Fall in Phoenix… is that a thing?

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Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina

It’s that time of year….the crisp coolness of fall is in the air, the leaves are changing colors and crunching beneath our feet, and the comfy cozy sweaters and stylish boots are beckoning…

Oh….wait…..that is the REST of the country. We just came in from the pool and my daughter is currently searching for her flip flops…..yep, just like those pancake commercials on television…..just. like. that.

Yeah, we know it, we signed up for it when we took up residence here in the AZ desert, but there is just something about this time of year that makes it seem that much HOTTER here in the valley. Instead of the leaves changing colors, the license plates are beginning to change colors, as our friends the Winter Visitors once again find their way back to the Valley of the Sun. For many of us, and for what I would venture a guess, is MOST of our children, this is what we know. We expect to bring a bottle of water, not hot apple cider, with us when we go trick-or-treating. Instead of wondering how to add layers to our costumes to keep warm, yet still clearly convey the fact that we are dressed as The Little Mermaid, we are trying to figure out how to stay cool beneath the polyester layers or plastic masks and keep the face paint from running as the sweat beads on our brow.

Though I was raised, and have lived the majority of my life, here in Arizona, I did spend a number of years living in the Pacific Northwest. There was this crazy thing there called Seasons. There, as the coffee shops began to offer up the pumpkin spiced everything, the leaves on the trees exploded with vibrant colors and began to float to the ground, and I would once again have to refresh my memory on how to properly tie a scarf (which, BTW I never truly mastered). It was all perfectly synchronized. It was as though the retail and consumer  gurus and Mother Nature had some sort of secret code. It just worked. It made sense.

Although my kiddos were both born in that more “season-friendly” area of the country, most of their Halloween memories have been  and will be made here in the Grand Canyon State.  So, fellow mamas, I think we can all agree, the costume struggle is real. I myself, have never really been a huge fan of Halloween, but since having children, I have accepted Halloween as a sort of personal challenge to create costumes that are unique and create great amusement….at least for myself. From dressing my 2 year old daughter up as a clunky container of Chinese-Take-Out to my 18 month old son sweating through layers and layers of vibrantly colored, fringed felt as a Party Pinata, my tiny humans have been troopers. Mind you, those masterpiece costumes were donned before either of them really have the ability to make much of a protest. Hey, those costumes earned them many a bag of Skittles, what kiddo would complain?

As I sit here sipping my iced green tea and listening to my air conditioner kick on once again, I find myself longing for just a little bit of that “commercial fall” feeling. Though I am not particulary a fan of “Pumpkin Spice” fill-in-the-blank ( I know….I know…..please keep reading…..) I think there is some strand of DNA in our brains that is pre-programmed to seek out that warmth, that coziness, that cuddle up with a flannel blanket and a fireplace feeling. I can almost smell the nutmeg now…..

So, begrudgingly, when we flip our calendars to October (yes, we still have one of those) and we look out the window at the abundant sunshine and wet footprints still by the poolside, and beneath that thin layer of bitterness, we desert dwellers know that the joke is on everyone else…..because you never have to shovel sunshine. We can go for hikes after gathering with our friends and family for a Thanksgiving meal and know that Snowmagedon is not headed our way. We switch from iced to hot coffee because, well, we didn’t burn our hands on the steering wheel this morning….small win. And, we bust out the cute boots and scarves as soon as that temperature drops below 80 and we wear them without shame, because we have learned the fine art of “faking Fall” here in the Sonoran Desert.

But alas, we live in Arizona, so this is our “normal” and we love it…. Our kids love it because they never have to cover up their Doc McStuffins costume with a down parka as they go from house to house, they can eat popsicles in November, and the don’t have to wait for the ground to thaw before they get to ride the new bike that Santa brought them.

And we love it, because, well, it’s home. And home, is a great place to be.

Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina

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Jessie is the proud mama of two little loves, Reese (born 2009) and Brooks (born 2011). She is fortunate enough to share her life’s adventures with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Todd to whom she has been married since 2004. Although she and her husband have lived all over the West Coast, Arizona is home and she can’t imagine leaving the warm Arizona sunshine anytime soon! A proud University of Arizona Alumni, Jessie spent her pre-kiddo years as a corporate recruiter and trainer. When she is not taking her kiddos to the park or exploring the many cool things the Valley has for families, Jessie is running her natural baby food business, At First Bite, and blogging about the many adventures of parenthood on her blog, At First Bite – Peas. Love. Yumminess.

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