This has been some week. Hannah woke up wailing on Sunday night with her first ever cold, poor thing couldn’t breathe. Adam and I both stayed home with her on Monday because we had no idea if she would get worse. Maybe we were overzealous new parents, but she slept all day and was right as rain yesterday morning. Must have been the right call. So everyone went back to work, but last night Adam and I both started to get sick. I had today off, Adam came home sick from work. And tomorrow is his birthday. It’s a little crazy here, I have not made a cake or even wrapped a present for him yet. I guess this is what we have to look forward to for years to come! But hooray for her little immune system kicking that bug in 24 hours, it was big encouragement for me to keep going with pumping as a working mom.

Anyway, in the midst of this insanity and 2 days at home this week I’ve started 2 new sewing projects on top of the Nightshade quilt (which I really am not in love with) and started my seasonal list of Fun Things to Do. One of them is this weekend’s Holmdel Harvest Home Festival at Longstreet Farm. And when I read that it’s a mini country fair complete with competitions for quilting and canning and such I was so excited. I didn’t have a quilt that I was a) willing to part with for a week or b) thought was good enough to enter. But oh boy, do I have jam.

Remember this jam? I never posted follow-up photos of the amazing stuff, but here it is spread on a raspberry muffin I made for the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend (this recipe, just swap blue for rasp). So I’ve entered it into the “condiments” competition for this Sunday. My first ever food competition, I’m nervous and thrilled. I probably would not have the nerve to do such a thing if not for 2 things: 1) I’ve been listening to audio books a lot. I’m actually listening to one of Laurie R. King’s impeccable Mary Russell novels, The Moor. My mentor Dee got me hooked on them when I was student teaching with her six (!) years ago. I’ve only read a few, I read them completely out of order, but I particularly love them when fall is starting and I need to come up for air from children’s books and frothy summer reads. Intrigue and tea with scones in the English countryside, what could possibly be better this time of year? That has given me this quaint country feeling all week as I listen and sew while Hannah sleeps off her cold. And b) my mother-in-law Cora recently told us that she won the jam competition in her local country fair in Derbyshire for the 2nd year running. She entered as a lark and won. Twice. So call me inspired by the English as fall starts, I figured why not?

And also, I thought it would be a cool thing to do since I had so much fun picking those blackberries with Hannah. I don’t know, it’s another little reminder while I’m still getting used to the transition back to work that I really made the most of my time with that little lady. It was the best time of my life.

So I’m celebrating it a little with jam, who cares if I win anything?

Update: Adam swears he only knows of Cora winning once, so maybe my cold is worse than I thought.