Monday, October 31, 2016

October Follow-Up

How did I do this month? 

Well, I feel okay about how this month went goal-wise. I could have done better, but I also still feel really good about the things that did get checked off. If anything, this month got me really thinking about my goals for next month and I'm already brainstorming my overarching goals and how I want to attempt to tackle them next year. I'm excited. So...here's a list of how I did. Let me know how you did, too!




Home
*Prints (and frames) for "Faith Gallery Wall" (I've got the prints but getting them on the wall will have to happen next month)
*Learn to Use/Use Dehydrater for fruit
*Way to display JaiseAnn's artwork (ordered from a store on ETSY (I'll link when I get them on the wall--also next month)
*Curtain Rods 
*Quote for Living Room
*Quote for Kitchen (I got it, I just need to get it on the wall--next month hopefully)
*New Blinds
*Update 72 hour kits with new clothes and food (I do this every Fall conference weekend.)

Motherhood
*Print JaiseAnn's 1-2 Year Baby Book
*update JaiseAnn's baby book (I'm counting a few updates I made, but I need to set more specific goals next month)
*Intentional time each day (even when we are out and about) to sit down and play together (I feel pretty good about the progress I've made here) 
*Structured counting activity each week 
*Structured craft/themed activity each week
*Drive and picnic to see the leaves


Marriage
*Go on a date night out (I have this one planned and so far Zach doesn't know about it and I am SO excited about it. I'll tell you when I report on these goals!!!)  (Oh my goodness you guys, this ended up being such a disappointment. I was so disappointed and then annoyed with myself for my disappointment. Ugh! I had heard that Steve Martin and Martin Short were coming to Boise just after Zach's birthday. I thought he'd love the show but when I looked up tickets, they were expensive. Like $125 for the nosebleeds expensive. I ended up trying to win and ACTUALLY WINNING tickets. I was so excited to give them to him for his birthday and then go to it the following week. I had been looking forward to it for over a month and the DAY OF THE SHOW, I found out it had been cancelled and wasn't set to reschedule. We had floor seats to this amazing show and I had been looking forward to it kinda ridiculously. So we had to replan at the very last minute (because my mom was watching JaiseAnn and wanted to still have her) and it ended up being a dud of a date night. I was in a really bad mood, we just went out to eat at a sandwich place and did a little shopping. Lame. It was really lame. And I was really sour about the whole thing. It was not my best moment.)
*Family date night (to corn maze)
*Do something special for Zach's birthday
*Intentional Date nights at home--preplanned each week 
*Make plans for our anniversary next month

Health
*Experiment with making natural sugar things/reduce refined sugar intake
*No eating after JaiseAnn goes to bed
*Go to bed early one night per week
*Get hair cut (this is scheduled for the first week of November, so that kind of counts I assume?)
*Read 2 books at least (I think I finished 5 this month)
*Schedule and enjoy a massage

Spirituality
*Put up a new scripture to reflect on on the fridge
*Have FHE every week this month--just a five minute message (again, 50/50 on this goal-which is better than nothing)
*Scripture Study
*Create a conference schedule (see it here)

Career/Education
*Email about academic writing (thesis and article) (the amount of time I've put this off is ridiculous. I've been a bit lazy--and I've been enjoying reading a whole lot so that's not helping. I also have a new job thing that came unexpectedly at a weird time so I'm not sure about where this is going)
*Apply for a job I have on my radar
*Work on improving my skills 

What are some of your goals this month?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Conference Study Schedule

In October we had our church's General Conference. It's always an inspiring time to set aside a weekend to just be filled with inspired messages and seek out answers to questions you have been holding in your mind and heart. I always--ALWAYS--find answers to my questions and this conference was no different. I am excited to study these conference talks over the next six months. 

For more insight into how I make and create my schedules to study conference talks, see here. I did change things up a bit this time around. I put all of my major talks first--the ones that answered the questions I had and inspired me the most--and then left the rest that were still good, but less relevant to me at this time at the end. Last conference, I mixed them all together, but I didn't like that arrangement because it left me studying a very inspirational talk right up to the next conference. I think next conference session, I will narrow to 10 talks to read for the 6 months between sessions, but this year I stuck with trying to fit as many as I could in. (I neglected both women's conference and the Priesthood session--as well as a few other talks). 



