loving an imperfect father: a how to

a year ago today i said goodbye to my dad for the very last time. i wish that i had a clearer memory of what it felt like then but i was on about the 40th hour of little to no sleep and i was bleary eyed with exhaustion, the emotional kind.

it was in the morning on a Monday, and for a moment my whole entire world seemed to completely halt at a standstill. like i was floating above my life and watching it move in slow motion, without sound or color.

it was a day i will never forget and yet, can hardly remember.

but instead of focusing on his death, how about i tell you about his life?

my father a full italian, brilliant, kind hearted man was easily one of the most unique people on the face of this earth. to this day, i have never met anyone who has ever been able to hold a candle to him and i am certain that i will leave this world with these same findings.

he was a voracious reader and writer. two passions, i no doubt inherited from him. from my earliest memories, my father was reading to me. but not the typical literature you read to a 4 year old- instead he read me Homer and Whitman. Orson Scott Card and Michael Crichton. Emily Bronte and Maya Angelou. This shaped my young mind in ways that i still carry with me today- in the very depths and fibers of my soul.

at 7 years old he had taught me not only how to play poker, spades, chess, and black jack but he had also taught me how to beat him and beat him well, nearly every single time. now, gambling has not been something i have carried with me but numbers and logic, well those are still some of my best skills and i too, learned those from my dad.

when i was older he began teaching me how to use medicinal herbs and natural remedies in my day to day life. he instilled in me the value of asking really good questions- how to uncover the reasoning behind policies, procedures, and the socially accepted norm. and then he taught me how to forge a new way if and when my findings proved to be less than favorable. he showed me it was ok to be different. that i never needed to conform. that i was just as intelligent and capable as any man. that i was the most beautiful girl in the world. and i believed him.

but my dad, like any dad was not a perfect one. our family was broken by divorce and separation. i was not always the priority. sometimes i felt like the adult in the relationship. sometimes i felt pressure to measure up to an impossible standard. he let me down more than once. and then when the cancer came and ravaged his body he became demanding, needy, and inexplicably hard to care for. 

you are probably wondering what all of this has to do with the how to's of loving an imperfect father. 

and thats just it, loving an imperfect father or any imperfect person in your life for that matter, has nearly everything to do with seeing them. seeing exactly who they are and exactly who they are not. acknowledging what gifts they have imparted on your life and being grateful. acknowledging their weakness and the parts that make them human and granting them the precious gifts of mercy, grace, and forgiveness. 

its easy to keep our parents raised on an impressively tall pedestal. to hold them high above where we believe the rest of the world exists. but what happens when the fog of our childhood clears and we see our parents for who they are- broken, sinful people navigating this broken and sinful world just like everyone else? what happens when we are disappointed by those we never expect to disappoint us?

well i will tell you. you make a choice. it seems so simple in theory. but its complicated to live out.

you choose to love them anyway or not.

thats it. there is no 12 step system. you just do it. 

obviously this goes without saying that loving will look differently for everyone. sometimes loving means pulling away, creating the space necessary to protect yourself and ultimately the other person too from continuing down a road marked with hurt and pain. but sometimes loving means leaning in. leaning in to what breaks your heart. like watching the strongest man in your world weaken into a bed ridden, almost paralyzed, beautiful man and sharing your faith and God's unfailing love with him. the very last conversation you ever have that you never actually realize is the last until it is only a memory.

if you have an imperfect parent still on this earth, do me a favor. love them a little harder today. hug them a little tighter. make a call. write a letter. share a meal. tell them that all those decisions they made when you were younger- the good ones and the bad ones, that its all forgiven or its all appreciated. that you know they did the best they could with what they had. that you are grateful for them.

after all, one day you will start the first day of the rest of your life and they won't be there and you will wonder if you could have loved a little harder. and the answer is that you can right now.

        In loving memory of Vincent James         

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making home

 

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 "Home is the nicest word there is." β€” Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was a young (er) wife and mother, I used to hate staying home all day. I often found myself bored (πŸ˜‚ the thought still makes me chuckle) in my tiny house with my one tiny child. So to escape the monotony of being a stay at home mom who stayed at home all day long, I decided that the best thing to remedy my aching boredom and my forever-wanting-to-roam spirit was to high tail it outta there. Every. Single. Day.  

For hours at a time.  

I'd allow laundry, dishes, toys, dust, dog hair (πŸ™„), and a whole slew of responsibilities to pile up. I was pretty much the worst home maker ever.  

