Saturday Bonus <> October Edition

I’ve really missed posting 5x/week. I’m seeing all sorts of bloggers post about their intentions to publish every day in November (NaBloPoMo, which is a take on the infamous NaNoWriMo).

As much as Iโ€™d like to jump on the same bandwagon, itโ€™s not going to happen.

Something has to give in this busy season, and even 5x/week doesn’t feel doable let alone 7.

And, since I love order and schedules, posting when I “feel” like it doesn’t really suit me. So I’ve eased back to 3x/week. I started the year with a goal of getting to 52 blog posts and this will be #112. But when John bundled up the kids and decided to take them out for the morning, I really just wanted to sit down and write.

So I did. I am an adult after all.

Some things from today, inspired by San’s post (and layout!).

SLEEPING | Another rough night with a random child wake-up at 2:30. I got back to sleep from 5:30-7:30ish, which definitely made me feel worse upon waking but should help me power through the day. I did catch up on my Bible reading (I was 2 days behind) at 4 am, so all was not lost. Thursday night I was out at an event and could not stop yawning (though, wearing a mask, I hope it wasn’t too obvious). Sadly, my stint of insomnia/child disruptions shows no sign of relenting.

EATING | It’s date night. Cue the jazz hands. One meal last weekend included fresh scallops, bacon, and mushrooms with homemade sauce on a bed of noodles. Can’t wait to see what hubby dreams up this week. While everyone was away I used up the rest of the apples to create one of my favourite desserts. I could eat crisp topping by the bowlful. It’s currently sitting in the fridge and I can’t wait to pop this in the oven and have the smells of fall permeate the house. Apple and cinnamon (with a nice dose of sugar) for the win.

MAKING | Other than Halloween costumes? LEGO. And these muffins on repeat (I’m sure I’ve made this recipe several hundred times now).

#1 Dad LEGO creation we made last week.

READING | Not much. Anne of Green Gables with the kids. Grateful Kae suggested a few to add to my reading list and I’ve already ordered one of those from my library. Lots of picture books (because I’m going to be checking those out until the kids are 30 years old because they are my happy place). I do have a copy of Russ Harris’ The Illustrated Happiness Trap on my bedside table because I got so much out of the full-length version, but I’ve not made much headway yet.

Freshly re-stocked library haul of picture books. No matter how hard I try, I always walk out with WAY more books than intended.

ENJOYING | I love to laugh and this National Post article is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.

EXERCISE | September I ran every day! In October I’ve run twice (including today). It’s been a weird few months with exercise. Now that the kids are back in school we’re walking ~4km every weekday, and I try to fit in at least one long (>6 km) walk with a friend each week. But in terms of running, it feels far from a habit. In keeping with Laura Vanderkam’s belief that doing anything 3x per week makes it a habit, in November I’m going to aim to run 3x/week. Every day doesn’t feel doable, but I DO want running to be a habit. I’m not convinced I’ll make it, but today was a start.

I was planning to run down the hill and along a nice flat path to meet the family. At the bottom of the big hill I realized I was only 98% certain I had turned off the stove burner. So my longer, downhill/flat run, became a very short, mostly uphill run. And yes, the element was off.

HALLOWEEN | Those massive pumpkins have been transformed into an October snowman! I had no hand in this project whatsoever and it exceeded my expectations. Gold stars to the kids + John. I do wish the exterior renos had happened before Halloween so Mr. Frosty didn’t have to hang out in front of the 2/3 dismantled house facade, but he’s a cheery addition to the chaos.

Also, because it’s supposed to be rainy AND windy tomorrow night, we got the kids geared up in their costumes when it was bright and sunny and beautiful (everything one could hope for in a fall day) to get nice outdoor photos. Abby’s costume will be ruined in seconds if the downpour materializes!

