I am so excited that tomorrow it will be November (oh, and Happy Halloween). By the mere fact that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, it’s highly possible that November is my favorite month. I’m expecting lower temperatures here in SoCal, and look forward to needing a sweater and long pants– not just one or the other! And more importantly, I’m planning to perfect a few more Thanksgiving recipes before helping with both brunch and dinner with our families up in San Francisco. I’ll be sure to share anything successful on SR!

A letter written in the early 1900s. They bought a lot of hot chocolate for needy families!

A letter written in the early 1900s. They bought 8 gallons of hot chocolate at $1 per gallon.

I bought some hot chocolate for myself at my favorite coffee shop.

I bought some hot chocolate for myself at my favorite coffee shop.

This time last year… 

I was in Cambridge, MA continuing history research in drafty cold libraries, where it would get dark by 4PM. The handwritten letter pictured above was one of my favorite archival materials! We fueled ourselves with so many hot beverages around this time last year; the cold dark weather is what made hot chocolate oh-so-delicious. And the view of the Charles River out of my 10th-floor window (pictured above) offered a dramatic sunset every day. I miss it so much!

For Thanksgiving last year, my husband (then fiance) and I threw a dinner for friends who stayed at college instead of going home. We cooked a feast with their help, played games, watched “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and forgot to take very many photos. What a great time it was!

Setting the table for last year's Thanksgiving gathering.

Setting the table for last year’s Thanksgiving gathering.

This year, the month of October flew by— and I know I’m not the only one to say this. But, I did accomplish some of my goals, while I’m still hoping to accomplish the others. Here they are:

  1. Make pumpkin-flavored macarons. And possibly salted-caramel too!
  2. Keep up with the reading in my courses on family systems and therapy interventions.
  3. Find my favorite sushi spot in Pasadena.
  4. Journal. And pray.
  5. Start and finish this online course about generosity and philanthropy with Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen.
  6. Actually exercise regularly (I’m serious).
  7. Spend quality time with new classmates and neighbors.
  8. Be creative with my fall wardrobe.
  9. Laugh a lot at random things, take deep breaths when I’m stressed, and let go of control.
  10. Meet more blogging friends and enjoy their lovely blogs (**comment below if you want me to check out yours**).

Sadly, I have no pumpkin macarons to show for this month, but I’ll be working on them in the next few weeks! And I keep telling myself that I really do intend to exercise… that would be a great habit to build before the joyful indulgence that is Thanksgiving!

November Goals

  1. Build strong and nurturing relationships with the students I’m tutoring.
  2. Make those pumpkin macarons!
  3. Read for pleasure— when was the last time I did that?
  4. Finish thank-you notes from our June wedding so they don’t arrive right before our Christmas letter.
  5. Make our first couple’s Christmas letter! I’ve gone back and forth about this, but have decided that it’s a great way to wish people well who are otherwise hard to reach.
  6. Exercise. Even just a few times– better than nothing.
  7. Continue to grow my blog and make the most of my November sponsorships.
  8. Complete my application to Aspire Teacher Residency, where I hope to earn my credentials and learn to be an excellent Special Ed teacher next year!
  9. Start creating the list of gifts to send to friends in December.
  10. Joyfully finish my current courses in family therapy!


Did you accomplish your October goals? What are your goals for the next month? I’d love to hear about them! Have a great weekend, friends!