I love the beach so much. I think I *may* have mentioned that once or twice on the blog before! lol. Last week RaptorDad encouraged me to drive down to the beach while the kids were at school and it was the best idea ever. It was super cold, but I just wore my new snow coat and I was quite cozy. Side note: I’m a little bit terrified of what happens when it *actually* gets super cold as we’re all wearing our wool socks and snow coats, but the locals are still in jeans and sweatshirts.
It was low tide and there were tons of colorful rocks and shells. I even managed to assemble a rainbow! Maybe I’ll start a little collection of rainbow rocks and make something cool to hang on the wall? Hmm… Something to ponder as I’m sure I’ll be making another trip to the beach in just a few weeks. 🙂
We survived October! It was touch and go for a bit there, but we made it. :). Let’s see how we did on the October Goals.
Set up sewing room. Well, it’s not done yet, but I did make some progress! I have all of the furniture assembled (for the most part) but I still have loads of boxes to deal with. Still, it’s getting there!
Finish setting up art room. Lol. We’ve made some progress here, but it mostly involved opening up the boxes and putting bins where ever they fit on the shelves. I really want to take a couple of days and actually ORGANIZE this space!
Finish assembling furniture. This is mostly done! I think all I have left are my office chair and an extra dresser that we’re going to use for storage.
Winter clothes inventory/ shopping. Done! Well, I think this will be an ongoing process, but we have made a good start. We all have snow pants, snow boots, and snow coats at least!
Set up guest area. This is still a work in progress as we ended up making an unexpected trip down to Texas this month so we’ve had to reschedule our visitors. But we did get a sofa bed!
Blog 5 times. I made 3?
Halloween costumes. Done!
Set up big computer. Done!
Africa photos. Well, I got them all of the camera and I’ve started the process of culling them.
House project list. Didn’t make much progress on this, but we’ll get there.
Now for November?
Advent Calendar. I have to finish this this year!
Advent Activities. I want to be more intentional with our advent activities and plan them ahead of time. I know I say this every year, but this time I mean it! lol.
Thanksgiving. It’s just going to be us for Thanksgiving this year so we are trying to come up with some new traditions. Suggestions?
Christmas list. I would like to start this a bit earlier this year, especially since we’re going to need to ship everything?
Project Life. I’d like to do October 2023 and then also 4 old layouts.
NaNoCraftMo. RaptorDad is doing NaNoWriMo this year, so I’m giving NaNoCraftMo another go! Yesterday’s project was our “gratitude tree.” Every day each of us will write one thing we are grateful for on a paper leaf and then tape it to the tree.
Blog. Maybe 4 more posts in November?
Hang some pictures.
Christmas Cards? Speaking of pictures, I want to send out Christmas cards this year. I should work on that…
Front yard pictures. I had this really cool idea to do a seasonal photo shoot in our front yard for each season. Who knows if this will really happen, but in my head it’s super cool! So the fall photo will involve us raking leaves and jumping in them. 🙂
I might have been most excited about seeing the hippos! On this day, we were picked up from our hotel in Zimbabwe and we drove about an hour to Chobe National Park in Botswana for a morning safari drive and an afternoon river cruise. It was a completely different feel than Kruger National Park in South Africa. Main difference would be the river! With such an abundance of water, we saw tons of hippos and elephants. There were also way less people in Chobe and the park was less developed. Which is not to say that Kruger was overly developed (it’s not at all!!!), but there were a few paved roads and a handful of places where you could stop to buy some lunch or do a bit of shopping. We did not see that in Chobe.
What we did see was a lot of hippos and elephants! I think I took approximately eleventy billion pictures of them. lol. I couldn’t *believe* how close we were able to get to the hippos on the river cruise! The little stinkers are so hard to photograph though what with them being mostly underwater and all, but I was able to get this one when 2 of them poked their heads above water for a minute. National Geographic they are not, but I’m happy with this one. 🙂 Keep scrolling for elephant pictures!
We’re still slowly trying to get unpacked here in Maine, but we did finally find the box that we had hidden the computer in! I promptly pulled almost 6k pictures from Africa off of my camera card. It’s going to take me a while to go through all of them! My goal is to do an initial culling down to about 10% and then delete the other 90%. We’ll see how that goes. lol. I did sort through my Chobe river cruise pics and got it down to about 15% which is a start!
This was one of my favorites. I think it really captures the vastness of the landscape, or at least that was the goal!
