but I finally shook Hawaii. It is about time. For the past few months I have been torturing myself reminiscing about the beach, the sun, the sand, the fun, the food, the laughter and all my friends. Every time I start missing Hawaii, I try to reason with myself, reminding myself that I was ready to leave, that I didn't like that it was hot all the time, that sand sticks to your butt and gets everywhere in your car and that moving is just part of military life....and it just didn't work. I would give myself pep talks about Germany - "Look around! It is gorgeous here. What an amazing experience and opportunity to live in Germany and travel around Europe!" And that didn't work either. But today, in August no less, I woke up to a clear and crisp day and something felt a little magical about it. After I drank my morning coffee, I decided to get Luke dressed and head outside because it felt like fall. It was 60 degrees, cool, quiet, crisp and the sun was shining so although your nose and ears feel cool, the sun warms you up a little. We bundled up in fleece jackets and wandered around picking different leaves off all the trees. And as we were walking around I was flooded with memories from all the autumns I experienced growing up. I thought of soccer games, raking leaves, going to the apple orchards, drinking hot cocoa, lazy days in the neighborhood and laying on the floor at home playing Monopoly, watching football, running around outside until you felt your lungs would burst and your ears would fall off because they were so pink...and I realized that I really, I mean really, missed this. It has been 12 years since I have lived in this type of climate. Sure I still lived on the mainland from 1997 to 2003 but I was in the South and in the South getting a decent autumn is a crap shoot. Most of the time it is still hot until the end of September and then it gets freakishly cold, not much of an in between. Or, it is so mild that it seems that the trees and mother nature never really get a chance to showcase fall in all it's glory. Anyways, today I realized how much I love this weather and how comforting it is to me. This is the first time since we have been here that I have been truly content all day long and totally comfortable. After playing outside for awhile, Luke and I packed it on in and while I made a grocery list, he played with Play-Doh. We went to the store and I got all the ingredients I need for chili and I did a massive search for hot apple cider (no luck). As I type this up, little man is asleep, napping in my bed and I am enjoying this gorgeous fall (in August?) day and am wishing that the smell of cinnamon was wafting through my house. I almost want to decorate for Halloween! (I will, however, contain myself until September rolls around.) So bring on the fall weather - I'll take it! And Hawaii, I'm sure in the middle of the winter when it has been gray for days and days and it is so cold that I just can't take it anymore, I'm sure I'll miss you and your warm sunny skies and your gorgeous beaches but right now I have fall and pretty soon football, and you just can't beat that. Oh, and the leaves that Luke and I picked? I am going to iron them between 2 pieces of wax paper and if that isn't fall then I don't know what is!