As Christmas comes ever closer, I wanted to share a story about Christmas three years ago that has been on my mind a lot recently. It doesn’t necessarily fit with any of my themes for this year, but I figure since it’s about Christmas and I’m transitioning blog focuses anyway I’d just go for it. It’s about a small act of kindness that made enough of an impression that years later here I am writing about it… Continue reading
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…
OOOF… March… was a rough month. You know the phrase “In like a lion out like a lamb”? Weather wise it was perfect lamb like pastoral paradise all month long, but event wise it felt like a lion all month long…. or maybe in like a lion out like a velociraptor… but let’s recap anyway. Continue reading
We are a few weeks into Lent now, so I wanted to share a post reflecting on a few of my favorite ways to pray. I picked seven favorites so if you want you can try a new one out each day of the week! Continue reading
December is here! and I’m ready to finish out the year strong… but first let’s re-cap November… Continue reading
August Monthly Goals:
Finish Much Ado Directing Prep: This is mostly done. It’s as done as we can get before we cast the show and solidify the rehearsal schedule and cut. I’m so excited to watch this come together and feeling good about our preparation thus far.
Celebrate Z’s wedding/seeing old friends: This was WONDERFUL. I can’t tell you how happy this trip made me. The only thing that could have made it better is if my family could have come with me. You can read THIS POST to find out a little more about how getting to reconnect with so many friends this summer made me reflect on friendships in general and how they change and grow or fade.
Print Project Life Pages: Yes, this happened although in hindsight I wish I’d have waited to see if my favorite printing company was going to have a Labor Day sale… but at least that’s done until the beginning of next year when I print out the pages from now until the end of this year! The next step will show up below…
Schedule Dr. Appts/Get new contacts: This did not happen. With travel and starting back to teaching I was just thrown off my game for this. Also, my daughter was sick when I was supposed to go have my eye appointment so that got cancelled… now its a race against time to see if I can schedule a new appointment before I run out of contacts! This was all a reminder that if I don’t FORCE myself to put my health as a priority then it will very easily just slip through the cracks…
Plan fall garden/Re-set raised beds: YES! This came down to the wire and I still need to finish out some of our containers, but the garden beds are seeded and we even have a few of the first things we planted beginning to sprout. Hopefully the lingering heat in September doesn’t zap them too much and we’ll have a nice, full, fall garden before the cold weather sets in. My tiniest gardener even got in on the fun of planting new seeds… she also wanted to use a rake that was over twice her size…
Breathe through this month’s transitions: This was so helpful to remember. Stressing out doesn’t help with anything and I think I can thank my yoga practice and my wonderful support systems for making me ready to breathe through the transitions and embrace all the changes of this season! It made them much more peasant than wasting time self-imploding with worry like I might have done in the past. It also helped me focus on the positive things about the transitions. I forgot how much I love being in the classroom and I love the one on one time I get with my daughter while my son is at school!
August Weekly Goals:
Budget/Meal Plan/Family Meeting: Yes. Still so helpful, if a little stressful this month. August is always our tightest month as the summer drives up our utility bills and all the back to school and once a year stuff seems to pop up all together. Part of me wanted to just throw my hands up and ignore the budget each week, but even when we went over on some line items it was good to acknowledge that and plan accordingly.
Pray the Rosary/Write the Word: Yes. I am loving this habit and may move it back to daily later this year.
Photo backup/Project Life: backed up my photos and the scrapbook pages happened for the most part, but now I really need to get back to ORGANIZING my uploaded photos ASAP as I have THOUSANDS waiting for me to re-organize them and I do not want that number to climb any higher. I’m going to focus on that next month and come back to weekly uploads and project life pages once we get to November.
Blog: Yes! the new expectation of once a week is a wise shift for this time. We’ll see if I change back in November to twice a week, but for now this is definitely a needed change.
August Daily Goals:
Hydrate: Hit and miss with all the travel, but doing better here!
Morning Routine: Started and ended strong, but I’ll admit the middle of the month was a mess.
Evening Routine: Started getting into this routine by the very end of the month (as in the final week), but still have a long way to go!
Yoga/Move Your Body: YES! as much as possible. Progress not perfection, and there’s been progress for sure.
8.5k Steps: Extremes here- most days I actually hit 9k or more, but there are days that I am just incredibly sedentary- either because of travel or because I’m having a computer work day and am just reading and writing and lesson planning in a very still position. I’m not sure the best way to combat those days as I definitely fall prey to feeling EXHAUSTED after sitting that long, but the GOOD news is that those days are getting to be fewer and fewer and my normal rhythms of life are becoming more and more active. I love that!
