Tag Archives: goals

Dreams in Progress


I promised on Thursday that I would focus on some of my other dreams. So here it is. Things I dream about that aren’t related to my writing…

Renovating my kitchen! While I was recovering from my broken ankle and the 2 surgeries it required, I did a lot of day dreaming. I’d churn out my writing goal for the day and then crack open a decorating magazine. I had yet to discover blogs. I soothed myself with promises of my someday kitchen, I mapped out my dream kitchen layout, my favorite countertops and hardware color. Needless to say I irritated my husband greatly and my friends kept supplying me with magazines. Two years later, I’ve got a whole Pinterest board devoted to this topic.

Just like anything else I do, I’ve mapped out some goals for myself. After all, a dream kitchen takes money and time. I found the kitchen of my dreams when I bought my house, it just needs some updates. I’m currently working on, what I affectionately call, phase 1. I ripped down the wall paper, painted the walls, I’m ordering new light fixtures today and I’ll be replacing the cabinet hardware soon. I also plan on re-staining my dining table and benches. The goal is to have this phase completed by Thanksgiving since I will be hosting it for my extended family this year. This is a first for me, so naturally I’m panicking. Of course, I’ll be sure to put all the gory details on the blog next month.

Phase 2 is the phase that will cost the most, that’s where I finally get new counter tops. I’ve always pictured white quartz counters with dark cabinets but the other day at Lowes, I saw a white granite with black and gray speckles that made me swoon, so we’ll see. I also want to stain my cabinets a darker color, I don’t want to replace them because I actually think the kitchen was well laid out and I like the ones I have, just not the color (the wood tone is almost orange and the lower cabinets are faded). I’ll cap this phase off with a new sink and faucet. I estimate this phase will cost around $5000. The goal date for that is 1 year, around tax season. The final phase will be new flooring. We’re waiting to do this because we are planning on doing our living room, hallway and kitchen all at once in 3 years (right before we have our oldest daughter’s graduation party).

Now that I’ve spent more time then I intended on my kitchen dreams, I’ll more briefly tell you about some of my other dreams. Traveling, we haven’t been on vacation in almost 5 years. Money was tight and it just wasn’t a priority. My husband and I agree about this dream.  The Bahamas are great for some people but we’ve often discussed taking a Mediterranean cruise or traveling through England, Ireland and Scotland. I’ve also always wanted to visit Germany and the Czech Republic. Those Viking River Cruises through Europe sound nice. I also dream of having an income closer to my husband’s. I believe furthering my education and turning my passion for writing into a career will help me achieve that.

My most important dream isn’t for me. It’s for my children. I want all my children to be happy and chase their own dreams instead of just trying to fit in. I love to guess who they will grow up to be based on the talents I see immerging and there interests, but I try really hard not to push that on them.

That was kind of lot. But then, I’m a dreamer and I proud of that. If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

Dreaming Up Goals


You might think that having the realization that I need to chase my dreams, would be enough to keep me on that path. It was certainly enough to push me into action. Life, however, is full of distractions. My kids needed my attention, the bills needed to be paid, and house work needed to be done. What I needed was something to bring my focus back after I took care of the responsibilities of life. I needed goals.

When I wrote the first draft of my novel I had 2 goals. Finish writing a novel before I’m 30. Then when I realized I had 3 months off to recover from my accident, I wanted to finish it before I went back to work. It’s not like I could run away from my laptop, since I couldn’t walk. That was all I needed to get it done. Two year letter my novel is sitting on a shelf. I need to set new goals and I don’t want another accident to make me get things done.

Yesterday, I shared that I plan to begin submitting my 2nd draft to the writers group I joined, for critique. I have 2 new goals to carry me through to the next phase of this dream. The first goal is to have the 2nd draft finished before I turn 32 at the end of March. That gives me a bit of a buffer but would require me to submit 6000 words twice a month. The second new goal is to have the final draft and query letter ready for submissions by June 1st. That way I can spend my summer submitting for publication while I’m writing a new first draft, because there will be more. They’ve been percolating in my brain for the last 2 years. It also keeps me from shelving the 2nd draft for 2 more years.

For clarification, writing isn’t my only dream. I’ve said it before but I feel that it bears repeating. Unintentionally, my dream of being a writer has hijacked my blog. In the spirit of keeping it real, I have other dreams with goals and deadlines attached. Just for variety, I’ll share those with you Saturday. Tomorrow, come back and we’ll talk about more weekend reading recommendations!

