No New Years Resolution Here

Happy New Year

I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in years. Nope, not a one. I instead set my yearly goals on my birthday every year.

I do all the things you need to do to set a goal. I asses the past twelve months and the goals that I set. Did I meet them, what kept me from meeting a goal, what worked well, what didn’t. I also do a six month assessment of my goals to see if I’m on track or not. Once I’ve done all that, I decide on my new goals, tweak existing goals, or take a goal to the next level.

I write all my goals down. I actually type them up. Then I hang them up in my work area. Within each goal I have a short term and a long term goal. Some times I put in a stretch goal. Then I have the nuts and bolts on how I will achieve my goal. The nuts and bolts are always expanded once I get into working the goal. They are there as a starting point.

Here is an example of one of my goals.

Goal – Write and Publish Lesson Plans on Teachers Pay Teachers

Short Term – Publish 12 quality lesson plans by Nov 26th

Long Term Goal – Have as a sustainable source of income

Stretch Goal – Publish 20 quality lesson plans by Nov 26th

Nuts and Bolts

A. Devote at least 30 minutes a day to working on lesson plan content

B. Concentrate on lesson plans already developed

My goal is clear, publish 12 lesson plans by November 26th. Also what lesson plans I need to focus on, the ones I’ve already developed. Will I spend more than 30 minutes a day working on this goal? Yes, but giving myself the minimum I need to devote to it is key. There are days when crap hits the fan and I won’t be able to devote 2 hours a day to this goal. But I can always find 30 minutes. The time you devote to your goal doesn’t have to be in one large block. You can break it up through out your day.

My todo list is separate from my goals. Todo’s are the details of what I need to do as I figure out how to achieve my goals.

I whole heartedly believe in goal setting. I don’t think you need to wait until the new year to do it or a birthday. You just need to do it and then stick with them. Believe you can do it and do it now. Don’t wait.

Have you set goals for yourself, personally or professionally?

Follow me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall

Until next time.

How All the Construction Began

We’ve been in full construction mode since July but the process started way before that.

First was the decision to actually do the construction. My dad had asked us to move in with him in December 2018. My mom had passed away in July of that year. He was lonely in the house with just the dog. The dog isn’t much of a conversationalist. We discussed him moving in with us, but he didn’t like that idea. Then we looked at a few houses in his current area that may have worked. It came down to his neighborhood was a perfect place for us to be. There was already a network established with the neighbors. We practically already lived there. We were over all the time and my parents had taken care of the boys while we worked. We participated in all the street activities for holidays so it just made sense for us to move in there.

Adding on to the house was the only option. The existing house had three bedrooms and two baths. It wasn’t enough room for three adults and two teenagers. My dad and husband both wanted their own office space and we needed rooms for the boys. But how were we going to add on was a big question.

In January we met with a contractor and designer. The original idea was to go up into the attic and above the garage. That was a no go structurally. We then went through a whole range of detached, simi attached, ADU (assessors dwelling unit) how can we attach it to be seamless with the rest of the house? It was stressful.

View of the back of the house where the addition would attach.

A design was finally proposed where we would attach the addition to the back of the house where the slider door was. With that we had to enclose our master bedroom windows and relocate them to another wall. That meant losing my walk in closet, taking down a wall and creating a new closet. There were several submissions to the county for approval and reworks to make the design code compliant. But we finally got it.

My master wndows that needed to be removed.
My new master bedroom windows

This process took six and a half months. During that time we had to remove our shed, and a tree. We moved in in March. The boys moved into the formal livingroom for the short term. It ened up being long term due to construction issues.

In July the excavation began and the construction started in full force. That in a nut shell is how we came to building the addition on to the house.

Check out my Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall for more pictures of the work done on the house.

Until next time.

My husband in the excavator. He did not do the excavating.
In the hole the excavator created.
The boys in the excavator

The POD Dilemma

The Large POD

We have been in the throws of construction for about six months but most of our belongings have been in storage for nine months. Our large POD container was delivered yesterday. We couldn’t open it because in all the construction moving stuff from here to there I lost the combination. We didn’t own a bolt cutter and neither did any of our neighbors. We did buy a bolt cutter today to gain entry to our stuff, but I didn’t open the POD until several hours later. I was having a dilemma over the stuff that it contained.

The last several years I have been decluttering, cleaning and donating but I always had more stuff. I did all the decluttering and cleaning before we moved and put all the stuff in the POD. My dilemma is we’ve lived without all of this stuff for nine months. There have been items that we’ve needed but over all we’ve lived fine without. My question is, do we need most of it? For me the answer is no, but not everything in the POD is mine. I can’t make that decision for the rest of my family.

