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:
Develop a fixed blogging schedule. hahhahahahhaha. This month doesn’t count for having one. Next month.
Knit a Christmas stocking for my baby. I’m at least halfway there!
Write a bit in my novel. This one kinda makes me sad. I wish I had gotten some done. Even just a bit!!
Nest. I full-throttled nested! And still am.
Get back into pilates. It’s still modified as I have to heal my diastasis recti, but it’s going great.
Take a ton of photos. I’m not even done. But yes I took lots of photos.
Celebrate Thanksgiving. Baby’s First Thanksgiving!
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.
“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.
House clean my blog – Didn’t finish, but made progress!
Finish my baby tutu – Done and it was SUCH a fun project. Frivolous but super fun.
Read “The Beautiful and the Damned” by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Still working on it; not quite done.
Complete my baby diary – OMGEE I DID THIS. After months of saying I’d catch up–I finally did!!
Buy some clearance fall decor – I didn’t buy autumny “fall” decor, but we did get some fun halloween stuff.
Sign up for a class or study phone photography tips – I might make a post reviewing the course I did!
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!
“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:
Celebrate my toddler’s birthday! It was a really, really fun day. We did a 2-day celebration for turning 2!
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!
“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!!!!
Find a skin-clearing secret formula.This toner right here. Miracle worker for smoothing the face.
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!
“O come sweet June, my lovely June / The month when first the roses bloom – / A wondrous, colorful display /By sunlight kissed throughout the day” – Valerie Dohren
One of my all-time favorite months is coming to a close. (Or if you’re reading this on the day I *actually* published it, June 2017 is long gone.) But there are so many reasons why that is surprisingly okay with me. I feel like I have a new season of motherhood quickly approaching, as I hit the “half-way” mark this month in my second pregnancy. The fall is going to hold so many new and exciting things for us, that for some reason (many reasons!) I am totally fine with enjoying this summer as it passes by. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself–here is my completed/revised “check-list” for the month:
Read my baby two books a day. Did this some days, failed at other days. Better luck next month!
Write for 1 hour every day. Ha ha ha. I wish this wasn’t so funny. 🙁 One word: anemia.
Drive to 1 new location. Did it, and I’m ready for more!
Catch up on my baby diary. Well, I DID do some catching up, but unfortunately I’m not totally finished.
Enjoy a visit with my sister. SO much fun! I’m missing her, and all my sisters now.
Take a few important photos for my blog. At this point, I like a mix of stock photos and personal ones.
Finish reading my current book. But I’m close…I’m reading the final short story.
Begin daytime weaning. This is making me really sad, but it’s really good for us! And baby #2 coming soon.
Set up bird feeders. I didn’t do this, but I’d still like to.
Celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary. <3 <3 <3 The best 4-day weekend ever.
Find out my baby’s gender!! Oh my goodness….we did find out.
My motherly intuition proved true… It’s a GIRL!
I was 19 weeks and 1 day pregnant when I got the morning ultrasound. We didn’t have the technician tell us the gender, because we wanted to find out later that night. But she did show us many pictures of the baby, and I can honestly say I could watch our little girl all day! That afternoon, we filled a balloon of surprise confetti at the store, and baked a cake. It was kind of hard to wait–but I knew it would be worth it. Plus, we had already waited 19 weeks, so what was a few more hours? (answer: the longest few hours of my life) In the evening, we popped it and pink confetti fluttered all around us.
I just KNEW it would be a girl! I have had so much fun being a girl mom, I just love it. And getting the chance to do this all over again with our second baby is such a blessing. I can’t wait til she is born! Finding our we are having another daughter was my favorite day of June, besides of course our wedding anniversary celebration!
I might say this every month, but June really is one of my favorite months. And this June 2017 was a great one. It did have a few downers, like the fact that my husband was in the field training during our anniversary. But it had way more uppers, like the fact that we went on a 4-day weekend away trip to celebrate our anniversary. Traveling is just so fun, and “getting away” for our anniversary really makes a difference. It wasn’t really a babymoon, but I guess it is probably our last trip before our second baby comes. It was an anniversary trip, and subconsciously a babymoon. haha It was so much fun, and very romantic!
Hopefully, your June 2017 was spectacular. I would love to know what you were up to– leave a comment below! Comments are pretty much my favorite thing to read. And please come back soon…I always appreciate your readership!
