When Life Gets In The Way

....of being organized, that is! What do you do?

I don't know about you, but I delegate:

Yep, that's my 2 year old vacuuming. Haha. No, just kidding, I don't force her to do chores (yet). She loves to help me though! I stepped away from the vacuum last weekend to untangle the cord and she jumped in and started helping. I hope she always stays that helpful and sweet!!

But seriously, life does get in the way of best-laid plans sometimes, huh? The past week has been completely crazy around here. Last week, I decided to start meal planning again. I went through our freezer one night and wrote down all the meat in there. The plan was to plan enough meals for a few weeks or a month based on the meat we already have on hand. We have a ton of meat, since my husband and his family slaughter their own hogs every January, plus we are pretty regularly sending cows to be slaughtered for us. (I wish I could get DH to keep the deer meat when he hunts, but he always gives it away because he doesn't care for venison.) Anyway, I made my list and then life happened. C had a meltdown over something-or-other (as 2 year olds are prone to do), it was time to cook that night's supper and clean up, then it was bath time and bed time...you get the idea. I think I planned the next night's meal, though.

Then DH's grandma went to the ER and we discovered she had bleeding on her brain. She's been in the Intensive Care Unit since Friday, and has had two brain surgeries. She's had one setback after another, including a heart attack and having to be put on a ventilator. Its been kinda touch-and-go, but she does seem to be improving now. We're just taking it one day at a time and praying fervently.

We've been spending a lot of time at the hospital, naturally. They only let visitors in the ICU at certain times (5:30am, 10:30am, 1:30pm, 5:30pm, and 9:30pm). Obviously, the morning times are difficult for us to make since we have the baby and we both work. Same goes for the lunch time slot. DH's work is about 45 minutes from the hospital, so he can't just go on his lunch break. And after work we both need to get home and take care of our daughter and the animals. So that leaves the 9:30pm slot. Friday night and Saturday night, my mama kept C while DH and I went to the hospital. Sunday, the three of us went that morning and stayed most of the day. Monday night, DH and I went again. Tuesday night, I stayed home and C and DH went to the hospital alone. Last night, the three of us went again, since his grandma had been waking up some and he thought she'd like to see the baby. She did wake up while we were in the room, but she can't talk or anything.

I'm not sure what we'll do tonight. I do know I don't want to take C again - 9:30 is past her bedtime! Last night was rough. She was so keyed up from being up late and seeing the family that she didn't want to sleep much. Which means I didn't sleep much. *yawn*

Anyway, we've been cooking at home mostly this week (to save money), but I've had to rework my meal plan a lot. Practically every day I have to change it. But that's okay. I'm just rolling with the flow. Or trying to, at least! Most nights I've had to cook something quick since we haven't had much time to get everything done. (Try getting home at 6 and having to take care of a 2 year old, an indoor cat, 2 outdoor kittens, an outdoor dog, 3 horses, 12 chickens, and a herd of cattle! Oh, and fixing supper, trying to keep up with laundry....ahh. Needless to say, we need every second we can get in the evenings!)

I thought after a day or two of having to rework my meal plan like that, I'd just say forget it and give up on it altogether (again). But I haven't. My list of meats is still there, waiting for me to make a plan when things calm down. I did manage to plan out the next week or so of meals, so that's some progress.

This morning (once I finally managed to drag my sleep-deprived self out of bed - late, of course) when I looked at the meal plan for tonight and saw that I'd planned to cook a chicken, I said no way is that happening! So I moved that one to tomorrow night. And wrote down "pancakes and bacon" for tonight. Amen. Mama needs an easy night, ya'll!! (Though I do make my own pancake mix, so its not as easy as it could be!)

God's really working on me lately, and it is so awesome. He's teaching me things right and left, and I am so grateful. One day, I'll be what He wants me to be. I'm on the way, for certain! ( :

Oh, and if ya'll could spare a quick prayer for DH's grandma, I'd be very appreciative! ( :


Natural Family Planning - My Story Part 4

 Here’s Part 4 of my journey to Natural Family Planning (NFP). You can read Parts 1, 2, and 3 here, here, and here.

