Thursday, July 9, 2015

July Goals and Happenings

This month's design isn't my favorite overall, but I do really love the header. It feels like Summer and the quote epitomizes a lot of what I've learned and experienced this Summer so far. It's been a lot of walking in the darkness, but I'm grateful for the companions I have walking with me and for the things I'm learning about myself and my faith.

So, we've been back over two months. I don't think I'll forever measure things this way, but probably for some time I'm guessing. Peyton and I were talking just today how part of what makes it seem so surreal is how vastly different our reality in Brooklyn was from our reality here. Peyton was telling me about how our last week there he was rushing to catch a bus for work and he thought "this is so different from how it will be back in Mississippi" and of course, it is. It's that experience that makes it seem even more dream like and other worldly. Like we were living a whole other life there.

But, June! It's been a really good, sweet month and I feel much more acclimated and content with where we are. We've been spending more time with old friends and that's been such a blessing. We had a few fun events- weddings and birthday parties and such. And we've spent time swimming, and enjoying our backyard, and easing back into some semblance of a routine. We even took a short beach trip that ended up being sort of a bust in a lot of ways, but it was fun to be together as a family.

On the agenda for July:
- Peyton's working a lot extra. We're really hoping for a new schedule starting in August, but he's picked up some extra shifts this Summer while he had the chance before new graduates are hired to start in August. There's going to be a tough two week period of solo parenting coming up.
- We've spent the last couple of weeks easing back into homeschooling and the routine and structure that entails. So far, it's been going great and I'm excited about these early days of first grade at the Schoolhouse in the Suburbs.
- I don't know how much pool time we'll get in with Peyton working so much, but hopefully we can squeeze some in in the afternoons a bit.
- We sold off my car for scrap metal rather unexpectedly today so one big priority this month is obviously finding and purchasing a new (to us) one. With all the extra days Peyton is working, it may be a couple of weeks and that makes me a bit anxious, especially since I can't drive his car (it's as standard).
- Now that I'm looking over it, it looks like a rather lame month, but really I'm excited for it. I know we'll be enjoying more time with people we care about and finishing up some things around the house making it more into the home we've dreamed of and enjoying the long days and late sunsets.

Here were June's goals:

1. Engage in Bible study consistently. Well, I really tried to make this a priority. And I saw a lot of improvement. It definitely wasn't a daily thing, but it was multiple times a week and it was meaningful and beneficial. (Faith)

2. Set a few manageable Summer goals for the children. I've been thinking about this and I'm going to do a whole post about it soon. (Family)

3.  Prioritize people over "accomplishing things" and never let a dirty house hinder issuing an invitation. We did this and it's been so live-giving. Sometimes we have people over and there are dishes in the sink and shoes in the floor. And it's okay. Our friends love us anyway (of course) and extend grace.  (Relationships)

4. Walk with Mallory once a week and also begin to incorporate some sort of other sustainable exercise program into our lives . Mal and I did walk weekly pretty much (with the exception of trips and weather incidents (so I guess not really, but as much as we could) but nothing else happened in the way of exercise. I'm okay with it, but I'd like to up my game a little at some point. (Health)

5. Finish For the Love and start one new book. Goodness, I'm a little mortified this didn't happen. But life did. I made reading more of a priority in Brooklyn and I want that to happen here but I'm being patient with myself until it does (Education/Edification) 

6. Determine what homeschool materials we will need this year and purchase them. I did this. It feels good to have it accomplished! (Finances)

7. Continue purging items from our home and sort things into what can be sold and what should be donated. We did a lot of this. There's a lot sitting in the sunroom waiting to be sorted and now that the house is almost completely done otherwise, I'm ready to tackle it. (Simplicity) 

8. Daily express thankfulness over at least one thing. Sadly, I really dropped the ball on this again. I may start keeping up with it in a notebook to remind me. (Joy/Gratitude) 

9. Begin helping Peyton teach the children to swim. We did this and it's going really well with both kiddos! (Additional Goal)

10. Catch up on the blog. I"m definitely not caught up but I'm no further behind and I think I've made a little progress. (Additional Goal)

11.Finish Parks and Rec and pick another fun "Summer" show to start. We didn't quite do this and I'm sort of excited that it's not quite over yet. (Fun Goal)

And now July's goals:

(more repeats than usual, I feel like, but that's how it goes with getting reacclimated)

1. Start and end each day with a devotion. I do this some but not consistently enough since we got back and I want to firm up the habit. (Faith)

2. Go out alone with Peyton at least once. Hopefully, we can grab dinner or something simple one night. (Family)

3. Prioritize our children's friendships. I've actually been doing pretty good with this since pretty much all their friends at this point are children of my friends. But I think I'd like to be a little more cognizant of setting things up now that we're home and having real little friendships that are more deep and meaningful is one of the greatest gifts in that. (Relationships)

4. Plan meals and cook regularly. We've actually started getting back in the habit with this too and last week I did better than I ever have. We found a routine that works for our family and I've been cooking light, simple things that feel right for Summer. (Health) 

5. Finish For the Love and start one new book. My word. I *will* do that this month. (Education/Edification) 

6. Make a list of any (small) final purchases for the house, purchase them, and be DONE for awhile. (Finances)

7. Sort the entire contents of the sunroom and attempt to donate or sell everything (and put a few pieces of furniture in my parents' storage unit) by the end of the month. This is a lofty goal, but I will be SO excited when it's accomplished. (Simplicity)

8. Daily express thankfulness over at least one thing. And write it down. Seeing if that helps. (Joy/Gratitude) 

9. Catch up on the blog. Again with this one. There's a balance between being disciplined and letting it overtake my life and stress me needlessly. I think I'm finding it (Additional Goal)

10. Research and figure out what our new car will be! I'm (clearly) not very picky and this probably isn't even as fun for me as it is for most people, but I want to make a wise choice and one that will work for our family for at least the next several years. (Additional Goal)

11. Print pictures for all the empty frames around the house. (Additional Goal)

12. Finish Parks and Rec and pick another fun "Summer" show to start. Once again (Fun Goal)

Here's to July, a month where we can hardly forget the oppressive heat. May we, as those in previous generations, allow it to be a reminder to move more slowly and choose more deliberately, as we conserve our energy and practice a sort of extended Sabbath while the Summer sun beats down upon our backs. 

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