My 12 Tasks of Christmas

One of the most awesome things about working for a university is that my school shuts down between Christmas and New Year’s. This year is even more wonderful, because they’ve given us a couple extra days as well, so I have off TWELVE days in a row!

As much as I’d like to pack up my family and head off to someplace sunny for a couple weeks, my husband still has to work so we’re stuck here.

I always have an ongoing “To Do” list running on my phone (and in my head at 2am), so I’ve decided to use these 12 days at home to get some stuff done. You know, the stuff that you never have time to do because you’re too busy working? Yeah, that.

So without further ado, here are my 12 Tasks of Christmas:

#1. Take a quick trip through the house and fix random stuff
I think pretty much every room needs something adjusted, whether it’s the bathroom rod that wants to fall off the wall every time I grab my towel or the exhaust fan on the ceiling that is falling down. The funny thing is that it would probably take me 20 minutes to run around and just fix everything at once. So, I’m going to finally grab up my toolbox and take care of business!

#2. Refinish nightstand
I kind of dig the way my bedside chair looks in its job as a nightstand placeholder; however it’s really not working for me. Now that Jack is a crawling machine, it’s just too tempting to have exposed plugs and cords hanging around. I resumed my search for a nightstand and found one at a thrift store for $35. It’s all wood and has fun lines (and an absolutely horrid drawer liner, can’t wait to show you guys!), so I’m excited to sand it down and paint it.

#3. Try 3 new recipes
I WISH that I could be the kinda girl that comes home from working a full day and throw together a delicious and healthy dinner for my family, but that doesn’t really happen much at my house. And yes, I realize that some husbands cook dinner, just um… not mine. Unless I want a bowl of cereal or a sandwich melted into a panini by way of the George Forman grill. So in addition to magically finding some extra time in the day to cook, I’d really like some recipes that I’m not sick of. So, my goal over break is to try out three new recipes and hopefully find a winner or two to add to our rotation.

#4. Do 1 hour of cardio every day
Now this is a hard one for me, but oh my gosh do I need to get my butt into gear! I always complain that I don’t have time to work out (unless I wake up at 4:30 or do it after a full day of work), but I need to get over that and make it happen. So, I’m using these 12 days to whip me into a routine of jumping on my elliptical machine. If I can’t do it when I’m home all day long, how can I expect to do it when I work all day? Hopefully I can get in the habit of using the machine, so when I return to work I can keep it up. Cross your fingers for me!

#5. NO soda for 12 days
I’m not really sure how this happened, but somehow I became a soda drinker. I used to maybe have a soda a couple times a week (we don’t keep it in the house), but now I have one soda every single day. It has to stop and no better time than when I’m away from the temptation.

#6. Go through the house and donate unneeded/unwanted items to Goodwill
I already started collecting stuff when I did my closet switchover last month and currently have two trash bags of clothes that need to be dropped off. On top of that, I really need to go through my leftover home décor stuff that has traveled from house to house to house to house with me… and still isn’t being used. I’ll give my sisters and brother a crack at it and then it HAS TO GO! On top of that, I need to go through Jack’s outgrown stuff and get it ready to sell at one of those fabulous consignment sales – because I could totally use the money to buy him the next sizes in clothing!

#7. Organize my pantry
Have you ever looked through pantries in magazines – you know, the ones where they’re neat and clean and everything has its place? I salivate over those pantries. It’s like organizer porn to me and I want to badly to open up my own little closet of food and have it be all pretty. So, after Christmas I’m going to buy me some pantry organizing stuff and rip that mess apart. Then, after it’s all put back together, I’ll be the weirdo who opens the pantry door and just smiles at my nicely organized food. Weird? Yes. But in my world it’s AWESOME.

#8. Clean my SUV
You know how they say that the majority of people’s vehicles has a McDonalds fry somewhere under a seat?* Well, mine is throwing off the curve because it is a craphole. I need to spend a good hour or so pulling out the trash, vacuuming, windexing… the whole shebang. And then, you know, keep it clean for like a day or two.

#9. Upload all our pictures to Amazon Cloud
One of my first 2013 purchases is going to be a new home computer. Ours is around 10 years old and in computer years that’s a dinosaur. I have our new computer all picked out, I’m just waiting to see what our tax refund will be before I go ahead and buy it. One of the main things I use our home computer for is the storage of pictures, so I really need to finish uploading them all to my Amazon Cloud account so that I don’t have to worry about losing any of them in the transition. Unfortunately, this is super time consuming, which is why I started a year ago and never got back to it.

#10. Make some meals to stock up freezer
Yeah, so remember when I said that most nights I don’t have time to make anything for dinner? Well, it’s nice to have some cook-from-frozen meal options just for those occasions. One of our favorites is easy homemade quesadillas, where you just take a tortilla and fill it with cheese, meat, salsa, whatever. Then you fold it in half, wrap it in foil wrap and throw it in the freezer. You can cook them from frozen in about 12 minutes (I think at 350 degrees) and they’re good to go. YAY easy meals!

 #11. Find a babysitter/nanny to watch Jack 1 day a week
This is one of those things I’ve been putting off until after the holidays, but I really need to find a babysitter for Friday’s. Some friends suggested and, so I’m going to place an ad and hopefully do some interviews after Christmas. Ideally I can find someone to watch him AND take care of laundry too, which would pretty much open up my Sunday!

#12. Curl up in the den and read at least one book
So yes, I do tend to over-plan my days (go ahead, snicker at me now). And yes, I somehow expect to complete all of these tasks on top of watch my 10 month old, blog and attend at least two holiday celebrations. Which brings us to task #12, curl up and RELAX by reading a book.

*I mean, I think THEY say this. It could just be something I made up. I’m not really sure.

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