May 2021 goals

3 May 2021

Occasionally, one of you will ask me how I come up with my monthly goals. Here’s the short answer: I choose the things that will move me closer to the person I want to be, the family I want to have, the life I want to live, and the legacy I want to leave. I try to make sure they make sense with the season, the sequence of where I am in the project or process (i.e. what is the next logical step), and what else I have on my plate and calendar for the month.

The breaking-it-down part comes fairly easily to me; what might be the better and bigger question is how I choose the direction I want to go. The short answer for that is my annual PowerSheets Prep Work, a series of guided questions that lead me to my yearly goals. Once I know where I’m going, the getting there becomes easier – and usually fun :)

P.S. A heads-up that I updated a few recent posts: my maternity planning post with thoughts on the dresses I ordered, and the road trip post with thoughts from our Jekyll Island trek!

On my calendar this month:
— Mother’s Day!
— Picking all the strawberries! Our local pick-your-own farm opened last week and we’ve already been for our inaugural after-school trip.
— A weekend trip to Charlottesville with my brother- and sister-in-law, loved ones we haven’t seen in a year and a half.
— June’s preschool graduation celebration, which my parents will get to attend!

What I’m loving right now:
— This kids’ conditioner is cheap and has worked wonders on untangling June’s hair after washing! Highly recommended.
— The Feel Good Classics playlist on Spotify (“happy tunes from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s) most definitely makes me feel good.
— We’re using one of these acrylic frames to showcase a baby sister ultrasound photo, and now I’m imagining all of the other sweet mementos they’d be perfect to hold! Just what you need for those oddly-shaped or sized items that can add so much meaning to a mantel or table-top display.

What I read in April:
The Dutch House | Five stars, for exquisitely-painted characters and spaces alike. This is the kind of narrative that is all-consuming, in the sense that you almost forget where you are and the people around you when you dip into its pages. I’ve heard the audiobook, narrated by Tom Hanks, is absolutely superb.
Women of the Word | This short book is very practical and very needed if you’re someone like me, who was never formally taught to read the Bible. Her suggestions are easy to understand, but now I’m left trying to figure out how to apply them in my life, because they’re certainly more in-depth than I’m used to…
Olive Kitteridge | This Pulitzer-Prize winner promised to be controversial (people seem to either love it or hate it), and when I turned the last page, I still wasn’t exactly sure what to make of it. I appreciated the small-town Maine setting and the carefully-drawn portraits of the townspeople, and thought it was neat how Olive’s influence was woven into each to all different degrees, but it is relentlessly negative. It seemed like the worst possible parts of each character were being highlighted (in most cases), and while the portraits didn’t ring untrue, that’s just not how I’m accustomed to viewing the world.

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

Revisiting my April goals:
Make a new design plan for the Magnolia Room (Done!)
Magic Eraser/touch up paint in Magnolia Room (In progress! Have the paint and planning to brush it on this week.)
Plan maternity/family photos (Done! They actually happened last night and PRAISE for sunshiny weather!)
Try twice a week meal prep/chopping nights, inspired by Lisa! (Didn’t do a single one – going to try again this month!)
Have my Fearrington tea + pedicures date with June, one of her Christmas presents (Scheduled for later this month!)
Assist with June’s bake sale (Decided to postpone this! She hasn’t mentioned it in a bit, and I’d rather it be driven forward by her :))
Proceed with garden party planning (Plans are underway!)
Clean out our pantry (Done! Watch me work on Instagram Stories! :))
Order our 2010-2014 family photo album (I chose MPix and have laid out 2010 so far! There are a lot more pictures to choose from than with the 2005-2009 album, ha!)

May goals:
— Order custom roman shades for the Magnolia Room
— Clean out the Magnolia Room dresser and closet
— Order and hang curtains for our master bedroom
— Plan (and maybe hold?) the garden party
— Make my Big List for baby girl (Basically, a Google Doc where I’ll list out everything related to baby that needs to happen between now and July – then, I’ll break it down month-by-month. Helps me wrap my head around what can seem like an intimidating list! I’ll make a separate one for work things, too.)
— Research EFM book options
— Make EFM content plan through Q3
— Camp in our backyard
— Prep for trips to Charlottesville and Connecticut
— Try again with the meal prep/chopping nights

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

Whew! That’s a lot, but it’s all things I’m excited for! Since I didn’t do a survey this year, and I’ll be working on content planning this month, I’d love to hear: is there anything you’d like for me to write about, or that you think would make a good topic here?

