Thursday, June 30, 2016

Apparently I can't multi-task . . .

Y'all . . . I have been busy.  
I know, I know . . . everybody is busy these days.  But for reals, I have been getting it done.  I am so proud of myself.

I've also realized that when I laser focus in on a specific task, I just can't seem to do other stuff . . . like blog.  Or read.  Or cook dinner.  Or even leave my house. 

I wish what I had to tell you was more exciting, but alas . . . it's not.  I've been cleaning.  Like deep cleaning.  

Do you ever feel like you want to start from one corner of your house and clean and purge your way to the other side from the top to the bottom?  

We've been in this house for 17 years and stuff has accumulated, even though I think we do a good job of not being hoarders.  I'd like to move to have a fresh start, but that's not happening with kids the age of ours.  So I had to take matters into my own hands.  

It took me a few days of being lazy with Getzy and the oldest kid gone, but then my motivation found me.  I didn't take any before pictures because I really didn't start with the idea of accomplishing much . . . it just sort of happened.  

I started in Kyle's room because a.) he was home and b.) his closet was atrocious.  He wasn't super thrilled, but I agreed to rearrange his furniture so that helped my cause. 
That doesn't even do justice to all the stuff that came out of his closet . . .
also gone are the Legos and K'Nex, which were donated to the school.
It was kind of sad, but what can you do?  They are growing up.
And, yes, that's a bull whip, sling shot and air soft arsenal on his bottom shelf!  All boy!
So in each kids' room, I (sometimes we, if the kid was agreeable) cleaned the closets from top to bottom.  I cleaned the baseboards and vacuumed the room edges.  I steamed cleaned everyone's carpet.  I ordered new bedding and curtains.  I ran the stuff animals through the dryer to get the dust off and washed anything else I could find.  I rearranged everyone's furniture because it feels like new that way.  I wiped down the walls and cleaned above the windows and doors.  I cleaned out every dresser drawer, desk drawer and cubbyhole.  I bought bins at Target and made keepsake bins for each child . . . things like trophies, favorite trinkets, stuffed animals . . . and a scout bin with all their Boy/Girl Scout related items.  And I finally did little tasks that have been ignored forever like framed and hung certificates, organized martial arts belts on a display, hung the fancy lights I got each kid last year and a million other silly little tasks.  It felt amazing.  
Kyle chose his bedding, which was fun.  He had a sports theme before so this is more "grown up" I suppose.  And yes, he has a problem accumulating lambs.  Actually the problem is more my mother and me, but that's not important.
Amanda and I also went through our bookshelves and donated over 100 books.  We kept lots for "the grand kids" but have paired the shelves down to just what's current.  Oh, and her fancy turntable complete with my old 45 collection.  Raise your hand if you even know what I'm talking about.  
Abby showing off the cleaned up book shelves.
We have an oddly large upstairs landing so we use it to house books and dogs, obvs.
I am so thankful my kids are kind and generous and don't put too much value on "things."  They do have certain items they like and hold special, but they've never had a problem cleaning out and donating stuff they don't want any more.  Lots of parents tell me they like to clean when their kids are gone, but I like my kids to give me the okay to get rid of stuff.  We talk about how it's a blessing to someone else, even if it's no longer to them. 

A memorable moment happened this past week . . . I'd been cleaning out the boys' rooms and my own closet, kind of going back and forth so I wouldn't get bored in one spot.  Amanda, on her own accord, comes into my room with an armful of pajamas and says, "You can give these away because they will make someone else happier than they make me."  
This was like 10 o'clock at night . . . she's such a night owl.  
I told her to stop and wait so I could take her picture.  I wanted to remember her in that moment and what she said.  Isn't that what it's all about?  Not just thinking of ourselves, but others as well? Now listen, she can be a pain in the ass like every other kid, but overall she's a kind and thoughtful girl.  I did want to drop kick her when she said she wanted new furniture . . . since she had my "old stuff."  Yeah, poor thing has it rough . . . check out her small room and ratchet old furniture.  Not.
This furniture is heavy, and I totally switched around her room . . . strong like bull is what Amanda called me!  Ha!
The white vanity is new to her, but the rest of the furniture I got when I was 17.
It's terrible, right?  SMH.
Her new favorite item, besides her fancy new Nike shoes for middle school, is the "ghost" chair for her vanity.  You have to admit . . . it is super cool.  She needed a new one since we got rid of her old chair . . . there's a story on that one below.
What chair?  I don't see a chair!  
Ryan is my neat and tidy child . . . just like his father!  I wanted to surprise him when he got back with a fresh new room look!  I didn't have to throw anything away in his room, but I did pack up a lot of childhood trinkets and he also go new bedding, curtains and a furniture rearrangement.  I put crepe paper across his door so when he got home he had to break through for the big reveal!  
Those martial arts belts were a beast to display . . .
it involved zip ties, pliers and scissors.  Craftastic!
I made four trips to the Goodwill in the past week.  Now I know some don't care for Goodwill because they are kind of a "big business" company that pays executives well, but I think they do a great service to the community.  

