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April was a month of doing a lot by halves—while I only had one goal with *no* progress, the majority of the rest of them were only half-completed. It’s better than nothing, though!
We did end up getting a decent amount of house and yard stuff completed, the majority of which wasn’t officially on The Goals List. My favorite? The before/after decluttering makeover I did of our master bedroom, which I put a picture up of on the blog’s Facebook page. Ever since I cleared that room, it literally feels like a sanctuary in the midst of chaos, and it’s just improved our quality of sleep and relaxation so much. In fact, I was so empowered by the change that I perhaps got a bit overambitious with the rest of the house, which is now only half done with stuff taken out of the closets everywhere, ha ha. Oh well! There’s always this new month to take it on 🙂
Note: If homemaking goals are on your own list (everything from meal planning to decluttering to home redesign), then you’ll want to check out The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle while it’s still available. (Also, if you purchase it TODAY (5/2), you get a free early bird bonus of The Nester’s Summer Decorating Course, which is normally worth as much as the whole bundle on its own). Click here to see a list of what this year’s bundle contains (Spoiler: there’s some pretty awesome stuff here this year!).
Go to Baby Animal Days
- I was pretty positive this would happen whether or not I wrote it down, but sometimes it’s nice to give yourself an easy win! We had Matt take a half-day off of work on a Friday so we could try and beat the Saturday crowd. It still was as packed as it always is, but it was fun having that half-day extra with our favorite guy! (All pics in this post are from that event.)
Do something special for Raven’s birthday
- I waffled about for ages trying to decide what to do for this (because I really am just not brave enough yet to attempt a little friend party), and I finally decided to just keep it low-key and invite both sets of grandparents that lived close by (my dad and stepmom live in Missouri) to celebrate with us at Pizza Pie Cafe. They brought her balloons and cupcakes/candles and presents, and we all enjoyed a pretty fantastic evening together. She was also honored at the birthday get-together my mom and stepdad do every month for us and all my siblings and their families.
- Register the van
- You guys, I finally went in and did this…only to find out we couldn’t get a permanent registration until we got an emissions test done. Not really a big deal, except when Matt went out to get the van going…it wouldn’t start. So now we have to figure out a way to actually get the van TO the mechanic in about the next 4 days. Sometimes I hate owning vehicles.
Set up crib in kids’ room
- MAJOR WIN HERE! Not only did we get the crib set up, but since Mathias has been acting so much happier since he got his ear tube surgery early in April, we finally sleep trained him over two nights and then he was sleeping through the night on night #3! It hasn’t been perfect since then, because both kids have been sick and have kept waking each other up because of it, but all in all, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
- Make 5 new Food Nanny recipes
- Going gluten-free this month messed with this one big time. (For more on why I’m going gluten-free, you can check it out in our monthly recap here.) While there are a lot of recipes in this that are gluten-free, there are a whole lot that aren’t. So depending on how long I have to keep this up for, I might have to change this 101 in 1001 goal (sob…and I’ve made such progress, too!). I did make two recipes from it, though.
- Index 100 names
- I ended up doing 40, but I also did a TON of genealogy work this month and put in the names of about 25 new people into Matt’s family tree, with a whole lot more that I’ll be putting in soon. (In case you’re unfamiliar with it, indexing is a service that anyone can provide where you type up any extractable data (names, birthdays, etc.) from old documents like birth certificates and military records so people can find their ancestors. You can click here for more info, or if you want to volunteer some time.)
Finish Brave New World
- Okay, so I *technically* didn’t finish this one until yesterday, the 1st of May. But I’m still totally counting it as done on here since it was done before the post went up. (For the record, I was pretty meh about this classic. I thought 1984 was a much more worthy classic dystopia.)
Register Raven for preschool next year
- Done and done.
- Bring out summer clothes for the kids
- I *mostly* did this. I’m still in the process of getting all the too-small stuff out of the clean laundry and putting all the bins away, but I’m getting there.
- Go through Raven’s shoes
- I basically did this one, but I still have a few that are scattered around the house that I need to put away, and I also need to find the shoes in the next size up, which I seem to have put in a “safe place” somewhere…
Donate or sell all clothes that are too small
- I took a HUGE load of clothes to be donated to our local thrift store, and I tried listing my old professional wardrobe (which is now one or two sizes too small), but there haven’t been any takers, so I’ll just be donating that soon, too. Counting this one as done though, since I’ve at least gone through everything!
- Make two new raised garden beds
- The only goal we didn’t make any progress on this month. Hopefully this weekend we’ll get started on these!
Graft in new branches on apple trees
- I talked more about this in my State of the Family Address post, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this will work!
As always, I like to include other things I finished that weren’t necessarily pre-planned. Other notable accomplishments for April:
- Bought some baby chicks
- More on this in my State of the Family Address post for April.
