Oh, How I Heart Autumn! [2017]

November 19th, 2017 - filed under: Furthermore » Feedback


Autumn vibes.

When I was just a wee baby blogger, I wrote a Love Letter to autumn. To quote: “I want to curl up with a strong cup of coffee and write and write and write. I want to put on moody music and map my future on scented stationary. Today I want to pen my manifesto, find myself a bullhorn, and sing my dream to the world.”

Gosh I was young, back in 2010.

But of course, autumn still does that to me. Not that I’m curling up and penning manifestos these days . . . But at work every day after lunch, I take a long walk at Campus Point. Out along the bluffs, dusty and dotted with ice plant, and the occasional twisted evergreen stretching itself so far out over the ocean, just daring the cliffside to crumble. I love walking high above the beach. Watching the waves toss pebbles onto the sand. Autumn oceans are turbulent; brilliant cobalt blue but capped with heaving whitewater. It’s not the still sea of summer. And I love it. I may not be unholstering my bullhorn these days, but autumn still fills me with fire. I’m reflecting. Reflecting on everything.

It’s a good way to go into winter. I’m ready to set some new intentions. Ready to hibernate for a spell, cocoon myself up and grow some pretty new wings for spring.

And I hope that you are too! Are you still out there in Internet land? I mean, of course you are. And whether you’ll find this blog post, or whether you never do, I hope you’ve had a really wonderful autumn. ♥

Okay, here are a few of my favorite moments:

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FIRST DAY OF SECOND GRADE!!! Oh my goodness oh my goodness. Waits is growing up so fast and every day I’m just bowled over at what an incredible little person he’s become. So proud. So proud!

When you plan a beach day with the kid and you show up at your old-school super secret locals-only spot and you discover . . . someone’s already there! Oopsie, but it was super fun to have a beach day with the *whole* family. Great minds think alike! ♥ (yes, that’s Damian)


Early September harvest: an abundance of passion fruits, blue bell cornflowers, allllll the tomatoes, an entire bowl of brussels sprouts (yum!!), and a giant fennel bulb. Oh I love this time of year in the garden!

This picture was taken at the beginning of September, right as I was teaching Waits to skate. It was a terribly hot and muggy Sunday afternoon, and Waits, Jeremy, and I all skated from our house to a friend’s bbq (yes, in sandals — it was so hot!). I love this pic because that’s the day that Waits got “bit”. He got bit by the skateboarding bug, and I’ve never seen him so completely captured by something. He wants to skate ALL the time. And Jeremy and I are both so happy to oblige! Waits and I love to tool around the neighborhood practicing tricks (I’m re-learning after 20 years, OOF), and Jeremy takes him to the skate park at least a few times each weekend. And in the evenings we all head down to the beach, for a sunset family skate along the ocean front. It’s my absolute favorite thing.

He was hitting ramps the very first time we took him to the skate park. He’s fearless.


Kittens cat-napping in their wine box window swing ♥.


We took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, complete with corn maze and hay ride. Every time I see a picture with me, my dad, and my kid, I’m so struck by the family resemblance. I love that.

Waits also joined a soccer league this year. Which means — I am officially a soccer mom. ZIP IT!

Hallowe’en. We went as a family of Reapers.

Trick or treat!

A proper autumn harvest: dahlias, fennel, dried beans, dino kale, and a bumper crop of tomatoes and peppers. It stayed so hot for so long, they just kept coming!

My proud little skater. Did you know Etnies has a whole line of vegan skate shoes, in both children’s and adult sizes? They do, and they’re awesome!

Hungarian oak.

Smash Crush Squish

Jeremy and I have both been working really hard, with amazing new career opportunities for both of us. But it’s been intense, so it was nice to be able to steal away for a relaxing weekend in wine country. We stayed in the guest house at the Hilliard Bruce vineyards, which is a 100% certified sustainable winery. Not too shabby. ♥

And that brings us to now. November. Deep autumn, readying for winter. Dreaming of solstices and holidays, long dark nights and lots of cozy time. I’m really looking forward to it.


Okay, now it’s time for the one, the only, Le Love List! I’ve been saving it up on my phone again, a little list of happy that travels with me wherever I go . . .

