Spring has sprung! Yep…it’s time for some spring sprucing up! In case you’ve missed my previous blogs for this year, I am working on a 52 week resolution. Each month has a different theme and each week has a different goal! During January, I did more to get healthier. In February, I worked on being happier! Last month was tough! In light of Lent, I gave up things to make room for the more important things in life. This month, I am focusing on home improvement!
Have you ever made a new year’s resolution, only to abandon it a short while later. Resolutions can be challenging when they are not clearly defined or when they are set for an infinite amount of time. I recently listened to a book by Shelley Wilson, called How I Changed My Life in a Year. In this book, she took on a new resolution each week for one year, thereby changing her outlook in life and creating healthier lifestyles. I have decided to recreate this process in my own 52 Week Resolution Challenge. Please feel free to follow my progress or join me in your own quest to create better habits and change your own outlook on life.
April – Home Improvement
Have you ever had a home improvement project list that just sits there…. and does nothing! Seriously… we all have! We want to wave our magic fairy wands (boy, I wish those existed!) and make all of things on that list happen! Have you ever walked by that same room, closet or shelf and say to yourself “One of these days, I am going to get to that.” Today is that day! Carpe Diem! I am taking this challenge as an opportunity to knock a few of those items off of my to do list!
Week 1 – Small Projects
Ok, I know you have your list! We all do! It is amazing how many of the items are our lists are small projects that can be done rather quickly if we just set aside some to get them done. The problem is we set them aside… and then we forget about them! Other things take priority and before we know it, a couple years have gone by and those projects still aren’t done!
- My Plan – To get this month started, I broke my list down into three sections: small tasks, medium tasks and large tasks. This month, I am focusing a quick little tasks that I can get done in a few minutes, a couple of hours or during a shopping trip! We are not planning on having any parties or guests this month, so I can slack a little on the cleaning and just focus on the projects.
- Day 1 – I finally bought a couple of frames for two paintings that my husband and I bought while we were in Europe in 2008. Yes…2008! We didn’t have any kids yet and my oldest will turn 10 this year! The problem with these paintings is that they have an odd size matting, so that’s why I never bought frames for them. So, this was the first thing I tackled on my list. Of course, that was a few days ago and I have yet to see if the frames will work (sigh!). There has been a lot happening… birthday parties and doctors appointments (ugh… too many of them) and a bunch of scouting events… but hey, I got frames!
- Day 2 – Today, I sewed a matching curtain for my daughter’s room. Since we moved, she’s only had a curtain for one of the windows in her room. I had enough material for a second curtain (thankfully!) and I made it to the store to get more lace about a week ago. So, I measure everything out, got out my sewing machine and voila! My daughter now has two curtains!
- Day 3 – Today is my day with my son. It’s Thursday and we’ve made a standing arrangement with a friend to have a playdate each Thursday! So, we met at Chick Fil-A for lunch and some play time! Then, my son and I met up with my husband to get our taxes done… woohoo! Thankfully, that didn’t take too long!
- Day 4 – When my daughter helped me pick out material for her curtain, my son also picked out material for a pillow. It’s been waiting to be sewn for probably over a year now! Today, I finally sewed that pillow! Let me just point out… I am not a seamstress, but I am so grateful that my mom taught me the basics of how to sew! Learn to sew! Learn to cook! Learn to change your own oil! You will be glad that you know these things because you don’t have to be at the mercy of someone else and are less likely to be taken advantage of if you learn how to do things for yourself!
- Day 5 – Today was spent at a Girl Scout Camporee, therefore I achieved no work on the house. Despite not working on my goal, I had a great time with my daughter and the other girls and moms in the troop!
- Day 6 – Being Sunday, the original plan had been to go to the Botanical Gardens. It was a gorgeous day! However, after church, my husband and two sons worked on the community garden at church (a service project that my son took on for scouts) and my daughter and I went to deliver April Showers bags for scouts. After we did our work, we decided that we didn’t have enough time to go to the Botanical Gardens, so we were going to work on our own garden. However, my daughter had had enough bugs for one day after a wasp landed in her hair! She threw a fit and we ended up just staying at home and doing some much needed work in our garage with my mother-in-law.
- Day 7 – Today, my daughter had a lower GI study done, plus two doctors appointments afterwards. This obviously took up much of the day and the rest of the day was spent taking care of her and just catching up on necessary cleaning.
All in all, my week was a success! I finally got my daughter’s curtain made and hung, my son’s pillow, the taxes and the garage is almost to the point that a car can be parked inside!
Week 2 – Painting Project #1
Since we moved into our house last fall, my oldest son’s room has been pink! Surprisingly enough, he has not complained. Although, I do know that it bother’s him because once when we had guests over, he did not want to show them his room because of the color. This week’s goal is to paint his room!
- My Plan – This goal is pretty straight forward… I will block out some time and paint the room.
- Day 1 – I had to take my youngest son to the doctor for his routine check-up. Afterwards, we went to the park and fed the fish and ducks while I waited to connect with my husband about some documentation that we needed to get to the mortgage company. After lunch, my son and I enjoyed the weather while he played on the swing set in our yard and I trimmed the grasses in our beds. I didn’t paint, but I did get some yardwork accomplished!
- Day 2 – My daughter stayed home from school today due to some residual effects of her procedure on Monday. So, I took her shopping for some clothes (I realized she outgrew all of her shorts). After shopping for a little while, we made it home in time for our windshield to be replaced and have some lunch! While our windshield was being repaired, I changed the placement of some of the pots in the garden and brought out our fountain. While I worked on the dishes, my daughter pulled out the Easter decorations to be placed on the table.
- Day 3 – Today was just a day spent at home. My youngest and I made some Easter artwork and put stickers up on the windows. We went for a bike ride and I cleaned up the house.
