Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December Goals and Happenings

These aren't my favorite colors, but it felt fun to do something different than the traditional red and green. I do adore the quote, though, and I love the pictures this month.
Well, I'm back to being behind on these, too! November was a really fun month! As I mentioned, I started out the month working my Mistletoe shift and taking some baby things to consign. Annie finished up P.E. and Graves is still doing Little Gym. We've been doing weekly cousin playdates and we've had a couple of weeks off piano (due to Thanksgiving and such), but we're still enjoying those lessons, too. We went to Alabama for a funeral and I didn't end up subbing any, but I did do my McClean Fletcher placement (again, just once because of the holidays). And, as I also mentioned, Peyton had his vasectomy and has successfully recovered. Ahem. 

Usually, December seems busy and daunting. I'm not sure why because we couldn't have had much more stuff going on last year, but this year it seems almost like a break. We're mostly just taking it easy and lots of things (like Little Gym and piano) are actually slowing down a bit. 

Here were my November goals. I did okay, but there were several I didn't make happen at all. My overall focus was "gratefulness"...

1. Fill my prayer life with gratitude. We talked about this in Sunday school today- how the most important prayer is "thank you". I did do this and I want to make it a constant habit. (Faith)

2. Plan and give a housewarming party for my brother and sister in law who just bought their first house. The scheduling ended up not working out on this, which was a bummer. (Family)

3. Make dinner for a friend who just had a baby. Well, I got it set up. I'm actually bringing it this week. (Relationships)

4. Significantly back off OTC medicine. Um, no. I did terribly. I had an awful sinus infection and I took tons of Sudafed and Tylenol. (Health)

5.  Resume blogging routine as soon as we get home and try to write some more word heavy posts while traveling. I did this and it's felt really, really good. This month I really dug deep. I think- I hope- I'm back to doing more of that in general.For the first time in a long time, I really, really prioritized my blog these past few weeks. I looked back and the last time I wrote this many posts in a month was May- right before Sarah Lamar was born. I just haven't been able to find a good flow since then. If I'm honest (and I sort of hate admitting things like this) it was a lot of work and took a lot of mental energy, especially as Sallie and I have both been under the weather and I've been trying to work on other projects as well. And blogs aren't what they used to be. Not that mine was ever ANYTHING of a big deal, but it's just changed. I know I'm doing it for myself more than ever. (And for the kids down the road if they happen to care about the story of their childhoods and the thoughts and emotions I needed a space for during their childhoods.) But I loved it. It felt very good and like a worthy investment. For quite some time, it's became a place where I'd recap things months after they occur, or process events in retrospect, or copy and paste content from Instagram. This month was different. It felt wonderful to split my time between some time consuming catch-up posts (four letters to the big kids!) and uncovering and sharing my thoughts and feelings in real time (I wrote about the grief center and the election and now some things I've been learning). It's nothing so special, but it was a wonderful gift to myself these past couple of weeks and I hope I can prioritize it more while remembering other things have to come first (mainly sleep- that's what I used to sacrifice for it and now mostly sacrifice for Sallie). (Creativity/Passion)

6.  Finish Simply Good News and start The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt. Uh, still need to do this. (Education/Edification)

7. Organize and back up my pictures on two hard drives. Nope. And I really need to get on it because I think we're going to get another laptop soon and make this one the kids' computer. (Organization)

8. Take a short trip to Alabama for a friend's momma's funeral. We did do this and it was a really sweet, albeit sad, time. (Travel)

9. Get caught up on personal finances. Yeah, no. (Finances)

10. Daily list my Thankfuls. I did this! I need to share them on the blog. (Joy/Gratitude/Perspective)

11. Take Christmas card picture. We ended up using several snapshots from all year. (Additional Goal)

12. Do my closet changeover. Working on it... (Additional Goal)

13. Burn the candle. I did this and enjoyed it! (Fun Goal)

14. Watch The West Wing. I loved doing this! (Fun Goal)

 15. Work my Mistletoe shifts. I did this and it's always such a fufilling thing to do. I really feel like I'm contributing to something important. (Bonus Goal)

16. Send encouraging mail. This month I sent a friend who was about to give birth a little encouraging package with a note and Scripture and a quote and trinket. I also sent a friend who suffered a loss a care package and I sent a fun little happy to another friend who recently paid off all her student loans. I really enjoyed putting those things together (especially the first two, which really required more thought and creativity and writing the accompanying letters). Sometimes I think it's more fun to be on the giving end than the receiving! (Bonus Goal)

And here are my goals for December. My theme for this month is "finishing well". I'm keeping them pretty low key and ALOT are repeats, but I want to end the year on a good note...

1. Practice a simple Advent with the children. We're just reading the twenty four stories leading up to Christ's birth in the Jesus Storybook Bible and hanging up little laminated cards to go with each story. In the future we may go back to something more elaborate, but I sort of love doing it this way. (Faith)

2. Immerse myself in family time over Christmas. Especially the few days that Cookie and Conrad are here, I just want to take a break and focus on just being with people I love. (Family)

3. Bring dinner to a friend who had a baby. Like I said, this week! (Relationships)

4. Start exercising and gradually build up. I honestly don't know how much this will happen this month and I'm planning to really get in gear in January, but I'd like to try to start now. (Health)

5.  Continue to blog more regularly and more substantively. It's hard to find the balance, but like I said, I enjoy it so much so I'm determined to. (Creativity/Passion)

6.  Finish Simply Good News and start The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt. (Education/Edification)

7. Organize and back up my pictures on two hard drives. I really need to do this. (Organization)

8. Read The Righteous Mind by Jonathon Haidt. Yeah, I've got to get on this, too. (Education/Edification)

9. Get caught up on personal finances. And I really need to do this. I'm going to try to tackle it in sections. (Finances)

10. Enjoy good Christmas music. (Joy/Gratitude/Perspective)

11. Finish my closet changeover and do a major purge. Working on this currently! (Additional Goal)

12. Get a peppermint milkshake from CFA. (Fun Goal)

Here's to December, a month of to reflect and look ahead. May we end the year with gratefullness and look ahead to the new year with joyful anticipation. 

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