My September 2014 Goals

It is nearly mid-month so I guess I had better finally finish this post about my monthly goals. ;-) It’s a little funny that my last few posts have all been about setting goals when two months ago my big daily goal was just getting through the day without losing my mind and maybe managing to wash and dry one load of laundry (and try not to forget to put the clothes in the dryer until they smell so bad I have to rewash them.)

Someone who just started reading my blog in the past week may think, wow, she has it so together with her planner and goal making. Well, girl, you have no idea how wrong that impression is! Seriously, this summer has just been super busy, super stressful and by the time August rolled around I felt I was going to explode. Everything was in chaos – the house, my spiritual life, my budget, my diet, everything! Top that off with a husband trying to get through the last difficult rounds of his chemo and, well, you get the idea.

My life was craving some order and direction. Thankfully, whenever I get like this God always sends just what I need to help me get back on track. As I mentioned in a previous post, I finished Lara Casey’s Powersheets and did all the prep work before choosing my five Main Goals I want to work on over the next six months.  My September goals are things that will help me eventually reach the Main Goals.

“Make known to me your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.” Psalms 25:4

Main Goal #1: To always have God at the center of my life and to deepen my love for Him. I want his will to be my will and motivation.

September Goals

  • I have done much better in improving my night prayer so this month I am focusing on bettering my morning prayer/devotion time. There is a small window of 20 minutes that I have between getting the older kids off to school and before getting Matthew ready for pre school when I can pray my morning devotion.
  • Monthly confession.

 

“With this ring, I thee wed…”

Main Goal #2 – To be a loving and holy wife to Brian and to work at keeping our marriage strong. I want to spend more time with him to strengthen not only our love but our friendship.

September Goals

  • Spend time each day to talk and touch base, preferably after the kids have gone to bed. Also, I’ll ask Brian questions and let him talk without monopolizing the conversation.
  • Plan weekly date nights. They can be at home dates but at least one date a month should be out of the house.
  • Find a second sitter since our normal sitter is so busy with college now.

 

My inspiration shot – This is what my kitchen could looks like when I clear off all the messy counters.

Main Goal #3 – To bring order into our home so I am not stressed out by the mess and chaos. When things are organized our family life runs smoother and there is more peace.

September Goals

  • Make a master list of all the areas in the house that need to be cleaned out or organized. Instead of getting overwhelmed by it all, I will tackle small bits on Fridays since that is the day I have a few hours at home without needing to be anywhere else.
  • Make a weekly cleaning schedule for maintenance. For example, the laundry gets insane if I don’t do at least one load every day or so. Wednesdays are the days I have an hour window at home so I can assign housework on those days.

One of the kids favorite outings is to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Main Goal #4 – To be a good mother that loves her kids and spends time with them and is not always “too busy.” I want to teach them about their faith and how to love and serve God in their young lives.

September Goals

  • Plan bi-weekly outings as a family. The off weeks can be spent playing with them in the backyard searching fossils or blowing bubbles or having a picnic on the deck.
  • Update the kids’ chore chart to give them more responsibility around the house. Go back to the sticker reward charts since they seem to work well.
  • Incorporate 1-2 church feast days into family life.

Along the Monterey Recreation Trail.

Main Goal #5 – To take care of myself physically, spiritually and mentally so I can be a happy and healthy wife, mother and friend. Taking care of myself mentally also means challenging myself to come out of my comfort zone and facing my fears.

September Goals

  • Daily hydrate, take vitamins and walk for 20-30 min. Use my Fitbit to keep track.
  • Now that I signed up as a room mom, use the opportunity to approach other moms and get to know them. There may be new friendships waiting to be made. :-)

It may seem a bit lofty but I have six months to make progress and at the end of each month I’ll evaluate what’s working and what needs to be tweaked. I have good days – like today – and bad days like yesterday when everything was going wrong and I was losing it big time. So goes life. Thanks to God’s grace and mercy, I have been able to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going. I also scheduled confession for Saturday morning. The extra boost of grace is just what I need. ;-)

What are you going to work on this month?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

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How I Improved My Night Prayers & Exam of Conscience

One of my goals in August was to improve my night prayers. I had gotten into the habit of saying my night prayers in bed before I feel asleep. However, 99% of the time I was snoring before I even got into it. Praying in the horizontal position was definitely not working for me. My goal was to say my prayers before I hit the pillow so I changed my routine. Now when the boys go to bed at 7:30-ish and the house becomes incredibly quiet, I grab my quiet-time-tote-bag (that holds my books, laptop, earphones, etc) and find a quiet spot where I can spend a little time with God.

