Day 31: A Song for Harvest Time {Really, It’s for You!}

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It’s the last day of this year’s Write 31 Days Challenge- and I made it!!! I wrote every single day of October here on the blog. Just in case you didn’t know, if you click the pic just above this paragraph, it’ll take you to the home page of the 31 Days of Enjoy series, so in case you missed any, they’re all conveniently listed right there just for you!

Speaking of just for you, I wanted to take this last day of the series to share a song I’d written some time last year about autumn (and love… and life… basically I wrapped up every profound subject in this one song. Just kidding, I didn’t, but for a second it sounded that way, didn’t it?)

Harvest TimeI don’t have fancy recording equipment of any kind, and decided only in the last couple of days to record it and share here, so this is just a rough video. But I’m hoping this can be one of those “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful,” moments. I also put the lyrics below, too.

Autumn sun is sinking low
The spark in the air is one I know
Something grand will soon begin
Something’s coming in, something’s coming in
.
So come along with me
Let’s run away to the place we go
When October rolls around and the winds may blow
But I’ll hold you close, I’ll hold you close
.
{Chorus}
Bright autumn days remind me
Rejoice in this harvest timing
The earth is ablaze, earth is ablaze with the light
In the harvest time
.
Everything’s aglow
Trees and fields aflame as if they know
That it’s time to burn bright
And time to find a voice
Time to rejoice, time to rejoice
.
Springs and summers may come
Winters may go, but in my heart it’s fall
It’s the one I like best of all
Though we’re blessed in them all, blessed in them all
.
{Chorus}
Bright autumn days remind me
To rejoice in this harvest timing
The earth is ablaze, earth is ablaze with the light
In the harvest time
.
Like light in the darkness shining
There is a harvest inside me
Seasons may change but you stay the same
And bring life, you bring harvest time
.
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I confess, I’ve loved every minute of this challenge! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have! (See what I did there??) 
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Please feel free to share this song with others, and you can also visit my youtube channel for more songs here (provided you aren’t a Judgey McJudgeypants… the quality of that video is how the others are too. Also, my piano resides in my daughter’s nursery, so prepare yourself for a lot of pink stuff in the background.)
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 I realized only in the last couple of days that while I’ve talked about music a couple of places in this series, I hadn’t shared any of my own. I struggle to be brave enough to do this, because of all the disclaimers I am prone to make (you know, like in that last paragraph), and because I always feel like I could do better. But making music is just my favorite beyond favorite thing to do. Even more than blogging, or art, or- gasp!- eating. (I did manage to share a few songs last month, because that was a huge, amazing thing that happened to me. But it still took some mustering of courage to share, somehow.)
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Really, I hope this can just be an encouragement to you, to boldly enjoy the gifts God has given you- often I think those are made to be shared with others. So, share! Create!
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Enjoy!
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(And thanks for reading/commenting, whether you’ve been with me every day, or only on a few. It’s a huge blessing and encouragement to me!!)

Day 29: 10-ish Favorite Pieces from my Fall Wardrobe

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For some reason, I had it in my head that I wouldn’t allow myself to post about clothes during this 31 Day series… It’s silly and frivolous, I told myself.

And then I said, “Who cares, dumb Mrs. Trunchbull-voice in my head?!” The whole point of this series was to explore lots of aspects of enjoyment. And for me, clothes factor greatly onto the list of things I enjoy. Especially in the fall.

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I don’t care that it’s not the most profound content ever. I mean, one of my early posts featured some of my favorite things on my Autumn Happiness board on Pinterest… Which I’m fairly certain is NOT deeper than talking about my favorite fall wardrobe pieces.

So, here are my favorite things to wear this fall!

This first sweater merited 3 pictures, so you get the full scope of how happy it is. And, as we all know, fall is blanket- I mean- sweater weather, so this is the perfect such one for me! I positively swooned over it the first time I clapped eyes on its muted tones, aztec-y (but not too aztec-y) patterns, and awesome drapey-ness. (Are you seeing why this is not a fashion blog? I basically just make up my own words to refer to this stuff.) 

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Plus, it reminded me of this sweater I found online for a mere $95 (vomit- who pays $95 for cute when you can get it at T.J. Maxx  for a tenth of the price?!) But this one was 16.99, and it’s SO soft! I’ve been wearing it all the time the last couple of weeks.EDIT 2 back sweater

Of course, I love this shirt from Old Navy, and this hat and scarf combo from the covered bridge festival(I love them so much, they also made an appearance here.)

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Here’s a close up of the shirt’s pattern, since you can’t see it super well in the first picture:5 shirt close up

(Side note: clearly I don’t care about wrinkles. Another reason why this is not a fashion blog.)

And because one blanket- I mean- sweater isn’t enough, there’s this awesome, lightweight cable knit piece (also from T.J.’s) which is just the right amount of structured and loose for me. (This is a real challenge people; I’ve often felt that cable knit sweaters made my not-tiny arms look considerably larger, making me feel more like a pumpkin roll wearing a sweater. Most unpleasant. Thus, I love this sweater extra because it doesn’t do that.)

