10 Things I Learned in October


At the end of each month, I share things that I learned. This habit helps me pay attention to life, myself, and God’s presence. It’s my way of reflecting and celebrating. It’s how I take notice and be present. In no particular order, here are 10 things I learned this month:

1. A family of five can do really fun group costumes for Halloween. 

We had a great time dressing up as the emotion characters from Inside Out. Aria was the only one who had trouble staying in character. She pretty much wanted to chew on her glasses all night.

More Halloween lessons: no one makes wigs for babies, trick-or-treating in a neighborhood is way better than at a mall (yuck), and chocolate melts very quickly in Hawaii.

2. I’m really, really tired.

You guys, this was an exhausting month. We had family visiting, Steve and I spoke together at a conference in Los Angeles, my kid was on break from school, and most of our family has been battling a cold for the last week. Now I feel like the weariness has caught up to me, and I could hibernate for a month. It’s taking me an extra measure to think and write and do normal life things.

3. When I say “seriously,” Siri on my iPhone thinks I’m talking to her. 

I am realizing that I say the word “seriously” a lot. And when I do, Siri often pops awake, saying things like, “I’m not sure what you said there, Larissa.”

4. Our 8-month old baby can finally sleep through the night.

Hallelujah and amen and happy dance around the living room! This really is a big deal. Since birth, Aria hasn’t slept for more than 5 hours at a time, often waking every 2-3 hours at night. We needed a change. I needed a change. All it took was Steve and I vacating our own room and letting Aria sleep there by herself. After one night of letting her cry a few times (and subsequently falling back asleep), she is now sleeping for 12 hours with no crying or waking. Hello, glorious sleep! Now our next step is moving her into the kids’ room, and praying that all three kids will be able to sleep.

5. I’m not that into hiking, but I’ll make an exception for pretty waterfalls. 

We went on a family hike along the Manoa Falls trail, and had a blast. It was a great, very muddy adventure that made us say, “Hey, we should hike more often.”

6. Many other countries refer to their eggplant as an “aubergine.”

I find this highly amusing. “Aubergine” sounds like such an elegant word in comparison to the plain “eggplant.” Here, have some aubergine parmigiana.

7. Equal partnership takes extra work, but it is worth it. 

Steve and I co-spoke together at an InterVarsity conference for a group of about 130 college students earlier this month. In advance, we decided to partner for all of the four teaching times, something brand new for both of us. This meant that we prepared all of the sermons together, and tag-team preached throughout the conference. It ended up taking way more time and effort to do it this way, but we had so much fun in the process.

8. Sometimes Pizza Night saves the day.

There was a recent day when I was stressed out, scurrying from task to task. During the busyness of the day, I wondered to myself, “Are there things I can let go of right now, in order to better enjoy the present?” At that moment, a timely text from Steve appeared on my phone: “Got dinner plans? Should I order pizza?” When I typically would spend time and energy making dinner, ordering pizza felt like a welcomed alternative. That simple adjustment resulted in a long afternoon enjoying my kids and resting. Hurray for pizza night, and not always doing things the hard way.

9. Steve and I are suckers for social games with hidden identities. 

First it was Mafia, then Resistance and Resistance Avalon. Our new current favorite is 2 Rooms and a Boom. We had a group of friends come over last weekend, and we played several hours worth of 2 Rooms and a Boom. The lying, the strategy…it is so addicting.

10. I need someone to tell me if these books are worth reading: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown and Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

I’ve read through several chapters of each book, and feel like I’m about to pass out from boredom. But they both are esteemed as great books. Help me out, please! Should I keep trying to get through them, or should I let them go? My general theory is that life is too short to read things I don’t love.

What did you learn this month?

5 thoughts on “10 Things I Learned in October

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