May 2021 Goals

May 6, 2021

April was a rough month for my goals. I didn't fully take into consideration how some of my plans would affect my goals. During Kelly's weeklong visit, her first since 2019, I completely ignored my goal to go to bed early. Before and during her stay, I skipped some of my regular routines like writing in my reading log, backing up my monthly photos, and setting up a new month in my journal. I have zero regrets about that – but playing catch up + completing all the personal goals I'd set for myself just became too much. I had the time to do it, but I got overwhelmed enough that I didn't. Nick was traveling some for work, too, which made my goal of three items off our family bucket list a little too ambitious. I'm writing this all here to remember it for next time.

Even though my goal progress wasn't great, I still finished the month feeling great about all that I'd done. Spending time with the people I love will always matter more than being productive. And sometimes, you just need to binge New Girl and rest. Hopefully I can catch up a bit in May, but if not, that's okay. It will get done eventually!

On My Calendar:
– Our big boy turns 5
– Mother's Day + family birthdays
– Well checks for the boys
– End of school year activities
– Swim lessons for our big boy

Currently Obsessing Over:
– My sister recommended the Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleaning Balm ($19), and I'm obsessed. It's a great replacement for Pharmacy's Green Clean, which I've used and loved in the past but was making my eyes burn recently.
– We had family photos taken in April and I adore how they turned out! Michele Zakeri Photography is so talented.
– My big boy is obsessed with dinosaurs, and these dinosaur sheets ($25) and night light ($20) from Pillowfort at Target were a huge hit with him. They both worked with what was already in his room, so that's a hit with me.
– These Stars Above shorts ($15) are great! I needed new sleep shorts and bought more than one pair of these. 

Yearly Goals:
(These should stay the same all year, so I'll just do month-to-month progress reports!)
– Read a devotional every morning.
– Do Soulspace meditation every night.
– Blog 2x per week.

April progress:
 I think I missed about half of my daily readings, a theme you'll begin to notice is common in April.
– Umm... I only listened to Soulspace five times in April. Struggle! I'm hoping to get back on track in May.
– Once again, YIKES. I blogged three times total in April, so this was definitely a fail. 

Revisiting My April Goals:
– Select photos for our 2018 and 2019 family yearbooks. / I vastly underestimated how much we had going on in April, and this was the first goal to fall by the wayside. I've broken it down further and moved it to May!
– Complete three items from our 2021 family bucket list. / We had family photos taken, but that's the only item off our bucket list in April. I'll get more specific with my May goals and choose a few items to complete.
Plan my big boy's 5th birthday. / Since my big boy's birthday is at the beginning of May, I wanted to make sure everything (gifts/party/etc.) was picked out by the end of April. I'm so glad I prioritized that task! 
Buy my new 2021-2022 planner! / While this task hardly qualifies as a goal, I love putting it on my list and checking it off once I've clicked Complete Order. I'm sticking with Dapperdesk again this year and got the blush one.
– Catch up on February and March book reviews. / At the beginning of April, I had a backlog of almost 50 reviews to write. I think I completed... six? I don't know why I've procrastinated, especially since they're all drafted in my reading journal. It's just a matter of typing them up and doing a little polishing. Hopefully this month...
Begin implementing an earlier bedtime + routine. / I saw progress here, though it was imperfect. I'm a night owl, so I started my goal with an 11 p.m. bedtime. I may eventually aim for earlier – my first step is consistency!
Choose a Bible study to go through this spring. / I haven't started it yet, but I did choose a study to go through!

My May Goals:
– Visit a botanical garden as a family.
– Weather permitting, go strawberry picking.
– Celebrate my big boy's 5th birthday!
– Fill out my big boy's Year 4 in his Promptly Journal.
– Select photos for my 2019 family yearbook.
– Catch up on February, March, and April reviews.
– Start my Bible study workbook.

Do you have any goals for May?

April 2021: Recap + On My Shelves

May 4, 2021

I say this every month, but April passed in a blur. It was a busy month but filled with so much excitement – a new baby, my bestie's visit, and more. And that's why I barely got any of the things done that I planned!

1. Celebrating Easter – We kicked off the month with a few Easter celebrations. My big boy has been doing virtual preschool this year, but his teacher hosted an in-person Easter egg hunt just for virtual students. He loved getting to participate! Then, we went to my parents' for Easter lunch and visited Nick's parents later that afternoon. After everything was canceled last year, it was so nice to experience a much-needed return to normalcy. 

2. Welcoming a New Nephew – At the beginning of April, my younger brother had his first baby. He's the first of my siblings to have a baby, and I teared up seeing him holding his son in his arms. It was so precious and unexpectedly emotional! We've prayed for this baby for years and are so happy that he's finally here. My big boy loved becoming a big brother last year, so he's thrilled there will be a new baby at family events. He's already in love!

