Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Routines in 2008

This morning has been cold and frosty. One of my hopes for 2008 was to blog more frequently so I've got some ground to make up! It was good to have Ryan home during the break and for a few mornings that he was able to go to work in the afternoon. Our routines have kicked in again and while I really like the holidays I also like routines and knowing when different tasks will be completed. I also like knowing when there are some free times and rest times. I started back to the office this past week which was really good too. I have many interesting projects to be working on and lots of great things to be reading through. I feel like I'm learning some new things and continuing to grow professionally. When I'm not actually at Fox working, I'm finding I need to build in some more set work blocks at home so I can make sure I'm accomplishing what I need to for my role at Fox..

One of the blogs I check out from time to time has a "Making Your Home a Haven" challenge. I like these kinds of things because a) I get to learn what other people do in their homes, b) I like hearing what creative ideas/solutions they have for organizing, c) it is good to know other individuals are working out their daily tasks too. Her challenge lists these items:

1. Refresh your spirit
2. Tackle your morning routine
3. Take time to plan (5 minutes)
4. What is for dinner?
5. Do something!

I got stuck on number 1. Beth Moore talks about how she would get up early in the morning when her girls were little, get her coffee, and read through Scripture and take time to pray. I'm challenged to do this in the morning. My mind goes from 0 to 60 in 10 seconds and I want to get to numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5! It is a discipline for me to stop. Period. My grandma Ruth told me that seasons in her life she would have to be "pre-prayed". You've heard of "pre-paid"--like putting money on a calling card before you make your calls? When a season of life doesn't always permit us to stop and reflect and pull away during the day, it is important to be intentional to be pre-prayed. To talk with the Lord from the very start of the morning. To be connected. To get plugged in. SO I'm mindful that intentional listening and prayer times won't "just happen", I have to choose.

2. Tackle your morning routine.
For me that means showering and getting ready for the day. I decided that I wanted to do somethings that make me feel nice like remembering to put on perfume or wearing some long earrings just because. I make sure the bedroom is straightened up (Ryan does make the bed). I get Quinn's food and items together, unload the dishwasher, and get Quinn fed as well as ready for the day.

3. Take time to plan.
I like to do this. I have a notebook that I keep all of my lists in. I had to go on a hunt when I bought my latest notebook. The pages couldn't be perforated and easily torn out plus it needed to be something I liked to look at. When I found it and got to write my first list I was pretty excited. I use one page for one day. And things that I do that aren't on my list, I typically add to my list. So I can check them off. For each item on my list I make a box to the left of it and then make an X through the box. It really is a pretty specific process. Does that make me compulsive?

My weekly plan looks a little like this:
Monday-laundry (dark, white, sheets/towels, Quinn's), ironing, new bedding on beds, dinner
Tuesday-vacuum, kitchen floor and bathroom floors, work in the afternoon, dinner
Wednesday-clean bathrooms, dinner
Thursday-Dust, work in the afternoon, dinner
Friday-grocery shopping in Mac, dinner

Through out the week I figure out when I can do other things like enter receipts in out budget log, pay bills, and attend to other items that come up.

4. What is for dinner?
I try to do a menu for the week. It helps me anticipate what I need to make as well as to use items we have in the house so I don't keep buying things we aren't actually eating. This week the plan is:
Monday-Stew and cornbread (I love the crockpot)
Wednesday-Italian Casserole
Thursday-Soup and Bread
Friday-Breakfast for dinner (isn't breakfast great!)

5. Do something!
This basically means to tackle some project in your home. It doesn't have to be huge--just a little something to keep up on things so you don't have to keep catching up! Yesterday I went ahead and vacuumed and cleaned the floors so I would have a little more space today to do something like...blog.

Quinn usually naps from 1-3:30 or 4 in the afternoon. During that time I do things like iron, complete some of these other tasks so that I am free to spend time with Quinn in the morning, or we can run errands as needed.

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