Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Goals & Plans for 2021

Another year has come and gone, and even with the weirdness of 2020, it flew by in a blink per usual. I've been thinking a lot the last few weeks about what I want this year to look like for myself and my family, and have come up with some goals and plans for the year that I'm really excited about. If 2020 taught me anything, it is to hold it all in an open hand and accept what comes. We never could have predicted all the craziness and hardship of last year, and some of that led to not being able to accomplish goals and that was OK. So as I think and pray on these goals, I am walking into them knowing they are just that-goals. Hopes. Things I want to accomplish, but don't need to accomplish in order to still have a good year. 

Spiritual Goals
1. Read the Bible in 90 days. 
This is something I am only semi-committed to as of right now. I had been toying around the idea of doing the Bible in a year, which I did several years ago, just to get that full scope of the grand story, but while still studying through books of the Bible in depth simultaneously throughout the year. It just felt like a lot to me, but when I heard about the 90 day plan, I thought that sounded more do-able. I do well on studying a book at a time in depth, but I think there are some benefits of getting that full picture. I think doing the 90 days will allow me to get both, but be able to focus on one at a time. So, I am pretty sure my husband and I are going to do this together the first few months of the year, and I'm fine if it takes more than 90 days, which I'm almost certain it will. And then after that I am going to move onto more in depth book studies for the rest of the year, which brings me to my next few goals...

2. Study the gospels thoroughly. 
Looking more in depth at the life and teachings of Jesus is something I've been really craving doing for the last year or so. The gospels are always a great refresher and so meaty. I would love to study them more in depth, look at the differences in each gospel account, etc. 

3. Study Revelation. 
This is such an intimidating book for me. So much of it is so far beyond my understanding. BUT, I am more equipped to understand it now than I was even a couple years ago, and I have some great resources to help me do that. 

4. Read a Psalm a day. 
I don't know exactly what this is going to look like. I don't know if I am going to do this and then start over, or just go through them once until I have read them all and stop. I could see it going either way. I am really wanting to be in the Psalms more as a means of worship and focusing on praise and on God's character. We will see what happens after the first 150 days!

5. Memorize a section of scripture. 
I have never memorized a larger portion of scripture. I don't know yet what I will memorize and if it will be a passage or a whole chapter, but I am excited to challenge myself to do this! I am considering doing Romans 8, but looking at other passages as well. 

Health Goals
1. Relearn how to eat intuitively.
This is my one and only health goal for this year. I tried to learn more about eating intuitively a few years ago, but got sucked back into diet mentality quickly. I am committed this year to really re-learning how to do this. I have already started some, but also recently bought the book Intuitive Eating to go through and I am excited about getting back to a healthier place with food. I think I may set smaller movement goals each month or certain things I want to accomplish, but I really want to this to be my biggest health focus for the year. 

Hobby & Learning Goals

1. Read 35 books. 
I met my goal of 30 books last year, which was my highest year yet, and I know I can do even more this year! I have a ton of great fiction & non-fiction books on my want to read list that I can't wait to get into. 

2. Pull out my big camera at least once per week. 
I have hardly touched my DSLR in the last few years and I miss it. I want to get it out more regularly, not to get the perfect photo, but to capture my kids doing everyday things. I'd even love to get into more nature photography on some of our adventures, which I've really never done before. I want to care less about editing a great photo and more about taking one that means something to me.

3. Redesign the blog layout. 
This blog design is very outdated. Half the things on my top bar I don't even blog about anymore. I am looking forward to sitting down and doing this, but also kind of dreading it because I know it's going to be a lot of effort and some frustration. 

4. Learn hand lettering. 
I have always loved all things paper, writing, pens, school supplies, etc. and recently realized how little I do anything enjoyable in this arena. I asked for and received some books on hand lettering for Christmas and have just started learning the basics. I'm hoping I'll make some great progress on this through the year, and I'm excited to learn more about it and use it as a way to relax and also to hopefully make beautiful things (I'm dreaming of gorgeous tags on this year's Christmas gifts!)

