Settling In {October Goals + September Goals Recap}

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I (perhaps naively) thought that once we’d settled in a bit with the new baby, I would be able to get into some kind of a semblance of a workable routine, especially when it came to pursuing my own projects like blogging or photography again. Well, we have definitely settled in more than before, but somehow, I’m still not getting that much done (or at least that’s how it feels most days). The fact that I got ANYTHING from this goals list this month was largely due to the fact that any free time I DID have, I very rarely wasted (since the motivation you have to use all your leisure time wisely definitely increases with each kid, it seems!).

It also didn’t help that the last half of the month ended up being pretty brutal on me, both physically and emotionally. (I’m a bit relieved it’s a new month and a fresh start, to be honest!)

Here’s how last month shook out though:

(Note: there are some affiliate links in this post, which means I get a small commission for any purchases made through the links at no extra cost to you, which help support the blog.)

September Goals

  • Start at least two Assigned Reading books
    • I’m about a fourth of the way through Deep Work (my nonfiction pick for personal growth), and I’ve started Three Times Lucky (my award-winning YA pick).
  • Edit and share all photo sessions until I’m up to date
    • I was doing AWESOME with this one and got three out of the four done, and then on the last week of the month, when I’d intended to do the last session, I got the stomach flu BAAAAD, and it basically knocked me out for the whole week. But at least I got 75% of this super-important goal done, which is a load off of my mind.
  • List items on KSL (local classified)
    • This is going to become the running joke item…how many months can I put this on here and do nothing about it?
  • Declutter two 50 Weeks to Organized Refresh areas
    • Nope. In fact, our house is in WORSE shape now than at the beginning of the month because of the week we were sick and basically just surviving.
  • Complete 6 blog goals + create spreadsheet of growth
    • I did start tracking blog growth (I actually started August 31st, so I now have two months of stats), and I got one blog goal totally crossed off. I also made progress on a couple of others too, like continuing to try and focus on growing my Instagram account and doing another book roundup post. September was actually not a great month for me and blogging, as my motivation was low and my time and energy to work on it even lower.

  • Go to the temple
    • I had a very specific time mapped out for this and then…I got sick. (This should be a lesson that I shouldn’t save so many of my goals until the last week of the month, ha ha.)
  • Make homemade salsa + homemade pesto
    • I did make pesto for Mathias’s baby blessing (where we used it in this recipe for pesto ranch chicken), but I’m not crossing it off because my intention is still to use ALL of our basil in pesto and then freeze it. I made no progress on the salsa, largely because our tomatoes have not done well, and on the week I’d planned to get some tomatoes from our neighbors and do a small batch, I got sick.
  • Go to a u-pick orchard
    • This almost didn’t happen because of us going to the Instacare on my birthday (the day we’d planned all month on going to the orchard) to see about Matt’s arm being broken, but I’m glad we ended up going to it just after that anyway, since it helped to turn around what could have just been a truly awful birthday and made it into…a birthday that had some awful parts but also some good stuff about it, too. This particular orchard is literally one of my favorite places in the whole world (and one of my favorite yearly traditions), so it just made me happy that we did this, regardless of the fact that circumstances weren’t ideal. I’ve been posting a couple pics from this on my Instagram, but be prepared for photo overload from this trip at some point on the blog!
  • Go on a date for our birthdays
    • My mom and stepdad graciously agreed to watch the kids the Saturday night before our birthdays so we could go out, and we had a great time! We ended up going bowling (where I bowled a 128 on my second game, which is high for me!), out for burgers and frozen custard, and then to do some shoe shopping without the stress of having kids there, too. (Oh, and we also stopped by Barnes and Noble to browse because that’s the definition of fun for both Matt and me.)

