Halloween, Holidays, Motherhood

Fall To-Don’t List. How I Essentially Failed Fall

Happy Monday friends!
How was your weekend?
You remembered to fall back, right?
Like you didn’t get a million reminders online.
I was reading Twitter yesterday morning at 5 am and every other tweet was about other mom bloggers getting up with their kids yesterday and how screwed up it was because of the time change.
And I laughed. And laughed. And laughed.
Because my youngest gets up at 5 EVERY SINGLE DAY.

We had a very productive weekend.
The kind where on Monday morning we say, “too much weekend” while shuffling through the house in a daze.
My husband and I worked on the girls’ bathroom.
Well, I should say he worked in the girls’ bathroom while I supervised.
I planned it all out but there was really nothing I could do to help other than hand him tools and screws.
That didn’t sound dirty in my head.
Anyway, I can’t wait to show it to you next week.
It looks amazing, and I am forever grateful for my husband.
Few men would DVR the Bears game to help me install a new mirror in the girls’ bathroom and not complain once about it.
Okay, not complain twice about it.
I love him so.

Remember this?

About that.

See how many check marks?
That’d be four.

I know that fall is not yet over.
But let’s face it.
It really is.
Because when you have kids, fall is really only in October.

Let me rephrase that.
When you live in northern Illinois, fall is really only October.
Because once it hits November 1 on the calendar here, all hell breaks loose.
Leaves literally fall off all the trees overnight October 31st, dark skies loom all day every single day.
More rain.
Even colder, cold.
And it gets dark.
At 4:30.
In the afternoon.

So you need to get all your fun fall activities done before October 31st in these parts.
But that did not even happen here this year.


Make lots of soup?

I even wrote a note to…I don’t even know who, ourselves??…..about a last-minute substitution.


Does chili count?

You can even see the summer checklist peeking through.
Like it’s taunting us about our epic fall failure.


We definitely had lots of bonfires.
With our neighbor friends.
In the driveway.
After the kids were asleep.
With booze involved.

What is wrong with us?


We went to a local high school football game.
Just my husband and I.
The oldest was at a school dance with friends, the youngest was at our neighbors’ house playing with her friend.
It was too cold for her, anyway.
And no, we didn’t even go to a pumpkin farm.
For the first time since our 12-year-old was born.

All over blog land, Facebook, and Twitter, I would see my friends, virtual and real, celebrating this the most beautiful of seasons by going to pumpkin farms, hayrides, apple farms.

My brother- and sister-in-law even had a cul-de-sac pumpkin carving party with their neighbors.
Yeah, we didn’t even carve a pumpkin this year.
Then, while on the phone with my mom the other day, I mentioned our fall funk.
And she just laughed.
You’re busy, she said.
You have had a transitional month……..she said.
Then she said, you know, we never went to a pumpkin farm when you were little.
They didn’t really exist.
I remember going on haunted hayrides, attending festivals (can you say Sorghum Festival? Yeah, apparently Sorghum is Native American for boring. At least when you are 10.)
But we didn’t go to pumpkin farms.

And I grew up in rural Ohio.

I bet there are lots of them there now, but back then, we didn’t need them to enjoy fall.
And I still have wonderful memories of fall.
They just didn’t involve riding in a tin can train or pick a pumpkin half my size.

So did the kids spend lots of time outside?

Yes, daily.
Did we take a drive to look at leaves?
No, but we took lots of walks in our neighborhood and picked up lots of them.
Did we make soup?
No, but I am still waiting for the chili vote to come in.
Did we go apple picking?
No, but we ate lots of apples.
That didn’t cost 40 bucks to pick.
So I wasn’t truly authentic when sticking to my Fall To-Do List.
But I promise to make the Christmas To-Do List a little more attainable.

Or maybe not make one at all.

Yeah, that might be better.

10 thoughts on “Fall To-Don’t List. How I Essentially Failed Fall”

  1. OhMAHword. I so understand. We are coming off one of the lamest Summers ever, and dove headfirst into – apparently – the lamest Fall. Here's hoping a buttload of Christmas cookies make up for it somehow.


  2. You're not alone. We never even bought a pumpkin this year (although I did buy a carving kit) and our family to-do list keeps getting trumped by the kids sports, school and life. I agree w/Sue…here's to a crazy, totally checked off xmas list 🙂


  3. Thanks friends.I know, life gets in the way sometimes.Thanks for making me feel less like worst mom of the year. 🙂


  4. Awe…chin up butter cup. Things happen. Life happens. Especially with kiddies. Isn't it crazy how much time flys. I have to say your driveway-kidless-bonfire-alcohol partys sound FABULOUS!! And so what if the kids werent right next to you, they were in the same zip code and im sure you thought of them while you were hanging out. That counts right? does in my book. hahaha. Check marks or no check marks I still think you rock as a mom, wife, stranger that I've never met. and besides the list looked FABULOUS with your fall decor didn't it?!?!?! haha. btw, my mom had this old fram i was SOOO exstatic to take off her hands. I'm going to do a chalk board christmas list and copy your idea. I can't wait!!


  5. Don't feel so bad. I don't even get to decorate my house for fall. It's so messed up with construction (continually) that I can't get into the festive feel. I'm lucky I clean it. So, don't feel bad. All those times in the past that you did stuff with your kids and ran around looing for fall festivities are etched in their memories. We're all allowed to slide once in a while. Love your blog by the way. Keep up the good work 🙂


  6. Aww Antonia, I can always count on you to make me feel better! Big hugs! Melissa- thanks for the sweet comments. They mean ever so much to me!!


  7. Well, if you are the worst mom of the year I think you've got lots of company! And soup…that can easily move to the winter list. No prob. Pumpkin patches: Over-rated. One of the best gifts you can give your kids is a not-stressed mommy. Put that on your winter/holiday list (if you make one, which I recommend against) 🙂


  8. Chili totally counts! Especially if you stick it in the crock pot and let it cook all day…then you don't have to think about it! Even though you didn't check off all of the items, it sounds as though you and your kiddos had a fabulous fall!And I hear ya about fall ending with October..it's the same up here in Minnesota. And sometimes, fall is over before Halloween even gets here!!


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