Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time

"Time enjoyed spending is not wasted."

I truly believe that. I enjoy so many things in my life, many of which is "wasting" time. However, my wasted time is also time I can never get back. And lately I've been enjoying far too much time on things that don't matter.

Reading is one of those. I read (and read and read and read) a lot. Probably too much. I'm currently averaging almost 3 books a week. All at least 300 pages. Um yah. I think I've tipped past the hobby level into the obsession/addiction level. This is something I need to cut back on. For starters, I made the rule I am now only allowed 3 books to be checked out from the library at one time.

Along with reading books, I read a lot of blogs. Today I realized how much time I spend reading blogs. The problem is there is just so much information out there! I'm fascinated by so many things, so many wonderful ideas, so much to discover. But there are more important things in my life than the latest mythbusters results. So today I cut down my google reader. I started with 74, and managed to trim it to only 49. And since a full dozen of those post only once in a blue moon, it really could be less.

Cutting back on the blogs was an interesting process. It's kind of like de-junking anything else. I start to just get rid of everything! Do I need 6 home improvement blogs that all talk about the same thing? Nope! How about 7 scrap booking blogs that I never even read any more? Cooking blogs that I never have time to make? All gone!

One thing I spend far too much time on is wishing for other things. I find myself spending too much time on my "someday" plans, and not enough in real time. How much do you do this? "Someday" I'll be able to afford that. "Someday" I'll have enough time. "Someday" I'll do this. Recently I looked around my house and realized just how many things I've got that I've always wanted. Things for my kids, things for my house, things for my spouse. And while the list of things I would like to have is long, things get checked off at a fairly regular basis. So today my goal is to enjoy what I've got, and not stress about the things I want.


So what do I want to do with all the time that I'm "saving"? Here's what I plan on doing more of every day.

#1. Snuggle my baby. She's growing at such an amazing pace, wowing me everyday. I will take the time to rejoice in her stages, and just bask in that two tooth smile she loves to shower upon me.

#2. Think about my Hubby. Caught up in the daily grind, busy with chores and diapers, I do not spend enough time focused on my spouse. It's much harder when he's off flying, but even when he's home I don't think about him enough. Someday there won't be any noses left to wipe. If my house gets messy I will only be able to blame myself. And at that point, I don't want to find myself not knowing this man who has stuck by my side. If he is truly one of the most important things in my life, then I need to spend more time (even just mental) with him.

#3. Play games with Buddy. With Girly-Lou off at school for a ridiculous amount of time every day, Buddy gets very lonely. I want him to remember (if he does at all) these times with Mommy as special times. Not as just being bored all day times.

#4. Clean. And I mean some serious cleaning. Not just picking up. I do ok at picking up. But why don't I dust once and a while. Vacuum more than monthly. If 'Lil is eating things off the floor, I want to to be something spilled at breakfast, not something we ate last week.

Then there's my BIG 3. Praying, scriptures, and exercise. I need to spend some serious time on my knees talking to my Father. I need to study, not just read my scriptures. And I seriously need to work more on my health. I've still got 19 lbs to loose before I'm back to my pre baby weight!

I actually started a list like this back in July. But I made it too long. There were too many things to work on at once. Which meant I was not actually getting to all of them, which turned into not doing any of them way too quickly. But I'm ready to get working again. Being my crazy self, I of course had to make a cute sign to hang up to help me remember.

My goal is to make my time reflect what is most important to me. To cherish what I have. To rejoice in my life.

What's your goal?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writing

I have more than one place where I write my thoughts. First I started with a private family blog. Living thousands of miles away from both sets of grandparents, this was the perfect way to let them know what was going on with the kids. It was a glimpse into our life (and SUPER helpful when I started scrap booking a year later).

Then I found an online journal site (myldsjournal.com). A place where I could write more private thoughts, that no one else could see. They even email you to remind you to write. Sitting down for a few minutes after checking my email, I could log my life into being.

Then I decided I wanted to be cool. I wanted a place where no one knew who I was. I wanted complete strangers to read my words, maybe help, inspire or touch someone else's life. Like most stay at home moms, I was looking for validation in my life. To know I was someone worth knowing, that I was doing more than just wiping noses all day long. So I started this blog. But now most all of my readers I'm related to. (although suprisingly that number is shrinking!) While that's nice, it's hard sometimes to remember that the point of writing here was to be my uninhibited self - to write like I would if no one knew who I was.

I've toyed with the idea of even writing a book. I don't know that I'd try to get published, but there are days when I have so many words just clamoring to get out.

