July Goals

Well…yesterday, I cried off and on all day.  (And I’m not even a crier!)  If you missed yesterday’s post about prayer requests, you need to read it here (read the comments!).  Friends, my heart just breaks for so many of you out there.  I will be praying for you individually all month long.  I was also so blessed and overwhelmed by the number of people who were commenting and praying back to these requests.  What an amazing group of ladies you are.  You are praying and encouraging these women with so much love.  From the bottom of my heart, I cannot express how much I love each of you.  I’m praying for you.  I’m praying for all of you.
Alrighty…now, I’m wipin’ the tears and movin’ on to today’s post…
Can I tell you a secret?
I used to not like summer.
I know.  Awful, right?
 Now that I have kids though…I love, love, love it and don’t want it to end!  Fall will always be my favorite season…but summer (the one that used to be my least favorite) is now my second favorite.  Now, I really appreciate the lazy mornings, long evenings, outdoor activities, swimming, sunscreen, chlorine…I love it all.  Instead of focusing on the oppressive heat, I focus on the fun…and I love summer.
Happy July 1st friends!
Before we get to my July Goals, let’s recap June…
1. Spend one on one time with all 4 of my loves: I am so excited about this one!  When I posted this goal, I was thinking about taking each of my kids somewhere one day this month to spend one on one time with them…until one of you precious people left the most brilliant comment!  A mom of five said that five nights a week, each kid gets to stay up 30 minutes later than the other four kids and then they do something special that just that kid wants to do.  Genius.  
We’ve been doing this all month and I have to tell you…I hope this is a tradition we continue until they go off to college :).  We’re aiming for 5 out of 7 nights (so each week, two kids go twice), and the other two go to bed at their normal time while Andrew and I stay up with the other for an extra 30 minutes.  During this time, we’ve been doing exactly what that kid wants to do…activities have included Uno, crafting paper crowns, watching an episode of Paw Patrol while eating popcorn, tea parties, reading books in bed, Legos and such.  My kids call it “Fun Night” and they have loved it! 
 Honestly, this has been one of those little ideas that really shaped our month.  My kiddos can tell you whose turn it is tonight, who goes next, what they’re next activity is going to be…they eat it up.  I mean, it’s been such a blessing to our entire family :).  Such a simple (and free!) idea that has given us these sweet little moments with each of our kids all month long.
2. Visit the eye doctor: Well…I had good intentions (I even had an appointment scheduled for June 22nd!), but I had to reschedule because my childcare fell through.  No eye exam this month…but I have rescheduled! Anyone want to babysit ;)?
3. No social media/phone time from 4 to 8: Hey, I did pretty good with this!  I started charging my phone in our bedroom during this time and then it was out of sight.  Of course, there are lots of exceptions to this…when I wasn’t home in the evenings with my kiddos and especially when I was out waiting, then I used it (what did we do while waiting before phones???).  You know….Kensington decided to sign up for a summer dance intensive two nights a week for 5 weeks, so on those nights while I sit up there and wait, I look at my phone.  I look when I’m…waiting in line at the grocery store.  When I’m…waiting in line at Walgreens to pick up pictures.  When I’m…waiting to be seated at a restaurant and my kiddos are coloring.  (Side note: I should make “stop waiting around so much” a goal!  I apparently wait a lot!)  So, when we were home and together, it was being charged but while I was waiting (or while the kiddos were off doing other things like playing at the neighbor’s, then I put my feet up and looked through IG and Pinterest).  Over all, it was a good effort this month.
4. Watch extra kiddos: Did it and loved it!  I thought I would only watch kiddos once or twice but it ended up being more like 7 or 8 times.  Each time I had some extra kids over, my kids had extra fun…so it was win, win for everyone!

5. Find a good tinted moisturizer: Oh girls! You gave me so many good suggestions!  I went through your comments and the two most popular were Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier.  I went to Nordstrom and they gave me samples of each to take home and try…and honestly…it was like being asked to pick my favorite child…it was so hard.  I honestly, honestly, honestly can’t tell you which one I liked the most between the two…I loved them both (they were pretty identical).  I ended up buying the Bobbi Brown because since I already use her eye brightener (in Bisque) and her eye shadow sticks (in sand dune and golden pink)…so, it pushed me over her way.  Both were really nice though and stayed on all day.  They both moisturized and provided just enough coverage without feeling cakey.  I bought the light to medium shade.

6. Get my hair wet: Done and done.  We are making the most out of the pool this year.  I love going to bed after a full day of swimming :).


