CHALLENGE.......jack of all trades, master of SOME

Nancy Drew and the Sweet Valley Twins (popular late 80's/early 90's book characters), were great friends of mine 15+ years ago. Together, we would hide away in the depths of my overflowing tween closet, racing to finish chapter after chapter instead of more "productive" activities such as cleaning or practicing the piano.

There are 5 children in my family. 3 boys, 2 girls. Without much objection, I am the bossiest and loudest. I remember growing up: showing off for attention, batting my lashes for praise and brushing my hair 100 strokes each night. That is what Claudia, from the book series, The Baby-sitter's Club, did to have gorgeous hair- and she never wore the same outfit twice.
Taking this great literary example to heart, I spent my spare time babysitting many unlucky kids in order to afford the luxuries of the local mall. Meanwhile, my siblings were working their tails off for more long-term rewards
Brother #1 is a doctor and does his personal home remodeling on the side. Brother #2 is an amazing musician- can play any instrument- and a published author. My sister can play the piano beautifully, teaches her small children sign language and never forgets anyone's birthday. I thought I had hope in my little brother- but nooooo- he has decided to get all impressive on me too- He just graduated with a 4-year degree and is now studying for graduate school.



Mom- I know you secretly read this blog- maybe you should have tied me to the piano bench and withheld my food until I practiced.

I loved to try new things- the love was always at first sight though- and never lasted long. There was the year of softball, the year of gymnastics, the years of karate and clarinet. My on again, off again relationships with piano and swimming lessons, 4-h photography & babysitting. I dabbled in crafts and sang a great lip sync to Ace of Base.

I was then, and am now, the classic jack of all trades, master of none.

CHALLENGE........jack of all trades, master of SOME

We all have something we are good at. The problem is if we can recognize it. As women, we compare ourselves so harshly to one another. In a poll a while back, 100% of you said that you compared yourself to others. I am going to take a wild guess and assume that these comparisons were in a self-depreciating light.
After a bit of reflection, I am forcing myself to acknowledge that my "talents" don't necessarily need to be flashy or showy.

This week's challenge rules:

Identify 3 things that you are good at- some sort of talent- whether it be an amazing voice or the ability to get your white laundry brilliantly bright. Maybe you can parallel park in 2 easy maneuvers like they teach you in drivers ed. Can anyone really do that?
Comment here with your skills or write them somewhere that you will see them all week long.
Take a few minutes to recognize a little lovely about yourself, and try to be proud of it!

If you have trouble, ask someone else- a close friend, your 2-year-old, anyone. Don't question what they tell you. Accept the praise.

This challenge is similar to one a few months ago, but I think most of you out there, me too, need a little nudge in finding the good within.

My "special talents" will be listed in the comments.


  1. This took me a while-

    1- I can take seemingly junk and make it look fabulous! When I tell people that my home furnishings are almost all hand-me-downed or salvaged items, they area astonished! I really can turn trash to treasure.

    2- I am not a great cook- but I can make AMAZING cookies.

    3- I have some serious french braiding skills. Whenever my daughters decide to grow hair, it will be twisted, turned and teased into masterpieces.

    What are yours?

  2. I am cheerful early in the morning.

    I'm good at being in charge.

    I bake well.

  3. 3 things I am good at:

    1. design/ home remodeling
    2. family history
    3. personal finance (I like doing our taxes!)

  4. hmmm... I really don't know:

    1. Babysitting(is that a talent??)I can think of very few weeks this summer when I haven't babysat at least 5 days.

    2. Coming up with good ideas. Not that they all turn out perfectly but when ever I make up a new school project it always turns out very original.

    3 I love crafts. Scrapbooking, beading, anything. And I love the thingsI do.

    Phew... that was hard.

  5. Hmmm....I would say I am good at:

    1-getting out of the house with all the kids

    2-keeping up on my blog

    3-being resourceful

  6. First of all Camille, I remember going to babysit for Clarks after you got "too old" to babysit and I would always hear the kids asking, "Where's Camille? Why can't she babysit us?" Yeah, they loved you and I came in a distant second.

    My 3 are:

    1- I am great at coloring hair. I am a cosmetologist, but coloring hair is my favorite!

    2- I'm a good cook and I love to cook. I'm always trying different recipes trying to "wow" my family. Maybe someday I'll open a restaurant.

    3- I can sing quite well in the car and with my primary kids, but put me in front of an adult crowd and... not so much.

  7. Thank you so much for doing this! I tend to compare myself too much to my sisters believe it or not. 3 of my hidden talents would be:

    1. I can sing the harmony part to most songs.

    2. I bake fabulous chocolate chip cookies.

    3. I am great at organizing things...bedroom closets, kitchen cupboards, a diaper bag, etc. ;)

  8. This is a great challenge - I have ALWAYS considered myself a jack of all trades and master of none. Even in high school, I was surrounded by brilliant, talented people. And although I consider myself bright and talented, I always have felt that I was lacking in any great achievements. So, upon thinking, thanks to you, I have forced myself to come up with a few things that I do very well (this really was tough):

    1 - I am a great party planner - birthday party planning is my nirvana. I even did some home sales and although I quit because I am not a salesperson, my parties were fun! My kids parties always rock and I love to be on any committee I can that plans parties (church, school, family - whatever!)

