Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reflection & Rejunvenation: September

And with that, August is gone. 


I want to personally thank Sunset Magazine for making their September issue a sort of "Ode to Summer" instead of making me read about Fall in the heat of August. Down here in Central Texas, summer lasts quite a while.

Aside from living within a not-so-fun budget (which I'll address later in the week), life is good. I'm gearing up for another round of Purposeful Conception. During this course, I think I want to focus on reducing stress in my life (which definitely affects my cycles). As part of that, I really want to examine the amount of complaining I do, perhaps even revisiting the book, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. I want to continue working on my healthy eating and exercising. 

This past month, Matt, Henry, and I started going to church. I grew up Presbyterian and Matt grew up Catholic, but we both wandered away from church because it never really resonated with us. Lately, I've been craving community, support, and reflection. I also want Henry to interact more with people of different ages and to have a touchstone in his life that he can return to again and again (especially when he's looking for someone/something other than his parents). We've been going to a Unitarian Universalist church whose mission statement is the following:

"We gather in community to nourish souls, transform lives, and do justice."

Yes, please! 

I've also been thinking a lot about rituals and what kind of family we want to be. Saturday mornings, Henry, Hoss, and I go for a long walk around the lake while Matt goes running. When we return, we cook pancakes on an electric griddle on the table. On Sundays, we go to church together and then go out for breakfast tacos. 

I've also been brainstorming ideas for my next e-course: Purposeful Parenthood. Ritual is going to be touched upon in the course, so I'm eager to think through ideas with fellow kindred spirits. 

As far as our house goes, we've officially submitted the construction budget to the bank. Now we have to wait for an appraisal and cross our fingers that they don't think we're trying to build a house that is too expensive for the neighborhood. 

Henry starts an awesome, authentic Montessori school on September 10. He's been in a Montessori-inspired daycare for the past six months, but I can't wait for him to be in a pure Montessori classroom with a certified Montessorian. I think kids really flourish when their school environment aligns with their home environment. I'm also eager to learn from his teacher about how we can implement more Montessori at home. 

This month I want to be very intentional about the goals I set for myself. They need to be at the intersection of ambitious and feasible. Let's see how I did last month: 
  • Plan a pop-up dinner party for September: Yes! I even made and mailed the invitations.
  • Start working on Henry's Halloween costume: Yes! My first attempt was an epic failure, but if at first you don't succeed...
  • Get our rental house organized once and for all (this gigantic goal is broken down into smaller goals on the whiteboard in our kitchen): Whomp, whomp.This goal was way too lofty. I did knock out the hall closet and some of the craft closet, but I didn't do nearly as much as I wanted to.
  • Ask our landlord to fix the three broken things in our house: Yes!
  • Get Henry three cheap little stools for around the house (one in the bathroom to sit and take his underpants off, one in his bedroom to aid in dressing, and one by the front door for getting shoes on and off): I tried to go to Goodwill once, and I poked around online. Our spending hiatus has made this goal difficult. What's a girl to do?
  • Submit the construction budget to the bank so we can see what kind of loan we qualify for and they can do the appraisal to see if we can build what we want to build in our neighborhood: Yes! We have one tiny piece left.
  • Run at least three times a week: Yes! I skipped two days, but other than that, I ran three times a week every week.
  • Do a sun salutation every night before bed: Half-and-half. Sometimes I just forgot. But I loved it when I did it!
  • Go to the ob/gyn for a yearly exam and pre-conception visit: I'm working on scheduling this. I want to find an internal medicine doctor. I like how they understand the body as interconnected systems.
  • Go to the dentist: Scheduled! I used Yelp to find what looks like a good one.
  • Read this book about personal finance: Yep! It wasn't the greatest book, but reading about finance always inspires me to work harder to save.
  • Track my points every day via Weight Watchers: Half-and-half. Some weeks I did and some weeks I didn't. I really need to get in the habit. Tracking my intake is the best way for me to be honest with myself about what I'm consuming. 
 So my goals for this month include:
  • Work on Purposeful Parenthood (no pressure to finish it)
  • Get the bulk of Henry's Halloween costume finalized (I'm thrilled that I can re-use my costume from four years ago for myself)
  • Work really hard for Magnolia Montessori For All to plan an awesome "Meet & Greet" event 
  • Attend a parenting bookclub (we're reading Parenting from Your Heart)
  • Get some fiction books from the library to help with my process of decompressing before bed
  • Enjoy the pop-up dinner party
That feels just about right! 
Photo Courtesy of the Nikki McClure Calendar

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Sarah said...


