FINALLY! A season packed full of fun, with every.single.item crossed off my seasonal to-do list. After the Summer of Torrential Rains, I really needed a few months of good weekend weather. We were sorely in need of family time and we made sure to pack the autumn season full of it.
Pick apples at Butler’s Orchard (and maybe some raspberries too?).Done! Well – not at Butler’s, because it was closed on the day we wanted to go. And not berries – we were too late in the season. But the kids and I drove out to Bluemont with some friends on Columbus Day and enjoyed a day of apple picking at Great Country Farms, followed by a hike to Bears Den Overlook – a lovely way to play hooky from work.
Hike Big Meadows at Shenandoah National Park – moving this one over from the summer list.Done! I cashed in my birthday rights for a day trip out to Luray, and we had a picnic (hot soup in the chilly fall air) and hiked Big Meadows and the Story of the Forest Trail. Big Meadows was absolutely magical!
Roll up my sleeves and do some fall baking with Peanut.Calling this done, even though Peanut only helped with taste-testing this time (ha!). I had fun whipping up a cranberry-apple spice cake with maple buttercream and candied cranberries to take to the neighbors’ house for Thanksgiving dessert. And there’ve been several batches of sourdough bread, sourdough rolls, and spiced apple cornbread – yum.
Catch up on the 52 Hike Challenge before it gets really cold.Done! Well – I’m calling it done. The next hike I do will be hike 52 – wahoo! (I’m saving it for something special.) I have loved spending so much time on the trails this year.
Read cozy mysteries – as many as possible.Calling this done. I have had a great year of reading, now that it’s almost over, and there’s no season like fall for curling up with a blanket, a big cup of tea and a cozy mystery. I visited with Lady Georgianna and Hercule Poirot, two of my favorite sleuths, and had fun experiencing a different kind of mystery novel in The Floating Admiral.
Run the Wonder Woman virtual 5K(and maybe the Alexandria Turkey Trot). Done! Not the Turkey Trot – I was too busy cooking all day – but I did manage to squeeze in 3.1 miles on the Potomac Yards trail for the Wonder Woman virtual 5K run. I made the plans to do the run “with” my fellow Wonder Woman fan, Katie – she got it done sooner than I did, but I made it happen eventually!
Volunteer in Peanut’s classroom.Done! I made a goal that I would be more present and visible at school this year, especially for Peanut – Nugget is such an easygoing, happy-go-lucky guy that he doesn’t really need me at school, but Peanut does. It’s been a commitment, but I have been around a lot more in Peanut’s class and I think it’s been helpful. I am a class mom, so I helped to lead Back to School Night for the kindergarten parents, co-hosted the class Halloween party (and was in charge of the Halloween art project – superhero pumpkins!), chaperoned a field trip to a nearby Colonial farm, and helped serve muffins and open applesauce cups during the Togetherness Feast before Thanksgiving. Get back into Barre3.I could have done better with this, but I’m calling it done. Getting to class has proven too hard to fit in, but I signed up for Barre3 Online and have done some workouts from the comfort of my bedroom. Hoping to keep this going over the winter – I really do enjoy Barre3, I just don’t enjoy the fact that my kids are already awake before I have to leave for the 5:45 a.m. class.
Pumpkin picking, of course!This is an easy one to put on the list, because it’s guaranteed to happen. We went back to Wegmeyer Farms this year and the kids had fun choosing their pumpkins and snacking on apple cider donuts. The best!
Take the kids trick-or-treating (they already have their costumes!)at Mount Vernon and in the neighborhood again.Another easy one, because Halloween is coming whether I’m on my game or not! We actually didn’t make it to the Mount Vernon trick-or-treating this year, but the neighborhood block party was bumping as usual.
How about that for a seasonal list?! It was a great fall. In addition to all of the fun above, I changed jobs and we hosted my parents for Thanksgiving. We really did need this bright and happy season, and I feel a bit more human again after a summer that left us all pretty emotionally banged up. Here’s hoping we can keep this momentum going and get more joy and more family bonding in over the winter.