In that lovely afternoon weather, we spent a fun 30 minutes decorating a neighbours driveway with Halloween-themed chalk messages and pictures. I was quite proud of my freehand pumpkin…

CHRISTMAS | After reading one too many articles about how delayed things were going to be this year, I hopped on the Christmas gift bandwagon. My Vistaprint order arrived earlier this week with our holiday cards and calendars, and I’ve put in a few orders from Amazon. The rest I’ll piece together locally. Today involved wrapping. It’s a nuisance to get set up, so I try to do this in relatively large batches. It feels good to know I have some things already wrapped and it gave me a better sense of what I had managed to stockpile during the year (I often start buying gifts 12 months out…and can forget what I’ve already nabbed on sale).

Everything in my stash is wrapped and stowed away in the guest-room closet.

While John was out with the kids he tackled buying items for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. We’ve been packing these for a decade now, and we have each kid pack a box for a similarly aged child. Levi was content to let Abby and I do the organizing, and it’s always so much fun!

PLANNING | November is going to be…intense. The kids only have a single full week of school. There are some trips for work. There are renos (have mercy). Levi has a birthday. My paper calendar looks pretty empty right now, but my digital calendar is filling up fast. Still trying to keep things minimal for the holidays and enjoying white space where I can find it. Definitely going to have to remind myself to make things easy when I can. Can anyone say cereal for supper?

I really set up shop this morning in the dining room. Bible Study, coffee, laptop, and daytimer. I’m set.

KEEPING IT REAL | And just to pan out on the serene scene above…here is the rest of the table this morning. Treat bags (two friends who will be away over Halloween brought loaded goodie bags for the kids – including homemade cookies which make a cameo in this shot)…as if they weren’t going to get enough on Sunday night! There is also the: audiobook phone, a random glass of water from breakfast, John’s hat, Abby’s nutrition label (to glue on to her KD costume), a random mini dish from pumpkin seeds, an extra pad of scratch paper, salt and pepper, and my Yeti which is mysteriously missing its lid. Thankfully, these items DO all have a place, so it’s mess not clutter.

7 thoughts on “Saturday Bonus <> October Edition”

  1. I love this kind of post!!! how do you decide what goes to digital calendar and what goes to paper? I tend to put life events in paper and work in digital. but sometimes it’s easier to have it in one place.
    I used to think I need to run everyday to feel insane. between injury and covid, I haven’t run much in the last 6 months and I’m fine with it, for real. this is a big surprise as it was part of my identity. Yet, the pandemic taught me to not have a fixed mind set for anything. everything is possible and we need to adapt to the life circumstances. I now enjoy slow mindful pilates type workout, and I still get into the flow of my thinking during them, the reason that I thought I needed running to get there. So even if I can run, I think I’ll keep it moderate, 3 times a week maybe, and do more of my strength training, it’s less stressful to my body and I get the mental and physical benefit.

    1. Oops! Forgot to respond.

      Digital has almost everything (work, personal, kids, holidays) + I put work action items in here.
      My paper calendar I fill in closer to the day of and it has the most important scheduled events (e.g. Call @ 2pm, Ukulele Club @ 3:45).

      I ALSO have a small pad of paper I label for each day and that contains to-do’s that won’t necessarily make it on to a calendar. Things like:
      – do a load of laundry
      – prep school lunchboxes
      – prep a birthday card
      – book hair appointment for next month

      So in essence I use three different scheduling methods each day…and it seems to work? It is a lot to juggle sometimes, but I feel I need each resource to get a handle on all the different types of things I need to stay on top of!

  2. As a (relatively) new blogger, I’m interested in other people’s schedules with blogging too! I find it intriguing that you prefer the “scheduled” approach, whereas I actually prefer the “when I feel like it” approach (despite otherwise liking a good amount of structure/ order?). I think it depends on the blogging style, maybe. When blogs include more “structured” content/ almost article style, I think a structured schedule makes total sense. I feel like my blog tends to be more based on what is happening/ how I’m feeling/ random “in the moment thoughts” type of stuff, so I can’t really “plan” my posts. I have to be “feeling” it in order to write. I usually don’t really know what I’m going to write about until maybe the night before, if something pops into mind, or many times when I wake up in the morning, just before I sit down to write.

