Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August Goals and Happenings

I really love the header this time. I'm always wanting to use this font but it always seems a bit too funky. Not this month, though. The background is so patchwork quirky, I thought it worked well. And so many great pictures this month of combinations of my three little people together. And the quote is one I ran across recently and just loved. PERFECT for the month we're starting school- teaching them the art of living is of such importance to me.

July was a challenging month in a lot of ways, some expected some not. Peyton was in a bike accident broke his collarbone on the Fourth and that alone sort of threw a kink in things. At first he couldn't change a diaper or even hold Sarah Lamar (and she was barely three weeks old). It's healed a lot and I'm SO thankful it wasn't much worse, but it was unexpected and it was a little bit of a challenge. He had also signed up to work a bunch of extra shifts. He ended up working all of them after taking one day off and decreasing two of his twelve hour shifts to six hour ones. I was so proud of him. But I got really tired and isolated. More than anything, I got pretty emotionally depleted. I really wasn't expecting that either. I was expecting to be stressed, not sad. BUT. We had a lot of fun things going on this month. Cookie and Conrad made it back home two weekends in a row and gosh, it did great things for my heart. We made a little overnight trip to Oxford and all three kids did amazingly and we had such a wonderful time. And the big kids have continued to adjust so well to their little sister and she's adjusting well to the world. We didn't make it to the pool as much as I would have liked, but we did have a few fun trips and we went to the Children's Museum once. Our sweet Cousin Baby was born and we had a lot of fun at home most days. And at the end of the month I got to do my training for my Junior League placement at the state's only grief center and I could already tell this was going to be such a transformative thing. So really, lots and lots of good.

August isn't too busy:
- We're starting back our school routine. We're easing in and adding one area a week. We've started math and next week we'll add English.
- Sallie got her shots and so the kids and I will be starting back to church tomorrow. I'm excited but a little nervous.
- Like I said, Sarah Lamar had her two month well baby check up. Also, I have my follow up visit (way later than six weeks because I forgot to schedule it) and Peyton will have a check up for his collarbone and we all have haircuts.
- I'd like to spend some more time getting together with friends now that P isn't working as much.
- I'll be actually starting my placement at the grief center at the end of the month.

I mentioned in my July post that I wanted to sort of focus on a specific area. Last month that area was for me and Peyton to get on the same page a bit- reading a book together, having weekly meetings, that kind of thing. We did good in some senses and in some ways we didn't. The reading a book together was a total fail on my part, but we did start a new show and I felt like I was more intentional about spending time with him in the evening instead of just doing chores and spending time on the computer. Overall, I feel like this month was pretty unsuccessful. One of my worst ones in a long time, actually. I've really struggled with trying to give myself grace, especially since I have a one month old and we are still adjusting to life with three kids and trying to get back in the game and better manage my life and my time. Also, I have some great days but also some really hard ones, emotionally, and that has been more exhausting than I can describe. Anyway, here were last July's Goals:

1. Continue reading both devotions daily and pray in the mornings and evenings.  I did a pretty rotten job with this again, to be honest. (Faith)

2. Prioritize my relationship with Peyton. As I said, I felt good about this one. We touched base more and honestly just spent more time together enjoying each other's company. (Family)

3. Continue to be intentional about keeping connected with our close friends. Actually, I did terrible with this and I felt it so hard. I had some really down days and a good part of that was letting myself get isolated. It's hard when Peyton's working a lot extra and has our only car, but there are things I know I can do to make it better. (Relationships)

4. Daily practice some form of self-care and note it. I did this a little but not like I meant to and I think it's one I'm going to add back. (Health)

5. Read Modern Romance with Peyton. Yeah, no. (Creativity/Passion)

6. Prepare to start our new school year in August. This is one I did pretty well with. I'm really anxious about this school year, but I'm also excited and I feel like I've planned to the point where really all I can do now is jump in and get my feet wet. (Education/Edification)

7. Work more with Peyton on managing our time effectively. We did make some minimal progress, but we've got a looooong way to go. (Organization)

8. Take a trip to Oxford. This is another area I can truly be proud of. We planned it and we did it and it was a total success. A LOT of that is on the kids, but I tried really, really hard to go into it with a good attitude and stay flexible. (Travel)

9.  Catch up on online budgeting. No. Kinda sad. I think I've been trying for six months. I always get so behind and then have a ton of catch up work to do. (Finances)

10. Surround myself with music that brings joy. I did do this, sort of unintentionally. I forgot it was a goal but I've been listening to this Paul Simon album that I discovered I love a bunch when the kids are resting. JOY. (Joy/Gratitude/Perspective)

11. Write thank you notes for the baby presents we received at the shower my Sunday school class gave and have the children (mainly Annie) write thank you notes for her birthday presents. I ended up claiming defeat on the birthday ones. I got some baby ones done, but not all of them. And I actually decided to write notes to people who brought us food and our neighbor who cut our hard when Peyton broke his collar bone and that kind of thing first because it seems awkward to write those months later in a way that it doesn't for presents. (Additional Goal)

12. Carve out time to keep watching The Sixties, a ten part CNN miniseries on Netflix that I'm loving. Not a lot, but I did this just the other nigtht. (Fun Goal)

13. Start going through magazines and purging them. I have a big pile that I wanted to flip through and tear out stuff if it caught my eye but I've been hoarding them for years. I finally decided to just do it. I got through one box and have another to go. (Bonus Goal)

For my August Goals, I really want to focus on routine. I almost made it a focus on school, but we really need to focus on routine in general more than just school. Lately, I've really felt like I've had a hard time keeping my head above water and that's the total opposite of how I felt right before Sallie was born- I felt like I was managing my time better than I ever had before in my life. I know that's TOTALLY normal, but it's also a little discouraging. 

1. Establish times (at least two) of daily silence, stillness, and prayer. This isn't going to be easy. These days I have such a hard time quieting my mind. But I think it's definitely worth it. (Faith)

2. Make Annie and Graves the first of several checklists to help them take ownership of their responsibilities. One of my goals on my yearly list was to set specific goals for them and this is a tangible way to help them see these goals. I didn't set Summer goals for them like I did last Summer, so it's good to be doing that again. (Family)

3. Be intentional about staying connected with friends. As I said, I neglected this last month, and I suffered dearly for it. (Relationships)

4. Daily practice some form of self-care and note it. Back on the list. (Health)

5. Explore the idea of pursuing a writing opportunity I recently heard about. I'm sure I'll share more details later, whatever happens, but I want to at least examine the possibility seriously. (Creativity/Passion)

6. Ease back into school, adding subjects each week, until by the end of the month, we have established a good schedule for our full school routine. (Education/Edification)

7. Make time each week to plan activities for the coming week, plan school for the coming week, and plan meals for the coming week. This is straight off my goals for the year and it's something I was more consistent about at one time, though I've never been truly disciplined in the area. I've began to feel this real burden that if school is going to work with bigger kids, I'm going to HAVE to be more disciplined.

8. Plan a trip to the Smokies for September. I'm sort of nervous about this but also really excited. (Travel)

9. Catch up on online budgeting. Um, yeah. (Finances)

10. Surround myself with music that brings joy. This is one thing that helped my sanity so much this month, so I'm adding it back, too. (Joy/Gratitude/Perspective)

11. Finish thank you notes. I'm so determined. (Additional Goal)

12.  Get a sno-cone. At least one more time before the Summer ends! (Fun Goal)

Here's to August. A month where we, hopefully, begin to regain and reclaim a sense of normalcy. May we seek discipline and wisdom and perspective in the ways we use our time, may we remain humble in our successes, and hopeful in our failures.

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