Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I hate waiting. I'm so impatient and this morning I'm waiting to hear news that could change the next few months or even years of our family's lives. I've stressed about it, obsessed about it, prayed about it and finally given it to God so now it's in His capable hands.

Please pray with me that no matter the outcome, we would be obedient to His will and not try to go our own way. He knows what's best for us and loves us more than we can imagine. Thanks!

Here's the verse I'm focusing on today:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Gift Wrap Organization

This year for Christmas one of the gifts my sweet Mom gave me was a giftcard to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I don't normally shop there so I thought I'd look online to see what organizing goodies they might have and look what I found:
Real Simple Holiday Wrapping Station
Real Simple Holiday Wrapping Station

How awesome is that?! Of course I ordered that puppy right away and waited impatiently for it to arrive.

Until now I've kept all my wrapping stuff in an under the bed storage box but it wasn't long enough to hold standard sized wrapping paper rolls so a few were shoved in the box and the rest stood in a corner in my closet and would fall over all the time making me ca-RA-zy. See Exibit A:

What a mess, right? Even worse, we got rid of our bed frame a few months ago so instead of being stored out of sight under the bed, it was now taking up room in my closet and

Soooo, look what arrived in the mail today!!

Woohoo! I ripped it open and a few minutes later I had everything sorted and put in its new home. Finally everything is all together in one place and off my closet floor. YES!
Have a look:

Isn't it pretty? That's nine rolls of wrapping paper and who knows how many bows, boxes, tags and bags. The back has two big pockets that hold my boxes, tissue paper and large bags. I use the medium sized bags the most so I just hooked them onto the sides. I put the Christmas-related items on the left and the rest on the right to make it easier to quickly find what I need. The really nice thing is that it just hangs on any hook and takes up very little space.

So now that I've got my new system in place what to do with the old container? Well, it's in perfect condition but it doesn't fit in with my storage needs so there's no sense in keeping it. Instead it will be sold in my pre-move garage sale but in the meantime it's pretty handy for storing some of the other items going in the sale. Love it when things work out that way!

Did you get any new organization stuff for Christmas? Anyone? Bueller?

P.S. I did not get paid or perked for anything in this post. I just really love cool organizing ideas and want to share them with anyone that might find the info useful. However, if the people at Real Simple did want me to review their stuff I would be happy to do it! :-)

Monday, January 7, 2013

When You Get Off Track

Whoa, what a weekend! Between hubby coming home for the first time in 2 weeks, A's birthday, me hurting my foot, and A spraining her ankle it was quite a weekend. Needless to say, not much got done around the fact, it looks like a hurricane came through.

To make things worse, I woke up not feeling well so after I dropped B off at school I went back to bed and stayed there most of the day. So what's a (limping, sickly) girl to do? Usually when stuff like this happens I call it a wash and vow to start again tomorrow (or never, whatever) but the whole point of this is to not do what I usually do, so instead of 9 or 10 AM I'm doing my to-do's at 6 PM but that's ok because I'm doing it.

Matisse Lin

Anyone else running into obstacles with completing your goals? What are you doing about it? Seriously, leave a comment. I know you're reading...don't leave me hanging here!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Gratitude

Ok, I know it's only the first week of the year but so far my new way of doing things is going great! Seriously, it is so easy just to pull out my home management binder (sorry should have mentioned that yesterday) and look at the planner to cross off the last task and see what's next. I even scheduled moving the laundry since I usually get busy and forget.

I thought I'd post a bit from my Gratitude Journal today so here goes...

January 1, 2013

I am so grateful for another year! I am grateful that I can stay home with my girls and don’t have to miss a thing in their lives. I can’t wait to see what You have in store for our family in 2013.

Psalm 86:11 - Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Psalm 119:35 - Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

Psalm 143:10 - Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
January 2, 2013

I am grateful for kids that make me laugh and love to read and write.

Psalm 127:3-5 - Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

January 3, 2013

I am grateful that You love us even when we least deserve it.

Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

January 4, 2013

I am grateful that you heal the brokenhearted. 

Psalm 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Goal Setting 2013: Scheduling

Happy Thursday! It's been a pretty productive day around here so far. The kids started back to school this morning which does wonders for my focus but I do really miss having them around.

Anyway, in keeping with yesterday's post here are some resources that I plan to use to accomplish my baby steps goal. Maybe they will be helpful for you too!

Free Blog Planner from Confessions of a Homeschooler. This thing is gorgeous! I just started using it but I like that I can plan out what I'm going to write rather than waiting for the mood to strike.

Gratitude Journal from Motherhood on a Dime. I'm writing mine in a Word doc on my computer, but if you're looking for a nice way to get started, this 30 day journal may be just the thing!

Speaking of gratitude journals - I haven't read One Thousand Gifts yet, but it's on my list. The devotional looks really good too.

Week-At-A-Glance Calendar by Amy Bayliss. I'm using this now and I love it! It's a Word doc so you can customize it to fit your needs. I love being able to check off each task as it's done.

Also, check out my Pinterest page for more ideas!

Like I said in an earlier post, I tend to go through the day on autopilot so purposely scheduling time to work on the baby steps is critical for me. It's something I've resisted doing in the past but it's actually been a lifesaver lately on my busy/tired/cranky days. I've already done all the hard work getting it set up so I can just glance and see what's next on the list and check it off. Minimal brain work needed, just like I like it!