    I’m typically quite limited on time, also…so I have been really working on shortening my posts some and forcing myself to get them written and published in no more than 30 minutes, max, start to finish. (As you probably know, this can be tricky! Especially since I like to include plenty of photos ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can’t always do it, but I’ve been trying.

    When I started my blog it was during the total lockdown part of the pandemic, and writing daily was just fun. I had plenty of time…lol. But I did read some articles/”blogging tips” that said writing TOO frequently can actual be a negative thing in some cases- I think maybe because people get overwhelmed with so many posts, they can’t keep up. (especially when people read many other blogs/ news/ etc- you can’t really spend your whole day reading people’s blogs, unfortunately! haha). Also, I read something that said if you have new content going out every single day, people who only check in 1-2 x/week might be missing a great post because it’s buried beneath 4 other new ones that they don’t have time to read! I found that interesting.

    I do like blogging most weekdays, again, because I think it’s fun! I’ve backed off on blogging as much on the weekends, depending on the day- sometimes I just have other things I want to do, and I usually only tend to write first thing in the morning. I don’t think as many people read on the weekends, anyway. I think blogs like SHU’s work well daily, because she tends to keep them quite short. I bet she rarely exceeds 500 words in a post. So people can check in, read quickly as part of their morning routine and move on.

    I am WORDY by nature, so I’ve been working on reeling mine in a little bit when I post more frequently to hopefully avoid overwhelming people, haha!! But I don’t really think that there is one right way to do it. Different styles fit different blogs! With the thorough, lengthy, very nicely done posts that you write, I can tell you put a lot of effort into them, so it totally makes sense that you wouldn’t have time to write everyday! (Unless you didn’t have another job, I suppose!).

    I had other thoughts on things you shared in this post, especially about the Christmas shopping, but I guess I wrote enough here already. hehehe!! Next time!

  3. My # of blog posts has precipitously declined over the years! I used to do 4-5/week, then 3, now it’s solidly 1-2. It’s hard to fit in and tough to find things to talk about that are mine to share? My husband is intensely private so I am mindful of that and don’t want to share TOO much about the kids, but my blog also serves as a digital scrapbook/baby book for the kids… and I find that when I talk about something I’m struggling with, someone generally comments or emails to say they have struggled, too.

    I have done a little bit of Christmas shopping, too, and I sent our boys’ wish lists to the grandparents in case they want to shop early, too. Luckily we do not need to buy many gifts so that helps!

    1. It is a great shared community, for sure!
      Do you print off your blog posts?

      Somehow the number of gifts always seems to creep up but I think, comparatively, I buy very few gifts – both in general for members of my family (we don’t exchange as siblings, for example) + with others. When we were first married I still send gifts to friends from university, nieces/nephews, and various other friends. Now it is basically just a few teachers from school (I don’t do end-of-year gifts, just at Christmas and I always give the same thing!) + immediate family members (John + the kids) and anyone who happens to be visiting over Christmas (usually just my parents).

  4. Apple-cinnamon FTW, ALWAYS! <3

    I love that you picked up the "currently"-format. It's an "easy" post to write, but most people love it and it gives you a nice glimpse into each others' lives ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoyed this post very much!

    I am also a planner girl, but do use a digital calendar side-by-side, esp. when I schedule appointments in advance, so I can set a reminder (that's the ONE thing paper planners can't do yet ;)).
    That pumpkin snowman is absolutely awesome! Hopefully it will hold up through the holiday season. Good for you for getting on the Christmas planning early (I am attempting the same, although I haven't decided/ordered holiday cards yet).

    1. Sadly the snowman has already ended up in the compost pile. We’re *supposed* to have exterior renovations start any day and the step he was sitting on has to be moved. He probably would have lasted into the winter and I think under other circumstances I would have left the snowman in place all through Christmas…bad timing to pick this year to do our “snowman” when his home is soon going to be a demo zone!

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