October Recap + What I’m Looking Forward to in November

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Can you believe October’s over already?? That month sure flew by! I love sharing these recap posts because they allow me to journal and savor our day-to-day life a bit more…and, these posts give me the chance to look ahead!

October Recap:

  • October was Sophie’s birthday month! The first week of the month was full of party planning (and tears over how quickly she’s growing up!). 🙂 We celebrated her October 16 birthday early because mid-October, especially, is a busy harvest season around here! I went with a sweet little woodland party theme for our autumn baby who loves animals so much. 🙂 You can see all of the cute details and descriptions of her party in her birthday party post HERE!

RELATED: Sophie’s Woodland First Birthday Party

  • October involved some fun playdates and get-togethers with friends and family. From meeting up at restaurants for lunch, to friends driving 2 hours down to visit us, it was a month full of sweet memories!

  • We took down the big baby gate enclosure. I still might put it back up, but for now, I’m loving just how open it makes our downstairs area feel!! Sophie has really been learning her boundaries well downstairs, which helps a ton.
  • I started getting up and ready before Sophie does! This is big for me. I’m definitely more of a morning person than a night owl, but for so long, I’d rest until I heard Sophie wake around 8 am. But I kept hearing from other moms that getting up before their kids saves their sanity and gets the day started right. And now that I’ve been doing this for over 2 weeks, I would agree! So these days, I’ve been showering at night, then getting up earlier, dressing, making our bed, and doing my makeup and hair before Sophie’s up for the day. I love how it gets the day started off on the right foot. For those of you who are moms, do you get up before your kids? I’m curious because I love to hear other people’s routines!! If you like routines yourself, I recently wrote about my evening routine, too. 🙂

  • Harvest began! Like I’ve mentioned before, we farm soybeans. Bjorn does an awesome job accomplishing that alongside his other responsibilities. It actually works out well with his teaching job, since you often can’t harvest soybeans early in the morning because they’ll be too wet. (Corn’s a bit different.) Therefore, Bjorn can teach a full day at school (while the beans are drying out during those morning hours), and then he’ll hop in the combine and work hard till late in the evening. I’m so proud of him, because he doesn’t shirk any responsibilities, yet he steadily gets it all done! Sophie and I have enjoyed visiting Daddy many afternoons to bring him supper! It’s quite the suppertime hustle to make sure Sophie’s fed, dressed warmly, and ready to go, while whipping up a meal for Bjorn and making sure it gets to him still warm and easy to eat while working! But it’s worth it. And it’s the little bit I can do to help him while he’s working so hard. Sophie LOVES riding in the combine with Daddy! She is so sweet about it – looking up adoringly at her dad, then giggling and soon settling down on my lap, trying to see everything at once! (Harvest has the tendency to be all-consuming this time of year, so that’s why I’ve got such a long paragraph about it, haha!)

^^ Someone was super excited for her first ever combine ride with Daddy! ^^

^^ Her little hand on Daddy <3

  • I landed several (I think 4) upcoming collaborations for the blog/Instagram, and I’m so excited about them! A couple of these are Etsy shops. I love supporting small businesses and I really respect those who go to all the hard work of running their own shop! (Remember Sophie’s birthday dolly post? She loves her doll so much, and Stacy – the shop owner – is so sweet!) So you’ll be seeing some neat products here at Just Bee and on Instagram this next month! Thanks, as always, for supporting Just Bee. And you know I only ever share products with you that I actually love and recommend!)

  • I started Christmas shopping! Last year, I’m pretty sure I struggled a bit more to get our shopping concluded, but I gave myself grace because by the time Christmas came, we had an 8 week old baby and we were still getting used to this whole new parenthood thing. 🙂 I keep a list on my phone all year long of gift ideas for the people in my life (I LOVE my free Evernote account because it syncs between my devices). I love doing it this way because it avoids that December brainstorming session where you wrack your brain for things that the person may like! I basically just write down things that people mention that they love throughout the year. This doesn’t mean that all my gifts are literally what someone has said they like, but it gives me a great place to start! I also record on my Evernote note what I’ve gotten each person so that I don’t go crazy overboard ($$) on one person and skip over others. Anyway, I’ve started our Christmas shopping and I’m starting to collect the gifts here at home as they arrive. It’s so fun to see the pile growing!

  • I’ve been adding and deleting and re-adding the Jane app on my phone. 😉 Hahaha. Have you heard of the app? They basically give you a lot of boutique or shop sales (mostly smaller shops) that you can scroll through, and the deals run for only 2 days. It’s semi-stressful, haha. And I’ve found it can encourage too much consumerism in me, so I deleted it off my phone so as not to spend too much of my fun money. However, I’ve actually found some great things on Jane that I use, so I still like it and recently added it back! I’m even wearing a maroon shirt right now that I bought on the app! And I feel like it could be great for some Christmas shopping. Do you use Jane?