I usually try to find a poetic excerpt that fits with the month at hand, but this quote really struck me as perfectly fitting for this particular month. The word “may” is so important, because it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to effort. Everyone “can.” If you try, you can, but if you don’t try, you definitely can’t. That’s where “may” comes in. I want to put an emphasis on “may” in my daily life, giving myself permission (or motivation) to DO things that I have or have not tried. Instead of focusing on “can I?” and “will I fail?” instead I want to focus on “may I?” Because I know, I CAN. Even if not the first time, eventually I can. I just have to try, and allow myself to try.
I also felt that this quote was fitting to the month that bears Memorial Day. If those countless heroes hadn’t ever “tried,” then none of us would ever have experienced the freedom we are experiencing here and now in the USA. It was their effort, their strength, and their ability that have paved the way for and preserved the country we so love. I am incredibly grateful and honored to be living in a place that heroes built and secured, and continue to operate today. Thank you for you service. You will never be forgotten!
And thank you to my readers for caring enough to read a monthly round-up of my less-than-shocking life. It’s really nice that you care, and please make sure to let me know you came because I like to follow back. Whether it’s social media or your own blog, leave me a note in the comment section so I can check out your work!
Onto the main meat of this post…my to-do lis for May 2017. At the beginning of the month, I said I wanted this list to be more enjoyable. And I actually think it was–which is why I did 9/10 items! Hmm..maybe I should remember this for next time– I get more done when it’s something I want to do…oops! Anyone else?
Order and print our family photos. The prints are ordered, and I can’t wait to hang them!
Update a few corners of my blog. 1st update of the year. New pics, no ads, and an evaluation of my content.
Finish our garden. I will took a “before” pic, when all the plants were small, and plan to take an “after” later!
Get at least 3 seeds to grow. I have alyssum flowers (like 8) & 1 mini pumpkin. Planning to grow a gourd too.
Go on a creature-seeking adventure. We went to the Aquarium and on a Safari adventure (my fav).
Cast off my baby cozy. Ran out of yarn, but decided to create a trim to bring the second color into the design.
Find time to write in my novel.
Plan one picnic. We went on a non-traditional “machine gun picnic” to watch Daddy train. Loud but fun!
Experience Maskcara IIID foundation. IT FINALLY CAME. IN REAL LIFE. A post will ensue.
Celebrate our birthdays! We celebrated our birthdays on the same day, and it was so much fun.
I got the same 9/10 score as last month, so hopefully I’m starting a trend of to-do list success for myself. I feel more motivated to have success in my future June to-do list now that I have been able to make progress for two lists in a row. (My March to-do list was a bit of a doozy and my success was less than successful). One thing I forgot to do at the beginning of May was pick a special keyword that was supposed to animate my month. Since this to-list was intended to be “fun,” I will count my focus word on having more “fun” in my daily life (and I won’t forget to make a focus word for June).
I can definitely attest that this was a super, super fun month. My husband planned so many activities for us that our weekends were just brimming with happiness (aka coffee and retail therapy). And while the most fun moment of the month might have been having a buffalo stick its head inside our truck
–or no actually, when a zebra opened the truck door–
there were plenty of “quiet” moments that really filled my May 2017 with a peaceful joy. Knitting my first piece for the baby (it’s a bundting wrap) really felt special, and helped connect me with my growing baby in a very real way. Gardening and grilling outside became entertaining as well as therapeutic for our whole family. Celebrating our birthdays together is something I look forward to all year, so that definitely helped brighten the month. But my very favorite moment of all of May 2017 was when I saw my baby for the first time on the ultrasound screen, and heard it’s tiny heartbeat thump across the monitor. The miracle of life is truly breathtaking. And knowing that the tiny person I am seeing and hearing is our own one–its an inexpressible joy. I’m only 16.5 weeks pregnant, but I feel like in no time I will be holding my new little baby. I can’t wait!
I hope your May was spectacular. As always, leave a comment below letting me know what you have been up to! My next post will be my June to-do list, and will be coming out in a day or two. I hope you’ll come back to read it!
