October: Things Liked & Learned

October Things Liked & Learned 1

It feels right to wrap up my months intentionally with a post like this. I have to consciously fight the anxiety that sees the end of the month and gets all wobbly that time is flying by, Oh no! But time isn’t just flying by, I’m recording it. I’m intentionally staying in the present. It’s a gift.

I savored September, I mentally assented with each sunny, warm yet fall day that it is indeed my favorite month of the year. So, October felt a little bashful coming in, if I may say so. How do you follow a favorite? With humble beauty; that’s October.

So, let me get on with the list! Here are the things that I’m into (Leigh Kramer style) and the things that I learned (Emily P. Freeman style):

  1. Instagram:
    Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.08.37 AM

    Of course I love Instagram for the simplicity of scrolling through the beauty of everyday life. I love seeing the real life moments, the funny, the sacred, and the simple. But I just realized that I’m starting to use it as a visual reference tool too. I’m recording things or taking note of what others are recording. Like this book that OurPurposeFilledDays posted 3 weeks ago. Which leads me into the next two things on my list.
  2. My brain:
    October Things Liked & Learned 3
    I’m learning so much about my brain right now. I started writing about it originally for this very post. I learned and have accepted the backwards way that I like to read articles. I start in the middle and then either work my way back up or down. Reading this way isn’t logical, but it’s the way my brain works. I fought it for years, but now I’m embracing it and finding so much mental freedom – it’s crazy. I’m reading a lot of articles about adult ADD and books on the brain by Michael Durian. Post series explaining more of this coming soon.
  3. Classical and Charlotte Mason Education:
    I’m dipping my toe in the Classical waters. I don’t know at this point what will come of it, but I’m really into figuring it all out. I’m hoping to read Consider This and The Well Educated Mind (for my further education; latest edition available November 16th) and The Well Trained Mind (this intimidating book has within it the roadmap for designing an at home Classical Education without being a curricula package in itself. I like that. I like Susan Wise Bauer. But if anyone has read it and wants to provide me with the cliff notes – I’ll buy you coffee. Let’s hang out.)
  4. Siri:
    Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.06.54 AM

    I have a love hate relationship with Siri. When she’s on, she helps me do all-the-things, but when she is off (by that I mean she can’t complete the task I requested or she pulls up the wrong result or her results disappear before I get to read the whole thing) it can be frustrating. I have been using Siri to send emails and texts, to set reminders (with due dates), and to set timers. The kids and I have used Siri to look up information right in the moment, like while reading Christopher Columbus the other day – we wanted to know what a “poop deck” was and where it was located on a ship. The first answer was the correct one – describing the parts of a ship, etc. But when I didn’t finish reading the whole result and the screen when black, I kindly called Siri back to action and said, “Could you show me the information that you just pulled up with the images of the poop deck?” To which Siri replied, “That’s not nice.” My kids still get a good laugh recalling that Siri funny moment. I was against using Siri for so long that I finally feel like I’m learning how to use it well without losing my mind.
  5. My Fitness Pal:
    Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.06.07 AM

