Diana Kerr »

In case you missed the announcement, our son Harrington was born last month!

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We’re doing so well and are adjusting better to newborn life than I thought we would. Praise God for that, right?! It’s certainly not perfect at all, and my time is limited between feedings, baby care, and snuggling, but I’ve still been able to find pockets of time for good things and to take care of myself and my marriage. Even more importantly, Kyle and I are both in good spirits and are loving the journey, even the craziness of it. :)

The maternity leave goals I created before Harrington was even born were a total shot in the dark–I wasn’t sure what to expect and I didn’t know if they’d be valuable or realistic–but they’ve turned out to be pretty appropriate for this season.

I started aiming for my daily goals on March 1 (they’ve been such a blessing, not a burden, which was my intention!) and waited until this week (starting March 5) to start aiming for my weekly goals as well.

First of all, here were my February goals if you’d like to see them!

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Photo: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

Now, here are my March goals!

  1. Read + finish Secrets of a Baby Nurse
  2. Read + finish What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage
  3. Order a bracelet with my word of the year
  4. Contact an attorney to create a will
  5. Catch up on baby book up to 1 month
  6. Push goal (It will be a bonus if I get this done!): Put away maternity clothes and return the clothes I borrowed
  7. Push goal: Tag all items I’m selling at Divine Consign

Weekly + daily goals I’m tracking on my PowerSheets:

Weekly goals:

Goal: Miss no more than 1 week for each of these goals

  1. Read Psalm 103 to focus on my word of the year, rejoice
  2. Do something for someone else
  3. Spend no more than 90 minutes on social media on my phone | I track this with the QualityTime app (Try Moment for iPhone)
  4. Take at least one photo of baby
  5. Get out of the house for something other than church or a required doctor’s appointment

Daily goals: (More details here!)

Goal: Do these things at least 25/31 days this month

  1. Spend any kind of time with the Lord
  2. Pray for daily manna
  3. Do one small productive thing
  4. Change out of my pajamas, even if I’m not showering and just putting on super comfy clothes
  5. Avoid watching TV during the day

Other books I’m reading this month: (Please note that these are affiliate links. Your purchase supports our Giving Back initiative!)

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God 

The Practice of the Presence of God

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us

The Year without a Purchase: One Family’s Quest to Stop Shopping and Start Connecting

The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

x-Diana

P.S. Curious how I get so much done? I’m sharing my secrets!

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  • March 9, 2017 - 3:37 pm

    Elizabeth Meyers - What an adorable boy! Congratulations! You are an inspiration and a blessing. Your 3 Lies and Truths download is changing the way I look at my goals. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • March 8, 2017 - 11:11 pm

    Amanda - I’m so encouraged by your dedication to goals in this new season. Harrington is so cute! I just downloaded the Moments app–thank you for this suggestion! & Jen will be so proud of March Goal #4 ;)ReplyCancel

I have no idea what to expect with motherhood and the early days after bringing our baby home.

That being said, I know some things about myself:

  1. God created me a driven, goal-oriented woman.
  2. Rest without a little structure does not usually feel good to me.
  3. I feel much better and much happier when my days have some purpose and direction, when I pursue things that matter—faith, relationships, health . . .

I am the kind of woman who:

  • Loosely plans out even my Sabbath days where I choose total unproductivity for the entire day
  • Still honors some of my routines on vacation—time with the Lord, working out, taking vitamins, etc.
  • Feels gross rather than recharged after a Netflix binge or a day that’s completely lazy

None of this is to say that I’m right and everyone else’s way of life is wrong.

It’s just how I am! Even when I’m sick, I usually put real clothes and makeup on because it helps me feel better and show up for the day with a little bit of intentionality.

I say this gingerly because I know a lot of moms do enjoy lots of Netflix and social media during their maternity leave and feel totally fine hanging out in the same sweatpants for 4 days straight.

If that’s you, you should know I sometimes wish I was like you.

