Welcome to my “monthly” recap for the Fall. Things have been moving quickly in our new Texas home, but I wanted to take some time to catch you up on all of the happenings during this past season.
Hi! What a crazy couple of months!
Can you believe fall has already come and gone? Fall, my favorite season, was a little bit different down here in Texas. There weren’t as many changing leaves or crisp mornings compared to the Midwest, but I managed to fill the season with plenty of pumpkin flavored treats and flannel shirts! The past few months totally flew by and I want to summarize it all with a fall edition monthly recap.
[Monthly achievements, victories, and accomplishments]
- Turned 26
- Yes, I am counting turning 26 as a victory! While sometimes it seems easier to “let the days go by” or “make it through the year”, I am convinced that each new year of life brings opportunities to grow, learn, and work hard to achieve new dreams and ideas. Year 25 brought so much change, new beginnings and endings, which required quite a bit of work! Most days I am just out here doing my best, and I hope the same for year 26!
- Updated Jordo’s World!
- These past few weeks, Alan has helped me put some serious work into my blog. We rearranged the format of the posts to include drop down menus and categories to make it easier to find new posts. While blogging is just a hobby of mine, I really enjoy sharing content focused on sustainable wellness and posts that people actually find usual and enjoy. So keep the ideas coming my way and subscribe to get emails for new posts sent straight to your inbox! I would love for the Jordo’s World community to keep growing!
[Monthly RECAP FROM the head & heart]
- Built community
- Building community requires work. It involves time, energy, patience, and vulnerability. It usually happens slowly, BUT, it is always worth the patience! In an effort to build our community a bit more down here, we hosted a couple of small gatherings at our home, such as a dinner party and thanksgiving dinner. These nights spent with people gathered around a table help us feel more connected and grounded in our lives.
- Worked hard
- I will be honest: I think my job is tough. I know that I am in the right position and in the right season, but that doesn’t always make things easy! This job requires a lot of work — physically, emotionally, and spiritually. While there are so many amazing things I get to do, it requires a lot of hard work. So, while it can be easy to compare what I am doing to others or measure my value in my achievements, I am doing my best to focus on the fact that I work hard, and that is enough.
[Monthly RECAP movements]
- Changed my movements
- Unfortunately, I am currently injured. I have been having some IT band and groin pains the past few weeks that have left me unable to run. While I am so, so sad to not be running right now, I know that REST and CROSS TRAINING are the only ways my body will heal. With that in mind, I have been changing my daily movements. I still workout every day, but it varies depending on the day. Some days it is a walk, others a swim, but usually a lifting session. Alan and I have a home gym so it makes strength training a possibility, which I am so thankful for! The past few months have had quite a bit of travel as well, so it’s led to some creativity with workouts and some people to join me in my movements! At the end of the day, I am thankful I am able to embrace movement.
- Created a list of race essentials!
- These race essentials post overlaps with a lot of my go-to fitness accessories and are items I have tried, invested in, and have found to work well for me. While I don’t have a next race officially marked on my calendar, I have a couple of ideas for this winter…and whenever I decide, this is what I will pack!
[Monthly RECAP of eats, recipes, & culinary experiences]
- Tried new things in the kitchen
- The first couple of months in my new job, I barely tried new things in the kitchen. My “cooking” was pretty limited to chicken, veggies, and breakfast foods that required minimal effort. After realizing I really missed cooking, I tried some new recipes to spice things up!
- I created another blog post with a Complete List of Recipes to Cook This Fall. This post spurred from my desire to try new, nutritious meals this season! My favorites from the list were the Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Mexican Quinoa, African Peanut Stew, and Healthy Turkey Chili. We didn’t let the warmer Texas temperatures keep us from embracing soup and chili season!
- This spicy black bean chicken enchilada dish was flavorful and definitely spiced up our dinner. We couldn’t taste much of the pumpkin, but it still tasted yummy to us! I would recommend giving this recipe a go.
- One blog post from this fall was a Complete List of Recipes Using RXBAR Nut Butter because iff there’s one thing I love, it’s nut butter. While I enjoy most nut butters, I am particularly obsessed with the RXBAR brand nut butter. It’s seriously the most delicious. RXBAR makes jars & single-serving nut butters of amazing flavors like peanut butter, honey cinnamon peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, almond butter, vanilla almond butter, and maple almond butter. I am a firm believer that nut butter is perfect as a high-protein snack topper, a high-protein spread, or on its own straight out of the packet. If you’re not a believer, make one of these recipes and let your world be rocked. These recipes are constantly in my breakfast line-up because they are delicious, quick, and easy. Check out all of my recipes (along with many other yummy creations) in the RXBAR recipe hub!
