diving into fall. sharpening our knives. growing wild hairs to do things like carve teeny gourds and boil crayfish from the creek and jump each other on bikes. fall is a time for bundling up and heading outside since the season of hunkering down is coming sooner than we’re ready for. except peter who has his new snowboard and boots next to his bed, at the ready, for the first hint of snow. winter stuff is arriving daily from our favorite online outfitters, the bills making dan go all bug-eyed and quiet until they model and he can picture them schussing down the slopes with their rosy cheeks and twinkly eyes. first fire yesterday. pumpkins lit tonight to lots of fanfare. plans being made for trick or treating with neighbors. and, yes, there is a halloween musical that peter is a part of next week. on the eve of the costume parade and halloween parties and we’re not in kansas anymore. can’t even see it from our windows, but there is sweetness here in conversations with great neighbors drummed up over the sound of shuffling feet at the bus stop. and i can hear it in the fervent prayers of the moms in touch group i think i’m falling in love with. i can see it in the frequent requests for play dates with people within walking distance from our house and when grant took off across the street yesterday to play hide and seek with some friends i didn’t even yell after him to be sure and watch for cars. just threw up in my mouth a little and then cried some bitter sweet tears as i mixed up a batch of molly’s (you know who you are) pumpkin muffins. but they were mostly happy tears cause being here is great. and we’re more than settling in. we’re staying. right here in this not so big house that welcomed a dear friend (you know who you are) to come over in her pjs this morning with her bra in her picnic basket just in case she wanted to run somewhere on the way home. and we snuggled in and drank tea, she using the coveted tea cup from san fran, me using the old dan vos construction standbys, and i listened as she told her kids repeatedly that this was her special play date with her friend and making me fall deeper in love with her. so we’re embracing fall and the wild colors and the crazy love of a jesus that challenges us to be more than we think we can and then pushes us farther than that even and sometimes it hurts. it hurts so bad. but it’s good too. mostly good being pushed and stretched and formed. but more on that later. for now, enjoy your fall. cause this is me. being real. thankful.