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Celebrate October: What I Learned, Read, and Loved

What I Learned

Practicing Presence slows down the days

I spent October practicing presence. I jotted down a few hundred words each day in my series Today You Are Here, noticing little details of my life and what I was learning from them. When I arrived at the end of the month I realized October seemed long, the days full. Being deliberate about being invested in each moment helped kept them from flying by like they usually do.

Finding thirty minutes a day to write isn’t very difficult

And thirty focused minutes can produce a decent amount of words. Most of my blog posts this month took about that time, usually early in the morning at my little desk with a candle burning and a cup of reheated coffee. It wasn’t just doable – it was delightful.

Plan the week on Friday

I tend to have Sunday afternoon meltdowns as the weekend begins to fade and I try to figure out what the week ahead looks like. I’ve found that scheduling the week ahead on Friday, grocery shopping, and tidying the house keeps the overwhelmed feelings at bay and helps me enjoy the weekend without stressing out about the week ahead.

I want to do everything in the morning (am I a morning person?)

My ideal morning includes time in the Word and in prayer, a healthy breakfast, a good work out, a few minutes at the piano, and getting my writing for the day done. I do all of these things best in the morning, but there just isn’t enough time to get them all done before the morning is over. I’ve also never considered myself a morning person but I think it is my best time for being productive.

Couples costumes make Halloween bearable

I hate Halloween. It is my least favorite holiday. I hate that little kids dress up as ghouls and demons and have fake blood on their face. But this year my husband and I dressed up in a loose interpretation of Pocahontas and John Smith and it made the day less horrible.

I love weddings

I already knew this, but it was solidified as I danced and laughed and took ridiculous photo booth pictures at my best friend’s wedding last week. Weddings are just fun. I’m all about celebrating love and marriage in big ways.

What I Read

Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution. by Brene Brown 

I continue to be thankful for this woman’s thorough study on shame, vulnerability, and wholeness. This book was a wonderful companion to Daring Greatly, as she discusses with more personal experience and real life examples what it would look like to get up after falling.

The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke 

Though the writing wasn’t anything spectacular, this compelling novel about three women give the chance to relive the year they all faced life altering circumstances was an enjoyable read. I love the stories that give me the chance the revaluate where I’m headed and consider the consequences of actions.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 

I really love this author. She creates gripping plots with realistic and relatable characters and I find my face glued to the book until I finish the last page. This was more intense than I expected, dealing with heavy subject matter and serious life issues. I liked Moriarty’s book What Alice Forgot better, but this was certainly an enthralling read.

What I’m Loving

The Piano Guys Newest Album 

This group of musicians never fails to inspire me. Another great set of songs including  covers, mash-ups and originals.

Pumpkin vanilla candles

Burning as often as possible and creating a sense of fall warmth in my cozy home.

Good Apples

Why I’ve gone my whole life scrimping on apples is beyond me. I am splurging this fall on honey crisp apples and every time I get out my lunch I am excited to eat my apple.

The Broken Way and all Ann Voskamp’s writings

I had the honor of being on the release team for this wonderful new book and am convicted and inspired (as always) by Ann’s words – both in the book and on her blog. She has a unique gift of crafting words in a way that stirs your heart up. I am thankful for her.

Morning walks

We’ve had an unusually mild October – not a single snow storm which is rare for Colorado. I’m soaking in this nice weather as much as possible, as well as utilizing morning naps in the stroller for the little one I care for.


What was your October like? What did you learn and read and love? I’d love to hear in the comments below!


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