2012 Goals

When I sit down to put pen to paper on my goals for 2012, I get super excited because I know this is one of the ways God has wired me to be and I get great enjoyment fully living into one of the ways he created me.  I also get nostalgic as I think back over the past year–the good, bad and in-between.  There are definitely years that goals have not been met, years where they have and…you guessed–all in between.

This year, I’ve done things a little different–as you can see, we’re almost through January and I’m just now getting around to posting about my goals.  I’ve wanted to take things down a notch and work my goals into a more “do-able” plan–thus the word and theme post from last week.  But after seeing my friend Amanda’s goals and then just having that “feeling”–the new year, you just KNOW it’s that season to sit down and craft some goals.  Just like seeing the high school student walk into the gym in the dead of winter knowing his destiny is hours of basketball practice; my destiny this time of year is reflection.

Very similar to my friend Amanda, I’ve jotted down some categories in which I want to grow–these are very loose and will evolve to look differently as the year progresses.  Stay tuned for a post later this week where I share about my journey with the iChoose2 challenge and my last post on goals and the like (I know…some of you are ready to move on!)

Without further adieu…

Physical-This very much goes back to my thoughts last week about my word for 2012: Strong!  I want to be healthy for health’s sake.  Knowing the health issues that run in both our families, the Beau and I declare that 2012 is the year that we stop making excuses and just do it.  As I’ve been reminded so often, life is short and we are not getting any younger.  Now yes, this time of year, many folks are making health and diet goals.  Spring break, summer dress season, that vacation cruise with the family this summer.  My goals: to be able to live a long life; bend over and tie my own shoe laces when I’m 70 and be that active parent and grandparent that has crazy energy.  I know that through a Paleo diet (ugh…I shutter at that 4-letter word) that I feel the best I have ever felt in my life.  Running has given me strength and confidence that I didn’t know lived deep down within.  Cardio Sculpt will allow me to build some strength while also connecting with some friends I work with about non-work things.  Yoga keeps my mind, body and spirit all connected, and it keeps me stretched out! And finally sleep will sustain me and allow me the ability to do all the other things.  The thing that I love (and hate) is that over the past 3 weeks, I have realized that diet (again, eek!) really is the key to everything successful for me personally.  Now, absolutely, if I don’t get my quiet time in the morning, the Beau will tell you I’m quite the cranky pants.  But what gives me the mojo to get up at 5am for that quiet time?  Sleep.  What gives me the crazy energy to run and do cardio sculpt and yoga before or after a full day of a very busy day job?  Eating right, the paleo way.  And what keeps me eating paleo?  Knowing that I’ve never felt better and the key to me getting up for my quiet time is eating clean.

Spiritual-As mentioned before, if I do not have my morning quiet time, I am one cranky gal. I have really found a great rhythm and study this year and am looking forward to continue my personal study time.  Not only is that daily time important, a weekly rhythm of Sabbath really solidifies the importance of unplugging, resting and listening to God.  Additionally, I am joining an intentional discipleship community through my church and with a friend have been having wonderful intentional accountability time.  This has been something my faith walk has been missing and I’m so glad that it came at the perfect time.  It’s amazing what God centered friendships can do for you.  I’m also finding encouragement through the iBloom online community and the iChoose2 journey.  I’m continuing to serve at our church and find ways to connect in the community through service.

Creativity-This is one that has long been on my radar, but only as of late coming up to the surface.  When you buy a house that was built in the late 1800’s it’s easy to get caught up in the ” eventually” list.  That list however, doesn’t start coming into play until a lot of other things come around–electric, heat, new water pipes, painting walls, hanging drywall, mudding, sanding, well, you get the picture. We are finally stepping into that zone in some areas that my “eventually” list is starting to become peeked at–it’s not just all nuts and bolts!  And with Pinterest coming into play just at the right time, I’ve had some great ideas for loads of DIY–home projects, decor crafts!   I had a craft day back in December and am super excited about attending and hosting more in 2012!

