* Going to bed early (although this is unfortunately accompanied by waking up early)
* Pumpkin-flavored everything (which only sounds like a good idea two months out of the year)
* Wearing clothes you haven't worn in awhile (that start to feel constricting and drab come December)
* Being able to use the oven without your house feeling like the oven (I actually love this and, considering how expensive electricity is, probably use my oven more than I should)
But the icing on the cake (PUN!) is that fall has turned into the official Season of the Birthdays.
Holden's birthday doesn't really count but we'll just say it does since it's the second to last day of July when people are getting excited for fall. Then it's mine and Zoey's turn come September.
A little throwback fun to the first birthday I "shared" with Zoey. She was three days late and showing no signs of entering the world. It's ok - I think God knew what challenges lay ahead of me and spared me her being a Virgo (like me).
The Torture of the Housewife: Presents arrive while Husband is at work. And then I find them in his "hiding place," the back of the closet, which wouldn't be such a terrible idea if I wasn't the sole person putting away his laundry.
When the blessed day arrived, I got to find out what was inside. The one from Zoey was my new favorite show, The Middle, on DVD. (No, I didn't get a boob-job; yes, I wish I had; yes, they look amazing in this picture.)
The one "from Holden" was a coffee mug from my other favorite television show, Parks and Recreation. Hey, I'm a Stay-at-Home Mom; of course TV is my hobby.
The only way I can explain my shirt is with this: CLICK HERE
I'll be honest, I was pretty anti-birthday this year. Since it landed on a Saturday, I thought about just planning a normal day at home where everyone is nice to me, then takes me out to a restaurant of my choosing for dinner. But when a couple of friends and I were trying to find time in September to get together, I suggested gathering at my house. I "leaked" that it was my birthday, and Mer said, "Oh, I'm coming over! And bringing birthday cheer!" So then I thought, ok, I'll see if Debbie and Holly want to come too, and that's how we wound up making less than good choices on my back deck (we signed Holly up for Snapchat, and decided she was going to have a hysterectomy). But boy was it fun! And such a great - and appropriate - way to ring in my 33rd birthday.
The best friends give the best gifts.
About a week later, it was Zoey's turn to have her special day. It landed on a Thursday so no hoards of friends came over, and we kept it relatively weekday-tame.
Immediately when she woke up, she wanted to open the box of presents sent by her Grandparents that had been taunting her from my closet for a week. After discovering a box of Pop Tarts in said package, that's what she decided we were having for breakfast. I then surprised her by putting on the usually-forbidden Disney Channel while I made food, just in case her mature 5-year old self decided she wanted something more substantial to eat (she did).
It was then time to strip-down for some naked pool time, which she took sporadic breaks from in order to eat Birthday Cake flavored Oreos and chicken nuggets.
She then got a surprise visit from her other Grandpa, who, of course, came bearing presents. After that, it had been way too long since naked pool time, so she stripped down and finished out the afternoon just as she had entered the world all those years ago - in her Birthday Suit.
Also in her box of presents was a hot dog slicer made to look like a Wiener Dog - whom she named Hercules - so we, of course, had to have hot dogs for dinner.
After watching Tangled, she cozied-up in her basement fort for the night.
She said, "This was the best birthday ever, guys."
In between all of the birthday fun, we made sure to soak up as much of the outdoors as we could.
Two Moon Park on a rare weekend we scored a kid-free night.
Jacob and I usually root for each others team, but we couldn't on one such Sunday Night Football - we were a house divided.
And this was pretty much how the game ended - apparently the Packers didn't think they needed to show up.