Monday, January 10, 2011


Do you ever have a Defeatist Mentality?

I was discussing this with a dear friend of mine the other day and we were commisserating over the fact that we often suffer from


I'm pretty sure this is a treatable condition but it would require locking the children in their rooms for extended periods of time and slipping PB&J sandwiches under their doors.

I have MANY, MANY, MANY home improvement projects I want to tackle this year. Some of these are big. Some are small. Most make me feel tired just thinking about them.
And, when you have little children in your home as so many of us do, you find yourself wondering how on earth you are going to put up Wainscoting when you can't even go to the bathroom without someone peeking their head in and asking, "Are you done yet Mommy? How about now? How about now? How about now? How about now"

Most of my wish list involves large chunks of time and the help of my husband.

Things like this....
Painting the mudroom and maybe slapping up some beadboard (right Becca?). Its my first ever real laundry room and it is time to help it live up to its full potential!

And this little area off of the kitchen? That door leads to these shelves and then around a corner that goes back under the stairs with lots of great storage. The problem is, the light has been broken in there since before we moved in. And I think that I could make this little nook into something extra special. Some paint and fabric on those shelves would feel like a sweet surprise every time I opened the door to go get a new roll of paper towels.

And there are several areas where I would love to add some kind of wainscoting or trim work.

The entry
 Downstairs bathroom
 And the dining room

 But I have a husband who is currently working full-time (often including evening dinners and driving up to 8 hours in a day), studying to get his MBA (which means he comes home, plays with the rascals, eats dinner and joins me in trying to convince the rascals to also eat dinner, plays with said rascals some more (which includes letting them pounce on him and ride on him like a rodeo horse), helps give baths to 2 squirmy naked rascals, tag teams with me to put those rascals to bed (usually including several trips back into oldest rascals room to threaten him within an inch of his life if he doesn't stay in bed and go to sleep), and then the love of my life goes into the office and studies or takes tests or writes papers for his MBA program until 11 P.M. (or later) and then stumbles to bed only to start it all over the next day!

Add that to all of our other activities and commitments and you can understand why I might hesitate to load one more thing onto his overflowing plate.

This leads me to realize that I am not going to be able to keep up with all of you fabulously inspired Bloggers who are heading full-steam ahead into the New Year with amazing projects and accomplishments.

So, I am going to humbly submit my small changes for your consideration. And hope that you will still come back even if it is only to make yourself feel better. You may even get a laugh out of it. It won't offend me if it is at my expense!

Until then, I am going to enjoy this lovely little violet which I planted in a gorgeous tureen gifted to me by my sisters mother-in-law many years ago.

She saw me admiring it on a visit to her home and as I left she graciously offered it to me. I believe she found it in Germany when her husband was stationed there in the Air Force.
Isn't it just so sweet?
Placed on the island in my kitchen, it greets me every morning and I have to tell you...
it gives me just as much pleasure as new wainscoting!

Have a fabulous week my friends and please stay tuned for some fun things happening here this week!

From this Southern Girl at Heart,

Linking to
The Nester


Lori said...

love the container, but isn't the flower violets? I'm with you on getting restarted after the holidays! Just can't do it.

Sherry said...

I believe God helps us set priorities if we are listening to Him. He is probably telling you to put husband and little ones first. I've learned to do small projects, do them well and be proud of them!!! Your readers will still be here even if your projects are not on a grand scale!! Hugs!!!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I don't think that is a pansy. Looks like an African violet...but then again, I am no expert! I have big projects and little ones too...and I will be happy if I get any of them done in the new year. And I don't have any rascals!!

pam said...

Your tureen is really beautiful Vanessa! I can totally understand about your husband not having any time with him getting an MBA. There were a few years where projects didn't get done because my husband was going to school and working 50 hours a week, as well. My husband still works a lot, and there are some things only he can do, so I make a list, actually several lists. One with little things that he has to do, one with things I can do and a list of projects that we both have to do. I've finally learned to have or help him do 1 little thing 3 times a week, rather than letting them pile up for the weekend. I'm talking about little things that take 10 minutes or less.
I wouldn't worry about having to do any big projects until he is finished with school. You are right that he doesn't need the added pressure! Just enjoy doing some little projects this year. I'm sure you will find more as the year progresses!

