Follow-Through…Finishing….Closing the Door

Sports have been a big part of my life as far back as i could remember – more watched than played, but still a big part.  For the middle part of my life, my dad was a baseball coach.  I remember when he would have camps for the little league kids during the summer and one of the fundamental lessons he would teach would be follow-through.  When you swing the bat to hit the ball, follow through.  When you catch the fly ball and throw it back, follow through.  When you’re trying to beat the throw to first, run through the bag (follow through).  The follow-through on the action is what adds the power to the action.  That is why a line drive off a major leaguer’s bat can break a guy’s neck!  It’s not about muscle strength or force.  Strong muscles and exerted force aren’t what allow golfers to drive balls “miles” down a fairway, it’s the follow-through.

Too bad we don’t get follow-through lessons in other things in our lives.  Or in other words lessons on how to finish.

I’m at the end of the pregnant phase of my life, and I’ve learned that I’m pretty terrible at finishing.  I have a stack of started crafts that prove my point.  I have rooms in my house that are 95% clean that add to the evidence.  Now, I’m not expecting my house to be “magazine worthy” clean – I live here, Ken lives here, we have a dog – I know better than to expect that level of clean.  But it’s the pile of opened mail that I know just needs to be sorted through (trash, act, or file).  Or the stack of fast food cups that sit on the counter beside the trash can that should have just gone in the trash can the first time they were handled.  Or the clothes that are laid over the chair that don’t get put up – since they’re not in the floor, they’re really not in the way (translation: I won’t fall over them on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night).

And cleaning house isn’t the only place we’ve failed to learn the lesson of follow-through (it’s just the first example this nesting preggo things of).  People also fail to follow through with their money.  You say you’re going to get out of debt, you even pay off credit cards, but then what do you do?  Is the account still open?  Is it still attached to your SirShopsAlot account?  Is the card still in your wallet?  Well, you made the promise to yourself that you’d set a limit and make sure you budget enough money to pay it off each month so you don’t accrue interest, that’s enough right?  How’s that working for you (as Dr. Phil would say)?  And speaking of budgets – what does your budget look like?  Is it on paper?  Has everyone who has access to the money agreed to it and understands the consequences of not following it?  You might have a written budget plan and it’s even hanging on the fridge for everyone to see, but where is your money really going?

Yes, follow-through seems to falter in the areas of our life where self-discipline (and self-motivation) is required.  Cleaning, money, health, relationships – all require us to work.  But that’s not the only areas follow-through needs occur.  So many opportunities present themselves throughout our daily lives – they sometimes walk right up to us, look us in the eyes, and jump in our hands.  Opportunities for new relationships, new experiences – learning more, doing more, living life more, sometimes even earning more.  And what do we do with them?  The business card goes in that “black hole” pocket of the wallet; the napkin with the phone number ends up disintegrated in the washing machine; the email or text message goes unanswered.  I wonder what we’re all missing out on?

This blog itself has been a lesson to me on following through with things.  I started this blog on 8/9/12 in Evernote on my iPad.  Something interrupted me in the middle of typing it (I really don’t remember what – went to lunch….got a phone call… had to pee) and when I finally got another minute to work on it, my excuse for finishing it was “I lost my flow of thoughts”.  Thus, in Evernote and (in my psyche) it sat – until today.

When I think about the condition of my psyche, it makes me think of Alice in Wonderland.  Alice walks into this room – it’s a round room, with doors of all sizes encircling her.  How does she get out of this room?  Most of the doors are locked.  In the end, she has to eat the cake on the table that makes her shrink so she can fit through the unlocked door.  But what if all the doors were unlocked?  That’s how I believe my psyche works – just like Alice’s room of doors where I can go through any of the doors I choose, and as long as I don’t let the door close behind me, i can come back to my room of doors and pick a different door on a different day.  The problem is that nothing ever gets completed which leads to me frantically running from one unfinished task to another (and not truly finishing any of them thanks to this thing call entropy – aka the chaos that ensues when you’re not applying energy to the situation) and then leads to the walls of my room being so full of opened doors that there’s no room for anything new in my life, that finally results me being stressed, frustrated, unhappy, and unable to relax in my own house.  What kind of life is that – especially since we’ll have a new baby around?!

