Joy. It’s my word of the year. It doesn’t mean happy or peppy. It doesn’t mean that I won’t have a bad day or that I won’t ever be sad- or even angry.

This joy is the blessed assurance that Jesus is mine! It’s the confidence that no matter what happens or how bad or sad things get, everything is still going to be okay because Jesus made it okay. Joy is the decision and the choice to praise Him in all circumstances.

I’m going to praise Him in death and in tragedy and in conflict. Because He is good and I know that and I believe that. And this assurance is what I pray guides me in 2016. My words, my conversations, my decisions… I pray that they are spurred on by the confidence that He is good and it’s all going to be okay because Jesus made it okay.

I set a few small, measurable goals for 2016. There are some things I want to do that aren’t listed here like organizing our photos and cleaning out the attic, but these goals are measurable goals that I want to look at all year.

1. Read through the Bible in 2016. 

I follow a reading plan that our church provides and I’ve never made it past August. I want to finish this year! I did Angie Smith’s Seamless study (which I highly recommend!) with a group of girlfriends last summer and it gave me such a better understanding about how the Bible was written. I’m really really excited for the Bible in a year goal this year! And it’s not just to get it done, but to know God more and to look forward to that sweet time of fellowship with Him every day.

2. Host a family for supper once each month.

Hospitality was a big theme in our home in 2015 and I want to continue that in 2016. My goal is to host a family once a month, but it will probably end up being more like two families per month because we just enjoy it so much. My kids love it and it’s become a really good experience for them, too.

3. Write on my blog once a week.

I mentioned this in yesterday’s post, but I just want to write these memories for my kids, and writing is a hobby that I neglected in 2015.

4. Exercise three times a week.

I chose the exercise piece of this because it is measurable, but I also have some goals for changing up some of our eating habits. I want to get back to the barre, I want to walk more, and I just want to have an overall household focus of health in the most grace-filled way. This also includes lots of sunscreen! I don’t need for us to be health-obsessed, but my mom did a lot of research about health and what can cause cancer and I want to carry that forward to my own children and husband.

I will choose joy in 2016. I will serve the Lord boldly and without reservation. I will love my family well. I know that Jesus is good and loving and I’m welcoming 2016 with the confidence that He has made it all okay.

Happy New Year!

May Goals


I can’t believe another month has already gone, and we’re starting May. May is a big month for our family. We celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, and we wrap up a school year. I don’t have any huge goals for this month, but it’s nice to put some of these things in writing so they don’t sneak up on me in the midst of adjusting to life with three kiddos.

1. Read 2 books. I am planning to read All the Light We Cannot See and Nobody’s Cuter Than You.

2. Celebrate Hayes’s 4th birthday. My sweet boy is having a ninja turtle party this weekend with his friends, but we also need to have a mini family fiesta on his actual birthday on Tuesday. My little Cinco de Mayo baby!

3. Celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary. Todd and I haven’t gone on a date night since James Walker was born, but I’d like to get out and do it this month now that James Walker is sleeping about 10 hours at night. We’ve been married for 7 years and it’s a big thing to celebrate!

4. Celebrate Hudson’s kindergarten graduation. Oh I can’t believe this year is almost over. Hudson will have a sweet little graduation ceremony, they do a small play, and then there’s a reception.

5. Clean out toys before summer break. I want to have a nice little toy purge so that we’ve removed some of the clutter before summer starts and the boys are here all day.

6. Get deeper into Influence work. The conference planning is starting to pick up and I’m finding a nice little rhythm a few mornings every week to get things done. So this month I just want to continue that and stay on track.

7. Make progress on baby books. This one is back on the goals list because I didn’t do anything with it this month. I just need to take a naptime and do it!

8. Plan Hudson’s 6th birthday. I just need to set a date, he needs to decide what he wants to do, and we need to send out some invitations.

What are your plans and goals for the month?


April Goals

April Goals

1. Begin working on James Walker’s baby book

And, frankly, I need to update and finish Hudson’s and Hayes’s baby books, too. Oh man. I’m really far behind, but thankfully all of the information I need is in their monthly blog posts that I did when they were babies. I ordered James Walker’s book from Way Cool Designs and used the buffalo check from his nursery as the cover fabric. I also got a Joyful Beginnings Journal from Printed Ink Designs for me to keep up with daily and monthly things that James Walker is up to.

