I am absolutely floored that the month of September is over (like, honestly, kind of sickened!). I do not get to update my blog nearly enough these days, so I wanted to check in with a recap of the month and let you guys know the highlights.
Our months started with our babymoon to Big Bend National Park, which I actually did manage to document on the blog. This was only our second trip away from Willa since she was born, so it was really special.
We managed to be a little social this month. We met up with friends at SeptemberFest (the museum of the Southwest's yearly event) the second weekend in September, and Willa got to experience her first petting zoo. She was a little apprehensive about the goats, and she was too young for the bounce houses this year, but we still had fun catching up with our friends Casey and Chris while wrangling three kids between the four of us. I also got this amazing picture of Willa with Brendan, which I adore.
Brendan's sister, Annie, is engaged to Josh! Josh proposed while they were on a trip to Maine celebrating her birthday, and we are so happy for the two of them.
One of my classes threw me a random teacher appreciation day without coordinating it at all. On the same day, three different students brought me a frappuccino and cookies and then donuts for the entire class. Thankfully, I had already passed my gestational diabetes test just a few days before. I really enjoyed all my treats, and my students brought much joy to my Friday. I took these pictures to show Brendan the sweet gestures, but looking back at the photos makes me happy.
We got new patio furniture. I forgot to take pictures of it, but I promise I will photograph it and do an update on our backyard soon. For those curious, we went to Target. I'll do a review of what we think of our affordable furniture soon.
We busted out the crockpot and have started using our Sunday shopping and food prepping method as a survival strategy. So far, it seems to be working well. For those curious, these recipes are Santa Fe Sweet Potato and Corn Soup and Poached Egg on Spicy Lentils. These are just two of the tried and true recipes we love from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes. This past week, I made my lasagna. We've started using oven ready noddles (and topping the top layer with plenty of sauce so the noddles will cook) to save more time, and we love eating off the leftovers all week.
We can't say the month was a perfectly healthy one. Willa managed to get sick two weekends in a row. First, she had a stomach virus that kept her out of school one day. Then, a week later, daycare sent us to the doctor suspecting hand, foot, and mouth. Luckily, Willa did not have that, but she may have picked up a second virus at the doctors, so we ended up pulling her from school the following Tuesday/Wednesday (last week). We're behind now on grading, but we're thankful it wasn't anything worse. Also, we got to snuggle with her and introduce her to movies, so there's that. Her attention span is not long, and so we don't watch TV unless she's feeling really yucky because it's about the only time she will watch twenty minutes at a time.
I got the best ever Stitch Fix. I still have one more outfit to get Brendan to photograph me in, and then I will share the details in a post with you guys.
Willa and I met up for a playdate at Wow Moms! which is new in Midland. I'm head over heels for this place, which lets you pay $10 for your kid to play however long he or she wants. They have a cafe, so you can sit and eat and visit with a friend while your kids enjoy playing. There are even helpers watching the kids in the play area. This is about the only social event I've had recently where I could actually have a conversation with the other person when out with my child, so I give this place two thumbs up! Also, the food was healthy and delicious. Plus, they offer swimming classes and other kids fitness classes too. If Willa wasn't in full time childcare (we met up for the playdate on a day when daycare was closing for a half day due to building repairs), I would totally pay for the monthly membership.
Overall though, the biggest highlight of my month was completing a draft of the project I've been working on. This happened just a few days ago, so I enjoyed finally taking a weekend that was purely a weekend "off" (well, I did spend a couple hours catching up on grading, but other than that).
I went to the library with Willa this weekend and checked out Margaret Atwood's The Testaments and read the 415 page novel in a day and a half! It was that good, and it will not disappoint fans of the original Handmaid's Tale. While I really enjoyed the book, there were a few things I didn't think were perfect, so I'd love it if someone else would read it so we could discuss. I cannot even tell you guys how amazing it felt to have time to read for fun again. While we're on recommendations, we watched While We're Young on Netflix and it was really quite funny. We also watched Can You Ever Forgive Me, which is more drama than comedy in my opinion but we still enjoyed it. We are on the latest season of The Good Place and Mindhunter when we have time.
Okay, so those were the highlights of the month, and here's what I'm looking forward to in October:
- Finally planning my friend Allison's bridal shower! OH MY GOD, I needed to do this yesterday, but one thing I know for sure is that Paperless Post will make the invitations part easy. I've been eying all the gorgeous options for bridal shower invitations on their website, and I love that no matter what location or theme we decide to go with, Paperless Post will have something that fits the event and makes inviting people easy (you do pay for the invites, but you don't need to deal with stamps or addressing envelopes).
- Brendan and I celebrate 9 years of dating on October 12th! Maybe we should get a babysitter.
- We have lots of events with our English Honor Society coming up, and I hope one of them involves a trip to see Frankenstein at Midland Community Theater. Lately, whenever their young performers do a show, I am blown away. Also, we're looking forward to supporting the Harvest Picnic Basket Event for Permian Basin Adult Literacy Center.
- A visit from Gigi and Buddy will be another highlight. They are going to come babysit Willa while we travel to Little Rock, AR for a work conference, but they are also coming for some visiting time with us too, of course. I am so looking forward to them having time with Willa and us and also to us having some help with her, so we can get projects done in preparation for baby boy. I'm making a list of things I want to accomplish while we have awesome grandparents here. We can't wait to see them, and Willa is going to love all the extra attention.
- Finally, we'll be celebrating my cousin Elena and Byron's wedding the first day of November and Halloween in New Orleans, LA. I can't wait to see my family and officially welcome Byron into the family.
Please excuse this brain dump style post and comment to tell me about books you've loved recently, recipes that are making your life easier, or any west Texas events you're looking forward to.
I can't wait for it to feel like fall (it seems we're finally getting out of the 95 degree days) around here!