November.

Man did I pick the best time ever to be on maternity leave, Halloween through New Years?  I win.

I love that Miles is going to be an autumn baby.  One more thing to add to my list of reasons I love this time of year.

The weather here has been super warm still, in the high 70’s.  That’s set to change on Thursday.  It looks like Fall is coming Thursday with some rain and then highs in the low 60’s for the foreseeable future (what you didn’t know this blog is now a weather blog?)  I told Mr. A that I bet Miles comes with Fall.  A nice rainy day would be a great time to come into the world.

I had a doctors appointment today and I’m 2 cm dilated, which means good things and nothing at all, really.  It means he’s coming soon.  It doesn’t mean that we have a real time frame to speak of…. he’ll come when he comes.  Blah blah blah.

Until then I’ll be bouncing up and down on this exercise ball and repeating the phrase “Have this baby.  Have this baby.”

Oh September.

Welcome to my third annual love fest of Fall.  In 2009, my I love fall post was written August 20th... that’s how much I love fall.  I love it when it’s very clearly still Summer.  To each her own, right?  Well, it’s September 1st and even though it’s supposed to be 90 degrees on Friday I can feel the intensity of the summer heat starting to fade.  The nights are cooler.  The mornings are chillier.  Fall is definitely on its way and I am so completely excited about it.

Things I love about Fall:

  • I am having a fall baby.  That means that I am coming INTO the season that will bring Miles.  That’s pretty wonderful.  I have been LOVING finding him Fall clothes for when he’s here.  My favorite right now:
  • While most of my pre-Miles clothes do not fit there is one exception: cardigans.  I have been pulling out all my old sweaters and cardigans again and I can’t wait to pair them back up with my boots and skinny jeans… did I mention I 100% own maternity skinny jeans?  Oh!  And scarves!   What is it about fall clothing that just makes me swoony?

Then there is:

  • baking.  Especially pie now that I’ve figured out the whole home-made crust deal.
  • Football
  • Fall television (Parenthood!  Cannot wait!)
  • Acoustic music that just feels good when it’s cooler out.  The Weepies?  John Mayer?  Alexi Murdoch?  All of it.
  • Apples!  Apples and cinnamon!  Candles, pie, all of it.  The smell is just too wonderful.
  • Pumpkin!  Pie, lattes, beer.  Oh Pumpkin beer how I miss you.
  • Coffee shop dates
  • Crockpot Meals
  • My baby shower (and subsequent visit from my Bestie)

Oh Fall I’ve missed you.

 

What are your favorite things about fall??

And November rolls in.

November is shaping up to be my new favorite month.  Why you ask?  Cause it’s NOT October.  Recap:  October was hard.

However, November?  November is going to be fabulous.  Between some days off work (Holler Veteran’s Day, holler), Thanksgiving, getting into a routine again, and having some time to breathe… I have high hopes.

November is going to be about moving forward.  Away from October and poor choices.  Away from failed relationships.  Away from being so busy I felt like I was drowning.  Away from being SO overbooked that I turned into THAT person that flakes on things and people and love because I am overwhelmed, exhausted, and cranky.

My mantra this year was supposed to be “Balance”.  I’m reclaiming that.  I’m finding my balance again. 

I am READY for the 7th, when it gets dark early again.  I am ready to hunker down in my new apartment (and show you how it’s shaping up).  I am ready for reconnecting with family and friends who also had a crazy stressful October.

What are YOU excited to leave behind in October? What’s coming up that you are super stoked about?

October has been Freaking Hard.

My nails are little stubs of sore; tried and true way to gauge my stress level. (hint: high)

Fall is still my favorite time of the year, I swear it is, but I need to adjust better.  I need to get from treading water to feeling calm in the water.  I am completely overwhelmed.  I need more sleep and more coffee.  (Ok.  That’s a lie.  I would probably explode if I had more coffee.  I’m no Nico.)
And it’s not just me.  The sads seem to be going around lately.  So many people are overwhelmed and disconnected.. and just barely getting through the day.

So here’s how this is going to work.  I am going to tell you why I’m stressed.  Then I am going to counter that with some things I am grateful for and some things I am going to do to stress less. I will have a minimum of one more thing I am grateful for than stressed out about, because there is nothing better than a reminder that the good still outweighs the bad, even when life is crazy hard.

