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Under The Table And Dreaming.

Dave Matthews Band’s “Ants Marching” has been in my head all night, for some reason.

I was belting it out while folding laundry with Scarlet tonight, which was impressive. Impressive that I was folding laundry after a long day, a long night, and both dinner and baths for both kids. We had a first grade info session tonight, which wasn’t the full back to school night we’ll have in October – but it was interesting just the same. The kids were all together with two teachers in the cafeteria, building a block tower that nearly stretched from wall to wall. Meanwhile, the parents were in a hot classroom for 45 minutes while I strived to keep myself upright – exhausted not from boredom or heat, but from.. myself.

fall bucket list

It was actually fun. It was connected and informative and sweaty and smiley and exactly the kind of thing I normally love to do. I just wish I could get to the point where I can do such things casually. The PTSD still comes out sometimes, in weird ways, especially since it’s a new year with changes. First grade. You know. It’s serious sht. Take the world by storm sht.

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Or so they tell you when you’re in kindergarten.

I’m certain first grade was serious sh*t for me, because it’s the first school year I can clearly remember – after the glaring blackness of kindergarten. My first grade teacher was a grumpy, brilliant old woman and I loved her. I called her “Daddy” once. You know how nearly all kids call their teachers “Mommy” at some point? I called my female teacher, “Daddy.”

Clearly, there were some issues there.

Really, there still are. I’m ironing them out, one by one. One wrinkle by one, in a large stack of messily folded white shirts. I’m doing this so that I can sit and I can enjoy and I can participate..better. I do all of those things, but the one thing I’ve always been able to do until now, is to do them casually. Learning and sweating and smiling. Dreaming about dinner at home, and how fast we can get there to do grilled cheese and baths and pajamas for the kids, before I can sink into my world of blogging, photography and thinking about how it will be a great year. It will be something, all right. A great, serious sh*t year.

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Speaking of which, today’s Finish the Sentence Friday topic is. “Each Fall, I…” Come link up. You should totally link up. HERE.

Each fall, I dream. A fall bucket list. Every year is a little the same and a little different. Here’s my lineup for Fall 2015:

  1. The most important. You’ve probably noticed lately, here and if we’re friends on FB, that my moose obsession has been at an all-time high, and I’ve had it for 20 years, but who’s counting? I’m sick of this wishy washy moose-seeking of “maybe we’ll see them, maybe we won’t.” There are places in this world in which it’s all but guaranteed, and there are places it’s more of a gamble. I’m about to play my cards with a full deck. I said that if I survived photographing two weddings (more on that later), I’d reward myself and my family with a trip to Moosehead Lake, Maine. Bonus is that there’s a railway up there doing a cider and donuts train ride during peak foliage. In the piney woods, through rolling hills, and around streams. With donuts. I mean, really? Could you have designed something better than that, Maine? I need to book that trip. They’re expecting me.

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  1. Leaf peeping is sort of a thing around here. Cocoa, flannel shirts, long drives in the rolling hills. I want to go back up Sugarloaf Mountain, like we did in June, but this time to go see just how amazing it must be during peak foliage.

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  1. Mike’s Corn Maze. Have you heard of this? It’s in Sunderland and it’s Alice in Wonderland-themed, so it shall be Alice in Sunderland. You simply must check it out – link HERE. Isn’t that the best one ever?

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  1. Jumping Pillow! We love the one at Rolling Acres Farm, and bonus – there’s a corn maze there as well as a hayride, mini golf, snack bar, sandbox, and a zillion other fun things.

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  1. The Big E! That’s our version of a state fair, only New England has six states. So it’s about as crazy fun as you’d imagine.

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  1. Apple picking. It goes without saying, right?

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  1. Art in the Orchard. That is an amazing apple orchard/pumpkin orchard/art gallery/chicken coop/gardens/market near us. It’s pretty much as awesome as it sounds.

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  1. Last year I had so many family, holiday, fall foliage photo shoots that I was working daily – even during the week. I know things are crazy with the weddings and blogging, but I’d like to get back to that again this year. I feel even more made for it.

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  1. Survive it all. Thrive it all. I did one wedding and I have another one coming in two weeks. I think the nerves are better the second time. I want to do my best, get through this first month of school, and do it in style too. Speaking of which..

