Monday, December 30, 2013

In anticipation of a brand new year...

As ever I have a big heaping list of things I want to accomplish in 2014. But the truth is most of those things are just a to-do list for myself, so here are just a few of the really big goals.

1) Save money for 2015 trip to Italy.
2) Create an efficient office space and build my basement studio.
3) Officially launch Little Bowerbirds etsy store by May 15, 2014.
4) Spend the spring and summer in the garden, and grow more edible things than just tomatoes.
5) Finish at least 6 house projects - studio, insulate attic, lay the patio, under cabinet lighting and backsplash in kitchen, and two yet to be decided!
6) Keep a calendar and make a planner that suits my needs.
7) Show my love.
8) Make the time necessary to be creative.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

This is easily one of the strangest Decembers that I can remember.  While I'm sure most of the strange feeling can be attributed to growing up and seeing the holidays in a different light, the strangest part of all is knowing I won't be with my parents and sister on December 25.  There's only one other Christmas day I can remember not being with them and that was 2005 when I was visiting Australia.  That year was strange in its own ways, but being as far away on the globe as is possible gave the experience its own sort of importance, especially as I was just coming into my own as an adult.  Now, they are just in Florida and I in Wisconsin, so it feels so strange to know that even though they are not that far away that they are still out of reach.

Shopping was also an interesting experience.  We are typically very good at setting budgets and sticking to them, but I suddenly found myself with a much smaller income than planned.  A couple weeks ago I got quite sick and could not go to work lest I pass it on to the kids.  I was extremely fortunate that Rivers was still in town and covered for me, and I know she didn't mind the extra income, but it left me scrambling to slash my gift and grocery budgets to fit my adjusted income.  The adjusted budget actually helped me return to one of my loves - thrift shopping! I managed to find perfect gifts for four people on my list that way, including a certain board game that had never been played for just $2 versus buying from a big box for $25.

I am still excited to spend the holidays with my in-laws, and we've already had a wonderful time with Dankos' family and our annual Candy Cane Lane tradition.  Yet I think I will be at least a little less stressed when we arrive in Cedar Mountain post-Christmas to see my grandmother, Mamu, and many of my extended family.  I'm spending today wrapping, laundering, packing, and last minute gift creating.  Back to the grind!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Halfway through December

It feels as if I blinked and I'm suddenly all the way through Thanksgiving, and halfway through December.

November was so hectic it flew right by in a fit of packing and good-byes.  Even though my little sister is back in Wisconsin, our parents and their household have officially moved to Florida.  I already miss them, and can't wait for them to visit and for Richard and I to see their new place this spring.  Matthias stayed with Richard and I for about a week and helped pack up my parents' household, I'm sure it would not have gone so well without him.

Full disclosure: I'm sick in bed and really wishing that when I called my mom she could come over.

Oh, and after Thanksgiving our friends Jeff and Jennie, and their daughter V, were on this side of the state and were able to stay over for an evening.  It was so great to see them for a second time this year.  The only time I'm guaranteed to see them is when Jennie and I go on our yearly yard-saling adventure.