Why I am a Basketcase:

  • Moving.  Until last night, I couldn’t walk in my living room because my couch was in pieces.  This may have made me cry last night.  It has been insanely NOT relaxing to come home after work.  My home is my refuge.  Alternatively, my messy, disorganized, full of boxes, apartment is the reason I had a stress migraine yesterday.  
  • Moving II.  As with any move, all of a sudden there are about 10 different storage, electrical, organizational problems that require shelves and bins and those over the toilet-cabinet-dealies.  What this translates to is money.  Money for things I don’t particularly want to spend money on, but as point 1 explained, not being organized and living in boxes is making me MISERABLE.  
  • Our GENIUS Governor.  My state is full of idiots; but the winner of the idiot contest is Arnold Asshat Schwarzenegger.  He line-item-vetoed a hell of a lot of programs Friday night; programs that effect children and families.   The cut also means 15% of my agency’s budget.  That’s 2-4 jobs.  My job isn’t safe.  Here’s what I wrote for our advocacy flyer about it one of the programs he cut:

Funding for CalWORKS was included in the budget to protect working families who rely on subsidized child care while working towards self-sufficiency. The Governor’s decision to blue line Stage 3 CalWORKS child care unnecessarily creates increased unemployment and dependence on cash aid during a recession. The child care subsidy is available to working parents who also contribute towards the cost of child care through mandatory parent fees. The program is wrongly framed as welfare and misrepresented in an effort to distract from the negative consequences to working families.

  •  Not taking time for myself.  I haven’t.  I haven’t spent a night home without plans in the past two weeks.  And, at the current rate my next “Night Off” isn’t for another 2 weeks.  Something has to give.  Or I’m going to LOSE MY SHIT.
  • Los Angeles.  I am supposed to be going to LA this weekend.  It is one of my friends birthdays, and I had every intention of going, but then I moved.  Now the idea of driving down to LA is giving me an anxiety attack because it requires two things I am running low on: time and funds.  I could probably sleep all weekend.   I should probably sleep all weekend; but we’ll see.  I have this people pleasing part of me that HATES disappointing people.  And there is more than one person who would be disappointed if I don’t show.. and my brain hurts. 

 Ok, now that that is off my chest.  What’s good?

  1. I absolutely LOVE living next door to Clarke.  He’s the best guy friend for a reason you know.  I love it not just because he does thing like wire my internet and put things back together, but I like that when he left my place last night he said “Ok, see you tomorrow.”  Cause we will.  It’s nice.
  2. I have TWO amazing friends coming over tonight (with wine) to help put the home-y touches on my place.  It’ll be so great and really needed.  I am so freaking grateful for friends who hear me when I say I am drowning and they swim out to me.  I feel so loved on by them.  
  3. My friend in LA love me too, and they’ll understand if I don’t make it to LA this weekend.  Next month will be infinitely better for travel.
  4. Did you know that I have (at last count) SEVEN people flying in to the Bay Area to hang out with my for FOUR days on New Years Eve?  I mean, seriously.  Knowing that something THAT epic is on it’s way is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.
  5. Monday Night dinners with the Grandparents.  I love them SO much.  For reals.  Bonus is the fact that Grams is on the last season of Gilmore Girls so we can make references to Friday Night dinners and giggle while Grandpa rolls his eyes.  Love.
  6. Next week I am going to a conference for work, where I’ll be presenting a workshop on something I am super geeky about.  Yes, this is an added stress, but more importantly it’s three days away in a quiet place and I can totally catch up on sleep.  No commute needed.

Action Plan.

  1. I am not going to Los Angeles this weekend.  Instead, I am going to rest.  Organize.  And start next week rested and ready to go.
  2. I am going to plan a trip in November that will make up for this one.  I will bring the birthday boy extravagant late-birthday gifts that will make up for my absence. 
  3. I am going to drink wine with my girlfriends tonight and start making my place feel like home again.

Ok, your turn.  What’s stressing you out?  Tell me all about it, but don’t forget to balance it out with a gratitude list.  Deal?

             

      A couple of things I am loving the hell out of.

      I don’t know if you haven’t hear yet, but Sara Bareilles released her sophomore album Tuesday.  And it’s absolutely incredible.  Proof that there is still amazing women artists out there to compete with the autotuned Ke$ha and Katy Perry.  My new favorite song is this one, it’s called Uncharted and I “might be” driving around with it on repeat singing to it at the top of my lungs.

      Second, I am have read three books in the past week.  One of them in one night, last night.  Curled up on my couch with tea and a kitty in my lap.  The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.  Don’t read the description on The Hunger Games, it sounds lame.  But it’s good.  Trust me.  (books 12-14 of 2010, if you’re keeping track)

       Thirdly, it’s FOOTBALL SEASON.  I cannot wait for Monday night.  I can’t wait to kick Peter’s ass in fantasy football this weekend.  (And the consequent twitter smack talking that will take place)

      Blog, meet Ryan Mathews.  He’s kind of a big deal.  He’s what’s going to make or break the Chargers season.  No pressure.

      And finally.  I am PUMPED for New Years.  Wanna know why?  Because Nora and Ashley are looking into coming to San Francisco for it.  That’s crazy.  I’m so excited I can’t breath.  If you want to come too?  Let me know.  :)

      What are you excited about?! 

