16 November 2012


I've been thinking a lot about projects lately.  I don't know about you but I feel like I'm in the middle of dozens of never-ending projects!

Today I was also considering my New Year's resolutions.  I make one every year and deliberately don't publish it.  This isn't true for everyone but if I'm talking about it, I'm not doing it.  Two years ago I made some life resolutions, namely some financial goals (made those) and some career goals (a new degree, which was accomplished a little late... having a baby does these things).

This year, I resolved to work on specific gratitude.  As I get older, I'm starting to understand the "it takes a village" mentality.  I work very hard on my own projects and taking care of my family but we wouldn't be where we are today without many other people's contributions.  I feel like I say "thank you" to a lot of people without truly letting them know what they mean to me.  This was especially true after kid1 was born.  No one expects a new mother to do much more than take care of her baby but once I got that (vaguely) under control, I tried to let people know how much I appreciated their support of our family.

For instance, I caught up on all my thank you cards, no matter how late.  All the baby showers, all the gifts, all the meals, all the people who just lent an ear or some advice while I was pregnant.  It was a good feeling to get that done.  I've also tried to send friends a little note once in awhile when I use and particularly appreciate something they gave me, whether it was a piece of furniture or some advice.  This in particular has opened my introverted eyes to the role of friends in my life.  I met some great people at our last base whose friendship is still positively influencing my life today.

But what about next year?  I hope that specific gratitude is becoming a character trait instead of a project and I need a new resolution.  I'm seriously considering starting a 52 projects challenge, one for each week of 2013, and tracking it here.  52 Projects would involved tackling some long overdue emotional weight (e.g. rolling over those orphan 401k's; reading some long-owned, never-opened books) as well as some projects I'd just like to try (finishing a quilt).  This is a departure for me, since it would commit me to regular posts.  It would also be challenging, maybe too challenging, as we are scheduled to move again next summer and I am hoping to earn a job at our next assignment.

Is it a good idea?  If I commit to doing it, would you read and comment on it?  Would anyone like to join me?

18 October 2012


I've recently been motivated to start sewing again, a hobby which took a serious down turn correlating with kid1's mommy-time-intensive first year.  It's hard to know how to pick up a project you've let go for awhile.

Sometimes the results are good.  I recently moved my sewing machine downstairs so I could sew when kid1 naps and sleep.  Clothing repairs got tackled first.  I thought there was monster pile that would take hours to fix but, once I got started, I was done with everything except replacing buttons in 30 minutes.  Now I have an almost-new pair of PJ pants, a sweater, and 4 shirts!  It was great to actually finish something (feeding the family and dishes and laundry and cleaning house don't count... they always need to be done again!).

Sometimes, the results are ambivalent.  In the same sewing spree, I finished piecing together the rows for kid1's quilt.  Now, the pieces are in the right order because I pinned them all at the same time.  And the rows are in the right order (I think...).  But are they turned right?  I have no idea which way I was folding them months ago and which side is left or right.  So while I've definitely made progress, I have some more work to do to really get going with this project.

*Note: This is a great example of why it's important to document your long term projects with things like, I dunno, pictures and diagrams.  Whoops.*

And sometimes, picking up a project in the middle is just a no-go.  The memory game I'm working on was this way.  After the quilt, I tried to move ahead with sewing the patterned fabric into the felt frames, only to discover the reason I stopped months ago: no matching thread.

I'm happy to report that one trip to Hobby Lobby later, that part of the project is finished.  Now, of course, comes the part I hate: ironing seams and interfacing.  Can I outsource this somewhere?  ;-)

Do you have lapsed projects that you're having difficulty re-starting?  How do you get going again?

22 August 2012

A Voice from the Darkness...


Um... yeah.  It's been awhile since I posted, ya know, anything.  It's been a very busy year so far, with organizing a spouses' club event and finishing a degree and, oh yeah, the child raising and the cross-country move.  And a major emergency dog surgery, did I mention that?

It may be awhile before I can post regularly again but I just wanted to say "hi" and "I haven't forgotten the blog".  I'm still enjoying reading friends' blogs when I get a chance and hopefully I can be more active on here soon.  Lots happening around here with a baby and a dog learning and relearning to walk, as well as job hunts and a new house to organize and decorate.  Better info soon!

01 January 2012

New Year

The holidays have flown by in a rush for us.  LO's first Christmas was lots of fun; both grandmothers and two aunts were here to celebrate with us!  This was our first Christmas at home (seriously).  Being a military family, we live away from our extended family and, from the time we were engaged, have traveled for the holidays every year.  As much as we love traveling and seeing family, it was great to have our Christmas and start (or continue) some holiday traditions of our own.

With all that behind us, it's time to look ahead to a new year.  2011 was, in my mind, the year of baby.  I spent 9 months pregnant and 2.5 months adjusting to our new family routines.  We rearranged furniture & schedules, did lots of medical appointment, traveled for baby showers, bought and received tons of new baby stuff,  and generally got ready to be parents.  Speaking of which, if you're a parent (or have ever encountered a young child), you have to check out this blog post about an 11-Step Program for those considering parenthood!  Lessons 3 & 5 had me laughing so hard that I was in tears!

2012 will still be pretty baby-centric but my major goal this year is to find time for my interests.  January starts off with a bang - I go back to school next week.  With just two more classes to go, I can see the proverbial light but I'll admit to being apprehensive about finding enough time to do the work required.  Despite that, DH and I are both on schedule to graduate in March and that means, because we are in online classes and won't "walk", a graduation party this spring!

Some goals for this year:
Finishing my M.S. Systems Engineering degree.
Taking a quilting class
Finishing my existing, short-term sewing/cross-stitching/crafting projects by June (I made some good headway on this in 2011).
Organizing our Stuff (more about this in a later post)
Reducing debt and expenses & financial planning (we accomplished all of our financial goals for 2011!)
Losing the baby weight (8ish pounds from now)
Being healthier: Getting back to my fit weight (8 pounds below pre-baby weight), exercising a couple times a week, eating more veggies

Of course, the humdinger in all this is July 2012: the military move month.  Moving will wipe an entire month (or two) from the calendar.  It seems simple... pack your stuff in one place, unpack it in another... but it is simply not that easy.  Added to that, I'm hoping to earn a job at our new location.

It's going to be a busy year!  What plans and goals do you have for 2012?