Quarter One Report

Well, the first quarter of the year has passed, and although my life these days is more “get that play dough out of your mouth” and less “get me that report by Friday,” I still like the idea of a quarterly report and thought I’d do a Q1 check-in to see how I’m progressing on my 2014 goals.

  • Goal Area One: Gracefully serve my family and be a hands on, present, thoughtful, intentional mom.
    • Intentionally structure our weeks so that Zoe and I spend time each week in music, learning about/experiencing nature, physical activity, reading, and social activities.  Take weekly field trips to the children’s museum, zoo, parks, etc.
      This is going really well.  I kept track of all of Zoe’s activities and experiences in March.  The list of experiences filled up a front and back sheet of paper (and I didn’t write any experience down twice, even if we repeated it) so I think I am doing a really good job of this.  We’re also doing a lot of sensory play activities and art projects.
      photo 4-3
    • Swim lessons in the late spring or early summer
      I am still trying to convince David that this is a good idea.  Chime in with your most horrific drowning stories, people! I also discovered that a nearby dance studio offers baby ballerina classes for Zoe’s age group and has a summer session.  BABY BALLERINA CLASSES.  Now I’m torn about which to tell you to lobby for…make your own decision, I guess.  (Or stay out of our marriage.  You know, the healthy option I should have been advocating to begin with. )

    • Create a good eating plan for Zoe as we phase bottles out.
      It would help if Zoe would eat something besides the same 20 foods over and over again, but we ARE phasing bottles out and she is down to two a day now.  She is more adventurous at snack time than meal time, so I am trying to make sure that I provide healthy and mostly homemade or very low processed options for her snacks…unless we are on a beach trip.  Then she gets ice cream 🙂photo 1-3

      In response to my health consciousness, Zoe learned the word “Cheez-It” last month.  I didn’t grow up eating Cheez-Its, don’t buy them, and didn’t even know that you spelled “Cheez-It” with a “z” instead of an “s” until I Googled it three weeks ago.   I gave them to her ONCE at playgroup because another kid had them and she was begging for them.   Apparently it was an experience to remember, because she can identify them in or out of the packaging and say “Cheez-It” with perfect diction.

    • Build on Zoe’s “rules” as needed to keep her safe.
      Added to the list: 1) we brush our teeth in the bathroom—not while running through the house and 2) no playing in the trash can.  Added to my life: a pouty face.

    • Begin to introduce spiritual concepts to her at an age-appropriate level (“pray,” etc.) along with concepts of basic manners (“please,” “thank you,” giving hugs and caring for friends, etc.)
      She loves to pray! She insists that we do it before dinner and gets mad if we forget.  She claps when we are done.

    • Continue to give her lots of time with her extended family and help her learn their names through FaceTime and photos.
      I want to make her a photo wall to help with this goal, but I don’t want to just tape photos to the wall (nor do I want to put a ton of frames on the wall.)  Does anyone have any cool Pinterest-y photo projects to share?

    • As the one who spends the most time in a caregiving role, do my best to create a family culture that is loving, peaceful, gentle, & fun, where Zoe feels safe, secure, loved, & valued.  Zoe won’t benefit from a ton of formal instruction on faith and values this year—but I want these things to be so obvious by the way that we live that she has a foundation for the future.  I’m with her the most, so I have to live it the most.
      I feel like our home has been very peaceful and loving lately, and we just took a family vacation to the beach which helped make some fun family memories.  The biggest threats to me achieving this goal are fatigue and being distracted by less important things that feel urgent.  I pray that I can focus on what matters.
      photo 3-3
  • Goal Area Two: Be a thoughtful, loving, present wife who prioritizes David’s needs.
    • Pay attention to what he says.
    • Purposefully save energy for him.
    • Make dates a financial priority.
    • Continue doing devotions together each week and pray together more often.
    • Speak his love language.
      The last few months have been a sweet time for our marriage as we have grown closer and more tender towards one another in our shared grief.  I think we are doing a great job at loving each other.  That being said, our last date night involved going to a worship service (#pastorswifeprobs) so we need a romantic evening out stat.  I also want to pray more together before bed and make sure we do our couple devotion most Sundays.
      photo 2-3
  • Goal Area Three: Physical Health – I want to care for myself spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  Physical health isn’t the most important thing in my life, but the way that I treat my body affects the other parts of my life, my emotions, and my ability to have the energy I want to have for my family.  I want my physical state to enable me to confidently tackle everything else in my life…not to distract me or slow me down.
    • I want to be intentionally active most days of the week.  Ideally, I would attend my stroller fitness class 2x/week and work out 1-2 other times per week at our gym or walking 2-3 times per week.  I feel the best physically and mentally when I do this.
      I have been doing a good job attending stroller fitness classes twice a week, but I need to utilize David’s babysitting services more so that I can go to the gym on the weekends.

