I believe January was a success! Leaving my workbook open, bringing it to the kitchen on the days I’m not in the office and checking on it throughout the day helped me to really focus. Not only was I reminded of the current goal I was working on but I knew what was up-coming on the list, allowing me to pre-visualize the steps for that goal. This helped me to hit the ground running, doing small tasks when I had a free second here or there. In hindsight, it’s nice to see that being prepared well allows me to utilize the free time I have effectively.



























Another thing that helped me plan well was using my Simplified Planner and scheduling my tasks. I would allow myself one-hour chunks of time to get stuff done (longer, if I was editing). When the time was up, the time was up. It helped me to move on to the next task, overcoming that sense of urgency to finish the entire project/task in one sitting, thus allowing me to get more accomplished in one day. #win (!!!)


One thing that I did notice, was that my weekly and daily goals sometimes felt like boxes I needed to check off. This made my over-achiever heart ache when the boxes weren’t marked off. But, allowing grace to trump perfection here! Realizing, these (daily) goals are better defined as habits I’d like to have more of in my life.


Revisiting my goals for January:


1.    Create a family bucket list for 2016 and set dates on the calendar :: We created our family bucket list for the year, including trips (vacation + day trips) that we would like to take and memories we want to make with the kids. However, I decided to set dates quarterly. With a new baby on the way, we want to gradually slide into this new season of life. Doing so will help me to not get overwhelmed or disappointed if I can’t fit it all in (ie.. be supermom). Plus, new things pop up everyday. I like having the flexibility/freedom to be able to add or delete events.


2.    Start Financial Peace University, invite friends to join us :: I invited some of my closest friends to join Shelvie and I as we revisit this video series. I secured a babysitter and every other Sunday we meet for three hours. We spend some time catching up, watch the video and take a few minutes to chat about the information, then we all have dinner afterwards. The best investment was hiring a baby-sitter for our 9 kids! It allows us parents to get a short break, tend to our friendships and spend a solid hour or so focusing on creating a new relationship with our finances.


3.    Have a birthday party for Piper :: We celebrated twice this year; with family on Christmas Eve and then again with a small group of friends. We liked doing it this way, versus having one large party, and think we may do this in the coming years.


4.    Determine two ‘duty days’ for each month :: I decided on the first day of the month and on Monday of the third week.


5.    Date night with Shelvie :: This month, we had lunch at Cheesecake Factory and saw Creed at the movie theater.


6.    Work on and create a meal plan to follow for the month :: Can I tell you how long I’ve been ‘working on’ creating a meal plan!! I believe this goal has always been unsuccessful for me because it needs to be broken down and more clearly defined. I love this idea I found on Pinterest.

In the meantime, to go along with my goal of eating more paleo/whole 30, I’ve subscribed to The Nourishing Home and have been receiving weekly Whole 30 compliant menus. Even though I haven’t followed it every day, it has helped tremendously! I love that it has a daily dinner item with a link to the recipe.. easy peasy! I especially like how it comes with a shopping list for that week. If you are like me, and sometimes need things spelled out, this is a must have in your arsenal! One thing to note, and I even hate that this is a truth, but eating whole foods costs a ton (I need to investigate on how to get the most value)! Buying the first weeks worth of food took about 2/3rds of our food budget. On the flip side, there was enough left overs for lunch and/or dinner again later that week (another option, freezing for the following week or later that month), so having to cook everyday is not necessary. Because this is still very new for us, we didn’t follow it exactly. One week has lasted us the whole month – we still ordered out, ate cereal for dinner some nights and relied on our old go-to’s for those tired nights when we wanted something quick and easy.


7.    Set up Dropbox on both Shelvie and my phone, connect camera :: Done! Having all those images come in at once was a little daunting, but I developed a system for myself that seems to be working.


8.    Schedule cleaning days :: We hired someone to come twice a month. The first visit is to deep clean the entire house. The second is to clean three bathrooms and sweep and wash the floor on the first floor. This is the best investment yet!


9.    Action plan for work needed on the house: to-do’s, needs/wants,  ** finish interior design plans **  :: I started these two lists when we first moved in, so I just had to make some quick updates. The needs/wants list grew considerably, but it was easier to define things we really need and wanted now that we’ve been in the house for just over a year. With that said, it has also helped us make some important decisions when it came to finalizing the interior design plans (** didn’t finalize just yet) . Living in the house has allowed us to really see how we live day-to-day, earning us a deeper sense of what will really work for our family vs our big dreams (ie. having a ‘Kardashian’ closet in our master bedroom).


10.    Define a social media plan for the next 12 months :: This is another goal that, for me, is too general. It needs to be broken down and more clearly defined! I love these tips I found on Pinterest (oh, Pinterest!). I decided to set this up quarterly also and already started to work through some of the ideas.