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  1. ..the real speaking of which, is that I need a new peacoat. I want a new peacoat. I have a fuschia one, a purple one and a red one. I think royal blue will be my next coat. I’m a peacoat girl. Let me know if you have any leads on slim royal blue ones!

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“Take these chances
Place them in a box until a quieter time”
— Dave Matthews Band

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  1. I agree with Lindsay – you and everything about fall is just it. Don’t ask me why, it just is.
    And you totally got me with ‘leaf peeping’ – that is one of THE things… this is going to be my 5th fall in NJ and I still have not managed to get ‘proper’ leaf peeping photos. I hope to be changing that this year, although – there’s a pending trip to the west coast… we’ll see.
    Good luck with the moose trip! And I cannot wait to see your wedding photos πŸ™‚

  2. Aw…I have a red and a black pea coat. A fuchsia one (or purple) sounds divine! Love your bucket list – I will borrow/steal it. Minus the Big E and Sugarloaf mountain:(. But can I note – that picture of Des with the IPA – Oh,. My. Gawd. You must send it to the brewery!

  3. I so so so SO LOVE the photo of you riding that whatever it is – a bouncy hors? And I think your ideas are perfect and reflect mine perfectly which is, I believe, the reason I declared you my sister wife ages and ages ago. Gah to the first grade. It’s just so effing hard how fast this time passes, but also, so effing right and you and Cass MUST take that trip. Love you so much sister

    1. We didn’t have our official ceremony yet, though. The sister wife ceremony!
      The bouncy horse thing was amazing. They’re at this farm in Vermont we visit.

  4. Well, I have to say you’re the first moose-seeking, leaf peeping, pillow jumping, multi-peacoat wearing photographer and blogger I’ve come across yet. I REALLY enjoyed this. Your photos and sense of humor, both a breath of fresh air. So glad to stop by.

    1. Why, thank you! I guess you never know what you’re gonna get. I’ll certainly have to do a fall bucket list report card, like I did with summer. I didn’t get any good points for moose, but I got a lot of points for sundresses.

  5. I’m hoping for a “Perfect 10” for you and your family this fall Tamara! I hope you can put check √ marks next to each dream on your Fall 2015 bucket list. Each fall I like to take nature walks through Duke Island Park and enjoy the Autumn blaze of colors. I walk for as long as I’m physically able unti I need to stop and rest or stop altogether. Then I’m back at it when I’m rested and the soreness goes. I still have to be careful. Then I look forward to the baseball playoffs and World Series, the return of football, basketball and hockey seasons, and Halloween and Thanksgiving, I like lunches and dinners with all the fall vegetables, and their warming stews and soups.

    1. I like all of that!! Although I don’t watch any sports at all, I still love when football starts, because everything gets so cozy and warm and full of food. I really, really love when it ends too – because I’m really more of a spring fan, but everything in its due time.

  6. Talbots usually has my favorite pea coats. Well when I used to wear them! You probably would laugh at what I call cold these days! I am so ready for fall! I am hot and it has been a long grueling, wonderful, fun, messy summer. I am not sure there is any other way to do summer, but I am looking forward to a break from the heat and maybe from the grueling fall asleep in your chair at 1st grade orientation kind of days! P.S. That picture of Des with the bottle… priceless. Frame that one!

    1. We have a Talbot’s right in Northampton, but I’ve never been! I assume it’s not my style because I look awkward in nearly everything. We shall see!
      I actually found that photo of Des while looking for Big E photos. I decided to just publish it! ha!

  7. I had an awesome white peacoat that I finally passed on last winter.
    Fall is my favorite season. You can’t really beat it in New England. #1 on your bucket list is like the ultimate fall-in-New-England thing.
    Right now in my living room where I’m reading this it finally feels closer to fall after that ridiculous 90+ heat we had the past few days. I’m ready for leggings and tall boots and sweaters. Apple-picking and cider donuts are high up there on my bucket list. I think, like summer, fall will be so much more fun with Eve.

