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115 Ways to Schedule Joy in 2015!

One of the many things I love about writing a blog is that it totally feeds into my tendency to ‘hyper-plan.’ I know, I know.. I shouldn’t be such a control freak. I don’t look at it that way though. I prefer to think of advanced planning as creating space in your life, in your schedule, to do the things you really want to do. Sure, I love binge-watching TV, spending hours on Facebook, and staying in my pajamas all day on Saturday. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that… in moderation.

However, Sweet Pea will only be 2 and 3 years old once. I want to experience life through her precious eyes. I want the joy of hearing her giggle and seeing her face light up. That will probably not be accomplished by watching endless hours of the ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.’ I want to nurture my relationship with Honeybear… you know, actually strengthen our marriage. Being parents of a toddler is demanding (understatement of the century I know). I don’t want him to think that as demanding as Sweet Pea is, that she is more of a priority to me than he is. Ever. I want to take time for myself, for my girlfriends, for activities that will enrich my life as a woman– that don’t have anything to do with being a wife or a Mom. I want to be more intentional about strengthening my relationship with God. More time spent in prayer, Bible study, service.

115 Ways to Schedule Joy in 2015!
photo courtesy of: Maya Kruchancova/Dollar Photo Club

So, I plan. After all, we are only given a finite amount of time. I know things will happen. Plans made will be cancelled or postponed. I will get surprised, both in good ways and bad, this year. That is just fine. However, to start with a plan means that life won’t just be happening to me this year. Starting with a plan brings purpose and gives me a much better chance at being the Mom, the wife, the friend, and the follower I want to become by the end of the year.

How about you? What would be your plan to schedule joy in 2015? Below I have listed 115 ways I ‘plan’ to create joy and happiness. Why don’t you join me?

115 Ways to Schedule Joy in 2015

***Note: Many of these activities are unique to the Baltimore-DC Area. If you don’t live in this area, I am quite certain there are similar activities available to you. Go out and find them! You won’t regret it one bit!

