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It’s About Time

This is a guest post from my good friend and neighbor, Celeste Herron. She is a wife, full time home health provider, mother, daughter and friend. Like all of us, she is trying to figure out how to get everything done, make everyone happy, and still find time for herself. I am sure many of you can relate.  

 

 

It started at my Grandmother’s house when I was 6 years old. I can still hear it….tick tock tick tock…for hours I laid there and listened. After countless nights of being tortured by the sound of her old hanging clock, I got up enough courage to politely ask her to remove the dinosaur of a time keeper from the guest bedroom. But the foundation had been set; time became my enemy, and we are still engaged in battle 29 years later.

Perhaps it’s because I’m still relatively new at being a full time working Mom or currently throwing penny after penny into the fountain of youth, but now more than ever, I’m noticing my life being ruled by what numbers appear on the clock and fighting with time. It starts the moment my alarm goes off in the morning and my first thought is “get up now,” I allow myself 30 minutes in the morning to drink a cup of coffee and read the paper; I can’t let a minute of that precious time escape! After that it’s a mad dash to get me and my 2 year old dressed, lunches made, put his shoes back on for the 8th time that morning, and into the car.

Being a home health physical therapist, I drive to each of my client’s homes throughout the day. Traffic, road work, and weather have a huge impact on my ability to see all my patients, give everyone just enough quality time before I need to hop back in my truck and get to the next person. My babysitter has a window of time for me to get my son, if I’m not there before she leaves to pick her kids up from school, I don’t get Luke until after 4pm. It’s always a struggle to get there before she leaves; often times I don’t. It’s not that I need him before that time, but the point is I would rather he be home safe with me, then being driven around by someone else in a world where road rage and low patience rule the highways.

The clock continues to be in control as my husband and I block off 5-5:30 for exercise. It’s not a lot of time, but we have a toddler and that’s all we get. If one of us doesn’t get home by 5, we lose our much-needed time in the gym. After that it’s dinner and bath time so my son is in bed by 7pm. He has the potential to turn into a werewolf if that schedule is not kept. My head hits the pillow at 9 and I avoid looking at that evil glowing display of numbers on the wall, so I don’t realize how long it is taking me to finally fall asleep.

I know I am not the first working Mom in the world to have these struggles and I actually have it SO much easier than most. Let’s be honest, who gets 30 minutes in the morning to leisurely drink their coffee?? I’m not naive to these facts. But I’m tired of being a slave to father time; how do other people break out of this bondage? I remember my honeymoon in St Lucia…we never turned our phones on! This was before Wi-Fi was everywhere and it was the most amazing 7 days of my life; it didn’t matter what the clock said, it was a breath of fresh air! But I can’t escape to the Caribbean anytime I want. So, what are some realistic ways to not allow time to win? Here are some tips I’ve received:

  • Meditation: An amazing nurse I work with goes into her car during her lunch break and does a 5-minute meditation. Focused breathing and mindfulness can decrease anxiety and help you regain focus on what is important. There are tons of free meditation apps out there and a website that provides free guided meditation from UCLA.
  • Break out of habit! I don’t need to have specific check marks on specific tasks checked off by a specific time; that is me being a control freak. Cue the “Let It Go” song from Frozen. The nights we go out and grab sushi for dinner or take a walk to the park instead of focus on the clock are wonderful. This should happen more than once every 2 months.
  • Read! I recently was inspired to purchase the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Although I’m only into the 2nd chapter, it’s a great book about being in the moment and having control over your conscious. Very applicable to this blog!
  • Accept help. We can’t do it on our own all the time. I have an incredible neighbor who will take my son anytime I ask and allow my husband and I to hit up a happy hour or evening out. These nights I cherish, it really recharges my batteries.

It’s about time I start taking my own advice. I would love to hear from you and how you handle the ticking clock and successfully take control of your time.

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Home, Life in General

We Love House Projects!!

