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Today is the first day of March, the first day of Lent, and the first day in 6 months that I’ve felt the inclination to publish a blog post. Something in the weather, the clean calendar, the early release day, and several rooms of my house turned upside down, have me in a contemplative mood.
I’ve been busy.
First, the Blog
A few weeks ago I decided to switch from a WordPress dot com site to a self-hosted WordPress dot org site. I took a computer science course in college which was predominantly focused on using the basic functions and programs of a Mac, a machine that I loathed at the time. This is particularly dumb because that was right about the time most public schools did away with Apples and introduced PC’s, and even dumber because now I’m a full blooded Mac convert and nothing I learned in college is still applicable to what I’m doing today. What I didn’t learn in college was anything about web-design, HTML, blogging, CSS, or social media.
The process of teaching myself these things has been as arduous as it has been rewarding. Anyone who has ever done it (especially without prior knowledge) knows exactly why people pay someone else big bucks to design and manage their personal or company websites. Who has time for this?
What you are seeing is a work in progress, but I feel like it is finally at a point that I’m no longer hiding the lose ends and wet paint. I have a lot of ideas. Organizing and then translating them into Internet language just isn’t happening overnight. That said, I’m fully in favor of crowd sourcing when it comes to creativity, so if anyone has advice, questions, complaints, criticism, or thoughts, I’m truly all ears.
Meanwhile, life with four kids keeps chugging along, at a faster pace than ever. As our last child is likely nearing the time when the afternoon nap will be a thing of the past, John and I have opened up several extra curricular doors we previously had adamantly left locked, without guilt. The big girls are playing piano and soccer. Eliott is in the Elementary Battle of the Books club (EBOB for short) at school and will compete with her team in just a few weeks for some honorary title of nerdom to which John and I can only attach ourselves distantly by association.
Three out of four kids joined the choir at church, which is a little less like the singing practice on Sunday nights I remember it as, and a little more like forget you have a life outside of the Baptist church cause baby, we got shit to do and people to bless. I don’t actually say this to complain. It has been nothing short of fantastic. Carter got to sing the National Anthem at a Wake Forest basketball game. She and Eliott have both had trips to sing at nursing homes and they both have parts in the Spring musical.
Isaiah will also play organized soccer for the first time this Spring, and though the preschool church choir is only a Sunday night one-hour commitment, he loves it. It is difficult to express the level of adorable this boy has reached in his unabashed enjoyment of all things musical.
Couple all of this with four children and an equal number of birthday parties, school parties, field-trips, family visits, and summer plans. (Oh, and public school homework. The insanity. Shoot me now.)
Lent, Spring Cleaning, Longer Days, and Lists
I love school. I do. I love the stay-at-home-mom life now that all four of the kids are in school for at least part of the week. But I long for summer and its lack of schedule, longer days, warmer weather, minimal wardrobe (and lack of laundry that comes with it), and fresher produce.
Today I found myself in list-making mode, and because it is the first day of Lent, I started with a 40 Day theme. There’s no telling whether I will actually tackle any (let alone all) of the ideas I put down on paper today, but sometimes a little mental decluttering is all I need to feel like I can wake up more purposeful tomorrow.
If you are in a similar boat and need some inspiration:
List 1: 40 Days of Organization
The idea here is to make a list of 40 places in your house that need to be organized. Ideally these would be less-than-an-hour to tackle jobs (and let’s be real, coming up with 40 was actually pretty difficult until I broke a few into smaller parts). My list isn’t perfect, and some would realistically take me a weekend, while others I could group and finish 3-4 in one day. Again, starting place.
Confession: I actually tailored this after a goal I made a few years ago called the 52 Weeks of Organization challenge. (As the name implies, make a list of 52 things to organize and tackle one a week.) I’m not sure I did 52 tasks that year, but I did do a couple of tasks so well that they have remained organized. I should post pictures. I did re-list these areas to remind myself to check them and make adjustments if necessary, but I know for a fact a few areas are as close to perfect as they can be.
List 2: 40 House Projects
This list is really for John and me both. Like all homeowners, there is always a number of things that need to be done (fixed, updated, decorated, painted, repainted, hung, rehung). These are all non-emergencies, and many are 10 minute tasks. Several, however, require a lot of time in the planning stages, which is often why they get relegated to the back of our priorities on the weekends. This list was easy to write because most of it is already jotted down and shared with John on Quip.com.
Quick note: if you are not using Quip, go to the app store and look it up right this minute. This is how John and I share grocery lists, this list (known by some as the honey-do list), and talking points for future conversations that might involve specifics. Eliott comes by her nerdom as about as honestly as she does her awesome hair and long eyelashes. Also, Quip did not pay me to say this. I did get a free t-shirt, but I’m endorsing this app all on my own because it is exactly that good.
For me, this list also included some arts and craps things that serve no other purpose but to kill an afternoon at my sewing machine. This is one of those self-love secrets I don’t necessarily show off.
So that’s pretty much it for me right now. Hoping the time between this post and the next is shorter. Also, if you are so inclined to take on a 40 day focus in celebration of Lent or something else, please tell me what you are doing in the comments below.