When I did open the POD I stood and stared at the wall of stuff. I just let the image of it sink in. I only took a few boxes out because they had shifted during transport and had my older son take them inside. As I stood their I took a mindful minute and reflected on what I had read in Marie Kondos’ book. I can only tidy my own belongings, but those around me will see how I find joy in my belongings and they will do the same. That’s what I am going to do. I will only keep the items that bring me joy. I think I’ll be referencing my copy of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up quite a lot in the coming days and weeks.

I will deal with the box that was brought in when its that categories turn, per the KonMari Method. We will be unloading the POD on Thursday since tomorrow is Christmas. We’ll start in the morning to give us plenty of time. This process won’t be easy and I know frustration will occur but I also know peace of mind will also occur at the end.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the progress.

The wall of stuff

Wild West History, Guns and Gruncles

The boys got a real treat learning about Wild West weapons, specifically handguns and riffles. My uncle, their gruncle (great uncle), is an expert on Wild West history and weapons. My husband and father were also swept up in to the learning adventure. My aunts and I were having a blast watching this group of men so excited and animated over all these guns.

The boys learned about gun safety, how to handle a gun and the history of the guns and gun maker. My uncle let them put on leather gun belts with holsters and try his array of cowboy hats. They were over the moon. My oldest, Parker, loves guns and is fascinated by how they work. He was smiling ear to ear the entire time.

My uncle has, along with his gun and riffle collection, an extensive western wear and mementos collection. The guys tried on all types of cowboy hats and vests. My dad was in on the action and found a nice hat that fit perfectly. They were all having so much fun. My dad wore the hat all day. In the evening when we were about to head out for dinner my uncle gifted the hat to my dad. My dad felt very honored by that.

The whole experience was fun to watch and experience, but more than that, the boys were able to connect with a part of our family on a much deeper level. That to me is a priceless experience that we’ll all treasure.

That’s all for our family adventure for now. Follow me on Instagram for more.

The guys looking very Wild West
Aiden with a riffle
Aiden’s ready for anything
They’re ready for action
Parker grinning ear to ear
Parker, Grandpa, and Aiden
Uncle Ron teaching them a few things

Oh This Construction Project

Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom Nook
Master Bedroom Nook
Master Bedroom Closet
Master Bedroom Closet
Master Bedroom Closet

Oh this construction project. I have so many emotions, and words, for it. I love seeing the progress but we’ve had days, and some weeks, when little or nothing gets done. I can see the end coming but it’s still weeks away.

So where is the project at now? There has been a big push to get our master bedroom complete. We have been out of our room for thirteen weeks. We have gotten back in this week but it isn’t complete. There is electrical to finish, the closet rails need to be hung, and the transitions for the flooring need to be installed. You may be asking, “how can you live in a room with unfinished electrical?” Most of the electrical is done. The ceiling fan and my fancy sparkly light for the nook need to be installed.

In the addition they are reconstructing the deck and the side fence that had to come down for the excavator. The painters are painting everything. Our vanity was installed last night and is waiting for the painters to, well, paint it. There are things that need to be corrected in the addition. For example, the bathroom vanity light fixture was installed upside down, a piece of sheet rock was cut out but hasn’t been reinstalled, mudded and painted. Little things like that , which are annoying.

I’m sure I could go on and on about all the things, but I think this is good.

If you’re interested in keeping up with the construction and other things going on in my world, then pop on over to instagram @beinglaurakmarshall .

Until next time.

Making things happen

We recently moved in with my father and in that process we got rid of a lot of stuff. Then the first two weeks we were here, we got rid of even more stuff. Then more time went by and we got rid of even more stuff. We donated to local charities and sent other things to the auction house. There is still more stuff to go through. I have been consistently going through all of our belongings in an attempt to organize and get things in there new home. But in this process I’m still donating items and there will be more items in the future.

But what’s got me thinking is the two pods worth of stuff still to be unpacked once the addition is finished. The addition is another story. There is furniture for the boys rooms and other miscellaneous items for the house. My mind keeps going to the “do we need, or want, all those items in the pods?” And I keep thinking, “probably not”.

It seems kind of backwards to me that I want to reduce the amount of things I have but we’re adding about 900 square feet to the house which will end up with stuff. The space were adding is for bedrooms, not just to have more space for stuff. But it does feel a tad counter productive.

I look around and see my belongings and that of my families. Some of the stuff is useful, some meaningful, and other things that are just there. Some of the items will have a home in the addition and are hanging out in an odd spot, but I feel others may be moving on to new homes.

There will be a lot of work going on in the coming months to pear down the things and lots of construction of the new area. But when the addition is ready to move in to I will have to face the pods and all that they hold. I think that will be a true test of what items I want to keep in my life and which items I will bid a fond farewell too.

How do you feel about your space and your belongings in it?

Until next time keep up with me on Instagram @beinglaurakmarshall