Nov 10, 2017



My big goal for 2017 has been to embrace the idea of nurturing and put it into practice in my daily life.  To me, this means finding time and putting energy into the important, while letting less significant things fall to the wayside.  

This, of course, means many things and relates to a lot of different areas of my life.  But one of the action items that I've really grown to love is making seasonal to do lists for our family.   This isn't a new idea for us.  We've done this in previous years, but not quite as intentionally as we have this year.  Putting in the time to plan well has really paid off and we will definitely keep making quarterly/seasonal lists as time marches forward.  

Three things that are different this time around:

1 / Not including all of our ideas.

I particularly remember a summer list we made about three years ago that included all. the. things.  It was really more like a list of ideas than a list of things we intended to accomplish.  

It made me feel like we weren't doing enough and also like we had to do something at every opportunity we found.   The list was too broad and included too many ideas of varying degrees of importance, so it wasn't clear which things were our priorities.  

This year, we've narrowed our lists down to the things we would regret if we failed to do them.

2 / Including things that we would probably do even if they weren't on the list.

These are the things that have become annual traditions in our family and is (sort of) the opposite of the last point.  

I like to include the things the boys would tell you we "always do."  Even though they would likely get done without being on the list, having them on the list gives us something fun to look forward to and highlights their importance.  

It also helps me remember to do the next thing, which is...

3 / Penciling things into the calendar.

This step is critical.  Our weekends fill up fast and a lot of activities just don't fit into our week night routines.  So, as often and as early as possible, I get things on the calendar.  This insures that we have a time and a plan for getting it all done.  

4 / Keeping a running list of ideas.  

I have a page in my planner to just keep various ideas as I run across them.  It is nice to have a single place to keep the ideas and also serves as a great reference point as Brian and I look ahead at each season.  

5 / Scheduling in a date for Brian and me. 

We just figured this out with our fall / early winter list, but this totally needs to go on every seasonal list that we make.  I wish it easily happened more than four times a year, but we'll take what we can get - and afford.

- - - - - 

Our complete "fall" list includes:

1/ Zoo trip (using the train passes we received from the library summer reading program)
2 / Zoo trip (with our church community)
3 / Bowling followed by lunch at Red Robin
4 / Apple orchard visit
5 / Pumpkin patch visit
6 / Anniversary picnic
7 / Christmas Eve morning pancakes
8 / Christmas Eve party
9 / Miniature golf
10 / Paint Yourself Silly visit
11 / Carve pumpkins
12 / Ashland football game
13 / Husker band
14 / Harvest with grandpa
15 / Date for B and b

One thing we have not figured out - or really just not made time for - is for Brian and I to take the kids on individual outings.  We've been talking about this for a long time, but have yet to make it happen.  ...adding that to my "idea page" now,  so we can schedule it into our winter/early spring calendar.  

If you do seasonal family activity lists, do you have any pointers or great ideas that I've left off my list?  

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