This time of year is akin to a second New Year for parents. A new school year, new fall commitments, extracurricular activities, and an eventual change in season all make it feel like a new horizon around the bend.

It gets me in the mood to reevaluate how we’re doing as a family. To start fresh with new routines and habits. To prepare mindfully for the busy season ahead.

But if you’re like me, it’s all kind-of ironic—these things are meant to help simplify life, but instead, they feel like one more thing to do. These to-do list add-ons eventually make life more stressful, not simpler.

After the summer season, I want to dust off the menu plan, wake up early enough again to have alone time, and regularly commit to weekly family meetings with Kyle. But when I try to do all those things, all at once, I stop before I start. It’s too much. I’m overwhelmed.

I’ve got a little something-something up my sleeve, and I’ll pull back the curtain this Friday. Its launch date is to celebrate my birthday, but it’s also deliberate: it’s the Second New Year for us parents. A fresh start feels good right now.

This week, we started our homeschool year. In a few weeks, we start our co-op and Tate starts gymnastics. I’m traveling in 10 days, and then again overseas in a month. Speaking at Relevant. Starting book number two. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the many little commitments that go with those holidays. New friends, new church, new town… It’s another season of busy for us.

Good things. But busy things. I’ll bet you many of you could say the same thing.

So this thing I’ve got up my sleeve, it’s a nifty tool. But I also hope it’s a gift—not only to you, but to me, too. I need it, so I made it for me, but then I thought it’d be fun to share it with my readers.

I’ve been working long hours to get this tool fleshed out, two other people have their sleeves rolled up in collaboration, and Kyle’s putting in even more hours on the home front so we can get this thing ready.

I’m excited! I love the fall season, busy and all. And I’m eager to share this thing with you on Friday.

What do you have going on right now? Anything new on the horizon? Looking forward to fall?