And so for July…

1. Write notes: I love getting cards in the mail, so this month, I’m going to send some to people I love.  I know text messages and emails are nice…but so is a good old fashioned card.  I’m very thankful for so many people, and this month, I’m going to send thank you notes and then some notes of encouragement and love to those who I know need some right now.

2. Invite families to dinner: I did this one back in March and it was really nice.  I’m excited to do it again this month too.

3. Begin Christmas shopping: Don’t judge…but I start my Christmas shopping each year in July.  I’ve been doing this since we were first married and it’s helped me stay on budget and not get stressed.  I always try to have everything purchased by November 1 and then wrapped by December 1.  I’m not going to go nuts this month…but I’ll make my list of recipients (including neighbors/teachers and such) and then set my budget too.  After that, I’ll start really paying attention to items that would make nice gifts.  After I bring them home, I write down what I purchased along with how much I spent and then hide it (I also write down where I hide things too…because I’ve forgotten before!).

4. Pray for others: I asked for prayer requests yesterday…and this month, my plan is to pray over these requests every single day.  I’m always finding myself praying for people and things…but I want to be really intentional this month about praying for you guys and your needs.  (If you have a prayer request, please leave it on this post!  This will be the post I refer back to daily when praying).  Which leads me to the next thing…

5. Walk 5 miles a week: One of my favorite times to pray is when I’m out walking.  My phone’s at home, I’m not distracted and I can walk around our neighborhood and pray for people.  I’m thinking if I walk one mile five days a week, that will give me some great uninterrupted and focused time of prayer.  I’m going to read through the requests before I set out each time and focus on about five people or so at a time.

6. Back to school shop: We will be on vacation for half of August and when we return, there is only a week until school starts…so this means, I need to get my kids all ready for school this month.  Sigh.  Makes me sad to think about…but I know I’ll be so much happier when I come home if they already have their stuff in order and in their closets.

So that’s that!

What are you guys focusing on this month?  I’d love to know!

And for supper tonight…

…my Shrimp Risotto!

See you tomorrow!

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  • Lauren McGreevy July 1, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Love your July goals! One of the sermons at my church 2 weeks ago was praying intentional and powerful prayers and it sounds like you're doing that!

    Lauren
    http://www.postgradinprogress.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 10:17 am

    Nice post! A small comment on the "no phone" while out walking; I wouldn't go without a phone in case of emergency.

    • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Huh? In your own neighborhood? ?

    • Laurie S July 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      Yes. I was thinking the same thing.

    • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      So what did everyone do before they had a phone "in case of emergency"? I'm sure we could all survive without one every minute of every day!

    • Anonymous July 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      I had the same thought, too. When I do go walking I always have my phone on me. I just make an effort not to pull it out and use it, unless for those emergencies.

  • Rachel Emily July 1, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Praying while on walks is one of my favorite things to do! No distractions!

  • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I love July it's my birth month. My goal is to walk 4 kms everyday and be more organised with my work schedule.
    Praying while on walks is brilliant idea. Thanks and cheers , Jane from Oz 🙂

  • Kelly Sites July 1, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I'm a prayer walker, too. Love it. And I LOVE your blog- it's one of my very favorites. I love when you post about books. And I love your heart for others so much. (And your heart for Jesus)

  • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Some times you just got let it out! Go cry in the shower! Ugly cry if ya need to, don't hold it in! It's not weakness, just your body letting go of stress! – Tracy Danielle

  • Erika Slaughter July 1, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I'm going back to read and pray for those requests right now!!

  • mintandmason July 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Always love your posts, Shay. I love the heart you have! If only there were more people like you in the world!!

  • kimm atwood July 1, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I am with you on trying to not use the phone after dinner! Not always super easy!

  • Narci July 1, 2015 at 11:51 am

    You are so smart to shop for back to school now!!! I think I am going to do the same! Great goals!!

  • Elizabeth July 1, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Ever since you talked about your Christmas prep last year, I started it and it is amazing! It makes me more present during the holiday season! So… Thank You!! I go for a walk every morning and usually listen to music… But today I am going to take my rosary! Please keep us updated with any prayer requests you have!

  • Brian & Ashley July 1, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I love your monthly list ideas – just made my own July list.

  • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Speaking of intentional praying, have you read "Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge" by Mark Batterson? It's so good! It's amazing how much more obvious it is that God is working in our lives, when we are more intentional with Him. Thank you Shay, for being a bright light, in this sometimes dark world.

