December 27, 2015

What Worked for Me in 2015

Our tree!  
Some other bloggers, like Modern Mrs. Darcy and Laura Vanderkam, have inspired me to blog about what has worked in 2015. So here's what has worked for me this past year:

1.  Getting some help!
Having a college student come and help do dishes and laundry a couple of days of week was a great addition to reduce chaos in our life.  I also added a monthly cleaning service a couple of months ago.. These are a big expense in our budget…but if there is any way that I can afford it, I will keep doing it.  It helps me stay a little sane with our big jobs and 3-year-old plus teenager-family. I like to host friends and students at our house a fair amount and I can't pull that off without a little (or a lot of) help.

2.  Meal planning.
Wow, I really did some serious meal planning this year.  It’s been very helpful.  Most weekends I sat down and thought through the meals for the week. This is something I want to keep doing!  I don't always stick with the plan--but having a plan limits the amount that we go out to eat or get take out. And that's brilliant.

3.  Read it up!
My book club started in Fall 2014 has been a great part of my life this year.  It’s been my main source of social enjoyment and connecting with other women. I love it and I move all things to attend it once a month.  This month we are reading...
Hannah Coulter by Wendall Berry.  Such a great way to get good literature and good community into my life.

4.  If you know me, you know I love some Audible. 
Audible is my splurge.  It’s not cheap, but oh, I enjoy listening to audiobooks when doing chores or working out or falling asleep or when I wake up in the night and can't fall back to sleep.  I have listened through several series and I truly enjoy listening.  Definitely improves my life quality.

5.  Planning family fun...WAY AHEAD...
Life goes on at a rapid pace—like it or not.  This year I planned some fun events into our calendar that would not have happened without some serious planning.  We did a mini-vacation at a Kentucky state part and stayed overnight a couple of nights, ate our meals in the lodge, played in the pool and went hiking. We also did some day trips to Cincinatti and checked out the museums.  I took my mom on a birthday weekend trip.  Clint and I saw a concert  (Over the Rhine) for our anniversary in Louisville.  Madi took Clint to a Prairie Home Companion event in Knoxville in August.  We did a few other things this Christmas—like A Christmas Carol—and even though it was busy and squeezed in, I was happy to do it. 

6.  Christmas cards! 
Second year in a row that we got christmas cards out. So proud of this!  Woohoo! It meant getting the picture, ordering the cards, keeping up with the addresses, addressing them all…What an accomplishment!  But I really enjoy remembering all my friends and family at Christmas. It's good for my soul. 

7.  Routines

Routines, routines. As an ENFP (constantly working on my J), routines do not come naturally to me…and so I really have to work hard to keep them.  But getting enough sleep at night is critical to my spiritual, emotional and physical health.  7 hours.  That is what is required. I wish it was less, but it’s not.  So, all year I have arranged and arranged, trying to get myself into bed at a regular time and up at a regular time.  I have done…better…it will continue to be my goal for 2016.   So, it's working for me...but needs to work harder for me. hah!

What had worked for you in 2015?

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