it's the most wonderful time of the year

In an (yet another) attempt to write more, to be inspired to write more, I joined a writing group on Facebook.  It’s a group of writers that all were on the For the Love Launch Team with me.  It’s become a great space for ideas, for sharing and for the opportunity to guest post.
There’s a blogger in our group started a #FridayFive link up.  Each month she gives us the five topics and we can write a post and then link it up on her page.  So here’s my first #FridayFive:

Five Fall Traditions

There is no question in my mind – Fall is my favorite season.  I have been head over heels with this week’s weather here.  It’s crisp, it’s chilly and I get to wear my boots and scarves.  insert heart eyes emoji.
So here are my 5 Fall Traditions that help me maximize the :
IMG_21911.  Coffee
Or more specifically – coffee dates.  Obviously coffee is a year round tradition because I’m more Lorelei Gilmore than Mary Camden.  But in the Fall is when I take my coffee obsession up a notch.  I try to create coffee dates within my week, whether that be with friends, students, family or just myself.  In the fall, a piping hot cup of coffee being drank while wearing a warm cozy sweater is more about slowing down and igniting your senses than it is about caffeination. Although that’s important too.
IMG_5851 2. Football
Oh Football.  The fall is when I welcome you back into my life.  I welcome back lazy Sundays watching the Broncos play on my TV (or on my laptop if the Bears are playing too).  I love (almost) everything about football.  The camaraderie, the teamwork, the human interest stories, the family ties… I love it.  Football has always had a big piece of my heart because of my dad.  My dad loved the Broncos more than anyone I know.  I learned the game sitting in his lap watching taped games from the 80s.  I knew the players strengths and weaknesses and I idolized the players alongside my dad.  And even now, even as I live on my own in another state, every weekend finds me watching my beloved team.
IMG_01803. Fall Retreats
This is a newer tradition for me – I might only be three years in.   But every fall there is a retreat for pastors and their families put on at one of our beautiful camps and planned by the pastors in our conference.  This year I think is my third year going, and I love it.  I only get away for the day but it’s great to get out of the routine of life and into community with God and others who get you.  I head up next week and I am pretty excited for a day to hear from a great speaker and to spend much needed time with my friends and colleagues in ministry.  It’s good for my soul, for my friendships and for my ministry.
IMG_5634 4. Fall Colors
I love fall colors.  And I love the tradition of taking pictures of these vibrant colors against blue skies.  I walk a little slower, drive the long way to work and simply enjoy these colors.  I’m sorry in advance if you dislike the amount of pictures I’ll post on Instagram.  But these colors are the perfect backdrop for fall activities – apple picking, farmers markets, coffee with friends, walks, soccer games… the colors are coming for you!
IMG_0107 5. Thanksgiving in Denver with Family 
No matter where I live, I always go to Denver for Thanksgiving.  I missed one year and it was the hardest day I’ve had in a long time.  Thanksgiving is maybe my favorite holiday because it’s just about family – there’s no presents, there’s no outside traditions, it’s just about time spent with the people I love the most in this world.  Another reason I’ve come to love Thanksgiving is that my nieces don’t have school the whole week – we just get to play, have fun and enjoy the fall together.  This picture is actually taken two years ago at my middle niece’s Pumpkin Pie Social at her day care.  We only have one more niece at day care so I’m really looking forward to our last few Pumpkin Pie Socials – the one special event that I’m ever in town for.  I will sit in those tiny plastic chairs and eat Pumpkin Pie (which I don’t really like, to be honest) for one moment with my niece that I get to experience in person.  Another Thanksgiving tradition is baking with my nieces for Thanksgiving Dinner, we make a dessert together from scratch and they love to help.  All day is about cooking, the Macy’s parade and football.  All night is about eating and laughing around the table.  It’s the best day of the year, if you ask me.

So there you have it – my first #FridayFive – what are your favorite Fall Traditions?