Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I'm Back!!! And I Come Bearing Updates and a HUGE Surprise!

Hey there strangers! It's been awhile, huh?! Sorry I left you hanging like that...especially with my last post being the Debbie Downer it was...but my leave of absence has taught me some very important things: I love writing for this blog, I love my readers, and I love creating, building, and working on projects (even when I really don't have the time for them!). So with that said, let's just jump right back into it shall we?
 
The last three months have been full of updates. Unfortunately these updates were mandatory because of a terrible storm that swept through our small town and tore it to pieces. We've slowly but surely been putting things back together and things are looking up! The biggest update of all was getting a new roof on the house!
I couldn't track down the old picture of the roof but just imagine an orangy-yellow catastrophy. It was NOT my choice of color but considering it was in decent shape when we moved the house and tons of money was being poured into other important and more pressing projects, the roof got put on the back burner!
 
But now it's done and here is the "after"...
 (I say it with quotations because although the roof is done, we still have gutters and other larger projects to finish out before the exterior is FULLY completed!)

I love how the darker roof pulls out the grays in the brick and matches the darker windows. It really makes the house pop and feel more up-to-date! I am currently in the process of picking the perfect door color to match the new look then I will focus on the front porch décor and landscaping. I know it might be hard to believe this with my recent track record but I promise to do updates on all these projects as I finish them!
 
Up next, our living room is about to undergo some changes! The last time I showed it on the blog it looked like this...
 

(Actually seeing these pictures is what made me decide to do a living room update! This space has changed many times since then and I never documented it!)
 
One major change came when I built the shelves around the TV...

 
And began filling them with my favorite things...
 


And just the other day Joseph and I bought a new sectional...(here is a sneak peak of the one we chose!)

 
It should be here in about a week or two so I'll be giving updates on the transformation of this room soon as well!
 
Speaking of things that are on their way... This is absolutely the most exciting thing I could ever announce and I have been itching to let you all in on the big surprise!
Joseph and I are expecting a baby boy in November!!!


To say we are thrilled beyond measure and over the moon with excitement is a total understatement. Time has flown by and without even realizing it I've cruised right past the halfway mark! Everything is looking good! Our sweet boy is healthy and looking more like a tiny human every time we see him! So with that said, it is finally time to start the nursery I've been dreaming about for years! Because I'll be doing the nursery in phases (there are still a million other things to finish around the house before our bundle of joy arrives) I will be doing a Nursery Update Series to show each and every step of the process! I'm hoping to make it weekly and finish up in about 4-6 weeks but don't be surprised if I skip a week now and then!
 
So that's all for now! Stay tuned because now that I'm back  things are about to get exciting!!! :)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Real Life: Putting My "Story" & Myself Out There...

(Just a head's up... This post is EXTREMELY long. I knew I should've split it into parts but out of fear of "chickening out" I decided to go for it and put it all into one! Consider yourself warned!!!)
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This is a home décor/DIY blog. I’m talking paint colors and building projects. How to build a house on a budget then decorate it with all kinds of repurposed items. I show before and afters... not FEELINGS!
 It's supposed to be happily ever after and big TA-DA moments.
 I come up with ideas and then I try them out to the best of my ability. Sometimes they fail miserable and sometimes they work out wonderfully. Either way, I write about the experience and (hopefully) get a few reads out of it...
….and all the while I've had this secret post written about something not many know about me....

I am a mother to two babies in Heaven.

