I get it from my momma

I get it from my momma


One question I get over and over again is “How did you learn how to do this?!” This, usually meaning construction. My short reply is, “my mom.” She remodeled our houses for eventual resale to supplement my dad’s teaching income. It’s pretty incredible to think of the projects she undertook without being able to YouTube it first. She was patient enough to teach us kids how to do things even though she could have done it quicker herself.  I can remember being very  young and switching out outlet covers before I progressed to putting up mini blinds and painting. Some of the lessons she taught me about building are written about below.

1. GET STARTED:  My mom gets things done quick! Her first crack at little DIY action was before I was born. She already had three of six children and she decided ( I should say my parents decided but my dad had always been a bit reluctant to start ‘projects’) that they should put in a little potbelly fireplace in the living room. My mom dove in and cut right into the carpet where it should be, no going back, the first step was done.

2. EVERYTHING IS FIGUREOUTABLE:  My mom has taught me not to let the scope nor my inexperience of a project put me in a state of overwhelm. First we identify the challenge. For example, getting ridiculously heavy beams into place 14′ in the air while working on the Hawaii house.  Secondly we brainstorm all the ways that we might be able to do it and then start with the best option given whatever restrictions we might have. What seemed impossible without outside help we were able to do with winches. It wasn’t easy or a pretty process for that matter but we figured it out.

3. PERFECTION IS OVERRATED: Not only is it overrated its unobtainable. Perfection is a progress killer and a dream stopper. We tend to be way more critical on do it yourselfers than tradespeople. But the pros make mistakes too! Knowing that things are going to go wrong, mistakes will be made and it may take a few tries (or a half dozen trips to Home Depot) is incredibly reassuring.

Like all truly great moms you think she’s teaching you about one thing but really it’s about life.

Love you Mom!

11 Responses to I get it from my momma

  1. Benjamin Neff says:

    Very well written Ms.Wolfe.

  2. Aunt Vicki says:

    Nice said. Your mom really is an inspiration of get it done. I as her sister, never would attempt many of the things she did, yet I too, coming from the same gene pool, just dive in and figure it out as I go. :)

  3. Staci says:

    I learned similar lessons from my dad. At a time when girls didn’t belong in the wood shop, he asked for my “help” with almost everything, starting as soon as I could walk. I learned to respect power tools, measure twice and dry-fit before I glue or nail, to find all the bent nails with my eyes and not my feet, and to think through every step in a project before I do what can’t be undone. I love that your mom taught you the self-confidence to handle big projects.

  4. Joy says:

    Kristie, I love your blog. My daughter and I are much like you and your Mom. I’m a DIYer, but my daughter took it to the highest level, working in construction field and heavy equipment operation. She and her guy bought an acre with a house they stripped to studs and have been redoing it for two years, on weekends…all cash, project by project.. They moved in NOv.2013. She’s a beautiful girl, like yourself. Who says beauty can’t have brains and gumption! I look forward to more of your b,logging and projects.

  5. Ann W says:

    I love that you and your mother have had these opportunities and experiences together :-)

  6. Your Mom is an interesting woman and I’m sure she is proud of your creativity and accomplishments.
    I like your simple, yet concise 3 point lessons about building,,, good stuff! I’m going to need to save it somewhere to read again later. The last item (trying for perfection) always slows me.

  7. Riaan Havenga says:

    What a joy it is to be creative! People who do not experience the kick, to have made something and sit back looking at it, are really missing something.
    We don’t need to buy consumer toys to get our kicks, we make our own!

    I REALLY like your comment on perfection being a progress killer and dream stopper. It is spot on. My father-in-law is such a perfectionist that his children has lost a lot of their creative will.
    But perfection can be a good thing, you just have to manage it. Looking at your lovely projects, you must have more than a bit of this yourself!

    Kind Regards

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