Usually I'm fighting the arrival of fall with every fiber of my being. I don't want to give up the warm weather or the sunshine, and there's usually so much fun in summer that I dread getting into a "boring" routine of weekends spent at home. But you know, this year, I'm not fighting so hard. I'm actually a little happy to see fall arrive, aside from significantly cooler weather and the knowledge of what comes after fall. But even still, this year is decidedly different.
I think there are a lot of reasons for that. First, the end of our summer was incredibly busy. Most of September hasn't been any better. We spent almost every weekend doing something. I can't even tell you how many weeks of church we missed because we were on the road somewhere or getting ready to leave on Sunday morning. We probably could have tried harder a couple of times, but when everything is so busy already, dragging ourselves out of bed early only to rush around and spend the time at church thinking about what I have to do the second I get home so we can get on the road just didn't sound appealing. It was nice to be back yesterday and just sort of chill during that hour. And it was nice knowing that with the exception of this coming weekend, we should be back there on a regular basis from now until at least late February. I like seeing family and I like doing fun things, but I also like my house and I like getting things done, and neither of those things had much of a fighting chance for the last few months.
I totally feel like we failed at a few things this summer. We didn't swim in our pool enough, we didn't take warm after-dinner walks as a family, we didn't go to enough playgrounds, we didn't go to any festivals, and only hit up the zoo a couple times. We were either a) not home enough; b) busy with other things; or c) too tired to bother. Obviously the nausea and exhaustion that accompanied the last two months of summer didn't really increase my motivation to do much of anything. The busy weekends were probably a nice distraction at times, but being able to nap and rest at will would have been pretty helpful, too. So while I'm bummed that we didn't do nearly all of the fun stuff I'd like to have done, at the same time it's nice to put that behind us and take a little of the pressure off. When fall comes, I pretty much have one thing on the to do list as far as family activities--we need to go to a pumpkin patch. Generally that's pretty doable. If we get in some bonus stuff, like a fall festival (we'll be missing the one I always want to go to this weekend--bummer), whipping up some fall-ish treats, or playing in a pile of leaves (which won't be in our yard, thankfully), then great. But the pumpkin patch is the big one and we have a handful of weeks to accomplish that. We'll have things to do in the meantime--probably a college football game in a couple weeks, possibly a visit from my oldest friend after that, and a trip to Buffalo in late October to see my cousin who will be in town--but truly, it will be so nice to just have time at home to accomplish a few things and relax a bit.
Obviously this year things are also a little different because we have a baby on the way. Every day, week, and month that passes is a little closer to finding out more about this baby and eventually meeting him or her. That itself is exciting and good motivation to keep things moving. I certainly don't want to wish this time away, of course, because I want to enjoy our last months alone with Jacob. When he's acting like a normal, pleasant child, he's really fun to hang out with these days. When he's not, well...you know, time can't go quickly enough at those moments! But we've had some good moments lately and I know that someday I'll look back at this phase (with rose-colored glasses, of course!) and think how special it was to have that time with only one child.
It's also nice to know that this winter will be broken up a bit by baby preparations and eventually the baby's arrival. It will add a little boost to the part of the year that's normally the hardest for me--waiting for the weather to break and start heading toward spring. I keep hoping that we'll get another freakish March this time around so I'll have nice enough weather to go for walks in. But even if that doesn't happen, I'll have the best distraction possible.
But I do love so much about fall--the comfortable weather, the decorations, the foods, the leaves, the coziness--and it's nice to know that's all coming. Beyond that is our trip to Florida, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then the countdown to baby! There are so many other good things to look forward to in the coming months that fall is just another part of the fun. And for once, it's nice to leave summer behind and embrace fall the way I should. Here we go...