We bought our first (and only) house in August 2006. At that time, it was only a few years old. We were young and newlyweds and because we moved from California to Colorado, we were blown away by what we could get for our money. The house had many upgrades to it, but over time, it was time to make some changes and do other upgrades that were important to us.

Over the past few years, we have done MANY projects around our house to keep it looking good and add to the value. We realized that even though it still felt new to us, it’s now over 12 years old and needed some updating. But here’s the problem… the snowball effect. One project leads to another.


Basement
Our first big project was finishing our basement. We did not need the space, per say, but we knew we would use it more efficiently because all we were doing with it before was using it for storage. We decided to create a media room, bar area and bathroom. We hired someone for this job, because we knew it would be time consuming.

The basement turned out great! We have a 110” projector screen TV, 6 theatre seats, an amazing bar with a sink and refrigerator and a ¾ bathroom (we were thinking resell value on that). This whole project took a few months, but because we didn’t live in the construction, it was pretty easy to deal with. Here are some pictures from start to finish.

Wood Floors

Our next project was to install wood floors in our entire downstairs area. This was a BIG job and Jason and our neighbor did it all. I think one of the biggest parts to this was removing the Travertine floors we had in our kitchen.

After months of looking at different types of wood- not too light, not too dark, not too easy to scratch- we decided to get Mongolian Teak wood. Can I just tell you how HAPPY I AM WITH IT?! It’s the best part of my house, for sure. It’s dark and light, it’s soft, but hard enough that it doesn’t scratch too much, and if it does, you can barely see it. Because of the color tones, it’s hard to see dirt or dog hair. And it’s got texture! If you run your hands across it you can feel the grooves. I LOVE IT!

Carpet

We put new carpet in our basement when we finished it, and then as I stated above we removed all the carpet on our first floor. We decided to replace all the carpet on the 2nd level of the house too, so it would match with the basement and also it was old and getting dirty. It was time. Have you ever gotten ALL NEW CARPET in your house? It’s a PAIN in the butt! Seriously, it is. We had to move ALL furniture upstairs. Bed, dressers, turtle tank, book cases, office desks- you name it, we had to move it. And since it was all upstairs, can you even imagine how fun it was to move most of it down a flight of stairs? Only to move it up again once the carpet was installed? It was a total nightmare, but also worth it. The carpet looks so nice and clean and new. Having all new floors all over the house has been wonderful.

This is what we lived in while the carpet was being installed upstairs


Master Bathroom
When we first bought our house, the bathrooms were not terrible, but obviously needed some updating. We had Formica counter tops when we moved in, carpet on the floor (WHO DOES THAT?!), and a not-so-pretty shower. A few years after we moved in, Jason tiled the floor and re-tiled the shower; but it was his first tile job. I think he would agree with me when I say it was good, but not as good as it could be. With all of these projects that Jason had done or helped with in the past few years, his tiling skills had really progressed. So, we decided it was time to redo the master bathroom again. And again, Jason did the whole thing. This time- the results were amazing!

We finally upgraded the counters to granite (all 3 bathrooms and kitchen now have matching granite), and re-tiled the floor. He re-tiled the shower which pretty accented tiles, painted the walls (from green to cream), took off the GIANT wall mirror over the cabinets and replaced it with beautiful stone on the walls. We finished it up with 2 large mirrors, new light fixtures and a BEAUTIFUL new large frameless glass shower door. It looks like a spa! It’s so beautiful and natural looking. I love to be in my bathroom now! (Unlike before)

BEFORE

AFTER

Our Bathroom Sink Area

My beautiful shower!

Pergola

Next on our project list is adding a pergola to our backyard. We have a large backyard with very little privacy. We don’t mind all that much as we love all of our neighbors. But we’ve always wanted to put up some kind of pergola and now it is about to happen. Take a look at the picture below to see the drawing of our actual backyard and what it will look like in a month or so. I’m excited!!!

What our backyard will look like soon!

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