I know most mothers probably already know this but, in case you aren't sure, we went to Target. And all the mothers say "Amen." Now, don't think I'm about to begin bashing Target, because I'm not. That store makes me happy. I don't even have to buy one single thing and I'm practically skipping with giddy enthusiasm down those aisles. 

No, this has nothing to do with Target. But everything to do with why it was exactly I felt I *had* to go to Target everyday and why staying in my house for longer than 24 hours at a time felt like a prison sentence.

On one level, I loved my modest, cozy little house. And I ever so longed to live in a home where people felt welcomed, important, and valued. I wished to create a strong family culture and a place where guests left feeling like family. A place where my own family felt a strong sense of belonging, a place where they could grow and develop and learn, and a place that above anywhere else, they wanted to be. 

I wish someone would have told me that in order to create a home of belonging and a refuge desired above all others, that first I needed to feel like I belonged and I needed to long to be there. 

Thankfully, I have gained perspective over the years. The result of continually seeking out wisdom and encouragement on the matters of my heart, my home, and the discord between the two.

One of my favorite authors for years has been Sally Clarkson. When I read her books I feel like I am home. Strange, considering we have never met but the way she illustrates motherhood and the call to be home has always spoken so deeply to my heart. It's like reading a book written by my mother. So much truth. So much light. And so much comfort. 

Recently, she finished a new book with her daughter Sarah, called The Lifegiving Home. If you haven't read it, I really encourage you to pick up a copy. It will leave you incredibly inspired to transform your home into a place that breaths life into all who pass through its doors.

I clearly remember having the "aha moment" where I realized our home was a reflection of my very own heart and soul, more so than anyone else, even in my own family. It was up to me to turn this house into a home. 

If I felt unsettled and disatisfied here, how could I expect anyone else to feel otherwise?

If we were never home, how exactly was I suppose to homeschool? 

And if my kids believed the best places on this Earth were anywhere but the very place we laid our heads every night, how exactly could they ever develop a strong connection to the most sacred place of our entire family existence? And what exactly was I teaching them about my role as the homemaker? I surely did not want them to see me begrudgingly ungrateful or disconnected to this place we all called home. 

So what did I do?  

Well other than force myself to limit my target homages to once a week, I began first with prayer.  

I prayed for God to open my eyes to clearly see what I was trying to avoid by leaving my house every day. I prayed for positive change. I prayed for forgiveness for my dissatisfaction with the beautiful life He had so graciously blessed me with and I prayed for the desire to want, to really want, to be home. 

 Slowly, I began to see walls I had built being torn down, crystal clear perspective of my addiction to being and staying busy, the painful truth that I was constantly restless because I always hungered for more than I had, and over time I found practical ways to bring life into my home that satisfied the strongest urges to stray. 

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I began buying fresh flowers once a week. I allowed this small amount in our monthly budget to remain because I found that simple beauty was something that fueled my aching heart. Oftentimes, I buy one single bouquet of baby's breath and divide it up between a few small vases around our house. Sometimes I get enormous bouquets at the farmers market. And sometimes, season permitting, I go outside and pick them from my own yard and the woods surrounding our house and bring them inside. 

I came up with a cleaning routine that worked well for the season of life I was or am in. The routines themselves vary but, they all serve the same purpose.  

I removed almost everything that didn't bring me joy when I looked at it, wore it, or cleaned it. Even if that meant, odd empty corners in rooms and hallways. I'd rather own one thing I really love than 5 that just slightly pass the test.  

I de-cluttered and followed the book "the life changing magic of tidying up" except, I omitted the entire section about owning only a few books. There is no way I'm tossing out my books unless they are a) torn to threads b) books that don't bring me joy or c) kid books that make obnoxious sounds.  

Books. I made sure every room had beautiful, uplifting books freely accessible for everyone.  

We created a family rhythm which I will share in another post. Unlike a schedule, rhythms allow for time to be spent more freely and for natural pauses to occur. It allows me to not be dictated by a clock but by the desires and needs of my family.  

I diffuse essential oils daily. Because of this, therapeutic grade oils and a few diffusers were an investment that we saved up to make. They have taken the place of the majority of my candles. Since candles are almost always dispersing toxic chemicals into our breathing space. 

We created and worked hard to maintain family traditions, values, and a family culture.  

The Stahlers are people that long to live simply and adventurously. We love spending time outdoors in God's creation, we love books and music worth reading and listening to, we make it a priority to eat and cook real, whole, unprocessed food, and we pray that our family brings God's light into the lives of others through serving, kindness, and compassion.

