Thursday, July 31, 2008

birthday bathroom blues

I think I was saying the other day that getting into a project was really helping me get out of my bad mood and back into living life. I painted my foyer and yesterday I painted my hall bathroom. Why I am doing all this painting? Well, there are two things really.

1. We moved into this house a little over a year ago and there were rooms that hadn't been decorated. Normally when I move ( and I moved a TON when I was single) I put things on the wall very quickly, but I didn't do that with this house. Since it was built in 1961 we had a lot of renovating to do first and we completely remodeled the kitchen in the first three months. So I was tired after that, and stressed and lazy. So I finally got around to it this summer. Here is a picture of the foyer I painted the other day. I kept the mirror up there because it matched nicely and added the stars that I picked up at Linens and Things.

2. Why I painted the bathroom? When it was perfectly fine? Happy Birthday, Charlie!!! You see, I painted the bathroom when we first moved in and I picked out what I thought was a really pretty green called "grape leaves." Sounded good to me. I accessorized it with white and purple and it was so cute. OR so I thought.

Well, it turns out that when you have the door closed and the light on, it glows. That's what Charlie says. And he had to use the bathroom. Our master bath does not have a door (don't get me started) and so I won't let him get ready in there at the Godforsaken hour he gets up. I need my beauty sleep, people. So he uses the hall bathroom, which was evidently like Chinese water torture or something with that green on the walls.

He would tell me all the time how he hated it. I told him to pick out another color while we were at Home Depot the other day and he comes to me with a blue.

Now, I hate blue bathrooms. If you have one, I am sorry. They feel cold and sterile and everyone has sea shells or tacky ocean prints and I hate them. They are not welcoming in the slightest and I think blue is the color you choose when you aren't brave enough to get what you really want. Blue is a safe color.
Now, I didn't mean to get started on all that, but you notice I did not delete it.

I told him there would be no blue. He was welcome to pick out another green, but I would not have blue in this house.

Would you look what happened? (Sorry about that glare.)

It all started with his comments of course. But when I was redoing the living room we took down these heavy brown curtains. And I wasn't going to give them away because I loved them and they are great faux silk and velvet curtains that are lined. Nice, in a Target way.

So, one afternoon I think: what if I attached some blue ribbon to those brown curtains and painted the bathroom?

So I took myself to the fabric store and bought me some blue ribbons. They even had one that was a blue and brown plaid. Then I glued them on. Yep, glued. Tacky glue, to be exact. And I went to HD and matched the ribbon to a paint color called "liberty gray," which is a subtle blue-gray-periwinkle color.

Then, in true mistreatment style, I nailed my curtain panel to the wall. The Nester will be so proud. I used her method of tacking down the ends where you want them and then going back and working from the middle. Great and easy technique. Then I swagged it back and tacked it with more ribbon (but, I didn't take a pic of that..sorry.)
Here is my ribbon sweetly protecting the white handtowels I don't let people use. I know, I am such a Monica about that. But I think the ribbon tells them to back off in a polite "i-am-being-saved-for-the-queen" way. I do have another towel out for people, so don't think I am so horrible that people can't wash their hands. Gross!

When my husband went to work yesterday the bathroom was green and purple. When he came home it was blue and brown! I even managed to accessorize without spending too much. I looked around the house and we had that painting on the wall in another room. I put my shelves and mirrors back up and found that "fleur de lis" thing at Hobby Lobby for $2.50. He was really excited and he said he knew it was really a gift from my heart because he knows how much I hate blue ( see above rant if you forgot already!)

But, don't tell him how much I really like it, ok? It'll be our little secret.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

paint and perspective

What is it about getting off your butt that usually makes you feel better? I mean, I enjoyed my wallow, thank you, but today I am getting on with life and painting my foyer. I spent two days watching tv and movies, letting my mom feed me, crying on my husband, and now I am over it. Somewhat over it.

Today I am painting my foyer. Yes, that little room in the above photo with that ugly contemporary metal table. I was supposed to paint it when I did my big living room project, but we got lazy and decided to wait. So today I got the ladder back out and started painting.

And I am feeling better. Maybe it's being up on a ladder. Maybe it's a couple days of distance and a sweet husband. Maybe it's knowing that all of you are out there and you're praying for us. That did help, so I thank you.

Maybe it's thinking about my sweet friend at Stretch Marks, who is facing an even bigger disappointment. And she is coping with it as well as anyone can be expected.