Step one: yesterday’s to-do list (just ask Ken or my MIL & FIL about it).  Step two: this blog. Time to close some psyche doors, finish some tasks, and follow through on some opportunities.


Prengnacy and the Mother of Jesus

As I’m getting my insides rearranged by this 3-pound “head of cabbage” (that’s how my weekly update describes her size), the strangest thought crossed my mind…

How did Mary feel when she felt baby kicks from Jesus?

I actually had this thought around Easter, but since then I’ve pondered on it a little more.

First of all, she didn’t get the normal human experience of conceiving a baby.  But she still went through the normal human experience of pregnancy – hormone changes, body changes, emotional changes.  So, how did she feel when she felt those first tickles of baby moving around inside her?

I can only try to imagine the toll that cultural isolation had on her – with or without preggo mood swings.  But I can also imagine that once those baby tickles became more regular throughout the months, that she’d have a sense of peace and confidence regarding her position.  I mean, if ever there was someone who got to have physical evidence of their promise coming to pass on a daily basis, it was Mary.  (Sarah would fall into that category, as would Hannah).

The thought I had at Easter was more of what kind of memories did Mary hold on to when Jesus was being crucified.  Did the thought of that little baby kicking inside her and making her belly change shapes come back to her on that day or on the days after?

I have been told by mothers before me that you never forget those first memories of your baby moving around on the inside, and now I believe them (even if her favorite place to play is that nerve on my left hip that makes my leg tingle)!

Bandana Apron

This was a sewing project that I started with my MIL last spring….without a pattern!

We got stuck trying to line up the skirt, waistband, and bib so it got put on hold.

So after I got my sewing machine at Christmas, I took on the task of finishing it on my own.

After looking at several apron patterns online, I figured out what needed to be done and finished it!

The skirt is a full bandana with a half-bandana attached as pockets.  Then the bib is just the center of a bandana, while the neck strap and ties are made from the edges of the scraps.  I don’t have any special instructions other than, use your own body as your measuring tool to know how long and wide to make each part to fit you.

Bookmark’s the spot

Here is another simple project for sewing machine beginners.

Ribbon Bookmark

It was very easy and fast to make.

And I learned a little secret about my machine…

It can sew on buttons!!!!

My best tip, if you choose to make your own, is to measure your ribbon on several different sized books to make sure the hairband doesn’t overstretch and that the bookmark will be as versatile as your reading interest.

Where have you been?

Wow, it sure has been a long time since I’ve posted anything.  And I was on a good crafting roll too – what a shame!  My Pinterest is full of things that are just dying to be made and used in my house (or given away as gifts).  And here I am, almost 3 months behind on all the things I had lined up to make and blog about.  Talk about a backlog!

Well, the blog hasn’t missed too much excitement over those months I missed.  My sister and bro-in-law took off to Beijing, China to teach English for a year – that was a pretty big deal.  We got to go and see them off at the airport on Valentine’s Day.  They’re all internet-connected now so we get to catch up with them every so often.

We had a guy quit at work so I’m having to fill in his schedule until they find somebody to fill it permanently – that’s been quite draining, but I think it’s coming to an end pretty soon.

But probably the most exciting thing that happened in my time away was that one of these showed up at my doctor’s appointment…


One of my friends called it our “little gummy bear”.

This would definitely explain why my energy had been a big fat ZERO when it came to crafts and blogging.  I was able to finish off 2 more crafts before the exhaustion set in, but the blogs didn’t make it.  So, those will be the first to be checked off the list.

My last post was January 6 and I went to the doctor on January 16.  So, today (the day this was posted) I am in my 17th week.

So, if you had been wondering where I’ve been…

I have been surviving my first trimester being overworked, hot, tired, and eating lots of popcicles.  Now on to the second, where hopefully the energy bursts will allow me to catch up.

And trust me, this ain’t no April Fool’s joke yo!  🙂

A sewing machine makes all the difference

My mom and grandmama got me a sewing machine for Christmas.  I was so excited!  Grandmama gave me a quick tutorial on threading it and how to read the book (cuz you HAVE to read the book).

So my first sewing project was inspired by this blog.

I dug out my old button-down shirts that don’t fit me anymore and got busy…

I’ll probably keep one or two, but I think I’ve found another great gift!