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Goal 3

I really thought I’d be able to keep up with a goal of posting once a week. I even planned time tonight to sit down and write.


This is new, because most days are helter-skelter, what with the new job, the kids and the random acts of renovation.*

*In the last eight weeks, in addition to regular busy life, Hubby and I have repaired and painted walls and ceilings.

So tonight, I planned to take a break and write while Hubby was at a late meeting.

But then I thought, “if I get the bathroom painted, Hubby can install the new porcelain sculpture…” (yes, we’re replacing the toilet). So instead of writing, I listened to a great audio book and painted the potty.

This brings me to

Goal 3

for this year:

Finish the doggone house.

If you’ve followed the blog these past two years, you’ve seen the mess seven leaks can precipitate.

We are almost finished with final repairs (which we stubbornly insist on completing ourselves because, well, we are stubborn). This is the year we DO IT.

So I finished the bathroom in record time. I thought, “great, I still have time to write,” and simultaneously wondered, “what IS that ridiculous noise?”

It was the sound of our clothes washer NOT draining.

Determined to ensure this did not become leak #8, I drained it manually then cleaned out the pump filter.

Only took me an hour.

And now, I write. 

What goals have you set—or met—this week?






Goal 2

I ran through my follower list today and realized it’s been a while.

Goal 2: Read something on every follower’s blog by June. 

See you soon!


What’s your goal?

Not sure how to begin? Read my easy guide to goal setting.

A Page from Your Book

As a young girl, I heard an adult tell his friend, “I took a page from your book.” Avid reader and lover of all things in print, I misunderstood his statement. Annoyed that anyone would rip a page from a book, I determined not to lend my books to anyone without first ensuring they agreed to leave all pages intact.

Later, I learned this was simply a phrase meaning, “I did something you would do.” Reading other blogs, I often find my recent thoughts mirrored. I’m not sure if this is because we tend to gravitate to others similar to ourselves (in physical life and online) or simply coincidence, but I feel as though we are having a conversation. I thought something you would think. 

I’ve been thinking lately about what I’ll leave behind. How only a moment—just a breath—can take us from one reality to the next. What a sheer curtain hangs between now and forever. Seems like you’ve been thinking about the same.

Just so you know, I took a page from your blog.


When you don’t have an artifact which will save you in your afterlife, don’t give value to your artifacts in this world! – SP


You are not alive in memories
but that is the place I find you,
so I fan the small fire,
inhaling deeply,
today. – LL


I don’t fear death anymore; I fear looking back on my time here on this earth and realising that I missed out on so many wonderful opportunities because of such a naïve notion of allowing apprehension of the inevitable to destroy the wonderful gift of life that I have been presented. I don’t want to grow old having squandered my time, or having lived an un-lived life.CN


Back in the Saddle

Hey, everyone!

I’ve missed you.

In September, I accepted a part-time job. In October, I agreed to work full time when my supervisor said those two little words I can never resist: process improvement. Almost nothing makes me happier than finding better ways to do…well, pretty much anything.

The downside is a sharp decline in free time and I’ve really missed writing.

Tonight I listened to a goal-setting webinar led by Michael Hyatt. I chuckled a little bit when he talked about his own goals. Maybe one of his goals for the year is to sell a lot of the “5 Days to Your Best Year Ever” program he offers at the end of the webinar.

Sales pitch aside, I learned (re-learned) a few things:

  • Goals must be written. 
    • I believe the statistic on the webinar was around 40% more likely. I found a couple articles with statistics up to 80%. The point isn’t really HOW much more likely we are to hit our goals, but that we ARE more likely to do so. Check out some of the articles on the Forbes site.
  • Goals must be measurable.
    • “I need to lose weight,” is not specific enough. “I want to permanently lose that stupid ten pounds I keep regaining,” is better.
    • Instead of “I want to be recognized at work,” a more measurable goal is, “I will meet or exceed my assigned metrics every week,” or “I will read three industry-related articles each week and discuss ways our team can utilize what I’ve learned to improve our processes.”
  • Goals must have a deadline or time frame.
    • Deadlines provide urgency. I’ve been “working” on updating spreadsheets for the past few weeks but never seemed to finish. Other  When the top brass informed us (yesterday at 6 am) that the analysts would pull a report for a presentation at 3 pm today, guess what I finished by 2:30.
    • Deadlines provide the ability to draft a timeline—and again, writing the goals improves our chances of finishing.
  • Goals must be realistic. 
    • “I will run a marathon next week.” Written, measurable, deadline. And crazy, unless you’re an avid runner. For most of us, “I will walk to the mailbox instead of driving to get the mail,” or, “I will stop circling the grocery parking lot to find a spot three spaces closer. Instead, I will park at the far end of the parking lot,” are realistic goals.


Most of that is old news. Michael said a few things I’d never really considered. 