Honey at 2805 said...

The joy that comes with playing with the "rascals" and putting family first is so important and is something that will be remembered always by all four of you. Don't stress, sweet friend.

michelle said...

Things will get done in time my dear friend! I feel the same way, I get started on something and then realize that I really have no time to do this. The poor boy justs sits and plays by himself and I feel bad. I am trying to slow down and my daughters room is a big project right now but I do bits at a time, so far...
I love everything and anything that you do and I will always visit you and be inspired even if you talk about how to clean a toilet! :)

I love your little tureen and plant, how spring-like and so very sweet!

Debbie said...

It's the SMALL stuff that I want to accomplish this year so you will completely inspire me when you show yours.

That's one of my favorite things about Marty at A Stroll Through Life. She has an eye for the small stuff.

You do to!

I love the little tureen planter, by the way. And I'm jealous of the BEFORE picture of your laundry.

Traci said...

I'm thrilled to death to get small stuff done! The majority of the time I feel so inferior when looking at all the blogs & everything people are getting done!! BTW, your laundry room looks amazing just the way it is!!! Have a great day!

Green Door Girl said...

sometimes the smallest projects make the biggest impact! I will still be following you daily sweet friend! :)

Judy said...

I remember those days of trying to get projects done while the kids were sleeping. My husband and I used to call all of our projects while you were sleeping (remember that show "While you were out"?) Those were tough days but I'm sure you'll come up with a way to tackle some projects...even if it can't be done all in one sitting. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with in 2011.

Judy said...

I remember those days of trying to get projects done while the kids were sleeping. My husband and I used to call all of our projects while you were sleeping (remember that show "While you were out"?) Those were tough days but I'm sure you'll come up with a way to tackle some projects...even if it can't be done all in one sitting. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with in 2011.

Modern Country Lady said...

Hi there Vanessa,
Time flies by so quickly and before you know it your little rascals will be 19 or 20 and wanting to go out clubbing- so savour every moment with your kids and don't worry about your projects too much!!
Big hug

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

I will follow you anywhere big or small! I love the small things...what is it they say...God is in the details;)!

I love what Bea true! Enjoyt those little ones...they are grown and gone soon enough!

Happy Monday!

Lisa ~Suburban Retreat~ said...

Happy New Year Vanessa! Don't worry yourself ... you're not alone! I struggle daily with the notion of wanting to get everything done yesterday but the reality is that most of it won't get tended to for months to come! I understand! My New Year motto is going to be ... "Pace Yourself". BTW - LOVE the violet in the tureen ... has me thinking ahead to spring (and all the outdoor projects I have to do - lol)!

NanaDiana said...

Ah yes-Vanessa- I remember those days...and now they are repeated when grandkids visit! lol

One quick suggestion- if you are going to slip P&J sandwiches under the door make sure you roll them flat with a rolling pin first-otherwise...BIG mess-BIG! Trust me on this!

I am not doing anything big this year either-I have had too many projects going for too long- it is time to take a least that is what I think today! Hugs-Diana

The Decorative Dreamer said...

I will follow you, big or small too! I do love to read your posts and they often make me laugh. As they say, don't sweat the small stuff. We have lived in this house over 7yrs now and there were so many changes I wanted to make that didn't get done. I have learned not to worry with it so much because overall I really do have a very nice home (as is) and a fantastic family to share it with. The rest is just icing on the cake!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hey Vanessa,

Don't worry about not getting things done. I think you've been doing TONNES of stuff this past year. You slowing down probably means being the same as the rest of us!!


Lynn Richards said...

Oh Vanessa!
The first thing I think of is your home is gorgeous and it's hard to have so much creative juice flowing in you with little ones and a busy schedule.
The second thing I think of is that this time will go by so fast, you won't know what happened. And the best, very BEST part of your days is doing the simple things, like your wonderful violet, laughing with your babies, looking into their eyes and memorizing them, giving your husband a big hug and kiss when he comes home after a long day.
I used to lock myself in the bathroom for some time alone...not for long, just a couple of minutes. I still remember little fingers poking under the door and hearing laughter as the dog joined in, snarfing at the door. I thought I would go mad! But little things and friends make it all worthwhile...
happy monday.

