Making the Most of Canceled Plans

With so many events being canceled and school/work closures, a lot of us are finding we have an abundance of time on our hands these days. This is a big change even for our homeschool family. I mean, the library is closed, people. That’s pretty much my social life. Actually, that’s a complete joke, but we can get to that in another post.

This post is from me, the introvert, to help you make the most of canceled plans. I’m really good at this, guys. So if you are freaking out about all this time at home, I got you, boo.

I also want to note that there is no pressure here. There are no expectations you have to live up to during this ridiculously weird season we are going through. This is simply meant as an encouragement to be intentional about how you use your time, to control the parts we can control and let go of those we can’t.

Get Some Rest

The biggest problem with our overstretched lives is the lack of sleep. It messes with you.

So make sure you get some rest and then work on getting yourself on a schedule that allows you to get the sleep you need every night. That might mean you have to make some decisions to drop things in your life once things start returning to normal. This is the perfect time to think through those things. Because catching up on the weekend doesn’t cut it.

Tackle Clutter

In our day-to-day busyness, things get pushed to the back burner. Tidying up or decluttering is one of the first things that goes for myself. I only have so much mental bandwidth and the things I’m not good at are the first to go. Unfortunately with clutter, this usually backfires because then the clutter makes me feel more anxious as I see all the things I need to be doing. Then I get overwhelmed and shut down and things get worse instead of better. It’s a vicious cycle I’ve been working on the last few years.

If that is something you relate to or you just need a good declutter session, prioritize that this week. It will help your home feel better. There is actual science that connects clutter with anxiety and depression. Give yourself the gift of good mental health.

Family Time

The statistics for just how much time families spend together at home these days is pretty abysmal. The latest statistic I saw was from 2018 and said that with everything we have going on, American families spend an average of 37 minutes of quality time together on weekdays. Use your cancelled plans to up your family’s average.

  • Eat meals together. Make it a point to have at least one meal each day where everyone puts their screens away and you all sit down at a table or just in the same room. Then talk. Talk about things you would like to do as a family when all of this chaos blows over. Brainstorm ideas for things you could do after the meal. This doesn’t have to be dinner, if mornings are better for you all to slow down together, then do breakfast or cook a brunch together.
  • Put a puzzle together. Don’t have one? Order one from Amazon (check out these options!).
  • Play a board or card game.


Don’t let yourself get caught in a sedentary routine while social distancing. Be intentional about moving your body. If you find yourself sitting for long periods of time, get up and stretch. Get outside if you can. Fresh air and sunshine are great for your immune system and mental health.

If you can’t get outside, check out YouTube for exercise videos. There is a whole slew of people who have created various workouts, including dance routines to popular songs. If you need something more structured, sign up for a service like Beachbody on Demand and give one of their programs a try.

Goal Setting

I’m a fan of goal setting, it’s no secret. Now is a great time to think about where your life is heading and see if you are happy with that. Think about areas of frustration and see what you can do to walk towards change. Think about what brings you joy and see if you can make more of that happen in your life. If life has brought you a separation from things that you thought you couldn’t live without, think about how you want to move forward when you have access to that again.

Related Posts: Challenge Yourself…Intentionally, 5 Steps to Change Just About Anything, One Change You Must Make to Meet Any Goal

Making the most of your canceled plans is just a matter of priorities, take a look at what you really need to accomplish and then get to it. Now, if you happen to have kids at home suddenly and you don’t know what to do with them because they are all up in your face (trust me, I GET IT) or you are thinking of giving homeschooling a trial run since the schools are already closed, I can help you with that too. Just look for my next posts.

10 Classic Movies for Family Movie Night on Amazon Prime

We are a movie loving family. We love a wide variety of movies, but one area that we kind of lost touch with as the kids became teens is the classic family movies. We watched a lot of them like The Apple Dumpling Gang and Swiss Family Robinson when they were little, but not many since.

Today I thought I would share a list of classic movies for family movie night that are currently available on Amazon Prime. We are analyzing our budget and taking a close look at all the different streaming services we pay for each month. I’ve been trying to make the most out of our Amazon Prime membership that we pay for each month. I’m hoping to maybe drop one or two of the other streaming services in the process. But we will see since each one offers something different.