^^ Sophie didn’t mind seeing some snow the other day! Thankfully, it melted pretty quickly! ^^

  • I’m starting to work on our 2018 Christmas cards! We took our own photos this year, with the awesome help of my sis-in-law, Signe (thank you!). I also write a Christmas letter every year – something I’m passionate about because written word and snail mail (albeit a dying art) is such a valuable way to stay in touch with loved ones. I’ll wait a little bit to write our actual letter, but I’m happy to say I’ve SUPER narrowed down our Christmas card options! By the time this post goes live, I’ll have placed our order. It’s a task I love doing every year!! 🙂 PS – we are using Artifact Uprising for our cards this year and I’ve been so impressed with all of the options and designs!! They’re so beautiful! Definitely check out their holiday cards if you haven’t ordered yours yet. Plus, they’re printed on 100% recycled paper!

  • My blogging inspiration has fluctuated greatly. I’m going to be fully honest here: some days, I’m quite discouraged. My blog isn’t necessarily where I would’ve wanted it to be or even looking like I wanted it to years ago. The nature of having a blog that offers some profit is that you do want it to grow, and you do have to look into ways to expand your reach. I’m all about growing authentically and staying true to myself (that’s why you don’t see me doing weird ads about random products), but of course, I still have the desire to grow. I know the topics that I love to write about…but are they the topics that you all love to read? I hope so! I think I’m also coming out of that new baby fog (yes, it takes a while!) and starting to take my blog even more seriously these days. Just like any blogger out there, I’ve had my moments where I’ve gotten caught up in the comparison game, looking at others’ content and then back at mine, and feeling just plain down. The good news is, I wrote a deeper post this week that felt so me! While my writing voice has a spectrum from more cheerful stuff all the way to more deep thoughts, I do have a lot of deep thoughts during the day, and I finally just threw them into this post. It was so satisfying! And the response I’ve gotten through private messages from you was really encouraging. Thank you for following along in this space as I continue to learn and reflect and grow over time! I’m so grateful for each of you!

  • Sophie had her second (but kind of her first) Halloween! I honestly don’t like the holiday much at all – just not a fan for several reasons. But I do think trick-or-treating can be cute and fun. Sophie was (kind of) an elephant last year when she was 2 weeks old (we put the ears near her head, haha) but this year, she got to wear a full costume! This year she was Sophie the Giraffe! 🙂 She loooved her giraffe costume – and I liked that it was warm for her to wear out and about! And it’s super cute seeing a little giraffe crawling all around the living room. 😉
  • I’m sure there was more that happened this past month, haha, but that’s about all I can think of at the moment! Let’s move on to November!

What I’m Looking Forward to in November:

  • Harvest being done. Not that I don’t like it; it’s just such a busy time of year! Of course, there will still be various farming tasks to do, but without the (time/weather/other) pressure of getting our beans out of the field, things will be calmer again!
  • Decorating for Christmas! 🙂 Bjorn and I have typically decorated for Christmas over Thanksgiving break each year. I’m kind of tempted to get the decorating started a bit earlier this year, though, since Sophie’s older and I know she’ll really enjoy the decor and all of the twinkle lights even more so than last year! 🙂 If anyone has any tips about a babyproof Christmas, let me know! Ha. I’m actually a big fan of the philosophy of “houseproof the baby,” but I’m still a little worried she’ll be pulling on the tree to stand up! And I don’t really want to put an ugly baby gate around our whole tree. Help!
  • Thanksgiving. We’ll be having my side of the family’s Thanksgiving celebration at my brother’s new place this year. I haven’t seen his place yet so it’ll be really fun!

  • Seeing Sophie walk??? 🙂 Who knows?? I’m not in any hurry for her to walk just yet. She’s doing fine developmentally anyway… and once she starts walking, she’ll really be on the go! But it’ll be so sweet to see her take her first steps!
  • Writing our Christmas letter. I look forward to it every year. Sure, it takes a bit of effort, but I think it’s a worthwhile way to reflect back on the year. What a great reminder it is every year of God’s provision and our special memories and adventures! (If you don’t yet write a Christmas letter to send out with your card, please consider it! There are more people than you think who will really love reading it! I personally LOVE hearing what other people have been up to, in their own words! It’s special and so different from just “catching up” on Facebook.)
  • Settling in for a cozy season. There’s something so cozy and idyllic about having the heat on in the house, curling up with a warm drink under a soft blanket, reading books, watching movies, etc. I feel more peaceful even just typing this! Of course, with winter lasting forever here in Minnesota, I’ll probably be tired of the cold before long, but that shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the start of the season, right?

RELATED: I’ve been making this Best-Ever Wild Rice Soup a lot lately!! It’s the perfect warm, comforting meal! I know I’ll be making it a lot this winter.

That’s about it! What are you looking forward to this next month? 

PS – if you enjoy seeing more day-to-day life photos and videos, random thoughts (funny and deep), and Sophie giggles, then make sure you follow me on Instagram! I’m really active there, especially on Insta Stories! 🙂