Category Archives: thoughts

focus

So what’s my focus for doing all this purging? I think I just need to write this out so I can keep my focus for the times I get frustrated because I can’t make a decision or I get rid of something that I meant to keep. I’m very excited and anxious to get started. I wish I could right now. But when I walk in my door at home, I get so overwhelmed by what needs to be done. But that’s just it. It needs to be done.

My initial reason before I left for Rwanda to downsize my house was to keep it clean. I didn’t realize exactly how and why my life would be changed in Rwanda, but I knew it would. So I wanted to start early. I’ve been cleaning out my house for years. But I’ve also been adding to it for years. I’m tired of spending money on random crap just to throw it out later. I feel like it has become an addiction.

Now my focus includes purging my house because I want less stuff mostly. I want less stuff so I don’t have to worry about cleaning so much. I want less stuff because I want to do my hobbies. I want less stuff so I can focus on Jesus. I want less stuff so I can focus on sharing Jesus with others. Those are in no particular order. I just want less stuff.

I made a list of my focuses. I took the idea from Small Notebook. I think it’s just very important to start out with WHY you’re doing something. This list IS in a particular order.

1. Spiritual
-Love God.
-Share Jesus with others.
-Worship God.
-Read my bible.
-Pray.

2. Nate
-Love him.
-Encourage him.
-Serve him.

3. Our life.
-Clean and maintain house.
-Groceries. Eat well.
-Pay bills. Manage finances.
-Relax.

4. Me
-Rest.
-Hobbies and interests.
-Health and appearance.
-Social interaction.

5. Everyone else
-Opportunities to serve.
-Communication.
-Time together.
-Love.

Some of those are straight off her list. I just liked them so much and thought they fit my life.

Rest is huge!! I don’t just rest. I always feel like I have something to do. Even with this purge, I’m going to rest. If I am tired, I will rest. Nate is SO good about telling me I need to rest. I don’t realize it because I want to get something done. But that usually burns me out. Rest. It’s important.

After coming back from Rwanda, I realized how little I actually share Jesus with people. I want that to be a huge focus in my life. I want to rely on nothing but God. I want to show people that you can do that. I want to live it. I want to be an encouragement to others. But first, I want to have my focus there. I don’t feel like I can do that with the state my house is in.

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attempt #1

So far, I’ve worked in my closet and my jewelry armoire. I’m not worried about counting right now. I’m just purging out the stuff I know I won’t use/need ever. Stuff I haven’t touched since we moved in (and only before just to pack them away to pull them back out to sit and wait to be used).

My pile in the hallway is getting larger. It makes me happy but I then started to think about the stuff I might be getting rid of just to get rid of. So I have started my pile of stuff I will pack away until I can get the time to go through it again unless it is needed before then. Hopefully that pile won’t be too large. I don’t want to store away a lot of stuff just to store it away.

I was putting something away in another room and I looked at all the crap I have to go through in there. I’m not excited about it. I started to get overwhelmed, so I decided to take a break. I have chicken nuggets in the toaster oven cooking. I hope they’re done when my hubby comes home so we can eat together. If they’re done before, I might have to eat before he gets home…

I feel like my life is a never-ending process of cleaning out. I do this every year, but I don’t think I’ve done it to this extent ever. I want to throw out a lot. I really am ready to. And so far, I already have. And I’m still purging Facebook.

I like breaking up my work because I’m not sure what I’m doing, so if I do a lot on the service level now, I can move on to the deeper stuff later. And I don’t have a ton of time to devote to delving into a large project right now. Plus I worked all day at my job, so I don’t even have the mentality right now to do it correctly. Buddy am I ready to get this house done though… I’m just wanting to think about my end result right now though.

purge.

So the “rules” and goals for the official simplifying will come later. I just typed them up but I’m still adding and editing them.

But the first purge I’ve done so far is on Facebook. I don’t want to delete my account, but I spend a lot to time catching up on peoples lives. I like it. I think it’s a great tool. People will “divorce” their Facebook accounts occasionally, but they almost always come back to it. (My sister is all the time “divorcing” her Facebook. That’s her term, not mine.) So I just want to do to Facebook what I’m doing to the rest of my life. Simplify.

