Happy December! Happy Advent! Merry Everything! Today’s post recaps last month’s goals and walks you through my final tending list of the year…
November Monthly Goals:
*Plan Meaningful Holidays: We are well on our way here. It helped so much to break this goal down into smaller steps and mark off little by little progress. we’ve made our budget and our gift lists and checked it twice, we’ve made a Bucket List for the holidays to remind us what is most important and what to say no to (even if its good stuff!) so we have margin for more fun, and by the time this post goes up we’ll have up our simplified Christmas decorations and be starting some of our favorite Advent Traditions.
*MOPS Bazaar/Holiday Crafting: Not quite done with my to-do list here as I still have a few custom orders to get through, but very close and the bazaar was a great reason to get re-organized on my crafting stuff as well as try out a few new products!
*Research Medical Costs/Insurance Options: This was by far the most stressful task of the month and also one of the most important. It is sometimes hard to stomach that is going to be so expensive no matter what we choose because healthcare costs are truly out of control, but we made a lot of phone calls and ran a lot of numbers to be as confident as we could in our coverage decisions and now we don’t have to think about it again for another year!
*Finish 2019 Mileage Goal! #milesmanaged: YES! I can’t wait to get my challenge medal and show it off and I can’t wait to have a final tally of my mileage for the year. I’m insanely surprised by this accomplishment given how sick I’ve been and it feels good to have hit that 300 mile mark!
*Order Photo Pages and Restructure Photo Routine: Yes! I have started incorporating a “daily delete” of pictures inspired by Becky Higgins and that has really helped with my photo routine. I have also used this month to clear out an insane amount of pictures that were just sitting on my phone from before I started reliably backing up and uploading to our computer and portable hard drive. Apple kept trying to sell me more expensive cloud storage and I said NOT TODAY!!! Photo pages through Halloween have been ordered and our on their way. I’ll place one more order right before or shortly after the baby gets here next year to complete our 2019 scrapbook and them I’m set on photo orders until next fall!
*ADDED GOAL: Shop for a car/check Black Friday Sales: We added this goal a few days after I put up my goals post for last month as we realized it was time to get serious about getting a car that will fit all FIVE of us next year (our current car technically seats five, but does not accommodate three car seats/booster seats). After almost a dozen test drives and hours and hours of online shopping and comparing we are almost at a decision about a new (to us but in fact used/old to very old) car. We are just waiting on a few more phone calls and hopefully will have the car by the end of this week or beginning of next week! I’m trying to have a good attitude about trading in my tiny sedan for a giant mini van, but it’s definitely going to take getting used to and it had to happen, and at least I can feel good that we will stay in budget to find it! (Now prayers we dont’ need any major repairs anytime soon because as I said… whatever we get will be on the older side…)
November Weekly Goals:
*Create/Keep up with Kid Sayings Journals: YES! well…sort of… the first half of the month this didn’t happen much aside from being more intentional about putting a few cute quotes in my phone. I also ordered each kid a Legacy Journal from Cultivate What Matters that I know will hold up well and have lots of space to write things for years to come for each kid. I have started transferring my digital notes into the journals and each child has their own color. I hope to make this part of my weekly photo and memory keeping routine now that I know exactly what the journals are and where I will keep them.
*Photo Routine/Project Life Pages: Yes. See my notes above on my monthly goal of adjusting my routine and ordering photo pages!
*Batch Write Blog Posts: This was a major win this month and hopefully will take away some of the stress from the holiday season since I have my wrap-up blog posts ready to go which means I only have one more blog post to write this month.
*Lunchbox Notes 2x a week: This was the sweetest weekly goal and made my kindergartener SO excited. I didn’t keep the notes consistently on the same days of the week so they were always a special surprise when they happened/he wasn’t disappointed if I forgot on a certain day. My daughter was surprisingly obsessed with them too even though she can’t read the notes yet!
*Budget Check In/Weekly meeting: I won’t lie… the check in happened each week, but this was not our best budgeting month. We had a few unexpected extra expenses (like an ultrasound bill we thought would be more covered by insurance than it actually was… the downside of having a January or February baby is definitely the way so many expenses don’t end up on the same year for your deductible as the giant bill for labor and delivery…) , the anticipated expense of the car, and some things that just ended up being pricier than we anticipated. But at least we know exactly how off track we are and are not letting it spiral us into a panic!
