Sometimes I feel a little shallow when I write these highlights because I’m always exclaiming This month was awesome!! and talking about how great it was. Well, here I am to break the record and report: I’m not sad to see November go.
It’s not that it was a bad month, but it was not my favorite by any means. It was just so dark! I have (self diagnosed) seasonal affective disorder and can tell a difference in my attitude, productivity and overall happiness meter when this year rolls around. I find myself going to bed at 9pm simply because it’s been dark outside for four hours. Maybe that’s why Thanksgiving is conveniently located in this month — you need to look around and find things to be thankful for!
That said, there certainly were some great highlights, mainly on the weekends when I had plenty of sunshine to keep my spirits high. :)
+ Weekend trip to Boone with friends
+ Waking up to a gorgeous sunrise in the mountains
+ Planting bulbs in my yard with my mom
+ Cheering on our friends in the City of Oaks half marathon
+ Lots of walks in the gorgeous woods
+ Packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
+ Hosting Friendsgiving at our house
+ Playing hooky on Veteran’s Day with J
+ Going to see the Duke vs. UNC football game (Duke won! In football!)
Seasons greetings my friends! It is officially December!
You may notice a different look on this site. I was getting a little tired of the old blog theme, so here is a new look for a new season. You may see some more changes rolling out in the next few weeks as I tweak this blog. (Also, for those curious, I used BluChic to update my theme, and until midnight today they are offering 40% off all their themes. So far everything has been SUPER easy and they have a lot of flexibility.)
On to December! Wow. I know I say this every month, but doesn’t it feel like we just started 2013?! This month will be jam-packed with events and parties and to-dos the first few weeks, and then hopefully delightfully quiet the remainder of the month in reflection and rest.
Walk or run a mile every day (see more about my Mile a Day challenge)
Do at least 10 random acts of kindness for neighbors, friends and strangers
October was wonderfully full, but I am looking forward to a little more breathing room this month.
I used to be one of those people who got annoyed when stores decorated for Christmas around or right after Halloween. It’s too early! That should be reserved for after Thanksgiving! But the older I get, the more preparation I realize it takes for a smooth and memorable holiday season. The decorations, the gifts, the events, the music, the movies, the plays, the advent. I get it: that’s a lot of stuff to pack into four or five weeks. So I say bring it on. Give me the Christmas spirit early! I probably won’t be decorating my house until after Thanksgiving, but hope to get all my shopping and planning done by then. And maybe I’ll allow myself some Christmas music and movies. (Just last weekend some of my friends and I were so cozy inside, we decided to watch Love Actually while we crochet. Delightful!)
I have really been struggling with balance lately. I can do the things I need to do well, like work full time and make good on my commitments, but anything extra like exercising, journaling, blogging, crafting, cooking and meal planning have been very hard for me to manage in the last few months. I’ve been in a rut. Sleepy and largely unproductive. (Maybe it’s the dark mornings? At least that’s my theory, and my hope. I rise with the sun.) So this month I hope to establish some boundaries and balance.
Decide and enroll in employee benefits for 2014
Develop a schedule for blogging, and stick to it!
Develop a cleaning schedule, and stick to it!
Develop a meal plan schedule, and stick to it! (Sense a theme?)
Get a good pictures to use for a Christmas card
Order Christmas card
Get 75% of my Christmas shopping done!
Workout at least once a week in the morning before work
Clean and organize my closet, getting rid of clothes I don’t wear any more and prioritizing which items I need to buy
Host/start a cocktail club with friends
Host a Friendsgiving!
Cook a family recipe and a new recipe for Thanksgiving
Plant bulbs and rake all of the leaves in the yard
What are your goals this month?
PS – November goals from 2012, 2011, 2009 (apparently I didn’t have any in 2010?)
