Goals, Monthly Recap

Holidays are Just Suggestions {May 2022 Goals + April Recap}

April was a whirlwind of activity, but we got a LOT done. April is when our flower farming season officially opens to the public, so I was harvesting and selling bouquets by the last third or so of the month. When harvesting starts to collide with all the usual spring craziness of planting and prepping beds, things get REALLY intense around here for about a month and a half.

celebrating Raven’s birthday

Since Mother’s Day is a huge flower sales weekend, we actually celebrated “Mother’s Day” for me this last Sunday, on May 1. Something Matt and I learned early on in our marriage was that it’s okay to celebrate holidays on days other than the actual “holiday.” When we were first married, we almost always celebrated Christmas together a few days early, just because we wanted to do our own traditions together AND spend time with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While we’ve now shifted to celebrating Christmas on the traditional Dec. 25, we use this flexibility with other holidays too, such as Valentine’s Day (we celebrate it as a family on Feb. 15, in order to take advantage of everything being half off at the store).

Since I knew Mother’s Day this year was likely to be more stressful than not, I just suggested to Matt and the kids that they do it a week earlier for me, and it was SO NICE. Seriously, I think we’re going to have to make this a yearly thing, just because it was so much more relaxing than it ever has been before since we didn’t have anywhere we needed to be and could just enjoy a nice, quiet day together at church and at home. It was the perfect refresh I needed in order to prepare for an extremely busy week, as I had a lot of harvesting and marketing to do to sell flowers to the public for Mother’s Day.

We’ve got a 7-year-old in the house!

Likewise, we’ll usually celebrate our birthdays and anniversary on the day that makes the most sense. While we did celebrate Raven’s birthday in April on her actual birthday, there have been plenty of times when we’ve moved the celebration around to another day to better accommodate everyone’s schedule.

Here’s how last month’s goals shook out though:

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April Goals

  • Complete the roll-up sides on the high tunnel
    • We got the roll-up venting completed on one side of the high tunnel; now we just need to finish the job in May.
  • Get oil changed in van
    • I finally planned ahead enough and had this done locally, and we saved SO MUCH MONEY by having it done here. It was nearly half the price of what we paid before when we went to a walk-in place further north.
  • Build and fill all the raised beds
    • Technically, Matt still needs to build one more raised bed, but he built and filled the six we needed for April, so the last one will be a May goal.
  • Plant and/or sell all lily bulbs
    • I ordered over 300 lily bulbs (which are perennial) for the farm, but I didn’t quite have enough space to plant them all in their new designated place, so I sold the surplus to local customers. Win-win for all of us!
  • Transplant out all hardy annuals and finish direct sowing the rest
    • It took us until nearly the end of the month to finally get the last trays in the ground that were ready, but we did it! We still technically have some hardy annuals in the grow room, but I did harden off and transplant everything I’d intended to, which was the original goal. All in all, we transplanted probably around 800 plants this last month.
  • Pick up load of compost
    • Our neighbors are amazing, and thanks to their generosity (and a dump truck trailer they were able to borrow), we were able to get two gigantic loads of high-quality local compost for a fabulous price. Seriously, they saved us so much money compared to what we had to pay last year for compost, and we’re so appreciative.
  • Compile list of pay-it-forward bouquets
    • I still need to do this. Basically, part of our business model is that people donate money towards pay-it-forward bouquets to be given out to people in need in the community, and we have already had several generous donations — now we just need to compile a list of names! This basically involves me doing a couple posts on various community Facebook groups and asking our friends and neighbors for referrals.
  • Decorate Easter eggs
    • We had been dropping the ball on doing this for the past few years, but this year we finally made it happen again! And the kids LOVED it.
  • Buy tickets for Hawaii trip
    • Done! Thanks to a tip from a reader, I discovered that I could get a free trial to Scott’s Cheap Flights, which was all I needed to snag a much better discount than I’d been finding on my own.
  • Teach Raven to ride a bike
    • We made this happen right at the end of the month, and it was so much fun! Watching your kids learn something so momentous for the first time is such an exhilarating thrill as a parent. She’s been begging us every day since to take her back to the large parking lot where we taught her initially so that she can continue to practice going faster and faster.
  • Change over all kids’ clothes to summer and pack away everything that’s too small
    • Flower farming has been seriously insane lately, so this just keeps getting put off. Pretty soon I won’t be able to procrastinate this one anymore!
  • Make list of needed clothes/shoes for kids
  • Give everyone in the family a haircut
    • Raven still hasn’t gotten one, but as hers is less noticeable, I’m still counting it as a win that Matt cut both the boys’ hair and that I gave Matt a haircut. For the reference, we use this at-home haircutting kit, which we highly recommend.
pre-haircuts
  • Go through pantry and clear out expired food/stuff we’re not going to eat
    • I knew this wasn’t likely with flower farming busy-ness, and sure enough, this will have to be a rollover goal.
  • Fix doorbell
    • Ditto. Rollover to May.
  • List Buick
    • We did finally replace the battery so that it’s actually working again, so I really think this is going to happen soon!

