Monday, December 17, 2012


Suddenly, my heart is so heavy and sad.  Days ago, it was light and joyful.  All was right with the world.  It's Christmastime.  The happiest time of the year.  But this year, there was a darkness that came over our nation.  Only 11 days before Christmas.

The tradegy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

There was a dispicable act of evil displayed at Sandy Hook, an attack straight from the devil.  It has made me and the nation scared, insecure, and grasping for control over our kids and these situations.  A gunman shot down 20 elementary students between the ages of 6 and 7 and 6 teachers.  Not to mention his own mother prior to this.  And suddenly, the holidays will forever wear the stain of this dreadful day for so many of the affected people.

I cannot shake what has happened.  The entire nation is grieving over these innocent children.  And for the moment, everyone seems to be scared about their own kids and schools.  I, for one, worry about my kids enough as it is.  And then this happens and it about sends me through the roof.

Something I always seem to struggle with is the lack of quality time that I spend with each of my kids.  Many times after I put them to bed and reflect on the day, I find myself regretting all the times that I turned one of them down when asked to play because 'I've got work to do.'  So then I vow to do better the next day.  But when the next day comes, I forget to be intentional about playing more and once again, I lay out my regrets that night.  I wanted this month to be different.  And Jordan and I have been making more of an attempt at quality family time at night: baking together, stories, crafts.  But with the events that unfolded over the last few days, I feel like it's still not enough.  It's tragedies like these that once again set my priorities straight.

I often hear, 'You're such a great mom.'  People think I'm a great mom.  Sure, I'm good enough.  I make sure their basic needs are met, I discipline them, I show them love, and try to be there for them.  But I can do better.  Much better.  I feel like I have lost that fun, care-free side of me.  I used to be very calm and easy-going.  But more and more, I feel like I am anxious, busy, and worried.  And that isn't the way that God intended me to feel as a mother.  It's not something that I have been bringing to God either, so the feelings only get stronger.

But I'm bringing it to God right now.  I don't want to feel anxious, busy, worried.  I want to be light-hearted and happy again.  And I want it to last.  Not just when things are going great or at Christmastime.  But all the time.  Circumstances may shake me but it shouldn't shake my faith.  I know that my God is in control.  He is just, He is merciful, He is the Prince of Peace.  And He is God with us.  That is all I need.  No matter what happens, my God will always be my faithful Savior.  It's who He is and why He came.

One of my favorite 'Christmas verses' seems so appropriate to me this year: "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  John 1:4-5.  Jesus has already overcome this darkness.  And we 'will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of [our] testimony.'  Revelation 12:11.

So I guess this is me, overcoming my fears and the plots of the evil one by the word of my testimony to who my God is.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

the entry way

This is just the typical front entry that you would find in any other 1950's ranch. Except for a few changes: as you'll see in my previous post, we tore up the tile and vinyl flooring and laid down the wood flooring which we then sanded and painted. A few years previous to this, Jordan knocked out a wall and framed a doorway that now connects the front entry to the laundry room. And I put up the board and batton. It was a first for me in the carpentry department but pretty simple. The hardest and most time consuming part was actually deciding on the space between the boards. And something that we have to work around with our house is the radiant heat. You probably noticed the box on the wall...we have yet to figure out a camouflage. I would love a great light fixture as well but our ceilings are just not tall enough. Oh well! I am grateful for the change in this room.

This is what it currently looks like but (as with every other room in the house) it is subject to change.

Here is the before when we moved in.

ordinary ranch laundry room gets makeover

Another post on what our home currently looks like. I'm still taking it just one post at a time and this time I'm concentrating on the laundry room. Our laundry room has changed pretty drastically in the 6.5 years we've owned our home.

This is what it looks like now.

This is what it looked like when we moved in... white marble flooring, a horrible layout, and old appliances.

Luckily we haven't had to live with the 'before' image of the laundry room for long. A few years ago, we changed the layout when we were forced to get a new washer and dryer.  The countertop is wood which we stained and poly-ed.  It cleans up very nicely and I love the look of it.  It's a budget-friendly way to go, too!  We laid the wook floor and painted it.  We also removed the cupboard doors and added some handmade corbels.  We added a beadboard backsplash and under-cabinet roped lighting.  That my shelf displays are always fresh and pleasing to the eye is important to me.  These are some of the finishing touches:
I love jars and figuring out what to put in them.  I covered these mini clothespins in pages from an old book.  And added bingo numbers to the jars.  An old letter from a relative to my grandma is rolled up in another jar.

