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Category: LITE Feed (non-deal) Posts

Life update: Pregnancy (week 30), basketball, prepping for baby, + my goals for this week

I tried to post my usual pregnancy update over the weekend, but my blog decided it wouldn’t upload any photos. So here I am posting a life update + goals post all in one. We’ll just pretend like this is what I do every week! 😉

30 weeks!! And I can honestly barely believe it!!

Highlights

We now officially have all the basics for the baby (clothes, diapers/wipes, bed, carrier, car seat, and stroller). And now I’m working on collecting postpartum stuff for me (what are your faves to have on hand for recovery?)

We went ahead and set up the bed in our room this past week and it’s the craziest thing to see it there. (We plan for baby to sleep in our room in a bassinet pack-n-play for at least the first few months — but we’ll see how that goes and are open to tweak our plans if that doesn’t work out well.)

Notable

I had another appointment with the OB and everything continues to look great and baby is right on track! I have two more two-week appointments and then we’ll start weekly appointments where they’ll be doing in-depth ultrasounds to make sure everything looks good (because have a tiny bit of higher risks near the end of pregnancy due to my age).

I’m so grateful that I’m still feeling so well despite being this far into my pregnancy. I was usually pretty miserable at this point with my other pregnancies and really struggling to sleep, get comfortable, etc. I feel like the consistency with daily exercise, being super careful about what I’m eating, choosing an attitude of gratitude, really being vigilant about my iron intake, staying busy while also making sure I’m having a good balance of rest and downtime is making such a difference for me.

As Jesse was saying earlier, “This is by far the best pregnancy you’ve ever had!”

I have noticed I’m definitely needing more naps/sleep these days. I usually feel GREAT with 7 hours of sleep, but I’ve been needing at least 8+ hours of sleep the past two weeks to feel rested. So I’ve been trying to sneak in 1-2 short naps throughout the day and that’s made a big difference. (This is when it’s such a blessing that I work from home!)

In other news, as most of you know, I’m currently working on writing a book that is due to my publisher the beginning of July. I set a goal to have the rough draft completely done by April 15 and I’m thrilled to say that I’m on track with my goal!! And I can’t wait to share more about it!!

These two came home from school one day last week to discover that Kaitlynn and I had set the baby bed up (she was home since she hadn’t been fever-free for 24 hours). And I think this whole, “we’re actually having a baby!!” just got really, real to all of us.

It’s hard to describe how surreal all of this is when you had waited and hoped and tried for years, then grieved the devastating loss of being told you’d never being able to have more kids, and finally truly moving to a place of peace and contentment with our family of five.

And now there’s a 30-week-old baby kicking and hiccuping up a storm in my belly, we’re setting up the baby bed, buying baby clothes & diapers, talking about our birth plan, and I’m prepping for maternity leave.

Truly, God is in the business of doing exceedingly abundantly above anything we could ever dream or imagine! I don’t know what the future holds for our family or this child, but I will say that I can’t imagine any child being more wanted or loved or looked forward to.

Also, getting to share this journey with three older kids who are crazy excited about it has been one of the best parts of it all.

Thank you to everyone of you who has been part of this journey, too. It has been humbling to hear from so many of you — many whom I don’t even know! — who have been praying for me, this pregnancy, and this baby. It means the world to me!

I told the kids they had to wait to start counting down to the birth until I got 30 weeks. Welp, here we are. And the countdown is on!!

Note: I know that my sharing of our pregnancy has been very painful for some of you and I just want you to know that if you are grieving a loss or deeply wishing or longing for a child, you are not forgotten. I think of you so, so often. And I would be honored to take time to pray for you today.

One of the hardest parts of this journey has been seeing multiple friends of mine experience loss in recent months. I want you to know that my heart hurts deeply for you.

If you are experiencing infertility or loss and your heart is grieving, I would be honored to stop and pray for you by name today. Just message me or leave me a comment. You don’t need to share details, just ask for prayer and let me know your name.