But, I’m just not.

Amy Poehler has a quote I love in these situations that we can all apply to other women who are doing life differently than we are: “Good for her! Not for me.” (Isn’t that good?!)

All this is to say:

I knew that I didn’t want to go into maternity leave with zero plans or goals.

Yes, I want that time to be slow and 98% work-free and very different than usual, but I don’t want it to be 100% unstructured.

I know I will be a crummier wife and mom if I allow myself to do a 180 and fully abandon good habits and disciplines that give my day purpose and help me to spend my time well.

I’m not aiming for a “productive” maternity leave in the sense of getting a bunch of things done, but I am aiming for an intentional maternity leave.

I used to be fearful that life would be 110% out of my control after having a baby and that it’d be a hot mess no matter what I did. A lot of women have given me hope that’s not completely true. (Like my friend Val, who shares such a positive, although honest, approach to motherhood.) I remember reading this post by Emily Ley a while back and thinking, “Wow! There is hope!”

That being said, I am trying my best to walk into this season with minimal expectations . . . not expecting it to be as bad as some people say, and also not expecting it to be easier, either. My experience will be my experience; it will be unique from everyone else’s.

Since, like I said, I don’t know what motherhood has in store for me, I’m sure these goals will change! But here’s my starting point:

Photo credit: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

Weekly goals:

  1. Read Psalm 103 to focus on my word of the year, rejoice
  2. Do something for someone else | I got that idea from this book—to focus outside myself and focus on others during a stressful time!
  3. Spend no more than 90 minutes on social media on my phone | I track this with the QualityTime app (Try Moment for iPhone)
  4. Take at least one photo of baby
  5. Get out of the house for something other than church or a required doctor’s appointment

Daily goals:

  1. Spend any kind of time with the Lord
  2. Pray for daily manna. | In other words, pray for enough strength and provision just for that day. Cultivate eyes that see that daily manna and a heart that rejoices in it.
  3. Do one small productive thing. | Empty the dishwasher, write a couple thank-you notes, fill out a couple sentences in the baby book.
  4. Change out of my pajamas, even if I’m not showering and just putting on super comfy clothes
  5. Avoid watching TV during the day. | Our only TV is in our basement family room, so it’s not a huge temptation and already not a huge part of our lifestyle, but this is still a goal I want to set and honor. I want to use time I might spend watching TV to sleep, pray, read, listen to music or a book, call someone, etc. Or to just sit and be present.

Don’t worry, friends; I won’t have my PowerSheets with me at the hospital, checking these things off, being super anal about it. I probably won’t look at this list for at least the first week, but after the intense initial fog has lifted slightly, I plan to keep these simple goals in front of me, adapting them over time as needed.

I hope these ideas inspire and encourage you! I am certainly thankful for the moms who have already mentored me. Christian mamas, you’re welcome to share your wisdom on what worked for you during your maternity leave to help you be intentional! I’d love to hear. :)

Update: I realized I forget to mention something important! I don’t want anyone to read this post and think that I’m holding myself to a standard of perfection on these things every single day and week. Even more so, I would never want another mom to read this, set her own similar goals, and then feel like a failure for not achieving them perfectly! If you check out my monthly goals posts, you’ll see that when I set daily and weekly goals, I also set a number for how often I want to attain them. (For example, I might have a “daily goal” of getting to bed by 10 pm but decide that accomplishing that 15 times in one month would be a success.) Even really meaningful, intentional goals need flexibility, or Satan can start to condemn us when we fall short of perfection. For my maternity leave goals, I haven’t yet set a goal number for each daily + weekly goal. It will certainly not be 100%, though–I can say that for sure! :) I’m far from perfect now and I will be very much imperfect as a mom too! Whatever goal number I set will allow flexibility for God’s plans and for the unpredictability of new motherhood! :) Thanks for allowing me to clarify that, and thanks for all the encouragement and love on this post! 