Like most things in my life, writing seems to go in cycles. My online journal was perfect for me for about a year. Now it sees almost no use. If my family blog is suffering, I'm likely to be posting often here. If I slack off here, I'm usually good to update my family blog. And the book is nothing more than vague ideas and half formed dreams. And if I'm sleep deprived and spending all my days chasing babies and painting beds, any writing anywhere is hard to come by.

After finishing the girls' room, I've been without a major project for a few days. The first day I kind of wandered around my house in a daze, not sure what to do with myself. The kitchen was clean, laundry was done, baby was napping . . . I had time without something to do. I've felt frustrated at my lack of ideas for posting lately. It seems that when all my brain power was consumed by piecing quilts and cleaning and painting, and mom-ing, I had nothing left for this outlet. But just yesterday and today, the ideas have started to flow again.

So here's to some ideas coming back. We'll see how many of them actually end up being blog worthy. (for example, my dream last night, while it might make a really bad action/fantasy film, isn't something I'm going to subject you to). I can't promise anything profound, but rambling is almost guaranteed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to Our Peaceful Place

Hello! So glad you could join us today. Isn't the scene refreshing?

Let's remember just where we came from:

Um. Yah. Confession time. One day, while in the middle of the dreaded sanding job, I decided to snap some before pictures of every room in my house that I wanted to change. And being the crazy impatient being that I am, I didn't even bother to clean any of them. My idea was that way the before and after would look even more dramatic. I think I need to go take some better shots! And yes, Girly-Lou is in love with paper. Every little thing she receives, every handout, every picture is a treasure and needs to be on the wall. Not so fun for me, but there you have it.

Anyway. Back to the room.

It's done! DONE!!! I've known what I wanted to do with this room for 14 months now. Really ever since we moved in. But I waited for two reasons. First, being pregnant with my third child, I didn't know if the girl room would be this larger room, or the smaller one. Second, funds were a bit low for decorating. But the first reason sounds better, so we'll stick with that.

Then 9 months ago, 'Lil was born. I knew which room to work on! Hubby got a pretty decent raise, and I started compiling.

Speaking of which, let's do a thorough breakdown (thorough because I get frustrated when people to breakdowns and leave stuff out!)

Paint: Not much to talk about the actual process. I did use the green frog tape instead of the blue, and it is a LOT better at keeping out leaks. There are 4 different colors in the room, all by Behr.
  • White is New Day Dew, 1 gal ($22) + 1 qt ($15)
  • Light pink is Shy Little Piglet, 1 qt ($11)
  • Dark Pink is Snow White Song, 1 qt ($11)
  • Green is kind of Friendly Frog, 1 gal ($23) *The real color was WAY too bright. So I grabbed my 1 qt paint cup, measured out about 1 TBSP of new day dew to every 4 oz friendly frog. That made the color much more reasonable!
  • Tape, brushes, etc, $15
Paint total: $97 (paint is WAY more money that I always think!)

Quilts:
  • Fabric $85
  • Batting, $20
  • Thread, $10
Quilt total: $115

I used THIS tutorial for the pattern, THIS tutorial and THAT to make bias tape, THIS tutorial for the actual binding. I also machine quilted for the very first time. If you want any tips for first time quilters, I found THIS site to be the most helpful. They won't win any awards, but I love how the quilts turned out! I don't know if you noticed, but Girly-Lou's has more pink, and 'Lil's has more green. And I even quilted their names in while doing the machine quilting.

Pillows:
  • forms: from old pillows already had, free
  • white fabric: 50 cents worth of thrift store pillow cases
  • other fabric, from quilts
Total: $.50


Dresser:
  • Actual piece, Free
  • Paint (counted above)
  • Knobs $20
Dresser total: $20
You might remember this one from months ago when I blogged about it.

Names etc.
  • Letters: $4.50, painted white
  • flowers and butterflies, scraps from quilt
Total: $4.50

I really wanted to do wood letters in this room. But have you ever priced those things? CRAZY! Then, one day I was wondering around our Michael's. They had these foam letters on clearance for only 50 cents each! SOLD! They were crazy colors, but 4 coats of paint (grumble grumble) later, I was happy with them. Attaching them to the wall was an adventure. I wanted to do a cute hanging something or other, but everything I tried just looked really lame. Finally, in desperation, I stuck a finishing nail in the back of the foam, and then nailed it in. Loved it!

This corner:

Before:
Now:
  • Paint included above
  • Fabric shapes, extra from quilts
  • Clock, actually a wedding present
Total: Free

That tree. Wow. What a process. I first saw THIS months ago, and fell in love. It would have been a fairly easy process, but I didn't have an overhead projector. So instead, it literally took me 5 1/2 hours to get the silly thing on the wall. It only took a couple of hours to actually paint it!
The birds are from here and here, just dipped in liquid starch and stuck up on the wall.

