Practically Screaming

I’ve said it countless times: I love autumn. BUT  EXCUSE ME BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO COMPLETELY LOSE MY SHIT BECAUSE IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS AND I CAN’T STOP PLANNING CHRISTMAS CRAFTS AND ORNAMENTS THAT I’M GOING TO MAKE AND CHRISTMAS TREE THEMES AND MY MIND IS A NON-STOP SLIDESHOW OF CHRISTMAS TREE FARM PHOTOS, ANTIQUE CHRISTMAS CARDS, IMAGES OF GARLAND STRUNG UP JUST SO, AND I AM JUST LOSING MY MIND OVER HERE BECAUSE I DOVE IN TO CHRISTMAS WHEN I SHOULD HAVE WAITED JUST A LITTLE BIT LONGER. BUT EVERY SINGLE YEAR, I START EARLIER AND EARLIER, AND I THINK I’M JUST ABOUT TO GET STARTED BECAUSE OF HEART PALPITATIONS.

I MADE A LIST YESTERDAY OF CHRISTMASSY CREATIONS THAT I’M GOING TO MAKE, AND THEN JUST NOW I WENT TO PINTEREST, AND BECAUSE OF ALL THE INTERNET COOKIES, OR MAYBE CHANCE, OR PINTEREST’S ALGORITHM, OR BECAUSE OF SOME GODLY FORCE, EVERYTHING ON MY FEED WAS CHRISTMAS AND THAT IS WHAT SPARKED THIS VERY EMOTIONAL POST.

I spent the last several days nose deep in Anthropologie’s Christmas preview, and it has wrecked me. “Where are you, Christmas? Why can’t I find you?” Oh, because it’s still over two months away? That makes sense.

I just realized that I didn’t even mention Christmas baking, and I haven’t even started researching recipes, so now I want to scream about that. BUT I WON’T.

 

Someone help.

My Autumn 2017 List

I was inspired by Kelle Hampton and her summer 2017 list. I loved seeing her and her family scratch things off of their list of to-do’s, knowing that they squeezed every bit of life out of the summer season. Some of the to-do’s on her list were: epic lemonade stand, drink from a coconut, go to the movies on a rainy day, twirl in a sundress, buy corn from a midwest farm stand, have a water balloon fight, family night swim party, and so much more. So, seeing that her list ranged from big to teeny tiny small. Mine does too.

  1. Go to a pumpkin patch
  2. Carve pumpkins.
  3. Bake cupcakes with Jena.
  4. Bake cookies for work.
  5. Bake sweet potato bread.
  6. Bake whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies.
  7. Hike the arboretum with Jena.
  8. Drink hot apple cider on the Weichman’s front porch.
  9. See a drive-in movie.
  10. See Abbey get married.
  11. Go to McGee farms in Florence.
  12. Learn how to make Papa’s biscuits.
  13. Have mom’s beef stew.
  14. Spend the weekend at the Weichman’s and wake up early for a scenic drive.
  15. Take Jon to the zoo.
  16. Eat a caramel apple.
  17. Make new turkey shirts for Thanksgiving.
  18. Watch Coraline.
  19. Watch The Addam’s Family (the original).
  20. Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  21. Watch Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin.
  22. Watch Frankenweenie.
  23. Watch The Corpse Bride.
  24. Have a Harry Potter marathon day.
  25. Watch You’ve Got Mail.
  26. Go on a hike with Trey.
  27. Buy a new autumn nail polish shade.
  28. Have waffles at The Pantry.
  29. Work in Papa’s yard.
  30. Watch the sunrise somewhere.
  31. Watch the sunset somewhere.
  32. Go apple picking.
  33. Spend a day antique shopping.
  34. Go for a drive.
  35. Go on an early morning walk.
  36. Take Christmas card photo.
  37. Collect “pinecorns” with Jon.
  38. Bake a “Friendsgiving”.
  39. Do SOMETHING on Halloween.
  40. Buy a new pair of super cozy socks.
  41. Go on at least six drives just to see the changing leaves.
  42. Go to a football game.
  43. Have a game night with Dad, Lisa, and Andy.
  44. Have the cousins over for a weekend.
  45. Make chili.
  46. Buy a new candle.
  47. Make a Thanksgiving food that’s new.
  48. Bake a pie other than pumpkin and apple.
  49. Bake an apple pie.
  50. Have Trey make his cinnamon rolls.
  51. Have a bonfire or campfire.
  52. Roast marshmallows.
  53. Find that perfect table that I’ve been looking for.
  54. Spend a day watching football with Trey.
  55. Go to Florence’s Renaissance Faire.
  56. Show the cousins how to play train and Phase 10.
  57. Get that new HP book.
  58. Get outside and use my camera.
  59. Get an autumny latte.
  60. Feast and Forest’s fall treats.
  61. Have a scary movie night with friends.
  62. Hike in a Natl. Forest.

I’ll be checking things off through November. But, I know that in November, I’ll make a winter to-do list and it’ll be twice as long. These are the things that I live for.

P.S. I’ve already been scouring the internet for Christmas decor. I love me.

