The Swan Life: November 2016
Hello readers, it’s Lucy again! Wow, did November fly by or was it just me? It’s definitely that time of year where the weather changes and the holidays fall upon us, we blink and the year will be over. I find myself making a few mental notes, more of a to-do list of things to complete before 2016 turns to 2017. Things like Christmas gift shopping, travel coming up (I have a bunch in December), decorations for around the house. But enough about thinking in the future, let’s recap November!
For some reason my past monthly recaps (from September and October) have started out with travel. Looking back on a given month is usually easier when I think through where I was and what activities were going on.
I took a very quick work trip to Chicago earlier in the month. It was actually amazing timing to be in the city… the day before I arrived the Cubs had won the World Series. Talk about lots of hype in the city. I may have grown up in the Midwest, but I am not a Cubs fan. I grew up watching Chipper Jones on TBS and have always been a Braves fan as a result. Nevertheless it was still pretty neat to see so many people walking around in their Cubs attire. There was a lot of pride in that city. Oh and I will also say that I escaped the city the morning before the parade. That gathering looked outrageous and something I didn’t want to slow down my Uber to the airport!
We also traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday. As I write this we’re driving back from my brother’s house outside of Washington D. C. Great thing about this trip was it only took a car ride, not three plane tickets (huge savings there). Yes we will be traveling for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. It’s not the norm and not something we care to do. Not only is it the time it takes to travel and time off work, but it can also get expensive!
It’s that time of year to spend money on others. Oh wait, that maybe sounded bad. I mean it’s fun to exchange gifts and to buy something you know that other person will love. What JW and I are not fans of is the idea of buying a gift just to buy something (I think I actually mentioned that during my October recap when JW had a birthday). We have pared down the gift giving the past couple years and focused more on the kids (my son and niece), because kids are way more fun to buy for anyway.
We exchanged some gifts while at my brother’s over Thanksgiving. I decided to go the homemade route this year for my niece. Let me explain first, back when JW was taking night classes to get his MBA I needed to fill my time. I tried something totally new and learned how to crochet. It was actually a ton of fun and I’ve kept that hobby up here and there since (I don’t find a ton of time to crochet now with a little one, but I try). I found a cute pattern online for the sweater and thought let’s give it a whirl! I’m not a pro here so I will admit I had to YouTube how to make a certain stitch from the pattern, but I figured it out. The gift cost me 3 skeins of yarn, maybe $9 total and it was a hit. This is the type of gift that really means something and I’m happy to give.
Speaking of gifts, are any of you Black Friday shoppers? I can honestly say I have never once gotten up early for the sale. I haven’t found the sales to be for items I’m in the market for. Why bother fighting crowds and disrupting my sleep for something that I either don’t need or could find a sale on any other time of the year. We have purchased items on Cyber-Monday before, but that was from the comfort of our couch and for things we need anyway…my kind of shopping.
We put our tree up before Thanksgiving. Don’t judge, hear me out. My reasoning was because we are traveling for both holidays so I wanted to make sure it was up long enough for us to enjoy and appreciate it. Each year JW and I try to purchase one more holiday decoration for the house. We haven’t added to the collection yet this year, but we may also hold off. The tree was fascinating to our young son so that might be good enough for us (plus no need to add more bulk since we just did a purge and don’t want to add more to what we may end up storing if we do move to London).
It was a lot of fun to put up the tree. When we take trips we always try to snag an ornament to remember our travels. To un-box all these memories is always so much fun. It’s also a cost effective way to bring home a souvenir without breaking the bank.
Lastly, I received my Q3 bonus this month! It was in line with my expectations and I’ll pat myself on the back a little bit. Having this part of my paycheck is something that can not always be relied upon, but is always great to help boost investments. I work hard to earn as good of a bonus as possible, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen the way we’d like. But this quarter was good so we are happy to have that extra income and boost to the investments.
Do you feel like November flew by too? Any Black Friday shoppers out there and want to share their great deals? How about holiday décor, do you collect souvenir ornaments from special trips?