From Goal to Action: Finances

Like most people I know, talking about money is not my favorite subject. In fact, I’ll often go to great lengths to avoid conversations about money. As someone who can be a bit of a perfectionist, handling money, saving for retirement, and making wise financial decisions in midst of a “keeping up with the Joneses” society, can often feel like a minefield of failures. Like many of us, I’m doing the best I can with what I have, while still learning how to do better.

This feeling of running a minefield when it comes to finances is one reason that I chose the word “steward” in my goal for the year. As I break down what it means to steward something well, I realize that there’s an assumption being made.

Steward (verb): to manage or look after (another’s property)

The assumption here is that the finances that we are stewarding do not belong to us. My husband and I operate under the belief that everything we have belongs to God, not us. This belief informs decisions we make regarding our family, our careers, and our finances. It frees us to follow what we believe God has called us to, regardless of financial sacrifice or gain. It’s quite amazing, really.

I intentionally kept this goal simple this year. I don’t have lofty dreams about being debt free in 30 days, or becoming financially independent so that work isn’t a thing anymore. Not that either of those are bad, I just know they aren’t currently attainable goals for my current life situation. And setting goals that aren’t attainable feels like walking back into that minefield and purposefully stepping on one.

There are a lot of voices out there that will give you advice about what it means to steward finances well, where to focus your money, and those can all be really helpful. But what I’ve found in nearly 27 years of marriage is that the most helpful thing for stewarding finances well is to be on the same page as your spouse when it comes to spending money.

For us, we’ve tried to find a balance of enjoying nice things and paying down debt. We lived on ramen and frozen pizza for many of our early married life, and while going back to that type of diet might help us pay off our house faster, we also recognize that healthy eating and quality of life (ramen for dayzzzzzz, ugh) are also higher on our priority list than they used to be. We’ve also had some unexpected medical bills this last year that took priority over some of our plans. And when life happens, you adjust.

Ultimately, this goal comes down to making wise decisions as we spend our money this year. Here are two action steps that I’m implementing this quarter:

  • complete one “getting ready for taxes” task each week (finish by February 28)
  • continue making regular monthly payments toward debt, including extra payments as we are able

That’s it! Those are my easy action steps for this goal. How about you? Do you have any financial goals this year? I’d love to hear what actions you are taking to make your goal a reality!

From Goal to Action: Relationships

I recently shared my 2023 goals and what worked and what didn’t in 2022. Starting this week, I’m breaking down each goal into specific action steps to help me make progress on my goals.

As I break down each goal, it’s important to take the long view. This goal-setting process isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. And when it comes to relationships and community, this long view is even more important.

Deep friendships are rarely formed in the space of a day. Time, shared experiences, and trust are all needed to create deeper relationships. The action steps I’m listing today are daily, weekly, and monthly actions I plan to implement over the first quarter of the year, helping me implement rhythms and routines that create an atmosphere in my life where relationships can flourish.

How do I do this? Let’s break it down into some action steps.

  • Read one book about friendship this year. I’ve chosen Messy, Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover. I’ve read this before, and it’s really good. I’ll be starting it in February if anyone wants to read along. (Yearly)
  • Make time to message or chat with at least one friend every day. This can be existing friends, new acquaintances, or church members that I’m building relationships with. (Daily)
  • Invite a friend to walk with me once a week. This one’s a two-fer because it also gets me outside and moving my body! (Weekly)
  • Work with church leaders to plan once a month social gatherings. (Monthly)

How do you curate deeper relationships within your home, church, work, or friendship communities? I’d love to hear from you! Drop a comment to join the conversation.

Did you know that I send out a monthly newsletter? Subscribers get extra tips and tricks for curating rhythms, routines, and traditions to leave a legacy that matters. They also get access to exclusive content like recipes, creative writing, and so much other fun stuff! Newsletters drop near the turn of the month. Click here for access.

