Summer, where’d you go?!

I’m not really sure how I’m already staring down the end of summer here. I had so many grand plans of what was going to happen during this time... and while a lot of it DID happen... a lot didn’t.

Let’s focus on what did happen to start. 

1. Both boys attended camp through the town recreation department and both boys LOVED it. We’re already planning which camps to partake in next summer.  

2. We made it to the town beach many afternoons. Moving here, I had no idea that there even was a town beach, or that we could acquire a parking pass for $30. We’ve definitely gotten our money out of that one! 

3. I finished 3 quilt tops and some other random odds and ends... which feels really good since I was in a pattern of starting, but not finishing! Lightening the load in the sewing room has really helped me focus on where I want to go both career-wise and hobby-wise.

4. I took the boys on vacation to North Carolina with some friends and their kids. I drove them down (and back) and spent a week in between. And I LIVED TO TELL THE TALE. Amazing. Actually, the whole vacation was amazing and I am so much better off mentally for doing it. (Even though I was absolutely terrified.)  

5. I read. A lot. More than I’ve read during any summer in recent history. And it felt amazing! Sadly, I feel like my boys have read less and watched more tv and played more video games than during any summer in recent history... but soon that will all change when school is in session. (Right?!) 

Now... what didn’t happen.  

1. Work. Even though I had them in camp for three weeks at the beginning of summer... I didn’t get much done. I feel that this past school year was more traumatic than I gave it credit for and I needed that time to recover. Also, I underestimated the amount of time it would take to get us set up with new schools, new pediatricians, new vets, etc. While I scaled back my workload significantly, I still wasn’t as productive as I needed to be. So here I am with deadlines looming and a LOT of work to get through. Any tips would be welcomed on how to work faster and smarter.  

2. Keeping up on social media. I’m notoriously bad at keeping on top of this stuff... but I thought that by limiting it to a few accounts would help. At the end of the day though, I realize there’s only so many hours in a said day and when I spend the majority of them entertaining children... this gets lost in the shuffle. Hoping to set this straight in September. HOWEVER, I did decide that a focus on blog posts is better for my soul than anything else... so I think that’s where I will return first. 

3. Laundry and other chores. Oh well, right?! (But really, I can’t wait for school so that my clean house stays that way for more than a second when I actually get around to it!) 

4. A daily schedule, weight loss, or figuring out what I wanted to be when I grow up. All of these fall under the category of “would have been nice” but I was really hoping to make some forward progress on any of these... instead of backwards progress. Sigh. I’m trying not to beat myself up on these (hence, the reason they are grouped together) but still... it’s hard.  

I still have June and July “By the Numbers” posts to put up... but for now I’m going to try to unpack the car from vacation, wade my way through the dirty laundry, and find my countertop under all the piles of STUFF. Wish me luck! 

 

A 2018 Goals “check-in”

Well, here we are. Half the year gone... although I am not quite sure how *that* happened! And what better time to check in on all those goals and resolutions I made back in January? Normally, I’m more of a “Look Back in December and Freak Out” type of gal, but I’m really trying to change that. Plus, while half a year is gone... another six months still remain! 

So, without any more rambling... Goals, with current status. 

1. Move. DONE!!!!! While we are not in our forever home... we are in our forever town quite possibly. And we are very, very happy here! 

2. Find my passion. I’m getting there. I’ve clarified some passions of mine, but now I’m trying to figure out how to make them actually earn income. But, like a lot of things, this will be a long-term project and I’m just happy I made some inroads here. 

3. 100 push-ups. I can do a solid 8. A questionable 11. Overall, working out needs to come front and center when the boys (BOTH) go to school next year! 

4. Read 50 books. I believe I am at 24 for the year right now. Considering I didn’t really read *AT ALL* while we were moving, I’m thrilled to be just one book off the mark halfway through the year. And it’s summer! I somehow always read more then.

5. More sewing time, less tech time. While I am definitely NOT knocking this one out of the park... I am doing much better with it. And so much more conscious of the time I stare at a screen. I’ve also been knocking through some very, very old works in progress so I am feeling good! 

6.  Simplify, simplify, simplify. Across all areas of my life. YES. Based on just the amount of stuff we gave away and threw away prior to moving, I’ve simplified. I’ve also gotten real about how much I can do in a day. And while I don’t always practice what I preach... I’m trying.

7. Improve my time management. I’m no where close. While I LOVE my new 2018 planner, and it’s made a huge difference... I don’t have the balance I strive for. Some weeks, I’m on top of social media. Other weeks, I’m on top of work. Every so often, I’m on top of my crafting game. And my email box is a slight disaster. I really don’t understand how people juggle all these things! What am I missing?! 

8. Drink more H2O. FAIL. This is my focus this month. 

9. Take a class. Or twelve. I’ve taken... one. But hey, I also moved towns, moved states. I’m giving myself a pass on this. For now. 

10. Loose the baggage. Let’s just say that I think each week I’m a bit farther away from all those bags than I was the week before. BUT... this one is definitely going to be on the 2019 goals list as well. It’s not easy undoing 20+ years of negative, shameful thoughts. 

11. More Family Time. I feel like it’s been less family time in the past few months due to killer school commutes. But summer is FINALLY HERE and I’m looking to change this! We’ve declared our table “device free” and that alone has made our family feel closer. 