Home-So, creativity and home sometimes can mean the same thing in my mind, but I have something very different in mind here.  This includes not only the physical aspects of our home (yes–we have big plans for 2012 on the renovation front), but our home as in the home Lewie and I are building. We have a big goal of getting all the trim painted in our home as well as drywall completed upstairs.  I’m so excited to start really utilizing Grand Central Station as our home command center–the one stop shop for all things Cracraft.  I want to be more intentional about our budget and calendar planning–both event and meal wise and am so thankful that The Beau is willing to sit in on parts of my Weekly Detailing Session during my Sabbath to make sure that we are on the same page and we have meals for the week.  I’m excited about our house becoming not just a home, but our haven in 2012.

Personal-This is the one section that should be easy to write, but for some reason, I keep coming back to empty handed. I want to write more, be intentional, disconnect from social media, have more moderation in my life, and truly seek God out and the call of ministry he has placed on my life.  I constantly question–“is what I’m doing right now my ministry?” and I’d love to be able to say with confidence–“yes” or “no”.  I want to figure out if continuing my Scentsy business is some where I want to be investing a lot of my time.  I guess the lack of coming up with a true “goal” in this area is that I just sense I want to pull things together from all the other areas, work on my physical self, my heart, our home and my creative outlets.  One things I do want to make sure I’m investing in is this blog.  I have long sensed a stirring about where this blog might go, and what direction it may take.  I feel I’ve finally stumbled upon that and I’m excited to have that journey.  I want to invest in relationships in real time, have fun, work really hard and sleep really hard knowing how hard I’ve worked that day.  I want my life to continue to start creating patterns for the next season that it may hold, even if I’m not sure what that season may be.  I want to be a better woman, a stronger role model, a more caring and passionate wife, a higher education professional that also sees her day job as her ministry. And in all this, I want to be real.  Imperfect.  Transparent.  Passionate. 

I want it all I guess.  Perhaps it’s laughable, but I want all that God has for me and that’s what I want my personal goals to go after in 2012.

Each Friday I’ll be posting a little weekly roundup with an update on these goals (you may have caught some of that last week).



I think it’s gonna do me some good…

Over the next week, I’ll be sharing on this little bloggy about the direction that I want to go in 2012.  We’ve all heard a number of quotes over the course of our lives about direction–“you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been” is one that really comes to mind.  When I think about the direction I want my life to go this next year; yes, I have to think about where I’ve been over the past few, but also, the best way for me to really get there–is to have a map. You’ll find my friends at iBloom talk about this a lot (no worries–I’ll tell you more about iBloom soon!)  Whether it’s Lola, our GPS; Lola 2, my smartphone or a AAA fold-able, the Beau and I almost always have a map to help us get to our destination when we travel.  The only times we don’t?  When it’s somewhere we’ve been a number of times–typically either of our parents homes, another relative or a close friend.

Word and Theme for 2012

So, where is my map taking me in 2012?  I’m so glad you asked!  I’ve heard lots of folks being inspired to adopt a word for the year  although, I’m not 100% certain where my inspiration came from.  My word encompasses something that transpires to my theme, goals and iChoose2 journey.  You see, our church went through this series a few months ago and it has just really resonated within me and I just can’t get away from it.  When I look at prominent figures in society and women and men that I see on pages of magazines and at awards shows (it is that time of year)–who am I drawn to?  I’m drawn to the ones who look STRONG.  I want to be strong– Physically, Spiritually, Emotionally and Mentally.  I want to be able to reach health goals that I set for my self once and for all.  I want to be committed to spiritual growth. I want to be more confident and of a sharp mind.  I want to be strong.