November Daily Goals:
*Hydrate/Stretch: Hit and miss. Definitely better on the hydrating than stretching and my body is mad at me for neglecting the stretching. Trying again next month!
*Novena November: This was going really well, then I got slammed with a sinus infection and another bout of very bad morning sickness so it kind of went out the window but I got back in the habit by the end of the month and I’m excited to incorporate the Christmas Novena this Advent (more on that below)
*Family Fun: This daily goal was so important, especially with how grumpy and sick I was feeling part of this month. It truly takes so little to create a fun, memorable moment in our day and to pause the hustle and bustle to just say yes to something silly. We also had a favorite family fun moment with a trip to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. It is truly stunning there and will be one of our favorite memories from the year.
Now on to December…
DECEMBER MONTHLY GOALS:
*Presence over Presents: I broke the general goal of “celebrate well” this month into two parts- this first part is the most important, remembering to love others and be where I am instead of stressing over what we can’t or aren’t doing. This is the top priority for the month. And the second part…
*Holiday Celebrations/Traditions: This relates to what we ARE doing- the to-do list of things and the plans I put into place last month being executed to make sure that the top traditions and celebrations happen, hopefully with minimal stress!
*Make Room for a 5th Person!: My husband gets a little time off at the end of the year and while we plan to use some of it to rest and recharge before chaos hits our home, part of preparing for that chaos is making room for our newest family member to arrive next year! We have come a long way on cleaning out and reducing, but we need to do more if all of us are going to fit into our little house.
*Respect our Holiday Budget: Pretty self explanatory but after the extra expenses of last month I want to be sure we are focusing on this, especially during a time of year where it is SO tempting to say yes to just one more thing, and then one more, and then…
*Powersheets Prep Week/Set 2020 Goals: I am so curious what I might uncover from the prep work each year. This is my fourth year using the Powersheets and each year I THINK I know what I’m going to have as my goals and each year I’m surprised by some of what does and does not end up on my goal list for the year.
*Plan an Intentional Winter Break: I want to be sure the kids have a break but also some structure and I want to relish this last burst of time together as a family of four. This is the one part of planning the holidays I didn’t quite cover last month, but I have a few weeks the beginning of this one to make sure this happens.
*Finish custom orders: I have a few custom designs I need to craft the beginning fo this month. Thankfully not an overwhelming amount and I’m looking forward to these unique projects!
DECEMBER WEEKLY GOALS:
*Kid Journals Routine/Photo Routine: Now that I have the journals set and ready to go, and my photo routine overhauled a bit, I am ready to really incorporate both of those things this month.
*Walk or Hike 3x a Week: If I jog at all in the midst of this it’s a bonus. At this point I just want to stay active and breath fresh air with some last intentional miles for the year!
*Budget Check In/ Family Meeting: As I said above, this is such a tricky month that this weekly meeting and check in is crucial.
*Holiday Movie/Bucket List Item: I don’t want the fun stuff we’ve planned to be at the mercy of the to-do list that seems to get longer and longer this time of year.
*Bake Together: One of my favorite things about this time of year is involving the kids in baking. And it’s the time of year with so many lovely baking projects. Some people HATE this activity. I happen to love it. (Some people love paint projects with their kids… I happen to love that school means I am no longer responsible for that stressful mess. Good for you, not for me.)
DECEMBER DAILY GOALS:
*Christmas Novena/ Quiet time in the Holiday Lights: I am trying to do the St. Andrew’s Novena this year which is longer than a normal novena, but is so simple and beautiful and will be a really lovely part of my Advent routine. I also just want some quiet time in front of the Christmas lights either in the morning or at night.
*Hydrate: I’m really struggling with this since my nausea is still a problem and I’ve been hating the taste of water all pregnancy but I also know that the further I get the more important staying hydrated is… if there was any doubt I can just notice how many more Braxton Hicks contractions I get when I forget to try to hydrate adequately.
*Morning/Evening Routine: I’ve been really struggling with the evening routine still. Mostly because my insomnia makes it hard to feel like it’s actually bed time/time to start said routine. If I can even do this half the time though the difference is huge in how I start the mornings.
*Stretch: I’m getting bigger and more sore and the only real remedy for that is to keep stretching until the baby comes. It’s not even a full yoga routine at this point, just some sciatic stretches and some favorite calming poses.