January 10, 2016

Sunday Update // 1

In 2016, my hope is to return to my blog space more frequently to document what's going on in our life.  I miss being able to read back and remember what we'd been up to!

January. A time for a fresh start. I hope to put more effort into being more engaged, present, and mindful of how I spend my time this year.  The first 10 days of 2016 has been full of celebration and organization....and some online learning.

Vince turned 30 this past Tuesday!  He took the day off work (he couldn't bear the thought of working through his birthday) and I had a whole day planned for us, but unfortunately he was feeling pretty run down from a lingering head cold so we kept it pretty low key.  I made him a big birthday breakfast of sweet potato/onion/sausage hash with over-easy eggs and coffee, then he opened his birthday gifts. We took Lola for a family walk at the park, then went to see Star Wars. After some cold medicine and a rest on the couch, we tried out a German restaurant Vince has been curious about for his birthday dinner and stuffed ourselves with an assortment of sausages (him) and chicken schnitzel (me).  Though we were full, we felt obligated to bring out the festive birthday cake that I'd made.  I realized at that time that I'd never had to sing "Happy Birthday" to someone by myself before. Usually we celebrate our birthdays with my family because we lived near them, but since we moved 2+ hours away from both of our families, we've experienced many more special occasions spent with just the two of us. It's different and a little sad and weird and nice all at the same time.

For 2016, Vince and I made a goal to try and grow our minds a bit and have signed up for some free online classes through edX . org.  It's a pretty cool site- you can choose classes from various colleges / universities and audit them or pay a bit of money to verify who you are and get credit for them.  We're taking a class together on becoming more innovative, he's taking an engineering leadership course, and I'm taking a few in marketing, accounting, the science of happiness, etc. In an effort to try and do more than just sit on the couch and stare at the TV when Vince comes home from work this year, we're going to spend a night or two each week educating ourselves. Our classes started on Tuesday, but since that was his birthday we waited to try "school night" on Wednesday and it was fun. :) 

I spent a lot of time most of the week organizing and cleaning.  The new year, taking down Christmas decorations, and having Vince's birthday party to prepare for really motivated me to start some Spring cleaning EARLY, and it felt fabulous.  I went through a number of boxes in our basement/downstairs living area that hadn't been touched since our half-way move from Lebanon last FEBRUARY. I had pretty much gotten to the point of frustration when packing up our apartment that Vince no longer lived in that I just started blindly raking things into boxes saying "I'll sort it later." That stuff moved to East TN and sat in stacks of boxes in the corner of the dining area of the Lenoir City apartment until August when it was picked up and moved again to our new house to sit.  My head tells me to just throw those sealed boxes away since I obviously haven't touched them in almost a year, but my heart always worries that I have some forgotten treasure hidden amongst the junk.  

I also rearranged our bedroom furniture and am slowwwwly trying to weed through and get rid of unloved clothing/junk. Neither of us have grown up dressers to put our clothes in, so lack of storage is definitely a dilemma right now. The room is a wreck.  I dragged our bed / night stands over to a different wall the other day (our room gets way less natural light than I'd like, and wondered if being near the window would make it feel less cave-y) and we're trying it out for a while before we move our wall-mounted headboard over to the new location. It looks pretty silly right now.

I'd planned to have the whole house straightened up by Friday so that on Saturday I would just have to do some last minute errands and start cooking before Vince's friends showed up...but Friday morning, my brain was like "COMPANY'S COMING...GOTTA PAINT THE BATHROOM BASEBOARDS AND VANITY!"    It was a lot like this :  

I read an article once that said the one thing you should really do when straightening up for guests is wipe down the baseboards behind the bathroom door, because once a guest is in there, closes the door, and sits down...there's nothing else for them to look at except the little areas YOU never really notice.  That struck a chord with me and now every time *I* sit on our toilet and look around, those are the areas I always look at and they bother me SO MUCH.

Last time that company was coming, I quickly repainted / made over our guest bathroom (...yeah.) but left the trim "as is" because we reaaaallllyyyy want to put new flooring and baseboards throughout our house and I didn't want to mess with it twice.... but lately those suckers have been bothering me enough that I HAD to fix it. Not only that, but I painted the drawer fronts on the vanity AND got down on the floor to take some acetone to some oddly discolored spots in the flooring that always caught my eye and looked dingey that wouldn't come up before, no matter what cleaner I used.  So ridiculousness aside, now I hate the bathroom floor a little less, and the baseboards look cleaner, so I don't feel as obsessed with replacing the flooring *right-this-minute*.... for the time being.

Vince's group of friends from college (his second time through) and their ladies drove all the way from Nashville to celebrate and we had a fun night of food, drinks...and Settlers of Catan.  He had a great time, AND he won his first ever game of Settlers (which he was pretty pumped about happening AT his birthday party... a feeling that may have been heightened by the volume of alcohol he had consumed).  One friend stayed the night with us and the 3 of us went out for a late breakfast, then Vince and I spent the remainder of our Sunday on the couch in front of the TV watching Teen Mom OG (me) and researching a video game to buy with the gift cards from his friends (him).

Birfday Breakfast. 

Family park walk

I was afraid to add all 30 candles and set the cute "Happy Birthday" banner on fire.   ;) 

Assisting with laundry and decluttering 

Danny brought Vince the gift of Irish car bombs

Sunday snugs on the couch


  1. Yay! You're back! Also, Danny looks SO OLD there. What is this world coming to? Also also, I'm in the process of decluttering my house, which is RIDICULOUS. How do I even have this much STUFF?! I challenged Jessie into The Minimalism Game, and it's absurd how much stuff I've found to toss out and how much I still NEED to toss.

    1. A) The beard makes him look old. ha! B) I must know ALL of your decluttering tactics! I need to play a decluttering game! C) I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it has some pretty valid points.. I've been holding lots of things and asking "do you bring me joy? nope? trash." We have a whole ROOM just to hold extra crap we don't know what to do with, and then the basement is a WRECK from all OTHER crap we don't know what to do with!


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