I love that you're going to the UU church in town. We started going last fall and I love, love, loved it. Unfortunately we got out of the habit once we started looking for houses, then got swept up with moving and raising a child. I've been thinking we need to go back though... It's so refreshing to be part of a spiritual community that feels authentic and values free thinking. I know they have a very active young adults program for people in their 20s and 30s that I meant to start attending, but never got around to it. Maybe we'll see you there one of these Sundays if we get our act together!


Maureen said...

Can't wait for Purposeful Parenthood! (no pressure) Let me know if you need any help.

Julia said...

So awesome that you are embracing rituals.I also left the church but have started to attend again albeit in a more open minded community. Its been life changing and so grounding. So important to feel connected to something bigger than myself. Thanks as always for your inspiration.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Sarah! You should totally start going again. It would be so fun to see you on a guaranteed, weekly basis. We go to the later service. Plus, it's very infant friendly.

Maureen! I am totally going to take you up on your offer. Can you spend a few days thinking about what you would find helpful in the course and then we can jump on the phone and I can explain everything I'm thinking and hear what you think is missing?

Anonymous said...

Hi, you can take a regular stool you find at Goodwill and then cut the legs down. Presto!

Rachel said...

IKEA has sturdy stools for children. One is exactly the right height for getting on and off the toilet (and for peeing standing up) and the other is the right height for washing your hands.

Is IKEA cheap enough?

Allison E said...

Hey Sara!
I am also very excited about the Purposeful Parenting course. If there's any way I could be helpful, let me know. I've only been a parent for...oh, 16 days now - but am happy to brainstorm with you! Otherwise, I'll just look forward to being part of the first cohort.

Elizabeth said...

Yay for UU! We attend a UU church we love here in Colorado. We started going when our first daughter was 4 months old, in September 2010 (did you know September is statistically the most popular month to start going to church?!) It has been life-changing for our family. It's like, as Roberta Flack said, someone "found my letters and read each out loud." It's also really awesome couple time for my husband and me. We hold hands, we even cry, we talk lots afterwards. Let us know how it goes!

redfrizzz said...

Thank you for always sharing your goals and accomplishments and being honest about what you've done, forgotten, accomplished, and set aside. I find it inspiring, comforting, and reassuring. you're great.

Sara E. Cotner said...

Awww, thanks, redfrizz! It's nice to know folks are out there reading my rambling. Good to hear from you again!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Awesome, Allison! I'll let you know. Thanks for the inspiration to get cracking on Purposeful Parenthood!

Nicole said...

You should see a family medicine doctor! We definitely have way more training in holistic care than internal medicine. And, as a bonus, find one that does OB care and you will have someone that can take of your entire family, including deliver your baby and then see them for their well child visits! I know family med is not a big deal in Texas and the East Coast, but it is awesome and I think would align really well with your family/personal values! We minimize tests and exams that don't have evidence to back them up way more than OB/GYNs, etc. Some of my pts who still see OB/GYNs are still being told to get paps every year, which is NOT supported by evidence at all! The intervals are much farther apart if you have had no abnormal history. Of course not all family docs and/or ob/gyns fall into this category, but that's just an example, I could go on :)

bashtree said...

Hi! First time commenting! I'm a fairly new reader, anyway. I'm in full support of the purposeful parenting course! I am currently overwhelmed with my situation (newly single mom to an 8-mo boy) so I am gobbling up every parenting book I can find, especially montessori and waldorf books. It's a little overwhelming! Anyway - it looks like there's a lot of support for this idea, and I wanted to put my voice to it, too! But of course, no pressure :) What is this pop up dinner party thing? I will now go search the archives...

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