Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What Am I Thinking?

I am definitely doing a happy dance that there were still some readers out there. Thank you for the kind comments. I know my issues are common to many of us and it is always good to feel your empathy. Just don't forget the occasional kick in the pants I need too.

Today I took a yummy snack to work - lots of raw veggies and hummus. As I was preparing it this morning, I really was looking forward to eating it with something from my freezer stash at work. Guess where it is now...yep, in the fridge at work. This week (both days so far) have been stressful at work. Today I just had to get away for a bit and ended up getting pizza and a brownie. Not my best decision, but I am not giving up on the day. I ate a reasonable dinner (later than my husband because I wasn't hungry yet).  I had planned to take a walk at lunch to the post office, but in my eagerness to get away from work I hopped in my car instead.

The crazy thing is that I feel like I am too stressed to workout (walk).  Yet I know without a doubt that it would make me feel better. Why don't I just do what I need to do?!??!  I think it is supposed to rain tomorrow, but I am going to keep my eye on the sky. I want to be able to report to you that I took at least a quick walk :)

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about what I really want to do with my life. For the most part I like my job, but not as much as I used to. I want to be doing something I really love with people I enjoy, but I can't seem to narrow down what that is. Perhaps my passions have been tempered by self doubt, so they never quite had a chance to bloom. I never really thought about it like that until I just wrote that sentence. Definitely worth pondering.

One of my friends (in our ladies' group) is blowing me away with all that she has on her plate right now. I definitely can not use the excuse that I don't have time to pursue goals and accomplish them. She is training for a marathon (that I will see her run in less than two weeks!), writing a book (I am currently reading a draft of it), adjusting to a work promotion, and raising twin (preschool) boys! I know she has her doubts too, yet she is doing her thing...really doing it! I don't advocate comparing yourself to others, but taking inspiration is a good thing. Obviously, I like writing or I wouldn't be a blogger (nearing my third anniversary of this blog!) My brother has always encouraged me to write children's stories. I seem to be afraid to try not matter how many times he tells me he sees the potential in my writing and photography. I've decided to do a little brainstorming on that front to see if there might be a story or two in my brain.

I just remembered a post I read awhile back on Little More Each Day about reverse bucket lists. Basically, instead of focusing on the things you haven't done, it is a list of things you have done. A reminder or celebration of sorts for the things you have already accomplished in your life. I think that could be a very good exercise for me.

An area I have been working on recently is when I think about doing something nice for someone actually following through. For example, taking a meal to a friend who had surgery or dropping off milk and cookies at the local volunteer fire department. I did both of those things this weekend. Not only did I feel good about seeing them enjoy it, but I got to enjoy cooking and baking without the guilt of eating all the goodies myself.

That is more pondering than I planned to write about tonight, but there it is.  And since I can't complete a post without at least one picture. I will share this one I found on Facebook after my cookie delivery...it definitely had me smiling.  "Our Department is so lucky to have such a great community to serve. Today a lady stopped by to drop off a gallon of milk and a pan of chocolate chip cookies to say thank you for what we do. We really do love to serve our community. Thank You!!!!!"

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Breaking Through Barriers

I have been wanting to get back to blogging for months, but I have been paralyzed by my need for perfection. I keep looking for the perfect time to resume and kept back on track with fitness and diet. At the New Year I was so sidetracked by our foster care situation. Our little sidekick went home in January - I was dreading it then trying to recover from it. I thought February would be a good restart...then March...then April. So many excuses so many bargains with myself - I will start Monday because... I know you know what I am talking about. I think anyone with weight issues has been through this cycle. So here it is - I am trying again. I am not making any grand plan. I am simply planning to track my food and get moving. I feel like I am walking a fine line between not setting myself up for failure by making an elaborate plan that I abandon the second some part of it is not executed perfectly and not planning enough which will lead to no accountability and failure. I know what it takes to lose weight. For me the biggest factor is controlling my diet. However, I like to cook and I like to eat. I need to look for other outlets for my cooking and change mindsets about how/why I eat. If you are still willing to join me on the winding path I am back to sharing. 

There are so many things that I have wanted to share in the last couple months, but was too overwhelmed to get it all out there in the best possible way. So in the next few weeks I will be doing a few flashbacks. For the momentm I am simply concentrating on getting back on the blog wagon. I will start with a no pressure flashback. For years I have had these two dressers intending to refinish them. As with many thingsm I had trouble deciding on a plan - nothing seemed quite right. 
Suddenly, ideas started to gel when I realized I wanted the two dressers to coordinate with each other to be used in my craft room I wanted something creative and unique. I wanted it to be fun yet have some sophistication. Spoiler alert: I think I achieved those goals for the most part. 

I did plenty of Pinteresting, but didn't see exactly what I wanted. First, I decided on stained tops and white painted drawers. If only I could decide on a fun design element. Somehow a sun motif got in my mind for one of them, but then I was stuck for the other one. When I found this picture, the second design fell into place. 
I drew up a rough plan. Projects can be a struggle for me because I end up with a definite picture in my mind and get frustrated that I can't execute it the way I see it in my mind. Let's see how I did. 
We got to work with sanding. The tops had to be taken down to bare wood. The drawers and bases just needed to be lightly sanded.
I wanted to stain the tops a dark color. They didn't come out as dark as I had envisioned, but I am still happy with them.
Three coats of white paint was applied. I thought the painting and repainting of drawers would NEVER end. I swear the drawers were multiplying. We actually added a third tiny dresser to the project for a total of 16 drawers/
I taped the measurements of each dresser on my craft table (which is coincidentally white like the dressers) to design tissue paper templates for the motifs.
I played with size and color.
 The templates were then taped to the dressers to get a final adjustment.
I tested a few different knobs. I was sure I would love the clear glass-like knobs, but they just got lost in the design.
I had the best partner in this project I would not have finished without him. Here he is gathering strength to begin the painting for his anxious wife.
He taped the sun design and the painting began. He painted the edges and I filled in the "easy" parts.
I was slightly panicked when the tulip paint began going on - I thought it looked hideous.
 It took a couple of coats to get over my panic.
Waiting for the base to dry enough to put the drawers in and get a sneak peek at the finished product.
I chose oil rubbed bronze knobs. I liked how they dark color picked up the darkness of the dresser tops.

Finally after a month of weekends we moved the dressers into place. 
The final phase of the project is organizing my craft and sewing supplies into my beautiful "new" dressers. I used wrapping paper to line the drawers.  
The little dresser was outfitted with its original pulls and Stormtrooper paper lining. My husband tried to talk me into painting the whole dresser like Stormtrooper...this was my compromise.   
 The "quilt squares in progress"drawer.
Summing up: Before....
 The plan...
The finished product.
I am super happy with how they turned out and how to true to my "plan' they are. They make my smile every time I walk into my craft room.  

Thanks for letting my jump back into the blogging game with a post intended mostly to break through the mental blogging barrier I had created in my own head.. In coming weeks and months, I hope you see even more barriers fall away as I take steps into the life I really want for myself.