2016 Goal Check In

Back in January, I made a list of goals for the year ahead. Since the year is halfway over, I thought it might be a good idea to check in to see if I’ve made any progress and also to see if I need to make any adjustments to my goals for the remainder of the year.

House Goals

I hope to accomplish much around the house this year. There’s a slight chance we will need to consider moving after I complete graduate school, so as much as I do not enjoy the thought of moving again I would like to be prepared as much as possible. Also, it’s much easier to coordinate home improvements while I’m working from home, which also may change after I have that diploma in hand. June update: we are no longer considering moving. My future job situation is still very much TBD.

The Blue House at BetweenWeekdays.com

  • Finish painting all of the doors black throughout our home. There’s only three left!
  • Complete the kitchen cabinets. After months of working with a contractor, we are on schedule to complete the kitchen cabinets in the next few weeks. June update: thankfully this never-ending task is DONE. 
  • Tile kitchen backsplash. June update: this should probably move to 2017…possibly 2018.
  • Replace dining room table. We’ve ordered a custom dining set, and we’re just waiting for it to be delivered.
  • Continue to steadily reduce clutter. June: steadily making progress.
  • Update the guest bathroom.
  • Continue the master bedroom closet makeover. June update: see the finished space here!
  • Stain the front porch and deck. June update: we’ve stripped the old stain from the porch!
  • Add risers to front porch stairs and skirting below the porch.
  • Continue making improvements to the outside of our home. In 2015, we repaired our fence and began working in the landscaping. This year I hope to accomplish a few more items to continue adding curb appeal to our blue house.
  • June update: finish my new sitting room. Details to come. 😉 
  • June update: take some new photos of the outside of our blue house. The one above is very old. 

In addition to this list, there are several other home-related tasks we will consider adding depending on what our long-term plans look like in a few months.

Personal

graduation-995042_640

  • Graduate from my graduate program. I am on track to complete courses at the end of the summer and to graduate in December with my MBA. June update: I have five weeks left of classes, a field test, and an exit survey separating me from my MBA. 
  • Celebrate our 30th birthdays. We will both turn 30 in May this year.
  • Complete two Advocare 21 day challenges. June update: I’m down 15 pounds and feeling fabulous. Message me if you’re interested in learning more about Advocare. I plan to complete two more challenges this year.  
  • Blog one time per month. June update: so far, so good! I very nearly forgot to blog in May, though.
  • Apply for adjunct professor positions. There’s a new program in our home state of Tennessee that provides a scholarship for high school seniors for two years of free tuition at community and technical colleges. It’s a wonderful program, and I’m hoping the influx of students will create more adjunct professor positions in our area.

And that’s it! This year is really going to be about focusing on schoolwork for me. I may update these goals a bit as the year progresses, but as of right now, my focus is on continuing my education. June: at this point, I’m almost singularly focused on completing grad school. 

A Bench for the Front Porch

I blogged about wanting to upgrade our front porch back in April. I crossed one itty bitty item off my list this weekend: I ordered a bench.

It was a great price — only $80. I didn’t need anything special or fancy for our front porch, but I do love the fleur-de-lis detail on the back. I think the bench will look just perfect with this pillow to match our front door.

Can’t wait for it to arrive!

A Summer To-Do List

A summer to-do list:

  1. Finish painting the kitchen cabinets. Can I get an “amen?” Half of the cabinets are white, and the other half are wood. This two-tone look was not intentional nor is it pretty.
  2. Pressure wash the house. It’s gross.
  3. Liven up the front porch with inexpensive finds.
  4. Finish the mater bathroom. Tile work should begin next week, which means I may be able to use my bathroom again in May!
  5.  Hang curtains in the kitchen. These have been ordered.
  6. Decide whether or not I like curtains in the kitchen. Return, if necessary.
  7. Finish prerequisite MBA courses. I’m nearly done with my first two classes! Crunch time is nigh.

Kitchen at BetweenWeekdays.com

I am so tired of looking at these wood cabinets. The good news is that the white cabinets on the other side of the kitchen have held up well for nearly two years now!

While there is still so much more to do around the house, this list seems pretty feasible.

Weekend Recap: Sunday, June 5: Painting the Front Porch

We woke up bright and early Sunday morning at 11 a.m. Ha! Normally we’re up by 9. Needless to say, the day’s to-do list shrunk considerably.

What was on the list?

  • Finish painting the front porch
  • Pressure wash the back deck
  • Sand rails on the back deck
  • Pressure wash siding on back of house
  • Buy groceries
  • See “X-Men: First Class” in theaters

Incredibly, we managed to complete most tasks.

We’ve been working on the front porch and back deck for nearly 3 months now. I know, pathetic.

Our house was in really bad shape when we moved in 2009. It was in such bad shape, that we’re just now working on the exterior of our house. We’ve already landscaped the front and finished fencing in the back yard this year. After those two huge projects, it was hard to move on to the other bigger projects: refinishing the front porch and back deck.

One weekend back in March, I pressure washed as much of the back deck as I could reach and we bought stain thinking we would finish soon.

Also in that time period, we landscaped the front of our house, which set into motion the painting of the front porch. Who wants to pressure wash when you’ve just spent a fortune landscaping all around the porch? Not us.

Long story short, we got most of the porch finished and ran out of steam. So, the back deck sat mostly clean and the front porch sat mostly painted for about two and a half months.

Until this weekend!

I took a quick trip to the grocery store, while the husband prepared the front porch for paint. Since we had waited so long between coats of paint, a layer of dirt and pollen had accumulated on the surface.

A quick spray with the pressure washer was a quick fix to remove the pollen and dirt. By the time I was back from the store, the husband was pressure washing the back deck and the porch was dry enough to begin painting.

I was only painting the parts of the porch where we could walk. The spindles and rails had been painted back in March.  This still took a considerable about of time because of all of the cutting in.

Did I mention we had record-breaking-high temperatures Saturday? I painted in 98-degree weather. The humidity was so thick, I swear you could cut it. Totally not exaggerating. We’re used to this kind of heat in August, not the beginning of June. I think I lost 10 pounds. (Maybe a slight exaggeration.)

Cutting in probably took about an hour. I’ll be the first to admit I’m no professional painter, but I think I did a pretty good job. After the cutting in was done, I just had to roll on the last coat of paint over all the boards.

So glad I can mark this project off my list!

By the time I was finished painting, the husband had finished pressure washing the back deck and had moved on the sanding the rails. I love a man with power tools.

While he used the belt sander, I went behind him and hit any rough spots with the orbital sander. I also smoothed down the edges so they’re more rounded and less sharp.

We were about two thirds of the way through, when it started to rain. Guess what you can’t do in the rain? If you said use power tools, you’re right!

We were through sanding for the day. The husband was able to do a bit more pressure washing after the rain stopped. It was one of those bizarre summer showers where it rains like crazy for five to ten minutes and then stops.

Guess what you can’t do to wet wood? Sand it.

The husband finished pressure washing all the debris off the deck and moved all the equipment back to the garage to wait for another weekend.

This was my queue to head to the air conditioning. I didn’t complain. After a shower to remove 98-degrees grime, I began dinner. It was the least I could do for my man who was still out working in the heat.

What was on the menu? Chicken and dumplings and macaroni and cheese. We love carbs. I’ll try to share my mother’s-in-law amazing chicken and dumpling recipe soon.

We didn’t make it to see the new “X-Men” flick, but FX was playing the original trilogy. I can settle for that. For this weekend, anyway.

What did you do this weekend? Was it as hot in your neck of the woods as it was in ours?

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