Thoughts for the day said...

Your home is beautiful and I just want to encourage you. The little ones do grow and chores do get done and you know as one project gets done you will find two more to do so just do what you can and relax.

Cindy said...

Isn't it something how there is always more to do than there is time to do it...and there is also more want than there are resources to pay for it! Has been so for me, so I try to make the most of every day and to appreciate the simplest of things for which I have been blessed...I find abundant thankfulness for the small things increases my contentment (I have to practice and practice :)
Staying tuned...Blessings Sweetie!

Traci said...

I think your home is beautiful and playing with little rascals always comes first. They grow up so fast you need to enjoy every minute you can with them!

Becca said...

Hey, friend! Let me just say that your home is gorgeous as is! That room off of your kitchen is absolutely beautiful ... those cabinets are to die for! What color is that on them. Your home is so spacious ... I'm envious. I can so relate, though, to lists of projects we'd love to do to our humble abodes and then giving up thinking that they'll just never get done. BUT, even doing just a little change can "fill our cup" for awhile, until we get the bigger projects tackled. I know that bead board would look fab in your mudroom. Maybe hubs would agree to having someone do it for you all ... I was surprised at how inexpensive of a project that was. You know that I look forward to following along with you this year to seeing what wonderful things (big or small) you cross off of your list! Hugs ... xoxo

Val said...

It's the little things in life that matter the most ; ) LOVE YOUR BLOG!

sheri said...

I have to let you in on a little secret. The women that are getting things done at break-neck speed either have older kids, no kids or are paying sitters or pros to get the work done. Cut yourself some slack - it's not all going to get done but i have come to realize that it doesn't have to ALL get done for your house to be beautiful. Follow Nester - what does she say - it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful - and you're home is gorgeous already.

Leslie @ goodbye, house! HELLO, HOME! said...

Sheri, who commented above me is right about me: I have older kids, so I am not interrupted. My home was never "done" (still isn't) when my girls were smaller.
I love the laundry room you have--I am, um, jealous, I mean, happy for you!
Home decor comes and goes, but your babies and hubby are what really matter.
Love them now.
HUGS and blessings!

Melanie said...

DO NOT feel bad. I can't keep up either and I don't have small kids. If the truth were told, there are many things that don't get done while everyone is blogging or doing projects. That is why I can't keep up. I still organize, cook dinner every day, do normal every day life. I just don't think it can all get done. Something suffers. Just do what you can:)

Vintage Gal said...

I never have enough time to finish what I'm working on. I don't have any little ones around. Just relax and enjoy your wee ones....some day you will look up and their not so little. Enjoy!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi there Vanessa- don't worry about the projects or put pressure on yourself- really- my kids are older and I can't get done half the stuff I would like to either- Enjoy those babies while they are little- they do grow so fast- it's hard to believe. I love what you do and all your posts! :) hugs to you!

Jenny Harris said...

I know what you mean about killing projects before they're begun, due to that naysayer inside your head. I've got one of those negative voices in my head too. But we all just have to do what we can do, and that by definition is enough.

I really like your photos here - your home is already lovely!

BTW, I'd love to invite you to participate in my first ever blog party, called "Happy Tuesday". Come on over and share your Happy Place! Hope to see you there!

Heather said...

I completely understand,Vanessa! Keep doing what you're doing...I'm really enjoying reading about your life and your little rascals! And I love the violet in the tureen!

Vintage Pimento said...

Some days I can get a lot done and other days fall to the side :\ I do get frustrated by this.... Like today. Home in the snow!!!!

Enjoying your blog and gosh your home is lovely!


Lisa said...

Wow - an ambitious list! Look forward to seeing all your projects unfold this year!

Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

You know, Vanessa, I don't think most of us come here to see your decorating ideas, anyway. It's your great, big heart that you're always sharing that brings us back. Hugs, Kim. P.S. I still call my youngest "rascal" :).