Were I to make a list of favorite months, November would be near the top. In my corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, the month starts with peak fall color. I love food, which makes Thanksgiving — with its festive and seasonal fare — a happy occasion. Then the month ends in cozy anticipation of the holidays (and usually my “birthday week” — I like to arrange fun stuff in the week leading up to my birthday in early December). The weather tends to be crisp, not yet the bone-chilling slush of January. I’ve also spent the past two Novembers participating in National Novel Writing Month, which has involved writing a 50,000 word novel over 30 days. I am happiest when I am writing long, fiction or non-fiction.
Anyway, having jumped on the monthly “what I’m into” bandwagon, here’s my round-up for November.
Reading on the back porch. I spent about 30 minutes during nap time this weekend sitting out there looking at these blazing reds and oranges.
Roads diverging in a yellow wood. Sorry I could not travel both, and be one traveler, long I stood! Actually, not that long — just long enough to take a picture. I love trail runs in autumn. I am pondering signing up for the Philadelphia Half-Marathon in a few weeks. I have not trained at all, but it might be fun to run a race with no expectations.
Bagged Caesar salads. Add a protein, and any extra veggies sitting around the house and voila: instant meal. I probably opt for this at least once or twice a week.
Michaelmas daisies. Blue flowers! In November! Mums are great too. And chrysanthemums. We’ll be hitting the Longwood Garden Night of 1000 Lights festival early this month.
The pumpkin growing in my backyard.
My kid’s inflatable dinosaur costume. I have not always done Halloween well, but this year I made sure to get costume-ordering on my to-do list early. The 7-year-old wanted to be a dinosaur, and I found this inflatable dinosaur costume on Amazon. It was a little tough getting him in it, but it was awesome. After the elementary school Halloween parade, people kept coming up to us in the hallway telling us how great it was. I never knew I wanted to be the mom who came up with the really cool costume, but this year I was.
Strategic babysitting. I’m always on the hunt for ways to ease pain points in my life. I knew that I was flying home on the red-eye from San Francisco last Friday, landing early Saturday AM. Saturday morning is an intense sports time in our house. So I hired a sitter to come from 8:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. so I could nap and my husband didn’t have to bring all the other kids to each sporting event. The nap felt amazing.
Coffee and the Economist at 6 a.m. If I can’t exercise or do focused work before breakfast, at least I can now read while the toddler watches Daniel Tiger. (Also, the past two days my husband has gotten up with him, which has been great. Who knew sleeping until 6:30 would feel like sleeping in?)
Kids who are different from me. I hate the Philadelphia airport parking garage. It is poorly signed, and no matter how many dozens of times per year I park there, I still find myself wandering around trying to get out. While driving the 3 big kids home from the airport last week, and expressing my displeasure, my 7-year-old, who has a near intuitive sense of the world’s mechanics, very rationally said “Mommy, look for the light. We’re one level under the roof deck, so wherever you see the light is the ramp to go down.” I did note that it could also be the ramp to go up, but since I had found that one, looking for the other patch of light was brilliant. I am quite sure that before I could drive I had no concept of which level of a parking garage I was on, but my little guy was paying attention.
Great kids, part 2. My 9-year-old is playing Prince Phillip in a community musical production of Sleeping Beauty. I got a note from one of the directors that they had blocked the scene where he dances with Briar Rose, and while having to dance with a girl might normally set a 4th grader to giggling, he was so serious and got through it with no shenanigans whatsoever.
Summer anticipation. So it seems like a long time off. But my parents want to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this summer with an extended family vacation at the beach. So I am looking at rentals in our favorite beach town that can accommodate all of us. Some research has found that anticipation accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gained from vacations. It is fun to picture it, many months from now.
11 thoughts on “What I am into now (November edition)”
I love November as well!
The dinosaur costume is awesome, well done!
@Angela- it was an epic costume. For the win!
October – November in New England makes me nostalgic for my decade spent there. Thank you for capturing it and inspiring me to do the 10k turkey trot instead of the 5k. Letting go of expectations and not caring if a walk a bit here and there will be the difference in doing the long versus shorter difference.
@Griffin- you can totally do the 10k. And you’ll earn your turkey!
I love that costume! I’m looking for a run to do soon, too, but not sure I could do a half without training!
@Ana- if you feel like giving the half a whirl, let me know! I’m not sure how well I’ll do with it either, but I can always walk 13.1 miles if necessary.
Great costume! I managed this year to pull together 2 costumes for my 6yo for two different days (my 3yo recycled one I made several years ago for his brother), as well as one for myself! I’ve never been one for dressing up, but I made a suffragist costume this year and had so, so much fun. Running … let’s just say I’ll be thrilled to get back to 3x a week 🙂 And finally, speaking of that Robert Frost poem, this was a super great read: http://lithub.com/youre-probably-misreading-robert-frosts-most-famous-poem/
@Meghan – that was a great read. The ubiquitous quotation of the Frost poem is what always bugs me. We cannot ALL take the road less traveled by…and yet we’re all pretty sure we did.
Beautiful front porch picture! If that is yours, you are truly blessed! (Oh, and great essay, too!)
I always love reading about the “great” kids! And I loved your last paragraph. How nice to have our daughter take charge of booking a place for everyone. I am happy to pass on that role!
SmartPark. I won’t fly out of Philly without it. https://www.smartpark.com