January 2021 goals

13 January 2021

Whew! After finally posting my 2021 goals, my blog comments up and quit on the same day!! If you had somanythoughts you were bursting to share but couldn’t, feel free to head over there now to do so, ha! I always LOVE hearing from y’all.

As I said in that post, this is where it gets good – these monthly posts where I break down my goals, take little steps forward on the things that matter to me, and hold myself accountable (with your help!). Even though we’re about halfway through the month, there’s still plenty of time of time to take action :)

A few housekeeping reminders here at the beginning of the year: if you’d like to get an email every time there’s a new EFM post, you can sign up for that here. If you’re ever searching for something I’ve mentioned loving in a past goals post, you can find it here. And if you’re looking for my Amazon shop (mostly favorite books and kid stuff!), you can find that here! Now, onto the goals…

On my calendar:
— Celebrating our 16th dativersary! Hoping we can go out for dinner if we have a warm enough evening.
— A hike with friends!

What I’m loving right now:
— Received via the Coffee & Crumbs newsletter, this essay on “our shared unsharing” hit home for me. It reflects a lot of what I’ve felt in the last year about sharing (or not) on Instagram, and what I’ve noticed about trends on the platform. The author’s parallel experience of bringing her love for magazines and storytelling to IG also felt very familiar! Worth a read.
— I’ve followed NieNie off and on since her accident 12+ years ago, but resubscribed to her blog a few months ago when I realized she now lives in the next town over! I have really loved watching the intentional way she shapes her family culture (and celebrates all the things). It’s so rare to find blogs featuring families that are out of the preschool/elementary years!
— Gosh, Target has killed it with their Valentine’s Day collection yet again. This mailbox ($5!) will play a key role in our February plans, and I also picked up one of these pale pink melamine bowls for each member of our family. (And the heart plates!! So cute!) We’ll use them year-round. (Also, not Valentine’s Day related, but I snagged these seagull swim trunks for Shep in the same order. Again, so cute!)

What I read in December:
The Handmaid and the Carpenter | A short little book bringing Mary and Joseph’s story to life. Elizabeth Berg is a favorite author of mine and it was a treat to hear her take on this famous story!
The Great Alone | One of my favorites from the year! Though there is tragedy and darkness woven throughout, it’s an epic, engrossing tale that ends on a bright note. Love, love, love.
Time to Parent | I’m going to file this one under “good for her, not for me.” I agreed with most of her ideas about organizing our time and actions as parents, and there were some gems tucked in, but I’d say this book was a 101 level, and time organization is probably one of the things I’m better at in life. If you’re struggling to find time for all of your priorities as a parent, I think this would be a great read!
HRH: So Many Thoughts About Royal Style | I found her writing a little chatty (Can you imagine? Don’t you think?) but it’s a fun read (and totally got us back into The Crown!).
Make Something Good Today | I had the joy of reading Erin’s daily blog that inspired this book long before HGTV found her and Ben. Her writing was something special back then, and it shines here, too. I don’t think you need to care at all about their show to enjoy this book, though, of course, if you do, you’ll probably like it even more!

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

January goals:
— Research all school options for June. We are pretty sure we know what we’re going with, but the Enneagram 5 in me needs to know everything has been considered, and there’s a registration deadline this month. EEK!
— Watch the Theolaby bonus materials with John. We bought the box set as part of the kids’ Christmas presents, and it came with some videos from Jennie and friends!
— Print our favorite Instagram photos from 2020
— Finish culling and sorting 2020 photos
— 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, including a new light fixture

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

I’d love to hear: how do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Any fun ideas to share? Did anything resonate with you from the shared unsharing piece? :)

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January 13, 2021 9:09 am

My husband and I have had the same Valentine’s Day tradition since we got married in 2016. After going to crowded restaurants for a subpar (and often overpriced) prix fixe meal during our dating years, we’ve discovered that we really love ordering takeout, picking up or making a special dessert, and watching “A Charlie Brown Valentine” at home!
I’ve saved the article you shared about “shared unsharing”. I’m excited to dig into it and reflect on my own social media use and how I’ve shared content.

January 13, 2021 10:21 am

Thank you for acknowledging my many thoughts, ha! Will skip back over to 2021 goals to comment shortly :) I haven’t decided what to do for Valentine’s Day yet! I think it would be fun to surprise Charlie (and Azelie, though she will care less ;)) with fun new placemats. I’ve been eyeing some personalized ones and think Charlie would get a kick out of it, now that he can spell his name!
That article was so interesting! I need to sit with it a little bit but maybe we can discuss further!

