Hello again from sunny Texas! Happy December everyone!! It has been so wonderful being back in Texas. I haven’t lived here since 2004, and although I love the DC area, Texas is just a special place. I love the land, the culture, and the people. Life is simpler here and I miss that! I’m glad I still have 3 more days here and can spend lots of quality time with my family and best friends.
November was a nice month. I’m extremely burnt out from the fall, but November gave me the first glance of the end of the semester. I am a hard worker, with a habit of taking on too much (which y’all often see), but this fall my work ethic was taken advantage of and I am burnt out. I’m ready for a break and for a chance to refocus. Creating boundaries and balance is something I’ve been working on over the years, but those boundaries were not respected this fall and I’m eager to reclaim that.
Y’all know I love setting goals, so I’ve been taking some time to think through what worked this fall and what has to change. Neal and I have talked a lot about my work schedule moving forward, the need to get back to leaving work at work, and the need to focus on the more important things in life. I love my career and I love what I am able to do each day, but this fall I lost my focus on my life outside of 9AM-5PM. This month I am focused on the holidays. To spending time with our loved ones, to making Christmas extra special for Neal and Magnolia, and to enjoying my 2 weeks off from work. It’s hard to believe that 2016 is coming to an end, but I’m also grateful for the new start January and the spring semester will bring.
November on the Blog
November Goals Revisited
-Enjoy quiet weekends as a family: Yes! Our weekends were perfect.
-Make family dinners a priority: Yes!
-Enjoy an at home date with Neal each week: We’ve enjoyed getting back to date nights, even if at home.
-Make the most of my vacation days this month!: I loved being home, but it was hard with Magnolia being sick. At least we were able to snuggle and spend lots of time together.
Holiday Season Prep
-Order our Thanksgiving turkey from our CSA: Yes! We ended up spending Thanksgiving at a friend’s, so our Turkey is ready for Christmas.
-Plan out our Thanksgiving dinner: It was planned but we’re so glad we spent the day with our friends.
-Order our holiday cards: Yes! I love them!
-Decide whether to buy a fake tree or go to a Christmas Tree Farm with the fam: We ended up buying a fake tree at Costco. It’s an awesome tree and I’m glad we went that route.
-Create an advent calendar for our family: Yes! I’m in Texas, so we’ll have to play catch up on Monday.
-Create a 12 Days of Christmas activity for Neal and me: We’ve lined up out Christmas movies and have a few plans in the works.
-Start planning out our Christmas vacation and new years: Yes!! We’ll be home and can’t wait to relax.
Around the House
-Finish the new hall closet (paint): Goodness, we’re so bad at this. Hopefully we can crank it out next week when Neal’s rock star Dad is in town.
-Finish the new built-in bookshelves (paint): See above.
-Set up Neal’s office: Essentially we did nothing on the house. We had planned to over Thanksgiving break, but Magnolia being sick changed everything.
-Come up with a monthly chore schedule that actually works for us: It’s created… I hope it works!
-Begin creating a plan for each room/decorating plan: I’ve started to plan things out and will get things moving in the new year.
-Continue to workout at OTF twice a week: Yes! I actually went 3 times a week most of the month.
-Complete two workouts outside of OTF: Yes!
-Run/walk the Turkey Trot 5 miler (assuming we’re signing up): We had to back out with Magnolia being sick. My sister and I went for a long walk around the lake though, which was nice!
-Track everything I eat each day: Yes, minus Thanksgiving.
-Switch my weigh-in to Monday: Yes!
-Create a weekly plan every Sunday: Yes, I’m loving this returned habit.
-Prepare food for the work week every Sunday: Yes!
-Eat breakfast each day: Yes!
-Bring protein packed snacks to work for my commute home: Yes!!
-Go to bed by 10:30PM each night!! Especially once the World Series is over tonight!: Goodness y’all, I’ve been going to bed so early and I love it! I’m worn out after this fall.
-Leave work on time: Ehh, I’m still having a hard time leaving on time but the fall is almost over.
-Leave work at work: Nope.
-Enjoy my vacation days! Recharge and refresh!: I’m loving my time in Texas.
-De-stress, de-stress, de-stress: I’m trying.
Coming Up in December
- Vacation in San Antonio, Texas
- Neal’s parents visit DC
- Neal’s birthday!!
- Lots of holiday parties
- Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years in DC
- Winter break!
The month ahead is all about family, celebrations, and recharging! I want to focus on those three things and to make the most of the holiday season. Neal and I are really looking forward to being home in Maryland for the holidays and to have time off work together. Over the next month, we have a few things we’d like to do, so I’ve created more of a to do list for the month ahead vs goals.
-Bake lots of cookies to give to friends and co-workers
-Visit the Baltimore Aquarium
-Visit the National Christmas Tree downtown
-Take Magnolia to the Gaithersburg Winter Lights
-Watch lots of Christmas movies with Neal (we’ve already watched Elf, The Grinch, and The Family Stone)
-Consider visiting Santa (There’s no way Magnolia will be down with it)
-Continue our new family traditions on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
I am also focused on my own self care: working out, tracking everything I eat, enjoying the holidays, getting enough sleep, spending time with friends and loved ones, and reading some of the books that have been sitting on my nightstand. I’m really looking forward to these next few weeks and to some much needed down time! I hope y’all are looking forward to the month ahead and enjoy every ounce of the holidays.