  • Do a family day adventure
    • Thanks to the Labor Day holiday, we were able to fit in a short new hike together as a family (up the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, which is what all the pics in this post are from). In the hour or so leading up to leaving on the hike, there was so much drama and tears and screaming from the children that we almost didn’t go, but I’m super glad we pushed through and went anyway since the kids did SO well once we were out! I love going on hikes, and since it’s something I want our kids to learn to enjoy too, I know that we need to make a concerted effort to go as much as we can.
  • Set up Facebook page for local produce co-op/swap
    • Even though I’ve been hoping to do this for quite awhile now (see this post for some more details), I kept putting it off because I kept making it out to be more of a huge thing than it really needed to be right now. Finally one day I just sat down and created a straightforward Facebook group where people were invited to post extra produce they had on hand from their gardens that other neighbors could come and pick up (or do a post asking if anyone had any extras of a particular item). The first week was super slow and I wondered if the group would not take off like I envisioned that it could, but it’s gotten a lot more action over the past few weeks! It’s been so rewarding to see that less produce is going to waste and to see people stepping up to help each other out. I still hope to turn this into a much bigger nonprofit organization, but this is at least a good start for now!
  • Type to page 100 in my mission journal
    • I did make progress on this, as I’d started the month having typed up around 50 pages and ended the month having typed up 63. So…progress.
  • Have a Family Night about emergency preparedness
    • Two of our family nights ended up being spent with neighbors (which was totally awesome), and I honestly forgot about it on the other ones. I did briefly talk to Raven one day about what to do if there was a fire in the house, but we really need to have a formal family lesson about it one or two family nights still.
  • Add About Me to photography webpage
    • I kept putting this off because I wanted a recent family picture (or even just recent individual picture of just me), and I’m thinking we got at least one (or both) of those at the orchard, so I should be good to do this in October.

Other notable things we did/accomplished in September:

  • We had about 75 family members and friends join us for Mathias’s baby blessing at our church near the beginning of the month, and most everyone joined us for a potluck luncheon afterwards at the park across the street. It was wonderful to feel the support of so many loved ones, and we also thoroughly enjoyed having a few of our friends stay and chat for several hours after (especially since we don’t see them nearly often enough). Unfortunately, Mathias did not have a super happy day as he was developing an ear infection that wouldn’t officially be diagnosed and treated until about four days after. Poor baby 🙁
  • Raven is officially out of Pull-Ups for all her naps now, and she has even gone six nights where she’s stayed totally dry (I know it’s six because that’s the number she needed to get to earn a trip to the zoo, the last three of which were right in a row and just barely), which gives me hope that she might be 100% potty trained and able to go completely independently by the time she’s 4 in April. Fingers crossed.
  • Since we planted a bunch of new shrubs and plants this year (and since our sprinkler system before was very, very specific to only water what had existed before), Matt spent a bunch of time one Saturday installing new drip and soak lines so that he hopefully won’t have to be going out and watering the garden every night for the rest of time.
  • We saved another $296 towards our goal of saving $1000 in 100 days, which means that we’re just $303 away from accomplishing it (which I think we’ll do, just barely on time). This is largely thanks to us seeing HUGE financial blessings this month, which I absolutely know are a direct result of the fact that I’ve been praying for weeks to be able to pay for all our medical bills in full AND save this $1000 in this time frame. Two examples of specific blessings we received? The dental claim that I appealed on (and was told by the top-most supervisor at the insurance company would almost surely not be accepted), was fully approved and resolved in our favor! We also had our biggest medical bill from the baby’s birth cut down by $850, which helped enormously. It’s really been an amazing thing to see how the Lord has heard and answered our prayers on this.
  • I completed the first four “official” weeks of Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide (BBG) workout program. I’d done the four “Beginner” weeks last month, and up until the last week of the month when I got sick, I hadn’t missed a workout. I’ve been taking weekly progress pictures, and after 8 weeks of having done the program, I’ve been really pleased that I can see definite changes from all my hard work. I’m pretty excited to see what will happen over the next 8!
  • I finally bit the bullet and bought some clothes that fit me as I am right now. I seriously hate buying clothes for this awkward postpartum stage and prefer usually to just wear maternity jeans and exercise clothes until I fit back into my old stuff, but none of my maternity jeans fit anymore, and my jeans in my pre-pregnancy size are just a *smidge* too tight, so I finally used some Old Navy rewards I had and got me a pair of skinny jeans one size up from my regular one as well as a bunch of looser t-shirts. It’s been so long since I’ve worn normal clothes that actually fit me that I’d forgotten what a confidence boost it can be!

