Day 43 – Throwback

I think this is always going to be one of my favorite photos.

This was such a fun day. Cadence was about 3, and we’d spent a day out in the yard at the old house raking about a billion leaves. When Stevie busted out the leaf blower, Cadence thought it was too much fun to run away from his as he blew stray leaves into our piles. I grabbed my camera and caught gold.

I bought a large canvas for Stevie for his birthday, and it has been in his office ever since. After his office was rearranged (and the only photo-hanging wall was made into a giant whiteboard), he finally decided to bring the canvas home. For the last week or so, he has been cleaning and rearranging in the basement, and he told me he was going to hang this downstairs, to which I replied that he most certainly was not, and I promptly swiped the canvas and took it to my office.

Time to do a little decorating!

A Perfect Day for Pumpkins

I’m having a hard time believing that it’s almost Halloween. 2014 is flying by way too fast, and the fact that we’re still enjoying 80-degree summer-like weather here in the Heartland…well, it makes it feel like we’re still in the midst of summer, and not closing in on that frenzied holiday season that always seems to end the year in a rush.

Mom, Dad, and my sister Lindy and her family all came over today to hang out, watch the Huskers put the smack down on Rutgers, and decorate pumpkins with the kiddos. Odin decided to carve. Cadence opted for paint. And, well…we all had a blast.

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Autumn Yard Work, Romano-style

Reason #7659 that I love my husband–He can even make yard work fun.

I stuck my head out the back door because I wanted to get a photo of the steam coming off the roof of the garage…

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But it wasn’t long before something far more interesting unfolded…

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This guy never fails to entertain in front of the camera.

And just in case anyone was wondering where Cadence gets all those goofy faces from…

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And of course there has to be some Star Wars inspired lightsaber action…

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Now get to work.

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Yard Work, Romano-Style

Ah, I love the fall. Seriously, everything about the fall. I love football and stews and oversized sweatshirts. I love the fact that temperature has fallen below the “Holy Shit It’s Hot” level where it has been since Easter. I love the rich colors and the fact that I finally get to over-indulge in Halloween candy again since I’m now a parent (because let’s face it, if you’re single and childless and eating fun-size candy bars out of a plastic jack-o-lantern, you should probably seek some sort of counseling).

But, what I think I love most about fall is the turning of the leaves. There’s just something about all the rich, warm colors that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. And as a kid, I always loved raking the leaves, because that meant spending the better part of the afternoon jumping in them, throwing them, piling them up at the bottom of the swing set so my friends and I could run through our very own Funhouse-style gauntlet and dive into the ginormous leaf pile at the finish line.

At some point in adulthood, yard work tends to lose a little bit of its luster. Instead of wasting away an entire day building obstacle courses and then raking and re-raking piles of leaves with Energizer Bunny-like energy, the only race is really just the race to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can tackle some of the other chores on the weekend To Do List–do the laundry, grocery shop, watch some football. I think spending a couple years living in the Arizona desert made us forget just how many leaves actually fall in the Fall.

Thousands.

Seriously, several thousand have already fallen in our backyard alone. We just might reach a million by the end of the weekend. Oh, and a thunderstorm is supposed to blow through, so we’re likely to get most of our own leaves and a large share of our neighbors’. Thank goodness we managed to get quite a bit of the clean up done already.

I gotta say, working with Cadence made it fun again. I mean, seriously, how can yard work be a chore with this kid around? And yeah, it helps that her Daddy was having just as much fun as she was. So, this is how we do some yard work, Romano-style…

First, you need some bubbles and some swordplay. Cadence was trying out some of her Jedi Mind Tricks…

Then, you better run, because Daddy’s got the leaf blower…

Ahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Time to get a little serious…

And a little dramatic…

And then dive right back in…

Now that’s what I call a good day of work…

365 Project – Day 259 – Fall

I’ve always had a hard time choosing my favorite season. I love to watch a good snowfall in the Winter, but that fluffy stuff has a way of piling up and melting into dirty slush and freezing into a solid mass on the roads and my car windows. At that point, I just get annoyed. Plus, I’ve always been a pretty cold-blooded person (insert lame joke here). Once I get cold, I have a hard time getting warm again. My husband makes fun of me bundling up in wool socks and layers of flannel pajama pants and sweatshirts before I get in bed at night, but there are very few things in this world that I hate more than cold bedsheets.