Just click on the movie titles to go directly to the movie on Amazon, no searching needed.

Brewster’s Millions

I came across this movie while putting together my classic television series post and the description sounded interesting so I added it to our watch list. It is about a former soldier that has to spend 1 million dollars in 2 months in order to inherit 7 million dollars.

Where the Red Fern Grows

A story about a young boy, his hound dogs and life in the Ozarks in the depression. It’s been a long time since I read this book or seen this movie, but I do remember there is a death that is particularly heartbreaking for young animal lovers. The movie is rated G, but if you have sensitive hearts, it may be one to wait until they are older.

The Yearling

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel, this story is set in 1870s Florida and revolves around the son of a poor family. The boy befriends a fawn and then faces some tough challenges. Why were so many family movies so sad in the 70s, 80s, and 90s?

The Treasure Seekers

This 1996 film is new to me. The movie follows a widower and his children in Victorian England as he tries to invent a refrigeration machine. The reviews on this one make it sound like a lovely family film for all ages.

Little Princess

Another one set in Victoria England, this is a classic Shirley Temple movie. Based on the book by the same name, it tells the story of a young girl who loses her parents and becomes a servant in the boarding school her father left her in before the war. Don’t worry, there is a happy ending with this one!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

This is one of my favorite movies from my childhood. An inventor, storytelling father, an innocent love story, and a happy ending, what more could you ask for? There is a few creepy bad guy characters and the queen in the story sequence dresses a bit risque.


We love the game, but we’ve never seen the movie. It looks funny.

Support Your Local Sheriff

This is one that my husband has talked about for years so I was pretty happy to see it available in Prime. It is a western about a sheriff and is supposed to be pretty hilarious.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

From 1963, this movie is also new to me, but looks like a riot. It is loaded with big name comedians from the era. I found this while trying to find a Don Knotts movie because he is a favorite of mine, but alas, I could not.

At War with the Army

Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin star in this 1950 comedy about two men who enlist in the Army with two very different goals.

I hope you found some titles to add to your watch list. Let me know if this little series of posts is helpful or of there is something specific you are looking for in the comments!

P.S. If you are not an Amazon Prime member yet, you can get a free 30-day trial to check out all the perks.

10 Classic Television Series on Amazon Prime

One of my favorite things to do is introduce my kids to things I enjoyed as a kid. Sometimes they respond appropriately and love it, other times they do not. Sometimes we stumble across a classic that I didn’t know about and we enjoy it together. Mostly, I just like experiencing things with my kids.

Classic television series have been one of our favorite things to bond over. Here is a list of options for those of you looking to maybe do a little binge watching with your Amazon Prime account. Click on each title to take you right to the show on Amazon.

The Andy Griffith Show

To me, this is the pinnacle of classic television. Follow along on the wholesome, often hilarious adventures of Sheriff Andy Taylor, his deputy Barney Fife, son Opie, and Aunt Mae along with a host of regulars. If you are looking for sweet, funny television, The Andy Griffith Show won’t disappoint.

Mr. Bean

A British hit, Mr. Bean is played by Rowan Atkinson and is a hoot. Mr. Bean runs into all sorts of comical mishaps thanks to his clumsiness and naivete. The first season is included with Amazon Prime.

The Dick Van Dyke Show

This classic follows the life of a writer both at home and at work. Dick Van Dyke plays writer Rob and Mary Tyler Moore plays his wife Laura. Its another comedy classic.

Dennis the Menace

Based on the comic strip featuring the lovable Dennis and his grumpy neighbor Mr. Wilson, you follow the hi-jinks of a trouble-prone little boy and the people who get tangled in his web of chaos.

The Beverly Hillbillies

The Clampetts strike it rich and move to Beverly Hills. The only problem is they are from deep in the Ozark mountains and were used to a more rustic way of living. But millions of dollars and new luxuries don’t change the Clametts which makes for some seriously funny tv.

Green Acres

This is a favorite of my youngest. Green Acres follows a sophisticated New York couple who buy a farm without ever seeing it. While Oliver dreamt of this life, it couldn’t have been further from the mind of his socialite wife, Lisa.

