What people need to hear in September

Japanese maple with red leaves


You know what’s really hitting home for us as we settle into fall?


That might sound obvious, given the clear cues we get from nature, like the trees preparing for winter by shedding glorious flames of color.

But as a parent of two school-aged kids (Sarah) and a grandparent of teens (Jacquie), we tend to think of the fall as a time for preparation and landing. Once that’s happened—once the kids have finally settled in—we turn our attention toward our work and upcoming holiday season. It’s easy to forget this important truth: September is a time of newness, uncertainty, mistakes, awkwardness, homesickness, and discovery.

We need to recognize the bigness of change and how real it is for anyone navigating something new.

This month, kindergartners step through the doors of their first big-kid school for the first time. This month, countless kids leave the safety and kinship of their elementary, middle, or high schools and are plunged into new places, systems, and communities. (This year, Jacquie’s granddaughter is making one of those big leaps. In August, she moved to a university in Alaska from the Pacific Northwest.)

It’s so exciting. But it can also be scary and lonely. The way to get through it is to remember that this is a time to be brave. 

It may seem like everyone is already settling in and establishing a new rhythm, but beneath the surface they may still be uncertain, worried, or feeling out of step.

A note of encouragement would probably be landing at just the right moment. We picked out some of our favorites for you, in case you want to send a quick love note to the people in your life who are navigating something new. 

Drop a note to your favorite student or teacher. Send a line to a friend who started a new job. Check in on anyone who’s a new parent or grandparent and see how they’re faring. When you’re in the middle of something new, strange, and (hopefully) wonderful, it means the world to be remembered.

With love and encouragement,

Jacquie and Sarah

Jacquie and Sarah all smiles

Our Favorite Encouragement & Congrats Cards


Quote: “My favorite thing is to go where I have never gone.” – Diane Arbus

Inside: “Here’s to sights unseen!”


Quote: “Chase your wildest dreams.” – Patch Adams

Inside: “Congratulations!”

Secret Gate

Quote: “Round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Inside: “Can’t wait to see where your next adventure takes you. Congratulations!”


Quote: “Follow your dreams, transform your life.”  – Paulo Coelho

Inside: “Congratulations!”

On the Move

Quote: “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!" – Dr. Seuss

Inside: “You’re on your way…Congratulations!”


Blond haired child in an apple tree