New car!

As much as I loved the Yaris, I had to let it go. That car sure did see a lot in its time with us.

The giant sequoias.

Driving west from Iowa to California.

The top of Mt. Evans in Colorado.

My first day with it!

But when it came down to it, I was more ready to move on to a bigger car than I realized. Maybe it’s some form of nesting, but I really wanted us to have a car that was the right size for our (new) needs. So here she is:

We found this ’07 Subaru Outback at, of all places, a Toyota dealership in Marin County. Marin is sort of notorious for being the land of the overpriced, but we got a really good deal.

We did have to get one thing repaired on the car, and while we were waiting we hung out at this fancypants shopping center that was actually a really nice place to spend a fall day.

They even had a giant pumpkin! It reminded me of the Iowa State Fair.

I resisted buying any pumpkins there, but I did get some more flat ones at Trader Joe’s.

I had to do something to perk up the porch area. Last year my plants were flourishing at this time, but this year everything is pretty much dead.

Last year:

And this year:

The only thing that seems to be thriving is the orange tree.

We moved it out of full sun into a spot that gets partial shade and it seems to like that way better. After almost completely dying, it’s sprouted a whole bunch of new leaves and buds.

I did manage to successfully grow this epic thistle on the side of the house.

This guy was hanging out around there.

Our neighbors have a cute little garden on the other side of our fence. Their tomatoes are so tall they’re peeking over.

This year has just been dry as a bone. But guess what — last night it rained! For the first time since May. We even got a few claps of thunder.

In the annoying news department, there was some kind of refinery issue in southern California and now our gas prices are insanely high. Just in time for us to have bought a bigger car, of course.

We start our 12-week Bradley class tonight, so I’m curious how that’s going to go. As we near the 23-week mark, I’m definitely getting rounder.

I’ve surrendered to the elastic waistband.

I can tell the baby is getting bigger because her kicks have moved up higher in my belly and they’re stronger. The other night I was enjoying baby TV, which consisted of me staring at my belly as it jiggled with kicks. I am still loving those.

In the kitchen I have decided I need to start sorting my recipes by those that can be made in a short period of time. (This butternut squash mac ‘n cheese is not one of them, but I tried it the other day and it was really good.)

I love my recipes, but many of them take a lot of prep time that I don’t think I will have in the next few months. I’ve been making a list of ideas, like this one for make-ahead breakfast sandwiches.

You package them individually and freeze them until you need them.

Any other ideas for me?