February goals:


– Plan a garden + flower beds with Shelvie

– Work on setting up my meal plan board

– Learn how to manage and run TLS + Happy Lawns (Shelvie’s business’s)

– Date night with Shelvie

– Pick and learn about a fruit of the spirit

– Read: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old

– Research and look into creating a will/living will

Konmarie: finish tidying clothing; move on to books and papers

– Work on JLP workflows: client + ordering albums

– Blog at least once a week

– Read You and Me Forever with Shelvie

– Set up Quickbooks for JLP



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Every year, I set out with big dreams to have a well organized life. The reality, my life did more of the managing. I rush from one fire to another, trying to put it out before it consumes me entirely. At the end of the year I’m exhausted, left feeling unfulfilled and disappointed I didn’t even scratch my true potential. This year I want my goal setting to shift, to be more intentional, coming from a place of true purpose. I’m a good planner, but when I’m overwhelmed I tend to fight for the urgent vs the important (I need to learn more on how to distinguish between the two). To hold myself accountable, I plan to blog my monthly goals.


I’ve incorporated Lara’s Powersheets in my goal setting before, and it has really has been such a blessing to me.. I’ve seen my life reap a harvest. But, before now, I’ve used them unsuccessfully.


⁃    I would wait to long to fill them out for the following month, get frustrated and discouraged, and say, ‘next month’.

⁃    Next month would come and I wouldn’t fill them out due to being overwhelmed.

⁃    I left them in my binder, with the binder closed.

⁃    The binder lived in my office, I’m not in my office every day. So, checking them on a daily (sometime hourly) basis was not happening.



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image source


How I plan to have more success in 2016.


⁃    Leave my Powersheet Workbook open to the month currently in.

⁃    Keep my workbook in a more common area on a regular basis (probably my kitchen counter or print out my tending list and tape it to my frig)

⁃    Have daily check-ins (set my phone to prompt me in the morning and afternoon or write it in my planner)

⁃    Use both my workbook and my Simplified Planner (I have the pretty pineapple one shown above) as companions (scheduling each goals task into intentional chunks of time)

⁃    Using the hourly schedule to organize my tasks for that day (setting a time limit to work too, especially during office hours)




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While doing the prep work (read Lara’s 2016 goal setting series), I focused on the most important categories of my life (in no particular order) right now:


– Spiritual (cultivating joy & contentment)
– Financial
– Marriage
– Health & Wellness
– Family
– Home
– Business (JLP)


I began to dream in each of these areas of all the things I would love to do in 2016. Then set on a course to break them down into action ideas.


Side Note: The ‘Goal Action Ideas’ is my favorite section in the workbook. As a type-A, planner, need-to-have-it-all-laid-out-in-front-of-me person, this section makes some serious deposits in my tank! Not only does it list your goal but the ‘why’ behind it. I’ll admit, sometimes this part was tough for me. I would stare at it for long periods of time, hoping the words would just pour onto the page, but they never did. When I really dug deep, the true purpose behind the goal was revealed (I did not allow myself to jump ahead to the next goal until that one goal was clearly and intentionally defined. Sometimes, I didn’t revisit my workbook for days as I sat and digested the goal. This set my anxious-heart ablaze, but motivated me to do the hard work!). I loved how each goal has a section to write how it will effect your life long term.. seeing the bigger picture allows you to further define your goal with purpose. After which, the action items become more easily recognizable. The small box, to identify who/what to seek as a resource, is another personal favorite. For me, this is pivotal. When I’m knee deep in the chaos it’s easy to loose sight, coming back to this small step will allow me to get a quick boost of motivation.


After brainstorming, I came up with this list of goals for 2016:


– Work through the Financial Peace University series again


– Determine a ‘duty day’ twice a month (read all about what a duty day is by Katelyn James)


– Plan for retirement


– Go on a date every month


– Learn to play backgammon with Shelvie


– Learn more about/practice the fruits of the spirit


– Work through Search the Scriptures


– Volunteer at church


– Do the Nancy Ray Contentment Challenge


– Read and do Jane Johnson’s devotional, Treasures of Darkness: A Nine Week Bible Study


– Read 10 new + 4 business related books


– Create and use a meal plan


– Hire a personal trainer (July)


– Run a half marathon (by October)


– Buy a trail/road bike.. use it!


– Do a sugar fast twice this year


– Eat more paleo/Whole 30


– Pray through January about moving forward with our adoption


– Honor the Sabboth weekly with no (JLP) work and social media


– Hire a nanny


– Finish Ezra’s and Piper’s first year book


– Take Shelvie to see Walk Off The Earth and Foo Fighters


– Document our 2016 well


– Create a will/living will/estate plan


– Use the Marie Kondo method to tidy the house


– Create a legacy box


– Hang and display more family moments


– Work on the play room (organize and set up/decorate), basement (plumbing, frame + sheet rock), bonus room (finish floor, set up office + determine use for extra space), family command center (purchase desktop + chairs, set up/decorate) and outside flower beds (front + back)


– Plan 2 family vacations (Hershey + one other location) and 5 family day trips (including Sesame Place)


– Create a 12 month marketing plan


– Revise business workflows


– Make the JLP blog and website more SEO friendly


– Visit/revisit family photography


– Streamline JLP products offered




Here are January’s goals to keep me on track (orange is what’s done so far)