We pray that all of who we are, can be seen and experienced when you set foot in our house. This is a priority and we treat it as such. 

I now sit in a vastly different season than I did years ago.  

I love adventure and I love going to new, amazing places and learning about other cultures but none of that takes away from the home we have been building here.  

I long to be here, more than ever and whenever I start to feel insignificant, in either my work as a mother or my work as a disciple of Christ, I remember that this home and these people are my greatest ministry.  

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Homebirth, postpartum, and hormones. Oh my!

Last week I had my 6 week postpartum visit with my beloved midwife. Baby girl and I are both doing wonderfully and Selah gained 4 lbs in 6 weeks! Anyway, aside from well visits, it was probably the last appointment I will have with Donna that has anything to do with baby growing and birth. Insert big giant emotional ugly cry. 😭

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There is absolutely no way I can justly express how much I appreciate that woman and what she has worked so tirelessly to provide for families in my area. She has helped hundreds of women have beautiful and safe dream births. The quality of care my family and I have recieved from her is hard to replicate. She has poured her blood, sweat, and tears into her practice and I am forever changed by my experiences, that were only possible because of her. 

I don't know what your stance on homebirth is and frankly, I don't really care. Birth is personal. It is not one size fits all. The only thing I am certain of when it comes to birth is that women should have options. Safe options. Options that leave them feeling well cared for and listened to. Options where their opinions matter. Options where they matter. 

There is large debate about the safety of birth outside of the hospital. My experience says otherwise. But my experience is one of millions. And I am not ignorant to that. Nor am I ignorant to the truth that some homebirths are not safe. And some homebirth providers do not practice safely. Yet, the same is true of hospital birth and the providers that work there. (I can assure you on that one, for I know this personally.) And birth in a birth center. And birth in the middle of the woods. You can't fall victim to a false sense of security no matter where you decide to give birth. 

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My only worldly advice when it comes to birth is this: find the best provider you can. One who is up to date on evidence based birth practices. One who continuously researches and educates themselves. One who lays out all the facts and encourages you to make the decision that is right for you. Find someone who respects your opinion, and your body. One you can also trust to make the best decisions for the safety of you and your baby if it comes to that. Don't settle. Don't be led by fear or solely what your friends and relatives think. Go with your gut. Listen to you, on what's right for you!  

Birth is not only physical but emotional and spiritual, as well. Giving birth is one of the greatest experiences you will ever have as a woman. It will affect you on more than one level whether you want to believe this or not. Your choices matter. Your birth experience matters. Your baby matters. You matter.

Choose wisely, dear friends.

And then go hire yourself a darn doula! (Because doulas are magical.)

Stepping off my birth pep talk soap box. 

I thought I would share with you all my postpartum essentials. Why? Because for me and most women, the postpartum stage is a delicate time. Full of wonder and beauty and hormones! Lots and lots of hormones shifts and changes. After struggling with the baby blues the first two times, I decided to be more proactive in my postpartum planning to help give myself the best experience possible.

My arsenal of goodies

1. Placenta pills- yes, you read that correctly. Pills made from my placenta. AKA "magic pills" or "mommy's happy pills" or "mommy is a bursting ball of emotions somebody bring her wine and her pills"  pills. Seriously, the positive effects of these babies are somewhere near amazing and epically amazing. The best part is when stored in the freezer they are good for like ever, and you can use them later on to help with hormonal imbalances and pms. So here is the way I see it, I am not a big pill popping person. I only take prescription medicine when I absolutely need it. Over the counter medication I take very sparingly. The ingredients and chemical s*** storms that those things are made up of are scary. You take too many Tylenol and you can kill your liver and die. So why should I be wary of something completely natural that came from me and can be used to benefit my health and overall well being? I shouldn't. Now I know what you are thinking, especially if this is the first time you have ever heard of such a thing. That is weird. Or gross. Whatever negative comments that are popping in your head right now. You are wrong. And I know this because I am the most squeamish birth activist that there ever was. Especially when I'm dealing with myself and bodily fluids and functions. And placentas. I couldn't even look at my placenta with my first two pregnancies. Nope. Thankyouverymuchiwillpass. With Selah I managed to take a look at it for like 3 seconds. So, I'm progressing. Anyway, if someone as squeamish as me can encapsulate her placenta and pop those babies a couple of times a day for the first few weeks (and do so quite willingly) you can too! Disclaimer: when finding a placenta encapsulator make sure they meet all the necessary certifications and make sure you thoroughly ask about their practices. This is not something you want just any old joe shmo to do.