Magnum PI

This is a classic that I have not seen, but many have recommended. The show is about a private investigator (Tom Selleck) in Hawaii. There is crime involved so maybe not for the youngest kids, but the show has a TV-PG rating.

Third Rock from the Sun

This show from the 1990’s is full of slapstick and colloquial misunderstandings. The story revolves around four aliens who have been sent to earth to research the human race. They are given human bodies and then we laugh as they sometimes struggle to understand our strange ways of relating to each other. There is a lot of innuendo and I would recommend the show for teens and up.

Murder, She Wrote

I’m a big fan of cozy mysteries when it comes to books, but I have never seen this classic television series. With a TV-G rating, it seems like it would be a great fit for my cozy mystery tastes. The show follows a mystery writer as she solves actual crimes.

The Cosby Show

I grew up with the Cosby show. I know there are many who disagree with me, but I think the show still deserves to be seen even with the sins of the titular character. I think the show still has merit. It was a funny, loving family show that my kids and I both love.

There you have it, 10 classic television series currently on Amazon Prime if you are looking to binge-watch something new, but not new. Know what I mean?

Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom – Podcast Edition

Homeschooling is wonderful. Homeschooling is hard. Homeschooling is a great way to build relationships with your kids. Homeschooling is challenging because you spend so much time with your kids. I love homeschooling. I think I stink at homeschooling.

Have you ever thought any of these statements? You can’t see it, but my hand is raised. I have thought each and every one of these statements. Truth be told, I’ve probably thought them on the same day. I truly love homeschooling, but staying motivated can be hard.

This is one reason I love homeschool conventions. I appreciate the dedication of the speakers to equip and encourage homeschool parents, but attending a convention is not always convenient or even desired (introverted homeschooling mom here). This is where blogs and podcasts can help fill in the void.

Encouragement for the Homeschool Mom – Podcast Version

Podcasts aren’t the newest thing around, but they are fairly new to me. I’ve been wading into the world of podcasts since I discovered that I can actually listen to audiobooks and retain the information. These podcasts are all on my to listen list because I have seen them recommended over the last few months or I am familiar with the podcaster’s other work.

Please note, I use affiliate links in this post.

The Durenda Wilson Podcast – Durenda Wilson also has a book that is on my to read list called the Unhurried Homeschooler. With a daughter entering her junior year of high school, I really need to fight the hurried feeling that is creeping into my thinking.

The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast – Pam Barnhill is the woman behind this podcast. She also has the Your Morning Basket podcast that I discovered when I read her book Better Together earlier this year (highly recommend the book). The genius behind this podcast is how it shows that homeschooling is not a cookie cutter, it can be whatever you need it to be.

Raising Arrows – Home Management for the Homeschool Mom – I’ve followed Amy’s blog for years now and she has a heart for encouraging homeschool moms that shines.

At Home with Sally Clarkson – Chances are if you have been homeschooling for any length of time, you have heard of Sally Clarkson. She is a veteran homeschool mom who has dedicated herself to encouraging and equipping moms to embrace motherhood with intention.

Risen Motherhood – Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler are two podcasters I have never heard of, but the description of their podcast speaks to me. I found this podcast in a “related podcasts” rabbit trail in iTunes.

A weekly podcast for moms. A space to remember we are not alone in our experiences, be challenged to have joy among the chaos, remember grace covers guilt, and seek the truth of the gospel above all else. This is a podcast for the imperfect mother, still learning, still growing and still fully recognizing she doesn’t have it all together – but comes everyday, to the base of the cross, to seek the one who does.

Description of the Risen Motherhood podcast on iTune

The Homemaking Foundations Podcast – Jami Balmet is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. I love to catch her Stories. She talks a lot about reading and I find that to be motivating, her goal is bigger than my own lofty annual reading goal.

Don’t Mom Alone Podscast – Heather MacFadyen comes highly recommended in a few groups I’m in. I look forward to checking out her podcast. I love the community building mindset I see in her description and the episode titles.

The Smiling Homeschooler Podcast – I’m all for laughter and smiles. Todd Wilson is well-known and well-liked on the homeschool convention scene.