So now for the fun stuff! ( :

My immediate reaction to NFP was “what a bunch of hippies.” Lol! But that was my first reaction to everything “natural” – including cloth diapers and several other things that I now proudly do!

After I educated myself a bit, I realized that NFP is not just for hippies (snicker, snicker). Its for anyone who for whatever reason doesn’t want to take artificial birth control. Its for any woman who wants to understand her cycles better. It can be used for pregnancy achievement or prevention.

For me, learning about a woman’s cycles and finally understanding what my body does every month has been liberating. I know exactly when I’m ovulating, when I’m fertile, when I’m not fertile, when my period is about to arrive, everything. My cycles are not what I’d call normal (thanks to so many months on the mini pill – though I hope they even out eventually), but now that I’m tracking them and really paying attention, I don’t have surprises. If DH and I decided to have another baby, I’d know exactly which days we were most likely to achieve that. Since we’re trying to avoid (for now), I know exactly when we have to be careful and we don’t have to worry about it. Its great!

I highly recommend the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. She also has a website, http://tcoyf.com/, that is very informative. If you really want to understand everything, though, the book can’t be beat. I borrowed a copy from my local La Leche League, though I’d love to have my own.

Practicing NFP is easy. Every morning before I get out of bed, I take my temperature with a digital thermometer. I leave it next to the bed, along with my iPhone. It only takes 2 minutes. I record the number in an app on my phone (its called Period Tracker). At some point during the day, I’ll check my cervical mucus to see what’s going on. At night, I’ll take out my NFP binder (just a plain binder I made to hold all my charts and some helpful info on NFP) and chart my waking temp and cervical mucus for the day. Easy peasy. If I feel ovulation pain, I’ll record that. When I’m on my period, I record that. When DH and I do the deed, I record that (that way, I’ll know exactly when we conceived if we ever do again – even though that’s not our goal right now, I am fully aware that accidents do happen!). It sounds like a lot of tedious record keeping, but I promise its not. This takes about 20 minutes a week. Probably less.

Understanding what all those records mean is a little trickier, but Toni Weschler’s book explains it very well. Seriously, go read it. You’ll be glad you did, if you’re even a little interested in this method of birth control (or pregnancy achievement!).

I’m so glad God pointed me to NFP. I feel SO much better – physically and mentally - since we started it. I think only 2 people know that we practice this method of birth control (until now, haha), but I’d love to tell everyone about it. What’s always held me back is the story of how I came to this decision. People don’t like to talk about abortion and the dangers of birth control. Maybe I could have just talked about NFP without telling my story, but to me that’s important.

So now you know a lot more about me than you probably cared to know, huh? Hopefully we can still be friends. ( : NFP is just one more thing I do in my attempt at a “crunchier” lifestyle!! ( :


