Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Get It

Last night I posted this photo on Instagram and Facebook...

After they finished playing Play-Doh, and as I was finishing cleaning up supper dishes (Bill lovingly made us supper last night), Bre said, "Papa, dance with Mommy like at a wedding."

I turn on Pandora, and 'Marry Me' by Train was on.

Mid-way through the song she decided Bill needed to dance with her, so off they went -  twirling, spinning, and 'dipping' around the kitchen and living room.

My caption included, "Moments like this remind me how far our lives have come, for the better, this past year. #BestPapaAndHusbandAnyoneCouldEverAskFor".

The above statement is so simple, but filled with so much truth.

One of my really good friends posted the following message to my wall after seeing my posting:

I love how much what you have is like what we have. It makes me feel a sense of reality and community. For a long time I had a lot of people almost making me ashamed of our happiness....but seeing someone else who so openly rejoices in the blessings GOD has bestowed....Well, you and me are friends in a way so few are. I can't wait to keep reading the rest of your story and I love that I know for a fact you are reading mine!

Why is there such a social stigma on celebrating happiness?  On honoring your spouse through public praise? Or taking a moment each day to state the blessings in your life that you are thankful for?  Or for men: Oh, you admitted on social media that you love your family, so you must have lost your man card.

I have friends who take part in the social media mime of writing out what they are thankful for the entire month of November, and then I have other friends who complain about reading and then subsequently state that they are thankful that the month is over so that they don't have to read 'thankful' posts anymore.

I find that ironic.

Today I read the following blog post about honoring your spouse.

For years I chronicled the few and far between 'good days' in an attempt to hide the not-so-good.  I was also one of those people who didn't understand the depth of why those few people I knew that have a life filled with exuberant love and joy chose to share it so much.  

I didn't understand it because I wasn't experiencing it in my life.

I often thought:

Why would you post you love your spouse on Facebook when they are sitting in the same room as you?  

I was critical and judgmental of them.  Often wondering if they were hiding something.  I was, so they had to be also.

Except they weren't.  They were just really that happy and in love with their lives.

I get it now.

E's mom, D, and I had one of the best conversations, last year, about love, marriage, and commitment that I've ever had.  

Within the first few months of dating Bill, I finally understood what D's heart and words had said to me.  And I will forever be grateful for that conversation.

I get it now.

I get it because I am so lucky to be living it.

I understand the desire to honor your spouse in words, actions, prayer, and love.

And just as importantly, I also understand what a blessing it is to have a spouse that gives honor.

Those kind of blessings....they deserve recognition.

In any form in which you choose.

Over the past year I've come to understand that life is far too short to not live in and celebrate happiness.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Our Office Renovation

A couple weeks ago we decided to tackle our 'catch all' room aka the office.  While Bill was at work I decided to re-arrange and de-clutter to get the process started.  The desks started out against the wall to the left and the wall that Bill's degree was hanging on.  

Initially I had wanted to put them back to back, but both of them weren't flush on the backside so it was impossible to line them up straight.

So, I text Bill and asked him if he'd be opposed to disposing of one of them.

He had a better idea.

He decided to break one down and use the scrap wood to build the end table/dog crate that we had planned to build for Gray-cee and Va.  

Just organizing this room made it look and feel so much less chaotic.

We had a few discussions about color, and Bill initially wanted to go with a dark gray, but I found this color  (Behr Cardamon Spice) in the 'oops' paint section, and it ended up being a similar - but few shades darker - color to one of the colors in the formal dining, so we decided to go with it.


This table came from the living room... in the space we put the new end table, so we had to find a new home for it.  When Bill suggested the office I may or may not have put up some resistance, but once we put it in there and figured out the furniture layout, I'm glad he suggested it.

I refinished it using Behr Cloud Burst and Rustoleum Cocoa Glaze.

We decided to paint the bookshelf and desk white.

Behr Gypsum is what we used on both of pieces of furniture, the wainscoting, and all the trim.

We wanted a few color 'pops' since we painted the walls such a neutral color, so we decided to paint the file cabinet I use for my crafting supplies a wine color.  

This was after the first coat and it still looked really pink.

If you follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram you know that we let Bre help with as much as she could on this renovation, and she absolutely loved every minute of it.

A few weeks ago our aunt sent me a link to a website that she thought I'd like, and let me tell you, there are so many re-purposing projects that I've added to my list after looking through the site.

These no-sew, drop cloth curtains were one of them.

After I cut the drop cloth in half, I used fusible bonding web to make my hems.

Then I taped off the bottom and used brown acrylic paint to make stripes.


Super easy.

And the whole process took less than 2 hrs. 

I also used another drop cloth to wrap the back of the bookshelf to give it texture.