  1. Create a family bucket list for 2016  and set dates on the calendar
  2. Start Financial Peace University, invite friends to join us
  3. Have a birthday party for Piper
  4. Determine two ‘duty days’ for each month
  5. Date night with Shelvie
  6. Work on and create a meal plan to follow for the month
  7. Set up Dropbox on both Shelvie and my phone, connect camera (read this, this and this post on how to organize your family media by Kara Layne. #mindblown!!)
  8. Schedule cleaning days
  9. Action plan for work needed on the house: to-do’s, needs/wants, finish interior design plans
  10. Define a social media plan for the next 12 months



I’m a fabulous life-planner but terrible at accomplishing the goals outlined. I’ve tried just about everything.. notes around the house, print outs tapped to the wall in front of my desk and reminders on my phone.. nothing seemed to ever just, stick! I’ve prayed continually on this and recently God has put a fire in my heart to live with more intention. I’ve realized that with planning, must come action; purposeful decision making.



I don’t know what 2015 will hold for me, but I do know that I will approach this year with INTENTION! I wear many hats – a believer, a mom, a wife, and a business owner – that’s a lot of pressure and often leaves me feeling overwhelmed. This year’s vision is to plan ahead and set goals to carve out time to connect with God in a bold way, bring the relationship back into my marriage, be more of (just a) mom, and generate crazy momentum in my business. I want to move away from simply managing my life and allow margin to enjoy the small moments. I believe this is living with intention and purpose. For me, that means planning ahead. I’m sure I will fail often, but I welcome it, for only then will I truly learn. With God’s grace and direction, I fervently pray for this.. amen!



To help me and provide some structure (I’m a formula-working kind of girl!), I’m following Nancy Ray’s 5-step Goal Setting Guide (sign up for her newsletter here to receive it!). From now until January 10th, when I host the very first Newton NJ Pursuit Gathering (more on that later!), I will be praying in these areas: career, family, financial, spiritual, intellectual, social and physical. Then, during our fellowship, I will work through and clearly define each area. I can’t wait to share them with you!




Photographs by Vanessa Joy Photography
Print by Grace & Salt


What about you? Have you set any goals for 2015? I find that I’m more motivated to act when I read the goals of friends. If you have blogged or shared your goals somewhere, please leave a link in the comments below so I can read them : )


It’s been a full week since I took down my ‘gone fishing’ sign and returned from maternity leave. I did struggle with extending my leave until the official start of my wedding season in May. I decided that, for now, I would return half-time. I believe this will help me define my ideal workday – challenging me to fully focus, spend less time mindlessly clicking, etc, ect – streamlining what works and truly giving my all to the work before me. This, in turn, will allow me to be fully present on my off days spent with my kids. I’ve also felt this immediate need to get my life in order now that I have three kids and focus on my Life To-Do List (which needs some more thought.. I may or may not be able to go surfing in Australia any time soon! ha!)


You’re probably asking three?! More on that later!


In the meantime, it’s my greatest pleasure to introduce you to Piper Quinn Goldschmidt.
(All these amazing photos courtesy of the lovely Jessica Morrisy Photography, except were noted)


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View More: http://jessicamorrisyphotography.pass.us/portraits

Piper decided to make her appearance two weeks early and was born on December 23, 2013 at 8:04pm. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces at 19 inches long. I had to spend Christmas Eve in the hospital alone – a total bummer – but Piper and I were released early Christmas Day. It was really difficult being away from Ezra the first year he was old enough to participate in the celebration (we celebrate and open gifts at midnight) so we celebrated that afternoon. Although, it was anti-climatic.. haha!


In comparison to Ezra’s delivery, or pregnancy for that matter, she was a piece of cake! Around my third month, Ezra began to lay on my sciatica. As he grew the pain in my legs became unbearable! It began with a dull numbness; I’d equate it to when you have a cavity filled, the numbness in your cheek that follows. It then became a tingling in one leg, then the other. That turned into a serious case of pins and needles. It eventually grew, into what I can only describe as, my legs feeling as if they were on fire. I could barely walk towards the end and had a serious case of the wobbles! ha! After an hour-and-a-half, my birthing nurse and a resident on top of me helping to push him out, he finally greeted the world. While pregnant with Piper, I did Crossfit until the end of my seventh month, then switched to yoga for my last trimester. To me, labor and delivery were a breeze (well, in comparison, haha!). My birthing nurse said my contractions were off the charts but, to me, it felt like bad menstrual cramps (sorry, TMI! haha). At six centimeters dilated I had to make the hard choice to get an epidural to speed things up (my contractions became sporadic and her heart rate would dip). Although I was disappointed I couldn’t delivery her naturally, I was thrilled for a ten minute delivery!


Out she came with all of her perfect parts.. My sweet girl.


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Ezra loves his new baby sister..


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but this is what he really thinks! haha


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(taken with my iphone)



The last three months in iphone-ography.


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Then there was four.


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and what it really looks like to try and get one good picture.. haha!


View More: http://jessicamorrisyphotography.pass.us/portraits






Jessica Lee Photography_Maternity Leave Announcement


I’m happy to announce that I am officially on maternity leave, eagerly anticipating and preparing for the arrival of our daughter. I will be returning March, 2014. See you then!