Monday, August 31, 2015

Couch Reveal

Well, I told you I'd be sharing the "after" of the couch I had reupholstered.  Here's a reminder of what it used to look like:

What do you think?  Hideous, right?   Yes, but this couch has great, strong, Ethan Allen bones and a flat back and flat seat just like I've wanted.  A flat back and flat seat means no cushions to break down and look tired and smashed.  Yay!  I also wasn't crazy about the camel back and the flared arms, so I decided to have Ray at Wheeler's Interiors rebuild the frame a bit while he was in the process of reupholstering it.  I chose this fabric from Joann's, which I got with a coupon, of course--and I love it.  It is quite light in color, but it is a heavy duty polyester that is easily washed.  Ray even made sure I had custom arm covers and a cover to go over the back for added protection and washability.  Awesome.  So here she is!  


Quite an improvement, right?  I think so.  It really kills me that I don't have a pretty room in which to display my pretty couch, but oh well.  You get the idea.  It's not that this house couldn't be beautiful.  ANY house can be beautiful.  It's just that since we don't know how long we're gonna be in it, I'm not sure it's worth our time and effort to make it beautiful.  You know what I mean?  Anyway...

And remember this dresser that I picked up at a thrift store for like 30 bucks?  Well, I did decide to paint it, and I'll be posting the finished pictures as soon as Brian helps me put on the new drawer pulls.

I stripped it down, primed it with an oil based Cover Stain primer and then sanded it down smooth.

I can't wait to show you what it looks like now!

Also, in case you're interested--this is the color I'd like to paint our next house.  I love it!  I think it is the perfect silvery-grey with blue undertones.  This picture is not ideal, but trust me.  It's awesome.  :)

 And this is the girls' bedding and boys' bedding, respectively, that i picked out for the new house (I thought I'd start collecting things early since I know I'll have zero dollars for decorating once the house is finished.  As it turns out, I was shopping a bit too early, so I decided to take advantage of it anyway.  Like I mentioned on IG, You don't have to have a pretty house to have a pretty bed.  I plan to pair the girls'  bedding with their black and white upholstered headboards from the last hough (do you remember them?) and accent in bright pink.  The green and white bedding is actually from the girls' section at Pottery Barn, but I figure I can boyify it if I accent in navy and maybe a few touches of brown or orange.  We'll see.  

I can't live without decorating.  I can't live without words, and I can't live without decorating....or my family.  Or water.  

And in case you've ever wondered what kind of quality IKEA furniture is made of, here is a little peek inside.  I let my kids go to town on this when we were moving, and they totally loved it.  Don't worry.  This won't keep me from continuing to shop at IKEA, either, but it is quite offensive to Brian.   He has no tolerance for poor quality. 

Anyway, if you're out there....stay tuned.  :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Skip--Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday

Right now it is 10:20 A.M. and I am alone in the house.  Camp and Jane are out of town with Becky and my mom, respectively (lucky!) and Danin and Skip are at Vacation Bible School until noon.  So I'm eating an Oreo blizzard for breakfast and writing on my blog.

Brian and I have spent countless hours over the last three weeks packing up, laying flooring, painting, touching up and cleaning our Mariners house.  Last night I mopped my way to the front door and said good-bye.

I'll miss that house, but even more--I'll miss our neighborhood and neighbors.  We were so safe and taken care of there.  Do you know that for the nine years we lived there, I don't know that we ever used a key to get into our house?  That's partly because we always went through the garage, but also because we so rarely locked our doors.  For years,  I have left my purse and keys in my unlocked van in the driveway.  Countless times, we have driven away from the house and unknowingly left our front door wide open--like all the way open--and I haven't worried about it.  That's cool.  The kids have essentially had a gated-off circular track on which to safely ride their bikes and a plethora of other wheeled apparatuses.   We've had neighbors call us before Halloween just to confirm that our kids would be trick-or-treating.  When Halloween fell on a Sunday, they gladly agreed to let the kids come a day early.  That's cool, too.  We've had neighbors join us for Christmas Eve dinner and and others for Easter dinner.  And the Holmes have spoiled us rotten for nine years--with attention, with service, with ingredients we were missing at times, with treats, with friendship... We've just been so lucky.  I guess I've already talked about all this though....

The good thing is--there are little blessing wherever you live.  In the rental (we've had to call this house the rental to distinguish it from the Mariners house since we've been in and out of both for the last three weeks), we live across the street from the Glowacki's and that has already been amazing.  They've already brought us banana-coconut muffins and entertained our kids for hours.  I've even been able to have Ava babysit already. Sooo nice.  We love them.  

And this house is nice, too.  It is not the new house that I have been decorating in my head for three years, but it is still a nice house.  It has a sunny playroom, people.  And storage.  Lots of storage.  Could it get any better?  Well, yes, it could.  But seriously--nothing says luxury to me like storage and a playroom.

So yeah, the new house....    Sigh...   We are so not close to starting it yet.  Did I tell you that we decided to draw the plans ourselves?  It seemed like such a good idea to Brian, but then he got too busy to work on them.  And there's no telling when he'll ever find the time..  I wish I could say this hasn't been super hard for me, but i'll be honest.  This has been super hard for me.  I've been looking forward to this ever since we bought our lot back in 2008, and the only thing keeping us from building on it has been the sale of our Mariners house.  

Here is our floor plan.  At least that part is mostly figured out. 