12. Intentional friendships. This is hard for me. Especially now that we’ve moved towns, moved states. But I am trying... except for on my most introverted of days. 

13. Leave each day better than I found it. Every day, I try. I don’t always succeed... but I try. 

14. Take more risks. Moving to a new town, in a new state and finding all new ... well, everything... counts as a risk, right?! Selling our house and moving was a rather big gamble... and one that hopefully works out... but it’s not a risk “old me” would have taken. So I’m considering this fulfilled. :) 

15. Floss more. I am, I am!!! 

 

Phew. That was a longer post than I thought it would be! And while I do have more to say... I’m going to point to item number five on the list and spend some quality time in front of the sewing machine. (After I pour myself a glass of water, of course!) I will leave you with this parting thought. I am so very proud of what I HAVE accomplished this year, and it’s only halfway over! 

 

Have you checked in on your goals and/or resolutions!?  

 

May by the numbers... on time!

I’ve seen many bloggers do monthly “reflection” posts where they track projects completed and started/yards of fabric accumulated and used/etc. I thought this might be a great practice for myself. Not only in the crafty world... but also in the general tracking of resolutions. I’m not going to lie... it’s nice to see some of those numbers... it’s a good reminder that even though it often doesn’t feel it... progress is being made.

*.   *.    *.    *.    *.    *.  

Trips to the Salvation Army with a jam-packed Flex: 1

Garbage Dumpsters rented (and filled to the brim): 1

Trips to the storage unit with a jam-packed Flex: ZERO!

Number of houses SOLD: ONE!!!!

Number of places we called home: 2

Workouts accomplished: FIVE! (Considering the track record of zero... I’m happy with this!) 

Yards of fabric brought in: ?

Yards of fabric sent out (used, destashed, etc.): ? (I can’t bring myself to count this)

Books Read: 3 ... but really good ones.
(PACHINKO • Cocoa Beach • Born a Crime)

Seconds of video mashed: 37!

 

April by the numbers... a LOT late

 Well, I’m a WHOLE MONTH LATE posting this. But hey, it’s been a crazy period, what can I say?!

*.   *.    *.    *.    *.    *.

I’ve seen many bloggers do monthly “reflection” posts where they track projects completed and started/yards of fabric accumulated and used/etc. I thought this might be a great practice for myself. Not only in the crafty world... but also in the general tracking of resolutions. I’m not going to lie... it’s nice to see some of those numbers... it’s a good reminder that even though it often doesn’t feel it... progress is being made.

*.   *.    *.    *.    *.    *.  

Trips to the Salvation Army with a jam-packed Flex: 1

Trips to the storage unit with a jam-packed Flex: more than I will admit to

Number of home showings: 7

Number of home sale offers accepted: 3

Number of home sale deals that fell through: 2

Number of places we called home: 2

Workouts accomplished: NONE. :-(

Quilt shows participated in: 1

Yards of fabric brought in: 0

Yards of fabric sent out (used, destashed, etc.): 0 (hey, it was a busy month!)

Books Read: 3 (officially off my pace for the year)
(The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight • The Restaurant Critic’s Wife • The Good House)

Seconds of video mashed: 34

 

A moment to breathe...

The last thing I should be doing is writing. Which, of course, means its also the thing I need to do most.  But, time is precious so this will be a stream of conscience... and not a well-edited post. Okay? Okay. 

 

1. The last time I wrote, at length, our house was under agreement with the first set of buyers who saw it. For asking. Which was awesome. Until it wasn’t. Three buyers later, we are now working with our fourth set of buyers. Dear me, I really hope this one sticks. I’m not sure what’s going on... but we seem to have attracted all the really naive, or just not that smart, buyers. Nope, a mortgage doesn’t include utilities. Nope, you really can’t fit half a dozen kids in our house. Nope, you can’t walk away up until closing with all your money back. Oy. I’m sure this home sale fiasco will make a great story once all is said and done. Some day.  

2. On the other side, we moved into our rental in our new town, new state on Monday. I’m so excited to get unpacked and settled in. Even more than that, I’m looking forward to setting down roots in a new place. While I really like stability, and despise change... this is good change, good instability. We never planned to be at our last place for 13 years. So all this change, all this uncertainty... it’s welcome. But I reserve the right to complain until the last box is moved! 

3. Change of subject. The first ever, pattern-following quilt that I made was on display a couple of weekends ago. I was honored to be asked to submit it by my guild and I’m not going to lie... it felt like quite an accomplishment to see it hanging there. The timing of all of this could have been better... but I’m embracing any opportunity with open arms. I’m also trying to get back into the routine of sewing after I get the boys in bed every night. My sanity needs it now, more than ever. 

 4. YouTubeTV.  If you have ever had a conversation with me about YouTube... there would be no misunderstanding about my feelings on the site. (Spoiler: They aren’t very nice thoughts.) So, when my husband suggested trying YouTube TV at the new place, I believe daggers shot from my eyes. But guess what?! I’m. In. Love. I love being able to watch live TV. (Especially local weather reports.) I love how easy it is to navigate the interface. And I love that I can eliminate my hulu subscription... which is how I’ve been watching shows until now. 

5. Summer has finally shown up. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m THRILLED to say goodbye to winter. But... I was kind of hoping for a bit of Spring before we hit 90 degrees. Oh well, such is life, right!?  

