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I’m such a huge fan of routines—my own, and those of others. So when Kendra Adachi shared a few of her tried-and-true routines on a recent episode of The Lazy Genius, I was glued to my earbuds. I find it fascinating (and helpful!) to hear what is working well for other people: even when someone else’s routine isn’t remotely close to one that would work for me, there are always seeds of ideas that I may wish to incorporate into my own daily rhythms.

Which leads me to this post. After hearing the other Kendra share some of her favorite routines, I was inspired to share a few of my own. I’ve written previously about many of these, and a couple are making their first online appearance with this post. My routines are in no way perfect: timing is not always right, other tasks can subvert my preferred order of things, and some days routines are totally discarded as some crisis or better opportunity materializes. As Wallace Stegner observes in Crossing to Safety, “Order is indeed the dream of man, but chaos, which is only another word for dumb, blind, witless chance, is still the law of nature.” However, these routines as I’ve written them are how I prefer things to go; and when implemented according to plan, these routines bring peace and stability to my mind and my household.

In sharing these routines, I do not mean to imply that these exact routines—or even anything similar to them—would work for you. We all have wildly different obligations, habits, and personal preferences (you may HATE doing anything in a routinized manner, and that’s great!). However, you might spot something in what works for me that you would like to adopt. Or you may be challenged to take a fresh look at your own routines to reevaluate what is working and what isn’t. It could also be that you are simply curious about how someone else goes about their daily tasks—that’s fine, too! Welcome in and have a look.

MORNING ROUTINE: My alarm goes off at 5:00 (admittedly, since being pregnant I’m prone to pressing Snooze once or twice, so it’s usually closer to 5:20 by the time I get up). I pop in my earbuds and listen to The Bible in a Year with Father Mike Schmitz while I brush my teeth, get dressed, and do some exercises (lunges, squats, pushups, tricep dips and [when not pregnant] crunches). Then I leash up Arlo and we got for a fifteen-minute walk that doubles as my prayer time. I get back by 5:45 and rouse Charleston (the twins are usually already up and playing in their room), and the three kids play, get dressed, and gather any needed school supplies while I do my daily Bible reading and journaling (following the Bible in a Year plan). This takes us to 6:30, when we begin school for the day.

SCHOOL ROUTINE: We start out in the living room with prayer time and practicing our weekly Bible verse (on Mondays we introduce the verse and come up with coordinating hand motions, and after practicing all week we do a “performance” video that we send to family). We end this circle time with the Pledge of Allegiance and recitation of the Apostle’s Creed, then move to the kitchen table where the kids work on handwriting practice or copy work while I read from our current read-aloud for half an hour. At 7:15 the twins get playtime and Charleston and I continue with Language Arts, History, Math, and Bible. This takes us to breakfast time which is usually around 9:30. (Since we eat a later breakfast, I usually provide the kids with milk and nuts to snack on during our school time.) Charleston works on independent work after breakfast, and we do our half hour of Quiet Reading Time after lunch and just before naptime.

PHOTO ROUTINE: At the end of each day, I send any photos I’ve taken over to Luke and he does the same for me. Photos are sorted into monthly albums I’ve created in Apple Photos, and I mark any favorites that I then crop, edit, and save to a separate Favorites album (I create a new one for each calendar year). I add these edited photos to our digital frame playlist (that is also on my parents’ digital frame) and an ongoing Chatbook (I publish these every four months), and I may share some favorites to Instagram/Facebook.

BOOK-TRACKING ROUTINE: I record my books as soon as I finish reading (and won’t allow myself to start a new book until the tracking is complete). I document my Read books on Goodreads, Storygraph, and Pinterest boards (one organized by star ratings, the other by book format); write the book title, author, and star rating in my physical journal and in an Evernote list; document full book statistics in my Reading Tracker Spreadsheet (courtesy of Currently Reading); save images of book covers to a photo album to be used for future blog posts; and write a book review (including favorite quotes) in my Day One journal (these are the reviews I later edit to use for my Quick Lit posts).