  1. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (aka- the Dulles Air and Space Museum)
  2. Finish that 2014 Shutterfly book I started at the beginning of November
  3. Keep a 2015 Gratitude Jar
  4. Discover the Dinosaurs January 9-11 at the Timonium Fairgrounds
  5. Try cotton ball painting with Sweet Pea
  6. Read through the Bible in 2015
  7. Build Indoor Forts for pretend play during cold and rainy days
  8. Start the ‘Sunday Dinner’ tradition at least once a month in our home.
  9. Maryland Science Center
  10. Playground Superstore in Columbia, MD
  11. Go sledding down the hill in our back yard and teach Sweet Pea how to make a snowman (provided it actually snows)
  12. Mary Poppins at Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Columbia, MD
  13. Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, MD
  14. Storyville at the Woodlawn branch of the Baltimore County Public Library
  15. Continue to play the violin in The Columbia Orchestra, the best community orchestra in the country!
  16. Make a robot, a spaceship, and a fire engine out of cardboard boxes for Sweet Pea pretend play
  17. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Box Concert Series (2014-15 remaining dates in Baltimore are: 11 April ‘On Safari,’ 9 May ‘In the Treetops,’ 13 June ‘Around the Globe’)
  18. Visit the National Children’s Museum at National Harbor, MD
  19. Toddler Time at the Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park in Columbia, MD
  20. Chili Cook-Off at the Laurel Church of Christ on 15 February (I never even place but it is such a fun event!)
  21. Swim lessons (Mommy and Me) for Sweet Pea
  22. Go away for a romantic weekend with my Honeybear
  23. Teach Sweet Pea to pray
  24. Teach Sweet Pea the books of the Bible (my Mom informed me that I could recite the books of the Bible by the time I was 3 years old)
  25. See the sharks and jellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD
  26. Make this ‘No Sew’ Quiet Busy Book, courtesy of Powerful Mothering
  27. Um yeah– more ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘House of Cards,’ and ‘The Good Wife’ please! (oh, alright.. ‘Walking Dead’ too)
  28. Try making meals using ‘Let’s Dish!’
  29. Have a picnic by the lake at Centennial Park in Ellicott City, MD
  30. Feed the giraffes at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, MD
  31. Host a Stamp Camp!
  32. Take a short hike with Sweet Pea at Great Falls Park in McLean, VA
  33. Playgrounds! Anytime the weather is even remotely nice.. go outside and play!
  34. Plan amazingly fun and romantic ‘no-cost’ date nights at home with my Honeybear.
  35. Visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival 20 March-12 April in Washington, DC
  36. A short hike at Patapsco State Park– hopefully many short hikes here!
  37. Kid’s Nearly New Sale at the Howard County Fairgrounds (2015 dates are 14 March, 11 April, 19 September)
  38. Create paper sun catchers for the various seasons
  39. A few trips to Clark’s Elioak Farm for Easter and Fall festivities
  40. Bunnyland at Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, MD
  41. Easter Egg Potato Stamping Craft via Crafty Morning
  42. Dye Easter eggs with Sweet Pea and send her on a wild goose chase– I mean, Easter egg hunt
  43. Rub Kelby’s belly and ears… a lot!
  44. Start a fairy garden in the back yard
  45. Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus 25 March-4 April in Baltimore, MD
  46. Day Out With Thomas the Train at the B&O Railroad Museum (dates TBD but usually the end of April, beginning of May) in Baltimore, MD
  47. Mommy day out at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
  48. Teach Sweet Pea to ride a balance bike
  49. Go see ‘Wicked’ at the Hippodrome in Baltimore
  50. Host at least one ‘Mom’s Night In’
  51. Institute once a month ‘date night out’ with the Honeybear
  52. Plant flowers with Sweet Pea in March and April
  53. Sensory play with color-dyed spaghetti and Kool-Aid colored shaving cream (if I am brave)
  54. Host a Pampered Chef Freezer Meal party
  55. Finish scanning all our old photos from childhood.. so we have something cute and/or funny to post every TBT on Facebook. 🙂
  56. Go on a Mom’s Day Out trip to NYC!
  57. Robert Andrew spa day anyone?
  58. Finally learn how to grill like a master (or at least better than a beginner)
  59. Please Touch Museum , Philadelphia Zoo, The Franklin Institute , and Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse in Philadelphia, PA
  60. Book Club! … oh, and actually– you know– make the time to read the books we pick!
  61. See the lions, tigers, and panda bears at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC
  62. Sing– a lot! Teach Sweet Pea many many songs.
  63. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA
  64. Wheaton Regional Park in Wheaton, MD (they have a carousel and miniature train!)
  65. Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, PA
  66. Goo, slime, play-dough, sensory bins– if we dare!
  67. Make various sorts of paper plate crafts (cute animals, Santa Claus, etc…)
  68. Family camping at Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone, MD. Bring on the smores!
  69. Go strawberry picking in the summer and apple picking in the fall at Larriland Farms.
  70. Draw all over the driveway with sidewalk chalk
  71. Start a few container vegetable gardens with Sweet Pea.
  72. Freeze paint in ice cubes and then paint with them!
  73. Visit the Patuxent Research Refuge
  74. Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA– meet Elmo
  75. Kutztown Folk Festival 27 June-5 July
  76. 4th of July fireworks in Washington, DC (did you realize this iconic experience is happening on a Saturday this year?!!!)
  77. Make a ‘You are My Sunshine’ footprint craft with Sweet Pea
  78. Spend a day at the beach at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, MD. Build a sand castle!
  79. See a concert at Wolf Trap
  80. Celebrate Sweet Pea’s 3rd birthday in style!
  81. Run through the sprinklers and have a ‘sponge’ water balloon fight
  82. (hopefully) spend a week teaching Bible Class with Sweet Pea at Camp Hunt in Hubbardsville, NY
  83. Create a sound garden and outdoor kitchen in the backyard for summer play fun. Make mud pies.
  84. VBS at the Laurel Church of Christ in August, WaMaVa Family Retreat in October
  85. Spend a long weekend at Ocean City, MD
  86. Introduce Sweet Pea to ‘Hide and Go Seek,’ ‘Tag,’ ‘Cooties,’ ‘Chutes and Ladders,’ ‘Candyland,’ ‘Memory,’ ‘Mother May I,’ ‘Red Light Green Light,’ etc…
  87. Check out the Maryland Renaissance Festival
  88. Achieve Financial Peace
  89. See Daniel Tiger at Idlewild in Ligonier, PA
  90. Go on day hike at Gunpowder Falls State Park
  91. Create paper bag puppets with Sweet Pea
  92. See Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra perform at least once, hopefully multiple times throughout the year.
  93. See the famous sunflower fields at Clear Meadow Farm in Monkton, MD and the famous tulip gardens at Sherwood Gardens in Baltimore, MD
  94. The Andrews Air Show is coming back in 2015! This is a must-do for our family!
  95. At least once this year eat at the Iron Bridge Wine Company, Sushi King, Amicci’s, and if I am really good– Ruth’s Chris!
  96. The National Apple Harvest Festival in Adams County, PA
  97. Go pumpkin picking and then carve pumpkins (or at least decorate them)
  98. Cox Farms Fall Festival in Centreville, VA
  99. Summer’s Farm Pumpkin Festival in Frederick, MD
  100. Dance! Dance a lot– Dance crazy– Be silly! Dance slow– Be romantic!
  101. Try bubble wrap stomp painting
  102. Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Gaithersburg, MD
  103. Make Christmas ornaments with Sweet Pea
  104. Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD for the ‘Wings of Fancy’ live butterfly exhibit in the summer and the ‘Garden of Lights’ at Christmastime
  105. Pennsylvania Christmas Show in Harrisburg, PA
  106. Bake cookies year round with Sweet Pea
  107. Howard County Crafts Spectacular at the Howard County Fairgrounds
  108. Decorate Christmas cookies and a Gingerbread House
  109. See Christmas lights!
  110. See Washington DC at Christmas (Arlington National Cemetery, US Botanical Gardens, White House Christmas Tree)
  111. Watch all our favorite Christmas movies and read all our favorite Christmas books
  112. Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA
  113. Koziar’s Christmas Village in Bernville, PA
  114. Christmas at Homestead Gardens
  115. See the Howard County Ballet perform ‘The Nutcracker’

So, I will ask again.. what is on your list?

Thanks for reading and have a fantastic year!

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