First I say a prayer to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to enlighten my heart and my mind so I can review my day and learn from my mistakes and be grateful for my blessings. To help improve these nightly exams of the heart (and my monthly confessions) I picked up an old practice I used to do years ago. It was brought back to mind when I was discussing night prayer with someone on the Blessed Is She Facebook page. I recalled how much it helped me then and I knew God was nudging me to return to it. So I bought a cheap 50 cent composition book and I use it as my exam book. I write down the things I am sorry for that day. My impatience or losing my temper or taking Brian for granted or for being unkind to so and so. Whatever it is. On occasion, there is something I don’t want to put down on paper knowing that this book may be seen by other eyes so I literally write it in a code that I would know what it is but someone else wouldn’t. I also wrote on the first page, “This is for my eyes only. If I have died and you find this book, please throw it away for me.” LOL! No, but seriously. I did.  ;-)

Putting it down on paper may seem dumb but seriously after writing “for losing my patience” every stinkin day for weeks on end it really hits home that, girl, I gotta do something about this! And I do try and make a greater effort to control myself. It also helps when it is time for confession. I can thumb through the past month’s entries and see what things I need to bring to the foot of the cross.

When I examine my day, I don’t just look at the negative. I also look at the good things that have happened. So after I write down the things I am sorry for, I open up my gratitude journal and write down five things I am grateful for that day. It can be a blessing – like a date night with Brian or getting all the laundry done or a phone call from my mom or it can be the grace of not losing my temper when someone scribbled on the wall with permanent marker. That shows me not only God’s grace in action but that I am making baby steps towards improvement. Once my books are filled, I keep the gratitude journal and trash the other.

After my exam, I say an Evening Prayer. My favorite is found on the IMissal app on my iPhone. It reads:

O my God, at the end of this day I thank You most heartily for all the graces I have received from You. I am sorry that I have not made a better use of them. I am sorry for all the sins I have committed against You. Forgive me, O my God, and graciously protect me this night. Blessed Virgin Mary, my dear heavenly mother, take me under your protection. St. Joseph, my dear Guardian Angel, and all you saints of God, pray for me. Sweet Jesus, have pity on all poor sinners, and save them from hell. Have mercy on the suffering souls in purgatory…

(followed with Act of Contrition)

It may sound like a lot of work for our already busy lives, but seriously I can get the exam done in 10 minutes easy and from there I can spend more time in quiet prayer or say a rosary or read from a spiritual book to make it a block of 20 – 30 minutes in prayer. If I am on a tight schedule and have a lot of other obligations to finish before bed, then I keep it short. You can make it as short or as long as you want, depending on your situation. If you are a busy mom with crying babies or tugging toddlers, five minutes may be your tops. For moms who nurse at night, your exam may be said at 2 AM. For moms with older kids, you may be saying yours on the couch as you wait for them to come home from their date. Do whatever works for you. The main thing is to reconnect and reconcile with God and to thank Him for all the blessings of the day, even when you have to work really hard at finding a blessing on a “bad” day.

I’ll admit there are times when I want to skip this prayer because I have so many other things that I need to do but the extra effort is worth the peace and grace I receive from ending my day with God. Plus the act of physically quieting myself reminds me that above all else, God must be at the center of my heart. Only then will everything else fall into place.

How do you say your night prayers? Do you have a tip to help with preparing for confession?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

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Pinterest Party & Link-Up (vol 29): My Powersheets Vision Board

Welcome to the RoL Pinterest Party. Join me every 2nd and 4th Tuesday as we link up and share how we made, cooked, baked, crafted, planned, organized, followed or created one of the pins on our Pinterest boards OR share something original that others can pin onto their boards.

Not on Pinterest? No problem. Link-up your own creation to inspire us so we can pin in to our own boards. It can be a recipe, sewing project, Catholic craft, homeschool project, organizing/ homemaking tip, themed birthday party, whatever you’d like.

Don’t have a post ready? The link-up will be open for 10 days so there’s still time. Plus, feel free to link up a new post or an older post that hasn’t had much traffic lately. :-)

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The inspiration for this post…

Photo Credit – Lara Casey Shop.com

You can find me on Pinterest here – http://www.pinterest.com/rol_bobbi/.

The pin for this post is here.

If you’ve been reading my last few posts, you know I have been working on Lara Casey’s Powersheets. They are basically a series of worksheets that help you to focus on what is most important to you in life and what you would like to accomplish. They gives you the tools you need to draw up a plan and follow through on making those things happen.There is nothing “magical” about Powersheets; the same way there is nothing “magical” about a StairMaster. Both can sit in the corner and gather dust. However, if you get off your butt and workout on either, transformation is inevitable. :-)

This kind of set up is perfect for me because I am scattered and unorganized and always doing too many things at once and seemingly never accomplishing anything. The powersheets have helped me to focus on what matters most in my life. It has also motivated me to dig deeper and look into myself. One sheet had me listing my fears and it was a fear in itself to voice those things, let alone document them on paper. But it has been a productive process and I am already feeling at peace. Life is still crazy and hectic but at least I feel like I am making baby steps towards handling it better and bringing some much needed order into my life and our home.

One of my favorite steps in the process was putting together a Vision Board of the things that motivate me and fill me with joy. It was recommended that we make a Pinterest Board to add things that inspire us. I started one this week here. I also wanted to create my own board with photos I’ve taken that I could print off and hang up by my desk or in the kitchen. This is what it looks like.

The photos remind me of the things that inspire me – Faith, Love, Family, Home, Nature, and Creativity.

What kind of things inspire you? Do you have an inspirational board on Pinterest? Leave the link in the comments so I can check it out.  :-)

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Now it’s your turn.