2023 Goals

We are almost a week into the New Year, and some of us have already given up on our New Year’s resolutions. That’s assuming that we actually set any. This is why, several years ago, I switched from resolutions to goals.

Yes, dear readers, it’s that time of year again. Sharing my updated annual goals has become a bit of a tradition around here. And if you know me… well, you probably already know that I’m nothing if not a sucker for a good tradition.

I know, I know. There’s a lot of mixed feelings this time of year around resolutions and goal setting. Personally, I’m energized by the idea of a reset, and January 1 seems like as good a time as any.

My goals for the coming year are pretty similar to last year. While I made progress on nearly all of my goals last year, there are aspects of them that I didn’t fully accomplish, or ways that they have changed slightly.

I love using the Powersheets Goal Planner from Cultivate What Matters to help me determine my goals each year. This is my 6th year using them, and I’ve made significant progress on some major life goals since I started. Over the years, I’ve learned how to make goals and break them down into actionable steps so that I can actually accomplish the things I want to do.  I highly recommend using some sort of goal planner as you prayerfully consider what goals you want to achieve this year.

Thanks to my Powersheets helping me stay on track, I was able to make good progress on my goals in 2022 and am looking forward to see what I will accomplish in 2023. I posted about my 2022 goals here.

What worked in 2022:

I made good progress on many of my goals for 2022. My first two goals last year had to do with editing, submitting, and writing a couple of new projects. I was able to nearly complete these goals, and am now in the editing stages of my two new manuscripts that I worked on in 2022.

I also made some good progress in developing content for my monthly newsletter, as well as delving into personal Bible study and learning. And while I wasn’t able to move my body every single day, I did carve out a solid summer routine and was able to get back to running twice a week before the weather turned nasty in November.

What didn’t work in 2022:

Consistently developing content here on the blog was a struggle in 2022. I feel like I went in fits and starts a bit. I’m still working out what it means to consistently serve you, my readers, in ways that are meaningful and helpful, while also having time to work on my passion projects, namely, my fiction writing.

One thing that is hard for me, especially during the winter, is getting outside instead of watching movies or TV all the time. I am wholeheartedly in love with stories and storytelling- always have been. So when I’m presented with a choice to go do something outside (especially when it’s freaking cold) or curl up with a movie or book, I’ll choose the story almost every time. I know this isn’t always the healthiest choice, which is why I’m continuing to make this a carryover goal from last year.

My 2023 goals:

  1. Curate deeper connections/friendships within our community.
  2. Steward finances well.
  3. Cultivate life rhythms that include more time outside and/or working on Legacy Projects (more on those in another post).
  4. Create a warm, inviting home environment.
  5. Grow in both the business and creativity of writing.
  6. Expand my expertise in teaching.
  7. Create fun experiences/connections within our family.
  8. Practice self-care through movement, healthy eating choices, and intentional rest.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be breaking down each goal into some action steps and sub-goals and pulling back the curtain on how each goal is going throughout the year. I’d love to help support you in achieving your goals as well. If you need some tips for goal setting, check out this post. I invite you to share them with me, and together we can achieve some big things in 2023!

Did you know that I send out a monthly newsletter? Subscribers get extra tips and tricks for curating rhythms, routines, and traditions to leave a legacy that matters. They also get access to exclusive content like recipes, creative writing, and so much other fun stuff! Newsletters drop near the turn of the month. Click here for access.

Advent Stories, Part 4

Hello friends! Here is my 4th and final installment of the writing challenge hosted by my friend, Rachel. I’m late in posting because we spent the last week visiting family in Montana to celebrate Christmas. This part concludes the short story of Jon and Hope. The prompt: Love.

Hope watched the road from the big bay window, doing her level best to wait patiently for Jon to arrive. The storm had finally abated and the plows had been up and down their street, laying a fine layer of sand where more traction was needed.
The clouds and snow from earlier in the day had finally cleared, leaving a trail of starlight in their wake. The full moon cast enough light to glint off the huge drifts of snow that now lay in piles around the house.