    1. A white peacoat! That sounds dreamy. White is another one of my power colors. And emerald green. Can you tell my complexion is a winter?? Bright white and jewel tones only.
      Today was finally under 90 and it feels great. I guess I’m ready. I’ve been wearing my favorite sundresses all week, though, because it might be awhile before I wear them again. And just why not indulge?

  8. Aw, what a great list and we still haven’t had our back to school nights for the girls yet to tell us what to expect. Kindergarten, I think I got a handle on, but you are so right that first grade is going to be an even more important year than ever. But still I fully intend to enjoy the fall for all it is worth and some apple picking is truly in order here, as well πŸ™‚

    1. I’m not sure if kindergarten will scare me with Des. I sure hope not. It has naptime and snuggly blankets so I think I’ve gotten my head wrapped around it being.. more soothing than I expected.
      First grade seems rigorous to me. I hope they get to play and move around more.

  9. Hope you finally get to see a moose this fall. And all the best on your next wedding shoot! Looks like you’ve got things planned out so well. Alice in wonderland theme is awesome!

  10. I love that song. I love your fall list ideas! You calling your teacher daddy reminded me of the time that Gabbie called Dave by her teacher’s name. I thought that was hilarious!

  11. You will rock first grade! Des’s pre-school looks awesome! As for pea coats, it may be genetic. Your father and I wore navy blue ones. I will keep an eye out or two for royal or cobalt blue ones!

    1. Do you still have those peacoats?? I remember them, maybe in photos.
      I feel like the main character from Men In Trees would have a great royal blue peacoat.

  12. So many fun fall things! Yes, first grade was a big deal. I was very socially anxious back when my 25 year old started first grade (not as much now!), so all of the events made me so nervous. Open houses, book fairs, school parties, meeting so many new parents… Fun though, and it got easier. Shooting weddings is a different kind of nervous, isn’t it?–I’ve only done one, but I liked that version of nervous. I have a fuschia peacoat!

    1. We have the book fair and open house coming up! Ah! I even get nervous on the school playground sometimes and it’s many of my old friends.
      Awesome about the fuschia peacoat!

  13. I remember how big kids older than me seemed when I was in kindergarten. I told my mom I was afraid of the graders in school. She thought I meant construction equipment. I meant first graders, second graders, third graders …

    1. Do you mean the matching dresses one, or the bouncing horses one? And I just noticed I was wearing the same dress in those two photos but they were much different days!

  14. Sounds like a great fall line up to me! I love the apple picking….haven’t done that in years. Also, I have never done a corn maze. May have to try that sometime. I am kind of ready for it to feel like fall. It is a bit too warm here. Congrats to your sister too! That is so exciting!

    1. We had a great July but August was a bit stifling. Our electric bill is through the roof! And our hottest two days have been in September. I’m ready for more seasonal weather!

  15. When at a med school rotation at Friend’s Hospital in Philadelphia I could pick fresh apples every day in their garden in the fall after school. That was fun! Here in Florida we have don’t have to many apple trees, but there are wild blackberries that grow all around the neighborhood.

    I read your article on PTSD. That was pretty intense. I’ve dealt with plenty of situations in my life where I could have had PTSD, like where I was attacked by three pit bulls or almost dying in my airplane and a few other times, but I’ve managed to keep it at occasional PTS πŸ™‚ Resiliency is a blessing.

    1. I was attacked by three German Shepherds once! Although the airplane one is terrifying.
      I like to think of it as PTS Resiliency. I think I have that one more than PTSD. Thanks!

  16. That corn maze sounds incredible. Sigh, I love the fall so stinkin much. Also you look wonderful in peacoats. If you find the one of your dreams, please let us know where.

    I wish I had great words of advice for you re: PTSD πŸ™ I hate that you suffer from anxiety, too, and that it comes out of the blue. Enveloping you in a giant bear hug. Let’s call it a moose hug πŸ™‚

    Finally, Dave Mathews isn’t someone I listen to all the time, but whenever I hear a verse or catch a glimpse of him on TV or just hear his irresistible voice, I am back in college and flooded with all the best memories ever. So thank you for that πŸ™‚ I hope you have a wonderful weekend with the family.

    1. I so will! I keep picturing a military fit – almost like a nutcracker. I think I have nutcracker on the brain because Scarlet is trying out for our local ballet company’s production!
      I sure love moose hugs.
      Dave Matthews was pretty much college for me. Like.. the most consistent part of it! That and classes.

