Hannah is 3

I don’t have a big long, sappy post planned for today. I’m just not that kind of mom/blogger/documenter. I do have a few pictures.Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog Beth Hardinger Blog

Hannah turns 3 today. I can’t even believe it. I don’t know when she stopped looking like a baby and started looking like a big kid. She doesn’t eat much and avoids most tomato-sauce based food (pizza, spaghetti, etc) but loves cereal and mac and cheese.

The black and white photos were from Christmas Eve, when we had her party. The bottom photo was taken yesterday, after she got home from Gramma’s house. She wanted to wear her new Elsa dress (one of 3) and carry her snow globe/wand.

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Happy Birthday, Hannah!

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Chapter 2017 {Page 2}

Beth Hardinger Blog

I got another coffee this morning (hey – I said I’d quit, but not today, ok? And I had a coupon.) and walked around Target for a little while. We had some time to kill before we picked up the kids a few towns over. I picked out some little things to give Hannah for her birthday tomorrow (new blanket, mess-free glitter coloring book and Elsa slippers – all on clearance) and got a coffee for my mom.

We got an inch of snow last night, but the roads were decent. We picked up the kids and they both fell asleep on the ride home (which was about 45 minutes) and made them chicken nuggets for lunch when we got home. They all have the typical post-gramma’s house attitude – and always asking for candy and cake. Good thing we don’t have much of either left.

The kids haven’t really been home since Christmas, so all of their new toys have just been sitting in a bin in the living room. I took some of them out of the packages yesterday (what a waste – all that cardboard and plastic) but of course, all they want to do is watch TV. Tomorrow life goes back to normal, so I’m just letting them do what they want today.

Spaghetti for dinner – even Hannah had some, because she wanted yogurt for dessert. Avery is having some tummy issues (because it wouldn’t be someone’s birthday without someone getting sick) and Lauren got a shower and a hair trim.

I feel sort of weird typing out our day, but I think it’s the only way I’ll be held accountable and actually finish something, even if no one reads it. I kind of like seeing all of the posts in a row, knowing that I am keeping up. And it’s not like I have anything else to do at night, now that Hannah falls asleep on her own, in her own bed. It only took  three years.

I’m still watching the MARS show on FX. I’m on episode 6 and it hasn’t really improved. I was hoping they would find some sort of alien life, but (spoiler alert) nothing is happening. Not even down in that huge cavern/lava tube, there wasn’t anything. Time to find a new show, which is tough. I’ve seen just about everything that’s out there, some I’ve watched multiple times (Parenthood, Grimm). And no, This Is Us is not like Parenthood. I couldn’t handle more than two episodes.

Time to go drown myself in lotion (thanks to my weird skin problems) and find a new show, so I can settle in and work on my #kidlit first draft. (124 words so far)

School tomorrow!! Yay…

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Chapter 2017 {Page 1}

(These Chapters posts may get long. Just FYI!)

I fell asleep before 10pm on New Year’s Eve, and woke up right at 12am, to fireworks somewhere outside. I spent a few hours not feeling well, but that’s my own fault for not having any will power when it comes to caffeine and cookies. The kids are still at my mom’s. It’s getting a little weird, not having them around. The house is too quiet and I’m spending far too much time watching TV. I’m not a napper, so other than doing chores around the house, there’s not much to do.

I’m trying something new – writing every night. I tried this a few years ago with a notebook, but I didn’t get too far. This time, I put some paper in a binder, but it didn’t feel right. I am always on my phone, or have my laptop handy, (and that’s a whole different post) so why not just type it out?

I got a coffee this morning (yes, one of the things I need to stop doing) and used a reward to get a breakfast sandwich. Then I came home and started episode 4 of Poldark. (I ended up finishing Season 1, but I’m not sure if I liked it enough to buy Season 2.)

I put the tree and stockings away. We don’t have any other decorations, not like my sister’s house, which it still covered floor to ceiling in Christmasy things. The tree is sitting in a bin in the kitchen. I’m not sure what to do with it. It never fits back in the box, and a plastic ‘tree box’ almost costs more than the tree itself. I’ll probably just end up putting it in some garbage bags and taking it to the storage unit, until we decide to clean that heckhole out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my #onelittleword for 2017: Courageous. About what it will mean for me in the next year. Courageous would have been an awesome word for me in 2015 (I chose Attitude, though) because I did a lot of things I had been too afraid to do, like moving to a new state and moving back within the year, learning how to drive, homeschooling, giving up homeschooling and re-enrolling the kids in public school.

But for this year? I don’t know if I’ll need to be brave. I don’t know why Courageous is my word, but it just seemed like the right one. I do have some dreams I’d like to reach, such as writing a book. The thought terrifies me. I guess I also need to get a handle on my anxiety and depression, which means actually going to my appointment (I couldn’t go to it in October – literally couldn’t get out of the car) and possibly getting medication.

