Helloooooo fall! I was so ready for summer not to end, but when a stormy Labor Day weekend rolled around and cancelled our last hurrah at the neighborhood pool, I was surprisingly a-okay with it. We’re sticking with swim lessons (indoor!) throughout the fall and winter, so that should fill our swimming fix until summer rolls around next year. Seasons come and go so quickly in this mid-twenties stage of life and I can’t imagine what it will be like as the years continue to come and go. Fall time is usually the time of year that I get the itch to decorate. And the time of year that I can keep flowers alive for more than a week here in scorching hot North Carolina. #brownthumb.
I pulled out the power washer and gave the front porch and the patio furniture and good washing last weekend. It was so desperately needed and there’s nothing like pressing the reset button with a little cleaning to make you feel good. I ate breakfast right here three days this week! So relaxing!
I love an inviting patio. I am always so impressed when I walk up to a house and feel welcomed before I even ring the doorbell! That’s what I was going for! (My mom and mother-in-law are experts at this and I try my best to take notes). When I saw we were going to have our very first covered front porch when we moved in, I started mentally planning this little spot. Watching the kids play in the front yard while I sip on some sweet tea and catch up on mommy blogs? Yes, please. It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but when it does, it’s the best.
This little pot has somewhat of a sentimental value now. It’s nothing special – an ordinary and cheap pot Steve picked out to house a little tamale plant he insisted on buying on one trip to Lowes about four years ago. I guess he thought it was cute and I didn’t give him a hard time because 1. it could have been a gun and cost a whole lot more than $5, ha! and 2. it was textbook Kourtney in the Christmas decor section so I had no room to judge. So in the cart the tamale plant went and became 1,000% my responsibility to keep alive when he deployed about two weeks later. That tamale plant became somewhat of an obsession on his second deployment because I felt about as responsible to keep it alive as I did our dog. Zoe is way, way easier to keep alive in case you were wondering. A couple scoops of dog food a day and the prime spot on Steve’s pillow at bedtime and she was happy. The tamale plant not so much. I tried the front porch, the back porch, the kitchen window, the dining room table. That tamale plant was not destined to live, y’all. And I felt guilty about it all deployment. For completely trivial and unimportant reasons, especially considering my prime focus that deployment was birthing our first child. I succeeded in the mothering and dog-momming departments, not as much in the tamale planting business. So, long story that still makes me laugh short, I try to put some kind of herb in this pot for Steve every year and it makes me think of that dead tamale plant in the most sentimental of ways.
When you’re in the military, you can count on moving every few years. They tell you this when you sign up, and it’s held true for us ever since. Being our third house, I’m trying to become better at decorating in not-so-permanent ways. Every once in awhile we drive by our house on base from the first time we were stationed here, and I get the urge to plan a midnight op to recover the beautiful rose bushes I planted in the front garden. They’re full and huge now, but they’re stuck with that house and I’m too chicken to carry out such a plan. Unless of course I caught wind that the military couple is moving out and then I might just reconsider. What I’m getting at is the lesson that I’m learning is balancing between investing in your home itself, or finding other ways to make it homey that aren’t permanent and move with you. Like this porch – everything except the welcome sticker on the front door can be boxed up and travel with us to whatever porch the Marine Corps may give us next. Hence my recent obsession with pots and planters over the past few years. Why put them in the ground if you can just bring them with you?! Those front door stickers are about $6 on Etsy, by the way. The day I found out that they were cheap, it was on the way to my house that afternoon. You’re welcome!
One of my goals for this fall is to spend as much time outside as possible. I’ve been determined to get the kids on a good evening walk schedule, especially with Steve gone so much. When he’s home, all I want to do after a long day of work is sit on the couch with him and relax. But sitting on the couch alone is not quite as satisfying, so we find ourselves at the park a lot when he’s gone. I put a few of our favorite outdoor toys in the wagon on our porch for super easy access when we are in the front yard! Our top favorites this year – Radio Flyer Tricycle, Little Nutty Bike Helmets, Melissa and Doug Sprinkler, Sidewalk Chalk, Green Toys Jump Rope, Little Tikes T-Ball Set, and a couple random duplo blocks.
So there you have it, it’s officially fall on our porch and it feels so good. The only thing that’s missing now is a couple of pumpkins, which will make their way into my shopping cart one at a time over the next few weeks, because I just can’t walk into the store without grabbing them when September and October roll around. (We always pick out one small one at the pumpkin patch for the fun of it, apple cider, and the photo op, but commissary pumpkins look exactly the same for 1/4 of the price and who wants to carry 12 pumpkins to the car from the pumpkin patch when you can just use a shopping cart on grocery day?!) It’s amazing how a couple eighty degree mornings can make you feel like it’s really cooling off, because that’s about all the cold weather hints we’ll have before Thanksgiving. My mother-in-law is talking about some forty degree nonsense up in the northeast. It’s amazing we’re talking about relocating there post-Marine Corps because I can’t even fathom that weather this time of year! With a two week trip to Kansas for the kids on the horizon and a calendar loaded with travel, bible study, swim lessons, and so forth, I just know this fall is going to fly by in the blink of an eye.