Now it’s back to unpacking, and getting settled...  

Happy Friday y’all! 

March by the numbers... a bit late!

Well, I’m a bit behind in posting March. I was thinking about backdating it... but I’m behind in all aspects of life, so why should this be any different?! It is NO JOKE to get a house ready to sell, listed for sale, and then kept clean for showings and open houses. Especially when you have two boys and a menagerie that just doesn’t understand what “clean” means. Sigh. But, we’re doing it. And slowly packing. Amongst all the showings, home sales, home inspections, and buyer withdrawals. Hoping the third time is the charm... 

*.   *.    *.    *.    *.    *. 

I’ve seen many bloggers do monthly “reflection” posts where they track projects completed and started/yards of fabric accumulated and used/etc. I thought this might be a great practice for myself. Not only in the crafty world... but also in the general tracking of resolutions. I’m not going to lie... it’s nice to see some of those numbers... it’s a good reminder that even though it often doesn’t feel it... progress is being made.

*.   *.    *.    *.    *.    *.  

Trips to the Salvation Army with a jam-packed Flex: ZERO!

Storage units acquired: 1

Trips to the storage unit with a jam-packed Flex: 4

Number of houses listed for sale: 1

Number of purchase and sale agreements signed: 1

Number of home sale deals that fell through: 1

Days of school missed: 2

Workouts accomplished: NONE. :-( 

Yards of fabric brought in: 0 

Yards of fabric sent out (used, destashed, etc.): 0 (hey, it was a busy month!) 

Books Read: 2 (THIS is SAD!)
(Love Walked In • The Girl You Left Behind) 

Seconds of video mashed: 33! 

The whirlwind that was this week.

Last Friday, our house listing went live. By Saturday night we had an offer for asking price plus closing costs. To say we weren’t expecting that was an understatement. We still chose to have our Open House Sunday, as an insurance policy if nothing else. Almost as shocking as the quick offer was the fact that 17 groups came through the open house. There’s been a lot of inventory just *sitting* in our town, so this was a thrilling turn of events.

Less thrilling is the fact that the one contingency we hadn’t planned for was a quick sale and a quick closing. For a variety of reasons, we aren’t jumping into buying another house right now. After 15 years of home ownership, I struggle a bit with not only the idea of a rental... but also with inventory leaning towards couples and young families. After more research and touring hours than I can count, we have one solid option and one backup option that we can make work... we think. I hope. 

It’s hard. I keep telling myself this is a good problem to have. But... Our home sale seems to be going full speed ahead and we can’t seem to get off the starting blocks for the rental. And it’s not for lack of trying. This is unsettling to me. It’s nerve-wracking. I don’t function well without a plan in place. Here’s hoping the weekend brings us good news. Preferably in the form of approval to the one rental we really feel can work for our family. 

In the meantime... I will try to take deep breaths, start packing, and think positive thoughts. 

38 days to go. 

A Few Things

1. On the first Friday of March, we were hit with a Nor’Easter. I somehow never heard how severe it was going to be and I went into the day thinking it would be a bit rainy and windy. Well, it was a bit more than just some rain and wind. It was torrential downpours and gusts that rivaled hurricane levels. There was widespread power outages and property damage. Luckily, we escaped both of these scenarios. Not so luckily, I had the unfortunate timing of going to get the trash bins right as the wind picked up a plastic chair, and flung it across the yard.... right into my eye. It resulted in quite the black eye, but considering how bad it could have been... I’m trying to grin and bear it. (The wind also managed to knock over our gas grill, which is no small feat!)

2. Our REAL ESTATE PHOTOS are DONE! After the Nor’Easter above cancelled our plans, we were able to reschedule for Sunday. The sun actually peeked out moments before the photographer arrived and stayed out for the majority of the shoot. I’m hoping this is a good omen. The listing will be posted Friday, and our first open house will be on Sunday. All the things are crossed that it goes well...

3. Last Monday, we woke to a broken coffee maker. I cannot even express how devastated I was. Clearly, I have an issue with coffee dependency. The silver lining of all of this is that we LOVE our new coffee maker. But man, it was a rough two days without the ability to produce our own caffeine. 

4. Some of you know I suffer from trauma-based anxiety. Sadly, one of my triggers reared it’s ugly, ugly head on Wednesday and threw my day off track. While I’m getting better at walking myself back from these episodes, Wednesday proved that I’m not there yet. But it did prove that I’m making progress since it didn’t throw my whole week off like it’s done in past years. One day, I’ll be strong enough to share more about this publicly... but for now I just want make like a hedgehog and curl into a ball and hide from it. 

5. Speaking of anxiety, I reached the point where I was so completely overwhelmed and anxious, that I’m physically up to my eyeballs in symptoms. Sadly, I’ve now discovered what anxiety-induced eczema is like... and the impacted area?! My eyes. Oh, the discomfort.  

6. Three weeks ago, we decided to homeschool our youngest. Have I shared that here yet?! While we are still in the thick of “figuring it out”... we see a huge improvement in his behavior. So I think that this was the right choice, but I am still getting used to what MY days are like juggling my work and his education. Adding three nor’easters in under two weeks just adds another level of “excitement.”

7. I’ve gotten some big progress made on a few crafty things... but that deserves it’s own post. Soon.  

 

February by the numbers...