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

Making a Dream Happen – Editing My First Novel


I posted A Novel Idea back in February, about how I finally found the courage to push through and write that 1st Novel. I also said in that post that I was going to get in gear on editing it for the next draft. Confession time; I still haven’t edited it.

In my defense, we moved twice in a 4 month period and I worked 65 hour weeks through the summer. I know, I know…here I am suggesting others should follow their dreams and I didn’t follow through. Well I found some motivation folks! I joined a writer’s group. The Noble Pen meets in my home town on a weekly basis and they have an open invitation to the group. Starting in November I am pushing myself to submit 6,000 words of my 2nd draft, every other week (or as close to it as I can) until I finish that draft. My hope is that having a deadline (voluntarily) handed out by a group of people who are expecting to review my work, will be just the drive I need.

This blog challenge, so far has taught me that I do have the discipline to sit down and write something every day, and it’s only 9 days in. If I can do that, I can deliver work to a group of people for feedback. I’ve only ever shown my novel to one person. She says great things about it and as she is a writer as well. I trust her to tell me the truth without any sugar-coating. Putting my work in front of a group of strangers for the first time, that’s a new level of stress for me. One I am looking forward to, because I know it will put me another step closer to my dream of being published!

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

The Dream Equation


This will be a short post today, because size doesn’t matter. I want to give you something to ponder. Almost 2 years ago I sat in my church and heard a sermon that truly resonated with me on multiple levels. In a nutshell, Reverend Tom advised us not to focus on making big changes, he called it a big “C”. Those can be overwhelming, instead think smaller. Make the little “c”. When you’ve got that under control, make another little “c”. After a while you might find that those little “c”s added up to one big “C”.

So today I ask you, what little “d” you can start with? What little “d” can you follow-up with? Does that add up for you to a big “D”?

Little “d” + Little “d” = Big “D” – Because little dreams are just as important as big dreams.

Real life example: We came up with a down-payment for a house + we got a mortgage approval for a house = We bought a house!

What’s your dream equation? Please leave a comment and share yours!

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

Making Room for Me in the Dream


My husband and I recently took on a big dream, buying a house. I’ve discussed it before on this blog and I’ll discuss it in more detail another day. The important thing to know about it today, is that the house took over my life. It was our dream for our family and I attacked it with a single-mindedness that was scary. As a result of that tunnel vision I’ve let something’s go that mattered to me. No more. I am taking back my life! I’ll still obsess about my house. We do have big plans for it. But I am making room for other things.

On the agenda:

  • Read a book!! This is big for me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they are my mental time out. I need them like I need air. I’m currently on the hunt for my next reading adventure and I’ll let you know what I decide to indulge in, hopefully every Friday.
  • Getting Healthy! Along with the long hours came some very unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary life style. I am now the largest size I’ve ever been and I don’t like it. I don’t know how much I weigh right now and I don’t want to know. I will admit, I have allowed myself to get up to a size 24 in plus size. When you compound that with the fact that I am only 5’3” it’s pretty bad. It’s also not helping my bad ankle, making it painful to walk, which then makes me less active and I gain more weight…It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t care about the number though. I want to feel better and I want to feel like I can keep up with my kids.
  • Projects! I miss them. I love painting a room in my house or sanding down a dresser and giving it a new life. Since we moved out of the old house I haven’t gotten to really do this. Now in the new house I want to wallow in the opportunity. I almost didn’t know where to start. Never fear, I figured it out and I’ll be showing you some of that in upcoming posts.
  • Writing, It’s my passion and yet I’ve done surprisingly little of it lately. I mean to make that change. That means more frequent blog posts, random essays when the mood so strikes me (it already has), and long overdue time on my novel rewrite.

I’m looking at it this way, we made one dream happen. If we can do that, then I can make more happen. Dreams are not just about significant things, they can be as simple as how you live your day-to-day life. I’m ready for the journey. Dreams are wonderful and worth the effort. Just try to remember to make room for a balanced life. That way when the dust settles and you concur the mountain that is your dream, you’ll still have the folks that matter to celebrate it with!

If you’re new to this blog, welcome! If you checked me out from my link on the Nesting Place, I really appreciate your visit! Please comment, I would love the feedback.

