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Dear Florida

Dear Florida,

You might not know this, but today is the first day of Fall. Do you know what that is? Fall? It’s that beautiful time of year when after a really hot summer the weather cools off. The change happens over the course of a few weeks, you wake up one day and walk outside expecting to be smacked in the face with humid, hot, stale air and instead, to your utter amazement, you’re greeted with a refreshing crisp morning. There’s something about that first morning that breathes life back into your soul…or at least it does mine. It doesn’t last long. Fall is a surprisingly quick season. It comes up on you so quick, blesses you with its presence and then leaves just a little bit before winter covers the ground with a blanket of snow.

{It really does look like this}

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Anyways, Florida, in other parts of the country people have known that it was Fall for a while. Sweatshirts {and some places even jackets} have already been pulled from the back of the closet. The leaves have been changing and are now in their full glory. Reds, yellows, oranges and browns in all their splendor grace the landscape with their fleeting beauty. In Michigan, apple orchards are open and booming with business. Hay rides. Corn mazes. Pumpkin patches. Scarecrows. Apple Cider. Bonfires. Fallen leaves that cover yards and crunch when you walk over them. Piles of leaves that have been raked up, ready to be jumped in. Football games…. there’s just really nothing like it.

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But, you wouldn’t know about that, would you Florida? No. It’s still 90 degrees here and humid as ever. You don’t care that the calendar says Fall should start now, you wait until late October, if not November, to really get in the swing of things. You make your residents decorate for fall in t-shirts and shorts, and that just doesn’t seem right. Fall wreath on doors just seem out of place when the leaves outside are still a lively green. But you don’t care do you? You boast about your warm weather all year long. Well, I would just like to state, for the record, that sometimes I hate living in the Sunshine State. In fact, every single year when the seasons are supposed to be changing…but don’t…I hate living in this state. You have no idea what you’re missing out on Florida…seasons are a wonderful thing.

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But? This year I’ve decided to make the best of it. I’m going to start decorating the second week of October, maybe it’ll be just a little bit cooler. I’m going to wear boots. I’m going to carve pumpkins. I’m going to wear scarves. It might be 90 degrees outside…but darn it, it’s FALL! I’m going to make pumpkin rolls. I’m going to print the bucket list that my blog idol friend Katie over at Loves of Life made. She graciously made the list printable for the general public, so if you want it, just click here. So Florida? Bring it. Because I’m going to ROCK Fall this year.

Source: bhg.com via Rebecca on Pinterest

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Sincerely,
Probably not your most gracious resident

ps… I’m feeling better…Zoe now has a fever. I’m so stinking over this sickness.
pps…Don’t forget to enter the giveaway.
ppps…If you want to see the rest of my fall pins on Pinterest, you can click here.

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One lucky gal

One of the first things that stood out to me about Brad was how he loved his mother. I know you’re thinking, “He’s a momma’s boy!?!?!” No. He’s not. He’s just a really really really good son. When his father died within the week he’d given his roommates the next month’s rent, packed up his stuff and moved back into his mom’s house. He was in his 30’s. He’d lived on his own for over a decade. He had no monetary reason to move back in with his mom…he did it because he loved her, and he knew that she would need somebody in the house. I knew, instinctively, that if he loved him mom like that I was going to be one lucky gal.

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I was right.

Brad never ceases to amaze me with how he loves me. There is nothing to great or to small for that man. Every Saturday morning he wakes up at 7 with the baby. Nevermind that we don’t always get the chance for him to sleep in on Sunday. Nevermind that he is sometimes extremely tired because we stayed up too late the night before. Nevermind that he wants to sleep in too. He just jumps out of bed, kisses me and tells me to enjoy my sleep, and then I don’t hear another sound from either husband or baby until about 9, which is when I stumble out of bed. Once in a blue moon Zoe will wake up in the middle of the night. Guess who gets up with her? Brad. Every day Brad comes home from work, kisses his ladies hello, and then sets about cooking dinner. On the rare occasion that he allows me to cook dinner he can’t stand it if I also do the dishes. Last week we had one of those nights, he was begging me to let him do the dishes. I’m not exaggerating. I know that I joke a lot about Brad doing all the housework, but the truth is, it’s because that’s the arrangement that he wants.

In fact, when Brad picked us up from the airport not only did he have flowers in his hands, he had cleaned out the car until it was spotless…and let me tell you, that was a feat! When we got home, I walked into a spotless house from top to bottom. He’d also picked flowers from my rosebush and they were sitting on the counter. But it didn’t stop there…I walked into my closet to find it completely organized….are you kidding me??!?!?! The next day I walked into the garage to find that he’d cleaned THAT too. I was completely overwhelmed by his love…which is unusual…because Acts of Service typically isn’t my love language. To thank him, I unpacked and put away my suitcase within 24 hours, THAT has never been done before.

In Michigan I experienced what it was like to be a single mom for 9 days. It’s exhausting. I appreciated Brad so much. Zoe had a rough time sleeping up there, and there were a few nights that I woke up with her, almost in tears myself…missing Brad so much. The day that Zoe screamed for 2 hours straight and the woman stalked me in Kohl’s…those are the days that Brad walks in the door and I hand Zoe off to him. Except he wasn’t there. I loved him so much more right then. I loved him for all the support that I’ve had this past year staying home with Zoe. I loved him because I know that I’m lucky. I loved him because he doesn’t have to…but he does. Everyday. All day. He loves me so selflessly.

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I timed my return to Florida wrong. I got home late Sunday evening, and Monday morning Brad was back at work. For reasons I can’t explain, I didn’t foresee the effect that coming home to Brad working would have on me. I was so looking forward to not being a single mom anymore, and I forgot that I had 40 more hours left. It was a rough week. My mood was crabby at best. {True story, when I apologized to Brad for being bitchy he didn’t even correct me…he typically always downplays my bad moods} My poor husband, who missed his wife and daughter so much, welcomed home a grouchy pants wife and a very active daughter. It was a loooong week. Friday morning it wasn’t even 7:45 and I was already in a bad mood. When Brad left the house he told me to have a girls night Friday night. I didn’t respond. As the morning wore on I sent him a text at work. I told him that we were having a fun morning, but I was probably going to think up some errands that I could run for the afternoon. This was his response,

“Why don’t you drop Zoe off at my mom’s and go get yourself a pedicure or go to Barnes and Noble”

I cried. That’s my husband. Is there money for a pedicure? No. We’re one week into our budget and we’re doing great. My errands were going to be free, or at least really really cheap. But Brad doesn’t care. He’ll find a way to make it work. He’ll sacrifice whatever he needs to for my spirits to be lifted. I didn’t go get that pedicure because I knew that he would probably put tailgating for the Gator game on the chopping block…and he loves tailgating. But, still? Just knowing that he would means the world to me. I don’t take that for granted.

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And I know, deep down in my heart, I am one lucky gal.