    • Eat healthfully because it gives me the most energy…but still eat dessert regularly.  I unintentionally lost weight when Zoe was born and spent a good part of the year struggling not to lose more weight and to put weight back on.  I am back at a healthy weight for me and need to continue to eat more than what I am actually hungry for so that I can be as healthy as possible for my family.
      Success.  However, I am ready to begin eating a bit more mindfully again.  
  • Goal Area Four: Spiritual health and personal passions:
    • Continue daily morning quiet times.
      I have had to adapt this goal to “doing a daily quiet time.”  Some mornings, I am able to get Zoe to sit quietly for a few minutes while I do it at my preferred time.  Other days, I do it during nap time or read scripture while spooning yogurt in her mouth or cooking dinner.  Flexibility isn’t my strongest skill, but I’m working on it 🙂

    • Continue listening to sermon podcasts when I get the chance during the day.
      I have done this all of twice in 2014.  Note to self: do it more!

    • Use my new prayer journal a few times a week to be more organized with my prayer life.
      This fell by the wayside because I got mad at God and seeing my old prayers was making me more angry.  I’m back to praying, but not in my prayer journal.  I did make a prayer bulletin board that helps me visualize the people that I am praying for, which has been neat.

    • Try to carve out two times a week for writing.  Improve my writing and clarify my sense of purpose for my writing.  Read writers who inspire me and encourage me to be better. 
      I attended a writing class in February and have been doing plenty of reading.  I’ve been trying to write twice a week, even if I don’t publish it, and most weeks I meet this goal.  In the upcoming quarter, I want to clarify my writing goals further. 

This quarter, I also made the hard decision to stop working for the nonprofit I’ve been working for for the last 4 years.  I am still doing some consulting work here and there, but I want to be more strategic about what I do now that Zoe is down to one nap and my work time is limited.  I want the projects I take on to build new skills, build new connections, and allow me to use the skills I am most passionate about, and I want to do project-based work instead of weekly work so that I have more time to spend on writing and enriching activities with Zoe.  Although it was a big adjustment at first, it was a decision I made from my core and I am glad I made it.

IMG_2013Moving forward, I want to continue my success with the goals that have been going well and pick up the pace in a few areas.  I welcome conversation about how these goals (or your own goals!) are going in 2014!


5 thoughts on “Quarter One Report

  1. You are doing so well! I am so impressed with you.

    Would you share what Bible study/devotions you and David do together as a couple? Brandon and I are looking for something. Timing is the hard thing. . . lame excuse I know. I rise early and then am falling asleep by 9pm (or let’s be real, usually 8:30), and Brandon is more of a night person so the hard part is carving out time to actually participate in a devotional together when we are both alert and awake! Ugh! How do y’all do it?

    1. Well, I did try my hardest to make attainable goals…less emphasis on the specific 🙂 but I was surprised how well I was doing on them too.

      Happy to share our devotion details! We are doing “Devotions for Sacred Parenting,” which I would recommend. We do it about once a week on Sunday afternoons. We usually walk as a family to get a cup of coffee beforehand (Starbucks is a close walk or there is a coffee shop nearby that has BOGO drinks on Sundays,) walk back and put Zoe down for her nap, and then sit on the couch and drink our coffee while one of us reads the (short) devotion. We talk through the devotion, our upcoming week and its obligations and schedules, our prayer requests, and then pray out loud together. Once we sit down on the couch, it usually takes about 20-30 minutes and very connecting and “worth it.” Plus, with the coffee, it feels like a coffee date!

  2. Not being a particularly goal-oriented person myself, I admire your ability to organize your thoughts, desires, GOALS, and then reflect on them analytically! Wow–you’re one impressive Mom (also beautiful, and doing a beautiful job!). If I would set a goal, it would be that I could make the drive to Rochester sometime when you and Zoe are visiting your family there! I wouldn’t take up too much of their G’ma/G’pa time–just a little–to get to see you again, and to meet Zoe. Let me know if you’re going to make that trip this summer! Hugs from Auntie Ginger

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