Almost Crushin’ It {May Goals + April Goals Recap}

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All pics in this post were taken at our family’s monthly day adventure to Baby Animal Days last month

Even though I don’t FEEL as motivated as usual half the time (I blame pregnancy exhaustion), I’m still having enough huge pushes of energy and inspiration to somehow ensure that I’ve been doing *fairly* well on my monthly goals. I’m sure a lot of it is because I am, at heart, a procrastinator—I thrive by the crunch of a fast-approaching deadline, and since I’m basically counting the baby’s due date as a major deadline to get a lot of stuff done by, it makes sense that I’m doing fairly well with my goals leading up until then.

Before I dive into my plans for May, let’s recap how I did on April’s goals (you will notice that there were quite a few).

(Note: Items that are crossed out means that I’m considering the goal totally completed; anything in red means that I made measurable progress on the goal but didn’t complete it.)

(Second note: there are some affiliate links below to products I use and love, which help support To Love and To Learn.)

April Goals

  • Have birthday celebration for Raven
    • After going back and forth multiple times on what, exactly, I was willing to plan and execute, we finally decided to invite both sets of the grandparents who live by us (my dad lives in Kansas City) to a nice birthday dinner at our house, which we followed up with presents and strawberry shortcake. Raven was beyond excited by all the attention, and she even took a few bites of her cake (which surprised us, as she’s normally not a cake or ice cream fan at all).
  • Go to Baby Animal Days
    • We debated about whether or not to follow through with this one since it was raining the morning we’d planned to go, but I’m glad we did! Not only was it fun to spend the day with friends (we invited my friend Kayla and her husband and toddler to join us), but because of the rain, the crowds that usually plague the event were basically nonexistent, and we didn’t have to wait long to see anything. Raven is still talking about this weeks later!

  • Go out for our anniversary
    • Our anniversary isn’t technically until May 7th, but in talking with my mom (aka, our go-to babysitter), the best weekend to celebrate was the last Saturday in April, so we jumped the gun and went out a little early. Thanks to my mom and sister, we were able to have a jam-packed “extended” date where we went mini golfing, out to eat, and then to finally see The Greatest Showman (ya know, like 4 months after everyone else). It was awesome! We’re not the best at doing super consistent date nights, but I always love it when we make them happen.
  • Get a haircut (Matt too!)
    • Thanks to a baby shower the same night down in Bountiful and my sister willing to babysit Raven, I was able to slip in a quick haircut with my favorite stylist (who lives about an hour south of us). I always feel like I’ve lost about 5 pounds after even a trim, just because she takes out so much of the bulk of my thick hair! (And I kept pestering Matt to get his done too, but since we went over budget for our garden beds and he really didn’t want to anyway, we postponed his haircut until this month, if I can finally convince him to…)
  • Get pregnancy vaccines
    • The last time I went in (while pregnant with my daughter), I remember the wait as being super long at the clinic (since I could only go after I got back from work), but thanks to the ability to go in the middle of the morning, we were able to knock this one out in about 15 minutes one weekday.
  • Go to the temple
    • Time just kept slipping away from me on this one, and the couple times I’d planned to go, other things came up. To make up for not going in April, I’m planning on going twice in May.
  • Plant fruit trees
    • I might have set a record with how early in the month we got this done, but MAN, it felt good to be able to cross off one of our monthly goals on the second day in April! We probably wouldn’t have done it so soon, but I got a hot tip from local friends about a fabulous sale on fruit trees at our local nursery, so we jumped on it before the temps warmed up and prices were raised. (For the record, we ended up getting a semi-dwarf apricot and a semi-dwarf peach tree to add to the two apple trees we already have in back.)
  • Build raised garden beds
    • This was by far our biggest and most time-consuming goal of the month, which means it’s also (naturally) the one I’m most proud that we finished! Matt did the vast majority of work on the beds, and I’m THRILLED at how awesome they turned out! Now we just need to actually plant something in them!
  • Optimize two old blog posts for Pinterest
  • Take Raven in for 3-year checkup
    • I was pleased to discover that Raven is not, in fact, as small for her age as I thought she was. In fact, she’s almost exactly average on height and close to average on weight. (I’m guessing I just assumed otherwise because she happens to have a LOT of unusually tall kids her age that we know!)