Being naked. // Not getting sick. My strong-as-hell immune system. // Waits helping me cook, and his enthusiasm for it. // BABIES! (still) // Feeling genuinely impressed with myself. // Doing guided meditations for Waits at bedtime (early autumn). // Waits reading himself to sleep every night, wrapped up in his blankies with his little headlamp to light the pages (late autumn). // Intentional parenting. Working on that — getting better at that. // An old friend called me up, while he was driving back from his young daughter’s back-to-school night. He had met all the other parents there — all these good, smart, nice, normal people. And he couldn’t connect with anyone. He said “Everything that came out of my mouth seemed to just hang in the air. I felt like everything I said was weird and everything I did was wrong. I’m an alien. I don’t fit in with normal people . . . So I just wanted to call and talk to someone who really knows me, and loves me.” I know the feeling, my friend. And I do love you. So much. ♥ // My sleep mask, which allows me to sleep in late, no matter what. Preeeeeecious. // My home apothecary, which makes me so proud. // The way that Jeremy laughs over, and over, and over again while watching this gif. // The last few months at work have been so intense. I joined the team less than a year ago, and now I’m leading the whole team while my boss is on maternity leave. It’s a huge endeavor with a million balls in the air at all times, with ~1,000 students depending on me, with so much pressure and very little room for error. Three months ago I imagined that at this point I wold pretty much be holed up in my office, hiding under my desk weeping and eating my feelings. Or something equally disastrous. But instead, it’s just . . . worked. I’ve worked it. It’s all gone so smoothly, and I’m in charge, and I’m doing it, and it’s all working out. It feels pretty freaking awesome, man.


So alright, that’s it for now. I’m hoping to be back here soon with a holiday DIY tutorial (is it too late for “homemade holidays” tutorials? Did I already miss the boat on that one?)

As always, thank you so much for reading. Thank you for being out there, and for checking in here. I’d love to hear from you in a comment below! And I hope you have a really wonderful winter.

If you ever want to see what I’m up to, check out my Instagram. I’ve recently discovered Instagram stories and I’m preeeeeeetty obsessed.

Lots of love!


♥ ♥ ♥

  • Judith

    Hi Sayward,
    awesome that you’re checking in here again! Congrats on managing all the work-stuff like a pro! I’m looking forward to your holiday tutorial! Also, I’m having a bit of pumpkin-envy over here ;-) This year the pumpkin patch “parties” in our region have sadly been cancelled, due to the bad harvest, which was caused by waaaaay too much moisture and too low temperatures. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a better growing season next year.
    I should start writing love lists, too. I definitely am grateful and happy for a lot of things these days, but now I can only come up with a few. I guess writing down the happy stuff more often will make one appreciate it even more.
    Anyway, I’m already all cozy sitting at my desk, a cup of strong coffee beside me, listening to “deep dark indie” on spotify and will just after ending this little procrastination-time start working on my online lectures again. I love being a student again and I greatly appreciate the possibility to study from home.
    Have a beautiful day!

  • Sarah C.

    Great to see you and this sweet family of yours! I have a question, if you have a second: did you do anything special to make the fennel bulb out? I planted rows and rows of seeds and all they did was turn to stalks and then flower and seed. I tried again this fall and SAME dang thing! I want bulbs, not more seeds! Argh. I’m not doing such a great job on the gardening thing, but I keep trying.

    Oh and I’d love to see more holiday tutorials. I’m thinking of making a bunch of bottles of your fermented sriracha to give as holiday gifts, and any and all other ideas would be welcome too!

  • Kate

    So good to see you! Live life on your terms woman. The fb notifications let me know you’re here and I love feeling similar to you. Looking back at 7 years ago Kate I’m like WHERE DID YOU GET ALL THAT ENERGY FROM AND YOU ARE SO NAIVE.

    Have a great autumn, til you write again!

  • http://myblissfuljourney.com Jennifer

    Awesome photos! Very festive, too! It’s been a while since I have commented, but I hope to change that by adding you to my blogroll! Hope you don’t mind. LOVE the Halloween and Autumn colors and updates! Those costumes are great, too! And your cats are adorable!
    Jennifer @ http://MyBlissfulJourney.com

  • Tammy

    So great to hear from you again. ❤️ Your diy tutorials are what got me hooked to begin with, so please do share more! Big love from pdx.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Judith! And I’m sorry to hear about your pumpkin patch woes, that’s like, actually really sad. Hopefully you have a better year next year. Did you carve something else? One time Damian and I forgot to buy pumpkins so we carved potatoes. It worked! =D

    I keep an ongoing Love List on the notes app on my phone. It’s really un to whip it out and add to it whenever I’m so inspired, or read over it when I feel like I need a lift. Highly recommend!