While I’m away on leave, keep up with me on Instagram for occasional real-time updates and pictures of a cute, squishy baby, if you’re into that. :)

Speaking of babies, how about this very squishy baby pic of my hubby? Hahaha.

x-Diana

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  • February 25, 2017 - 7:55 am

    Geneva - Oh dear heavens child, this ain’t the time for organization and goal sheets! Whew wee! Bun in your oven will teach ya that tho.
    Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • February 17, 2017 - 3:43 pm

    Donna - When I had my first baby (seems like 100 years ago now, but not really quite that long), I wrote lists of things to do – just so I could cross something off. On it were the lofty goals like get up, brush teeth, shower, get dressed (and no, not all of them got crossed off every day!) I also had “feed baby” and “change diaper” on the list about 8 times every day. Some days only the get up, feed baby and change diaper were crossed off my list when my wonderful husband walked through the door and he was proud of me for managing to accomplish the very most important things that day – taking care of our daughter.
    It sounds like you are in the perfect frame of mind for starting this adventure – have minimal goals, but keep them in an open hand. Praying for you as you begin this wonderful new phase.ReplyCancel

  • February 17, 2017 - 12:27 pm

    Emily - The thing is, Diana, you have no idea what kind of baby you are going to get. One mother is not more organized than another necessarily. Maybe 2 mothers sat down, they set the same goals outlined here and they have high hopes for being intentional about their maternity leave. (I did! I laugh now…. looking back, the adage applied big time: You plan and God laughs). I got a blessing that DID NOT SLEEP consistently until almost 18 months of age. My child was awake anywhere from 2-6 times a night. This ravages your productivity and intentional goal setting for the next day. Your first few weeks, your goal sheet should be more like: goals- get a shower today. make sure I have actually ate a meal today. PERIOD. Don’t expect to do much else in the first few weeks, its survival for a new mom. Veteran moms, sure… they can set goals. They’ve been around this block more than once and know what is going to happen. They know they can ignore the baby when he cries at certain times and they know they can stretch that diaper another half hour. New moms have NO idea, no clue how to take care of this squealy, non-sleeping, little thing. You are dealing with a little person who has NO routine established…and who follows no rules except their own. You have to teach them how to sleep, get into an eating routine, a bath routine, a bedtime routine, etc. This will not happen overnight. Thats amazing that some random woman out there made a blog post and SHE felt like she met her “goals” during leave – good for her! But for your own sanity, and to really and truly SOAK UP this blessing and very very limited season you are in – I would eliminate the goals altogether. Even OCDers should take it down a LOT. I remember worrying about my house being clean when people came over to see the baby… .and worrying about silly nonsense… and running on zero sleep…and having a baby who had colick and had reflux which made her spit up her ENTIRE bottle and choke on it randomly. I had to let go. And it was soooo good for me! Here is a good goal mantra for your maternity leave: Let go and let God!

    I say this all with your best intentions in mind! Don’t look back at your maternity leave and find you didn’t truly enjoy this fleeting season because you were worried about timing your social media to exactly 90 minutes (don’t worry, if you are being an attentive mommy you wont have 90 minute for social media because when that baby is sleeping YOU will need to sleep, or shower, or change your clothes, or eat…even if its at 3pm in the afternoon).

    Throw out the expectations! Forget what other bloggers are doing. Good for that lady. It doesn’t mean you’ll get the same child she has (some people get babies who are naturally great sleepers from day 1 which is probably her case. Those women tend to have very high expectations for others and don’t “get it” when other moms cant be superwoman — hello, mine doesnt SLEEP. Sleep is an important attribute to being superwoman!) Let go, and let God! Put that out of office message up and ENJOY THIS TIME. You will never, ever get it back. If you don’t change out of your pajamas for 2 days — who cares! Love on that baby all you can. There will be plenty of time for real-people clothes later because leave goes QUICK.

