This post will be in two parts (I have two things I want to share and decided to not have it in two different posts).
First, I’m going to share about how I’m simplifying things a bit in the planning and organizing department.
I have used a Happy Planner for 2 years and I love it. But when I was looking to buy another planner (my current one will be finished at the end of the month), I knew I needed to spend very little on one because we have spent so much on Christmas gifts this year for our kids. I’ll talk about that soon.
In my decision to buy a less expensive planner, I came across this one that is under $10. I LOVE it. I won’t even need many stickers (though I have them and will use them a bit) because it is full of beautiful water color pictures. Flowers and butterflies, etc. Gorgeous. Also, I love the layout of having the monthly calendar and the weekly/daily portion. The one thing I didn’t love about the Happy Planner is that it had 3 sections. I like just having one section to write everything in. So. I’m simplifying in this area.
This is the Happy Planner. It is super fun and I love using it, but like I said, I don’t exactly love the layout and if I don’t feel like decorating it, it’s super plain.
This is what the new one looks like. I LOVE floral patterns. It’s a fave of mine right now. And this one is bright and cheery.
In addition to the monthly and weekly/daily pages, there are also note pages and pages to write things that I’m thankful for. There are pocket pages as well. I love it.
I also decided recently that I will stop trying to use my Household Notebook and just focus on my planner and my budgeting notebook.
My binder now just has stuff for Balance 365 (a self love notebook and our Everyday Strong program), some printouts of my AA step work, and some medical papers (that I just need to file in my file basket thingy). That’s it. No more grocery list pages (I have been using the notes in my phone for a long time anyway), pages to write what I spent, my budget (since it changes every paycheck, I re-write it each time in my notebook), weekly/daily routine written out (I never follow it anyway), etc.
Everything is in my budgeting notebook, my planner, and in the notes of my phone. And of course I blog my meal plan usually and print it for my board in my kitchen.
I tend to have these grand plans for things and they don’t always work out. Then I feel like a failure because they didn’t work out. HELLO. I don’t have to have a household notebook. Not many people do these days because we’re all trying to simplify.
I still need some organization and planning, but I don’t need the extra stuff that I cannot keep up with! So this is IT for me!
Along the same lines…
I have decided to focus on the positive and what I do WELL. I tend to pick myself apart and think I’m a bad parent/wife/daughter/friend because I don’t _______________. Or because I do ______________. Fill in the blank.
The main things that I struggle with are: maybe I give the kids too much sugar, they don’t brush their teeth enough (shoot, neither do I), Ethan struggles with his academics (hopefully getting results back soon!), I yell sometimes, the boys’ room can’t stay clean no matter what, I don’t follow through with things that I try to put in place (like making them follow our posted rules, following the consequences and rewards, etc), I’m not consistent with important things sometimes (though getting better), I don’t follow through with habits that I’m trying to develop (mostly movement right now); I could probably go on and on but I’m going to stop!
I’m going to celebrate what I am good at, and I encourage you to do the same!
As I have felt really good this year (thanks to meds, self care, and sobriety), my main goal has been to be present, be intentional, and make memories with my kids, my hubby, my friends/camp family, and my parents. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and done things that I wouldn’t normally do. Or I’ve done things that I haven’t been consistent with in the past.
I realized last night as I was making cookies and heating water for hot chocolate for our Polar Express night (complete with pajamas and blankets) that I am a good mom. I said it out loud and Robert said, “uh huh, did you think you weren’t?” Ethan said, “you’re not a good mom, you’re a GREAT mom!” They see it! They see what I do for them!
This year we are finally doing our Advent readings and activities that we have historically struggled with because Robert and I didn’t feel like it. But this year I feel like it so I’m doing it (well days one and two I was sick, but the kids made it happen)!
Our readings come from the Jesus Storybook Bible and then we have an activity each day.
Yesterday was a Polar Express night (like I mentioned above) and it was SO fun!
I cook really great meals most nights, set the table, and we eat family style. Sometimes we don’t, but it’s more common than not these days. It makes me so happy and brings order to our home. Sometimes we eat homemade pizza in the living room while we watch movies and sometimes we eat packaged ramen. Haha. But I am enjoying cooking homemade/home cooked meals these days.
The kids are away from home and in somewhat chaos 10 hours a day so I want them to feel peace and comfort in our home when they are here. They are much less anxious and feel safe here.
I take them places that they love to go (the arcade and Entertainmart for example), we have family game nights often (for sure every Saturday night, but during the week as well). We laugh together and just have a blast. The new game that we got (What Are the Odds?) is hilarious. You have to get it. It’s basically doing these silly dares. And they are mostly simple and fun. We also really like Ticket to Ride and I’m pretty terrible at it. Haha.
I also make desserts often for them. We are rarely without cookies or something.
We go on family adventures that involves lots of camping and hiking.
I love having Bible study in our home and sometimes we have game nights and movie nights.
I love organizing the house. It’s almost always clean and organized (except for the boys’ room, like I said above). I hear from people all of the time that our home is warm and cozy and one summer staffer said it was “Pinteresty.” Haha. It’s pretty small (about 1200 square feet), but I love it anyway. It’s easy to clean and every closet has organizers in them put there by the people who lived here previously. I’m grateful to them for that. I really think this house has always been for us. I wouldn’t want to ever trade houses with anyone here. It took me a long time to come to that point. Contentment is a beautiful thing.
Anyway… I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll stop for now. I don’t say all of this to “toot my own horn” or to sound conceited or full of myself. I say these things and show them because I often focus on all of the things I don’t do, and I feel that it’s time to focus on the good.
What do you do well?