Mom to Mom Podcast – A relatively new podcast, but I love the titles I’ve seen so far. The podcast is produced by three moms – Kate Battistelli, September McCarthy, and Jamie Erickson.

Joyfully Homeschooling – Misty Bailey is the creator of this podcast. Her blog is Joy in the Journey and she is known for being honest and open. This is something I value highly in people. We are all struggling with something at some point in our homeschool journey, sharing it with others helps lessen the load and also encourages others who may be struggling with the same thing.

The Busy Mom – Heidi St. John encourages moms to focus on what matters and brings relevant information to help them deal with issues in our culture from a biblical standpoint. This podcast is more in the equipping category, but I hope it encourages you to be bold in your faith and firm in your resolution to give your children a foundation that won’t fail them.

Glorious in the Mundane Podcast – Hosted by Christy Nockels, she is currently doing a series called Come Magnify the Lord with Me. From my experience, the most soul refreshing comes from praise and worship. Knowing God and trusting His will for our lives brings peace. And what homeschool mom doesn’t find herself needing peace at some point? The first episode I plan to listen to is Season 3, Episode 58 – When Our Worries Turn to Worship.

Cultivating Grace – Infuse your homeschool with grace, grace for you and grace for your students. The episode titles of this podcast from Lara Molettiere are a lovely mix of encouragement and practical.

Legacy Homeschool Reflections Podcast – This is a brand new one to me. These titles resonate with me – His Grace is Sufficient, Trusting God Through Changing Seasons, When You Feel Like Quitting, and Cultivating a Grateful Heart. I look forward to hearing these!

The Homeschool Solutions Show with Pam Barnhill – Maybe you just need some practical help with something to keep you going. Check out the titles of this podcast and see if there is an episode for you. New shows post each Friday and cover a wide range of topics with a wide range of guests.

That is it for my list, but there are even more podcasts out there. Just doing a quick search for homeschool in my Podcasts app brought up a plethora of options beyond the list above. For sake of brevity, I chose to focus instead on those podcasts that had been recommended to me or I found in some other way over time.

Happy listening! Share your favorites in the comments, what podcasts must I check out?

61 Free Maternity Sewing Tutorials

Maternity clothes can be hard to find, at least they were for me and my friends who did not want to spend a fortune. Since there are quite a few free maternity sewing tutorials floating around, I thought some DIY-minded women would appreciate a round-up of free sewing tutorials for maternity clothes and accessories.

61 Free Maternity Sewing Tutorials - A sewing tutorial round-up post.

I am also including tutorials for nursing clothing as well. If you are pregnant, I highly recommend looking into breastfeeding. My friend Trisha has a site called Breastfeeding Place with lots of information for you.

A lot of these take regular clothes and turn them into maternity clothes. If you don’t want to turn your regular wardrobe into a maternity only wardrobe, check thrift stores, Salvation Army, or Goodwill stores. You can find clothes inexpensively to modify.

Happy sewing!

Maternity Accessories

  • DIY Contoured Maternity Pillow from Homemade Toast – Designed to help a pregnant woman sleep. Need I say more?
  • Hospital gown by Design Fix – This is a modification of this free pattern. Help a tired new mama feel a little prettier than the standard hospital gown.
  • How to sew a belly band by DIY Maternity – Help your standard clothes last a little longer with this accessory.
  • Lace trimmed maternity belly bands from Made by Me & Shared with You – A fancier version of the belly band.
  • Ruffled belly band tutorial from See Kate Sew – A super cute version of the belly band.
  • Nursing sleep bra also from Made by Me & Shared with You – I had a few of these when my youngest was born and they were such a game changer. So comfortable and made night time nursing much easier.
  • DIY breastfeeding infinity scarf by Diary of a Mad Crafter – Trendy and practical? Yes, please.
  • No sew nursing top solution from DIY Maternity – This doesn’t seem to work for everyone. If you use a $2 cami from Walmart to try it out, you may find a new favorite nursing accessory or only be out $2 if you don’t.
  • How to make nursing pads from DIY Maternity – Disposable nursing pads are expensive, try some reusable ones to save some money.
  • 15 Minute Nursing Cover from Clarks Condensed – A super simple pattern that gives you a nursing cover that covers your front and your back.
  • Make your own nursing cami from The Jenson Jaunts – Another DIY nursing clothes option.
  • Maternity bow belt from See Kate Sew – This faux belt gives some definition to your shirts.
  • DIY Nursing Bra Hack from Keeping Up With Us Jones’ – I’m not sure how easy to use the closure is, but nursing bras are expensive and making do with what you have is what you have to do sometimes.
  • DIY Pumping Bra from Pretty Providence – This is a no-sew tutorial that only takes minutes.

