Start again.

I’m an ambitious person. I love dreaming. And planning. Combine those and sometimes my ‘plans’ are a little too much at once.

These last few months have been a lot. Family needing help, construction on our home, sickness, and holidays were just a few of things.

Right now, it’s exciting if I get all the laundry folded or finish painting the bathroom in a week. It’s not really anything going on, but there’s a certain child of mine who has some bad sleep habits. Hence needing construction done so she has a room and needing to make curtains so she’s not blasted by the sun when trying to nap. These need done so I can actually take some time to do more around the house and feel more confident to take on forming better habits.

I’m tired. I know. Mom of 2 under two. What do you expect?

But it’s more. I’m tired of never measuring up to my own expectations of myself.

I was listening to The Business Boutique Podcast while doing pottery (Yes! I’m finally back in the studio!) and they had a lady on who was talking about limiting the monthly goals you work on. In her program, you get up to 8 goals a month to work toward. A few go to family goals, a few to personal goals, and a few to business/volunteering goals (luckily they encourage you to write a long list of all future goals you have so you can replace goals on your list once you complete one).

Guys, I try to work on too many goals at once. My brain gets overloaded by all the things I want to do, fail to do, and things I’m failing at. I get discouraged by it all. It makes me tired to keep all those things in my brain.

So I decided to try her method of only allowing myself those limited number of goals. It’s been freeing so far. And frustrating. I want to allow myself to start more projects.

However. This method, even the simplest bit of it, has allowed me to clean up projects I’m in the middle of after realizing that it’s not a top priority for this month. It’s allowed me to say no to starting a new project before I finish another one (even when Aaron wants me to).

It’s allowed my brain to breathe.

I don’t know what my fitness and exercise goals look like right now, but I know I can’t juggle everything. I need to have some small victories, like getting enough sleep, before I can put more pressure on myself to do more.

I’m proud of myself for seeing this issue. I’m proud of myself for taking steps to change. I still want to do all my other goals, but I think I need to focus on one at a time so I don’t burn out.

A Looong Afternoon

This has all happened since 2. As copied from texts to my husband and sister…

This was our nap time before this:Eddie broke out of her crib. Willow was fussy so I left her. When Willow woke,I went up to try to settle Eddie into her toddler bed and take toys out. About 15 minutes later I hear movement in the hallway and then in the stairs and see Eddie working her way down. I forgot I put the gate up because Pearl had eaten a diaper and I didn’t want her into more. However, Eddie tried getting past and knocked it onto herself and couldn’t get out. Had to wake a very fussy Willow to get her out.

2019 Pottery Goals

As you all know, I’ve been out of commission for awhile because of moving and  having a baby. This next year, I need to get a move on again!

Goal  1: Set up a consistent baby-sitting plan each week. Because of where we live, no one lives very close to us, so the travel makes things a little harder.

Goal  2: Get stock levels up on the basics so I can play. This means around 100 mugs, 20 pie plates, 20 large bowls, 50 small bowls.

Goal  3: Play with new products. A few ideas are berry bowls/colanders, coasters with melted glass, nativity sets, and fun sculptures.

Goal  4: Craft Shows. I need to find 2-3 holiday craft bazaars that I can set my stuff up at. Northrop Craft Bazaar and Pathway’s Craft show are good ones I’ll probably attempt in 2019. 

Goal  5: Set Up Etsy Shop. I technically have an Etsy shop, but I have nothing in it.  I also want to figure out how to package things well so they don’t break (obviously) and how to keep stock up for shows while running it. I value selling within my community more than to random strangers.

Goal  6: Paint/Refloor the studio. This is my studio currently. I have my wheel and a drying area set up. Love its potential! However, cork floors aren’t conducive to mopping and water which are inherent to clay, and the green offends me a bit. 


A Week Into the Goals

Wow. What a week. The scale says I’m down 4.5 lbs this week. I got in well over 90 burpees. I got into the studio a total of maybe 45 minutes. I accomplished by Bible reading goals this week.

While I didn’t meet any of my specific goals 100%, I definitely improved in my main goals.

