September 2020 Highlights

The end of September was sneaky – I didn’t quite realize it had happened, so this post is a bit behind schedule. It’s okay, of course. I enjoy writing these monthly highlights posts and seeing how all of my little habits have added up over the last 30 days.

On the first Wednesday of the month, I will share this post with Ginny at Small Things for her Yarn Along link up. It’s a monthly gathering of readers and knitters who share their current projects. On the 15th, Anne Bogel at The Modern Mrs. Darcy will host a QuickLit link up. You can find hundreds of devoted readers sharing their new and notable books for the month. Please visit both of them to fill your TBRs and knitting bags!

Favorite Books This Month

It was another light-ish reading month for me – I finished 8 books. I’m finding that it’s still really hard to finish physical books, so I’m leaning on audiobooks again. And that’s okay – the 8 books that I finished were all really amazing and these are my top 3.

All The Devils Are Here is the latest installment in the Armand Gamache series and didn’t disappoint. The novel is set almost entirely in Paris, which almost felt like a vacation for me. Well, except for the murderers hiding around every corner. Louise Penny is a master at describing food and creating the coziest settings, as well as pinning down human behavior in the most eye-opening and heartbreaking ways. I am still in love with this series!

I know nearly nothing about Shakespeare, but Hamnet still captured my imagination and my soul. This is the fictional story about the death of Shakespeare’s son. It is beautifully told, with memorable scenes and characters. My favorite character is Agnes, Shakespeare’s witchy wife. The audio version is an excellent choice!

The Orphan of Salt Winds was an enjoyable Kate Morton-esque novel. This is Virginia’s story, told in her perspective in multiple timelines – present day, and in 1939 after she was adopted by a couple who lives in a cozy cottage at the edge of a saltmarsh just as WWII is beginning. Family secrets and broken hearts are at the center of this story.

As always, you can see my Reading Log here on my 2020 Reading page.

Habit Tracking/Traveler’s Notebook

I did a lot of notebook shifting in September. I’d been using a Hobonichi Weeks from January until August, but decided to start writing all of my daily entries in my 5 year journal instead. In September I worked hard to transfer all of my daily entries from my Hobonichi into my 5 year journal, which was actually a lot of fun. I loved re-living a lot of the memories that I wrote down and I can see how amazing it’s going to be as I add more memories over the next few years.

But that left me unsure about what to do with my Hobonichi Weeks. I had been habit tracking for so long that it almost felt perfunctory and not very helpful anymore. I thought it would be fun to try something new when Mary posted a picture of her Traveler’s Notebook weekly insert. Once it arrived, I was taken back to my Hobonichi Cousin days and fell in love all over again. I’m loving this new set up!

I love tracking how I actually use my time in a more holistic way. I can see the “holes” in the day, which are usually the times when I’m doing my most intense parenting. I should think about a way to acknowledge that in my notebook in some sort of positive way.

Stitching

I finished my Spark Cardigan in September! I’m wearing it as I type this and I can’t describe how warm and squishy it is. I’m totally in love with it and am looking forward to starting another one at some point. The pattern is addictive (sans belt)!

I finished two Jubilee Hats this month – one for Birdie and one for Bug. This is another Andrea Mowry pattern and so fun and, well, squishy!

I resumed work on two lingering quilts. The Scrappy Crossroads quilt is pieced and I just need to finish quilting, trim, and then bind it. I’m so close! But the project that I keep gravitating to is my english paper piecing hexies quilt. It’s handsewn and, even though there’s still a ton of work to do on it, it feels like the end is in sight.

Morning Pages

It was another perfect month for morning pages – I journaled every day! I used to think it was impossible to write in my journal 7 days a week, especially the weekends. I’m finding that journaling is most important on the weekends and I prioritize it over everything else in my routine on the mornings that I sleep in.

I’ve said it before, but journaling sets the tone for my entire day. It’s almost like making the decision to make your bed every morning – there! That’s one good decision. Now let’s start a chain reaction. When I start my day with quiet, calm reflection, I can more easily use that energy when the kids start waking up and my day of work really begins. Yes, it’s crazy early. But I always have a hot cup of coffee at my side, which makes the whole process much easier. It also helps to see all of my pages add up – rows and rows and pages and pages of handwriting is so cool to flip through. It gets my stationery-loving heart beating like crazy! I’m going to be exhausted at the end of the day no matter what. I might as well find a way to ensure that I have a couple of hours to myself!

