Sunday, January 8, 2012

5 x 5 Challenge Update 1

Well, week one of the "5 x 5 Challenge" is under our belts.  How are you doing?  Did You tackle a few things around the house and in your life that you otherwise might have put off for another week?  Did you have a little extra motivation to do something small and simple for your life, home or family?  I feel some motivation building and I am thrilled to start the year this way.  This is really needed in my life-- having an infant is so much work and so unpredictable-- so a few things here and there are really adding up. Goodness knows things have been sitting around here for the last seven weeks, plus the last few of my pregnancy if I'm honest.  (Hey, carrying that HUGE baby around was hard!)  One thing I am focusing on is consistency.  The hard part for me will be doing more than "normal things" such as laundry, picking up, dishes, etc for more than a few weeks.  I expect weeks four and five will be where I really start getting to things that I never would have without this challenge!

Here's my "tasks" this week, Week One:
Wednesday: Sock drawer.  Oh. My. Goodness I feel better.  Dear Underwear from 1999: Good-bye.  You don't fit right, you are worn out, you are too skimpy, and you are taking up space. I also cleaned out my magazine basket, it took all of 5 minutes and I could get everything out to recycling before trash night.  Finally, I returned the crock-pot to my sweet neighbor and had a terrific visit.  This was really too much for one day, but motivation was in motion and I felt good doing it, so why not.

Thursday: First day back to work!  Made some major progress on my Health Savings Account (HSA) inquiry (we're switching it from Dave's employer to mine) and talked about the possibility of a Flex Spending Account for our daycare expenses in 2012, since we'll have two in daycare and all.  I also did round one of cleaning on my "mail basket" which is major.  Doing so also cleaned all the mail off our counter.  That mail basket is tricky, because cleaning it also means filing things, shredding things, and paying bills.  Sigh.  I did NONE of those things, just cleaned out all the junk.

Friday: Finished research on the Flex Spending Account.  If you are interested, check out this link: <>  It offers pre-tax dollars to spend on childcare expenses.  However, it is a "use it or lose it" account-- different than an HSA-- so a person needs to estimate conservatively.  I was researching the tax implications of losing the "Dependent Care Tax Credit" and learned that the pre-tax savings of a FSA is still better, in case you're wondering.  If your employer offers this, and most do, I would highly suggest you check into it.  I also packaged a gift to mail this week and wrapped a birthday present.

Saturday: Elmo Live!  It was an absolute hoot.  I loved seeing Dekker's face light up, and I hope I have time for a dedicated post to this in the near future.  His double handed wave was the best-- true joy!  You know you are a parent when you can't wait to get up on Saturday so you can go to Sesame Street Live :)  Saturday night I really needed a magic marker to address and mail a gift and I couldn't find one, so I took that as my cue to clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen.  I basically throw stuff in there and then shove it closed several times a day.  A lot of the stuff went back in there, but I threw away a lot, too, and put a lot of other stuff away in a different home, and wiped it out.  It looks and feels great.

Sunday: Today has been a difficult day.  I don't feel great, the baby has been fussy, I wanted to watch the Broncos game in peace and quiet-- which won't happen around here until 2018-- yadadada.  In fact, as I type the baby is fussing in his bed and I am holding my breath and praying "please go back to sleep child...."  Anyway, I managed to give Dekker a bath today and while I did I cleaned out the cupboard above my toilet.  I merged fourteen plastic ziplocks holding random, but "I do wear it" make-up into one retro, cool bag my bestie Beth gave me for Christmas, threw out a lot of expired stuff and some boxes, moved some medicine to our medicine cabinet, etc etc and it, too, looks and feels great.  In fact, I have about a quarter of a cabinet empty.  Praise the Lord.

Here's to week number one-- done!  Honestly, I am glad that this coming week I have seven days to get five tasks done.  Without this challenge this week I am certain the sock drawer, junk drawer and bathroom cabinet would all still be in the same shape, and I might not have even made the progress in the other areas, either.  I have heard from several of you that you are doing the challenge in some way with me... and would love to hear how its going for you, too!

Do you like my new blog look?  Thanks, Beth, this was another part of her Christmas gift to me that I love.

On the journey,


  1. I love your new blog look. Especially You and the 'Dekker double-image'. And that BABY is so gorgeous, you do good work, Stef! Luv, Lao

  2. Love your blog. I have been doing a lot of organizing too. I have cleaned out my coffee cup cupboard. Since I quit drinking coffee 6 months ago I thought it was time. Cleaned out my makeup junk drawer. Organized all my scrapbooking stuff. My paper is now in order finally! the biggest project was cleaning our basement. It is the "man cave" with 3 boys and a grandson down there it isn't pretty. I avoid the basement at all cost. We took a truck load to the Goodwill. I would have taken it to the Open Door Mission but, they are not open on Sundays. I had to get rid of it then! I have a load to go to the Open Door Mission though. I feel so much better getting this stuff done. Thanks for the challenge!

  3. Love the new look & good for you for all your hard work last week!! Sounds like setting these small goals is really helping you and giving you a much-needed feeling of accomplishment and motivation.