I once took my Girl Scouts on a field trip to our local store, and we learned a lot about their work programs, how they donate goods to other countries and recycle electronics.  And quite frankly, I don't want the items, I'm too lazy to have a yard sale and I like the tax write off so it's all a win to me. 

My car was loaded down for those trips as well, and my swagger wagon isn't small.  
This was a light load compared to the other trips!
One day I did go twice because the heavy chair Amanda and I hated that went with her vanity didn't fit in the first run.  And I had one of those moments where I felt like a terrible human and got a perspective adjustment.  

So the first run was a car full, and this gentleman working the drop off door was not the fastest person on the planet.  He was quiet but helpful as I handed him things from the car.  When I drove back with just the chair, I thought I'd make it fast and easy on myself by rolling down my window for the receipt and popping the trunk for the door worker to get the chair.  Typically the workers want you to let them get it so I thought I was being both efficient and wise to just stay out of the way.  Bada boom, bada bing . . . in and out! 

I saw the same gentleman working and thought, well this won't be as fast as I'd hoped.  Sure enough, he didn't come to the car so I waited a bit and then just got out to get the chair and be done with it.  I know I sound like an impatient asshole, but I was very polite both times.  The "assholery" was only in my head.  He sees me and comes to the car.  I say all cheerful like, "Sorry, not a big donation . . . just a chair."  And he very slowly and kindly says to me with a smile, "Every donation helps.  Big or small.  It helps."  Then he took the chair from me and walked back inside.  
Of course I thanked him, but little did he know it was a thank you for making me slow down and realize all of my blessings in life.  It was a lovely change of perspective when I least expected it. And patience is a virtue that tends to allude me, but I'll keep working on it.  Progress, not perfect.  

Not only did I clean the entire upstairs, I also got some serious work done outside.  Getzy removed a couple of trees before he left.  He worked hard with the boys trying to remove the stumps but that job is a beast.  Here's some proof!
Abby and I were the peanut gallery sitting and watching the "show!"
Confession:  I love it when Getzy gets all manly and teaches the boys new stuff!  
He went from the ax to the chainsaw and then there was talk about using the Jeep to pull out the stumps.  Finally Getzy just gave up and said to pay a stump grinder . . . which was my thought all along!  The boys helped and chopped up some wood for the fire pit!  So I did him one better while he was away . . .
I know it doesn't look like much work but trust.  
I had the stumps ground and paid someone to lay new sod.  In order to get the yard ready for the sod, I went outside one night to remove the tree mulch, rocks, dirt and smaller roots left over from the stump grinding.  I worked like a day laborer and have a whole new appreciate for their hard work.  I took four wheelbarrow loads of crap off the yard and used a hatchet to get the remaining roots.  Uhm, yeah . . . I know what you're thinking . . . I am kind of a bad ass.  Just say it.
I swear it looks better in real life.  Stupid pictures.
And I couldn't just stop at new sod because I have long neglected our flowerbeds.  Gardening is not my jam, but I sucked it up and planted new flowers to make us look like we give a crap about the place.  Kyle and Amanda were super awesome helpers as well.  Sad truth . . . it was a ton of work and looks pretty close up but you can barely notice from the street.  Curses.  
What kid doesn't want one of these?  I had one when I was little too.
I'm sure it will die soon, but it's fun while it lasts.  
It wasn't all work while we were a family of three. I found the elusive Venus Flytrap . . . Getzy has been taking her to Home Depot to look for these for weeks . . . ha, they arrive just when he leaves!
Combing your hair is obviously optional in the summer.  
This handsome devil loves to make and eat fudge . . . it's kind of his signature dish.  He loves mint chocolate so we used the Andes bits and condensed milk to make this delicious delight.   It was seriously so good.  

We did do one day trip with friends last week . . . I didn't want to do any new adventures since Ryan was gone, but he's done Helen with us before so I didn't mind doing this without him.  
A motley crew for sure . . . but such good kids.
Kyle loves a lamb . . . see his room for proof.
Amanda loves all the animals . . . she even touched the legless lizard . . . no thanks.
My favorite - the Great Pyrenees dogs they use to guard the farm.  
We visited the North Georgia Zoo first . . . it's basically a giant petting zoo so we bought a couple of buckets of food to make it more exciting!  It seems like some tame family fun, right?  Uh, no.  It was not.  

