November must be one of my favorite months.
Pretty things are happening outside as the weather and trees and all green things transition from fall into winter (although I would sign any petition out there in favor of fall lasting just a bit longer); Starbucks is getting over its Pumpkin Spice phase and is moving on to better things (Gingerbread); it is more socially acceptable to stay inside all day long, wearing leggings, giant sock/slipper things, and a men's plaid shirt (with the one exception of leaving the apartment to pick up your child from school); and the excitement of his birthday and Christmas happening in the same month is lighting up my almost-seven year-old's face. (WHAT!? HE'S ALMOST SEVEN.)
#KeepingTheGood in November:
- My first and second contributions to the Illustrated Faith blog went up. (Eeeek!)
- One of my friends celebrated her birthday, and we had an amazing dinner together. Plus, I love giving gifts, so that was a highlight for sure.
- Coffee dates with friends.
- ART SHOP TRIPS with friends!!
- I started my Life on Wednesday series, which has been pretty fun so far! I'll continue through this month, but may change things up a bit with the new year.
- Our family isn't anti-social by any means, but we don't get out much. In November we went to two dinner parties, and had such a great time! Plus, the food tasted better than anything I could have cooked at home.
- Kid #1 had his school pictures taken, so we went and got his hair cut and I helped him pick out his special outfit for the day.
- Kid #2 had a great check-up at the doctor (minus the vaccination and following side-effects).
- We got our visas renewed without a hitch!
- I participated in two by-mail gift exchanges this month. Next year I'll probably limit myself to one exchange, because I have way too much fun putting the gifts together and tend to forget the gift budget I was supposed to stick to, and I forget that everything has to fit in one box.
- Thanksgiving! We celebrate the holiday for sure, but we don't typically make a big deal out of the meal, which has become a sort of silly tradition for us -- having a basically normal meal on Thanksgiving Day! Everyone has full tummies when we're done, it's just not by an enormous turkey and stuffing.
- I documented my gratitude for every day of the month in my Wow God devotional from Illustrated Faith.
- I learned of two collaborations I'll be involved in in the next couple of months. So. Excited.
- I launched the Creative Advent Giveaway over on Instagram, and almost twenty other creatives and small shops blew me away with their generosity and willingness to participate!
- I finished moving our family blog over here to my main site, because I was having free-host-issues and because I like everything to be in one place. You'll notice a new tab at the top of this page, which will take you to new, wondrous places.
- Kid #1 and I had tons of Art Time together. Lately he's been really into painting, drawing, and creating, and I am loving every second.
- Kid #2 and I went on many, many long walks through the neighborhood and surrounding parks. Wandering aimlessly is one of my favorite things.
- I discovered (and became slightly obsessed with) paperclip-making! Basically all I do is cut and tie ribbon around the ends of paperclips, but they turn out so cute and they make my nine thousand notebooks and journals even more beautiful!
- I found some tinted lip balm from Lush and I instantly fell in love. You know how important that is, right?
- I got ALL OF MY CHRISTMAS SHOPPING DONE! But then I ate some of the candy for stockings, so I'll have to get more of that...
- The lights went up around the city! I'm kicking myself for not having any pictures of Vienna's Christmas lights yet. Every year they put such beautiful lights up all over the city. It really is magical, and I don't even like using that word.
- Gingerbread Lattes. Move over, Pumpkin Spice. And stay over there.
- There are bakeries all over Vienna, as I'm sure you can imagine, and near our apartment building there are two that compete against each other (at least according to our tastebuds). One of them is a clear winner for everything except one thing: the vanilla krapfen. A krapfen is basically a filled donut, but the vanilla krapfen that we're in love with here is only available seasonally, and 'tis the season, thank you God.
- I got my hair cut! I have bangs again (sorry: fringe), which I have a love-hate relationship with, of course. I also have some blonde highlights now which aren't blonde at all and are strawberry-blonde because even though my hair turned brown after having babies, I AM STILL GINGER. I might go back in for real blonde someday in the future. We shall see.
- I took a much-needed class from the Influence Network called "Overcoming Comparison and Cultivating Authenticity". PRAISE. HANDS.
- I finally finished a custom piece that I'd been working on for an embarrassing amount of time because of nerves and perfectionism. Mind games, people. Mind games.
- I planned Kid #1's birthday lunch and his annual trip to the zoo! And a whole week before his birthday! (This birthday-planning thing is something I need to work on in my mom-life.)
- I drafted three more installments of The heART Series. There are some amazing artists lined up for this -- I can't wait!
- I got my large InkDori from Grace and Salt Ink and almost fell over dead because it is so beautiful!
- I gut-laughed with my husband more than once, to the point of tears. We're pretty big dorks.
So let's talk about the things I'd like to do in December:
- Paint 5 journals and 5 sets of accompanying stickers per week
- Take another Influence Network Class
- Organize a giveaway for January based on ⟶this book⟵, written by my awesome friend
- Paint 25 top-secret things for a top-secret project
- Participate faithfully in #letteritdecember
- Improve my brush-lettering skills
- Visit 5 different Viennese Christmas markets
And now, guess what! You get to enter to win an Erin Condren planner! "What's that!?" you say? I said, "Enter below to win a customized planner of your choice within the budget of $102!"
AND TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS: What was one of your favorite things that happened in November, and what is one goal you have for December? ⤵︎