December 2017

December 2017

 

“On cold December fragrant chaplets blow, / And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.”  — Alexander Pope

Hello, December!

I’m so glad it is December.

This is absolutely one of my very favorite months ever.  And the fact that this is my baby’s first Christmas…well, this month is more than welcome around here!  As I said in my last post, I like writing to-do lists.  But I like writing realistic ones.  Or at least ones that give me a breather some months.  Last month, my to-do list was pretty soft.  But I knew I had a baby on the way and didn’t want to overcommit.  (<–Or let’s be real…I wouldn’t have gotten anything done anyway, but I would have had guilt along with it!)  Anyway, I’m looking at another soft month ahead, and I’m totally excited about that!  Here we go, December 2017:

  1. Celebrate my baby’s baptism.  I’m about halfway done with her gown.  I can’t wait for her special day!!
  2. Make 4 new recipes.  Currently thinking:  rigatoni, crab pot pie, and sloppy joe’s…I still need one more.
  3. Continue to toddler-proof the house.  It’s part of my grand plan for a cleaner house with less cleaning. ha!
  4. Play some Christmas music on the piano.  “Sleigh Ride” is a real favorite of mine.
  5. Read “A Christmas Carol” by Dickens.  Because it’s Christmastime.
  6. Bake Christmas cookies.  See above.
  7. Finish my two knitting projects.  I’m making a turban and a stocking for my baby!  Shhh…it’s a surprise!
  8. Mail out Christmas cards! Because stationary and photos are so much fun.  And I kind of need to.
  9. Wrap presents.  And there are a lot of them.  Good thing I love wrapping paper parties!
  10. Spend my very favorite holiday with my very favorite people.  I LOVE Christmas!

And that’s pretty much it!  So, not a lot of hardcore “t0-doing.”  But that’s because I know myself too well. haha  Because when it comes down to it, all I really want to be doing in December is spending time at home: cooking, knitting, crafting, drinking coffee (and shopping online).  So here’s to a restful December 2017!  What are your plans?

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Round-Up: November 2017

Round-Up: November 2017

 

I was going to say that this November 2017 was my most eventful month of the year.  But then I thought through the  rest of the year and realized a lot happened in 2017: Army OCS graduation in February, moving in April, finding out in July we are moving again, another graduation in August, my daughter turning two in September, and then of course this month.  Those were all big and fairly life-effecting events.  But November 2017 still takes the cake.  Because my baby arrived healthy and safe and perfect.  And that’s a life-changing event!  And my favorite kind of event.

But, in keeping with the tradition of these round-ups, let me review my to-do list to see how much I actually got done from it:

  1. Develop a fixed blogging schedule.  hahhahahahhaha.  This month doesn’t count for having one. Next month.
  2. Knit a Christmas stocking for my baby. I’m at least halfway there!
  3. Write a bit in my novel.  This one kinda makes me sad. I wish I had gotten some done.  Even just a bit!!
  4. Nest. I full-throttled nested!  And still am.
  5. Get back into pilates. It’s still modified as I have to heal my diastasis recti, but it’s going great.
  6. Take a ton of photos. I’m not even done.  But yes I took lots of photos.
  7. Celebrate Thanksgiving. Baby’s First Thanksgiving!
  8. Black Friday. With “black friday deals week” I didn’t actually have to shop on ACTUAL black friday.

Quite a few of those were softball assignments, but I did that on purpose.  I like having a breathable to-do list when I have something big and life-changing and emotionally impactful coming up– in my case, having a baby.  And just as a warning for next post, I’m pretty sure my December to-do list will be even MORE softball.  But I don’t mind ending my year quietly–it only makes for an even bigger January!

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you’ll come back soon.  Not just for my December to-do list, but for a few posts I have in the works– specifically a gift-giving guide for your soldier, as well as my November ipsy unboxing, to name a few.  Thanks as always for your support; I really enjoy writing for you, and I really hope you enjoy reading!

Bye-bye, November 2017!!  You were good to me.  In fact, you were my favorite month this year.

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November 2017

November 2017

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.” – Emily Dickinson

It’s officially November 2017 (and a day!)  And I’m just so thrilled.  I feel like November is the kickstart of winter (maybe because I live in the south, so fall isn’t super cold around here?)  I don’t know, it just feels so wintery once November hits.  The clocks change, the weather dips, I shop a ton, and of course holidays galore start happening.  <–dying of excitement.  But before I get carried away with what I want to do, let me put it in list form!

