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I LOVE Fall.  It is my favorite time of the year!

Don’t get me wrong – Christmas and snow will always have a special place in my heart.  But there’s just something about the cool, crisp weather that Fall brings with its scarves, cute boots, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, refreshing breezes, and the most AMAZING colors found in nature!  Oh, and apples…sigh…my favorite fruit.  🙂  As a kid, my family took at least one trip every year to the Minnesota Harvest apple orchard – great memories!!!

Ok, true confession time:  I am not one of those girls who had dreamed about her wedding day since she was knee-high to a grasshopper.  Only for one brief time in my life (I think it might have been during my sophomore or junior year in college) did I have a momentary fantasy of what my “big day” might be like.  Three words:  Outdoor Autumn Wedding.  I imagined getting married in a field, surrounded by trees, with all the leaves at their autumnal peak.  And the reception?  Large, hand-carved, wooden tables, with burgundy table runners, and arrangements of flowers and apples.  Apples, of course, would be the focus of the decorations, complemented by the reds and golds of Fall.

All of those plans stayed in the back of my mind (my real-life wedding was, in fact, outdoors, but during the Spring).  What brought those memories back was reading the latest issue of my Better Homes & Gardens magazine today at lunch – they featured a whole section on Fall-inspired decorating, even one article dedicated to apples! 🙂  There was a full-page picture of a floral arrangement with apples mixed in – I fell in love!  I couldn’t find a copy of the same arrangement online, so I’ll have to scan it and add it later! 🙂

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved events.  Even if something wasn’t quite a formal or official event, I would still go all out.  I mean, if my parents had 2 guests over for Sunday dinner,  I would confirm how to spell their names, pull out my art supplies, and create both place cards and a seating arrangement!  And don’t get me started on the table setting – I dreamt of learning to fold fancy napkins!  If only I had Google back then…I would’ve been DANGEROUS! 🙂

But there was one “real” event that I did before I even got to high school: Dad & Mom’s Anniversary.  Every year, my younger brother and I would spend the entire day cleaning and converting our dining room into a “restaurant”, complete with a dinner menu.  We would take all the leaves out of the dining table, bringing it down to the smallest size and remove all the chairs except two.  I picked out a tablecloth, coordinating cloth napkins (the ones Mom would only use for fancy occasions), and set the table (also using the “fancy” dishes).  I would play around with the setting until it was just right – making sure that everything was spaced properly, there was room for the candles (including the Unity Candle from their wedding day), and the forks were in the right place.

My brother helped me hang a sheet across the opening to the kitchen, to give Mom and Dad some privacy.  We  would brainstorm and create the menu for the night – usually along the lines of Shake ‘n Bake pork chops and Macaroni & Cheese (c’mon, we were kids!).  My brother would act as the “waiter” and serve them while I cooked.  Looking back, I’m not sure who had more fun – us or my parents! 🙂 

I don’t remember how many years we carried on that tradition, but I was SO proud of that event – the concept, the planning, and the execution.  I loved spending the whole day working on that dinner, coordinating my team (albeit a team of two), and seeing my parents – my “guests” – satisfied at the event.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize how much I loved – and still love – events, but now that I’ve put 2 and 2 together, I’m going to start feeding this passion!