faith, healthy living, in my kitchen, living well

7 things to do on Sunday to jumpstart a great week

"Be all there". This is a great post about 7 things you can do on Sunday to kickstart a great week. Love this.

I won’t lie. This past fall and winter have been crazy for me.

Hard. Good. Insane. Exciting. Exhausting.

I’m clinging to my healthy resolutions by my fingernails–to keep them from slipping through my grasp. Not giving up. But not climbing up like I’d like. My perfectly carved out schedule of last spring and summer is a thing of the past. I know in my mind that this year has been unique–joining the church is no small commitment–weekly RCIA meetings since September, faith formation classes for the girls. This, on top of the usual stuff that goes with kids–like soccer games and 4-H meetings, and choir practice and playdates. So while my days are already chock full with work and homeschooling and animals, my nights are just as booked.

I read this over the weekend, and in some ways felt like I was reading my own biography. I am wound tightly most days, balancing so many balls, wearing so many hats, attempting to do so many things well or good enough. So many things I could be doing. Should be doing. Want to be doing. Need to be doing.

There are moments where I know I’m wasting my own time–the scrolling, the surfing, the connecting.

And the moments where I know I’m going to drop everything and do what’s really important–the family dinners, and late night sledding, and little kid baths in the middle of the busiest part of the morning.

But in all the chaos and the wrapped-up-tightness, there’s one day of the week I’m reclaiming: Sunday.

I’m building a wall around Sunday and protecting it’s preciousness. It’s not just about productivity and planning meals and getting all the laundry done and ten more things to be tightly wound about. It’s about a few little tasks, and quieting the chaos around me–even if it only lasts for a few days, a few hours of Monday morning–and giving myself the best possible start to the coming week.

I’ve been walking around with a little notecard tucked inside my planner. Keeping a running list of the little things I can do on Sunday to set me up for a great week. To help settle my heart, my home, my mind.

I thought I’d share my list with all of you. I don’t do all these things every Sunday. But they are a few of the most important ones on my list. And when I’m able to do as many of these as I can, it makes Monday morning a sigh of relief and peacefulness, not a sigh of exasperation. 


*Clean out and stock the refrigerator. I have to admit I’m a little obsessed with cleaning out my refrigerator. For me it’s one of the key elements to eating healthy and feeling organized for meals for the week ahead. I go through leftovers, wipe down shelves, and put the 17 blocks of half-used butter sticks in the butter compartment. Here’s a peek inside my fridge after my obsessive cleaning and clean out on Sunday:

This is a really great post on 7 things you can do on Sunday to guarantee a great week. Love her ideas.

*Fill in day planner/calendar for the week. Nothing stresses out my mind more than knowing I have “stuff” coming up but I haven’t taken time to find out exactly when and where, or taken time to put it on my calendar. Doing this on Sunday helps me know if I have anything that I need to plan for, anything that’s going to require superhuman amounts of driving and drop-off coordination, or anything that requires a google hangout meeting wherein I should probably have showered and gotten out of my ratty torn tshirt before signing on. (here’s a post about my planner and how I use it.)

*Unplug well before bed and go to bed early. I’ve been guilty of burning the midnight oil on Sunday nights trying to catch up or get ahead. But it only gets my mind churning and makes falling asleep even more difficult. So I’m unplugging, turning off the phone and trying to be technologically inaccessible so that I can get some complete rest before the week begins.

*Read something inspiring, but quieting. For me that means no back issues of Martha Stewart and Real Simple, but something that fills me up and calms me down. Right now, it’s revisiting this favorite. Some nights, it’s daily readings in my Bible. But it’s all about finding things that slow me down, instead of giving me more things I should be doing.

*Set out workout clothes. If you’ve got five pairs of black workout pants, but only one of them is really public/gym material–digging through that pile of darkness is enough to make one swear off the workout they were about to do. If I have my workout clothes laid out on the chair in my room, it sure makes throwing them on and doing something that much easier. This week I’m treating myself to clean sneakers. How have I never washed my sneakers in the washing machine? Fingers crossed.

*Fill water bottle and set it beside bed for morning. It’s such a quick and easy thing, but if I grab it when I’m on my way downstairs for breakfast it seems so much easier to get all my water in for the day. It’s there waiting for me, ready for the drinking.

*Find a quote, verse or words to keep close by for the week. This is something that I’ve recently started doing, but a practice that I love. Finding a small quote or a few words to tuck into my planner, post on my wall, or write on the kitchen chalkboard help remind what I want and what’s important. The one above is mine for this week. And it pretty much sums it all up perfectly.

P.S. I’d love to hear from you…do you have certain habits that you commit to at the end of the week that help prepare the week ahead?

This is a great post of things to do on Sunday to kick off a great week. Love her ideas.

 {photo credit : foggy mountains by Jay Mantri, watermelon by MMT.}

animal kingdom, Farm Notes, life (on the farm)

Farm notes: week of March 2

A few years ago I was given a copy of One Man’s Meat by E.B. White. I loved reading it at the time, but one of the parts that stayed with me were the simple notes he kept on daily chores. Inspired by the straightforward simplicity of that, I’ve been trying to keep up the practice myself. And now, I’m hoping to share them here as well. I didn’t mean for my first week shared to be full of such loss, but I suppose that’s the reality of keeping animals.

MONDAY: (36°) Put all the animals out in the field so I’d only have to haul one bucket. (Bronchitis lungs still bugging me.) Paige needs wool around her eyes trimmed. Need to call Alan for more hay, probably by next week. Need fresh shavings for mama’s pen. Mary + Elizabeth did chicken chores. Door frozen so had to go in through the window. 1 egg.

TUESDAY: (29°) Slipped on the ice carrying water buckets. Put everyone in field. Emma mucked Tinkerbell’s stall after school. Tinkerbell covered in icicles around her chin when we brought her in. Water buckets in stalls weren’t frozen, for once. Getting ice tonight. Snow coming Thursday.

WEDNESDAY: (37°) Two hour delay because of ice. Went to The Mill before snow storm that’s supposed to be coming tomorrow. Calling for up to a foot of snow. Baby chicks are in at The Mill. Gives me hope that spring might actually arrive. Took all my strength not to come home with two or three.

  • 50 lbs. Sheep Feed, texturized
  • 4 bales wood shavings
  • 1 bag medium-sized dog biscuits
  • 1 bag finch seed

TOTAL: $55.03

THURSDAY: (38°/15°) Woke up to snow. About 8 inches by end of the day. Dan home from work. Kept animals in. Fresh bedding down for sheep. Lost both chickens last night, probably weasel (maybe raccoon) because of how they were killed. Glad Dan discovered it, not Elizabeth, who takes care of them. Coop door had frozen open about four inches. Probably going to wait awhile before replacing them.  Walked around outside and took some pictures with my Lomo. I think the cold messed up the film. Grandpa plowed us out just after dark. Mary rode along and then on to Sally’s to plow her out. Grandpa dropped Mary off. We convinced him to stay for dinner: pot roast, noodles and a glass of red wine.

FRIDAY: (17°) Morning chores done. Water hauled. (Thanks, Dan.) Animals out in the snow and sun. Happy to be out. Raccoon got in the feed again. Dan going to set havahart trap tonight. Something’s also been getting into cat food on back porch. Might be raccoon or whatever got the chickens. Dan left for work by 9am. Warm up coming next week, so they say. Can’t wait.








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