    Enjoy!

    xoxoxoReplyCancel

    • February 17, 2017 - 12:43 pm

      Emily - Diana – I re-read my message (which I typed quick and passionately) and I hope you realize this is said out of LOVE. And, a little bit of frustration but just towards those women out there who act as if it can all be done… maybe the blogger you mentioned! Like I said, I felt judged by a lot of women like that for my child’s first year. They got it all done and then had the dozen brownies baked too. They just didnt understand why some women are zombies, or rather mombies. When I talked to them I ALWAYS discovered they had no issues with sleep or very limited issues. I just want to make sure you dont feel like I did! Like YOU are the issue. Women can be very catty and judgemental. Nobody is going to have YOUR exact baby or your exact situation. So dont hold yourself up to anyone elses standards (or even your own pre-baby standards, for that matter!). Your pre-baby self has no idea the wave that is about to wash over her. You are about to partake on the most amazing, rewarding and wonderful – yet most difficult thing you will ever do.
      Go easy on yourself!

      Love, EmReplyCancel

      • February 17, 2017 - 3:20 pm

        Diana Kerr - Thanks for commenting! If you check out my other goals posts, you’ll see that thankfully I never aim for 100% on my weekly + daily goals–I don’t believe in holding myself to impossible standards. It will be the same for these maternity leave goals! I certainly won’t despair if I don’t meet them perfectly.

        However, it’s always been a huge blessing to me to have goals as guidelines; they help me live my life focused on what matters, since this life is a gift from God that does not belong to me.

        The goals I’ve set are not about holding myself to a standard or impressing anyone else (Thankfully, God has freed me quite a bit from caring what people think about me or my house, etc.), but about living intentionally and focusing on my Lord, my baby, myself, and my hubby during this time. If I find that these goals detract from my ability to do that, I will change them. Like I said, they’re not set in stone. God has certainly taught me how to be flexible and that HE is the one in control as I’ve battled rheumatoid arthritis for a decade and had to loosen my grip on my own plans and intentions. :)

        I do sincerely appreciate your thoughts! Thanks for clarifying that you are speaking in love and not out of judgment. Like you said, women can be catty and judgmental! I hope we can all encourage each other even when motherhood looks different from one woman to the next.ReplyCancel

  • February 15, 2017 - 3:15 am

    Candace - So on putting on a bit of make up every day – I spent my entire 20s never bothering with make up much at all but with my most recent birthday I spent my gift money on some better quality mineral make up but doesn’t make my super sensitive skin feel like bleh. And then I told myself I would try to put on some every day or the very least we bit of concealer to cover up those natural dark circles under my eyes. I am blown. away. at how much of a difference it makes on my impression of my day. But then I got all introspective and started wondering have a just been waiting all this time to look nice to feel happy about my day (which is not so good place to start) or is this a legitimate good that I’m pursuing? Anyways a lot of days I don’t take the time to self-sabotage, haha, so I put the make up on anyways. Why do you think it is that that helps so much?
    Also I’m totally realizing I need someone to teach me how to do eyes! #latebloomerReplyCancel

    • February 15, 2017 - 12:57 pm

      Diana Kerr - Candace, I’m so with you! I will probably put a bit of makeup on most days because it does make me feel better, but I also struggle with that thought of “Shouldn’t I feel just as good without this–without having to enhance my appearance?” Actually, the girl who does my nails is treating me to those semi-permanent fake eyelashes you can get put on that last for a few weeks as my baby gift because she said, “I want you to feel good as a new mom!” I thought that was really thoughtful of her and a creative gift idea, and it honestly will make a difference I’m sure if my eyelashes look decent when I’m in the midst of total exhaustion. haha Truth be told, I battle these uncertain thoughts every single time I get my hair highlighted too. haha It has got to be one of those gray-area issues that really is more about heart and motive than the activity itself. :)

      As far as eyes, I just do eyeliner and mascara… the eye shadow comes out MAYBE about once a month… so I probably wouldn’t be much help there. ;) haha But if you have any magical concealer you use that works really well, I’m all ears. :)ReplyCancel

This post was originally published as a guest post for Time of Grace

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Being pregnant makes me uncomfortable.