January 13, 2021 10:47 am

Good luck with researching the school options – I’m doing the same this month!

January 13, 2021 10:50 am

Target, as always, has so many festive and beautiful finds right now!! One favorite holiday tradition that always stands out to me is that my mom would always dye our milk a holiday-appropriate color. It was SUCH a fun surprise/treat to have pink milk for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, etc. My grandparents would also mail out “mystery” Valentines to all of the grandkids, signed with a question mark, and I have taken on that tradition now that they’ve both passed away. Sweet and special!
Also love that you adore The Great Alone (SO GOOD!), and I agree with you about HRH… and subsequently getting back into The Crown. We just finished it and loved it – and are egarely anticipating seasons 5 and 6, hopefully next year. I sure hope the Shared Unsharing is one of our February articles club picks because I have A LOT of thoughts and musings. It’s very appropriately timed, too!

January 13, 2021 10:55 am

I have no idea how we’re going to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Usually we don’t really celebrate it (other than the kids making a craft/gift for their classmates). But this year I feel like it would be fun to make it special. Mostly since so many other things are so low key or not possible yet. So, I’m eager to hear about your plans! Your ideas are typically right up my alley, ha!
Also: thank you for sharing that article about the “shared unsharing”. I hadn’t read the piece until just now. But I did have a lot of the same thoughts as the author this past year and am still struggeling to find the joy or ease that Instagram used to have for me. I don’t have a public profile or a big following, so I can’t imagine what that would feel like. But I hate to thought of making the people that follow me (which, almost all of them I know personally) feel icky or less than or anything like that. At the same time, I don’t want to use Instagram to share our piles of dirty laundry or screaming kids or anything. I typically post visually pleasing images (at least to my eye, haha) with an honest caption. And if someone’s post triggers me to respond immediately, I usually don’t or at least wait. But I admit that I have been struggling with consuming and posting on Instagram a lot this past year. I still think that it can be such a great thing if you follow the “right” people (read: people that inspire you to be yourself, to be kind, to consider other ideas and opinions etc.) and if you comsume Instagram and not let it consume you.
Loooots of thoughts on this apparently, ha!
As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts here and on Instagram!

Laura B
January 14, 2021 8:58 pm

Always love your Valentine ideas!! We are doing play dough for the preschool classmates – doing a printable and making my own tags. Also brainstorming for a cute individually packaged snack I can do for his class celebration since we can’t bring in anything baked at home.

January 15, 2021 8:00 pm

That article! Holy cow!! She articulated how I’ve felt so eloquently, which is hard because it is such a multi-layered issue/conundrum/topic. Thank you so much for sharing that! It’s giving me a lot to think about in light of taking some time off. I couldn’t bring myself to archive anything. I think the journal-lover in me sees my IG posts as little journal entries, little snapshots of our life and our memories, even the more “curated” posts. And while I’ve definitely partaken in presenting a version of myself I *want* to be, it was never intended to make others feel lesser, but to help me believe I am very much the woman I hope to be (and to keep working towards that.)

January 16, 2021 2:26 pm

We’ve chosen to make Valentine’s Day a big part of our family culture. It helps break up the cold winter, and I think you said it best on your blog once—I am here for any holiday celebrating love and chocolate! Last year I decided to send Valentine photo cards in lieu of Christmas cards, and it was a welcome change! As a choir director, the Christmas season is so full, so I look for any opportunities to simplify without disrupting too much of the magic. Shifting the cards to Valentine’s Day is my favorite change!

On February 14, we’ll dine on heart-shaped snacks using our Valentine’s Day dishes! We will make a craft and bake a treat to deliver to the grandparents. As Caroline gets older, I imagine that we will use the Valentine’s season to look for ways to deliver kindness to others—volunteering our time, raising money for a special cause, etc.

January 25, 2021 12:01 pm

Thanks for the book recommendation of The Great Alone! I was nervous to read another by the author, since I enjoyed The Nightingale and worried this one would be a disappointment in comparison. But The Great Alone is even better in my opinion!
Did you wonder if Where the Crawdads Sing gathered inspiration from this novel? The wild girl, a crazed family, a one true love in the form of a blonde boy?? Seems a bit more than coincidental, lol.