Plans for 2018: of the House, Blog, and Personal Varieties

Happy New Year! I meant to do a Christmas recap post before this one, but we’re actually picking up the last of our Christmas presents today, and I wanted to be able to include them in the Christmas post, so I’m switching things up.

I just took a look back at my post about 2017 house plans from last year in preparation for writing this post and….wow–we did not get a whole lot done around the house in 2017! Oh well. To be fair, we DID finish what was by far our biggest goal: rebuilding (and at least starting to decorate) the deck and porch. And it turned out to be a bigger project than we had anticipated, because we decided to do it all ourselves instead of hiring someone.

As far as the other stuff I had on the list–the downstairs bath, the dining room, the office side of our master bedroom–well, all I can say is that last year got away from us somehow. At least when it came to house projects.

But it’s a new year! And I have so many ideas and plans! We’ll see if we can get to more than one of them this time!

Dining Room

Maybe for real this time? This is actually not the biggest project in the world, since we’re planning to keep the same furniture we already have. But I do want to redo the walls and artwork, probably repaint our table, and replace the light fixture with something that’s more us. I think this will probably be the first project of the year, in fact, so there should be more on those plans soon. Current(ish) view (as you can see, we’ve been letting it go a bit in anticipation of the big makeover of 2017 that never happened. The new plan will not include random Abe artwork taped to the walls (although we’ll find a good place to put it instead)):

Downstairs bathroom:

Again! We’ve never done anything in here, and it’s ridiculous. I’ve long been a little overwhelmed by the textured walls, but I think the time has come to at the very least paint over them and give the cabinets and light fixtures a makeover as well, even if a whole new bathroom and the no doubt expensive and or complicated elimination of the textured walls is a ways off. Ugh:

Milo and Gus’s Room:

Milo and Gus don’t feel particularly strongly about this, but I’m itching to update their room. This summer will mark four years since it’s undergone any major changes and they’ve gone from 11 and 8 to 14 1/2 and 12 since then, so it’s probably time for the room to grow up some, too. Gus is more interested in talking about decorating plans with me than Milo, which is probably good because it will likely be his room longer than it will be Milo’s (more on that in a second). I still really like their room as is (at least on the rare occasions when it’s clean), but bigger kids=bigger kids’ room. I’m dreading trying to get that wall mural down:

I’m going to stick with those for now. Dave would like to add that he really wants a new front door this year. I’m good with that.

Thinking about a finished basement (I forgot this one first time around)

Oops! I was just rereading this post, the day after publishing it, and realized this stuff about the basement was supposed to go right here. I’ve always wanted a finished basement, ever since I was a kid, and I’ve never had one. Not really, anyway. We do have one semi-finished basement movie room, and we use it a ton, which makes me wish even MORE for a real finished basement with heat and air and a bathroom and a real ceiling and all. Until recently, I always figured by the time we could afford to finish the basement, kids would be starting to leave for college and it wouldn’t make sense to add more square footage. But the more I think about it, the more this seems like the perfect time to add more square footage. Milo and Gus are still sharing a room, which they don’t mind at all right now, but are bound to eventually. I always figured Milo would move into Ari’s room when he goes off to college, but then….where will Ari stay when he comes home for summers and breaks? And we don’t have overnight guests very often, but it’d be nice to have a place for them to stay when we do without having to shuffle kids around.

So, all of that to say, I doubt we’ll have the budget to actually do the basement this year, but I would at least like to get started on the planning stages–making plans, getting estimates, deciding what we can do ourselves and can’t, saving some money, clearing the basement out in preparation for getting started. So more on that as the year goes along.

