September 2021 goals

1 September 2021

August was a great month, but not a great month for blogging or goals :) And that’s okay! I soaked up time with our big girl before she headed to kindergarten, adjusted to John going back to work, and began to feel out new rhythms now that it’s just Annie and me during the day.

This month was wildly fun and tender and sweet and emotional (kindergarten!!), and all of it seemed to require staying present on the ground under my feet in a way that the ever-connected world can make difficult. And so, for example, it turns out I didn’t log into my public Instagram account for about three weeks. Not on purpose! Three days stretched to a few more days to a few weeks as the idea of checking in even with my small and curated group of follows felt overwhelming. Dipping into the world of interpretations-of-current-events and experiences-that-are-not-my-own felt overwhelming. And, to be honest, simply not as desirable as what was right in front of me: a beautiful tiny girl, a funny little boy, and a sweet big girl (and a marvelous big guy!). That world jolts me out of my world, a world that is requiring most of my heart and focus right now.

(It also should be said that while on maternity leave, I’ve simply lost my usual window to check in: full-time newborn care leaves only pockets of time to do as I please during the day, and Instagram proved not to be my activity of choice!)

Just some thoughts I’m untangling at the start of the month :) While part of me is frustrated that I made less progress than I’d like on some things that are really important to me (ahem… June in June), I can have grace for myself knowing that I gave time to the things that are really, REALLY important to me. Our schedule will settle, videos will get filmed and edited, but, alas, babies don’t keep.

On to September!

On my calendar this month:
— The first day of fall! We’ll bake apple cider scones for our family and June’s teachers, a tradition we started five (!) years ago.
— Our ninth wedding anniversary!
— Our thrice-scheduled trip to Florida with John’s family!

What I’m loving right now:
— A friend has a random connection to get free Bogg Bags through work (!), and kindly gifted me one. I love that they stand up on their own, and think it will be perfect for the pool, beach, and road trips.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there is nothing like Madewell high-rise jeans for a post-partum gal. It feels like there are a million new styles of denim circulating right now, and most of them seem hard to pull off, but I dipped a toe into the water with these demi-boot jeans and LOVE them! My pair is on sale with only a few sizes left, but they have other washes in this style, too.
— A follow-up to John’s wardrobe post: now that he is back in the office a few days a week and wearing suits, he is loving these shoes and these shoes, which have the look of dress shoes but the comfort of sneakers! He highly recommends.

You can see all the things I’ve loved in my goal posts over the years right here!

What I read in August:
The Vanishing Half | I thought this book was very good. The plot itself was fascinating, and some of the sentences were just stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful.
The Family Firm | Emily Oster’s book Expecting Better is my number one pregnancy recommendation, so I hustled to pre-order The Family Firm, and am about 75% through. It is very different from Expecting Better – it is less about data, and more about providing a framework for decision making as a parent. If you feel like you equivocate or have anxiety over making decisions for your kids or household, I think you’ll love this book! P.S. Preordering her book is a good example of my thoughts on being a patronI love Emily’s newsletter and have relied on her advice for many years, and so preordering her book was a tangible way I could support her work and something I was so happy to do!

My reading list for 2021, if you’d like to follow along! I’m a little out of order but have read 13 out of 24 so far.

Revisiting my August goals:
Edit June in June, Volume 6
Lay out 2012 in family album
Choose scripture theme for the school year and plan and enjoy our back-to-school dinner (Little recap post coming soon!)
Prep for our Florida vacation – first road trip as a family of five!!
Take a morning walk with Annie every day the weather allows
(This was such a success! A highlight of my month, even though it was hotter than hot most days. We walked together about 75% of days!)
Do a Peloton exercise every day (Also a success! I definitely did not do every day, and fell off a bit toward the end for a number of reasons, but this was a great intention to get back in the rhythm of exercise.)

September goals:
— Edit June in June, Volume 6
— Film Sheptember, Volume 3
— Lay out 2012 in family album
— Write 6-10 blog posts
— Finish our master bedroom refresh
— Do a Peloton exercise every day
— Write a thank you note every day until I’m finished with my backlog. (Eek! Still have some baby gift notes to write…)

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

Friends, this month marks my 13th blogging anniversary! WOW and WHOA! I’m planning a few posts this month on blogging and writing – one will be an FAQ, and I’d love to answer any questions you might have! Please drop them in the comments, if you’d like. (I’ll put up an Instagram question box, too!)

Affiliate links are used in this post!

