Blammo. It’s Decorative Gourd Season.

Since we don’t have color changes in Southwest Florida and our temperatures don’t drop until later in the year, I’m left to rely on other indicators of Fall’s arrival–namely the cinnamon broom’s first appearance at local grocery stores. What’s a cinnamon broom, you ask? It’s nothing more than a bundle of sticks tied together in the shape of a broom and soaked in something I presume is not real cinnamon, but still–I’m a sucker for this sort of seasonal tchotchke. As all good classical conditioning goes, rewards follow the broom’s debut. Rewards start small with simple rituals like baking pumpkin bread or dog-earring catalogues for kid Christmas gifts, but they build exponentially–cider, costumes, hay bales, apple pie, company, Christmas mailers…

With that said, I walked into Fresh Market Saturday morning, completely forgetting that September was only hours away, and BAM. There it was–the cinnamon broom, it’s spicy scent overtaking the entire store and instantly hypnotizing me into a state of fall drunkenness, so much that I forgot my original intention for walking into Fresh Market and instead walked out holding only one thing–the broom.

Excitedly I took the broom home, leaving a trail of broken twigs that broke off from it along the way, and hung it in our laundry room. I forgot that cinnamon brooms shed, but all good things in life come with some sort of sacrifice. Brett, however, does not share my celebration for the cinnamon broom. In fact, when he saw the trail of broken twigs, he rolled his eyes and mumbled some tsk-tsk. I think I heard, “Oh God, not that thing again.” And today, it’s missing. The broom is GONE. I smell The Boot War of 2011 all over again.

So it has begun. Even if it’s initiated by nothing more than a manufactured cinnamon-soaked broom. The light seems warmer, and the quiet invitation to make and sit and dream and read and decorate and sip and gather grows clearer.

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We spent the last few days accordingly–with friends and good food, babies slung on hips, a dreamy pink beach sunset one night and a warm gold field one the next.

Snippets from home, beach and Koreshan State Park this past week:

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She’s talking on the phone while she stirs. Multi-tasker.
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Good stuff. September holds pure potential for the year’s last quarter. I dream of cozy, warm, delcious, crisp, creative, homey things. Now if I can just get my kids out of the pool.

And find my cinnamon broom.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Blammo is right. Holy cow these are dreamy. Bring on Fall!!!

  2. I notice Dash always rocks the neck beads ( do you call it a necklace on a boy?) I’ve noticed this trend on other babies too. When mine were that age–20 something years ago, it seems I was told that was a no no because they might choke. So I am curious. I am sure you wouldn’t do anything unsafe, so was I duped or are they only for photos?

  3. you’re like me- I grew up in Florida so I like the ‘other lifestyle’ of hay bales, pumpkins (if only they didn’t get moldy after 3 days) and decorating. It’s hard to wait until that first day in Oct. when I can officially take everything out of the ‘Fall boxes’

  4. The light in these photos makes me crave fall as well- beautiful golden shades! Fall in NYC is a magical time and I am definitely looking forward to it!

  5. i always love your picture, but today i must say they are just WONDERFUL!!! <3

  6. Don’t think these thoughts quite yet!! It’s still warm in Saskatchewan and we’d like to keep it that way! Our fall is just too short, but I’d like to extend it on the end side only.

  7. Cathy, the beads that Dash is so gorgeously rocking are amber teething beads. It’s suppose to help babies teeth smoothly, with less pain and discomfort. (something about the amber in contact with the skin). They are knotted individually, so if the necklace breaks, only one bead will come off. Also, they are designed to break fairly easy, reducing the risk of choking. Hope that helps!

    Kelle, your pictures, as usual, are breathtaking! Thank you for sharing =) All the best for fall – here in NZ, we are looking forward to long days and warm nights!

  8. Your children are beautiful! Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures.

  9. Would it be wrong to admit that I remember The Boot War of 2011?

  10. Your pictures always amaze me, but this particular batch is particularly stunning!

  11. Fabulous pictures, as usual, but I just had to tell you I ADORE that picture of Latte! Not that I’m a dog lover or anything. 😉

  12. I love reading your blog, Kelle – you’re a terrific writer.

  13. And by the way, Nella on the phone while making a pie is TOO cute!

  14. love the ones of Nella baking, esp multitasking. The lighting is gorgeous and glad you’re welcoming fall :)! Loved these batch of photos as usual, and the one of Lainey with Dash was precious too! – Reem,

  15. Oh Kelle, your words never fail! This post made me giggle (:

  16. Can’t wait to see your Halloween preparations this year…you really rock holidays! Dash is sitting up now..big boy. Nella looking so dreamy amongst the wildflowers and Lainey growing into such a beautiful young lady who is a natural with babies.