I wrote this (very wordy) post many, many month's ago but for the life of me could not bring myself to publish it. I really never had any intention of posting about my pregnancies. And to be honest, I thought I was fine with just keeping it all to myself. Sometimes, but rarely, it's brought up in a conversation between myself and the select few that know the details. Other than that it's not something we talk about regularly.
 I struggled with the thought of putting myself out there and with this being "my story". I struggled with the fact that this is not related to home décor or DIY. I struggled with the thought of scaring readers away for being open about something this heavily weighted. But most of all, I struggled with the words. I wasn't sure what to say or if I should even say it at all.
 Now, I'm not sure if it's the fact that multiple women in my life have recently gone through a similar experience, that I randomly stumbled upon this series, or that I know reading other mothers birth stories was a big part of what got me through mine. Whatever the reason, I just feel that the time is right. And let me just say, although this is not something that is easy for me to talk about (especially by way of Internet and putting it out there for all to see) I feel good about my decision to post it. Perhaps by putting myself out there and by being proverbially "stripped naked" of all my walls, maybe, just maybe, I can help one woman that is quietly struggling as well. 
Like I mentioned above...I don't want this to be my story. I don't want this part of me to be what people remember or know about. But it is that... A part of me. Like it or not we all have cracks. Some larger than others, but all broken in some way or another. This is my (for lack of better word) crack...
............................................................
I had my first miscarriage in June of last year. To say it was the worst moment of my life is an understatement. I've lost loved ones before and I've been through heartbreaks like most everyone else. NOTHING compared to this!

But let's start from the beginning, shall we?!...

Growing up, being married and having kids at a young age was never my main priority. I always knew I wanted to marry the man of my dreams and I absolutely wanted children. It just wasn't the FIRST thing to do on my list of life accomplishments. But the day I met Joseph I immediately knew two things: I wanted to grow old with that man and I wanted him to be the father of my children. Everything else that seemed important up to that moment was out the window. I had met my soul-mate.  We planned on waiting to have children but when our wedding day rolled around in April of 2013, we both felt strongly about leaving it in God's hands. We were officially "not trying yet not preventing either". I was so excited (and scared to death) about this decision!
 After nearly a year of not becoming pregnant, we finally talked about our plans of future children and if we wanted to actively start trying FOR REAL! Ultimately, we decided it was too early to start worrying about it and instead went on the first big adventure of our married life. We were a month into our Washington adventure when I started to notice things weren't right. I was in a lot of pain and completely uncomfortable all the time. But also, I was nauseous, moody, tired all the time, and sore in suspicious areas. I was pretty sure I knew my body well enough to know if I was pregnant but a local doctor made it clear I was only having these issues because of a cyst that was getting ready to rupture. (Let me add, I've had many cysts over the years and not one of them felt like this! (Always listen to your body ladies... It knows what it's talking about!) 

It was the end of April and we had just gotten word Joseph's job in the beautiful state of Washington was coming to an end. Part of me was so sad to be leaving the place Joseph and I had grown so close as partners in, but on the flip side I was beyond excited to start another journey and create a beautiful (and more settled) life back home in Texas.

Because of all the unknowns I had experienced in the previous months, I was MORE than excited to find out my parents were coming to visit the last weekend of our stay.
I needed them there in that moment more than they realized.
The morning I was supposed to go pick them up from the airport I had a strange feeling wash over me. I had a sudden urgency to take one more pregnancy test. (The only one left in the box that I had promised myself would be the last!) Because I had taken so many test at that point, I didn't see any reason in getting my hopes up. I took the test, set it aside, and finished getting ready without giving it a second thought. I realized I was VERY late getting on the road so I gave the test a quick glance and tossed it before running out to the car and rushing to the Seattle airport. It was a good 30 minutes of driving before it hit me... "Unless my mind is playing tricks on me, that test had a very faint pink line". Of course it was all I could think of the entire drive there and back! As soon as we were back at our place, I rushed up the stairs to the bathroom only to find the cleaning lady had been in and the trash was gone. The test was gone.

I decided in that moment that I would stick to my promise of it being my "last" test and focused on having the most amazing weekend with my parents and husband. I also wanted to be in the moment with Joseph and enjoy our trip back home as just the two of us. I would try and put it in the back of my mind until we got home even if it killed me.
We were finally back in Texas and unpacked from our long trip. It was the week of my birthday and I decided it was time to try one more test. This time the little pink line appeared in seconds. No second guessing and no mistake... 
I was pregnant!

