Goals 2015


This is how I chose to display our family goals this year. We each tried to pick something for a different area of our lives: spiritual goals, health goals, educational goals and a fun goal.

I used an old chalkboard I had in the garage (by chalkboard I mean a board I painted with chalkboard paint a few years ago). Then I printed out pictures of the goals we made to give us a visual image of what we’re working towards. Anyway, I printed it out on cardstock and stuck it to the board with tape. Goals? Done.

Christmas Decor

I always decorate for Christmas. I love it. It’s part of what makes Christmas fun. I usually do it the day after Thanksgiving. I pull out the plastic bins of decorations, crank up some Carpenter’s Christmas music and set up my house – fill it with Christmas cheer, if you will. Here’s this year’s decorations:

We got this tree from the Clark’s. Our little fake tree is a modest (skinny) 6.5 foot tree. It worked nicely in the past, in our tiny MI home, but this year, we have 9 foot ceilings and our house is twice the size. So, when Christina called me and said she just picked up a free, 9 foot, pre-lit, Costco tree and wondered if I wanted to use it this year – I leapt at the chance! This is the free tree she found on Craigslist. She would have used it herself, but their ceilings wouldn’t allow it :)

Before Santa came:


thankful tree

I have been meaning to do this for years and I finally got to it this year. Christina really got me going because she called me and said, “I know where you should put your thankful tree in your new house”. Awesome. Sooo, I kept looking online at thankful trees and they were pretty puny. Little gatherings of sticks in a vase …. but not me. I always go big. I took a wall and 3 days to really finish it.

Anyway, last night for Family Home Evening, we sat around our table and I cut out leaves from paper and the boys and Daniel wrote things they were grateful for. They really got into it. I HAD to stop them so we could eat treat and get to bed. It was fun and easy and I love that it looks like Fall inside my southern California house now :)


Ray’s nursery

We moved in about 2 months ago and I feel like nothing is really where I want it just yet. There is so much unpacking and rearranging to do … but I feel like Ray’s nursery is one of the first finished rooms in the house. Maybe in 6 months I’ll change everything, but for right now, this is where we’re at:

My main goal for the room was to have everything at Ray’s level, but high enough to make him want to get up and work those leg muscles so he can start walking (16 months and no sign of stepping). So there’s really no furniture in there for adults. I always find myself on the floor in his room, which is great because it forces me to interact with him on the floor, read to him while propped up against a wall and just be at his level.

Sooooo, I had to have this little workshop toy in his room, but it’s ugly. So I put it in his deep closet and close the sliding doors when I don’t want to see it. But Ray loves it!


sun & cultivating

This is a picture I snapped while driving home from dropping off Liam at kindergarten. It’s half day kindergarten here and Liam is a late bird, so he goes to school around 9:45 am. This is pretty much what it looks like here all. the. time. It’s absolutely glorious. You’ll notice the sun, of course, that is casting shadows on the road and illuminating my life. But there’s also a small grove of citrus trees to the right, mountains in the distance and blue skies everywhere. Not a cloud to be seen. ahhhhhhhhh.

This morning when I woke up, it was overcast, blah. And it was really the first day like that, and I was bummed out. I was talking to my sister, Christina, about the overcast-ness and she immediately responded, with complete confidence, “oh THAT? It’ll burn off”. And she was right. By the time I was dropping off Liam, lo and behold, there were blue skies and sun. I love that. There are bad things – ants, dust, more ants, spiders, and it gets reeeeeeeally hot here, but you have to give it to these southern Californians – they have the sun and awesome weather all year round.

In other news, I am hard at work on my house. I learned something about myself. I like to decorate new spaces, but not unpack new spaces. Unpacking is lame. Decorating is fun. I spend most of my free time unpacking and organizing. I have unpacked all but 8-10 boxes, which are in the garage. So basically, everything is inside the house. But it needs to all find a place. That’s the rub. Finding a place for everything is slow going. I feel like all I do all day long is care for kids, wage the ongoing war against the ants,  unpack and organize. It’s tedious work sometimes. There are three piles downstairs on the desk that I cannot tackle. It makes my stomach hurt looking at them. They have stuff ranging from memories to pictures to important papers to mail to craft stuff ….. ugh. It is exhausting to think of all the different places I’d have to go to make those piles disappear. And then there’s the closets. Each room has a closet full of stuff that needs to be organized.

Anyway, beyond that, I am in the process of really cultivating a home. Creating it. Making it mine. In this process, I want to buy two things – a dining room table and a headboard for my bed. For some reason, I am at a standstill with this. I was sooooo excited at first, and spent every night looking online for the perfect table. It had to be rustic so the boys could destroy it and beta on it and I’d be okay with that, but it also had to have a sense of elegance too. I found the perfect thing on 1stdibs.com

How much do you love that, huh? A classic 1880’s farmhouse table. Rustic, gorgeous …. and only $11,400. yes. really. I didn’t know you could spend that much on any single piece of furniture before now.

With a little more searching, I landed on what I thought was the new perfect dining room table – long, big, rustic, beautiful and in the mid range for price – $700. Not IKEA prices, but not Pottery Barn or $11,400 either, ya know? It’s at Cost Plus World Market, here. Actually, it looks like it’s on sale right now. But Daniel doesn’t like it.

What’s not to love?? He thinks it’s impractical to own a table so large. It’s 7 feet long. almost 8.

But it feels like such a big deal, to pick out furniture of this magnitude. This will be the table that my boys sit around forever. Where we have Thanksgiving dinner, where we pray, talk, eat. And we may never actually buy anything, because Daniel and I can’t agree on a dining table.

As for the headboard, oh yes, I have found it. At west elm and world market and of course, Anthropologie.

Buuuuut, there’s something wrong with each of them. The west elm one is beautiful, but a bit pricey and it doesn’t have any shape to it. The world market one is cute with the buttons, but doesn’t come in a king size. And the Anthropologie one is, of course, perfect, but $2500. That’s the problem.

Well, time is far spent and I need to get going on dinner. I’ll have to “cultivate” later.