Sunday, January 8, 2012

Great Expectations

Funny how one of my resolutions for 2012 is to blog more consistently, yet here we are, a full week into the new year and I have yet to post something. Anything!

So yeah, whew, no where to go but up, right?

I'm not in a slump, there's just been a lot going on! I'm working on closet makeovers and hallway transformations and one. last. small(ish). project for our master bedroom. Which is only called that because the master of the house sleeps there. Yes, now I have a song in my head--don't you? 


Ok then! I guess I'm the only one.

In case you were curious, it's "Master of the House" from Les Mis. You're welcome!

See, this post is developing much like my projects go! I get tired of having something on the to-do list and jump headlong into it when I'm not sure where I'm going or how it'll turn out. If I had taken the time to develop a mood board for, say, the nursery (which totally dominated my Top 11 of 2011--did you see that?!), I would have a final project that isn't even close to how it ended up! Oh yeah, so there would have been board and batten and a newly painted crib. Yup. That's it.

Moral of the story is, it's hard to get things done around here, because another one of my goals for 2012 is to enjoy my children more. You know that Bible text about God's mercies being new every morning? Yup. So is my resolve to actually DO some of my resolutions. Learning to balance projects and blogging and organizing (yet another goal) with making healthful-yet-yummy meals, endless amounts of laundry for this family of 5, and keeping up with the housework, taking time for myself so I can be the mommy I want to be... Yeah, good luck with that!

And another thing before I actually fit a picture or two into this post for all of you visuals like me--it's been really warm around here. It's January. In Iowa. It's supposed to be 10 below with several feet of snow on the ground (at least in the drifts) and a couple blizzards under our belts, but instead it was 50 on Friday and I took my kids to the park. 

What what?

Yes, the park. In January. Without a million layers of clothing and risk of frostbite in 15 minutes or less. We spent at least 45 minutes there. Weird! 

Not that I'm complaining, but usually it's so cold we have to stay holed up inside working on projects to keep us warm. And I'm off wasting spending quality time with my boys at the park. Go me! I get points for being a more in-the-moment mom, even though my blog has been neglected.

But you know what? As much as I love blogging and projects and DIY and pinterest, MY BOYS ARE MORE IMPORTANT. 

Ok! Not sure where that came from, but it's off my chest now. Thanks. 

And back on topic. Again. Yeah, goals and resolutions. You can go back in time to my What's Ahead for 2011 post from a year ago and review that real quick. 

I'm waiting! Go do it!

Just kidding, I don't really care. No, wait, I do care, cuz traffic is traffic and I totally want you to take the time to read something that I took the time to post! Hello, I'm High Maintenance, nice to meet you. 

Of the 11 lofty Great Expectations I listed last January, I completed a whopping 6. That's an D for my report card and I'm a teacher so I should know. But this is also real life and it has a way of bending and changing the rules. Not to mention that some of my goals turned into major undertakings! Besides, I beat myself up about the little things too much already, so here's to being kind to myself in 2012! 

Here are the goals in list form for all you stinkers who didn't take the time to go check. {wink}
1. Knock down a wall or two and install hardwood flooring. 
2. Complete a mini-makeover of the bathroom. 
3. Make bunk beds.
4. Paint the boys' room and move them in together.
5. Build a greenhouse.
6. Deliver a healthy, happy baby in May and find a chair for the nursery.
7. Refinish a free, beat-up, antique dresser and vanity.
8. Fix basement walls.
9. Set up an Etsy shop.
10. Install new doors in the hall and paint closets, trim and walls.
11. Celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.

To make myself feel better, I crossed off the ones I didn't get to. 

Also to make myself feel better, let's dwell on how several of these small undertakings morphed into giants, m-kay?

Goal #2: We worked on the bathroom mini-makeover last January and I love how it looks now! It was also one of my top 11 posts of 2011. Yay for bathrooms and simple updates!

Goal #3: My husband build some awesome beds for our boys! Thanks again, Ana White! There's a part 1 and a part 2 about those beds.

Goal #4: I did paint my boys' room. Not once, not twice, but three times. I started with some blues that you can see in the bunk bed part 2 post, added some stripes that I just couldn't get perfect, left it alone for 6 months and decided to switch the master and the boys' room, so I got to paint over those less-than-perfect blues and stripes to make it a soothing master retreat which is one small step for mankind from being finished so you can see it AND I got to paint over our old master bedroom to make it a fun boy space. I revealed the new boys' room here

But can I please say something here? And you promise not to hate me? 

I really feel that room deserves more love. 

I know, totally conceited. But still! I just love that room!!! At least as much as the nursery which got all the love in my Top 11 post.

Which leads me to Goal #6. Yes, in case you missed it (welcome, new followers! I love your guts!!!), our 3rd little guy was born in May, happy and healthy. If I were a cool blogger, I'd now be linking to posts about that, about him, about the new chairs I found for the living room (which are on the to-do list for 2012), and a million and six posts about the nursery. Needless to say, I did a little more to that room than simply finding a chair! Ok, fine, here's a link to the nursery tour. Pretty awesome, eh? See how things morph around here?

Speaking of popular posts, I completed Goal #7: Refinish dresser and vanity. Boy, did I ever! You can see them in the above nursery tour, or the before & after shots here.

Goal #11 was completed and the grumpy, annoying whine session I had about our Big Date fiasco has already faded into semi-hilarity. Maybe we'll take a cruise or something big for our 10-year. We'll see.

So. Where does that leave Beauty 4 Ashes for 2012? Well, the tentative, maybe, hopefully, WHO KNOWS if these'll happen but here are some vague ideas for 2012 list looks like this:

1. Finish the hall project.
2. Finish our master bedroom.
3. Makeover our pink wingbacks. 
4. Organize all 6 closets. (Which isn't totally fair, cuz 5 of them are already done--ha!)
5. Print pictures from 2010 and 2011. Might as well do 2012 while I'm at it.
6. Write and print a family recipe book with pictures.
7. Continue to edit the living room. (I love that I'm being so general! This might include knocking down that one wall and installing new flooring and getting a new couch and repainting and adding fun pillows and relocating the wood burning stove and more! Or not. And that's ok!)
8. Set up a place for this momma to get her craft on.
9. Set up an Esty store for Pete's sake already!!!
10. Work toward organizing the basement. (Ha! If I keep these vague they'll be easier to cross off the list!)
11. Do more organized crafts, projects, outings and preschool activities with J1 and J2.
12. Completely overhaul the kitchen. And I mean completely. But we'll see. Wouldn't want to set anything in stone and be a big fat failure, right?

{Did you notice the six other goals I've set for myself? All completely do-able of course. Ahem.}

Ah... The joy of writing up lists. 

You all saw the disclaimer, right? Because I'm fully expecting another 50-60% score on this list. 

Good thing Life isn't like school!


  1. Great post, Ellie- I am proud of you for putting your boys first. That is the best goal I have read in blogland. I spent a lot of time cleaning when I should have been playing when my kids were young. Those moments fly past so live them to the fullest.

    It is nice to see some things on your list come into being, isn't it?
    Hope your Sunday is wonderful-xo Diana

  2. You know, of course, that if you didn't do ANY of that 2011 except #6, it would've been an A+ year! :-)

    Looking forward to seeing your new projects and goals come to fruition.



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