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Why there's more to do in 2011

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As the year comes to an end, it's easy to think back over the past 12 months and wonder where the time went. After all, you had plans, big plans. Unfortunately, the majority of your list seemed to slip through the cracks. It seems, instead of siding the garage, staining the deck and losing those last 10 pounds - life happened.

The car needed repair; goodbye siding. Your air-conditioned house beckoned you in from the sweltering summer sun; sorry deck. And your daughter took an interest in baking; taste-testing support was a must. The truth is, your list will never be done. There will always be something else to fix, an unexpected expense to pay and a surprise that, even if for a moment, completely throws you off course. That's life as we know it.

My husband, Patrick, and I had the opportunity to experience most of these things first hand over the past year. It was December of 2009, when we experienced the anticipated moment of unlocking the door to our first home. As I walked through the foyer and onto the dirtiest, stain-filled carpet I'd ever seen, I remember thinking to myself, "This is everything I never knew I always wanted."

Patrick and I have always loved projects, especially ones we can complete together, so the thought of polishing our filth-covered house into a gem of a home inspired us. Now, 10 light fixtures, 13 recessed lights, 16 light switch covers, 22 gallons of paint, 500 tiles, 1,700 square-feet of flooring and thousands of dollars later, we are thrilled at all we were able to accomplish.

It was a year of a lot of sweat, a few tears and most-importantly - insurmountable amounts of teamwork. Did we finish everything on our list, no. And thank goodness. After all, we need something to look forward to in 2011!