I could hardly contain myself. I went through ever emotion in the book in a matter of seconds. I laughed with pure joy of knowing I would be a mommy. I cried from shear panic. I denied, denied, denied. Then over and over I thanked God. I couldn't wait to tell Joseph but considering this was the biggest moment in our life together (and the fact that I had been planning the surprise of telling him for weeks just in case I was) I decided to hold off and use the information as the best birthday gift to him. (His birthday is just 20 days after mine.) Later that night, as we relaxed in our (then) guest bedroom/music room, I sat and listened to him play guitar and serenade me as he always did. It was almost impossible for me to hold back the tears as I watched him that night.
I thought of the man he was and dreamed of the father he would be.
When out of no where, he brought up a new song he had learned that day. It wasn't like any other he usually sang so when I heard the words...
"Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I close my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face
With arms wide open
Under the sunlight
Welcome to this place
I'll show you everything
With arms wide open
With arms wide open
Well I don't know if I'm ready
To be the man I have to be
I'll take a breath, I'll take her by my side
We stand in awe, we've created life"

I LOST IT!
 Talk about a sign from God and a plan thrown out the window...

I rushed to the bathroom, dug out the THREE positive pregnancy tests I had hidden (a girl's gotta be sure!) and rushed back to Joseph, secretly holding them behind my back. I had a huge smile on my face and tears in my eyes when I held them out to him. I watched every emotion that had hit me earlier in the day, wash over my husband.
BEST.DAY.EVER!

 I research doctor after doctor until I finally found the one I felt right going to. (I've always had trust issues when it came to doctors because of problems I had in high school.) The day had finally come to find out more about this little human I had been growing for weeks. We took our mothers for support (something I am so grateful for to this day!) and went on our merry way! As soon as we made it to the office, I was informed the doctor I was meant to see that day was gone for an emergency delivery. A new doctor I knew nothing about would be examining me. It's funny how God just knows who we need to come into our lives at certain times. I knew pretty quick that she was part of the plan God had in store for me.

 I wish I could give more detail about the entire experience of learning my first child was no longer with us but to be honest; I went numb. Nothing but blankness in my mind and the sound of my heart pounding in my ear. I somewhat remember walking out into the lobby and seeing our mom's excitedly waiting to hear the news, then suddenly seeing their faces fall in sadness. The car ride home was long. The week after was a blur. I decided to take the medicine to pass it at home and with the help of pain killers, I stayed comatose in bed. 
I was a wreck.

 Never in my life had I felt so let down and even worse, disappointed in myself. I felt like I took something from everyone important to me that day. The overwhelming feeling of failure hit me like a ton of bricks. In my mind, I was the reason Joseph would not be a father. I was the reason my parents wouldn't become grandparents that year. I was the reason the baby didn't survive. And although I was told I would experience the "typical" emotions: sadness and grief, anger and guilt; the feeling I was not ready for was that of shame.

Fast forward one month. We had just celebrated 4th of July with our annual Backyard Olympics and for once I was starting to feel human again. To be completely honest, I was still struggling to cope. I didn't do much talking to anyone up to that point and when I was alone (which was a good chunk of the time) I cried. Hard.

I was stuck in a rut!

But during this time I also grew closer to God. I "found" Him again and truthfully, I needed that. I often hear women say they got angry with God. They couldn't understand why He would take something so precious to them. I completely understand this after going through it but lucky for me, instead of anger I found my way. I prayed to God constantly. About my baby, about Joseph, about my entire family, and most of all, my path. I asked for forgiveness over and over. I begged Him to calm my anxieties and to lead me where He wanted me to be. I constantly asked for a sign that things were going to be okay. (Little did I know that the plan and path I prayed so hard to find, were already in motion.)

There were multiple instances I can think back to and clearly see how God was there. He was right in front of my face, SHOUTING the answers I wanted from him. Yet I was too busy to open my eyes and see Him. Losing this baby opened my eyes to God and made me see that everything is going to be okay!

