Early to rise…

So, it’s been over a year since I wrote anything on here. And the point of some of my posts was FINISHING. Good grief. FAIL!

I mean, come on. I wrote this about making an apron for Ginny out of a cute seasonal towel. I have all the materials to make 3 different aprons. And NO aprons are made. Zero. No finishing.

In my defense, I did finish a few of my quilt blocks mentioned in this post. I still have more to go, but hey–there was finishing involved. Blocks were delivered. I’ll take any kind of success I can get!

To follow up on the rest of the list (as seen here):

1. Quilt squares–addressed above.

2. Decluttering: I did some. We had a garage sale at church and I shuttled several vans full of stuff over there without a second thought. However, the house doesn’t seem lighter. Lots more to go. LOTS.

3. Bible study…NOPE. I read several worthy books, but not a daily/weekly Bible study.

4. Yarn and graphics…NADA. My daughter has recently shown an interest in the yarn, so maybe. We’ll see.

5. Sewing machine projects. Sometime before the end of the year I used the sewing machine to sew something. I remember getting it out. I don’t remember what it was. Whatever :\

6. Paint the kids bathroom: The kids bathroom currently has the following on the walls: the original contractor paint, primer, a test wall of a cold seafoamy green color that I didn’t like, two test spots of a weird yellowish color I liked at the time, but I’m not sure about, and an abstract mural done in the medium of Irish Spring deodorant gel stick (done by my 8 year old…yep EIGHT.) Forget Sharpies–if you want it to last forever, use some deodorant.

7. Financial Peace…bills got paid. That’s about it.

8. Bible reading plan. I read some more, but no finishing here either.

“Let’s do all the things!” GREAT GOODNESS. That list is HUGE. What was I thinking! I have a husband 3 kids, and a job outside the house. If my husband didn’t do laundry then we’d be naked.

I am such an imaginary overachiever.


There’s obviously some things I need to get done that aren’t getting done. It’s March now and most people have moved on from Level One goals of New Year Resolutions to Level Two goals of Lent. Cause most people can do anything for 40 days.

This past week I saw a post that, when I saw it, shouted to me: this is a good way to start!

Get up early. The early bird gets the worm. Early to bed and early to rise…

You get the picture. Crystal at  Moneysavingmom.com is doing the Early to Rise Challenge using the book Early to Rise by Andy Traub.

What do you do? Get the book (I grabbed it for $5) and pick a time you are going to get up each weekday for March. The get up then (I’m pretty sure this is the critical step. Each day there is a post at moneysavingmom.com with a challenge for the day.

I think that if I can get this down, then I might be able to think about some of the other stuff on the last list! Or at least get my kid to school earlier.


Why the quilt blocks are #1 on my Finish List

I didn’t grow up around a big extended family that did a lot of stuff together. Jeff’s family is different. His mom had lots of brothers and sisters who supplied lots of cousins and they now have lots of kids. It’s a big family. Thanksgiving dinner is a perfect example of  how big–tons of people gathered at Jeff’s Aunt Beanie’s house each year to talk and eat and play and shoot guns. We love it. My kids love it (the kids are not shooting the guns, fyi.)

But there is another special time of year for the women in Jeff’s family–Girls Weekend. I don’t even know when it started, but all of the sisters in the family and their daughters and girl cousins (and their girls) started getting together for a weekend trip in the late summer or early fall. There’s lots of cooking and talking and usually some swimming and shopping and the best Rice Krispie treats.

Several years ago (quite a few based on the number of quilt squares I have) there was an idea to draw two names and everyone would embroider a quilt square using a white square and a set of embroidery iron on images. (Cause there are enough people on this trip that if those who are old enough to, actually make a square, they could create a pretty big blanket!) Everyone went home with 2 squares so you could do your stitching and bring them back next year. The first year I wasn’t the only one not done by trip weekend. Some people were finishing up that weekend. But as we have discussed, I’m not a good finisher. So bad at finishing that I’m still working on the first set. It’s not because I’m super slow at embroidering. And it’s not that I’m bad at it. I knew how to do it before we started. It’s just that I don’t take time. I’m bad at finishing because I don’t plan. I just put it off until later and then later never comes and then it’s 5 or 6 years later and I’m still not done and there are more squares each year. It’s just a big pile of guilt waiting to be stitched.

quilt squares
Waiting to be stitched...