November:
Week 1: God Shall Wipe Away All Tears-Schmutz--Heavenly Father and Jesus are keepers of promises.
Week 2: Gratitude on the Sabbath Day--Elder Eyring
Week 3: Abide in My Love--Elder Christofferson--God's love is perfect, redeeming, and everlasting.
Week 4:Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus--Elder Cook--If we elevate anything above the Savior we are looking beond the mark.

December:
Week 1: O How Great the Plan of Our God--Elder Uchtdorf/The Doctrine of Christ-Ashton
Week 2+3: Joy and Spiritual Survival-Elder Nelson--The joy we feel has very little to do with the circumstances of our lives, but rather the focus of our lives. 
Week 4: No Greater Joy than to Know that They Know--Nattress-I will not lose you

January:
Week 1: The Soul's Sincere Desire-Sister McConkie-When what we want is silenced by an overwhelming desire to know what He wants for us.
Weeks 2+3: Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?--Cornish--President Hinckley taught, "All the Lord expects of us it to try, but you have to really try."
Week 4:If Ye Had Known Me-Elder Bednar

February:
Weeks 1+2: To Whom Shall We Go?--Elder Ballard (Addresses the doubters of the church, but is somehow seen as an antagonistic message from those who are really struggling. I found this incredibly uplifting and it spoke to the soul of one who previously teetered on the edge full of doubts.)
Weeks 3+4: Come Follow Me by Practicing Christian Love and Service-Elder Hales--If we love the Savior more, would we hurt less?


March:
Week 1: The Perfect Path to Happiness-President Monson/Sharing the Restored Gospel-Elder Oaks
Week 2: A Witness of God--Elder Andersen/For Our Spiritual Development and Learning-Bassett
Week 3: Repentance: A Joyful Choice-Elder Renlund/Serve--Cook
Week 4:Lest Thou Forget-Elder Rasband/The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray-Uceda

April:
Week 1: Look to the Book, Look to the Lord--Stevenson/The Great Plan of Redemption-Sis. Reeves
Week 2: The Sacrament Can Help Us Become Holy-Meurs/Be Ambitious for Christ-Yamashita
Week 3: Re-study Talk of Choice
Week 4: Re-study Talk of Choice

How do you study your conference talks or other spiritual materials?

Monday, October 3, 2016

One Little Word: October Goals


Zach and I have been throwing around the idea of a "no spend" goal for 2017, where we don't buy any "extras" for an entire year. No extra clothes, accessories, home decor, etc. We don't spend a whole lot on that stuff as it is, but I really have a feeling that doing this will help us make more advances toward gratitude and acceptance/contentment of the things that we have and to make the most of the simple little home that we have and living within our means. Additionally, we are working toward a new goal of paying off my student loans. We would really like to pay them off in the next year and half and I think it's possible--I really do. But we have to eliminate all other forms of spending, I am really excited about this. That being said, I'm not sure if I want to wait a full year to make some of the tiny/small changes to our home that I was/am hoping to make. So...I will have some lofty/probably repeat goals for our home for the next few months as we prepare to go without any additions, I'd like to get some of my main home goals taken care of. 

JaiseAnn and I did a fall leaves painting activity the other day. I was pretty pleased with how mine turned out. 

Now, my goals: 

Home
*Prints (and frames) for "Faith Gallery Wall"
*Learn to Use/Use Dehydrater for fruit
*Way to display JaiseAnn's artwork
*Curtain Rods
*Quote for Living Room
*Quote for Kitchen
*New Blinds
*Update 72 hour kits with new clothes and food (I do this every Fall conference weekend.)