Being Courageous also means getting outside more this summer. I spent too many days saying no to my kids, because I couldn’t bring myself to get out of the house. Going to the parks with the kids alone, going to out breakfast or lunch, going to sports games, taking them to the lake, the fair, the farm. I am so used to having Tim go everywhere with me and the kids, because for so long, I couldn’t drive. That all changed in August 2015, while we lived in Montana, but sometimes I still freeze up thinking about taking my kids anywhere.

Anyway, that’s enough whining from me for one day. I am watching MARS, on FX. It’s a little boring, because I am used to alien movies about Mars. I’m still waiting for some creature to pop out on this show. The kids come home tomorrow, and it’s back to Sofia, Doc McStuffins and Elena of Avalor. Oh, and Daniel Tiger. Can’t forget Daniel Tiger.

Happy New Year!

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The Year Ahead {My Goals}

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I have several things I want to accomplish in 2017. Most are writing-related, surprisingly. I’ve always had stories in my head, but these past few months, I’ve been really trying to get them down on paper (or into Microsoft Word).

I put the goals into my PowerSheets Goal Planner (not an ad – seriously). I’ve been using PowerSheets for a few years, and I love organizing, list-making and writing things down. PowerSheets make it easy for me to break my goals down step-by-step. (I bought the six-month goal workbook, and I plan on doing two months at a time. I will spring for the one-year in 2018, like I did last year.) I listed all the things I’m using for 2017 here.


  • write first draft of children’s book #kidlit
  • writing something every day (pick a word count and stick to it)
  • participate in Camp NaNo (April + July)
  • first drafts of 2 ebooks
  • finish first draft of NaNo 2016 novel


  • post on this blog (BHB) 1-2x/wk (drafts and photos from archives)
  • post on IBDS 1x/wk
  • draft 30 posts for IBDS (due August)
  • draft 30 posts for BHB (due August)


  • get professional help for my depression and anxiety
  • get to the bottom of my skin disease (in progress…appt on Jan 9)
  • exercise daily (stairs or youtube videos, or both)
  • drink water – lots
  • no coffee/soda – break caffeine habit. It makes me feel icky anyway.
  • analog weekends (1x/mo) (no tech)
  • No-Spend month – Contentment Challenge
  • use my PowerSheets and IWP daily
  • homeschooling during school breaks – including summer
  • researching and planning summer homeschooling
  • purge house and storage unit (clean out and close SU by June???)
  • take better care of myself and my family (eat better, shop better, save money)
  • cancel all photography forum memberships

I chose Courageous as my One Little Word for 2017. You would think I would have picked this word for 2016, because of all the moving, and new experiences and everything else, but honestly, I can’t even remember my word for 2016. I stopped thinking about it a month or two into the new year.

I’ve been thinking of Courageous for months. Every time I hear the Casting Crowns song (1st track), I remember why I chose that word and all that I will accomplish/experience in 2017 because of it. I’ll be posting more about my goals later this month.

Will any of these things get accomplished? I don’t know. But I do know I’m tired of just surviving my day, surfing the net, bingeing on TV shows and just being a lazy person. My kids deserve better and I deserve better.

Do you set goals? If you do, what are they?

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December Daily 2016 Day 12

The sun tried to come out this morning, but then it snowed for most of the day. Around 3:30, the sun came back out just in time to set. It’s below zero as I type this, with wind chills in the negative teens. This is the northern Minnesota winter I hate. For the next two weeks (or more) we only go outside when it’s absolutely necessary.

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Linking to Ali Edwards December Daily.

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December Daily 2016 Day 11

My sister and I were up until 2:30am wrapping presents. Then we had to get up early since my husband was bringing my kids over (he had to work). We spent the day cleaning out and decorating the utility room in my sister’s house. She had fabric that we put on the floor to look like snow, and some photo booth backdrops for Christmas Eve. We also hung ornaments from the ceiling in her living room and put up holidays stickers on her walls. I’m not sure how much will survive on Christmas Eve, with 5 kids and 3 dogs, but at least everyone will have fun! (And it’s pretty to look at!)

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Linking to Ali Edwards December Daily.

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December Daily 2016 Day 8

We didn’t do much yesterday for Lauren’s birthday, since Avery was up all night with the flu. Lauren got mac & cheese for dinner and a cupcake with a candle (she loves to blow out the candles), and one more present. We did a Facebook Live video so my parents and other family could help Lauren celebrate. I’m glad we decided to have a party last weekend.

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I used Liz’s kit for Ali Edwards December Daily.

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Lauren is nine years old today!

She is in third grade, loves to ride the bus home, is obsessed with Elena of Avalor and loves to play with her sisters and cousins. She says she missed summer – going to the park is her favorite thing and she can’t wait until she doesn’t need a coat.

The following photos are from January 2016 to December 2016 (not in order).

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