I simplified. I hid a lot of people that I don’t even talk to anymore. And the stuff that you become fans of that I don’t care about ever hearing more about them. The thing about hiding people is that they will never know if I hid them or not. I don’t care if you hide me after reading this. I’m not going to be a people pleaser.

Simplify. Simply Fly. I think it’d be neat to call my blog that, but I’m sick of changing up my blog names so this is gonna stay, but I might change my heading.

My plan for tomorrow is to do laundry and purge some clothes. I hope to purge more of my house. I’m starting off small so I don’t overwhelm myself. I want to stick with this. Please let me know if you’re cleaning out and if you have any tips for me. I have read up a lot on this serious purging already. I hope to share what I learn through this process.

Thanks for reading my blog!

vicious cycles

Vicious, indeed. I will blog. Then I won’t. Then I’ll decide it’s been too long. Then I stop. Lovely. Well here we are again. I’m blogging. It’s spring. Time to blog I guess.

I’m gonna start a new series because I have made some recent changes in my life and this is to try to track my progress and keep record of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Just to update you, I went to Rwanda for an 8 day mission trip with e3 Partners. It was a blast. Maybe I’ll write about my experience later. I journaled every day about every. dadgum. thing. Even some things I won’t be sharing with the general public too.

But since I’ve been back, my husband and I have made some life-altering decisions. First, we prayed and decided that I would apply for a position at our home church. I pursued this job and through lots of prayer, I accepted the position when offered it. But in the middle of all that too, we traded in Nate’s precious Jeep. We both LOVED that thing. We believe I had a harder time letting it go. Nate drove it every day and had to put up with it. It will be missed, but we made the right decision. It needed new tires, some cosmetic work, and some under the hood work. And we just didn’t have the money for that. We have been saving for a new car, but that was supposed to be 3 years down the line. Instead of dipping into those savings, we traded in the Jeep (we actually made our final decision after leaving a dealership where they made us a you-can’t-walk-away-from-this-deal deal and right before we ordered our food at a restaurant) and bought a Dodge Caliber. I’m actually very happy now with our decision. But we’re not a MOPAR family anymore… We’re a silver Dodge family. That’s right. Nate is now driving my silver Dodge Dakota and I’m driving the silver Dodge Caliber.

New car. New job. New hours. New view on life.

My new motto: simple. Live and move simple. Spend simple. I hope this isn’t just another phase. I want to make these changes something I can truly live with. And without regret. We’re pursuing God’s will. I am seeking Him. I want to live a Gospel-centered life. I was us to be a Gospel-centered family.

lessons from this Christmas

I’m NOT working (well at my job) today! I’m home cleaning, cooking, and prepping for our Christmas party tomorrow. My house is disgusting (well half disgusting now). We’ve been so terribly busy that I just barely stay on top of dishes, laundry, and keeping the kitchen, dining room, and living room “picked up.” Just ask my husband. He hates for the dining room table to be covered in stuff, but I don’t have time to put things where they go because I can’t get to that one spot it goes because it’s covered or unorganized. So everything ended up in a box. Then I had to go through that box this morning.

I made just a few Christmas cards this year to send to grandparents, parents, and a couple of other people too (if you didn’t get one, I’m sorry… Call me and I’ll send you a random card then). BUT I can’t find my stamps!!!! My motivation for cleaning and going through paperwork today was to find those stamps so I can get those in the mail TODAY. But no such luck yet. Dadgumit!