- Day 4 – I finally had a chance to work on my son’s room! I started off by cleaning some of the mess that was on his floor. Then I took things off of his walls, moved the furniture, spackled holes, pulled out nails and finally taped the baseboards. Prep work takes a while! This will be all that I accomplish for the day. In just a few minutes, I will have to pick up my son from preschool and my other two from the bus stop. Then, after a very long week, we will finally relax and watch a movie together as a family!
- Day 5 – This morning was spent performing scouting activities. My daughter, youngest son and I went to collect April Shower bags with Girl Scouts while my oldest son and my husband shot off rockets with the cub scouts. After lunch, we returned home and I worked on my son’s room some more while my husband did a little more work in the garage. It didn’t feel like I had made much progress (and according to my son, I hadn’t!), but edging takes a lot of time! I had originally planned on working in the evening too, but my husband suggested having a date night and my in-laws were willing to babysit! How could I turn down the offer?!
- Day 6 – I finished edging today! I decided not to go any further today because it was Sunday and I wanted to spend some time with the family. Plus, I needed to go to the store for a few items.
- Day 7 – After I dropped the kids off this morning, I ran to Target to buy items for Easter morning! This took a little longer than I was hoping, but I made it home to have some lunch and then got straight to work. I worked as fast as I could! When my kids are at school, I know I only have a limited number of hours to get my work done and then I have to be back out of the door again to pick them up! Thankfully, rolling goes much quicker than trim work! I made it almost all of the way around the room! There was just a small section left when I finished!
Well, my house is a mess, but my son’s room is painted! Time to put everything back, clean up and get ready for the Easter holiday!
Week 3 – Finish Putting My Son’s Room Back Together and Refinance Our Mortgage
Ok, you caught me! I’m writing this after the fact! The week was so busy with phone calls and the kids being off school for the holiday that there wasn’t much time to work on the house. We did refinance our mortgage, which will save us money in interest! We were also tending to issues with our home owner’s insurance. Since the new year began our insurance has not been in sync with our mortgage company or escrow. It’s highly annoying and frustrating! We also found out that the broker who quoted us our insurance, when we closed on the house, apparently didn’t quote us the correct amount and the underwriter corrected it by adding on what we owed. Ugh!! So that was my week last week!
Week 4 – Painting Project #2?
Wow, this month is flying by! It’s been a crazy busy month! Every weekend has had some event happening and May is promising to do the same! Over the weekend, I actually looked at our calendar for a free weekend (our next one won’t happen until Memorial weekend!) and I X’d it out as our weekend! I don’t care who asks us to do what, we are busy! I don’t know what we are busy with, but it will be with whatever we choose, not what other people are filling up our time with!
Anyway….. I am hoping to paint our bathroom this week. That’s going to be a challenge! Again, our weekend is completely full, so it will be left for me to do while the kids are at school. The other problem is we haven’t picked out our paint yet. We are trying to find a gray or a blue that will tone down the big, black tile that is in our bathroom and go with our shower curtain. I’m just not certain, I can pull this one off. Hmmm…. We’ll give it a shot! “Where there is a will, there is a way!”
- My plan – Start taping the room as soon as possible and pick out a color with my husband tonight or tomorrow!
- Day 1 – Today, I informed my husband of my goal. I wasn’t extremely confident that I could pull it off as we hadn’t nailed down a color yet. However, when I told my hubby, he told me that we would pick out a color! I then cleaned out the bathroom and started taking things off of the walls. I also took screws and nails out of the walls that weren’t being used and patched the holes. Finally, I started taping around the room!
- Day 2 – Today was my day with my youngest. So, we dropped off the car because it needed some repairs and then just did some playing around home.
- Day 3 – Today, my husband and I decided on a color. Our bathroom was basically inspired by a Kleenex box! We matched up the color swatch with the color on the box and voila! I went to the hardware store, bought the paint, came home and starting painting the edges!
- Day 4 – I didn’t do any work on the bathroom today because my preschooler was off of school and we met a friend for a playdate. After our playdate, we had several errands to run, including a run to the hardware store for a toilet seat. Ours broke! So, once we returned home, I installed the new toilet seat… blech!
- Day 5 – Friday…. I finished paint the trim and rolled paint on the rest of the walls! It looks soooo much nicer!
- Day 6 – Today was my nephew’s First Communion. We started off at the church and then headed to the park for a very chilly picnic! Thankfully, the sun eventually came out and warmed us all up a bit! Afterwards, I took my son to his friend’s birthday party.
- Day 7 – Since we went to church on Saturday, we decided to skip church today and instead went to the hardware store for some stepping stones. It was a chilly morning, so we all dressed in layers! We finally found some stones that we liked, grabbed some lunch and then headed home. After my hubby and I put the stones in our backyard, we packed up the kids and headed to the nursery to pick out some plants! It didn’t take us long to fill our cart with plants that we liked…. or for our 5 year old son to stick his hand in something that stuck him with a ton of hair like needles! The lady at the checkout lane was kind enough to lend us some tape that we were able to get all of the needles out of his poor hand!
- Day 8 – Today, I went of over the edges with a second coat and then cleaned up the bathroom! My project is finished!
Mission accomplished! I didn’t think that this project was going to come to fruition this week, but I stuck with it and got it done!
It is amazing how much can be accomplished in a day, a week, a month or a year! Having a goal and a plan of how to achieve that goal definitely helped me to stay focused this month. This month was not devoid of extra events and appointments, to say the least! Almost every weekend was filled with extra activities, not to mention we had extra doctor appointments to fill up our time! Blogging about this experience and being held accountable additionally helped me to achieve my goal quickly!