October Goals

  • Take produce donation to local food pantry
    • Now that I have my local produce swap Facebook group set up, I want to carry out another part of my dream for this and make a donation to our local food pantry, hopefully using a lot of the produce sourced from the group.
  • Set new quarterly blog goals
    • I didn’t accomplish even half of the blog goals I set last quarter, but I did see some progress, which was motivating. Last quarter was the first time I’d ever sat down and set any, and now I see I probably should have been doing it all along. At the very least, it’s a good way for me to make sure I’m checking in on my own goals and aspirations, even if I don’t always have the time during this season of life to get them all accomplished.
  • Host book club
    • I’m officially the hostess for my local book club group this month! My book club is one of my very favorite things I found upon moving here to this community, and I only wished I’d joined one a LOT sooner. We’re reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (perfect creepy-ish read for October!), and I’m pretty darn excited.
  • Go to the temple
    • I’d better set my day to go to the temple to be within the first half of the month, just in case the world tries to conspire (yet again) in holding me back from going again this month.

  • Start creating family history photo flash cards
    • One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to print up some little flash cards with some our ancestors’ pictures on one side and their life sketches on the other side. I’m hoping to use these in our family night activities over the next several years with our children so they know the strong stock they come from!
  • Carve pumpkins
    • Because #duh.
  • Go on a fall photo walk as a family
    • We’ve squeezed at least one of these in every year since we were married (I think?), so we can’t break tradition! (And I LOVE being outside in the fall, so why WOULDN’T we do this?!)
  • Go on a family day adventure
    • Raven officially filled in all the stickers for her new nap/nighttime potty training chart, so we owe her a trip to the zoo, which will likely be our day adventure for this month.

  • Finishing typing up my last mission journal
    • Even though I didn’t get to the point I wanted to last month, I kind of just want to go big or go home on this one this month and just knock it out, as it will complete one of my 101 in 1001 goals.
  • Make five new Food Nanny recipes
  • Start contributing to retirement again–set up auto transfer
    • I am sooooo excited that we can start doing this again! We had to take a break from saving for retirement when we went down to one income a couple years ago (and Matt’s current job doesn’t offer retirement benefits), but he’s getting another raise this month, which we’ve already earmarked for this very purpose!
  • Finish at least one Assigned Reading book
    • I probably should be putting down to finish two (as my term “deadline” is Nov. 25th for all three titles), but if I’m one down and at least halfway through another one, I should be in good shape. Fingers crossed.

  • Buy new nursing bra
    • I went on an unofficial clothing ban for awhile, which has made me reticent to spend money on clothing for any reason. However, as my current nursing bra is quite literally falling apart at the seams…it’s time. Best put it on the list to make sure I budget for it.
  • Plant spring bulbs
    • It was so fun seeing the few spring bulbs I planted last fall come up this year, and I want to add a few more to the mix (since we didn’t have much in the budget last year to put in very many). I probably won’t buy a ton this year either, but I’d like to at least fill in a few spaces in our very front beds for next year.
  • Winterize the yard
    • This includes covering our A/C unit, shutting off our outside water, mowing the lawn one last time, and maybe mulching some of the beds.
  • Harvest all produce and preserve, use, or donate all
    • Part of this goal includes making the rest of our basil into pesto since we didn’t get around to it last month. I might ditch making the salsa since our tomatoes are not doing great, but we have a couple other things we need to harvest and use up or donate, so I might have some other preservation projects going on.

  • Declutter one 50 Weeks to Organized Refresh area
    • Two apparently was too high of a goal last month (considering I got zero done), so we’ll knock it back down to one and see if I can’t pick this habit up again.
  • Have a family night about emergency preparedness
    • Rollover goal.
  • Add About Me to photography webpage
    • Rollover goal.
  • List items on KSL
    • Eternal rollover goal.
  • Get oil changed in the Mazda
    • Because if I don’t have some accountability for certain nagging tasks, they don’t get done in the timeline they should.

Man, my lists just keep getting bigger and bigger–time to start crossing off more of the goals so I don’t have to keep rolling over so many, ha ha. What are your plans for October?