Sunday, April 3, 2016

April Goals and Happenings






 I wasn't really sure I was going to like this design (the lace isn't really me), but it turns out I love it so much. I love the colors and the paisley/floral mix. And I love how the header turned out. It wasn't until I was over half finished with it that I realized that the middle picture of the sunroom and the two of Annie on the outsides actually sort of match the background. How fun! I had to Google to figure out how to do the flowers, but I think they added a fun Springy touch and pulled it together a bit. And gosh, I love my Emerson quote. So fitting with my slow theme this year!
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March was such a great month. I felt like it went by so fast and that's kind of nice these days, with this pregnancy. We had a lot of fun stuff going on but it was a pretty laid back month, which I also love. It's funny because in some ways it seemed like a much longer month than usual (because of the way the calendar fell there were three full weeks bookended by two five day weeks) but it flew by, which is the exact opposite of February!

Anyway, we had a lot of fun! The kids had a pretty intense month with soccer- the way the Y does it is that it's a really short season, but you practice/have games alot. We also got in a lot of social time with friends. Several of our friends that are in school had their Spring Breaks and we were able to see them, which was really fun. Easter was fun and special and we did get back in our groove with school. I had some pregnancy issues that were less fun but everything is fine and I'm thankful for that.

I feel like April is going to be a bit crazy for our crew:
- Peyton and I are going to be gone for a WEEK to New York. I was a little worried the kids would be sad that they aren't going on this trip (we're for sure taking them next time!) but they are over the moon about staying with their grandparents.
- We're having their joint birthday party....at some point. No really, I'm making myself nail down a date in the next week. I knew all along I wanted to do it after we got back, but I need to settle on a date and time.
- Before we leave on the trip, I have a good bit to do- my next OB appointment, a haircut, and something related to an opportunity for next year (I hate to be vague (and I feel like I almost never am!) but I'm just not ready to put it out there yet).
- I hoping to have a couple of friend dates this month. We probably won't end up having as many people over this month (aside from the kids' party) just because it's pretty busy, but I have a couple of girlfriends I'd like to meet up with for dinner.

I was really proud (and surprised!) with how well I did with my March Goals. In all honesty, it probably doesn't sound like much to most people, but especially with how tired I've been this whole pregnancy and with the little pregnancy setback, it felt like I accomplished a lot. I switched my iron supplement and I think it's helped with my energy a good bit and I guess maybe my nesting urge is kicking in! Anyway, here were my goals for the month:

1. Get my hymn calendar hung in the sunroom. We did it and I was right. I've loved having those good words around me and I love having the sunroom complete. There are certainly touches I'd like to add but it feels finished for now. (Faith)

2. Plan the children's birthday party. Well, this one didn't totally happen. We have a theme settled on and I did check out Pinterest and do some brainstorming. This year, I really wanted to involve Annie in the planning and I just didn't get to it. It's one of the things on the list that I want to get done before we leave town, though!  (Family)

3. Have at least one family/friend over for dinner this month. I feel like we knocked this one out of the park, honestly. Some of it wasn't really having friends over- although we did have two friends for dinner and one play date- we also got together at the park with a few different friends and I just felt like overall I really put some energy toward investing in mine, Peyton's, and the children's friendships which is super important to me. (Relationships)

4. Find a doula and consistently take my iron and prenatals EVERY day. I did much, much better with the prenatals. And I realized that the iron I was taking was upsetting my stomach so I switched to a different kind that seems to be working much better. As far as a doula, I've gone back and forth about maybe not having one. I was planning on going to this "Meet the Doula" event that's a monthly thing where several local doulas come and you can see if you fit with anybody. But it got cancelled this month. Maybe a sign? ;) Ugh, who knows? (Health)

5. Enjoy our camera more. Actually, we do have a lot more candid shots than usual this month, but ALL the credit for that goes to Peyton =) (Creativity/Passion)

6. (Again) Get back in the swing of things with a more structured school routine. It's funny because we had one week where I was really not doing great physically and then one week where we were just really busy (as I said, March really felt like five weeks because the week that it started and ended each had five days). And those weeks we didn't do school as intensely as the others. But I felt SO good about this month. We've made a big dent in our math and English and we picked back up with our supplemental things. We did some Easter, Spring, and St. Patrick's day crafts for fun and did several projects that go with our Bible curriculum (we made a stormy Sea of Galilee in a bottle and also made a sort of diorama of the area around the sea, among other things). We read our book club book and the kids went to the science experiment day with our homeschool group a couple of times. And, we just got back in our routine with doing morning school a few times a week, which was really important to me. Overall, I felt great. I know April will be a bit crazy but I'm going to try to knock out the basics and then really go hard again in May before Sister Baby gets here. (Education/Edification)

7. Make a list of house projects. We didn't do this one. I may add this back in May when we're doing house stuff to get ready for Sister Baby. (Organization)

8. Plan NYC Trip. We still need to contact some friends up there and sort of make a more formal itinerary, but we did a bunch of brainstorming and I think basically we know what all we want to try to fit in. I want to really make the most of our time there but also go at a relaxed enough pace that I don't make myself sick or go into labor- or really what I'm more worried about is that I'll just crash when we get home. (Travel)