2. Organic cotton nursing pads- those disposables ones are crap. And they feel like you stuffed your bra with tissue paper. Cloth ones are SO soft and far more breathable. Bonus: you can re-use them and you don't create any extra waste. 

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3. Nipple Butter- Earth Mama Angel Baby is my favorite brand and when I get to the point where I no longer need it, I use it as lip cream and even put it on my ΓΌber dry elbows in the winter.  

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4. After Ease tincture- I came across a review of this a few weeks before my due date and knew I had to have it. The after pains of childbirth are no joke. And sadly, they increase in intensity with every subsequent baby. You just drop a few drops of this in water and drink. It really helped keep me comfortable the first few days after birth. 

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5. Nursing bras and tanks- one word. Target. They have the best ones for the price.  

6.  Robe- I bought mine from target (obviously) and just love it. It's very soft and light enough that it didn't overheat me. We do limited clothes and skin to skin contact for the first 3 or so days after baby is born and I lived in my robe. It was perfect for keeping baby on my chest while still keeping me at a comfortable temperature.

Other than some magazines, a good book, netflix, my dashingly handsome husband who cooked, cleaned, took care of the boys, and waited on me hand and foot for days and my mama for helping maintain our normal household demands, the only other things I needed beside normal postpartum supplies were food, rest, water, and love. Which I can assure you, I had plenty. <3

 

27

Happy Birthday, to me. {yesterday}

The older I get the more the meaning of birthdays has evolved.

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Every year I care less and less (if at all) about the commercialized birthday stuff and more and more about the stuff that really matters, to include the simple fact that I am alive and well.  

Life is a gift.  

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I also, have noticed a slight increase in my ability to be nostalgic, caught in the moment, and a tad weepy whenever I watch the sweet faces of my dear ones illuminated by candle light as they sing the birthday song.  

I've just given in to the fact that I am and forever will be, a big sap who happy cries over, well, everything.  

 Like how glorious my house is the first week of November. It's as if, nature is giving me my own personal birthday gift.&nbsp;

Like how glorious my house is the first week of November. It's as if, nature is giving me my own personal birthday gift. 

For those interested, here is a brief recap of how I spent my first day as a 27 year old woman.  

I woke up to three super cute boys smiling at me as they handed me coffee and a couple of perfectly sweet birthday surprises.  

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 Came downstairs to a chill in the air, vibrant fall colors peeking through all of my windows, a warm cozy fire, and breakfast already cooking.  

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Spent some alone time with my Mama while we got manicures and pedicures. It's always so nice to share a part of my birthday with her, since it's her special day too. ❀️

 Sweet mother of pearl. Look at that baby butt and back sticking out from my belly. Awesomely weird.&nbsp;

Sweet mother of pearl. Look at that baby butt and back sticking out from my belly. Awesomely weird. 

Enjoyed some delicious pastries from my favorite little German bakery. Before dinner. 😁 πŸ™Œ

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Went on a birthday dinner date with my handsome husband. 

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And finished off the night at Barnes and Noble, reading books while we drank cappuccinos. In case you didn't know, that is like a fine luxury vacation for parents with little kids. 

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The highlight of my day was spending it with the ones who mean the most to me. The boys who made me a Mama and the woman who gave me life. My husband who is thankfully not in Afghanistan this year {a huge blessing that weighed heavily on my heart the entire day.} And the joy of the upcoming arrival of our baby was just the sweet, sweet icing on the cake. 

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The Luckiest

Today, I'm going to get all sappy and sentimental.

If that is not your style, I advise you to look away now.

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Today is this guy's birthday.  

This incredibly strong, compassionate, wise, selfless, handsome, sweet man that miraculously decided to marry me, out of all the people in the world.

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Yeah, him. 😍

When I was a little girl, I used to daydream about the man that I would one day marry. What he would look like, what kind of job would he have, what would his last name be, would he want children as much as I would, would we be happy? 

I clung to the dream of a fairy tale romance and so believed I would have it one day. Β 

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When I grew a little older, I allowed the world and a handful of imperfect men, to cloud my thoughts and ideas concerning marriage and life long love. 

So imagine my surprise when God blessed me with Jesse. 

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He has surpassed any childhood dreams I ever had about a husband or a father and has proven to me on a daily basis that although, he is far from perfect, he belongs to the small minority of men left in this world who are really truly wonderful. 