  1. Develop a fixed blogging schedule.  I like schedules and think this could be beneficial around here.
  2. Knit a Christmas stocking for my baby.  I have made one for each member of our family, and it’s her turn!
  3. Write a bit in my novel.  I know this November is going to be busy, but I don’t want to leave my book behind.
  4. Nest.  Because what other activity is there really to do with a newborn??
  5. Get back into pilates.  It’s okay that pregnancy made me take a break, but postpartum pilates will be great.
  6. Take a ton of photos.  Mostly photoshoots of our daughters, but also some family holiday pictures!
  7. Celebrate Thanksgiving.  I just love the holidays and Thanksgiving gives me warm and happy feelings.
  8. Black Friday.  ‘Nuff said.

I’m keeping this list a bit smaller, like I said in my last post.  I know that life with a baby will take our days into a nice, slow routine and I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself to get things done.  I mean, I like to have expectations for myself.  But I also like to be realistic.  ha!  I know myself and I know that the winter is all about slowing down and enjoying little things like baking and online shopping.  And every day with a newborn is slow and full of those “moments” you want to remember forever.  I’m just feeling really grateful for how lovely this fall has been, and I feel so sure that this winter is going to be even more special.  I’m a true homebody at heart and every day with my family is something I treasure forever.

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I would love to know your November 2017 plans.  Leave a comment below about them, and I hope you’ll come back soon!

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Round-Up: October 2017

Round-Up: October 2017

“Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,  / The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run, / And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold, / With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold.”  – John Greenleaf Whittier 

It’s the end of October and I’m so happy it’s here!  This was one of my very favorite Octobers ever– so it’s not that I wanted to get it over with.  But it was just such a good month that I’m totally at peace with it ending.  Unlike some busy months, I didn’t feel like this one slipped away from me.  It was a long, fun, and memorable month and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Plus, I am just so excited for November, all the holidays, and shopping a ton, so saying goodbye to October isn’t too hard.  It’s an easy and happy chapter of the year to close.

Here’s my take on my October 2017 to-do list:

  1. House clean my blog  – Didn’t finish, but made progress!
  2. Finish my baby tutu – Done and it was SUCH a fun project.  Frivolous but super fun.
  3. Read “The Beautiful and the Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Still working on it; not quite done.
  4. Complete my baby diary – OMGEE I DID THIS.  After months of saying I’d catch up–I finally did!!
  5. Buy some clearance fall decor – I didn’t buy autumny “fall” decor, but we did get some fun halloween stuff.
  6. Sign up for a class or study phone photography tips – I might make a post reviewing the course I did!
  7. Spend Halloween with my family –  Needless to say this our best Halloween yet (after 3 missed Halloweens, our very first spent together married!

There is a lot we did this month that was not mentioned above–with my favorites being all the usual fall-welcoming suspects: chilly walks, coffee, decorating, fall shopping, seasonal cleaning, baby nesting, (<–that’s a usual part of fall for me), cooking soup, lighting candles, etc.  And while I’m not a fan of the cold, I can’t deny that it has added to the ambience of the month, and really helped welcome fall in.  Plus, who can say no to extra coffee and cozy sweaters?  Not me!

This month’s round-up had a small to-do list, but I feel really accomplished!  Even though some of these were easy, nothing feels THAT easy when you’re in the final weeks of pregnancy!  I’m glad I made a shorter list because it kept me from feeling overwhelmed, or like I was setting myself up for failure.  I think the last time I got everything done on my to-do list was in January of this year, although my April list was also almost completed too!  I might stick with this “lighter” listing over the next few months, as things pick up speed with the holidays and a new baby.  Or maybe I’ll totally overcommit next post when I come up with my November to-do list.  🙂  Come back soon to see!

Thanks for stopping by!  And happy Halloween!

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October 2017

October 2017 - my to-do list!

” O hushed October morning mild, / Thy leaves have ripened to the fall; / Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild, / Should waste them all.” – Robert Frost

It’s October!  For so long, I didn’t really like this month…it’s cold…it’s in the way of Thanksgiving and Christmas…it’s full of scary decorations in all the stores.  But for some reason, this October I’m totally getting into the spirit of fall!  Maybe it’s because I’m in the south and so September didn’t really feel like the fall.  Or maybe it’s because my baby will be here soon, that October 2017 is full of good feelings and anticipation.  Whatever the reason is, I’m just happy to be excited for this month!  And excited for getting my to-do list done:

  1. House clean my blog  – I have some irrelevant content that I want to sweep up and trash.
  2. Write my guest blog post – I still need to do this.  It’s been on my list for a while.
  3. Finish my baby tutu – I’m working on the top ruffle, and then need to do the bottom one and the waistband!
  4. Read “The Beautiful and the Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – For my book club.  And for me.
  5. Complete my baby diary – You guys, I’ve made so much progress.  I just need a FINAL push to get this done!
  6. Buy some clearance fall decor – I never really stocked up, and don’t feel like doing it at full price!
  7. Sign up for a class or study phone photography tips – Mostly for blogging, but also just for us.
  8. Spend Halloween with my family –  I don’t even like Halloween, but we’ve been married for 4 and never spent one together!

