Summer is just about over!

…and I can’t be more excited for fall! As many of you know, autumn is my absolute FAVORITE time of year. However, I’ve been learning to enjoy everything I can from each season. I typically enjoy summer nights the most. Lots of activities and lots of time with those I care about. This summer, I spent quite a bit of time attempting to manage my stress. Between being given more responsibility at work (which I normally love!–I typically enjoy challenging myself) and the personal things I have been going through, I am ready for a change of pace!

To all of my friends: I am sorry that I have been isolating myself this month. I know I have been doing it, but can’t seem to help myself. My goal for the last quarter of this year is to see you all more.

What have I done in August? Spent quite a bit of time with my family and Matt. I started off the month taking my annual trip to Ravinia to see the final movie of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Return of the King), accompanied by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I went, per usual, with Matt, Sara, and Rob. We were able to take the Metra, which was awesome! SO much easier than worrying about parking. Here are a few snapshots:

RaviniaMatt.INext, I was able to spend a day at the beach with my mom, Aunt Nancy, Lauren, Matt, and Lauren’s friend Stephanie (Buddy, unfortunately, was under the weather and couldn’t make it!). It was relaxing and fun, although we had a mini grill that just would NOT heat up enough to cook the food. Oh well, we still had a blast.


You can see that Mom and Aunt Nancy were having fun in the lake.

Here are a few ways I have spent summer. The first is a fire in the pit at my mom’s house, and the second is a picture of the view at Encompass’ Beach Yoga. The season, unfortunately, ended today. While I’m grateful for the respite it has provided, I certainly will not miss the sand all over everything!

Matt Fire

Beach Yoga

Matt and I spent Labor Day weekend half with my family and half with his. It was nice to see everyone, eat, and hold babies. I took the day after Labor Day off and Matt and I canned our own spaghetti sauce for the first time! It was actually super easy and now we will have sauce for the rest of the year. We used this recipe, but added about a third more of everything so that we could make 10 cans instead of seven. We used canned “naturals” whole peeled tomatoes to cut down on the cost and work. We still had to seed them, but it was much quicker than boiling and peeling. We also added a good deal of fresh herbs, straight from Matt’s dad’s garden. Here are our ingredients:

Before Canning

If you want to do this, BUY A JAR GRABBER. This is super important so you do not burn your hands. It came in handy and Meijer’s had a little kit for about $7, including the grabber. You can reuse jars/bands when recanning. You simply need to buy new lids. Here is our finished product:


I am hoping this fall brings renewed energy, strength, and patience. For now, I hope if you’re reading this you’ve enjoyed it!