Welcome to our State of the Blog for November 2017. In this month’s wrap up of Jividen events, we discuss track out fun. adopting Jolabokaflod, and a big decluttering win.
Now, usually, we start our State of the Blog report with “Blog Stuff.” When I started writing that section this month, though, it turned into a whole post. You can read all about my misadventures with WordPress repairs, as well as my 50th birthday celebrations, in WordPress Repairs from the Clueless: Emily Fixes Her Blog.
However, we had a lot of other things going on this month, too. Like 3 weeks of serious rest and relaxation for all.
Little Bit’s year-round school schedule means we get a full three weeks off each year around Thanksgiving.
Last year, we went to Disneyworld. This year, we decided on more modest entertainments.
- We went to afternoon matinees of Thor: Ragnorak, Justice League, and Coco.
- Little Bit had one play date scheduled and went to 2 parks.
- I took Little Bit over to a trampoline park on a half-price morning.
- We spent 3 days over at my aunt’s for Thanksgiving, which gave Little Bit plenty of cousins to play with.
- We had a second Thanksgiving celebration at my inlaws on the 16th.
Other than that, we mostly stuck around the house. Little Bit slept late, watched YouTube, and played on her laptop. She helped with cooking contributions for our Thanksgiving meals and tagged along whenever Jon or I had an errand to run. We marched in a Veteran’s Day parade and went to the art museum to see a fashion exhibit with her girl scout troop.
And we spent $40 on a Sega Genesis with built-in games at Dollar General, so she got to enjoy beating me in Sonic and Mortal Kombat on the big screen.
Not every track out needs to be a vacation. We’d already gone to the beach twice this year, probably more vacation time than if she’d had a full summer break. Instead, this break she spent time playing, exploring and relaxing, and in retrospect, that’s probably exactly what she needed.
We have been receiving quite a few packages at our house because I worked those Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals as hard as I could.
Jon bought me a new Kindle 10 for my birthday. Since that corresponded to the Black Friday sales, it was a good $40 off, and we got better than average points on our Amazon credit card.
Then I went and picked Jon up a couple of things I thought he’d enjoy that I found on the Black Friday Deals page, as well as pretty much wrapping up my Christmas shopping for our daughter.
(shhh….she’s getting a new scooter…and gaming headphones.)
I still need to pick up some stocking stuffers and the photo calendar I make each year for the grandparents. I have some treats to make later this month.
And figure out what to buy the two teenaged nephews, who as always are the most difficult ones to buy for.
Otherwise, though, I was done with all my Christmas shopping by the end of November.
The only problem is that Little Bit has declared she really wants to help with all of the wrapping this year. Since she still KINDA believes in Santa, that’s gonna be tricky…
And then I read about Jolabokaflod.
Have you seen articles about Jolabokaflod this year?
Jolabokaflod, or the Christmas Book Flood, is the Icelandic tradition of people giving each other books on Christmas Eve. Then everyone snuggles down for a good read. With chocolate, or possibly adult libations.
I’m adopting this tradition this year. I’ve already picked out Little Bit’s book.
And she and I have decided this weekend that we’ll head out to shop for one for her Daddy. Although she suggested one.
And also this one.
This is the most awesome Christmas tradition any bookworm could ask for, My mom used to give me a book each Christmas (often the newest Dick Francis mystery.) I’d spend my Boxing Day on the couch, curled up with my new book until I’d finished it.
But to formalize that as an actual custom? I can’t imagine a better way to wait for the big guy’s visit than to cuddle up with new books. I really want this to be part of our Christmas traditions, a perfect way to follow up the afternoon church service and some Chinese takeout.
The To-Do List
To recap, my goals for the year were to:
- Live Healthier
- Increase Financial Health
- Improve the Blog
- Do Good Things
- Get Rid of Excess Stuff
I don’t know that I actually was healthier in November, but there were a couple of things happening of note.
My Fitbit died in February. Well, the band died. And wearables are hard to use if you can’t, ya know, wear’em.
I had a Charge, and unfortunately, Fitbit didn’t set up the Charges with changeable bands. Jon promised to fix it, and eventually, he did try using some epoxy on it. It didn’t work…the band fell apart again within 24 hours.
I know that since then, I’ve had some sedentary days.
For my birthday, though, my dad gave me a new Charge 2. Now I’ll at least be aware when I’m not moving enough, and since I put it on I’ve been a little more diligent about moving about.
And if the band breaks, I can replace it.
And, I overindulged on pie during our two Thanksgiving celebrations but responded by drastically reducing my sugar intake. I mean, I ate none for a week, aside from one slice of birthday cake. (it’s hard to turn down birthday cake when someone’s made it just for you.)
That may not sound like much, but that’s more than I’ve done in a long while. I’m going to put off Christmas cookie making as long as possible.
Increase Financial Health
All my necessary tax prep classes are done, I still need to take the certification tests. The plan is to go take the first next week.
Improve the Blog
I restored it from oblivion. Does that count?
Do Good Things
Since Little Bit was sick the first week of the month and tracked out much of the rest, I didn’t work in the school store.
(I went to do so one day, but someone took off with the keys by mistake. So I just shelved books in the library instead.)
And, for the same reason, I only spent a single day shelving books in the library.
I never got back to knitting and made NOTHING for our Day of Giving charity fundraiser. That makes me kind of sad…I had the yarn and time to make things, I just dropped the ball.
On the flip side, I was able to donate several heads of romaine out of our garden plot. The romaine is pretty much done for the year, and the cabbage and brussels sprouts aren’t ready yet. I don’t know if we put them in early enough that they’ll develop.
Get Rid of Excess Stuff/Organize
Several months ago, we took 90% of the toys out of Little Bit’s room. Most of them went into totes and boxes in our spare bedroom.
During track out, we went through them.
I bought 2 boxes of gallon sized Ziplocs, and we packaged all like toys together. We got a load together for donation, put together a couple of things to give to my youngest nephew, and threw away 2 boxes of broken toys, random papers, and old party favors.
Little Bit’s happy. She found a bunch of things that she says she’s missed.
I’m happy. We reduced the number of toys by about half. What’s left is mostly age-appropriate items that she’ll actually play with.
And hopefully, some little kids will be happy when they get all of her old Disney Junior and Sesame Street toys.
Wrapping Up November 2017
October seemed packed to the gills with fun. While we did a fair amount in November, we weren’t nearly as busy.
Having that lull before the holiday storm seemed to be just what we needed.
As we move into December, I know I’ll need to evaluate my goals. I feel like I’m on track with some (like doing good) and need to restate others (Live healthier is too vague to inspire me to better action, I think.)
I plan to write one post next week. Then I’m taking the rest of the month off. So enjoy your holidays, and best of luck in the new year.
How did November 2017 go for you?
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