April 2021 goals

1 April 2021

Every time I tell someone when I’m due (July), they respond, “oh, that’s so soon!” Until just recently, it hasn’t felt that soon to me, but looking ahead to the next few months — which are filled with more activities and adventures than we’ve had in awhile — it is feeling closer and closer! I’m getting both increasingly excited to meet our little lady, and just really enjoying these days as a family of four. There’s so much to look forward to, including everything we have planned for April!

On my calendar this month:
— Celebrating Holy Week. For Easter, we’re planning to go to an outdoor service hosted by a friend’s church and do an egg hunt in the backyard since we’ll already have given our baskets!
— Our annual camping trip with the Rays, at 28 weeks pregnant for me and about 26 for Nancy! Oh boy.
— A trip to the WRAL Azalea Gardens when everything’s in bloom
— The beginning of June’s second soccer season. We can walk to the field for the once-a-week game – it’s perfectly low-key for a five-year-old!

What I’m loving right now:
— Most of us are not hurting for delicious pasta recipes, but I’ve got one more to throw onto the pile. Unique flavor and easy to add veggies (our favorite being cherry tomatoes!).
— If you’re looking for a dessert to complete your meal, might I recommend a warm Betty Crocker brownie and a scoop of Jeni’s Brambleberry Crisp ice cream, found in the freezer aisle of your grocery store? Gah, it’s SO GOOD.
— I have worn these pearl stud earrings pretty much every day since my parents gifted them to me for Christmas, so it’s high time they made an appearance on the blog! They’re simple enough for daily wear but add just a little bit of extra interest with the gold. I have the small size. Love, love, love.

What I read in March:
Parenting with Love and Logic | Though it’s been years since I read this book, it’s still one of my most frequent recommendations to other parents, so when I was in between library requests I thought it might be time for a re-read. My review this time is still positive, though slightly more modulated. If you’ve never experienced or been exposed to the parenting ideas in this book – a consultant parenting style, teaching through consequences – it will likely be a revelation. That being said, our family certainly doesn’t follow it to the letter, and some of the writing and examples just come across as clumsy.
Heidi | Still waiting on library requests, I pulled this classic off our shelves. I’ve owned the Anna Bond version for years but had never actually read it! It’s very sweet and I can’t wait to read it with June someday soon :)
Homegoing | Like The Great Alone, it seems strange to say you loved a book that was so painful at times, but it also seems unfair not to! The writing was beautiful, the structure was creative and kept me racing along, and it helped me learn about and empathize with life experiences that are different from mine. I particularly loved the first half.

My reading list for 2021, if you’d like to follow along!

Revisiting my March goals:
Finish culling and sorting the second half of 2020 photos (Done!!!)
Book our annual camping trip (Headed to Pilot Mountain State Park!)
Book our mountains trip (Headed to Black Mountain this fall!)
Plan and prep for our spring break trip (Done!)
Focus on small tweaks and refreshes in our guest room (Very small… bought a new pillow for the bed :))
Style our mantel for spring (Peek here!)
Have our carpets cleaned (Probably shouldn’t have waited as long as we did, ha.)

April goals:
— Make a new design plan for the Magnolia Room (a.k.a. our guest room), which will soon also function as little sister’s nursery
— Magic Eraser/touch up paint in Magnolia Room
— Plan maternity/family photos (photographer, date, outfits, eek). Thinking we’ll take these either late April or early May.
— Try twice a week meal prep/chopping nights, inspired by Lisa!
— Have my Fearrington tea + pedicures date with June, one of her Christmas presents
— Assist with June’s bake sale. Once she realized this was a thing kids did, and surely inspired by all of her baking this year, she’s been asking to have one, and I told her she could once it got warmer. Wish us luck?
— Proceed with garden party planning. Nancy and I have been discussing hosting a little outdoor soiree for a few friends to celebrate new babies, vaccines, and warmer weather!
— Clean out our pantry (I do this thoroughly every few years!)
— Order our 2010-2014 family photo album

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2021 goals!

I’d love to hear: do you have any good meal prep rhythms? Tightening up my meal planning/grocery shopping routines was a big focus last year, and I feel like getting ahead with prep is the last step!

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April 1, 2021 12:50 pm

Having themed days of the week helped our meal planning tremendously. We do taco Tuesday, fish Friday, meatless Mondays, waffle Wednesday for breakfast for the kids…I don’t make the same dish every week but I also don’t have to think too hard about what we’ll have. Some weeks we have chicken tacos, others fish tacos, others black bean tacos, others taco bowls or taco salad. It takes some of the work out of meal planning but still keeps it fresh.

Thanks for sharing your goals! I love these posts.

April 6, 2021 9:56 am

So many fun things going on this month!! I will start planning my garden party outfit and would like to be notified of the bake sale date :)
Little Unicorn has the prettiest magnolia print swaddle, if you keep the magnolia theme going with baby girl’s room!

April 6, 2021 3:45 pm

I recently finished Homegoing myself and wow. What a beautiful read with an interesting structure, as you mentioned! I kept the family tree page at the start of the book dogeared so that at every new chapter I could reference back the generational changes and stories being told.
And good luck with June’s bake sale! Sounds like a fun adventure :)

April 8, 2021 10:41 am

Since you already have a list of favorite recipes, here is a suggestion: Last fall I gathered all my favorite recipes and created a 6 week rotation. Between leftovers, pizza night, cooking inspiration etc, I only plan for 3 meals/week, one of them being a pantry/freezer meal with items that will keep for the following week or next time it falls in the rotation (in case we don’t get to it). I also put some effort into spreading out proteins and grouping recipes that use the same ingredients to reduce waste. I added them as recurring appointments on my calendar and also made a digital ingredient list for each week that I can add items to my shopping list as I check my pantry (I use the Anylist app and as a bonus, my husband has access in case he goes to the store!) I usually shop 2 weeks at a time. This has greatly simplified our meal routine and I’ve decided that in this season of life, it’s OK not to be overly creative in the kitchen (unless I have the time/energy/mental space for it!) Another bonus of focusing on a few recipes is that I’ve gotten really good at them, tweaking the amounts, knowing how long they will actually take and which steps to do when so it goes smoothly. That said, my Mom was here over spring break and stocked our fridge and freezer, so I haven’t had to cook in almost a month! I need to get back on my schedule!
I read Homegoing a couple years ago and also really enjoyed it! Good luck with your bake sale and family picture clothes shopping! Sounds like you have a fun month ahead!