And I don’t just mean that in the physical sense because there is a human being growing off the front of my body.

It makes me a little uncomfortable because I know how many women wish they were in my shoes.

Granted, my journey to pregnancy was difficult and many years long, but my heart still hurts when someone tells me, “I’d love to be pregnant right now.”

I’ve been there.

I was out on a walk on a beautiful morning at least a year ago, and I passed two moms pushing strollers.

Instantly, my heart longed for that. I mean, ignorance is bliss, but I thought their lives looked wonderful. I wanted what those women had: a sweet little child of my own to push in a stroller. (Because obviously those children were sweet and perfect by my assumption. Aren’t all kids?)

Almost immediately, as if to bring me back to reality, I heard this loud thought in my head: 

“Don’t wish away your season.”

I don’t know where it came from, but it was so right and so true.

And isn’t that what so many of us find ourselves doing? 

Wishing away the season we’re in in favor of a different one, the next one . .

The season when we’re finally married, or finally a mom.

The season when our kids will wipe their own butts.

The season when we land the job we really want.

The season when we’re healthy again.

The season when we can afford to travel.

The season when we can retire.

And yet, there is a reason for every season we’re in, and there is reason to rejoice in the midst of each one.

The oh-so wise country music artist Trace Adkins actually wrote a sappy song about this (that I would like to remind you of so it becomes stuck in your head all day). You know which one I’m talking about? The one about how the hard times you’re in now are good times, about how you may look back and wish they hadn’t gone by so fast?

Another much wiser man had a revelation about seasons as well:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Friend, please don’t wish away your season.

I’m not saying you should choose complacency and allow yourself to stay stuck when it’s not necessary, but no matter your season, I promise you there is good in it.

I’ve been through some really hard seasons, and I can promise you there is joy and there is intimacy with God and there are valuable lessons hidden in those seasons if you ask God to help you see them.

You know this is true. I know you know this from your own personal experience.

Habakkuk also knew this was true. And he knew that rejoicing is always an option, even in the dry seasons:

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17,18).

Don’t wish away your season. Live in it, in all its mess and imperfection, and choose to rejoice.

Thanks for reading! Please share this post, and click here for a free gift from me to you!

x-Diana

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  • February 17, 2017 - 12:54 pm

    Emily - Amen! Contentment is a true gift and the mark of a wise man. (or woman)
    Life IS going to change….it’s inevitable. Learn to Prosper where you are planted and you will find contentment through all of lives ebbs and flows.ReplyCancel

This is my last month of goals before our baby arrives! I have no idea how much more time I have (due date: February 17), so I broke up my monthly goals into tiers (priority levels) so that I make sure to focus on what’s most important first. If I don’t get to the “tier 3” things by the time this unknown “deadline” arrives, it’s not a huge deal. :)

My weekly and daily goals are goals that I’ll continue until baby arrives, and then I’ve got a much-simplified set of weekly and daily goals I’ll switch over to. (i.e. changing out of my pajamas for the day). I’ll blog those goals soon!

Before I share February’s goals, here’s how things went with my January goals!

Business:

  1. Create templates and delegate tasks to VA for content repurposing.
  2. Start selling my 2 digital products about to-do lists and weekly routines. Woohoo! You can purchase End To-Do List Overwhelm here.
  3. Finish ConvertKit transition.
  4. Create maternity leave plan for both my VA and me.

Personal:

  1. Write all baby shower thank yous by January 7.
  2. Purchase, borrow, wash, and set up any remaining baby items we’ll need during baby’s first month.