After letting the wood acclimate for a few days, it was time to seal the edges of the wainscoting.

Once the wainscoting and chair rail were up, the craft projects started.

I used scrap paper and an old window to make a wedding photo collage.

Photo collage walls are no joke, people.

Lots of measuring and marking, especially when your frames have multiple hooks.

This is a horrible quality picture, but I love this wall.

It includes a 'Count Your Blessings' plaque, one of Bre's baby pictures, a picture of the girls playing in the ocean, our big group family picture from the wedding, a 'P' for Price (not Purdue. lol), a Family plaque, a picture of Bill, Grandma Leola, and I, a picture of Bill and I,  a picture of our sand 'unity' candle holder, and the family tree painting my Mother-in-Law painted for our reception.

Bill added molding to the doorway, we added a few pieces of decor/plants, and hung the curtains to finish off our remodel.

We could not be more happy with how our office turned out.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Worthy of Honor

How is it possible that another week has already went by?  I guess the old saying that the older you get, the faster time goes by really is true.
Bill and I have been so busy with projects around our house that I completely missed Friday's Fave Five last week.  I digress.
A friend recently told me that she was inspired by my blog and outlook on life.  It's always odd to me when people say things like this, because I don't approach any area of my life with the thought 'I hope someone sees this and it is inspires them.'  And this blog is no different.  It's just my place to capture our memories.  A place to remind myself of all I have to be thankful for.
1.  Creativity.  If you've been following along the past couple weeks, you know that Bill and I have taken on several projects around our house.  We built a table for our dining room, upcycled a few pieces of decor, painted and re-decorated our bookshelves, and started our office remodel.  Bill jokes that he is going to block Pinterest from our router, but I know he secretly likes looking for new ideas with me.
2. Encouragement.  As much as I enjoy exploring my creative side, I am thankful for a husband who not only supports and encourages it, he jumps in and helps me when I ask him to. 
3.  Countdowns.  In a week, I will be headed to pick up my littlest cherub from her dad.  As much as Bill and I have enjoyed having a few weeks to settle into married life/living together, I am extremely ready to be reunited with my little blonde hair, blue eyed beauty. 
4.  Lunch Dates.  I love the fact that Bill's office is just a few miles from our house, so he comes home for lunch almost every day.  And I'm even more thankful when he makes me lunch because I'm busy refinishing our office furniture.
5.  Grace.  This subject has been weighing heavily on my heart lately.  Mostly because there are constantly situations in which I look back on and think, 'I should have handled that with more grace.'  It's exactly what Jesus gifted to us that saved our souls, and there are areas of my life in which I know I need it.
A.  Grace for myself. 
I will stop listening to that inner voice that tells me I'm not good enough.  Not a good enough wife, mom, daughter, friend, Christian.   That voice is almost debilitating at times.  You didn't get that last item checked off of your to-do list for the day, so nothing you accomplished matters.
 I have a savior, a husband, and children who tell me that I am, and I need to start believing it.
I will continue taking moments each day to pause and thank God for my blessings.  Every day, as a whole, may not be the best, but there are absolutely beautiful moments in every day.  And it's so much easier to honor those moments if we're brave enough to live like that.
B. Grace for my husband.
Bill and I have a very real, honest, and respect-filled relationship - which I am very proud of, but I'd be lying if I said we don't have moments when we aren't on our A game. 
I will stop thinking that he can read my mind, decipher my body language, meet ALL of my needs and wants, and remember to put the toilet seat down in the middle of the night.  (Even though I secretly REALLY wish we could accomplish the last named task.)
I will allow grace to fill the spaces between our differences, because I desire to honor our marriage.
 C. Grace for my children.
It's hard to be a kid.  Especially in this day and age.  I will put myself in their shoes, and work through their fears and worries with them.  I will understand that, sometimes, it's hard having me for a mother, and remember that their hearts desire to please me even when my expectations of them are too high.  I want to teach them to laugh more, forgive quicker, listen longer, be gracious, and give love.
D.  Grace in hurt.
I've really struggled with this over the past several years, but I really feel like He has used my life this past year to open my eyes to the fact that hurt is not always intentional.  And sometimes it comes when someones heart is in the right place for them or someone else, but that place doesn't align with yours.
We've all been there - for various reasons.  And as hard as it is, I pray that He will continue to reform my heart.  I desire to be a part of the answer, but so often I am still a part of the problem.
When I step outside of my comfort zone of the happiness bubble I choose to live in most of the time, I see real people, real life, and real disappointment and hurt.  And I know that as much as some of those people and circumstances have hurt me, that I've also caused hurt, too.
I know His grace - though undeserved - has the ability to tear down defenses and turn even the biggest mess into a message.
For me, grace is the beginning of freedom to fully love, and there isn't a corner of my life that doesn't need it.
And at the end of my life, I hope it can be said that I loved well.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

'Up'- Purposing

'Up' - purposing.