My husband, the carpenter, needs pencils to be available where he can see them so that he remembers to grab one on the way out the door each morning and to return that pencil in the evening!
my first diy cement project (:  A tea light candle holder.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

half bath

Nothing about our half bathroom was done to our liking. But we knew it would be a job to make it over so we were patiently waiting for the right time to attack it. Six years later, the time was right! Jordan tore out the three levels of flooring (the ugly vinyl tile, the white and gray tile underneath the vinyl, and the original wood flooring beneath the tile) until he finally reached the sub-floor. Next came the beadboard... the worst part of the demo. Our walls are plaster and there is chicken-wire in the walls as well (to hold the plaster together). Removing walls around here is never fun or easy! After cleaning up the mess, we finally had a blank canvas to work with. Now we had to decide what we wanted to do with it. Our style around our house is something of a modern farmhouse with industrial decor. What that means to us is clean lines with old, natural materials. We have very similar likes and dislikes and with Jordan's talents as a carpenter, it was easy for us to come up with a solution for the space. This is what we came up with:

We put the horizontal boards in place and painted them. I absolutely love the look of plank walls! We got a new toilet, sink, faucet, and light fixture. Jordan built the sink base with some reclaimed lumber. We laid the wood flooring, sanded, and painted it white. Jordan turned the awkward, wasted space (unseen in the picture but to the left of the sink) into a closet. I painted the room in a white cream and the ceiling in my most favorite shade of gray. We're going to attack the mirror with some acid to distress it some and we still have to decide what to place above the toilet. Actually, we're pretty sure that some of Jordan's antique gears are going to be placed in that spot, we just haven't gotten to it yet.

This sink is one of my most favorite items in the house! I just love it's shape and size and I think it works so perfectly in this space. 

I searched high and low for a before picture of the bathroom but cannot find one. That is so unlike me. I think I snap a shot of a room everytime I paint and especially before we demolish a room. But not this room, I guess. So imagine with me: some cheap, ugly beadboard (that had been up since we purchased the house), an old toilet, a not-so-special vanity.  Also, there was a small, useless cubby where I stored the broom, mop, and vacuum behind a curtain.  But that space became an official closet.  We actually lost half of the size of the closet because the refrigerator that was butted up to it from the other side was pushed back (which meant another wall demo!)  But losing space in the already tiny closet just forced us to organize!  We put in these simple shelves which I love!  And I only use Norwex products (and you should totally do the same!) so there is plenty of space!

We love our new bath room! And I must brag about my husband here! He's just amazing and can make anything happen. We really enjoy working with each other and getting our kids in on the 'fun' too. I love it that Jordan can turn our conjured ideas into something that can be seen and...painted!

And someday I will take pictures of my home projects in the daylight where things are better reflected as they are seen!  But... realistically it isn't quite as orderly and clean in the natural daylight hours when my kids are awake!

home makeover

Wow.  I have not updated this blog in a looong time.  I'm kind of embarassed at some of the things I have done to our house in the past but it is still fun to look back on what we've done and how our style has evolved.  So I guess I'm back to posting on this website for awhile to continue documenting what we are doing and have done with the house.  A lot has changed since the last post!

We bought our home seven years ago and we haven't stopped reconstructing it since! We have replaced all of the trim, half of the doors, taken out two walls, finished off most of our basement, have added paneling, pulled out and replaced the flooring, new countertops, all new light fixtures, new sinks, added built-ins, painted (I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that each room has been painted over at least twice) and so much more. And still, the to-do list goes on.....
We have done everything ourselves and we love to do it. We love to get creative and with many projects we start in this 1950's ranch, we run into issues with the house we have to troubleshoot our way through. But the end result is always so worth it! It's our hobby, something we love to do together. Jordan and I have similar taste that has evolved over the years and we like to turn our ideas into reality. We do frequent check-ups on each other to make sure that the house projects are 'just hobbies'. It's important to us that we are content with our house. And we are. But we really enjoy change, too.
When we bought the house, we didn't foresee living here for too long. I'm not sure that we ever put a limit on how long we'd stay. We just figured something better would come along and we'd probably raise our family elsewhere. But we love this area and now our house is so custumized to our liking. We've made a decision that we'll probably be here for awhile. We're going to add another bedroom eventually to accomodate our growing family and, who knows, maybe we'll put the kids through all of their school years while we're here.
The house has changed more in this year than in any other, I would say. I've been wanting to post about all of these changes but just haven't even known where to begin! Also, I just don't feel like a room is ever complete over here because I've got all of these plans and intentions inside my head. But I don't think that'll ever stop. So here goes... I'm just going to take it one room at a time! Stay tuned....