ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday {November 2021}

How in the world is November already over?? I feel like 2021 has moved at warp speed! (Especially compared to 2020!) Here’s a little recap of our month!

What We’re Eating…

Monday– steaks, baked potatoes, green beans, and mac and cheese

Tuesday– shrimp pasta carbonara (based on the recipe from Half Baked Harvest), roasted brussels sprouts with bacon

Wednesday- fajitas, Spanish rice, chips and dips


Friday-Sunday– we’re leaving to head to my parents’/ the ranch for the weekend!

What I’m Reminiscing About…

We had the sweetest little Halloween! This was Livy’s first year to really “get it” and be excited to go trick or treat. We had dinner with friends and then trick or treated their neighborhood on Halloween night and it was so fun! Livy also got to wear her costume to school the Thursday before and they trick or treated around the church building that hosts her school with the staff and she loved it so much she refused to change from her costume afterward. Our little family costume was so fun, and I hope I can make one happen again! 😉

What I’m Loving…

Tech has a new football coach! I never would have imagined that they’d fire Matt Wells in the middle of the season, but the new hire has everyone really excited, AND they are officially bowl eligible for the first time in a few years!  

What I’ve Been Up To…

We wrapped up soccer the first weekend in November! Livy improved so much over the season, and we’re so proud of her! (And I’m not sad that we wrapped it up just as it was starting to get cold in the mornings, haha! 😉 )

The second weekend in November was the opening of duck season in Texas, so Henry stayed with Grammy and Pop Pop for the weekend, and we took Livy for a one-on-one weekend and for her first duck hunt! She says she had fun and loved it! I think she loved all the one-on-one attention most, although she did say all weekend “Where’s my brother? I miss my brother!”. I love that they are so close already!

We hung out for a while with the cows on Sunday morning and Livy is at such a mini-me age. She followed Daddy around while he was taking pictures (I trailed her very closely so she wouldn’t get too close to any cows unattended), and just seemed so grown up. She’s been such a joy her whole life, but this stage feels extra fun!

We also had picture day at school last week, colored pictures to take to veterans at the local veterans home for Veterans Day, put up our Christmas tree, snuggled with hot chocolate, had fun at dance class, made the most adorable Thanksgiving crafts at preschool, and enjoyed some fun family time at Firehouse Subs!

What I’ve Been Working On…

Getting all my Christmas shopping done, and working on getting Christmas decor up! I think I’ve wrapped up shopping on all the physical things we were looking for, and just have gift cards left, and I think I’ll wait on those until closer to Christmas.

What I’m Excited About…

It always just feels like there is more magic in the air around the holidays! I’ve always loved Christmas, but I’ll say Christmas as a mom is extra magical. Last year was the first year Livy really got into Santa and kinda understood, so I think this year is going to be even more fun. I’ve got our Star from Afar scene all set up (it’s like a nativity version of Elf on the Shelf- they find the Star every day and you move it and the Wise Men closer and closer to the Nativity until Christmas Day), and I think this is the first year Livy is old enough to really participate. We are also going to do daily stocking prizes with them. This is something my mother-in-law did with Steven and his brother- just a stocking on their door and she put a little something in them every day for them to find. He has really good memories from it and suggested we do it with our kids, and I’m always down for a little extra holiday fun. Now, if I could just get everyone under the age of 30 in our house to stop moving the already wrapped gifts from under the tree, and stop asking me if it’s Christmas yet (a certain 3 year old has asked me every single day, multiple times a day if today is Christmas), I’d be a little less crazy, haha!

What I’m Watching/ Reading…

I’m anxiously waiting for the finale of The Great British Bake Off this Friday- I can’t wait to see who wins! One of the major frontrunners this whole series was eliminated last week, so I feel like it’s anyone’s game at this point. We also burned through the new (and last) season of Narcos Mexico a few weeks ago when it premiered on Netflix. It’s super, super rated R (as you would expect from the Mexican cartel), but it was good! And if you’re wondering, yes, there is still a Ted Lasso sized hole in our hearts. It can only be filled with more Ted Lasso!

I made it through four books this month, and officially reached my yearly goal! I set a goal of 40 books for the year back in March when I started reading much more consistently and as of the fourth book this month, I’m at 41! I don’t think I’ll make it to 50 for the year since December is always really hectic, but I think I’ll try for 50 next year since I essentially started two months late in 2021.