I like that word so much better than re-purposing.

Mostly, because I feel like when you re-purpose pieces of furniture/decor you are really making them better.  You are giving them a face lift. And that's exactly what Bill and I have been doing to various pieces around our house.

The following are a few of my latest projects.


Have you ever seen a knife block that wasn't unflattering to the counter that its presence graces?

I really can't say that I have.

And ours was no exception, so I decided to add some character to it.


First, I popped off the ugly Farberware emblem.

I didn't worry about sanding out the scuff it made since I planned to distress it anyways.

Bill recently introduced me to the 'oops' paint section at Home Depot, which I absolutely LOVE for small projects. 

I snagged the can pictured below for just 50 cents!!!

It's called Cloud Burst and it's the perfect shade of turquoise.

I painted on a few coats with a sponge brush and let dry.

In the meantime, I painted and distressed this tile block I found for around $2.

 I gave the knife block a rough sand with 180 grit sand paper, and attached the tile to the front to give it a little decorative flare.

Then I glazed the entire piece.

In less than an hour, we went from having an ugly block of wood on our counter top to having a nice pop of color on an unexpected item.

Next came the COAT RACK.

Bill had been 'mentioning' for a few weeks that he'd like for me to re-do the coat rack, as it was sponged white and blue and didn't really go with anything else in our house.

By mentioning, I mean he's lovingly suggested that the coat rack could use some of my TLC.  I may have laughed when he told me that he 'mentions' projects repeatedly, because he knows one day I will wake up and say, "That really needs to be done."  He's planting the 'idea' seed.  

He told me that this coat rack had been passed down through a few generations, but I didn't know the full story of where it had come from until my Mother-in-Law told me yesterday.  It was actually his great-uncles.

I love pieces that have a story.  They mean so much more than the cheaply made pieces of pressed wood/veneer covered furniture that is for sale in most furniture stores today.

I removed the hooks and got to work.

I used the same color of paint as I did on the knife block, but I distressed this piece more, and added a water stain.

Water staining is adding part water and stain, and wiping the product off with a wet cloth after brushing it on.

The stain adheres to the sanded portions, and mostly wipes off of the paint.

While the stain was drying, I spray painted the hooks with Rust-Oleum's Hammered Brown.


I didn't realize it until I put the coat rack back in the foyer, but the color goes really well with the painting my Mother-in-Law painted of Bill's 57.

On a side note: I'm pretty sure I have Bill convinced that it's time to get rid of the 1990 white tile.

Actually, the conversation went more like this:

Me:  That tile REALLY needs to be replaced.

Bill:  *silence*

Me: You know it won't take that long to remove it.  It's a small space.

Bill:  *a long, drawn out moment of silence*

We have more pressing the office and laundry room.

Me: I know. But you may just come home one day and part of it will be removed.

Bill: *silence*

Me: How mad would you be if you came home from work one day and it was gone?

Bill:  I love you!

Me:  No, seriously.  Would you be mad?

Bill:  *silence*

Me:  Staring at him until he starts laughing.  

We go downstairs to get a snack and when we are going back upstairs he asks, "What would you want to put down in here?"

Me:  I have NO idea, but something needs to happen because that tile is ugly.

Bill: Laughing at my response.

Of course I have no idea, it was just a random thought that I thought he'd immediately shut down.

BUT....Yes!!!  He's 'thinking' about it.  The 'idea seed' has been planted in him this time. Lol.

Not to mention, we need the practice if we are going to buy an old farmhouse to gut and remodel.  :)

Last project of the day yesterday.


After supper, Bill went outside to mow and work on burning all of the scraps we had leftover from our table project.  Needless to say, I stopped him mid-way through and asked him to cut me a slat from one of the remaining pallets.  

A few months ago, I went to Indy for the weekend to visit E, and in true form we ran to the craft store to get a few things.

I ended up finding these really cool black and white post card letters to spell out our last name.

We've been planning to do a photo collage wall in our bedroom, but I haven't been able to a 5 opening picture frame that I liked, so the post cards were just sitting on our dresser.  I decided Mod Podging them to a pallet slat was the perfect solution.

After Bill cut the slat off for me, I removed the old nails and gave it a quick sand with 180 grit sand paper.

Using the same paint as I did on the other two projects, I painted a base coat on the board.

Once it dried, I white washed it.

Then distressed, and brushed a thin coat of Mod Podge on it.

I placed the letters on and covered the entire board with another coat of Mod Podge.

