Goals and Plans for a Slower Season

orange fall leaves

Image by PhotoVandal

There’s something about fall and winter that makes me want to shift gears. To cozy up in my home and just slow down a little in general. Much as I absolutely adore summertime and warmth and sunshine, the change of pace can sometimes be a welcome thing to me.

After what has been a particularly busy summer and early fall for our family, I am anticipating this slower season even more than usual. Some years I am so loathe to say good-bye to summer, that happy, bright and cheerful time of year. I live on the Westcoast, where the weather can often be dreary, gray, wet and cold in the fall and winter months.

Yet this year, this slower season holds the promise of more time to do some things I’ve been eager to do. Quality time with my husband and children. More time to pour into my nutrition and herbology studies, and into my blog in particular. And lots of projects around the house I’m anxious to get to.

Here are some of the things on my to-do list:

  • Sewing- I bought material for several projects, including new bedroom and living room throw pillows, just before I the stick turned pink last December. Once the morning sickness hit, the pillows and other projects were history. Thankfully, they’re still waiting for me right where I left them! :)
  • Holidays- I haven’t always put a whole lot of effort into finding ways to make the holiday season especially meaningful. I’d like to change that this year!
  • Recipes- Every few years I like to really sort through my recipe cards and reorganize my recipe binder. I want to update my list of our favorite recipes and make things easier for simple meal planning.
  • Knitting/Crocheting- A few weeks ago at a family gathering, my husband’s cousin started teaching me to knit. I’m hooked! This winter I really want to develop my knitting and crocheting skills, and once I’ve got the hang of it, start working on it more with my oldest daughter.
  • Reading- When the sun is shining, the kids want to go out and play, the tomatoes need harvesting( and the garden weeds are beating me), there’s precious little time to sit down and read. Winter is the perfect time to cozy up on the couch with a warm blanket, a hot drink and a really good book. Or three really sweet, squirmy kiddos and a handful of picture books.
  • Bigger homeschool projects- In the midst of adjusting to a new baby, finishing up the garden and summer preserving, health issues, etc. our learning times have been a bit bare bones. We’re still covering the basics, but I just haven’t had the time or energy to really get into any of the more interesting projects I’d like to do with Abbie, like making a cardboard model of the human body (complete with balloon lungs!) or putting together an album of zoo animals we’ve taken pictures of and labeling where each of them lives on our large world map.
  • Family photos- I’m 2 1/2 years behind in our family photo albums. Yikes! That is one big project right there!
  • Decorating- Along with going through our photos, I’m eager to start printing off some of my favorites and finding unique frames for them. I want to create photos displays for the top of our piano and one wall in our hallway.

I know, it’s still busy and ambitious, but I’ve come to recognize that’s just my personality! :) I won’t get all of it done, but I’m looking forward to tackling my list anyways!

Do you enjoy the slower pace of fall and winter? What are some of your plans and projects for this season?

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. Stephanie,
    I loved your list! I would love to learn more about the human body you are planning on making – what book are you reading and where did you get the information on a model? I tried googling it but am having a hard time finding anything.
    Thanks so much.

    Carrie

  2. Thank you for sharing. I would love to teach my 9 year old how to crochet this winter. I learned when I was her age.
    I also have many pictures to add to photo albums (I finally purchased some last week).
    I plan on starting a garden next spring and want to educate myself this winter to have success next year. Of course, there is much more.

  3. A great way we’ve found to add more meaning and greater (proper) focus to the Christmas season is through reading the devotional, “Preparing My Heart for Advent”, by Anne Marie Stewart. It is a devotional designed for women, but easily tailored to the whole family. My husband and I have been reading it each year for five years and we get something wonderful out of it each time. The daily devotional starts November 1st and continues through January 6th (Epiphany – - the coming of the wise men). I would definitely highly recommend it as a way to place Christ at the center of your celebrations.

  4. I desperately need things to slow down as well – your post was a timely reminder. However with the approaching holidays I don’t see my slower season starting until January. The cold here in the northeast and the sun setting early lend to a natural slowing down and hibernating for us.

    I plan to undertake some frugal re-decorating of my house this winter

  5. I was just complaining to my husband that I felt like we should have slowed down for the cold season by now. Usually that comes naturally, but I may have to force it this year!

