February 2021 goals

1 February 2021

Here is a goal success story! And it’s not even one I highlighted on my January list! Actually, you might call it a habit success story. As part of my number one goal for 2021 (making room for God’s presence), I committed to a discipline of “Word before words” – reading something from the Bible before I tuck into my current book at night. Reading before bed is a deeply-ingrained habit and something I look forward to, and when you’re looking for something to tie a developing habit to, this is exactly what you’re looking for. I didn’t fudge a single day!

Consequently, in just a month, I read through the whole book of Mark!! (You may recall it took all last year for John and I to read through Matthew together.) Did I have any major revelations? No. But I believe deposits of scripture like this can and will be used by God, and I am grateful for that. On to Acts!

On my calendar:
— Making valentines with June! She has decided we’re going with a bunny theme this year, so I think I’ll add bunny grahams as the treat.
— Our Valentine’s Day fun.
— Celebrating Chinese New Year! Charnaie has some great book recommendations and we will 100% be eating dumplings.
— My birthday! Hoping we get a sunny day so we can go for our traditional walk in my favorite Raleigh neighborhood.

What I’m loving right now:
— It feels funny to recommend a podcast I routinely fast forward through 50% of, but here we are! Brooke and T.J.’s casual banter can get a little long-winded (hence the fast forwarding), but I appreciate their takes on topics that matter to me (family life, faith, generosity, marriage, intentional living). They cover topics that many others don’t touch in a way that feels personal and helpful.
— I hesitate to recommend skincare because it’s so individual, but this toner is too good to keep to myself! I’ve long struggled with dry, flaky skin on my forehead, and this is the first product that’s ever made a difference. The flakiness is gone, overall my skin is smoother, and I do think my pores look a bit smaller, too! (Fun fact: I discovered this via an online order sample. I don’t try 90% of the samples I receive, and I’m not sure what made me pick this one up, but I’m VERY glad I did!)
— After being eh on June’s balance bike, we picked up a different model for Shep, and are loving the Kazam so far! He’s already coasting after just a few weeks!

What I read in January:
Such a Fun Age: Ooooh, y’all, for the most-recommended book, I expected a little more! It did hold my attention, but ultimately left me feeling empty. The snarls of modern life often feel icky and complicated enough in real time, without reading about made-up complications in my leisure time. Plus, Alix was just weird. Am I missing something??
Oh Crap! Potty Training: I maintain that potty training has so far been the roughest developmental stage because I did not read a book on the subject beforehand. Skimmed this to remedy that before we dive in for a second time…
Essentialism: About halfway through! Will review next month once I’m finished.

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

Revisiting my January goals:
Research all school options for June.
Watch the Theolaby bonus materials with John
Print our favorite Instagram photos from 2020
Finish culling and sorting 2020 photos (January-June done!)
Write our sweet girl a note for her fifth birthday (continuing a tradition)
Complete her birthday interview
Prep for Valentine’s Day fun
Focus on small tweaks and refreshes in our foyer
(Magic Eraser-ing made SUCH a difference! I also picked out a pretty linen light fixture but am holding out for a President’s Day sale :))

February goals:
— Book our annual camping trip (going in the spring this year – hopefully we’ll avoid the cold weather!)
— Book our mountains trip for this fall (places book up SO early!)
— Watch the Theolaby bonus materials with John
— Focus on small tweaks and refreshes in our bedroom, including a new paint color (!), new curtains, and a new grid of photos. Maybe not so small :)
— Finish submitting June’s kindergarten paperwork
— Finish culling and sorting the second half of 2020 photos

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

Making travel plans last month for spring break left John and I so jazzed (reminding me that a big portion of the enjoyment from travel is in the planning and anticipation!). In that spirit, I’d love to hear something you’re looking forward to this year, whether travel or otherwise!

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February 1, 2021 7:51 am

I just started Such A Fun Age (I scooped it up after seeing you had it on your 2021 list) and while I expected it to be a parenting book (LOL), am also a little bored by it just a chapter in. Now that I have read your review above I’m a little hesitant to finish it haha! But hooray for birthday month and a successful January habit-streak, friend.

February 1, 2021 9:09 am

Happy February and birthday month!! Rob surprised me with a trip to the beach the we leave for in just a few days, and we have been counting down the hours since the moment he told me that we (finally, at long last!) have a vacation on our calendar. I cannot WAIT for a wintery five days on the coast, and the anticipation and excitement is just the best!!
(PS: yeppp to Such a Fun Age!!)

February 1, 2021 11:02 am

I agree with you on Such a Fun Age! It was a quick read and interesting story, but it left me feeling empty and uninspired. I felt similarly about The Vanishing Half. I was expecting to be blown away by it, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters and didn’t feel inspired by the story, even though the story hooked me enough to read through the entire book.

