Looking back at how I’ve introduced September’s favorite things posts in the past, you might notice that this month is one of my most treasured times—school is starting up, autumn comes flouncing in with her glorious smells and tastes, and those trees! But this year, everything feels different.
Can we all just agree that the world is a dumpster fire right now? 2020: zero stars, do not recommend.
Seriously, though, when reality is bleak and dark and the frost hasn’t even settled over bare branches yet, I need a few bright spots, little anchors of happy throughout the day. So from my autumn-ready heart to yours, here is a bit of joy.
Some September gifts to point you toward
Relationship Booster: Gottman’s Card Decks App
Add some spark to your date nights by pulling out these conversation starters. Want help expressing gratitude? Do you have new needs to discuss? Or would done-for-you questions designed to get your spouse talking be nice? With fourteen virtual decks of cards, each representing a different category, you’ll be chatting it up in no time. It’s easy. It’s helpful. And it’s free.
Transition Tradition: Harry Potter River Walk
Okay, honestly, you can use whatever music you like; the HP score sounds like fall to me, so I roll with it. The basic idea is to pick a time—maybe when autumn officially begins or the first morning that feels “crisp and golden as an apple”—and take a scenic walk with an epic soundtrack playing in the background. (A gorgeous river flows right through the heart of my town, so I follow it along and conveniently end up at an ice cream stand; a scoop of pumpkin and a scoop of maple complete the adventure, and then I’m ready to welcome fall with open arms.) I started this tradition a couple of years ago, and now I can’t imagine kicking off the season without it.
Gospel Voices: The Risen Motherhood Podcast
Moms need the hope of the gospel to come crashing through the exhaustion, the tedium, the chaos, and the weirdness of everyday life. Two sisters-in-law cozy on up and speak about redemption in just about every possible aspect of motherhood. (My favorite so far has been their discussion about momiforms—or mom uniforms.) If you’re looking for a robust, grace-saturated place of freedom for your mama heart to find refreshment, this is it. As of the date of this post, there are 166 episodes. Happy listening!
Tastebud Treat: Magnum Crackle Ice Cream
Actually, Riley and I call it crack ice cream. It’s that addictive. The pint-sized tub is coated with a thin chocolate shell that breaks off into little chunks, then filled with the creamy goodness and swirly layers of your dreams, and finally topped with a thick chocolate top that you have to break to get through. Words fail me. Just go get some.
Productivity Amplifier: Trello
The beginning of school always comes with fresh gusto for getting stuff done. For those of you trying to make the switch from paper to digital, Trello will be your new BFF. It’s a one-stop shop for project management. (Hello, fall cleaning! You are detailed, scheduled, and assigned!) Although it’s especially handy when working with a team—like your family or coworkers—you can definitely use it solo. (I wrangle blog ideas, seasonal bucket lists, and personal retreats with Trello.) So if you’re facing a deadline (or ten) and have a million items to organize and check off, rejoice! Things just got easier.