Sunday Intentions

Well, last week did not turn out to be as productive as I had hoped. It started with that Zumba class Monday night and kind of went downhill from there. I hated the class. I really, really wanted to like it. But it’s just not me. I’ve never been good at dancing and I’ve always been super self conscious about it in any sort of situation that requires dancing. And being in a room full of people dancing super fast and actually being really good at it? I felt like such a fool! And like I was going to die. I was going to try out the Zumba Toning class on Wednesday night just to see how it differed, but I couldn’t do it. My friend Laura and I were then going to go to the Drumfit class in a neighboring town, but it ended up being cancelled due to snow. Maybe this week… Otherwise the search for an awesomely fun exercise routine continues. I did find a cool website called Fitness Blender with loads of workout videos to do at home. I haven’t explored it too much yet, but I’m hoping to take advantage of it in the future. Soon.

I did make a change to my work routine that I’m hoping will help me be a lot more productive. It’s so simple, but – I’m going to start recording my hours. This has two advantages. First, it will help me think of sewing time as my actual work time. Sewing shouldn’t be something I’m trying to fit into the rest of my to do list. It NEEDS to be my top priority during the day. And because I love to see that I devoted a big chunk of time to it, once I “clock in” I’ll feel a lot more inclined to keep at it and not be distracted by other things. The other advantage of writing down my hours is that I can see when I’m putting in the most time and try to rearrange my schedule to a way that I’d rather do it. For example, most of my working hours this week have been at night. That’s not what I want. And yesterday I started at 6:30 am, ended at 8:30 pm, and only took minimal breaks to make and eat meals and run to the grocery store. That shouldn’t be what my average Saturday looks like. I don’t want to be the workaholic mother that is in the house, but not at all present. But I also feel deeply conflicted about this, because I’m genuinely behind at work and if nights and Saturdays are the only times I can sew, then I really need to do it! It’s so tough to find the balance. I did give myself the day off today to do what I wanted (mostly read!), but I still haven’t had any real connections or time spent with my family and I just feel yucky about the whole weekend. I don’t want weekends to be like this. But…I don’t want to feel behind either.

So my other priority last week was to take care of myself. It started with a bang and by the end of the week I was eating like crap and not even trying to exercise. But I did have some me time and really enjoyed the Vintage Shop Hop with my parents all day Friday. I didn’t find as many cool treasures as last year, but it was still really fun to check out some new stores and admire so many handmade gifts and creations. It was great just escaping responsibilities for a day too. Being driven around to loads of vintage stores is pretty much living the dream. πŸ™‚

Top Priority: Be Present

It’s kind of a busy week ahead. There’s something important going on almost every day. And while I really want to get a lot done this week, I’d also like to be fully present for the people that need my attention. Life isn’t all about work!

Tomorrow is Caden’s last IEP meeting. We were told that he’s graduating from speech, but he just told us tonight he has to have his final testing tomorrow afternoon. So hopefully, presumably, he’ll be testing out! It’s been six and a half years of very hard work for him and we’re so proud of how far he’s come. We’re going out to dinner with the grandparents afterward to celebrate his huge achievement.

Tuesday morning we’re taking Shepard for an echocardiogram. When he was sick in January the doctor noticed a heart murmur. She thought it was probably because he’d been sick with various colds and strep for three months and the result ofΒ dehydration. But when he had his well child visit the other day she could still hear it. So it needs to be checked out at the children’s hospital. It’s hopefully nothing, but still scary thinking there might be something wrong with my baby’sΒ heart.

Friday it looks like we might finally get a date night! I’m assuming we’re probably just going to stay in, but it’ll still be nice to be kid free for the night. It’s very hard to connect when the boys are demanding Greg’s attention every waking moment.

And then Saturday and Sunday I’m going on a girl’s getaway weekend with a few of my friends! It’ll be SO awesome to have some girl time. I feel like I’ve barely had an adult conversation with anyone in months and months. I need this trip. I’m also looking forward to some more fun shopping and restaurant food!

Second Priority: Work Hard

So in between everything, I really need to keep working. Keep writing down my hours and try to keep it to daytime only, as much as possible. I’m in the middle of a really big batch of dolls and I’m hoping to finish them up in the next day or two. Then I need to focus on Easter and start churning them out. Lots to do. Always lots to do!

Meal Planning

Well, I haven’t really thought about this much, but I’m not going to sweat over it either. We have a lot of food in the freezer that we need to start eating up. It’ll be another easy week. No use stressing over meals that take too much time or effort.

Anyway, busy days ahead. Have a good week!