JOURNALING ROUTINE: Each evening, I record the day’s happenings and thoughts in my Day One Journal (I’ve done this every day going back to January 2014!). Day One is also where I record my book reviews and my monthly letters/life updates to each of the kids (I do this on their “Month Days”—the 16th of each month for Charleston, since his birthday is January 16, and the 27th of each month for the twins, whose birthday is September 27; Day One has printing capabilities and the hope is to one day gather these monthly letters into printed books for each kid). In addition to my digital journal, I use a yearly Day Calendar as a sort of bullet journal where I record big-picture happenings, recipes I’ve tried, gifts I’ve given and received, blog posts I’ve written, family milestones, books read, shows and movies watched, and monthly or annual goals; I like having these details recorded digitally as well, so I also document these things in Evernote, where lists are sorted into annual folders (Example: I have a 2024 folder, and within that folder I have notes for Recipes Tried, Books Read, Gifts Given/Received, etc.). I’ve kept baby books and pregnancy journals for each of my children (this is the one I’m using for my current pregnancy) that I write in and add photos to every week throughout pregnancy and babies’ first years. And Luke and I have a Couples Journal (that we’ve kept since February 2007, our second month of dating!) in which I write long letters to him every year on on anniversary and on other special milestones.

GROCERY ROUTINE: I used to love doing my grocery shopping in-person, and still stop into H-E-B with the kids for occasional mid-week needs, but these days almost all of my grocery shopping is done online courtesy of H-E-B curbside. I add items to my cart throughout the week, and on Fridays I finalize my cart with any items needed for the coming week’s planned meals, along with my usual weekly purchases (I love that I can just pull up previous orders and click items to be reordered). I schedule my pickup by Friday night and pick up my groceries on Sunday morning on the way home from church. Luke is usually still at church at this time (he serves on the production team) so the kids help me bring groceries into the house and I spend an hour or two putting things away, washing and chopping produce, and doing preliminary meal prep for the week.

LAUNDRY ROUTINE: My secret here is that I don’t sort clothes and wash everything together on Cold. On Monday and Friday mornings, I add all of our clothes (Luke’s, mine, and the kids’) to the washing machine first thing in the morning and transfer to the dryer before breakfast. One of Charleston’s chores is sorting laundry into three piles—his, the twins’, and Luke’s and mine. Once he’s done this, I immediately fold and put items away—I NEVER go to bed (or even make it to dinnertime) without the laundry being completely finished. Sheets and towels are changed and washed every Saturday morning.

FAMILY PRAYER ROUTINE: Believe it or not (if you have kids, you won’t have trouble believing it), the kids were constantly arguing over who got to pray at each meal, so we now have a routine for even this. Kali always prays at breakfast, Charleston at lunch, and Sully at dinner. I pray for us before school in the morning and Luke handles bedtime prayer.

EVENING ROUTINE: Luke wraps up with work around 5:00 and he and the kids play (outside if the weather’s nice) while I work on dinner. At 5:30 the kids come in for showers (the twins shower with me, Charleston on his own) and pajamas. We eat at 6:00/6:15, and during the meal we go around the table sharing our Highs and Lows for the day. After dinner, the kids feed Arlo and Luke supervises teeth-brushing and toy cleanup while I do the dishes. Then we gather in the twins’ room for our family blessing, prayer time, and nighttime hugs. Luke and Charleston head to Charlie’s room for nightly Bible reading (they are reading through the complete Bible from the beginning and are currently in Judges) and I read to the twins from one of their Children’s Bibles. If it’s early enough, the twins and I will also read a few picture books. Then it’s lights out and music (via Sonos speaker) on for the twins at 7:30. Charleston’s bedtime is at 8:00, and he usually uses that last half hour to read, color, listen to Adventures in Odyssey, or play a game with me. Most nights I snuggle in bed with him until he falls asleep. Then I’m free for the evening to blog, journal, read, or spend time with Luke. I always end my day with a late-night snack. My goal is to be in bed by 10:00, but it’s usually closer to midnight by the time I turn in for the night. Thank goodness for afternoon naps!

Any thoughts? Are my routines similar to yours? Entirely different? What are some routines that work best for you? Please share them with me as I’m always seeking fresh routine inspiration!

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