- Lowered our car insurance bill
- By bumping a couple of our deductibles up a bit (from $0 to $500), we ended up shaving off a bit over $10 a month, on top of the discount we got from staying with the insurance company for another year, which was a few more dollars off a month. We’ll take it!
- Negotiated our Internet bill (again)
- I’ve always been able to successfully negotiate our bill back to the promo rate we initially started on ($40/month) every year when the company tries to raise it by $20 a month, but this year, $45/month was the best I could. Seeing as how that is the best rate offered by any of their competitors for new customers, I just took it, especially since they were willing to lock that rate in for two years, which will save me from having to make this dreaded phone call for an extra year.
- Started the process to get a better life insurance policy for Matt
- We knew our life insurance policy for Matt wasn’t great (nor was it enough), but we hadn’t taken the time to look into it since we bought it just before he turned 30. He ended up taking the initiative on that this last month, and we think we’ll get him a much higher coverage plan for not that much extra a month, plus riders for both the kids. (Due to my autoimmune disease, we’ve been turned down for life insurance for me. I need to search around more on that, though.)
- Buy radon test kit
- A bunch of people in our neighborhood have tested their homes for radon lately, and all the figures seem to be coming back sky-high. I definitely don’t want to put this one off for too long.
- Set up appointment for free garage consultation
- Our garage has never worked great, but it’s been stalling/freezing pretty bad for over a year now, and we can just tell it needs some attention.
- Mail tripod to be repaired
- When I was using my (pretty new) tripod to shoot a recipe I’d just made, a piece snapped on it, meaning that the main lever that goes up and down is now broken. Since it’s still under warranty, I can get it repaired for free, but I do need to mail it in (and pay for that postage, boo).
- Wash comforter
- The only thing I don’t love about our gargantuan white comforter is that it won’t fit in any normal size washing machine, which means that whenever it starts to get bad, I have to take it to a laundromat. The time has come again to do that. (Really, the time had probably come 3 months ago, but oh well.)
- Get a haircut
- I get my hair cut twice a year, and since the last cut I got was around Thanksgiving, we’re due for the next one!
- Build two new raised garden beds
- Rollover goal from April. (Hoping to make some progress on this one this weekend!)
- Plant vegetables + herbs
- My mom always told me to plan on planting around Mother’s Day for our gardening zone here, so this will almost surely be happening this month.
- Plant cutting flower garden
- I want to designate one of our new raised garden beds solely for flowers for cutting and bringing inside, so as long as the beds get built, I’m excited to hopefully start this!
- See if we can lower cell phone bill
- Since I had some success last month with lowering bills, I figured I’d tackle our cell phone bill next. It’s a little tricky, because many of the cheapest cell phone providers require smartphones (which we don’t want), but I’m going to do some digging around to see what I can find, anyway.
- Build chicken coop
- Our baby chicks are currently in a bin in our kitchen. As they keep getting bigger, we have a definite time crunch on this one, so this should be completed this month.
- Finish registering van
- The question now is…how do we GET the van to the mechanic to get its emissions test when it’s not starting? hmmmm….
- Go on anniversary date
- Matt and I are celebrating our 8th anniversary on May 7th, and my mom has already graciously agreed to take the kidlets one night so we can go out. I’m super pleased with how well we’ve been doing at having monthly date nights since January of last year!
- Go on family day adventure
- We try to go on a little “day adventure” each month as a family. Since our budget is already stretched to the max for May, it will probably be something free or extremely cheap this month.
- Schedule dentist appointment for Raven
- Is it bad I’ve never taken her to the dentist? I just didn’t know how well she’d sit through it when she was younger, but I’m fairly confident she’s mature enough now to cooperate for this.
- Look into cost/schedule for swim or dance lessons for Raven
- Raven’s been expressing an interest in dance for quite awhile, and she definitely needs to eventually learn how to swim, so I want to start pricing this out to see if we can swing one or both this year.
- Sketch out 15-20 dinners for the month
- Now that I’m gluten-free again, dinners have gotten a tad trickier. I don’t want to make a hard and fast meal plan for the month, but I do want to have a solid list of GF dinners so I’ll know what to shop for and what I can make.
- Finish Unit 5 of EBA
- I started Elite Blog Academy back in March and was making quick progress until I hit Unit 5, where I’ve now been sitting and not working on hardly anything for weeks now. Time to just take a deep breath and dive back in!
I seriously doubt I’ll get to all these in May, but since it helps my brain to have all my goals/dreams laid out, I’m doing it anyway. And you never know! Maybe I’ll miraculously be able to pull it off—it’s been known to happen before.
How have your goals been going? Any good chicken coop plans you want to share with us? 🙂