The 4.5 lbs is actually not a good loss for me, especially since I’m breastfeeding. It means I’m not getting enough calories. Enter crying baby who’s never satisfied and sleeps less while feeding every 1-2 hours. The goal this week is to stay as Paleo as possible while getting the food I need.

What’s stood out from my Bible study this week? Hebrews 2 talks about God’s message being spoken about by Jesus instead of angels (like in the old days). Not following God’s words back then held disastrous consequences. If God’s word is spoken by Jesus, then it’s that much more binding, but the salvation that comes from Him is even more binding. He saved us from our sins against God’s laws. How can we ignore that salvation?

I’m proud of the fact that we’ve stay mostly Paleo (minus 2 pieces of birthday cake and a boxed meal at a conference-so good!). It’s been a challenge to get things done, and there have been many tears of frustration as I reset expectations of myself and nap times, but we’ll figure out the best fit as we keep going.

I’ve tried to write a couple blog posts, but, as this picture shows, I’ve got a couple other priorities. This is how I’m writing this post.

I started physical therapy a week ago. She doesn’t have any concrete answers, but the thought is that I possibly pulled a groin muscle or something along those lines about 2 months before having Willow. This might be what’s causing some of the issue along with my tear from birth. She’s hopeful to get me pain-free with better posture in the next 6-8 weeks and able to do whatever activity I want (yay!).

The biggest challenge this week has been fighting my expectations of myself in getting goals accomplished. I really want to be able to set Willow down while Eddie is napping so I can get everything done. It seems like Willow is down, then I start something and she wakes up less than 5-10 minutes later. It’s frustrating. 

The conference I attended this weekend was about Idols of the Heart. I think I need to be really careful to not place my goals and expectations above loving and caring for my girls. Things need to get done, but I need to make sure I am not getting angry at them because my goals don’t get accomplished. My goals shouldn’t cause me to sin in my attitude towards others. 

My hope this week is that we continue on Paleo and I lose less weight (how many times do you hear that?), I continue to sleep-train Willow but with more patience, I get into the studio for a full hour at least, and continue physical therapy, burpees, and Bible goals. 

Thanks for reading and for your encouragement! A video should be posted tonight or tomorrow. Feel free to laugh with me. I know how ridiculous I look and I feel better if you laugh!

Challenge Day 1: Video

I really did these videos on Monday! It was a stressful day, but my amazing hubby worked from home so we could leave before the sun set! Thanks, Aaron!

I am HORRIBLE at these things. Hence wanting to get there. Losing weight will help. Working out will help. Crying baby who refuses to nurse or sleep well WON’T help.


Beginning All the Things

Today’s the Day!

Paleo starts today.

Physical Therapy starts today.

Pushing toward long-term goals officially starts today (I’ve been doing burpees and Bible goals for 2 weeks already). 

Know what I realized? It’s a crazy week.

Time change = nap time no go

Physical therapy in the middle of my nap time prep time for the next 4 Mondays.

Meeting Tuesday night.

Awana during dinner time Wednesdays (we haven’t done this since last school year).

I mean, not huge things, but they definitely mess up the routine. I just have to problem solve. And meal plan for on the go meals.

Starting Well. That was my goal each morning. Breakfast: eggs and bacon with a piece of fruit. Change the girls and get ready for the day. Read a bit of Hebrews. Burpees.  

Tonight, Aaron (my husband) and I are going to a park so I can shoot a video of my beginnings of doing a pull-up/chin-up and try across monkey bars as well as tracking how many burpees I can do in a minute. Each week I’ll make a video update of the pull-up/chin-up and burpees so we can see progress. I know. You get to see my fish-flops!

Thanks for all the encouragement from the last post. It was really great to hear how many people could relate and were encouraged!

Body and Exercise Goals- Short Term

Man. This post is hard for me to figure out how vulnerable I want to be right off the bat. 

I have never met my weight goal. 

Wow. Just typing that fills me with a sense of failure and dread. Do you know what I mean? 

