12 Things in 2012

I feel like 2012 has the potential to be a great year. I ended 2011 on an uptick, with my amazing new job and a great time with family for the holidays. That positivity at the end of the year makes me really look forward to accomplishing a lot and really enjoying life in 2012.

I don’t like to make resolutions as much as I like to set goals for myself. For 2012, there are 12 things that I want to do:

  • Get organized. One of the reasons I am so excited about moving to a house is that we will have PLENTY of space to organize our life and our possessions. I feel completely unorganized with everything at home these days, and I think that utilizing all our new space and taking the opportunity to get super organized will make my life so much better. It will make our house so much easier to keep clean, too.
  • Create things. I can’t wait to have my own dedicated space in our new house. I have a lot of craft supplies that I really want to use but don’t have the space for now. This year I want to take advantage of that. I want to knit more, start sewing again, and make more jewelry. If all things go to plan I might even make some handmade gifts for Christmas. I also want to start refinishing thrift store finds to furnish my home on the cheap.
  • Make a beautiful home. I have gone a little crazy on Pinterest saving pictures of the things I would like to do in the various rooms of our house. I am looking forward to choosing paint colors, buying new furniture, hanging the artwork I have been collecting, and making the place our own. I want our house to be a place I am proud of and enjoy coming home to every day.
  • Learn. When we went to France this year, I realized how much of my knowledge of the language I have lost over the last 10 years. I want to brush up on my French skills and possibly even start learning Italian. I am a member of the site Livemocha, which offers tons of different languages to learn, and they were running a special on their yearly Gold membership that I could not refuse. I also want to focus on learning at my job, because the constantly changing marketing world always has something new to offer me. Another thing I embraced in 2011 was the podcast, and I subscribe to some really interesting educational podcasts that teach me new things in every episode. My favorite is Stuff You Missed in History Class…check it out!
  • Read. I managed to meet my 2011 Goodreads reading goal of 100 books (I clocked in at 108 total) and I want to up the ante. I read a lot of fun books last year, and there are plenty out there that I am looking forward to tackling in 2012. But I also want to read more nonfiction…specifically history, biographies, and random subjects that interest me.
  • Cook more (and try new things). I love to cook but I haven’t expanded my cooking horizons in quite a while. I want to cook more, so that we spend less money on restaurants, and I want to master new recipes and cooking techniques. I know this will make my food-loving husband very happy!
  • Be more intentional and goal-focused with money. I want to start saving in earnest…for a down payment on our house should we decide to buy it in a few years, for a new laptop, for a vacation, for a new car for Shawn. We have been better with money in the last year, but I want to get us on an even stricter budget so that we can save as much as possible towards the things we need and want. However, I also want to leave us room to do things like have a date night once a week and go out to a really nice dinner once a month.
  • Make music. I miss singing on a regular basis. I want to pick the guitar back up, start recording with my awesome MIDI keyboard setup, and maybe even find a band to be in. I am also thinking about possibly auditioning for a local arts chorale, which means I will have to brush up on sight-reading and vocal work. Music was a huge part of my life for a long time, and I am starting to feel the void where it used to be.
  • Be more healthy. I feel best when I exercise on a regular basis. I am terrible about exercising on a regular basis. I walk more during the day, but that is only going to supplement an exercise routine. I have mapped out the routes to the new gyms (near the house and the office) and I intend to start making working out a habit. I also plan on taking my lunch to work as much as possible and, of course, riding my bike more!
  • Spend more time with my husband. It’s hard to get quality time in when he is in school in the mornings and working until late every night. We need to be intentional about taking time to be together. I want to try to have a date night once a week that is something more than sitting on the couch together.
  • Go somewhere new. I met my goal in 2011 of going to three places I had never been before. I went to France, a place I had dreamed of going for more than half my life. I went to Nashville for a business trip. I went to Round Top, Texas for the bi-annual antiques and junk fair. This year I want to go to at least one more place that I have never been before. Three seems like it is probably too much for this year, so I will leave it at one.
  • Write. Complete. I have already set specific writing goals for the year, but my overall goals are 1) creating a writing habit and 2) completing a project. I have a number of writing projects that I have been working on for quite some time, and I just want to finish them. The goal of building a habit will help me attain the goal of completion. My writing follow-through in 2011 sucked. Time to change that.

