Getting a Bit more personal…


I don’t always get personal on my site, but have been getting asked about how busy I seem to be by friends and my blog readers lately so I thought I would get a little bit personal here today….

I was talking with my neighbor the other day about some projects we are both working on for our respective houses.  Her and I are similar in the fact that we ALWAYS seem to have some project we are working on.  Our husbands I am sure, were commiserating about their bad luck in marrying spouses who like to…”change things up…” ha!

She asked if I just felt like I was busy all of the time.  The funny thing is that I get asked this ALL the time.  I am a busy person and I always seem to have a lot of things going on.  But I don’t always feel “CRAZY” busy.  Of course there are sometimes when my plate is too full…just like all the rest of you.  But I don’t feel like my life is any busier than any other person.  I just like to be “doing” things.

As I was thinking about this more, I realized that I have always been a “doer”.  From the time I was 8 and up I was constantly rearranging the furniture in my room and in my house.  My family thought I was strange.  But I loved how fresh and new the room and the house felt.  Plus it was a good way to get things organized and clean.  I love that feeling.  In fact, I just spent this entire last week going through my ENTIRE house organizing and getting rid of the “clutter”!  And it feels so good.  I also spent hours playing with Barbies…but as I look back, I realize, I spent more time setting up the Barbie house and the furniture than actually playing with the Barbies themselves…haha!

I also get asked a lot about how I first got started into home remodeling and where I learned to do some of these things.  Well, my dad was a real estate Attorney (who is since retired) and he also owned several apartments.  So, growing up we spent almost EVERY Saturday working on the apartments together as a family.  And we had to get up by 7:00-7:30 am…on a Saturday!  From as young as I can remember, I was cleaning, painting, tiling, caulking, sanding, roofing, stripping old wallpaper, doing yard work, ripping out old kitchens and bathrooms and fixing them up again.  You name it…we did it.

apartments 3

{These are scrapbook pages taken from some scrapbooks we made for my parents one year.  You can read about them here: “Things We Love About You” Scrapbook gift}.

So remodeling and working on my house are second nature to me.  My husband worked in a cabinet shop during High School and his grandfather was a wood worker back in Germany before World War II.  It is just something we like to do.

Even though we worked a lot as a family, we also played together too.  My Dad was a big back packer, so we spent a lot of time up in the High Uintah Mountains hiking into a remote campground.

He did pay us for our work.  But there were times in my life that I despised it, especially when I was a teenager…cause it was…well…Hard Work! ha ha!  When I turned 16, I got a real job…at Ace Hardware…LOL!  So I have spent some time around tools.


I worked at Ace Hardware through High School Graduation and then moved away to College.  I immediately got a job working at a Pet Shop, which I LOVED, and worked at there all the way through college until I graduated 5 years later.

After graduating I got a job teaching High School Biology and Human Biology, I worked as a Science Teacher for 5 years until I was hugely pregnant with my second child.  When I quit to be a stay-at-home Mom, I had no idea what to do with myself.  I was so used to having something to “do” all day long.  Not that I was not busy with two kids…because I was.  Being a Mom is a lot of hard work, I just felt like I needed something to keep my brain busy.  Or that I needed a project that would stay DONE…unlike laundry or cleaning the house.

I realized that I had gained some extremely valuable lessons growing up the way that I did.  Although I wouldn’t have recognized it back then, I am so grateful to my parents for teaching me how to work.  I actually really enjoy working.  It feels great to accomplish something.  So, working on my home and creating things with my hands is something that I really enjoy.  It doesn’t feel like work.  I also love that I am able to find a way to work with my kids and family at my side.  When I am busy with a project I really try hard to have my kids right beside me.  Whether they are creating something of their own or playing with toys next to me.  I also find ways to get them involved by helping out.  Most of the time they really enjoy it.  Sometimes they make a bigger mess and we go a lot slower than if I had done it myself, but I try to remember how important they are to me…more than some project I may be working on.

So, when people ask me if I am busy, I guess I just don’t really think in terms of being “busy” since it has always been a part of my life.  I tend to be really task oriented and motivated.  Don’t get me wrong…I do have lazy days…LOTS of them.  Some days I feel like doing absolutely nothing…and I do.  And that is okay.  I take them as they come.  I think it is my way of recharging, and soaking up some needed some down time.

J First day of school 12 C first day of school 12 First day of school girls 12

L first day of school 12  H first day of school 12

{Photo idea from Kami at Nobiggie}

My kids started back to school today.  I always have mixed feelings on the first day of school.  I enjoy having my kids around, but yet it is nice to get back onto a schedule again.  It is nice to go to the store with ONE child as opposed to FIVE…I’m not gonna lie :)!  But before I know it, they will be back home and the “busy-ness” will continue.  We will get into a new groove for the school year, which always takes a couple of weeks to get figured out…am I right?  And before I know it my kids will be all grown up with families of their own.  Gah…so not ready for any of that!

What about you?  Are you a product of the way you were raised?  What do you do that you learned from your family growing up?


  1. Mindy says

    That’s funny, I used to rearrange my bedroom every week when I was younger, I loved it!
    I didn’t realize it but our cute 3rd graders are in the same class, Yeah, I love our teacher!

    • says

      You did? I knew I liked you! I didn’t know they were in the same class? How fun! Hope we have a great year! Hope your kids all enjoyed their first day back!

  2. says

    I definitely got my work ethic from my parents. While I, like you, may not have always been crazy about the chores, I am so glad now that I was raised that way. Having a strong character and being able to dig deep is so helpful for overcoming hurdles in life later.

  3. says

    I was constantly rearranging my room a a kid–loved it! I always roped my little sisters into helping me, and at least one of them caught the bug from me. She just moved off to college with a ton of DIY projects to fill her apartment. And now, as a mom, there is definitely a mental energy boost from cleaning and organizing and a *new* project–it’s a necessity for me, for sure!

    • says

      So fun to hear that. I used to make my two little sisters help too :). Big sisters are awesome! I totally agree in the mental energy boost! Thanks for sharing that!

  4. says

    I love this post! I had no idea you had all those opportunities as a kid to learn those skills- I assumed you were born with a genetic mutation that made you super skilled in that area ;)

    I like to be busy with things that will get done and stay done too- it helps balance the avalanche of laundry :) My mom had her own sewing business for as long as I can remember, either mending, making bridesmaid dresses, and now a full-fledged drapery workroom professional. I think watching her make her own way and having a hobby she could be proud of really influenced me- and of course, I sew more than anything else :)

    • says

      Haha! Thanks Melanie! Although I do think I have some genetic mutations…:)! I love that about your mom. You sure did get her sewing gene! Too bad my mom wasn’t a sewer…oh wait…she was…hmmm guess that I got a mutation when it comes to sewing skills. :)

  5. Suzanne says

    I could really relate to moving your furniture around. As a girl, I did that at least quarterly. It always surprised my dad when he’d come in to kiss me goodnight and he’d find the bed in a new place.

    • says

      Ha! I laughed when I read that. Sounded familiar! Glad to know I was not alone in my “craziness” :) Thanks for taking the time to share that!

  6. says

    It’s always awesome to see when you share personal things, I feel even more connected to you!

    I use to organize a lot as a child, everything has it’s place (picked that up from my dad). And I like the ‘clean and crisp’ look (picked that up for my mom). But I don’t know where my color and flare comes from though. Mom always said I made up my own genes, hehehe.

  7. Rachelle says

    great post and so important not to compare ourselves but appreciate our differences and talents!

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