In reflecting on this month, one thing rose to the surface: I get by with a little help from my friends. Katie hosted our chocolate chip cookie party. Stephanie stepped in last minute to help me set the Articles Club table, and she, Pressley, and Stacy are writing sections of the Articles Club guide. I think asking for help makes a lot of people uncomfortable (my husband included!), but for some reason, I enjoy receiving help almost as much as I love giving it. (This is even more unusual because I’m an introvert and an Enneagram 5, types that often prefer to go it alone!) I’m rolling some thoughts around and have a blog post in the works on this topic, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at November…
A bag o’ library books riding shotgun for my bookworm. I think it might be time for another installment of June’s Favorites, yes?
On my calendar:
— Voting, always.
— Thanksgiving in the Florida Keys with my side of the family! This is a belated 40th anniversary trip in honor of my parents, and we are all very excited.
— Beginning my 2024 PowerSheets. I chose Jade!
What I’m loving right now:
— I made a quick mention of this in a past post, but if you have kids and a road trip in your future, I want you to know about The Night Train, an audio story our family listened to this summer and loved. The older two are quite excited to listen to The Merry Beggar’s other long-form story, their version of A Christmas Carol, this Advent. (My vision is for them to cozy up and listen to it around the fire while I cook dinner – we shall see how it pans out! :))
— I read this essay (Atlantic gift link) by Colin Campbell, about losing his two teenage children and how we can better respond to our own grief and the grief of others, and knew I wanted to share it with you. Then this expansive interview with Colin on one of my favorite podcasts brought it to mind again. So, take your pick – essay, podcast interview, or the full-length book.
— I’ve been making my Black Friday shopping list, and am hoping this sweater will be on sale. It is so lovely! Also eyeing these holiday Lake Pajamas. If they’re sold out, I may just go with these ones!
As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!
What you’re loving right now:
This is where I highlight a few items here that have been popular in the last month with fellow readers, based on my analytics. Here’s hoping this will help you find something you’ll love!
— What we use to keep our dresser drawers organized
— These white wood and linen bulletin boards, which we use to display kid artwork
— PowerSheets. So happy it seems many of you will be joining me in 2024!
— The Yoto, which Shep and June both listen to daily (she has an original and he, a mini – the mini has the same functionality, it’s just smaller and less expensive!)
— Shep’s fly velcro sneakers
What I read in October:
— Morning Star | The conclusion to the Red Rising trilogy. I’m glad I finished it! Tons of battles, lots of twists and turns, and a satisfying conclusion. However, it was QUITE the contrast with my next read…
— At Home in Mitford | …this one. I first read a Mitford novel back in high school, because my grandmother loved them. My pal Stephanie reminded me of the series (she reads them every year!!), which inspired me to put one on my 2023 reading list. I picked it up a little early in honor of our trip to the Boone area, since the series is set in a town inspired by Blowing Rock.
— The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found | I just love these books. This was one of my favorites in the series so far, even though it has some sad moments. I appreciate that the author doesn’t shy away from including the hard, but instead shows us how a family can move through it.
My reading list for 2023! I’m 20 / 24 so far for the year – two months to go!
Revisiting my October goals:
Write and design the Articles Club guide (I made an outline and handed out assignments to willing members. Grateful to make this a collaborative project!)
Edit Sheptember, Volume 5 (I chose a song :))
Host the chocolate chip cookie party (Done! It was sweet. Recap to come soon!) Tackle Annie’s closet Organize the gift storage Send care package to our college babysitter (Yes! See last year’s here.)
Finish our 2015-2019 photo album (Progress! I finished years 2015 and 2016. It is slow going!!)
Execute an extra-special setting for the 8th anniversary of Articles Club (Yes! See it here!)
— Submit all passport paperwork for the kids’ passports and my renewal
— Tackle Shep’s closet
— Finish writing and design the Articles Club guide and list it for sale
— Finish our 2015-2019 photo album
— Design and order our Christmas card and newsletter
— Edit Sheptember, Volume 5
Gift guides are on my mind! I’m planning to write posts about what we’re actually giving our kids this Christmas, what’s on my wish list, and stocking stuffer ideas for kids and grown-ups. I know they’re not for everyone, but if they’re for you, is there anything else that would be helpful? And what’s your preference on timing – ASAP? Or closer to Black Friday? Beginning of December? Feel free to share your thoughts below or anything else that’s on your mind!
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