In other news, Kathrynne’s basketball team took home the Championship win at the Varsity basketball championships last week!!

This was Kathrynne’s first year to play on Varsity and it’s been so fun to see her work so hard, build a lot of confidence, and improve so much over the course of the year.

One of my favorite parts of her being on the basketball team is the relationships she’s building with these amazing girls!

Here’s how I did on my goals last week:

Last Week’s Goals: 2020– Week 7

Personal Goals

1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.) 

2. Read Raising Worry-Free Girls, I Choose Brave, and Get Your Life Back. Listen to Things You Save in a Fire. (I stopped listening to this one because it felt like it was just going to be too “fluffy” and didn’t have enough depth for me.)

3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family.

5. Clean and disinfect the house from flu germs (as soon as the kids are fever-free!).

Work/Blog Goals

6. Finish the rough draft of chapter 5 of my manuscript.

Word of the Year Goals

7. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. (We did watch YouTube videos together — does that count??)

8. Go out to dinner with Jesse. (If everyone is well!)

I’m keeping this week’s goals really simple because we are potentially getting a longterm foster placement this week and I want to leave a lot of space open for that. There’s a lot up in the air and it might not pan out, but I want to be prepared if it does.

This Week’s Goals: 2020 —  Week 8

Personal Goals

1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.) 

2. Finish reading Love Idol and Don’t Overthink It. Finish listening to Good Leaders Ask Great Questions.

Home/Family Goals

3. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family.

4. Get a breast pump (I need to research whether our insurance provides this or not.)

Work/Blog Goals

5. Finish the rough draft of chapter 5 of my manuscript.

Word of the Year Goals

6. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family. 

What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments!

Gretchen’s $70 Grocery Shopping Trip and Weekly Menu Plan

Aldi

1 pkg Frozen Chicken Breasts – $5.85

1 Cheese Deli Pizza – $4.99 (not pictured)

3 dozen Eggs – $0.98 each

3 cans Beans – $0.49 each

1 can Diced Tomatoes – $0.45

2 Half & Half – $1.55 each

1 bag Spinach – $1.39

1 Honey Bear – $2.89

1 bag Corn Chips – $0.75

1 bag Shredded Cheese – $2.75, used $0.20/1 Ibotta rebate – $2.55 after rebate

1 lb Butter – $2.09

1 bag Potato Chips – $1.19

1 bag Tortilla Chips – $0.89

2 Seedless Cucumbers – $0.75 each

1 bag Oyster Crackers – $0.79

1 loaf Bread – $0.85

1 Baking Powder – $0.99

1 loaf Wheat Bread – $0.95

1 bag Chocolate Chips – $1.69

Total: $38.11

Kroger

1 Turkey Hill Ice Cream – $1.99, used $1/1 printable – $0.99 after coupon

1 Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream – $3.49, used $1/1 printable – $2.49 after coupon

1 bag Brioche Sliders – $1.09

1 Nabisco Crackers – $1.99

3.07 lbs Bananas – $1.81

1 package (3 lbs) Ground Beef – $7.47

1 gallon Milk – $2.39

2 General Mills Cereal – $1.99 each, used $1/2 e-coupon AND $1/2 SavingStar rebate – $0.99 each after coupon and rebate

1 Barbara’s Cereal – $1.99, used

2 Mom’s Best Cereal – $1.79 each, 2 $0.25/1 Ibotta rebate AND 2 $0.25/1 Kroger Cash Back – $1.29 each after rebates

1 Blue Diamond Almonds – $1.99, used $2/1 e-coupon – Free after coupon

1 Tabasco Hot Sauce – $3.99, used $1/1 e-coupon – $2.99 after coupon

3 Hormel Natural Choice Turkey Breasts – $2.99 each, used 3 $0.50/1 printable AND 3 $0.75/1 Ibotta rebate AND $0.75/1 Kroger Cash Back AND $3 SavingStar rebate – Free plus $0.03 overage after coupons and rebates