Sunday Intentions

It was a pretty good week as far as productivity goes. I finished a bunch of dolls on Tuesday and had my biggest day of sales to date. It always feels amazing to sell so much right away, but also frustrating because I feel like I’d consistently sell that well IF I could keep my shop constantly stocked with new items! I just can’t seem to make more than a handful of dolls a week – if even that. Life keeps getting in the way, despite the fact that I’m starting work around 5am a lot of days and still working late into the night. Figuring out how to properly balance my time continues to baffle me.

At any rate, it was a good week – work wise. It was also a good week exercise-wise. With the nicer weather I got a lot of long walks in. I’m hoping I can continue that this next week. I’m also going to my first ever Zumba class tomorrow and I’m hoping I’ll love it as much as Drumfit. Unfortunately, the Drumfit lady decided coming to Columbus was no longer worth her time. I really miss it.

It was also a nice week with family time. As I talked about in an earlier post, the boys and I had a great hike together on Monday. Last night my brother and sister-in-law came over for a game night. Greg and I used to have game nights all the time when we lived in MN. Then kids happened and tv is the only thing we can manage to think about once they’re put to bed! But it was really fun to play games for once! And then today we went to their big gender reveal party – I’m going to have a NEPHEW! I was rooting for a boy, mostly because everybody was so certain it was going to be a girl and sometimes I like to be a little bit ornery. But I would have been very happy either way. πŸ™‚ It feels a lot more real now, knowing in just a few short months there will be a little boy joining the family! My boys will have so much fun with their first cousin.

So moving on to this coming week. I feel like life is finally settling down a little bit after the excitement of February, but the schedule also seems to be picking up at the same time. After months of nothing, it looks like there are school events almost every week now. I wish they’d space the events out a little better! But I guess that gives us something to do. On the nights when nobody ever wants to leave the house…

Top Priority: Work!

Between parties and holidays, it has not been a productive month for Heartstring Annie. But I finally have some more time to really dive into it. I also did something that makes me super happy – I put a stop on custom orders until after Easter. I know I should be happy about custom orders because it’s automatic money. But I find so much more enjoyment in making what I want to make and then seeing it sell. Especially in this quieter time of year when I can stray from strictly making holiday and seasonal dolls. I have more freedom right now to really get creative and my head is just exploding with ideas. By tomorrow I should be able to finish up my last batch of custom orders and then I can jump in to some new things.

Second Priority: Me!

As I mentioned in the post I wrote yesterday, I’ve really been feeling overwhelmed and stressed with just the mundane household responsibilities and more frustrating aspects of parenting. So this week I just want to remember to take care of myself too. Go on lots of walks if I can. Take that Zumba class. Eat healthy. Read a lot. And what I’m looking forward to most – going on the Vintage Shop Hop with my parents on Friday. I’ve gone the last few years and this past year my dad took off work to chauffeur us around Illinois and Wisconsin, going to as many shops as we could fit in. Finding those unique vintage and gifty type stores is one of my favorite things ever. So I’m incredibly excited that we’re doing it again this year. I’m also really excited that I don’t have to make the boys breakfast, I won’t have to pack their lunches, and I won’t have to make them dinner! A day without meal arguments sounds like a slice of heaven. πŸ™‚ I’m really looking forward to Friday!

Tentative Meal Planning

Monday – Pulled Pork Sandwiches (marinaded pork roast from the store mixed with a store bought Chili’s sauce mix)

Tuesday – Mongolian Beef – This might just be a meal that everyone will eat without complaint!

Wednesday – Chicken Tenders (hopefully homemade) mixed with Chili’s honey chipotle sauce (I love Chili’s and was really excited to find these sauce packets at the store last week!)

Thursday – Leftovers, probably. Unless I take pity on Shepard and make pizza.

Friday – The guys are on their own! Well, presuming I’m not home yet at dinnertime. But yeah, they’ll be on their own no matter what. Ha!

Anyway, I think it’ll be a good week. Lots to do, but lots to look forward to. Hope you have a good week as well!

Sunday Intentions

Well, I have some good news for once – I actually feel like I accomplished as much as I set out to last week! I had a big list of custom orders that needed to be done and I finished them all. I didn’t have many (or any?) other sales, but it also occurred to me just how low my inventory is right now. I think it’s just impossible to catch up to where I want to be with my workload. But I’ll keep working on it. Maybe next school year I’ll finally hit my groove with the work at home/life at home balance!

I also implemented a Self Care Wednesday this week! There’s been all this random shopping I’ve really been wanting to do. No regular errands, just fun things for myself. I actually ended up going Wednesday and Friday because Friday required a few necessary errands. I wandered around Ulta and looked at so much makeup. I even found a new lipstick brand and style to brighten my week. I tried on clothes at Kohls and found a pair of $10 jeans that actually fit and I liked. I went to Barnes and Noble – TWICE – to find more books to add to my list. I meandered JoAnn’s and found some fabrics and supplies for future projects. It was all very leisurely, mostly browsing, but really just a lot of fun.

