Holiday Fun

On Saturday, we went to a holiday event in Brainerd. The kids got to see Santa, the girls got their hair braided, we took family photos, saw a dog and a carrot, and made yummy smores over a fire. It was pretty chilly outside, but the fires were warm! Four out of five kids got their faces painted (Lauren didn’t want to) and we missed the fireworks by about ten minutes (we were all cold and tired, and the kids were cranky).

She Lost Her First Tooth!


…After!! She lost her first tooth one month from her sixth birthday. She’s so excited and proud and a little grossed out, to be honest. She didn’t know there would be blood!

2020 Goals

Every November, I get the itch to start planning for the new year. I love new years – new beginnings and starting over and all that. This coming year is a big one – it is a new decade, it’s a leap year, and it’s an even number.

Back in September, I ordered the inkWELL Press Goal Planner inserts for the 360* disc system. At first, I had a little trouble coming up with goals for the year. I even had to google it!

Eventually, I landed on a few that seem like they make sense for me at this point.

Lose Weight

I’m going to spare you the exact number, but it’s significant. Years of bad habits caught up with me.

  1. I need to quit drinking soda and Starbucks. I’ll save money and lose weight.
  2. I need to quit buying and consuming junk food. I can’t eat like I did when I was a teenager. I know I will feel better if I stop that bad habit.
  3. Exercise daily. This is something that’s tough for me to do, since I need to see results to keep doing something. I know that losing weight takes time – sometimes lots of time – so I just need to find something I like to do and keep doing it. In the summer, it’s walking on the trail. Obviously, I can’t really do that every day, especially when it’s -50.

Declutter My House/Garage/Storage Unit

Ugh. This one will take me all year because I hate decluttering. I love how it looks and feels afterward, but getting started is the hardest part for me. Honestly, I wish I could just trash it all and start over with nothing, but that’s not how this works.

Have a Healthy, Happy Relationship

This one is in progress already šŸ˜‰

Journal Every Day

This is a continuation on last year’s goal. I am doing pretty well. I write something most days. I use Microsoft Word on my laptop because I type quicker than I handwrite these days.

Become a Consistent Photographer

I have been taking photos (as a hobby) for ten years now. I have a full frame camera, and two amazing lenses, but zero creativity and motivation at the moment. I rarely pick up my camera anymore and just snap a shot with my iPhone instead, because I’m lazy. I know my phone can’t even compare to the quality of my Nikon, yet I still don’t bother to get the Nikon out. I’m hoping to start a daily photo challenge or something come January. I also need to learn low light photography (without flash) because January in northern Minnesota in a house with no east or west facing windows equals DARK. I need to sort out my editing style too. So much to do!

Become a Morning Person

I want to be the person who gets up at 5am and immediately gets started on their goals and their day. Right now, I have my alarm set for 5:30am, but I snooze it until the very last second (usually 6:30am) to get the kids up and ready for school. I don’t know how I am going to manage this in the middle of January when it’s freezing cold both outside and inside (even with the heat on!)

Well, those are the goals I have for now. It’s enough to get me started. I’m sticking with 2019’s One Little Word (Intention) so I think that fits well with my goals.

Have you started planning for 2020 yet?

Christmas Ornaments

Our little family has a Christmas tradition – we each pick out an ornament for the tree each year. This year, I chose a sloth (because DUH), Hannah chose a mercaticorn (mermaid/cat/unicorn), Lauren chose a pink, glittery crown and Avery chose a shirt with a sloth on it (and the cutest tiny hanger).

I also got us each a letter.

Our tree is small, but it’s bright and festive. That’s all that matters.

Our Weekend

Hannah had an eye appointment Friday morning and we found out she does not need her eye patched – her glasses are helping enough. So that was good news. She really did not want to be a pirate. We also had to swing by Target before her appointment and they put up a new background behind Bullseye.

My sister brought my niece, nephew and her step-son over Friday night for a sleepover. We watched Aladdin (the new one, which was terrible) and then they went outside before bed. We saw three rabbits but did not see the bear that is supposedly lurking around.

Saturday was an early, stormy day. My nephew, who usually sleeps in, was up at 6am. So once everyone was up, we went to Cub for donuts.