Interrupting Your Regularly Scheduled Dream…


I had this great post planned for day 1. Unfortunately I had another project (and some other things) take a full day longer than planned. As it turns out it is related to another dream I have. We bought this great house and from the day we put in the offer I started day dreaming about taking down plaid wall paper. We moved in we settled into life but I didn’t forget. Everyday that wall paper haunted my dreams and challenged me. Then Mom dropped the bomb. Thanksgiving is at my new house this year. So I did it.


I day dreamed about doing a project all day while I was at work. When I got home Saturday, I pulled out the ladder and went to town. Two hours later it was all down and it dawned on me that I needed to paint. It’s a big kitchen. Three days later I’m done and now I’m relaxing. So while this isn’t exactly about dreaming I at least didn’t start the challenge by missing the first day!

So stay tuned…Tomorrow I promise you a better post. Tomorrow I’ll explain what happened in my life that made me start dabbling in my day dreams. Anyway now you know, this blog is about writing but it’s about other stuff too, because that’s life. If you stopped by from the Nesting Place, thanks for coming! I hope you comeback for more.

(P.S. I’m in Iowa, day one isn’t over. I’m on central time!)

Our Piece Of The Dream


So the scoop is this…we close on a house on August 5th! It has passed all the haggling and inspections have passed and we are in the home stretch. But let me back up for a second.

Back in June we were checking out our local reality company’s web listings. We were saving up for a bigger down payment and wanted to know what we could get for our money. Of course we had a list of things we wanted. Big on my list was a ranch style home with a finished basement, a great kitchen with original cabinets (didn’t want someone else’s renovation), 3 or 4 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. Ryan wanted a garage, a driveway and a good backyard. Well, we found it for a lot less money and a lot more square footage then we thought we could afford. It’s the answer to my mid-century modern dreams…*swoon*. Would you like to have a look?

Property Photo

Courtesy of skogman.com here is a sneak peak of our 1957 dream home. It’s 2000 square feet and boasts 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a finished basement, garage (under the house) and a driveway. Would you like to see inside?

Notice the original cabinets? I’m in love! The built-in next to the fridge doesn’t match so it must have been put in later. I’ve been obsessively planning an update. But the layout is everything I always wanted. I even like the wall oven.

Close second to my love of the kitchen is the big livingroom window. It had me at hello. I also adored the little nook you see in the corner. It’s going to be a fabulous space for my desk and all the writing magic that goes on there. I’ve already been collecting paint swatches decided on curtains. Ryan requires curtains for privacy so I agreed to shears. I refuse to block any of that glorious natural light.

The first two pictures are the master bedroom with the his and hers closet. The next two are kids rooms. I’m actually pretty excited about the wood paneling in the smaller bedroom. I’m a big fan of painted wood paneling. Also don’t let the sliding doors fool you. Those closets are cavernous! There is even one in the hallway to store coats, shoes and the vacuum cleaner. The storage in the house is nothing short of awesome.

Check out the funkadelic plaid shag. Ryan actually likes it. The plan is for this to be the older girls bedroom and family room. They are only home every other week and 2 out of 3 girls are in high school this year. While a fourth bedroom would have been ideal we can’t have everything.

The backyard isn’t half bad either. We walked through the house on a Thursday night and put in our offer before we left. We know it was the right house for us. Sure we could have taken our time and looked at more, but we recognized that this was the only house on the market in our area that met the majority of our criteria. And it felt like home. In my book that was the most important part. I won’t tell you what we agreed to pay, but it was $20,000 less than we planned on spending when we thought we were waiting. We felt it was priced well so we went in strong. They didn’t accept our offer, but they countered well and we took it. Then the hunt was on for our financing. Turns out we qualify for a FHA loan. Why no one told us this back in March when I tried to get a pre-approval I’ll never know. But it’s ok because this house was waiting for us. Now fingers crossed nothing goes wrong before closing!



I know it’s been a while since I posted anything. There have been a lot of changes for our family. Many of them unexpected. Several months ago we found out we couldn’t qualify to buy a home. Now it turns out that we can! So today I just wanted to share how I feel.

With each step closer to our new home, I feel the weight of my gratitude. It comforts me like a warm blanket while I dream of projects and paint samples.

