January 18, 2013

2013 Goals & How I Will Change

I realized when this year rolled around that January might actually be one of my favorite times of the year. Yes, it's freezing. Yes, it's uneventful. But it always makes me feel new. I can't help but wonder if maybe this will be the year when I finally become who I want to be.*
*(Not bloody likely, but I hope so anyway.)

Even though I feel like a failure every December, I'm determined to try again. And when you've got 11 1/2 months ahead of you, anything seems possible. But when I sat down to write my goals, I realized that I don't know what I want.

The problem: I want too many things.
The solution: Discover what I want most.

It's just not that easy, though, is it? What I want most is like a giant question mark hanging in the air over my head. Make that a question mark shaped piñata, because I know that if I managed to bash it's smug little question mark face in, it would reveal all sorts of treats and surprises. For now, I remain blindfolded, swinging left and right, trying everything, but never quite hitting that piñata.

So what can I do?

Am I trying too hard? The truth is, I enjoy my daily life. I feel happy 99% of the time. So is that enough? Achieving happiness is what we all want. It's just that in addition to being happy, I want to improve, to progress, and to achieve. I think my happiness will only remain if I change myself. I feel antsy and anxious to change, and yet, I'm content with my life and especially the people around me.

Meanwhile, while I try to break the what-I-want-most piñata, I've made a list of some goals I really want to achieve this year:

Measurable Goals:
-Get design business website up and running. I really enjoy doing graphic design, but I have put little to no effort into marketing myself at this point.
-Go on a vacation with Jared. We've never been on one without kids.
-Start learning to play the violin. My mom used to play and I found out that my Dad still has her violin.
-Sew clothes for myself and kids.
-Write at least 24 blog posts. I know that's not a lot, but I struggle with inconsistency too much to make it any higher.
-Finish the first draft of the story I'm writing.
-Finish the painting I started before I had kids. (I mentioned it here. I've already been working on this lately.)
-Send monthly letters to my sister and brother who are both leaving on LDS missions this year. Jen's going to New Zealand(!) and Matt doesn't know where he's going yet.
-Find Daniel! I'm seriously sick every time I think of how little we've been able to do to find my brother who's been missing for 2 1/2 years. This is my most important goal, yet the most out of my control.

General Resolutions:
-Wake up, get dressed, and get moving each day. No more trying to sleep on the couch while kids beg me to play with them all morning.
-Accomplish more and waste less time. Vague, but important.
-Serve friends and neighbors more. Very important!
-Call family and talk more.
-Be patient with kids. Stay calm. Listen.
-Get rid of more stuff! I love having less clutter. I gave away or sold a lot last year and it brings me a lot of contentment. (You should try it if you don't already).
-Have a date with Jared every week. Even if we don't go out, we need to have fewer nights where we sit in the same room staring at our own screens with headphones in and not talking.
-Be on time. Ah, so hard for me.
-Plan meals and make healthy dinners 2-3 times a week. I rarely feel like cooking, but I believe in eating well, so I really need to try.
-Exercise 3 times a week. Walk and do yoga. I hate exercising, but I always feel so uncool when I admit that I don't exercise. I could really use some extra energy too, so maybe exercising would help (or so they say).

I have a few other personal goals, so I've pretty much got my hands full. I'm hoping that now that I've made it public I'll feel more accountable. Feel free to ask me how I'm doing. Maybe it will motivate me when I don't want to do anything, which will probably happen sometime next month, maybe sooner.

Oh, and lastly, try to figure out how to banish "night guy" and save "morning guy." Unfortunately, I'm tired most of the day and then I hate going to bed because nighttime is fun. Then I curse myself every morning, just like Jerry Seinfeld.

January 15, 2013

Wool Felted Fairy Garden

When I was doing some research for my Appa and Momo costumes for Halloween, I found this cute picture. I had never even heard of needle felting before, but after seeing what awesome things you could make, I had to attempt it.

I ordered some wool and supplies from The Silver Penny. They had a really good price on plain natural wool, so I decided to dye some of it myself with green Kool-Aid following this tutorial. It worked perfectly so I continued roughly following the rest of the tutorial to make a felted playscape for Ivy.

She was ecstatic Christmas morning to discover her very own fairy garden. The garden wouldn't be complete without fairies, of course, so I ordered these ones, as well as a bridge and boat.

Ivy also got this Melissa and Doug Treehouse to go along with the fairy garden.

The night before Christmas, Ivy asked so sweetly if Santa could bring something for Bunny. So how could he not?
I also tried making a few needle felted sculptures, like this Rudolph ornament.
And it's only natural to make a sheep out of wool, right?
Don't worry, Maren wasn't left out.
Making these girls happy is so worth it.
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