Saturday, May 31, 2014

Before 30 Bucket List: May Progress

Happy weekend! Here's the latest progress on my Before 30 Bucket List. I'll warn you, there's been little progress since my last update. We were kind of living in survival mode for the few weeks of school, but now that the school year is over, I hope to make some real progress (and do more blogging) with all this extra free time I suddenly have!

1. Run a 5K race. Take a step toward better overall health.
In April, I wrote that I was reassessing my goal to run a 5K. Pure Barre opened in Peachtree City in mid-May and offered an awesome pre-opening special. Our friend Pier of The Newlywed Lefebvres had blogged about her experiences at another studio, so I decided to try it out. I've been to four classes in the past two weeks, and I plan to do about ten more before my special is up.

2. Make my office/scrapbook space perfect.
This space had to take a back seat while we got the main living areas tidied up these past few weeks. We have a guest staying with us for about a month while he trains at Delta, so we wanted the place to look like home and not an episode of Hoarders while he was here!

3. Pass the Middle Grades Social Studies GACE.
Still planning to take this in June -- if I don't decide to take a different test instead!

4. Re-do/refresh our bedroom, including paint.
No real change since April -- There is a sample swatch of Valspar Bamboo Shoot (light green) taped to the wall. I found a couple new decorating items, and I'm actively searching for a new duvet cover.

5. Make curtains for the guest room.
I finished the curtains on Tuesday of this past week! I had made them far too long, though. So, when I pinned them up to be hemmed, I realized I would be cutting about a foot and a half off each panel. These extra pieces got trimmed and hemmed to become valences for the kitchen window! I'll be sharing pictures sometime next week, I hope.

6. Make curtains for the living room/kitchen.
Not much progress since April -- Fabric choices are picked out, but I need to get Trevor to come along and help me decide which fabrics to use!

7. Finish A Clash of Kings, the second book in the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire series.
Still hanging around page 350. I've been trying to read Georgia Odyssey ahead of my GACE for middle grade Social Studies, so fun reading is out the window for awhile.

8. Complete our wedding scrapbook.
Ha. Ha. Ha ha ha. I haven't been in the scrapbook room enough to clean it up, let alone do any actual scrapbooking.

9. Reduce my wardrobe.
I cleaned out one drawer. One.

10. Finish my home management binder.
I've made a little progress, mostly in the calendar section, and mostly out of necessity!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Grandma Marian

On May 2, my great-grandmother, Marian Tande, would have been 97 years old. She passed away peacefully on Easter morning this year. She had been sick. She had been having trouble getting around, and she had been in pain. Grandma Marian began expressing her desire to be done with the pain of living about a week before she passed.

I was extremely fortunate to have her in my life for nearly 30 years. Many people aren't fortunate enough to have their grandmothers for that long, let alone their mother's grandmother. I had always imagined that Grandma Marian would get to see my first child, and maybe even live long enough that my children would remember her. I certainly thought she would live to be 100. She had been in good health up until a year ago or so. Last July, she moved into an assisted living facility and then into the attached nursing home in February. Until then, she had lived on her own. She was widowed when I was just a few months old.

Though I am really sad she is gone right now, I feel peaceful about her passing because I know she was ready - even if we weren't ready to see her go. I think the holidays will be the hardest because Grandma Marian was such a big part of Christmas. When we sent out our photo Christmas cards, she would always send us a thank you note for the "nice picture." I think those cards meant a lot more to her than I could ever understand. At the family holiday gatherings, she was always running the kitchen, and she was known to make amazing fudge that she sliced as though it were cake. When friends joined my family for Easter in college, they came back to school telling everyone about her amazing fudge.

I remember visiting her apartment in Minot one time with Mom and Dad. Grandma Marian took two desserts from her fridge and said, "First we'll have this dessert, and then we'll have this one." That's right. We ate two desserts that afternoon. I don't think anyone could ever deny that Grandma Marian had a sweet tooth!

Goodbye, Grandma Marian. We will miss you so much!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I did something very drastic and out of character for me. I bought a paint sample without consulting a half dozen people. Then, I taped off a two foot square on the kitchen wall, and I painted it New Avocado green. As I was doing it, I asked myself why I hadn't done it sooner. It was simple to paint the sample on the wall. It didn't cost much. I completely loved the results.

I realized as I was painting that I hadn't done it sooner because I had told myself NO or LATER every time I had thought about it previously. I started thinking about all the things that I hadn't done yet because I had told myself I either had more time to do them or didn't have the power to do them. I had been saying NO and LATER to myself for as long as I could remember.

There were so many things I just hadn't let myself do because I thought I couldn't do them. However, I've also done a great many things I didn't think I could do. I realized that I would never know my full potential until I start attempting things I don't think I can do. If I am meant to fail, I will fail. If I am meant to succeed, I will succeed. But for either outcome to happen, I need to try.

So, I'm removing NO and LATER from my vocabulary. I'm taking chances and I'm living in the now.

Today, when I got to school, there was a postcard for a local gym offering all school employees a free membership for the month of May. I immediately logged onto my computer and signed up. One thing that I had been saying both NO and LATER to was my health. I don't work out. I really only like running, but my doctor said I can't run outdoors due to my severe, chronic allergies. Jumping on a treadmill though? Totally fine. Doing it for free? Even better.

Tonight, I'm working in my office. I've been neglecting this space because I kept saying I could get it ready LATER. The time is here. I'm not letting it go any longer.

I'm excited to see how my life and my home look in a month. I feel like saying NO and LATER have made me feel far more stress simply because these tasks are just hanging over my head instead of being accomplished. I am so excited to feel the sense of accomplishment instead of the nagging feeling of needing to do something.

Are there things you have been saying no or later to? What are they? Join me in this new adventure!