Blogging plans

I’m not making any big announcements here or anything; I’m mostly fairly happy with how blogging’s going, honestly. As always, I wish I had more time to devote to it, but I wish I had more time to devote to about 100 other things, too, and that’s just not possible. So I’m going to keep trucking along, aiming to get at least a post a week up and more when I can. I would like to find time to do more short, checking in kind of posts about small changes around the house and more personal stuff–the kind of posts that aren’t Pinterest worthy but are fun to do/I hope fun to read anyway. I do have a few technical issues that I want to take care of–either by myself or by breaking down and paying someone. Money-wise, I feel like I’m in a good place in that I make a little money from ads and affiliate links–enough to justify the time I spend blogging and enough to add a little to our travel fund–and that probably I’m doing about as well as I can without turning the blog into more of a full time job and less of a hobby. And also I’m plugging along with the travel blog at the same time (which is most definitely all hobby, no job as far as $$ goes). Two blogs is a lot of blogs.

Personal Plans

I’m not always so big on New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I sort of came up with three goals without even really meaning to, so I’m going with it.

*fifty books: I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I would like to the past few years. I just got a new kindle, and I’m going to fix that, by golly. And book reviews might well be turning up here from time to time in the aforementioned shorter, more personal posts category

*fifty hikes: we did the 52 Hike Challenge year before last and didn’t quite finish it. It’s not that I think shaving two hikes off will make it substantially easier this year, but I’m just liking the idea of three lists of fifty things. Big hiking goal is to get Abe better at hiking on his own with less complaining, now that’s he’s really just too big for us to comfortably carry in the Ergo. Dave and I would also like to mix things up and do some challenging, long hikes with the older kids (switching off who stays behind or does a shorter hike with Abe).

*fifty movies: with the kids (big kids. also with Abe as appropriate). We’ve really been enjoying the movie room in the basement lately, but it’s the kind of thing we have to remind ourselves to use when we get busy. Ari and I are hard at work on lists of movies to fill in gaps in the kids’ cinematic education.

What plans or goals do you have for the new year? Anyone else who will consider it an accomplishment if they watch a whole bunch more movies? 😉




Plans for 2018: of the House, Blog, and Personal Varieties — 9 Comments

  1. I will go with your fifty theme….fifty donations. I want to bring stuff to the thrift store about once a week, even if it just a couple of things. I want to get rid of stuff 🙂

  2. Fifty movies? My Netflix disc has been sitting around half finished (it’s Star Trek; two episodes to go) since…July? I no longer have an up-to-date laptop with a DVD drive, and the one I do have has to remain plugged in because it doesn’t believe it has a battery. (No, a new battery did not convince it otherwise.) I’m clinging to my disc subscription because someday I’ll move back to where I won’t have enough bandwidth to stream movies. Shall I give up and give in? You force me to consider this problem.

    You’ll be glad to know that my reaction to you saying you didn’t get much done on the house this year was “What do you MEAN?” That’s how impressive the job on the deck was to us watching from home. Of course we don’t see the textured walls in the bathroom, even when you show us the pictures, unless we look very carefully. And we don’t see the office side of the bedroom unless you show it to us. So it obviously doesn’t bother us much.

    More time for everything! We all need it.

    • We keep cancelling and then restarting the disc plan on Netflix, and every time we end up with a disc sitting around for 4 months before we finally cancel again. Then we always end up renting things through Amazon, which gets expensive….

      and, yes, it’s very nice to hear that I didn’t look quite so lazy from the outside :). The deck seems like something we did such a long time ago that now I can’t figure out what I did with the rest of the year!

  3. Fifty is a bigger number for each one of those! A few years ago I hit my goal of thirty books in a year and I even cheated with a few shorter books.

    • That’s one thing I don’t like about making a # goal–it discourages picking longer books :). Strangely, the 50 hikes goal is the one I’m the most confident about. but we’ll see!

  4. i cannot wait to see you redo the dining room! i know it will look amazing! the light fixture alone will really change it! and i love the boys room, but i am sure i will love it more after redoing it! love your goals and looking forward to following along, gretchen.

  5. I love seeing your annual home projects list – can’t wait to follow along.

    I’m still working on my goals for the year – nothing super earth-shattering, but just trying to reclaim myself after a year of being pregnant and in a newborn fog.

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