This corner:
  • Mirror, another wedding present, painted white with circles starched on top.
  • Flower pegs: $2 from a thrift store, painted white
Total: $2

Window:
  • Curtains, came with the house (but in another room) Free
  • Ties: left over from quilts
Total: free

Closet:

Before:


Now:
  • Remove nasty old doors, free
  • Wing back chair: craigslist find $10
  • Boxes above, scrounged from around the house, free
Total: $10


Rain gutter Book shelves:
  • Rain gutters: $6.50
  • Brackets: $10
  • End caps $10
Total: $26.50
I used THIS tutorial, but I totally forgot to pick up the end caps. Joys of shopping with three little people! So that will come in a few more days. But I still love them!

Bunk bed:
  • Um. I'm not sure. My Father in Law wanted to pay for everything, and we made 4 trips to the store to get everything, and every time we went he also decided we needed $60 worth of clamps, or knee pads, or whatever. I think for wood was $250-$275.
Total: Free (for me! Really around $300)
Off course this is a Knock Off Wood pattern. I didn't like the ladder, so I spent a lot of time looking at dimensions online, and made up my own. Actually making the bed went super fast. Sanding and painting on the other hand . . . . Well. It's done now!

Grand Total: $275.50 (or $575, depending on how you're counting.

I'm very happy with how it all turned out. There are still a few things I'd like to change. I'd like some different curtains, I'd love to make a magnet board for Girly-Lou to put all her papers on, the blinds need replacing. If I had money out my ears, I'd refinish the floors, get a new rug, and a really cute light fixture. But we're good for now.

And Buddy's happy because now I get to work on his room next!


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Words in my Heart

There have been several blog posts in the past few days that have touched me. To be honest, I do not have words to explain just why. Some have talked about family. Some about womanhood. Some have been funny. Some have been poignant. But each one has made me grateful to "know" this friend.

Did you ever think something like this was possible? Blogger friends go so far beyond the old pen pal routine. Words that you write, words that you read, can touch someone you have never met in person. Your presence is there for anyone to find. Sometimes that's good. Sometimes it's not so fun. But what an amazing responsibility we have, to bless others' lives.

I have an inkling why I'm so pensive lately. But that's a topic for another day, another post. For tonight, I just wanted to do a general shout out.

Thank you.

Thank you for reading my ramblings. Thank you for writing back. Thank you for making me think. Thank you for making me laugh. Thank you for making me know I'm not alone. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for chastising me. Thank you for helping me to find myself again.

And yes, if you are reading this, know you are included in that thank you. By helping me connect, you have helped me too.

Friday, October 8, 2010

thoughts running through my head

Today.
Cleaning.
Patching nail holes.
Deciding decorating decisions.
Rearranging.
Carrying very heavy furniture downstairs.
Baby crying.
Buddy pounding nails in a scrap board.

Phone rings.
Bothersome phone.
Caller ID - Girly-Lou's school.
What is wrong?
Answer.
School Nurse calling.

SCHOOL NURSE CALLING!?!?!


Heart pounding, stomach dropping.

Am I Girly-Lou's mother?
Yes.
What is wrong?


Oh.
I see.
laughing, sighing.
Ok.
Yes, I understand.

Silly boys swinging coats at recess.
Little pink zipper marks on her forhead.

That's my girl.

Molehill mountains hardly describe it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bandwagon Jumpin'

If your blog reader looks like mine, you've seen 80 bajillion Halloween decorations in the last 4 weeks. Pretty much every single one, my reaction was the same:

"What! Halloween is AGES away!"

and

"That's cute, but I'd never actually bother making it."

Yup. That was me. Feeling like it was still August, and feeling rather uncreative.

That is, until last week when I saw THIS picture.



So cute - so easy -so creative. Right up my alley. I had a bunch of 2x4 scraps in my shed from the bunk bed (which I promise, I'm close to showing. We just need to actually go and buy . . . um. well. A MATTRESS for the silly thing. Then I can show off the room!). I had some plywood laying around. I had paint. I had adorable Halloween ribbon. I had a sister with a scroll saw (a jig would work too).

So off I went. And I made three adorable Beasties.

Almost free. (ok, I did spend $3 on some black paint, since I was completely out. But I've been needing to buy some black paint for ages now, so it only sorta counts!)

And showing great restraint, I waited until October 1st before I decorated my whole living room. I also did not go overboard. Nope. Just some nice, adorable, time appropriate touches.

And I'm super happy about it!
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