  • Make recent family photo album
    • I haven’t made ANY photo albums basically since we got married, so I’m starting at our marriage and then working my way toward the present (and am planning on doing 4-5 albums total to catch up to now). I was able to put aside a bunch of pictures I want developed into a special folder (about a year and a half’s worth), but I still need to actually develop them and then buy the album itself. This will be a rollover goal for May.
  • Replace filter in fridge
    • I commented to Matt the other night that this just might be the best $35 we’ve spent in a long time. Before, the filter was so old and full of junk that it tasted super weird when you tried to get water or ice out of the fridge. Now, it’s basically all we drink, which has meant that EVERYONE in the house has been drinking a lot more water as a result (because the ice water tastes THAT refreshing!).
  • Make 5 new recipes out of The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner
    • I set this same goal a couple months ago and knocked it out of the park, but I only managed to make two new recipes out of this cookbook this month (though I did try several new recipes from other sources). As I put down this goal because it’s on my 101 in 1001 list to cook my way through a whole cookbook, I need to sit down and tally up how many recipes I haven’t yet tried, then set a goal based on that number, I think (because I’m pretty sure it would be fewer than 5 recipes/month).
  • Rollover 401k
    • We are SO CLOSE to being able to cross this one off completely, but as the actual rollover won’t happen until this Wednesday(ish), I can’t cross it off quite yet. This month was spent emailing the two companies we’d narrowed it down between, comparing a lot of data, and talking a lot about the pros and cons of each. In the end, we decided to actually rollover my 401k as well (which wasn’t in the original plan), and we’re actually going to have one company do mine and the other company do Matt’s and then compare them over the next 5 years to see if there’s a discernible difference.
  • Find the rest of the names of Matt’s ancestors to take to the temple
    • I did at least work on this one, but I didn’t even come close to finding the dozen or so names I was planning to. This is something I REALLY need to get done in May, as he has family members waiting on this.
  • Renew driver’s license
    • Ugh, this one—apparently if you let your license expire, you actually have to retake the written test, which I didn’t know. Luckily, they were nice enough to let me take it with Raven there (and she was really well-behaved the whole time, which helped a lot). Note to self: next time, don’t rely on getting a notice in the mail to remind me of when it expires!
  • Create do-able daily/weekly chore list
    • I haven’t posted about the weekly chore list I came up with (though I did come up with one), but I did a whole blog post around my new “absolute daily minimum ” chore list here, which has actually been a really great framework for making sure I get at least a little bit of maintenance done each day on the housework front.

As I mentioned in my last monthly goals post, I believe it’s important to recognize accomplishments or little victories that happen from month to month that WEREN’T necessarily planned since those are often just as important as some of the goals I do plan for. Some of our unexpected victories in April:

  • We braved a battle against The Patch (our overgrown raspberry patch) and managed to carve out a decent-sized vegetable bed, in addition to the two raised garden beds we built. We also outlined that same garden bed with larger rocks and composted it, as well as cleared out the rocks/bark and added compost to three other garden beds around the yard.
  • We hosted the monthly get-together dinner with our friends from our old neighborhood, which we’ve been doing monthly since the beginning of the year. I was a bit nervous that we wouldn’t be able to make it happen this month, but I’m glad I got on the ball in time to work it out as we had SUCH an enjoyable evening!
  • I was finally able to get my photography site hooked up to the domain name I’d purchased for it ages ago (thanks to my tech-savvy friend coming over for that friend dinner, who was able to do it in all of about 5 minutes!). The site is still far from how I want it to eventually look, but if you want a sneak peek, you can check out what I DO have here.
  • I went to my hour-long exercise classes at the gym at least twice a week for the whole month (and since the weather allowed, we started taking nearly daily walks in the evenings, too). I’m still amazed at how much my body is able to do this late in the pregnancy game, especially since some of those exercise classes were the hard boxing/bags classes that I hadn’t done in several months!
  • I called Comcast and renegotiated our monthly Internet rate (again). This is something I basically have to do every year, but it’s worth saving $20-30/month to make those phone calls I dread.
  • Raven and I joined in on two play dates–one with my sister-in-law and niece and nephew (they came up one day on their spring break to check out the small local zoo here and grab a slice of pizza), and the other with a bunch of other moms from our neighborhood. I’m terrible at planning play dates, but I’m always so glad when we make the time to do them.
  • I passed my gestational diabetes test. (I’m not sure how much credit I can take for this accomplishment, but I HAVE been watching my weight and exercise MUCH more closely this pregnancy since I almost didn’t pass this same test last time).
  • I cleared space in Raven’s dresser for the baby’s clothes, and I picked up the bin of newborn boy clothes from my mom’s house (that my sisters were nice enough to save for me when they were done having kids).
  • Somewhat unexpectedly (though it is one of my 101 in 1001 goals), I started tentatively trying out a morning routine. For months (ever since I quit my job, actually), I’ve basically just let Raven be my alarm clock since she pretty consistently wakes up around 7:30 every morning, but lately, I’ve wanted to try making my mornings more intentional. It started one day by accident when I had to wake up 6:40 or so to use the bathroom (#pregnancyprobs), and then I just decided to stay awake. I felt like that 45-minute window where I was the only one awake in the house was like a slice of heaven, and it made a big difference in how I felt the rest of the day. So, for the last week, I’ve been setting my alarm for around 6:45 to try and harness that same feeling. I do plan to write more about it down the road, but I’m happy to have at least started this particular goal right now.

Even though there were plenty of days where I felt tired and like I didn’t do a lot, I’m glad I’ve started dong these monthly recaps to assure myself that I AM moving forward (and really, looking back at all this, I’m quite proud of how much we did in April! What a busy month!).

But, now for this new month!