Is it bad my to-do list is shorter than normal?  It’s just that last month I made an ambitious list and got like none of it done.  So I’m trying to be a bit more realistic.  And I also don’t want to put too much pressure on myself, as I really want to enjoy this fall and special time!  For some reason, I haven’t been as “productive” lately when it comes to checking off my lists, but I’ve been having really happy and productive days.  So it kinda balances itself out in the end I guess!  Anyway, what’s on your October 2017 t0-do list?  I would love to know, so leave a comment below!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll be back soon for my next post.  (Spoiler: It’s a revelation of the baby mobile I’ve been working on!) See you soon!

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Round-Up: September 2017

September 2017 round-up!

“Bronze bells’ breeze of September showers, / Freezing fluttering fragile flowers, / Tearing the time’s tide tactile sense / May leave long love’s lighting lance in tense.” – Marieta Maglas

I love posting round-ups of the month because I get to revisit the past 30ish days and contemplate what we did!  This month, pretty much everything we did was NOT on my to-do list.  Which I was totally okay with!  It was a wonderful month.  I always love September and this was a particularly good one.  But sometimes good = fun which can also mean too much fun, or in my case, just not getting a lot of my “projected” items done.  Here’s my attempts on the to-do list I made at the beginning of the month:

  1. Celebrate my toddler’s birthday!  It was a really, really fun day.  We did a 2-day celebration for turning 2!
  2. Finish my bunny mobile and decorate the nursery.  Finished both!
  3. Get back into writing my novel.  
  4. Invest some time in photography tips.
  5. Enroll in an online class.
  6. Journal more.
  7. Write a guest post.
  8. Do a daily art project with my toddler.  
  9. Finish watching the Gilmore Girls.
  10. Put together my photo album. 

Hmmm… 3/10.  Not my best record.  In fact, I think it’s my worst!  But like I said, we did a lot that wasn’t on the list, and they were (almost) all important things.  We created a (paper) list of things that we hadn’t gotten done around the house that were long overdue, and we did every single one of them!  I can’t tell you how relieving that felt. haha  Plus I need to take a moment to mention that the Starbucks in our area began carrying the PSL and Salted Carmel Mochas, among other things.  It’s too important of a September thing to not make note of.  Besides the aforementioned coffee, this month was full of swimming, walks, and playdates (toddler mom life), and those are the unplanned things that filled up the month with a lot of fun and special memories.

Anyways, enough about me.  What did you do this month?  I hope that you will come back soon to see my hopes and dreams for October.  And thanks so much for stopping by!

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September 2017

September 2017

 

“for all I can really do is /stand here /in September’s rain /savoring…/ soaking it all in/ slipping…” – Sanober Khan

It’s a few days in and I’m already loving September 2017!  Maybe because amazon is having a 20% off baby sale all month.  I just made my registry!  Maybe because I have a bunch of craft projects keeping me busy.  Or maybe because September has a bunch of romantic memories for me.  Probably a combination of all three!  Anyway, I have a list of projected “to-do’s” that I’m hoping will help me usher in fall.

  1. Celebrate my toddler’s birthday!  I love celebrating her everyday, so her birthday means a lot to us!
  2. Finish my bunny mobile and decorate the nursery.  It’s one big project…mobile goes in the nursery. lol
  3. Get back into writing my novel.  It’s been too long. 🙁
  4. Invest some time in photography tips. I’m particularly looking for some phone photo ideas/information.
  5. Enroll in an online class.  It can be about blogging, massage, or aromatherapy…etc. I just want to learn!
  6. Journal more.  Its therapeutic.  So, I need to do it more.
  7. Write a guest post.  This is making a reappearance on my to-do list.  Because I REALLY need to do it!
  8. Do a daily art project with my toddler. She’s so artistic, and I forget til I see her with a pack of stickers! haha
  9. Finish watching the Gilmore Girls.  I started the series soooooo long ago and I’m ready to end it.
  10. Put together my photo album.  Luckily, I have all the photos printed.  So now I just need to organize them!

