A little background on the blog title. Ever since my husband and I met, we have been working towards the next stage in our lives. Obviously, the first stage in our relationship was dating- intentionally, I might add. Call me old fashioned, but Karl was my only serious boyfriend because I did not want to waste my (or anyone’s) time with someone that I didn’t think I could marry. In my experience, you can tell after a few dates whether or not you are truly compatible with someone and I never found anyone that came close to what I had with my wonderful hubby. I digress… After 13 months of dating, Karl proposed. We were engaged for 11 months and got married on a beautiful, uncharacteristically warm January day. After a year of marriage, we found out we were expecting our first little one. The next 9 months were spent thinking about wiggly baby toes and how we would incorporate said toes (and the rest of the baby) into our lives. Once Ricky was born our world got turned upside down and we were definitely in what you might call a “transition stage.” Desperately trying to figure out how to balance parenthood with work, social lives and day to day obligations, we were struggling. This may have been affected by the extreme sleep deprivation- Ricky did and still does not care for sleep, more on that later.
I returned to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave, but only part-time (3 days a week). We were extremely blessed to have our mothers watch Ricky on the days I was at work. As wonderful as this was, it was still not ideal. Karl and I always wanted me to stay home with our children. As explained in my introductory post, it still wasn’t an easy decision, even though it was always the goal. After months of debating, we finally made the call and I put in my notice at work.
We have arrived. This is the wonderful point that we talked about and dreamed of from the time we got married, 3.5 year ago. So- what now? I know there will still be many changes in our lives as we welcome more children into our family and watch them grow, but this is the arrangement we were working towards. The ever-planning person in me does not know what to do with herself. Now it is a matter of working to enjoy and live for the present, focusing on the day to day instead of the next 12 months.
All of that being said, I’m still a planner at heart. So instead of planning the next year of our lives, I will plan small trips, lessons for my son and meals for the week. My planning tendencies are nothing new- I was that girl in high school that carried around a Franklin Covey planner. I hung on to that planner through the majority of college, but I like to think I’ve evolved a bit since then.
Here are some of my favorite planning apps:
Any.DO / OurGroceries / Google Calendar / TeuxDeux / ListPro
Any.DO is my favorite to-do list app, followed closely by TeuxDeux. TeuxDeux is actually, in my opinion, better designed and more aesthetically pleasing, but it is not cheap. They transitioned to a subscription-based service last year, which is what caused me to seek out a new go-to for my daily to-do lists. The great thing about both apps is that you can assign tasks to a specific day, rather than just making one massive list. I prefer this method because it allows me to plan further out into my week and assign a realistic number of tasks to each day based on what I already know is scheduled.
OurGroceries is amazing. You can keep as many running lists as you need, and they do not need to be simply grocery lists. While I primarily use this for groceries, I also keep separate lists for Costco, non-food store items, and this might seem random, but movies to see. (Side-bar, my husband and I NEVER go to the movies anymore, so we keep a running list when we see previews to get them on On Demand or Netflix when they come out.) The BEST part about this app is that you can link it to multiple phones, so you and your spouse can both add things to the lists. Husband mentions that you’re out of milk? Go ahead and add it to the list yourself, sweetheart 😉 ListPro is a similar app, allowing you to keep running lists of whatever you need. This was my first replacement to-do app post-TeuxDeux, but I found I preferred using a combination of Any.DO and OurGroceries.
This brings me to Google Calendar. It might be silly to even mention this, but linking my iPhone calendar to my Google calendar is absolutely necessary to my sanity. I have the worst memory, so if it isn’t written down, I’m not going to be there. This is also an excellent tool to share with your spouse. My husband and I both have our phones linked to my Google calendar, erasing any chance of someone forgetting we were going to the parents’ for dinner that night or the other one had a night out with friends planned. A shared calendar also eliminates that awkward, “let me ask my spouse” moment when someone wants to plan something!
Alright, that’s all for now! Happy planning!