Throwback Thursday: Lily’s Challenge, 2013

Last year we got a little fancier! Clues were given with the pictures. I’ll post the answers in a few days, put your guesses below!

1. The bane of Lily’s existence is also one of her greatest sources of pride. It’s also the name of a war protest musical. Name that musical!


2. One of Lily’s favorite desserts is also the title of a charming song from a classic musical based on a popular novel. If the most recent movie version of that novel had been a musical, the song would have been sung by Meg Ryan. Name that musical!


3. Lily’s Mommy loves Sondheim. (Don’t we all?) Therefore, she is certain that when Lily described her picture to her Preschool teacher this way, she was referencing THIS musical.


4. We’re feeling fancy today. So here’s a picture of Lily ready to sing an aria from her favorite opera. In the best of all possible worlds, she’d get to wear this look to preschool. Name that show!


5. Coincidentally, Lily’s middle name is the same as the setting of her favorite show. Name that show, AND what is her middle name? (For those of you who don’t know her personally, feel free to guess!)

6. Where’s Lily? She’s pretending to be with some of her favorite characters in a rather short-lived Disney musical. Name that SONG.


7. Last night Lily wanted to see a particular picture of a particular Broadway character. “The princess one.” I didn’t know who she meant. So she posed, and said “The princess who goes like this.” It took some time, but I figured it out. What’s the name of the Broadway character Lily was pretending to be last night?


8. This one isn’t a challenge at all, but I couldn’t resist. She didn’t do this for the challenge. She just does it all the time because she loves it. So tonight’s question is: what CHARACTER is this?


9. Lily hasn’t seen this show. But Mommy and Daddy couldn’t resist. What character is she portraying?


Breaking the Surface: Adventures in Decluttering

This is the worst it has ever been.

I know I’ve said that about the apartment before. And it’s been bad before. In fact, I often use this picture as a profile pic.


It’s a silly picture I took of Barbie on the bathroom floor. I looked down. I saw her. And I was like yeah, Barbie. Me too. Drowning in clutter.

So it’s always been bad. But now it’s worse.

The other night Ryan said, “I want to set up a time-release camera to see how this happens.”

I know how it happens. And I told him so.

We. Have. Too. Much. Stuff.

Over the last few weeks I have been following Flylady’s advice and developing a new habit. I’ve been shining my sink every night. I’ve shined my sink every night for the past twenty nights. If I shine my sink that day, I get to call it a success. More on that here. And I have to say, I’ve done better at this than any other little “start a new habit” challenge I’ve tried in the past.

So I’m ready to start the next one. Technically it’s not February until the end of the week. But I’m starting now for three reasons.
1. We’ll be in Florida for a week in February. Sure, I can work on it in our little cabin. But to make it a full month, I need to start early.
2. I was tripping over things and couldn’t take it any more.
3. I get it. The reason it’s Shine Your Sink and THEN Declutter and never Clean Your Entire Home Right Now. And that’s the part of the battle I kept losing before.

I’m usually pretty open about things. But it’s so bad I’m not even willing to share pictures. I present to you, then, an artistic representation of our home throughout this New Habit process.

First, here’s what the apartment looked like after the holidays.


Next, this is what it looked like yesterday morning after 20 days of a shiny sink. (That’s the little silver star. I’m very proud of myself.)


Then yesterday I was teaching a piano lesson at home. There was no way I could have people see this. So I followed the directions for Crisis Cleaning. I’ve tried this method before with mixed results. This is the first time I’ve followed the directions completely. And after six hours, my home looked like this.


Better, right? It really is better to have that living room so clean. Ryan and Lily were THRILLED. And a I was proud to have done it.

But here’s the problem. It’s the same amount of stuff. Just squished together. And THAT is the issue. Too much stuff.

I get why the Shiny Sink is the first habit. And I’ll write more about that on my final Follow-Up Friday for that habit. But it’s time to Declutter.

I started in the kitchen because it is the easiest, emotionally. That has mold on it. Toss it. I also solicited help from the rest of the family. Lily loves to toss the recycling into that grocery cart. After just a few minutes, this is what was evicted from our living space.

(Don’t worry, friends. That’s just the box from Catch Phrase. Not the game. I got that version of the game in 1998. The box is no longer a box. But the game remains one of the most hysterical sources of late night entertainment ever. We’re keeping the game. Just tossing the box.)

Today’s challenge: my car. Because I can’t put the “Give Away” items in a car full of trash. I’ll keep posting pics every Friday on the blog. But if you want to see the daily progress follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or tumblr πŸ™‚

