2020: 100 Small Things

Monday, January 20, 2020

This year is going to be a little wacky, I've just accepted it and I'm hoping to move forward with intention and gratitude. My planner is already filled with deadlines, and saved dates, and then there's the big one that doesn't care at all about dates and plans and deadlines...our new baby brother. My planner is one of my most prized possessions (that sounds incredibly nerdy but it's 100percent true) and so to have all these things mapped out (maternity leave, kids' practice & game schedules, my college course requirements, holidays) and then have the big overlay of....well all of this as long as baby bro goes along with the schedule already sets me on edge a little bit. Then we have a double digit birthday, a decade of motherhood (emotional rollercoaster), and another kid off to kindergarten!

I always struggle with this part of motherhood. The growing of one while the others still need me too. I'm so much slower in all ways (physically, mentally, efficiently, patiently) when I"m growing a human and can never quite get rid of the guilt that my other kids have to put up with their mom who is not running on standard levels. And then the baby comes and it really gets wonky. Again...just trying to accept and move forward with intention and gratitude. (if I keep repeating it, I'll get there, right?)

So in an attempt to recognize how this year will be unexpected and new and interesting - I'm trying something a little different with my 100 small things.  In years past (2019, 2018, 2017) I've made categorized lists to focus my goals and before that (2016, 2015) I just made one huge list. But to try to stay on track and give myself some direct focus, I've grouped by month this time around. I loaded up on the maternity leave/summer months when I have more time and energy and took it a little slower (more practically) on the early month. By October, we have run ourselves pretty ragged (start of school year, fall sports season, big holidays) so those months have low numbers too.

I was also able to split my 1000 outdoor hours up in what (I hope) are reasonable numbers for each month to get me (finally!) to my goal. And my book goal (24 for the year) are broken up by month. I've already knocked a few off my list and worked half way through a few for the month of January (yay!) so we're off to a decent start.

1. 5 outdoor hours (4.5 hours in January)
2. Read 2 books  (With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo and The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan)
3. replant our Aloe Vera in a bigger pot
4. set up a payment plan for my college course
5. Purchase Gemma's 1st Holy Communion dress
6. send a thank you gift to a sweet and thoughtful friend
7. attend college course orientation (virtually)
8. create 12 months of kindness task list & post to fridge
9. direct deposit church donations

1. 8 outdoor hours (6 hours in February)
2. Read 2 books (Scythe by Neal Shusterman and Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman )
3. attend Ash Wednesday mass
4. order new breast pump (through insurance = free!)
5. inventory baby supplies (attic) and wash (thank you mum for washing!)
6. purchase new toilet bowl brushes for all bathrooms
7. find a sports league/team for Rustman
8. start a family puzzle
9. brainstorm kids' bedrooms for baby5 arrival

March - Covid-19 Lockdown
1. 15 outdoor hours 
2. Read 2 books (The Toll by Neal Shusterman )
3. Finish our taxes
4. volunteer with the big kids at our church's fish fry
5. create an emergency kit for the house
6. finalize maternity leave binder/notes/plans
7. Kindergarten registration for Violet
8. swap and organize all the kids' dressers
9. get school board approval for Spanish trip June 2021

1. 30 outdoor hours
2. Read 2 books, 1 in Spanish
3. Make new baby birth announcements & send
4. turn in 15 page research paper (!)
5. declutter kitchen cabinets
6. buy new screen doors (front & back)
7. close out old CD at bank
8. buy a shade tent for the yard

1. 70 outdoor hours
2. Read 2 books
3. pull off NS prom (!)
4. write every single day
5. start keto
6. front porch flower pots/beds & hang a hummingbird feeder
7. deep clean the deep freezer
8. participate in Screen Free Week
9. attend graduations of Richland & NS
10. have joint first holy communion & baptism party

1. 150 outdoor hours
2. Read 2 books
3. donate blood
4. figure out daycare plans for 20-21
5. toy purge (house & attic)
6. new headboard for our room
7. create summer kid chore charts
8. swap kids' summer clothes/shoes
9. create car tote (wipe, diaps, bandaids, sunscreen, etc)
10. AKT weekend
11. Host a 'playground crawl' with YIFC

1. 200 outdoor hours
2. Read 2 books, 1 in Spanish
3. No Buy July
4. update all passports
5. Gemma attend theater camp
6. Violet attend art camp
7. teach Violet to do her own ponytail
8. clean out my Gmail account
9. master bedroom closet purge, organize, & inventory

1. 200 outdoor hours
2. Read 2 books
3. Family camping trip at the Que
4. finish curriculum map 20-21
5. Ride bikes/stroller at the Jim Mayer trail & picnic (whole trail!)
6. make bedtime routine charts
7. create vision boards for the upcoming school year with the kids
8. create my own vision board for the upcoming school year
9. Mail box makeover (flower bed, update pole, etc)

1. 150 outdoor hours
2. Read 2 books
3. Organize plans for Sunday school into binder
4. finish 2019-20 family yearbook
5. Run Que Classic 5K with Greyson
6. create a shared writing journal with Gemma
7. plan 1 meatless meal a week for the month
8. Organize a back-to-school Spanish Club dance
9. donate blood

1. 140 outdoor hours
2. read 2 books, 1 in Spanish
3. have a real anniversary date (our 12th!)
4. swap kids' fall/winter clothes totes
5. spend a fall family day at the Que
6. Grandmas & kids day trip

1. 20 outdoor hours
2. read 2 books
3. participate in Planksgiving
4. have our family photos taken
5. create Christmas cards
6. update all kids' baby books with photos

1. 12 outdoor hours
2. read 2 books
3. learn how to make nut & poppyseed roll with Mimi
4.  host Christmas morning and breakfast at our house with a fancy table
5. start "best gift of the year" re-wrap tradition at Christmas breakfast

It's been five years of creating 100 small things list (thank you Ashley for the inspiration all those years ago!) and despite NEVER having crossed off all of my 100 small things - it truly has helped me focus and stay intentional on the kind of life I want to be living in the wild blur that is raising up small kids. Everyday flies by and I find myself tucking in and kissing sweet little faces and trying to grasp on to what they said today, how much I hugged them, how their childhoods are being formed in these everyday memories. This blog and our family yearbooks help capture those memories for me but my 100 small things list works in the background to make sure that it is a life that we are actually living - not just watching go by through the car window. I am taking part and making conscious choices for this blessed, wild, loud, messy life is one that I can someday look back on and be proud of, that someday I will be the kind of person that I will be proud to be. It's a reminder that life doesn't happen to you - you make small decisions each day so that you can be who you hope to be.

What goals do you have this year? I want to hear them! They always inspire me and make my brain start turning on ways I can make it work for me too! :)


  1. Love love love this. I tend to write my list as a stream of consciousness and then go back to divvy them up by month, so I love how you went straight to step 2. So glad this little activity has blessed your life as much as it has mine. XO

  2. As always, I loved reading your 100 small things, and I really enjoyed the way you broke it up this year!!