I tried really hard not to make this a baby-nesting list.  Obviously I have 5 million things running through my head of things I want to do before my little girl arrives.  But, I think I should just make an entire post about that!  So for now, that’s what I’m hoping I can get done in September 2017.  Will it happen?  Probably not all of it.  Ha!  But a girl can dream.

What are your September 2017 goals?  Thanks for stopping by.  And come back soon!

                         

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Round-Up: August 2017

Round-Up: August 2017

“That August time it was delight / To watch the red moons wane to white.”  — Algernon Charles Swinburne

I loved August 2017!  This month was such a bright, beautiful, breath of fresh air.  I finally reached my third trimester, and hit a “turning point” in my pregnancy.  I mean, it has been a good pregnancy.  But there is something about being 30 weeks today and realizing that within 10 weeks I could have my baby in my arms!  My husband also graduated from his Army school and that was a big accomplishment, as well as a great move for our family.  It’s bringing our future assignment closer into view and we’re excited about that.  Plus, we had some unseasonably “cold” weather (meaning not 100* F) and for a moment or two I felt that “windy blow” of fall approaching.  It was a magical few moments, and is getting me incredibly excited about the cozy fall!!!!

But oh my goodness, I’m totally getting ahead of myself.  Here’s my list of to-do’s from my original August 2017 post:

  1. Enjoy two visits from my relatives.  So much FUN with my sisters and dad.
  2. Celebrate my husband’s graduation.  I’m beaming with pride and joy!  It was such a great day.
  3. Make an exercise routine.  I’ve been doing afternoon pilates and evening walks.  And loving it!
  4. Get my toddler back into a consistent nap and night routine.  She sleeps a good 12 hours a day now.
  5. Update my wardrobe/jewelry collection.  Did this a bit, but will finish it once I’m not pregnant. lol
  6. Catch up on my baby diary.  I made a lot of progress this month!
  7. Expand/develop one blog category.  My Mama category is my current target.  Read my latest post.
  8. Write a guest post.  
  9. Scrapbook.  I love scrapbooking and have almost completed our book!
  10. Make a crib mobile for my baby.  I’m needle felting little bunnies for it, and thinking of adding hearts.
  11. Get an editing program for images.
  12. Find a skin-clearing secret formula.  This toner right here.  Miracle worker for smoothing the face.
  13. Clear the basement boxes out.  I’m counting this as something I did because we are doing it this weekend!

I’m actually surprised that I got most of these done.  It was kinda a long list for me, and I didn’t think I’d be able to get quite so many done.  But I guess that’s what the elusive “burst of pregnancy energy” is all about!  lol

I already “recapped” my month at the beginning of this post, but I can’t sign out of August without bringing up a very heavy topic.  LWYMMD.  Words?  There are none.  I actually really like it.  I thought I would love it.  Then I heard it and was pleased.  I listened to it two more times and began to dislike it.  Then the VMAs happened and I have a whole new appreciation for it.  Now I’m a total fan of the song.  Probably because I am a tried-and-true Swiftie.  Anyone else?

Okay, I’m done. haha  Thanks for sticking around and reading about my August 2017 (and letting me ramble).  I hope you’ll come back soon.  My next post will be my goals for September…see you then!

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August 2017

August 2017

“eighth month commences / august as in grandiose- / resigned to the heat.” – Laurie Kaz

I am SO happy August is here.  It is one of my favorite months, and I really think that this year it will reign as a favorite.  I’ve got my usual list of “to-do’s” compiled–which feels but exciting but longer than usual.  I’m just really looking forward to August 2017, and have high hopes for it.  Hopes that include:

  1. Enjoy two visits from my relatives.  My dad is visiting, as are three of my sisters!  YAY.
  2. Celebrate my husband’s graduation.  I’m so proud of him and can’t wait to celebrate with him!
  3. Make an exercise routine.  Walking and pilates are my two favorite, but I need a consistent mix of them.
  4. Get my toddler back into a consistent nap and night routine.  We’ve made progress and regressed. lol
  5. Update my wardrobe/jewelry collection.  Not necessarily shopping, more like weeding thru what I own!
  6. Catch up on my baby diary.  I wasn’t going to add this, but now that I’m making progress I want to finish!
  7. Expand/develop one blog category.  Even if that just means contributing a few posts to it.
  8. Write a guest post.  I’ve done this before, and would like to do it again!
  9. Scrapbook.  I love scrapbooking and want to do some this month!
  10. Make a crib mobile for my baby.  I’m needle felting little bunnies for it right now.
  11. Get an editing program for images.  Just something small, to get me started!
  12. Find a skin-clearing secret formula.  Maybe no such thing exists?  I have hope…
  13. Clear the basement boxes out.  Something that should have been done a few bats ago…