I know it's my Lord, who comforts me in my anguish. I know He lifts me up when I am crying in the shower. I know He hears me when I yell about it, too. I know He helps me be kind to other pregnant women, and gracious when I am handed a baby to hold. He helps me kiss my niece and nephews and shower them with love.

But, then again, maybe it's the paint fumes.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

it's my party and i'll cry if i want to...

You know how life can just really get you down sometimes? I know you do. And you know how it feels when someone close to you rejects you? I know you've been there, too.

That's how I feel about infertility.

Like I have been rejected from the secret motherhood club. Like I'm not good enough. That I didn't pass the test and so I haven't been given a baby. Like how I flunked my Driver's Test the first time. Like I don't qualify.

And then you think about adoption and all the steps you go through there. They come and inspect you too. And I know why they do that, but...

And I know I am whiny. And I know I am having my own little pity party here. And I am getting it out in print, so my poor husband doesn't have to deal with his mess of a wife for too long. And I am starting another round of the drugs cause you gotta keep going. And I bought a basal thermometer so I can chart my temperature.

Basically, I am going to keep going.

I cried this morning in church and the lady who prayed for me said God put the desire in my heart for a reason.

So, on to happier things. Hold on, I gotta go find some.

In the meantime, who wants to buy me a chai latte and watch Friends with me?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

life update

For those keeping track....I got my period on Friday. Keep praying. Round 6.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ottoman 101

One of the bigger projects I attempted when redoing my living room was recovering this ottoman. Now, I am by no means a professional at this. Seriously. I am just a girl with some fabric and a staple gun (that I borrowed, no less.) But, it did turn out well and I am proud of what a little creativity can do.

Just, say some prayers before you begin.

Here is what she looked like before the face lift. She was a navy blue and had seen better days. We gave the couch to Goodwill, but I kept the ottoman, thinking it might come in handy someday. Seems I was right about that.

My mom and I bought this gold weave fabric in the discount area of a local fabric store, where I also bought the silk on my draperies. We draped it over the top and two long sides and tucked it in under the top cushion. Then I got out the very scary electric staple gun that was made to staple down carpet and stapled all around the cushion where there was wood under the fabric.
Ok, here I am looking all proud and stuff with the staple gun, but if you notice the outlet on the wall behind me, the gun is not plugged in. I unplugged it EVERY time I stopped using it. EVERY time. I was so paranoid that it was gonna go off and shoot staples everywhere.
Here is my mom posing for this lovely picture. I don't know why she wanted to be pictured like that, but here she is. Welcome to my blog, Mom. You're scarin' the people away.
Then we took more fabric and tucked it around the ends. And stapled more staples with the scary staple gun.
Flipped it over and tucked it under the bottom to staple it down. Flipping it over was fun. I was so scared we were going to hear all the staples pop out and we would have to start over, but it held up. We got everything stapled in and let me tell you the corners were a challenge. I made several phone calls to anyone I knew who I thought might have any idea how to help us and no one else had a clue either. We made it up.

Once it was turned back over, it still looked unfinished. So off I went to Hobby Lobby to get some cording. And I hot glued it in. Yup. Hot glue. Not the scary staple gun. Whew! I can handle the hot glue gun.

I think it finished it off really nicely. My husband was even impressed and he is hard to impress with decorating stuff. And it looks so nice in the room. Without it, there would have been a huge open space in the middle and it would have felt incomplete.

So, if you are feeling brave, have $20 bucks worth of fabric and can manage a scary staple gun, you too can do this project. If you had an ottoman you wanted to cover. And a Mom that makes scary faces but helped you anyway. And a hot glue gun.

Ok, so maybe you won't try this at home.

Sunday, July 20, 2008 it is!

So you know I've been working on my living room and dining room, and if you are tired of me posting about it, I apologize. Well, not really. It has been an exciting and busy week as I worked like a dog to get it done. But, finished it is and I can relax.

Here is another look at the BEFORE. See? Awkward furniture placement, pale yellow walls and rooms that didn't relate. It was like they were speaking foreign languages and I was supposed to be the interpreter and it wasn't happening. I only speak English, folks.