And here is the basic front elevation.  I'm hoping the facade will be grey shingles, though.
I'm trying to keep perspective.  I'm telling myself daily that many a life has been wasted dwelling on things that moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves can break through and steal... but it's hard.  You know?  It's hard.  Not AS hard, though, now that we have actually moved into the rental.  I'm arranging furniture and organizing closets, so my mind is busy and i'm still finding fulfillment in making things pretty the best i can.  The hardest part, really, is just not knowing how long we'll be here--not knowing if it is worth it to paint the walls and put holes in them, or just wait it out.  But I'll get through it.  It has already caused so much fighting between Brian and me, and the logical part of my brain knows it is not worth that.  There's nothing I'd rather do tonight when Brian finally gets home than to say, "Now that we're finally done with the other house, are you ready to work on the plans with me??"  But I know that would not be wise. I know Brian would just be totally irritated and we would fight and no work on the plans would get done.   And I'm trying to be wise for the first time in my life.  Man, it's hard.  How do wise people do it?

Hey, you wanna know what?   Several months back, I was praying about how difficult and frustrating it is for me to have Brian be so averse to communication--specifically about serious, consequential-type matters.  As I've told you, verbal communication (or even written, really.  I'll take what I can get.    As long as it includes words.  ) is like nutrients and air to me.  I need it to survive.   I just want so badly to be able to explain my feelings and worries and anxieties to Brian and just have him listen and work them out with me--without getting mad and shutting down.  But that never happens.  So I was telling Heavenly Father that in my prayers one day, and he said to me--I mean, I think he said to me--I mean, he didn't really SAY anything to me.  I just got the feeling he was saying to me:  Just tell ME.  When you're worried and anxious and frustrated about something, come tell ME, and I will forward that message to Brian.  It's easier for him to listen to me.   What a good idea!  The problem is though, it is SO HARD to keep my mouth shut with Brian, relying on Heavenly Father to deliver the message.  I haven't done it successfully yet.  Or I HADN'T been successful at it...until about 10 days ago. 
 I had become really, really worried and anxious about a particular business situation and I desperately wanted to bring up the issue with Brian.  I wanted to talk to him about it and come to an agreement.  But he wouldn't have it.  Soooo, I closed my mouth and walked away.  And as I was leaving, the thought came back to me:  Tell me, instead.  So I called my mom.  I told her about the prompting I had received months earlier and about the current situation.  I asked her to pray with me that I'd be able to use self restraint like never before to keep my mouth shut on the matter and just trust that God would deliver the message.  A while later, she called me back to let me know she felt confident I was doing the right thing.  We agreed that we would pray together and I would not bring up the situation again with Brian.  Rather, I would trust Brian to make the decision and hope that Heavenly Father would guide him.  And guess what??  I'm doing it!  I haven't brought it up since, and I'm having faith!  Yay!  There is hope for me, after all!  Oh, man.  I'm so proud of myself.    (Then again, magic things do always happen when I have my mom praying about something with me.  I've told you about the power of her prayers, right?  If you have something you need prayers for, call her.  On second thought, she might be too booked with my problems.  You may want to try next month.)   The thing is--even if Brian makes a decision I don't  agree with, my prayers will not have been for not (can I even say that?), because I will have still succeeded at using self control and supporting Brian.  So anyway...

Aaannndd, for the second time EVER, I resisted bringing up to Brian ANOTHER thing I became stressed and worried about.  I just went to my room and prayed all the things I wanted Brian to consider and then I paced around the house for a while giving myself motivational pep talks.  And I got through it!   (I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking Man, I can understand why Brian wouldn't want to talk to you about anything.  You're psycho!  I could be.  I could be. 

Yeah, so Brian and I have pretty much been fighting off and on for a few months now.  But it will be all right.  We'll get through it.

Other than that.  The kids are doing well--sassy, man, I'll tell ya!--but well.  We've had a wonderful summer so far.  Our trip through Utah and Vegas was wonderful.  It was relaxing and fun.  Fun because I was with my family and I was relaxed.  :)  I'm so grateful for my family.  

P.S.  I almost forgot to mention the inspiration for this post's title.  So a few months ago (as you may have seen on Instagram) Skip won $200 at our local Rhododendron Festival.  Can you believe it?  I thought Brian and I should be able to keep the money since it was our money that bought his winning raffle ticket, but Brian insisted he get to keep it.  So anyway, he's had about 160 bucks in his money box for the last few months (after paying tithing and buying a play gun).  Then, the other day, Camp became obsessed with one of those super cool, super fast remote control cars--the kind that go like 40mph and cost like $200.   And he was able to convince Skip go in on it with him.  So Skip contributed $160 and Camp contributed $20 (we found it for a good deal on Amazon).   Oh, man!  It's time for me to pick up my kids.  I'll be back.

OK.  Yeah, so anyway,  Camp has this new, totally awesome toy and Skip--who used to be rich last Sunday--is broke.   Five internet bucks for anyone who knows what this post's title is making reference to.  (Note:  internet bucks are only good on this blog :) )

P.S.S.  A while ago, I bought this couch on Florence Classifieds.  I loved it for its flat back and flat seat.  Flat back and flat seat means no broken down, smashed cushions.  Also, it is a $2000 Ethan Allan couch, so it's built pretty well.  I had it professionally rebuilt (I had them alter the frame a bit) and reupholstered.   It's actually been done for weeks, but because we've been moving and I'm now trying to figure out a place to put it, it is still waiting to come home. 

   I also scored these beauties at a thrift store for $20 each and can't wait to paint them in a bright gloss paint and have them upholstered in a bold corresponding fabric to complement my new couch.    Stay tuned....