July Wrap-Up and August Goals: Just as Dull as it Sounds.


1. Finish Simone’s room
SO CLOSE. In fact, “SO CLOSE” could have been July’s theme. I made progress on almost every list item, and finished almost nothing. It seems obvious that if I had managed to focus on one thing at a time, I would be ending the month with a few more things checked off, and a few fewer projects in various states of pile-creating limbo.
2. Finish essay
I am crossing this off because I finished a version of the essay, and it is fine for school purposes. However I am not just editing but rewriting it for book purposes, meaning that I essentially spent weeks and weeks writing something I have decided to more or less throw away, DO NOT EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT THIS.
3. Submit proposal for second book to agent
We decided to submit later in the fall, because I have (ahem) some rewrites to do.
4. Vanquish Mt. Laundry
This is the one that annoys me, because YOU GUYS! It was almost gone! I had a couple of loads of blankets/comforter covers and such left, and that was it, and I bought our new divided hamper to get rid of the laundry baskets, and then we ran out of quarters and Twyla was sick and I couldn’t get to the bank and the month ended. But we are down to the last foothills, so this month for sure.
5. Lose five lbs
Gained two and a half. So…no.
6. Go to park five times
More than five, actually. Played T-ball, introduced Twyla to sand, enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. A good month on the frolicking front.
7. Register Simone for sport/camp/activity
8. Mail
9. Plan August festivities
Eh. This was one of those things that ended up not seeming important. We have a list of things to do, and as I was trying to assign them to dates I realized that I like just having a list of fun things to choose from bound to nothing save our whim.
10. Pedicure and dinner with Mother
11. Go through bank statement for things to cancel
12. Post ten times
Two. Two times. To be fair, I did write posts six or seven times, and as the “posting more” goal is really about getting me to take more time for myself, this at least constitutes progress.
13. Go to the Goat Show and write about it (notes/draft form is fine)
(It’s a good thing I had that “notes/draft form is fine” parenthetical, because notes are all I’ve had time for.)
14. Organize Simone’s toys
Again, SO CLOSE. It turned out that I needed one more little drawer thing, which I have now, will finish up this week.
15. Read five books
16. Clean out car, have washed


1. Finish Undergraduate Degree
There is a reason last month was frantic and full of unfinished things–I have been busy. A little over a week from now, I will be a college graduate. I have a paper to complete and a presentation to put together, and then I am done.
I’d been avoiding mentioning it because, honestly, I was afraid I would find some way to screw it up. That sounds insane, I realize, but the closer I got to the end of this last class, the more nervous I became. I mean, I have been working on my degree on and off for FIFTEEN YEARS. FIFTEEN! I’ve been within about a semester for a long time, and two times before was preparing to start said semester when something happened (Ames died and I went on bed rest; I got pregnant with Twyla and was too sick to walk from the couch to the bedroom). Neither of those things were my fault, obviously, but there have been so many other times I have screwed up, especially where school is involved (see, uh, high school), and I was worried that somehow saying “I am going to graduate” would ensure that I failed spectacularly and didn’t. But now it looks as if I am really going to pull this off, so I guess you’ll have to start referring to me as The Her Honorable Ms. Alexa Stevenson, BA, Esquire! (That’s right, right?) I’m not going to the ceremony or anything, so I still won’t ever have had a chance to wear one of those little tassel hats, but I can’t deny that I am proud-ish of myself.
2. Have a date night with Scott
3. Plan and enjoy our annual Lake Trip (and think of a way to memorialize these trips–photobook? wall display?)

4. (Finish) Vanquish(ing) Mt. Laundry
5. Lose five lbs
6. Finish organizing Simone’s toys
7. Finish Simone’s Room
8. Get Simone ready for Kindergarten (haircut, cull clothes, school supply shopping, etc.)
9. Post eight times
10. Clean out car, have washed
11. Read two books
12. Go through bank statement for things to cancel
13. Have last pre-kindergarten Mama and Simone Day
14. Do something fun for Simone every day between returning from the lake and the first day of school
15. Make progress on both essays for book
16. Apply to thing


  1. Now, take this post, add PRINT THIS POST to your list, and print it 5 times and tape it to the fridge door, your bathroom mirror, by the front door, by the back door, and one other place you are likely to pass by daily (but largely ignore).