1 Quaker Chewy Granola Bars – $1.29

1 Barilla Elbows Pasta – $1, used $1/1 e-coupon – Free after coupon

1 La Banderita Tortillas – $0.99

2 Cucumbers – $0.59 each

1 Green Leaf Lettuce – $1.69

Used $0.20/1 Ibotta rebate

Total after coupons and rebates: $32.69

Total for both stores: $70.80

Menu Plan for This Week

Breakfasts

Cereal, Toast, Eggs, Oatmeal, Fruit

Lunches

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches x 2, Mac & Cheese, Cheese/Crackers/Fruit/Veggies, Tossed Salad Bar, Out to eat after church, Leftovers

Dinners

Aldi Deli Pizza, Ice Cream (for our Friday family movie night!)

Hoagie Sandwiches, Chips, Carrot Sticks

3-Bean Chili, Corn Chips, Sliced Veggies

Chicken with Cream of Mushroom Soup, Homemade Bread, Spinach Salad

Chicken Taquitos, Tortilla Chips & Salsa, Steamed Broccoli

Spaghetti, Biscuits, Tossed Salad

Leftovers

Three books I read last week (+ the classic movie we watched)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Welcome to my weekly book update post where I share what books I read this past week + my honest thoughts and star ratings of them.

A Word on My Star Ratings

The star ratings I give the books I read are based on a 5-star rating system. I rarely will ever give a book a 1-star rating (maybe never?), because my philosophy is that if a book is only worthy of one star, I’m more than likely going to quit reading it. 🙂 In the same vein, you’ll also notice that I’ll rarely give a 5-star rating as I reserve those for only my very, very favorite books.

Want to see all of the books I’ve read so far this year? Check out my Good Reads page.

Here are the three books I finished last week…

Counterfeit Gods

The premise of the book is such a needed topic: we all have things we worship and this worship drives our decisions and actions. So often, we don’t even recognize that we are worshipping at the altar of success, money, power, approval, or lust. We often spend so much time trying to fill the holes in our hearts with things that will never satisfy. Only Jesus can satisfy.

I really, really wanted to like this book. It’s one that one of our pastors has recommended over and over again in our Discipleship Program in our church. Unfortunately, while some of the content is fantastic, I felt like the writing fell short. I haven’t read much by Timothy Keller before and I’m wondering if maybe he’s just a better speaker/preacher than writer?

Verdict: 3 stars

Eat That Frog!

I read this book back in 2011. I remember it being a worthwhile read, so when I saw that it was available to download on the Libby app, I was excited to listen to it again.

It’s a quick read, but it packs a punch. If you are looking for some actionable tips and suggestions for how to get more done and enjoy your life more, I definitely recommend this book.

One of the key takeaways is if you start the day out by doing the things you like least first, you’ll get them out of the way so you can enjoy your day more and be more productive and fulfilled.

Just for fun, I thought I’d share what I wrote about this book way back in 2011:

Eat That Frog is an excellent read and it challenged me to go into my day with the goal of doing the hardest things first. When I get the most dreaded things out of the way right off the bat, it gives me so much momentum for the rest of the day!

I’ve been trying to apply this idea to my laundry pile. Instead of letting it sit and grow to an overwhelming size, I’m trying start a load of laundry first thing in the morning, switch it to the dryer before breakfast, and then fold and put it away mid-morning. So far, I’ve not been successful at doing it this way every day, but on the days that I have done this, I’ve been amazed at how well it works.

And honestly, when I just do one load a day, I’m able to stay on top of the laundry, it never gets out of hand, and it really takes no more than 15 minutes a day to keep up with. Why has it taken me almost nine years of running my own home to figure this simple principle out?