- Created a Trader Joe’s Shopping List
- Trader Joe’s is one of my absolute favorite places to shop. The nearest TJ’s is over two hours away, which means I will take every rare opportunity to restock our kitchen with all of the goods! I always enjoy the experience of pushing the little red shopping cart through the aisles of the store to pick out affordable, healthy & nutritious foods I can cook for our family & friends. Because Trader Joe’s isn’t my regular weekly grocery store stop, I usually just stock up on everything I can when I go. Based on my most recent trip, I created a Trader Joe’s Shopping List full of the staples and treats I love for whenever I get the opportunity to shop here.
[Monthly Recap of joy]
- Embraced fall activities
- When I think of fall, I think of baking seasonal treats, hiking in the leaves, carving pumpkins, and my birthday. Fortunately, I was able to do all of these things at some point during the season! My very favorite was the hike followed by the charcuterie, cheese, and wine surprise party that Alan, Eric, and Jesse had to celebrate me on my birthday!
- Visited Kirksville
- As part of our time off to celebrate Thanksgiving, Alan and I visited Kirksville. Though it was a quick two days, we tried to see as many people and visit as many of our favorite places as possible! One very cool addition to Kirksville that happened since we moved is the installation of this brick on Truman’s campus!
- Became godparents!
- On September 2, our dear friends gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Uriah Raymond Espinosa! Alan and I are completely filled with love for this boy and are honored to be his godparents!
- Shopped at Trader Joe’s
- I already mentioned I created a Trader Joe’s Shopping List, but this task also brought me so much joy! I love Trader Joe’s and will take advantage of every opportunity I get to shop there.
[Monthly reflections on God]
- Slowed down in the mornings
- Most mornings I set an alarm, work out, make breakfast, and start my day. While I love this routine, I have found much benefit in having a slower morning. Instead of waking up and going as soon as I open my eyes, I have found rest and contentment in staying in my pajamas, sipping on coffee, reading scripture and slowly beginning my day with Alan. Of course, this usually only happens on an off day, but it has been good for my heart.
- Attempted to disciple my students
- The most important part of my job is attempting to disciple my students. I say “attempting,” because this requires 100% faith and trust in the Lord and I often fail on my own. Some days discipling can look like leading a devotional or sharing scripture, but most days it comes through spending time with my students while we are cleaning, exploring, or doing normal life activities. We have traveled to Guadalupe Mountain National Park, Enchanted Rock State Park, and several other beautiful spaces. Whatever we have done so far this year, and whatever we continue to do, I hope and pray the Lord will grow and change the hearts, minds, and souls of all of the students for His glory!
FAM & FRIENDS
[Monthly relationship endeavors]
- Trip to the beach
- In October, we took a mini vacation to North Padre Island and Port Aransas! Despite it being the middle of October, the weather in Texas was warm enough for us to soak up the sun and play in the water. We traveled with the Espinosas and got to rest, play games, go on walks, and cook yummy meals. It was absolutely what we didn’t know that we needed!
- Hosted visitors
- One of Alan and I’s favorite things is having a guest room because it means there is a higher chance for visitors! Because we know there is an extremely long commute to make it out to camp, it means even more when people get to come visit! Rob and Cassie came in from Denver for a few days in September, and Natalie came to visit in October! We totally loved our time with these good friends and family.
[Monthly new music, reads, shows, and goods]
- Pump Pop playlist: This is a playlist I’ve been repeatedly listening to while working out! It’s filled with some upbeat pop tunes that will keep you feeling motivated.
- No updates
- I NEED TO READ MORE. Though I will admit I have read a cookbook, I have not read a single novel (or really anything else) in the past few months. Again, I NEED TO READ MORE.
- The Good Place
- Alan and I always watch The Good Place together! We have watched from when it first aired back in 2016, and now we are almost to the end of season 4. This show is full of plot twists, humor, and plenty of entertainment for both of our various interests!
- First We Feast: Hot Ones
- I know I posted about this in the last recap, but this is a continual go-to show Alan and I watch weekly! We love the concept of this show, the interviewer, and all of the celebrities interviewed. We also get a good laugh or learn something new from watching this show! This fall brought Season 9 and 10 with celebrities like The Jonas Brothers, Paul Rudd, Shia LaBeouf, Ashton Kutcher, Nick Offerman, and Chance the Rapper. One of my favorites from the newest season is the interview with Ashton Kutcher!
- Bon Appetit Tutorial Videos
- Bon Appetit has become one of my most visited YouTube channels. My favorite playlists on the channel are Gourmet Makes, It’s Alive with Brad, and From the Test Kitchen. These videos are an extremely entertaining and engaging way to learn new cooking skills! This fall I watched Season 2 of Making Perfect, which is a series all about making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner! Each episode features the test kitchen managers working towards cooking up perfect Thanksgiving dishes, and the season finale episode puts the entire meal together.
The summer brought a lot of big life changes and the fall was spent trying to adjust to those changes. The past few months I have tried to find rhythms, routines, and community. The months flew by but I can look back and see the growth from hard things, new experiences, and joyful moments. I am hopeful the coming months will bring more of these things, including blog posts! Make sure to subscribe to get new blog posts straight to your inbox!
Until next time,