I feel like I had a good amount of family time this week too. The boys were off of school Monday, so we ran a few errands and then went to lunch with my mom for her birthday. We worked on Valentines together and went to a rec department button craft night. Greg and I had our usual tv nights and a quiet at home date night. And we all spent the day together in Chicago yesterday. We also spent all of today working together to rearrange the house. Lots of family time this week.

And as an awesome bonus for the week – Greg finished our taxes AND he bought and installed our new toilet. No more fighting over the one toilet every morning!

So looking ahead to this next week – it’s a big one! Valentine’s Day and Shepard’s birthday and two birthday parties. Lots to get done in the next few days!

First Priority: Finish Straightening Up the House!

I’ve really wanted to get a Lego area set up in the house again. I can’t even remember why Greg moved them to the basement in the first place a couple months ago. At one point he was thinking about setting up a play area down there, but then we had all of our water emergencies. Between the constant thawing water trickling through and the pretty low temps down there, it just couldn’t happen. But I had already rearranged the family room to give him a desk/office area, so the Legos didn’t have anywhere else to go. We finally tackled that puzzle today, which led to basically rearranging every room on the main floor of the house.

We ended up moving one of my big bookshelves from the living room into my sewing room. And redistributed everything I had in that space into new spaces. Which in turn meant I had to reorganize everything in my sewing room. But now the Legos are set up in the living room. I think I’m going to take some real time to readjust to this. The living room was the one room I could always count on to be clean, peaceful, and pretty. Nobody had any reason to be in here except me and I loved it. I gave that up today for a mess that’s guaranteed to NEVER be cleaned up again. I figured it was for the greater good and a sacrifice I could make. I’m not the only one that lives here, after all. But when Greg said he plans on using the window seat as the spot to display all the finished sets….yeah, I couldn’t really swallow that one. πŸ™ Goodbye picture perfect peaceful room. I guess my concession is that we were able to move the family room back to the way we had it, so it doesn’t feel too cramped and overwhelming. And without any Legos in that room, it’s hopefully easier to keep clean. Then all our rooms can be half clean, half messy…

Anyway! I need to find a rug for our new Lego area. Hopefully a rug that can strictly be enforced as the only portion of floor Legos are allowed on! I also need to do some major kitchen cleaning and bedroom cleaning before the weekend and Shepard’s parties hit.

Second Priority – Valentine’s Day

So Valentine’s Day isn’t a HUGE holiday, but we do like to celebrate. It’s fun to always find reasons to celebrate! I’m hoping we can have a nice family night on Tuesday. I’m going to make heart shaped ravioli and pasta for dinner, with a flourless chocolate cake for dessert. I also have small gifts for each of my boys. My goal for the week is to feel prepared, calm, and open to just enjoying the night together. I’m also hoping if the boys go to Grandma’s this week sometime, Greg and I can get a real date in.

Third Priority – Shepard’s 6th Birthday!

I’m a little nervous about birthday festivities this year. I feel like every single year I go so out of the way to make Caden’s parties awesome. And Shepard’s always feel like an afterthought. I finally planned out some food, but I have nothing that fits his Mario theme. He wants sundaes for dessert, so I won’t even have a cake to decorate. This is also the first year that he’s having a friend birthday party. AND the first year we’re having a party on his actual birthday. I definitely wouldn’t have ever done that if I could have found a way out of it. But with it falling on a Saturday, this is just the only way it could be done. Before party mode is always super hectic and stressful around here, but I want to try soooo hard to avoid that this time since it is his actual birthday. My perfectionism mode needs to go away on Saturday and just let things go. The house will probably be a bit messy. But the party is only two hours and we’re only eating one food. We’ll survive. And then his family party is on Sunday. He’s pretty easy to please, so I’m sure it will all go smoothly.

And if in between all of that I can have time to sew and build up my inventory – that would be AWESOME. But I can’t depend on it. Today was supposed to be my big work day this week. And then I spent the entire day rearranging and reorganizing. πŸ™ So we’ll see what happens.

Finally, no meal plans yet this week. I’m so sick of making dinner, you guys. I’ve been sick of it for months. There doesn’t seem to be any meal anymore that everybody likes. And making a meal knowing one person is going to complain through all of it – it takes all the fun out of cooking. So we’ll just see what comes to me at 4:30 every afternoon!

Have a good week!

Crazy Fun Weekend!

20170203_172152 great wolf lodge

It has been a couple of crazy days! I thought about dividing this up into a couple different posts, but I’m just going to cheat and throw them all together into one big compilation of our fun weekend.