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Then there’s this blazer, which I found at Target in January or February marked down to $10.50!!! (If there ever was a moment I felt like I was winning at life, that was it.) It basically goes with everything I own, so it wins the award for best blazer.

9 plaid blazerThis dress… it may be one of the best dresses I’ve ever owned. It’s that shade of green I’m always drawn to, and it’s just floaty enough (while also being structured) that I feel like it flatters me better than a lot of dresses do.10 green dress

This dress IS pretty fabulous too! Plus, it’s bright and happy pattern makes me feel like an ambassador of cheerfulness whenever I wear it. (I’m like, where are those fairy wings of mine?? I know they’re around  here somewhere… Now everyone be quiet while I burst into song with small woodland creatures. Though if you can harmonize, feel free to join in.)

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Somewhere between the worlds of lightweight coats and winter coats lives the beautiful land of This Perfect Coat…

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And boots, of course. The middle ones are rain boots I’d ordered off of Amazon this summer. (Why is it so hard to find cute ones that don’t have obnoxious patterns all over them?! Maybe I just have an issue committing to pattern… Except plaid. I’m obviously committed to plaid. Just not on my boots!)

6 bootsWell, that was fun. I hope it was fun for you. I’m enjoying this year’s fall apparel more than I have in a long time!! I know they’re just fabric and stitches, but they’re little luxuries I’m enjoying, gifts that somehow really do brighten life. And that is part of what this series is about.

Day 19: Covered Bridge Festival!!!

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It FINALLY happened. We FINALLY got to go to the fabulous covered bridge festival I love so very much!!! This past weekend, we headed over to my parents house a couple hours away, and go to spend a couple lovely days with them (including a simple, restful Saturday), and Friday was the day of covered bridge wonderfulness.

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This is called an I-forced-husband-to-selfie-with-me-because-of-my-overabundance-of-excitement Selfie. (We were in the car… not even to the festival yet.) 

Bens Pretzels

Of course, about 50- eh, maybe 75%- of the wonderfulness of this covered bridge festival is due to Ben’s Pretzels. YOU GUYS. They are the biggest, softest, warmest, most delicious pretzels to ever pretzel. If there were such things as autumn carols, there would be one devoted specifically to these pretzels. So, obviously, we bought them promptly after our arrival… followed within 10 minutes by the consumption of a bag of mini fried doughnuts which were so good they basically just melted in your mouth. (Because that’s what you DO when you are at the covered bridge festival, friends. If you’re not eating at least 2-3 kinds of baked/fried bread and/or meat/cheese/butter, then you’re not doing it right.)

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Mimi showing Lucy around one of the super cute booths.Mimi and Lucy 2

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Fake berry garlands? Of course I want to visit this booth!

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Lucy and her grandpa!
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Was it too much to ask Lucy to smile into direct sunlight?? Possibly.IMG_3460

Hubs contemplating the rustic brands of cream soda and root beer available at the old mill. (Isn’t he handsome???)

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I love this pumpkin patch area. (I mean, it’s obviously not an actual pumpkin patch, but it’s the designated pumpkin area, so what do you want from me?) This picturesque spot may have been featured last year, too.IMG_3458

I love these boots. Getting to wear them on a chilly day is a small thing, but a lovely thing. IMG_0419

Um. It’s a metal lawn-ornament minion family. How could I not take a picture of them? I have never had a desire for lawn ornaments (in part because I live in an apartment, people), but these almost tempt me. Almost. IMG_0416 IMG_0413

My girl. Inspecting all the pumpkins, presumably to make sure they measure up to her high pumpkin standards. (She’s very thorough.) 

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I just love that sweet face!

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One of my top 5 favorite days of the year. Easy. (Until next time, pretzels. Next time…)

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I think Lucy had fun… She certainly took a good nap afterwards. (She’s cuddling her new Pinky Pie, purchased for her by Grandpa, of course. I don’t think it took much to convince him. Basically, I set her down and she ran right over to the My Little Ponies exclaiming, “Pie! Pie!” So… that was the cutest thing ever.)

Any special wonderful fall places you love visiting with your people this October?

Day 12: The Frost is on the Pumpkin

31 days of Enjoy squareWell, maybe the frost isn’t technically on the pumpkin quite yet. Not really. But still! I couldn’t help but add this to the shop this weekend, to further celebrate general autumn wonderfulness.

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If you want to purchase, click either pic to see the listing itself!

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My mom used to read James Whitcomb Riley’s poetry to me when I was little. Especially that one and Little Orphan Annie (which actually is little creepy… when you’re 5, I mean). Also, if you’re concerned, yes I do know that it’s technically “punkin” in the poem.

I hope you enjoy it like I enjoyed making it! Please feel encouraged to share this and the shop in general if you are a fan!

Day 7: Enjoying Surrender.