Home-Home

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I went to Florence last weekend for a visit that lifted me up and left me feeling a million times better. It’s always hard to go home, because I know that I won’t want to leave when my visit is over – especially during the holidays. I’ve always been a homebody, meaning that so much of my years were spent right at home. My mom and I would have “spa nights” together while all of my friends were at the movies or out getting ice cream. She and I would order our favorite salads, put on face masks, and curl up on the couch with movies that are now woven into every fiber of my being. This is why I can quote Notting Hill, You’ve Got Mail, Chocolat, Sabrina, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, One Fine Day, Two Weeks Notice, Pretty Woman, French Kiss, and many other 80’s and 90’s chick flicks backwards and forwards. We would bake together, and she and I would decorate for holidays as a team. At the very beginning of October, she would let me bring out the Halloween decorations, and I’d string faux spiderwebs down the banister. I’d bring out her vintage Santa collection, and arrange them just so for Christmas. We never missed decorating the Christmas tree together as a family. But, time passed, college happened, I moved away, my brother moved out, he traveled the world, and things slipped through the cracks. Now, she gets a tree whenever she has a chance, and we hope we are able to come help her decorate it. These are the bitter things about being home. I remember all of the things that I miss out on, and I know that I’m never around for things to be like they were.

But, the sweet things about being home are the new memories that we make. My dad moved into a new, beautiful house that is perfect for them. My mom and I make lists of everything we want to accomplish, and are doing a pretty good job so far of checking things off of it. My brother bought a house that I know is going to be a perfect home base for all of his travels to come to an end.

I’ve found that I’m making new, sweet memories every time I drive through the city of Florence and remember this parking lot where all of my friends piled in the back of Hope’s SUV. I pass the spot where I had my first kiss, and the park where I would take Jon to throw rocks in the river. I take the back roads that I would drive in high school, just for fun. I pass the church that used to be the movie theater where I met my first boyfriend. I pass the coffee shop that I’ve been going to since before it was Rivertown, near the park where I once saw a stranger wait with a red rose for someone who never showed up. I pass the cemetery where I attended a policeman’s funeral. I pass the park where I rode a tandem bicycle with my friend Samantha. I pass County Rd. 42, where I said something funny, which resulted in Hope making me a cd of songs, with my quote written in Sharpie as the album art. I pass the store where my mom used to buy soy milk for Jon, because all other milk made him sick. I pass the fairgrounds where I first saw my Wybie – my pup that my dad and stepmother have made their pup *grumble grumble*. I pass the clothing shop where my mom and I would get those little mini cheesecake bites during the Christmas parade. I remember feeling so fancy next to her, with her lipstick, and her wool coat, and her perfume floating along with her. I pass the ballpark where we would watch Andy play little league baseball. I pass the gas station where my dad met me after I walked up on my mom’s house after someone had just broken in. I was panicking and I couldn’t find my mom, but my dad rushed over to save the day. Oh, and my mom was at ballroom dance lessons the whole time *grumble grumble*. I pass Stagg’s, where my dad and I would get hamburgers when I worked in the chemical plant with him that summer. I pass the place where he and I bought my steel-toed boots, and I remember thinking that I felt so badass, and that the old men in the shop couldn’t handle my badassery. I pass the Indian Mound, that I visited once, and the restaurant that used to be Tourway, that I went to countless times. I pass Trowbridges, the ice-cream shop that I would walk to with my grandmother when I was very small, and then later as an adult with all of my friends. I still remember the pansies that were planted all around her apartment complex, and pansies always make me think of her. I have memories tied into every inch of my lovely hometown, and when I go home, they flood my heart and send me swimming.

Seeing things through a new, matured lens makes me want to hug my younger self, even if I’m sometimes embarrassed for her. I want to hug all of these memories close and never let them go.

Mood Board

Today is my grandfather’s birthday. October 10th. Now that is a solid date. 10/10. I’m curled up on my couch, and it’s unusually dark this morning due to the rain that is coming through. There’s a candle lit and it’s filling my home with the scent of apple cider. I am leaving for work in just a few minutes, but I wanted to have a slow start today. One of my favorite things about my grandfather is that he always had a slow start to his day. I don’t know if it was like that when he was working as a lineman, I assume it wasn’t. But, as long as I knew him, he would wake up before the sun had even risen. He would go to the kitchen, make a pot of coffee, sit at the table in his robe and smoke his pipe while watching the birds have their breakfast at his bird feeders. I would hear his quiet, deep voice from the bedroom  and shoot out of bed, knowing that he was awake and I didn’t want to miss a second of the slow morning with him. I would groggily stroll into the kitchen and see him sitting beneath a swirly cloud of pipe smoke. When he saw me he would say something along the lines of “good morning, my sweet Sadie.” I’d crawl up onto his lap, and he would hold me while he smoked and sipped his coffee. The light this morning reminds me of the mornings with him, pre sunrise.

I miss that man.

I’m all things autumn, these days. I’m trying to check everything off of my autumn to-do list, and am grateful for this beautiful season and the bittersweet memories that it brings up. Happy birthday, Papa.

