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I split my 2012 New Years resolutions into two parts: personal goals (like eating better and getting fit), and home goals for the house. Just before Christmas, I graded myself on how I did on my personal resolutions, and was overall pleased with my progress (I’ll be posting soon about the new goals for 2013 later this week). But now it’s time to take one more look back and grade myself on how well I completed (or completely ignored) that to-do list for the house.

I’m not going to lie; I pretty much assumed that grad school got the better of me on this list and I’d have nothing to show for what I assumed was a productive year (it’s easy to get distracted with the day-to-day activities and not see the progress being made, which can be very frustrating when you know you’re working your ass off… on… something… now where’d I put that paint key?). But I surprised myself on a few things. Let’s take a look, shall we?

1. Take a long, hot bath in my newly remodeled primary bath. My grade: A-

Okay, so the primary bath isn’t even close to done yet, and it’s not even on my “next rooms to tackle” list (that would be the dining room and kitchen). But after a mix-up in the summer with Dad ripping out the guest bathroom while I was in class, I did manage to redo a bathroom. It just wasn’t the one I thought. I even mentioned taking a picture of my toes after a good soak. And hey, check me out!

2. Have family and friends over for a nice meal in the dining room. My grade: D

Unless my family is hungry for wallpaper salad, the dining room isn’t quite finished enough to have people over for dinner. I suppose I could blame this one on grad school for pushing my timeline back, but I at least managed to start on this room in 2012. Plus, I’ve bought the curtains, designed the mood board, and in the middle of executing my game plan on this room. So it’s not a complete miss, but pretty darn close. And that means it’s just tacked on to the first room to finish in 2013.

3. Create my chalkboard wall for the kitchen. My grade: C-

I didn’t do this project. Not even a little bit. But sometimes when you live in a house and you don’t get around to doing a project, it may mean that you’re not 100% sure you want to even do it. I like the idea of a chalkboard wall, and may still make this happen, but it may not ultimately wind up fitting with the rest of the house. So the fact that it didn’t get done? Meh.

4. Remodel the kitchen. My grade: D-

I have started calling my kitchen Moby Dick. When it comes to rooms in this house, it’s my white whale. All I managed to do in 2012 is tear at some of the wallpaper (which is oddly the apparent theme of 2012 – ripping down wallpaper in every room). And someday (hopefully when the dining room is finished), the kitchen will literally turn white. I need to paint the cabinets, pick out backsplash tile, and get to work. I have some interesting ideas in mind, but now that I’m thinking about knocking down half of the wall that separates the kitchen and dining rooms, there may be even more to tackle. And truthfully? I’m pretty psyched at renovating this room in 2013.

5. Finish up the trim on the exterior. My grade: F

Ha. Hahahahahahahahaha. Not. even. close.

6. Build my study-o desk. My grade: A+

This was the first piece of furniture I’ve ever built. And even though I’m not really using it yet, I’m so stinkin’ proud of myself for getting this one done. The two tables I built fit together nicely, and since they can be split apart, I can reuse them in another room or another house someday. The best part? I’m more confident than ever that I can built something instead of buying it. Building it even spurred an entirely new look for the study-o.

7. Build a dog house for Charlie outside. My grade: F

Wow. I completely forgot I was even going to try to do this. She’ll be waiting a while.

8. Finish the staircase and put a runner down the middle. My grade: D-

I painted the staircase, but wound up not liking the all-white result. I’m now thinking of injecting a little black into the scheme to go with the new black front door.

9. Guest room completion. My grade: B-

I was generous at grading myself on this one. The guest room is far from done. But if a friend needs to crash? There’s a bed, and it has all of the sheets and blankets it needs. The actual pillows are terrible (I intended to sew new covers for all of them) and have begun to wish I’d picked up something more neutral for the duvet, but I think the main issue is still the pillows. The rest of the room is still storage for the study-o makeover (which will be changing soon when I buy my cabinets).

10. Paint the front stoop slab and seal the stonework. My grade: B

I painted the slab. I was so glad to get rid of the red! But now that I’ve been walking on it, I think the color is a few shades too light (think puppy paw prints and dirt), so we’ll be seeing a darker gray in 2013. And I haven’t sealed the stonework, but I purchased the materials to do it. When the weather warms up, this will be an easy item to cross off the list!

There you have it. As far as goals go, I underestimated how much grad school would eat up my extra time to tackle home projects. But I’m glad that I still got a few things done, and laid the groundwork for a productive 2013. How about your goals? How did you do? I’ll be sharing my new house goals for the year next week!


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  1. I love how you grade yourself. You're far too hard on yourself!

    Side note… Are you going to haven and do you need a roomie?? I don't want to be the lone corner mutterer

  2. Wow, even though your grading is really strict, you got so much done this year! Cut yourself some slack, these are really big projects that you can't just tackle in a weekend.

    I've got a really good feeling about your kitchen, btw – in white with a light turquoise backsplash, it will be really gorgeous! =)

    Plus, I love the dark grey in your study. I was too scared to choose such a bold color, so my dining room is a lighter shade of grey. Maybe I need to change it now!

    Can't wait to see your projects for next year!

  3. I'm doing our post about our 2012 house goals tomorrow, and it's looking a lot less productive than yours: we only got about 1/2 our list done. We were so amazed at how few items we got checked off we literally had to figure out what the hell we did all year that didn't allow us to get more done. Sometimes those pesky lives really get in the way…

  4. This post kind of bummed me out honey! You've gotten so much done but your report card doesn't seem to state that. I think you should do a post of everything you DID do, just so you get a little spring in your step.

    1. Aw, don't worry about me! I'm planning a great 2013 list and will post that soon!

  5. I found the easiest method to remove wallpaper. Buy some mouthwash called Dr Tichenors – http://www.drtichenor.com/shop/mouthwash. This is has a very high alcohol content which pulls the paper and adhesive right off the walls. We tried removing the paper in my kitchen with soapy water or fabric softener and I got frustrated with the progress. I used the wallpaper scrubber, sprayed liberally (open your windows) waited 10 minutes, sprayed again and in another 10 minutes I was literally able to pull it all off with no damage to the drywalls.

    I agree with the others – grad school is no joke, cut yourself some slack and appreciate the work you accomplished and progress made. I made my list for 2013 and since I busted my butt in 2012 I have a few projects and each is under $500 so I plan on one a month.

  6. I am working on my 2013 list and I've never done that! Ah! It makes me nervous, but I'm pretty sure you did great this year and you're super inspiring. Grad school has sucked up tons of your time and I was starting to feel sorry for myself about not getting a ton done. Then I realized, you have even more on your plate. So- now? Energized for my house to have some more transformations in 2013! Thanks, Sarah! Good luck- can't wait to see your new goals!