A Last Minute Lent Plan

A Last Minute Lent Plan

We’re entering into Lent tomorrow and how is it already Lent tomorrow?  It kind of snuck up on me this year, and yet I’m actually prepared. It’s probably because this year for Lent, I’m keeping it relatively simple.  I tend to over-complicate things and add on way more than I should and end up feeling like a failure at the end. (Like that year I gave up complaining… and ended up complaining 100x more).  But this year, I’m just focusing on the areas that I really feel God calling me closer to him.  I’m not sharing these things to pretend I’m holier than thou or to even say that I’m going to stick to them. I’m sharing 80% to give myself accountability and 20% to maybe give someone a last minute idea of something to incorporate into their Lenten practice this year. 

One of my favorite Catholic fun facts is that Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation for us (we don’t have to go), and yet it is one of the most attended masses of the year, after Christmas and Easter.  Ash Wednesday is an opportunity to humble ourselves and also to be marked by an outward sign of our faith. I think people are drawn to the symbol of their faith in the ashes as well as to acts of penance. Lent is like another opportunity to start a new year’s resolution.  We enjoy a little suffering every now and then if it draws us to being a better person- plus it’s only for 40 days, right?

I like to look at my Lenten practices as the start of something that’s going to stick.  Whether that’s incorporating prayer and the scriptures better, practicing self control through fasting, or beginning a habit of charity and almsgiving, Lent gives us an opportunity to really come back to the heart of what it means to be a son or daughter of God.  At least, that’s what it should be- a time of drawing closer to God. The best thing about that is, my Lent doesn’t have to look like your Lent, just as my relationship with God isn’t going to look like yours. God calls us each to our individual relationships and asks us during this time of Lent to grow in that.

So, I’ve figured out one or two things in each of the pillars of Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving that I hope will act to bring me closer to God and to being the best version of myself (which I tend to think are the same thing).  I hope that by sharing, I’ll be able to actually stick to what I’m saying I’m going to do (40 days is a looooong time!) and maybe one of you will feel called to do one or more of the things along with me 🙂

Prayer

I think devoting good time to prayer is probably the most important part of Lent, especially since the point is to grow in relationship with God and prayer is just that.  In my year of quiet so far, I’ve managed to keep up my weekly holy hour. With that, however, I’ve somehow gotten so much worse at devoting some time daily to quiet prayer because I’ll just talk to God when I do my holy hour.  That’s not really how it works, so in Lent, my prayer focus is on taking back some of each day to give it to prayer.

To help, I’m using the book Prayer: 40 Days of Practice by Justin McRoberts and Scott Erickson.  I’ve sprinkled this book into my prayer time before, but I’m excited to come back to it day after day throughout Lent rather than just sporadically.  The book is laid out with a short prayer and contemplative imagery for each day, and they’re really convicting. Each set of six prayers also goes along with a different spiritual practice- journaling, exercise, fasting, meditation, lament, and intercession.  While I’ve dabbled in most of these practices, I’m excited to actually go full in and see what type of prayer is working in this phase of my life.

Something that I’ve started recently and hope to continue through Lent- and hopefully beyond- is incorporating more scripture into my prayer.  Someone I’m following on Instagram shared their way of getting into their Bible everyday and I really loved it, so I’m trying it for myself. She said she picks a word and googles it before 30 day bible plan and a whole bunch of suggestions come up.  So I decided to start with “quiet” as it’s my word of the year.

This is one of the plans that came up, and it’s been really good so far! Each day, I’m reading the listed verses and the passage around it, writing down the verses in my notebook to come back to.  It’s been really beautiful to dig back into scripture and see what God has to say to me each day. If you do nothing else for Lent, read a little bit from your Bible everyday- this is really the greatest way to grow in relationship with God.

Fasting

Now on to Fasting.  This is the biggie of Lent, the one everyone is about and asking about – “What are you going to give up for Lent?”  While, Catholics are called to give up meat on Fridays (which I actually haven’t *had* to do for the past few years because I’ve been pregnant or breastfeeding), we’re also called to either give up or add something that helps us practice self-control.  That could be something as simple as chocolate or as crazy as giving up your car. I really like this list from Kendra Tierney of Catholic All Year if you’re still looking for something for yourself.