  17. I hope you see moose this fall. I love the picture of your sister and Scarlet with the apples πŸ™‚ I need to look for a corn maze near us. I’m sure that would be a lot of fun for the whole family.

    1. I once did a haunted corn maze at night, but I wouldn’t do that with my kids. It was nuts. They’re very common in the northeast – I hope you find one!!

  18. Oh gosh T… your bucket list for fall is just as incredible as your summer one!! I love that you have such beautiful dreams to fulfill- whether they be photographing weddings (Second time less anxious? YAY for YOU) or seeing moose or all of the other impressive things on your list. I really do. You know how to live. Like, really live.

    1. Do I? I think the same of YOU! I think I know how I want to live, but I can’t always achieve it. Like I can go through the motions, but not always comfortably. Maybe going through the motions and loving the other side is all part of the plan.

  19. You had me at Dave Matthews…swoon! Your bucket list is perfect. We have A LOT of moose up our way. Almost every major highway now has a wildlife overpass. The sides on the road are fenced for miles and miles until they meet at a concrete overpass made specifically for the moose and deer to cross without fear of being hit by a vehicle. Its really quiet amazing. Have fun on your trip to Maine. I sure hope you get there and you enjoy every minute. It sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    1. That is so amazing. I was reading an article about them making wildlife overpasses in The Netherlands like what you describe. What I’d dream about, of course, is seeing animals crossing it. Like in a line. Ha! Have you ever seen any animals on it?

      1. Haha. A conga line of bull moose would be hysterical! I’ve never actually seen the animals crossing as the wall are pretty high to shield them from the noise and chaos of cars whizzing by but it never stops me from looking πŸ™‚

        1. That’s my dream! I had a dream last night that I saw more than one bull moose at once (never have) and then my friend sent me a text of two her sister saw in Colorado over the weekend!
          Sadly, just resting and not doing a conga line.

  20. And now I will be belting out that song for my boys all day! I tend to make new year’s resolutions in the fall something about the fresh start of the new year makes me more motivated than Jan 1st ever does! So that’s mine Each Fall I- make big plans, and lists of big ideas!

  21. Beautiful pictures! They set off the posts and story so well. I realize that you selected these pictures from past Fall adventures, but they worked in with the bucket list idea. I admit though, that I didn’t understand the significance of the poses in the last picture. Were your husband and you doing something Dave Mathews related? Or just mugging it up for the camera?

    1. Oh! That photo is one of the few I could find where I’m wearing one of the three peacoats I described! That’s my red one. The Dave Matthews quote just ends the whole post.

  22. I never knew what he said after ‘take these chances’! Um cider and donut train? Yes, please. Also, I am so excited about the Big E! My mom is going to come with us this year, and it will be Lorelai’s first time. I love the Big E, so much good food in one place! Plus sheep! Jack inexplicably loves sheep, they are his favorite animal. I think this might be my year to rock the pea coat. I’ve always wanted one, but for some reason I have an aversion to buying coats. I think about buying a coat all winter, and almost get one when they go on sale at the end of the season, and then I don’t. It’s a weird hang up, that I’m not quite sure about. Buying a coat should be a pretty simple task!

    1. I confess I had to Google the lyrics myself!
      Yay about the Big E! We usually go on a weekday, thinking it will beat crowds, and you know it doesn’t. This year my mother-in-law is performing in a dance show on one of the days so we bought our tickets. I can’t wait!

      I usually buy coats at the end of winter. The sales are amazing. And then I use them for maybe a month, put them in storage in spring, and then I’m pleasantly surprised every fall when I see my newish coat!