Very Pinteresting…and lots of projects

When the site Pinterest first started up, I thought it was a really cool idea. I signed up when I could get an invite, and I started using it. Then it got released to a wider audience and I wasn’t the only one hooked–I started getting friends addicted too. Now tons of people I know are on the site, and I use it almost every day.

For a while I was pinning ideas for when we got a house someday, things I wanted to remember or just thought were pretty. I pinned some things I wanted to do now, but the majority was inspiration that I knew I could draw from when my time came to outfit a house just as I want it to look. I didn’t realize that I would be doing that so soon, and my Pinterest pinning has gotten out of control lately as I seek to figure out a color palette and a style for each of the rooms in our new house.

I have to say, the site is immensely helpful. Just pulling up my Home Decor board and scrolling through it has helped inspire me for our living room, the hardest room for me to decorate. I have our kitchen set, our bedroom set, my office set, but the living room is killing me. The bathrooms are also posing a challenge for me, especially the master bath.

The task list ahead, inspired or not, is turning out to be quite daunting. We have to have an estate sale to clear things out before we can really go gung-ho with our plans. There is a lot more in the house than I had realized. But my mother-in-law thinks we will be able to meet a move-in date of end of January, so that is good. We just have a LOT to do before then…estate sale, cleaning, lots of wallpaper scraping, priming, and painting. The light fixture in the master bath has got to go, as does the chandelier in the bedroom–I much prefer a ceiling fan. We have to decide on paint colors and new furniture. We have to budget for our move. We have to pack. I am trying not to stress.

The good news is that my company is closed starting December 23 through the week after Christmas, so I am going to try to take off the remaining four days of the week of Christmas. That will give me 17 consecutive days off of work to enjoy the holidays with our families AND bust my butt on house stuff. I would like to have all the painting done by then so we can give the house a VERY thorough cleaning prior to our move. Looking forward to that time off helps cut the stress a little bit. I know I don’t *have* to have everything done before we move in, but it will be so much easier if things are already scraped/primed/painted and all we have to do is move our stuff in and decorate.

In the meantime, I will just stalk Pinterest for more ideas…

Home Sweet House

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September managed to redeem itself in the last week…it was a crazy one at work, but my husband and made an important decision and started moving forward on our plans for moving from our sweet little urban apartment to a house in the suburbs.

The house development was sudden but welcome. I have yearned for more space, knowing that in our current area of town it comes at a premium we just cannot afford right now. When the opportunity to lease a lovely home at a reasonable price fell in our laps, well, we’d have been fools not to take it. The best part is that our landlady is one of my favorite people in the entire world–my amazing mother-in-law.

Let me tell you, I love that lady like she was my own mom. If I had hand-picked her I couldn’t have done a better job. Knowing that this situation benefits us all, having a beautiful house to decorate and make into a home, and making her happy and just a little richer is really the best situation ever. I really am quite lucky on the in-law front…Mr. Velo’s dad and stepmom are also amazing, and I consider my brother-in-law to be among my closest friends.

We will be living in a home that was built the year my husband was born, one that has already seen a lot of memories and love in the family I was lucky enough to become a part of. If we stay in Dallas after Mr. Velo graduates, there is a very, very good chance we will buy it and be there for a long time to come.

Needless to say, I have been on cloud nine for days. The prospect of decorating an entire home has sent me into a frenzy of brainstorming on Pinterest, my addiction. I got in on the ground floor of the service and I am loving all the activity now that it has opened to the public! I’ve snagged a ton of ideas from it. I’m dreaming of paint colors and vintage cake stands and new couches. I even have a list of must-haves that I tackled in Round Top, TX today with my best friend from college and her mom.

Round Top holds a huge antiques, craft and junk fair twice a year and they have been going forever. I have never managed to make it down with them until this weekend and it was amazing. I spent very little considering what I came home with. My kitchen is now even closer to being outfitted in adorable vintage splendor. I can’t wait to post my great buys!

October holds great things–packing, cleaning, saving up for our move (no way are we NOT hiring movers, and they’re expensive!) and the start of the holiday season in my mind. It is my favorite time of year and I can’t think of a more joyous way than the start of another sweet chapter in our life together. Mr. Velo and I have been married for almost five years, together for almost eight, and I feel like this is a huge, momentous step into our future. I am so excited!