2. Create a daily schedule for me

As I’m learning how to adjust to our new normal and I’m coming out of the newborn fog, I need to get a better handle on the things that have to get done every day, the things that I want to get done every day, and what needs to happen for each kiddo every day. Just basic household management stuff, mostly, but I also need to set aside specific times each day to work on the Influence Conference and respond to emails relating to the conference. This means James Walker will need to take at least one nap in his crib every day and I can’t hold him all day like I’d like to! (Wink wink)

3. Clean out my closet

Don’t worry- I’m not going to get drastic and get rid of all of my pre-baby clothes because they don’t fit right now. But I do have a lot of clutter in my closet and a lot of things I haven’t worn in a few years, so in the spirit of nesting and Spring cleaning, I need to do a little clean out.

4. Set a date for and plan Hayes’s birthday party

My sweet boy is no longer the baby of the family and he’s about to turn 4 on May 5! So much of me wants to just do a family party for him, but he’s SO into his friends and birthdays this year that I know it would mean so much to him to have a party with his buds. We’ll likely go somewhere and do an activity he loves… I just need to set it all up.

5. Read one book

I usually just scroll through Facebook and Instagram while I’m nursing in the middle of the night, but I miss reading. And I’m finally able to concentrate on something for more than 20 minutes at a time. (Anesthesia side effects seem to rob me of my ability to focus.) So I’m ready to start reading again after a little hiatus. I’m going to start with the goal of reading one book this month. (You can click on this link to see all of my book review posts if you’re interested.)

Those are my goals for the month. How are all of you? What are your plans for April?

February Goals

Oh, y’all! February could very easily be “baby month.” I’ve been thinking we’d be able to hold out until my March 3 due date, but after having consistent contractions all weekend, I’m just not so sure. For now, he’s staying put, but I’ve got a lot of work to do around here to make sure we’re ready for James Walker’s arrival.

So what’s in store for February?

february goals

Pack my Hospital Bag

I need to repost my hospital packing list from a few years ago because a few things have changed. But after a weekend of contractions, I’ve decided that the bag needs to be packed and ready to go. I’ve never gone into labor before and we’ll have a scheduled repeat c-section, but if I’m in labor I won’t want to be packing my bag in those moments.

Get a Jumpstart on Influence Conference Projects

I haven’t announced this on my blog yet, but I posted it on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. I am the new Events Manager for the Influence Network. I’m incredibly excited about this opportunity to serve the network that I love so much and get to work alongside such amazing women. And I’ll also be using my college and graduate degrees! It’s a big undertaking and I’m thrilled about it. I want to get a head start on a few different projects before James Walker arrives so I’m not as worried about it after he arrives.

Host One Family for Supper

We’ll take a few weeks off from hosting dinners after James Walker arrives, so I want to be sure to fill our home with friends once more before his arrival.

Have a Consistent Prayer Time

Our Sunday school class has committed to pray together for the month of February. We’ve each committed to a time slot and my time slot is 6:00 a.m. So, I don’t have a set amount of time that I “have” to pray, but at 6:00 a.m. I am praying for our church, our class, our family, missions, friends, etc. And then when I finish, I am texting the next person that has committed to pray at 7:00 a.m. The first few days were a little more distracted than I expected to be, but I’m excited to see what happens at the end of the month and how this habit makes an impact on our prayer lives.

Go on a Valentine’s Day Date with Todd

We have plans to celebrate Valentine’s Day with another couple. I know I’ll feel huge and not much like going out, but I want to have one last date night before the little man arrives. And if he arrives before Valentine’s Day, we’ll do a date night at home!

With the addition of the Influence Network position and getting ready for James Walker’s arrival, I have really cut back on a lot of other things. I’ve slowly started pulling away and even quit a couple of things that I’ve been involved with for a few years.  Hudson and Hayes are starting t-ball and soccer this month and I know that life won’t be slowing down a ton when our third baby arrives. We’ve got to maintain some normalcy for the big boys. So I don’t really know what to expect as far as a normal every day schedule goes. We’re just thrilled that he’s almost here and I just cannot believe that it could actually happen this month!

What are your goals for February?



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