Hope caught her breath as headlights glanced off the mailbox, but the vehicle continued on. Not Jon, then. Not yet. He’d given her all his flight details, and she’d tracked the flight religiously. He’d be home any minute now, but the minutes couldn’t pass fast enough. With his phone still dead, she’d had to dust off her old school patience and simply wait for him to arrive.

Another set of headlights. Another car kept driving. Hope blew out a breath as her patience withered.

Peace. That’s what she needed. Peace and patience that could only come from God. She’d spent most of the day praying, hoping for a miracle that Jon would make it home today. They’d gotten their miracle, now all she had to do was finish out the waiting. But man, that part was so hard.

Maybe another cup of tea will help. She stepped through to the kitchen and made another cup. She focused on the tea kettle, willing it to hurry. She’d never been very good at waiting.

The sound of the kettle coming to a boil masked the sound of the door opening. Jon stepped into the house, noting the soft light coming from the candles in the living room. Home. Weary to his bones, the only thing he wanted right now was to hold his wife in his arms.


Hope gasped, turning from the tea kettle. She practically ran through to the living room and soon found herself wrapped in Jon’s arms. She buried her face in his chest and wound her arms around him, squeezing as if she’d never let him go. “You’re home.”

They stood that way for what seemed like an eternity, simply enjoying the feel of each other. Jon lifted Hope’s chin and brushed back her hair, kissing her gently. When the kiss was over, Hope smiled up at him. “I didn’t think you’d make it.”

He kissed her gently again, a reminder of promises made and kept. “You know, I’ll always come home to you. I just might be delayed now and again.” He grinned at her. “I kept my promise, but I had a little help.” He glanced toward the ceiling.

Hope giggled, and released her husband so he could take off his coat. “I’m just glad you’re home safe. It’s bonus that you were able to make it before midnight. Happy Last Day, my love.”

Jon glanced at the clock. 11:55. He’d barely made it, but here he was. With his beautiful bride on their special day. A day that marked the beginning of their love, and all they’d built together. He was home.

Advent Stories, Part 3

Hello, friends!

My friend Rachel is hosting a fiction writing challenge for the Advent season. If you’ve been following along, Part 3 is a continuation of Jon and Hope’s story. If you’re just now joining us, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

This week’s prompt: Joy.

Jon lifted his head, peace settling on him and warming his soul. He smiled at Michael. “Thanks. I needed that.”

Michael grinned back at him. “We all need a little boost sometimes. Now the question is, do you believe in miracles?”

Jon considered the question for a moment. Years of ministry and family life had taught him that miracles come in big and small ways. But what was Michael really asking? Was he asking what Jon had seen and witnessed over the years? Or was he asking if Jon believed God could come through for him now, in this moment? Jon had a feeling it was the latter.

Could Jon truly answer yes? God had been faithful over the years. Moments like when he and Hope had been down to their last fifteen dollars and riding on empty and a one hundred dollar bill mysteriously appeared in the diaper bag. Hope discovered it on the way home from church and burst into tears. No, Jon couldn’t deny the faithfulness of God.

But to answer yes in this moment? When the weather and the airlines and the whole world seemed against him? He felt the peace from moments ago sliding away and he breathed another silent prayer.

God, help my unbelief.

Memories flooded him, not only God’s faithfulness, but provision, healing, and comfort for the members of the small church Jon had pastored for years. As he recalled the many miracles he’d seen take place, a still voice spoke to his heart.

Why not you? Why not now?

His twirling thoughts calmed, and peace descended once again. He didn’t know what his miracle would look like, but he believed God could move on his behalf.

“Yes. I do.”

Michael’s grin widened even further, if it were possible. Light and joy shone through his eyes.

“Now we’re talking.” Michael clapped his hands together and his laughter rang out through the corridor. The man’s joy was tangible and Jon was unable to resist laughing alongside. Passersby glanced their direction and moved on, but neither man cared.