  23. OMG That photo of Des is seriously my favorite EVER! Lol Looks like such a typical man hahahaha πŸ™‚ Each Fall, I anticipate the leaves changing colors, the cooled temperatures that are always perfect, the return of boots and delicious cardigans, the pumpkin-everything, the aroma of holiday season which brings happiness to 90% of the population (I seriously typed “poopulation” – fucking fat fingers), the cheasy holiday music which creeps in earlier and earlier every year, the planning of dinner menus and times with friends, the anticipation of paid Holidays off, the hope that fills the air as New Years approaches, and the praying that winter is merciful when it arrives. Oh and decorating the home Lol Time to hunt for cardigans <3 Take Care lovely! -Iva

    1. I’d love to meet the 10% of the population who are NOT happy about holiday smells! ha! I thought of one kinda. Both times I was pregnant, my first trimester was straight through the holiday season – to enter the second trimester around the new year.
      So that was the only exception. Ever.
      Have you looked at Jane.com for cardigans? They have them daily.

  24. Wonderful bucket list! I can’t wait to go apple and pumpkin picking and watch the leaves change colors. Also, have you checked J.Crew for a peacoat? That’s where I got my blue one πŸ™‚

  25. I just bought a peacock blue raincoat…. but I was eyeing the purple plaid peacoat HARD.

    I would love to go on a moose adventure. I am learning that I need to get out and start having some experiences!

    1. I think I need to go coat shopping with you!!

      You write about the most delicious things, so from my eye, you have so many adventures already. Of course, I write about way more than I do so I guess I’d love to even it out a bit.

      Join me on the cider and donuts train!

      1. I need to post about more local things — it’s so beautiful up here.
        and I am a bit depressed because moose hunting season will start soon here, but that’s NOT the kind of moose hunting that I wanna do. maybe I should go with those guys and just make lots of noise!! LOL

        1. ha! Yes. Douse yourself in moose pheromones, but only shoot them with a camera.
          We don’t have a lot of moose here but in Maine, you have to enter a lottery to be allowed to kill one – and you have to use it for food.
          All hunting should be like that, I say!

  26. I am so looking forward to fall. The temps here today were cool and crisp. They won’t last, but it makes me want fall to arrive even more!

    1. Today was the first day I contemplated shoes and socks over sandals. So sad! It’s supposed to be warm all week so I guess I’ll wear all my favorite sundresses just for one last hurrah.

  27. Oh I love fall and there is so much that I love doing in the fall – apple picking, foliage, hot cider, outdoor sculpture gardens, pumpkins and hay rides, scarves and hoodies. I might have to add Moosehead Lake to my list because that sounds amazing! But it feels like fall is getting shorter and shorter each year.

    First grade does feel like it’s serious business! Actually both 1st and 3rd grade feel serious, especially 3rd grade!

    1. We really are doing Moosehead Lake soon. I’ve never gone in the fall when the antlers are so big, and I think I’ll regret letting another year pass without it. It’s far but we’re up for it!

      Third grade sounds totally serious!!

  28. Such a great list! I’ll keep an eye out for the perfect coat for you – and I really, really hope you see a moose soon. Now you’ve got me thinking about Dave Matthews. He lives here in Seattle, and once we were at the zoo, and the employees were all excited because he was visiting that day. We looked and looked for him, but no success. I’d love to go to his concert at The Gorge one of these years!

    1. Oh wow – I didn’t know that about Dave Matthews! I have never seen him live, but I came close in SF. I think I heard him because the venue was just a few blocks from our apartment.
      We are a planning a serious moose expedition for October. I’ll keep everyone posted!

  29. I like the sound of a fall bucket list. I usually do a summer one, and then I end up just enjoying the sunshine and outdoors while I can and completely forgetting about my bucket list. I love that you love Dave Matthews Band – they’re a favorite : )

    1. I never used to do fall bucket lists. This might be a first or second for me! Now to do a winter bucket list would be a complete surprise. Maybe someday.

  30. Love the idea of making a fall bucket list…though our calendar fills up so fast, it’s more like the activities take over even without a list. And that train ride in Maine sounds so perfect…where can we sign up?

  31. Hold me all things pumpkin spice — you have the cutest family in all of the land.
    The family that grew the pumpkin patch closed up shop which means that they also closed up the corn maze. It makes me all sorts of sad because now we have to find a new place to get lost.
    Hey, little kids are the worst navigators in the history of mankind…unless you pay them in donuts afterwards…they will pick up the pace.

  32. I love these pictures, Tamara. You make fall come to life. The desert just doesn’t have the colors you experience in Northeast. I can’t wait to see what this fall offers for you and your family.

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