Bear Turned 7!

My beautiful bouncing baby Bear turned 7 this month. It’s quite bizarre. He has such an imagination, enjoys telling jokes, and can lap the house faster than you can blink an eye. He’s also still willing to wear my handknits and I’m very thankful for that. And him. I’m oh, so thankful for him!

Pictures from September

September was hard in a lot of ways, but it was also full of some amazing things. Flowers, reptiles, insects, dirt pits, cookies, pizza, woolens, lots of reading and learning. And for me, lots of early morning time alone with my notebooks and computer. October, we’re ready for you!

27 thoughts on “September 2020 Highlights

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  1. I love the quilt on your bed in the first picture! Your sweater is so lovely, you do a great job knitting. Hexie quilts aren’t speedily made. Many years ago I EPP’d a grandmother’s flower garden quilt. It took me 8 years from start to finish. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Gretchen! The quilt in the picture is made from Handy Andy blocks and in Bonnie & Camille fabrics. For some reason, I made two of the quilts at the same time. I often make terrible mistakes.

      I bet your grandmother’s flower garden quilt is beautiful!!

      Like

  2. What a lovely look back at September. I’ve made a note of all the books you mention which sound so good. My grand daughter was 7 at the weekend- it’s a lovely age, and your son looks such a nice boy. Still love the jumper you made, and the quilts- wow, gorgeous.You have a lovely family, and keep going with the morning pages and your little bit of time for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you powered through that belt so you officially have a finished Spark cardigan — and it looks fabulous on you! Seems like it’s the perfect thing to curl up in as the weather starts to cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “Only” 8 books in September! What happened there!? (kidding 🙂 ) But I don’t know how you even finished that many. I have almost no time to myself these days, and I have trouble focusing on reading when other things are happening around me (TV, loud kids, etc). I long to write that much everyday! What beautiful morning pages!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh goodness, it’s an awful feeling to not have any time for yourself. It’s almost a desperate feeling. I hope you find ways to carve out a bit of time for yourself… the VERY early morning hours are the ticket for me, but it’s different for everyone. Good luck!

      Like

  5. I am with you… Hamlet was just brilliant! (and I just started the latest Armand story!) Happy Birthday to your sweet Bear! I love your sweater and your stitching… wow! just wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy SEVEN to Bear (and I hope you BOTH have another amazing trip around the sun!) I love seeing you wearing your Spark Cardigan and wonder if you’ve started anything new?or maybe the quilting is taking up all our handwork time?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy belated birthday to Bear! I wish him nothing but health and happiness and a great time during his next trip around the sun! 🙂
    I am so happy that you can take time out of your day to write and hear (or see) yourself think on the paper. Lots of parents I know don’t do that or can’t or won’t make time for it, and while I don’t have kids, I think it is so important to get in touch with yourself at least once a day. I started to write affirmations at the end of every day a couple of months ago (I HATE affirmations, but it was a homework from my therapist), and they actually work, especially for food and moving more.)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Basically, you write down stuff you want to … er … drill into your head more or need to remind yourself of. They are very personal of course, but one thing I started to write down is “I will not eat out of boredom”, and it has really helped so far! (I gained about 10kg of weight since March, because of not exercising and the antidepressants 😉 ). If you get angry when stressed you might write something like “I will take a deep breath when I’m getting angry”. I have also things like “I will suceed with the PhD” and “I am loveable”. I have a certain order I write them in and repeat them three times (it reads a bit like a chant 😉 ). When my therapist said I should do them, I was SUPER reluctant (which is the reason why I got to do them 😉 ) – writing works better for me, but you can also say them in the bathroom in the morning, while looking at yourself in the mirror.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Great cardi and gorgeous quilts! If you liked Hamnet, you might enjoy the recent Branagh film All Is True, which is about Shakespeare’s latter years at his estate, making sense of Hamnet’s death some years earlier. Branagh is really good in it (as you would expect from such a great interpreter of the Bard), as is Judi Dench as his wife.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am in awe of your September and all you’ve accomplished in addition to being the best MOM! Enjoy your hexie hand stitched quilt; I’m missing hand stitching too but haven’t settled on a project…hopefully soon.
    Cheers~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read Orphan Train so I can’t say for sure, but if you enjoy Kate Morton and other books about family secrets, then I think you will enjoy the Orphan of Salt Winds 🙂

      Thanks for your link!

      Like

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