Michael leaned back and breathed deeply, his laughter gently fading. He turned to Jon. “Good things are coming for you, man. I believe it. God moves when faith is kindled.” He snapped his fingers as if illustrating the point.

Jon was about to answer, when his name was called over the intercom. He excused himself and hurried to the gate desk.

He gave his name to the harried gate agent, who looked up his details. When the computer loaded, she looked up and smiled at him.

“Well, maybe I can make one person happy today. The storm is clearing and we’ve got you on a flight that should leave in about an hour. How does that sound?”

Joy bubbled in Jon’s throat again and he returned her smile. “I’ll get home today?”

The agent peered at her screen and tapped a few buttons. Finally, she nodded. “Yep. It’ll be late, but it’ll be today.”

Relief swept over Jon like a crashing wave. He’d be home in time to see Hope today. Maybe they wouldn’t get to decorate the tree, it would be too late for that, but at least he’d get to hold her in his arms.

He nodded, smiling at the gate agent over the lump of joy in his throat. “That’ll be just fine.”

He made his way back to where Michael sat, and gave him the good news. The large man jumped up from his seat and wrapped up Jon in a huge hug.

“I knew it, man! I knew it.” He released Jon and pulled his phone from his pocket. He held it out to Jon. “You said your phone’s dead, right? You better use mine to call Hope and let her know.”

Jon accepted the phone and wandered toward the windows to call Hope. “Hey babe,” he said when she answered. “I’m coming home.”

To be continued…

Did you know that I send out a monthly newsletter? Subscribers get extra tips and tricks for curating rhythms, routines, and traditions to leave a legacy that matters. They also get access to exclusive content like recipes, creative writing, and so much other fun stuff! Newsletters drop near the turn of the month. Click here for access.

Traditions: Christmas Movie Nights

There’s no denying it: my family loves a good movie. One of our most cherished Christmas traditions is revisiting our favorite holiday movies every year. Sometimes we’ll make a special treat to go along with it (Sticky Popcorn is always a favorite) but often we just pile into the living room and hit play.

Here’s a list of our Top Ten favorite Christmas movies (listed in no particular order):

  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • A Christmas Story
  • The Polar Express
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • The Holiday
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • White Christmas
  • The Grinch (both the old cartoon and the newer version)
  • The Santa Clause
  • Elf

There are so many more that I could add, but these are the ones that have been a part of our family’s story for years. I’d love to know what you would add to our list! Drop a comment with your favorite holiday movie!!

Advent Stories, Part 2: Faith

Hello, friends!

My friend Rachel is hosting an Advent Season fiction writing challenge, and I thought it would be fun to take part. Each week, she’ll post a prompt, and I’ll write a short fiction piece related to the prompt. I hope you enjoy this little series, and I’m excited to see where the weekly prompts take me. Enjoy!

This week’s prompt: Faith.

The metal frame of the airport chair dug into the small of Jon’s back. They’d started as uncomfortable and had only worsened as each hour passed. Jon shifted yet again, hoping to find a comfortable position, but nothing seemed to work longer than a few seconds.

He looked at his watch, but less than ten minutes had passed since he’d last checked the readerboard. Red letters spread across the display like an open wound, notifying travelers of delays and cancellations. Sunlight streamed through the wall of windows, belying the fact that a major snowstorm was blanketing the Northwest and causing mass chaos at connecting airports.

Jon shifted again, crossing his long legs in front of him and resting his head against the back of the chair. He took a slow breath and let it out, closing his eyes against his reality. Hope was waiting for him at home, and he had no way to get to her.

His eyes flew back open at the sound of a large something— or someone— settling into the chair next to him. He glanced toward the annoyance— didn’t this man know that airport etiquette dictated he choose a spot with at least one seat of clearance? The man chomped noisily on a bag of airport potato chips. Jon sighed and changed his position again, trying to avoid the portion of the man’s coat that hung over the arm of the chair.