5. Keep track of hours spent outdoors. 
I am fascinated with the idea of 1000 hours outside. Before committing to spending 1000 hours outdoors with my kids, I want to keep track and see how many hours we actually spend outside in a year. My husband & I have been talking about this and it's really hard to tell. 1000 hours would be about 2.7 hours per day. There are days in the summer my kids are outside for 9+ hours a day and only come in to use the bathroom. There are weeks in the winter we don't spend any time outside at all. So it's hard to tell if it evens out or not. I am mostly doing this for fun and out of curiosity, and hopefully it will spur us on to spend even more time outdoors and on adventures. 

6. Write out a mission and purpose for our homeschool.
This year has really changed a lot of my perspective and desires for our homeschool (which I am really excited to get into more here on this blog!) I want to really think intentionally about what I am planning and intending for our homeschool going forward. We've already changed a lot of our school priorities this year and I have seen tons of benefits and it has pushed me to dig into this even more. The seed has been planted and I am really wanting to dig in with this and make some big changes throughout the rest of this year and next. 

7. Read 20 read alouds with the kids. 
One of the things we've added in this year is more time for read alouds during our school hours. We've also been going through the Harry Potter books as a family since last year, outside of school time, so I imagine we'll continue on with those this year (we're in the middle of book 4 now).This is something that I've seen great benefits with and I want to continue with read alouds even during breaks like summer or times when we may not have a book going for school. 20 books seems manageable, but we will see!
 
Home & Misc. Goals
1. Add more security measures.
This was something we started last year and want to continue adding in this year. There are so many options out there, that I just need to take the time to think about what we need most for our home and family so I can narrow it down, and then research from there. 

2. Finalize will. 
This was one of the most important things on my goals year from last year, and we didn't get it finalized. We made progress, which is something, considering we've been putting it off for many many years. This is the year it gets done!

3. Add at least one more smart home feature. 
We had a lot of ideas for smart home features when we moved into this house 3 years ago, and we've done a few but not nearly as many as we intended. I want to add at least one more thing to our house this year in the way of smart home things. I just got a smart clock for Christmas that I set up yesterday, so I sort of feel like I've already met this goal, but I'll try to add at least one more useful thing! 

4. Build our kids a playset/tree house.
So excited/nervous for this! Last year was the year we decided to get a new, bigger & better playset for our kids. And then covid hit and the entire country was sold out of playsets. After a very dramatic purchasing experience, we finally scored one (just barely) spent an entire week of our lives building it, and less than 3 months later it was destroyed in our derecho. Such a bummer! We decided to build one from scratch (which we had been considering last spring before we found the one we bought) and I know it is going to take a ton of planning, buying, measuring, re-measuring, fixing, and putting together, but I am excited for the ideas we've come up with and I hope it all comes together! We loved being the neighborhood hub for the kids around our neighborhood last summer, and a big part of that was thanks to our playset, so we'll see if we can get this one up by summer!

5. 12 intentional date nights. 
We had this goal last year, and we did pretty well on it, but honestly I lost track and don't know if we met it. It was a lot harder to meet last year (the idea was doing things besides just going to dinner...we usually get 2 date nights per month, so one of those was intended to be something besides dinner) but with so much shut down it was harder to think of things. I am excited to revamp it this year and see what we can come up with! I hope to be better about documenting it here, too. 

6. Have the boys be able to shower themselves with no help. 
This was a goal I had for my girls last year that we accomplished with no problem. My boys are honestly almost there. They need help figuring out how to make the water the right temperature, and probably need a little more help with hair washing and then they'll be there.

7. Boys clean their room with no help. 
This was another goal I had for the girls last year and my boys will be even easier as they don't have nearly as much clutter in their room. We just got a new cordless vacuum which is really easy for the kids, so I think with a little help the boys will definitely be able to do this by the end of the year.

