They call this Fall

I mean, I've lived almost my whole life on the Gulf Coast, so I know what "fall" is like here. But after having lived in a place with four seasons for a few years, it really feels like I'm getting ripped off here.

Coloring while listening to Redwall audio book

To be fair, I also feel ripped off in our home overseas. But it's opposite. Over there, we have six months of winter and two months of each of the other seasons. But the other seasons are best described as "less cold." Here, it's six months of summer and two months of each other season, best described as "less hot." So I guess it's not fair for me to complain about both. But I think what I find surprising is that I didn't realize I had gotten so used to things over there that I WOULD complain about it here! So much of being stuck here has been about things like that for me: realizing that there's actually a lot about our life overseas that I really like. You just don't realize until it's taken away, you know. Thankfully we're not permanently stuck, and I'll probably have the chance to go back and appreciate it more. Many people leave permanently before they have this kind of realization, so I'm definitely grateful.

Pretending like it's fall at the zoo.

We've been driving into town more often lately, partly because it's been about six months since most of G's checkups and he needs follow ups (that's when we went to the zoo in the above picture, my mom and sister-in-law took the girls to the zoo while my sister and I took G to the doctor and then we met them afterwards), but also because we realized we need to do more fun stuff. So we've been driving in to eat out and buy Asian groceries and also run some errands. And H even buys me milk tea when we're in town! Everyone has been really enjoying it. I think we're all just so happy to be out of the house that the kids don't even complain about the hours of driving and I wasn't even annoyed about G having some high maintenance potty needs during our first trip. Of course, we all wear masks and we use tons of sanitizer and try to be as careful as possible. But we know it's a risk to be out that much. But it's just been so helpful for our mental health that I think we have felt like it's been worth it so far. We'll see how much more we end up doing it.

Our first restaurant trip. The kids cleaned out those spicy potatoes, which we were pleasantly surprised to discover were similar to what we get overseas!

The kids are very excited about Halloween, and they've been planning their costumes for weeks and telling all the neighbors about them. We also let them each buy a tiny pumpkin that I think we'll paint this week. So even though the heat outside prevents me from wanting to bake anything with cinnamon or pumpkins or sweet potatoes, it's nice that they can still enjoy things about fall here. The challenge now is mostly for me to be able to finish their costumes in time!