So what will this strength do?  I want to be strong–but what am I going to do with it?  Following from a quote I’ve heard so many times and used by my girl Erin Condren on last year’s planner (and I’m sure tucked away somewhere inside this years’ pages): a Goal is a dream with a deadline.  I want to be strong because I have dreams that cannot be met unless I become stronger.  I have dreams of clarifying my personal calling and mission–that’s going to take some mental and emotional fortitude.  I have dreams of running a 1/2 marathon.  I’ve ran 2- 5K’s and will run 7 miles this Saturday–but I’ve got 6.1 more to go to know what 13.1 will feel like.  I never thought I’d finish those 5K’s, but I did.  I WILL finish the 1/2.  Running is not easy by any means, but I find it has purpose.  It allows me to do something difficult and persevere until I finish. Three times a week. Something to do first thing I get up in the morning and then feel invincible for the rest of the day.  I have a dream of having my mom live in the same state as I do.  That hasn’t happened since I moved away to college over a decade ago and in recent years, it’s becoming more and more difficult for us to live so far apart.  Gonna take a lot of strength of mind, a lot of strength for patience and a lot of physical strength as we move her belongings.

We’ve got this area in our home that I’ve called “dibs” on since we purchased it.  It’s at the bottom of our staircase in this little landing where the kitchen, living room and entryway meet.  I don’t know what it’s purpose was–late 1800’s home, so who knows.  It’s not wide enough to hold a coat hanger, yet this odd little cut-out served some purpose; just like the odd little idiosyncrasies of my life will serve a purpose.  I’m so excited that this little nook, as I’ve deemed it, is about to serve it’s grand purpose in our home– Grand Central Station as it’ll be called.  Mail, calendars, grocery list, meals for the week, pens, my planner, the netbook, basket of running shoes on the bottom, shelf for purses and bags, magnetic strips, cork boards, wedding announcements, birthday reminders–you name it and the nook will take care of it. We’re about 25% of the way there on this project and I’m so incredibly stoked to get it finished.  One of the things I’m most excited about is hanging this sign on the back wall and having to walk by it probably 100 or more times a day.  I think it’s gonna do me some good.



That’s right!  It’s time for a before and after!  The housewarming is finished, January is over (shew!) and work has been busy.  Here are some pics I promised to some faithful friends!

We are by no means finished, but MUCH closer and our house now feels like a home.  Nothing like it!

Come on in!

Entryway before

Entryway during

Entryway after

Dining Room before

Dining Room during

Dining Room after

Living Room before

Living Room during

Living Room after

Kitchen before

Kitchen during (enough work for 2 pics…)

Kitchen after

Master Bedroom before

Master Bedroom during

Master Bedroom after

Hope you’ve enjoyed!  Stay tuned as now there will be more play-by-play action on the updates since we have a most of the MAJOR projects checked off the list!  Happy Friday!


Before and After: Master Bedroom

When we started the remodeling process, my one request in knowing that remodels often take much longer than anticipated, was that there be a sanctuary.  A room in which one (I) could escape to when the chaos and dust of other rooms got too much to bear.  There isn’t any furniture (yet!) but I’d say we have some major progress on that sanctuary!


And after (with one more coat of poly to do):

These little reminders are so great when the projects (and life) seem overwhelming!

Can’t wait to update you on our move–it’s this weekend!!!  YAY!


House Renovations–Update #4/Who are we becoming?

Time was spent this weekend at the house in the 100 degree weather.

Thank the good lord for cold water bottles, electricity and fans.  Or fan.  It was so hot I’m not too sure it mattered.

I spent my day in our bedroom painting trim while the crew worked on finishing up the copper piping from the kitchen to the upstairs bathroom and then down to the basement where the water heater is and our laundry room will live.

Let’s just say, painting trim in a room with an unfinished floor is an interesting task.  There’s no sitting on cushiony carpet,  no getting on your knees to then get up and go on about your way to refill your paint cup or get more painters tape.  Nope.  None of that exists here.  It’s all about stretching out on a folded outdoor blanket, using your strength you’ve learned from your yoga classes over the past two years to help you get up off the floor, forward folds and side bends and all sorts of yogic terms came into play this weekend.