In between editing photos, I’m working on setting up my art room. I took the time to paint the mauve wall teal and I’m so glad I did! Now to get to work painting over the rest of the mauve walls in this house. Eeep! I also did a quick inventory of just how behind I am on Project Life (I can’t bring myself to do the same with the scrapbooks just yet) and it’s pretty bad. lol. I have 19 more layouts to do for 2021, 36 (!!!) more layouts for 2022, and I’ve only gotten 9 layouts done for 2023. I’m thinking maybe I’ll try to start in the present and work backwards? and then also start in 2021 and work forwards? We’ll see! I’m worried that there are loads of weeks without many photos, but I’ll cobble something together I’m sure. Mostly I’m just thrilled at the idea of getting to scrap again! All of my stuff has been packed up since May- I don’t think I’ve gone that long without scrapping since I started in high school! Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it sure feels like it.
On that note, I’m going to rotate the laundry and then try to print out pictures for a Project Life layout. Maybe last week? IDK. Stay tuned!
I’m back!!! Oh my gosh, we were in airports or flying for over 30 hours, but I made it back to my family yesterday and I could not be happier! I’m planning to write up a blog post or 2 specifically about the trip, but suffice it to say that it was life-changing. Beyond gorgeous. The nicest people. And 2 weeks with my mom!
But lets take a look at the September goals. I did manage to get some more unpacking done, but there is still loads to go. Still, I feel like we have a (mostly) functional house so yay! And I managed to get packed for Africa! So I’m counting September as a win even if my goals were a bit vague. lol.
Set up sewing room.
Finish setting up art room.
Finish assembling furniture.
Winter clothes inventory/ shopping.
Set up guest area (we have people coming to visit! If it’s not you, come visit!)
Blog 5 times!
Set up big computer.
Pull Africa photos off camera card and do an initial culling of photos. I go through and give anything that’s decent and in focus a one star rating then I delete the rest. Since I took over 5k pictures, I anticipate it taking a while! I’m hoping to get down to about 500 photos with the initial culling.
Start a list of house projects and start making plans! We know that some of our first projects will be building out storage in the mud room and laundry room. And painting rainbow stairs!
Register kids for school. Done! And they’ve started! I think school is going well so far. And they’re riding the bus!
Scavenger hunt. This was super fun. We only managed to get 4 or 5 things in the time limit, but I’m going to keep looking. 🙂
4 more blog posts in August. I made 3! Honestly, I’m pretty impressed with myself for getting that many done in the midst of a move.
Fairy houses. We collected lots of materials, but then ended up not actually making the houses. But we still had fun working on them. I think we might try this again in our new house!
Hiking. We ended up needing to make quite a few trips down the mountain to deal with house and school stuff, but we did find a nice 1 mile loop near the air bnb and we enjoyed taking the puppy on walks there.
Finalize plans for Africa. Oh boy. Y’all, I leave a week from tomorrow and I’m not ready!!! I have loads to do this week, but I’m so freaking excited I almost can’t stand it! I can’t believe the date is almost here!!!
Milky Way Photo. I got some that looked pretty cool from the back of my camera. We haven’t managed to get the iMac set up yet so no telling how they actually turned out, but the experience was super fun and I’m looking forward to trying again while we’re in Africa.
Game night. We aren’t back to our weekly game yet, but we did play a few times in the cabin and it was nice to do something that felt normal again.
Planner. I finally ordered one yesterday! It should arrive around the same time I get back from Africa. I’m so excited to have a planner again!
Hexies. I made some more progress! I’m very eager to finish this project. I haven’t gotten a chance to work on it since we’ve been in the new house, but soon!
I’m far from finished with the hand quilting, but I’ve decided to try out my idea for binding it anyway. And I love how it’s turning out! (Don’t worry, I’m only binding bits that have at least one line of quilting through them.)
I decided to keep the irregular hexagon edge instead of trimming it and I’m so glad I did. I’m a little bit missing the feeling of a stripy binding acting as an outline, but overall I think this is going to be awesome. I’m super glad that I splurged on my favorite teal and white background and I’m only wishing a little bit that I had hand stitched the 2 pieces of backing fabric fabric as that one seam is the only one done by machine in the entire quilt! The hexagons on the back will mostly be tone on tone white, but every once in a while I’m throwing in a rainbow of Alison Glass. I’m willing to spend so much time on the back because this quilt is going on my bed, and I figure when we get tired of the super busy front, we can have the teal side up for a while. 🙂
We’re all eagerly awaiting moving in to our new house! Target close date is the 30th, but we’re crossing all fingers and toes that we’ll close early.
