19 for 2019


I wasn’t sure I was going to post my “19 for 2019” list, but after having breakfast this morning with my friend and fellow writer Missy, I decided to err on the side of blogging today. I am still in neutral after quite a lot of focused writing time last year, and I’m not sure what’s next. In the meantime, my plan is to spend some time each week praying about my writing and also reading quotes that I’ve copied from the following books on writing:


My “19 for 2019” goes like this:

1. Visit friends in Lakeside, OH + Cedar Point (July) - Y’all, I’m going to go somewhere.

2. Celebrate turning 40 - This will include a lot of people I love, waterskiing, and hopefully the Tandem bus.

3. Let my hair grow out - I’m even excited about the stages.

4. Reading Room quote wall + AMS quote for living room - This will involve researching and ordering from Etsy shops, not a favorite thing to do. I’m making it my “Suffer for 30 Minutes” thing on Thursdays while the kids are at school. That plan got the photo wall done last fall so I know it works!

5. Finish girls’ bedroom - We ordered matching handmade quilts for the girls recently, which look amazing. A friend who does design helped us with that Etsy order, and TJ installed a great closet set-up for them. The walls need prints, desk to come out, bench with pillows to go in.


6. Weekly conversation with TJ on parenting - I will pray about this often and bring to the table (couch) thoughts for us to discuss: what we hope for our children; how to give them the gift of acceptance; how to teach them responsibility, flexibility, and grit; how to parent as each one needs individually; how to give ourselves what we hope to give our children; how to be a team; how to engage; how to pray for our children. I want to think of a name for this time.

7. Read 40 books - Last year my goal was 36 and I read 42. My favorite five were: The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon, Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp, Grit by Angela Duckworth, and Educated by Tara Westover. I can’t count Anne Lamott books in that list because they are always my favorite-favorites. I re-read three of her books last year plus her new one Almost Everything. I updated my 2019 Book List this morning and circled the ones I’ll reach for first.

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8. “Sunday Ski Club” in summer months - Of course, I am planning summer activities, and have been since November.

9. Take ski lessons from a coach - Maybe my 40th birthday gift? I just want to get better. At skiing. At writing. At mothering.

10. Use boom on boat to try to barefoot (ask Ken for help) - I had this on my “18 for 2018” list and did not do it. I got afraid to try after we saw a friend get beat up by the water when he tried to barefoot. I’m hoping for a gentler approach.

11. Trader Joe’s card project - I have had this on my mind for a couple years. I want to go through my stacks and stacks and stacks of cards I’ve received and find all the ones from Trader Joe’s and stack them up together and then what? I’m not sure. But the first part of the project excites me.

12. Study God as Parent - This excites me too. I started with the book of Isaiah about a week ago and am looking for signs of the way God treats His children. I am writing down what I find.

13. Learn more about the Enneagram (new book and podcast) - The new book is Suzanne Stabile’s The Path Between Us and the podcast is hers also: “The Enneagram Journey. “ I am for sure a 1.

14. Learn to make coconut milk whipped cream - I have tried and failed. I want to try again. I don’t know why this feels important to me, but it does.

15. Learn to make chicken pot pie - Sarah Powell, I’ll be asking you for help!

16. Blog at least two times per month + Set quarterly writing goals - For now, I am going to pray about writing and read quotes about writing, especially this one:

No one cares if you continue to write, so you’d better care, because otherwise you are doomed.
— Anne Lamott, Almost Everything

17. Speak more words of affirmation to TJ - On our date night for our anniversary, I asked TJ what he needs from me this next year, and this is what he said. I told him I need him to let me talk to him about parenting and read him things sometimes (See #6). This conversation progressed more warmly than it sounds.

18. Ask and pray “How can I move toward my children?” - If the story of my life is that I one day become a mother, it will be a good story. I helped Story today with something small, so there are glimmers of the good story happening already. This question reminds me to live into who I hope to be.

19. Family times twice a week: Love Does for Kids audio, Christian Heroes book, Play Uno, Sidewall, Movie nights - I made this short list of ideas to give guidance. I intend to keep it simple and fun. I want to practice moving toward my children. I want to be flexible. I want to enjoy the kids.

That’s the end of the official list, even though I have other intentions for the year, things like changing my quote board monthly, exploring high school options for Bauer, going on a triple date with friends to discuss technology and our kids, meeting with my writing group quarterly, inviting families over for dinner (ongoing), watching Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix, and making more phone calls. Waterskiing and copying quotes go without saying.