Natural Family Planning - My Story Part 3

Here’s Part 3 of my journey to Natural Family Planning (NFP). You can read Parts 1 and 2 here and here.
This is where it gets controversial! Last summer (2012), I somehow stumbled upon some research on birth control pills and how they can possibly cause abortions. What?!! I am completely 100% against abortions, so I started reading. I found this book, “Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?” and bought it on my Kindle. I was shocked at what I read. Of course, I read a bunch of other stuff, too, but even knowing that this is a possibility had me horrified.
Basically, the pill works several ways to prevent pregnancy. One way it works is by thickening the cervical mucus so that sperm have a harder time getting through to the awaiting egg. That’s a very simplified explanation, but you get the gist (hopefully). The pill also is supposed to inhibit ovulation, though many women still ovulate while on the pill. A third way the pill works is by changing the endometrium to reduce the likelihood of implantation.
Stay with me here, I’m tryin not to get too technical. That all sounds well and good. You’re not supposed to ovulate on the pill, and if you do, don’t worry cause your cervical mucus has hopefully been changed to be basically hostile to sperm. And if that fails, still don’t fret about pregnancy because your uterus has been changed so that it is now hostile to a fertilized egg. Wait. What? An already fertilized egg? Yep.
This is where the true controversy lies. Your reaction to this depends on your opinion on where life begins. At conception (which is when the egg is fertilized) or at implantation (which is when it beds down into the uterine wall and sets up camp for pregnancy).
My view is that life begins at conception. If your view is different, I’m not saying its wrong.
So the pill, if the first 2 birth control mechanisms fail, is designed to prevent the fertilized egg from making its home in the uterus, effectively killing it. (Because it has to attach to the uterine wall to get nutrients to survive, it can’t live in there on its own.) If you say life begins at implantation, then this is not a problem for you. The fertilized egg never implanted, so life wasn’t destroyed, just an egg. But if you’re like me and say that life begins at conception, when sperm and egg meet and their respective DNAs combine to make something new, then this should be a huge problem, if you’re against abortion. It was for me, at least.
Even though I knew the chance of the birth control pill’s first two mechanisms failing and conception occurring were extremely low, in my mind there’s still a possibility, and I couldn’t bear the thought of aborting my child, whether intentionally or not. I also know that plenty times birth control pills fail completely, resulting in a term pregnancy. But if there’s any chance at all that my baby could be aborted due to the pill, I couldn’t keep taking it.
After much prayer, I decided to stop taking the mini pill last summer. I knew DH and I needed another method of “birth control,” though, so I started new research. That’s when I found out about Natural Family Planning/Fertility Awareness.

Part 4 coming soon…


Natural Family Planning - My Story Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of my journey to Natural Family Planning (NFP). You can read Part 1 here.

The IUD seemed like the answer to all our prayers. I knew lots of people who had one, and a few friends who were either thinking about it like me, or who had just gotten one. I called my doctor and found out everything I needed to know to move forward – or so I thought. I found out when I could make the appointment, how it would be handled with our insurance, what I could expect, etc. They didn’t tell me anything negative, which I thought was odd, so I started my research.
What I found terrified me.

Of course, if you do a google search on anything, you’ll find horror stories. I read stories about the IUD getting stuck in the uterus. I heard stories about intense pain during the procedure to put it in, and some stories that talked about pain that never subsided. I read about infections due to the IUD. I read all the negative side effects of it (similar to pills). Then I read about the risk of pregnancy. Granted, it’s a very minimal risk, but like all birth control the IUD is not 100% effective. And if a pregnancy were to occur, chances are the IUD would make it impossible for the fetus to survive. I couldn’t live with that possibility.

After all my research (this was in November of 2011), I decided that the IUD was not for me. I’d be constantly worried that I would get pregnant and my baby would be killed. Maybe that’s an irrational fear, but it was enough to make my mind up. DH agreed with me. So, after more research, we decided to try the mini pill, since I was still breastfeeding.

C was not quite a year old when I started the mini pill. I hated it right away, but I know you should give a pill 3 months to let your body get used to it, so I stuck it out. I figured if it did decrease my supply, it wouldn’t be a big deal since C was eating solids a lot and was right a year, so I wouldn’t feel the need to supplement with formula. Fortunately, the pill had no effect on my milk, or none that we noticed. C did cut back on breast milk a lot in December 2011, but that was because she decided she only liked her milk straight from the source! She refused to drink expressed milk anymore, which was fine with me since it meant I could quit pumping. (Obviously, that was a fine idea since she’s now 26 months old and still nursing!)

Anyway, I noticed some side effects of the mini pill that I didn’t like, but it didn’t affect my milk and DH was happy that we didn’t have to be so careful all the time. But I was right back in the same boat I was in years ago – my cycles were crazy again. After 2 months of being on the mini pill, I had a 14 day period. That is not cool with me. Then another month, I thought for sure the pill had failed and I was pregnant, cause I didn’t have a period. Several pregnancy tests later, I finally realized that I was not pregnant, just irregular again. Great.

I was determined to stick it out, though, for the sake of my husband. And I really thought eventually my body would adjust and my cycles would be normal again. When I went for my yearly checkup last year, my doctor was happy that I had finally decided to get on the pill again, but he told me as soon as I quit breastfeeding to let him know, so I could get on a “real” birth control pill. That rubbed me the wrong way. Another comment he made basically told me that he thought since my child was over a year I should stop breastfeeding. Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely defensive about breastfeeding a toddler (I’ve had to deal with some very rude comments about it), so of course I didn’t like hearing that from a medical professional. I told him that I would be doing what was best for my baby, end of story.