I could add some more but I should probably start there before I get carried away!  I guess my love for August has just created some pretty high expectations.  But maybe there is nothing wrong with that?  I can tell that I’m not really seeing this month as the beginning of autumn, the way I usually do.  Maybe it’s just the South and all this heat?  Or maybe it’s because my baby is due in the LATE fall?  But I can’t help but feel this August is going to just feel like an extension of summer.  I guess that’s not a bad thing though…is there such a thing as too much summer?!

Oh, but before I forget (AGAIN), I need to make one last goal.  Back in January, I established a plan to choose a virtue/skill/strength and try to embrace it during the month at hand.  In a few of these monthly check-ins, I forgot to do it formally.  But I almost always have some kind of emotional/mental goal running through my mind and making an appearance in my month.  For August 2017, I want to focus on being present.  I have a LOT coming up in the future: more Army school, my second baby being born, and a second move within a 12 month period, just to name a few.  I don’t want to live in anxiety or in the future, because I have everything I need right here, right now, in front of me.  I’m so blest and I want to savor that grace and be grateful for it!

And now I feel like I can sign off.  I have a long August in front of me! lol  And I’m so happy about that.  If you are a list-maker, please share some of your own August 2017 to-do’s in the comment section.  I would love to hear your plans!  Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll come back soon.

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Round-Up: July 2017

Round-up: July '17

“Fine Fourth of July /Another one has passed by / Thanks to our soldiers.”  – James Horn

Goodbye, July!  I’m looking forward to August in a lot of ways.  July has never been my favorite month, and this one definitely wasn’t.  Is it okay for me to start out that gloomy?

I mean, it definitely had some highlights–for instance, celebrating our 3-year wedding anniversary over the long Independence Day weekend was SO incredibly special.  And we did some really fun retail therapy this month, as well as countless mommy-and-me dates.  Those are priceless to me.  We also discovered a new Mexican restaurant, drank a ton of coffee and swam pretty much every day.  But there were some stressful patches that come with being pregnant and also being in the Army lifestyle, and especially being both at the same time.  I’m lucky to have such a wonderful husband and daughter(s), and they definitely make everything better.  Before I get side-tracked, here is a list of what I was supposed to do, reflecting what I *actually* did this month, haha:

  1. Begin a walk routine.  But my morning walk routine was replaced by 3 weeks of swim!  Same benefits!
  2. Catch up on my baby diary ONCE AND FOR ALL.  No, but I did some SERIOUS catch-up, so yay!!
  3. Publish a blog post once a week.  Finally!  I’d like to do it more than once, but once a week was manageable.
  4. Drive “downtown” on my own.  I did it!
  5. Knit a tutu for my new baby.  Almost started it, but changed my mind about the yarn I had.  Time to shop!
  6. Add buttons and a pom-pom to my previous knitting project. I should post a pic of it!
  7. Put together a memory chest for my baby.  I made a temporary one, but would like to buy a prettier box.
  8. Take a Mommy-and-Me Tumbling class with my toddler.  OMGEE we love this.
  9. Take a Mommy-and-Me Swim class with my toddler.  We love this too!
  10. Create/Expand a category of my blog.  I can see this happening soon.
  11. Read to my toddler every day.  If we add this to our routine we will have more success!

While I can’t say this was my most productive month, I definitely feel good about what I got done!  I started a few new projects that weren’t on this list.  More than that though, I created quite a few mental lists of goals and intentions that I think will carry through August.  I already noticed them making a difference in my July!  While I didn’t get everything on my list done, I felt like I made some personal progress in a few areas…blogging and socially especially.  Any kind of progress in those areas feels extra big to me, since they aren’t always my natural strengths.  For me, making steps in the right direction feels like a goal in itself.  haha

I’m very hopeful about August and think it will bring a great many joys and accomplishments!  I’ll be posting about my August plans soon, and hope you’ll be back to share yours in the common section!  And if you have any thoughts to share about your July ’17, please be sure to leave those in the comment section below.  Comments are some of my most favorite things to read, ever.  And I’m a Lit major, so I really mean it. 🙂  Thanks for stopping by!

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