Weekly + daily goals I’m tracking on my PowerSheets:

Weekly goals: (Goal: Miss no more than 1 week for each of these goals)

  1. Practice weekly Sabbaths of refreshment + rejoicing. Actual: 5/5
  2. Get to “inbox zero” for my paper inbox at the end of each week. Actual: 3/4
  3. Do pregnancy-specific exercises. Actual: 4/4

Daily goals:

  1. Listen to mp3s for pregnancy/birthing class | Goal: 20 days Actual: 21
  2. Listen to birthing affirmations | Goal: 20 days Actual: 25
  3. Do kegels | Goal: 20 days Actual: 22
  4. Practice relaxation techniques for birth | Goal: 20 days Actual: 15
  5. Hit email inbox zero | Goal: 12 days Actual: 18
  6. Complete End-of-Day routine, including prayer | Goal: 12 days Actual: 13
  7. Get to bed with lights out by 10:00 | Goal: 12 days Actual: 14
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Photo: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

Now, here are my February goals! If you see a number listed behind the goal, it’s because that goal ties in with one of my big 2017 goals!

Tier 1:

  1. Prepare my VA to take over my email while I’m on maternity leave + Set up out-of-office response (#6)
  2. Create significantly adjusted work expectations for my VA and me for maternity leave (#3 + #6)
  3. Write 14 emails for my email family for the time I’ll be on maternity leave (#5)

Tier 2:

  1. Delegate tasks to my VA for the next Bold, Intentional Life group coaching program launch
  2. Go through blog posts and emails for content to repurpose (#5 + #6)
  3. Create 2017 editorial calendar (#5)

Tier 3:

  1. Reorganize Dropbox documents in a clear system for my VA and me (#6)
  2. Put up “rejoice” artwork so sweetly gifted to me by my group coaching program member Machelle (Rejoice is one of my words of the year!) (#4)
  3. Purchase a bracelet that says “rejoice” (#4)
  4. Create an idea list for myself of positive options/choices I can refer to in the early days of motherhood when I’m feeling tired, physically unwell, overwhelmed, hungry, etc. :) (#3 + #4)

Weekly + daily goals I’m tracking on my PowerSheets:

Weekly goals: (Goal: Miss no more than 1 week for each of these goals)

  1. Practice weekly Sabbaths of refreshment + rejoicing
  2. Get to “inbox zero” for my paper inbox at the end of each week
  3. Visualize birth going well and with a positive mindset (#4)
  4. Relax on birthing ball to get comfortable using it
  5. Finish a book about babies (I have a few that I’m part-way through reading) (#3)

Daily goals:

  1. Pray for daily manna from the Lord–enough strength for that day :) | Goal: 5 times/week (#1)
  2. Listen to birthing affirmations | Goal: 5 times/week (#4)
  3. Do kegels | Goal: 5 times/week
  4. Listen to mp3s for pregnancy/birthing class | Goal: 5 times/week (#4)
  5. Practice relaxation techniques for birth | Goal: 4 times/week
  6. Do pregnancy-related exercises | Goal: 2 days/week
  7. Hit email inbox zero | Goal: 3 times/week
  8. Complete End-of-Day routine, including prayer | Goal: 3 days/week (#1)

Books I’m reading this month: (Please note that these are affiliate links. Your purchase supports our Giving Back initiative!)

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (#2)

The Happiest Baby on the Block (#3)

Feeling Good Together: The Secrets to Making Troubled Relationships Work (#2)

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God (#2)

The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It (#4)

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with Your Baby (#3)

And, lots of manuals for baby products, like the car seat manual! :) Haha!