So now I’m planing. Planning to finish. And today’s plan is to finish square one and get square two on the hoop.


It was Finish it Friday–yesterday

Yep. It’s Saturday again (instead of Friday) and again I find myself trying to decided if I’m ok with giving up the alleteriation of “Finish it Friday” for the ease of posting on Saturday. Is that really in the spirit of Finish Year? Probably not.

Here’s a quicky list of this week’s progress:

  1. Quilt square progress: really worked on this last weekend. Not far from finishing square one. (Working on a post about why these are even on my list.)

    Quilt Square in Progress
    Almost there! A few flowers and french knots from being FINISHED.
  2. Declutter and organize: Follow up from last week-used the treadmill. Walked 2.5 miles while watching Netflix. Decided that I need to watch a sitcom instead of a drama while walking until I’ve been at it for a while!
  3. Have not started James yet.
  4. Nothing on Photoshop or yarn.
  5. Nothing on the apron this week.
  6. No real work on painting the bathroom. Probably won’t be until the spring.
  7. Finances: Got most of my tax stuff entered online. This week’s task: get medical receipts from doctors and pharmacies. Only got lunch out once this week (because we had no leftovers.)
  8. Did NOT read “Maximize Your Mornings” last weekend. Correlation with my not-so-maximized-mornings this week? Um…maybe.

This list stinks. Not a week of much progress except for the square and most of that was on Saturday and Sunday.  Feel good about the taxes, but that really didn’t take that long. Definitely feeling like I was off this week. Sooooo. On to the upcoming week and getting back to the list. Cause these things aren’t go to finish themselves.

Finish it Friday–I remembered!

Yay me! It’s Friday and I remembered to “finish” and post a list update ON Friday. Because Finish it Friday sounds so much better than Finish it Saturday. I like alliteration.

This week flew by at mach speed and ended well. I can sum up the whole week by saying I’m glad that next year, both of my school age children will still be on the same school year calendar (any chance of that NOT being the case was put off for at least another year) and that I’m also glad that Will did not break anything after a fall on the stairs at school. I really was an “all’s well that ends well” kind of week.

As far as my list goes, I really don’t feel like I made much progress, but lets take them by the numbers:

  1. Quilt square progress: nada. I may work on them tonight after I post this.
  2. Declutter and organize: I did some work in the garage and made room to use an old treadmill we’ve had sitting in there while we tried to figure out where to put it.
  3. No progress on the Bible study.
  4. Uncovered some “learn to knit” stuff in the garage while decluttering. As in a pair of needles and about 2 inches of stitches on one needle. I guess that’s as far as I got last time. I didn’t even get past casting on. I also looked into the Photoshop classes on www.lynda.com. I’ll need some PLANNED, uninterrupted  time to work through the class.
  5. I bought the supplies to make Ginny the dish towel apron. She picked out a cute towel with hearts and owls and a cute ribbon for the ties. Can’t wait to get it made!
  6. No real work on painting the bathroom. Probably won’t be until the spring.
  7. Finances: I’ve been better at keeping up my grocery receipts and entering them in the spreadsheet. So far so good there. I’ll be evaluating at the end of January to see what I can do better. Also need to start collecting all my tax info, like doctor and pharmacy year end receipts.
  8. Need to get a better Bible reading schedule. No magic formula needed here. Just gotta do it. A new Good Morning Girls study starts Monday. I need to download the study guide and be ready to start and FINISH! I also found this cool, free e-book called “Maximize Your Mornings” over at www.inspiredtoaction.com. I glanced at it earlier and I’m looking forward to reading it this weekend.

So, no major progress this week, but baby-steps are better than nothing!

Finish list 2012

It’s the last Friday of 2011 and my first Finish it Friday.