Verdict: 4 stars

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids

I have very mixed feelings on this book. On the one hand, I think it’s a book that every parent should read. It’s packed with food for thought and insightful research and perspective.

On the other hand, I felt like it was missing so much because it’s not from a Christian perspective. I agree with much of the author’s suggestions to focus on discipling your kids and loving them well instead of constantly saying no and punishing them. (This is something we talked about a lot in our foster care training and I thought it was a very valuable focus.)

However, without an understanding of the Gospel and the reason for why we teach our kids to make good choices and model wise responses, I think there’s a big gaping hole in this message.

In addition: the author takes a pretty strong stance against sending your kids to daycare, which could be discouraging for moms who truly have no other choice but to work.

These cautions aside, I do believe it is worth reading — just take what can encourage you as a parent and leave the rest!

Verdict: 3 stars

Classic Movie We Watched Last Week

The kids decided — all on their own — that they want to start watching one old classic movie per week together as a family in 2020. They are helping me choose the list of movies and I’ll be reporting here what we watch each week and their thoughts on it.

I plan to do a big classic movie round-up post at the end of the year with their verdict on the best and favorites of the ones we watched. (Thank you for all the great suggestions for must-watch classic movies!)

This past week, we watched the old version of Yours, Mine, & Ours. The kids were skeptical about it, but we all really ended up enjoying it and some of the parts were genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. They said it was one of their favorite classic movies so far.

Do note: I was surprised at how much vague innuendo was in the plotline, there is some drinking in it, and there are a few raunchy photos on the wall in a few places (you couldn’t see much; but the insinuation is there.

What did you read this past week? Any books you think I really need to add to my long to-read list??

My Honest Review of the Master Your Money Super Bundle

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Interested in purchasing the Master Your Money Super Bundle? I spent hours going through all of the resources in the bundle and I am sharing my completely honest review with you, including what I liked and what I didn’t like.
What's inside the Master Your Money Super Bundle!

The popular Master Your Money Super Bundle is back for two days only, through February 20, 2020! We haven’t see this deal in almost a year and this is $10 lower than last year’s price! If you’re curious about the bundle or wondering if it’s worth purchasing, keep reading for my completely honest review of this bundle!

Should You Purchase the Master Your Money Bundle?

If you have been considering buying the Master Your Money Super Bundle, I am here to provide you with a completely honest and biased review. I say biased because we all have bias. Which means that you are free to agree or disagree with my conclusions.

But I want to share this honest review of the Master Your Money Super Bundle for those of you who are on the fence as to whether it is worth purchasing or not.

So many of you loved my honest review of The Ultimate Productivity Toolkit and begged me to do honest reviews for each of the bundles from Ultimate Bundles. While it takes a lot of time and effort to go through each and every product in a bundle, because I love to help you spend your money wisely, I am happy to prioritize the time to do so.

Master Your Money Super Bundle Products

Why I Am Not a Contributor

First off, I need you to know that I did use my affiliate links throughout this post. I am an affiliate for the Ultimate Bundles this time around, not a contributor.

A contributor is someone who has included a product of their own in the bundle. As a thank you for the time and effort that you put into creating your product and allowing it to be part of the bundle, Ultimate Bundles pays you 70% of every sale made through your link. They also split a small percentage of the overall sales amongst all contributors. (This is usually a few hundred dollars or less).

I have been a contributor to other bundles in the past (and will likely be one in the future!) I love the folks at Ultimate Bundles and love their heart for what they do.

However, when they approached me about being one for this bundle, I decided against it because I felt that the price point of $37 was a little on the high side for my audience — especially since this bundle was on the topic of saving and investing money.

I am typically only a contributor for a bundle if I feel like it is going to be a really, really good fit for my audience and something that you all will be super excited about. I just felt like many of you would not be excited about a bundle on money that cost $37, so I decided to decline the opportunity.

