My Sunday Routine and Organizing for the Week Ahead

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Creating an organized routine on Sunday to plan ahead for a smooth week

 

Christy and I were discussing recently that the Day in the Life posts {HERE and HERE} we wrote last Fall were some of the most popular posts here on the blog last year, so we thought we’d try to incorporate more of that type of content here and there. While I don’t claim to have anything special figured out, I can be just as frazzled and frantic and the next person, I do have a few things that I do daily and weekly that help keep us all on track around here. So today, with it being Sunday, I thought I’d share some things I do on Sundays that help our family have a better week ahead.

 

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At the stage of life we are in (my kids are 16, 12 and 9), our Saturdays are pretty full. It’s rare that we don’t have a sporting event or activity, birthday party or such that fills up the first part of our weekend. That leaves Sunday as our only downtime of the week. Because of that, we try to make our family and getting a ‘break’ the priority each Sunday; it gives us time to regroup and reset for the week ahead.

I believe wholeheartedly in the biblical principle of rest, and that Sunday was designed to be the break that we all so desperately need. In fact, I heard on the radio this week that contrary to what society likes to tell us, rest really is a gift from God, that it’s the enemy that wants us overworked, overtired and stressed out. What a great reminder! It is hard, especially with jobs, and kids, and all that type of thing, to not be overwhelmed but I know I always feel better when I have had a break.

 

My husband is better than I am about enforcing that Sunday is our down day, and even more importantly, that it is our family time. I tend to be more of a ‘joiner’ than he is, and to say yes to things I probably shouldn’t, so it is good that he keeps us on track! I am always happier and feel better about the week when we’ve had a day to rest and prepare, it also makes me really love slow Sundays :).

Obviously, our day starts on Sunday with going to church. My family went to church regularly when I was growing up, but again, I give credit to my husband’s devout Catholic upbringing that he believes you do not miss church. EVER! We aren’t perfect but we try to do our best. Our church is a several hour time commitment, and we most often go to the earlier service so it does involve much dragging of teenagers out of bed on Sunday morning, but it is always, always worth it. We are so blessed by the church community we are in {we attend a local non-denominational church}, I encourage all of you to find a church that uplifts and supports you if you don’t have one. We changed churches this year which was hard and ultimately good, but in the end, I believe that there is nothing that can replace what you get out of physically being in church.

Like all the other days of the week, I start my Sundays with coffee and my planner, even though it means getting up even earlier than I would need to. I like to have some quiet time before the chaos of the day and that includes Sundays.  I use the Day Designer Planner, and like Christy mentioned recently, we think it’s the best of all the planners {Amazon carries them HERE}. I like to plan my day in the morning (when I am feeling all energized by my coffee) then work off that list all day, but unfortunately, the Day Designer weekend pages don’t have a specific “Things to Do Section”. This is probably bad and good; the Planner still has a “Top Three” at the top of the Saturday and Sunday pages, so on Sunday I only can task myself with three things to accomplish, and that is probably enough.

After we return from church there is the usual getting lunch, doing dishes and cleaning up (like making the beds that didn’t get made in our haste to get out the door!) that all happens, then I usually sit back down in front of the computer. I have to send out our weekly blog newsletter that goes out Sunday afternoons {You can subscribe via our sidebar if you would like to receive that} and if I have a post I haven’t prepared (like today!) I write that up in the early afternoon.

 

 

There are things I try not to do on Sundays, and one of those is laundry. I don’t always succeed, especially if I am really far behind, but my Mom has always modeled that Sunday is supposed to be a rest day, and she says that gives you a laundry pass on Sundays. For personal reasons this year, we’ve stopped watching sports on Sundays (my husband’s choice, that was more his thing anyway) so the afternoons are usually spent with our kids working on school work, reading, and just having downtime.

Once the small amount of work I have to do is completed, I try to head back out of my office and into our family room. That way I am not in ‘work mode’ and am around everyone else. I bring my computer, pile up some cookbooks and magazines, and usually bring my bullet journal so I can try to get organized for the week ahead. I cozy up in a chair, sometimes turn on Fixer Upper or HGTV and just relax. There might be some online shopping going on at this point too 🙂  It is such a nice way to spend the afternoon, especially on a day like today when it’s gloomy and raining! I drink a ton of tea or hot water with lemon on cold days, so you’ll likely find me with a mug of something hot in my hand. Random aside, I recently had a vanilla black tea (similar here) that was to die for, a new favorite for sure.

 

 

If we have a busy week ahead, I will map out our family activities on a page from The Calendar Pad on Sunday afternoons. We are heading into a busy season, as my older son will start high school lacrosse season soon, but for now, our after-school school activities aren’t that crazy so I haven’t been using that tool as much. It’s nice to be able to be a little less scheduled for a few weeks before it gets crazy again.