I could tell you all what I weigh now and what all my goals are for that. I could make huge plans of how I’m going to conquer it. 

I can’t do that to myself.

While, yes, I want to meet my weight goals and I’ve spoken them out loud to my husband and we’ve set celebratory rewards for when I meet them (with the  biggest one being coloring my hair all the rainbow colors or doing dreads), I want whatever I DO accomplish to be permanent. 

This time is different for me. I have more at stake. I have 2 little girls modeling themselves after me.

I have to set myself up for success. Not just at the beginning of this. That’s easy. I have to set myself up for success every morning. I have to start right. I have to start each day encouraging myself, reminding myself of victories I’ve had. 

So. My Body Goals.

  1. Get Moving I have a newborn who doesn’t let me put her down. She’s getting better. It’s challenging just to get dishes done some days. My husband got me a FitBit. My current goal is simply to move more steps than I did the day before until I reach 10,000 steps each day. 
  2. Physical Therapy Since I had said newborn, I’ve had intense pain if I stand still for more than 5 minutes or if I’m too active in a day. I don’t know I’ve reached that level until I have muscle spasms. Physical therapy is scheduled to start Nov. 5. Hopefully it will take care of the issue!
  3. Daily Burpees Long-term, I’d like to be doing Crossfit workouts in the gym with my husband coaching me and be hard-core. You know. Doing 1 pull-up for the first time ever or finally able to climb across monkey bars. However, my core strength and endurance is minimal currently (because of above pain plus the incredible back pain I had while pregnant). So. Whenever I accomplish one chore on my daily list, I do 10 burpees. Do the next thing. Do 10 burpees. Are these pretty burpees? No. I kind of flop on the floor like a fish and slowly get up. But I’m doing them. And the next week I might hop to get my feet under me instead of stepping. That’s progress and progress is beautiful.
  4. Point Out the Best I know. It’s not really for my body, it’s my mind. But my mind tries to convince me of what I can’t do or that I’m a failure. So pointing out the best in myself is for my body. I want to remind my brain that I DID 10 fish-floppy burpees. I might have felt stupid doing them and my shoulders might hurt from the knee push-up I did along with it, but I did them when I could have chosen not to. That is strength. That is taking one step to have healthier habits.
  5. Get Back on Track Quickly With food, with exercise, I get so discouraged when I mess up. Especially with food, I tend toward the mentality that if I overate or ate the wrong things at one point, my whole day is blown. I was driving the other day and thought, ‘When I drive and drift slightly out of my lane, I don’t decide, “Oh, I blew it. I might as well just keep going this way.” No! I gently pull my van back into my lane and keep going.’ I have to remember this analogy. Even if I’m off track a full day. Week. Month. Year.

I know this is going to a long, tough journey. I also know that if I can keep my goals in sight, the journey is doable and I’ll become a closer likeness to the person I want to be.

P.S.   Willow farts when she cries. Fun fact.

Spiritual Goals

I just finished up a study of Hebrews with a group of ladies at church. It reminded me of how much I love Scripture. It weaves together the past with the present and shows how God is working and will bring it all together in the future. It describes who God is.

Our culture has implied that all that God does is about us. This in turn leads to the thought the He is about our good. This is interpreted as God wanting us happy, because that’s the greatest good, right? It leads us to dismiss clear commands and disregard Jesus’ statement that, ‘If you love me, you will obey me.’

While God DOES care for us more than we’ll ever comprehend, He is self-centered. Because He is perfect, this is exactly how it should be. God is centered around perfection. The only perfection in existence. Any implication otherwise reveals an idol.

Anyway. Goals.

Start my morning after breakfast with reading Scripture. I would love to spend lots of time thoroughly studying and making connections with other passages and reading books that all correlate. However, that’s not a possibility currently. In just reading this morning and writing this post, I’m holding a sleeping baby with her sister handing me books to read while the dog growls at her when she wanders away. Focused study isn’t currently possible. However, I’ve found that if I can chew on one verse or passage throughout the day, I get lots out of it by that meditation (and reading it over and over because I’ve been interrupted so much).