  • Megan July 1, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I love your goals, and it makes me happy I am not the only one that starts getting my brain ready for the holiday season!! 😉

  • dresselfamily.blogspot.com July 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I love July goals!
    I start shopping about now too.. it's great to find things all year . like bath and body works 75% sale.. stock up for teacher gifts etc.
    have a lovely day xo

  • susan July 1, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Walking is my favorite time to pray, especially outside in His creation! I walk about 30 minutes. I spend the first 10 thanking God. The next 10 is confessing my sins and weaknesses. Finally, I spend the last 10 praying for others. I don't "time" each part. I just use it as guideline. At the end I've walked close to two miles and spent time with The Lord!

  • daniellem02 July 1, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I do super early Christmas shopping too! Nothing too nuts, but if I find something cute at Marshalls or TJ Maxx, I throw it in the gift closet. I am usually 80% done by November 1. I also love the Hip2Save website for toy bargains, especially amazon ones. Nothing like getting great deals in your pajamas…

  • Kelly Stamps July 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I love that extra 30 min at night idea! We need to do this!
    And I'm praying for Ashby and yall!!!!

  • Jen July 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Hi shay!! I couldn't find my comment from yesterday to respond to, but maybe it hasn't been published yet. The little boy, lucas, I was requesting prayers for, has gotten amazing news…someone has donated a liver directly to him!!! Now praying that the transplant goes well…God is good!!!

    • Jen July 1, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      I found my comment on yesterday's post! There were so many!! I'm also planning on praying for a few of the commenters each day.

  • Karen Schmitt July 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Love all of these goals, especially writing notes. I'm going through chemo right now (I posted a prayer request yesterday–thank you for your willingness to pray for others who are in need!!). Every single day, I receive handwritten cards in the mail. I'm amazed at how many people in my life take the time to write an uplifting message and mail it to me. They truly brighten my day and remind me that I have a team of prayer warriors out there, lifting me up through this. It's made me realize the power of the written word. So simple, so heartfelt. I will start doing the same for those who could use a smile and a reminder that they're not alone.

  • Beautifully Seaside // Formerly Chic Coastal Living July 1, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Thank shrimp risotto looks delicious!! YUMMM! I think your July goals are great and I also like to pray when I'm walking at the park too. Enjoy your summer! XO

  • Three Gals and a Guy July 1, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Shay! You've inspired me to start writing my own monthly goals and I love it to stay on track and feel accomplished! 🙂 Random question for you- where did you get your stationary? I'm loving it!!

  • allisonwest July 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Someone may have suggested this already –but I'm reading Max Lucado's Before Amen now. It has a study in the book. The quote you used yesterday about prayer comes from that book. Have a great July! Your Goals look great!

  • Anna D Kart July 1, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Awesome goals! I think writing out goals is very useful and makes you realize and visualize them!

    Happy Medley

  • Shelby July 1, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I'm so happy that you are utilizing and loving my 30 minutes later bedtime idea! We love it here and my gang is exactly like your gang…they all know who's night it is and that kid looks forward to it all day! It has really changed my relationships with my kids. Especially my 13 year old. She usually spends her nights just talking to me and boy does she have lots to talk about!

    I love your unplugged idea! Currently, I unplug on Sundays for the entire day, which is awesome. This past Sunday I spent three hours with my kids making designs with melty beads and they just loved that. I think I might try adding your idea in as well though an unplugging in the evenings too.

  • Molly Middleton July 1, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Ummmm….I'll babysit!!!! I just can't wait to go through these prayer requests during my Quiet Time. I ALWAYS pray when I'm out walking too. It's quickly become one of my favorite ways to exercise just for that reason 🙂

  • Addicted to Grace July 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Shay- my husband had an affair. Please pray for me. We have 2 kids- my heart is broken. He's fighting but I'm so angry and hurt!

  • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Shay I adore you. I can't wait to read your blog everyday. When I feel down about things going on around me I pull your blog up and read. You are a a
    few years younger than me but you are my role model. Such an amazing woman!! Thanks for opening up your life to us. We are truly blessed and you inspire me to want to do great things!!