      September.

      Fall is my favorite.  And even if we didn’t get more than a couple days of “summer” here this year… I can feel my soul sigh with relief with the coming of Fall.  And before you tell me it’s far to early to be celebrating fall, I would like to point out that last year I did my Ode to Fall post August 20th.  At least I waited until September this year.  So bite me. 

      One of the first things that happens in Fall is Soul Weekend.  Oh Soul Weekend.  Soul Weekend is with Olivia.  Every Labor Day weekend we spend the whole 3-days doing the things that restart and center our souls.  There is copious amounts of coffee.  Long bumbling walks.  Painting.  Dance parties.  Car drive serenades.  Reading.  Napping.  Laughing (usually some tears too). 

      Soul weekend has become a sort of homage to the amazing friendship we have.  We’re soul mate best friends.  We find ourselves in each other.. two people looking at the world through one heart.  I am more myself around Olivia than anyone on the planet.  

      We’re also going to the de Young museum in Golden Gate park to see the Impressionist exhibit.  Impressionism is my favorite.  I love Renoir more than life.   And I am really excited to see this Degas:

      I love fall.

      Sweaters.

      (cute, right?!)

      Tea.

      Football.

      Cool and dark evenings wrapped in a warm blanket.

      Apple pie.

      The smell of cinnamon. 

      Pumpkin anything: beer, pancakes, pie, muffins, lattes.  I’m all about it.

      This summer has been great.  Full of traveling and friends.. but it’s also been hard; cancer, loneliness, and heartache.  

      My heart is ready for Fall.

      What are you looking forward about Fall??

      Things I am loving this fall…..

      I am loving the weather. Loving everything about it being cooler and dreary outside.

      Here is my list of things that I am LOVING…..

      • Purple Nail Polish. Specifically OPI Lincoln Park After Dark.

      • The show Modern Family. Have you seen this?? It’s freaking HILARIOUS. Like, seriously, funniest show I have seen in a really long time. Go watch it on Hulu. Thank me later.

      • Wearing all my sweaters! One of the girls in my office said “You always have the greatest cardigans!” THANKS!!!!!
      • Retreat time. I am going to be gone four nights in the next week. I am going to a retreat for church, and I am so freaking excited about it.


      • Then, next week I get to go to Asilomar for a retreat with work. It’s one of the biggest conferences for non-profits that do what we do, and I am really looking forward to networking and getting to hang out with my coworker friends!
      • I feel like coffee and tea taste better when it’s cold outside. I, therefore, have been drinking it constantly!

      • Oh!! Isn’t BED so much greater when it’s cold?! I have my quilt and my big ol’ comforter on my bed, so I get all bundled and cuddly every night, generally with a cat burrowed under the blankets too.

      • And finally, I watched “Away We Go” the other night, and fell in LOVE with the soundtrack. I love songs that are made better by cold weather. The Decemberists is one for sure. Alexi Murdoch is the majority of the soundtrack, and is just AMAZING:

      Ok, now it’s your turn!! Audience participation time!! Click on over from your google reader, leave me a comment about what you are absolutely LOVING about Fall. Even if you don’t like fall and you’re mourning the loss of summer, it will be a good exercise it gratefulness for you!

      Ode to Fall.


      October
      AY, thou art welcome, heaven’s delicious breath! When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
      And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
      And the year smiles as it draws near its death. Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
      In the gay woods and in the golden air,
      Like to a good old age released from care,
      Journeying, in long serenity, away.
      In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
      Might wear out life like thee, ‘mid bowers and brooks
      And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
      And music of kind voices ever nigh;
      And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
      Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.
      -William Cullen Bryant

      I know that we’re still a month away from Autumn, but I am just so excited for it. It is by far my favorite season for a million different reasons. Everyone’s “fall collections” are being advertised and it makes me long for shorter days, sweaters, and large mugs of hot tea.

      So, in honor of the upcoming season of glory, here is my list of reasons I love fall:

      • Drinking copious amounts of tea and coffee from beautiful mugs.

      Brookish on Etsy
      • Sweaters. Oh, Anthroplogie how you mock me with your beautiful sweaters and ridiculous prices!!!

      *
      *
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      *

      • Pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes.

      jbarnum etsy

      • The smells of cinnamon and apple.
      • Snuggling. With someone, with my cats. Whatever.
      • Fall TV!!!
        (Glee, SYTYCD, Gossip Girl!)

      • FOOTBALL!!!!!!

      • Junior League Starts!!!!
      • Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. So much.
      • This is the first fall that is not indicating a new year in school for me. I loved school. I couldn’t wait for new books, teachers, pens, and I always spent a lot of time deciding on my first day of school outfit. But I AM taking an art class that starts tonight, so school starting counts.
      What are you looking forward to about fall?! What are you favorite shows?!