Summer is here! Well not according to the calendar, but going off the Brisbane heat, the increasingly regular afternoon storms, the desire to laze on the beach or next to a creek and just be with family, crank the Christmas choons and gorge on mangoes while the juice runs down my forearms, it definitely is summer.
It’s hard to believe 2018 is almost done and dusted. It’s been a big year in this neck of the woods. Personally I completed both my my vinyasa and yin yoga teacher training, began teaching, found my writing groove both in my office job and freelance-wise, found some semblance of ability to keep all the office, family, life, and study balls in the air – and then decided to let them crash down when Steve and I decided to try for another bub. Steve has also been kicking goals professionally and, although sometimes it felt like we were ships passing in the night with everything we had going on, I would still say it’s been a good year.
But November, November has been strangely, beautifully slow. We’ve spent weekends pottering, evenings together hanging in the yard, had our first swim of the season, and embraced date days before the newborn days kick in. There has still been work and study, but it’s all been enjoyable #blameitonthehazyhormones
Making: On the food front, healthy nourishing and easy favourites that also stock the freezer. Think bolognese, pizza, fish and salad, curries. Also this pasta blew my tastebuds last week. So quick, easy and healthy, but so delicious. On the creative front, there have been so many lists being made. Lists of things to write here and in my day job, lists of things to do before Squid arrives, lists of things I want to manifest – you get the idea.
Drinking: Anything chilled. Cold herbal tea, kombucha, lots of water, daily smoothies packed with greens, and a few sips of Steve’s wine here and there.
Reading: Ladies in Black. I saw the movie a few months ago and loved it, so I’m diving into the book. I also just finished the second Wundersmith book, and am dipping in and out of A Christmas Carol. Steve and I are also getting everything lined up for house loan pre-approval from a bank (how very grown up) so I’ve had parts of The Earth is Hiring and The Barefoot Investor on repeat this month too.
Wanting: Not a lot. I was recently asked outright if there was anything I need, let alone want and I struggled to come up with an answer. I guess that’s a good sign – life is good. Maybe I’ll just say the brain power to finish up my Yin teacher training assignments before I lose all ability to form sentences thanks to pregnancy brain.
Enjoying: The slow days at home with Jman. We’ve hit a good rhythm with our days together. We play and do chores together, I exercise and try to write in front of him while he plays – or tries to type with me – and jumping in muddy puddles is a daily occurrence. He also amazes me with how gentle he is with me, but will then spend an hour tackling and jumping on Steve at the end of the day.
Wondering: Just how drastically life is going to change come April. Beyond the insanity of newborn days, how will our lives change when we move from a threesome to a foursome, and one with a baby girl at that (like how I snuck that in there)? And also how well I’ll succeed at hibernating for the first 40 days this time. I sucked at this last time and was out walking the day after I got home from hospital. However, I learned this withdrawal was necessary when I broke down in tears more than once after a day of incessant visitors or overextending myself. This article has helped a lot – there will definitely be a pulling up of the drawbridge this time around. Also, hot tip if you’re the visitor: the baby is lovely, but it’s the parents who need nourishing! Bring healthy freezer meals, make yourself – and them – a tea and clean up afterwards, wait until you’re offered a cuddle of the baby and, most importantly, keep the visit short. Everyone will love you more for it.
Loving: Brisbane libraries and its apps (borrowbox, Libby, Overdrive). I’ve constantly got an audiobook or a book on the go, and it’s pretty fantastic to be able grab one of these with the touch of a button. Also baths with epsom salts, yin and prenatal yoga, yoga nidra, and cacao made on my stove and spiked with all the good things are pretty amazing at the moment.
Desiring: More date days. Steve and I are taking advantage of a toddler who is more than keen to hang out with his extended family and we sneak off for a date. Movies, a seven course degustation at Deer Duck Bistro, an upcoming trip to Melbourne to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. All are good, and something we really missed when it was too hard to leave a baby for more than an hour or two.
Buying: Not a lot. We’re still house hunting and also getting rid of the last of our debt. It’s very adult, but weirdly enjoyable to knock down everything.
Watching: The second season of Westworld. I have no idea what’s going on, but that’s half the fun. I also saw The Crime of Grindelwald and loved it. I know it got panned, but I found it fun.
Wearing: Every nice thing I own before I descend back into the world of breastfeeding accessible tops and comfortable pants.
Noticing: How much better I feel when I pay attention to the food and exercise my body actually wants. Gentle walks over vinyasa, or smashing out strength videos when I’ve got energy to burn. And noticing when the chocolate craving is really my being tired and needing 10 minutes alone. Also I turned off all my social media for a few days recently and noticed just how often I reached for my phone, only to have no idea why it was in my hands. Instagram, you wily beast. I have a love/hate relationship with you.
Also just how much an almost threenager can take in. Jman is all about Christmas at the moment, requesting Jingle Bells on repeat and starting to equate the decorations popping up with the festive season. I’m loving it.
Sorting: Everything. I think I’m the only person who nests by getting rid of everything. Every drawer has been sorted, items listed for sale or donated, and I’m driving Steve mad by constant clearing.
Bookmarking: All the blogs! As people are increasingly moving into podcasts and instagram, I’m over here going old school and deep diving into blog posts. This one, and this are shouldn’t be a surprise, given how much I link to them here. But after reading Anita’s book I’ve devoured her blog, and have gone back to favourites like this one, this one and this one. And of course Owlet mama.
Disliking: The consumerism that goes hand in hand with Christmas. It’s my favourite time of year – the music, food, family time, decorations. All are amazing! But I hate that there’s such a focus on consuming. Too many toys, so much food (and about half gets thrown out), gag presents because “you had to get them something”. Big dislike! Give me a good home cooked meal and some quality time with family with a tree twinkling in the background and I’m happy.
Feeling: All the feelings. Excited about pregnancy, overwhelmed at the thought of TWO kids, the desire to delve into my yoga practice more and the realisation it will have to be put on the back burner next year, the want of a house and garden of my own (a creek in the yard is a pipedream!), fear about this report, pretty damn happy at where I am in life, ambition about where I want to head in the next five years. No wonder I’m tired.
Snacking: Mangoes! And then more mangoes. And of course fruit mince pies, snack plates with veg, cheese and crackers, and I have bliss balls on my to do list. When it’s too hot to think about food, Jman and I whip up a smoothie – he normally steals the lion’s share and I’m OK with it.
Hearing: Brooke Mcalary’s Slow was on repeat this month, as was The Earth is Hiring. Classical music – primarily the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack – is feeling great at the moment, as is Nahko, Xavier Rudd, Trevor Hall and the like. Steve has been balancing all this with plenty of TZU. It’s been a good music month.
Now over to you. How did November treat you?