Friday, November 18, 2016

Soaking Up Fall

I hesitate to say fall is my favorite season, because the fact is, I'm just thrilled I get to have four seasons.  But since fall is the current one (and one I haven't experienced much of in the last several years...), I want to enjoy it to the fullest.

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The last few weekends have been full of fun fall-ish things.

Like going to a cider mill with a friend -

Isn't this phone booth great?

It was fascinating to watch how cider is made.  It was even better to drink the cider!

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Sunday drives to soak in the colors -

They seem best with coffee, friends, and a good sense of adventure.

Country drives are so relaxing.

I'm convinced I should make them a regular thing until the weather gets too bad for driving, if for no other reason than that they are such a great way to spend time chatting with students.

Last semester I hosted a lot of open-invitation things to get to know students: international meals, craft nights, etc.  I loved it, but this semester has just been different.  I found that I was needing to look for other ways to spend time with students.  Smaller things.  Things that didn't require as much planning or energy, so that I could actually really enjoy the time without feeling tired (and without eventually getting burnt out).

Outings or simple Sunday drives have worked really well, and I'm thankful.

Mostly, we stick to country roads, but we wound up in a little town at one point.  It's so full of quaint charm that I immediately wanted to plan an afternoon to wander around downtown.

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"Fall comes to NTBI"-

We had "Pumpkin Olympics" one Friday evening, which included such things as pumpkin long jumps, reverse dart board, pumpkin carving, and pumpkin toss.  I didn't compete, but I watched and drank hot cider with the best of 'em!

This is looking out from the front of the school.  I love this view.  The hospital parking lot has the prettiest trees!

This is looking out from the back(ish) of the school.  There's a park on one side of the school, and it has some pretty nice trees too.  (Or I should say "had" - most of them are on the bare side by now.  Tragically.)

Looking through these pictures makes me sigh and wish for one silly moment that fall could last forever.  But I know that when winter comes and we get our first snowfall, I'll be caught up in the magic too much to miss the last season.

So there. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Auntie Corner

First things first: I'd like to introduce someone to y'all.

Meet Ava Marie, my newest niece.  She arrived Tuesday evening - the day before her mommy's birthday - and weighed in at a whopping 5lbs, 15oz.  Our family isn't exactly known for giants.

She seemed thoroughly unimpressed with the outside world.

And then she started smirking.

Malachi was, apparently, fascinated with his little sister's feet and hands.

She's finally here.  Happy, happy, happy!

My heart.  She's just so perfect.

I love her already and I can't wait to hold her and kiss those little cheeks.  Only a few weeks...

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Little Dude -

Those overalls just kill me.

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My local darlings -

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More Malachi, just because I can.

Look at him!  Such a little peanut. :)

What in the world?!!

"Smile, Malachi," they told him, and this is the face he made.  No idea which side of the family that cheesy grin comes from.  Cough, cough.

"Why the gape?" I asked Sarah.

"Oh, he was trying to look cool."

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Angèle should be having her baby any day now, and I'm so excited (read: impatient).

I may be biased, but my nieces and nephews are just the best.