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Marriage with him has gotten better with time. It has evolved into something so deep and true that trying to explain any of it with mere words just seems pointless. Just know that it's good, married life, it's so so good.  

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So even though, today is his day to be showered with gifts and love, I can't help but feel like I am really the one who has been given the best gift of all.

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I am the luckiest.

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Happy Birthday, my sweet husband. I love you more than I have ever found a way to say to you. 

"I don't get many things right the first time, in fact, I am told that a lot. Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls brought me here.  

Where was I before the day, that I first saw your lovely face? Now I see it, everyday.  And I know that I am, I am the luckiest." 

School Days

It's been almost two weeks since we started the first official week of school in our house and by some sheer miracle, we managed to accomplish just about everything on our agenda. 

 This picture is good but the outtakes take the cake. &nbsp;

This picture is good but the outtakes take the cake.  

We began a full two weeks later than I had originally hoped for but an impromptu trip to Florida to visit family was well worth the delay. And yet another benefit to homeschooling can be added to the list- Flexibility and room for spontaneity. πŸ‘

This year should prove to be fairly interesting considering I'm going to have a baby in the next 9 weeks or so, give or take a couple. Homeschooling with a newborn and a BUSY toddler should be quite the experience. You all can start praying for me now. πŸ˜…

Which brings me to our curriculum choices for this school year. Knowing full well the transition it is going to be to add another little one to our lives, I made my choices with three key priorities in mind. 

Kai's Learning Needs- I wanted our curriculum choices to keep him challenged and engaged while still allowing him the freedom and opportunity to fidget, touch, create, explore, and play. 

My Teaching Needs- I wanted a curriculum that had clear structure in the areas I needed, while still leaving room for open-ended activities and lessons where I could add my own creativity and vision.

The Needs and Values of Our Family as a Whole- We wanted what we were teaching and learning as a family to be strongly influential in the areas of education and life that we as parents are passionate about passing down to our children.

For us that means: Our faith- God at the center of it all, A variety of rich children's literature-quality books, both new and old, to help foster and expand the minds and imaginations of our babes while cultivating an everlasting love of reading, Music-exposure to all types of music and the gift of a firm musical foundation in which to build on, An a exceptional Math curriculum, A fun introduction to reading and phonics, and an overall unit study approach that encompasses our love for Montessori practices and Nature Studies.

Quite the list, huh?

So what did we pick? 

For Kai we chose: 

Saxon Math 1

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This was actually not the curriculum I had planned on using for him initially. But after a few discussions with my sister in law and another homeschooling mama friend of mine, I went with it and I am SO glad I did. Math is Kai's strong point. I wanted to make sure I continued to nurture his love for all things math and numbers related and Saxon has passed that test with flying colors. He has really loved every lesson so far. After taking the placement test and realizing that he was ready to skip Saxon K altogether and head straight to Saxon 1, I started to feel a little unsure on whether or not I was making the right choice. I didn't want to overwhelm him or push him too much but thankfully I have found that it has in fact, done quite the opposite. He is challenged and excited every morning. What a blessing. The curriculum comes with a giant box of manipulatives and hands on learning tools. It was like Christmas in our house when that box arrived in the mail. So. Much. Fun. 

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All About Reading Pre-Reading

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I love the simplicity of this curriculum. Everyday we go over the alphabet together, discuss a new letter, read from our rhyme book, do a craft, followed by a hands-on enrichment activity, play a game, and finish up by reading together for 20 minutes. Sounds like a lot right? It doesn't sound simple huh? You wouldn't believe me if I told you but I honestly do whatever the teacher manual tells me to do for that day and that is it. It requires about 5 minutes of prep time at a maximum and the lesson goes off without a glitch. Kai loves it and so do I. Easy peasy, as he would say. 

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Five In A Row

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I have had my heart set on using FIAR for a long time. Finally this year we are doing it. Five in a row is a literature based unit study curriculum that covers social studies, science, art, language, math, and bible supplementation if you so chose. The manuals are easy to follow and come with numerous suggested activities to go along with whatever book you are reading with your child that week (five days in a row, hints the name). It allows you the freedom to pick and choose what you want to teach that week while still giving you structure to fall back on during the seasons of your life that make detailed lesson planning nearly impossible. I love that I can relate everything to the book we are reading and that we can make our lessons as simple or as complicated as we desire.  