Fast forward a few more months. I was still miserable on the mini pill. C didn’t seem like she was anywhere near weaning (which was fine with me), so it didn’t look like I’d be able to try another type any time soon. I wish I could remember how I stumbled across the next thing I learned, but for the life of me I can’t.

Part 3 coming soon…

Natural Family Planning - My Story Part 1

Oh, boy. Here we go. This can be a touchy subject, so I avoid talking about it most of the time. Birth control is a very personal topic, and people tend to get defensive on topics like this. Yet here I am, sharing my opinion on the issue!

My husband and I practice Natural Family Planning (NFP). This idea goes by many names (Fertility Awareness Method is another popular name), but NFP is the one I decided I liked best. Its something we've been practicing for about 8 months now, so I am by no means an expert. I also know that many, many women are totally happy popping birth control pills every day, or taking a shot every 6 months or whatever. I say, whatever floats your boat! So please don't think this post is some sort of PSA designed to tell women that I think they're stupid for using birth control. I'm just sharing my story! ( :

FYI: This story is long, so I'm splitting it up. Also, if you read this you will learn a lot about me that you might not want to know, haha, so be warned! ( :

I started taking birth control pills when I was 18 or 19. My cycles were extremely random - some months, I'd have 2 periods, some months I wouldn't have one at all. I just never knew what to expect. I thought that was normal (well, it was normal for me), so I never talked to anyone about it or sought help for it. Finally, I mentioned it to a friend and she urged me to go see a "woman doctor." Well, of course, the gynecologist immediately started me on birth control to regulate my cycles. Thankfully, it worked. But it didn't take me long to realize that the pill wasn't working for me other than to regulate my cycles.

For the next 8 years, I stayed on birth control, trying basically every type of pill available. I'd give each one a try for at least 5-6 months before making a decision about it. But every single one gave me terrible side effects. Some made my periods almost unbearable (cramping), some made my periods super-long (like 18 days), some made me way too emotional or just plain mean (thanks, Yaz). Apparently, I am extremely sensitive to hormone levels!

I never tried the patch or the ring or the shot. I don't even know if the patch is still available, but a girl I used to know tried it and went swimming and it came off. How is that effective?? The ring always freaked me out. Plus I'd heard horror stories of it getting stuck in there...yikes. And I didn't like the shot for several reasons. One, its kinda long-term, so if I was on the shot and wanted to get pregnant, I'd have to wait for it to get out of my system. Two, everyone I know who tried Depo gained a ton of weight. No, thanks. Three, the shot increases your risk of getting osteoporosis. Since that runs in my family, I figure I'm already at enough of a risk, so I won't be intentionally doing anything to up that.

I know that leaves the IUD, and I'll get to that in a minute.

The summer after I got married, I had had enough of birth control and screwing my hormone levels up. I talked it over with my husband, and we decided to let my body take a break from the pills. Immediately, I felt better. My cycles were normal, I stopped having all the highs and lows, everything was just better. We weren't quite ready for a baby yet, so we were just careful. That winter, we decided a baby would be nice, so we stopped being careful. We figured it would take a while to get pregnant. (I mean, all you hear is stories of women who try for years before they get pregnant. Plus I'd been on birth control for so long, I figured some of that was bound to be left in me for a while. Plus my doctor told me if I was able to get pregnant, it might be hard due to some other issues I had years ago.) Well, we were pretty surprised when I got pregnant the following March! (Or maybe early April, we're not sure. I found out in April.)