On Sunday, I could barely move.  But our trim is painted.  The back of one door painted.  All that is lacking is one more door and two windows (sanded and painted) and the painting of the walls in our bedroom will be finished.  It’s been a lengthy process as we’ve just been there during the weekends, but that should change soon as Lew’s class will be over and we’ll be itching to get things finished, to tie up at least one project, to call it a day.

All this house talk has also got me thinking about what we’ll do with our home.  We are putting a lot of time and effort into changing and transforming our home, but what will it do to change and transform us in the process?  My hope and prayer is that we will grow wiser and more open with our gift of a home.  It will teach us many lessons–I have no doubt.  We’ll continue to learn patience, fortitue, budgeting, skills & knowledge and the like.  I am excited to see what the “finished” product will look like, but also see the people we are when we’re celebrating this finished product.  To see what character traits have begun to take root, what things in our life we used to have a tight grip on that have since been loosened a little bit.  To see the joy and pride (used loosely) we’ll have once we’re standing on floors we’ve sanded, rooms we’ve painted, antique or family decor we’ve chosen with a story, a quote that symbolizes who we are as a family.  Who will we be then?

I have a feeling that as excited as I am to see the finished product, there will always be a feeling of incompleteness.  A feeling a bit how our bedroom feels with it’s painted trim, unsanded windows and closet door only with primer.  There’s progress and you can see it.  But nothing is complete.

Now, if you know me at all, you are aware that I’m a little OCD so things being unfinished drive me insane.

But that’s where I feel that our lives will end up.  That’s what God has been trying to slowly and graciously get into my head and heart over the years.  Nothing is complete.  With the house–the constant list of “honey-do’s” and projects that need to be done, as well as with our heart and where we are in our growth–it is never finished.  There will always need to be pride shot down, selfishness addressed, patience fortified.

I’m not quite sure why these three things came to the surface so quickly.

I hope that you can take some time this week to sit back and look at the areas in your life that still need addressed.  Be warned, you might be sore after it’s all said and done and those areas might not be as pretty as the freshly painted trim, but unless we press through and get them in tip-top shape, the room in our heart will just not be as pretty.  Then you’re finished.

Until you walk around the corner and take one look at that reading room. 

You’ll never finish.  And that’s the way it was intended. We do not get to finish here…


House Renovations–Update #3

Shew….what a weekend it has been in the way of home renovations!  We are continuing to live by the mantra, “patience, patience, patience” and learning a lot about each other and ourselves in the process.  A little run-down of the most recently reno happenings:

We finally have electric and water!  YAY!  You have no idea how much nicer it is to work with a fan and an iPod!

We got a dumpster to remove all our old carpet, wallpaper, dead trees and poison ivy, etc, etc, etc.  Quite an upgrade to the interior of the dining room, ya think?

Lew and crew (could change from day-to-day, but the members are dad, uncle Ron and friend Anthony) worked on putting new copper piping in the kitchen and running it to the upstairs bathroom.  After a LONG day of work Saturday, they’re about 40 % finished with that project.  I asked if they were 75% finished and got the death stare, so I’m assuming 40 % is about right.

I spent Saturday at the apartment and our garage is organized and ready for the recycling to leave and to be filled with moving boxes! Also, the garage AND guest room closet (and the boxes and bins therein) have also been emptied, gone through and old papers, and belongings that we no longer need have found their way in the yard sale pile or the recycle pile.  Shew….glad that’s over.

Lew and I painted our bedroom on Sunday. I will have a place of respite once we move in, doggone it!   🙂

In addition to painting our bedroom on Sunday, Lew finished tearing down the old ceiling in the kitchen.  On Saturday while working on the pipes, they ended up tearing out some of it for ease, but not all of it. After a phone call from the crew, Sunday finished the job so all those little old pieces of wood could find their home in our dumpster.

So, needless to say we did a LOT of work, but as you can see, we still have a LOT of work in front of us to go.  It’s quite daunting at times, but I’m glad i have the best teammate ever to do this with.

