Fall Festival

Friday was our seventeenth wedding anniversary (which is kind of crazy).  We loosely planned to go out that night, but by the end of the day I was too tired and grouchy.  Really, I think I worked myself into a bad mood because I had some sort of anniversary expectation and I knew that realistically there was no way we were going to do anything.  To make that sort of thing happen, you really have to be deliberate, clear the day and make a plan.  These things don’t just magically happen.  Saturday was a much slower day and we ended up going out for dinner then.  It was really nice and I realized that just like you can celebrate a birthday on a different day if it falls on a bad one, you can also celebrate your anniversary on a different day–hey!

I spent Saturday morning packaging up yarn (thank you for all your orders!!) while the girls prepared some sort of fall festival.  Their only request of me was that I take pictures of their decorations (mostly comprised of beeswax dipped leaves). I’m not sure what made it a festival, but it looked like there was a ring toss.  The weather has been so perfect lately and fall does seem to be at its most beautiful peak, so I understand their desire to celebrate.  On Sunday, Seth baked a pumpkin and made a few pies, well two pies and a crustless square.  I am starting to embrace the idea that I have older kids that can read and execute recipes.  Especially since they are totally motivated to bake desserts.

Time is running out to get Bea’s birthday gifts together.  Well, not really.  I have about three weeks, but there is a lot that I want to do.  I’ve been working on her birthday cape in the evenings, but I was completely distracted over the last few days by a book that arrived in the mail unexpectedly from the publisher.  I immediately recognized the beautiful face on the cover, the face of Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a young mother whose story I was vaguely familiar with.  I began to read and found myself unable to do anything else.  Two of her dear friends wrote the book in cooperation with her husband after her death.  They did a beautiful job making her story, her faith, and her love truly come alive.  It’s been a very long time since someone’s story has affected me so deeply.  Though the subtitle of the book, “A Witness to Joy,” couldn’t be more appropriate, Chiara’s story left me feeling kind of wrecked.   I felt like she became my friend, a friend encouraging me to sink more deeply into my faith, challenging me by her example to let go of false ideas, convinced that I need things to be a certain way in order to live most fully.  And while she was a true witness to joyful suffering and surrender, her message is also of the importance of letting ourselves be loved which then enables us to love.  It seems strange that so many of us struggle with just that:  allowing others to love us.  You’d think it would be easy.  I find myself unable to pick up anything else to read yet, even the Stegner book that I was already caught up in.  But maybe that’s good, because I really need to be working on Bea’s cape.


  1. What recipe did he use for the crustless pie?
    Happy Anniversary:)

    • Just the regular old Libby’s recipe, though we didn’t use canned pumpkin. I do that sometimes, just bake filling in a buttered pie plate, without a crust!

  2. hi Ginny you captivated many (me) on the book read. I am really trying to offer up this pain. Last Thurs I had total knee replacement. Thinking positive about the after care. I boasted it was going to be a breeze. Wow I am totally shut down with PAIN. So I tell Jim no visitors just medicine. Well he administers the drugs and has open house everyday 😩. I really am in pain and trying to pray myself out of it. When really loving friends mean well and it’s me who can’t accept it. I feel such a connection with you Ginny. Love you Bonnie

  3. happy anniversary!! We celebrate sometime during the week and that’s good enough for me. We are married 28 years (I think…). I could not read that book, it would set off my anxiety and my worries about my own health. Sad but true! I try to stay away from medical stories.

  4. That book sounds really interesting! I can’t wait to check it out! I am working on a fall sweater for my 6 month old, but I am afraid fall may be over by the time I finish it! 😉

  5. Happy Anniversary! Great pies, Seth! I love the string of beeswax dipped leaves. I may have to try this before autumn leaves Canada. And I will also add this book to my reading list. Can’t wait to see the cape finished (and maybe her little friend next door she always wished for with a November b’day too?)

  6. Congratulations on your anniversary. I am adding this book to my need to read list. Also I was wondering were I could purchase your yarn from. It seems I am always a day late. Am I missing an etsy shop, or on Raverly? I am sure you sell out quickly. I have so loved your color work and would really enjoy using natural dyed yarn for the first time from your, what’s the word, stock or stash? I’m kind of new to the fiber world. Does it show:)

  7. Your anniversary ordeal sounds much too familiar. Our 18th anniversary was yesterday. We were going to go out for breakfast…we have better ingredients at home. Lunch?…I don’t want to pay that much for noodles. Supper?… same. We ended up going to our local co-op to buy breakfast sausage and went home to share a nice breakfast/brunch with the kids.