I don’t even remember what I gave up last year, or if I added something instead, but it obviously didn’t have a big effect on me.  This year, I looked at my life and tried to see what was most keeping me from God and keeping me from being my best self. In continuing with my 30 Day Break Up with your phone challenge (which I’ll share soon how it went!), I’ve decided to be social media free during the awake hours of our kids.  Instead, I’m hoping to use that time to get some more prayer in, focus better on my children, and to just be (and maybe do a few of these activities).

Read More: Why I’m Breaking Up With My Phone

Almsgiving

The pillar of Almsgiving is always the hardest for me to figure out what to do that I feel will actually make an impact.  Almsgiving is the sharing of money, time, and/or talents with those in need. We’re pretty good at doing sporadic donations to different charities and to the church, so for us giving a sum of money to a certain charity just doesn’t feel “Lent-y.” And while, I’d really love to be able to volunteer somewhere in some capacity, it’s just been really hard to find something that works in this stage of life of having little kids.  I was thinking about making a meal for a different family each week, and then realized that we don’t actually know many people to even make meals for (so maybe that’s actually something I should work on… haha)

In finalizing what I was going to do for this pillar, I found our local Catholic Charities page and looked into what their current needs are.  We’ve donated semi-regularly to the Pregnancy Help Center run through them, and I wanted to see if they had any other organizations that need a little extra help right now.  I found that they are asking for “Hope Kits” for refugees resettling in our area. This is an issue that my husband and I have felt passionate about, but didn’t really know how to actually help.  While, it’s just a little something for us to put together a basket or two of cleaning or kitchen supplies, it will hopefully help someone who has gone through unimaginable trauma feel welcomed and loved in a small way.

I definitely suggest looking into your local Catholic Charities or any other reputable organization that’s really helping people and see what their needs are during this season.  I feel like so many organizations get extra donations during the Christmas holiday season that by this point of the year, they’re starting to run a little dry.  Let us give a little bit extra of our money, time, or talents to these organizations that do the work of caring for our neighbors well.

So those are my Lent plans this year! I would love to hear what yours are- connect with me on Facebook or Instagram (though I won’t see it until “after hours” 😉 ) or contact me here!  Happy Lent!

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Our Advent Traditions for Little Kids

Our Advent Traditions for Little Kids

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Thanksgiving comes late this year, and Advent follows only three days after- that doesn’t give us a lot of time to prepare! Since we’re going to be visiting family the week of Thanksgiving, I’m rushing to figure out what I need to all get out and prepared for our Advent traditions before we leave. Advent is probably one of my favorite times of year, and I love many of the traditions that come with it. It’s slightly ironic that I’m preparing for our time of preparation, since that’s what Advent is- a time of preparation for Jesus’ birth – But here we are!

Since having kids, it has been really fun to start figuring out which traditions we want to carry on from our childhood and which new ones we want to start in our own little family. I just started reading Kendra Tierney’s The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life, and it’s inspiring me to start creating more traditions throughout the year. Since the Catholic liturgical year starts with Advent, what better time to start being intentional about living liturgically and incorporating these fun traditions in our everyday life.

Something that Kendra Tierney’s book has me really thinking about is making the distinction between Advent and Christmas. In true liturgical living, Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas and then Christmas is Christmas day through the Epiphany (when the three kings came!) traditionally on January 6. Secular culture has it switched up with Christmas being celebrated completely in Advent and then it goes dark as soon as Christmas day is over. I am still figuring out how to immerse ourselves fully in the Christmas spirit at the same time as recognizing Advent, and I’m sure it’ll be a process throughout the years.

Advent Traditions for Little Kids

As it is, I’m sitting down and thinking about which Advent traditions I want to continue from past years or start new with our kiddos this year. I’m sharing four of the activities that I know we’re going to do this year for sure, but I’m sure I’ll end up adding some throughout the season. Advent is such a fun time for crafts, baking, and doing all of the things, but I’m not always great at planning ahead for those. The activities I’ve settled on are easy ones to do with little kids and don’t require too much energy from me on a day to day basis throughout the season.

1) Advent Calendar

Growing up, we had an Advent Calendar that formed the Nativity scene throughout December, and I loved it. So as soon as I had a child for Christmas, I went out and bought one too (the one pictured above is the one we have!) It was so fun to take turns with my brothers each day, putting up a different character each day to form the Nativity scene. Then each year, we’d write a note to ourselves so that we knew who got to go first the next year (Oh sweet, type A, little Holly). Last year, I started Nora putting a character up each morning. I don’t think she really understood what was going on (she was just a little younger than two), but she still thought it was fun! I’m excited to see if she gets more into it this year and if we can get Charlie to put up any.