I’ve always loved the beauty of the Spring. I love watching the world wake up after the long winter’s slumber. Birds sing. Flowers bloom. The days grow longer and the world is green and vibrant again. It’s just about the time that the prettiest flowers start blossoming that my sinuses revolt and close up tighter than a Venus Flytrap. There’s nothing sexier than a girl whose face is perpetually damp from the steady flow of liquid draining from both eyes and nostrils. Add a layer of redness to the nose, a couple of bloodshot eyes and a whole lot of phlegm and I start looking like one of the animated corpses from the new A&E show The Walking Dead. Luckily, there are some damn good allergy medications available over the counter these days, because if I actually had to go see a doctor to get a prescription for the stuff, I would just lock myself in a small room with a two-month supply of food and an air purifier and hibernate.

Of course Summer is always a great season, or at least it was when I was younger. School was out. The pool was open. The days were long and endless. Summer meant vacations and barbecues and sunbathing in the backyard with a good book or a pen and paper trying to write my own. These days, summer has lost a bit of its lustre. Now that I am no longer a student, summer no longer heralds a welcome break from that little thing called responsibility. Plus, these days I no longer have the body (nor the naive youthful self-confidence) to run around in a pair of shorts and a bikini top which is really the only attire that keeps you from sweating to death in the humid summer heat.

When it comes right down to it, Fall is, hands down, my favorite season. I mean really, what’s not to like? The humidity and oppressive heat of the summer is gone, but it’s not yet cold enough to refuse to leave the house without first putting on every last article of clothing you own. The deceptively beautiful allergy-inducing fauna that ravaged my sinuses months earlier have shed their vibrant Spring attire and slipped into their bold-colored evening wear, trading the pale pastels and bright neon colors for the much deeper earth and jewel tones that I have always found much more beautiful. Fall means going back to school with a renewed lust for learning (or at least that’s how it always was for me because, in the end, I’m a bit of a nerd). Fall means football and tailgating and big batches of thick, hearty stews. Fall means savoring that steaming cup of coffee or cocoa and throwing on a sweater to cut the chill in the air. Fall means celebrating two of the best holidays of the year–Thanksgiving with the family all the homecooked food, and Halloween with the scary movies and the costumes and all the candy. Who doesn’t like Halloween candy?

I spent the final week of my summer this year visiting my family in Arizona and shooting my sister Kassie’s engagement photos. It has been one of the longest, hottest summers on record there, and Cadence and I caught the tail end of it during our trip. With temperatures still in the 100’s during the day and only cooling off to the 90’s overnight, I pretty much spent the entire 10 day trip covered in a thin layer of sweat.

Funny how Steven and I left Arizona less than a year ago, but I’d already forgotten about that summer heat! The natives always say, “But, it’s a dry heat” as if the lack of humidity actually matters when the temperatures climb into the 120’s. Dry or not, hot is hot. If you can mix up a pan of brownies, leave it in your car in the morning, check back at noon and find that they have cooked through, then it’s too damn hot. End of story.

Arriving back in Nebraska, Cadence and I were greeted by temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s. Our windows are open. Our air conditioner has officially been retired for the season. And yesterday I even spent the day wearing one of my favorite Truman High School baseball hoodies around the house. And just in case we we needed an official sign that Fall has arrived here in Nebraska, our friends over at Mars, Inc. sent out an official notice with some delicious Fall-colored candy.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to all the things we love (and hate) about the seasons. Which is your favorite?