Instead of being a contributor, I am an affiliate, which means I earn 40% of every sale through my link. I just wanted to put that out here in full disclosure. If you click through any of the links in this post and purchase the bundle, I will earn 40% of the sale.

Be the boss of your money.

My Honest Review of the Master Your Money Super Bundle

I spent hours going through every single ebook, video, and course in the bundle in order to bring you the most thorough and honest review that I can. Again, I’m biased, so please know you can wholeheartedly disagree with me.

But whether you agree with my assessment of the bundle or not, I hope this is helpful to you as you think through whether purchasing the Master Your Money Super Bundle is worth it for you!

The Negatives:

  1. Some of the products had an inflated price tag. I will say that I felt like many of the prices on the products in the Master Your Money Super Bundle were very realistic and fair for the value, I felt like most of the videos that had a value of $19 weren’t really a $19 value and about 5 other products in the bundle felt over-priced to me. With this in mind, even though they say the bundle is a $1200 value, I’d say that for the products I would use and felt were worth what they were priced at, to me the value would be more like $350 to $400 maximum.
  2. I didn’t like the videos at all. Okay, I sort of said this above, but I’m going to say it again: I just really didn’t like the 11 videos they offered as stand-alone products in this bundle. I know it was something new they were trying and I think it fell flat. In many cases, there was poor audio and the content didn’t seem like it was super valuable — at least for what I was looking for. Honestly, I barely watched any of all of the videos. (I watched a little bit of every single one just to do this review, but I found myself skipping ahead and quickly turning them off because I just wasn’t jiving with them at all. Maybe it was just me.)
  3. Some of the products were poorly designed. I know that we don’t always have the highest quality design on things we offer because of various reasons and I know sometimes you just do the best you can do, but I found that at least 30% of the ebooks were poorly designed and hard to read. I know that “content is king”, but if your ebook is hard on my eyes and unprofessional, it makes it a lot harder to really enjoy soaking up the wisdom in the content.
  4. There is quite a bit of overlap. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing as we need to hear things more than once and different people are going to resonate with different types of teaching styles, but for some people, the fact that there is quite a bit of overlap — especially in the areas of learning to budget and cutting expenses — could de-value this bundle.

The Positives:

  1. I loved that there were so many different aspects of money management covered. This bundle covers everything from investing to paying off debt to how to make more money to ways to practically cut expenses to starting a side hustle to retirement. The bundle was very comprehensive and had a lot of valuable resources with actionable tips.
  2. Most of the products were more by everyday people instead of professionals. While some people would prefer to only get financial advice from certified professionals, I prefer to learn from people who aren’t just talking in theory, but who have actually lived what they are teaching (not to say that all professionals haven’t experienced some of what they share, but I think you understand what I mean). Instead of a theory on how to pay down debt, I much prefer to hear your story of how you actually did it. There’s a lot of that in the resources in this bundle and it makes it feel very accessible and doable.
  3. My bottom line opinion is that this bundle — if you buy it and actually go through the resources and take them to heart — could save you WAY more than the $37 price tag. I had prepared myself to be underwhelmed with the content, especially since I have been blogging and studying money and saving and making money for years. But I learned a lot of new things, loved how so many of the ebooks and courses were presented, and just overall felt that this was worth purchasing, if you will USE it and have the money in your budget to pay for it. (Please, for the love of all that is good and right, do not spend money you don’t have to buy the Master Your Money Super Bundle, okay?)

an image of Budgeting That Works by Caroline Vencil

My Favorite Resources

Budgeting That Works — I love Caroline’s style of teaching and she breaks everything down step-by-step. She also has a great voice on audio that is interesting to listen to. In this course, she gives you the tools you need to really set up a budget and follow through with it. She comes across as a fun cheerleader. I loved her 30-7-30 rule that she outlines and she has some great printables at the end of the course, including a 160 Ways to Save Cheatsheet which I thought was very valuable.

