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20 Things I Want To Do In 2020

I’m blaming the lack of progress on my 2019 list on 19 being an odd number. It was just kind of odd year. I managed um, 3 out of my 19. Ouch.

And if I can’t manage to accomplish 19 things in a year, why not add 20 for the next year? Seems like a good idea! I feel good about 2020.

Let’s not even bother looking back at that silly 2019 list (though I’m keeping 2 of the 3 accomplishments to add again this year).


These are in a very random order, of course.

  1. Pick up my camera every day

    So far so good on the first two items on my list! Nice weather yesterday meant a nice long walk with camera in hand.

  2. Go on at least one hike at a park each month.
  3. Read 72 books! My Good Reads goal for the year. In 2018, I read 52 and in 2019, I managed to read 62.  While it sounds a bit daunting, I’m fairly confident I’ll do it. (One of the 3 from 2019 that I actually accomplished)
  4. Prepare for Christmas by buying 2 presents each month. (This was one of the 3 from 2019 I managed to do and it did help the December stress level)
  5. Eat healthy Monday through Friday and not worry about it so much on the weekends. Exceptions for birthdays and anniversaries, etc. Basically, I’m going to apply a 70/30 rule to my eating habits. 70 % healthy/30 % not so much. Starting on the 6th because Christmas goodies are still here and pink champagne cupcakes are what’s for breakfast.

  6. Do a deep clean, clutter clear out of the whole house. Starting with the kitchen and the cabinet above the stove where we keep our spices. (I know, I know…it’s a bad spot to store them)
  7. Take a trip (another of the 3 from 2019 that I actually accomplished!)
  8. Engage more on Facebook but only in a positive way. I have a long-standing rule of no politics on my Facebook wall and have absolutely no intention of changing it. However, I’ve not been using it as a communication tool but more like a window. I want to get back to actually opening the door and having conversations to reconnect with friends and family on there. And possibly other social media platforms as well.
  9. Teach the boys one practical life skill a month (i.e., cooking, cleaning out the gutters (my husband does this but they should know how, just basic stuff as it comes up that we may have overlooked showing them. A kind of better late than never thing, I guess)
  10. Invite family over for dinner once a month. Not all the family at once, just one family at a time so we can get to know them better though I may count birthday dinners with extended families and holidays in my once a month goal here.

  11. Join in for every Happy Homemaker Monday. I fell a little short last year, missed 3-4 but I love this link up so much I’ll always put it on my list for the year!
  12. Work with G to make this basement area a bit of a more welcoming space. We’ve been talking about doing this for 2 years! Time to actually do it.
  13. Post on this blog at least twice a week in 2020.
  14. Take more chances. Open myself up to opportunities. If something sounds fun and scary, just go for it. I used to be like that but again….I’ve found myself retreating from these types of things in the past decade (or more).
  15. Be better. Be a better mom, wife, friend. I didn’t feel like I did my best at these things last year. Withdrawing is my (not the best) coping strategy and think I over-applied it the last 10 (maybe 20?) years. Time to do better.

  16. Buy one set of new kitchen towels each month. Silly I know but so many of our kitchen towels are in poor shape and need to go.
  17. Plant something/clean out the flower garden box area below our bedroom windows in the back yard.
  18. Get fresh flowers for the table once a month. I enjoyed this in 2018 and would like to do it again. There’s just something that makes a home feel nice with some fresh flowers in it.
  19. Make some monthly goals together with my husband.
  20. Remember to take time to enjoy the small moments of happiness and continue to practice gratitude.


I think 2020 is going to be a great year! Don’t you? What things would you put on your list?



The Void Between Christmas and the New Year

I’m currently taking a break from cleaning the basement. I think it needs an entire year of attention. 

For now, I’ve changed the sheets on the day bed and thrown out some trash. I have a vision for the space but it’s going to take some time. And a lot more cleaning.

That’s not what this post is about but I thought I’d just share what I’ve been up to before jumping into all the Christmas wrap up (ha!) details.

For fun, I looked to see what I posted around this time back in 2018. It was about taking a break on the day after Christmas and how much I enjoyed the slow down. Should have read that about 3 days ago. Might have avoided a few arguments with the husband.

This year, after too little sleep and hosting both sides of the family on Christmas day (at different times), I decided to go full steam on taking down the tree but was trying to do it my way. My way and my husband’s way….night and day. Still need to go to Home Depot for tape (tree box) and bubble wrap (I condensed some decorations and found others).

Christmas Eve 

Christmas Eve was quiet.  I got out super early and again later in the afternoon but didn’t seem to have the tons of last-minute errands of Christmas Eve past. Maybe it just felt like that since we didn’t have anywhere to be.

We watched a movie on Netflix, The Christmas Chronicles, the boys opened their Christmas Eve Pajamas and books late, and that was it. Sometime after I watched the Pope’s midnight mass, I started threatening coal if certain teenagers didn’t get to bed so Santa could arrive.

We used to tell them 2 AM was too early to get up for Christmas and now I’m saying it’s too late to go to bed. How did that happen?


Christmas day itself was nice. We hosted my husband’s family in the morning for breakfast. He always makes biscuits and gravy, one sister-in-law brought monkey bread and the other brought something new cinnamon roll dough wrapped around sausage (very yummy!). This happened at 9:30.

Then, we had a bit of a day long break until some of my family arrived at 5:30. Big family means getting everyone together is a just take who can make it affair.  One of my brothers brought homemade lasagna, my other brother brought bread sticks, and I made spaghetti and meatballs. A nephew I hadn’t seen in a while came along with his family. For dessert we had chocolate pie and cherry pie. We missed one of my brother’s wives, my sister, my other brother, and my other nieces and nephews.  Those of us that did gather had a great, long visit!