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May 3, 2021 8:03 am

A topic I’d really be interested in would be what curtains/roman shades you use. We moved last year and I’m disgusted at the cheap roller blinds we hastily bought for one kid room, and so have simply cut cardboad to size to block light in the other kid room. Effective, but ugly. It seems like every other blogger simply is gifted $$$ custom shades, and we cannot afford that, what is a normal person supposed to do? Would love your take.

Kelly C
May 3, 2021 8:53 am

How fun! Those are the questions I always ask myself too, and feel I have the powersheets to thank for that. Each day I ask myself, what can I do today that will put me more towards the person I want to become and life I want to leave behind. Sometimes it’s little things, like making flossing or putting on lotion before bed more of a habit, or its bigger, porch surcee drop offs.

I can’t wait to read more on your thoughts with Marvelous Money, and making small trades for the bigger picture.

May 3, 2021 3:24 pm

I love following along with your monthly goals! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’d love to read a full post about what brides often forget to think about on their wedding day – I loved your response in your 34 questions and would love to read a deeper dive :)

May 3, 2021 4:25 pm

I feel the same way about Women of the Word! I loved the book but have been a bit stuck trying to figure out a realistic application. I would be curious to hear how you end up moving forward with it :)

May 3, 2021 4:34 pm

I want to read a post detailing your Big List! That sounds like it would be a helpful thing to learn more about, especially for people like me who get really overwhelmed by big life changes but are soothed by a great list. :)

May 3, 2021 6:59 pm

In regards to Women of the Word book, I had a similar feeling when I read it a few years ago. I tried to apply it to my bible reading on my own but was a little stuck on how exactly to do it. But then I did one of Jen Wilkin’s bible studies and it made so much sense. I have done a lot of hers now since they were offered in the women’s discipleship program with my church, and they are definitely more work than other studies, (especially women’s studies which tend to be light on the study and heavy on the emotions), but SO worth it. I highly recommend doing one of her studies and it really brings to life the principles from the book and so much more.
Last summer I did her Matthew study with a friend (free on her website! and maybe it’s because we did it during the pandemic and a pretty tumultuous summer, but that Matthew study has seriously changed the way I view Jesus and opened my eyes to so many things. She’s probably my favorite bible teacher. Highly recommend!

May 4, 2021 8:46 am

A topic I would love to hear your input on is Biblical Womanhood. What are your thoughts on what it means to be a woman according to God’s design? And how do we live that out day to day in a way that is, you know, marvelous? :)

May 4, 2021 10:23 am

My husband and I listened to The Dutch House together. I loved it, and Tom Hanks had me wishing there was a movie remake of this coming out soon. This month I finally finished Book 4 in Elena Ferrante’s Brilliant Friend series, which I read with my two best friends. Such a great series. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read the books already.

May 7, 2021 9:26 am
Reply to  Em

Hahaha the first book was sent to me as a gift from my best friend and I was ashamed to tell her that I’d started and stopped several times and remained at page 50 for about two years LOL. Then one day I decided to just try again, and powered through books 1 and 2 in about 2 weeks. Finished 3 and 4 later. And there’s an HBO series too, all in Italian.

Kristin Wellsand
May 4, 2021 10:33 am

Sounds like you have a fun month planned! We plan to camp in our backyard this month too! As for ideas for future posts, I love when people talk about life as a family: how they celebrate holidays and each other, daily schedules and routines (days in the life are so fun!), thought process behind decisions big and small, favorite toys/activities/places your child loves etc. I have gotten so many ideas of things to add to my family (a recent favorite was a “party” leading up to a movie premier (from your Octonauts idea) and the switch from backpacks to open topped totes organizing during road trips – genius!) and I know you will continue to have new discoveries as your family grows. Keep them coming!

May 4, 2021 12:50 pm

It sounds like life has been productive and sweet over in Em-world! I love hearing that and miss you terribly :)