So, obviously, I had a nice long break from birth control pills - from the summer of 2009 at least until I had C in December of 2010. Of course, while I was still in the hospital, my doctor gave me a prescription for birth control. I think that one was for the mini pill since he knew I planned to breastfeed, but I never got it filled. I didn't do much research while I was pregnant, but thankfully I quickly learned a lot after C was born. One thing I learned was that even the mini pill can impact your milk supply (even though its not supposed to). One of my friends was having no problems breastfeeding, and then she started the mini pill and she dried up. I wasn't about to let that happen to me. If nothing else, I knew I wanted to breastfeed for as long as possible. (Plus, let's be real. I had just had a baby, sex was the last  thing on my mind! haha) So I never got the prescription filled. When I went for my 6 week checkup my doctor was kind of rude about it and made me feel stupid for not being on birth control yet. He basically said that without it, I'd be knocked up again soon. Um, hello, I know how not to get pregnant! I ignored his urging to get on the mini pill and went about my business.

I had my first postpartum cycle 17 weeks after C was born. I was kinda mad that I only got 17 weeks and I was exclusively breastfeeding! I kept reading about how all these mamas didn't have a period to return for almost a year or more. Oh, well. I was happy that my cycles were extremely regular now. I didn't know I could be so regular on my own! I could set my clock to my cycles, it was awesome.

Well, after months of having to be careful all the time (because I knew nothing about a woman's fertility), DH understandably got tired of it and started asking me to please consider birth control again. I thought a little more freedom would be nice, too. I looked seriously into getting an IUD. In fact, I called my insurance company and found that if I got it by the end of the year I wouldn't have to pay a dime! It seemed like a sign to me, like all the stars had aligned for me to get an IUD. It would be free to us, I could have birth control without having to take a pill every day, and it could last up to 5 years, but could be taken out at any time to get pregnant. It seemed too good to be true!

Part 2 coming soon....


Wednesday Night Musings

So it's quarter after 11 on a Wednesday night. My child has finally fallen asleep. Yes, at this late hour. She has a wierd sleep schedule lately, but since she's had a bad cold I've been lettin her slide. Unfortunately, she's passed her cold on to me. I've had a sore throat since Monday, and today I've been hacking up a lung all day. Fun times.

C is on the mend with her cold, thankfully. She doesn't sleep well and she doesn't eat much, and she coughs like crazy and her poor nose drips all day, but it hasn't slowed her down any. I wish I felt that good when I'm sick!!

While I'm sittin here rockin her (til I know she's out enough for me to put her down - please tell me I'm not the only mama who has to do that!!), I thought I'd do a general update in our lives this week.

Besides the sickness that's plaguing our house, C has also had to deal with weaning suddenly from her paci. Now we all hate the dreadful pacifier, so none of us were sad to see it go, but I wasn't plannin on doin it quite yet. DH and his family have been pressuring me lately to take the paci away from C, but I didn't want to overwhelm her. She's doing so well with potty training. She seldom has accidents anymore. (She is still in diapers at night.) One thing at a time, I told them.

Well, Monday night sometime after supper, the paci disappeared. It was there and then it wasn't. When C got ready for bed DH and I tore the house apart lookin for that stupid thing. I had another identical paci but C refused it. Eventually we gave up and I told her we just couldn't find it. She teared up a little but nothing like I expected. My girl has been obsessed with her paci. I set rules/limits for it, but she's a master at gettin it when she wants it!

Until Monday night, apparently.

But she made it through that night with no real tears. She asked for it a few times but was always satisfied with my answer. Same thing all day Tuesday, last night, and today. She didn't even ask for it tonight. So I guess we're done with the paci for good! If we happen to find it now its goin in the trash!! haha

I never wanted her to have that dang thing in the first place, and she wouldn't take one for a long time. People pressured me into it, and I stupidly gave in and kept tryin to get her to accept it. I think she was 7-8 weeks when she decided the paci was good. If we ever have a baby I don't intend to give him/her a paci, unless he/she becomes a thumb sucker. That is so much harder to break than a paci.