Fancy Serial Numbers For Fun & Profit — I had NO idea that people would pay big bucks for cash bills that had fancy or special or limited serial numbers. Did you know this? I kind of hand my mind blow by this one! It would be a really fun way to make extra money. (I can just see it now: “What do you sell on eBay?” “Oh, I sell money!”)

Marriage & Money Bundle — This was a beautifully put together series of workbooks that had so many different valuable ideas and encouragement to help you get on the same page with your spouse when it comes to your finances.

30-Day Money-Saving Challenge — Looking for someone to give you some really actionable and simple ways to cut your expenses so you can save more money? I loved this 30-day download that offered a realistic and doable money-saving project for each day… and it could add up to a lot of savings over the course of the 30 days and beyond!

Great Ways to Make Money in Your Space Time by Angie Nelson

Great Ways to Make Money in Your Spare Time — I’m constantly on the lookout for ways moms can make some extra money in little pockets of extra time they have throughout the week. This book had so many fantastic ideas — and many were ones I had never heard of before. This ebook alone could help you make back the cost of the bundle in just a day or two!

The Budgeting Binder — There were a few different printable budgeting worksheets. One of my favorites was The Budgeting Binder because it was clean, colorful, comprehensive, and… wait, what’s another C word that would work? 🙂

Side Hustle Starter Kit — If you are thinking of starting a side business, this is a valuable resource to go through. It walks you through everything you need to think through, plan for, and prioritize as a brand-new business owner. I also feel that going through this could help you prevent a lot of mistakes upfront.

The Ultimate Money-Saving Guide — This is a beautifully-done ebook that walks you through different areas of your home and life and offers lots of practical ideas of ways to save. If you are looking for some really actionable tips and ideas, check out the 250 ideas in this little ebook. (By the way, this was one that I felt the price listed was inflated on, but I still really liked it!)

How to Be Frugal: A Guided 10 Unit Course That Will Teach You How to Be Frugal Online, In the Store, and In Your Home — I have gotten to know Jennifer online a little in the last few years and truly loved this course of hers. Jennifer is a mom of 7 and she knows her stuff! She makes you feel like you are just sitting with her in her living room with her and she’s downloading all of her hard-won money-saving tips and tricks to you. Definitely worth your while to sign up for this one — and if this is the only course you go through, this one alone might make the $37 price tag worth it.

If You’re Ready to Purchase:

Click here to order the Master Your Money Super Bundle for $37!

P.S. Any questions on anything about the Master Your Money Super Bundle? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help answer it! I want to make sure you only invest your money in something that is truly going to make a difference in your life!

“How do you stay so positive?”

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

“How do you stay so positive?”

I’ve been asked this question by multiple people in multiple ways recently so Jesse and I decided to devote a podcast episode to the topic.

I thought it would be insightful for us to both talk about this, because I tend to be more of glass half full kind of person while Jesse is more of a glass half empty person.

But it’s been so cool to watch Jesse intentionally work to develop more of a positive outlook on life. He shares how he has done that and how it has impacted him.

We also talk about what it looks like to choose our attitude, practical ways we seek to do this, why gratitude can make such a difference, how to feed your souls with good things, and practical things we do to uplift our souls.

In addition to talking about staying positive, we also talk about dry shampoo, Thin Mints, our kids’ thoughts on how read alouds have benefited their lives, why the kids want to limit the baby’s exposure to screens, the flu, and the Enneagram. As usual, it was quite a diverse array of topics!

In This Episode: 

[00:25] Greetings from the flu-infested Paine house.

[01:53] To keep himself fortified, Jesse decided to get some Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. 😉

[02:44] A listener asks: Are you trying to hold on to your kids’ childhoods through bringing back read aloud time?

[05:41] All three of our kids have very strong opinions and plans for investing in the baby’s life.

[08:12] My book for this week was The Path Between Us. This opened up some new methods of communication for Jesse and me.

[11:14] Dry shampoo is saving my life. Learn why.