Books I read last month that weren’t on last month’s post:

Grace (Visual Edition)

Bringing Up Bébé

x-Diana

P.S. I’d love to hear your February goals and/or your ideas for simple goals in the early days of motherhood. Please share! :) Also, my new PDF guide, End To-Do List Overwhelm: 4 Secrets Go-Getter Christian Chicks Must Know to Organize Tasks and Get More Done, is now available for purchase! Click here to learn more about it. :)

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  • February 5, 2017 - 10:07 pm

    Candace - So maybe my new hobby will be getting on your blog and gushing about books buuuuut I *loved* Bringing Up Bebe! Not because I wanted to implement everything I read there, but because I so value the look it gave me into a whole other country’s view of children and childrearing. It seems so often in our “mommy wars” in this country we get intrenched or defensive on either side of an issue without realizing that there are whole cultures who see some of these things from a completely different angle, or who accept a piece of wisdom that we have yet to wrap our heads around. It shaped my thinking in more than one practical area and I have come to really appreciate the bits of wisdom I’ve gleaned from it!

    As to simple goals in the early days of motherhood, I will impart this one nugget of wisdom that has served me well. During both boys’ pregnancies I had one mother look me in the eye, put a hand on my arm and say, “You need to remember – the first six weeks is The Fog. Once your baby is born, go ahead and mark out on your calendar the six week mark from your baby’s birthday and tell yourself that it is ok if *all* of those six weeks is carried on in something of a fog. If nursing is hard, don’t try to make any knee-jerk judgments about it during The Fog. If you think that you should be recovered or normal or whatever it is you’re longing to be during those first six weeks – let it go. It’s just The Fog.”
    And she was so right! I remember after my second son was born I found a kind of smoothie I wanted to make for myself while he was five weeks old. Simple, right? A smoothie. Any grown woman can get a recipe, run grab the ingredients, then thrown them into a blender. Well in the end it took me over 24 hours to complete that process and just as I was about to crumple in hopelessness, I remembered my baby was only 5 1/2 weeks old. The Fog was still upon me and even though I felt things should really be 100% normal again, they weren’t. It does not mean nursing magically gets easy after 6 weeks, sleep patterns certainly don’t magically resolve in that time frame. It just gave me a framework to say that in the midst of a much bigger season of slowing down and adjusting my expectations, why shouldn’t the beginning of that period be MUCH MORE SO? It’s The Fog.

    I almost feel silly telling you since I feel like you’re so much better equipped to have simplified expectations that I was! I hope God pours His light into those first 6 weeks with your baby and turns them a wonderful hazy gold – fogs can be beautiful too!!ReplyCancel

    • February 6, 2017 - 3:52 pm

      Diana Kerr - That’s how I felt about Bringing up Bebe too! It’s obvious and yet not that other cultures respond to things in totally different ways. I thought the difference of adults mostly letting children be versus making a child the center of attention of a party/gathering really interesting. That seems so normal; I’d never thought that maybe kids don’t mind playing on their own and not being super stimulated/the center of attention! haha

      Anyway, thanks for the wisdom! I appreciate it so much. I am curious to see what the experience of new motherhood is like! I know it’s impossible to understand or predict until you’re in the midst of it. :)ReplyCancel

Confession: I have basically no hobbies except for reading and exercising, and I’m so okay with that.

I love to read.

There is incriminating photographic evidence of this from my childhood, like of me READING A BOOK during the reception at a family wedding when I was about 10 years old.

My sisters even talked at length about my love for the library in their maid of honor speech at my wedding. It’s THAT MUCH of a thing. (Shout out to my poor sister Erica, who dutifully rode her bike with me to the library almost every possible summer day—not because she loved to read, but because of my mom’s wise and strict insistence on #thebuddysystem, of course.)

That being said, it’s no wonder I read a lot each year. With the length of this list, it probably looks like I’m sitting around reading constantly, but honestly, most of it is fit in in strategic times, like while I’m working out. I should write a blog post about that. (Making a note of that now.)

Alright, now that I’ve unnecessarily confessed my totally dweebiness with books (Why do you care? You probably don’t.), here’s the list of books I read in 2016!