5 years ago -heck, even 3 years ago - I never would have guessed I would be so wrapped up in a story about a paci. I also never thought I'd have so many conversations about poop and pee!! Funny how motherhood changes you. ( :

Out family had another major thing happen this week, which I can't talk about yet. But the result was very humbling to me. God literally spoke to me and it was awesome. He taught me a tough lesson, but I am so thankful that He is takin the time to work on me. He has healed some old wounds in me this week, and given me a new perspective on a few things. I was very resistant, but I finally gave in and let Him change my heart. What a feeling!! It's amazing what our God can do if you just let Him in. ( :


Belated Valentine's Day Post

Yes, I am inundating my blog today with posts. I post when I can! Today I've had a lot to say. I've also had more viewers today than I've ever had, which is really exciting! I'd love more comments, ya'll. ( :

Some of the blogs I follow did posts on Valentine's Day last week. Most of them talked about how they decorated their house for the holiday. One blogger said she didn't do much decorating since its only one day. That was such a funny comment to me; all holidays are only one day, and we make a big deal out of some of them. ( :  Well, I don't do any decorating at all for Valentine's Day. The only holiday I decorate the house for is Christmas. Well, I decorate for fall, too, but that's not a holiday.

This post obviously won't be about my Valentine's decorations. I did make Valentines with C, but we only made 3 (one for her daddy, and one for each set of her grandparents). I just cut out big red hearts and had her put her hand prints on them in white paint. They turned out really cute! I figure in a few years she'll have plenty of friends and then we can break out the big-guns for crafting, haha.

What I wanted to talk about in this post is my sweet, sweet husband. I have never made a big deal out of this holiday, and never expected my significant other to do anything special for me. DH normally doesn't do more than chocolates, a card, and flowers, which is more than enough for me. Our anniversary is a week after Valentine's Day (February 21 - this Thursday!!), so since we got married we definitely haven't done too much for this holiday. We take a trip every year for our anniversary. This year, we decided not to do anything for Valentine's and just save our money for the trip (which we'll be taking next month).

So I got DH a really sweet card. And that's it.

I had planned to get up early that morning to cook him breakfast (he leaves for work much earlier than me), but C was getting sick and I was up most of the night with her, and couldn't bring myself to get up earlier than I absolutely had to. DH understood. But he surprised me by cooking ME breakfast! He normally wakes me up right before he leaves, just to tell me goodbye. (I have tried to make myself get up every morning with him, so we can spend extra time together, but I am NOT a morning person and when I tried I was just cranky all day, so now I just sleep until I have to get up, which is later than him.) Anyway, he cooked me bacon, eggs, and grits, which was wonderful since I usually just have toast before work.

This was also waiting for me:
 That card was really sweet. I was tickled to death! Later that day, the florist delivered a gorgeous bouquet of flowers to me at work. I'm not big on roses, and my favorite flowers are daisies, so that's why we have the weird mix here:

At this point I was feeling somewhat guilty that I didn't get DH anything except a dinky card. But, come on, we had agreed not to do presents!!

Then he called me after lunch to tell me he had another surprise for me. Argh! I had no idea what to expect. My man loves to give gifts, and he can be extravagant sometimes. But since we're supposed to be saving our money for the trip, I figured he'd bought me "Breaking Dawn: Part II" on DVD. Or something else in that price range. Something sweet or cute.

I should have known he'd go for extravagant!! When we got home from work, he presented me with another box of chocolates and some long-stemmed roses.
Now, I'm not big on roses, but these were gorgeous. THEN he handed me a small box with the tell-tale wrapping of our local jewelry store. (I know this wrapping well since he got me several pieces of jewelry for Christmas. Yes, my man spoils me, and no, I never ask for any of this!) Inside was an absolutely beautiful heart necklace:
It has white and chocolate diamonds. sigh. Its so sparkly. I love it, of course, but can you imagine how guilty I felt for not getting him anything??! He wasn't mad at all, though. That's just how he is. He loves to give gifts, and truly doesn't expect anything in return. Of course I put the necklace on and haven't taken it off since. ( :

Some people say men use Valentine's Day to give their wife something sweet and make up for the rest of the year, when he's not sweet or loving. I know that some men do that. But not my man. He typically only buys me stuff like this on holidays or special occasions (like our anniversary), but he does sweet things for me all the time. He just likes to go all out when he gets the chance!