On Friday morning I picked up my goddaughter, McKenna, and spent the day with her while her parents closed on a new house. We went to see the movie Sing, which I really liked! Maybe I do like animated movies. πŸ™‚ Then we had lunch at Monk’s, did a little grocery shopping, and I dropped her off at her new house and got to look around for a few minutes. I can’t wait to see it when they’re all moved in! It was fun to spend time with McKenna, though I think I need to do it more often so she gets more comfortable hanging out with me.

I had just enough time back at home to take a half hour nap before it was time to gather everything up for the Dells. Shepard had a cold this week and Greg and I bought caught it on Thursday. Caden caught it on Saturday. Of course, because vacations are always the best time to get sick. πŸ˜› Anyway, we were going into the weekend a little worse for wear, but we made the most of it.

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The Dells

For Christmas, Greg’s parents usually give the boys a weekend in the Dells as one of their bigger gifts. We really appreciate the experience gift and it gives us all something to look forward to in the long winter months. This year we checked out Great Wolf Lodge for the first time. We left right after school, had a quick dinner at Taco Bell, and then got settled into the hotel. Our rooms were gigantic and had nice fireplaces and sitting areas. The boys were ready to swim immediately after getting in the room. We all went down for a little bit and explored around the waterpark. Their favorite of the night was the family “hot tub,” which was more like warm bathwater. πŸ™‚

20170203_193828(0)dippin dots

After some time in the water, we explored the rest of the hotel and stopped at the sweet shop to share a container of Dippin’ Dots ice cream. Greg had never had it before (or the boys), so his parents had to buy him some. πŸ™‚

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More exploring. I was about to keel over from cold induced exhaustion at this point. But we still had to stop at the game room!

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Just a couple of games before turning in for the night.

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Before we got to the game room, Caden was running really fast down the halls and he ran into one of those penny smashing machines. He hurt his arm pretty bad and wasn’t in the mood for any more pictures. Fortunately, they both fell asleep really quickly. It was adorable because after awhile Shepard kept trying to roll over and snuggle into Caden’s arm in his sleep. Caden would start stirring, Greg would get up and move him back to his side of the bed, and then he’d immediately roll back over to Caden. I couldn’t stop laughing. But it was also really sweet.

frog pond

Despite the late night, the boys and I were up before 6. Fortunately I had the foresight to bring some donuts on this trip, so we just ate donuts and played tablet/read for a couple of hours. Then we were back at the pool when it opened at 9. This little bridge contraption is always Caden’s favorite at any waterpark we go to. This time he was honing his skills on getting across without even touching the rope.

caden ball


It’s kind of funny to me how we keep going to waterparks, but the boys are mostly just interested in actually swimming. They both LOVED the wave pool this time around. Wave pools freak me out after feeling like I was going to drown in one at Noah’s Ark as a kid. But of course super swimmer Caden kept going as deep as he could and never wanted to leave! Shepard enjoyed going down the lazy river tube slide a bunch of times with Greg, but other than that had no interest in the slides. So Greg and I decided to check out one of the milder slides together. It was pretty fun, but the line was too long to feel like it was worth going again.

20170204_123234a ll the tickets

After swimming, we went back to our rooms for a little while. Steve ran to Culver’s to get lunch to bring back to the hotel. As much as I love going to delicious sit down restaurants, simplicity really is the best when you’re in situations like this with kids. After we ate we headed back to the game room to use up the rest of our points. Caden had some sort of meltdown and went back to the room, so Shepard got to play all the rest of the games and claim the tickets.

ticket prizes

Without any prompting, he spent his tickets buying two of everything, so Caden could have prizes too. He really loved his new purple bracelet and Love ring. πŸ™‚ He also bought a bunch of candy bracelets and tootsie rolls for Grandpa.

20170204_141416 greg and amy

The Ice Castles

It was time to check out of the hotel, so then we headed to our final destination – the Dells Ice Castles.

20170204_141442(0) ice castles

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20170204_141556(0) greg and caden

20170204_142009 ice

20170204_142330 cool blue ice

These were definitely quite the thing to experience! It would have been a little more enjoyable if it weren’t so cold or crowded, but we all had fun. Shepard never wanted to leave!

20170204_142521 caden

20170204_143951(0) slide

20170204_144017 slide

20170204_144901 chute

Overall, it was a really fun trip. Thank you, Steve and Cindy! We all agreed that Great Wolf Lodge was our favorite of the waterparks we’ve visited the last few years. I’d definitely be okay with going back again someday.

IMG_0455 dips

Mom’s Birthday

Now on to today! Today we celebrated my mom’s birthday. She requested spinach dip, one of her favorite things I make. When my dad found out, he requested “normal dip.” So – both dips!

IMG_0457 brie

I had another brie in the fridge and some berries that needed to be used, so I made another batch of that brie from earlier in the week. Yummy!

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Pull apart garlic cheese bread.

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Roasted potatoes.

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And Cuban chicken with chimmichurri.

