Here’s a quick “before” photo.
I’ve never been a “resolution” person so I rarely tune in to all those conversations and tid-bits about sticking to them.
For the past 2 years, I’ve been choosing words for the year and I still think that practice can be effective. Not sure whether I want to choose a new word or continue to work on facing fears.
Mark is all for setting goals with me. I like the accountability of making some things public so I probably will share a few of those goals….boring things like “get a stove”, “paint basement”, “replace floor outside of bathroom”. None of which promises to inspire, but hey, who knows?
I would like to post more regularly. Partly because I enjoy the act of writing. My memory stinks so I hope to write about the family more (always a tricky proposition) and also post about projects. I’ve been inspired so much by DIY bloggers that I hope to do the same.
I enjoy painting and I love SW paints. I’ve been waiting for this sale to come around again. This weekend is the 40% off super sale. This sale is super. Paint can be expensive-especially the good stuff. Even their little samples will be on sale if you’re not sure what color you need. You don’t have to paint this weekend but if you have a project hanging over your head, buy your paint this weekend. I read somewhere else that if you do the color visualizer on the website you can print an unlimited number of $10 off a purchase of $50. Even with the sale, you’ll likely spend more than $50.
Painting really doesn’t take that long. If you can get everyone out of the house, you really can paint a room in a couple of hours. Or if you can only get small windows of time, do a wall at a time. When I do it that way, I usually wrap my roller in plastic wrap. I do wash my brushes between sessions, though.
*Believe me, I’m not getting paid for this endorsement.
Edited to add, you can print the $10 off coupon without doing the color visualizer but you can’t use it with sale prices.
This will be a quick post about painting my entryway. This is the second time I have painted this space since we moved in. I doubt that I have pictures of the original, original paint job. I know that the previous owners were going for a colonial period look since our house is about 150 years old. The walls were flat white and the trim was sort of a gray/green. Sounds cool but really didn’t fit my style.
Every other riser on the steps was stenciled. Everyone commented on it but it looked so country and I’ve never liked it.
When I painted the hallway the first time around, I didn’t paint the stairs. I had it in the brain that I had to strip the stairs. That seemed like the only choice. Clearly, the steps were so banged up that I had to do something. I literally was just psyching myself up to start stripping the stairs a little at a time (I despise stripping wood) when I stumbled upon this post by Rhoda over at “Southern Hospitality” about how she repaired and completely transformed a set of stairs that had been covered by carpet. It had never occurred to me before to paint the stairs black and the risers white. I loved the look.
Once I decided to go with that look, I knew I needed to change the wall color. Here are a few before photos of the wall color
I borrowed a machine to convert our vhs-c tapes to DVD. My mom bought a video camera the summer before Hannah was born. Naturally, I adopted it.( Thanks, Mummy). I took a few days at the end of this summer to convert about half of the 60-odd tapes I recorded over the years to DVD. (Honestly I had to take a break and I may not be up to round 2 until next summer).
I have never been one to lug the video camera to the “memorable occasions” because I always just wanted to live and enjoy those moments. Instead, I almost always had the camera loaded and ready in case something funny or cute or interesting happened during our days together.
As a result, the tapes are AWFULLY BORING-but not to me. First, what I realized at the beginning of this project was that I was nauseated at the sound of my own, sing-songy, drippy sweet, mama voice. “GIVE THE BABY A NICE KISS!” “BIG GIRL!” “HOW BIG IS (INSERT CHILD’S NAME)?…..SOOOOOOOO BIG! I told my brother about this syndrome and he admitted that he said “SAY DADDA! SAY DADDA! SAY DADDA” before the babies could even see.
What struck me most, though, was how much I LOVED the mundane. I’m so grateful that I loved and enjoyed my time with the kids so much that I thought it worthy to whip out the video camera so I wouldn’t forget the everyday. I’m more grateful that I appreciated it enough to film than I am for the films themselves. (Don’t get me wrong-I love seeing the kids when they’re so little).
I loved being reminded that Luke has always had his own way of looking at the world. He’s also always been adorable and funny. Having the kids see how he inserted his own type of thinking and funny into the regular day helped them appreciate how he does the same thing now. I think it bumped up everyone’s tolerance for his sense of humor.