Here is an in-process picture. Ta-DA!!! Here it is all put back together! Isn't it pretty? The paint color turned out exactly the way I wanted. It blends nicely with the beige couches I already owned and didn't want to slipcover. The accent colors are green, burnt orange and gold, which are all coming from the rug I found at Tuesday Morning. Actually, it was a rug set. It came with the big 8x10 rug and a little hall runner that I put in my very skinny foyer (which will get painted to match, but I didn't have that much time, people!)
That ottoman in the center used to be navy blue and went with a couch I gave to Goodwill. Since I wasn't using blue in this room, I found some fabric and spent a very brave afternoon covering it. I was introduced to a power staple gun and I liked it! But, that is a whole other post that we will get to next week.
The little table that is between the couches is a yard sale find for $4. I am going to shorten it a little and give it a more even coat of paint, but it makes a great end table when I didn't have a lot of money to spend on one.
Here are my Mistreatments! (And, I added my blinkie on the sidebar to prove it!) I know you have been waiting for these to see what I did with that silk I showed you. Well, I sewed it on to some tap-top curtains I got at Target. Actually, my Momma sewed them for me with her brand new sewing machine. And she ironed them ever so carefully, cause she is like that. I would have just throw them up there, but she has made peace with her iron, so I let her do it. Like my ring clips and curtain rod? Well, the ring clips are fine, but that curtain rod was a nightmare! Seriously, I about ruined my wall and I may have cursed out loud. Not really, but I thought it.

The curtain rod was a purchase at Ross, and I normally don't go in there much since I am such a TJ Maxx nut, but in there I went and found that rod for $12.95. About $30 cheaper than a nice one I had seen at Lowe's, so I grabbed it. My mistake. The screws snapped in half, the finial had to be hot glued on, and I turned the chipped side from where my husband dropped it to the wall. The screw snapped while I was screwing it in, and I took the head off with my screwdriver, but the rest of the screw is still in the wall.

I left it there.

Here is my photo collage in the dining room. I stole the white frames idea from Emily and used it here on the wall that is soooo big. I scrounged everywhere for white frames but the frame industry seems to be really prejudiced against them cause they are hard to find! All I could find at Hobby Lobby were frames with sayings on them, and I ended up buying some black ones at Michael's and using my trusty spray-paint.
Don't you feel bad for my husband, Charlie, that his initial is not up there? So sad. He cried.

Um, not really. I told him that my frames were out of balance and I grabbed that from the kitchen. Maybe I will find a C somewhere. And, can anyone identify what kind of dog my MIL is holding in the photo of me, Charlie and his parents? Comment (by Tuesday at noon) and tell me...those correct will have their names put in a hat and a prize given.

I think it all turned out well. But, I need help on what to do with this HUMOUNG ... HUMOUNGOUS, large wall that currently has nothing on it. I need some ideas, folks. It is big and I am out of decorating brain cells at this moment.

Friday, July 18, 2008

me and my fancy pants

Hi, faithful readers! I am wearing my fancy pants today. Why?

Today I am the guest columnist at Saucy Chefs! Are you excited? You should be! I think most of you know I love to cook and Heather and Tiffany asked me to write a monthly column. My posts will be about quick cooking with semi-homemade ingredients.

This month's recipe is Spicy Chicken Pasta and is yummy!

Click on the Saucy Chef on the left to read how to make this flavorful pasta dish in about a half an hour!

Oh, my room is coming along just fine! Today I made a million holes in the wall putting up a photo collage on my dining room wall trying to get the arrangment just right.

I tried to arrange them first on my dining room table and then put them up. I will show you the results when I post pictures of the finished rooms.

I have on my fancy pants and I'm still a tease. Well, what do you know? I am Saucy!

Update: They are having a contest for a camera at SITS, so check it out and enter to win!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

i'm a tease

I am knee deep in the midst of a project redecorating my living room and dining room. I know, I know, you wanna know what it is going to look like, but I haven't completed all the elements yet. Here is what it looked like after we moved the beige furniture in from the den. It was awkwardly positioned in the room and my TV suddenly looked huge. And those throw pillows came from another couch that we had before and donated to the Goodwill.

