Tears, Sweat, and a lot of PTO

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ODP12 Day 11

Back on the band wagon today. Feeling a tad better which always helps things along.

While the boys were getting ready this morning, I finalized my counts for items to be removed in some manner or other from my house. Items to Goodwill have already been delivered.

Goodwill: 211 items
Outreach, Inc.: 83 items
On-line garage sale: 54 items
Trash: 44 items
Thing 2 to Nephew: 35 items
Thing 1 to Thing 2: (while technically not leaving the house) 66 items

Should my math actually be correct, that’s 493 items from which we are soon to be free of. Super psyched!!

And today’s outfit: dress, gray leggings, white socks, brown boots, gray t-shirt, cream sweater, and leopard-print scarf.


ODP Day 10

Some days I feel like a complete failure at life. Dealing with chronic pain will do that to a person. Today no dress. I needed to continue on with some projects here at the house and spent all day in my pajamas. It’s just easier some days. But when I’m hurting, it hurts all over: my back, my legs, my knees, my ankles, my hands, my head. You get the point. Literally, head to toe. Up and down the stairs means frequently just sitting and scooting down because I don’t trust my legs to hold out or my hands to support collapsing weight. Sometimes it means crawling on the floor from point a to point b because it hurts too much to stand. With one dress that takes forever to dry, well, no dress today.

Thing 2 called me out about it at dinner. It breaks my heart to have to say that Mommy didn’t feel well enough to do it today, when all it means to him is getting dressed. It sounds so simple some days.

I started purging things last night and spent a great deal of time in the basement working to sort through toys and games. I have a “purge tally” of 197 items now in my car headed to Goodwill. Most of that was accomplished last night. Today just required me to put it all in a box (or 2) and get it from the basement to the car. One box came from the basement; the other came from the second story. It took me an hour to move two boxes. But it’s done.

I spent time today cleaning my desk because it didn’t require much other than sitting. I made doggie treats last night that needed to be put away. (Actually, Milk Bone made the treats. I simply embellished them.) While I felt like I was working hard all day, I have nothing truly tangible to put my fingers on to say, “Wow. Look what I did today.” Days like these make me sad, but it is what it is. I can’t change it; I simply endure it. And in the grand scheme of things my “suffering” isn’t anywhere near the suffering endured by other dear friends. Still, it just …. is.

So, just to have something to look back on, here’s what I did today: I anti-consumered myself and applied some pro-creativity to pro-simplify myself. That has to count for something, right?

My message center is now complete. Each Thing has their own hanging box for school papers. Each also has their own clipboard. These are for papers that need to be returned back to school. I should have done before and afters because I sorted through the overflowing boxes today.

Thing 1 decided that we needed to start recycling as well. My Thirty-One bags are coming in handy for papers and other recycling. It makes it much easier to transport to the big container in the garage.

This is my Pinterest perpetual calendar utilizing paint chip cards and a picture frame. Super easy to do and use. You have to love anything with dry erase.

The cabinets over the computer desk. I applied cork board to the inside of the cabinets for additional posting capabilities. It’s now where the school lunch menus are located. The two blue boxes hold all of our cords. It was another Pinterest idea utilizing a shoebox and toilet paper rolls. See?

My desk is now clean and my “working” folders are in order. Actually, it’s just a bin that holds some of my recipes, two craft binders, my Office 2010 dummies book, and paperwork that I manage for the Cub Scouts. Still, it’s all clean and neat.

I even straightened the junk drawer in the desk.

And last, but not least, a picture or two of my puppy treats. I melted down some vanilla frosting, dipped the treat in, and added sprinkles.

All in all, not a super bad day.

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ODP12 Day #9 … and a Mission

Going into this project, I knew exactly what it was about. What I didn’t bargain for was how I would feel each day along the way.

We live in a age where trying to keep up with those around us is bankrupting us as a society, both morally and financially. On Sunday, my pastor preached a sermon on anti-consumerism. Not that he’s against having “stuff”, but it was more of a perspective sermon. According to him, we have four basis needs: food & water, health, shelter, and community. I beg to differ and say that there are five……because without clothing there will be no leaving the shelter and absolutely no community that I’d wish to be a part of. Just saying.

Pastor John challenged us to alleviate 100 items from our homes this week. I must admit that kind of sent me into panic attack mode for a bit. When I took pause, however, I realized that we had already taken a chunk out of that as we had already started purging items from the boys’ closets. Now, realizing that clothes from Thing 1 travel down to Thing 2 doesn’t necessarily count toward the total, I’m still thinking we’re good. Thing 2’s clothes head back to Ohio to our nephew who is two years younger.

Yesterday, I mailed two packages. I also bagged up two more bags of items to return to their original owners. Today, my plan is to attack my closet and really truly evaluate things. I have 3-4 of the exact same shirt. Same color. Everything. Do I really need that many, or could I manage with one or two? What if I paid a little more for better quality in an effort to have less but more that would theoretically last longer?