Ok, now on to lessons I’ve learned this Christmas:

  1. Be prepared when sending out cards. (See explanation above.)
  2. Make sure you have plenty of confectioners sugar on hand when baking cookies. (1/2 bag could end up on the kitchen & dining room floors, you, your friend, your friend’s baby…)
  3. When you buy a set of nice Pier one white with gold trim plates from a thrift store, run them under hot water to easily remove the tape. (Don’t just sit and try to peel off every little piece. You’re wasting time and energy doing so. Hot water, soap, and some elbow grease do the trick!)
  4. Prepare EARLY for a procrastinating husband. (I think next year I’ll start in August asking Nate to help me with things…)
  5. Use a hair dryer to remove stickers from the glass of a picture that is going to be a present. (It came off VERY easily.)
  6. Be careful when moving presents around when you buy them in September. (One present got nicked on a corner and I did “save” it (maybe) by painting over it with a similar color. I can tell but it’s not as noticeable as the nick.)
  7. Start making your Christmas wish-list in July. Write something down as you remember it. (Google docs is wonderful for this. Saves all the hassle of trying to think up things for family to buy for you.)
  8. Just remembered one more lesson… Superglue can be your friend when something else isn’t. (I hated that my little stopper kept coming out of my sponge wand with dish soap in it.)

Ok. I think that was a pretty good list. I thought I had a couple of more lessons, but those might come when I can think of them.

Dude. I like this whole staying at home thing… I actually had time to blog and clean and cook. I might try to make this a trend…

Update 1 hour later… I found my stamps in a bag with the stuff that I thought it was with but I couldn’t remember the bag… It’s like the box I just threw everything in. It’s already organized!

holiday decorating

It’s the holiday season (holiday season)…

I love the holidays, starting with my birthday (Oct. 28), then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and finally New Years! So many parties & festivities going on! LOVE it! We’ve already got 4 Christmas parties, 1 baby shower, 1 b’day party, and lots of visiting with various friends and family all before Christmas actually rolls around.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I went to a Christmas/holiday decorating class at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens by the folks at In Bloom (in the Five Points area for those in the Huntsville, Alabama area). I took notes with my little Android phone. So I’m gonna try to make things full sentences now. (Bare with me if I overlook something.)

So, I just cranked up Pandora with my Christmas channel and my fingers are ready to work! The only thing that would make this perfect is a cup of hot chocolate and if I was at home working on this. I’m gonna also add my own thoughts and notes to this so it’s gonna be MY own Christmas decorating post instead of just notes.

Organize. That’s where we start. The speaker said, “You’re too late with organizing; you should have started last year.”

First, you need to decide when you’re gonna decorate and how much you’re gonna decorate. Once you’ve got that decided, you need to plan for 3 days to decorate. I’ve never done this before, but I am this year! I work full time, so I can’t really do it during the week. So we normally go cut down our tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but this year, we’re going the day after with some friends. So I’m doing this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Day 1: Put up the tree (fluff it if you decide to go the wrong fake route) and light it. That’s it. No more. Even if you want to. Stop. I mean it!

Day 2: Decorate. Decorate your tree, your foyer, your whole living. Just do what you want.

Day 3: Finalize. Put all the finishing touches on everything. If you see something out of place, fix it. Make a list of what you need and go buy it.

Note: If you’re doing outdoor lights, plan for another day for this too. Or if you’re like me, I’ll just send Hubby out to do it while I’m decorating. That’s our rule anyway. I take care of the inside of the house and he gets the outside.

That all sounds easy enough. Better than me trying to cram it all into one Saturday. I’ve already planned to go get the tree Friday and get all our decorations down out of the attic (or get hubby to). We’ll put lights on together and then go to watch the Iron Bowl game (War Eagle). On Saturday, I’ll pull out the rest of the decorations and decorate that morning. My family is coming up that evening to go out to eat for our Thanksgiving. Everybody seems to be so overwhelmed and tired this year, so we’re getting someone else to do it for us. And we’re going fancy too! My day 3 will consist of me visiting a local florist (the people that actually did the demonstration/talk about decorating) and do the finishing touches of decorations. We’ll see how it all goes.

Now as you go through your decorations this year (and at the end of the season) grade them. A. B. C. D (for donate). F (for trash). I like this system. I went through my decorations last year, but I’m really excited about this method! Also, you should invest in one quality Christmas item a year. So this is our 2nd Christmas together and last year we had to invest in a lot since we needed a lot of our own things, this will be a good start. I’m planning on buying mine Sunday hopefully.

