This warm weather has been just what I needed for motivation! Praise God! March and April were great months for FOCUS (my word of 2012) and accomplishing goals!
In January/February we made some good progress on our 2012 family and personal goals, but because of a lingering illness, Jan/Feb were kind of a blur. Here’s how March and April looked and what we’re looking forward to for next month:
Finances ~ The only flexible category in our budget is “food.” This means that whenever something unexpected comes up, we have to take it out of our food money (unless it’s something major enough that we deem it appropriate to break into our savings). This has meant that little outings here and there, a needed new pair of pants, etc all come out of the $500/month we have budgeted for food & household expenses. We didn’t make it in March (almost!), but in April we ended the month with $8 left in the budget!! WOHOO!!!
Also, I’ve been watching a little guy (the third kiddo in the photo on top) in our home a few days a week since August. His daddy graduates (congrats!) this month, so that gig will be ending. We debated finding something else for me to do to earn money, especially after I learned/realized that just about everything but breathing is taxable. We considered the ways I make money online and whether or not they are worth it for the burden of preparing taxes. In the end we decided that they aren’t. So, I’ve stopped pursing an income from blogging and other online activities.
We’ve decided that working toward my long term goal of publishing a book (more on that in the personal goals section momentarily) is a better use of my time.
To potentially make up some of the difference in income, I’ve decided to pursue a super-fun side-job and see where it takes me!
I have fallen in love with these hair accessories, and I LOVE the business philosophy and practices I’ve seen so far. I can’t wait to share more, including some hairstyle tutorials! In the meantime, please check out my online store and “like” my new Facebook page to stay up to date!
Lifestyle ~ I think we could best describe our other family goals by saying that we want to simplify and organize our life. We are working hard to rid ourselves of the things in our home that are unused or distracting. Our two biggest motivations for this are that we don’t want to be burdened by clutter, and we want to feel free to be hospitable to others by welcoming them into our home.
We’ve finally almost finished decorating the living room thanks to the blessing of some Amazon gift cards we received as a credit card rebate. We are just waiting on some photos from our time spent abroad in college to arrive from Shutterfly (thanks to credit from this post). I’ve made headway on the basement purging project, and have rearranged and organized the guest room in anticipation of some very special visits from family in the next few months! I have actually managed to keep up with the dishes these two months for the first time EVER! I think it is safe to say that I am in full nesting-mode. :)
I’ll be taking a free class at the library this weekend to learn about archiving all of our old photos so that we can clear up even more storage space. Rob will also be building some new shelves for the bathroom (like these: http://pinterest.com/pin/60094976247921381/) to keep our oft-used items out of reach of little hands.
Specific Goals for the Immediate Future:
* Utilize our new Azure Standards membership to save even more on food.
* Build my Lilla Rose business and recoup the (minimal) starting costs.
* Make bathroom shelves.
* Make baskets for Alex’s clothing.
* Finish organizing basement.
* Complete Cora’s First Year Scrapbook (I did purchase the prints this month!)
Spiritual Goals ~ I’ve had so much freedom these last two months! Cora is officially on her own all night, and they are both down for a good two hours for naps! It’s still difficult for me to sit down and spend as much time as I should in the Bible since my brain is full to bursting with all kinds of things I should be doing, but I’ve found something that’s working really well for me for now. Thanks to my friend Cheryl, I discovered and have been receiving short daily devotions from Passport, Inc in my email inbox. They’ve been a great springboard on some days, and a wonderful way to quickly touch base on others. Check out d365.org to sign up.
I’ve also enjoyed receiving weekly emails for women from The Redemptive Pursuit.
Mothering ~ March was a lion of a month with my two littles. Aidan started biting, Cora (who turned two in March!) decided that she doesn’t like to be told what to do… at ALL. I’m very thankful for my husband and friends who listened sympathetically and helped me make a plan to maintain my sanity. I should probably write up posts just about these two issues – and I may yet. Thankfully, April was much much easier as I learned to take a step back and accept their little personalities as God-given. That helped me separate my personal preferences (like for an ahem… compliant child) from the issues that really needed to be addressed. (why so angry? so opposed to my guidance?) I’ve learned a lot this month, for sure!
And to tie spiritual growth in with mothering, I’m super-excited that we’ve established a routine family devotional time after breakfast! Every morning we read some, sing a couple of hymns/songs, and then pray. We all love it! In fact, we made it all the way through The Beginner’s Bible over the last two months! They LOVED the stories and illustrations and always begged me to read “just one more.” This month we’ve begun My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt, and I know we’re going to love it just as much if not more. It’s more practical application and Scripture memory, but that’s perfect for Aidan right now!
The photo below is Aidan sneeking in some Bible time of his own – love the belly! :)
Health ~ My fatigue and cramping finally went away and I have been able to be much more active. We’ve done lots of walking around the zoo and working in the garden, and I’ve felt great overall!! Also, you may have seen that I had my second ultrasound and confirmed that I no longer have placenta previa!! I’m pretty sure that issue being resolved was directly related to the return of my energy and the cramps going away. I’m so thankful to be on track for an unmedicated vaginal delivery!
I’m taking ever more supplements (just started alfalfa and topical vitamin e) to gear up for birth this time around, and have continued to eat lots of nutritious food. I haven’t been as diligent about sugar, unfortunately, but not terrible either.
Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten off easy just yet – not that it’s been easy so far exactly! This week I’ve developed a fun new problem – vericose veins. NOT in my legs. I won’t embarrass myself with the details, but I will tell you that it’s no fun. :(
Writing ~ I’ve set a goal for having the proposal for my novel finished by August 1st. That means a complete outline and character profiles, plus the first three chapters written. It means that a lot of the research I want to do needs to be done by the time Alex is born, and I need to get writing. Right now, I’ve LOVED reading about writing and taking notes about everything I’m learning. I’ve been filling my journal full of ideas and snippits of text, and I’m so excited to have found this new hobby! I’ll not divulge anything about the plot of my story yet, but soon maybe!
I did end up writing for Social Moms like I said I would. Read my (short) article here.
Reading ~ I haven’t stuck to my list at ALL! It only has 20 books on it, so I may still get around to many of them, but I’ve only read three books in full over the last two months, and neither of them were part of my 2012 list!
If you are a Christian and you want to (or do) write, I HIGHLY recommend my latest read! The Making of a Christian Bestseller is not what I thought it would be at all. In fact, I picked it up from the library shelf just because it is bright ORANGE and I couldn’t imagine it being very good. I thought I’d be able to flip through it in a day and pick out some nuggets to move on with. Instead, I hung on every single word!! It’s a compilation of essays and interviews by and of successful Christian writers from every genre. There’s so much wisdom in this book! I took notes on everything from creating depth in my characters to how to choose ancillary products to market along with your book! Must read!
You can keep up with what I am reading and what I plan to read by becoming friends with me on Goodreads. :)
Specific Goals for the Immediate Future:
* READ! WRITE! REPEAT!
* Make a plan with my midwife for managing pain from vericose veins.
* Organize homeschooling stuff and pull a plan together before Alex arrives.
* Write a letter to Alex.
* Finish gifts for Alex and my expecting mommy friends before I get too busy!
So how are you doing on your goals??
If you’ve read this far and are still with me, I’ll reward you with a photo recap of these last months. You can view my Spring facebook album here (you don’t have to have an account to view). :)