  • Kelsey Mann Peacock July 1, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I think it's wonderful that you are going to pray for so many people! That's seriously the best thing you can do for someone 🙂 Also, I was debating between trying the Bobbi Brown & Laura Mercier BB cream so I'm glad to hear you liked both! I'm glad I'm not the only one getting a head start on Christmas either! It makes it so much easier to enjoy the season when you're already finished shopping!
    Kelsey
    http://www.thepeacockroost.com

  • sholden July 1, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I LOVE your prayer idea and think I might try setting the same walking and praying goal for this month. I also wanted to tell you about something happening at my church in NC that has been so transformative in so many lives in regards to prayer. Every Monday, our chapel at the church remains open all day and people can go inside and pray. This new ministry is called Prayers of the People and we have a theme each Monday that can go pray- for example- this week was for our country and the freedoms we enjoy as it coincides with the July 4th holiday. It is amazing how much more you get out of prayer when there is intentionality to it. People also can request to have one of these prayer vigils for them if needed. We have had prayers for people with cancer and all types of other needs and it is amazing to see people come together to pray for a single cause and the results from some of these prayers has been amazing. We are hoping other churches will do this as they learn about what our church is doing and the power of prayer. Just thought I would share.

  • Lindsay Otis July 1, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Writing my goals tonight! Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration! Love your check ins at the end of the month with the old goals and new goals, it's a post I look forward to.

    http://www.lindsayotis.blogspot.com

  • Amanda Brezgel July 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Shay – Last year I was about 75% done Christmas shopping in November and it was amazing! I'm starting early this year too and am super excited. I seem to have the same trouble thinking of great presents for the same people year after year. Guess I'll have to keep my ears wide open. Finally catching on to things people like/mention wanting. Do you keep a list of what you think people will like and shop from there or go shopping and see something and then buy it? Super pumped to keep this up!

  • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Please pray for my 17 year old nephew, a huge pipe fell on him and broke his femur and severed his main artery… after a six hour surgery he is in ICU and his Mom is really struggling with seeing her boy in such rough shape

  • Sarah July 1, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I love these posts that you do. It almost makes me do them myself, but then I think, but if I don't do them, then I'll be really disappointed in myself, so I'll just life vicariously through you 🙂 What a great idea to walk a mile and have some time for prayer and reflection. I also love the extra 30 minute thing! Such a great idea, do you always go in the same order, is that how the kids know who's turn is next? Fun!

  • Robyn Marrie (Robyn's Nest of 5) July 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    That's so funny… We have so much in common- 3 kids, some of the same goals and such. But one thing that's different here is Summer was always my favorite season, until recently. Now I just love all the seasons and especially fall! My husband jokes and says I'm finally seeing it his way, because Fall is his favorite. Anyway, love all the updates and the prayer idea from yesterday! God bless you!

  • Leah Williams July 1, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Since you are trying to pray more, I suggest getting your kids involved! I'm only 18 and don't have any kids but when I was little I loved making cards for people at the local hospital. Get in touch with your local hospital to make sure it's okay first, some hospitals even let you deliver them yourself. It's a great way to teach kids about how fortunate they are and complete an act of kindness and say a prayer for others! If you are unable to do this for your hospital your could write to those in the military and thank them for their service!

  • Nichole Mancone July 1, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I will not judge you for your Christmas shopping in July. I am 3/4 of the way done with mine (4th of July sales!). I'm not usually this early although I am always done by Thanksgiving. We're going to Vegas for New Year's Eve and we're about to start purchasing tickets and such. Basically we don't want to bankrupt ourselves in December so I've started early.

  • Anonymous July 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I would love to come & babysit but I live in Canada!!! I'm sure we would be great friends if I lived near!! U can start my Christmas shopping if u want. I will let you!! Have a sun, swim super July!!! ☀️☀️☀️☀️

  • Angela Pino July 2, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I loved your goal of more prayer and have added that to my "New Month Resolutions." You can read more about them here.

    Also, a complete side note. I started Beth Moore's James bible study, this is my first time doing one of hers!, and when she came on the screen, she reminded me so much Lovie! A lot of it was her hair, but between your pictures and what we've seen of her on TV, Beth reminded me so much of her! 😉

  • Kjlb37 July 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you for posting your goals for the month. And being transparent about how you did last month?. Helps me to think about mine. I am also a prayer walker. I can focus much better as well as get some exercise, love it!

  • Kjlb37 July 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Oh, to answer your question about what we did while waiting before phones? Take a book along. I know you are a reader and especially while waiting at Kensington's class you can get a couple of chapters in. ?

  • Anonymous July 2, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Would LOVE a post about your back to school shopping!!!

  • {Hi Sugarplum!} July 3, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Wow — these are all such great goals…and great job in June! You've motivated me to set some of my own! Happy long weekend with that adorable family, friend!

  • Lisa Loves John July 6, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Shay, I couldn't even believe all of the comments you had on your prayer requests post. How amazing, and praise God!! That is incredible!! You go, sista – sharing God's love!!

  • Audrey Davis August 18, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Do you use a primer before you apply your Tinted Moisturizer? Thank you!