July, you did not turn out the way I expected and I am so glad! I don’t think my monthly goals appreciated that (aka they did not get done), but I did. It was a good reminder that what, or how much, I “do” does not definite who I am. I took time to enjoy my summer and relax a bit. My plan was so start my goals after my mission trip to Mexico, but then I got a cold, so I mostly rested my first week back. On my trip I started reading Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist, which has challenged me to live the last few weeks differently than before. I am naturally a homebody and an introvert, so staying home and watching tv is regular and easy for me. While I still did that a significant amount (I am almost done watching Bones), I made more of an effort to spend time with people and cherish my time with Chris. I have chosen to be more playful, adventurous, and thoughtful and to me that has been more meaningful than completing some goals that can wait a little longer. And when my husband sees a change and calls that out in me, that inspires and encourages me to keep growing in the lessons I am learning. While reading the book I was confronted with my selfishness and I desired a change. While my attitude shift was a part of starting that change, God presented me a real opportunity to be selfless when Chris broke his elbow this past weekend (hopefully more on that soon). While Chris and I both wish this wouldn’t have happened, we have cherished our extra time together so much and have been learning new things about ourselves and each other in the process, and that is something to be thankful for. So this month has been filled with service, joy, laughter, reading, friends, hospital visits, and a little more Jesus in my life than before. I’m excited to continue down this path in the months to come. Now for the path I didn’t travel down this month. Here is a review of my July Goals:

1. Finish magazine project. This was a June/July project that I am almost done with, but didn’t quite finish. I read all of my magazines and ripped out the pages I wanted to keep. I even started organizing them into categories and that is where I got stuck. There are so many possible categories! I need to think this through a little more strategically so I can organize the binder in the best way possible. I was so close on this one!

2. Run twice a week (once I return from Mexico). This absolutely did not happen. After Mexico I got a cold. I think it was the big after-trip letdown. I let my body go-go-go and then when I stopped it thought it was time to get sick. So I decided to take the week after the trip to rest. And then the rest of the month I just didn’t feel like running. I think I know how much effort it will take to get back into exercising, so I keep putting it off when really I need to jump in.

3. Blog about California and Mexico. If you look at my previous post, you will know that my last post was my July monthly goals, meaning I have not blogged in a month! So this didn’t happen either, though I would still like it to.

4. Deep clean the apartment. Notta. I could barely keep my house clean this month, let alone deep clean it. Seriously, I think we only cleaned the bathroom once this month with a few touch ups, which is gross (for me at least). And Chris was the one who cleaned it before I got home from my trip. Maybe they say “spring cleaning” because by the time you get to summer you want to enjoy summer, not spend it cleaning you place.

august-goals

Since I was quite unsuccessful this month (and loving summer), you would think I would plan the same goals for next month to finish, but I’m not. I have new goals and hopefully some of these July goals get done in the process.

1. Learn some photography skills. This month I am taking an online DSLR photography course from one of my favorite bloggers, Ashley Ann Campbell. You can learn more about her photography courses here. When Chris and I first got our camera I made an effort to learn how to use it, but then I stopped doing it regularly and forgot most of what I have learned. I’m excited to learn how to use my DSLR better and I hope it encourages me to take more pictures. Hopefully I will also get better about posting pictures on the blog. So many times I don’t because the process of uploading and organizing them seems so daunting. I don’t know why I think it takes so long to plug in my camera and download some pictures, but for some reason I do and I hope that changes soon!

2. House projects. The beginning of September marks one year that we have lived in our apartment and it still looks like we moved in semi-recently. We have hung nothing on the walls and we still have some unpacked boxes (mostly office stuff because I don’t have a proper desk area). So my goal this month is to work on making our place look more like we live here. While I have a lot of projects in mind, the only two I am committing to working on this month are hanging some things on the walls and starting the curtain process, but hopefully more gets done (or started) than that. My hope is also to blog about these projects as I go, and maybe blog about some older ones, like the entertainment center I finished 5 months ago!

So those are my August goals. There is more I want to do (exercise, set blogging goals, etc.), but I also want to finish enjoying my summer. So if those happen I will be pumped, but if they don’t, that is ok too. I hope you have a great last month of summer!