Life Lately

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October is here! My coffee table has been dressed for it since the later days of September, and I’m an unstoppable holiday force that almost bought dreamy Christmas ornaments at World Market the other day. Someone reel me in. But, don’t, because your attempts will fail and I’ll put a wall between us and cover it in tinsel and garland.

BUT, OCTOBER IS HERE. My October coffee table has some gems that I’ve collected over the years, and I love to haul them out every October. The Poems Bewitched and Haunted pocket poet book is a special collection of Halloweeny tales, and every book of the Everyman’s Library is fantastic. The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton is one of my favorite treasures. It’s just a sweet, little book filled with short stories and poems by Burton. It was gifted to me years ago, and I love it and want to buy one for every Tim Burton fan that I know. Amphigorey is a compilation of Edward Gorey’s poems, stories, limericks, etc. I love his scratchy drawings, and twisted tales, and this book was gifted to me by my older brother who knows me so well. The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton stays in this spot from now until January. My brother also gave me The Art of Tim Burton, which holds the artwork behind Tim Burton’s movies, and little drawings that never made their way out into the public, in any form other than this book. Then, Mostly Ghostly by Zorn and Bradley is just a little something that I picked up from a thrift store in college.

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Below are a couple of sketches from The Art of Tim Burton.

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Below are a few of my favorite polaroids that I’ve taken during fall over the years.

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Welcome, October. I’ll love on you so much this year that even my cat will feel it.

“I was eloquent. Shit!”

We watch a lot of movies in our home, and they are often ones that we already know backwards and forwards. I’ve always preferred “popping in a movie” to playing music, and I think it’s just because my mind wanders too much when I’m alone with music. I start cleaning my home, I put on an album that I’ve been wanting to listen to, and next thing I know I’m regretting something that I did in eighth grade, and wanting to reactivate my Facebook so that I can re-friend all of those people that I un-friended in tenth grade. It makes no sense, but it’s my reality. So, when I need noise, I know that I can count on my favorite movies to fill the space, and carry my mind into that movie world that feels so, so good.

Youve-Got-Mail-Coffee-Shop

You’ve Got Mail is one of them. It has my favorite holidays, my favorite times of the year, lines that are applicable in every day life, and a soundtrack that sticks with me. It has Kathleen Kelly’s wardrobe that I can identify with. It has a children’s bookstore decorated with twinkle lights and stuffed Arthurs and Madelines on the bookstore shelves. It has joy, and warmth and the movie feels like a warm blanket. It has Kathleen Kelly crawling into bed with her shoes on — a part that always made my mom cringe.

This movie sets me straight.

“When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”

“Happy Thanksgiving, back.”

“I gotta go get some eucalyptus candles, ’cause they make my apartment smell moss-ay.”

“Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”

 

Show and Tell

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  1. I got my biannual haircut, and it’s the exact same haircut that I’ve gotten since I was 12. I haven’t had truly long hair since junior year of college, and no matter what I do, I always go back to this style. It’s my thing. I like it. If only I could master the effortless beachy wave technique.
  2. Andy is in Africa, and I’m ready for him to come home. I plan to go home that weekend, hopefully visit an apple orchard, and really soak up some Florence time. A visit home this time of year always means a trip to Old Baker Farm, a cuppa cider at Coldwater Books, and lots of strolls downtown.
  3. The latest Madewell collection is just so good. I’m not really feeling all the velvet, just because velvet was everywhere last year, but there are plenty of other gorgeous gems. My favorites are the Oversized Jean Jacket with Sherpa Lining. It reminds me of the one my mom wears in the winter. I can practically see her throwing it on to run outside and bring in some firewood. The Plaid Tie-Neck Shirt is beautiful, and very Christmas 1977. It screams Stranger Things and I love it for that. This sweater is fantastic. It drapes just the way you want a sweater to, and it’s perfect for the sweaty, early autumn days. I already bought one.
  4. Paperless Post is one of my all time favorite online shops. I’ve never sent online invites with it, because I’m a true blue snail mail gal. BUT, I used them for my wedding invitations, and I loved them. I love everything that they do, and Trey and I are very serious about planning our children’s birthdays AROUND Halloween, so that we can throw Halloween themed parties. You bet your butt that I’ll be using Paperless Post. Until then, give me any reason to buy things from them and I’ll do it. Go ahead, give me a reason.
  5. I’ve been eyeing this children’s book since it was released, and I love this illustrator!!
  6. I’ve blogged about Kelle Hampton before when I read her book, Bloom, but she is future me, and I love it. She has three precious kids, and I love watching from afar as she raises them. She is a Holiday QUEEN. When I lived in Florida, I had fantasies of her strolling into my store with her kids, and I had a whole spiel that I was going to say to her about how she is such an inspiring, strong, bad ass mom. BUT, she never came in and that’s probably for the best because I would have cried AT her, in her face, and so…yeah, it’s for the best. BUT, I just went deep into her blog’s past and scrounged up some old Christmas posts, and oh me. It’ll be here before we know it and I will be screaming carols in everyone’s faces.

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