 I’ve seen many bloggers do monthly “reflection” posts where they track projects completed and started/yards of fabric accumulated and used/etc. I thought this might be a great practice for myself. Not only in the crafty world... but also in the general tracking of resolutions. I’m not going to lie... it’s nice to see some of those numbers... it’s a good reminder that even though it often doesn’t feel it... progress is being made.

*.   *.    *.    *.    *.    *.  

Trips to the Salvation Army with a jam-packed Flex: 2

Pounds of trash brought to the transfer station (in addition to our regular pickup): 980 {Yes, I am horrified by that number.}

Days of school missed: 4 (aside from mid-winter break)

Workouts accomplished: 2

Companies incorporated: 1

Yards of fabric brought in: 4

Yards of fabric sent out (used, destashed, etc.): 11.5

Books Read: 6
(Red Rising • The Dazzling Heights • The Almost Sisters • Ginny Moon • Caroline: Little House, Revisited • Astrophysics for Busy People)

Seconds of video mashed: 29 (with lots more 🦔!)

 

Five on Friday : Happy {Lunar} New Year!

After 5+ weeks of illnesses making their rounds here (after several snow days and a two week winter break) ... I’m finally getting some chunks of time to actually get.stuff.done. This is the first week of 2018 that I’ve had multiple days in a row without a kid home for school, or being down for the count myself. Of course, we are heading into “mid winter break” and everyone will be home next week. SIGH.  (Of course, right?!) 

Moving on... 

Five Things after a very full week:  

1. I’ve jumped into high gear on the home sale prep. It’s been a ton of work.... but great strides have been made. I have whole rooms that only have “clean” and “stage” left on the to-do list. But let’s be honest... with two boys, that’s not happening until the photographer is scheduled to take the pics! Hoping that this weekend is super productive and we can head into the vacation week with minimal work left to be done.  

2. My husband and I are officially business partners. I can’t say much at this point... but there’s more to come on this front. In the meantime, I’ll just relish the fact that we’ve gotten the LLC formed. (And a bank account opened.) 

3. In between all this house stuff and business stuff... I’ve actually managed to get some sewing done this week. Most of it has been in the form of mats for the bearded dragon cage... but it’s been so good to put those felt scraps to good use! 

4. I won a big job today. I’m excited and feeling more confident than I have in a while. Looking forward to getting back into the website design game over the next couple of months. But right now I’m just reveling in the fact that “I still got it!” 

5. Today marks Lunar New Year! As in years past, I made a Korean meal for dinner. This year is a little more special since Korea has been so prevalent in the media due to the olympics. I’ve got plans to get the boys out for an annual hanbok shoot... but just now realizing that they have no appropriate footwear... so maybe not?! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  

January by the numbers...

I’ve seen many bloggers do monthly “reflection” posts where they track projects completed and started/yards of fabric accumulated and used/etc. I thought this might be a great practice for myself. Not only in the crafty world... but also in the general tracking of resolutions. I’m not going to lie... it’s nice to see some of those numbers... it’s a good reminder that even though it often doesn’t feel it... progress is being made. 

*.   *.    *.    *.    *.    *.   

Trips to the Salvation Army with a jam-packed Flex: 1

Extra trash bags filled (the big black ones): 12 🤭 

Days of school missed: 7 (not including holidays) 

Workouts accomplished: 0

Yards of fabric brought in: 10 (eek... that’s a lot.)

Yards of fabric sent out (used, destashed, etc): 35.5 (YES!!!)

Books Read: 4
 (Practical Magic  • The Austen Escape • The Forgotten Seamstress • Small Great Things)

Seconds of video mashed: 37

 

Five on Friday : The Last Friday of January

Well, so far I’m doing miserably on my goal of writing here more.  

That’s kind of a bummer. 

But... with all the sick days, snow days, and holidays... we’ve had more “days out” than “days in” school.  I recall this happening last year and me swearing to never again start my new year on January 1st. I should have listened to myself. Lunar New Year is a much kinder time to our family.  

Enough with the excuses though. While I have lots of posts pinging around in my mind... I’m going to start with a “Five on Friday” post... a tradition I started on my former blog that I would love to get back into the habit of.  

1. This week—this month—could be summed up in one word. Illness. Illness has taken us all down and I’m the one who seems to struggling the hardest to bounce back. I ended up clearing my schedule yesterday and today so I could just SLEEP. And Sleep I did... barely getting out of bed in time to get the kids both days. (Don’t worry.... I had multiple alarms set and people lined up to call me.) I don’t snooze and I don’t nap so this is a good indicator of how under the weather I was. While I would love to say it felt luxurious... it really didn’t. Hoping that with one or two more good nights of sleep under my belt I can hit the ground running next week.  

2. Before this round of illness struck though, I was crushing the “prepping for sale” list in the house. Last weekend consisted of a trip to the Salvation Army, re-painting the downstairs bath (including the baseboard covers), starting to paint the outdoor fence, and packing up things to go to storage. I also filled too many trash bags to admit to.  

3. Monday brought a team meeting with our oldest’s pediatricians to discuss current medication issues. We’re giving a former med another shot since it truly does seem to be the best option... Hoping that this go, on a larger dose, does the trick for him. Everything is crossed here. 

4. I got absolutely nothing creative done this week. No design work, no quilting, no sewing, no crafting.
I feel rather adrift right now since all those things truly center me. Hoping to feel well enough to go to my quilting class tomorrow and get myself back on track there. At the very least, I hope the kids fall asleep before I do so I can pack up my supplies.  