To be continued…

A Thrifty Situation


It’s official. I’m on project overload. I counted it out today and we have 15 days until we move.  So I tried to make a list by day. I need to pack the house, clean the house, finish any little half-finished home projects (need to give the house back in tip-top shape) and finish any furniture projects that would be difficult to get done at the new place. To give you an idea of what my list looks like I’ll give you this weeks list.

  • Finish painting 2 coats of Silver Feather White on my kitchen cabinets, door frames and window frame. (I’m half way through this already)
  • Allow cabinets to cure for 2 days.
  • Clear coat cabinet doors and boxes. This will be a 3 day process for me.
  • Re-hang cabinets doors.

DSCN0621 DSCN0622

This is the scene in my dining room tonight since it’s to cold to work out on the porch. But I’ll post about the kitchen when I get it finished. For now, lets continue with my list.

  • Call around to find a storage garage.
  • Start packing! The living room and dining room are first on my hit list.
  • List the entertainment center and TV on Craigslist (Don’t worry we have two).
  • Buy Sterilite storage tubs. I think I’ll start with five.
  • Start hauling boxes down from the attic and sort into three groups (donate/store/take)
  • Call and schedule movers.
  • Paint the upstairs hallway.
  • Start fixing up my recent furniture acquisition.

That brings me to the title of this post. I have a small situation. I have a tendency to complicate my own life. I’ve been doing a little shopping on Craigslist and local thrift stores. I don’t intend to find things. I’ve been selling items in an effort to down size and while I’m doing this selling I can’t help but notice some awesome stuff.

This weekend I happened to be in our local Stuff ETC. dropping off some things for consignment. While I waited for my items to be accepted or rejected I perused the furniture. I came across this diamond in the rough…


This picture isn’t great but do you see the X-shaped legs on the far side? It caught my attention. I tried to walk away, I made it all the way to my second errand at Target (does anyone else find themselves in that store more than once a week). As I walked the isles I found myself justifying my purchase. Thirty minutes later I was back at Stuff ETC figuring out how to fit my new desk and two kids in the back of my Pacifica.

This desk is almost perfect. I have a strong dislike for honey oak wood tone. I prefer rich, dark wood tones. Right now I’m kind of loving the two-tone look that I’m seeing all over Pinterest. Since I’m moving into a smaller place, it occurs to me I should re-finish this piece before we move. But I have to many ideas! This is where you all come in.

I want your opinion. Here are my thoughts, I could paint the body white but stains the top and the drawers; paint the body a color (I dig coral or grey) and stain the top and drawers; or I recently found grey wood stain. I could stain the whole body of the desk and drawers grey and stain the top a deep brown. Leave your comments and tell me what you think! I only have 15 days to get it done so I’ll be making my decision soon. Be sure to weigh in! I’m counting on you.

God Laughs…


You know that saying “Men plan and God laughs”? That’s about how it’s going for us right now. Sorry it took so long to put out the update on project Moving on and Moving Up. The skinny is we are definitely “moving on”. This actually went in our favor. We were buying our house on contract and thought the only way to get out of it was to sell it. The contract has run it’s course so we called the Seller that we pay out mortgage to. Turns out he is willing to release us from the contract and he is going to sell the house himself. Awesome, right? I’m pretty happy about it.

No we have to “move up”. We always assumed that we’d take our $20,000 down payment and get a mortgage on a house. We paid off my car, paid off all the credit cards and all but one of the personal loans. Last weekend on St. Patrick’s day we put in an offer contingent on financing and I spent my monday in pursuit of a mortgage. First they turned down our offer on the house, then the broker told us, after all we did, our credit scores were still to low. It was suggested we wait a year. Well folks, I don’t have to tell you, I don’t have a year.

My husband always accuses me of being too optimistic. So, true to form, I’ve found the silver lining and started working on the new plan, “Moving Up 2.0”, if you will. This is an opportunity to downsize and spend the next year saving for an even larger down payment! This week we’ve been listing our large furniture pieces on Craigslist. We’ve got at least one sold. Still waiting on the others. We’ve looked at a few rentals but we’ve finally settled on a 3 bedroom townhouse. I’m happy it’s a corner unit and the kids are happy there’s a pool. I’ll be back tomorrow (at least that’s the plan) with the new “to do” list. Now I’m off to go day dream!