A Mom of Three’s Fall Bucket List

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It’s officially fall in St. Louis. Despite my love for tank tops and pool time, I am ready to embrace the transition into the new season. It makes the transition from summer to winter easier to swallow when you can enjoy all the quintessential “autumn” activities. And it’s icing on the cake when your kids get caught up in the season, too.

Much like the ubiquitous “summer bucket list,” I have created an unofficial bucket list for fall, although I’ve chosen to include a more realistic take on the season, based on my own experiences as an average mom of three:

  • Buying potted mums in every color for the front porch, and then starting the countdown to their slow, inevitable death (why can’t I keep them alive?!).
  • Making a giant pot of chili — the great thing about chili is that you can customize it to fit your family’s taste (swap black beans for chili beans, any ground meat will do, little or a lot of heat, etc.), and it’s a relatively economical meal. If you’re feeling particularly unconventional, you can throw in a white chicken chili and really liven it up.
  • Trekking out to a local pumpkin patch (here’s looking at you Thies Farm!) to spend the morning/afternoon taking cute photo ops in the hay and corn mazes, purchasing the cute “heirloom” pumpkins that look like something out of a fairy tale, and then stopping by Aldi on the way home to buy generic orange pumpkins for less than half the price.
  • Breaking out the family recipe book to make a batch of Grandma’s Pumpkin Bread (except I now have to substitute chocolate chips for the traditional pecans, because that is the only way to convince my children to try it).
  • Channeling our distant German heritage and hitting up Zootoberfest for a chance to enjoy the zoo in milder weather (and let’s face it, a more socially acceptable way to enjoy a giant draft beer in the middle of the afternoon with children in tow). 
  • Raking up the first round of fallen leaves into a giant pile in the yard and letting the kids leap into the middle of it with your iPhone poised to capture the moment (slo-mo, portrait mode, you decide!). Also on the bucket list, having to rake the yard again the next weekend, and again the next weekend, and again…how are there any leaves left on these trees?!
  • Enjoying pumpkin spiced lattes, candles, hand soap, everything…I have to admit that I typically only enjoy the flavor of pumpkin where God intended: pies and in the seasonal DQ Blizzard, but even I enjoy the smell of it in the air during this time of year. But can’t we all agree that pumpkin-spiced Spam has gone too far?!
  • Spending days helping your children narrow down their list of favorite characters to THE Halloween costume, then scouring stores and the internet to find the best version at the most reasonable price…only to have them change their minds last-minute necessitating a Target run for the last Paw Patrol costume in the Metro STL the night before the school Halloween party.
  • The great reaping of the Halloween candy — this is why you had children in the first place: to spend their formative years convincing them that they really don’t “like” the Almond Joys and Kit Kats and that Mommy would be more than happy to take them off of your hands.
  • Putting away the tank tops, flip flops, and sundresses and getting the flannel-lined yoga pants, cozy cable-knit sweaters, and ankle booties out of storage (until you put on THAT sweater, remembering that it’s itchy, and questioning why you keep it around in the first place).

Whatever’s on your bucket list, embrace the season! Because before you know it, we’ll all be salting our sidewalks and scraping the ice off of our windshields.