    2 - I am a super frugal shopper - my kids always look cute and well dressed and I spend very little $$$ in the process.

    3 - I am the potato and chicken queen - I have mastered several recipes with these and always get rave reviews on my potato or chicken dishes.

    Whew, I am done - don't make me do any more! But thanks for this.

  9. 1. I shine in school. I graduated high school as valedictorian with a straight 4.0 GPA, and in college I graduated with a 3.9. Even the classes everyone called "hard" I just sort of breezed on through.

    2. I have taught my 3-year-old to not be a picky eater. She eats onions and loves them. One of her favorite flavors is curry. I don't have to "hide" the vegetables in a dish, she eats them as is. Now THAT is a talent!

    3. I'm good at being musical. I have learned to play the piano, the organ, and I can play the penny whistle by ear.

  10. Ok 3 thing's my wife says I do well are:


  11. Camille, thank you so much for your sweet note. It was very much appreciated, and yes, I am usually up feeding the little one. LOL. Such is life with a little one. As for your challenges, I LOVE them. It truly gives me something to look forward too every week, other than another Monday. He he he.
    3 Things.....

    1- I am a great listener.

    2- I make killer Caramel Chocolate Brownies.

    3- I have a creative mind for decorating. I love trying new things out of unusual items. Trading Spaces used to be my favorite show, just to see what they did with odd items. Although I would never cover my wall with straw. Sorry. :)

    Thanks for having me take a minute to realize that I am good at some things even though my house might not be immacualtely clean. :)

  12. hmmmm.....
    1. I'm a good cook, and I think it's fun to try to change recipes.

    2. I'm a good friend, my friends can depend on me.

    3. I am a calm person, I don't get upset easily.
    Thanks, not very often do you have to try to think of things like that

  13. I am really good at thing of things to do, when bored. (Whether I do them or not, is a different story!)

    I play the piano well...although I need to practice more. I can still do it.

    I am a great helper-outter. I just hear a little something some needs, and do it to the best of my ability and budget!

    I have lots of patience my husband says!

  14. Oh my goodness! I love your blog...I'm so adding you to my list of MUST READ blogs!
    Thanks for the inspiration. You're very right about the self-deprecation in comparison to other women.
    What I am good at:
    1. Scrapbooking- Love. It. I love preserving family memories
    2. I'm a great financial record keeper - I am always on top of the bills and the budget is tight and in balance (don't get me wrong - I make sure that all the "fun stuff" makes in into the budget).
    3. I'm pretty alright with a camera - this is one of my greatest joys, taking photos. I'm a little too critical about it sometimes but I have to say, sometimes I get shots of my kids that are totally priceless.

    Thanks for the challenge! You made me feel good about myself today!

  15. 1. I can sew pretty well
    2. I think I'm pretty funny, does humor count as a skill?
    3. I can make a room look good, I do however need a bit of funding, but I can work magic with a tiny budget

  16. #1 - I can play the piano...I'm no virtuoso, but I'm pretty good.

    #2 - Actually, I CAN parallel park :) I think it's fun!

    #3 - I'm a good cook (I think). I like to try new recipes, but hubby isn't always fond of that. He's not adventurous.

  17. 1- I am a great in the kitchen--even better when I'm not trying to keep kids happy while I'm in the kitchen.

    2- I am a great listener.

    3- My kids always look cute wearing last year's clearance clothes. Somehow I still get comments about how cute they look and where did I get that outfit. Yeah for being cheap!

  18. First of all, I would like to point out that a lot of these comments are, "I'm good at this, but . . ." I don't think those talents should count and those people should have to come up with another one! :)

    OK, I think I'm ready to try this:

    1. I am a fast learner, expecially with technology.

    2. I am good at getting along with people.

    3. I am good at reading.

  19. Okay,I am a few days late with this challenge, but here goes...

    1. I am good at teaching others, communicating information so they can understand it.

    2. I am great at packing last minute for 5 people for trips longer than 1 day. (Practice makes perfect!)

    3. I love to cook, especially stuff where you pull out all the stops. Making food for large groups is where I shine and can do it without breaking much of a sweat. (Something to do with being the oldest of 8 kids, whose Mom didn't exactly love cooking and was more than willing to let me do dinner?)

    What a great idea, and a little bit of a self-esteem boost. I need to do this more often.

  20. Oh goodness, I haven't done much lately to tell! Wait, that wasn't the purpose of this challenge. Ok, I'll try.

    1. I can do almost any accent.
    2. I am an AWESOME Nickname Up-Maker.
    3. Did you say to do three things? Journaling. Is that a talent?

  21. PS. Did I read something about caramel chocolate brownies?? I'd love the recipe...