This tradition is pretty simple and also acts as a fun decoration to keep up throughout the Christmas season. I love the anticipation it fosters as we get closer and closer to putting up the Holy Family and Baby Jesus. While it does feel a little silly to put the shepherds and wise men up before Baby Jesus even arrives, at the end it is fun to talk about each person’s role in the nativity story.

2) 25 Books of Christmas

25 Days of Christmas Books

I shared the details about this in my last post, but I wanted to address it again here since it is a big part of what we do in the Advent season leading up the Christmas. Each day of the 25 days leading up to Christmas, we have a wrapped Christmas book that one of the kids gets to open and that we read together as a family. Some of them are religious, some of them aren’t, but all of them get our hearts and minds in the spirit of excitement for Christmas’s coming. I love having the opportunity to share the Christmas spirit with our family through books, especially since our kiddos are big fans of reading!

By the time Christmas rolled around last year, Nora was able to find and name Mary, Jesus, Joseph, and the angels pretty easily, so I counted that as a win! Reading is a great way to introduce the ideas of the Nativity, as well as Santa, presents, snowmen, and so much more that aren’t necessarily parts of our everyday life. By the time that Christmas comes we have 25(+) Christmas books to pick from and read to keep the Christmas spirit alive through the true end of Christmas!

3) Advent Wreath

While we’ve had our Advent wreath on the table the past couple of years, we didn’t really ever do anything with it. We’d light the candles the couple of days a week that we’d remember, but that’s about it. This year, I’m hoping to incorporate these Advent Prayers from Dynamic Catholic into lighting our candles each night before dinner. Since we try to pray before our meals anyway, it’ll just be another short step before we get dinner started. Maybe if we’re feeling brave, we’ll even let Nora light the candles every so often!

We made our Advent wreath at a family night at our church when we were living in Michigan a couple years ago. It was a slightly funny time because we went with a not even one year old among all of these other little families with kiddos making their wreaths. It ended up being a fun night, and we came away with a wreath for our family. I bought some new candles from Hobby Lobby last year, but they didn’t sit well in the candle holders (which probably contributed to us not using it as much as I would have liked). This year I’m thinking about finding some colored votives to use instead- plus these’ll probably be better to use with small kiddos. There are a couple links below here if you still need to get your candles (or your wreath!) like me!

4) Traveling Nativity

This is a fun activity that I’ve seen all over Facebook and Instagram lately, and one that I’m thinking about starting with our family this year. When you take out the Nativity sets at the beginning of Advent, you set them up with just the animals, trees, shepherds outside, etc, holding back Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and the three wise men. That first day, you place Mary and Joseph at the beginning of their travels somewhere else in the house and each day they travel closer to the rest of the Nativity Set. On Christmas, they arrive at the stable and then Jesus is born and placed in the manger. Then, on Christmas, the three wise men start their own journey through the house closer and closer to the stable until they reach it on the Epiphany.

I think this is such a fun way to act out the Nativity story. I’ve seen some people do it in a similar way to Elf on the Shelf , where they move the people at night and then the kids have to look around to see where they traveled on their journey. Right now, we just have Nora’s play Nativity set that she got from St. Nick last year. I’m deciding if we’ll do this with her set or if I should just go ahead and get us an adult set to do it with so that she can play with her Nativity set together all season long. Luckily, I still have a few weeks to decide!

Advent Traditions for Little Kids

This may seem like a lot, but all of it really amounts to maybe 15 extra minutes of activities a day, and it leads our hearts to focus on the anticipation of Jesus’s birth. Advent is a joyful season leading to the beauty and fun that is Christmas. I am so excited to be able to share these joys with our children and start these Advent traditions early so that they can be a part of their childhood memories someday.

I’d love to hear what Advent traditions you have in your family. How do you prepare for Christmas and for Jesus? Do you decorate the day after Thanksgiving, do it slowly throughout Advent, or decorate the whole house Christmas Eve? As we think about these things for our family, I’d love to hear what yours does! Share with us in the comments below or let me know on Facebook or Instagram. Happy preparations!

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25 Days of Christmas Books for Children Ages 0-3

25 Days of Christmas Books for Children Ages 0-3

Since our first has a February birthday, she already LOVED books by the time that her first Christmas was approaching.  I had seen others do a 25 Days of Christmas Books on Facebook and Pinterest prekids and had always thought that it was a really cute idea.  So once we had our own little book lover, it was settled that we were also going to do a 25 Days of Christmas Books.