 On Sunday we went to a church meeting. I usually wasn't part of those types of meetings but for some reason I was there for this one. I didn't know it then but I think back to that day often. That meeting was the day Derek came into our life.
That meeting changed my life.

Now at this point I am dying to tell you start to finish about Derek and the many, MANY ways God has worked through Joseph and I to find him. I wish I could tell you about the amazing teenager that abruptly joined our family and shook up our life for the better. I wish I could explain the deep love we have for him as if he was our own and all the happy moments we've gotten to experience as a family. But the truth is, I am only (a very blessed) part of his story. It's not mine to tell. But what I can say is that by the grace of God and an open heart, Joseph and I did become parents last year. Not the way we planned, but somehow just as good, if not better!
In the chaos of getting to know Derek and getting him settled in our home, I found myself feeling those old familiar feelings. The nausea, extreme tiredness, the achy lady parts....
I just knew. Once again, I was pregnant!

This time around was different in many ways. For one, I was no longer that hopeful, naive girl I was earlier in the year. Instead of crying from pure joy, I was crying out of pure fright. Although I was happy to get the second chance, something inside me never felt truly connected to the child growing inside me like the last time. I constantly wondered if I had lost that motherly instinct before I truly became one. (I felt like the worlds worst woman because of that!)

Another thing that was different this time around was telling people (or maybe I should say NOT telling)! I wasn't prepared to talk about babies yet...especially if I wasn't truly convinced this one would last. The fact of the matter is, I didn't want to get everyone's hopes up if I was only going to shoot them down again. Instead of wearing rose colored glasses that showed rainbows and unicorns and happy, healthy babies, I had on the darkest of sunglasses that hid any of the happy light of expecting a child. Instead of calculating the due date, I calculated the days to the 10 - 12 week mark. I was constantly worrying and going to the bathroom to check for any sign of blood. I was grateful for the checkups every two weeks because I wanted to know immediately if I needed to prepare myself for another loss.

 But instead of finding out bad news, we found a heartbeat! A strong one at that!

As I listened and watched the little flicker on the screen, I finally found the connection I was hoping and praying for. I finally knew what it was like to physically see a healthy baby growing inside of me and that was truly amazing!

I never imagined that shortly after that, at 10 weeks, I would encounter another nightmare. It was the day before Halloween and I came home from a busy day of work to a calm and quiet house. (A rarity, I've learned, when raising a teenager.) Something didn't feel right. I wasn't sick or in any kind of pain. I just felt "off". I laid on the couch the rest of the night and just prayed it was in my head.
It was about 4 am when I woke up to that ole familiar pain. At the time I think I was in denial but looking back now, I knew all along. My second miscarriage had started.
 I went to the bathroom and it was quickly confirmed. I knew I had two options. The first was to wake Joseph up immediately and head for the hospital, only to be told what I already knew was happening and be sent home to let it work itself out naturally or have them do it surgically (which I knew I wouldn't want.) OR I could let it take its course in the comfort of my own home and head to the hospital later for a follow up. I chose the second. And just like last time, the entire experience was a blur and once again my dark sunglasses were on and I was numb to the world. I went from bed to bathroom, bed to bathroom for about two hours. I knew I should've woken Joseph but in that moment I just needed to be alone. There would be tons more pain he would need to sooth me through and plenty more tears to wipe from my eyes later. But really, I just wasn't ready to break his heart again.
After finally waking him up and telling him the awful truth, we called my parents to take Derek to school and made our way to the hospital. At this point I was still numb to the world around me but it was confirmed; The life that was growing healthy inside of me and the little heartbeat we witnessed less than two weeks prior, was gone. Along with another little piece of me.

The days following my second miscarriage were much like the first. Every smell, every sound, and every feeling was no longer the same. My world had changed again. There was never a moment that tears weren't threatening to fall at a drop of a hat. I felt like another BIG part of me had died and I would never be the same just like the first time. Yet, unlike the first time, I knew I would be fine and time would heal the wounds. In small ways I was more broken, but as a whole I grew stronger. And through losing both babies, I grew closer to God and my husband.
For that I am truly grateful.