My April 2017 Round-Up is finally here! It’s my one-year anniversary of round-ups and my first official “full circle” year. (You can read my first round-up here). Unfortunately, despite it’s record-breaking honor of being my anniversary round-up, the actual list broke no records when it came to being fun. None whatsoever. This was definitely a “to-do” list, unlike some of my “dream scheme” lists, which are basically a compilation of hobbies and ideas I’m hoping to do. Secretly, I don’t mind that this month is over. (Is it still a secret now that I typed that?) It was a fun month, but it was busy. Just read my less-than-relaxing list below:
Move. We finally…..finally did it. More on that in my last post.
Purge my vanity of old or hated items. I did 1 round of this, though I could probably do a second one.
Separate likes and dislikes when unpacking–don’t just put stuff away. Uhh, I liked everything!
Check back on my Pinterest boards and decorate according to vision, not convenience. YAS.
Come up with and implement the ultimate bug-prevention plan. Ultrasonic beepers + EOs. Gold.
Create a storage room, and use it! Okay, so the using part is coming along…the organization, not so much.
Mail change-of-address cards. So point of them was to announce our pregnancy, but we did move!
Try not to be too sad about moving, but take some memorable pics. It went SHOCKINGLY well.
Give myself a little time for blogging/writing! You can read my *fairly* valid reasons here.
Celebrate Easter in our new home. Our first holiday here: enjoying Mass, dinner, and baby’s first egg hunt!
I also had some admin to-do’s that I didn’t include on the original list, but of which I made a mental note (and a physical note since I have pregnancy brain). haha The biggest admin issue was that I needed to renew my domain name– KIND OF important. The other biggie was removing ads from my website for a few days, while the Google Adsense plug-in deprecates. I’ve never had a plug-in deprecate before, but I think I caught it JUST in time before my ads froze on my blog forever!
For anyone who doesn’t have a blog, ignore that above paragraph. But for all my fellow Adsense bloggers…did your heart stop when you saw that the ads couldn’t be edited once the plug-in deprecates?? Whether you’re a blogger or not, thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your readership. And thanks for bearing with my during the hiatus! I’m happy to say the “worst” is behind us. 🙂 See you soon!
“Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” – Pietro Aretino
I’m going to break some expectations here and omit beginning this with”Wow, February flew by!” Instead I’m going to say that this February felt longer than I thought it would. It was by far my favorite month this year (I know, there’s only been two of them). But it also ended up being my favorite month in a while. Not that the other recent months haven’t been great. But this was particularly great because it was our Army Homecoming month! In case you noticed a gap of time during which I wasn’t posting, it was because we were doing family traveling, Army school graduation, etc. Very fun times, and I know this month will remain the highlight of the year! Amidst all the celebrating, I might or might not have gotten my to-do list accomplished:
Write my baby’s birth story. I started it, but didn’t finish it.
Take a family trip. Hello, Columbus GA and Phenix City AL (mostly Columbus. Mostly Ft. Benning).
Make a bundt cake. I made a Pumpkin Custard Bundt cake where the custard FLOATS to the top. Mostly.
Publish twice a week here on my blog. Was going strong until Homecoming rolled around…oops.
Begin Chapter 7 of my book. Nope, I’m on chapter 3.
Learn how to curl my hair with a flat iron. Tried it but didn’t work for me. Hot rollers saved the day!
Take my baby to the park more often. The field across from us, and the sand pit are even more fun!
Write another guest post. It’s hard to pull together a guest post when I’m not even doing regular posting here!
At least I got done more than half, but this month’s to-do list wasn’t nearly as successful as last month’s round-up. Oh well, there’s always March! Thanks for stopping by, and tune in next time for another Army myth-busting post.
“Again I reply to the triple winds / running chromatic fifths of derision / outside my window: / Play louder.” – William Carlos Williams
This month was one for the books! In the history of monthly round-ups, this is the very first month that have completed all of the items on my wish list! So often these to-do lists end up as a monthly suggestion list. And while I don’t entirely mind suggestions, there is something so rewarding about actually finishing a list from start to finish. It’s the little things in life. 🙂 This is what I did for January 2017:
Write the first chapter of my new book. I’m about to start chapter three.
Begin reading a romance novel. Read “A Family for Christmas” by Dana Corbit and Irene Brand.
Do crafts with my baby. She made her first watercolor masterpiece. So adorable! Must be framed.
