Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: OCTOBER

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


It is not unusual that I greet this month with open arms. Growing up, it was always my mom's favorite month (and, coincidentally, her birthday month). She would go all-out to decorate the house with fall leaves and pumpkins (more than the normal person would) and saw it as our duty as Virginians to go north and experience the colorful mountains at least once within that beautiful month. She really did make fall magical.

So it shouldn't surprise anyone that I find myself wanting to greet October with a similar attitude, now that I am married and the "woman of the house" in my new home.

I obviously don't have many fall decorations, due to the fact that I didn't have any when I got married, but I've decided to welcome fall in forms other than decking the halls with orange and red. Specifically, I've made some "in-order-to-enjoy-October" list of goals.

Disclaimer: I am not a goals person. Some love goals and love conquering them. I never seem to reach them and then I just feel guilty and horrible about myself. SO. I've tried to make this list as fun and attainable as possible, focusing on these categories:
1. Physical
2. Spiritual
3. Young Life/Ministry
4. Home-making
5. Baking
6. Academic
7. Marriage/Quality time with Jon
8. Post-wedding
9. Personal Improvement
Another beautiful take-away from my mother (maybe I should have called this post "Lessons from Mama Heard"?) is that goals need need NEED to be attainable. Same with to-do lists; don't write down "read, clean, and pray" on your to-do list, write "read 2 chapters, clean such-and-such room, and pray intentionally for 20 minutes" or something like that. So I also tried to make each goal very attainable.

1. Physical - Cook THM once/week
My mom has been eating according to the "Trim Healthy Mama" diet (THM) and not only does she look fabulous-ER, but she feels great, too. When I lived at home, it was easy to mooch off her healthy food, but it's harder to do now that I have to be the creative mind behind it. (While a tempting and unreasonable goal would be to eat according to this diet completely, I decided it would be enough of a stretch to begin the transition to eat THM for dinner once a week.)

2. Spiritual - Focus on one book of the Bible
I've gotten into the habit of "pop-corning" around the Bible the past few months, but I've noticed that it is causing me to take a more surface-level study approach. I've decided to focus on Hebrews because it only has 13 chapters, but those 13 chapters are power-packed. I may complete it in one month, or  I may drag it into November, depending on how in-depth I take it. Completing the book doesn't matter, as long as I am investing time in it (which makes this attainable).

3. Young Life/Ministry - Girl's night
Because of the way Young Life is designed, I get a lot of time with high schoolers and a community of young adults. But that is different than opening up our home to spending time with these friends outside of Young Life programs and high school events. (I may even be able to combine this goal with goal #5!)

4. Home-making - Buy mums and pumpkins!
Ok, I know I said I wasn't going to go all-out on the decorating this year, but c'mon, a mum or two on the front porch never hurt anybody;)
(Buying these two specific things makes this goal attainable and easy to check off)

5. Baking - Bake something pumpkin at least twice
Who doesn't get the craving for pumpkin-spice-anything during this time of year? I want to branch out and try something new in this arena, like explore some gluten-free, dairy-free and possibly sugar-free goodies. (Again, because I put a number on the amount of times I wanted to try this one, it makes it attainable and able to be completed.)

I know this should be a given, and I've already done pretty well in this area this semester, BUT I have the tendency to slip up on these things because I don't plan well, or I choose to spend time with people instead. (The reason this one is attainable, is because it is a never-ever achievement.)

7. Marriage - Take at least one hiking/camping trip
Jon loves spontaneous trips (like our random one-night trip to NYC this past weekend), so this one should be pretty easy;) But being intentional about it being a camping trip should be pretty fun.

8. Post-wedding - Order printed wedding pictures AND Finish thank-you's to send
This one is going to be a hard one. My grades, health, marriage, and home are not dependent on these two goals, which makes the motivation a whole lot lower. However, I know that if I do not complete these two very soon, they will not be accomplished, which is why they need to be done in October.
9. Personal Improvement - Practice guitar twice a week AND finish one book
Again, because these things are not time-dependent, they will also be difficult to accomplish. These only contribute to my happiness and sense of accomplishment, so it will be a challenge to make these a priority. But I'm hoping my goal of practicing only twice a week is practical. I'm a professional at leaving books unfinished too, so I have plenty of books to choose from that only have a few chapters left.


And there you have it! I'll let you know how I did when November comes...;)

What plans/goals do ya'll have for October?

HAPPY FALL <3 - Case

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