PinIT

Photo: Laurelyn Savannah Photography

First, here’s an explanation to my little markings:
* = One of my favorites out of the books I read for the first time (Although pretty much all of these were really good)
+ = A book that incorporates faith but isn’t exactly a book specifically just about God or Christian living
(R) = A book that I reread because I liked it so much the first time I read it!

Faith:

Marriage:

Relationships:

Baby + pregnancy:

The only one I read in its entirety was Baby Wise! The others I skimmed through or consulted as needed.

Health:

Finances + stewardship:

Minimalism + decluttering:

Personal + professional growth:

Business:

I skimmed these two and didn’t reread them completely since I own them.

Tell me what great books you’ve read or want to read so I can add them to my list! (My friend Val has a great blog post of her 2016 books, too, which is where I got the inspiration for this post!)

And speaking of lists, hop on my email list so you don’t miss out on great content all throughout 2017! (Reading an email of tips or encouragement is waaaay quicker than reading a whole book, amen?)

If you get on my email list (or if you’re already on it), you’ll earn points toward the giveaway for my copy of the book Weird! It’s in almost-new condition and I read it twice this year, so I’m ready to pass it on to someone! It was one of my favorites I read in 2016! Enter the giveaway below between now and February 5 and I’ll mail my copy to the winner! (U.S. residents only, please!)

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  • January 29, 2017 - 9:20 am

    Emily - And this is why we are friends! Good post my dear and there are a few on here I need to add to my 2017 booklist📚❤ReplyCancel

    • January 30, 2017 - 6:04 pm

      Diana Kerr - Haha yeah it is! ;) So thankful for friends who love the same kind of books as me!ReplyCancel

  • January 28, 2017 - 8:42 pm

    Candace - I just got a journaling Bible for Christmas so I’m stoked to start using it in 2017! I’m not the kind of person who fills hers with elaborate artwork though. Mostly I’m just hopping to get my mental fingers dirty pondering, asking questions, plugging in good insights from sermons etc.

    2016 was not a banner year in terms of reading volume (because it was kindof a banner year in being a doozy!), but I have been reading Sally Clarkson’s The Mission of Motherhood – SO good. I started it as part of a women’s study so we’re only half-way through, but I’m underlining the dickens out of that thing. Also I just got done with one of her conferences – so fantastic!

    I got a pile of books as gifts last month, so I’m really excited to make reading more of a priority in 2017! I started The Connected Child this summer and it got buried somewhere (but not for lack of loving it – I underlined so much in that one too!), so I’m hoping to dust it off and finish it this next year. Also, my husband and I revived our rusty practice of reading aloud to each other and are actually working our way through the Wingfeather Saga ourselves. At first we made a pretense of reading it to our preschooler sons, but after they kept wandering off we were too hooked to stop! Now when my friends ask me what fiction I’m reading I sheepishly tell them it’s a young adult series but then gush about how much we needed some good clean fun and adventure in our lives! It’s been great! We just started the fourth book and man, I can’t wait to find out how things turn out.

    The other books I’m excited about are rather scattered in category: Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul, and All the Money in the World by hmm her name escapes me.

    Hope your 2017 is packed with some great reads too!

    p.s. on being a total reading nerd I was the kid who check out the Chronicles of Narnia from the library then proceeded to lock myself in the back bathroom for the next seven days until I read the whole series. Didn’t make me popular with the family but boy howdy was that a great read!ReplyCancel

    • January 30, 2017 - 6:08 pm

      Diana Kerr - Candace, thanks for a couple great ideas to add to my list! I have read All the Money in the World and liked it a lot. It was a good mindset shift. I think you’ll appreciate it based on what I know about you. :) Enjoy your 2017 reading and your journaling Bible! And no worries–I don’t do anything fancy in my Bible either. Just a plain ballpoint pen. But it’s cool to see that after having that Bible only a couple years how much is written all throughout it because I have that extra space in the margins to jot down notes. :)

      Um, your P.S. I’m dying. That sounds like something I would do.ReplyCancel