Trips: 
This is one area I am certainly leaving wide open and are just hopeful and very tentative wishes. Last year, very few of the trips I had planned actually happened. 
|Park City Utah| This is a trip I've been dreaming of for years, and every year, for various reasons, we can't make it work. We'll see if 2021 is finally the year! 
|TCG conference| I had a ticket last year for The Gospel Coalition Women's Conference, which was postponed to this year. We will see if they actually have it!
|Girls trip to MoA| I have been waiting for the right time to take my girls on a weekend away and they are both at really good and fun ages for traveling, shopping and exploring. I'm waiting to see if Mall of America opens up more of their attractions before deciding if we'll go this year.
|Cruise or Mexico with Tony| It's been 3 years since the last big trip we've taken just the 2 of us (we've done a few long weekends) and we are ready for another! We have been thinking about a shorter cruise for a couple years, so depending what cruise lines do, we may try for that, but an all inclusive in Mexico is our backup.
|Beach trip with kids| This is the one trip that I feel like we should be able to make happen regardless of what happens with the pandemic and regulations. Now we just have decide when and where! 

I am hopeful that 2021 will be a great year. Even through the hardships of 2020, there was a lot of good, and I know there will be this year, too. Here's to another year of adventures with my favorite people!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

2020 Quarterly Goal Update

Here we are 3/4 of the way through 2020. For as crazy of a year as this has been, it really has gone by quickly, which is probably a good thing! Here's where I'm at on my goals for this year. Most are in pretty good shape!

done in progressnot started
Health Goals
  • Get a thermography scan   Finally got this done, just recently! I've been wanting to do this for years, so it is really nice to finally mark it off the list! 
  • 150 workouts 93/150 Quarter 2 I did great and made a ton of progress on this goal. Quarter 3 was rough with lots of life changes and things, and I got way behind. I *think* I can still meet this goal, but I'll really have to work at it.
Spiritual Goals
  • Memorize 52 bible verses  I lost count, but I also kind of gave up on this goal, and here's why. I had big intentions at the beginning of the year, but what I found was I was rushing through memorizing many of these verses so I could move onto the next one, and they weren't really solidly sticking. I'd rather really get a verse down and truly memorize it to where I know it up and down, back and forth, so I decided to work hard on solidifying the ones I worked on to make sure they're really there.
  • Study 8-10 complete books of the bible  6 down (Jonah, 1 Peter, Hebrews, Song of Songs, 2 Peter, Ephesians), 1 in progress (Titus)
Home Goals
  • Have carpets professionally cleaned This was so great! We had the entire house done and I'm so glad we did! I think from here on, we will try to do half the house each year. 
  • put the finishing touches on master bedroom DONE!! (Still need to get some pictures! I need to add the bed skirt, which I've had for months, but haven't put on.)
  • more security measures put in place We've added some things, would like a couple more additions still 
School/knowledge Goals
  • Make a school plan for next year for the boys This is all taken care of and begun! I have a curriculum post written, just need to get pictures so I can post soon! 
  • Start teaching music at home Did this in the spring, and then I was waiting to figure out what we were doing in the fall and if they would get music at their enrichment classes so I haven't come up with anything yet. I have a program from Teachers Pay Teachers I'm thinking of using.
  • Find a social studies curriculum that fits our family better for next school year  We've been going through Notgrass History's Our Star Spangled Banner and we like it so far!
  • Read 30 books 22 read, 6 in progress currently (I probably won't finish all of those by the end of the year, but will read a few more novels most likely). Reading has not been a problem for me this year!
    Personal/Random Goals
    • Find & invest in a good pair of gym shoes Bought a pair of Nike Metcons and loving them!
    • Blog twice a month I'm officially calling this one a fail. I did not do well on blogging this year AT ALL. And that's ok. A lot of other things had my attention this year. 
    • Get plans in place for 2021 family trip Technically this is done, because our plans are that we are not going now. Thanks, Covid. (I'm sure we'll still go on vacation(s) next year, just not the big one we had planned.)
    • Stay within budget for eating out category every month So far so good! 
    • Finalize our will Finally have made some progress on this!
    Family Goals
    • Have girls be able to shower themselves This went so much faster/smoother than expected. They're 100% on their own now and I'm completely out of the picture. Next up, the boys! 
    • Girls clean their room with 0 help They've been doing this weekly now with no issue!
    •  Have girls be able to prepare their own breakfast  This has been so nice! I'm so glad we switched this goal from lunch to breakfast. They get up at different times and all like different breakfast foods, and its been really nice for them to just be able to do their own thing in the mornings. 
    • 12 date nights that aren't just going to dinner 8 or 9/12 (I've lost track of exact dates, but I know we're on track still). I'm glad we've been able to do as much as we have with the weird year we've had, so no complaints here. 