What do you use to help you stay on task? Do you have a Pinterest page? Link it up in the comments, I'd love to check it out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goal Setting 2013

I'm back!

Here's a quick list of some of my goals for this year:

To give my all (heart, soul, body, mind) to God
Morning bible study (Good Morning Girls - we'll be studying Luke, click to join!)
Maintain a gratitude journal

Love Jason intentionally
Date my husband - The Dating Divas is an amazing website with tons of ideas

To stay home with my kids
To make money from home
To be creative
To help others

To become healthier (Yes, I know I need to be more specific but my high school reunion is in 6 months so at least I'm properly motivated!)

Stop being afraid - Seriously, this is a big one for me, I have a long list of fears to give to God!
Take risks
Blog 5x week (so far so good)

Move to a home where we can host family & friends

The Plan
So much of my time is spent on autopilot. There's very little time where I intentionally focus on "how" I want to achieve the "what" that I want. I plan to spend a small chunk of time (10-15 minutes) each day focusing on moving some aspect of each area forward.

If I was a graphic designer this is where I'd drop in an awesome diagram or infographic that would beautifully & concisely explain what I have in mind but since I'm not you'll have to settle for using your imagination...sorry!

In a nutshell, I've listed my goals and then broken them down into smaller pieces and linked an action to each item. For example, we're thinking of moving at the end of the school year. A huge task, right? So I've listed all the things we need to do beforehand and that I can act on now. Things like:

Create a moving binder where I can keep all the information in a consolidated place
Go room by room and decide what we will keep/sell/donate/trash
Decide how we will move our stuff (pay someone, rent a truck, PODs)

Then I break it down into smaller action items:

Buy a binder -> find or create check lists -> add items as I go
Designate bins for sell & donate items -> choose room (or closet, dresser, drawer - whatever I have time for) and begin making decisions
Research different moving methods -> narrow down 1 or 2 we like best -> contact for quotes

As I was going through my closet making decisions I ran across several rolls of film that were never developed (yikes!) and some loose pictures. So I added getting the pictures developed to my To Do list and set up a box for all loose pictures to go into that I may find in other rooms. The next day I researched the cheapest place to have our prints digitized.

I may not have the time or budget to take on a major project, but by breaking it down into small bite-sized pieces I can easily make sure that every day I am doing something to move closer to my goal.

I like to write things down so I can reference them later but if you're more of a free spirit you can always just say to yourself, "what can I do right now that would make an impact?".

Tomorrow I'll post about how scheduling has really helped me with this process and link to some of the tools I'm using to get it done!

I'll leave you with a little clip from the movie What about Bob explaining baby steps...enjoy.

P.S. Honey if you're reading this - you, me and the couch have a date night to watch this movie this weekend. I'll get the snacks ready...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Wow, it's been a while since I posted! I seem to have a love/hate relationship with blogging. I love to post and read comments and look back to see things we've done, but sometimes it feels like homework if you know what I mean... I want to do it, but I don't want to feel obligated to do it. And truthfully, I'm not, the only person that makes me feel that way is me. Does anyone else go through this or am I alone on the train to Crazytown?

The bigger problem is the tendency to want to do things perfectly or not at all. I am an all or nothing kind of girl. Worst.trait.ever - I make myself nuts with this one! If I don't have the time/energy/pictures ready just the way I want them, it makes it easy for me to say I'll just do it later. The problem is when 'later' comes I still have the same problems, but now it's a bit easier to push it off. It's the same way with crafting, dieting, cleaning, etc. But ironically, not with organizing and a few other things. I'm weird. My kids are always telling me, "Mom, it doesn't have to be perfect!" and they are right.

(The other problem is that I'm surrounded and outnumbered by animals. At any given moment something is pooping, gagging, chewing or any number of distracting things somewhere in my house...sigh. Right now I can hear the delightful sounds of the cat upchucking a hairball in the basket on top of my fridge - jealous?)

Thankfully, two of the cats will be moving on to a new home on Sunday YAY!

So where was I? Oh, yes, perfection... So, I know what the problem is and in the immortal words of G.I. Joe, "Knowing is half the battle!"

And the other half? Well, there's some hilarious answers to that on Google, but for me it's baby steps. I.E. maybe I don't have the time/mental fortitude to write a blog post, but I CAN start a draft to lay out some thoughts, or it's too chaotic to sweep and mop the entire house right now but I CAN do the area that's bugging me the most....that kind of thing.

Have you heard the expression, 'You can't see the forest for the trees.'? My amazing husband is a 'forest' kind of guy. He sees the big picture even if the details are a bit fuzzy. On the other hand I am a 'trees' person. I get overwhelmed if I try to take it all on and prefer to focus on the smaller details. For some reason I forget this sometimes and think I can take on the forest. That's when I run into problems. Knowing this, I can set my tasks/goals in small increments (baby steps) and be happy with what I've accomplished rather than trying to get it all done perfectly at once.

You'll know if it works if I keep posting regularly. If not I'm probably lost in the forest watching cartoons from the '80's or cleaning up cat puke to justify putting it off... Feel free to send out a search party!

What about you? Are you a 'forest' or 'trees' person? Remember "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey"? Oops, I just spent a while getting distracted over there - but we'll save my ADD issues for another day...

Happy New Year!