That first Christmas season, I spent a lot of time scouring book shelves and the internet looking for good Christmas books at good deals. I probably spent way too much money and not enough time picking out the best books.  Going back, I probably wouldn’t have done the full 25 books that first Christmas and just started our collection growing between what we loved and what we were gifted.  Even so, it was so much fun to have our little almost one year old ripping open her daily Christmas book and getting excited to read it together!

Our collection is now a mixture of what I bought that first year, gifts from family and friends, and other books I’ve added in the past couple years.  We have over 25 Christmas books now, so I just pick out our favorites to wrap and bring out the others throughout the season. I’m sticking to board books this year (since we already have them!), and I’ll probably start looking at picture books to add to the mix next Christmas when we have an almost four year old!

So What Exactly is 25 Days of Christmas Books?

It’s exactly that- you choose 25 Christmas/Winter books to share with your children throughout the season of Advent, leading up to Christmas. I see it as an Advent calendar that promotes a love of reading and books.  I have chosen to wrap them in the past (maybe because I’m a bit extra?), but that’s definitely not necessary! Just collect your books, and choose one to open each day as you prepare for Christmas. Pro-Tip: Find some place to put your books that doesn’t tempt your children to find them and open a bunch before you can stop them- ask me how I know. 

If you’re looking to start a Christmas books collection, or to do your own 25 Days of Christmas books, I’ve compiled our list of books that I’m wrapping up this year for my almost three year old and one year old for you to peruse.  As I said before, it can get expensive to buy all 25 Christmas books at once.  One tip I have for building up your collection on a budget is to check out the used books option on Amazon- many are available at a much lower price and still in good condition!  There are also many used book websites such as Better World Books and Thriftbooks that have good deals as well. Some families even check Christmas books out from the library and open them soon after they check them out so that they can get them back in time. There are so many ways to make this tradition work for your family and for your budget.

I’ve broken our books for this year down into Religious Christmas Books, Santa Books, and General Christmas Books so that you can peruse based on your own Christmas traditions.  It has been so fun to share the Christmas spirit with Nora through these 25 Days of Christmas books the last couple years, and I’m excited to get Charlie involved this year too!  I hope that you’ll find a few new Christmas books to add to your collection too!

Read More: Our Advent Traditions for Little Kids

25 Days of Christmas Books

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. As an Amazon Associate, Simply Mama Bird makes a small commission off of any qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you! Thank you!

Religious Christmas Books

I tried to find a good amount of religious Christmas books in order to have an emphasis on the “reason for the season.”  We’re Catholic, and it’s important that we share Jesus and our faith with our kids.  Books have been a really helpful tool with this.  The “problem” with Religious Christmas books is that so many of them are focused on the Nativity story- which is great!- but I’ve been trying to find other Christmas books that incorporate Jesus and God and aren’t all the Nativity story.  That being said, at least four of these books reference or talk about the Nativity and all have their own perspective on them, making them worth all having in our collection!

1) The Story of Christmas – Patricia A. Pingry

2) What Is Christmas? – Michelle Medlock Adams

3) Nativity Flap Book – Usborne Books

4) The Story of Christmas – Hayley Down

5) A Very Merry Christmas Prayer – Bonnie Rickner Jensen

 6) God Bless Our Christmas-Hannah C.Hall

7) Christmas in the Manger  – Nola Buck

8) The Story of Christmas – Fiona Boon

9) The ABCs of Christmas – Jill Howarth

10) One Christmas Bear – Anne Vittur Kennedy

11) Tonight You Are My Baby Board Book: Mary’s Christmas Gift

Santa Books

We have chosen to have a Santa tradition in our family (though this is probably the first year that it matters for our oldest, and we’re figuring out what that looks like!).  Given this, we have quite a few books that at least reference Santa.  These books are all super cute and share the holiday spirit in such a fun way.  Between rhymes, flaps, and touchy feely pads, there’s not much that can go wrong!

12) Llama Llama Jingle Bells – Anna Dewdney

13) Here Comes Christmas! – Caroline Jayne Church

14) My Christmas Star – Lucy Fleming

15) Biscuit’s Pet & Play Christmas: A Touch & Feel Book – Alyssa Satin Capucilli

16) Bizzy Bear: Christmas Helper – Benji Davies

17) The Night Before Christmas – Clement C. Moore

18) Babies Love Christmas: Lift-a-Flap Board Book – Stacy Peterson

19) A Christmas Wish for Corduroy – Don Freeman

20) Fa La La –  Leslie Patricelli

General Christmas Books

I’m rounding out my list of our 25 Books of Christmas with our books that don’t have a religious aspect and don’t mention Santa.  These are all so sweet- and the last is one of my favorites! 