Oh my gosh, yesterday I took Kate up to register her for high school! Naturally, they made us fill out a form and then schedule an appointment (which is what I thought we had on Monday?) but we are one step closer. We also got information about her two orientation days which sound super fun. 🙂
Other highlights last week include finalizing the twins’ school registrations, deciding that we would let them be in separate classes this year, and deciding that we would let them ride the bus! Cue massive panicking on my part, but at this point I’m just holding them back. It’s for sure time for them to have some more independence, but part of me still looks at them and sees my teeny tiny, sub 5 pound, babies.
We also found an awesome public pool in our new town! And it’s at the end of our street next to a cool park and the YMCA! I’m pretty sure we are all going to be crying at some point this winter, but for now it feels like we are moving to paradise.
I don’t think that it’s a secret to anyone that I am obsessed with the beach. We’ve been to the beach, um, 7 or 8 times since we’ve been in Maine? I love it! Our new house will be about an hour and a half from our favorite beach in Portland which is totally doable for a day trip. We’re loosely planning a once a month day trip to Portland for beach/ shopping! 🙂
Luckily that will give me plenty of chances to perfect my heart/ sand picture. But we are just too cute in this picture not to post it! For this, you’re supposed to dig a heart shaped hole in the sand and then put your camera at the bottom of it. When it works, you see a cute heart shaped sand border! We think we just need a much deeper hole for the heart to show up. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to perfect this over the rest of the summer. <3
Y’all! July was a whirl wind! But in the best way. 🙂 Let’s see how we did in July.
Find a house. OMG! Yes! We found an awesome house and we’re under contract. 🙂 Now we’re just (impatiently) waiting to close. Closing is currently scheduled for August 30th, but we’re really hoping that they let us lease it before hand. Our last day in this Air BNB is August 31st and that’s cutting it a bit close for my peace of mind. lol. Also, Raptor starts high school ::gasp:: on the 28th (I think?) and I’m not loving the idea of a 2 hour commute to get her to school. Not exactly the relaxing first day I want for her! So all fingers and toes crossed that the closing goes well and that they let us move in early.
Sell our house. We did it! It went well and I’m so incredibly grateful.
See a lighthouse. Done! Peanut was in a crappy mood when we got there, but the rest of us had a great time and I’m sure that we’ll seek out more light houses in the future.
Go to the beach. Yes!!! Oh my gosh, we have been to the beach 6 or 7 times at least and it’s been amazing. Our new house is going to be about an hour and a half from our favorite Maine beach, but I’m not going to let that stop me from listening to the ocean at least once a month. 🙂
Go to the cat cafe. RaptorDad took the kids and let me sleep. Amazing! The kids all loved it.
Boat ride. We didn’t manage to get this done, but we did find an abandoned military fort which was Xander’s second pick. We’ll make it out on a lobster boat at some point. 🙂
See some mountains. Boy howdy have we seen some mountains! Our second Air BnB is at a ski resort and it’s stunningly beautiful. 🙂
Baste more hexies. Done! I still have loads to do, but it felt amazing to be making progress. And RaptorDad flew back to Texas to get our puppy and our second car which had such treasures packed as my hexie quilt! Yay! I am so happy to be working on it again. And the kids are thrilled to have the puppy back. 🙂
Design map embroidery. Still kicking this around in my head, but I’m excited about it. 🙂
Stargazing. Oh my gosh, the stars here are amazing! We have an awesome back deck and RaptorDad and I love sitting out there in the evenings and looking at the stars. 🙂
So time for some August goals!
Register kids for school! I’ve already started this process, but I’m actually taking the littles up to the new school to register them and get a little tour tomorrow. Then I’ll take Kate up on the 14th to register her.
Scavenger Hunt. Kate and I found an online scavenger hunt for the month of August and I’m obsessed! There are 30 items and the goal is to find 25 of them. Fingers crossed!
4 more blog posts in August. I want to start posting a blog every Monday again.
Fairy Houses. We want to make some fairy houses with the kids using only materials that we find in nature.
Hiking. We’re not exactly “hiking” but we did find a cute little walking trail. There are so many fabulous trails around here! I’d like to try to go on one hike a week.
Finalize plans for Africa. Oh my gosh, my mom and I leave for Africa in like 6 weeks! i’m so damn excited I almost can’t stand it. 🙂
Milky Way Photo. So I tried some nighttime photography and it was so fun! Then RaptorDad found me some YouTube tutorials and I’m eager to try again. 🙂
Game Night. I’d love to get back to our weekly family DND sessions. Among the treasures packed into the second car was a box with some DND essentials.
Planner? I think I’m ready to give using a planner another go.
Hexies. I want to keep making progress on my hexies. 🙂
I’m going to stop this blog here, but hopefully I’ll have a post cued up for Monday!