I am sure that I am not the only one who struggles with meal planning. It’s just a fact that if I don’t have a plan we wind up eating out more often than not, or cobbling together a dinner of chicken strips (not that chicken strips are bad, chicken strips are in fact very, very good 🙂  ) so I try to take time on Sundays to map out our dinners for the week. Sometimes I have to go to the grocery store Sunday, but I try to avoid it. More often than not, I’ll put in an online grocery order from the comfort of my living room that I can pick up on Monday.

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As far as meals, I have come to realize what works best for our family is a very simple rotation of things that everyone likes. Being in a season with two boys trying to put on weight for sports, we are in a different eating mode than we were when they were younger. Right now I struggle to get enough food in them and to keep enough of it in the house, along with feeding them a few appropriate vegetables here and there. I have come to rely on a few solid, popular standby meals and incorporate them pretty much each week.  I make spaghetti with either grass-fed beef or ground turkey in the sauce (for protein) with a salad at least one night, usually on our busiest evening, and another night make grilled chicken breasts with bacon, ranch dressing, and cheddar cheese on the top (seriously, my kids’ favorite dinner and it’s so easy!), we have those two meals pretty much every week. I mix in tacos, cobb salad, burgers and pork chops on the other weeknights, and on weekends we may have either a steak or fajitas, and we often get pizza on Friday nights.

On Sundays, if I have time, I do like to peruse my Pinterest Dinner Ideas board for new recipe ideas, I might incorporate one new thing a week. Recently I tried this recipe and not only was it so easy, it was a bigger hit than I expected with my kids. I list out our dinners for the week as well as make a shopping list which I break down by stores. I shop at both a grocery store and a warehouse store–again, I am feeding teenage boys so bulk is my friend–pretty much weekly. I also try to remember to snap a picture with my phone of my list, that way if I am at the store and forgot my list, I am all set.

 

I often fail, but I try hard to have a nice family dinner on Sunday nights. About a year ago we switched to eating that meal in our dining room (and this way we actually use the room for a change), and we try to make it a non-rushed event. When our kids were younger, my husband always made our kids go around and say the best and worst part of their day at dinner, so that silly tradition often comes back on Sunday nights. I admit that I don’t always make a rock star dinner, but I try to make something that everyone likes, or more often than not my husband cooks something on the grill.  Also, I credit my husband with enforcing this dinner as family time, we may include a guest like my son’s girlfriend or the grandparents but our kids know they are expected to be there for dinner on Sundays, and more often than not it is just our time together as a family.

Sunday nights we get into preparing for Monday, there really isn’t any way of avoiding it is there? So after dinner (my teenager and my husband do dishes, my daughter clears the table and my middle schooler deals with the trash, we all work around here) I make the lunches for school, go through my daughter’s backpack in case I missed anything from her teacher, and get things ready for Monday AM. I am pretty much always in bed early, then I am checking in on Instagram, reading or browsing Pinterest before bed. I am not a night owl, especially on Sundays our days end early.

Not all weeks are like this, but the days that are make for such a better week ahead. It takes some discipline to just say no or to make the time to do some planning, but I am always glad when I do! Do you have any Sunday tricks that help your week ahead? I’d love to hear them!

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XO,

 

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Comments

  1. Love the day-in-the-life format! More, please!

    • Great, thanks for letting us know you like it, that helps us know how to plan posts. We’ll definitely have more to come and we plan to do the series again this summer! Best, Amy

  2. Always love reading about other people’s day to day life. When our girls were younger we tried our best to always eat dinner as a family. I think it is so important. Our Sunday’s usually consist of church (early for me, choir warm-ups), then lunch, laundry, meal planning and grocery shopping. However, lately we are finding it to be a bit much. So I may be rethinking laundry and grocery days.

  3. LOVE THIS! I USED TO BE SO GOOD AT TIME MANAGEMENT & ORGANIZATION & SOMEWHERE ALONG THE CHAOTIC WAY OF TEENAGERS & SURVIVING IT GOT LOST SO THIS POST IS SUPER HELPFUL & MOTIVATIONAL! WE ARE IN A SIMILAR BOAT – MY BABIES ARE 20, 18 & 11. ONE THING THAT HELPS THE GROCERY BILL & THOSE TEENAGE BOY APPETITES IS POWER PROTEIN BAR (SNACKS). MY KIDS ALL LIKE THE RECIPE FROM MAGNOLIA/JOANNA GAINES BLOG. I RUN THE GRAINS IN MY FOOD PROCESSOR TO BREAK IT UP & ALWAYS HAVE TO ADD MORE NUT BUTTER & OF COURSE MINI CHOC CHIPS! I ALWAYS ADD PROTEIN POWDER TOO. 1 OR 2 OF THOSE ALONG WITH AN APPLE MAKE A GREAT CHEAP SNACK THAT WILL TIDE THEM OVER SO THEY DON’T GO ALL CARNIVORE AT DINNER TIME. KEEP UP THE GREAT MESSAGES!!

    • That is a great tip! I am going to make those bars. My boys would love them, we keep Cliff bars in business right now and I am sure they aren’t that healthy. Thanks for sharing, it all goes so fast, doesn’t it? XO, Amy

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