Here is what it looked like today. I finished up putting on the second coat and took the tape off this afternoon. See how I still have a chair sitting on my dining room table? And all my furniture is shoved toward the middle of the room now.
But see this delightful find? This fabulous embroidered silk pillow was a clearance find at TJ Maxx. It is a lovely shade of greenish gold and is in the color scheme I am working with. I spent Tuesday night wandering around TJ Maxx and having a little alone time. That is one od my favorite places to go and relax. I took it with me when I went to a fabric store to pick out some curtain fabric.
My mom and I spent an hour and a half in the store and I walked out with one yard of this beautiful silk striped number. I could only afford one yard, but I am going to add it to some cheaper curtains to make myself some Mistreatments.
But I also found some discount fabric for another project for the room. Some really nice gold upholstery fabric. For what?

Show you later. See, I told you I'm a tease.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

painting on my mind

If you remember, I showed you these paint samples and what my dining room looked like. If you weren't around that far back, just check these photos out.

This picture also shows the yellow wall I had in the living room and brown leather furniture that I had in there too. That leather set is now in my den and we moved a beige sofa and love seat into the living room. After this furniture musical chairs was over, the yellow didn't look right with the beige sofa and we still had not painted the dining room.

So once school was out, and we got back from our Florida vacation, I knew I needed to get serious about what I was going to do with that room. And even though I LOOOOOVE paint samples, I am not decisive about picking out paint. So wishy washy. I know what I like and don't like, but the exact shade of something is hard to pick out. So, I checked out a couple colors that the Nester recommended and Emily even came over and looked at my rooms, and then I still didn't know what I wanted to do. But I had loved the color that Emily had at her Sophie Marie house, and I went with that color: restrained gold.

Restrained Gold is a Sherwin Williams color. So I hotfooted it over to Sherwin Williams to get the paint. Now, I am usually a Behr paint girl. I am pretty loyal, because their paint is pretty think and generally covers in one coat. But, thinking I would want to get the color exactly right, I went to the fancy Sherwin Williams store and paid top dollar for two gallons of paint. Cashmere paint, it was called.

It was horrible.

It was like water. It was so thin and drippy and you could see every brush stroke. I only trimmed around one door before I was yelling at the paint.

Enter my husband.

He looked at the cans and saw that it was not Behr paint, and his look said "that's your first problem." But he did not comment on that. He said "Let's take it back." I told him that paint stores don't take back tinted paint, and so he put the phone in my hand and made me call the store. They thought maybe something was wrong with the paint, and could I bring it in?

Now, normally, I would have sucked it up and just kept painting. Not wanting to ruffle feathers, or anything. But I had two rooms and a foyer to paint with this color and I had paid SO much money for this paint. So we jumped in the car and headed to the store.

Where the nice man tried to convince me that paint is like that.

Where the nice man showed me what he thought was thicker paint.

Where the nice man gave me my money back.

Charlie and I headed to Home Depot with my swatch in hand. I asked my favorite paint man Larry about the color and if they would be able to match it. I had used the little matching matching while we were waiting, and the color wasn't right. But he looked right at the swatch and said they had that paint recipe in the computer becuase it was so popular, but he would make up one gallon and we would dry it and match it, then we would mix the second gallon.

It was perfect.

So I went home and painted the dining room. And today I painted the living room. But I am not gonna show you what it looks like yet, because all the furniture is still shoved in the middle of the room and I haven't hung anything up yet. I will share photos soon, don't you worry.

And, buy Behr paint.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

small packages

Thursday Charlie and I celebrated our 4th anniversary. I know, the big 4. We've been married such a long time! LOL. Anyway, I decided to plan our celebration and so I made reservations at a local restaurant and B&B to surprise Charlie.

Here we are getting ready to leave.

Here is Charlie sitting in the biiiiiig bed at the B&B. The room was so cute and had the best bathroom with a whirlpool tub. I took two baths while we were there.
And here is my present! Ohmy. Ohmy. It is so pretty.
It is kinda hard to tell, but the stone is a pale green amethyst (I didn't know they came in green) and it has four diamond prongs. It looks a little odd in the picture. Hmmmm. Maybe from another angle. Is that better?

Let me tell you something though, about how well my husband knows me. After we left the B&B, we went and saw a movie and then Charlie said he had a surprise for me. We went to a jewelry store and he stopped outside. Then he told me he had picked something out for me and we were going to pick it up, but if I didn't like it, I should say so and we would just pick out something else.

Can you guess? I didn't like it.

He actually did a pretty good job and the necklace had a flower pendant (year #4 is flowers and small appliances?) but it wasn't right. So we shopped around and I picked this out. So pretty. I kept staring at it all day and letting it catch the sunlight and sparkle.