Happy Halloween! What are you up to this evening? Anyone go to fun parties? Clever costumes? J and I are hankering down in the suburbs, ordering takeout and handing out candy to the little trick or treaters. Rumor has it there are a lot of kiddos in this ‘hood so we bought three huge bags to be prepared. (We shouldn’t run out with three bags, right??) It will probably be very low-key for the humans in the house, but a truly terrifying evening for the canine. Leia barks when the doorbell rings and is afraid of little children and hates wearing costumes… spooky times ahead for that one.
On to October highlights…
+ Apple picking in Asheville with college friends
+ Lake Lure in early October
+ Celebrating my cousin’s wedding
+ Surprising my mother in-law with a weekend of birthday celebrations
+ Hosting our first party in the new house
+ Finding out the color of the tree in my front yard (it’s gorgeous)
+ Our first fire!
+ Girl’s weekend in Charlotte with my oldest and dearest friends
+ I got bangs, and not sure how I feel about them yet.
- Clean and organize our home office, including hanging things on the wall. // I cleaned and organized it but haven’t nailed anything to the wall yet.
- Continue to unpack and organize, specifically boxes that are in closets.
- Meal plan each week and try to only eat out twice, at the most. // For the most part…
- Make changes in my diet // Yeah, not really
- Run or bike at least three times a week. // Definitely didn’t happen
- Make or buy curtains for the kitchen. // Didn’t happen
- Create a cleaning schedule, and stick to it! // It’s clean, just didn’t get scheduled.
- Publish all those blog posts I’ve been meaning to share! // Nope. SO many drafts to publish.
Here’s hoping I get more things checked off in November. :)
September feels like eons ago. We spent Labor Day in DC, the second weekend moving everything out of our apartment and handing in the keys, then the third week was spent at the beach, lounging around with our families. What other month starts with summer and ends with fall? It was a really, really good month.
Highlights, in photos:
+ Getting a treat at Starbucks after deep-cleaning our apartment. (It just seemed right since we got frappuchinos after we signing our lease a year earlier.)
+ Our first leisure breakfast in our new house. Waffles for the win!
+ Celebrating my birthday at the beach with my two families.
+ Moody skies at the beach.
+ Delicious shrimp and grits dinner.
+ Gorgeous skies at the beach.
+ Cheering the Mountaineers at the Appstate vs. Elon game. Sadly, the only one they’ve won so far this season.
+ Celebrating at my cousin’s bridal shower.
+ Enjoying the backyard with Leia.
- Paint the living room and kitchen - Start small group again - Move everything out of the apartment and clean every square inch - Finish painting the kitchen cabinets / Recap, including a long tutorial - Spend a week at the beach / Trip recap - Turn 28! - Buy and hang curtains in the master bedroom - Read a book or two - Unpack most of our boxes - Set up our home office - Finally buy some new clothes :) - Hang at least a few things on the walls - Buy a pumpkin spice latter on a cool, fall day!
- Buy a lawn mower — that’s because we got one for free from a family friend! Score!
Here we are October 4th and I’m just now getting around sharing what I liked about August. Oh well, c’est la vie!
+ Watching lots of Gilmore Girls while I packed up the apartment (btw, did you know Don Draper is in an episode? Loralai meets him at the auction and turns out they have nothing in common).
+ Eating at Cowfish to celebrate our closing!
+ Getting the keys to our new house :)
+ Sharing a bottle of wine we bought months ago for “whenever we bought a house”
+ Hunting for sofas and rugs (more on that search in another post)
+ Peaches at Eastern Market
+ Sharing a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3 in Georgetown
+ Stopping by Capital Hill Books, a classic store with books crowding every inch of the place (even the bathroom)
+ Being tourists with J, Allison and Brian in DC
Failed to do:
- Organize and refresh the look of this blog // Coming soon :)
- Lose 3 to 5 lbs and workout regularly // Hah, nope. I did not lose any.
- Don’t kill my plants // Killed my cherry tomato plan. Sad.
- Sign up for a race this fall // I decided I had too much going on during the weekends and didn’t want to add one more thing to my plate.
How did you do on your August goals? If you can remember that far back… :)