Thursday, April 10, 2014

{brave} April's Goals

Well, we're a third of the way through the month, and I just realized that I never posted my goals!  I took a bit of a break from goal-making in March, but I'm anxious to start checking some items off my list again.   

1. Get back to regular walking: at least three times a week.  Exercise definitely has been on the back burner lately, but I'm ready to get back to it.  I need to break a sweat!
2. Read one book.
3. Learn to cook fish.  Confession: I sorta kinda don't like fish.   
4. Potty train J.
5. Start the "Donate 100 Things Challenge".  Time to get spring cleaning and simplifying in full gear!
6. Organize the kitchen utensil drawer.
7. Visit Chicago.

What's on your goal list for April?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

{in the kitchen} Fruity Desserts

After a couple of months of not being able to stomach being in the kitchen (thank you, morning sickness!), I am back and it feels good.  We've been experimenting with lots of new recipes, so I thought I'd link to a few desserts we've made recently that were big hits.  And perks to having a large family: we are all able to have a slice or two and then it's gone.  No temptation for mamma to eat it all.  :)

BLUEBERRY CRISP with homemade whipped cream

What are you cooking in your kitchen lately?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is it almost April Already? Where I've Been...

We are thrilled to announce that baby number five is on the way and due to arrive in late September!  It's been a rough winter, but I am so thankful to be out of the first trimester funk and starting to feel like myself again.  Can't wait to write more in this space. 
Hope you all are well, friends! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

{brave} February's Goals

1. Being brave creatively: make and print a book of our Instagram pictures from 2013.  Are you guilty of never doing anything with your photos too?
2. Being brave in the kitchen: bake a delicious gluten-free cookie.  All the new flours scare me a bit...definitely a departure from my comfortable baking ways.  Any tips or recipes you may have are appreciated!
3. Being brave in my giving: leave a big tip at a restaurant.  
4. Month-long challenge: write down at least five things I am grateful for everyday.  
5. Read one book.
6. Stay up to date in my Bible reading.  This month, I am in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Psalms.
7. Do a mix of walking and jogging to complete #44milesinfebruary.  I'm going to ease in slowly and see how my ankle feels.
8. Bring the boys to see a movie in theaters.  
9. Print out photographs from our session this fall and frame in the living room.
10. Send one "just because" gift.
11. Go on a date with my husband.
12. Buy new oven mitts.  

Friday, January 31, 2014

{brave} A Review of January's Goals and Lessons Learned

1. Being brave creatively: cross-stitch something difficult and turn it into a wall hanging.  Did not complete.  The Mother Teresa cross-stitch kit that I chose from my stash has turned out to be much more time intensive than I thought!  I'm still working bit by bit, though, and I'm going to continue into February.  Hopefully I'll be able to share next month.

2. Being brave in the kitchen: make a warm breakfast at least three times a week.  Complete!  Some days were a stretch (Eggo waffles count as a warm breakfast, right?), but most of the time, I was able to easily accomplish this before school.  We had lots of eggs and bacon, quiche, and pancakes.  

3. Being brave in my giving: donate items to our church's Refugee Services.  While we did not actually donate our items to Refugee Services, I still consider this one complete.  We read in our church bulletin about a local organization that receives donations to give to community members in need.  Any extras go into their thrift store, where the proceeds also go to the community.  Win/win and all for a great cause.   

4. Read two books.  Done!  This month, I read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption and Stepping Heavenward.  Both were very good.

5. Launch the Big White Farmhouse shop!  We launched on Monday the 13th and had such a positive response.  I am so humbled by the excitement and support I have received.    

6. Stay up to date in my Bible reading. I wasn't sure if I would be able to pull this off, but I squeezed in the last chapters right under the wire!  

7. Walk #40milesinjanuary.  Complete!  
Walking all month was a huge adjustment for me, but I ended up loving it!  Grand total of mileage: exactly 40 miles.  

8. Make my handwriting a font.  Didn't happen in January, but I'm hoping to download the app soon.  

9. Finally install the art wall in the master bedroom.  
Complete!  Projects like these make me wonder what took me so long.  I hung the frames on a rainy Saturday morning and knocked it out in no time.  I love how it turned out!  

10. Embrace the camera and get at least one picture with the entire family in it.  Partial success.  I took a few pictures of myself with the kids, but we didn't get one of the entire family.  We need to remedy that in February.

11. Catch up on all correspondence.  Close, but not complete.  I did write all of my thank yous, but didn't finish my penpal letters (seven to go!).  I also did not write to my Compassion kids this month, which is a habit I really want to change.       

12. Monthly challenge: No Sugar January.  I would consider this a partial success.  While I did splurge on a few occasions, the new habits I gained made the whole experiment worth it.  More lessons below.   

Honorable mention: I checked off eight items on my "100 Little Things" list.
Bonus: I wrote on the blog more than once a week all month and even popped over to write on the shop blog a few times.

Lessons from the No Sugar Challenge:
I needed this challenge to lose a few bad habits and get back on track to balanced eating.  I fell off the clean eating wagon a few times, but it served as a good reminder: when your diet is full of nutritious things, you just don't desire the other stuff as much.  That's not to say that I'll never indulge in a piece of cheesecake again, but I definitely have regained a better sense of moderation.  
Other Lessons from the Month:
While I love a challenge, most of the goals here required quite a bit of time to accomplish.  As a mamma to four, with a house to maintain and a new business to run, sometimes something just has to give.  And that's okay.  The monthly goals are a good way for me to stay intentional, but I don't feel like a failure if I don't complete everything.  I'm choosing to celebrate all I did do instead.

See you in February!
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