioned that what he will miss most about home are the soups and stews that would simmer all day long on Saturdays in the fall and winter months. He mentioned how we all anticipated the moment the creation was revealed, would tear off a piece of fresh baked bread, and dunk it in for the first taste. Those meals were the best, very informal, and always full of laughter. I died a little inside when he told me this. He then further stamped my “mom card” when he asked yesterday if we could go apple picking during the weekend that we visit him at colldge for parents weekend (He attends Virginia Tech and apple picking season is in full effect in that area). He reminded me how much fun we had with this activity when he and his brother were little tikes. And then to seal the deal, he asked if I would bring my crock pot and make him one of my famous stews for dinner when we return from apple picking. Yeah, we have created memories that last. So I say to you: make those messes, fill those blank pages and make those memories with your children that they will carry for the rest of their lives.

  189. Mmmm trying out new dessert recipes using our ‘ole faves like pumpkin, chocolate, caramel, sweet potatoes, etc. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing my wee ones put warm yumminess in their tummies!

  190. Love your blog and absolutely loved this post. This part especially:

    The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home.

    Thanks for reminding me that I am the author. At least for the few chapters. :-)

    Fall Traditions – making apple butter!! It is so much fun!

  191. I love this post! and your babies are absolutely precious!!!

  192. Oh, this is a great post.

    I swear fall is the warm up for Christmas.

    Squash soup, stews, pumpkin bread and roasted seeds, carving pumpkins, painting pumpkins, hanging fall bunting. Making cookies and using SO much sprinkles. Sharing the season with so many friends at the house, over cider, at the patch, and at festivals. Gearing up for Halloween. Making BIG piles of leaves and jumping into them. Jumping into someone else’s big pile of leaves. Collecting pine cones and acorns for crafting. Ah, it goes on.

    Breathing it in and loving it. Thanks again for sharing your traditions with us.

    -Jennifer

  193. A friend introduced me to your blog recently! Love everything about it. Your kids are adorable and this post is making me miss home. Fall is my favorite time of year and Italy is just not cutting it in the leaf changing department right now. It’s been in the 80s for a month and all I keep thinking about are pumpkins! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your photos!!

  194. My Mum and brother’s birthdays are on Halloween….yep, Nan and Mum both had a baby, on a holiday, in the fall!!! :o) What it meant for me was Halloween has always been a huge birthday celebration for our family. I remember when we were little going to my Nan’s house and having BIG family gatherings, we’d play bingo and some funny card game which I can’t remember the name of and then we’d all wrap up warm and walk up to the local park for fireworks (Guy Faulks Night) Happy happy memories!

    Andrea x

  195. Pumpkin bread, spiced candles, table settings, pumpkin carving/painting, soups, cool weather… love it all!! I love your quote “The story my kids will tell someday depends on me. I am writing their book, and I want their childhood chapters full of traditions and stories and memories of the comforts of home.” I love that and totally agree. I have a 5 month old and I have been decorating, baking and doing all the things that my mom ALWAYS did for us and it made us happy! I think my little bit will enjoy it just as much one day! :) Happy Friday!

  196. Hello! I recently discovered your blog and have been reading your wonderfully well-worded and beautifully pictured posts! I too am originally from Michigan, but have been living in Naples for the past two years. I desperately miss autumn! Your post has inspired me to follow through with “northern” traditions even though we’re still donning shorts.

    Another tidbit we have in common – in May, my husband and I welcomed our first baby – a beautiful little girl with designer genes : )

  197. Fall is my very favorite season. My mom says it’s because I’m an October baby, but my sister was born in July, and it’s her favorite, too:)
    My favorite holiday tradition is taking my girls to the pumpkin patch. There’s a fantastic one about an hour and a half from our house, with a cornfield maze, tractor ride, scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting and every kind of pumpkin and gourd you can possibly imagine. It’s the best thing ever. And the one year we didn’t get to go? My girls won’t let me live that one down.

  198. So, I’m behind in my “Small Things” readings and just now reading this weeks’ posts… and before I tell you one of my favorite fall traditions, I have to admit that when I got to the picture of Lainey drinking her hot chocolate with marshmallows, I got up from the computer, went into the kitchen and made myself a cup…complete with marshmallows.

    Anyway – my most recent fall tradition happens on Halloween night. My husband makes quesadilla’s and taco-soup and we dip our quesadilla strips into our soup while we hand out candy.

    Of course, last year we had to take our (then 1-yr-old) daughter trick-or-treating and that interrupts the soup eating, but we still did it – and will do it again this year. It will be our fourth year eating that specific dinner on Halloween night.

  199. I looove FALL! Just made my first batch of pumpkin pankcakes this morning. My husband and I are expecting our first this January and I can’t wait to take him to the cider mill, farmer markets and pumpkin patches next year!

  200. Every year I wait for your posts on pumpkin bread. Do share your recipe!

  201. moved from Orlando back to North Georgia back at the end of August….miss that gorgeous grass in my Orlando yard….thick, carpet-like grass like you’ve shown in these pictures…..

  202. First, I have to know, where did you get Laney’s headband she was wearing at the pumpkin patch? It’s adorable!!

    Some of my favorite fall traditions, are hayrides at the pumpkin patch, and going to the “mountains” to look at the leaves. In north Georgia there are many fun things to do, including Octoberfest in a little german town called Helen. And of course, gotta love the boots, sweaters, cooler weather and fall candles.:)

  203. congratulations, you have two beautiful girls. I admire you so much. Greetings from Guatemala

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