[13:32] How can you stay positive when things are hard? Is it easier for some people? 

[15:53] Jesse feels like he may be wired to be more negative, but you get to choose your attitude.

[18:23] Even with the week they’ve had while being sick with the flu, the kids still try to see the positive as well. It’s an intentional choice to be positive.

[20:36] If you’re not a naturally positive person, you have to work that muscle and it’ll get easier.

[23:02] Counting your blessings and being intentional about taking them in and naming them helps bring positivity to the forefront.

[25:06] Keep in mind that someone else likely would love to be in your shoes for any number of your blessings. 

[26:00] An important word on when to seek professional help.

Links and Resources:

How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show

The podcast is available on iTunesAndroidStitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player here. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)

Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.

This Week’s Goals (+ an update on Flu B)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Whew! So last week was nothing like what I had anticipated going into it.

I had looked at the calendar and had seen that we actually had three free evenings — which was a big deal as we rarely have more than two free evenings per week. So I had expected it would probably be a little bit quieter and slower-paced week.

Little did I know that all three kids would come down with Flu B and we would be completely quarantined, cancel everything, have no one come over, and stay home from for an entire week (Tuesday through Monday)!!

I cannot recall any time in recent history that this has ever happened and it was so weird to just have all of us home all day every single day with no one even coming over to our house! (Other than two trips to the doctor and Jesse running out to the store a few times.)

The kids’ attitudes through all of this were so incredible. They felt awful and usually had high fevers (102-104), but they were still their funny, witty selves. Since I couldn’t be around them, we Face-timed or texted and they were constantly making me laugh with their comebacks and the funny memes they sent.

While I never got full-blown Flu B, I did feel yucky for at least 5 days, so I took it very, very easy, rested a lot, and generally just focused on staying healthy. I did work on my book some, get caught up on email, read some, walk on the treadmill, and watch quite a few shows. But that was about it!

I’m so grateful that I am feeling so much more energetic and back to normal today and that we have two kids who are doing a lot better and one who is doing somewhat better. I’m hoping (maybe) everyone will be completely healthy by Thursday. We’ll see!

Here’s an update on my goals for last week + this week’s goals:

Last Week’s Goals: 2020 — Week 6

Personal Goals

1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.) (As mentioned above, since I wasn’t feeling that great much of this past week, I spent a lot of time resting! I did walk on the treadmill 6 days, but that was the extent of most of my walking!)

2. Finish reading Counterfeit Gods. Listen to Eat That Frog! and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids.

3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family.

5. Research strollers, baby carriers, and car seats. Decide what we’re going to purchase.

6. Complete 4-hour Foster Care Training. (We had to cancel this because the kids all had the flu and I wasn’t feeling that great.)

Work/Blog Goals

7. Finish editing chapters 1-3 and finish the rough draft of chapter 4 of my manuscript.

Word of the Year Goals

8. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family.

9. Go to a movie with Jesse. (Since the kids were sick and I wasn’t feeling well, we didn’t get out to go to a movie, but we did catch up on multiple episodes of This is Us together.)

This Week’s Goals: 2020– Week 7

Personal Goals

1. Get in 54,000 steps total. (I use the FitBit Ulta HR to track my steps every day.) 

2. Read Raising Worry-Free Girls, I Choose Brave, and Get Your Life Back. Listen to Things You Save in a Fire.

3. Go to bed by 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Home/Family Goals

4. Read 30 more pages of Carry a Big Stick aloud as a family.

5. Clean and disinfect the house from flu germs (as soon as the kids are fever-free!).

Work/Blog Goals

6. Finish the rough draft of chapter 5 of my manuscript.

Word of the Year Goals

7. Pop popcorn and watch another classic movie as a family.

8. Go out to dinner with Jesse. (If everyone is well!)

What are YOUR goals for this week? How did you do on last week’s goals? Tell us in the comments!