  6. There is no slowing down here in the Southwest. We have just come out of our winding down season and are gearing up. We are finally breaking the 90s (should be in the 80s this week) and it is so fun to watch everyone emerge from their estivation and start planting their gardens, the joggers and walkers are out again, soccer season is beginning so the kids are extra busy. This is our season of barbecues and parties. (Yes we like to eat Thanksgiving dinner on the back porch outside). I do love the summers here even if it is 120 degrees-I am inside with the air on knitting and sorting photos and watching movies with an ice tea in hand instead of a hot drink.

  7. I’ve got a long list of project, but so far it hasn’t slowed down enough to get started on them. I don’t think it will til after the holidays. I have several knitting and crocheting projects I want to do. I’ve always wanted to learn to do granny squares. I have a lot of reading to do. In Jan. I always reorganize my office. I’m learning to use herbs and spices for health and want to try making some bath and body things. I want to try making a doll and some mini quilts. There are some movies I want to get from Netflix or my library. I’ve been watching Dickens mini series done by BBC and want to read the books. I’m reading Little Dorit right now. I could go on but that’s a start. Linda

  8. You all should try living in Wisconsin…winter has pretty much already started! ;) I love it, though, too, and pretty much for the same reasons- I love cuddling up with books and my daughter, sewing, and just doing some good house cleaning! :) I definitely look forward to the spring, though, espcially since it takes a long time coming some years!!
    .-= Jennifer Konietzki´s last blog ..is making duck noises really a skill?? =-.

  9. I love fall and winter after summer/spring work. There is just something about not having to do all kinds of outdoor work but being able to work on the inside, but I am usually extremely ready for summer after our long Ohio winters.
    .-= Jodi´s last blog ..The Shack- God’s Enduring Love =-.

  10. LOL I’m just the same way: to do lists for relaxing and all…I wouldn’t want to forget any of the fun things I wanted to do after all! Since that’s your personality, you’re going to love knitting! It lets you do something while watching a movie and listening to a book on tape or a podcast, or while riding in the car or waiting at the doctors office *grin*. You’ll want to check out ravely.com for lots of great free patterns, and the easiest way to search for them that I have ever seen.
    .-= c´s last blog ..FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! =-.

    • @c, I want to do knitting and crocheting for that exact reason- I can still be busy with my hands while doing something else! I am totally the type of person that likes to be busy and active all the time, so I would really enjoy being able to knit and pump out beautiful gifts, baby clothes, etc. while watching movies with my hubbie or kids.

  11. Framing some photos has been on my to do list for a long time. With digital cameras I find i don’t print them as often anymore. I love candid shots to put in frames. Love your goals!

  12. Knitting and photos are on my list, too!

  13. I enjoy each season as it comes, but then by the end of it, I am totally ready for the next one!!! Although this year I didn’t feel like we got summer, so its harder to go into fall and now heading into winter.

    I have lots of things I want to do…but I am trying to just make a few goals. My biggest goal is continuing to organize our house. We never really fully moved in, with pregnancies and such going on. The other goal is to work on our photos. We are more than 5 years behind!!! Any suggestions on an easy way to do this? How are you doing it?

    • @Nola, Nola, I wrote about how I do my photobooks on a comment above. It’s the easiest way I know of to do it. I also need to organize my digital photos on my computer, but I only wish I had a good way to do it. I need to do some research to figure out how other moms organize theirs. It’s not one of my strong points!

      • @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home,
        Thanks for the reply. I wish I could actually SEE your photobooks. I went on the shutterfly site and it looks good…but I am leery of it for some reason! Probably since I am really picky about photo quality and have had problems in the past with photo printers (it was their fault, not my camera, since when I told them, they reprinted and it was fine). Have you ever had quality issues with shutterfly? At all? Are you picky or does it matter to you? I own a really good camera so I want really good prints.

        • @Nola, Yes, I’m relatively picky and no, we’ve never had problems with quality at Shutterfly. And if you did, they’re a big enough company that I’m pretty sure they would make it right for you.

          Also, you can buy coupon codes for free photobooks sometimes on Ebay (search for Shutterfly photo books). There is always an expiry date (and it’s usually quickly approaching- maybe 4 weeks max) but it gets you a book for only a couple dollars plus shipping, which cuts down the cost hugely! They’re usually for the smaller books, though (8×8 or 8×11) not the really big ones, but you can always pay to add extra pages if you want.

