This post is sponsored by Collective Bias.

cup of coffee

It's no secret that I have a deep, abiding love of coffee. I guzzle the smooth, smoky concoction from morning until well past dusk.

It's not just the much-needed caffeine jolt that keeps me coming back. To me, there's something truly special about the care and thought that goes into each cup.

coffee on the porch

In the summer, we keep iced coffee in the refrigerator. But as the weather turns and we find ourselves huddled by the fire, we slowly start to put a real pleasureful effort into every moment of grinding and brewing and creating.

morning coffee

Some days, Nate gets up before I do and he greets me with a warm vat of French Press. It means a lot that he knows me well enough to reach for my favorite blend – Seattle's Best Organic Fair Trade Certified Level 4 – and brew it just as long as I like. Not too much or it gets bitter! He knows I don't want it too hot (I like to be able to TASTE my coffee) and that I prefer it in our small cups as opposed to his favored “bowl mugs.”

I suspect that the flavor might evaporate if I offer that much surface area.

After his brewing and pouring is where I come in. I know that he likes his coffee sweet. Very sweet. It makes him smile to open the refrigerator and see a whole shelf dedicated to Coffee-Mate. Pumpkin Spice is a favorite addition for him, and he pours without reserve.

coffee mate

“Have a little coffee with your creamer, why don't you?” I clutch my thick cup of black and gaze at his tawny liquid, bringing it up to my nose. His smells so good, like Thanksgiving.

creamy coffee

He emerges from the stove with a sheet of bacon, and we stare at each other from across our tiny kitchen island. I blink, blink, blink the sleepiness back and he gives me a strong, quick squeeze on the neck with a knowing nod.

We don't get a lot of alone time together, and the boys will be up soon. These coffee connections, for us, are very special.

pumpkin spice coffee mate

We'll go and work and play and make messes…and then meet back in this spot to do it all over again in 12 hours after the boys are tucked safely back in bed. Our twice daily fall routine, one of the reasons I cherish this season.

Here's to that early morning coffee and those late night #loveyourcup moments. Here's to family. Here's to the smell of pumpkins and spice.