Accessorize. This is the next step in your Christmas decorating (or any kind of decorating for that matter).

One thing he said that stuck out in my mind was to rethink key surfaces and rethink how you use your items. I definitely will. I don’t know what this will look like just yet, but I will!

Start with a clear area. Take everything off your surface (unless there’s a lamp or something that will stay). Then you just work your items in. And I did note that he said to use an odd number of accessories (not including a lamp or something that will stay). Then mix textures. You should also make sure your eye dances over the height of every object. Use books, logs, etc. to add height to things. I have a few old books I will try to use. I do that with normal decorating anyway. Don’t make anything symmetrical. That’s something I tend to do, especially with an even number of objects. You can also add a mirror underneath something to give more light to a dark area.

This class really inspired me! They did some sample decorating on a small table with a lamp. He did one monochromatic with silver. Then he worked some gold into it too. He said it was very ok to mix silver and gold, something I’m terrified of! Mr. Speaker Guy did a fall table (wood logs, acorns, squirrel, silver leaf, current fall photo) and a Christmas table (mercury glass, silver tree, deer, silver ball, silver picture frame).

The Tree. Now that we have everything organized and accessorized… Let’s move onto decorating your Christmas tree! Lights. One idea somebody gave was to do inner lighting on your tree where you just wrap the inside stem with a C9 size bulb strand. I’m not sure we’ll do this this year, but it sounds kinda fun! He did say something about the technique of lighting the tree and I know after hearing him, I do it ALL wrong! Ornaments. Organize ornaments by same style, same size, then go down in size its more visually appealing. I didn’t know this either, but you’re supposed to put the bigger sized ornaments to fill the holes! I have 1 and it’ll fill a whole instead of hang down at the bottom and just get knocked around by gifts. You have a base of handmade ornaments, but hang matching colored balls in the inside of tree to reflect your lights better. A good idea for old ornaments you don’t want broken: put them on a special tree where it won’t get knocked off. Or put them in a shadow box and display this as part of your decorations somewhere. Garland: Garland should be out on the tips of the branches. And they said tinsel is ok to use, but use sparingly.

The speaker touched on fresh flowers and arrangements, but I’m not even going to attempt explaining this because that’s nowhere near my forte! But he did say to make sure you always have fresh flowers at any kind of social gathering. I’ve not really done this. Ever. So here goes another new thing for me.

Finally, we’re at the end of this post. But I will post some words of advice from the speaker: “Share your Christmas. Think of others during the holidays and support local businesses. Remember those in need. Have fun. Make memories. Control the holidays, don’t let them you.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

lovely things

In the crafting world, I think one of the things most coveted is a machine to cut things out for you, whether it be in the form of a die cutter, a computerized cutter, or just some fancy scissors and some mad skillz. My mom has a CriCut. I love everything that she makes anyway, but some of the stuff she gets from there is cah-ute!! But what I covet most crafting bloggers is their uses with the Silhouette! The things they create using this machine… MAN!! It’s just amazing what they each come up with!! I’ve entered to win a Silhouette on several occasions and I’m just so excited that Thrifty Decor Chick gets to do another giveaway!

I am absolutely in love with how their system works (no bulky cartridges, just hook it up to your computer and buy whatever design you want), their choices of designs, letters, and shapes, and what it could do for me and my cardmaking, creating, upcycling, decorating, gifts, and so much more!!

By the way… It’s gonna be on HUGE sale on Cyber Monday (Nov 29) for $100 off (apparently, this is the cheapest it’s ever been). So if I don’t win it for some WEIRD reason, I’m asking Santa for it!

So for sanity’s sake… Let’s just hope I win! 🙂 (I’m fully qualified… obviously never won one, don’t even know anybody that owns one [so maybe I can start a trend in my area!], and I live in Alabama which is in the US!) Cross your fingers!!