Friday, March 19, 2010

If We Had No Winter....

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
Anne Bradstreet, 'Meditations Divine and Moral,' 1655
Hopefully Spring has reached you wherever you are....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring is in the Air

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.  ~Ruth Stout

It is March.  The garden is coming alive.  This month signifies growth, change, and newness of life for me.  March is the month that my daughter was born.  I had prepared the garden ahead of time so that I wouldn't have a thing to do but focus on her.
These photos were taken after we came home from the hospital as a new family of three.
It is now four years later and I am so excited that I can share gardening, one of my favorite past times, with my daughter.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.  ~Charles Dickens
I acquired some Hyacinth Bean Vine seeds from my mom (who is also a gardener). Here is the gardener in training counting out the new seeds...or beans...
We found the perfect spot to try growing our vine...the arbor that Dave made for me last year.
Digging the hole....
Ready to plant!
Doesn't this photo just make you want to stick your fingers in the dirt?  This is the best time for planting....soft, moist dirt just waiting to sprout new things!
This is the vine in bloom....Hopefully we will successfully replicate it.
Happy Spring!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A New Year, A New Direction?

This time last year I was just starting my second second semester back at school.  I was taking three classes and feeling like I had purpose, a goal.  Summer came and went and at the end of August Dave started his Doctorate program.  I felt like it would be too much to try to go to school at the same time and, so, I decided to take the semester off.  Now, here we are in January and I, once again, feel like my purpose is but a vapor that I am trying desperately to grasp.
Purpose: Something set up as an object or end to be attained.
I seem to find myself always searching for something outside my reach.  The titles of Mother, Wife, Daughter, Friend, Sister don't seem to foot the bill.  I feel a yearning to be better, do better, to feel a sense of purpose. That is why, while sitting in a Bible study last week, the speaker said something that I cannot forget.
"Be obsessed with the Gospel and you will find your life's calling."
Obsessed?  Oh, I know how to do that....I can be obsessed with anything for a fleeting moment; what shade of paint will best compliment my curtains, the bedding that I had to have and no longer want, BLOGGING, reading blogger comments, my favorite TV show, exercise, healthy food, etc, etc, etc....And, when I am really honest, the things I choose to be unhappy with.  My husband, my daughter, friends, all those expectations and blaming someone or something other than myself.
While I would like to say the thought of being obsessed with Christ comes easy to me, I cannot.  In fact, my past habits show that I want there to be something tangible, something real I can do.  I want there to be any other answer to this feeling of vacancy other than not spending time in the Word.  Because if that is the answer....

I have a lot of work to do.

"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:3-4

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Sad Story.....

Well, our home computer crashed last week.  I have no idea how many photos we lost.  Dave said that Picasa was backed up a few months ago, so at least I know that our daughter's existence will be saved:) I have not had the energy to figure out how to get photos on without my program, nor have I been elbow deep in projects....Mothering and wifing have been my full-time jobs.  It's amazing how much time a blog takes up, for me, that is.
So, the sad story is I have no idea when I will be back up and running. I don't plan to close down permanently....this may only be temporary.
So, thanks for visiting and leaving such wonderful and encouraging comments!!
Hopefully, I will "see" you soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kitchen Before and After

I'm joining in on the par-tay over at Thrifty Decor Chic!  I completely forgot about it so I am posting this late...should have done it last night, but falling asleep on the couch at 8 o'clock kind of got in the way of that:)
So, without further adieu....
The kitchen BEFORE:

I should mention, however, that I have no pictures of the before before of the cabinets.  I painted them this green with an antiqued finish in 2005.  Before that they were your standard tract home oak ugliness.  The finished product was the result of FOUR coats of paint....primer, paint, antiquing glaze, and a clear coat.  They WILL NOT be re-painted any time soon.  Thankfully, they look fabulous with the AFTER kitchen.

We also tiled the floor in 2005.  I am the resident grouter-extraordinaire.  Oh, the roosters!