Didn’t take many pictures this year as I was too busy visiting to think of it.

The Void Between Christmas and the New Year

And here we are between holidays. Have you seen all those funny memes going around on Facebook about not knowing the day of the week, etc? They’re certainly correct!  I’ve spent my time watching too much TV, taking down decorations,being grumpy from too much sugar/caffeine, the lack of routine (and sun! I don’t think I’ve seen the sun since Christmas day), and wanting to get a jump on cleaning and clearing out for the New Year.

How are you spending the last few days of 2019?


Blogmas Day 10: Christmas Past

This subject immediately makes me think of A Christmas Carol and the ghost of Christmas past.

I have a vague recollection of going on a high school field trip to the Missouri Repertory Theater.

We won’t talk about how many years ago that may have been. Cough. Cough. A lot.

Big loud Christmases as a kid at home. After I moved into my apartment, see the blurry photo of a photo below, super quiet nights stood out all the more after returning from family holiday celebrations.

Cutting this one short after a rather long (and of course, unexpected!) work day.

Don’t forget to check out Blogmas hosted by Tamy over at Chasing My Life. Join in, it’s fun!

First Impressions of My New Small Camera

I broke my good bridge camera. SIGH. Just as I was getting the hang of it and taking an e-mail course trying to learn the DSLR stuff. Telling myself I’d get the full on DSLR camera maybe at Christmas or after finishing the e-mail course.

There’s no coming back from a bent lens on a bridge camera. Especially when the lens must extend for the camera to turn on and the bent lens prevents that tiny detail.  

My husband told me to just go ahead and order the camera I wanted (using “my” work money…it’s all the same though isn’t it?). However, his annoying ways through the years influenced me enough that I did some research first. The one I want goes on sale significantly on Black Friday. Less than 2 months (!!) away. SIGH. Sometimes it’s no fun being a responsible adult.

My phone is outdated and I still like it but not so much the phone camera. I wanted a small camera to get me through the next couple of months. I decided on a Sony W-800 made reasonably priced by a small stash of those $5 Target gift cards I hoarded.  

The small size is nice and it fits in my purse (I already had a camera bag suited to a small camera from my first Nikon Cool Pix camera).  I’m finding macro/close-up photos a bit of a challenge. 

Though the camera did a nice job capturing my live model’s expression. 

I’m still playing with the settings and see lots more photo editing in my future while learning to use this interim camera.

“The best camera is the one you have with you”

Still I’m happy I was able to get any sort of new camera as I was quite lost not being able to grab a camera throughout the week. 

I still need to watch some sort of tutorial, learn more about my new camera but so far I’m happy enough with it. Seems as if it will function as a great backup and portable camera even after I get the “real” camera I’m waiting ever so impatiently to order (thinking birthday/Christmas gift on that one).

How many cameras do you own? And since I’m still researching things just a bit, what brand do you favor? I lean toward Nikon mainly because that’s what I’ve been using while learning.

Happy Homemaker Monday, Happy Autumn!

Super late with this tonight. Unexpectedly worked in the morning after only planning for the afternoon. And forgot about J’s baritone lesson (he was on it with reminding me so he didn’t miss it) which means I’m just now sitting down for my post at almost 9:00 PM.

Lots of odd working hours this week means I need to get this week planned! Joining in with Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for the fun Monday link up.

The Weather

It rained on and off all weekend. Seems fitting I have a sunset photo from Saturday to share as I’m typing my post up late. 

Today happened to be perfect first day of fall weather. Foggy and chilly to start the day and then, a bit warm in the afternoon.  Highs in the  80’s the next couple days, chance of some rain mid-week. Looks a lot cooler in the evenings though.

On My Reading Pile

I finished I Let You Go by Claire McGowan last week. Turned out to be much better than I expected with lots of twists. Started reading The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke during J’s lesson. Thank goodness for that Kindle app on my phone!

On My TV

Happy to have new shows on the TV again. Meanwhile, I watched What We Did on Our Holiday on Amazon. Interesting one, equally funny and sad. And got hooked on Mr. Robot, I’m now on season 2. It’s a very intriguing, strange, cynical look at the world.

On My Menu

I don’t even know. Ha! Still working on cleaning out the freezer/fridge/making use of what’s in the pantry.

MONDAY: (tonight) J and I had chicken noodle soup and baked potatoes, G ate waffles, my husband ate chicken/apple sausage & hash-browns. (I worked 8:30-3:45) (J had a baritone lesson at 6:30)

TUESDAY: Chicken legs (carry over meal from last week)  (J has early morning band)

WEDNESDAY: Spaghetti (I work 7:30-3:45) (J has early morning band)

THURSDAY: Leftovers/OUT (I work 2-6) (J has evening band, G will take him and probably they’ll eat out before hand)

FRIDAY: OUT (probably Subway for J, and at the game for us) (I work 7-3:45) (Football game)

On My To Do List

  1. Finish paying bills
  2. Clean out upstairs freezer & fridge
  3. Go to grocery store
  4. Laundry
  5. Take back library books

Looking Around The House

It’s not terrible but I’d still like to give it a better cleaning and pull out the rest of the fall decorations.

From The Camera

On My Prayer List

Strangers on the interstate, teachers at work, friends, family

Quote For The Week

autumn quotes


What’s on your agenda for this first week of fall?

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