5. While it seems like quite a lost week here... there is one major accomplishment of note. My husband and I are both in the process of setting up new business entities. He’ll be transitioning into marketing consulting and I hope to transition into the maker-world a bit more. We met with our tax guy on Tuesday and my husband had a meeting on Thursday with the lawyer. (I was busy sleeping.) It looks like we are just a few weeks away from having him set up and I have a much clearer idea now of what I need to be doing to get myself in a good place. That’s progress too... right!? Even if isn’t tangible.  

Wishing you all a healthy last weekend of January! 

What I’m Working On...

It’s been a productive week or two in the craft room. It’s not as much about the *amount* of work being done... but more about the *finishing* that has happened. THAT is key! I finally sewed the back together for the quilt along I participated in last year... and for a Halloween quilt that has been in progress for years. Yes, years. The Halloween back is almost like an “alternate front” ... which means more time, more effort... but also more satisfaction. Both those fronts and backs are off to the longarmer now and I will anxiously await their return. But until then, I plan on basking in the glow of two empty UFO (unfinished object) boxes. 

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I also started piecing together another top that has been in progress for too-long-to-admit-to. I absolutely adore this one and really just need to push harder to complete this one...  

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And, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t starting a new project. In staying true to my goal of signing up for more classes, I signed up for a quilt class at the end of this month. It’s one day, to make one top, using a new-to-me technique. So of course, I had to pull fabric for this class, right? (And promptly fill up one of those empty boxes, natch... ) I’m kind of loving where this is headed... 

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The bonus is that the majority of this is from my stash... with just a handful of fat quarters purchased to round out my palette a bit. Sadly, I do need some more background blenders in there, but I’m planning to buy those the day of if necessary.  

... Hoping to keep the momentum going in the weeks to come! It would be awesome to have a few more empty boxes! 

2018 • Goals and Resolutions

Well, if the date on this post is any indication... I’m having quite a hard time with this year’s goals. I feel as though I have lots and lots of amorphic thoughts, but no words to describe them. I have a lot of “gut feelings” about how I want the year to be... but no plan as how to get there. I’ve written down lists and ideas, done worksheets to get my thoughts in line, and yet... I sit and look at a blank sheet of bullet points.  

Instead of hemming and hawing any longer, I’ve just decided to put it all out there and see what shakes out in the end... from mundane to life-altering. That sounds like an awful plan, but I have systems in place to keep myself on track. Most importantly is a planner that keeps me focused on the big picture and not the minutia of life and “to do lists.” I also have a more rigid schedule (both work and boys) than I have in years past. {Since I work best under a deadline, I actually think this more formal structure will help me greatly.} Lastly, I have a team in place that helps my boys with their needs, and me with my issues. A full team. Not a cobbled together gaggle. This is exciting.

With that said, let’s jump in... shall we?! 

In no particular order...

1. Move. We have realized, that for a variety of reasons, we need to sell our house. We are hoping to relocate within the area... but that’s unknown at the moment. (Also due to a variety of factors.) So what I’ve been diligently working on the past month or so is getting our current house ready to list. This has been no small feat... but also a bigger issue than it should be. I’m looking forward to getting the house listed, and hopefully sold.  

2. Find my passion. Decide what I want to be when I grow up. My current work “situation” is not sustainable. At all. In my heart, I know I need to walk away and do something new. (Hence this new space)... but my head thinks I need to find a way to manage the current work scenario better while organically growing whatever it is that I want to be when I grow up. I have a lot of plans on how to figure this out and move it forward, but time is limited at best. 

3. 100 push-ups. I cannot even do ten at this point. In fact, I may not even be able to do five. A recent physical made me realize exactly how out of shape I am. That needs to change. While I won’t be joining a gym, I may try out one of those online workout options... but really, I think I may just try to spend ten minutes every day trying to improve my push-up count. 

4. Read 50 books. I came soooo close last year. This year, it’s going to happen. I think.  

5. More sewing time, less tech time. I think we are all guilty of this... but I seem to be spending more and more time mindlessly wandering around a device... and less time actually *doing* something. Last year I realized that twenty minutes of time spent creating, every single day, improved my mood substantially. (While also lowering my anxiety significantly.) I can’t complain that I don’t have the time... because I definitely spend at least three times that looking at IG, Pinterest, and other sites.  

6.  Simplify, simplify, simplify. Across all areas of my life. 

7. Improve my time management. I’m way too busy and not producing a thing to show for it. I want to stay on top of emails and social media... I want to use my “lost time” (such as driving the kiddos to and from school) in a productive way. I want to be more on top of what’s due when and who needs to be where. Way too much scrambling and “I’m sorry”s in my life right now.

8. Drink more H2O. Actually, it would be an improvement to drink ANY H20 on a daily basis! My medication actually allows for my body to need very, very little water... but no one can dispute the benefits that drinking water brings... 

9. Take a class. Or twelve. There’s so much more to learn in this life... and not enough time. But, I’m going to need to make time. I want to take at least three sewing/quilting related classes... a basic business class... a class on fabric printing... and a cooking class. And whatever else floats my boat. While I have absolutely ZERO desire to pursue another degree... my internal scholar is not yet satiated. And those online classes just aren’t doing it for me right now. 