  17. You left Fresh Market without chocolate-covered animal crackers?! How is that even possible?

  18. Your stories are fabulous and inspiring. Your family is riveting and splendid looking. The adventures you have are dream like, but your photos are GLORIOUS! Have a Happy Labor Day with many blessings. Tia

  19. Such beautiful photos! Love, love, love. Happy September to you, and good luck getting the kids out of the pool! 😉

  20. Considering Hubster hates when I put cinnamon in anything, if I brought home such a thing as a Cinnamon Broom – it would be WW3 around here :) Lucky I’ve never seen one in Australia.

  21. That picture of Lainey on the bridge is incredible! I have such a hard time letting go of summer as the season is so short here and I feel like Fall lasts forever.

    Good luck finding that broom!

  22. Beautiful pictures. The golden field pictures are amazing. Happy Fall!

  23. For me it’s the Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice K-Cups that herald the beginning of Fall. I drive everyone crazy with it! :)Gorgeous pictures. Can’t believe Dash is sitting up already. They grow way too fast.

  24. Dash and Nella look so much alike in the picture of him on the beach and the one of her right after that! They have the same little nose! :)

  25. I love September.
    Love, love, love it.
    I am not going to lie though, I do cry like a baby on the first day of school.
    Growing up is hard.

  26. I put out my “autumn” scented Wallflowers from Bath and Body Works almost 2 weeks ago and I am in hyperdrive ready for fall! Yesterday I heard the first elk bugle in the neighborhood, so it is officially “fall” in this neck of the woods. Bring it on! (And I totally saw the cinnamon brooms at the grocery store last week too!)

  27. I adore all these pics! I definitely see the resemblance between Nella and Dash lately! Your kids are adorable! Really. :) Can’t wait for Fall as well! :) Hope you found your broom! Ha! :)

  28. Your photos are always breathtaking–especially these baking shots! What is it with little ones and baking?? :)

  29. Coming from New England, I always wondered how Southerners marked the change in seasons- now I know: the cinnamon broom!Beautiful pics…

  30. Breathtaking photos as usual, Kelle. Thank you for sharing.

    – Erin

  31. Love baking with my little girl, she has the same apron as Nella. :-)

  32. She rolls out pie dough? What a sweet sweet girl. These pics are SO magical. Definitely “fally”. :)

  33. You know it’s fall in Florida when Publix busts out the cinnamon brooms (!!) Or when football season starts. Heck yes.

  34. I love the pictures. They truly tell me something.

    thanks for posting them,

    hugs from jakarta :-)

  35. EEEK! I love the FL fall light. MUST get back. ASAP. Maybe for Christmas?

  36. Love the photo of Nella rolling dough, adorable. Yes, we do have to create fall here in Fl. In addition to cinnamon brooms starbucks brought out their pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin bread already. We move back to Maine in 3 days and i am SO excited for a real fall and winter.

  37. Love the photo of Nella rolling dough, adorable. Yes, we do have to create fall here in Fl. In addition to cinnamon brooms starbucks brought out their pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin bread already. We move back to Maine in 3 days and i am SO excited for a real fall and winter.

  38. Oh my gosh, Nella rolling out dough and chatting on the phone – so flipping cute.

  39. Your pictures are amazing!!

  40. those images are so dreamy! bring it, FALL!

  41. Please tell me you have seen the McSweeney’s piece on decorative gourds! If not, you should look it up. It’s called, “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, M*****F*****.” I think of it every time I hear or see the words “decorative gourds.” Too funny.

  42. beautiful photos ~

  43. I never tire of looking at your sweet children’s pictures. I am still waiting for your clothing line to come out. Love your styling!!

  44. The pictures of baby boy admiring his shoes is so cute, it breaks my heart. As does, the picture of Nella stirring and her sturdy little feet.

