I attempt to pull together a summary of my life at the end of each month. This practice is helpful when you feel like your little habits aren’t adding up to much. It’s an opportunity to gather up all of your goals and revel in how much you’ve accomplished by simply doing a little at a time. My monthly highlights almost always include a small roundup of books that I loved, a check-in on my planner spreads, a look at the stitching projects I’ve been working on, a video of my journaling pages, and a smattering of my favorite pictures from the month.

I’m sharing 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

November was a strange month for reading. I finished 5 books and consider that quite an accomplishment given how distracted I was. This might be my most random list of favorites this year and that’s okay!

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn had been on my TBR for several decades and I’m glad that I waited until now to listen to it. It’s set in Brooklyn in the early 1900s and follows Francie throughout her childhood. It emphasizes how far the love of books and reading can take a person when things align. It’s also a love letter to parents who prioritize reading aloud to their children!

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic was an enjoyable collection of fairy tales. I love fairy tales – I love the magic, the dreaminess, and the slight edge of creepiness – and Leigh Bardugo married all of those elements so perfectly.

I listened to Little House in the Big Woods on audio and was delighted by it. It was the perfect companion while doing laundry and cleaning, especially knowing that my job is much easier than Ma’s was in the pioneer days. I have started Little House on the Prairie on audio as well – I plan to keep going as long as they hold my interest.

And as always, you can see my complete 2020 reading list here.

Travelers Notebook Spreads

I’ve continued using my Travelers Notebook weekly insert (linked just above) and am still enjoying it. It’s been fun to study how I use my time and how that aligns with my goals and values. Every Monday I share the previous week’s spread and write a bit about how all of my (informal) goals are progressing. I take the time to think a little more deeply about what’s important to me and how I want to live my life. It’s been a life-giving and grounding practice.

Stitching

I started a second sock in November and am working on it during found moments of time. It’s growing slowly and that’s okay with me! I spent a bit of time trying to get the stripes to line up with the first sock in the pair – it won’t be perfect around the toe, but I think I got them pretty close as they travel up the foot.

In November I finished this Scrappy Crossroads quilt top. I’ve decided on the binding and now need to make it. I expect to be finished with this by the end of the year. Stay tuned!

I’m still working on this Scrumptious hand pieced quilt, but have slowed down. I’m now handsewing one last ring of background fabric that will be trimmed to give the edges even sides. That means I have to baste about 200 more white hexies. Dun-dun-dun!

And I’m slowly working my way through a cross-stitch pattern, which is currently taking up most of my attention! This has been a wonderful project to wind down with each evening. I’m hoping to finish it by Christmas but think that’s super optimistic given my progress.

Morning Pages

I had another perfect month of morning pages and wrote all 30 days in November. I continue to believe that this practice sets my day up for success, no matter what’s on the agenda. Waking up early, claiming some time of my own, and putting things down on paper gives me perspective and patience. I’m thankful that I’ve cultivated this habit.

Pictures from November

I’m not sure how I fell out of practice last month, but I’m going to focus on taking more pictures in December. The month was full of good food, lots of handwork, reading aloud with the kiddos, and sitting at the dining room table with textbooks, notebooks, and pencils. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. Gifts for the kids and Matthew should start arriving this weekend, so I’m planning to spend chunks of time in the basement with holiday music and wrapping paper, hot tea and homemade cookies, and wrapped in all of the woolens that I’ve managed to knit this year. Here’s to December 2020!

19 thoughts

  1. You’ve done so much this month! And I loved what you said about this monthly practice at the outset: “It’s an opportunity to gather up all of your goals and revel in how much you’ve accomplished by simply doing a little at a time.”

    Oh, and I was really looking forward to another picture of your hexie quilt. WOW!

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    1. Thanks, Jordy! Without these posts, there’s no way I’d be able to remember everything that I’ve worked on. They really help! I miss you and your blog posts!

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  2. I can’t wait to see the hexi quilt finished — you’re so close to getting them all on! I like your plan for wrapping gifts and will probably copy you. It’s a bit trickier this year because my daughter is home all the time, but at least she’s now old enough that if I tell her to stay away, she’ll listen. I just have to set aside an hour or two to get everything wrapped and ready to go.

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    1. Thanks, Gretchen! I’m a bit stalled on it right now but I think it’s because I worked on it SO much for quite a while there. I’m hoping my inspiration returns and I can finish it up before the end of the year!

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  3. Wow that quilt- quite the nicest hexie quilt I’ve seen in a while. I looked up the book- Little House in the Big Wood- doh- didn’t realise it was Little Houseon the prairie- one of those books I always meant to read and never did, and yippee the library has it- although all copies are currently out on loan.

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    1. I’m so glad that it was easy to find, even if there is a wait. I think it’s a great book to read right now – it’s a true appreciation of home life!

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  4. I think you have been on such a roll with your reading that it’s natural that you might need a bit of a break. It will get better, and after all, the most important thing is that you are having FUN. Whether you’ll have read 100 or 50 or 85 books this year. 😉

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  5. Another good month for you! Funny story about morning pages – I started up again even though there have been morning when I am so sleep deprived (too many 3 am wake up days). This morning, I went to the next blank page and then noticed that there was writing on one of the following pages. That is when I realized that yesterday I wrote one page and then flipped two pages and started writing. So now I have two blank pages in the middle of yesterday! I think it is quite representative of how tired I have been in the morning. I choosing to find this humorous.

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    1. oh no! I’ve done that before, sadly. And sometimes I accidentally skip pages in my 5 year book because I don’t always pay attention to the actual date I’m writing under. Doh!

      I’m glad to see that you’re returning to morning pages – I hope you’re finding them enjoyable. But I’m NOT glad to see that you’re so sleep deprived. Are naps a possibility? (I’ve been taking a 15-20 minute nap in the early afternoon most days and it’s been a VERY welcome addition to my day!)

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  6. Ahhh A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my all time favorites and I’m always glad to revisit it AND hear when others love it too.
    Leigh Bardugo has been on my TBR and your review continues to move her books up my list – I should make her a 2020 reading priority…

    Here’s what my family and I have been reading lately – including fantasy, romance, and read alouds. https://www.everyoneslibrarian.com/blog/quick-lit-december-2020

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m here from Modern Mrs. Darcy, and enjoyed reading your post! Your quilting is especially impressive! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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