My husband is such a surprise at times. He is really a great gift giver, and I love him for that. He told me once that he was not a mind reader, so when I see things I like I need to let him know. He files the info for later, and I am so grateful and touched when something special appears.

And even more grateful when he lets me exchange it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

what we do

Do you ever have one of those days where you get so far into something, and then wonder if it was really worth it? You start down a path with all these intentions, and then it becomes something else entirely?

That's where I am.

And I wondered why we as women, do the things we do.


Let me explain. I think most of my readers know that I am battling infertility. We have been trying for about a year and a half (off and on.) I have tried several different medications and now I am on one that is making me sick. The medication warns that it causes stomach and bowel problems while it works to help you out, and I can certainly testify that those warnings are there for a reason.

So, my goal is a baby, but I am making myself sick in the process. And I am only taking prescription pills, I am not doing shots or anything else like that. But it tells me that we weigh the pros and cons of the situation and then decide what it is worth to us.

I don't know that my husband would willingly deal with this. He probably would; I haven't asked him. But it seems to me that men have the easier part of this infertility thing, but that really isn't my point here. My point is that I have decided it is OK to make myself sick while persuing a bigger reward.

Women do that, I think.

We will get sick, be hurt, go without sleep, money, new clothes, etc, all to work towards something. While I was laying in bed the other day between trips to the bathroom, I wondered why we decide it is ok. Why am I alright with the fact that this medicine makes me sick? Shouldn't I think that being sick isn't ok?

I know this is rambling, but it makes me wonder. About life and motherhood. I think any mother would tell you that they would go without to give their child something. And I'm not even there yet. I think it means to me that I already love this child so much that I would go through this just to give him/her life. I hope that's what it means.

Tell me your stories of motherhood, please. Tell me why we love like this. Give me your perspective. Give me your prayers as I navigate this tough time.

Tell me what you do.

Monday, July 7, 2008

the deep south

I already told you about the wedding and my trip to Pottery Barn, but our other stop on our trip was in Valley, Alabama. Yes, Vaaaalley, AL. You have to say it with an accent, if you can. Valley is a sweet little southern town that is half asleep. My mom was raised there in a teeny tiny little house beside a creek, and she shows us the creek each time we go. The house has been torn down, but the brown little creek is still there.

My Uncle Tom and Aunt Sarah still live there in this cute little house. When I was little I loved the porch swing and steps up to the house. I always thought steps leading up to a house was somewhat romantic and I could just imagine a date walking up those steps to get me.

I know, I have a somewhat vivid imagination.

We spent all of 24 hours in Alabama and I came away with a jar of fig and strawberry preserves and a love of homemade biscuits. My Aunt Sarah made them for each of the three meals we had with them!
This is my sweet Uncle Tom. He talks so fast and with such an accent that when I was little, I could not understand him. He loves bass fishin' and grillin' and boatin' on the lake, which we were gonna do, but the boat battery was dead. So we sat on the shore and enjoyed the breeze and caught up.
Here is my Aunt Sarah with Charlie. She is actually my Mom's cousin, but I call her Aunt anyway. She is such a sweet lady and she fried up eggs and bacon for breakfast the next morning before we got on the road. She used to do that everyday for my Uncle Tom until he had a heart attack and now she feeds him cereal. He was so happy we were there because she cooked!
Here is the lake with the dead pontoon boat. I did walk over to the boat ramp and wade in the water a little bit to say I had been in the lake. It was nice and cool and it would have been fun to swim, but we hadn't brought our suits. Silly us.

It was such a nice little break after all the hurry up stuff that was the wedding. We relaxed and talked and drank tea and ate biscuits.

Sweet Home Alabama.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

some more pics from the vacation

It seems to be a slow blogging week with the 4th coming up and so I thought I would share a few more pics from my vacation. If you want to read about someone who has had an interesting vacation, check out Melissa at Stretch Marks. Seriously, check her out.

Here we are at the hotel pool. I am showing off for you, of course.
Here we are at a lake in Alabama with my aunt and uncle. We were going to get in the boat, but the battery was dead. Alas, we had to stay on dry land.
We look like we are having so much fun, right? Right after this Charlie dunked me!

Hope you enjoy all those burgers and BBQs this weekend! Enjoy the long weekend and get some rest. Comment and let me know if you have a fun 4th recipe I should try!