1. Choose your creation, share about it and snap a photo if you can.

2. In your post, link back the original blogger/idea, rather than your Pinterest pin. That way credit goes to the proper person. :-) (But feel free to add your Pinterest profile link so we can follow you!)

3. Add a link back here so others can play along.

4. If you want to use it, here is the html code for the logo:

<a href=”http://www.revolutionoflove.com/blog/?p=2157″><img title=”Revolution of Love Blog – Pinterest Party &amp; Link-up” src=”http://www.revolutionoflove.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pinterest_2_medW32-300×240.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”240″ /></a>

5. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address.

The link up will be active for 10 days. Have fun!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.



A Review of My August 2014 Goals

 

As I mentioned in a previous post, August was the first time I set up monthly goals and I have to admit that it has really helped me. Things are still chaotic and busy but I feel like I have a better handle on it. Here is a rundown of what my August goals were and how I’ve done with them.

Review of my August Goals

1. Dust off my planner.

I did dust off my planner and it has made life so much easier having one place where I can keep track of everything. I also made a daily goals sheet that I love. However, I am also in the process of moving to a new planner style – I ordered an Erin Condren Life Planner and it should be shipped soon. (Okay, this is crazy. An email from EC literally just popped up as I am typing this post. My planner has been shipped and will be here Wednesday. Any planner nerds out there will understand just how exciting that is. Add that to the announcement of the new iPhone tomorrow and I am officially geeking out here!!) ;-)

2. Do a better job at beginning and ending my day with prayer.

My night prayers were really lacking so I have been putting my focus on that. I set up a new routine and I think I have made real progress! However, I decided to write the details on a separate post for Wednesday. (UPDATE: Read the post here.)

3. Be more grateful for the little things.

I have coupled this with my night exams and it has certainly helped make me grateful for the little things and not to take for granted the blessings of my life. Again, more details Wednesday. (UPDATE: Read the post here.)

4. Make time for a few moments of creativity each day. 

I snapped Instagrams of moments like these.

 After a busy day I stopped here to relax for a few minutes and breath in the ocean air.

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Brian and I went out on a date and I know some people hate food pics but, come on! This is a work of art! If you are ever visiting Pebble Beach stop by The Tap Room and order their famous coconut cake for dessert. Yummmmm!

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I brought out my big camera and took photos for my sister of her new dog. Then used PicMonkey to edit it.

 

Diego fit right into dog-loving Carmel.

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I also took time to write handwritten thank you notes or “just because” cards because I love putting paper to pen and most people love to get something in the mail other than bills. :-)

5. Make a master goal list.

I did order the Laura Casey #Powersheets (just before they sold out!) and I have completed the prep work and am now finishing up my September goal list. I’ll post my September goals on Wednesday or Thursday.

Did you make goal in August? How did it go?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.


tl;dr – The Cliff Notes Version of August 2014

Linking up with Jenna over at Call Her Happy.

August has been super busy at home and super slow on the blog. I think I only posted 4 or 5 times this whole month. Since I haven’t been around much, here is the rundown the happenings.

Aug 1 – I get a little dizzy at how fast the summer is going!

Aug 3 – For the first time I made a set of goals I wanted to accomplish for the  month of August. I blog about it here. (Next I’ll blog about how it went!)

Aug 6 – My baby Matthew starts his first day of pre-school! I’m still getting used to not having a little guy by my side a couple days out of the week.

Aug 12 – For my Pinterest Party I made homemade granola bars. Brian and the kids really liked them. (BTW, Elena, yes they were more chewy than crunchy.)

Aug 15 – We celebrate the feast of the Assumption and Niki tags me for a blog hop about writing. (I promise I’ll answer next week, Niki!)

Aug 18 – I celebrate another year of life. :-) My mom called and asked if I was stressing out that I am another year older. I was happy to say that I wasn’t. Nowadays I am just happy to be alive another year! I also posted my Online Daybook and talk about cleaning projects (like my disastrous laundry room), prayer, and TV, particularly with Kendra’s Answer Me This.

Aug 24 – John-Paul turns 5 years old. :-) He is such a little man.

Aug 25 -  The bigger kids start their first day of school – a 7th grade, 1st grade and Pre-K.

Yet I can’t stop thinking about when they looked like this just a few short years ago!

Aug 26 – For the Pinterest Party I work on my daily schedule and offer a free printable – Daily Goal Sheet.

Aug 27 – My sister arrives for a visit and I am giddy with excitement.

Aug 28 – Sweet Bella has surgery to remove five baby teeth that weren’t coming out then she gets the rest of her braces on. She is a trooper!

Aug 29 -Brian leaves for a Catholic conference in SoCal. I’m glad he will have some time away after all he’s been through but I don’t like being separated from him!

Aug 31 – Brian returned home and the following day we went out on a date. It was seriously one of the best dates we’ve had in years. We jokingly decided that he should go away for a few days more often. ;-)

There were a lot of other things but these are the highlights. :-) What have you been up to lately?

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram (It’s set to private but I’ll approve you.) ;-)

PPS – This post contains affiliate links.