rhythm + routines + rituals

Summertime Reset: Early Morning Routines

It’s been many months since my early morning routine has looked the way I’d like it to look. With remote working, energetic boys, and lots of commitments, I’ve been pretty exhausted, and it’s been hard to get myself out of bed at four in the morning. Most days, I have gotten up somewhere between 4 and 5, but even on the days when I have, it’s been challenging to check all of the boxes I like to check in the early morning – like exercise, writing, meditation, running, yoga, etc.

While it might seem counterintuitive to use my summer break as a time to get back to waking up earlier, that’s definitely my plan for the summertime. When the new school year starts, I’ll have a different schedule; my day will likely start a little later in the morning. That means that I’ll have even more time in the mornings for an intentional routine that helps to set the tone for my day and allow me to get some important priorities met before my kids are awake.

My ideal morning begins with waking up at 4 a.m. A few minutes later, I’ll either be writing or meditating – whichever feels more natural to begin with. I can definitely see this changing depending on the day!

I’ll drink a cup of coffee while writing. After writing and meditating are done – probably sometime between 5 and 6 a.m. – I’ll go for a run. When I get back, I’ll do some yoga and/or strength training.

THAT’S IT. It covers all of my major goals – running, yoga/strength training, writing, meditating – within the first two hours of the day. Which also happen to be, typically, my best and most energetic two hours of the day.

I’m planning to get this new and improved routine going starting today. So excited for a chance to reset my routine and get back on track with all the things.

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all the things

Seasonal Bucket Lists

I love the idea of a seasonal bucket list.

I have a constant worry that I’m going to run out of time or forget to do the things I want to do, for myself or for our family. I get very caught up in day-to-day life, and I like having a reminder of things I want to do during a particular season – things like berry picking during the summertime, or ice skating during winter. They tend to be activities that require a little money and planning.

I am forever and always trying to come up with new ways to organize my life, thoughts, and planning. Recently, I started jotting down things that I want to make sure are on one of our seasonal bucket lists. I’ve been using the Google Keep app, which is just a clear and visually pleasing means for organizing a bunch of my to-do lists. When I have a seasonal bucket list, it makes me feel calmer – like I’m less likely to forget All The Things.

This year, more than ever, it feels good to make a list of fun things we want to try to make happen during the summertime. This isn’t our full bucket list, but here are a few things I hope we check off this summer:

  • Visit our local farmers market.
  • Swim lessons.
  • The beach.
  • Orchard.
  • The Smithsonians.
  • Leakin Park train.
  • New York.
  • Ukazoo.
  • Canoeing.
  • Tubing.
  • Hammerman Beach (including tire playground)!
  • Sandy Point.
  • Playground bucket list! (More on this at some point.)

Happy summer, everyone! Cheers to the return to semi-normal.

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all the things

Currently: June 2021

Currently reading:

I’m on a fantastic reading kick lately. Currently, I’m still in the middle of Do Right By Me by Valerie I. Harrison and Kathryn Peach D’Angelo; it’s great, but I keep getting distracted by gorgeous novels. I am halfway through How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue, and I am re-obsessed with Ann Patchett after finally reading The Dutch House. Additionally, The Four Winds was incredible, so I definitely am planning to try out a few more Kristin Hannah titles as soon as possible. It feels wonderful to be in such a good reading place, after experiencing a bit of a reading rut in March/April.

Currently listening to:

I’ve been listening to the audiobook versions of whatever novel I’m currently reading – that way, I can continue “reading” while I commute to work or clean up the kitchen. I also have been stayed devoted to the podcasts Slate Political Gabfest, The Girl Next Door, and The Mom Hour.

Currently watching:

Early seasons of The Big Bang Theory – hilarious. I’ve seen the series up until Season 9, and at some point I want to catch up on the last three seasons, but the early seasons are solid gold. In little kid land, we’ve watched Wall-E recently and the boys have had a revived interest in the Toy Story franchise.

Currently the boys are:

Wrestling nonstop, and it’s driving me NUTS. Especially since it almost always ends in tears eventually. day when it’s 65 degrees or warmer. Edgar plays blissfully and Jonas hangs in there until his teeth start to chatter.

