Curly Crafty Mom: How I'm Doing on my 2015 Goals (3 Mo. Check In) and Meal Plan Week 54

Friday, April 3, 2015

How I'm Doing on my 2015 Goals (3 Mo. Check In) and Meal Plan Week 54

I thought I'd check in on how I'm doing on my 2015 Goals every 3 months. This is my first check-in and the next time I will check in will be the beginning of July.

Here are my goals and how I'm doing:

1. Prayer Notebook.
Getting ready to work on my prayer journal  🙏 while I sip some vanilla caramel tea this cold and frigid morning. What you don't see in this photo is my crazy kitty that is going berserk chasing her silly tail. 😺🐾Doesn't she know
I started in January and wrote in my prayer notebook fairly regular, about 3-4 times a week. However, January through February were really tough months. Autumn had several asthma episodes, Nathan had one and a major stomach bug. I also got sick several times. It was one of our sickest winters we have had in awhile. The prayer notebook was replaced with prayers in the middle of the night or just whenever I felt worried or stressed about Autumn's asthma. Also, I had a lot of worry about my mom and the car accident she was involved in. And, these months also left me with a hard decision that was made and left me quite a bit of guilt. Not good months for me. I felt bad, because my goal was to pray everyday and not just when I am in a hard time for a few minutes. But, now I am  in a calmer moment in life (thank goodness!) and I have been really good about writing in it daily and it does help me to write things down and then to pray about them. It also amazes me how I can flip back and see how God has helped me and others I have prayed for in my book and how my prayers are answered.

I would love to start a prayer book with the kids maybe this summer, or at least with Nathan since he can write his thoughts down. I have had such a good experience with it, I have thought about how great it would be get the kids to write in a prayer notebook in the mornings during the summer while they aren't in school. Perhaps I could help Autumn since she can write letters and words down. This is just an idea I've had, not sure if I'll actually do it.

Part of the challenge with the prayer notebook I have found is that I don't have a set time for when I write in it. I really need to maybe try to get up a little earlier and write in it when my head is clear and before I hop in the shower. I have also been thinking it would be nice to incorporate a bible verse or some scripture in with it eventually. I am trying to take baby steps. I have done the daily scripture before, but perhaps I can find one that is on an app.

2. Be a More Present Mother.
This one is a really hard one... and, honestly... I never think I'll be that perfect mom I envision. I feel there is so much going on in my life right now that it is hard to be present. For example, the couple of hours after school are crazy... we get home, I spend a good 20 minutes unloading the car and going through all their school papers, emptying lunches out and getting homework set up for them to do on the table. Then, I am getting after school snacks, drinks and getting Nathan going on his homework. After that, I have to double-check all of his homework... which can be a lot, too! After that, I start dinner... serve dinner, clean up dinner... I am sure you all know the routine, it is the least favorite time of the day for me... its exhausting. I feel by the time we get this stuff all done, all I want to do is sit on the couch and relax before the whole 'bed time' routine of baths, showers, before bed asthma medicine and teeth brushing and the reading homework starts. And, if it is a night with an activity such as dance or scouts... then, it is frozen pizza and bed time baths WAY past their bed time.

However, when I think about it... we may have a 20 minute commute from school back to our house, but it gives me time to talk to the kids in the car about their day at school. And, yeah... we are really busy on school nights, but I do cook dinner most nights and we do sit together as a family and eat... which IS really nice. And, after dinner we usually have a good hour and a half before the bed time routine starts... and, we all do get a little time to unwind. SO, I think I am just being too hard on myself and I need to be thankful that we get this time to spend together even if we are driving or eating... or if I am reading them stories before bed, etc.

Also, just this week alone I was able to go up to Nathan's school twice to help out in his classroom and it was really nice. I love when the teachers invite parents in to participate in some class activities. It is also always nice to see their face light up (Nathan or Autumn) when they see me at school.

I think with the weather warming up, I would love to have one night a week where we do something fun after school... usually we go straight home and start homework, but it'd be nice to escape the routine once a week... I need to think about this some more and come up with some ideas, but I think it'd be good for all of us! Nathan asked me a few days ago to play Monopoly with him and I was too busy... I think I need to surprise him with a game of Monopoly after school one day. :) Just little things like that... 

My to-do list will always be there, but I've been better about putting my kids needs and activities first and scheduling my to-do list around it... It has meant that I've been checking Instagram less and that's ok... I also may not get some of my projects around the house done as quickly and that is ok, too. I feel as though I'm happier and my kids are happier when we put ourselves as a family first. :)

3. Blog.
(I know this picture has nothing to do with my blog... BUT, I needed a photo... and, well... Sonic Cherry Limeades make me more productive, SO I thought WHY not share this photo!)