May Goals

  • Take a vacation (to our favorite condo in St. George)
    • We haven’t taken a proper family vacation since we went to Island Park with Matt’s family in August 2016, and we’ve really been wanting to, so I’m thrilled that we have the chance this month to head down to St. George for 5 days with my mom and stepdad to stay down there. I can’t wait!
  • Finalize 401k rollover and add new accounts to Mint
    • Considering we’ve been working on this for the majority of the year, it’s time to finally get it crossed off for good. (And I’ve been tracking all our financial accounts in Mint for years with the exception of Matt’s 401k, simply because the company it has been under wasn’t linked up to Mint, so I couldn’t add it.)
  • Make Mother’s Day gifts
    • We’re not usually the types to make gifts for hardly any occasion, but I came across a really cool DIY I wanted to try (who AM I? This has never happened before!). I’ll make sure to share if they turn out as cool as I hope!
  • Plant vegetable + herb gardens
  • Plant seedlings outside
    • We’ve been trying to “harden off” our seedlings so that at least some will survive the transplant, so…fingers crossed. Right now, they’re not looking too stellar (with the exception of our pumpkin plant).
  • Plant flowering summer bulbs (daylilies, peonies)
    • We’ll be transplanting quite a few daylilies from my mom’s garden and then buying some peonies to put in the garden beds we recently cleared out.
  • Add mulch to all planted beds
    • Our composted beds aren’t holding water as well as we’d like, so we’re going to mulch them to see if that helps once everything is planted.
  • Finish assigned reading for my “summer term”
  • Go to the temple twice
    • One of the trips should hopefully happen early this month so that Matt and I are able to go together when we go to St. George. (If you’re unfamiliar with the LDS religion and this particular practice, you can click here for more info on why we do temple work.)
  • Finish reading the General Conference issue from October 2017 and pick up the new Conference issue from April
    • Twice a year, members of the LDS church hear talks given by our leaders, and those messages are printed in a special issue of the Ensign (the church’s official magazine). Some of my 101 in 1001 goals involve reading all those talks when they come out in print (in addition to listening to them live).

  • Make one recent family photo album
    • Rollover goal from last month
  • Redo set-up/template of photography webpage + add tabs
    • When I initially set up my photography webpage, I didn’t strategically think about how I wanted the homepage to look for prospective clients, but rather just created galleries for sessions I’d already done. I need to majorly tweak the layout so that I have a better way to showcase the range of my work without people needing to click into several different galleries (plus I need to add a pricing tab). One reason I’ve been hesitant to advertise my photography business is that I don’t have a great website to refer people to, so this is an important personal goal for me to accomplish.
  • Stick with morning routine for a month
    • As I mentioned above, I somewhat unexpectedly started on this particular 101 in 1001 goal at the end of last month, and as I’ve now been in it for over a week, I figure I might as well just go the full month and try it out. I’m excited to do a specific post on this!
  • Go fly kites + have a picnic
    • Raven has been asking us for literally months when we’re going to go fly kites (which she’s never done), so I’m determined to make it happen while the weather is still perfect for it (and while we’re at it, to check off another of my 101 in 1001 goals of going on a picnic!).
  • Look into preschool options for Raven
    • Hard to believe, but we’re planning on putting Raven in preschool this fall, which means I really need to get cracking on actually figuring out the logistics.
  • Wash our bedspread
    • Ah, there’s always got to be at least one monthly goal that’s a nagging task that I’ve put off forever and ever. When we bought our king-size bed over 3 years ago, I didn’t realize that the gorgeous comforter we bought for it and love (similar one found here, if you’re curious) is too big to fit in any washer/dryer that we have easy access to (aka, ours or one of our parents’). Therefore, to wash it, we either have to take it to a laundromat with huge machines or dry clean it. Definitely not my favorite thing to do on any given day.
  • Build sandbox for Raven
    • My list of projects before the baby comes is getting longer by the day, but I’m trying to harness Matt’s enthusiasm to work with all his new woodworking tools and newfound knowledge before his excitement fizzles out, ha ha. Plus, we had a neighbor offer to give us the wood for this project for FREE, so…why WOULDN’T we do this?
  • Find the rest of the names of Matt’s ancestors for the temple
    • Rollover goal from last month
  • Get guest bedroom put together
    • Even though we bought the guest bed I’d been wanting back in February, we have yet to actually do anything with the guest bedroom we have downstairs (including, ya know, actually putting sheets on the bed). Since we will be having people stay with us overnight once the baby comes, I want to for sure have this room company-ready by that point.

As you can see, the list for May isn’t any shorter than the list for April, but like I mentioned in my post yesterday, it’s because I feel like I need to FINISH ALL THE THINGS before July when the baby comes, so there you have it. (Come July, I’m sure my goals posts will be pretty boring, if I manage to type them up at all!)

Couple questions for you:

  • Cache Valley locals—what tips do you have for finding a good preschool? Which are your favorites and why?
  • Any tips for helping seedlings to not die as soon as they’re transplanted outside?
  • I’ve been considering doing an accent wallpaper wall in our guest bedroom. Any tips on where to find cool patterns? Or easy to put on, easy to take off wallpaper?
  • What goals do you have going on for this month?