Currently grateful for:

THE LIBRARY BEING OPEN FOR BROWSING! Edgar and I dropped in last Saturday and we were both so excited. I basked in the joy of just being in the room full of books, and Edgar grabbed every book with a truck, boat, dragon, or dinosaur on it to check out. (He also found two Curious George books and Jojo and the Magic Trick for his little brother to read.) I love how excited he was when we got home, to show off his books and to read them all. I’ve kept a steady flow of children’s books coming through the house for the past year, thanks to the library’s curbside pick-up, but it made such a difference for Edgar to be able to take the books off the shelf all by himself.

Currently looking forward to:

Our camping trip! We’re camping for two weekends in June and then going on our big trip to the Ozarks – almost two full weeks! – after school is out. I am so excited for it. Please send prayers that our kids figure out reeeal quick how to settle and sleep in a tent!

Happy, happy June! We all deserve an exceptional summer this year. Let’s make it happen!

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5 Things I’m Grateful For (May 2021)

So much to be grateful for.

  1. So many good books! Among my faves recently: The Four Winds, The Dutch House, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Girls Are All So Nice Here. Currently, I’m reading How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue (author of Behold The Dreamers, which was a wonderful read), and it is incredible.
  2. Early morning coffee and reading. I love waking up early, reading my book, and sipping my coffee. I love knowing that one of the boys will soon wake up, wander out of his room, and crawl up in my lap.
  3. Our Friday pizza-and-movie night! A few months ago, we decided it was time to scale back our COVID era screen time habits. While I was working from home with the boys afoot, they watched a lot of TV shows and movies while I was in meetings, and while it was necessary at the time, it was more screen time than we’d like to continue now that things are returning to semi-normal circumstances. We decided a movie after dinner would only be an option on Friday nights, and that Fridays would be pizza-and-move nights every week. I love it; at the end of a work week, it feels so nice to a) not have to decide, once again, what we’re having for dinner, and b) know that we’ll be able to either clean/tidy while the boys watch, watch the movie with them, or (my fave) sit with them but secretly read our books while they watch.
  4. The boys’ obsession with water play. Edgar started asking for our inflatable pool on the first day when it was 65 degrees. Now that it’s been in the 70s and 80s, we’ve had quite a few afternoons of splashing and playing in the backyard; they both will play happily for hours. So excited to get these boys to the pool club this summer.

Happy (almost or actual) summer, everyone!

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GTDI2021: Connection + Community

It’s been energizing to write and publish posts about my 2021 goals this spring. This will likely be the last post in my Getting Things Done In 2021 (GTDI2021) series, and it’s an important one.

When I started wrapping my brain around the different goals and intentions I wanted to set for myself, I organized them into these separate categories – and ultimately, into a separate blog post for each category.

I started with the Big Five – the five high priority goals I want to achieve this year. Then I set some goals/intentions in the areas of kid routines + rituals, unimportant #mind goals (crossword puzzles and lots o’reading!), and writing.

After these four posts, I found that there were a few things left over that were hard to categorize. There were goals I had related to educating myself, contributing to my community, connecting with family and friends, and other things. They’re not specific, or measurable. But they are important intentions, and I want to make note of them as we creep closer to a return to semi-normalcy.

  1. Be connected. Make play dates with friends and family, and get comfortable with being out and about in the community again. Make phone calls, text, send photos, send packages.
  2. Be informed. Finish reading Do Right By Me and start reading We Want To Do More Than Survive. Either listen to a news podcast (Crooked Media or NPR) every day or check the NPR app every day. I’ve been avoiding social media, which has been HEAVENLY – but I do notice that staying away from Facebook/Instagram sometimes means I’m not in the know about what’s happening in the world. Hoping that the daily podcasts help!
  3. Be of service to others. Stay connected and engaged with SURJ and accountability partners. Attend AA meetings and help others.
  4. Be intentional. Write your intentions for the week every Sunday. (Look out for a post about my new intentions routine soon!)

WHEW. That’s it. That’s all the stuff I want to get done in 2021. Stay tuned for my new monthly goals check-in, when I’ll get real about what’s getting done and (let’s be real) what’s not. Happy spring!

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