10. Loose the baggage. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. And maybe you are one of the lucky few who don’t need to worry about this... but I want to lose all the “could be”s and “should have”s and “I’m sorry”s that seem to rule my world right now. Too much self shame, apologizing, and criticism. It’s ruled too many years of my life and I’m done. 

11. More Family Time. While I currently spend way too much time with my kids, none of it is quality time. It’s shuffling them from one place to another or getting them moving in the morning or settled at night. I’d like to spend time actually DOING things with them instead. Realistically, this won’t be solved until we move... but I want to at least be contentious of it. 

12. Intentional friendships. I have some amazing friendships. Both near and far. But since I am no longer on facebook, and a lot of my friends no longer read blogs... I need to find a way to connect more regularly with them. The day-to-day sucks up so much of my energy that I’m really bad at this. But, these friendships also fill my soul, and that’s just as important as a good cup of coffee! 

13. Leave each day better than I found it.  ‘Nuff said. 

14. Take more risks.  I’m very, very cautious. Too cautious. I don’t do things (even things I really, really want to do) because of the “what ifs” and the “i don’t think I cans” and not for real reasons. I need to be braver, be stronger, and say yes more. 

15. Floss more.  We really don’t need a descriptor here, do we?! 

And there you have it. I could actually keep going... but I won’t. As it is, I set the bar too high here. There’s LOTS of items on here, and I expect to accomplish only a fraction. But it’s kind of like “shoot for the moon, and up with the stars” ... RIGHT?! 

 

Happy 2018 all!  

Five Things: The First Friday

Over on my last blog, I tried to diligently write a brief Friday post that highlighted five things for the week. While I definitely fizzled out towards the end, I think it was more due to a general fizzle on the blog front, but that the post format of five things worked well. Soooo... I thought I would give it a shot here as well. Let’s see how it goes. 

1. It’s the first Friday of the year! I love the “clean slate” feel that January always brings. And while I have yet to solidify my goals and resolutions for the year... I’m doing a lot of work behind the scenes to get them into place.  (And in comparison to recent years, I’m actually ahead of schedule. As sad as that is.) I’m hoping that by spending a lot of time reflecting on last year and truly thinking about what would help me most this year... I succeed. More so than I have in the past at least. 

2. Along with the first Friday, we also had our first blizzard of the year. Actually, I don’t know if it was actually a blizzard considering all the talk was centered around the fact that a “bomb cyclone” was coming our way. Well, it did... and with it came over a foot of snow, strong winds, and COLD temps. School was cancelled for two days, leaving us with a four day weekend after a two and a half week winter break. I’m ready for a full work week, that’s for sure. (Too bad I won’t get it until February, I think?) 

3. My commit30 for the month of January is to work on purging the house of clutter and simplifying wherever I can. We hope to have the house listed by February (that is probably pushing it)... Which is the reason I chose this goal. I spend a minimum of ten minutes a day ruthlessly addressing *something*  in the house... laundry closet, cleaning supplies, bookshelf, etc. I’m pleased with the pile I’ve amassed for goodwill while slightly horrified by the amount of trash bags. 

4. While going through the purging process, I’m also trying to spend some time organizing. In some cases, it’s easy... such as the bookshelf. In other cases, it’s ridiculously overwhelming... such as the red cabinet we use as a “pantry.” Oddly enough, I am most looking forward to purging and organizing my sewing room. Considering I hoard fabric and save all but the smallest scraps... this is saying a LOT. I’ve bookmarked this post and this post for stash organization hints, and I have big goals set up to rid myself of some of the “fabric clutter”... Now I just need to find the courage to put this all into place. 

5. Perhaps the biggest item of note for the week is that I registered myself as a DBA (Doing Business As) in town. Once we (hopefully) move, I will go through the process of filing for an LLC. Since we will be crossing state lines, it makes no sense to do it now... but it’s on my list of goals for the year so that I can get some of the required documents in place prior. But I’m REALLY happy about the DBA step at least. This means we can open a new checking account where our personal checking and my business checking share a balance. Which means no more back fees for me! 

Happy Weekend Everyone... Stay Warm! 

Books Read in 2017

I'm taking this week to reflect upon 2017, celebrate what went right, and work on what I can do to improve what went wrong. One thing that went very right, while not actually meeting my intended goal, was reading. My goal was to form a book club of some sort. Either online or in person. I didn't. My goal was also to complete the "Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Challenge." I didn't. Not even close. But what I did do was read. A lot. And I am choosing to embrace that fact and celebrate it. Yes, there is a part of me who wishes I hit the nice round number of 50... the other part of me is jumping up and down at having read 42 books. FORTY TWO! (In fairness to myself... I didn't even realize how close I was to 40 until the end of November. A timeframe where my reading time is slashed to next to nothing!) 

As I look forward to what I want to accomplish in 2018, I find myself yearning to include a reading goal on the list. I've decided to put no parameters on it, other than just to read. Yes, it would be wonderful to make a dent in my To-Be-Read pile. Yes, it would amazing to read 1 non-fiction book for every fiction. Yes, it would be incredible to hit a big number, try new genres, or read a more diverse author demographic. But I'm not going to do that. In no way do I want to make reading less fun, less enjoyable. Instead... I will just keep a list of 2018 reads and in about a year, celebrate that accomplishment. Just as I am celebrating this one. 