I feel as though I've made a lot of headway on my blog this year so far! I've gotten almost all of my social accounts up to 1,000 followers and I have also built up my readership! I am still really enjoying this blog and I feel as though I get a lot of joy to of it, even though it can be a lot of work. My blog started at the beginning of 2009 and I documented being a mother to Nathan and Autumn... once the kids started to grow, it became more of a 'me' space and I started to blog about crafting and decor. Now it is a crafting/decor blog with a touch of fashion... and, I do talk about my kids from time to time on here, but they are no longer the main focus of the blog.

I have also started to make quite a bit of money on this blog and it is really exciting! This sort of happened without any planning on my part... it just fell into my lap. It is weird how things just sort of shift into place... Mostly the money comes from sponsored ads that interest me and that I hope interest my readers. Now, I know there is a lot of other ways to make money on a blog such as ads, affiliate links, etc. and I haven't even had time to figure those out yet... Now, I know some bloggers make a heck of a lot more and support themselves and their families with their blogs, I am not out there to do that. I really just blog, because I enjoy it and the extra money helps pay for the craft supplies, advertising, etc. that I put into this space. Also, the money I make each month is not guaranteed, so I really just try to be thankful for any money I earn that I can use to offset the cost of running this blog.

I have mentioned time and time again that I want to start an Etsy shop. I was dead set on an  idea for it and then decided it is just not what I want to do... mainly, the time involved wouldn't pay off on what I'd be paid. I am now starting to get a new idea and I just haven't had anytime to explore it more... I think eventually I may open an Etsy shop, but it probably won't be anytime soon.

I am trying to devote some time each week to work on certain parts of the blog. I have a HUUUUGE to-do list and I am just trying to check each item off as I can... unfortunately I keep adding onto it! I feel sometimes just writing the posts takes SO much time, that I don't have time to BUILD the blog or to mold it into bigger things. I am trying to figure out a way to have time to do a little of both. 

One last thing I want to do is to try to get 2-3 weeks ahead in my blog posts. Mainly the posts I want to get ahead in are my craft/DIY posts. I feel that a lot of bloggers start holiday themed posts a month early and I am always so late to the game. I really want to try to be better about that. I also would like to have this 'reserve' of posts in case my kids get sick (like they did this winter), so that I don't run out of content if I can't devote anytime to my blog for a week. Wish me luck on this one :)

Well, that covers my 3 goals for the year :) I think I've already decided for 2016 I am going to change up things a bit. I am going to do 3-4 monthly goals and after the month is over, I will come up with 3-4 new ones. I may even make it to where if I don't accomplish a goal in one month, I can't revisit it for awhile. We'll see. These will be 'lighter' goals, nothing that I can't accomplish in a month. I may also make just ONE goal for the entire year, so I can really focus on it. This will be something 'heavier' and that I won't be able to check off in just one month. Anyway, this is just what I am thinking about, since I plan so much out ahead of time. :) I am definitely a planner!

Now... are you ready for this weeks Meal Plan? 

Meal Plan Week 54

Sunday - Cheddar Beer Burgers (recipe HERE), Corn on the Cob and Watermelon
Sunday is Easter and we are going to a buffet with my family after church... it is supposed to be a nice day out, so for dinner we will turn on the grill for the first time this Spring!

Monday - Easy and Delicious Pasta con Broccoli with Garlic Bread, recipe HERE
I used to make this recipe ALL the time, it is the best pasta con broccoli out there!

Tuesday - Simple, Crustless and Easy Quiche and Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppyseed Dressing, recipe HERE and HERE
I have been craving quiche lately... and you can't go wrong when you add a delicious Spring salad next to it.

Wednesday - Frozen Pizza
Autumn has dance, so another quick and easy dinner... We pretty much have frozen pizza EVERY Wednesday. 

Thursday -  Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup
Autumn has a field trip that I will be at for most of the day, so it will be some simple comfort food for dinner tonight. Eventually (when I have more time), I would like to try out a homemade tomato soup. 

Friday - Picnic Dinner
This is my favorite kind of dinner and I haven't done it in awhile. Usually we will have summer sausage, fresh fruit, several different cheese with one being a spread, crackers and wine. Sometimes I even make box brownies... ha :) Sometimes we will eat outside, too.

Saturday - Eat Out
This is the night before my SEVENTH half marathon, so we will probably keep it simple and eat out somewhere.
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