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Month in Review and October Goals

The welcome home sign my kids made me

The welcome home sign the kids made for me after my 40-hour funeral trip to Utah.

I cannot believe it is already October. Ever since my kids started school, time is literally flying.

September started off with a wonderful visit from my cousins. These two brothers and their family used to visit my family in all of the different countries we traveled to, and I loved having time to catch up with them and get to know my one cousin’s wife and kids. They were at our house when I got the news that my Grandpa on the other side of the family had passed away. Mike was nice enough to make arrangements for me to fly out for the funeral and back – all within 40 hours, all red-eye flights, but nearly free thanks to the large quantities of miles Mike accumulates on his endless business trips. The funeral was beautiful but a tough one for me, all the more because I was missing Johnny’s first day of preschool and Emma’s second day of kindergarten. Emma and Johnny were both fine with my being gone, but it made the transitions all the more challenging for Lily.

Then things got busy. Mike left for a business trip to France the day I got back from Utah. As he got back, I got word from our flooring guy that he had made time to do our floors. So I packed up as much of the house as I could, Mike’s mom and Grandma got into town, we finished up the floors, started unpacking the house, and packed our bags for a VACATION!

The vacation was wonderful. We drove up to Montreal through stunning fall leaves. It was thrilling for me to be back in a French-speaking culture again. We enjoyed the city, most especially the Biodome. It was an attraction I was really looking forward to visiting, and it did not disappoint. The Biodome has different habitats within a huge dome (originally built for the 1976 Olympics). The habitats are complete with live animals, who seem very content with their lives. SO much better than a zoo, and definitely a must-see for a visit to Montreal! I took loads of photos that will get their own post sometime soon. Not tonight, as I’m typing in a hotel room in Vermont. We’re here for the night with exciting plans to visit a maple syrup and cheese farm tomorrow before heading home.

I’ve enjoyed reading Jaimie’s blog for a long time now, so it was very cool to meet up with her for a few hours on our last day in Montreal. We had a great time talking, and I wish we lived close enough to meet up for play dates. Jaimie was also awesome about answering my questions about Montreal as we were planning the trip. Thank you, Jaimie!!!

Looking at my September goals, I did okay. It was wonderful to see so many family members – my cousins, more relatives at the funeral, and Mike’s mom and Grandma (here for a few more days). Having to pack up nearly the entire house was a good motivation to go through belongings, and I donated several bags, both of clothing and toys. I went through Emma and Johnny’s dressers, but not Lily’s – and hers is probably the one with the most off-size clothing in it. Hopefully I get it done this month!

Getting to and from school still feels quite stressful to me. I am carpooling with a friend for kindergarten, so I only drop off Emma and her friend. That helps. Lily is finally seeing some benefit to being home alone with me, which is also good. Emma especially is thoroughly enjoying school; she was upset about missing a week for our trip (but recovered quite quickly).

And I am thoroughly enjoying fall – my favorite time of year, especially in New England. The leaves were absolutely stunning driving up to Montreal and back, and I look forward to seeing our own neighborhood’s transformation when we get home tonight!

monthly goals at mama smiles

Goals for October:

  • Continue to enjoy autumn in New England. Target Area: gratitude
  • Take Lily to at least one library activity while the kids are in school. Target Area: education and peace
  • Give menu planning another try. Target Area: health and peace
I think I’ll stop there. Keep it simple. How about you?



MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

7 thoughts on “Month in Review and October Goals”

  1. That biodome sounds really cool. I can’t wait to read your post about it.

    Menu planning, when I stick to it, has been very helpful for me.

  2. I am so impressed with an ease you and your family pick up and go places. It must be something you inherited from your own parents. Have a great October!

  3. What a hectic September for your family.

    The Biodome sounds like such a unique and wonderful experience.

    Why is is that tradespeople are not available for months and then suddenly, with no to little warning, pick an inconvenient week to start work? It seems to just be one of those things.

    I have just spent a good part of the morning sorting through drawers and cupboards taking out clothes that are too small and making room for new summer gear that I have just washed. New season means new clothes when you’re young. My cherubs don’t seem to fit into anything from the previous year.

  4. The biodome sounds awesome. Can’t wait to see pictures of that and the autumn leaves near your house!

    Here’s to simple goals this month. A deep breath before the holiday season begins…

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