There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of our babies. I think about the milestones they would be passing and who they would look and act more like between Joseph and I. I am forever grateful for our loved ones and all of the support and love we receive from them. As well as all the changes in me; the relationship I now have with God, the happiness and closeness I felt in the short time carrying my children, and the peace in knowing that I will someday be reunited with my sweet angels in Heaven.

I didn't go public with our miscarriages immediately and I continued to remain silent (only discussing my feelings with God and the few that knew) all because I was unable to put my feelings in writing. As if by doing it I would be considered weaker and more vulnerable in a bad way. (I know now how crazy that sounds!) And lately I've felt this overwhelming wave of "why not" that I am unable to keep to myself. I have found great peace in knowing that this is all part of my plan. Peace in knowing that there is a lifetime of beautiful and oh-so-sad moments to come. Peace in knowing that each of us are blessed in different ways. And peace in knowing that God is in control and I can stop worrying over the smallest things.
He will take care of it for me.

 Every day I get stronger. I get better with each deep breath I take. I am so thankful to the Lord for calming my heart and helping me find the understanding I needed. I am so thankful to Him for healing my "cracked" heart and for helping me to see that along with the hard days, there are many more good days ahead. I know that some day in the near future my family and I will be blessed with a beautiful baby to love and hold here on earth. I am absolutely confident in that and for THAT I am thankful.

In no way did I share my story for sympathy. I am truly at peace about both losses. I know, without a doubt, that God had a plan for those babies with Him in Heaven that was far greater than anything I could do for them here on earth. I find comfort knowing that my babies never felt pain or cried a sad tear. And the mother they meet will be one washed of all sin and standing next to them in paradise! 
I simply wanted to share for those mothers (and fathers) out there that are going through something like this. For those that are struggling, quietly or out loud. I wrote this for those that are searching for answers we will never understand here on earth and for those that feel like they are alone in their loss. I promise you... You are not alone and you will be OK! But above all, I wrote this for myself. Because it's time to start a new chapter and be grateful for the ones I have finally closed! 

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says The Lord!" 
-Isaiah 66:9

Friday, April 10, 2015

Hi there! So today I should be posting about the many things I accomplished on my master bedroom for the ORC this week. You know, things like clearing out the room, prepping the space for paint, actually painting, and maybe even starting on the bed frame I'm still planning to build. BUUT... the reality is that I did nothing.
(Can I get a whomp whomp...)
 Truthfully, when I went into the One Room Challenge the first time, I already had a room I was planning to do. I had a boy that wanted and needed his own space ASAP and I had plenty of time to set aside for all the fun projects I came up with. Unfortunately, this ORC is different. I didn't decide on a room until last minute, I don't have a set-in-stone plan, and worst of all, I don't have the time to put towards it like I thought I would. I just saw those three beautiful words flash across my screen (ONE ROOM CHALLENGE) and I was done-zo. I jumped in head first without giving it a second thought.
 
Now in no way am I regretting my decision to join in the fun and I am absolutely not backing out... but consider this my "rough start" post. My failed attempt to stay on track! I've got a friends wedding this weekend and a few pressing matters to tend to at the beginning of next week but mark my words... I WILL be back next Thursday with some kind of update!
 
But if you know me then you know it is physically impossible for me to leave you hanging without showing at least one photo...so here are 5! (Just a few more inspiration photos to get me back on track!)


SOURCE
 

SOURCE
SOURCE
 Sorry to be a slacker this week but I can't wait to see what the other wonderful bloggers are doing in their rooms! Go check them out at Calling It Home and let them know how awesome they are! :)
 
Happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

ORC-Spring Edition! WEEK ONE...THE PLAN!