Pray with my husband before work. We used to be really good at this and it slipped over time. We both want to start it again.

Connect with 1 friend a week. This will probably be the most challenging with both girls. But I need adult conversation and I need Fellowship with other believers throughout the week.

Pray for people when I think about them. I think about people and conversations a lot. I want to turn those thoughts into sincere prayer for them. Whether it’s asking forgiveness for something I did or said, intentionally forgiving them, or just praying for them in general.

I feel like these are all pretty basic, but they’re easy to let slip. Please ask me how they’re going when you see me!

Pottery Inspiration

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt free to experiment in pottery. Since I began my business a year and a half ago, I was either busy cranking things out or my studio was uprooted. While I like the glazing that I was doing, I think there are easier ways to accomplish certain looks and other looks I’d like to experiment with.

My plan at the moment is to really start making with the intent to sell beginning in January. By that point, I’d like to have played with patterns and textures as well as figure out a few techniques that will be easy to produce and quick to sell so I can feel freer to experiment instead of just worrying about getting stock up. Here’s one technique that I’m excited about trying out: Making Indiana mugs with my shape of mug and glazes.

I think this is totally doable. Lucky for me, Amaco, a HUGE ceramics supplier, is based in Indy and I get pretty amazing discounts since I’m an LLC! Seriously. Walking into the store is like a kid walking into a candy shop or my niece walking into United Art and Education.

I found JonThePotter videos and can’t stop watching them! I love his approach to making videos and the way he explains things so thoroughly! I hope you check some more of his videos out! If I’m ever in Minnesota, I’m totally checking his coffee shop out and buying a MN mug!

Pottery Goals (2 Month)

Five or six months ago, we packed up my studio from the basement and unplugged the kiln. Four months ago, I set up my wedging table and wheel and tried to throw again before Willow, baby #2, was born. It wasn’t a good experience. 

Willow is 2 months old. Eddie is able to entertain herself. The time is coming soon when I’ll be back in the studio.

I want to throw and sculpt! I got my newest issue of Pottery Making Illustrated. I LOVE it! This issue has lots of methods and textures that I want to try. It’s got me thinking about what this next bit is going to look like. 

I know I want a slab roller. Slab rollers are nice because they make…slabs. Long, even pieces of clay that are thin and are easy to mold and sculpt into lots of things. They speed up the process so that you don’t have to use so much shoulder and back strength and TIME to get slabs rolled out. Here is a DIY slab roller that my husband and I are going to try to make in the next couple weeks.

With a slab roller, I have some holiday decor that I want to make for my house and for people to purchase, as well as some mugs. Hopefully a slab roller will also enable me to get things done more quickly so that my kids don’t limit my ability with time constraints quite as much. I love this nativity and hope to put my own twist on it.


By the end of the year, we will make a slab roller so that I can play with a few projects I’m excited about. Timing is really hard to come up with because nap times are nebulous and Willow (the younger) doesn’t always let me put her down. We’re working that.

During nap times, I’m planning to begin a throwing bootcamp for myself. The timeline is (hopefully)

Making Bootcamp

Week of Nov. 5:   15 slab mugs or nativities (on new slab roller)

Week of Nov. 12:  Play with slip decoration

Week of Nov. 19 (Thanksgiving):  Pottery Making Illustrated ideas (at least 3)

Week of Nov. 26:   5- 6″ cylinders, 5- 9″ cylinders, 5- 12″ cylinders

Week of Dec. 3:   15 Thrown Mugs

Week of Dec. 10:   15 Thrown Bowls/ Decorations

Week of Dec. 17:   5 Pie Plates and 10 Mugs

Week of Dec. 24 (Christmas): Make 4 texture rollers, 4 texture balls

I will be posting images of each week’s accomplishments. My expectation is that some weeks I will exceed goals and other weeks I won’t make them. The overall goal is just to create and to keep touching clay. This next year, I’ll step things up and get really productive again with babysitters, and a kiln set up, and all those fancy things. But for now, with two tiny kids, my hope is to accomplish these small things!