Startled, the man glanced his way. “Oh, hi, buddy. I thought you were sleeping. I didn’t wake you up, did I?”

Jon shook his head. “No, I wasn’t sleeping.”

The man elbowed Jon, a smile splitting his face. “These airport chairs are a beast, right? It’s like they design them to be uncomfortable.” The man peered at Jon more closely. “Hey, man, you ok?”

Jon grimaced. It must be written all over my face.

He shrugged. Not the type to tell a perfect stranger his life story, he wasn’t exactly sure what to say. Still, this man had cared enough to ask, and seemed genuinely interested. Jon felt a familiar tap on his heart. Okay, Lord. I’m listening. What do You want to show me?

“Not really. I was supposed to get home today, but—” he waved his hand back toward the readerboard.

“Right, right, the storm. Yeah, that’s wreaking havoc for me as well. I’m not worried, though. I’ll get there eventually.”

Jon nodded. He had the same faith in the airlines. They’d get him home— eventually. In the meantime, he was breaking a promise to Hope, something he tried never to do.
The large man reached out his hand. “I’m Michael, by the way.”

“Jon.” Michael’s grip was strong, but somehow gentle.

“You’re trying to get home? Someone waiting for you?” How on earth did Michael know?

“My wife, Hope. I promised I’d get home today, but it’s not looking like it’s going to work out.” Jon rubbed a hand over the back of his neck. “Sometimes I wish I could control the weather.”

“She wouldn’t put you in the doghouse over a storm you can’t control, would she?” Michael jostled Jon with his elbow again, and Jon managed a weak smile.

“No, it’s not that. Hope’s great, the absolute best part of my life. I just hate feeling like I’m letting her down.”

Michael nodded, understanding filling his eyes. “Just can’t wait to get back to see her? That’s special, a love like that. You been married long?”

“Coming up on twenty-one years.”

“Whoa, man, that’s great. And after all these years, all you can think about is getting back to her? She must be pretty special.”

“She is.” He smiled at a memory. “I fell in love with her twenty-two years ago tomorrow, when she fell off a ladder and I caught her. That’s why I wanted to get home today. We’ve always celebrated November 30th as an anniversary of sorts, and this is the first year in twenty-two years that I won’t be there.” Jon drummed his fingers against his forehead, tapping out his frustration. “I know I can’t control the weather, but I hate this feeling of being helpless. I promised her I’d be home, and I’m breaking that promise.” He ran both hands through his hair. “And my phone is dead, so I can’t even call her.”

“Man, that’s rough.” The two men sat in silence for a few moments before Michael spoke again. “I just had the craziest thought come to my head.”

Jon lifted his head and looked at his seat-mate. “What’s that?”

“Well, first, let me ask you. Are you a praying man?”

Jon nodded, slowly, unsure of where Michael was going with this. “I am. I’ve been a pastor for twenty years.”

“I knew it! I just had this feeling when I sat down next to you, man! Okay, so hear me out.” Michael’s enthusiasm was infectious, and Jon felt his heart began to shed some of its heaviness.

Michael went on. “Okay, so how I see it, we both have faith that the snow’s eventually going to stop, right? Eventually the airports will get us on flights and send us home. But, that’s like having faith that the sun is going to come up every morning, and go to bed at night. It’s faith like breathing. It’s ordinary. What if we had faith for something extraordinary?” He pronounced it extra-ordinary.

Jon’s heart rose in response to Michael’s words and he again felt the familiar tapping on his heart. “You mean, like faith to believe in a miracle?”

Michael couldn’t seem to stop nodding. “Exactly.” He gestured around to the waiting area full of people. “I mean, it might not take a miracle for the storm to stop, but to get all these flights and people sorted out? Let’s pray for a miracle that will get you home to Hope.”