If you think of it, just say a little prayer for us these next few weeks.  Our move date is scheduled for Aug 14th and we’ll have to be out of our apartment by the end of August.  We’ll have a few weeks cushion, but just a lot to do in the next six weeks before we actually start living there.  We aren’t expecting things to be perfect–heck, most stuff won’t even be finished!  But we could use your good thoughts and prayers for favor as we work through the next few projects on the list that must be done before we can move in.

Have a great Monday!


DIY-The Rooted in Love Project

No house update this week–things are basically the same.  BUT we will have electricity as of today so look out…hopefully we’ll be able to get a LOT more done in the next few weeks.

I have always been deemed pretty crafty.  I get it honest from a Mom who used to sew, cross stitch, make pillows, you name it.  Those small things turned into cross-stitched Christmas ornaments and a cross-stitched copy of one of my high school senior pictures.

I love my Mama, but this one just kinda freaks me out to look at.

So, I never learned to sew and cross stitching just wasn’t really my thing. But I have loved to let those creative juices flow in other ways.

Some days in comes out in decorating.  Some days in a painted canvas.  Some days in other DIY projects.  There’s something about something handmade that is so heartfelt and personal.  In thinking through items we want to grace our home, we’ve spent a lot of time looking at the Ikea catalog.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Love me some Ikea.  However, I think I’d rather be able to tell a story with a piece of furniture.  One day I want to tell our kids “That tractor seat came from your Papaw. I know you think it’s odd we have a tractor seat on a milk barrel, but you’ll appreciate it one day.”  So we’ll still shop Ikea for rugs or home accessories and when we’re in need of a cheap patio table, but for the most part and for bigger pieces, we’re relying on family pieces and yard sales.

It’s the same with artwork.  I’d rather put my own creativity into a project that hangs on our walls or have some of the incredibily talented artists that I know do so and tell a story with it.

Enter the Rooted in Love Project.

One of our students was raising money for a missions trip and making all kinds of her OWN creative projects to sell to raise money.  Headbands, paintings, you name it.

I fell in love with this one.

And I had already fallen in love with this material from Ikea.

Having a few canvases I didn’t want to paint over but knew they were wasting away in their current state, I wanted to staple this material over those canvases and have a great little tree theme going on.  How cute would all those little trees have been.

Good thing I google image searched the material just to see how big those trees were.  Yeah–MUCH bigger than my imagination.

So here’s what we came up with!

I haven’t decided where exactly they’ll grace our new home, but we are going with a basic theme of greens, blues and greys for wall color, so I have no doubt they’ll find a home pretty soon.


House Renovations-Update #2

You’ll have to forgive me for the slight delay in posts this week–we took a blogging break as well as the rest of the country to celebrate our Independence.  Did we do anything special for the lovely holiday?  Not particularly, unless you count chilling out with a little less work on our house and watching a few movies.  Oh, and there were those yummy kebabs we grilled alongside grilled corn on the cob for lunch Sunday.  Or was it dinner?  Or maybe both?

My lips are sealed.  I am NOT telling.

So back to the little less work on our house–even though it was LESS work, there was still work.  We are moving into the stage where there is just only so much that can be done without electricity. We DO have a new electric box –oh the things that light your fire AKA turn your light bulbs on —  but are still waiting for an approved inspection.  Just a few little bumps in the road, but we’re reminding ourselves of the wisdom Lew’s dad shared:

“Working on an old house like this together builds plenty of patience, character, knowledge, patience, persistence, fortitude and patience. “


So what have we done so far?

We’ve weed-eated (-ated?) and mowed the field that now is a lovely little (or not so little–it’s a good size) backyard, torn down a bunch of brush, trees and bushes; learned how to properly identify poison ivy, learned how to semi-treat poison ivy; learned about the lovely Asian tiger mosquito and that I have skeeter syndrome.