I love being reminded about how Hannah throws herself into everything with joy. I’m so happy I captured that.
I loved being reminded about how Mark has been so gentle and sweet with the kids since they were babies. This man was born to be a dad.
I loved being reminded about how vocal Kate was, even as a toddler….”WE’RE HAVING JELL-O, WE’RE HAVING JELL-O, WE’RE HAVING JELL-O!”
I loved being reminded about how SMILEY Mark was. Now I remember why I wasn’t worried about his failure to crawl and walk. He was so engaged and engaging. He’s smiling huge in every video when he was an infant…even when the others were sneezing, coughing and hanging all over him. Big smile! Oh how we’ve loved this boy!
Do you get it? I’m just so happy and grateful that I’ve known what my treasure is ALL ALONG! No tears watching those videos. Just relief that I’ve loved it and still love it.
When Mark watched them while they were playing, he asked….”Don’t you just wish you could have one day back?” Meaning go back in time to when they were young. Sure, I do. It’s a lesson and reminder in living in the present. Soak it all in. Appreciate what you have. Be Present!
But honestly. I really believe, this will be part of my heaven. I’ll go back to whatever days I want to, as many times as I want to-for eternity. Maybe even redo the bad days. “Dear God, I messed up on that day, could I relive it like I should have?”…..”Most certainly, this is your banquet, I thought you might want that…enjoy!”
My recording only goes to about when Mark is 4 or 5-maybe 6. I was thinking about this and beginning to regret that I’m not recording more of our lives now. The truth is, it wouldn’t be fair to sneak up on the kids with a video camera now the way I used to. (Yes, sometimes I turned the video camera on them when they were having temper tantrums or singing to themselves in their rooms.) They would never be as candid or tolerant of me recording the “spontaneous” as they were when they were little.
Had I worked for all of those years, surely I wouldn’t have known what I was missing. Likely, I would have been stressed about missing the “big moments”. Their first rollover, their first step, their first word, their first potty, their first day of preschool….whatever. When I say “stressed” I mean-not only to possibly miss those things but arranging my work schedule around things like the first day of preschool. There’s a huge chance I would have been too stressed to even care about those things. I’m so grateful that I chose the other path-that one that requires me to pitch the “Pottery Barn” and “Garnet Hill” catalogs in the trash as soon as they come. But that’s just the path I chose-and I’m grateful.
The gift of these tapes (now mostly on DVD) is realizing I’ve always been grateful for knowing how blessed I’ve been to be home with them. Instead of regretting those years I’ll never get back, I’m so happy to know those are years that can never be taken away.
Last week, I posted about the thrift store patio table that I dragged home and painted last summer. I didn’t have the time and inclination to cover the cushions last year because the ones that came with the set were decent enough.
Finally, this summer, I was ready to tackle the project. I decided how I was going to do it, got some fabric at Joann’s with a 40% off coupon and spent the better part of 3 days covering the existing cushions. I didn’t choose a weatherproof fabric because of the expense and the fact that we store the cushions on the porch.
Here’s the finished product…..
I really loved the fabric for the back cushions but decided to use a coordinating plain fabric for the seat cushions. Admittedly, I think I would have preferred a darker blue but-oh well. Did I mention I installed ZIPPERS and PIPING?! I figured out those 2 things by studying a few blog tutorials and youtube videos, figuring a few things out myself and just going for it. Also, with the piping, I worked with small sample pieces to see how it came together.
I am always inspired by DIY bloggers who try something without much experience. I’m especially inspired when the project involves power tools or sewing. I have sewn straight things like Halloween costumes out of fleece but never anything complicated. I have to admit, it took me a while to visualize how I wanted to cover the cushions but once I decided on a method, I went with it.
It’s as basic as design as you could get. Picture a big pillowcase (2 rectangles) sewn together for the back cushions and the ends secured sort of like a present, tucked the corners in and velcro on one end so I can wash the covers.
Last summer we were shopping for a patio table. I was having no luck finding something affordable and durable. For our family of six, even the discount department stores didn’t have anything less than $500+. The more expensive options were just too big and bulky for the space in our side yard. I was resigned to spending almost $600 for something I knew wouldn’t hold up over the years. Then, I spotted this set at our local thrift store…