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  • Writer's picture Jana

Winter is Almost Here. Christmas is Upon us. Isn't it High Time to Report on our Fall?

Blog burnout? Check. Too busy to write? Check. A tad bit disinterested? Perhaps. I will admit that all of these factors have contributed to my silence over the past months and my avoidance of blogging.

However, with winter fast approaching. I feel an unexpected sense of urgency to report on what we've been up to the past few months - well, four months to be exact. I am unsure how to squeeze four months of content into one blog post, but I will try. I could barely fit a single day into one post when traveling through Ireland and Scotland this summer, so this will certainly be a challenge. But since I thrive on challenges, in a few hours (conservatively speaking), I should have a completed blog post.

So, without further adieu, here is the Lieblich family's fall, in a nutshell.

In September I celebrated my birthday, which included but was not limited to, a beach day with the kids, a family party at home, lunches out with lots of good friends, and scorching September temperatures. Since my birthday falls just a few days before 9/11, we usually visit the annual memorial at Pepperdine University in Malibu, featuring nearly 3000 flags, of varying nationalities. There is one flag for each innocent soul who lost his or her life that day. Although one might think it to be a somber thing to do on one's birthday weekend, instead it serves as a potent reminder of how much I have to be grateful for.

The biggest news of the fall was that Miles became a baseball player. This was a long time coming. He has been eager to play a team sport since the day he was born. I, on the other hand, have been dreading the idea of him playing a team sport since the day he was born. Thankfully it all turned out much better than I had anticipated. He was a natural, taking to baseball like a duck to water. Quite unexpectedly, I too was a natural as sports mom. The second I saw Miles in his adorable uniform on the field I was on board. Catherine faithfully attended every game with me, no matter what the weather (scorching heat, hurricane-force winds, you name it). We were the only family on the team to never miss a single practice or game the entire season. Miles will be playing spring ball, so stay tuned for more on this.

The kids grew like beanstalks!

With a particularly warm fall (it's still in the 70's, in fact), Fitzy enjoyed lots of outings with us to the beach.

On one of our fall trips to the beach, Catherine, our resident photographer, captured these artistic shots.

We had a wonderful fall outing to Descanso Gardens. For the Pumpkin Palooza event at school, Miles transformed his pumpkin into a whale (based on one of his favorite books), with lots of help from his artistic sister (and none from his craft-aversive mother).

Fitzy turned 14! His birthday is two days before Halloween, so we had a Halloween-themed party for him to celebrate. He is healthy and happy. For that, we feel so blessed!

Halloween was lots of fun! Garin was a vending machine, a costume that he painstakingly made from scratch (using lots of printer ink). Miles was a baseball player, surprise, surprise. Catherine was Taylor Swift. No comment. Graham boycotted costumes this year, as has never been a fan of Halloween. Fitzy wore a Japanese kimono that used to belong to his predecessor, Jimmy, the pug. Garin joined friends for trick or treating while we stayed in the neighborhood, where no one gives out anything less than full-sized candy bars (it is Hidden Hills after all, where everything seems to be over-the-top). We enjoyed our traditional chili and cornbread dinner once we returned home.

We attended the annual Ventura County Farm Day (one of our favorite outings of the year) and the Spider Pavillion at the Natural History Museum. We also cleaned up way too many fall leaves that blew in from our neighbor's yard across the street.

Garin tripped Garham on purpose, the day before Thanksgiving. Catherine and I spent much of the afternoon and early evening with him at the emergency room, while he bravely got seven stitches on his chin.

Thanksgiving dinner was a lot of work, but at least I didn't have Covid this year. That was certainly something to be thankful for. The kids helped with everything and we had leftovers for many nights afterward, which I was particularly thankful for as well.

The twins had a most enjoyable holiday choir performance and Miles had an adorable holiday show at his school as well. After having missed these events for years, due to Covid, it was so nice to have them back again.

The kids did great in school this semester. Except for one pesky B+, it was a sea of A's, which made me very proud. Although not pictured here, Miles hit it out of the park as well (not only in baseball but at school as well).

Last weekend, we went to visit my mom at the cemetery and caught this gorgeous winter sunset, overlooking the city, from her grave.

This weekend I enjoyed my annual Christmas dinner out with two of my dear high school friends, Shaun and Katie, who came by to spend time with the kids first.

Last night, we had an early Christmas dinner celebration here since we will be traveling for the holidays. Thank you to another dear friend from high school, Sheila, who sent the most stunning arrangement of 36 roses, which adorned our table.

On Wednesday we are off to Italy for winter break. Stay tuned for more adventures.

A special thank you to all who read and support my blog. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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