Back at the beginning of March, Linda (over at Calling It Home) announced that the Spring Edition of The One Room Challenge was on it's way. To say I was as giddy as a school girl is a TOTAL understatement. My mind instantly went into project mode and I began narrowing down the rooms. The six rooms I considered included: The kitchen, living room, laundry room, outdoor living space, guest room, and master bedroom.
Here's how my thought (and elimination) process went down:
  • It needed to be a room in my own home. This is how I came up with the six rooms above. I know how much time and work goes into this challenge and being that I work full-time and can really only work late nights and weekends, I rather spend that time with my family, driving them nuts rather than bugging someone else's!
  • It had to be a room that needed significant work done on it. This excludes the living room and kitchen! Both rooms need a small amount of "perking" up to be finished but not enough to take six weeks on!
  • I wanted to tackle a room that hadn't been featured on the blog before. Out goes the laundry room and the outdoor living space. Although neither have been  completely finished YET, they are already in the process and I've blogged about plans for both of them!
So just like that I'm down to two...
THE GUEST BEDROOM!
PROS:
  • It's the right size room for this type of challenge (the same size as Derek's room I finished last ORC).
  • It's already painted the perfect navy color that I would absolutely be keeping!
  • It has no specific use at the moment besides storage. A total blank canvas.
CONS:
  • Although we are in desperate need of place to stick our guests and perhaps an office/music room, I'm a little hesitant to do anything permanent in this room in case we decide to use it as a nursery some day in the future.
THE MASTER BEDROOM!
 PROS:
  •  It's the room I personally spend more time in (being outnumbered by the boys usually means I watch my shows in there or do my blogging away from the chaos of video game noises).
  • It's going through an identity crisis at the moment and could definitely use a solid plan for once.
  • It's painted a good color right now but can also be changed if I decide last minute to go in a different color direction!
  • And most importantly, it is the room Joseph agrees needs it more!

CONS:
  • It's a larger room that will also entail fixing (and organizing) a small hallway to the master bath and a walk-in closet!
  • It has very large windows to work around, leaving little wall space to work with.

And the winner is...<drum roll please>...
 
 The Master Bedroom!

I don't have any current photos (because it's an embarrassing disaster) but I do have these...
 

These two photos were from the first time I walked through it. Pre-move and renovation!


These two are progress photos...obviously!

Small hallway and door to the walk-in closet! (This is looking out from the bathroom.)

This was the last time I saw this room empty!


Just a couple poor attempts at making this space livable. This photo is the most current look!


So now that the room is chosen, let's talk about the fun part!... THE THEME!
 
For the theme of this room I searched deep down in my soul and pulled out the best ideas that would fit both Joseph's and my style. When people walk in our home they are instantly met with lots of color and randomness. I love the "eclectic" vibe and always have! Because of this love for color and eclecitivness, my style translates more to a bohemian feel. So to tie in with the rest of my home, I knew BOHO was the way to go!
Now don't get me wrong, Joseph (seems to) love the boho/eclectic feel of our home as much as me BUT I know it's time to bring in a little more masculine feel!
Why not start with this space!
 I want this "grown up" room of ours to be filled with darker colors, wood tones, and metallic accessories. Not so much "dramatic and lux" but more "relaxing with an "at home" feel" as soon as you walk in! Also, I'm looking to improve on the organization while keeping the design as minimal as possible. (Something that tends to be a challenge for me! :))
 So with all that said... The theme for this ORC Spring Edition Master Bedroom is...
 MASCULINE BOHO!
Here are a few "PINspirations" I found along the way...




Of course I couldn't write this type of post without including list of the important stuff that will bring this room together!
Build List:
  • Headboard
  • Shelving/"closet" system
  • Picture ledge
  • Full-length mirror
  • Tops for the bedside tables
Create/DIY Craft List:
  • Revamp white curtains
  • Create custom art
  • Bohemian starbursts/Suns (that will hang from ceiling)
Source List: (Things to buy!)
  • Duvet cover
  • Flag tapestry
  • Extra curtain rods (Ikea)
  • Fabric for pillows and chair
  • Sheets - (patterned B&W)
  • Wood and other materials
So that's the plan and I'm (hopefully) sticking to it! Check back in each week to see this grand transformation happen! Also, be sure to click on over to Calling It Home and check out the AMAZING plans the other bloggers have going on.
 Be prepared to get inspired over there!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Laundry Room Update!