February 1, 2021 11:03 am
Reply to  Jaime

Oh, and I’m looking forward to a possible beach weekend with my sister this spring!

February 2, 2021 12:56 pm
Reply to  Em

Agree with Jaime on both of these! I kept thinking, am I missing something? The characters are similarly soap opera-y…

February 1, 2021 11:37 am

I am really excited to celebrate Valentine’s day and will likely be running to Target in the next few days to pick out some fun pieces for our home!
We have scheduled our baby’s baptism (who will not be born until May :)) due to the Godfather’s needs to ask off – and I am so excited about welcoming our families to our new home for the first time and hosting everyone!

February 1, 2021 2:18 pm

Happy Birthday! I hope you have a marvelous time! :) This time of year always gets me exited about change, and I start chomping at the bit for spring.
I would love for you to write about your kindergarten research, if you can share. Maybe you could share your criteria and leave out school names? Just a thought!

February 8, 2021 2:52 pm
Reply to  Em

one more year to prep! thanks in advance :)

Zoe T
February 2, 2021 6:18 am

I am very excited about our 10 year wedding anniversary on June 19th. Although it is unclear how we will be able to celebrate (given the Covid situation in the UK) I know we will find a way to make it magical.

Kelly C
February 2, 2021 7:03 am

Happy birthday friend! We just planned a ski trip for the end of the month and I’m very much looking forward to being active and outside again!

February 2, 2021 7:40 am

Vegas in September!

Victoria B
February 2, 2021 8:05 am

I have nothing on my calendar for this year and it is definitely making me feel blah. I really enjoyed Such a Fun Age but I wouldn’t say it was inspiring or anything. I liked the story though. I also listened on audio and it really made the characters come to life. I was disappointed in The Vanishing Half.
I would love to hear your thoughts and research on schools. I just did a bunch of preschool research for my son to start in the fall and I really couldn’t find anyone talking about all the options and criteria of what to look for online. I know I will be doing the elementary school research next year.

Kelly Strawberry
February 2, 2021 9:31 am

There’s actually a lot on my travel list the first six months of the year…Florida, Alaska, and Wyoming! Definitely excited for the planning that goes along with it! It felt risky booking flights with COVID still going strong. Fingers crossed!!!

February 2, 2021 9:47 am

About to dive into reading Oh Crap! Potty Training this month! Excited but nervous to take on the challenge/adventure of potty training.
Looking forward to celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary next month. Not sure what we’ll do (we’re discussing our immediate covid plans but then also dreaming of what we will do to celebrate after covid is over) but looking forward to celebrating however we decide to celebrate.

February 2, 2021 10:11 am

We don’t have any travel plans on the calendar, but one of my goals for 2021 is to explore our city. We’ve lived here for a year and haven’t been able to get to know the area well. In that way, it feels like a vacation since we’re exploring a new to us place! This month, I’m excited to visit a local park to see the azaleas in bloom while enjoying a picnic lunch. In March, we’re planning to check out the zoo.
One other event on the calendar that I’m looking forward to is our fifth wedding anniversary at the end of August! I’m unsure how to celebrate as I don’t know how things will be at that point.

Jessica Fowler
February 2, 2021 12:33 pm

My book club just discussed Such a Fun Age and had the general consensus that it was good, not great. We also talked about how, considering it came out in 2019, we may have felt different about it if we had read it at a different time? The world is just ~so much~ currently and I find myself finding solace in books that have a definitive happy ending. And also, while SFA had moments of good vs bad, there was also a lot of gray area, and it’s just easier to read books that have a definitive “good guy” to root for. Like you said, I don’t need to read about complications in my leisure time!

I am looking forward to getting the vaccine (I’m immunocompromised so while it’s not my turn yet, I’m hoping it’s sooner than later!) and then hopping on a flight to literally ANYWHERE haha! Likely to see my parents or best friend (all of whom will have been vaccinated before me). Can’t wait!

February 2, 2021 2:17 pm

Oooh, excited to see those bedroom updates and can’t wait to find out what color you’re going with!
We finally had a discussion about our 2021 travel last week and came up with a tentative plan. It felt so good to get on the same page and actually narrow down some trips to start looking forward to! Mostly family-related travel this year, but Dave and I are also hoping to sneak away to Charleston for a weekend :)

February 3, 2021 12:57 pm

Same on Such a Fun Age. I was expecting to come away with major revelations about race and class but all I came away with was the fact that Alix was totally weird. I think her strangeness undermined the big picture lessons that the author was trying to communicate.

February 4, 2021 9:30 am

We’re in the very early stages of planning a trip to celebrate my husband finishing grad school! We haven’t even gotten together a list of places we might go and I’m already looking forward to it!

February 14, 2021 5:24 am

Always love reading through your goals, Em. And so exciting to see some travel getaways being planned for your sweet family x