21) Merry Christmas, Little One! – Sandra Magsamen

22) A Very Merry Christmas – Maudie Powell-Tuck

23) Where Is Baby’s Christmas Present?: A Lift-the-Flap Book – Karen Katz

24) Bear Stays Up for Christmas – Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman

25) Llama Llama Holiday Drama – Anna Dewdney

So there you have it! Our 25 Books of Christmas for this year.  I’ve got to get wrapping these as we’ll be gone for the week of Thanksgiving and then December is already upon us! If you have Christmas books that you love that you don’t see on this list, let me know- I’m always looking to add a good book to the pile!  As I shared, I’ll be looking especially for picture books to add for my oldest next Christmas, so send me your favorites 🙂 

Read More: Our Advent Traditions for Little Kids

25 Days of Christmas Books

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Embrace the Fall When It Still Feels like Summer

Embrace the Fall When It Still Feels like Summer

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I am having a big case of Fall FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) this year.  As a girl born and raised in Wisconsin, being in Florida during the fall is just awful.  I want the brisk days, leggings and sweaters, and the changing of the leaves. This is our second fall in Florida, and I don’t remember my longing for all things autumn being this bad last year.  That could definitely be because I was mega pregnant and then had a newborn mid October, though. This year, I am feeling it full force, so I am figuring out how to embrace fall when it still feels like summer.

I don’t know what it is about seasons that people just really flock to.  I think as humans, we like the chance to shake things up, to reorganize our lives, to start things over, and fall provides just that.  It has really been getting a cult following lately- maybe it was this way before too, but as I’ve become an adult it seems like people don’t just love fall- they LOVE it.  They like the leggings and scarves, the pumpkin spice everything, all of the fall activities, and, of course, the plethora of Instagram picture opportunities. I also think part of the reason people love fall is that it satisfies all of our senses- there are so many things to see, touch, taste, smell, and hear. 

Plus, it’s the beginning of the holiday season and so many different family traditions. I’m starting to realize I’m a tad nostalgic and love tradition.  I want to get our pumpkins, put up our decorations, and bake all of the things just like I did as a child. And I’m excited to do these things with my children.  Luckily, even amidst these 80 degree days, I’m able to embrace the fall when it still feels like summer.  It just takes being a little more intentional than walking outside our front door.  Here are some of the ideas and activities we’re looking forward to this year!

Embrace the Fall When It Still Feels like Summer

Decorating for Fall When It Feels like Summer

I’ve been slacking hardcore on decorations this year.  I think I just skipped the month of September between our hurricane scare and then a stomach bug hitting our children. We have very minimal fall decorations up (and I just put them up this past Friday!). Part of that is probably because we don’t have many fall decorations stocked up to begin with.  We’re trying to be intentional about the pieces we bring into our home and not just putting up junk. Plus, we need to have decorations that we’re either okay with the kids destroying or that they can’t destroy. Between these two qualifications, we have very little in way of fall decorations (or really decorations at all #toddlerlife).  

Being in Florida, where the leaves outside are still as green as the summer, we need to put up something as a visible reminder that the time of year is changing. I love these window clings as they make me feel like maybe the leaves outside are different colors- it’s all about self deception 😉 .  We also have a couple of little fall signs hanging around the house, and we’ll get some pumpkins/gourds later this month to use as decorations.  Whatever we can do to bring a little fall spirit to our household helps!

Fall Crafts & Activities for the Kids

I’m not usually a crafty mom, but there is something about this fall that is getting me inspired.  My toddler, Nora, is just getting to the age where we can do some more crafty things. The other day, we went on a “scavenger hunt” around our apartment complex.  While we don’t have leaves of many different colors, there were some dead leaves on the ground that I could pretend were fall leaves. We also picked up some flowers, sticks, rocks, and grasses on our adventure.  The next day, Nora and I made a little collage with all of our findings. It actually turned out pretty cool- and then after keeping it around for a couple days, we returned the items back to the outdoors (the best kind of project!). 

