A Simple Plan for Tackling Unfinished Projects

Perhaps you can relate to this.

There’s a source of irritation sitting on the bookcase in our family room, wrapped up in a set of three pretty, grey, cloth-bound binders. They’re my sons’ unfinished baby albums, and I get a pang of unease, even a feeling of guilt, when I see them.

Why? Because I know they're not totally finished. 

The other day I thought enough was enough, and I picked up the first album. It documents the first six months of our older son’s life in photos and journaling using Project Life.

As I flipped through those albums, I remembered why these projects matter to me. They bring me joy and remind me of how much life we’ve experienced together as a family - the ups and downs, the challenges we’ve overcome and blessings we’ve enjoyed.

Whether it’s an old baby album, an abandoned organization project in the playroom, or a couple bags of clothes you intend to give away taking up valuable real estate in your closet, there’s a reason you got started.

Whatever the project, it mattered to you at one point. The first thing you have to ask yourself is "Does it still matter that I finish this?"

It's time to make a decision so you can clear up the mental clutter and move on. In this post, you'll find a detailed plan to do just that.

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It's Never Too Late for a Fresh Start

Have you ever lost touch with an old friend and thought maybe too much time had passed to reach out? Maybe you were really close at one point or another and you moved away or got busy or had a couple of kids and you just drifted apart. 

It happens. And that first step can be the absolute hardest to take. Suddenly your legs feel like lead, and you have a pit in your stomach thinking about sending that text or email or making a phone call. 

LIFE HAPPENS

This is such a real thing for me. I grew up in Southern California, attended college in the Midwest and grad school on the east coast before moving to San Diego. Two years later, I got married and began life as a military spouse, moving in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2015/16. We are currently spending about two years living in Europe.

I've been in a near-constant state of change since I was seventeen years old. Saying goodbye to great friends has become normal. But even if you live in the same town for ages, life can just get busy, and the thought of going back to something you've neglected can be overwhelming.

But here's the thing: are you the kind of person who would embrace that friend if they called you out of the blue? Let's say there wasn't a major falling out - just life stuff. Wouldn't it be nice to know they were thinking of you, even if years had gone by? 

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My Memory-Keeping Story

Today is National Scrapbook Day. It's being celebrated all over the internet, on Instagram, on the blogs, and on manufacturers' websites. If you'd told me a few years ago that I'd be participating in this celebration, I'd have thought you were nuts. I was a graphic designer, not a scrapbooker. To me, scrapbooking wasn't cool or stylish and it definitely wasn't "me."

Until it was.

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30 Ideas for Letters to Write and Send

This month I'm participating in the #write_on campaign with the goal of writing a letter a day for the month of April. It was really fun to see all the activity on Instagram this week, and I'm so happy to have a bunch of letter writing compatriots this month. If you're not convinced about the benefits of writing more letters, then check this out. If you are, but you're short on inspiration or just looking for some ideas for what to write, then read on. I've got a month's worth of letter-writing inspiration for you.

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our story and my one piece of advice for new moms

I wanted to share a bit more of the story of our first year with Owen, not to elicit sympathy (believe me, I know many people endure far worse stuff than this in the early months of parenting), but to set up the punchline. We dealt with things for which we were totally unprepared this year. And yet, the crazy thing to me is that when Nick and I look back on it, we think "wow, that wasn't so bad."

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creating a simple system for paper clutter

I'll spare you the gory details, but basically our snail mail was piling up on the little table we have in our tiny entryway and for ages, no one claimed responsibility. We pay almost all of our bills online, but somehow we still get a bunch of paper mail. I was grabbing catalogs when I wanted some reading material, and that's about it. In short, we'd accumulated a massive pile of unopened mail, and the time had come to deal with it. Here's what I did to tackle our incoming mail situation.

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