I am making piles today: Goodwill, donation at church, for specific others, for online garage sale.

I really do want to be free from “stuff” because, for me, it boils down to ….. contentment. Where do I find my hope? My joy? My peace? My sense of self-worth? My everything? For me, I believe that all of that comes from God, but I also know that “things” have a way of swaying me. Of removing my eyes from where their focus should be. I’m not condemning having “things”, but my thought is this: What if I woke up tomorrow and all of my things were gone? Would I still be able to rejoice?

With that said, I was ready to throw the towel in this morning. The thought of wearing the dress one more time made me eager to just don the pajamas and head back to bed. However, after a few false starts, I ended up with another concoction that could be in the “fave” category.

Here are a couple of different “looks” from today……..

Long black skirt that I’ve had for at least 10 years. Dress. Black tank top under dress. Black flats. Short-sleeved denim jacket. Silver owl necklace. Butterfly headband.

Same outfit simply without the jacket. It was 38* outside this morning and closer to 80* in the teacher workroom. Dressing in layers is essential most days.

Workroom attire. I love that a friend made me my apron. The joke around the school is that I’m the “Copier Queen”. Well, we couldn’t find a tiara, but with 20+ teachers that I make copies for 2 days a week, it can be a little stressful, especially if copiers are down. So, the next best thing is an apron (which guards the dress incidentally) that says, “Keep Calm and Copy On”. A nice little reminder before freaking out some days.

And finally, a close-up of my owl necklace. This came from JCPenneys. It was originally $14 on clearance for $8, and then with my sister-in-law’s employee discount, it was even less than that. Something like $6.

I’m finding that fashion doesn’t have to break the bank, style is still somewhat subjective, and a little bit of creativity can go a very long way. That doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t burn this dress by the end of the month.


ODP Day 7

So many thoughts and emotions running around tonight. Maybe tomorrow will be a bit clearer and verbal.

Dress, black leggings, cream cuddle dudz, black sweater, cream scarf, flower headband, and black flats. Possibly my favorite pairing yet.



October Dress Project Days 5 & 6

I love my Fridays. It means that I have the opportunity to work with and serve some of Noblesville’s finest teachers. It’s a time where I get my bucket filled by being able to help others, and that’s the best of the best in my opinion. Some of the teachers know what I’m up to this month and will seek me out if they know the I’m in the building to see just what I’ve done this time. Most of them have a difficult time wrapping their heads around what I’m doing, but they cheer me on nonetheless. Even one of our male teachers. His response to Friday’s outfit: “You look like a biker chick.” I’ll take that. It still makes me chuckle. Here’s what he’s talking about.

It’s not so much the bike chick comment though as it is that he knew that the lacing on the back of the vest was “corset-ish”. See? I *love* this vest!!

And let’s not forget the brand new boots because, as my husband says, “Evey girl needs a pair of new boots.” He’s catching on.

Today, however, I just feel blah. I was supposed to go to a baby shower for one of my teachers. She’s having a little boy named Jackson. I cannot wait to meet this little guy!! My stomach, however, had other plans. Thanks to some medical issues, I find myself in the comfort of my own home and my own bathroom. I’d rather not have this part of my life, but I believe it’ll give me stronger character if nothing else. Any who, completely slacking in the clothes department. It’s chilly outside, and I’m freezing inside.

Dress, gray leggings, off-white Cuddle Dudz shirt, and red plaid Airwalks.

A side note is that I figured out how to work the timer on the camera and took the photo all by myself. 🙂


October Dress Project Day 4

Thursdays are bit of a pill for me since it’s the one day that I technically work, and really, to call it work seems to even be too much sometimes. My husband co-owns a metals recycling business, where they specialize in copper wiring. It’s not aluminum can recycling level. It does, however, generate the most egregious black soot throughout the warehouse and into the offices. My job is to clean said black soot from the office area. Strangely, if you were to walk into the offices, you wouldn’t think it dirty. Until you swiped a wall, baseboard, or desktop with a rag. Still, it’s a job that needs to doing. And there is no way that I’m doing that in my dress. My husband doesn’t even come home in his work clothes. He showers there and runs them through the washer/dryer there as well. So, with that said, the dress was on this morning for a bit, then I changed. After I cleaned, it was on to a much needed haircut, and now, I’m really desiring my pajamas. We’ll see how it goes.

Day 4: dress, black leggings, croc sandals, blue button up shirt, and blue sparkly necklace. I wore the necklace last night too and received a lot of compliments on it.

We have horrid mirrors in our house, but I had no Things home to take the picture.


October Dress Project — Day 3

So, looks like today’s outfit came complete with jumping dog. I must admit that Thing 2 did an excellent job of capturing her like he did. It was so completely random. She just ran into the room and jumped. Hilarious.

