August recap and September goals…

Hello September! AKA it is time for this fall flavor holdout to give into the pumpkin spice side of life and to hope for some mild weather so I can start upping my baking game. Here’s a look at how I did with last month’s tending list and what I’m focusing on this month:
*Prepare for the New School Year:
Not sure how much you can ACTUALLY prepare for going back to school as a pandemic still rages, but we did our best. We got all the supplies and stocked up on masks. We met the teachers and read the new policies and started praying even more for our family’s health and safety and the health and safety of those around us.
*First Day of School Traditions: The “Last Sundae Before School” tradition was a huge success and the first day of school pictures were extra special now that we are taking them by our fireplace and outside next to our saguaro! We also baked cookies for an after school treat on each kid’s first day.
*Bulk Trash Clean Out!:
We took advantage of this to the max. We now have enough room to get a car into our garage and after the next bulk pick up this fall we should be able to fit both and also have a good deal of our backyard cleared! Very proud of the work we did here.
*Print off pictures: Like everything else since the pandemic started… prices have gone up here and the sticker shock hurt a bit. But we did it and I love the photos we have around our house now and can’t wait to finish our second gallery wall later this fall.
*Continue purging and organizing pictures: I stared at our desktop screen until my eyes went fuzzy and I got super frustrated at times, but I sorted and deleted THOUSANDS of pictures and got all the way through pictures from 2020! The goal for this next month is the first half of 2021 and then I should be all caught up by the picture taking frenzy of the holidays. This process really emphasized how important a daily delete is for me to never get this far behind again… but I feel SO relieved I’ve made such progress.

*Self care Sabbath:
This happened about half the time. Which is better than nothing!
*Family Meeting/Budget Check:
So far so good. Although we found that a lot of our stressors at the moment can’s actually be resolved with a meeting… but we’re glad it is in place for when we feel comfortable adding more activities.
*Get Crafty/WRITE:
The writing happened. The craft time did not. I DID make a ton of progress on unpacking and organizing crafting supplies though so definitely a step in the right direction.

* Artist’s Way August:
 This was so meaningful even though it felt super hard to set aside the 30 minutes of journaling time some days. I have a few weeks left to wrap up the program but it has inspired me to write a one act, find new monologues, and start work on our next Alphabet Shakespeare piece, so I’d call that a huge success. 
*Evening Routine:
Progress here! Still totally dropping this after hectic days which is honestly probably when I need it the most, but the most regular I’ve been with and evening routine in a long time and it feels good to finally get some traction here.
*Strenght & Sips aka Move My Body & Hydrate:
Some days are better than others here. The summer heat just wipes me out and while we had lower than normal temps we had much higher than normal humidity and somehow that just really zapped me and made it harder to chug water than our usually Phoenix “dry heat” we all boast about. But I’m really happy with how I made time to move almost every day- even if it was only a fifteen minute restorative yoga or a ten minute arms workout.
*Daily Delete:
 I didn’t quite make it daily, but did it often enough to be caught up for the most part and to give myself a much easier job when I back my photos up and organize them! I’m finally catching up with my documenting too now that school pickup is back and I can use my Project Life app while safely parked waiting at the school for dismissal.

On to the new month!

Our fall break escape to the Mogollon Rim last year was so beautiful and gave me chance to use my favorite baby wrap

*Plan Fall Break:
Fall break is next month. Last year during virtual learning and all the stress that brought, our family escape for fall break was a much needed re-set and a highlight of a very hard year. We are hoping this fall break can be a highlight too!
*Celebrate my hubby:
It’s his birthday! I was lucky enough to spend my birthday with a few vaccinated friends during the days when COVID numbers were really low and I’m bummed that delta is wrecking his original birthday plans this year, but we still hope to celebrate and make the best of it.
*Plan for fall house work:
We have an ongoing list of things we want to add or work on in our new house and it’s time to take our general list and zero in on what is most important this upcoming season so we can budget and prioritize. Especially looking forward to any respite in the heat so we can work on the back yard and maybe even have a small garden this winter.
*Photo Catch up/organize 2021:
After making it through the 2020 photos the end of last month I’m ready to start catching up on 2021. The goal is to get through May this month and then be totally caught up by the time the next round of holidays is here…
*Your Special Day x3:
A special day with each of the kids. They are starting to love this tradition.
*Create Fall Bucket List:
Another family tradition. IT is fun to see what stays the same year after year and what slowly shifts and what brand new idea one of us gets.

*Saint of the Week:
I made the kids these beautiful saints blocks with art from Almond Rod Toys and the kids have had a lot of fun playing with them and learning about them, but I am ready for us to do a deeper dive on one saint each week as a family devotional. We’ll literally just pick a saint block out of the bag and go from there!
*Photo Routine/Back Up/Project Life Pages: Keeping up while I’m catching up. I printed the first half of the year when I was printing photos for our gallery wall and it is such an encouragement to keep going. The kids have grown more and more excited about looking at past family yearbooks and I love how that is building a strong family culture and story for them.
*Family Meeting/Budget Check In: Adding in the new school routines and drop off/pick up schedules makes the family meeting essential!
*Craft: I have my space ready to go and while I’ll mostly be crafting for myself and little projects around the house, I’m just excited to get back to working with my hands and imagination to make some fun stuff.
*Visit the Mountains: Even if its too hot to hike I just want to set the goal of getting to a mountain once a week. Even if it is just to stare at it in my air conditioned car or walk by it staying on an easy perimeter and not even getting all the way around, I just want to start reconnecting with some more mountain time! Bonus points if we end up squeezing in family day trip somewhere but not holding my breath here with all the house projects we have coming up.

*Sleep Hygiene: My caffeine consumption has crept back up and I’ve gone way past my phone curfew recently. So… back to this as a priority.
*Strength and Steps: My step count falls SO LOW in the summer. And school drop off and pick up has me in my car a lot more than I’d like. It is still hot, but I’m ready to at least get back to walking, if not running…
*Daily Delete: Deleting all the blurry and duplicate pictures as best I can now will mean less work when I go through and organize photos later… here’s to creating the habit.
*Evening Routine: Again, here’s to creating the habit now that I have a routine that really feels like it works.
*Shakespeare September: This is my alliterative way of encompassing what’s left of the Artist’s Way weeks I have as well as working on some new monologues and outlining a new Alphabet Shakespeare show that I’ll be writing with my hubby over the winter months. (I want to get an outline done before the holidays so we can kind of hit pause on outside projects and focus on the kiddos during that time!)

Here’s hoping school stays in session and we all stay healthy so those goals can have some great little by little progress! It is a stressful time, but my husband and I keep looking around at our blessings and quoting Tolkein: “there’s some good in this world Mr. Frodo”


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