    Hope you had a wonderful day. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Sarah!! Hmm, fennel bulbs. I wish I had some wisdom. I got these as starts when I was working at the school gardens, so they had a really great beginning (those plants were always the healthiest and the best). I didn’t do them from seed and I never had, so I don’t know any tricks. Wish I did — sorry!

    Ooh love the fermented sriracha gift idea. I think people would love getting that!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Ha! So true, SO much energy and SO NAIVE omg how did I have children when I was basically a child.

    Great to hear from you, hope you have a beautiful winter. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aww thanks Jennifer, I would love to be added! Hope you have a wonderful winter!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, love TO pdx! Thanks Tammy!

  • Morgan

    Sayward, I came across your blog years ago (you were still in Portland) when I was searching online for a natural way to unclog a drain. At the time I was living in Japan with my then husband. I had no friends or family near me, my husband was in the military, which meant I was very alone for months at a time. I loved your blog. I would check it at least once a week and kind of felt connected to home through it- I grew up north of Seattle, so Portland felt familiar. I’ve quietly followed you here since then, only commented once or twice and nothing note-worthy.
    The anecdote in your love list about being an alien, not connecting with anyone and just needing to talk to someone who gets you really struck a chord with me today. I’ve been feeling like a bit of an outsider in my life lately. I’m glad you’re still checking in here.
    Autumn is my favorite season and I hope the rest of yours is everything you want it to be. Also, it’s never too late for holiday DIY projects.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Hi Morgan, thank you for this comment and I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling disconnected from people. Even though I totally relate and I know it’s a pretty common feeling, I felt so sad reading your comment. I just want you to know that you’re not alone, there are so many of us weirdos out there.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the season. ♥

  • Betty Spaghetti

    Second grade? Omg, I remember when you were pregnant and now the boy is in second grade! He’s a great kid thanks to a kind, understanding and involved mom. You’re doing well and you’re all grown up and living life as it should be. i remember a time where you questioned yourself and now you’re amazed of all the things you’re accomplishing – we, your readers, knew all along, but it’s nice to see you progressing so nicely in every aspect of your life. I am glad you’re not abandoning the blog entirely so we can continue seeing your success and hey, maybe there is room for a marriage and another kid in your future too!

  • Kristin

    Love this and love hearing from you again! Congrats on your work success and I wish you all the best. SO STINKIN JEALOUS of your passion fruit haul – what I wouldn’t give! Keep on doing you and rocking it. You are inspiring! Cheers to a lovely remaining autumn! <3

  • Nicole

    Love all your updates! Thanks for sharing. :-) I know the isn’t related to the holidays, but is there any chance you may update what you & your son take for supplements? I’ve been trying to get everything in order on that front for us, especially now that we have nearly entirely transitioned to vegan. I was having a hard time figuring out where to start when I thought, “What would Sayward do?” :-) I’m curious if you found a multivitamin that seemed like a good match for you guys. I began reading your blog when you were pregnant, and always found it helpful, even if you were blogging about things that were years out for me (like kids!). Thanks for being you, and being awesome, Sayward! :-D

  • Mary

    Thank you for the “catch-up”. Gosh I miss your regular posts….followed you since the beginning, but I’ll take what I can get. Enjoy your winter and I will continue to check in. Btw- just tried your banana trick in my husbands lunch. Ha ha. We’ll see…..

  • Olgui

    Thank you for posting once more. I love your energy, your vitality, your love for life!!! You have a sweet family and Waits is so grown up! He is a little handsome man!

  • Sonja

    Dear Sayward, I was just so happy to see on fb that you were posting about the “McDonald’s” incident and than I saw over here that you posted two other posts which I haven’t read so far! So happy to read about your life and see all the pics from you and your loved ones (and your harvest). I’m following you since … I don’t really know maybe since 2011 or something. You’re always so inspiring to me and I can totally relate to your friend who felt alienated. That’s why I love this little community you created here. Lots of love from Germany and have a wonderful 2018 <3