this month I'm linking up with the Tiny Twig to share my "goals with grace" for September. although I didn't link-up last month, I did write out some goals knowing I wouldn't complete or meet all of them. that's the point of goals with grace. make a plan, write a list, and then do your best, but give yourself grace if you don't check off all (or even one) of your goals. I came close to not hitting a single goal from last month, so I am carrying them all over to this month. as I revisited my list of August goals, I realized some tasks have yet to be completed and the challenges regarding my daughter, my photography + my music were not as much of a priority as I intended them to be when I compiled this list, though I was certainly more intentional about the time spent with Madelynn, and did do some personal photography. good thing they were personal goals, and not demands made by a conventional job or requirements for being a "good mom," and that I can have grace with myself and try again in September.
also, September is my birthday month which is always super exciting because it means my parents take us out to my very favorite restaurant, the Cheesecake Factory! I talked my husband into buying my birthday gift early when some wishbone chairs I had been searching for went on major sale and I needed an excuse to convince him that I HAD to have them.
I love the beginning of a new month because it always feels like a fresh start. not that there's anything intrinsically special about the 1st, but I've always been the type of person to start a new diet on a Monday, reset the budget at the beginning of each month, and hit the gym from January 1st-Febuary 15th (and let's be honest, even that hasn't happened in years). so, with newfound motivation that comes from a productive spirit with an unchecked list, I will head into September with a repetitive game plan! Here is my list from August, with a few tweaks:
1. be more intentional about loving, teaching & raising my daughter // I do feel that Madelynn + I spent MUCH more time this month playing, interacting, learning and bonding, and it was so, so sweet. I just love this little girl more and more every second and I am so fascinated by how much she changes and grows daily! this is the one goal I feel that I really prioritized and will always pursue, every day of my life.
2. get out my camera and play // I didn't really play with my camera per se, like I wanted to, and I didn't set-out on a creative adventure with camera in hand as planned, but I did do some personal photography. I've been wanting to document our home as-is in this season before we move-on and create a home somewhere new. this won't be happening any time soon, but I did begin documenting details this past month and will be sharing those soon! this month I also want to set aside some time with my camera to create, to experiment + to learn.
3. play my music // I didn't do this at all! I did rummage through my old music videos I made for my YouTube channel, and I did reminicse about the time when I called myself a "songwriter," but I did not dust off my acoustic and play. I would like to crack open my song journal and play through some old favorites sometime, just for fun. while I may never write music as a hobby again, it would make me a bit sad if I go so long without playing my songs that I completely forget them!
4. cook one new meal a week // I cooked through many new recipes this month! most had been pinned + forgotten long ago, but I tracked them down and did a bit of meal planning and ended up falling in love with some new dishes! I think our very favorite thing I made this past month was this Chicken and Black Bean Chili (paleo, if you skip the cheese on top...but, I don't necessarily recommend doing that). it was amazing. and I cut the recipe in half so it would fit in our medium-sized crockpot and we still had a TON of leftovers and froze like half of it. it uses some of our favorite ingredients: chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, cumin + chili powder. whenever I meal plan by choosing 5 random recipes I'm excited about, I end up in the grocery store with a list as long as my arm, a cranky baby, a high bill and way too many bags to manage with my daughter & diaper bag on my hip. so, I asked my friend Natasha (an aspiring cookbook author) of Gather Around Our Table to put together a simple 5-dinner meal plan using only 10-15 ingredients, to cut down on grocery bills + wasted ingredients that don't get used-up in time. I realized after asking her this that I could easily make one or two 5-meal/10-ingredient lists using our tex-mex-inspired staples. I'll share as soon as I compile our favorite go-to recipes!
5. go on at least one date with my husband // the closest Sam + I came to going on a date in August was a quick run to the grocery store while my parents watched M, but we are actually going out TONIGHT thanks to our good friends who have offered to camp out at our place for the evening so we can sneak away for awhile. what a great way to start September! this will only be the second time we've gone out just the two of us since M was born, so it'll definitely be a treat. our new goal is to make a date happen at least twice a month. photos by Chris Newby
6. read a book // I did not. I've gotten into the habit of pinning + bookmarking tons of articles I want to read "at some point," and anytime I get a little downtime to read, I default to my phone or iPad. I do get a lot out of reading these articles -- typically on healthy/natural living, parenting, and marriage -- but there is something so good and healing and relaxing about reading a real-life, paper + ink book from cover to cover. especially something with a plot line that will keep you excited about coming back to it and characters that you fall in love with and think about until and beyond you know how their story turned out. I miss that, and I know I'd be glad I made the time for it.
7. finally finish the nursery gallery wall // I made a little progress on M's gallery wall, in the form of making lots of purchases for it! I've got frames and pictures and craft supplies and ideas...now I just need to get to work!
8. blog my remaining client sessions // I did get the chance to blog a few of my most recent sessions, but I still have a lot more waiting to be shared, and I have a LOT coming up, so I need to get on that before I get way too behind! I love my job and I love my clients and I LOVE sharing the beautiful faces, places + stories I get to document.
that's it for my August-turned-September goals, and I'm going to add just one new one this month, since it sounds like I'll be bored out of my mind with nothing to do. Madelynn is turning ONE WHOLE YEAR OLD next month, so I need to
9. get started planning a little party for her + completing a few homemade gifts I've got planned.
so, here's to new beginnings, little steps + checkin' off lists!
glad you stopped by my little space, and I hope something you read encouraged or inspired you. what are your goals for this month? did you make any for last month, and if so, how did ya do? if you're a fellow mama/wife/creative/photographer/homemaker/DIYer blogger, I'd love to hear from you and follow your thoughts, ideas + experiences!