1. Harvest landscapes —Â The landscapes here in Iowa, as probably in many places around the globe, make for one terrific photo opportunity this time of year. Seeing the farmers hard at work in the fields reminds me to prayerfullyÂ ask God, the God of all harvests, toÂ bless planters everywhere. (Find the God of All Harvests prayer here.)
2. Babies —Â Two of my children were born in the fall, including my first-born, so this time of year brings back many memories. One of the funnier onesÂ is the hours, and hours, and hoursÂ I spent sitting in an oversized chair with my newborn snuggled into my chest while I snacked on a mixture of peanuts, candy corn, and M&Ms and watched Law & Order reruns on daytime cable television. I workedÂ outside of the home then, and I sat in that chair for most of my maternity leave, sobbing crocodile tearsÂ because I didn’t want to go back to work. Five years and three children later, I now sit in that same chair wishing I could simply squeeze in one episode of Law & Order again.
3. Our anniversary —Â Joel and I are celebrating a decade of wedded bliss this year, and I’m extra hopeful that we might enjoy a nice getaway, just the two of us! It just so happens that our anniversary, October 22, is also the feast day of Saint Pope John Paul II. How do you like them apples? Speaking of apples …
4.Â Apples and pumpkins —Â Oh the joys of visitingÂ a local apple orchard and pumpkin farm and picking the juiciest apples from the trees and the most carve-able pumpkin from the patch. Once home, there’s apple pie to bake and jack-o’-lanterns to make all while apple cider mulls on the stove top. Oh, and let’s not forget about the beautiful gourds among us.
5. SOUPS! — Time to dig out some of those great Soup & Stories recipesÂ shared hereÂ during Lent. The creamy roasted mushroom soup with a slice ofÂ cracked black pepper focaccia breadÂ makes for an especially fulfilling menu optionÂ this time of year.
6. Play ball —Â Turn on the TV or radio and youâ€™re bound to find an exciting college football matchup, a Major League Baseball team fighting with all its might to earn a trip to the World Series, or the Packers (does any other NFL team count?) strutting their stuff on the field.
7. Leaves — Let’s not focus on the raking, let’s focus on the playing andÂ jumping. Holy leisure, people!
8. Cooler temps —Â No sweating, for the win! Some of my favorite clothing items in my closet are fleece vests, blue jeans, scarves, and sweaters. And there’s always something a bit romantic about building the first fire in the fireplace each fall, too.
9. Fall dÃ©cor —Â After sitting bare all summer, the mantle finally gets her makeover come October. And I never met a Hobby Lobby pumpkin that I couldn’t find a place for!
10. Saints galore — saving the best for last. Have you taken a look at the liturgical calendar lately? WeÂ kick off October celebratingÂ Saint ThÃ©rÃ¨se of Lisieux, followed by our Guardian Angels, Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Saint Luke the Evangelist, Saints Simon and Jude, and ending with the Vigil of All Saints. October is a gift to all the Catholic liturgy nerds like me!
What do you love about this month? Whatever your pleasure, here’s to a happy October, friends!