Maternity Dresses

  • Slouchy T-Shirt Hospital Dress from Merrick’s Art – This simple pattern gives you a super comfortable option for those first few days…months…when comfort is what it is all about.
  • Two piece knit wrap nursing dress from Made by Me & Shared with You – This dress goes from maternity dress to nursing dress.
  • Make mommy happy 30 minute dress from Keeps Me in Stitches – Designed to pull together quickly, this dress tutorial does use a serger.
  • Turn about the room dress from Mad Mim at DIY Maternity – This step by step tutorial features lots of photos so you can easily see what you are supposed to be doing. The result is a super cute dress that rivals anything you could find in a store.
  • Make a sundress from A Beautiful Mess – Using pre-smocked fabric, this is about the easiest dress tutorial you can find.
  • Make a wrap dress from A Beautiful Mess – This dress reminds me of a Greek goddess statue. If you are looking for a maxi length dress, this is one for you.
  • Maternity or non maternity tapered dress by Cotton & Curls – This dress has a fun hi-low hemline, especially when used as a maternity dress, and a cute collar.
  • The perfect maternity dress revamped by Do It Yourself Divas – Using a t-shirt for the top, this dress cost the maker only $6!
  • Empire waist dress by The Cottage Home – Another option that starts with a t-shirt and knit fabric. A well done tutorial with lots of photos.
  • Tiered dress from The Sewing Rabbit – The link to the pattern/tutorial Google document is a little hard to see, but it is there beneath the second picture.
  • Birthday Kimono Dress from Elle Apparel – A flowing, forgiving dress.

Maternity Skirts

Maternity Shirts

Maternity Pants

Maternity Shorts

  • DIY maternity clothes from Sew Like My Mom – She took a pair of shorts that were too snug to button anymore and turned them into maternity shorts.
  • Maternity Shorts from Melly Sews – A free pattern is included to make these cute shorts.

Maternity Outerwear

  • How to make a wrap cardigan from DIY Maternity – This is a cute cardigan that can be worn post-baby, too.
  • Maternity Winter Coat from DIY Maternity – Another link that is not exactly a tutorial, but she does tell what pattern she used for the coat and what alterations she made to make it maternity. It is also the only maternity winter coat I could find.

Maternity Swimwear

Another Maternity Sewing Tutorial

This post has been completely updated in May 2019. Here is the original post graphic:

Free sewing tutorials and patterns for maternity - over 50 tutorials!

52 Books in A Year, Or Am I Crazy?

I have set the same reading goal for 2017, 2018, and now 2019. I want to read 52 books in a calendar year. One book a week. When I was a teenager, I could read multiple books in a week. Chapter books.

Things tend to change when you become an adult and have actual responsibilities like other lives depending on you for things like making them food and forcing them to shower. Superfluous things like leisurely reading tend to fall by the wayside. Then as those other lives do things like make their own plans and have hobbies and activities that you have to drive them to, you lose the time for even the helpful reading (like books that teach you how to not screw up those other lives).

What am I blathering on about? Basically, I haven’t read enough books as an adult and it is all my kids’ fault. Well, not really. As I said in last week’s post, I haven’t always handled things well. When you are struggling to keep up with household work, you need to put aside reading for that season. It’s a choice I made, even if by default.

Enough chitchat. Today’s post is a list of the books I am currently reading and from my Want to Read list that I am most excited about reading this year. These are the top priority books for me.

Currently Reading Books

These are the books I’m wanting to finish first in January. Most of these I started in 2018 so I’m a good way’s through them.

. .

I have about four more books sitting on my Goodreads “Currently Reading” shelf, but I’m not actively reading those right now. I’ll tell you about those when I am.

