Saturday, March 28, 2015

cozy minimalist - master bedroom

I'm doing something surprising. I'm taking an online design course. What?! Yep. Me, doing something for myself. ??? Why not ya'll? And yes, I realize that I'm already a designer. But it's always good to stretch yourself a bit and to be open to learning new ways of doing things. Plus, I never do things for myself. I take on projects for friend's nurseries and kitchens and never...and I mean NEVER...finish my own spaces. I think I get designer block because I love a million different styles, and get caught up designing and redesigning and then never end up doing anything. So I leave things as is. I don't add to them. I don't accessorize. I wait. And a year later...I'm still there. Using old and unwanted furniture that doesn't belong in the spot it's in, but that I have dreams for.

For instance, there were two or three quirky lamps and little tables in this house when we moved in. Now they're being used as our night stands and lighting in our master bedroom, and they just don't belong. Like at all. I have ideas for them of course. To paint and repurpose...along with a million other things I collect and stash away in corners of rooms, and our basement, and our barn. {sigh}

Our house is basically a blank canvas. Every room was painted white by the previous homeowners, probably to help it sell. And I LOVE it. There's just something about a classic white backdrop that makes me feel happy. But my hubby has commented on it, more than once, and I guess that man needs color. So I know a few rooms will get a splash of something eventually. If I can ever make a decision.

A few months ago I spotted an old door in the barn that I thought would be perfect for a headboard in our bedroom. I measured it...and yep. The perfect size. I mentioned it to the hubs and got "the nod". Then I waited. And waited. And well, we're busy. Things just don't happen around here until you put the drill in your own hand. And it usually happens unplanned, while in the middle of doing dishes. And you realize the kids are busy and the baby's why the heck not?

Well, one reason might be because it has to weigh over 100 lbs. NOT KIDDING. But I heave hoed that sucker under my arm, then on my back, and even balanced it on my head. Oh what a show the neighbors had. Eventually, I made it to the patio and thoughtfully placed it where it could not be missed.

And then the hubs realized I was serious. And well...the rest is history. Isn't he dashing by the way? Oh how I love this guy. {swoon}

And voila! Now I feel like a true adult. I have a headboard. For the first time EVER. {insert clap of hands emoji}.

This bedroom has a long way to go though. And I know this online course thru the Nester will inspire and equip me to actually finish something for myself. AND to do it better than I would on my own!

I'm seriously SO stinking excited about this course! It's a 4 week course called the Cozy pick a room and the designer guides you thru the design process helping you to finish it off . And it's using a lot of the stuff you already have in your home, buying new, repurposing...whatever fits in to your style and budget. SO FUN! I'm doing it with a friend, so we're both tackling our unfinished rooms together. I'm hoping to post her room on here as well. It's impossible to overdose on "before and afters" right?

Here are my embarrassing before photos. And it's embarrassing because it's stark and empty and this is supposedly my JOB people. My rooms should not look like this, I know. But I've refused to accessorize and move forward since I haven't had a plan. That will be changing though!!!

You can see we're in the process of replacing old windows. It had to be done. This place is an ice house in the winter. It was built in 1889, which basically means no insulation. Like anywhere. Can you hear my teeth chattering??? [brrrrrrr]

The dresser above I got a garage sale like 6 years ago. I was pregnant at the time so I did a quick paint job of a chocolate color, but never got around to adding pulls or finishing it correctly...which is SO me by the way. I'm going to repaint it for my bedroom redo though. And finally do it justice. Yippee!!!

And you can see the blue beaded chandelier I made for a friend's barn style wedding reception. It was a fabulous off white at the time and hung above their head table, lit with LED' charming! Ever since it's been making appearances at baby showers and IF gatherings. And of course, it ended up in the corner of my bedroom because there was an existing hook in the Not completely thought out. But it is lovely. :)

And then there's my cow chair. I took an upholstery class in college with some friends and thus the cow chair was born. It was the time people kept coming into the upholstery shop asking to buy the "cow chair". Who knew? It's been thru a lot all these years though. The arms and legs need some major repair. Or maybe a paint job. Hmmmm...

And how about those lamps? The one on the left is somewhat hideous...but I see potential. I've thought about ripping the fabric off the shade and using is as a shell for a hanging pendant. And then painting the base and maybe adding a new shade {two lights out of one!!!}. And the table it sits upon...well...not my style. But I always envisioned it as a little vanity desk for my daughter. But that's yet another project.

And I have some work to do on these doors below. I also need to figure out what to do with the high storage above. I thought about opening them up and making a little library up there with a rolling ladder. Crazy, right? Or basket storage. Oh the possibilities...

There's lots to do in the next four weeks! Stay tuned :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

never forget

The hubs and I went on a drive the other day. And wow. Sometimes it's nice to just BE. Be together. Be alone. And by "alone" I mean there was still an infant child asleep behind us in his carseat [of course]. But it still counts as alone in our world. :) Sometimes the busy days and meetings and long hours and to do lists keep us from just being. It was a chance to breath together and sync our hearts once again and remember why and what and WHO these days are really all about. 