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September 2, 2021 9:22 am

I love your intentional thoughts on soaking up real, everyday life in this season over time spent online. So happy to have you back and get to read your blogs, but also so respect your time spent away – mostly just thankful to get to follow along and learn from you! :)

September 2, 2021 2:18 pm

Congrats on 13 years of blogging!!! I have lots of blogging questions for you!

  1. Do you do keyword research? Your blog seems more day-in-the-life (which I love!) versus SEO-keyword oriented so I am wondering if you consider keywords or not. If so, which program(s) do you use to research and track your success?
  2. I’ve noticed you have quite a lot of followers who also comment so I am wondering how they get here. Once they’re here, how do you get them to stay and become involved enough to comment?
  3. How do you get affiliate links? Do companies reach out to you or vice versa? Do you feel that affiliate links are necessary to your blogging success? I think once you posted that you make enough from the blog to basically pay to keep the blog running. Has that changed for you? Do you think people who write blogs should try to monetize their site?
  4. What is your approach toward blogging for yourself and blogging for your followers? Do you feel you write more for yourself or do you consider your audience first? How have you determined where that line is for your blog?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts on these questions! :)

September 3, 2021 10:02 am

Just have to say: The phrase “the world of interpretations-of-current-events and experiences-that-are-not-my-own” is the PERFECT way to describe Instagram!

September 3, 2021 8:24 pm

Oh, Em! I hear you! I just (purposefully) took August off of Instagram as my youngest started Kindergarten and my 2nd grader went back to school in person after over a year of virtual learning. And I just knew that I wanted to be present for them and all the good and difficult moments that come with a transition like that. Also, I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t spend much of my new gained me-time mindlessly scrolling. And what can I say?! I loved it! I didn’t even miss it much to be honest. Even though I really enjoy Instagram! But I will definitely use it more wisely and take regular breaks from it :-) I‘m so glad you enjoyed this sweet time with your family! And I‘m looking forward to reading all those blog posts you’ve got coming!!
As for 13 years of blogging – congratulations!!!
I‘m sure I‘ll think of more questions, but one I think about a lot myself is: How do you manage the balance of being personal, yet protective of your and your family‘s privacy? I feel like I struggle with that one quite often.
Thanks as always for sharing!

September 4, 2021 11:06 pm

1. Do you write your blogposts in your WordPress back end or in a separate google doc, then transfer? I.E. what is your practical blog writing method?
2. What are your favorite blogs and why?
3. Do you plan to write a book one day? I think you should!
Love, Annie’s future mother in law ????

September 6, 2021 1:57 pm

Hi Emily, This is not a question about blogging but one that I think a lot of your readers would be interested in. How do you manage the showering/clothes/hair situation that happens after exercising? Do you plan your exercises with that in mind? I find it’s those things that put me off exercising, not the actual exercise. I don’t want to wear exercise clothes all day but don’t want to get ready twice, and depending on kid stages I don’t always like doing it super early. I would be curious to hear your method and if you have any friends or bloggers who have good suggestions. I know it will be different for everyone depending on their life situation.

September 14, 2021 2:34 pm

Hi Emily, I have a question that is unrelated to blogging, but that I would love to have some insight into. I am a new mom (and hope to have more children). I have always loved to hear your thoughts on prioritizing time especially because you can really see how the way you spend your time is aligned with your values. I also think you are very practical. So I would love to hear about how you organize your time (or perhaps more so what is your family’s schedule is like) specifically from the start of daycare/school pick-up through the time your kids go to bed. I am sure this has changed many of times over the past five years as well so I’d be curious to hear about some of those changes too. This question comes from a place of thinking about the family culture and traditions that I want to set with my family (ie. family dinners) and the practical side of my daughter goes to bed at 6:30pm (ie. dinner doesn’t really get made until after that). I am embracing there is a season for everything and recognize that family dinner time is probably not one for this season but even if it’s not something to implement right now I have always tucked your wisdom into my back pocket for the future. thanks so much!

September 24, 2021 12:42 pm
Reply to  Em

Emily, thanks so much for your response! I was just talking to my husband the other day about how in these early years we should look at breakfast as being our family meal so I’m happy to see you saying that too! And knowing your kid’s bedtime helps – right now I’m good with the 6:30 bedtime because it’s nice to have that time with just my husband, but shifting it a little later as our daughter grows I think is something we would look to do. In general, it is just nice to hear that context (bedtime in this instance) because I think so often I read blogs, instagram posts, etc. and instantly go to comparing . I just have to remind myself that everyone’s context (again bedtime in this instance) is different. Obvious, but yet easy to forget! And I look forward to hearing about those easy dinners :) Thanks again.