Goals should be visible.

Post goals somewhere we’ll see them daily. Make a list or, like the picture here, find a creative reminder.


Photo Credit: Marcia Furman

Goal lists should include no more than seven to ten items.

Bonus if we can pare it down to four or five. A goal list shouldn’t be twenty-five things because our brains can’t track that many items, even in writing.

Goals should be passion-driven. 

If a goal isn’t exciting, why is it on the list? I never before realized that goal-setting is different from “the list of things I need to accomplish around the house this year.” No one is passionate about painting the front porch steps (on the other hand, I take great delight in plastering sheet rock…but still, not a life goal).

Our goals should make us uncomfortable. Even afraid. 

If we’re comfortable, we won’t grow. We won’t take risks.


I plan (IN WRITING) to spend time this week (TIME FRAME) thinking about goals for the upcoming year. I know, it’s a little earlier than the traditional “it’s a New Year; I must revamp my life,” but I invite you to join me.

Let’s choose four or five goals (MEASURABLE) fired by our greatest passions.

Goals that freak us out a little.  

Let’s talk about what we’ve accomplished this year and where we want to be next month.

I’ll start. 

Goal One: Even when working like mad at the job I love and working like crazy for the Hubby and kiddos I love, I will I WILL


I will  (this is in writing) make time to post at least once a week (measurable and realistic) for the rest of the year (deadline).

Your turn! What’s your goal one? Comment below.






Adoption = Occasional Victories

For the last three years, on four separate occasions each year, my friends posted jubilant messages on every possible social media outlet.

“My son is amazing! All A’s! Future Rocket Scientist, here!”

“Suzie Queue got Honor Roll. AGAIN!”

“My Ralphie with his award for Citizenship. Check out that tweed jacket. Cutest pic ever!”

“We are so proud. All eight of our children made honor roll! So blessed.”

Here are my imaginary reply posts.

“My son decked his Kindergarten classmate! Super amazing. Pretty sure he’ll be an MMA fighter when he grows up.”

“My daughter is doing Second Grade. AGAIN!”

“My kid doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘Citizenship,’ but we’re pretty sure he was dropped off by the Mothership.”

“I can’t imagine having eight children. We only have two. Thank God.”
It’s not easy to watch the success of others, especially when it comes easy or “gets handed to” them, but it’s exponentially more difficult to watch the success of someone else’s child when yours is struggling so hard. For the last three years, I’ve bitten my tongue more times than I’d like to admit.

“Who gives a rip if your perfect kid made honor roll. Of course she made all A’s. You’ve been personally tutoring her since birth and making sure she has every opportunity to learn. My kid made a D on his test, but he FINISHED the test. Since it’s usually a struggle for him to even complete the assignment in the allotted time, this is a huge win for him.”

“My girl finally grasped the idea of subtraction last night. She hates being the oldest child in her class, but holding her back was the best thing we ever did for her. We’re building a foundation for her life that no one else bothered to build. Watching the light come on in her eyes when she understands a math concept — now, that’s priceless.”

It has been a very long road. The last three years were very difficult (also known as HellonEarth, as I’ve explained before). This fourth year appears to  be a time for cautious optimism. We may be turning a corner, or it may be the eye in the center of Hurricane Hyena. It’s a little too early to rejoice or even relax, but Hubby and I are starting to believe again. This was actually a good idea. We can save their lives. They can learn, grow and be successful. God’s love can make a difference.

They brought their report cards home last week. Neither had grades below a B. This is the FIRST TIME neither has had a “D” on their report card. If, three years ago, two  years ago, or even last year, you’d tried to tell me this day would come, I probably would have laughed, a little sadly. “I wish. They would be so happy.” We’re truly not worried about the grades, other than the fact that they reflect learning and retention. We always tell the kids that C is great, and anything higher is bonus. Honestly, this “Honor Roll” thing was a goal they set themselves. And to see the look in their eyes when they realized they had attained their “B Honor Roll” standard was nothing short of amazing.

I didn’t post their success on any media outlet. I didn’t call my friends. I actually thought about not writing this post. Why? I know there are others out there who are still in HellonEarth. You may not want to hear it, because it shows in stark relief the long road you have ahead. I decided to go ahead and write this post, though, because I want you to know: IT CAN HAPPEN. If our kids can succeed in spite of all they’ve been through, so can yours.

Keep in mind, though, it’s not about grades. Growing up in my house, grades were a big deal. Here’s what I’ve learned in the last three years: celebrate every victory, no matter how small. Don’t worry about what everyone else’s kid is doing. Your child is special. Uniquely gifted. Absolutely one-of-a-kind. Be sure you don’t overlook the smaller –but still amazing– hills they take as they climb the mountain range. Find out what THEIR goals are, and support them.

We’ve already had our shot at glory. Now it’s their turn.

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