9. Challenge myself not to buy anything "extra" this month and get my personal finances (my work money) up to date. Well, I definitely didn't get my finances up to date, but I don't think I bought anything extra at all. I finished up the kids' wardrobe for Summer and the new stuff is all washed and hanging in their closets. (Finances)

10.  Practice being content without buying things. This was surprisingly easy. I will say that I spent a good bit leading up to this month, so that could be a factor. But I just didn't have much urge to buy anything.  (Joy/Gratitude)

11. "Spring" the house. I got the snowman china put up and our regular/Summer looking plates set out and organized (I'm kind of anal about this because the cabinet is open so they're all exposed). I also got the flannel sheets off everyone's bed, got them washed and put up, and put fresh soft cotton ones on. (Additional Goal)

12. Work on catching up on the blog and in Feedly. Whew! Yes. I feel like I've made some substantial progress on both fronts. I'm not fully caught up on the blog by any means but hopefully that will also happen in May before the baby gets here. (Additional Goal)

13. Go on a date to Babalu. We didn't do this and actually when I realized we'll have a WEEK of dates in New York I decided I may just ask a friend to go with me sometime in April. Good for the friendship and no pressure to find a sitter. Win win. (Fun Goal)

Bonus Goals:
I've mentioned before, but these are extra goals I ended up setting (and accomplishing!) as the month progressed.  Again, these seem like such tiny things and I feel a bit ridiculous including some of them, but I can be a HUGE procrastinator so to accomplish all this was a big deal for me.
 - Organize around the house. I cleaned out Tupperware cabinet, sorted through kids' art, went through massive piles on the kitchen counter and table, got the kids' Winter stuff out of their dresser and ready to take to the attic, and cleaned out my purse).
- Clear off phones. I consolidated and better organized apps and deleted downloads on both my phones (I have an Iphone that I use for my camera and Instagram stuff and that kind of thing but I have a little cheap phone that we could get a much better deal on service with that I use to actually talk and text on). This sounds like such a little thing, but it's been so nice to have them more streamlined.
- Catch up on laundry. I did get to a "caught up" point (of course that never lasts, but I'm going to try to really keep on top of it) and I washed a slipcover cushion I've been meaning to take care of for weeks.
- Select and rank my Junior League placements for next year. This kind of thing is always so hard for me because I'm SO indecisive. I had a really hard time this year particularly because I loved my project so much and it was such a good fit in so many ways (the timing, my interests, ect.) but I also really didn't want to miss out on experiencing something else amazing. I ended up putting something else first (you pick four placements and rank them in order of which you'd like to do the most) but I left Book Buddies on my list. We'll see what I end up with!
- Cook more regularly. This is by MY standards, but I've been cooking real meals more frequently than I have since I got pregnant (which for me is about three times a week). We've been eating together at the table and that's been lovely and I've been enjoying the leftovers.

I'm really proud of myself because I actually sat down and mostly mapped out my goals from now until we welcome our New Girl in early to mid June and even discussed them with Peyton. It felt so good to do that. Like I said, April is busy so I'm trying not to be too ambitious. I'll obviously share May's later, but they mostly have to do with getting the house ready for our new family member! Here are April's Goals:

1. Attend the Mockingbird Conference in NYC. Keeping this one real doable, y'all. But it's something that I know will help me in the area of faith and I'm so excited about it! (Faith)

2. Finish planning and throw the kids' birthday party. This will obviously also happen, it's just TBD how ambitious I'll be with food and decorations and such. (Family)

3. Reach out and connect with friends in NYC. I'm so excited about seeing so many of our old friends from our time in Brooklyn! I know we probably won't be able to see everyone we'd like to, but I want to get in as much friend time as we can. (Relationships)

4. Continue to cook consistently. This may be a struggle this month, but I'm going to try! (Health)

5. Read at least one book. I would love this (or really much more!) to be my default, but it isn't always and it just comes down to prioritizing it. (Creativity/Passion)

6. Finish three quarters of our math curriculum with Annie before we leave for New York. It's been my goal for awhile and we're on track to do this but it will take me being pretty diligent over the next week and a half. I'm less worried about where we are in English and honestly, I'm not going to stress at all about supplemental stuff this month. (Education/Edification)

7. Change over my closet and the kids' closet for Summer. I've basically done the kids' dresser and I just need to do their hanging clothes and it should be really easy with my stuff since I can't wear the vast majority of it =) (Organization)

8. Enjoy our trip to NYC. Go at a sustainable pace but fill our time well with all the city has to offer. (Travel)

9. Catch up on my personal finances. I'm putting this back on here because I need to do it. (Finances)

10. Challenge myself to not allow stress to dominate things that should be fun- specifically our trip and the kids' party. (Joy/Gratitude/Perspective)

11. Organize my present stash. We have a stash of presents for our kids (for Christmas and birthdays, but really we keep those minimal so also just for little happies) and another one for friends' birthday party and such. We've added a bit to both lately and I need to go through it and organize it all a bit. (Additional Goal)

12. Go on at least two friend dates. (Fun Goal)

Here's to April, a month to celebrate our first two little loves and a month to enjoy time away from them. May we love fully, without fear, and may we find gratitude for love's past, present, and future. 

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