  14. I agree with Jen K!! The human body model with balloon lungs, oh do share please!!

    I am like you and even though I certainly miss having the warm sweet sun kiss my face everyday (we are in Ohio and it is dreary and cold more then not), I do enjoy the “hibernation” mode of fall/winter.

    This year I have started preparing for Christmas in advance and hope to have most of our preparations done before December rolls around. I wanted to get all the girts made or bought, recipes picked out, cookies made etc before the actual holiday so that we could focus on what Christmas is all about….Jesus’ birth!!

    I hope to spend the month of December really digging in and doing a bunch of fun learning activities, crafts, songs etc about Jesus and his birthday with the kids for school. I also want to really focus on giving to others and find a project that we can do as a family to give back to others.

    Decorating and making our home more cozy is high on the list. As is organizing our homeschooling materials.

  15. Will you share how you organize your family photos? Our daughter is 16 months and all of her pictures are organized on the computer, but I’ve yet to print many of them because I can’t decide how to put them in albums. Scrapbooking seems like too much work, so I’m not sure I want to commit to that. Thanks!

    • @Jessica,
      Another way to make great photo albums is to use blurb.com (Booksmart). It’s a great program where you create the albums on your computer and they print into beautiful books. I find it easier than traditional cut and glue style scrapbooking. Also, it ends up being much cheaper because you don’t have to print all the pictures.

    • @Jessica, I like to use Shutterfly to make my photo books. (It’s similar to blurb.com that Lydia mentioned above). I compared the cost of using it (with coupons, because that’s how I make it affordable) to printing out photos and buying nice albums, and it was pretty similar. I just start on a book and use up the good photos/memorable moments I want to include, and when I hit the end of that book, I start on another. I’ve got 5 books from Abbie’s birth up until just before Caden’s birth, so that’s where I need to pick up where I left off!

      And I agree that doing photobooks gives you a really nice product, but without all the hassle of scrapbooking. I love scrapbooking in theory (it’s fun, it’s beautiful, etc.) but I just don’t have the time or patience for it anymore and with my littles, I can’t keep all of the papers, embellishments, etc. away from their little, curious hands. :)

  16. I would love to see how you constructed the cardboard model of the human body (you had me at the balloon lungs). That sounds like such a fun project to do with/for the kiddos!

  17. glad to hear you’re now into knitting!! I am on year #3 and I *love* it, too. It is just so hard to make things for yourself since you can make such CUTE baby/shower/general presents for everyone! And I don’t even have any mittens~! lol

    Your goals sound a lot like ours, except the homeschooling thing (our kids are only 2 & 8 months). I alllllways look forward to fall & winter here in Nebraska…the summers are BRUTAL here and once it hits july it’s just not enjoyable. I love the fall here and the winter seems to last less and less the older I get! :)
    Bring on the cold, and a cup of hot chocolate!! :)
    Sarah M
    .-= Sarah M´s last blog ..Another Playtime at Arbor Day Farm =-.

  18. Sounds great! I do the same thing in the winter. Knitting is addicting, and great to do with kids because you can sit on the floor with them while you do it. I do think that your ‘slowing down’ goals are higher than a lot of our ‘high gear’ goals, though LOL!
    .-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Homemade Vaposteam Humidifier additive =-.

  19. You list looks a lot like mine! I have a huge list of homesteading books I hope to tackle, to teach my girls some more sewing skills, and clean up my photo area (I usually work on this one between Christmas and New Year’s). I bought my girls some stuff to teach them some basic knitting skills and since I’m a novice at it myself, I hope to learn more, too. I just adore all those wonderful yarns!

    One other project I must tackle. Replacing the kitchen flooring (due to water damage) and painting the kitchen cabinets. I’ll just be glad when it’s done!
    .-= The Cottage Comtesse´s last blog ..Chicken Co-op Update =-.

  20. I am definitely looking forward to slowing down this season. But it will probably be more of a slow winter, like after the holidays. But I am trying to have my November be a little more crazy so I can relax and enjoy the Christmas season, as well as focus on family and our home.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog .. =-.