3 Personal Goals for September

A few favorite intimates items

I hesitate to call this a series because I’m notorious for saying, “THIS IS A NEW SERIES” and then there is only one round before I move on to something else.

What can I say is, I’m an ideas person. I’ve got a million ideas but only a small fraction of them actually come to fruition. That’s why I’m thankful to have Amanda as a part of the team here to help execute and complete tasks (I’m an obliger after all!). You’ll learn more about her soon!

It’s a new month, though, and since time is speeding by like a freight train, I’m trying to be more intentional about how I spend it. It seems like more than ever there are daily reminders about how short life can be, and I certainly don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted it.

So, for September, here are 3 realistic goals that I’ve set for myself:

One. Take more DSLR photos of my kids. Due to the nature of my job, I have my phone near me quite often. And due to the nature of being 4 and 5 years old, my boys turn into maniacal, loud animals whenever I aim the phone lens in their direction. I blame this on myself and fun Snapchat filters. So I want to remember to use my camera, just the plain old camera that doesn’t have fun voice changers or face-distortion apps and take photos of my kids doing things that kids do. I am always saving photos of the kids to albums in my phone for my Chatbooks and I’ve realized that I don’t take as many good photos of the kids as I wish I did!

Two. Read more/again. I loved reading as a kid. I mean, loved it! I was always a fast reader and loved anything from biography to fiction. The older I’ve gotten, and the more kids I’ve had, the less time I spend reading. I recently bought the book “How To Talk so Little Kids Will Listen” and am slowly working through it. Even only a few pages in I was reminded of how refreshing and valuable it is to pour information into you that prompts you to think more deeply about what you are (or aren’t!) doing.

Three. Find a way to serve/volunteer with the kids. Justin and I have a few organizations we support financially, but something we love to do at the end of the year, near Christmas, is to reach out to friends who may know someone with any specific, tangible needs so we can bless them. We bought our former neighbor’s car that she was selling and gifted it to someone who needed a vehicle. I know that giving financially is needed but it feels different (maybe more “real”) to fulfill a very specific need in a way that helps a particular family or person, you know what I mean? Anyway, the kids can’t really understand the value of giving financially, but they can definitely see the value in spending their time giving back, so I’d love to find an organization or way that we can serve with our kids.

Do you have any goals or hopes for this month?



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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 09.02.19

I think these are great goals for September, Kate! I definitely want to read more too – making it my goal this month to at least finish one novel! 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Heather says · 09.02.19

I love this! Do more of these type of posts!

Tamara Pierce says · 09.02.19

Hey Katie! As a mom I toohave very little time to enjoy reading mom books. So do you have a pod cast you recommend?
Also your boys might love visiting a local nurse home in your area and handing out cards to the residents there. Or check Operation Christmas Child….. there’s so many good ideas for little kids to show how to give/show kindness of giving.

Claire says · 09.22.19

So, obviously this is not as exciting as Kate recommending a podcast to you, but for what it’s worth! A podcast you might enjoy is Risen Motherhood. It’s a really uplifting, practical discussion about various aspects of motherhood, from a Christian point of view (if that suits you 😊)

Heather Zarbaugh says · 09.02.19

Hi Kate! I watched a review by you on YouTube today. I explored to learn more about your online presence and discovered your blog. It gave me great joy to learn about who “Kate” is!

I appreciated your post about setting simple goals for this month. I love that you are exploring ways to volunteer as a family! What a precious opportunity to model servant leadership for little ones! I’d like to offer a suggestion of a serving opportunity for you & your husband to consider for your family. My post is longer that I like to leave, but it is something I feel like I should offer up!

A few years ago my husband & I were exploring ways to serve as a couple. Through our church (Watermark) in Dallas we learned of the opportunity to become a “Friendship Partner” to an international student at the local university. We learned that, sadly, over 80% of international students will never be invited into an American home while they’re in the US!! While studying here they deeply miss their families – parents, siblings, and young nieces & nephews too.

Our experience was phenomenal!! We were matched with a couple of students. We’d simply invite them for dinner & games at our home. We included them in seasonal experiences like pumpkin carving in October, Thanksgiving dinner in November, and Christmas tree decorating in December. We would also try to include them, as schedules allowed, in cultural activities we did outside our home – baseball ballgames, state fair, family events, etc. We grew very close over their time in Dallas and our friendships are continuing even now. They consider us as family away from home. God blessed us with the opportunity to fly to India this past January to attend one young man’s wedding and to stay with our friends’ families. The experience was one of the most memorable and precious that my husband & I have shared!

So…. it’s just an opportunity to consider, but I can say it truly offers a beautiful experience for a family to pursue together. I was in Raleigh, at NCSU, just last month, learning that there are hundreds of international students pursuing graduate degrees on that campus. There are so many who are interested to meet American families, but have not yet had that opportunity. If you are interested in learning more, just email me.

Sarah O says · 09.03.19

That is wonderful!

Rachel says · 09.02.19

Thanks for sharing your goals Kate! This is inspiring. My goal for September is to set standard office hours and stick to them (I’m new to working from home).
Something my best friend and I did with our moms growing up was to visit shut-ins from our church. These were seniors mostly in nursing homes who could not consistently make it to church. We would make a simple craft to bring some Christmas cheer to their room and bake some cookies. It was so fun to visit them and listen to their stories.

Jennifer South says · 09.02.19

Check out justserve.org for service opportunities anywhere you live!