I absolutely love how this piece turned out, although we have yet to decide where to put it.

It's currently perched atop our fireplace mantel, but I think I'm going to end up putting it on the built-in in the living room.  

That is, after I repaint and reorganize it tomorrow.  

Saturday, July 06, 2013

We Built a Table (From Old Wooden Pallets)

A couple months ago I started mentioning that I'd like... ummm, I wanted a farmhouse table for our dining room.  Settling for a cheaply made, or non-unique table just wasn't going to cut it.  I started surfing Craigslist, yard sale and estate listings for reclaimed wood that was for sale.  I found a couple listings, but whoa, the price of reclaimed woods is OUTRAGEOUS!  So, Bill started searching the web for other ways to make my dream table, and discovered pallet furniture.  

A few days ago, he brought home four pallets, and drew out some plans for our future table.  

I couldn't quite see his 'vision' in my head, so I made him bring the pallets into the dining room so I could visualize the dimensions.


July 4th, we woke up ready to assemble our custom-made table.

Little did we know how much work tearing apart old pallets really is. 


We kept some of the top boards in place while we attached two parts of the pre-assembled pallet frames for the frame of our table.

 Bill tore the the planks off, and I hammered out the old nails, and reinforced and sanded the planks we used for the legs of our table .

We realized about half-way through this process that we were not going to have near enough planks for the table and legs so we ran, and got five more pallets.

Once we disassembled all of them, we got to work laying out the pattern for the table top.

Starting from the center outwards, we nailed the planks to the frame.

While Bill cut and nailed the planks, I started the rough sanding. 

About mid-way through building the tabletop, we decided to call it a night.  Not to mention, it was about 11 p.m. and I'm sure the neighbors wouldn't have appreciated hearing us sawing wood.

Day 2.  Before starting we had to make a Home Depot run for the paint and oil I planned to use on the table-top.  (Yes, we are missing trim around the door.  We replaced the door recently, and Bill is putting the trim up as I write this.)

And I got out of work for a little bit, because I met my beautiful friend, Tiffany for lunch.

Tiffany and I have been friends on Twitter and Facebook for some time, because we are both involved with the Susan G Komen 3-Day, and know of each other through a group we are part of called 'The 3 Day Tweeps', but Friday was the first time I've ever met her in person.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago, finished chemo a couple weeks ago, and will be undergoing her bi-lateral mastectomy next Wednesday.  I'd appreciate it if y'all would send a few prayers up for her and the hands of her surgeons, and I know she'd appreciate it, too.

She is just so incredibly brave, full of life, beautiful, and inspiring, and I am so incredibly blessed to call her my friend.

After my visit, it was back to work.

When I got home, Bill had set the table-top on the legs so it'd be easier for us to work, and not strain our backs.

Good thinking, babe!

As he finished measuring out, cutting, and nailing the planks down, I started painting random pieces in various different colors.

Once the paint was dry, Bill cut the boards flush.

I went over the entire top and sides with a rough grit sand paper, then Bill followed with a fine grit to smooth it out.

I used a hand sander with very fine grit to smooth the seams, and then rubbed coconut oil on the entire table to bring out the natural color of the wood.

Once we carried the legs and the table-top into the house, we attached them with 'L' brackets to secure the table-top to the legs, and added two beams for extra support.

After we had it set up, I decided the lantern that Bill's aunt and uncle gave us for the wedding would make the perfect center piece, and it does.  It's gorgeous.

We toyed around with a few miscellaneous things we had laying around the house to add to the center, and we added a bench for seating.

We decided we liked the look of the leather bench, so we scrapped the idea of making benches and set out to find another bench and two 'decorative' chairs for the ends.

I had saw a shop called the 'Bargain House' in downtown Pineville when I was searching for the reclaimed wood, so we decided to go check it out.

We really didn't find anything there that we liked, but at the store right next door we found these.

Bill had noticed one at the front of the store, and I noticed one in the back, but at first we didn't realize they were the same chair.

Then we saw four more hanging overhead.


The exact amount we needed for our table.

The needle point and craftsmanship of these chairs is absolutely beautiful.

And the best part...we got all six of these chairs for the same price as one China-made chair we saw at Marshall's.

I could not be more in love with this room. 

And aside from it being completely unique, this project only cost us about $250.  Chairs included.

The salt and pepper shakers - Bill made those out of mason jars last night.

And the flowers, he grew and picked them for me.

He loves me well.


Do you think he's searching the web for our next project?  Or maybe a recipe for supper???  :)

Edited:  I've received a lot of questions about sealing the table.  The day we built the table, we used coconut oil to bring out the natural color of the wood.  I ended up sealing the entire table with Winwax Fast Drying Poly in a Satin finish.