Living in Virginia, this is the time of year when mornings start to turn crisp (but not cold- yet) and hoodies find their way out of the backs of closets. The coffee shops unveil their seasonal Pumpkin Spice blends (which I am sipping happily while writing this) and the leaves are just starting to hint at changing. I love this time of year. In fact, like many people, I love the change of any season. But the two I love best are Summer fading into Fall and Winter bursting into Spring.

New Years Eve is when most people make their big changes, but for me it has always been these two seasonal shifts that bring about the most change. Spring cleaning of course, but also a Fall purging, which I spent the past two weeks on. The house feels lighter, the kids rooms less cluttered and suddenly all of my favorite things are at my fingertips instead of tucked between or beneath things I don’t care as much about. After seven contractors bags worth of Goodwill donations, my closet actually has room for some new clothes. And the first new addition is already on its way from Turkey! I found an amazing designer on etsy and she’s made me a custom gown right down to my exact measurements. Being six feet tall, I’ve never owned a gown (besides my wedding dress) that actually hit the floor when I put on heels. (I will definitely share pictures and links to her in another post, when the dress arrives.)

Autumn is also the time when our family makes the annual trek up Carter Mountain in Charlottesville, Va. to pick apples. That’s my son in the photo above, picking Fujis. Just as with the summer raised garden, I think it is so important for the children to have a more hands-on approach to their food and to gain an appreciation for its sourcing (beyond the grocery store). They always fill about 5 large bags, which is fine because when you pick them yourself they stay fresh for ages. This year we are going twice. Once this weekend with friends and again in October when our beloved Fujis appear. I’m hoping to think up something special and unusual to make with them this year (in addition to the usual apple pie), and I will share the results of course.

In the meantime, I’ll be hoping for weather as beautiful as it was last year, when I took these pictures on the mountain:

Apple Picking Bliss.