As mentioned in this post, February was not kind to me or this blog. And now that March is almost over and this is the first post I've gotten out, it seems this month is not wanting to be my friend either!
(Seriously, if I hadn't just looked at the calendar, I would've sworn it was still January...of 2014!)

So, what's a time-pressed DIY girl to do when days are flying by like seconds? 
Well...Dust herself (and her keyboard) off and jump back in with a laundry room post, of course!

So here's the deal. We are getting SO CLOSE to the final reveal of this room BUT we're not quite there yet. What I do have for you though, is an update!

(Something's better than nothing, amiright?!)
If you've followed along with this (excruciatingly long) series, you will know that I've written a post on how it came to be (click here to read it). I made a plan-of-attack for the design (click here to look at it). I revised that plan-of-attack (click here to see it). I built some industrial shelves...

(Click Here and here to see more!)

I created some "hanging rods" and hanging hampers...

(click here to see the post)

And then I came up with a plan for the art, customized a stock cabinet and finished a few other little projects.
You would think a room this small would not need this much work but considering the amount of HATE I have for all things laundry, I really wanted to make this space special and ultra functional!
 
So today, I'm showing you my latest (and possibly favorite) laundry room project!

Without further ado...



 My concrete countertop with industrial pipe base and (soon-to-be) wood shelf!
 

 
 
There are still a couple more things that need to be done to it. One of those things is adding the wood shelf to the middle section. The crazy Texas weather has left me unable to finish the last of the cuts and staining so I put a couple unfinished pieces up just to give you an idea below.
 
 
(The stain color will be the same as the larger shelves to the left, over the washer and dryer!)
 
 
Another thing that must be finished is the last little bit of sanding and sealing the concrete. My plan was to get it to look as clean as possible with no lines or color variations but as soon as I saw the look of my less than perfect trowel work, I was kind of into it! I like that it's not all one color and I think the texture of it adds a little something to the room!
 (The surface is smooth to the touch and will not snag any clothes, btw!)
 
 
 
Also, you may notice the little stock cabinet I customized with a wood bottom is finally hung!
 


 

Along with the new countertop and base, I also did another quick update for my hanging broom and Swiffer!
I wanted it to tie into the other rods I installed on the right side of the window and the long rod below where my hampers hang.
 






Lastly, I removed the door to create more space inside the room. I'm currently finishing up an awesome "repurposed" project to remedy the absence of the door and will be posting about it soon! :)

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Difficult February...

February, February, February... Where and why have you gone so fast? I understand in the world of blogging, taking an unexpected month off when you have tons of long awaited post pending (I'm looking at you master bathroom and laundry room reveals) is not ideal. But to be honest, this month got the better of me. And more importantly, I needed to be with my husband and his family. You see, we lost a very dear member of our family this month. Joseph's beloved Grandma. She lived a long and happy life and she was the most kind-hearted, caring person I have ever met. I found so much joy in getting to know her over the last six years, but also in hearing stories of her past these last couple of weeks.
 
This was her favorite quote and boy did she live by it! There is not a single person in this world that could say a negative thing about her. She was just that great!
 
She loved life, her family, and most of all God. She was the most faithful woman I have ever met and it’s something I will always remember about her. I could honestly go on for days about how amazing she was but to sum it up, here is my Facebook post I wrote just after her funeral:

"A STRONG WOMAN is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow just as abundantly as her laughter.
A STRONG WOMAN is both soft and powerful. She is both practical and spiritual...
A STRONG WOMAN in her essence is a gift to the world.