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Shepard drew a picture of Grandma’s dog Gracie saying “Please don’t disappear, Mom!” I have no idea what made him think to write those words. They were equally disturbing and hilarious! I like the dandelion he drew on the front.

IMG_0467 cadens card

Caden also drew a picture of Gracie. Apparently she’s the only of the three dogs that make an impression on the boys.

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I made her an Annie and pig set with some pig fabric she mentioned loving a few weeks ago. Timmy and Brittany gave her some coveted Lipstick Queen lipstick. Jealous!

IMG_0478 birthday cake

My dad brought a white raspberry cake from Carl’s Cakes for dessert. It was delicious!

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Shepard, the ham ball. He was trying to show off his “blue” lips after he tried on Grandma’s Hello Sailor Lipstick Queen lipstick.

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

Sunday Intentions

And finally, my last segment of this very long post. My intentions for the week are pretty simple – WORK! Last week was fun and crazy, but I didn’t get any sewing done. Even though I almost never get custom orders, last week I got an onslaught of them. Sometimes I like custom orders because they make people happy. But most of the time they frustrate me because I don’t have any time to work on the things I really want to work on. Which right now is a lot! So I need to get those done so I can move on to other things. Next week will be full of Shepard’s birthday related things, so this is my one big work week of the month apparently!

Have a good week!

Sunday Intentions

Well, I thought I was setting myself up for a pretty easy week with my intentions last Sunday. But I epically failed at all of it. I didn’t have any super meaningful experiences with my kids, I read maybe one chapter of Present Over Perfect, and I didn’t give myself a Self Care Day. It didn’t help that Caden was home sick on Tuesday (more of a mental health day I allowed him) and Wednesday was another snow day. I planned to have a self care day on Thursday instead, but I didn’t feel like I could afford to take a day off from everything I desperately needed to work on. Another messed up week and many more days of plans I made for myself that didn’t work out.

This next week is busy. Compared to how quiet our schedule usually is, this next week is insane. It’s a lot of really fun stuff, but I’ve been very stressed out over pulling it all together. Last night I was nearing panic mode over everything I needed to figure out and get done. But today I sat down and made my lists for each day and I know it’s all going to come together. And it’s going to be great, even if it’s not “perfect.”

Top Priority: HAVE FUN!

I’m getting my hair cut for the first time in six months tomorrow. I’m looking forward to actually having a reason to make an effort again.

I’m having a Valentine party with my friends on Wednesday. Desserts and cocktails. I’m really looking forward to hanging out with people after basically two months of not seeing anyone since my last party! Wisconsin winters are hard for the social life. There’s obviously some prep I need to do to get ready for another party, but it’ll be well worth it.

I’m spending Friday with my goddaughter. I’m not sure what we’re going to do yet, but I’m looking forward to getting to know her better. I kind of miss having fun filled weekdays with a kid. It should be a lot of fun.

Then Friday night and Saturday we’re going to the Dells with Greg’s parents as part of the boys’ Christmas present. After this cold and icy winter month, I’m really looking forward to actually doing something exciting and special with everyone. I know the boys will really love having a chance to swim again. It’s been too long since we’ve seen a pool!

And Sunday we’re having a birthday party for my mom. Which will also be a blast.

Second Priority: Cut Myself Some Slack

So that’s a lot of stuff on the calendar. With a lot of cleaning and food prep and packing and planning and wrapping in between. I’m basically assuming I will get no sewing done this week. I’m fortunate I can take these breaks when I need it! Even though a week without working kind of freaks me out. As I mentioned last week, I do a lot better when I stay very consistent! But LIFE is more important this week and I want to enjoy it.

Basically, I don’t want the details to stress me out. Usually I have ONE THING on my weekly schedule – Drumfit. Having things every day in a week sometimes terrifies me. But it’s also been a long and gloomy January, and I’m really looking forward to having some fun in the next few days. Connecting with people again. Seeing my kids laughing and running around without a video game in sight. Celebrating my awesome mom for her birthday. It’ll all come together and it’ll all be great. πŸ™‚

Meal Plans

Monday – Chicken Fajita Soup (I might have said I was going to make this last week, but it never happened)

Tuesday – Valentine Ravioli from Costco

Wednesday – Party food!

Thursday – Probably leftover soup! Maybe pizza…

Friday – Dells

Have a good week!


