March 2024 goals

5 March 2024

When I shared earlier this year that posting frequency would slow down a bit here as I began posting weekly on The Connected Family, I worried that things would feel… slow at EFM. But thanks to your generous participation and maybe a little of the old quality v. quantity tradeoff, I was delighted by what we were able to talk about in February. You all are so good to me, and I’m excited for what I have planned for this month, too.

Writing here feels particularly like a gift right now as I work to find my TCF voice. It’s a new audience and brand (and purpose), and the trial and error feels a bit foreign! While I’ve got pretty much everything (voice, tone, perspective, format, length, angle, etc.) nailed down for EFM and CWM (since I’ve written for both for over a decade!), I’m still figuring all those things out with TCF. Thanks for coming along for the ride :)

The first of my fancy daffodils have bloomed!!

On my calendar:
— Easter basket shopping with all three kids. I’ll go on individual mini shopping trips to Target with each kiddo to choose items for baskets we donate through a local program. One of my favorite traditions!
— Primary voting. I would never miss a chance to add my voice, even if it sometimes seems inconsequential.
— Spring break. We are returning to Jekyll Island!

What I’m loving right now:
Ocean BINGO, an unexpected reading practice tool! Shep and I have been playing it together and, since he loves to be the caller, he finds himself sounding out things like “spotted eagle ray” and “wandering albatross.” I’ll take it :) These BINGO games are really beautiful and great quality – I want to collect all the versions (birds! cats! trees!) even though I have very little reason to.
— John and I try to have an at-home date night about once a month and usually watch a movie. Recently we chose Yesterday, and it was delightful! A feel-good pick with a just-intriguing-enough premise (and lots of Beatles songs). It’s currently included with Prime.
— I asked for and received Vuori joggers for Christmas, and I’m sorry to report back that they really are excellent. Good quality, great fit, and I love my color – iron heather.

As a reminder, you can find allll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!

What you’re loving right now:

This is where I highlight a few items here that have been popular in the last month with fellow readers, based on my analytics. Here’s hoping this will help you find something you’ll love!

— The Rifle Paper Co for Target collection was easily the most popular link I shared last month – and for good reason! I was truly blown away by the quality of the boxes I purchased. Wish there was more from the collection still in stock!!
— The pearl and gold studs I wear daily bounced up to the top, too. I’m not giving them up anytime soon but I did just try on these hearts in a store and they’re now on my wish list.
52 Modern Manners for Kids, a resource we use for Team Thomas Tuesdays
— My current sunhat
— Our favorite family conversation card deck

Last month on The Connected Family:

Adding a segment to round up the previous month’s posts on TCF! So many of you have subscribed (thank you!), but if you haven’t, and a conversation about kids, technology, and family culture sounds meaningful for you, I’d love for you to join us.

Low-Screen Living Cues Around Our Home | 11+ examples (with photos!) of how we’ve shaped our environment to prioritize what’s important to us.
TV Fasts | A tiny rhythm that keeps our consumption in check and our lives on track.
7 Barriers to Community | On loneliness, pride, and, yes, social media
7 Ways to Grow in Community | On consistency, going first, and shared traditions
A Simple Playground Trick for Independence | Sometimes, the best option is… doing nothing

What I read in February:
The Red Tent | I plucked this re-read off our shelf as we worked our way through Genesis in our Bible-in-a-year plan. It’s a highly-imagined recreation of Dinah’s story, compelling and adding some interesting background to the ancient world Jesus’s lineage wound through, but it made me feel similar to The Book of Longings – vaguely scandalous?
To Say Nothing of the Dog | Whew. I added this to my 2024 reading list after Janssen put it on hers, so I didn’t know too much about it before requesting it from the library. It was… very different than your average bookstagram pick (!). It’s a “comedy of manners,” a stylized form I’d never read before, and packed with literary and historical allusions, many of which I was not familiar with. It was also published in 1998. All this to say, it was mostly a slog. I was still considering DNF-ing up until about 3/4 of the way through, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I think there’s value in reading something very different and a little more challenging than my usual fare every once in a while – even if it did back up my reading pipeline for a few weeks :) And I am proud to say I guessed the twist early!

My reading list for 2024, if you’d like to follow along!

Revisiting my February goals:
Reach out to an upholsterer and/or visit a showroom for goal no. 1 (Yes! Waiting on fabric swatches to arrive.)
Rehab and paint June’s new (old) desk (Yes! I just added the top coat yesterday and now it needs two weeks (!) to cure. I found a cutie chair to pair it with at Pigfish on my birthday.)
Finalize the secrets + swag for the AC retreat (Sadly, the AC retreat is the same weekend as my grandmother’s service, so I’m no longer able to attend. I’m very sad to miss, of course, but also feel total peace that I’ll be where I need to be that weekend. Because of this, I’ve stepped back from the planning, but can’t wait to see what the gals come up with!)
Complete at least 60 hours of deep work (I got to 39, beating my total for January by four hours! Still room to grow, but grateful for improvement!)
Write one lesson of the TCF course (It was the first one and by far the easiest, but still!)
Read chapters 4, 5, and 6 of Outlive (Just starting to get into the actionable section :))
Take the Birds & Bees course with John

March goals:
— Take the Birds & Bees course with John
— Read chapters 7, 8, and 9 of Outlive
— Choose fabric and send chairs off for reupholstering
— Complete at least 45 hours of deep work (about 3 for every week day, minus travel days!)
— Finish the leadership program slides + deliver my talk
— Write the second lesson of the TCF course
— Wholeheartedly enjoy my extended family and time in Connecticut, as my grandmother would have wanted

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2024 goals!

Happy March! Feel free to chime in on anything I’ve mentioned or anything else on your mind.

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March 5, 2024 8:55 pm

Would love details on the local Easter basket program — Foster and I would love to do this!