    This free app has helped me to simply consider what I’m eating, and it’s a relatively later October thing that I’m into. The first half of October was spent feeling sluggish. The foods I was eating contributed to this feeling, or maybe the foods I wasn’t eating and lacking feeling was nagging me. So, I started by consciously choosing to eat a salad for my whole meal. Since I’m currently not doing any diet programs or Whole30s, I wasn’t concerned about weight loss and therefore I wasn’t as conscious to eat enough vegetables. Shame. I know. But I wanted to start feeling better and I want to be intentional, so enter the free app! I love the simple features that allow me to search for popular foods – it even finds brands and restaurants which takes the guess work out of determining how many calories was that? It also has a barcode scanner which uses the camera on the phone to scan the barcode and then it enters all the nutrition information from the package into the daily log. It’s easy to use and it’s helped me feel so much better. I know how to balance my diet, but I’m just needy when it comes to accountability.
  6. Nature walks and decor:
    October Things Liked & Learned 4
    One night per week my husband takes my older children to Bible study and I get to enjoy a “date night” with my youngest child. Early in October, on one of these nights, we went for a walk around our property. He jumped into the wagon and I pulled him as we explored. I found little, round pine cones on some of our pine trees and decided to add them to the window sill by the window in my kitchen. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time – because I don’t have a decoration bone in my body – but I designed my own little fall piece of heaven. And I learned that I love being in touch with the seasons by having a taste of it right within sight for when I’m washing the 80th pan or preparing pasta on a Tuesday night – I raise my eyes above the sink and see these small treasures reminding me to stay in the moment, to stay in this season, and to be thankful for the little beauty that is all around me.
  7. Pumpkin spice, decaf soy lattes (which always prompts My Fitness Pal to remind me that my goal is to stay under 60 grams of sugar per day). But, oh my, yum. Thank you, October.
  8. Building a Uniform:
    I learned that I need to get dressed. I know, this is a wild discovery. But it’s true. I had to process through what I wear, why I wear it, and how to manage being productive and efficient in the clothes I choose. The uniform takes the decision-making out of the daily routine. It helps me save my mental space for managing #10 on this list.
  9. My people all-matchy-matchy:

    Seriously. How cute is a toddler in a tie?

    Seriously. How cute is a toddler in a tie?

    I’m into seeing my people in matching clothes. We had extended family pictures taken and this was the first time in our little family’s history where I went out and bought all new clothes for us to wear. I can see why so many people like to do this a lot. It was a lot of fun. 

  10. Picking my battles:
    The tiniest person in our house has the ability to completely take over the home with his passionate personality and wild sense of what should be thrown and destroyed (see picture above of his bran-cereal-on-couch experiment). That has been fun for him only. I’m learning that I can’t choose all the battles with him right now. It’s picking up after himself or potty training. It’s obeying the command to stop in the middle of a crazy outburst or eat all of your supper. 
  11. Kids doing/learning chores:
    At the most recent LIFE meeting for homeschool moms in my area, we talked about chores. I walked away with a better appreciation for why I train my kids to do chores. My towels aren’t folded nicely (in the picture above), but they were done by a child. For now, I’m thankful for the process not the perfection.

Also, for October the kids were screen-free. Our regular fasts from all media always teach me so much, and I’m thankful for the rhythm of fasting. The reset, rest, and redirection of our attentions. We appreciated an amazing audio presentation. Rocked my socks off. 

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8 thoughts on “October: Things Liked & Learned

    • Yes, I admit I need a uniform. I think for me it was part necessity and part protection against future embarrassment. For years, I didn’t know my shape, best colors, or fabrics and when I would wear something “new or trendy” I would feel funny and out of place. I finally realized that for me there is comfort and confidence in having a uniform. And I use the term “uniform” loosely. I don’t have a closet full of 10 blue t-shirts. 😉

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  1. Your date nights with your youngest sound wonderful. What a great idea! I also enjoyed your piece on building a uniform. It’s something I’m always working on and refining.

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    • One on one with any member of the family is a treasure – right? I’m thankful for the little seasons in life that allow for it.
      I’m glad you liked the piece – it’s been accountability to practice it now! 🙂

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  2. Hi, first time visitor to your site from Emily’s link up. I so enjoyed your list – especially – “small treasures reminding me to stay in the moment, to stay in this season, and to be thankful for the little beauty that is all around me.” You have great parenting thoughts, great pics of tiny one in a tie (too cute!), great brain book recommendations – thanks!

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  3. I so relate to the chore thing. My seven year old is convinced that none of his peers do chores (not true), but I keep reminding him that we are teaching him how to do life. Someday he will have to take care of his own place!!

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    • I tell my kids the same thing – actually last week I said, “When you’re in your twenties and living on your own – I am not coming over to clean your house.” 😉

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