Sunday Intentions

It’s been another kind of weird week that has left me frustrated with myself for a lot of reasons. Shepard was sick – again, there was no school on Monday, school was cancelled due to ice on Tuesday, and there was a late start on Wednesday – so it was definitely an off week for having them in a regular routine. Greg was also home Tuesday for weather and Friday because we had yet another plumbing emergency. We had to get our sewer pipe snaked for the second time in five weeks. I also had some fun shopping planned for that day that I had to cancel, which always bums me out. Things always come up on the rare day I actually have special plans for myself. I ran my grocery errands on Wednesday, so I really only had one “normal day” this entire week and it’s hard to cram everything I want to get done in a week into a single day. I spent the earlier part of the week really excited about possibly going on an Ireland/Scotland trip later this year, and then the second half of the week bummed because I just don’t think we can swing it. It would be an irresponsible financial decision when we have so many other things we need to focus our money toward first this year. Like a new sewer line. In between all the chaos, I’ve felt very unmotivated to get any of my real work done and constantly frustrated with my inability to just sit down and focus.

So something needs to change this week. I need to be more open to changes in my schedule and personal agenda for one. I think I have gotten better at this in the last few months since sick kids and bad weather have made me cancel or postpone way too many of my plans. But I’m still internally very frustrated when I can’t go through with what I wanted to do on any given day. Being a mom is supposed to always be my number one priority, but it’s something I’ve really lost sight of as my kids have gotten older and more independent. I don’t want to lose them and our relationships because I’m always too busy with my own stuff.

Priority One: Kids

I’ve never been that great with sitting down and playing with my kids at home. I greatly prefer taking them out somewhere – anywhere. Going on walks or bike rides, having picnics at the park, spontaneous lunches at restaurants, checking out zoos and special places throughout the summer. I love doing those things with them, but have an extremely hard time focusing on them when we’re just sitting at home. And in winter months with horrible weather, sitting at home is basically all we do. I’d just like to be more open to finding the fun WITH THEM during these long months. Last night we had a movie night watching Storks and eating popcorn. It felt like one of the best things I did all week. The boys and Greg have tons of movie nights, but I’m usually doing my own thing. It felt very worthwhile to institute and follow through with it myself.

Priority Two: Self Care Wednesdays

This last Wednesday I saw a couple instagram posts about Self Care Wednesday. I love this idea! A couple of weeks ago I went and saw La La Land in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. It felt like such a luxurious treat! It might not always fall on a Wednesday, but I’d like to start devoting one day a week to doing something that really makes me happy. Maybe with that one special day to look forward to, I’ll have an easier time getting serious about work on the other four days of the week. I can think of all kinds of fun things I’d like to do to focus on self care. Movies, special shopping trips to stores I like to go to just for fun, a few hours walking around the antique mall, reading all day, working on a special sewing project just for myself. The list is pretty endless. I really want to enjoy my life beyond the almighty to do list, and this seems like about the easiest and most fun way to do it.

Priority Three: Read Present Over Perfect

I started this book last night and was shocked and overwhelmed to see everything I’ve been feeling these last few months right there in front of me on the page. I’m not alone! The author, Shauna Niequist, talked about how she made busyness and her to do list accomplishments an idol in her life. She talked about her frustrations with how her husband and kids were allowed so much leisure time and her work could never stop. Chapter after chapter was an EXACT replica to everything I’ve been struggling with so much ever since this school year started when my expectations for myself and my time grew to more than I can actually manage. So I’m making reading this book a top priority for my week. I can’t wait to see what she suggests for moving past this crippling mindset I’ve gotten myself stuck in.

Priority Four: Work

Alas, working is still part of my life now, and I can’t forget it! I started a batch of 24 ornament sized dolls the other day and I need to finish them. A batch of 24 is A LOT. But they’re my best sellers and I need to make them for every major holiday. I’m hoping on Monday and Tuesday I’ll be able to get these done and then on Thursday and Friday I can start something new. Maybe St. Patrick’s Day, maybe spring, maybe Easter. I just need to keep going. Whenever I take breaks I have a harder time getting started again. Consistency is key in this kind of work.


Monday – Hot Dogs (I’m all about easy this week)

Tuesday – Tacos (I’ve been craving tacos like crazy lately)

Wednesday – Chicken Fajita Soup

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Buffalo Pizza

Have a good week!

Sunday Intentions

Well, I took a week off from thinking about my intentions and I’ve ended that week feeling supremely frustrated and annoyed with myself and my inability to get anything done. Which isn’t exactly true because I’ve still been working on other things, but I’ve also wasted a lot of time doing nothing. I really need a clear cut plan for myself if I want to go to bed every night feeling like I’ve done enough. When I don’t have that plan in place, I usually end up riddled with anxiety and disappointment in myself. I really want to get away from attaching my worth to how much stuff I GOT DONE, but I’m not there yet.