  2. Sharon says:

    Congratulations on the degree. That is a huge deal! My BS was 18 years in the making, and I have never been so proud [and that includes two degrees since]. My kids and husband were proud of me too, which made it all the sweeter. All the other things will fall into place.

  3. a says:

    That’s not dull at all! Getting your degree! And sending your firstborn to Kindergarten! That’s some kind of excitement… Congratulations, and good luck in accomplishing all of August’s goals.

    • Alexa says:

      I honestly cannot believe that I am about to have a child in elementary school. And that this child is SIMONE, who was just a baby, like, a month ago.

  4. YAY for graduating!!! That is very exciting.

    Just out of curiosity – not out of trying to sway you otherwise – why are you eschewing the graduation ceremony? I went to my undergrad ceremony but not my graduate ceremony and regretted neither choice, for whatever that’s worth.

    Also, good on you for making such progress on the laundry mountain. Stupid laundry just never stops.

    ALSO also, I cannot wait to read your next book.

    • Alexa says:

      Well, the ceremony is in another state, and it isn’t worth the cost, etc. of the trip, I decided. But Simone said I could borrow her preschool graduation hat and have a graduation at home, so.

  5. Jayne says:

    I recently found a To Do list stuffed in my couch. It was from February. I was amazed to find I had, eventually, finished *most* of the list. Except at the time I made the list I figured it would all be done by the end of the week….and this is August.

    BUT, hey, I finished crap. And it got me thinking that maybe I should be making Have Done lists, because they’re much more cheerful to read.

  6. Melanie says:

    Congrats on the graduation! I am jealous of your August goals mostly because our schools start back August 14th and I feel like our summer has been robbed. My baby is starting kindergarten this year and I am a mess. I am also starting back to the land of the employed in the same school district as a clerk in an elementary school making a fraction of what I did pre-kiddo 8yr extended “vacation” but working only the days my kids are in school appeals to me, at least while they are little so I am trying oh so hard to swallow my pride.

  7. Teri Butcher (Townsley) says:

    Hi Alexa-
    This is the short haired girl from Mr. Soderberg’s weight lifting class in high school!
    Oh my GOD can I identify with soooo many topics on your blog! The mountain of laundry that reappears, the unfinished goals like reading a damn book, cleaning the car,organizing Lucy’s (1 1/2) room and school. I too have been working on finishing FOREVER!! Things just keep popping up, and getting in the way. But it WILL be achieved someday! ;) Congratulations on finishing school! It must me such an amazing feeling to achieve that goal! I am pound of you!

    • Alexa says:

      Of course I remember you! That class was probably the least terrible gym class I’ve ever taken, mostly because it consisted entirely of us playing around with little free weights and chatting while the wrestling team or whatever grunted away nearby…

  8. MJ says:

    Congratulations on getting your degree – that’s quite an accomplishment. I do hope you’ll have a private graduation ceremony to mark the occasion. And may I make a small suggestion? Take a picture of Simone (and later Twyla) on her first day of school each year. It’s a wonderful marker of her growing up. You probably already do it, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to mention it.

  9. Jenn says:

    Sorry not sorry for this unsolicited advice– Do the graduation ceremony!! Please! Simone will remember it and get to feel all proud of her mom (or, like vaguely confused and slightly bored, but also in awe of your weird hat and robe and you’ll have pictures of you together and she’ll have that tangible “it’s never too late” example). I didn’t want to do mine because I felt so OLD and almost like embarrassed and like it didn’t count because it wasn’t the regular timeline, but I let myself be talked into it. It was surprisingly emotion and wonderful and I felt proud and my kids were there and it was great. And I have been reading you since the McCain/Obama debate so it’s practically like I know you so this is advice from a friend. ;)

    But, um, you do you and you know best and all that. And thanks for sharing your life with us, even these little snippets. And congratulations!!

  10. Jennie says:

    I really love other people’s lists, almost more than mine. (It’s often because I’m then inspired to do something I never would have thought of but would make me feel so great to do. Like Mount Laundry! I have one of those.)

  11. Robin says:

    I have to say, I’m really heartened to hear that you & several of your readers have taken the slow-road to college graduation… not because it’s somehow better to try to juggle classes with small children & Mt. Laundry (although that is a wonderful mental image), but because I’d convinced myself I was the only one. I took 10 years to finish a measly Associate’s! Now I’m 35, going to classes with people who were born in the 1990s. Yeesh.

    So hooray! Congratulations.

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