Since I am one for documentation and record keeping (because my brain can be negligent of remembering details such as these)... I've listed my 2017 reads below... and I look forward to seeing my list of 2018 reads come together! 

I'm always open for suggestions, so please share a recent favorite of yours!


2017 in 365 Seconds

In years past, I’ve completed Project 365s. One photo (at least) a day, for 365 days. After several enjoyable years with this project... I found myself struggling towards the end of 2016. I was having difficulty capturing an image every day, and I was most certainly not enjoying the project. It was feeling like a chore rather than a chance to be creative. By November 2016, I knew I wouldn’t be doing another photography p365... I just couldn’t face another year of what was feeling like “dictated creative exercising.” Just then, a friend introduced me to the one second everyday app. Just as the name implies... it’s about capturing one second of your day, daily. I was both intrigued (a new format to play with!) and hesitant (haven’t I *just* said I didn’t like the p365 I was currently doing?!) But, since there was no dictated time parameters, I decided to do it for a month and see what I thought. In short, I loved it. It was fun to keep my eyes open for that one second, that one moment, every day. Twelve months later ... I have a 6 minute video outlining our year! 

Some days, I definitely struggled and more than a few times I was just about to drift off to sleep when I realized that I hadn’t captured my moment in time. But overall, I love how the app helped capture the year for me. I do plan to do this again in some form in 2018... but not sure I’m up for another full year. Maybe a few seconds a week? Maybe project based? Maybe theme based? I guess we shall see! 

In the meantime...  

2017 in six minutes:  

Reflecting

In the past month, I find myself reflecting on 2017. Overall, I find that there really wasn’t much that was memorable... there were definitely some highs and lows... but overall I felt like it sped by at sonic speed. And in that whirl of a year, I don’t feel like I made much—if any—forward progress.  

Imagine my surprise when I looked back on my goals set in early January and found that I actually did meet some of them! So as I plot out my goals for 2018, I’m taking a look back on the success and failures of this year.  


This past year, I tried to keep my goals tangible and trackable. I think that where I am in all aspects of life, that made the most sense. I did that for the first time in 2016 and it was pretty clear how I was doing on my goals. Or not doing, as the case was. When I set more aspirational "improvements" for myself... it's a little harder to honestly reflect back on how I am doing, or did. I need black and white goals that I either hit or don't. None of this "be more patient" or "become one with my environment"... at least not this year. Give me the checklist, please!

1. Start a "book club."

I still need to figure out the specifics on this.  I don't think that I am looking to do a "traditional" book club since I feel like these have let me down in the past. I love talking books with people though.... so maybe it's as simple as an online group, or an in-real-life group that meets once a month to talk about what they are reading. I just know that this past year, I read so much and really enjoyed what I was reading. And several of the best reads were recommendations from others. Alternatively, I may just find a few friends who want to complete "Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2017 Reading Challenge" with me. Any takers?!

Reflection: I did not, in any way, do this. I did read a ton, but I didn’t manage to structure it into a reading group or book club of any sort. And, I also didnt meet my goal of 48 books for the year. (Granted, that was a stretch...) But while I didn’t meet this goal, I am happy with amount that I read. Not sure I will have a reading related goal in the new year. 

2. Make meals enjoyable. For all of us.

This past year, I have really struggled with putting six or seven meals a week on the table that we all like, and can all eat. Between food intolerances, food dislikes, and just the overwhelming task of menu planning... grocery shopping... and meal prep... it's been hard. We all like lots of diversity in our menu, which hasn't really happened as of late. I think I got off track with our crazy spring, winged it over the summer, and completely failed this fall. I've been so disheartened the past few weeks that meals are just a task to complete and that is not what I want mealtime to be. I'm looking into one of those "box services" where they ship the meal to you, freezer meal workshops (which I have had success with in the past), and some new cookbooks. Meal times will be merry and enjoyable once more.

Reflection: I did this!!! Between the purchase of an instant pot in January (and my obsessive use of it) and signing up for “Home Chef”  in the spring... I consider this goal a success! Yes, we had some weeks that required way more take-out and last minute “cobbled together meals” ... but I think that I easily get five to six meals on the table weekly without fail and as we head towards a new year, there is rarely a last-minute-dinner-dash. (The one to two I don’t get on either fall under my husband’s nights or going out.) Thinking about adding a goal to actually create that monthly meal plan I keep talking about...

3. Bust. That. Stash.

No, really. I have some serious fabric hoarding tendencies. And everyone, rightfully so, has been calling me out on it. I mean, even my mom claimed I had "SABLE" [Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectnacy]... so it must be bad! I need to finish up the many, many WIPs I have in that sewing area, and either tackle some stashbusting projects or de-stash the fabric. I'm also going to clean up the sewing room while I go. Cause, it's embarrassing right now.

Reflection: HAHAHAHA!!! Nope. Not even close! While I *did* finish several projects... I started way more than I finished. And I bought WAY.TOO.MUCH. for “someday” use. And lots of fabric with planned projects... but I haven’t started any of those. Sigh. I plan to aggressively and accountably attack this next year. 