Jon felt the tiny seed take root in his heart. This is what you wanted me to hear, Lord. Faith in the God of Miracles.

“Let’s pray.” Jon reached for Michael’s hands and together they bowed their heads.

To be continued…

Did you know that I send out a monthly newsletter? Subscribers get extra tips and tricks for curating rhythms, routines, and traditions to leave a legacy that matters. They also get access to exclusive content like recipes, creative writing, and so much other fun stuff! Newsletters drop near the turn of the month. Click here for access.

Advent Stories, Part 1

Happy December, my friends!

My friend Rachel is hosting an Advent Season fiction writing challenge, and I thought it would be fun to take part. Each week, she’ll post a prompt, and I’ll write a short fiction piece related to the prompt. I hope you enjoy this little series, and I’m excited to see where the weekly prompts take me. Part 1 was inspired in part by the 8 inches of snow we got on Wednesday. Enjoy!

This week’s prompt: Hope.

Nothing lasts forever, Even cold November rain.

Hope pulled the curtains back on the big, bay window in her living room and sighed. What about November snow, Axl Rose? Did you ever think of that? The street outside was blanketed in a six-inch layer of the white fluffy stuff and more was falling from the sky, making it seem as if there was no end in sight. A groan escaped her throat as she pulled on her coat, hat, and mittens. She knew from experience that the word “fluffy” was a misnomer. She’d be getting a back and arms workout before she’d finished the short sidewalk to the road. She gritted her teeth and opened the front door.

Half an hour later, the sidewalk was cleared, for now. Hope pulled her wet mittens from her hands and set them on the heater vent to dry. At least the power hadn’t gone out. Thank goodness for small miracles.

Rubbing her hands together to warm them, she padded through the house, filled the tea kettle, and set it to boil. A warm cuppa would do her good. Besides the workout she’d gotten, the snow also meant she’d be on her own for the day. She wasn’t taking chances with the roads, and she didn’t expect Jon to either.

No matter that the last day of November was an anniversary of sorts for them.

The kettle rumbled on the counter, the sign that it was nearly at a boil. Hope snatched it up and began to pour, the scent of cinnamon, bergamot, and bush tea filling her nostrils. The scents curled tendrils of warmth around her heart. Jon knew it was her favorite tea, and kept her well-stocked.

Curling her hands around the cup of steeping tea, she wandered back through the house to stand at the bay window again. Across the street, twinkling lights glittered back to her in other windows, a sign that the Christmas season had officially started.

Hope sighed, wishing for the joy she so often felt at this time of year. In their twenty-plus years of marriage, Jon had never missed a Last Day. She didn’t remember exactly how they’d made the decision, but over the years November 30th had come to be known as Last Day. Besides it being the last day of November, it also marked the last day they’d known life without each other.

Most couples have a funny story to tell about the first time they met, and Jon and Hope were no exception. They met on a snowy December 1st. They’d both attended the same church for years, but had never met until the year the college ministry held a Christmas decorating party and they’d both decided to attend. He’d ended up catching her when she nearly fell off a ladder. The rest, as they say, was history.

Jon and Hope had been inseparable in the days and months that followed. A whirlwind romance, followed by a picture perfect wedding, twenty-plus years of marriage, two kids, three dogs, and years of ministry. Their first year of marriage, they decided to celebrate Last Day by putting up their own meager Christmas decor, and the tradition had stuck around.

But today, the six inches of snow that had now become eight stood between an airport runway and Jon coming home.

Hope’s phone dinged with a notification, and she pulled it from the coffee table to check it. Sure enough, Jon’s flight had been cancelled due to the storm. Her heart sank. The little hope she’d held out that he might somehow make it home today faded. She dropped the phone back on the coffee table and walked back to the window.Huge flakes of snow still fell from the sky.

Worry, Hope’s biggest enemy and thief of joy, began to nibble around the edges of her thoughts. What if he can’t get a new flight? What if the weather causes issues with the plane? What if something bad happens? What if the snow never ends?