We were listening to some worship music and before we knew it, Tomlin's "God of Angel Armies" was on. There are a lot of times I hear that song and it doesn't prick my heart. I don't go THERE. But yesterday was not one of those. Sometimes they're just words we sing. Other times, they're words that cut straight thru to our very hearts.

Have you ever noticed how quickly we forget what God has done for us? That’s something I’ve been learning on this journey of ours. It’s one of the things that I take with me and try to hold close. I see us, you know, each day... praying less, reading less, relying on Him less. Forgetting that we can walk side by side with God in the normal-est of days, with the same closeness and reliance as we did in the most desperate of times. He's HERE you guys. Even in the every day. We just need to take a good look around. Think about the Israelites. I never used to understand how fickle and self absorbed they could be. How could they forget the parting of the red sea? The manna from heaven??? Now I get it. I’m no different. I think that’s why God’s people made altars. You'll find altars all over in the Bible. Mostly right after God did something big in the lives of His people. Sometimes He commanded them to do it. He knew they would need to remember. But I wonder if sometimes they did it on their own as well. Built an altar and NAMED it. 

We never stopped and stacked stones the many times God came thru big for us last year. We made a photo book and wrote posts on our caring bridge and blog. Never forget. I think that's what we'd name our altar. The words that line the binding of the coffee table book we made documenting last year. 

There are lyrics and verses and photos and words that are written on our souls now. And there are days we unknowingly stumble across them and we're taken back and we REMEMBER. Just like the Israelites. What God did. Who God was to us in that time. WHO HE STILL IS. Who He wants to be for us in the every day, [even.still]. These altars take us to a real place. To the cross of our lives. Where we meet our Savior and are changed again. And again. And again. And we retell pieces of this story and God is glorified. And we are brought to our knees. And somehow this life makes sense again. That IS an altar, isn't it? 

What it takes to build an altar are really just broken things. Rocks maybe. Or maybe it's the tree you planted when your grandma died. Or the song that reminds one of my best friends of the dear sweet brother she lost all those years ago. You can take the hard and broken things and arrange them before the Lord and use it as a place to grow and reflect and stand in awe of Him and how He brought you thru. Or you can drag the rocks around and allow yourself to be burdened by them.  

So yesterday it was a song. These words.

whom shall I fear...nothing formed against me shall hold the whole world in your hands...the God of angel armies is by my side...the one who reigns forever, He is a friend of MINE...I know who goes before me...I know who stands behind

We held hands. Not just strolling thru the parking lot or sitting in the car mindlessly holding hands either. It's like our souls were holding hands on that drive. We held back the tears and sang (or I did...eeek) and talked about what we were doing at this time last year. How we had just learned about his heart condition... how he had just got out of the hospital (for the second time)... how he had started IV antibiotics and felt trapped and like he would never taste life again... how one time we stopped by the Rupp's and he had to hang his the IV bag from their ceiling fan so he could get his meds on time. {Funny now...but at the time, not so much}. How he sat in that chair...for weeks. And the kids would fight over who would carry him the tray of food because he could barely walk... and how he had constant aching and night sweats and day sweats and would have to change clothes every half hour for months. How he was almost brought to tears every time he passed by a mirror and could see what his body had become. 

But eventually, we peeked our heads out. We continued to try to play our hand in life. The body starting healing. The rest came in time. And yes, those scary curtains eventually came down too {we settled in to our new house veeeery slowly last year. hence the flowery drapes...} :)

We had a baby shower...

We had a BABY. 

We made funny faces and tried to act like it wasn't a big deal to be in a hospital again. And we tried our best to be "normal". At least time it was me who was the patient.

We had a birthday party for Rig. Probably a week after the baby came...and a week or two before Derek's big surgery. Crazy. But necessary. We chose to keep living. Even though most of the time we were ready to crawl back in bed and hide under the covers.

We watched people play with our kids. And eventually we started playing too. We went to t-ball games. Derek was winded and dizzy, but we did our best to get out there. 

We sent the kids outside with Papa Dan and let him drive them thru the yard and woods on the top of his old truck. We let them be kids.

I think for us, this remembering...has to include the hard AND the good. It's all part of what God did in us. So yes, it's good sometimes to stop by the altar of remembrance and stand in awe of this God of ours. To wipe the smudges off our perspectives and SEE Him again. 

I'm thankful that we've moved forward and don't have these conversations too too often. We don't live in the past, I promise. But when we pass by the altar and God invites us back to where He's taken us...we slow down for a few hours and take it ALL in. And we get a good look at this God of ours. 

I was reading Psalm 77 this morning. The writer is crying out for distress. But then in verse 10..."To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your deeds."