switching things up

Given the lack of response on my last blog post- I take it you guys don’t do spring cleaning.  Strange.  Well- it’s a thing.

I’ve tried something a little different this year with spring cleaning and have been cleaning one room at a time. Like a serious deep clean.  I’m dumping out closets and washing curtains.  How far am I?  Two rooms down.  Which means spring cleaning will be done somewhere in the fall months.  We’ll just call it the epic clean of 2015.

I like order.  I like clean.  I like minimal.  That’s how I’d describe how I want my home to feel.  But then I have three cuties (four) and a puppy and I know REAL life means there will be little order and clean is oh so so temporary!  I don’t maintain things daily/weekly.  Piles form, potty training happens, the calendar goes crazy, and things get rotated from one space to a messier space. All this to say- extra focus on ONE space is refreshing.

This is also my first spring cleaning since reading this book mentioned here, but I find myself thinking Myquillyn (the authors) tips about how to “shop your house” and make it work for you. I’ve moved shelving, donated, and then in the middle of cleaning room #1 it dawned on me that it really would make more sense if Ry and I switched bedrooms with our girls. Their room looks more like the master bedroom as the main wall is actually big enough to have an end table on both sides of the bed.  Imagine!  In our current room setup my side of the bed is in the corner which means I get a crack to get out of in the mornings.  It’s dangerous.  Especially since I don’t have my glasses on (because I can’t store them on an end table beside me), there is absolutely NO coffee in my system, and my sleep medication is still wearing off.

Myquillyn would do it!  She’d tell me to switch the bedrooms!

I thought the idea was inspired and couldn’t wait to tell Ry!  Ry didn’t call it inspired.  He called it WORK.  Twelve years later and we still haven’t changed each another.. and I should have known Ry’s first reaction wouldn’t be to praise my inspiration/creativity.

I often approach change with “why wouldn’t we?” my husband with “why would we?” During one of our discussions on the bedroom swap idea I said something to the extent of people switching bedrooms and repainting bedrooms ALL THE TIME.  To which I felt the need to add: “how many times did you switch bedrooms at your house in Hendersonville growing up?” (I just knew that would add another point on my side).  His response: “NEVER”.  And I just stared at him.  Never?

We’re okay.  I like to think deep down Ry married me (partially) because I ask why wouldn’t we?  He calls me nuts, he usually gets on board with my ideas, and in the end we have another story to tell.  Like the time we switched bedrooms…

spring calendar

Happy March!  Spring is only eighteen days away now.. which means there is hope. Spring is certain to happen.

I found this vintage calendar at Goodwill last week.  The art for each month is amazing.  I haven’t decided yet if I’ll use it just like this or if I’ll cut it up to frame as art.  Either way- treasures like this cannot be left abandoned.  What would you do with it?  


Today the sun is shining bright through dirty windows.  I have my new favorite candle burning, and laundry is moving from a mountain in the basement to stacks on the couch. (I built a fort in the living room which will hopefully entertain the girls for a good long while so the stacks make it upstairs!)

I’m also making a list of small projects to finish up and spring cleaning to accomplish this month before starting a super small part-time job working at a coffee shop a block from our house. If you know me this is where I should be.  Coffee and I have a serious relationship.  Plus- working there also ties into one of my goals for this year.

I’m curious – what do you put on your spring cleaning/shopping list?  Inspire me!


I’m over winter.  I’m over being cold (even inside the house).  I’m over staying home with sick kids and boxes of kleenex.  I’m over gray days and crunch beneath my boots.  Really. Can you tell I’m over it?

This winter we’ve had our share of sickness here at the Underwoods.  We’ve taken our turns which has made it exhausting and feel like a global epidemic.  It reminds me how remarkably healthy we’ve been in past winters and what a blessing it is to not carry the extra burden of fevering kids and antibiotics.  It also has been a needed reminder that it is a gift to care for my family and I should embrace it as just that.  A gift.


Being this season has been harder and I’ve hardly left the house or my children for a month – I’m also strangely excited for the season ahead.  A transition.  I mentioned here that I’ve been making goals for this upcoming year.  And I have.  Now it’s almost March and I’ve come to important conclusions on goal setting/New Year Resolutions.  I need to be really careful here because goals easily tie into this unhealthy idea I have about my worth being tied to “my results”.  Some days I see results.  More days I do not.

So rather than a long list of new things to learn, additional schooling for a career goal I have, or hobbies I’d like to try –  what are my goals for 2015?  I want to live fully in the things before me.  I don’t want to do it all.  I don’t want to try.  I want to slow down to focus on the things already here.  I want to spend every last bit of myself on the things I’m passionate about!  I want to date my husband.  I want to spend time being present with my children.  I want to love well.  I want to create beautiful spaces in our home and welcome others here.  I want to read to learn.  I want to drink a large quantity of coffee by myself and with friends.  I don’t want to work out (not in the least), but I WILL so that I’m stronger to do the things I love..

2015 Goals:

  • date my husband at least twice a month
  • love our neighbors
  • be a home to foster-children
  • “nest” at home
  • read at least one book per month
  • work out at least twice a week (run a 5k)

None of these things add up to something major I’ll be adding to my resume or boasting about in Christmas cards.  None of them are outside the box or an indicator of my incredible self discipline.  But each one are things I’m passionate about which make them feel vital!  I’m the wife, I’m the neighbor, I’m the mom, I’m the home keeper, and only I can drag myself down to the gym.

This is up to me.  I’m taking it on!



Big things happening to start our February.  I will explain..

First, I planted a cute little bulb from Trader Joe’s in January.  It was actually a really foolish five dollar purchase as I kill plants.  Ironically enough, I daydream about being a gardner. It’s a sad story. Somewhere in the soil and watering part plants are doomed here.  But, I was faithful with this one.  It was sitting in front of me whenever I washed dishes, so I would remember to check the soil and pray over it.  I needed growth and beauty in the midst of dark and cold Minnesota days.  Ryan brought additional optimism by telling me that the kitchen window was too drafty.  But- February came I had flowers blooming on my kitchen windowsill!!

It was that same week I went to the gym to keep up on one of my 2015 goals of working out a minimum of twice a week (more to come on goal setting).  Making body or weight goals is a first for me, but somewhere along 2014 I gained ten pounds that I wasn’t looking for.  It’s not about the number on the scale- it’s about how I feel with the ten extra pounds. I don’t feel good and I sleep horrible.  I need to be out and moving!!  So I was at the gym clipping along with a fast walk on the treadmill and a cute pregnant gal came and jumped on the treadmill beside me.  Nothing like competition with a pregnant gal.  First we were walking and then she picked up her heels and started running, and I followed.  I followed?  I’m still not sure what possessed me!  I should also tell you I have NO recollection of running in my life aside from trying to catch one of my toddlers.  I was running!!  Before I would’ve said I could never run.  It was too intense for me.  I’m not a very strong gal.  I have pain.  Ryan is the runner.  I don’t run.

But when I was done I felt incredible for having run.   I felt thankful for still being alive.  And I thought, ” I could do that again”.  And I have.

This is the year I need growth in my life.  I want to do the things maybe I’ve told myself I couldn’t (even if they take more work) because maybe I could.  In the midst of life, I want to see the beauty in the growth because just seeing a change is quite remarkable!

What growth are you longing for this year?  I would love to hear!