Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Farewell, October

October began with the feast of St. Therese and wine (a new liquor law-which allows for the sale of wine in grocery stores-took effect in Oklahoma on her feast) and is ending with a toddler clad in a Spider-Man suit. The month was filled with joys and struggles and lots and lots of coffee. We spent time with friends, I was a guest on a Catholic radio show, and we visited a train museum. 

This is the only tree on our street that is red/orange. Everything else is green. 
Oklahoma, what is this so-called "falltime"?

I read, blogged, played, worked, watched shows, snuggled under blankets during a temperature jump from summer to winter-ish weather, then frolicked outside barefoot in the warm days that followed. 
We celebrated the Feast of St. Francis with a lovely park outing! 
I spent the first half of the month preparing a small presentation for a local conference panel, and then spent a wonderful weekend at the conference talking, listening, and connecting with others. And when I came home, I found that my dear husband had spent 6+ hours deep-cleaning our kitchen and he made me bacon-wrapped marinated shrimp. Such a great weekend :) 

I was really hungry, so I also tossed in some chicken nachos. Delicious!
My in-laws visited, and we explored the OKC food scene with them (which is one of the best ways to experience the area-so much good food here!). We introduced them to build-your-own pizza and pupusas, filled our bellies with delicious ramen, and got invited to a local Advent event by a really nice waiter at a sushi restaurant. 
My MIL and I had fun talking about food trends-like keto and paleo-and 
the weird things we have made, so she decided to whip together a "low carb dessert" 
with random ingredients that were sitting in the pantry. It was delicious, 
and since it had oats in it and no flour, it seemed like a good 
healthy breakfast option the other morning :) 
My husband went to POPS (we've been meaning to do that since we moved here over three years ago!) and bought some really interesting bottles of pop. While he was selecting sugary beverages with his dad and brother, I was enjoying a Mortality Party. What is a Mortality Party? It was a lovely event where a friend of mine, who is an attorney with an estate-planning firm, taught a group of us about wills and estate-planning. Some people were in costume (I didn't wear a costume since I knew I'd spent most of the evening nursing and rocking my baby), there was amazing food (chili, cookies, rolls, veggies) and delicious falltime drinks (mulled wine and spiced cider). It was very lighthearted, lots of fun, and really empowering to learn about estate-planning! 

This flavor included coriander and sage, and it was 
good but very weird, and not my favorite. I much 
preferred the "marionberry cream" flavor.
One morning, my MIL mentioned that she had seen a garage sale with some really cute furniture. I'm a bit of a minimalist and didn't think we really needed any furniture, but garage sales are fun so I went along with her. There was a large couch that I loved, but we didn't need another couch. Then there was this smaller, more minimalist-type couch. I thought it was cute but wasn't too sure about it, until I found out that it's actually a futon-you just pull the back down. I am all about dual-purpose furniture and we don't have much to offer overnight guests, so this piece is now sitting in our home :) 

Since our weather and scenery don't scream "falltime" like other places where I've lived (Ohio and New York), I jumped into "falltime mode" by visiting Trader Joe's. My take on the pumpkin cream cheese spread? It's basically like a creamy pumpkin cheesecake that you can scoop up with a spoon and eat for breakfast, either on toast or by itself. Yum!

I also dipped into a couple books that seemed appropriate as I prepared for the celebration of Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls (a book post will be coming soon!). 
The author actually puts a trigger warning in the front of this book, which 
I think is fantastic and pretty funny. This was a re-read, and it's pretty hilarious, 
rather twisted, and could probably offend some people. 
We've been spending loads of time outside, and yesterday took a jaunt down to our neighbor's house, conveniently right as she was preparing to burn a pile of weeds. We all smelled like a campfire for the rest of the day :) 

We carved pumpkin with my in-laws, but the poor things only lasted a few days with the unexpected  temperature increase. But they looked cool for the first couple days! 

I only watched and held the baby, so I can't really take any credit. 

The baby turned two months old and is getting so big (he's nearly doubled in weight and he's grown about 4 inches), but he's still having some nights with extended periods of being awake, so I managed to watch season 3 of The Man in the High Castle in less than a week. I really, really enjoyed the season as a whole, but there was quite a bit of gratuitous sexual content (much of it involving two same-sex relationships that were introduced this season) which I really could have done without. Thankfully, streaming shows makes it easy to skip stuff that I don't want to see. I've also been watching the revival of Emma Approved on YouTube, and I love that this season is taking on the mockumentary format. I'm not loving the season quite as much as I had anticipated, but it's still early on so I'll just have to wait and see. I've also been excitedly watching Repent & Submit each week, and I hope that more Catholic shows like this ( lighhearted, hilarious, young-adult friendly) will be produced. I haven't been listening to many podcasts lately, but I have heard a couple of really great episodes lately which I recommend: 

"The Lies We Tell Ourselves and the Goodness of Our Bodies" (Fountains of Carrots)
"Flonkerton: Competition in the Life of the Church" (The Electric Waffle)

(I recently discovered The Electric Waffle, and I'm pretty sure that podcast is one of the best things ever. It's done by a young married couple, and they talk about The Office, Parks & Rec, and Catholicism). 

This month, my husband got sick for the fourth time since I gave birth, and I discovered just how cranky I can get when he's sick, and how much I need to grow in virtue. Thankfully, he's better now and I'm hoping that we won't go through any more sickness for a long time. I have so much gratitude for how God has blessed us this month. From the Sacraments to friends to donuts (I recently went to a donut shop to write, and the man working at the counter gave me free donuts!), there have just been so many good things. Farewell, October. It's been great, and I'm excited to see what November brings! 

Happy Halloween! I hope you all have a wonderful celebration of All Saints and All Souls. If you need ideas, you can check out these ways to have a creepy, Catholic Halloween :) 


  1. Girl, you are thriving!! <3 Loved the update of your month!!

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoyed this update. It was really encouraging for me to look over the month-there were definitely days where I was in "survival mode," but as I really thought about October I saw that there were many more days when I was thriving. It helps me keep a bit of perspective on the tougher days :)

  2. Sounds like a lovely October! The "Mortality Party" sounds interesting...we need to get on writing a will now that Cyrus is in the picture but haven't gotten around to it yet. My Grandpa is a lawyer so I was hoping he could draw us up a simple will but then he's been having some health problems so it wasn't a good time...but I have to get it done one of these days.

  3. I love the concept of a "Mortality Party." Most of us don't think about death-related things unless someone is dying, but it's so much easier to address those issues when everyone is doing okay.
    We've had a lot of illness among family members this year (Preston's mom is battling breast cancer, my dad had a TIA, a cousin was in a serious car accident, etc.) so we've been thinking about a lot of this. It's difficult stuff to discuss, but I think a "party" of this type would make it easier.

    1. Oh Shannon, I'm so sorry to hear about all of the intense things that your family has been battling this year! Those all sound like such difficult situations. I completely agree with you-it is much easier to address death-related topics when you aren't dealing with the grief and shock of a death. At first, I thought it was a little strange to think intently about estate planning when I'm only in my twenties, but it really does make sense! I also think that there's a tendency in our culture to ignore the reality of pain and death, and I think it's important to normalize conversations about those topics-because we're all going to die at some point!