February has thrown a few curve balls. Between relocating cities, settling in, and starting new jobs, we are content having two feet on the ground moving slowly in a forward motion. Our minds are swimming with new information from our past week of work and our weekend came as a welcome relief from all the introductions, meetings, and events. If you can believe it, we chose to refinish furniture over the weekend to relax and have a little fun together. Who knew DIY could be so restorative for the soul?

With the days feeling anything but normal lately and for my very introverted self, I knew even before we arrived in Milwaukee that I needed to establish my "essentials" and put them to paper. My essentials are the routines or tasks that no matter how overwhelming or busy a day, they can make me feel rested and grounded. They often happen in the earlier hours of the morning or just before bed, but they make all these transitions feel manageable.

These are some of the routines I've deemed Essential:

      • Starting my day in Scripture. I've been inductively studying the women of the Old Testament starting with Ruth.
      • Having a healthy well balanced Breakfast. Both Guy and I are loving any combination of Green Smoothies.
      • Meal Planning. When our schedules are often unknown in these early stages of our jobs, meal planning is a simple way to add structure to our week. I like to plan and shop on Saturdays so I don't have to think about what's for dinner during the week.
      • Exercise. I admit we haven't got this one down yet, but in the moments I was feeling most stressed and overwhelmed this week I put everything down and exercised. It felt great and I'd like to be more consistent with it. With all the cold and wet weather I've been liking the video exercises here.
      • Dating my husband. This week we picked up Starbuck's, went to the hardware store for supplies, and spent our Sunday afternoon refinishing furniture together. It was honestly the most life giving moments of the past week. I can't wait to see what we do this week together!

I'm curious, what are some of you're daily Essentials?