She shook her head, hoping to clear away the thoughts. She knew her worst-case scenarios were ridiculous, but even after years of trying, she couldn’t stop her brain from jumping there. Of course the snow would stop. Eventually. But with eight inches and counting already on the ground, it felt like winter would never end.

To be continued…

Rhythms: Practicing a November Pause

Do you ever feel like the minutes of the day move by at a snail’s pace, but then look at the calendar and realize it’s already time to turn another page or prepare for another change of season?

If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone. But while it sometimes feels that time is passing by too quickly, the shift from October to November always feels good to me. While some people like to move from the fun of October straight into celebrating Christmas, I like to practice what I call the November pause.

This pause is more of a mindset shift than actual white space in my calendar. In fact, my November is already looking pretty full. I might not be able to get away from a busy calendar, but my mind and heart can be focused on thanksgiving and gratefulness. It’s a wonderful way to prepare for the Christmas season, which can often overshadow the space between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas season. But practicing the November pause before the wild and wonderful December winter takes over is like taking a slow breath before starting a race.

As part of practicing a November pause this month, I’ll be joining in with my friend Twyla’s gratitude challenge over on Instagram. You can also join in as we take the next 30 days to focus our thoughts onto gratitude. And in the spirit of not adding “just another thing” to our plates this month, you have permission to participate fully, use the daily prompts as personal journaling tools, or simply follow along. You can find out more here.

Did you know that I send out a monthly newsletter? Subscribers get extra tips and tricks for curating rhythms, routines, and traditions to leave a legacy that matters. They also get access to exclusive content like recipes, creative writing, and so much other fun stuff! Newsletters drop near the turn of the month. Click here for access.

Traditions: Pumpkin Patch, or not?

It’s Fall in the Inland Northwest, and for those of us who live here, Fall equals a trip to Green Bluff. Green Bluff is the ultimate farming and produce area for Spokane. There are multiple farms that transform into Autumn Paradises every year, featuring everything from corn mazes to pumpkin donuts and u-pick fruit. In short, it’s amazing and a not-to-be-missed Fall tradition.

It’s also insanely packed with people every year.

Which is why my husband and I decided to change things up a bit this year. As much as I am a creature of habit and lover of traditions, I also recognize that there can be times when it’s important to make things fresh.

A couple of weeks ago, before the weather changed, I’d tentatively made plans with my youngest to head to Green Bluff to enjoy all the fall things and get some lovely end-of-season produce. When that Saturday morning rolled around, we both realized that her homework load was more than a day at Green Bluff was going to allow, so my husband and I were on to Plan B.

As we weighed our options, we thought through the crowds of people and cars we would have to navigate and realized that neither one of us was all that excited about the stress we would encouter. We decided to forego the annual Pumpkin Patch trip (and the subsequent cutesy pictures that would accompany it) and mix up our tradition.

Instead of heading to Greenbluff, we decided to take a drive South of Spokane to a small town called Rockford. We didn’t discover any pumpkin patches along the way, but we found a lively and fun little mercantile called Hurd’s Mercantile, and we also stopped in at the Golden Gem Mercantile, where we grabbed coffee and picked up a couple of pounds of coffee to take home. (I still didn’t take any cutesy pictures).

It ended up being just what we needed.

The moral of the story? It’s more than ok to be flexible with our traditions when the old ones aren’t working for us anymore. In fact, I recommend changing things up once in a while, even if things are working, just so the routine doesn’t get stale. Take a different route to work, or get coffee from a new place (gasp!). You just might find something joyful and lovely along the way.

Did you know that I send out a monthly newsletter? Subscribers get extra tips and tricks for curating rhythms, routines, and traditions to leave a legacy that matters. They also get access to exclusive content like recipes, creative writing, and so much other fun stuff! Newsletters drop near the turn of the month. Click here for access.