Thank you Grandma, for being a strong woman. For being someone to idolize and for being an example to us all. Thank you for excepting me and loving me as your own the minute we met. Your constant laughter and sweet nature is something I adored. Thank you for creating the crazy, yet unbelievable family you did. Their love and respect for you speaks volumes to the kind of mother/grandmother/great grandmother and friend you always were to them. But most of all, Grandma, thank you for being a part of raising the incredible man I married. Because of you he is kind-hearted, passionate about life, and is a great leader in faith for us and his youth. You will be so missed but we look forward to meeting you again in the future. I love you very much!"

It is simple, yet it explains everything.

Although she was given scary news, she was never afraid. She had made her final decision to come home on hospice and enjoy her final days surrounded by her family. We were able to spend quality time with her over the last month and to see her so strong in her faith was indescribable. God is so good all the time and she was every bit of that goodness he wants us to be. She is the perfect example of the God fearing (and God loving), strong woman I strive to be. We spent the time we needed honoring her life with her and we will continue on with her legacy of love and laughter for the rest of our lives without her. I am so grateful for the closeness of our family and the way we pull together in times like these. I know she is proud and smiling down on us all from Heaven.


Thank you all for being so understanding and for letting me share. For any of you that are also suffering the loss of a loved one or going through any hard times at all, I am truly sorry and will be praying for you. Through all the pain and heartbreak, remember how precious life is. Hug and kiss those you love every chance you get because you never know when that opportunity will be gone!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Monthly To-Dos! - FEBRUARY!

So here we are... another first Monday Tuesday of the month! (I must admit, Monday got the best of me and this post did not make it to the top of my priority list!) 
But now that I'm back on track, I feel there is nothing better to do than create my list of monthly "To-Do's" for February. (You can check out January's list HERE!)

First up...

MAKE PROGRESS ON THE MASTER BEDROOM:
Note that I did not say FINISH. This room is a constant work in progress. I have yet to commit to a single "mood" (as in, one day I want light, bright and airy and the next day I want dark and dramatic.) It's a daily struggle, people! And honestly...When I do finally decide on a design feature, I am instantly over it. When it comes to master bedroom ideas, I feel like I've seen it all and I'm a little bored. Hopefully this is the month I will finally get somewhere and (fingers crossed) nail down a final plan to share with you all!

GO THROUGH THE ENTIRE HOUSE FOR THE "YOUTH" GARAGE SALE!:
This one is kind of a play off my "bag-a-day" I challenged myself with last month. With the bag-a-day I mostly got rid of trash and gathered up bags of old clothes to give to the local Clothes Closet. This month's "getting rid of it" challenge is for larger items (home décor, small appliances we never use, etc..) that will be donated to our church youth group where all proceeds will go to awesome trips and activities! (Fun Fact: my husband is the Youth Minister!) As much as I want to complain about having to organize and go through more crap, I'm actually getting a pretty good deal out of it: A cleaner, clutter free home and the chance to go on more fun trips with our youth! Win win!

FINISH THE METAL DESK PROJECT:
This project is so close...(yet so far)...from being complete. 

Working on an outdoor project in the middle of winter is, admittedly, a bad move. Yet surprisingly, it's not that far from being done! AND by changing my mind on the top so many times I've come up with other useful projects (remember the piece I questioned you about in Thursday post?) Anyways, check back because I'll be giving an update on this project sometime this week! 

Last but not least...

MAJOR PROJECT ALERT!!!
 FINISH THE LAUNDRY ROOM!:
This room HAS to be done. I'm to the point of wanting to pulling my hair out every time I walk in there! If you look back at THIS POST you see something like this...


Not great, but well on it's way to being a useful and (dare I say) beautiful laundry room. WWEEELLLLLL.... Now it looks like this....



It's an embarrassing disaster but hey, I'm just trying to keep it real for you guys!

So that about does it for February's "To-Do's". It's a short list but trust me, it's PLENTY of work. (Let's hope this month goes better than the first!)