Books I Am Most Excited to Read in 2019

These aren’t necessarily new books, they are just the ones that I’m most excited about this year, in no particular order. Also, I have over 300 books on my “Want to Read” shelf on Goodreads. I have plenty to choose from. 😬


  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick – I’m a sucker for memoirs, love them. I just hope this doesn’t go the way of my last “celebrity” memoir. I’m looking at you, Anna Faris
  • A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – It’s a twist on Sherlock Holmes. I also like retellings.
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – This is one author I haven’t read, but my oldest is asking to read some of her series so I’m checking her our first. I don’t always do this, but I’ve heard that this author’s works are better suited for older teens and I’d like to find out why before letting my daughter loose with her books.
  • Word-Filled Women’s Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church by Gloria Furhman – Just another “on my mind” topic.

Through the making of this post, I have come to realize that I need to cull my “Want to Read” shelf. I’m not so interested in some of the titles on that list anymore. This actually excites me since that list has kind of had me feeling even more “behind” with my reading. It will be nice to shed some of the weight off my mind.

But since I am a glutton for punishment in that I love to add books to my huge “Want to Read” list, tell me about the books you are most excited about this year!

Blogging, Goals, and How the Things Change

When I first started blogging (back in the mid-2000’s…well over 10 years ago 😱), it was to share bits of my life and to rediscover writing after the baby years. Eventually I learned that there were some crazies actually making money doing this thing and so I figured that should include me. After all, I am a blogger and I just might be crazy. Along the way, I tried a variety of topics trying to find my passion because all the blogging experts were telling me that’s what I needed to do. Focus, Vicki, focus!

Here’s the thing. I’m not really good with focus. I’ve always been a daydreamer and as an adult, I’ve always been good at anxiety and worry. Those two things usually leave my mind constantly trying to figure out what I’ve done wrong in this moment and how I’m pretty sure I’m screwing things up overall. This leads to me chasing squirrels and overplanning just about everything. Because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, amiright?

Then the panic attacks happened, relationships in my life went haywire, and I sort of mentally imploded and stopped everything. Except buying washi tape and books, let’s not get crazy here. I walked away from a position in my church, blogging, and anything else that was causing stress to our family. Let me say this, the problem I was having was me and how I was handling things, not necessarily the things I walked away from. Other people handle these good things just fine. I just wasn’t one of those people at that point. When I get overwhelmed, I shut down. This rarely helps things.

Time went on as it does and my life got busier in other ways. I taught several classes at our homeschool co-op (including a two hour kindergarten class last year 😬). Our kids joined activities and had the audacity to develop social lives outside of our home. I took on a cleaning job with my oldest daughter so the kids could have the chance to earn some money (and I would have a bit for books…). My husband jumped jobs a few times, took on an assistant pastorship, started leading worship in a church plant, and generally got busier in addition to his full time job.

I’d like to tell you that I handled it all much better than I previously handled the busy, but I’m not certain that is the truth. In some ways, I did handle it better and my family was able to do the things they wanted and needed to do without much added stress from me (at least I think so, ha). The bad thing is, I basically alternated between internalizing it all or ignoring how overwhelmed I was feeling. Which brings me to now.

Where am I now?

To be honest, I’m not even sure. I know this time of year usually brings me to a place of reflection and this year has been no different in that regard. But what I am finding different is the kinds of goals I am setting and how I am going about it. In times past, my goals have looked a lot like tasks to check off my never ending to do lists. There are a few of those, but this year, my goals for 2019 overall are a bit different.

A couple months ago, God really started opening my eyes to some things and the recurring theme has been habits. So when I sat down to write my goals for this year (well, the first time, it took me a couple weeks to actually get them settled), I knew I had my One Word for the year. I didn’t bother with it the last couple years, but this year it was an obvious choice.