This Week’s Focus: Sew More

Two weeks ago I was on a sewing roll. I put out 16 new dolls in a week’s time, which is really good for me. And I sold almost all of them immediately, which is a really great motivator to keep going! I was prioritizing it during my day, but also working on it more than I should have at night and on the weekend. But I’ve been so anxious to re-establish myself as a consistent creator. Which in turn led to a little bit of burn out, after only a week. It also meant that after five days of no new creations, I’ve had customers asking me what’s going on and if I’m making more. It’s really hard to keep everybody happy and still live the life I’m hoping to carve out for myself. I never expected working at home could be so challenging. Anyway, my plan for the week is to sew more than I did last week! I want to put in a solid couple of hours every day, which hopefully means maybe two batches of dolls to keep my customers happy and some money flowing in.

Also a Top Priority: Mental Health

I feel like I’ve been all over the place emotionally lately. I’ve been feeling very insecure, sad, stressed out, frustrated, and a little bit crazy. I’ve been hiding out from people and just trying to deal, all while feeling like a lunatic half the time – at least in the world that lives inside my head. I usually draw into myself when I feel like this, which leaves very little left to give my family and my friends. Silence and solitude are my best escape mechanisms.

Today I’ve felt myself on the brink of completely losing it all day long. I told Greg I was going to sew all weekend. He told me he was going to work in the basement all weekend. Neither of us were doing ANYTHING to make progress on those goals and I thought I was going to seriously explode if I didn’t sit down at my sewing machine immediately and get started. I hate feeling like this. But I’ve felt myself just sitting on the edge of explosion all week long, and I need to figure out how to move past it.

I think the best thing I can for myself is figuring out how to fit in daily exercise. When I was walking every day – even just to and from school in the mornings and afternoons – I felt so much healthier mentally. The cold weather and icy sidewalks have really put a halt to that habit. But I can’t give up completely. As much as I hate it, I need to find things I can do at home when the weather outside sucks. I also just need to be better in tune to what I can do in the moment to make myself happier and actually do it. Today that meant sitting at my sewing machine and getting to work. Earlier this week it meant going to the theater to see a movie to escape my reality for awhile. Oftentimes it means reading for half an hour or connecting with a friend. I need to be my own caretaker and realize what I need before I get to the point of explosion. I want my mental health to take be a higher priority in my daily life.

Meal Planning

Monday – Herb Crusted Pork Chops

Tuesday – Chicken Curry

Wednesday – Waffles and Bacon

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – BBQ Pizza

Sunday Intentions


It’s Christmas week already! This month has really flown by. I think as a whole I’ve had the best and most enjoyable December I’ve had in a long time. Spending it in our own house has definitely been a huge plus. With the extra decorations, trees in almost every room, and space to spread out, it’s been easier to breathe and slow down and enjoy life. I had my priorities straight this year, knowing what would trigger my stress and avoiding it as much as possible. Though I’ve also found myself pretty crabby the last few days and feeling a bit resentful about what I set aside in order to get Christmas things done in a timely matter, throw a few parties, and feel totally prepared for this week ahead. Between moving, a major garage sale, and Christmas stuff, this is the fourth month this year I’ve taken almost entirely off from sewing. This is supposed to be my job now, where I put most of my daytime hours and energy. But I never feel like it’s allowed to be my priority. Other things ALWAYS come up. Other things always feel like they need to be more important, even though a lot of the time it’s not really what I want to do. It felt worth it at the time, but it also frustrates me that four months into calling Heartstring Annie my full time job, it’s really not even close to being my reality. But that’s something I need to figure out in the new year. I had my day of resentment yesterday, but I’m pretty much over it now. πŸ™‚ December has been really good so far. I needed the extra time to relax and I loved having more of myself to give my family and friends. I can buckle down and get to work in January.

Looking at the week ahead, my to do list is pretty slim! Which is exactly how I was hoping this month would work out for me. I need to get some groceries – lots of food for quick, easy, last minute meals. I never know when we’re going to be eating at my parents’ or in-law’s with extra family in town, so it’s easier to keep things really simple around the holidays. No new recipes or elaborate dinner plans. I suppose I should also do some baking this week. I love baking, but can never find much enthusiasm for it around Christmas. I just feel like everybody is so overloaded with treats that it’s pointless to stress over making a lot. I’ll have to narrow it down two or three favorites to bring to the get togethers later in the week. Other than that? Just the usual laundry and housework! I wanted to view this week as my real vacation before the craziness of hyper kids and lots of family time, so I’m totally fine with not much on my lists the next few days.

Basically my only real intention for this week is to be present. I want to be fully available to enjoy every minute of Christmas this year. I’m really looking forward to our family Christmas on Thursday night. We have Greg’s huge extended family party on Friday night. Then Christmas celebrations and present openings with both of our families on Christmas Eve. And finally having Santa come to our new house for the first time on Christmas Day! It should all be very memorable and sweet.

I’m not going to bother with meal plans this week. Whatever happens, happens. If all else fails, we can just eat all the cheese and meat I have left over from my Favorite Things party. πŸ™‚

I hope everybody else has a wonderful Christmas week! Don’t stress over the little things!