  8. …I just read the write up on Amazon about the book
    and I am purchasing a copy…….a definite read.
    ….the pies look delicious….love the leaf garland…
    and Happy Anniversary to you both!!!!!

  9. happy anniversary!

  10. Happy anniversary!
    I’m so happy to see a biography has been written on Chiara’s life. She’s one heavenly friend I would like to get to know better. I’ll see if I can get my hands on a copy.

  11. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. Wishing you many more years full of love,happiness and blessings.

  12. Happy Anniversary! Sometimes reading a good book makes you want to just soak in the aftermath, rather than move on. I will have to read this one, it sounds wonderful, and challenging…

  13. Thank you for taking the time to share, Ginny, – all of this. I will order her book right away. I so strive to live each day in the joy that Christ has given me. But being in the world and being fully human sure doesn’t make it easy sometimes (well, a lot of the time).
    Congratulations on your anniversary – Mike and I generally don’t make a big deal of ours (although going out to dinner just the two of us sure would be a treat!) , but we do try to connect each day, at lunch and then again after putting the two youngest to bed.

  14. Melissa McIntyre says:

    Well first off Happy Anniversary! So I called my big kids to me and showed them your girl stringing leaves. I said, you guys want to do that? They said, sure! Who is that? Ann (Voskamp)? I said, no Ginny. My daughter Isabel said who’s that? I said, I found her blog through Ann and I actually went to school with her for a short time. She said, Whoa! You went to school with someone who has a blog!? You’re famous mom! 😂 Thought you might like to know that in my kids eyes you’re famous ☺️

  15. I saw her book advertised on a Catholic catalog I get and I was smitten!

    I really want to read that book and our library will never buy it. Christmas is coming though!

    I’m glad you brought it back into my mind. 🙂

  16. sounds like a gift of a book!!!
    17 years! wonderful! God grant you many more!
    Wonderful of your girls to celebrate!

  17. We recently went to celebrate our 10th anniversary and were fighting in the car 🙂 So romantic.

    Thanks for the review of the book. I’m putting it at the top of my list.

    The leaf garland looks so cheery, the kids have a fall break coming up and that looks like the perfect project to do with them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Happy Anniversary – And you are so right, you don’t necessarily have to celebrate on the day of. I love all the beautiful waxed leaves – what a wonderful way to celebrate the season.

  19. I never celebrate anything on the correct day. I’m always off by a day or so even Christmas Day. Well, actually, that’s not true. I do Xmas Day with my NC kids, hop on a plane that afternoon and my Utah kids and W Tx kids come the next day for 2nd Xmas which we do backwards. We do Xmas dinner first, and then open the presents later. But the rest of the holidays and occasions are sort of catch as catch can and I’m never bothered because to be honest, now that I’ve retired I rarely know what day it is and rarely care. I don’t wear a watch so I never know the time either. the book sounds really good but with my son deploying yet again, I limit my reading and viewing to crafts or comedy, no drama, no action, and not much nonfiction. it’s easier if I stay in a cocoon while he’s gone. he will be back in time for me to reeducate in order vote next year.

  20. Maybe go out for breakfast to celebrate special occasions. It’s early, no one is tired. Easier to get a sitter. That’s what we do.

  21. Yay for all the yarn sales!
    I’m thinking about reading that book. Books can easily wreck me, too.
    Cute leaf garland by the fall merry makers! So dear!

  22. Happy anniversary. You don’t have to celebrate on the exact day – just celebrate when ever you can.

  23. Your Seth reminds me so much of my Peter, I do miss his desserts since he moved out.
    Happy anniversary to you and Jonny.
    A Witness to Joy sounds like something I need to read so I will have to order a copy.
    Have a great autumn week, it’s been nice here too, but this afternoon the rain arrives, again!

  24. Just reading your review of “A Witness to Joy” pulls at my heart. We have a scripture study group and we usually read a book during Advent. Do you think this would be good for a group discussion? Thanks for the recommendation.

    • I do. I am hoping that I can convince my book group to read it as well. She is such an inspiring woman, so very special. I think everyone should read her story!

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