2019: The Year of Habit

It’s really simple, the goal is to break some bad habits and make some better habits. But I can’t just leave it there because that isn’t really quantifiable and I need quantifiable to be able to track myself. So here is my master list of habit goals for 2019 (and beyond):

  • improve my bible reading habit
  • establish a planner habit that actually works for me
  • establish a workout habit
  • improve my reading habit
  • decrease my phone habit
  • increase my writing habit
  • improve my sleep habits
  • improve my housework habits
  • improve my money habits
  • improve my food habits

It feels like for the first time, I actually have goals that makes creating to do lists, prioritizing, and getting things done actually possible. From this list, I went to on to start a “Habits I Would Like to Build” list. This list is not conclusive. I hope to add to it as I start conquering things. My current list:

  • making my bed first thing – to tell my brain that we are done sleeping for the day
  • getting dressed first thing – to better define my days, build more structure, so a day of rest is earned and valued
  • a set laundry cycle/schedule
  • get back to consistently meal planning and cooking dinner at home – planning ahead and using my slow cooker for more of those busy days
  • one on one time with each kid at least 1-2x’s/week – help my older ones learn to set up goals, make plans, and to hold them accountable
  • a morning time routine 3-4x’s/week – build a family culture to give my kids a more intentional foundation
  • a regular exercise habit

I stopped myself there because I have SO many habits I know I should have, but I am really trying to not overwhelm myself…again.

Armed with my prioritized habits list, I set a few goals for specifically for January. There are couple “themed” goals that will make an appearance on my goal list each month this year. For example, I’d like to read through the New Testament in addition to our bible study readings this year. So I will pick a book or books to read for that each month. I’m wanting to write out more scripture, so that is there. I’m also trying to stick with the habit tracker in my goal planner, I want to work up to using that daily so I’m starting with a small step.

  1. Read New Testament – Matthew
  2. Write Scripture – James
  3. Good Habits – Hit 40% of the days for my habit tracker
  4. Finish 10 Books
  5. Finish 4 Projects
  6. Maintain use of my planners – specifically my small daily and my goal planner

I set a goal to read 52 books for 2019 over on Goodreads. However, I didn’t make last year’s goal (same) and I have several books already in progress. I want to finish those and read a couple new ones before the year gets really busy.

The four projects is from a master list of things that need to be done at our house. They range from small (reorganize the junk drawer) to big (repainting the wainscotting), but there is enough on the list that finding four that I can complete in January should be pretty easy.

So what does blogging have to do with all this? Well, I’m going back to my roots. I’m sharing my journey. Occasionally you will get some other resources, but mostly I look for this year to be a bunch of sharing my planners, my new routines, my broken bad habits, and lots of books. Oh how I’m hoping for lots of books!

If you have stuck with me this long, bless you. Seriously. BLESS YOU. If you want to here more about these things, you can sign up for the email list and I will try my best to let you know when there is new content to be read. Or you can use a feed reader, which may be the better option for staying on top of things, to be honest.

Next up, a list of the books I’m most looking forward to reading this year!

Photo by chill’in on Unsplash

The Biggest Thing I Struggle With as a Mother

If you sign up for my email list, you will get a welcome email where I ask the question “what is the biggest thing you struggle with as a mom?” I ask because if I can help, I want to. It’s what we moms do. We help each other, am I right?

I thought it was only fair that I answer the question myself because I value transparency and honesty and all that jazz.

The biggest thing I struggle with as a mom is follow through. I am a dreamer, a planner, and a goal setter. I love the big picture and ALL THE POSSIBILITY!! IT’S SO MUCH FUN! The follow through? Yeah, not usually as much fun.

I’ve grown a lot in this area over the years and am currently in another season of really working on it. Another word for it is self-discipline. It happens to be a fruit of the Spirit (temperance) and the one that I seem most resistant to God’s will for. But He is faithful and hasn’t left me in my mess, for which I am so thankful.

Right now I am working on having a consistent time of bible reading with my kids. We call it our 8:30 appointment for no secret reasons. We all gather on the couches with our bibles at 8:30. We read a chapter or two of the bible and then pray. It’s simple and that is the reason I am cautiously optimistic about long-term success.

Another area of my mom life that was such a struggle for me in regards to follow through has always been laundry. IT NEVER ENDS. I used to get so frustrated by this, but eventually (as in earlier this year because I’m basically perfect…), I stopped. Now it just needs to be done and I find odd satisfaction in seeing the laundry baskets under control most of the time.

So that has been my biggest struggle as a mom. Follow through. Or self-discipline. Whatevs.

What is your biggest mom struggle?