After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My new miracle calendar

I've realized something.  And I'm sure it's not a huge deal to a lot of folks, but I think it could make a huge difference in my life.  My life that has been taken over by stuff and is seemingly constantly being interrupted by a child needing something, a dog wanting out, the phone ringing, dinner burning, whatever it is that needs my immediate attention at that moment.  And throw homeschooling in and sometimes I feel like my head is spinning.

From what I understand, this is a common problem among mothers.  So I feel I'm in good company. 

One of my goals for the year is to be better every day.  To do this, I need to get organized.  Obviously this is a process too, since it's the last day of January and I'm just getting a 2012 calendar.

Anyway, what was I saying? 

Oh, yes.  I realized something.  The fewer steps involved in each process of my life or system of my house, the better chance there is that my system or process will be successful.  Yes, if I'm going to succeed, I need to ax about half of the steps some folks feel are necessary. 

I'm working on a meal plan that works with our grocery shopping schedule.  And trying to organize all the things we do so we don't end up overloaded.  And coordinating the husband's days off with fun things.  And in there trying to keep track of everyone's birthdays.  For the record, I totally suck at even remembering birthdays of anyone who isn't my immediate family--meaning my kids, my husband, my brothers and my parents are safe.  Everyone else is a total wild card.  So, if you want me to remember your birthday (and are somehow related to me by  marriage, please feel free to remind me of your birthday as well as the birthday(s) of any child(ren) you have.)

Pinterest is a horrible place.  Horrible and lovely at the same time.  If you are familiar with this place, you know what I'm talking about.  Apparently it's a bunch of professional runners planning their dream wedding and their dream home while at the same time cooking amazing food that has a much different result on their bottom than it would mine.  And apparently all the husbands are ka-gillionairs because it all looks really expensive to me.

But, I found this:

This humble piece of paper is my amazing calendar. One year on one big sheet of gorgeous paper.  All the days are there.  I can write all over it.  There's enough room for about four entries on every day.   I spent about 30 minutes so far writing everyone's birthdays, holidays, scheduled events, and a weeks worth of meals on it. 

The best part?  It's totally functional.  Actually it's beyond totally functional. 

In my house normal calendars vanquish when the month turns and I fail to turn the month.  "Honey," he says, "It hasn't been January for three weeks now."  Oops.

Cute little numbers like this?

Cute, but so high maintenance.  Really?  I have to go buy paper and glue it on little cute magnets and somehow get those numbers to print/stick on there all perfect and then frame it and put it somewhere in my house just to look cute?  I think if I tried something like this I'd get, "Honey, it hasn't been February for six months."  Yup.  Apparently I didn't have the time to make another cute little number like that.

Then there's this one:

Cute, functional, but high maintenance.  First, that's a lot of effort to make it all cute.  And it is cute.  But I have to maintain it weekly and my history with such things tell me that I'm not good at that.  In fact, just yesterday the husband commented that our system similar to this one has said for the last three weeks that we are having Prime Rib for dinner.  Every night.  "It's been why I keep coming home," he says, not even batting an eye.  Note to self, must get new system in place.  And hope he keeps coming home even without the promise of prime rib.

This one? 

Again, cute, functional, but high maintenance. 

As is this one. 

All great ideas, but since I can't even coordinate flipping the page on a traditional calendar, how on earth am I going to coordinate cleaning and maintaining one of these babies? 

Enter the Year of Productivity.  Totally awesome.  Tacked it to my wall.  Started writing meal plan right on the calendar.  And those will be there for the whole year!  As will everything else we're doing.  I already have a deal planned in August and I just wrote it on there and it's all done!  I don't have to erase anything, cover anything up, and I can even reference what I had for dinner on January 31st when it's July.

Vertical . . .

Or, mine, horizontal!

Just pick a side.

Not all cutsie, but SO DANG FUNCTIONAL! 

ZERO maintenance.  No erasing, moving, finding, cleaning, re-doing, moving, decorating, designing, or any other silly stuff.  A straight-forward awesome tool that will streamline about three other systems into one amazing functional tool that doesn't take up floor or counter space. 

Better every day.  I can feel it.  It feels awesome. 

Now, if I could just find my darn pencil.

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