Motherhood
*Print JaiseAnn's 1-2 Year Baby Book
*update JaiseAnn's baby book
*Intentional time each day (even when we are out and about) to sit down and play together
*Structured counting activity each week
*Structured craft/themed activity each week
*Drive and picnic to see the leaves


Marriage
*Go on a date night out (I have this one planned and so far Zach doesn't know about it and I am SO excited about it. I'll tell you when I report on these goals!!!)
*Family date night (to corn maze)
*Do something special for Zach's birthday
*Intentional Date nights at home--preplanned each week 
*Make plans for our anniversary next month

Health
*Experiment with making natural sugar things/reduce refined sugar intake
*No eating after JaiseAnn goes to bed
*Go to bed early one night per week
*Get hair cut
*Read 2 books at least
*Schedule and enjoy a massage

Spirituality
*Put up a new scripture to reflect on on the fridge
*Have FHE every week this month--just a five minute message
*Scripture Study
*Create a conference schedule

Career/Education
*Email about academic writing (thesis and article)
*Apply for a job I have on my radar
*Work on improving my skills 

What are some of your goals this month?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September Update

September has come to an end. September is by far one of my favorite months of the year. It may actually be my very favorite, so I'm always sad to see it end. But it was a good month. A really good month. I celebrated my birthday and had a really good day. One of my favorite birthdays yet I might say--nothing too extraordinary, but just a really  good day and I feel like I'm really coming into my own in my thirties. I've decided that "coming of age" stories should really be for thirty-something women. Speaking of stories, I completed my media fast about 30% of the time. I did check in on a few blogs (but didn't take time to comment whichI felt bad about) and I checked a few family Instagram accounts occasionally, but other than that I steered clear and it was glorious. In fact, I am pretty much going to keep doing what I was already doing indefinitely. I don't need social media. 



I filled my "downtime" with more stimulating forms of media--mainly podcasts (I'm late to the podcast train but I HAVE ARRIVED!!!) and reading. I've read 8 books since mid August and am really loving that I have a little extra time to read right now--which is why I've probably been dragging my feet on some work projects/applications I could be doing.I do need to fill my downtime with more spiritually uplifting media as well. 

My theme for this month's goals is: progress is progress. I didn't accomplish all of my goals with 100% accuracy, I still did better and made steps to improving myself and making myself and my life what I want it to be.

*Complete a full month-long media fast

Home
*Organize JaiseAnn's baby clothes into space bags  (While I feel a million times better that this project is done-I still have a few more clothes that need to be put away. I'll need a few more space bags and one more tote and I think then I'll be good for a while.)
*Consign my remaining clothes from my closet cleanout
*Waterbath can tomatoes from my garden (goal of 50 pts) (I canned 24 pints of tomoatoes. I had to buy 30 lbs of tomatoes to finish even that much. This helped me to realize that I may not ever reach my goal unless I double the size of my garden. But I'm glad I almost halfway reached it--and now I know how to waterbath can on my own--which is a skill I've been wanting to have for a while now. I also canned some peaches this month with my mom-so I learned a lot there, too.) 

Motherhood
*print one baby book
*update JaiseAnn's baby book
*Intentional time each day (even when we are out and about) to sit down and play together
*Structured counting and other learning activities every other week (I don't feel good enough about these two things on the end of this list to cross them off, but I definitely made progress and also was able to create a more functional schedule for us that is an answer to prayers and I have a goal of following through with in the next months.)

Marriage
*Go on a date night out
*Play a card or board game together 2 nights (we only did this one night...which is sad for me. We love games. Hopefully we can really start to increase the number of nights we do this.)
*Family date night
*1 nice thing for Zach each week (3/4 of the month)
*Breakfast and lunches made for Zach every week day (I've been slacking on this-for various reasons--and Zach is in a really busy work situation right now and I feel like I need to be more supportive and one way to do that is to make sure that food is one less thing he has to think/worry about)

Health
*Experiment with making natural sugar things/reduce refined sugar intake
*No eating after JaiseAnn goes to bed
*Go to bed early one night per week (1/2 of the time)
*Schedule and enjoy a massage

Spirituality
*Put up a new scripture to reflect on on the fridge
*Have FHE every week this month--just a five minute message (1/2 of the time)
*Scripture Study

Career/Education
*Set up and follow through with a meeting about academic writing
*Retake a test for my online profile site
*Cancel my domain for this blog and go back to a Blogspot account (not really necessary right now. My domain is active and paid through 2018. I think I'll stick around and blog for small purposes like these monthly check ins and such for a while and see where I go from there.) 

How did you do in September?