3. Kelly in Georgia – The biggest highlight was Kelly's long overdue visit to Georgia. She was last here in November 2019, and we both assumed she'd next visit spring 2020. As you know, the world had other plans. It's felt like the longest wait, but our reunion couldn't have been better! She stayed for a week, and I loved every minute of it. Our favorite adventure? Going to Barnes & Noble with my sister and each buying 7 books. It was epic!

4. Family Photo Session – With my first baby, we had photos taken when he was a newborn and when he turned one. I had to do the same for my second, who turned one in February, but decided to wait a little longer so they could be outdoors rather than in a studio. I'm so glad I made that decision and love how they turned out! From the outfits to the location, everything came together beautifully. I know they're something I'll cherish forever.

Read 20 Books | Favorites:
Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne
A Rogue on One's Own by Evie Dunmore
Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley

“Grief runs through the whole of life and leaves nothing untouched. 
A voice on the car radio, a knife in the kitchen drawer, each carries a thought of the dead.”
Austen Years by Rachel Cohen

“Is that your subtle way of asking if I’m seeing anyone?” 
“Whatever gave you the impression that I’m subtle?”
Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize when I hired you that you 
were also available for unsolicited advice on my life.”
Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne

“The past is where we go when we are helpless; the past, no matter what the psychiatrists say, 
can’t really hurt you much more than it already has, not like the future, 
which comes at you like a train around a blind curve.” 
The Best Cook in the World by Rick Bragg

“Have you perchance considered becoming a little more likable?” 
A Rogue of One's Own by Evie Dunmore

“Every mother screws up her children one way or another. It's up to you whether you stay that way.”
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins

“We name our villains and then treat them in such a way that they prove us prophets.”
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins

“It feels like love, like truth, which are just different ways of saying the same thing.”
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins

‘No one ever said that good writing was easy....
Falling in love again and again? Spilling your heart all over the page?’ She sighed. 
‘But if you’re really meant to be a writer, you’ll tell the truth as you know it. Every time.’”
The Next Great Jane by K.L. Going

“Just remember to pack light. Dreams tend to shatter if you're 
carrying other people's hopes around with you.”
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

“We are none of us perfect, and no one expects perfection. 
But when you have hurt people, you must allow them their anger. 
Otherwise it will only become another thing you have tried to take away.” 
Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

“You will make yourself unworthy by considering yourself unworthy. 
We become what we are afraid we will be.”
Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare

“I think he might love me, too—though, being a man, I expect he’s too dense to realize it.” 
To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

“It is the worries that plague us the most that cut the deepest when other people call them to the surface.” 
Free from Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey

“I had been holding on to the past so hard that I couldn’t even imagine the future.” 
Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey

If I thought I didn't meet my blogging goals in March, what is there to say about April? I tanked even harder! I only posted three times. The first two – my March 2021 recap and April 2021 goals – are the monthly staples I didn't miss. And then I posted my sister's favorite reads in Tales & Tiger Lily: March 2021. At least one of us is somewhat on top of book reviews! I'm so behind, and I've got to get caught up. Fingers crossed that I'll find my mojo in May.

Favorite Song #1: "Way Less Sad" by AJR
I didn't listen to much music in April, so this was one of my only new finds.
Pretty sure I have Spotify's Discover playlist to thank for it.

Favorite Song #2: "High You Are" by What So Not + Branchez
I think my sister played this song for me on one of our adventures,
and I've been obsessed with it ever since! So fun for a solo drive.

I Care a Lot (2020) starring Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest – When Kelly and I decided to have a movie night, we each came prepared with a suggestion. This one was mine because I'd been intrigued ever since I saw the trailer. And while it started off strong, it got stranger and more ridiculous the longer it went on. I wasn't rooting for anyone, the premise felt realistic but not the way it was executed, and an unsatisfying ending. Boo.

Promising Young Woman (2020) starring Carey Mulligan – After my movie pick was a flop, I was nervous going into Kelly's. But I shouldn't have been because this was fantastic! Based on the trailer, I expected a dark and possibly campy revenge story. That isn't what I got, but I loved it more for subverting my expectations. This was one that I finished and wanted to discuss the casting, message, styling, and ending. Likely a 2021 favorite for me!

Book of the Month: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry, Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala, and What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins

Target: Dial A for Aunties by Jesse G. Sutanto and Northern Spy by Flynn Berry

Barnes & Noble: Brood by Jackie Polzin, Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price, Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny, The Next Great Jane by K.L. Going, A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus, Bloom by Nicola Skinner,  The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams, The Widow Queen by Elżbieta Cherezińska, Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey, Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle, Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin, The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell, Eliza Starts a Rumor by Jane L. Rosen, and Much Ado About You by Samantha Young

Amazon: Pride and Prejudice by Katherine Woodfine, Love on Lexington Avenue by Lauren Layne, To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters, Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund, and Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Book Depository: Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane

Used Bookstore: Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas, Marry in Scarlet by Anne Gracie, The Dating Plan by Sara Desai, and The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

From My Mama: Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson, Freely & Lightly by Emily Lex, and Book Nerd by Holly Maguire

Audible: Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins, and Perestroika in Paris by Jane Smiley

Kindle: The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
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