February coffee date
How I talk to myself during a workout

Hello, March!


Two weekends ago I filled the trunk of our car with bags of soil and plants. At home in the backyard I worked all morning digging up the compacted soil, pulling out weeds of long-gone plants, and creating soft, ready beds. It's been so long since I worked in the yard like that with my hands. I kept thinking how good it felt to get my hands dirty and to fill two corners of our yard, plus a couple of pots, with plants. Maeve helped me "tuck in" the plants nice and cozy and even sang them a bedtime song when we were done.

When I visited my friend Margot's yard last summer I was struck by all the plants that she's added. Even in the nearly oppressive heat her yard looked lush. She told me that buying a pot on sale and a plant to go with it is something she does for a mood boost. What a lovely practice, and one that keeps boosting your mood as you glimpse the growing plants and enjoy watering and tending to them. I'd like to follow suit and feel I might soon be entering my plant lady era.


What feels hard lately is the unpredictability of how our family time goes. Sometimes our afternoons will be almost unbelievably ideal. I'll pick up Maeve from preschool on my bike and she scooters home with me where we meet up with the boys who have already biked home. There are snacks, new library books, perhaps coloring and listening to a podcast together. Later we might see friends outside and then walk with them to the park where we have enjoyable conversations while the kids play together.

But at other times there are tidal waves of emotion and simple plans go sideways leaving Chris and me feeling drained. That's just the pattern of life right now. It's not an emergency. It's not a crisis. But it can all feel harder than necessary. So that's been on my mind lately. What can really help me gain perspective is all the memory keeping I've done over the years. I can peek back into my blog at March of any year back to 2012 (before kids!) and see how quickly time goes and kids change. I can flip through one of our photo books and see the everyday joys we found no matter the parenting season. All of that helps me see our current season with softer eyes.

The other thing that really helps me recharge: having a quiet house and pursing my own work for seven-ish hours a day, five days a week! I want to be really honest about that too because my current work situation is a big factor in my overall fulfillment.

So that's how I'm heading into March. Tending to plants, tending to kids, tending to my own interests – all to the best of my ability.


Big things happening in March

+ The kids' spring break. They're off for two weeks!

+ Our road trip to Joshua Tree National Park and San Juan Capistrano, California. We'll be traveling for a full week.

+ Host HomeExchange guests. We'll be swapping homes with a couple from San Juan Capistrano. This will be our fourth time hosting people in our home.

+ Maeve's birthday party. Hosting this late in the month although ahead of her birthday because we'll be traveling again near her actual birthday.

+ Easter. Time to start thinking about our plans and Easter bags.


March goals

+ Have a summer planning meeting with Chris. We need to start thinking about what the kids will do this summer and budget for camps, etc. I can't believe it's already time to do this again.

+ Finish planning and host Maeve’s birthday party.

+ Take the next steps for Your Year to Shine 2025. The most basic part of this is scheduling time each week to work on this and keep things moving forward.

+ Start outlining a new workshop. I had an idea for a new workshop that would be a great compliment to Your Year to Shine. Possibly launching in September...stay tuned!

+ Get organized for an overhaul of my blog. This is so overdue but a big project. I think I'm ready to go ahead with it this year. Thanks to website whiz and reader Amanda!

+ Take care of tasks for local political campaigns. I'm volunteering a small amount of time for a couple of local political campaigns, one for a particular candidate and one for public school funding. I know that local political efforts can really make a difference so that's why I'm making room even in this very full season of life.


As a reminder, here are my 2024 goals, which often inform my monthly goals.


Wishing you a good March, friends!


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