This week we started with a light hearted classic children's book- Harold and the Purple Crayon. Β 

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The book just reached it's 50th anniversary and it has been a top seller almost it's entire time in print. It's no surprise to me that Kai and Lochlan both adored it. I think we have read it maybe 100 times since last Monday. Β 

Here is a glance at some of the activities we did this week:Β 

 Drawing out his own purple crayon adventure. It included: the moon, a cookie, a T-Rex, a snake, and a submarine. You know, the essentials.

Drawing out his own purple crayon adventure. It included: the moon, a cookie, a T-Rex, a snake, and a submarine. You know, the essentials.

 A purple bath to end the fun on the first day of school.&nbsp;

A purple bath to end the fun on the first day of school. 

 Moon phases with Oreos. This was a HUGE hit for obvious reasons.&nbsp;

Moon phases with Oreos. This was a HUGE hit for obvious reasons. 

Color mixing to learn primary and secondary colors.&nbsp;
Color mixing to learn primary and secondary colors. 
 Science, math, and art fun making purple ice boats.&nbsp;

Science, math, and art fun making purple ice boats. 

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 Crayon canvas art. These did not come out perfectly but we still had a lot of fun making them together.&nbsp;

Crayon canvas art. These did not come out perfectly but we still had a lot of fun making them together. 

 "Moon" fractions

"Moon" fractions

Music

Jesse will primarily be in charge of music time with the kids. He is the most musically talented and trained and it's something he is very passionate about. We purchased a set of handbells for Kai last year and will be introducing them slowly along with basic music theory. He will also be starting piano lessons shortly, so that's pretty exciting too!Β 

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 Some of the boys' favorite instruments.&nbsp;

Some of the boys' favorite instruments. 

For Lochlan:

We will continue to use many of our Montessori materials as well as tot trays and lots of learning through play. He will also have the chance to join in on the majority of the FIAR activities that we have planned throughout the week. Oh and reading and music time too! 

 Some of our Montessori shelves from earlier this year.&nbsp;

Some of our Montessori shelves from earlier this year. 

This week I hardly took any pictures of Lochlan doing school activities because he decided to change up his nap routine and sleep an entire 90 minutes earlier than normal and was asleep during most of the fun. I was not expecting that! Blessing in disguise??? 

 Aunt Yumi made a surprise visit for the first day of school! Lochlan is showing her his geo-board skills.&nbsp;

Aunt Yumi made a surprise visit for the first day of school! Lochlan is showing her his geo-board skills. 

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 This kid LOVES scissors.&nbsp;

This kid LOVES scissors. 

It was a good week.

So very thankful for this gift of time and learning with my children. 

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Pumpkin Spice Creamer

You. Guys. 

Whatever plans you have for the rest of the day you must stop now and make this first. Then carry on with your previously scheduled agenda.

I am serious.  

It is so delicious that I couldn't wait a single second longer to share it with you.  

But a little back story first. 

I love Fall. Like most American women ages 12-89 do.  

I can never have enough cozy sweaters, cool weather days, warm inviting candles, and PUMPKIN anything. 

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So what did I do the first day there was a slight (very slight) chill in the air?

I went to Starbucks to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte, of course! That one was a no brainer, people. 

Have you ever consumed straight disappointment in a cup??Β 

I have. And it was that PSL from Starbucks. The whole experience was quite... Well, disappointing. And this is coming from someone who typically loves Starbucks. 

It just tasted SO artificial. And I am not oblivious to the fact that it was completely artificial. There isn't even real pumpkin in it! Why was I so surprised?!Β  

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So what's a pumpkin obsessed lady to do when the one place that wasn't supposed to disappoint in the realm of pumpkin flavored coffee, did exactly that??

Well, I came home and whipped up a batch of this. That's what I did.

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Β Pumpkin Spice CreamerΒ  (sans refined sugar and anything even remotely artificial)

IngredientsΒ 

5-6 Tablespoons Pumpkin PurΓ©e (I made mine fresh from a few baby pumpkins out of our garden this year) 

2 cups Half and Half (organic, if possible)Β 

6 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup (1-2 tablespoons more if you like your coffee on the sweeter side)

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon Cinnamon Β 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DirectionsΒ 

Combine and whisk all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Just as it starts to steam and and become hot, remove from heat. Β 

Strain and pour remaining liquid in a jar. Allow to cool to room temperature before placing it in the refrigerator for further cooling. Β 

Pour some in your favorite mug of freshly brewed coffee and enjoy!Β 

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Happy almost Fall, Y'all! πŸ‚