We also tried doing some pumpkin paper plate crafts the other day.  It was pretty simple- just some paper plates and some paint and I left her to it.  We had a pretty pink and blue “pumpkin” at the end- I’m all about that toddler creativity haha! We’ll probably do a couple more as I get ambitious throughout the next couple weeks 😉 . The nice thing about these kind of crafts is that they can double for decorations- and it’s okay if they get destroyed! 

Eat All of the Fall Foods

Fall has sooooo many good foods and flavors associated with it! Between pumpkins, apples, squash, zucchinis, and sweet potatoes, I don’t know where you can go wrong.  My husband is a fuddy dud and doesn’t like pumpkin (who doesn’t like pumpkin!?), so I’m having to make pumpkin sweets just for myself and the kids.  I guess I shouldn’t complain, though, more for me!  I asked my friend for her pumpkin cookie recipe she made all the time in college and they hit the spot. Plus, pumpkin is technically healthy, right?

We’ve also been eating our fair share of apples since they’ve come into season.  I’m hoping to find some good zucchinis and other fall squashes to make some good ole fall recipes in the next months. There really is something special about making foods to fit the seasons. I tend to feel with my stomach and love others by baking and cooking- especially sweets- so this time of year just calls to me. Send me your favorite fall recipes- sweets or meals. I’m just starting to figure out what my go-to’s are going to be as my kiddos grow. What we’ve made so far has definitely helped bring the fall into our household.

Embrace the Fall when It Still Feels Like Summer

Seek Out Fall Events- Even when it still feels like summer!

I Googled where to get pumpkins the other day, and I was astounded by all of the options that we have- places I didn’t even know existed!  A lot of the churches down here will have a hosted “pumpkin patch” and there are a couple different farmers markets we might look into to hit up for our fall harvest foods.  We’re not lacking for children’s fall activities either.  Especially as Halloween approaches, there are an abundance of children’s fall festivals and trick or treat opportunities throughout the city.

If you’re looking for fall activities in your area, do a quick Google search of your area.  I’ve actually had even better luck looking through Facebook- searching for fall activities in your area could present multiple different options for your family to enjoy! One we’re looking forward to trying out in our area is actually right down the street from us- a place that has a little petting farm, pumpkin patch, and other activities for kiddos. There are so many fun things to get out and do in our communities during this time of year- even if we’re still wearing our shorts and sandals! 

Bring on the Fall Smells

I am not a fragrance person usually- my husband is the candle lover in our family.  But man, I have been loving our apple candle the last few days! It’s been creating a cozy atmosphere in our house. I’m thinking we might need to stock up on some fall smelling candles this year (and then maybe some winter ones- I’ll keep you posted!).  I know there are some people who will make something called stovetop potpourri where they have a boiling pot with different fall smelling foods like apples and spices or whatnot- what a fun idea! (Though maybe that’d heat up our house more than we want?)

Whether it’s a candle, stovetop potpourri, essential oils, or just a fall air freshener, adding a little bit of fall fragrance to the air helps create a new atmosphere.  I think there truly is something about fall appealing to all of our senses, especially smell.  There’s a distinct smell to fall up north that can’t quite be captured in a candle. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to add a little something into the air to remind us of the fall season even when it still feels like summer.

Embrace the Fall When It Still Feels Like Summer

Get that Fall Reading On

If you’re a follower of the blog, you know we love our books around here. When I was looking for our long lost fall decorations earlier this week, I found our stash of fall children’s books too! I had forgotten we had so many- I had found a smaller stash a month or so ago and thought that’s all we had. I don’t know who was more excited- Nora or me! It’s been fun reading these books that have been put away for awhile, and Charlie is getting into them too. A few of our favorites from our stack are shown below- My one year old is a BIG fan of the Don’t Push the Button books, and my toddler is all about the Where’s Boo series of board books (there’s Christmas and Valentine’s Day too!)

This year has forced us to embrace the fall when it still feels like summer.  And I’m kind of glad it has.  We’re learning which traditions are important to us and which activities we want to be a part of our family culture.  We’ve had to be intentional about bringing the fall spirit into our home. And there have been benefits to it still being warm- we don’t have to bundle up the kids on our way out of the house to our different activities for one!  While we look forward to spending next fall actually experiencing fall (we hope!), this year has showed us how to embrace the fall when it still feels like summer.

What fall activities do you enjoy doing with your family? Whether you’re actually experiencing the fall season change or simply embracing the fall when it still feels like summer like us, I’d love to hear what’s on your fall bucket list this year! Let me know by commenting below or chatting with us on Facebook or Instagram.  I’m looking forward to hearing what your family loves 🙂

 

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