Monday, September 11, 2017

September Goals and Happenings

I used this background on my old homeschool blog, which is why I've never used it here. But since I haven't touched it in ages, I figured why not? I ended up loving the colors- a little bit fall-ish without being too dark just yet. And the school vibe feels just right for September. I really like the little rulers on the side. I'm in love with this Mary Oliver quote I found via my friend Mal. And the pictures? Gosh, those babies are so sweet. Guess I say that every month. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, one full week of the month is over and, like is pretty much the case every month, I'm just now rolling this thing out. Anyway...

August wasn't really what I predicted. I obviously knew we were going out of town, but I never really assess well how much energy that will require. Once Sallie got well (finally!), Peyton came down with the flu. Which, while not life altering, was a bit disheartening. He worked a couple of extra shifts. So nothing huge, but the month felt more full than I expected.
- Honestly, mainly we focused a ton on school and trying to get in a good routine. I still don't feel like we're all the way there, but we're kicking it at about ninety percent most of the time, which may be as good as we ever get. Ha!
- The Nashville trip was SO much fun! More about that in a minute.
- Carrie and I did have dinner and it was such a delight, per always. We really need to do it more (although we joke that we make up for waiting months and months between Girls Nights because we stay out for like six hours).

September is another low key month that I'm hopeful will be our second part of easing into a good school/life routine. We do have a few things going on:
- We actually decided not to do extra-curicullars this season. I'm thinking we'll figure out something for the spring, but I'm looking forward to the break. Annie's finishing up piano with our friend who is teaching her soon and we're thinking about weather to continue with professional lessons (I'm leaning toward saying we're going to).
- We're making a trip down to the farm this week to see my inlaws. Graves JUST asked me about going and he's so excited. We may try to get down there twice.
- I'm hoping to get together with a couple of friends at some. There are several friends we want to have over for dinner, but it may be in October with some.
- I missed my first session at the Grief Center because we were in Nashville and I'm looking forward to getting back to it. I start back next week!
- I also have my first League meeting this week.
- And Sallie has her one year old check up the same day (the day she turns fifteen months- whoops).

Some additional Notes on September (and last month):
1. September is never one of my favorite months because mentally it feels like it should be fall but it's still awfully hot and miserable. I'm always stuck figuring out what to put on the kids- and myself. By October, I've usually said my final farewell to summer and am ready to move forward toward chilly weather and the holidays. But I have a hard time embracing September. This year, I'm excited for it. I'm looking forward to really settling into a good routine and having a low key month without many obligations. I'm exciting about starting back the few things I do outside our home- Junior League meetings and the Grief Center and hopefully subbing a bit at places that are dear to me and that kind of thing. 2.
2.  I had really hoped to get ourselves into some sort of routine in August, and as is often the case around here, that just didn't happen. Peyton was sick and he worked some extra shifts and we took a trip- it was a little ambitious to assume we would. But, I did manage to get in a lot of school here and there and we met or exceeded most of the academic goals I set. I took the week off from exercising while we were out of town and when we got back, I just didn't prioritize it. I'm planning to get back on it soon.
3. I'm hoping this month we really do find a groove. I realized recently that the seasons with babies and small children are short (I don't mean the years; I mean the actual stages where you get in a routine with one thing and "find your normal" and then it abruptly changes the next day), so I hold this kind of ideal loosely, but I'm excited about figuring out a system and a schedule that will work for a bit. 
Here were my August GoalsMy focus was "starting fresh". I actually feel like I did a tiny bit better on these than I had thought. I pretty much thought I had failed on every single one. I did best with the relational goals and I am very proud of that. I realized that several things just fizzled after our trip to Nashville. I'm not sure why, but I had trouble getting back into the swing of things.

1. Do a SheReadsTruth study. I actually did okay with this at the first of the month but I just totally didn't keep up with it when we were gone or once we got back from Nashville (Faith).

2. Visit Cookie and Conrad in Nashville and visit Peyton's aunt on the way home. We did this and it was SUCH a fun trip. (Family)

3. Go to dinner with Carrie and have a Sunday picnic with Mallory. Did both and both were just wonderful! Time with friends is so precious. (Relationships)

4. Keep working on my Couch to 5K program. Another thing I did great on until the trip, kinda slacked off on once we got back, and then dropped the ball on entirely at beginning of this month. I picked it back up tonight, though! (Health)

5. I decided to set some specific blog goals this month. I want to catch up on my Weekly Happenings posts through May and get Sallie's letters current and write Annie and Graves their eight year and one month old and six year and one month old letter, respectively. Yeah, literally NONE of that happened. I did get the letters drafted and I just need to polish them up and all the pictures and videos are uploaded for the WH posts. So that's something, I guess. (Creativity/Passion)

6. Start all new first and third grade curriculum. We did this. Even with P being sick and with the trip, we had a REALLY good month of school and I'm so pleased about it.  (Education/Edification)

7. Sort stuff and send a bag to Bagsy. Yeah, no. Barely even thought about it. (Organization)

8. Plan our Nashville trip and enjoy the Nashville trip. Again, we did this and loved most every minute of it. (Travel)

9. Don't spend any money on impulse buys. I didn't and I'm very proud of that! (Finances)

10. Think about and write down (at least) one thing I'm grateful for each day. Nope. Didn't do this at all, with the exception of a couple of days.  (Joy/Gratitude/Perspective)

11. Create an End of Summer Bucket list. We didn't get to this either, sadly. I think we did have a really great end of summer, though. So that's what's important. (Fun Goal)

 12. Prioritize weekly family pictures and the kids' monthly pictures. I did TERRIBLE with this. (Additional Goal)

 And here are my September Goals. My focus this month is going to be on "establishing routine". I have lots of repeats and I'm okay with that.

1. Do a SheReadsTruth study. Putting this one back on the list. (Faith).

2. Take an afternoon and go over to my parents and visit with them by myself and just relax. This will definitely qualify as some good self care and it's just really nice to have them to myself sometimes. (Family)

3. Have some friends over for dinner. I wish I didn't have such a mental block about this. It's always fun and worth the effort. (Relationships)

4. Keep working on my Couch to 5K program. I decided that I'm honestly not really concerned if I have to repeat a week or even go back a week. I just want to keep plugging away at this. (Health)

5. I want to catch up on my Weekly Happenings posts through May and get Sallie's letters current and write Annie and Graves their eight year and one month old and six year and one month old letter, respectively. Trying this one again. (Creativity/Passion)

6. Read my bookclub book. I've been meaning to do it, but I haven't even picked it up. (Education/Edification)

7. Do the kids' closet changeovers (this really seems like a more immediate need than mine- I have things that can transition easily) and sort stuff in the attic a bit. (Organization)

8. Plan a fall family vacation that we're taking with family friends in October. (Travel)

9. Continue to enforce a spending freeze. (Finances)

10. Think about and write down (at least) one thing I'm grateful for each day. I'm adding this one back in, too.  (Joy/Gratitude/Perspective)

11. Watch some Wonder Years with Peyton, especially on nights that we get take out. (Fun Goal)

Here's to September, a month continued fresh starts, bouquets of sharpened pencils, and occasional chills that promise oranges and yellows are not so far in the distance. Let me be content in these moments not yearning for the past nor fearing the future and holding loosely the good gifts of the present. 

I kept a lot of the same elements from last month on the side table since the calendar art uses pink and gold again. I did get out some of my favorite cloth napkins, switched out the little tin cups holding the candles that kept knocking over, and changed out my quote for the month.

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