Fall in Utah usually lasts about as long as a Britney Spears, alcohol induced, quickie Las Vegas wedding. However, this year it's lasted at least a full two weeks already and I'm finally understanding why people LOVE this season. The air is cool, crisp and fresh. The grass is still green and perfect for playing on, while the trees are a breathtaking array of yellows, oranges and reds. I've rearranged my closet so that my cute sweaters and comfy boots are right in front, ready to be worn; I'm actually wearing a hooded sweater and my favorite pair of "pirate" boots as I type this. I love that the shift from blazing heat to bitter cold hasn't happened overnight and I've actually had time to enjoy the transition.
Made-from-scratch beef stew
The weekend before last, I woke up with the peculiar desire to make chili. So I rummaged through my kitchen until I found enough random ingredients to (hopefully) make a decent pot of chili, threw them in the slow cooker and let the concoction simmer all day long. Then, since I was already feeling all domestic n' stuff, I decided to make some cornbread to go along with it. Later that night I sat down to the yummiest bowl of chili I'd ever eaten (if I do say so myself) and the rest is history. Over the past couple weeks I've fallen in love with cooking. In fact, this past Sunday afternoon was spent entirely in the confines of my kitchen: Adam helping me chop vegetables for stew; the occasional break from meal preperation to swing Morgan up onto my hip and twirl around as the radio played in the background; the smell of spiced cider drifting through the house; laughing and dancing and just having a good time together.
3. Family Outings
After the zoo, we were off to my uncle's wedding. It was a a small, backyard wedding officiated by a friend of the bride, who happens to be a Buddhist priest. (I believe he was Buddhist, anyway. Since no one has corrected me yet, that's what I'm going to say.) The ceremony took place under a large chestnut tree, glittered with little white lights. There were more lights strung throughout the yard as well as flickering candles on nearly every flat surface in sight -- absolutely gorgeous! But even more beautiful than the setting was the LOVE that was felt there. I'm a sucker for weddings anyway, but add a bunch of family to the mix and it's just that much better.
Congratulations Tim and Robin! You both simply shine.
4. Family in General
Last night we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather (see #1) and go for a walk through the neighborhood. As we passed my dad's house (he lives about three blocks away) we decided to stop in and say hello. We sat there chatting with my dad and stepmom while my little brother and sister chased Morgan around the island in the kitchen. After we left and were on our way back home, I thought again of how grateful I am to have family living so close. I love that my girls will grow up surrounded by their cousins like I did, I love that our families provide such a strong support system for us, I love going to Wal Mart and unexpectedly running into my brother and his family, and I love being able to stop in unannounced only to be welcomed by sweet smiles and loving arms.