For some reason I always ended up with too many colors....I wanted a more neutral, warm, rustic feel.  This is what we came up with.
The kitchen AFTER:

We basically changed the counter tops and backsplash.  We went with a maple butcher block that we were able to order through a local supplier, Charles McMurray Co.  They sell wholesale only, but my dad was able to order for us with through his business.  The tile on the backsplash is tumbled marble.  I loved the way each piece had striations of color.  We also added this "ledge", for lack of a better term, all the way around the kitchen.  Just wanted some interest in the design.
We added a new farmhouse sink and this little cutie....

Yes, our sink is a mere two steps away from the stove, but why not add a pot faucet when you can?

I decided to leave the butcher block unsealed so it would develop a rich patina over time.  I just fix spots and spills with a little 220 sandpaper and apply mineral oil (for food safety) every so often.

I will leave this post at the photos and, if you are interested, I may post the breakdown of what we did later.  We still need to get rid of the grody florescent lighting, but that another project for another year.... Thanks for stopping by!  Please leave any questions or comments or contact me via email.
Also shared with Between Naps on the Porch....

Special thanks to Lori for taking some of these AFTER photos for me!  For those of you visiting from Kimba's DIY Day, Dave did the tile work, counter tops, and installation of all appliances and sink and faucet.  I painted the cabinets and grouted and gave my opinion:)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Awww, Shucks....You Shouldn't Have

PK over at Room Remix has nominated me for my very first Blog Award!!  Thank you, PK! You were one of my very first "unknown" followers! She linked to my Laundry Room Makeover for the nomination and I am blown away by all of the responses I received!  Thanks for taking the time to check it out!
The rules are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each.

Soooo, here goes!
1. Dave was the first boy to reject me when I was 18 and he was 25. I got him in the end, though:)
2. I am impatient.
3. My first taste of interior design was working in a shop aptly named "Impatience's Collectique". I got the job by walking in and asking for it. First impressions are key! The owner and I have remained friends and she even hosted my baby shower in her fabulous home.
4. I am the youngest of three girls and  we all love to decorate.
5. Before I had my daughter, I worked as a Special Education Aide for 6 years.
6. I live across the street from my parents. No, we are not like Everybody Loves Raymond. We are just not that funny.
7. My first plane trip was to Utah in 2004 at the ripe old age of 26.

Now for the nominations (in no particular order)....drum roll, please.
1. cherrycheckers- she sews! and she's really funny
2. comfort & luxury- she gave me a great idea
3. Leen the Graphics Queen- she was my first "stranger" follower
4. Red Writing- she had a Link party all about food at Christmas, I mean c'mon
5. Norma Lee Good- she also thinks having a stylish door in the laundry room is worthwhile
6. Sweet Pickles and Chocolate!- she made a cozy addition to the kitchen
7. HouseCapated- "when all else fails, start blogging"...we share the same sentiment

Thanks again, PK!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Transom, Transom on the Wall.....

I have a confession.  I wish my home had more of the "old" and less of the "new".  Since viewing Layla's "handsome transom"at the Lettered Cottage, I have been brainstorming ideas on how to get some old house appeal into our newer one.  Okay, so maybe it's not the true definition of a transom.  No natural light.  No cutting out the wall.  No caulking and painting.  No demolition took place in the installation of this window.  So, I guess there are some positives.:)

I purchased this window at a yard sale over 7 years ago.  Ain't she pretty?  At the time I thought it would look great hanging from the pergola.....problem was (is) that there was (is) no pergola.  So, it made it's way into the attic.  Since then, Dave has found his inner craftsman and can do amazing things with free wood.  He made the frame over a weekend and I knew it would be the perfect addition to the laundry room.  We brought it in and soon realized that it was not going to fit in the space.  Luckily, I found something that did.

Dave, always quick on his feet, suggested using it over the doorway to the office.  I had a salvaged piece of gate hanging there that I was attached to, so I wasn't crazy about the idea....until he brought it in and held it over the doorway.

Dave had to hold it up for the "before" photo....I am still not in the habit of taking those!
Doesn't it look right at home?  It fills the space perfectly and adds some great architectural detail to the room.
The only problem miss the great detail of the window itself because of the red wall behind it.

The concensus around here is that I should paint the wall, an insert, the glass itself, something to highlight the detail.  Any ideas?  Suggestions?  Tips?  Have you done something like this before?

Check out other transformations at Met Monday with Between Naps on the Porch.  And transforamtions at The Shabby Chic Cottage!