2014 in the books…

I’ve done resolutions as well as goals in the past… They’re all the same thing really… and they never really work. So I’m kicking them to the curb and deciding to yet again choose one word for my year. :-D

For the past two years… I have done this… chosen a word. A word that, I hope, will shape my year… For 2013 it was Hobbit. That word was both ridiculous (since most people pick sunday school fluff words like hope or love… ) and ridiculously on point for our year. For 2014 my word was Shire. Once again that word was an uncanny description of our year.

In 2014 we finally bought a house. And really… The year has been all about fixing up this place. We’ve completely renovated the kitchen, replaced all of the flooring, renovated a bathroom, painted the entire thing, cut down trees, on and on and on. This entire year has been about fixing up our own little Bag End. Shire was definitely a perfect word for us because that’s where we live. Complete with grumpy and nosy Hobbit neighbors…

Grumpy Hobbit

 

Now that we are finally getting settled into our new place… I feel like it is time to grow roots. Meet people. Break out of my INTJ cocoon and wear my extrovert hat (I can totally pass as one…) This year my word is:

Fellowship

 

Hobbit Company

Fellowship LOTR

Because I’m a Tolkein nerd, of course it relates… Bilbo had the Company of Thorin Oakenshield. Frodo had The Fellowship of the Ring.

I want a posse.

Or just a friend…  :-) Someone who understands what it’s like to have a sweet baby hanging on your leg all day… or at least makes an effort to understand why my life is both amazing… and exhausting.

A friend linked to this blog post on Facebook and it made me realize how… insulated I have become. I’ve never been super good at friends. I watch on Facebook as people fly across the country or even world to hang with their Bestie. FOMO is a beast I tell you… I see other Mamas post pics of fun nights out together. Or go on vacations together. Or post about just how amazing their best friend is. I just have no idea what that’s like.

More than a year ago I was included in one such amazing night out with a group of Mamas. I had such a blast… but I felt so socially awkward, really… I was the new mom on the block when it came to the ladies. Most of them had been friends for years. It was so nice to be included. Still I felt like I was watching more so than interacting. (This was not. at. all. due to them!!! just me and my, well… awkwardness ;-) While we were eating one mama said to another something that really resonated with me. She said “You. You are my people.” I remember thinking how super sweet. What would it be like to… have your people?

My goal for this year is to fellowship. Fellowship with the people God brings across my path. To invest time in them as I can. To love on them and to be a friend. Who knows maybe that’s the best way to find your people. :-)

 

 

Character

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While I have so. Much. To. Do. To get ready for upcoming holiday events… Today I needed a reminder that everything I do is important. That developing these little ones’ character is something that is done one decision at a time.

FMF: Begin

This is only my third time participating, but since this is Lisa-Jo’s last week hosting… I had to write. Her book Surprised by Motherhood was such a lovely read as are the many writings on her blog. Thank you Lisa-Jo for your encouraging words to mothers. I am a mom in the trenches with three young babes and I cherish your drive to be real and to encourage us in our callings to mother regardless or age, number of children, or occupation. <3

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On to 2014…

Last Year I made an attempt at resolutions. I called them goals in the hopes that it would make them less New Years-y and more achievable…

All in all I think as a family we made progress in the areas we had hoped to improve in. But the one thing that, upon reflection, has grabbed my attention the most is the choice of my One Word. The idea is that instead of making resolutions, or goals… you pick one word that sums up what you want the year to be. My choice for 2013 was Hobbit.

I know. Next to the people who chose words like dream, faith, love, reflect, and all manner of other mushy inside type words… Hobbit seemed to fall completely short. Obviously I am a Tolkein fan. I love love  l o v e  his books. I’m a big fan of good winning over evil. I’m a fan of adventure. When I chose the word I was being a tad bit pesky, but also… idealistic. I wanted the predictable and mundane routine of Bilbo’s life in The Shire, but I also wanted adventure. I had no idea how much our year would actually follow that theme…

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Marvelous Messes

Today was hard. The kids were completely out of sorts. Normally my kids are extremely well behaved, but today… Oh today. My entire mommy world fell apart amongst endless bickering, fighting, hardheadedness, and picky eating. Add to that the fact that my house is a complete homemaking disaster and I’m less than 2 months away from my due date… and you have a completely frazzled Momma. By the end of the day I was begging my husband to come home and please take our Littles out so I could regain my sanity.

Of course as soon as they were gone (… ok maybe it was after my ears stopped ringing… ;-) I missed them. I looked around at our messy home and even though I still had laundry to wash and piles of clean-getting-wrinkly clothes on the furniture… I was thankful.

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Simplify Week 4 (That Put Off Project)

Doing project simplify has been a blast. I’m so glad I joined… but I’m also glad this is the last week. I am exhausted and limping to the finish line.

I started this project early because I knew how time consuming it would be… I also didn’t get to finish because we have had some serious rain come through here and I really need sunny days to build… Even though it’s not finished, I’m pretty excited with what we’ve done so far. :-)

My daughter has mentioned several times that there isn’t a bed in her “bed-room”. She has asked when she will have her own bed (She had a toddler bed in our room, but I’m guessing she wanted a bigger one. ;-) I love the look of Potery Barn, but I’m way too cheap to pay Pottery Barn prices… thanks to Anna White I don’t have to. If you’ve never heard of her, you should check out her site. She creates tons of free build plans for Pottery Barn(ish) furniture. All the plans are easy to follow and take relatively low skill to build.

I wanted something very low to the ground that the Littles wouldn’t be scared of falling off of. I also didn’t want mystery toys to be stuffed underneath. As far as that goes this bed is a win win.

My inspiration came from Shanty 2 Chic’s build of the Pottery Barn Fillman Platform Bed.

Fillman Bed Inspiration

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Simplify Week 3 (Piles)

This cleanup project has been kicking my tail. I’m a little bit of an overachiever. I always have big plans, but the amount of things I can actually accomplish pales in comparison to my list of things to do. Also, I’ve had a really big project on my to do list for a month now and my 3 year old daughter has asked constantly if I’m done… So I’ve been working ahead on next week’s project some. :-) See… overachiever…

I was not excited about this week’s assignment. In truth piles are my Nemesis. I clean with piles. I put like items in a pile… then try to find a place for that stuff. There is absolutely no way I could tackle all of my piles for this week’s project… I decided to tackle my two biggest categories: Donate items and Littles’ artwork.

I use big clear trash bags for donate items. I keep one in my closet so that when I decide an item of clothing needs to be donated, then I can put the item in the bag right away. It keeps me from re-evaluating my decision and wasting time. Most of our donate items this time came from the garage and the kids’ closet.

Closet contents emptied into room 2Before: Contents of kids’ closet poured out into empty room…

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Simplify Week 2 (That Pesky Closet)

First and foremost I want to say my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the tragedy in Boston. Hug your loved ones extra tightly today. I know I am.

I hesitated even continuing this series of simplifying during this time of great sadness.  I realized that the best that any of us can do in this life is to honor Christ, honor our families, and do our best to live well. For me that means continuing headlong into this intense phase of purging and living simply. If I want to provide a warm, welcoming and loving home for my kids, then this must remain a priority for us as a family. Years and years of living, collecting, moving (6 times in 7 years of marriage…) and not having the time to purge have crippled us in ways we never realized until we began this journey of living with less. We will never ever be minimalists, but the goal is to not be hoarders ;-) and to appreciate what we have.

With that in mind… Our horrible closet:

Closet Before 1This is the closet in the kids’ room :-/

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