Leap Day: What Will You Do With Your Extra Day?

simple and beautiful
simple and beautiful

I love routines, schedules, plans, and time to get it all done. The idea of having an extra day this year thrills me a little; I’m grabbing hold of Leap Day and making the best of it.

One of my goals this year is to continue my decluttering process and lighten my load. There are so many things we can declutter: stuff (physical), activities/commitments/bad habits (time), worries/fears/unhealthy thoughts (mental).

I’m both excited and overwhelmed at the prospect.

My focus right now is on decluttering stuff – the physical things taking up space in my life. Over sixteen years in one house, 11 kids, and Russ and I, who sometimes have a hard time letting go of things, adds up to whole lot of stuff.

Mari Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, sums us up,

But when we really delve into the reasons for why we can’t let something go, there are only two: an attachment to the past or a fear for the future.

It helps me to remember that when I give something away that I might use in a few years, someone else can begin using it right now. And, as my pastor reminds me, God isn’t holding out on me; I can trust him to meet my needs.

So here I am, on the morning of the one extra day I’ll be given for the next three years, and I want to use it well. Truth be told, I’m catching up on laundry from our weekend away, and we really need groceries. I have writing commitments and kid commitments, but in the midst of all that, I intend to tackle one of my goals for the year.

I’m going to do a bit of decluttering. As I write, it occurs to me that since it’s an extra day in the year, and it’s the 29th, I should get rid of 29 things today. That could be hard, but it’s easier than giving away 366 things in honor of the extra day. I like goals!

Am I the only one who gets excited about Leap Day? Do you have anything you hope to accomplish today?  Want to get rid of 29 things (or 366)? Come on, you know you do.

I have a special surprise for you tomorrow – I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Have a wonderful Leap Day – Monday, friends.




with hope and gratitude,

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Emily
    February 29, 2016

    You're so cute.
    I have a book you have to read! Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin. It's an easy read, yet it's so full of ideas on how to form habits to make the life you want. I love it because she doesn't focus on what habit you should make- just how to stick to whichever ones YOU decide fit your values. She uses tons of research and lots of lists and strategies. You'll love it, I'm pretty positive.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 29, 2016

      That sounds good. Maybe I'll borrow it for Whidbey Island 🙂

  2. anonymous
    February 29, 2016

    I'd highly recommend Kathi Lipp's Kickstart to Clutter Free. It's totally worth the $11.99, and you might be able to find it on sale. The goal (she walks/talks you through it day by day) is 500 things in 14 days. I did several times that…and I'm more of a minimalist! It was fun, and now I'm going to read her book about it too.


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