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As Communications & Events Director for If Then Movement, I have had the privilege of attending and helping with a few ITM events since I took on the job almost a year and a half ago. (I usually just say Communications Director… but the official title sounds schmancy right?) Each one I go to speaks to me differently, as I see God working in both my life and the lives of those who attend.

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(Their decor was ON POINT, people. It was a fabulous fall explosion. But in a good way. Though, come to think of it, I can’t really imagine how fall could explode in a bad way…)

This weekend’s was no exception. It probably held greater depth for me in part because it took place at the church where I grew up, watching my parents minister on staff. I love that place!

And I love seeing what God does through our retreat called “So Be It: Brave Surrender to God’s Call Every Day”.

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This is my favorite retreat that we do. Because it gives women a chance to dig deep and let their hearts open up to the truth that surrender is how we experience the goodness God intends for us.

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Sometimes I have a hard time yielding to that process. Sometimes, all I can do is put one foot in front of the other, rejoice in simple things like autumn wreaths, incredible things like God’s grace, and continuously surrender moment by moment. And sometimes, surrendering is putting pieces of a necklace together that function as a small, beautiful, brave stake in the ground for the kingdom of God.

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That’s what attendees got to do together this weekend. My dear friend chose this necklace, and I confess that the phrase is one of my favorites. (I have a necklace with this same artwork in it… because we’re the same person. We even wore matching colors.)

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What you don’t see in the picture is the small piece of paper that gets buried behind the artwork and the glass tile; that piece of paper serves as a place to write something you feel God laying on your heart to surrender to Him, or a verse He’s leading you to cling to, or a person you need to keep praying for, etc. I love that it’s a tactile, tangible representation of the message.

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The other thing that gets buried in this necklace is a tiny seed, which represents the fact that in order to bear fruit, the seed itself must die. This stands out to me especially, because God has been reminding me that even if I’m afraid of losing or surrendering something to him, doing just that is what bears fruit.

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(This is a candy bar. Get it?)

For someone who professes to be a creative person, I can be really uncreative when it comes to looking past what I think is good and instead trusting that God’s best is better. (Or best… or something.)

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Later in this series, I plan to dig up what God says about enjoyment, but for today, I end with this verse:
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
                        – Psalm 36:7-8

Day 6: Laziness vs. Leisure

31 days of Enjoy squareLeisure is an important part of enjoyment. But sometimes, leisure gets a bad rap. Because we’re human and imperfect, and that often translates to taking something like leisure and turning it into laziness.

I struggle with this like any person does. Remember back when I wrote about how Netflix plays an important role in marriage? Well, obviously there was a degree of the facetious in that post, along with the serious (as is common here). And I confess, sometimes, binge-watching stuff on Netflix renders me incapacitated, and the thought of getting up off the couch to get more cookies seems as daunting as climbing Mt. Everest.

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That’s how laziness ruins leisure. There’s nothing evil about leisure in and of itself. But laziness? It renders me whiny and self-absorbed in a matter of a few pajama-clad, cookie-filled hours. At that point, am I really enjoying anything?

In those moments, maybe what I really need is some intentional enjoyment. That’s just another reason I love fall; I find myself doing specific things like going to covered bridge festivals, showing colorful leaves to my daughter, buying pumpkins (after laboriously looking for the one with the most character- aka warts and such), etc. And it’s not even that those activities are somehow better than watching Netflix.

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It’s just the searching and seeing that takes place when I experience those things.

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I develop an awareness of beauty; I tune my heart to the blessings of a moment. And even though fall comes every year, the awareness still- always- brings me delight.

Kara Faith Photography- The Rustic Apple

It’s a holy enjoyment.

So, with that said, may your leisure lift you up this season. May you become more aware of the unearthly beauty that graces the earth so generously with itself. Breath it in deep. Enjoy… whether you find yourself pajama-clad and cookie-filled, or wandering through a pumpkin patch.

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Today’s glorious pictures are brought to you by Kara Faith Photography!

Day 5: It’s Autumn at Ebenezer Designs

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For Day 3, I wanted to share with you three new fall prints I’ve added to the shop this week!

First, “I fall for autumn.” Because I do. Don’t you?

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Thank-Fall. (Get it? I know. I am a genius…)

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And what trio of autumnal prints would be complete without this quote by L.M. Montgomery? “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” That woman was so brilliant. I’m pretty sure she and I would’ve been BFFs.

October Quote Mockup

Click each picture to go see them on Ebenezer Designs on Etsy! They’re $10 a piece, but here’s how you can enter to win all 3 sent to your inbox for FREE!!!!

  1. Go and Like Long Live Beauty’s Facebook page and/or follow me on Instagram: @haylie_allcott
  2. Share a link to one post of 31 Days of Enjoy (or if you have a favorite Long Live Beauty post, that’s fine too) on your own timeline
  3. Now you’re entered into the drawing!!!

Regardless, I hope you are feasting on the beauty of autumn in whatever ways you love to do.

Enjoy!