(My blog host, Typepad, is having some issues and photos aren't loading. Hopefully I can add photos soon!)
It's cloudy, blustery, and chilly today – delightful! Hello, November indeed!
We had a fun Halloween on Monday night with the cutest little kitty and two deathly ghoul boys. Chris and I dressed up as a PB&J! We trick or treated with neighbor friends for part of the evening. Then, winding our way home, the boys I did a long loop by ourselves. There had been some big emotions and costume frustration just before we left the house as there always is but also whyyy. Of course everyone was happy once we got out the door and got going. Later, when just the boys and I were together, I got teary-eyed seeing Dash and Cedric having so much fun as a team, brimming with excitement in pursuit of free candy, and being so, so polite to everyone. It was one of those moments as a parent when love and pride overwhelm you and I had to pull the boys into big hugs to tell them how much I love them.
November kicks off a stretch of my favorite four-ish months of the year. (Which is exactly what I said last year, ha!) I love the weather more than any other time of the year. I love the clothes I wear, the food we cook, the holiday fun, and how my hair looks in the dry, cool weather (never underestimate the mood-lifting power of a good hair day). But! What is also here is the season of sicknesses, blerg! Nearly all of us have had some mild sicknesses within the last week and there have been two different kiddos home this week already.
Big and small wins in October
Before and after the boys' two-week fall break I felt good momentum during my work weeks. We also took care of some lingering house tasks like hanging towel hooks (no more throwing towels over the shower LOL) and Chris finished our live edge headboard which turned out beautifully! I've been trying to do one complete load of laundry every day to keep anything from pilling up and I've been running our robot vacuum almost daily. Those things have been helping the housework feel manageable which makes my days more enjoyable.
During the last weekend of October our street hosted its third annual Halloween block party. There were adorable haunted graham cracker houses to decorate put together by my neighbor, a bounce house, and food trucks. We hosted a haunted backyard featuring a jumping spider, ghosts in the studio windows, and a talking ghost in the kids' playhouse. It was a hit and Chris gets all the credit. Maeve and Annabelle had a tearful goodbye on November 1st. Annabelle returned to her wooden coffin in the garage where she spends November through September of every year.
Heading into the holiday season
I'm feeling good heading into the holiday season. I've got a head start on a few things and I hope to keep the momentum going. I enjoy taking care of holiday tasks early so that I can leave room for for slower days in December. While we were in Austin I completed buying and wrapping all Christmas and November birthday presents for my parents and sister and her family. That felt really good to finish! This past weekend I ordered our Christmas cards. I saved a lot by creating a simple design myself (which I've done before) and ordered double-sided postcards from Vistaprint. My total for 100 cards including shipping was $68 which brings me much satisfaction.
In the next week I'd like to sit down with my Google calendar, the most delightful paper Christmas planner sent to my by a reader/listener (thank you, Sheri!), and Christmas gift spreadsheet to get organized for the season. I'm enjoying thinking about all the things I look forward to during the holiday season from the big events like hosting a Christmas Eve family gathering and our December book club meeting to little joys like peppermint mochas in festive cups and watching the holiday special from A Beautiful Mess (they should have a new one out this year). I want to make sure I put important things on the calendar and guard room around them so I don't feel too busy.
Big things happening in November:
+ Host November book club at my house. Featuring a pie potluck and cozying around my backyard fire pit.
+ Solo trip to Nashville to hang out with my cousin and her cute baby!
+ Thanksgiving! Still making plans but we'll be here and might host, which I enjoy doing. But we did decide to order the meal from local favorite Uprooted Kitchen. I'm excited to simplify the occasion this year and to eat their delicious food.
Several of these are things I can do before Thanksgiving that will make for a more relaxing December.
+ Update my address spreadsheet and format it for printing onto address labels. I used to handwrite addresses but am enjoying saving time this way.
+ Make decisions about gifts for the kids and Chris. Plus make plans to purchase.
+ Plan to make cookie dough and freeze ahead of time for our family cookie baking.
+ Complete teacher gifts. I’m sticking with my go-to holiday teacher gift of a Mrs. Meyers holiday soap and a holiday dish towel. I already ordered the soaps and I’m getting a dish towel or two every time I go to Target lately.
+ Make a prep list for Thanksgiving, Jingle All the Way to School, and Christmas Eve.
I hope you have a cozy November, friends!
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