Five Lessons Learned in October

Thats-the-thing-about

Can you believe it’s already November 1st?  Where did October go?  I think I blinked and missed it!  October was a whirlwind of birthdays, school field trips, and general chaos.  But as busy as I was, I still had time to learn a few things:

1)    There’s a reason why it’s called a 31 day writing challengeI am so happy that I decided to join in the 31 day writing challenge but I’m SO relieved that it’s done.  When I made the decision to participate in the challenge, I figured it would be tough.  But I didn’t realize how much discipline it would take to sit down every single day and try to write something that was even halfway worth reading.  Yes, it was definitely a challenge.  And it served as a reminder that when someone tells you something is going to be a challenge, you best believe them!

2)    I really shouldn’t buy any Halloween candy until closer to the day of Halloween.  I thought I was being smart when I waited until the week before Halloween to buy the Halloween candy.  I thought I was being even smarter by putting it on the top shelf of our pantry closet, hidden in a Target bag…the whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing.  I would like to tell you that I never opened a single bag until last night.  I would like to tell you that I didn’t even remember it was there.   I would like to tell you that I didn’t pick out and eat every single Peanut Butter Snickers bar from that really big variety bag.  I would like to tell you all those things, but then I would be lying.  Which leads me to lesson #3…

3)    Peanut Butter Snickers Bars may just be my new favorite candy bar.  Sorry Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but I think I have a new love.  I know we have a long history and I feel a little guilty that I cheated on you with the PB Snickers.  But now I think there’s no going back.  (Okay, that’s not true since M and B both gave me all their Reese’s PB cups due to the fact that they don’t like peanut butter.  Who doesn’t like peanut butter?  It sort of  makes me wonder if they really are my daughters….but I digress.)  Okay Reese’s PB Cups and PB Snickers Bars, maybe there’s room enough in my heart for both of you.

4)    Quozio is cool!  As you may have figured out, I love quotes.  I love reading them and I love sharing them.  So I was excited to find out about Quozio!  Quozio is a free site that takes your favorite quote and turns it into an image that you can share on Facebook, Pinterest, or anywhere else on the web (just like I did at the top of this post).  You type in the quote on their site, then pick the style and image you like best.  Then share it with your friends and followers.  Quick, easy, and free!  Love it!

5)    I’m officially embarrassing to my 11-year-old son.  I knew this day would come, but I still wasn’t quite prepared for it.  My son is five years older than his sisters, which means that they were born the year he started Kindergarten.  That made it nearly impossible for me to volunteer at his school or chaperone field trips.  Until now.  Now the girls are in Kindergarten, which means I have plenty of time to volunteer at school, chaperone field trips, and make myself generally more available to him and his teachers.  He brought home a field trip letter a few weeks ago asking for chaperones.  I was thrilled!  I said, “D, your teacher is looking for chaperones for the field trip.  I’m available and I thought I would volunteer.”  D looked at me, paused, and then said, “No Mom, I don’t think so.”  I was shocked!  What?!  How could he NOT want me to chaperone!  Impossible!  “D, maybe you misheard me.  I said I can chaperone your field trip.  I couldn’t go before because of your sisters, but now I can!  I can chaperone!”  He paused again, looked me right in the eyes, and said, “No Mom. You can’t chaperone my field trip.  That would be embarrassing.”  Yes, those were his exact words.  He then went back to building his Lego ships and I was left to piece my broken ego back together.  I guess I must face facts…I’m officially embarrassing.  Guess I better volunteer and chaperone the heck out of the girls now, before I’m too embarrassing for them too!

So that’s what I learned in October.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to dig through the kids’ bowls of Halloween candy to see if they picked up any more Peanut Butter Snickers Bars while trick-or-treating last night.  I think D might be hiding a few at the bottom of his candy bowl.  I may be embarrassing, but I’m not stupid!

 

31 Days of Simple Change {Day 20} Prepare for the Holidays

31 Days of Simple Change

I was looking at my calendar yesterday and realized that we are only 11 days away from Halloween.  And that means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner!  If you are the type of person who has already made a big dent in their Christmas shopping, the one who has everything wrapped and ready by Thanksgiving weekend…I congratulate you and urge you to save time and just skip this post.  But, if you are anything like me, then you probably haven’t bought any Christmas gifts yet and you’ll be lucky to have them all wrapped by Christmas Eve.  If this sounds familiar, then this post is for you and for me.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am very good at procrastinating.  And I have always been especially good about procrastinating around the holidays.  It’s not that I don’t like the Holiday season…it’s actually one of my favorite times of the year.  But I quickly become overwhelmed by all the gift buying, cookie baking, gift wrapping and tree trimming, which leads me to procrastinate on everything.  But just like with any other procrastinating, putting everything off just makes for more stress and less enjoyment of the Holiday Season.

One of my very best friends is the complete opposite of me.  I’ve known her to start buying Christmas gifts in August, and she’ll have all her gifts wrapped long before I’ve even finished my shopping.  Her house is decorated by the end of Thanksgiving weekend, leaving her ready to enjoy the entire month of December without stress.  We joke about this every year, but this year I’ve decided to emulate her just a little bit.

I’ve put together my budget for the holiday season and I’ve even bought one gift already (that’s a HUGE step for me).  I even ordered our Christmas Photo cards…two weeks ago! And you know what?  It feels good to have started my holiday preparations early.  I’ll probably still be buying gifts on December 22nd, because honestly I’m not a miracle maker!  But every plan I make now and every gift I purchase ahead of time is one step closer to a happier holiday season.

Have you started planning for the holidays yet?  Are you a last minute shopper and decorator or will you have all your preparations done before the first week of December?  Do you have any tips for getting your holiday shopping done early?  Leave your comments below…

Throughout the month of October, I’ll be sharing some ideas for simple changes you can make to improve your life.  Did you miss a day?  Visit the 31 Days Welcome page for links to each day.