Try to find and bake a good table-bread recipe. Same recipe, better technique. Not perfect, but better.
Go dress shopping. Any excuse to go shopping is a good one…
Begin diffusing essential oils. We primarily used Lavender and Sweet Orange Oil…sometimes together!
Reorganize the pantries and strategize grocery shopping. Did it. Wasted less and spent less.
Try out 2 new hairstyles. I tried the “Pebbles” pony and also basic twin braids. Not a huge fan of either.
Make an ear warmer for my baby. Matches mine! Why does it take me so long to do something like this?
Waste less time scrolling through instagram! It’s an ongoing resolution, but I did it this month, kinda.
If you read my original monthly post for January 2017, you may have seen that I’ve started a new tradition for the year. I’m taking a focus keyword at the beginning of the month and trying to embrace it for the next 30 days. It’s kind of like having an emotional theme for every month. In January, the focus theme was joy. I chose it because I thought it was a good virtue to combat anxiety and ingratitude. Looking back, I think joy chose me this month. More specifically, I think God granted me so many joys this month.
The best part about joy is that it’s not just an experience, it’s also a feeling. It lasts beyond the experiences that occur in the moment. While I do love experiences, I think I love feelings even more. I like things that I can keep forever. I started doing some new things this month and I really enjoyed them a lot. We took up cooking with my baby, and loved watching her explore. Starting the first chapter of a new novel felt like starting a new chapter in my life too. Writing is really good for me, and I enjoyed it this month. I day dreamed a lot the past 30 days, and that in itself was a source of joy. My biggest source of joy is always God and my family. A hefty dose of that made this month of January 2017 truly great, and truly joyful.
I hope you’ll come back in the next day or two to see my post for what I hope February will hold! Leave a comment below if you have any January moments to share. Thanks for visiting!
If you read my last post, then you know I kind of wanted to write a yearly round-up post. I covered my yearly blog round-up in my blogiversary post, and I covered my monthly round-up in my December post, but as a blogger I couldn’t NOT write a year-in-review-post. It just didn’t seem right to leave it out.
This year held a lot for me. I think everybody says that. Because I thinks it’s true for everyone. A lot can happen in 365 days. A lot did happen. The Army threw a lot of curveballs at us, most of which were really good. Life threw a lot of curveballs at us. Some of those were not-so-good. We got in a huge car wreck and lost both our cars. A dearly beloved fur baby passed away. But in the wake of those difficulties were some very beautiful and happy moments. We built an even stronger bond with our remaining fur baby and grew in our appreciation for enjoying the life’s little moments with him. We also upgraded to better cars, and my confidence in driving has slowly been increasing. Very slowly. Slower than pond water. But progress is progress!
2016 might have been my favorite year yet. If you read my final post of 2015, I didn’t believe any year could top it! But maybe 2016 did. It’s hard to say, because every year is so different that I really can’t compare them. I couldn’t trade the year I was married for the year we spent with our baby, or the year my husband and I met for the year we met our daughter. Every year is incomparable, and completely irreplaceable. 2016 was no exception. I can’t imagine not having this year as part of my life. There are so many moments I will never forget, so many steps we took together as a family, so many accomplishments and surprises, just so many memories.
I could go on and on for paragraphs about every single moment, and not even scratch the surface of what happened this year. So instead I’ll just cloud together a blurry paragraph of the feelings and takeaways from 2016. I learned that the power of a hug is unmatchable. When my baby runs to my arms, or when my family hugs after Army separation, my heart literally floats into the clouds. I experienced there is nothing better than just talking over a cup of coffee– nothing. I felt the importance of having a fur baby around at all times, and the emptiness of losing one. I finally realized that there is no point to buying a kitchen item that is normal or convenient if I can have a special or one-of-a-kind one. I began trusting the skills of a hairdresser, and learned so much more about my own head of hair. I reevaluated makeup and skincare, and discovered new products that I needed in my life. I experienced first hand the absolute majestic power of God, and how no prayer ever goes unanswered. I felt love even more, which I didn’t think was possible, and that was my favorite feeling of the year.
2017, if you are even half of the year that 2016 was, then I can’t wait to meet you. Even if you aren’t, I’m going to spend every day using what I learned from 2016 to make you the year I am hoping for! This new year is going to be a special one, I can just tell. Just as this one really was.