    Tuesday, September 29, 2020

    2020 Family Vacation

    At the end of July we were able to take our long awaited family vacation! I've been mentally planning this trip for a couple of years, and we finally booked it at the beginning of this year for May. Well, of course Covid happened and we decided at that time it was best to push it back, because so many things were still closed and the trip would have changed so much. 
    We were supposed to start in North Carolina, spend a day in Huntsville, Alabama at the space & rocket center, head down to Gulfport, Mississippi, spend a couple days in Louisiana, and then a day in Memphis on the way home. We had to scrap some of those plans and shorten the trip by a few days to make it all work with Covid restrictions, but it still ended up being an awesome trip! 

    We left on a Friday around lunchtime and drove for about 8 hours. I can't even remember what state we stopped for the night in....I think it was Kentucky. We pretty much just slept there, ate breakfast and were back on the road for about 4-5 more hours Saturday. 
    We arrived in the mountain town of Murphy, NC late afternoon, grabbed our grocery order and headed to our cabin to explore. Everything was so beautiful! 
    Murphy ended up being a lot different than we expected/planned for based on internet searches, which was disappointing, but we made the best of it! 
    The highlights were hiking in the mountains, playing pool at the cabin, exploring all different kinds of nature, and visiting Fields of the Wood. I'll let the pictures do the talking! 












    We stayed in Murphy for 3 nights, and then had a day of driving to get down to Gulfport, MS. We skipped over Alabama this time, since the museum had so many restrictions in place. When we got to Gulfport it was raining, so we pretty much just got our groceries, went out to dinner and got settled into our condo the first evening. It was forecast to rain the whole time we were there, but we had an open window the next morning, so we got down to the beach early. Turned out it never really rained again, which was great! It turns out that the beach in Gulfport doesn't have waves, which I had never heard. I've been to beaches all over the country & in Mexico and have never been to one without waves. It would've been great a few years ago when our kids were little, but we wanted waves! The kids had boogie boards and were ready for some fun! So we only ended up going to the beach in Gulfport (which was walking distance from our condo) once. The highlight of MS was taking a ferry out to Ship Island. It was about an hour ferry ride each way that goes out to a secluded island where there ARE waves and clear water! We spent an entire day there and did not regret it! So much fun. Other highlights from MS were tons of good seafood, the pool at the condo and the children's museum. 













    After 4 nights in Gulfport we were off to a daytrip in New Orleans. We added this back in on the day we left our house. We were only an hour and a half away from NO and felt like we just had to go. At least for a few hours! I'm glad we did. We did a kid friendly tour of the French Quarter, had lunch and beignets and were on our way! 






    We drove to Memphis that night, and were planning on getting breakfast at one of their really cool old breakfast places, but last minute decided that we don't live all that far from Memphis, so we'll just go back another time when we can actually enjoy it. We were ready to get home! On our night in Memphis, my little guy yanked his first tooth out! We had just gone to bed in the hotel room when he whispered for his dad to come over, and said "I pulled my tooth out." He was so nonchalant about it, and the tooth was definitely loose but really not ready to come out, so I think he had to have pulled it pretty hard! Not sure what made him decide that was the right time, but it was a big celebration.


     Another day of driving and we were home and recovering! It was a great trip and we got to mark 4 more states off our list! 
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