4. Be creative every day.

OK, some might say I already am. And I have achieved this in years past... especially with the P365. This was not the case this past year. At best, the P365 was a "to do item" and at worst, it was a chore I avoided. It's done, but not pretty. That said, I realized over the past few months of self-reflection that I am much, much happier and patient when I have taken some time for creativity during the day. Personal, fulfilling creativity... not work. Sometimes this is via photography, sometimes through doodling, sometimes through crafting... And sometimes it's just taking 20 minutes to watch a class online while sketching some ideas for a bucket list item. I'd love to find a way this year to incoporate creative time for myself every day. Almost to the point where it becomes a practice. And NOT let it be the first thing to drop when schedules get crazy and life gets overwhelming. I won't be doing another P365 this year, as I hope that by taking the pressure off, the work flows more freely. But I think that I have enough creative interests already that I don't need that structure to complete this goal.

Reflection: YUP! Did this! Some days it’s in the form of sewing, some day it’s simply doodling on the iPad while putting the boys to bed, some days it’s teaching art at the boys’ school, and sometimes it’s just reading a tutorial or watching a creative video or reading a quilting or art related magazine. (And Pinterest. I count pinning projects as creative too...) And EVERY DAY... I recorded one second videos. I’m a few captures away from a short film of our year. This is very exciting. Hoping to carry this goal into the new year. 

5. Less Clutter, More Calm. 

Yeah... pretty sure this one is on my list every year in one form or another. Maybe this will be the year I accomplish it. There is STUFF everywhere in our house right now. And it's completely disorganized in several places. So many times I have told myself "I'll deal with it when I have half an hour" or "I'll do it when the boys are in school full-time" ... but guess what?! It's not happening. AT ALL. So I'm putting it on the list. Again. The clutter and the stuff and the things are driving me CRAZY. Time to remind this stuff who is boss.

Reflection: Huh. Not really. BUT we did make some huge headway in purging stuff throughout the year, and plan to do more in the early months of 2018 in preparation for a move (hopefully). It’s amazing how brutal you can become with your belongings when it’s time to lug them to a new state... 

I also had hopes for practicing self-care, noticing the small moments that make up my day and bring joy to my life, and becoming a patient, engaged human... But these goals are more aspirational and where I tend to fail. So I decided that five goals is a pretty good number. That said, I did do better with self-care and noticing the small moments! 


Overall, I cannot say the year was a smashing success in terms of goals (or life, actually) but I think I made some significant progress. I also think there was a lot of clarification on where I need to work harder, and where I can try to coast. Lastly, I very much as if this was a “stage setting year” for me... and I’m poised to hit it out the park next year. Or, at least I hope so! 

Stay tuned... 

Picking Up...

Where I left off. It’s been a while since I have been in this space. Three months, essentially. But while I’ve been silent on all my blogs, and my social media accounts... I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and behind the scenes work to head into the new year strong.  

I’ll be closing the family blog down. It’s run strong for 11-ish years... but it’s not, and has not been, my happy place. One day, I will share more of the “why” behind that ... but for now... it’s not where I want to be. I’ve also decided to shut down the business site completely. I feel that it’s time for my second career... and graphic design and photography are not currently where my passions lie. I’m still figuring out how to transition my current clients to others or hold on to them... but my pursuits will be along another line completely. I’ll also be leaving twitter (Not that I ever really engaged), trimming who I follow on other platforms to subjects I’m truly interested in (and friends, natch), and... I’m even considering deleting my facebook account.  (Crazy, I know.) 

Now that I’ve covered where I won’t be. How about where I have been?! I’m still on instagram as @modernlittleme ... I’m also on micro.blog under the same name. While I can’t say I’m there daily, I do try to be. I’ll also be here more often, and hopefully with more depth. I really do want to be more *present* in all areas of my life. Including those in the inter webs. 

This site started as a personal project (that, uh, failed)... but it’s the identity that really reflects who I want to become, who I am, at this moment in time. I’ll be working on re-vamping some of the messaging, so expect a few hiccups here and there... but I promise, it will be the place to hear about me, my adventures, and my family. Hopefully. 

Until then, be happy friends.  

Overwhelmed? Maybe.

I feel as though I struggle with getting everything done these days. And not even "everything." Just the bare basics of keeping my family clothed and fed proves challenging to me some days. This school year has been some what of a rocky start. I was hoping (assuming) it would be easier than it actually has. In some ways, it has been. In other ways, it's harder. And really... I'm not sure why. I feel more stressed and anxious than I have in years past. I'm not working 30 hours a week outside of the home. (I am still working, just at home.) My boys are better at self-entertaining. I have food delivered for a good chunk of our meals. Yet, I get less done. 

Is it because I am home more and therefore less efficient? 

Is it because the commute to school and back is almost two hours, twice a day?  

Is it because I know there is still friction at school with the boys and their peers?  

Is it because I have anxiety?  

Is it because I just want to craft all day and not do chores? (Note: I do not actually get to craft all day. Or even ever.)  

 

I don't know. What I do know is that my bathrooms desperately need to be cleaned, my laundry is piled to the ceiling in some places, and I'm not sure the last time that I vacuumed. I have nothing of any sustenance in the fridge for dinner, and I have a full afternoon of art class, homework supervision, and taekwondo lessons (for the little one, not me). Which means I won't tackle any of that before bedtime. Which means I won't tackle it at all. 

Sigh. 

I think I need a happy homemaker in my life. Cause it sure ain't me. Is that a "thing"? Can I hire someone to do that?! If not... why?!