There was tortoise sex.  And yes, I just said that.  I was awful . . . Especially with 4 teenage boys there.  They thought it was hysterical.  I was mortified.  
Look away . . . this is not that kind of blog.  
At first I just thought the bigger one was being a bully.  Everyone else was making inappropriate jokes because who in their right mind would have thought that was, in fact, what was about to happen.  I held firm to my 'he's just picking on the little guy' belief until he started moving and grunting in an unmistakable way.  I can't even.  I had to walk away.  Of course the boys have videos with sound effects to share with everyone.  It really is the stuff of legends and will live in family lore infamy forever.  
Those four boys are a serious squad . . . love those kids!
We hightailed it out of the zoo to head to our favorite spot for lunch . . . The Troll.  We ate early so we could get a spot right by the water.  It's over priced food, but you can't beat the scenery!  After lunch, we headed over to "shoot the hooch" on our tubing adventure!  They hadn't had rain in three weeks so it was running slow.  We opted for the short course, which still took almost 2 hours. Amanda got ahead of us, and I freaked out a bit but she was waiting for us at the end . . . she had just done this a couple of weeks ago with the Girl Scouts so thankfully she knew what to do!  It was a super fun day with friends.  

Well, that sums up the past couple of weeks.  Exciting stuff?  No, not really, but hey, that's life.  
The best news is my menfolk arrived home last night from their two week trek and being stuck in the Denver airport for 26 hours.  My heart is full and happy to have everyone back under one roof. I can't wait to see all their pictures and share their adventure!  


  1. We have a Great Pyrenees and she is sweet as can be! I have to ask... What happened to Petey??
    Also, I LOVE going through rooms and getting rid of stuff! I can't wait to tackle my basement but a lot of it will go to a garage sale... Next year, lol.

  2. I am exhausted just reading that! But... that is what's on tap for me starting next week since I will be on a bit of a work break. Good Will is going to know me by name very, very soon! I am really impressed and I have been in my house almost as long so I totally get what you are saying! Have a great weekend!

  3. i LOVE that you organized your house from top to bottom! i've been doing that slowly and today, i finally managed to tackle the damn dining table. my husband also organized his office desk and finally took out his cycling shit from our dining room. i finally have my dining area back!

  4. Oh did I smile and relate BIG time when I read this!! We are getting ready for vacay and I had a bunch of "crap to take with us" in the office. After I get done packing today, I said "look honey doesn't it look better in there!" To which he replies that when the two oldest go to college, we are starting in one corner and going to the other cleaning room by room. So I feel ya sista, we won't be far behind. Oh that sweet fudge maker in da house, umm mint fudge...YES, PLEASE...send some to Aunt Andrea, lol!!! No boys comb their hair here either in the summer..unless a girl's coming over! So happy y'all back together under one roof, love the homecoming decor, soooo sweet!! Have the BESTEST holiday weekend!!

  5. Oh my goodness, I'm sure it felt SO good to get this done!!! <3

  6. I haven't read past Amanda's room b/c HOLY SHIT!!!! My mom has that EXACT SAME record holder!!! The denim jean one!!!!! Eeeeekkk!!! We ARE soul sisters, I knew it!!! :) Ok, back to finishing the post. :)

    I totally LOVE A's white vanity!!! I want one for me AND for Tenley! It was always my dream to have one as a kid, not sure why I've not bought one for myself as an adult? Hmmm, time to get on that I think!

    100% bad ass! I bet your neighbors were wondering what in the hell got into you and why in the hell you were doing it at night - Ha ha!

    I'm excited to read your post about the guys' trip!!!

  7. I'm pretty jealous of your deep clean situation!! We will be having one later this summer and I can't wait! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  8. holy moly, you HAVE been busy!! i definitely get the feeling that i want to go from one end of the house to the other, but normally being lazy overtakes that. it's so weird how much stuff you accumulate. i like to keep things, but i am also pretty good at getting rid of useless stuff. KC keeps the most ridiculous things, like we have boxes of his notebooks from high school. ridiculous. amanda is so sweet and selfless! i definitely was not that selfless as a kid. i always said i was the kid that was getting things because of other people's donations so we were both happy ;) we were very poor haha so everything i owned was secondhand.

  9. Your room is neat and clean. I also regularly clean the room and vacuum. I need to buy a new vacuum cleaner but currently I don't know any best vacuums. What type of vacuum are you using? is it good

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