On Fridays I’m going to post an update on what I’m working toward finishing. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely

So here goes:

  1. I’m going to finish those quilt squares. Not high on my want-to list, but on the top of my making me feel guilty list. So I’m knocking those out. I’ve all but quit watching TV for lack of time, so I don’t have a lot of “I might as well be doing something with my hands” time. So I need to schedule some time in my evenings. I’d like them all done by the end of March. That’s nuts. How about the end of April.
  2. I’m going to “finish” getting my house decluttered and organized. This is obviously never “done,” but I’d like to be in the “maintain” phase, instead of the “various piles and stacks about the house” phase. Baby stuff be-gone! Items from abandoned projects are out of here! Items need to be donated, consigned, or sold at a yard sale. Need to make a decision about a yard sale. If we don’t do a yard sale by the end of April, what’s not consigned is going to the Oliver Gospel Mission store. How’s that for a non-committal goal.
  3. I want to finish a Beth Moore Bible study. I’m a great study starter, but once again, not a good finisher. I’m thinking the new James study. I’m teaching GAs on Wednesday nights this semester, so I’ll be doing it myself, at my own pace, which might not be a bad idea. Giving myself until the end of March on this one.
  4. I’ve got a list of things I’d like to learn this year: crochet and/or knitting, Photoshop and/or Illustrator (for work.) I’ll give myself until the end of the year to be proficient at Photoshop and one of the two things with yarn.
  5. I want to finish 4 projects with the sewing machine. One per quarter of the year.
  6. I want to paint the kids’ bathroom. Cause it’s my least favorite of all the rooms in this house. It’s dark and dreary and I really really really hate it. It’s small and aside from the painting around and behind things part, it shouldn’t be too difficult to actually do. I have dreamed of hand painting something cute. So: something cute on the walls in there by the end of the summer.
  7. Get back on the Financial Peace wagon. We’ve got the head knowledge. We’ve got to get the discipline part. The “finish” here is “not quitting.” I want to finish 2012 in a better financial place than where we are starting.
  8. Finish the 90 day Bible reading plan I quit last year (somewhere in the middle of Jeremiah.)

From Starter to Finisher

So. January is a few days away, and like many others I’m thinking of what I want from the new year.

A new year brings a magical feeling of “starting over.”

I’m a good Starter.  Over at Jon Acuff’s blog he is encouraging people to be Finishers. That’s what I need to do. Finish a lot of stuff I’ve started.

I am a champ at starting. I get all excited, dream of the possibilities, make a plan, make a list, buy some stuff, and then the results vary from there. Sometimes I just end up with a pile of supplies, sometimes I end up with a half done project. It doesn’t even matter what kind of project it is. Cooking or crafts or something that needs to be done around the house. Doesn’t matter. They are equally likely to become “half done.” I’ve had the ingredients for Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies in my cabinets for some time now. Homemade marshmallows, too.

There is a box of quilt squares I need to embroider FOR OTHER PEOPLE. They are sitting in a box. Waiting to be finished.

I have a sewing machine that I bought 13 years ago. So far I’ve made an apron, a table runner, and 1.75 crib dust ruffles. That’s right. Will’s dust ruffle only had 3 sides. Don’t judge–you really don’t need 4 sides on a crib ruffle. One side is up against the wall and you never see it.

I have a cabinet full of scrapbook supplies. And one small scrapbook I made in 2009.

I have knitting needles and crochet hooks and Learn to Knit and Crochet books and DVDs. Both of those are a no-go. I’ve got a chest full of fabric and patterns that are just waiting to become something.

As if I didn’t have enough half done things around my house, someone invented Pinterest. Pinterest is a dangerous place for a Starter. I love Pinterest, but I immediately knew it had the potential to become a long list of things I could, but don’t create. My solution for that is the “Things I actually made from Pinterest “ board on Pinterest. When I actually make something that I’ve previously pinned onto one of my boards, I move it to my “made it” board. Kind of like a pat on the back I give myself–and justification for spending time on Pinterest.

On of my problems is perfectionism. When the idea is in my head, it’s PERFECT. And because I haven’t actually done anything yet, if I change my mind, it’s easy to change the project because I haven’t actually done anything. It’s easy to re-work an imaginary project.

The other is just making time. I love to create. Back in high school, when I had WAY more time on my hands than I ever realized, I loved to write and paint and I even did some embroidery. I FINISHED an apron that had been my great grandmother’s. It’s hanging in my kitchen now. It’s proof I can be a Finisher.

Proof I Can Finish

So, back to how I’m going to make Finishing a habit.

I need a plan for the new year. A plan of what to finish. So, in 2012 Fridays are going to be “Finish it Fridays” here at The Fair. Tomorrow is the last Friday of 2012 so I’ll be listing my things I want to FINISH in 2012. They are going to be specific. They are going to have deadlines. There’s going to be a plan. Cause that’s how you finish things.