After the kids left on Saturday morning, we went to Target to get their Halloween costumes/pajamas. We did this last year too, and it makes more sense than spending $100 on costumes they will only wear once. Lauren also needed a photo with Bullseye.

Avery is not pictured because she was spending the weekend at her friend’s house.

Overall, it was a busy, fun weekend. I definitely don’t need anymore kids though. Three is enough!

Anxiety and Getting Out of the House

**This post does not contain tips because I don’t have any, but I need some.**

I have anxiety. Generalized and social. And probably every other sort of anxiety there is. It’s a part of me and has been since I can remember (kindergarten, ugh). I finally started getting help for it three years ago, and haven’t found that anything really helps. Not meds, not therapy, not meditation.

Tonight, there is a local photography club meeting. I signed up (and paid) back in August at the fair, but I have yet to attend a meeting because ANXIETY. I’m anxious about being around strangers. I’m anxious that my photography sucks compared to everyone else. I’m anxious that I have to bring my oldest child and that I will be judged for that. I’m anxious something will happen to the car on the way to or from the meeting (I’m anxious about the car in general).

I’ve been more anxious than usual this week. I don’t know what it is. Maybe the ridiculous summer temps? Threats of storms that never happen? School and homework getting overwhelming already? I don’t know.

I haven’t been to see my therapist in a long time because something always comes up. After next week, though, I am scheduled weekly until the end of October. I am also not on meds at the moment because I haven’t found something that works yet.

**UPDATE** I went to the meeting and I was fine. I knew I would be, but anxiety tells me something different. The next meeting is October 1, so I am planning on going to that. I probably should have posted this on my photography blog but I kind of want to leave that for pretty pictures.

inkWELL Press 2020 Planner

I finally ordered my new 2020 inkWELL Press Planner this week (only a week after launch day). I was worried the things I wanted would be sold out by now, but they weren’t. I got the Pacific Vegan Leather cover, silver discs, Poly Tabs, and the Classic Weekly planning pages. Nothing fancy this year, unless I decide to get the Goal Planning pages at some point (which I might).

inkWell Press 360 Planner 2020 | Beth A Hardinger Blog

Everything fit (I was worried about the new Poly Tabs adding height) but it was a little snug. The cover and the pages still turn really smooth.

inkWell Press 360 Planner 2020 | Beth A Hardinger Blog

In the box, they ship “Inklings” which are little quotes. I think mine fits because I want to branch out and not be so shy and introverted. We’ll see where it takes me.

inkWell Press 360 Planner 2020 | Beth A Hardinger Blog

Another thing that shipped with the planner was a JOMO Bingo card. For those of you who don’t know, the owner of inkWELL Press Planners wrote a book that’s coming out on October 1! It’s called The Joy of Missing Out: Live More By Doing Less. I am a part of the Launch Team (I get an early copy to read and help promote the book) and I will be posting a review here soon. So far, I am loving it.

inkWell Press 360 Planner 2020 | Beth A Hardinger Blog

This is the Goal Planning section in the Weekly Classic planner. It’s changed a little but over the years (I’ve been using inkWELL Press Planners since they started in 2014) but it’s definitely a change for the better. I love the colors and how it’s laid out.

I’ll be sticking the last three and a half months of my old planner in here so I can start using it immediately, and planning out 2020, which is somehow just around the corner.

PS: You can preorder the Joy of Missing Out anywhere books are sold or on and get some awesome preorder goodies!

Second Week of Fall Semester

I had class on Monday even though it was a holiday. A perk of online classes is that you can do your work any time, any where. I managed to finish three short quizzes and make some progress of a large assignment.

At the end of the first week, I dropped a class. I was a week into in and already having anxiety attacks about it (math). The good news is that I didn’t need that class for my degree – it was just something I had hoped to do. Turns out, I just can’t do math.

I am down to a more-manageable four courses. I’m taking Beginning Spanish (which is harder than I thought, since there’s no textbook), a College Study skills course, a child development course on curriculum and planning, and Human Development from a Psychology standpoint. Nice and easy, right? Probably not!

Spanish is tough because she posts the directions to assignments in Spanish, and uses several videos, but I think it will be a fun class once it gets going. Thankfully, I’ve been using Duolingo for the past month so I know a little bit more than nothing.

Here’s to a great third week!