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AUG/SEP 2016 Editor’s Note by Jen Theisen

Our summer days are numbered, and I’m not sure where they all went. Leaves of rust, red, and orange will not be the only transformation we realize as we head into autumn. Seasons of life remind me the harder I strive to slow time down, the faster it marches on.

It feels like only days ago we were seeing our eldest, Joe, off to college. Now my college graduate—as the kids at home say—is Jenbusy “adulting.” Miss Rays of Grace starts her senior year this fall and is diligently making college plans and visits. These days, overwhelming joy over the young woman she has become is only interrupted by memories of the little girl in pigtails that never left my side. This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart. This is one season of life that apparently does not get easier with experience. I will treasure this year with her. I am thrilled our dear readers got a glimpse into Grace’s adventures and her sweet, tender heart.

Our Henry will start his freshman year, and Mr. Gus heads into seventh grade with football on the brain. Lord, help me with all the stinky football gear. Our little nugget is not so little anymore; Quinnten is headed off to kindergarten! All these life changes make one nostalgic yet grateful. Surely, many celebrations will be upon us. No matter the season of life, it all goes better with amazing friends and good food. This is why we are so excited as we roll out this Fall Foodie issue.

This issue, you’ll find practical ideas for organizing your kitchen as well as fabulous fall recipes to warm your home. Enjoy our wine pairing tips for all your delicious autumn eats. Our theme offers the perfect opportunity to share my gratitude for our very own foodie, Lanette Hesse, who graces this issue’s cover. I must share a favorite story of my dear friend, outstanding chef, and master of presentation.

Years ago, we traveled on a ladies get-away to celebrate a friend’s birthday. As we hustled to the airport, I marveled at Lanette’s skill in packing so light. While I lugged my carry-on and a stuffed full-size suitcase, I wondered how she was able to pack so light with one small carry-on. I noticed she seemed a bit nervous and chalked it up to her wanting all to run smoothly as she graciously offered up her family cabin for our celebration. Not long after arriving at our beautiful destination, Lanette was working her magic in the kitchen. As we all gathered and gabbed, I asked her how in the world she prepared a gourmet meal in such a short time. Not only is Lanette a gourmet foodie and efficient packer, she’s a clever culinary genius. This woman actually prepared a meal for her friends, froze it, somehow scooted it through security, and timed it perfectly to be thawed upon arrival, ready to pop in the oven. She is a woman who truly shares herself with every delicious dish she serves up.

I hope you will enjoy this Fabulous Fall Foodie issue, with so many great articles to get the foodie in you inspired, organized, and in the mood for all fall has to offer. Together, let’s celebrate the seasons of life. As we gather ‘round the table with friends and family, let’s raise our glasses in thanksgiving and toast the good things to come. The journey continues: faith, family, friends, fitness, and finance.

Jen Theisen
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

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