We’ve removed all the carpet in the house and have it stored in the mudroom/downstairs bath area and dining room, removed wallpaper, wallpaper and more wallpaper, taken nails out of the now naked stairs (naked as in there is no longer carpet–get your head out of the gutter), gotten a new electric box, decided to bead-board the kitchen after that last layer of paper just wouldn’t come down, taken down lovely border in the entry room, removed vinyl flooring from the entry room and pantry, looked at the piping and the next big project, sanding all the floors.

It doesn’t seem like a lot after writing it all out, but considering we’ve done all that with no electric or water–I think we’ve done a great job!

What’s next?  STAY TUNED! 🙂

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House Renovations-Update #1

Happy Monday friends!

I wanted to show you a few things that we’ve been doing around the hacienda the past few weeks.  We had a good weekend working on the house and made some progress on decisions that will help us move a little more quickly throughout the renovation.  We also made the decision to push back our move in date to late August (as opposed to late July).  This has eased our little weary minds quite a bit.  Lew will finish his class end of July and have another week or two that he can focus on the house before he starts back for the fall semester (shew!)

We are hoping to get electric on this week so that the floors can be sanded and then we can get a move on with staining, painting, etc.  We have a lot to do, but I’m confident we’ll get it done!

Anyhoo–here are some interior before and after pics (well after as in where we are now.  We aren’t planning on leaving it this way).  Stay tuned for more updates!

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Moving to Paris…

…Paris, Ky that is. That’s right.  As of June 10th, Lewie and I purchased a house in downtown Paris.  It is CRAZY to me that we are homeowners!  We have a lot in front of us as far as renovations go, but a little elbow grease and a TON of memories will be had, I have no doubts! A little background…

Once upon a time, there were two youngsters who were interested in saving a little money and purchasing a home.  I know, I know…you might think it crazy to think that purchasing a home would actually save you money, but these kids had some sound advice (and also cringed each month writing the rent check).  They were not smitten with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.  Urban sprawl and an upscale neighborhood did nothing for these two.

However, an older home with 6-inch moldings on the door frames and windows as well as quite a bit of a backyard would have suckered them right in.  And the quaint elegance of being downtown in one of central Kentucky’s most charming little towns would have sent them over the edge.  But there was no way with their fortune of house hunting their dreams would ever come true.

Their Glenda of the North, came in the form of One-Kelly-Realtor and boy oh boy was this couple thankful for her.  Although I’m sure she felt the young stargazers were completely mad, she diligently drove around to-and-fro, carting her own young lad and lass with her from time to time.  The young lass would dance around with her bride barbie doll and the lad snooze way while One-Kelly-Realtor kept her fingers crossed that something would come up. The couple visited home after home and it seemed as though they were cursed….or blessed?  They were cursed that each home they visited, almost instantaneously would be sold to someone else.  On several occasions, they were not even able to move from expressing interest in a home to actually visiting it before it would sell.

One day, the youngsters found this lovely little home and it seemed a little too good to be true.  The price was right.  The location was right.  The home surprisingly had some land and had a lot of original features to the home’s construction–around 100 years ago.  Could it be true?  Would this be the one?

After some questions, meetings, a few signatures, working with the letter carrier, more meetings, memos, a few more signatures, working with the letter carrier again, and a few more memos, the youngsters had purchased their first home!

Anyway….we are THRILLED and are very excited to be starting this new chapter of our life together.  The house needs quite a bit of work, but most of it is cosmetic.  I’ll be learning a lot about wallpaper removal and painting, while the Beau will get to try his hand refinishing floors.  Our goal is to move in around 6 weeks. Needless to say, we. will. be. busy.

But this is a good busy.  We’ve had a couple of days working on the house since we closed and although I’m extremely exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow, it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.  Being in the same house with the Beau, working hard in the humid Kentucky summer, both of us putting our blood, sweat and tears into this thing is magical (literal on two counts so far–I’ll let you guess).

So, I’ll be posting a weekly update for you with some pictures to keep everyone up to date on the progress.

Our House