  45. Long time reader, first time commenter here. I just had to say that the picture of Laney dancing on the bridge made my eyes bug out of my head. We’re talking huge canvas print as focal point in the room bug out. The beauty of childhood summed up in one photo.

  46. I’m so excited for the seasons to change myself. Being an Iowa girl, the weather will change here soon, and I’m elated that I can start wearing boots and sweaters in the coming weeks. Now you have me all excited to start decorating my house for Fall! Yippee skippy! Happy Tuesday!

  47. So many beautiful pictures like always! I wish it felt like fall a bit. I am a northern girl moved to Oklahoma. I miss crisp fall mornings. At least it will feel like fall in December :)

  48. Your children are GORGEOUS! And so precious.. I love these photos!

  49. Such great pictures. I agree with every one. Your children are beautiful. Nella always steals my heart. Lainey is just so beautiful and graceful. Little Dash is so loved. They really are soooo cute.

  50. Gah!!! Those sweet faces!! I think the only thing that keeps me sane (because I want to squeeze them), is the fact that Nella reminds me so much of Nora!

    The broom…and Brett…Hahahahaha!!!

    I changed my summer porch decor to fall on September 1st…could.not.wait!

    Also can’t wait to see Hampton Halloween Costumes x 3…Eeeeek :)

  51. I am so happy when I see moms letting their kids cook with them! With a teaching background I know just how much learning takes place during cooking if we allow it. I can’t wait to have little kiddos in the kitchen with me!

  52. Awesome photos & loving this post!
    Tejas love,

  53. Oh my gosh, Nella in that apron is so cute! I love baking with little kids, mostly because I find the ones I babysit for are only in it for licking the bowl!!

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  55. Kelle – I saw your interview now forever ago on GMA, and vowed to read your memoir. Between all the other priorities of life, I forget my self-promise until I happened upon the book at our local bookshop in Lakeview (Chicago) only two weeks ago. Since starting, I could not put down the book. Understanding your memoir was written by a mother of child with special needs, I want to thank you for your honesty and human quality of your words. As a woman who had no intentions of becoming a mother, let alone a single mother, I related fully with the pain and difficulty the first few hours, days, weeks, and months a child’s birth can create. Thank you for providing me with the words and insight I could never fully communicate to those close to me. And, most importantly, showing me that acceptance of the unexpected is the best first step.

  56. Love:

    * little peach fuzz legs by mushroom
    * big sister carrying little brother
    * broom wars
    * Nella’s profile that really never changes
    * you

  57. Amazing photos! And can we please have your cherry pie recipe?! 😉

  58. I saw this and thought of you (or your blog rather, since I don’t actually know you):

    I think you will LOVE IT!.

    I also saw, and then MADE THIS, and thought of you: Do it, it’s awesome!

  59. I am reading your blog your job so good and informatics every visitor.!


  60. Kelle….
    I love this Blog, and your zest for life!! It is contagious!! I awoke just this morning feeling tired and self pity was lurking about. But then I came here!! Somehow, almost magically, I feel better!! Thanks. 😉

  61. I saw this and immediately thought of you:

    I love fall!

  62. You make seriously beautiful children!! : )

  63. Your children are so lovely. I love to see pictures of Nella. She is a beautiful little girl that looks quite spunky! Her smile is contagious!!

  64. I LOVE these photos!!!

  65. I couldn’t enter the Dollar General while pregnant because of the cinnamon broom. Took me right to my knees every time.

  66. many of these photos are frame worthy! I love the one of Lainey on the bridge… *sigh* and the shroom one w/ the chuck taylors :)

  67. Did you see this? – The painting, by Tazia Fawley, was accepted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after it was recommended by Heart and Sold, a charity which promotes the artwork of people with Down Syndrome.


  68. Nella is so beautiful. I love these pictures.

  69. I love the photo of Lainey carrying Dash. It’s perfect.

  70. When I see your Florida life I am reminded of Key Largo. Gotta love Humphrey Bogart.

  71. Thank you for sharing your birth story of Nella! I posted it for all to read on my fb page….. a chance to become as enriched as I was through your sharing. These pictures are SO precious!!! I’ve only gotten this far on your blog- going backwards. You are a beautiful soul!

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