May Goals

May is always a busy month since it’s Mother’s Day, our anniversary, and the kids get out of school for the summer, but May is basically the last surge of spring insanity on the flower farm too, since we need to get everything planted out by the end of the month in order to stay on schedule.

Sometimes I feel like I’m being pulled everywhere at once during this time of the year, but I also know that somewhat of a “break” is on the horizon, since June tends to be slow for flowers in our area (and I’ll just have enough to fulfill the bouquet subscriptions, with very little extra), and we also have our family vacation to Hawaii coming up at the end of June.

Nevertheless, I’ve always really loved May since spring is in full swing and the school year ends, which means we can go to a more relaxed schedule in general.

Here are some of the things I want to get done this month:

  • Do something to celebrate our 11th anniversary
    • Our anniversary is actually TODAY, and while we’re doing something fun together as a family, I’m also hoping we can sneak in a date later this month to celebrate, too πŸ™‚
11 years!
  • Publish Summer Reading List post
    • For the past several years, I’ve posted a list of books I’m most excited to read during the summer. I’ve been working on this year’s list for quite awhile, and it’s going to be a good one! I anticipate that I’ll publish the post next week.
  • Complete the other roll-up side on high tunnel
    • We’ll have the sides of the high tunnel rolled up nearly all the time from this point until about September, which will be a lot easier if we complete this process of installing the handcrank system now so that we can just leave it in place for the next few months.
  • Build and fill last raised bed
    • And I’m excited because it’s going to be an entire bed of celosia for bouquet filler πŸ™‚
  • Plant and/or sell all dahlia tubers
    • This is my first year trying to grow dahlias from tuber myself, and it’s also the first time I’m going to try and sell dahlia tubers to the public. If nothing else, it will give me lots of good data for the years ahead!
  • Plant all gladiolus corms
    • I don’t plan to plant all 500 at once–I’ll probably try and stagger them out and do between 100 and 150 a week so that I can try and make sure they’re not all blooming at the same time.
  • Buy landscape fabric and shade cloth
    • I’ve got to do this ASAP since it’s starting to get a lot warmer and some of the beds would really benefit from shade cloth, and I have to get the landscape fabric by the end of the month too since that’s when I’m planting all my tender annuals out. Busy busy!
showing off her face paint from a friend’s birthday party
  • Start setting up drip line irrigation and watering system
    • Matt’s been scheming up an experimental watering system that will hopefully work well with our inconsistent access to irrigation water (since Utah is in a severe drought and has been for awhile, and our access to water is very restricted). We’re picking up the first pieces of it this next week!
  • Transplant out first succession of all tender annuals
    • Our average last frost is usually around May 21, and my goal is to get everything planted out between then and the end of the month, weather permitting.
  • Compile list of pay-it-forward bouquets
    • Rollover goal.
  • Change over kids’ clothes to summer
    • Rollover goal.
  • Hang curtains and blinds back up
    • We got our new windows installed early this month! The process required that we remove all window coverings first, so now we have to set aside the time to get them all put back up again.
  • Go through pantry and fridge and clear out expired food/stuff we won’t eat
    • Rollover goal.
  • Finish editing photo session
    • I did a quick family session as a favor to my brother and sister-in-law, so I need to finish editing up the rest of the photos and get them sent off.
  • Fix doorbell
    • Rollover goal.
  • Get Buick working again + list
    • Rollover goal.

Should be a fun, albeit busy, month! What are you excited about for May?