The thing is, he knows I don't expect anything extravagant like this necklace. He knows I don't even have to get flowers delivered at work. I do like cards, and I've told him that enough that he knows that, haha! He just buys me nice things because I don't expect them. For Christmas he got me a sterling silver chain and charm, a gold chain, and 2 gold charms. Way more than he should have. I think he likes to shock me! (For the record, he doesn't go with jewelry for every occasion. He's pretty creative with gifts.)

I know that giving gifts is part of his love language. Its not mine, but I can sure appreciate it. What's interesting to me is that while he likes to give gifts, he's not much on receiving them. He's appreciative if he gets a gift, but it doesn't bring him as much pleasure as watching me or someone else open something from him. He likes love to be shown to him by doing acts of service - keeping his clothes washed, keeping the house clean, doing little extra things to help him, etc. Which works great, since those are the things I excel at. (For the record, my love language is quality time. When my man spends time with me, that says so much to my heart!)

My marriage is not perfect by any means. But I know how blessed I am. I pray that God continues to bless my marriage and make it continually stronger. I'm happy to report that on Thursday we'll have been married for 4 years! I know that's not very long, but considering not long before I met him, I wasn't sure I ever wanted to be married, this is a pretty big deal. ( :

And I did buy him a small gift, even though I said I wasn't! haha ( :

Weekend Projects

Since we were stuck inside most of the weekend due to the blizzard (haha), DH and I ended up being pretty productive. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of our progress. But we're not actually done with anything, anyway - well, I'm not done. I think DH finished his big project.

He was working on his desk in the office. It was a mess. Not as bad as mine (which I'll get to in a minute), but considering he actually works at his desk, it was pretty bad. He had a ton of papers to file. He spent several hours yesterday getting that done, and his desk looks nice now!

DH also decided to clean up the pantry a bit. Back in August, I did a lot of organizing in the pantry and the food cabinets in the kitchen. The cabinets have actually stayed pretty similar to how they ended up in August. I'm not happy with then because we have so many canned goods and its hard to see everything, but we haven't come up with a good solution for them yet. I keep seeing blogs about organized pantries and there are like 12 cans in there. How do people only have 12 cans of food??! We have like half the grocery store in ours, haha. DH likes to have plenty of food on hand. I can't get him to see that all these extras as not necessary, that we really don't need to have 15 cans of potatoes on hand at all times. But his motto is "you never know!" So anyway, we have a ton of food we have to find space for, and we don't have much space in our kitchen. The whole thing really needs to be completely emptied and organized, but who has time for that?? Until then, I have to make do with the limited space I have for food storage in there.

Anyway, the pantry had gotten quite out of hand since I cleaned it up last summer. We had several different bags of chips, and those bags have obviously been procreating since then. I should have counted how many bags of chips we took out of the pantry yesterday. It was insane. We'll buy a bag or 2 for a party or an event, they'd only get 1/2 eaten, and then the bags would end up in our pantry where they were forgotten about, because we don't eat a lot of chips. Yesterday we tasted everything in the pantry that was open (talk about a mid-morning snack!), threw out what was stale, and combined like bags of chips. We ended up with one bag of plain chips and one bag of pretzels. So much better!!

When it was time to start putting things back on those aggravating wire shelves, I remembered the mountain of shoe boxes in our master closet. I've been saving shoe boxes for years, because I knew they'd be good for organizing one day. One day - ha. DH wasn't thrilled with the idea of using shoe boxes in the pantry, but I persuaded him to at least give it a try for a while. In my opinion, they make the pantry so much better. I only used 2 shoe boxes (for now, hehe), so I used them to corral chips, crackers, and random snacks that are in individual packs. If we decide the boxes stay, I'll take them out and "pretty them up," as I told DH yesterday - meaning, I'll wrap them in pretty wrapping paper to make them more pleasing to look at every time the pantry door is opened.