Andrea O. says · 09.02.19

I love this type of post! Good luck finding something to volunteer for. I personally am in the Junior League and it has been a wonderful experience. I am sure you will find the perfect match with the phase in your life.

JACKIE says · 09.03.19

Hi Kate,

I love this idea of teaching your children the value of volunteering! I recently visited Raleigh for the first time and visited A Place at the Table; I loved its mission, and how a tiny gesture can be so impactful. Have you visited?

Lynn says · 09.03.19

Thank you for this post. It was nice to read that you and your husband give back some of what you have been blessed with. From a readers standpoint, all we see is the enormous amount of spending and stuff you guys do and have!

Hilary says · 09.03.19

I love this! I bullet journal, which helps me make goals and track them! Not to be too into teacher mode here, but! for goal setting, it’s really helpful to have a measurable goal. Instead of “read more” which is vague and what does that even mean? it might help to say “read for 15 minutes per day at night” or “read one book a month.” That way you can actually see if you’re making progress on it. I am making a fall bucket list of things to do with my husband and daughter! I’ll be working on those over the next few months!

Emily McK. says · 09.03.19

Your 3rd goal has been one I’ve been working towards this year with my 3 year old daughter! I’ve found something super helpful that I really hope you check out! On Instagram her name is “theleangreenbean” she shares something called “Be Kind 75” its perfect! 75 things for random acts of kindness! We love doing it & I feel like you would too.

Hollie says · 09.03.19

I, too, am reading that book. I love the specific and practical ideas they give. I’d recommend it to any mother.

Amber says · 09.03.19

Great goals!

My kids do a shoebox full of goodies that our church collects Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s purse. School supplies, bars of soap and toothbrushes are always a must for the boxes and then they get to pick out some fun toys as well.

Kacie M. says · 09.03.19

I also have “How To Talk so Little Kids Will Listen” on my need to read list; I’ve had it for awhile. My almost 3 year old is very strong-willed and getting through to him without giving in has been tough! I’m only a few chapters in, but have already gotten some ideas on how to change what we’re doing to get him to listen better.

Nice goals for the month! I also need to take more photos of my kid on our camera vs. cell phone.

Kate says · 09.03.19

These are such great goals! Thanks for sharing!!


Sarah says · 09.03.19

On the service goal. We do a lot in our family so I have some age appropriate ideas for younger kids. One idea is for them to care for someone else’s important things: for example cleaning and organizing dad’s toolbox. Another time we went to Target and chose paw patrol bandaids and some new toys, and then delivered them to our local hospital. A family I know bakes pies together and takes them to the firehall on New year’s Eve. Lots of ways to spread love.

M says · 09.05.19

Two quick comments – (1) would love to hear more about you serving with your kids, because I’d love to do the same and know a bit more about your experience! (2) I’m fortunate to be surrounded by people who read a lot so I caught the reading bug as well, here are a few books that you can get through quickly since they are so engaging: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, Beartown by Fredik Backman, happy reading!

Kate says · 09.05.19

Thank you!

Julia Haupt says · 09.08.19

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I definitely want to read that book you mentioned. Getting it now!
Love your service idea. I feel the same way – though it’s been hard to involve the kids and they usually add more work and take more attention when I take them to participate. I know it’s worth continuing to do and figure out though. I have found one thing that has really clicked for them so this may inspire a similar ideal foe you guys. We try to pick a different “service idea” every semester of school and last year when we would go to the store we would practice not thinking about ourselves but of others and every week we got diapers/wipes/baby toy and we’d go once a week to the pregnancy center in raleigh and the kids would take in the items to donate to mothers and families who needed them. They give diapers and wipes away like candy over there. Anyways the reason it clicked is that they knew what diapers were, what they were used for, and that they cost money. So the simple understanding that some people don’t have enough money for diapers and there are babies out there in need clicked for them. And the regular act of dropping them off at the clinic helped create a sense of responsibility and reliability in providing for those needs for others. We also like to “adopt” families from there for holidays or baby showers and get them what they need – the kids get it when we’re shopping for those things and dropping them off.

Sarah Hawley says · 09.09.19

Hey, Kate. I know you’re in the Triangle – I’m in Apex and have volunteered with my kids at Brown Bag Ministries. It’s a Christian-based organization that delivers brown bagged meals and hot meals to different people (homeless, working poor, etc.) around the Triangle.

At the Apex site, which meets at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church community center (it’s not a Catholic charity – just a great meeting place), you go in and can do a variety of things from making and bagging sammies to putting brown bags together to packing up the truck. Your older boys could easily participate in making the sammies (Emily is prob still too young). You can just pack lunches which takes about an hour (LOTS of people want to participate) or you can also go to downtown Raleigh to help deliver. I really love going with my kids. Might be something to consider for goal #3.



Kate says · 09.10.19

This sounds perfect, thank you so much for sharing

Sarah Hawley says · 09.10.19

BTW – the site can be a little confusing. If you’re going to the Apex location and your group is 5 or fewer people, just show up (might want to get there a little early b/c – LOTS of people). No need to do the reservation thing. Hope you do it and love it. Can be a little chaotic, but everyone is there for good reasons and is very eager to help each other help each other.

Kate says · 09.11.19

Good to know, I’ve already checked it out!

Casey Smith says · 09.26.19

Love this Kate! I have the same last two goals, read more and show examples of helping others to my 3.5 year old. I’d love to hear how things turn out for you!