Follow-Up Friday: My Two Healthy Lungs

Boy. Accountability is important- Amiright?
Earlier today I was thinking about my follow-up entry for this week. I thought about all those rejections and how I still had so many agents I hadn’t queried. And then I realized I had managed to avoid it all since last Friday (aside from the rejections I got throughout the week, which were promptly deleted). I didn’t want to tell my tens of readers that I’d been a gutless slacker. So I sent out a few. Thirteen, to be exact. Queries are so easy to send. And they are also very hard.
My query count now stands at 113. Just keep swimming.
My Shiny Sink Streak, on the other hand, is a little more encouraging. I have shined my sink every night for seventeen nights. It very nearly feels like a habit. In fact, I am really looking forward to starting the next habit: decluttering. I’m so anxious that I’m going to start a bit early. More on that on Monday.
But what I really want to talk about today is my c25k progress.
For some reason, the five-minute intervals intimidated me. It’s so silly. Five minutes? Really, Mindy? You can run for 5 minutes.
And I’ve run much longer than that before. It just felt like a random scary barrier. It’s the interval that tests my lungs a bit. Makes my breathing a little more difficult. Makes me fight to keep my breaths measured.
I knew this would be the week I’d either bust through it or give up.
Between snow days and holidays, my schedule has been sort of a wreck since last Friday. I only ran twice. The first time was Tuesday, when I ran Day 3 Week 3. Easy peazy. But I knew that five-minute interval was coming. Then on Tuesday night I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. I saw a post from a friend. He shared his workout from MapMyRun. No biggie. People do it every day.
Wait. Didn’t this dude just have a double lung transplant?
Yes. He sure did. I don’t know him well at all. We met at a party and become connected on Facebook. But I prayed for him during his surgery. I was so relieved to see a post the next day that was from him. He was alive and breathing. With two new lungs.
I remember reading his posts during the holiday season. It is January. Dude just got two new lungs, and he’s running. Not fast. Not far. But he’s running.
Um, what was my problem again?
Absolutely nothing.
I may only have this year and next year to run before I am in the Masters Division. (Seriously. Seriously? Seriously.) But I healthy. I am a former college cheerleader. I am a professional singer with healthy lungs and excellent breathing technique. I weigh 110 pounds. (Yes, it is about 10 more pounds than I prefer. But it is not a lot to carry around. Also, if you don’t know me personally, I am 4’10” so if you have any anti-skinny comments you can save them KThanxBye) I am young and strong and healthy and have no excuses. Seriously, none.
So I ran on Wednesday. And I busted through that five-minute interval. And it was no big deal. I will do it again tomorrow. And four weeks from today, I will run a 5k at Epcot Center.
Because I can.

Throwback Thursday Part 2: Lily’s Challenge 2012

Sadly, I really don’t have the videos from 2012. Boo. But here are some pictures. Can you guess what shows these are? Comment with your answers!



Update: I have posted the answers in the comments!

Throwback Thursday: Lily’s Challenge 2012 WAIT NO 2011!

In February of 2012, Lily was 2 1/2. So many of her challenges were videos, which, sadly, I can’t seem to access- WAIT!!!

Oh Em Gee you guys. I was typing those words, and something triggered a teeny little memory. I POSTED THEM ON YOUTUBE. I just found all of the videos from Lily’s first year of Challenges. And I can’t even. She’s so cute. I can’t even.

So here are those videos. Enjoy. The titles of the shows are in the names of the videos so there’s no challenge. But it’s so cute it’s worth it. Oh Em Gee.

Peter Pan
Fiddler on the Roof
Thoroughly Modern Millie
South Pacific
Spelling Bee
The Music Man

And in case you need more and missed it, here’s the post from last week. πŸ˜‰

Follow-Up Friday #1: Shiny Sink, C25k, and Queries- Oh, My!

It’s been a rough week. We’ve had financial struggles and I have PMS and I’m grouchy. And getting a handful of rejections every day doesn’t help.

But you know what? I’m calling this week a win. Because I’ve reached my goals so far. Here’s the update.

Shiny Sink Streak

10. Going on 11 in a few minutes πŸ™‚
The shiny sink has been a huge success so far. I’ve taken it literally and only worried about shining the sink. But just as Flylady intended, it’s pretty easy to do the dishes when the sink is empty. And it looks so clean. I want the clean to spread. So I clean. It’s been ten days, and I have a pretty well-functioning kitchen. Shiny Sink Streak. Eleven days of winning.


Speaking of winning….

I just finished Week 3, Day 2. I’ve done 8 workouts of the 24- 1/3 of the way there! I’ve found it pretty easy to work into my schedule. Every day is too much. I know I want to spend Saturdays and Sundays with my family. And I know my Wednesdays are cray-cray. But Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday I can find time pretty consistently. This is the first time in my adult life that I have found a workout schedule that feels sustainable. And that is HUGE.

As for the workouts themselves, they also feel manageable. I’m sweating and working hard and feel a little challenged but not overwhelmed. C25K. Eight workouts of winning.

Rejection is hard. It’s really hard. And it makes me want to quit, even though I’m less than halfway through my list. (Things I also know: I only need one “yes,” and a “yes” takes longer than a “no.” Still sucks.) I pushed through, though, and sent a few more so I could say I reached a milestone. Queries. 100 sent. Feeling meh.

Off to shine my sink!

Also, this happened two nights ago.

It has nothing to do with any of the above except that it has everything to do with everything. Happy Weekend, everybody.

Throwback Thursday: Lily’s Challenge 2011

One of the coolest things about meeting Lily’s Birthmom when Lily was 6 weeks old was finding out why she chose us. It was when she saw the picture of Ryan building a set for my theatre company, Momentum Rep. (Momentum Rep fans, let me briefly take this opportunity to assure you that we are just on a restructuring hiatus. Hoping to return this summer!) Lily’s Birthmother wanted Lily to have an artistic upbringing.


By 18 months, Lily had been to two Broadway shows and I don’t know how many rehearsals. She was a Broadway Baby. And I was a bored Stay-At-Home Mom. So together (OK mostly me) we created “Lily’s Challenge.” I took pictures of Lily doing iconic things from musicals. (Or doing something that was a literal representation of a title, song, etc.) It caught on. And we’ve done it every year since.

This year, I’ll be hosting Lily’s Challenge here on Thoroughly Modern Mommy rather than the Momentum Rep site. So each Thursday leading up to February (the official month of Lily’s Challenge) I’ll be posting highlights from each year. Do you know what these pictures are? Leave your guesses in the comments. I’ll post the answers tomorrow πŸ™‚










Edit: the answers have now been posted in the comments! I also changed the title of this blog because, silly Mommy, Lily was 9 months old in February of 2010. These are the pics from 2011 πŸ˜›

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