So I didn't get a picture of the pantry since its not officially done yet. Besides, it doesn't look very attractive right now, with those ugly shoe boxes sticking out like sore thumbs! We'll see how functional it proves to be this week, and then I'll post a progress. ( :

Saturday night, I stayed up way too late going through my closet again. I go through my clothes periodically, and take out anything I can't or don't wear anymore. Lately, I've been pretty tough on my selections. I can be very sentimental, and I was holding on to a lot of clothes that I hated to wear, but couldn't give them up because my mama gave them to me. Or I wore that shirt when I met my husband. Or any other reason I could come up with. Or even, I might need to wear that shirt one day....yeah right.

Last January, I donated a ginormous trash bag full of clothes and shoes and still had way too many clothes in my closet. I think I went through the clothes again 2 or 3 more times last year. And this is the 2nd time I've done it this year. (That should tell you how many clothes I have. Actually, that might tell you I have nothing left!! On the contrary, my side of the closet is still extremely cramped. Its just not quite as cramped as it was before.)

The thing is, I rarely buy myself clothes. And I don't think DH has ever bought me an article of clothing. My mama is the culprit. She loves to buy clothes for me for some reason. She's really good at it, too. I go to a store and never see a single thing I like. Mama will go to the same store and later bring me several things that I end up loving. I've been stressing to her lately to STOP, though. I seriously don't need any more clothes. I digress. ( :

Saturday night I got rid of a bunch of clothes (which I just realized I left at home...crap. I'll have to donate them another day...), even some that I still wear (but shouldn't). Then I organized the remaining shirts into sections: casual t-shirts (that I wear at home after work and on weekends - no dressing up for stayin home!), work shirts (I have a ton of these, but my boss bought them all), nicer t-shirts (like fitted tees or short-sleeved shirts with designs, which deem them going-out-worthy), 3/4-length sleeved shirts, sweaters, cardigans (again I have a ton of these, but I wear one to work almost every day - I am cardi-obsessed), casual long-sleeved shirts, nicer long-sleeved shirts, and then finally my dresses and "church" shirts. (All my skirts and dress pants have to go on DH's side of the closet since he has 2 rods - I only have 1 rod. And all my jeans and khakis are folded. I wish I could hang pants!) I thought about further organizing my shirts by color within each category, but I thought that would be overkill and I'd probably never keep it up. Plus I'd probably look at my clothes and think "hmm...I don't have a green long-sleeved shirt?!" and go buy one. :/

So now my hanging clothes in the closet look much better. I still have way too many, but unless I get down to the absolute bare minimum, I think this is as good as it's gonna get. And I don't like to have to do laundry just so I'll have a clean shirt. So I think I'm good now. As far as the rest of the closet....yikes. I had it extremely organized last winter, but its gotten way out of hand since then. I'm trying to convince DH to build me a small shelf for my shoes so I won't have to buy one. Once I have that, I plan to work on the rest of the closet. I probably need to get rid of some shoes again, too....*sigh*

My last weekend project was to tackle my desk in the office. I've been planning to do this for a while. In fact, I took some "before" pictures on January 1:

Yikes. I know. You probably can't tell, but the first picture is my nice keyboard that I never play. Probably partly because I have to move too much junk to reach the keys, and partly because I hate to go in this room because of the state I let it get in. :( The second picture is my desk. I promise its down there somewhere.

What's sad is that since these pictures were taken over a month ago, it had gotten so much worse than that. :(

But yesterday I cleaned everything off the piano, so now I can play it (if I ever find the time...maybe that's the real reason I never do!). In fact, C serenaded DH and I with tunes on the piano while we were working in the office yesterday. ( :

I also completely cleaned off my desk. I didn't take any "after" pictures, but trust me when I say it is MUCH better. Though not "good" yet. Basically all I did yesterday was throw away a ton of papers that didn't need to be saved, and organize the rest into piles to deal with later. I can only do so much with a bored, sick toddler hanging around! I plan of using more of my old shoe boxes to help with organization around my desk. But I'm also toying with the idea of getting rid of the desk altogether. I don't use it anymore, but I do need the storage space. We'll see what happens.

I hate that I didn't get any "in progress" pictures this weekend! But I am proud of us for getting some things done around the house. I'm beginning to think that our house will forever be a work in progress, though! But that's okay. I can never be bored at home, with all the projects I have in mind!! ( :