Gratitude Journal: Yes for the most part and it really does change my attitude when I make this a daily practice. It was funny arriving at a Tending List Tuesday and realizing that the days I didn’t intentionally think about gratitude are generally the days I was much grumpier.
September Monthly Goals:
Lesson Plan Through October: I want to use my time wisely and plan multiple classes at once while I’m in that mindset, and I also want a very clear plan that I can tweak easily once Much Ado About Nothing rehearsals start.
Photo pages into a scrapbook: I printed the pages and then realized I hadn’t bought a scrapbook for this year so now I need to order and organize the pages so we have the first half of the year all set and the second half of the scrapbook just waiting to be filled. I also have some special mementos from throughout the year that I want to put inside the book and want them safely in their “home” ASAP.
Celebrate Hubby’s Birthday: My sweet husband’s birthday kicks off this month and I can’t wait to celebrate him. Hopefully this is a goal I will already have marked off by the time this post gets published!
Celebrate St. Teresa & St. Gabriel: Two important saints days that I want to mark this month. In this time of darkness and discouraging news within the Church, it’s more important to me than ever to have examples of saints to cling to and point me toward deeper relationship with Jesus. I believe the church is bigger than its scandals, even when its hard to see past them or move past the grieving they bring.
Organize Kitchen: My mission to organize and simplify the house kind of fell by the wayside this middle part of the year and I want to tackle the kitchen before the fall sets in and I want to bake ALL THE THINGS!
Bulk Cook for October: With rehearsals starting we won’t have any time for cooking and I don’t want to spend a fortune eating out so we are trying to plan ahead. crock pot meals and frozen burritos and anything else we can think of to help those crazy weeks.
Re-Visist Finance Goal Guide: It’s time for us to re-visit our financial goals and focuses we set down when we first did the Finance Goal Guide and I’m looking forward to talking about how to plan for the rest of the year.
Create our Cultivated Calendar for the Holidays: Speaking of planning for the rest of the year…
Sell/Donate stuff in garage corner:
September Weekly Goals:
Sabbath & Self Care: I will never understand why it is so hard for me to SLOW DOWN and take a true day of rest. On the other hand, I hope I never forget how hard it is to get a family with littles out the door and to mass on time so that I can maintain this empathy for young families when I am much older and this time has faded.
Apple Treats: It doesn’t feel like fall, but to me September and early October means eating all sorts of apple goodness before pumpkin invades the scene. I’d like to make some sort of apple treats for my family each week. Even if they are really simple recipes.
Say the rosary/Write the Word: keeping this a weekly goal for now… 🙂
Meal Prep/Pack Lunches: Adding this as a separate item from just planning meals. Want to get in the habit of prepping more for the week before we add rehearsals to the mis.
Write!: At least a Blog post a week and hopefully other things whether they are journals, essays, short plays, etc.
Send Happy Mail!: I recently got the Cultivate What Matters Encouragement Postcards and I am kind of obsessed with them and want to make sure I don’t hoard them and am sending them out into the world!
Budget Check In/Meal Plan/Family Meeting: Truly one of the best routines I’ve created. Keeping it on here until we get through the crazy of October.
September Daily Goals:
9.5k Steps: Since I hit 9k so many days last month I figured I’d bump it up to 9.5k this month. I have stopped writing “hydrate” on my tending list as my Plant Nanny App does a better job of reminding me anyway.
Yoga/Workout: The single best thing I can do for my mental health. I don’t expect myself to actually hit every single day, but if I can make 4-5 times a week happen I am just a much happier and healthier person.
Morning Routine: Really looking to put this on autopilot again.
Evening Routine: Hoping to add to the progress I finally made the end of last month! Still tweaking what is a part of this routine so planning to settle on set items by the end of September.
Tend the Garden: So excited about this! It’s garden time again after a few months of letting the ground rest as the Phoenix sun scorched everything in sight. I love the early days of seeing seeds turn to sprouts and start to grow into full plants before they set fruit. There’s so much change my kids can watch alongside me and it had become such a fun family activity for us to water and check on the garden.
Last year on All Saint’s Day I went through and listed out some of the Saints that had a particular meaning for our family. Continue reading
One of my goals last month was to create a liturgical calendar for the first part of the year which included not only the usual seasons of Lent and Easter that we always celebrate, but also which Saints’ Days we would celebrate because they have special meaning to us. One of the first of those we got a chance to celebrate was my saint I chose at confirmation- St. Brigid. Continue reading
I’m continuing my series of posts revealing what I’ll be focusing on in this blog for 2018. The year of Es already includes Entertaining and Exploring and Endure. Lots of fun and special possibilities there, but I think today’s reveal is perhaps less flashy but more of a source for some of my best blogging content: Continue reading