  • The Giver of Stars– Jojo Moyes– for whatever reason, it felt like it took me forrrrrever to get through this one, but I did like it in the end! It’s a great historical fiction about a women-run mobile horseback library in the early 20th century in the Appalachian mountains, and I would recommend it if you like historical fiction or that kind of early pre-Depression era of history.
  • The Paper Palace– Miranda Cowley Heller– Woof. This has been all over social media as one of the hot books right now, and highly recommended by some of the places I typically get recommendations from. That being said, I did fly through it and felt like I couldn’t put it down. But I feel like I also need to say it had a lot of subject matter that made me VERY uncomfortable, and not in a “oh, that’s hard to read but real life so I can get through it” kind of way, but more like a “yikes, I don’t care for this whatsoever and it’s not central to the storyline so I wish it would have just been left out”. The story centers about a woman who cheats on her husband with her childhood love, which is cringe-y enough, but there were other parts that were just a little too much for me. It is very well written, but I honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending it to anyone, at least without those disclaimers.
  • Twice in a Blue Moon– Christina Lauren– I’ve seen one of Lauren’s other books (The Unhoneymooners) much lauded on social media, and since there is a crazy long wait for it at the library, I decided to try this one instead because it was available. It’s cute! Just your kinda basic predictable chick lit love story, but it’s a semi unique premise, and I enjoyed it. It was a little cotton candy palate cleanser after the last book, and I enjoyed it!
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue– V.E. Schwab– I started this one back at the beginning of the year, and wasn’t able to finish it before it was time to return to the library. It’s been pretty popular so I’ve put in a hold for it a few more times, and then finally finished it this month. I feel like it pulled me in well in the first third, then got really slow in the middle third, but sped back up in the last third and I liked how it wrapped up and ended. It’s a very unique premise, with a little dash of historical fiction and a little dash of fantasy, and I feel like the toggling between all of these elements worked well.

I’m about halfway through The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern (buddy reading with my college bestie Kerry) and it is really interesting! It took me a little bit to get into it because of the twists/turns and multiple concurrent storylines to keep straight, but I am so intrigued to see how it all wraps up. After I finish that, I’ve got Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams ready. I’ve read the first few pages already and I think it’s going to be really good!

What I’m Listening To…

Of course, Adele’s new album! And I’m starting to amp up the Christmas music. We do the Holiday for Kids playlist on Amazon Music with Livy and Henry, but I also like the Christian Christmas station, as well as Matt Maher’s Christmas album, and Josh Turner’s new Christmas Album. We’ve also been listening to Casey Donahew and Grant Gilbert the last few days because we saw them both live at our Expo Center here and it was such a good concert! I hadn’t ever heard Grant Gilbert before, but he’s a fellow Tech alum, so already like him, haha! And Casey Donahew sounds exactly the same live as he does recorded, so we were really impressed!

What I’m Wearing…

We are in that super fun time of year when it’s winter in the morning and summer in the afternoon, haha! Not completely, but it is in the 30s-40s in the mornings, so everyone needs at least a jacket, but it’s in the high 70s by the afternoon, so long sleeves are a little too much. Just November in Texas, y’all! I bought these fleece tunic sweatshirts last spring from Target (I have a charcoal gray, rust, coral, and light green) and I wear them all. the. time. They are perfect for this time of year because you can layer for more warmth, but they aren’t so warm you’ll be sweating by the time it hits those high 70s.

What I’m Doing This Weekend…

We are having a little Friendsgiving get-together here on Thursday because Steven is covering advanced endoscopy call for Thursday and working regular hours on Friday (so we couldn’t really travel), and then we’ll leave Friday when he finishes up for my parents’ house and the ranch for the weekend.

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

All the Christmas things! We’ve got a Christmas program at preschool, lights and Santa at the local zoo, a dressy GI department Christmas dinner party, a Bible study Christmas cookie swap, a Texas Nutcracker performance, and many other little Christmas activities planned, so it will be busy but so fun!

What Else is New…

I think that’s about it! Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

4 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday {November 2021}

  1. I’m belatedly catching up on my What’s Up Wednesday posts. I want to read The Starless Sea and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue over the winter break. I’ve heard such good things about them.

    1. They were both really good but both pretty dense so they took some time! But overall I liked them! I’ve heard good things about Erin Morgenstern’s other book, too!

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