Tonight was our PTO meeting at school, and I had a number of people comment on the dress and the accessories. I had several teachers who hung around a bit just to see what I’d be wearing. One mom asked if I’d been Pinteresting my bracelets. Yep! Nothing like a little bit of mindless activity to create something so fun. So here are some photos of the pop-top bracelets. Then it’s on to dinner (finally) and a handful of Ibuprofen. Side note: Chronic pain sucks.


October Dress Project — Day 2

Today started out with me already behind, or so it seemed. The drizzle this morning didn’t help matters either for mood or timing. Taking Thing 1 to the bus stop cuts into the morning a bit, but honestly, I rather enjoy that few minutes that we have together. I love the “I love you, too, Mom,” that he mutters under his breath as he’s climbing out of the car. Thing 2 seemed to moving in high gear once he was fully awake; it was just getting him to that point that seemed to take forever. He and I are definitely mid-morning people, and since today was a I’m-working-at-school-day (I photocopy for teachers 2 days a week), I also had to be ready and presentable. No more running Thing 2 to school in pajamas. At least I knew what I was wearing, right?

See, you’d think that wearing the same dress every day wouldn’t be an issue. The fact that it’s day 2 should still be a breeze. That dressing one’s self would be somehow easier. Nope, because now I have to “accessorize”. Really? If you know me at all, you know that that will be the hardest thing for me. I have ….. no sense of style. My sister has volunteered to be the one to call the “What Not to Wear” people for me, and after this month I’m sure she’ll have more than enough ammunition. My idea to garanimal myself before the month started didn’t actually make it to reality. Kind of kicking myself right now for that.

So, with probably less enthusiasm than I would have liked, I dressed for the day. Today’s outfit consisted of “the dress”, Mary Jane style crocs (on sale at Shoe Carnival), black wrap sweater (from Collections Etc for $15) that has quickly become one of my favorite items (I like the drapiness of the front), wedding rings, glasses, headband from Payless (with BOGO), and a glass photo necklace.

It wasn’t until I was completely dressed and looked down on myself that the thought dawned on me: I freaking look like Minnie Mouse!! And since the majority of my wardrobe is black, all I’ll need for Halloween are the ears. ::sigh:: I did get a majority of “that is the cutest dress” today, so I’ll still chalk it up as a win.

Now today, however, is a Pinterest day. Our elementary school is the Stony Creek Mustangs, and for Teacher Appreciation Week last year, I made necklaces for all of the female teachers and staff members (the men…all 5 of them….received key chains). I saw the idea on Pinterest of taking a photo and turning it into a necklace. I thought, “Well, it can’t be that hard. Right?”. It wasn’t so much difficult as it was time consuming. Keep in mind I made 100 of them. I was pretty pleased as to how they turned out. Here is mine.

I am in no way, shape, or form a good photographer. I point; I shoot. I have, however, been reading about light boxes. Maybe I’ll get better. My dress photo was taken at my chiropractor’s office. They take good care of me.

Anyone else get the most popularly asked question: So, are you going to wash your dress?

I just started staring at people. Like that’s even a question? With that said, once home with the kids this afternoon, I tossed the dress in the washer, donned the pajamas, and made dinner. Ah, the quiet, now that everyone is at Boy Scouts.


October Dress Project Day 1

Nerves and anxiety were more or less the clothes for the day, although technically, it was a pair of pajamas. I emptied my closet of everything that I wouldn’t be able to wear this month and tucked them neatly away in the guest bedroom closet, and still found that I have a ton of items. I wasn’t quite sure what it would all look like, and it is essentially a sea of black and gray. My dress, however, not so much. I finally pulled myself together this afternoon, donned the dress, picked up 2 kids from 2 separate schools, and made it through a chiropractic adjustment.

My youngest took today’s picture, and my oldest asked to be in the picture with me. Since he normally refuses any documentation of life, I quickly jumped at the request. Today’s attire (although Thing 2 didn’t get it all in the photo) was the dress, gray leggings (from Lane Bryant), and black flats (from Shoe Carnival). The dress was pricey at $59 from http://www.catalogfavorites.com. Being on the portly side of life leaves me with little options I think (or else I just don’t know where to shop), and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. Today’s outfit was a full-price outfit. Thankfully, not all of my accessories are like that. I’ve attempted to utilize Pinterest to up-cycle and re-purpose items as well. I can’t wait to show some of them off, but I do have 31 days to get through.

Even though today wasn’t a horrible day, here’s to hoping that tomorrow is a better one.


1836 Family Time

Yesterday was quite simply a gorgeous day. Not too hot. Not too cool. Bright blue sky. The occasional autumn breeze just strong enough to tussle hair and rustle the few fallen leaves. We went on an excursion with friends of the family to one of our most beloved spots, Conner Prairie. It’s a wonderful venue that transports visitors to 1836 Indiana. And while I will readily admit that I’m not Indiana’s biggest fan, I do have a fascination with barns, fields, and covered bridges. It was nice to get away, enjoy conversation and laughter with others, and for a few hours simply not have a care in the world. Revisit with me.