Sunday Intentions

Tonight’s post feels a little obsolete after last night’s musings on slowing down and not being so centered on my to do list. This weekend has shown me again how little control I have over basically anything. We had a plumbing issue come up where our basement drainage area is slowly flooding. Obviously the more water we use in the rest of the house, the worse the basement area becomes. But it also slowly drains away if we’re not using water for awhile. I’m hoping this is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix by a plumber. But being a new homeowner, every little thing that might go wrong fills me with dread and worry. I always imagine the worst. Tonight I am very stressed out, very tired after another mostly sleepless night listening to Shepard’s nonstop coughing, and not as excited about my week as I was before all these problems arose.

But life goes on. My intentions for the week are to just get through it! I was very excited about spending the first few days of this week wrapping presents and getting ready for my Favorite Things party on Wednesday. I need to do a little cleaning, a little shopping, and then the fun will begin. But presumably now I will be waiting on a plumber. Hopefully right away tomorrow so I won’t have to put off laundry and longer showers and dishes for more than another day. Besides dealing with that, wrapping presents, and having a party, I just need to get everyone through the week. The more I can accomplish in Christmas related prep the better. But if I can’t do it all…that’s okay. All of our schedules are really screwy this week so I think it’s going to be more than enough just keeping everybody happy.

Meal Plan – kind of a joke this week, but here goes:

Monday – Leftover tacos from today’s birthday party for my dad

Tuesday – Probably chicken nuggets or whatever else I can unearth from the freezer. Greg will be in Chicago for a work party.

Wednesday – Greg is taking the boys out while I have my Favorite Things party!

Thursday – Greg and Caden are seeing the new Star Wars movie and I’m not sure if they’re planning on eating there or not. Shepard gets to go to Drumfit with me, so we’ll eat something fast and easy.

Friday – Greg and I were planning to have a late Madison date night after he sees a movie with his dad (split date!) while the boys sleep over at my parents’ house. But…apparently we’re due for another giant snowstorm, so I’m not sure any of that will happen. In that case…pizza, as usual for Friday nights.

Hopefully this week will go much more smoothly than I’m anticipating! Home ownership is sure to come with many issues and I need to get used to it. The timing is just pretty terrible. But we’ll survive. πŸ™‚

Sunday Intentions

It’s Sunday again! I think writing out my intentions last Sunday really helped me focus this past week. It was also slightly discouraging because as always, I assumed I could do more than reality allowed. Caden was home sick on Tuesday which threw everything off. Then I was feeling run down enough on Friday that I wasn’t up to doing much of anything. But overall I’d call it a successful week. I did finish Christmas shopping. That definitely took a load off my mind. I also met my walking goal Monday-Thursday. I loosened up a bit over the weekend and spent more time just enjoying my family and relaxing. And I made four Christmas Annies. Now it’s time to plan out the week ahead!

Biggest Goal (again) – CHRISTMAS PREP

I’m really hoping that with each week closer to Christmas I’ll have less and less to do. By the weekend of the 17th I want to declare it my official vacation from sewing and from to do list craziness. I want to spend a lot of those days before Christmas break just relaxing and mentally preparing my introverted self for a couple of extremely social packed days in a row.

Anyway! In order to reach that final goal, this week I need to work on wrapping presents. I split up all the immediate family and extended family gifts and want to wrap at least half of them in the early part of this week. I also need to get Christmas cards addressed and mailed in the next couple of days. I’m also making a food related type of gift to give to teachers and friends and want to go shopping for and start working on that.

Christmas Sewing

I gave myself a pass on hand sewn gifts this year. I love to do it, but I always think of so many people I want to make things for and then I get run down. But I still need to try and keep up with my Heartstring Annie projects. This week I’m hoping to make another smaller batch of dolls and possibly a few strands of bunting. I love how mine turned out and think they might be a good seller!

Relationship Focused

I guess this week I’d like to really have more of a mindset focus for myself. I want to remember the relationships in my life and make them a priority, even if it means not getting as much done as I feel like I should. I’m getting together with a friend Monday night to work on projects together, having brunch with my mom another day, and throwing my dad a birthday party on Sunday. Lots of time for connecting!

Meal Plans

Monday – Steak Stir Fry of some sort… I rarely make steak, but everyone (except me) loves it. I think after three or four weeks of turkey and chicken, they’re probably ready for some red meat!

Tuesday – Baked Popcorn Chicken – I’m going to make these with crispy fried onions instead of potato chips. I bought a huge bag of them during a hungry Costco trip a few weeks ago. πŸ™‚

Wednesday – Grilled Cheese

Thursday – Spaghetti

Friday – Buffalo Bacon Pizza

Good luck with your intentions for the week!