Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie vs. Book: My Thoughts

 I made it to the theater this weekend to see The Hunger Games, after reading all three books around Christmastime.  I thought I'd share my thoughts this afternoon. 

Overall, I thought this was one of the best movie adaptations I've ever seen.  They stuck so closely to the book!  There were a few minor changes, but only one that bothered me a little (I don't want to put any spoilers in here, so I'm not going to say which part it was).

First of all, I thought the acting was superb.  Jennifer Lawrence was THE perfect Katniss Everdeen if you ask me. And Josh Hutcherson was great as Peeta.  The only characters that didn't 100% match the picture in my head were Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket (I'm not sure why...maybe it's because I can only ever see her as Kim from Scrubs? I've watched way too many hours of Scrubs)  and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch (In the book I felt a love/hate sort of thing for Haymitch, and I thought Woody Harrelson made him just a touch too lovable).

I also thought they handled the heavy subject matter pretty well.  Yes, it is a violent book.  However, I think the violence serves the purpose to convey a very powerful message.  I thought the movie was well-done in that they kept the deaths quick and showed as little as possible, but still conveyed the horror of the whole premise of the Hunger Games (a game where children fight to the death).

One big concern I had about the movie was that they wouldn't be able to convey all of Katniss's thoughts on the screen, because such a huge part of the book is her inner dialogue.  However, I thought they did a great job of this.  They used the announcers a lot to explain what was going on, and the music and mood of the scenes portrayed the rest.

I compare this series to the Harry Potter books and the Twilight books, in that it is a young adult series of epic novels.  If I were to rate how well the movie matched the book, I would say The Hunger Games definitely wins if it is competing against the other books I mentioned.  Simply because the Harry Potter books contained so much, it was impossible to fully transform them into movies because there was no possible way to include everything.  And Twilight failed miserably in casting, in my opinion.  Kristen Stewart is nothing like the Bella I pictured, and Robert Pattinson is not an attractive/lovable enough Edward. And let's fact it, Taylor Lautner is too hot to play a character that wasn't supposed to be nearly so lovable in the books.  Anyway, I think The Hunger Games did a fantastic job of casting the perfect actors for their characters, and also sticking to the book for most main plot points.

So what did you think?  Did they do a good job with the movie?  I still think the book was better, because the book is always better!  But I thought the movie was about as good as it could have been.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Remember how just the other day, this resilient little plant broke through the stones in the bottom of the jar and I was amazed?


Well check it out two days later

I don't know what it is about this little plant, but I've somehow wrapped my whole identity into it.  I was skeptical that it would grow, and there it goes, flourishing despite the circumstances.  (Okay, so my mom used to be a florist and my grandparents owned a flower shop and landscaping company for most of their lives.  And yet I know basically nothing about plants.  I didn't know tulips could grow up through stones...I thought it had to be some sort of rich soil or something.)

Yesterday I was making the long trip to school at 6:50 AM.  And I just stopped fighting.  I stopped worrying about my circumstances.  I finally chose to believe that God has a huge plan in the big mess I feel I'm in (possibly wasting tons of money and a year of my life taking these classes and then never getting into grad. school...not having a baby...feeling name it.  It's been a couple of rough weeks).

I guess I just see my little Tulip as a gift from God, showing me that if He cares enough to make the Tulips grow, how much more does He care to make me grow?  

And I'm not sure...but I think God helped me break through my own set of stones on my drive to school yesterday.  I'm feeling so free today with the understanding that I don't need to control my circumstances, and that my circumstances don't define me. 

I just needed a little reminder.

"What if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
What if trials in this life are your mercies in disguise?"

~Laura Story

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How God has Blessed Me...With Free K-Cups

Luke surprised me with a Keurig sometime in January after I broke my coffee pot.  I was ecstatic when I saw it sitting on our kitchen counter with the little blue bow on top:

My only concern was the price of K-Cups.  They are not cheap!  The day after I received the Keurig, I bought my first and only box of K-Cups:

Yum.  This is one of my favorite flavors.  I have savored these.

Then a few weeks after that, my sweet cousin Rachel gave me a bag full of K-Cups because she was wanted to get rid of all of the ones she had that contained sugar.  (Leave it to me to take the unhealthy stuff. ha!) 

The whole bag was full!  These are the select few that are left, and they probably won't be around for long.  Thanks, Rachel!

Then I got a Valentines Day gift from my mom...
Yum!  Those helped me get through some of the cold nights we had.

But then...this Monday...I hit the mother-load.

I was shopping with my mom and sister, and had been saving a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card that I had gotten for my birthday from Maria and Luke, my sister-in-law and her husband (not to be confused with my husband, also Luke), for something special.  And this fit the bill:

48 K-cups!  That should last me awhile!   And I have found that I really love the Donut House rich flavors:

Chocolate Glazed Donut?  How could you possibly go wrong there?!  Yum.

So there you have it.  A huge supply of K-Cups, and most of them were free.  It may seem like a small thing, But God...and my amazing family-members...have really blessed me here!  It's the little things...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The One Where I Visit The Emergency Room

At the beginning of the year, I could feel my entire perspective changed as I began counting to 1000 gifts.

...And then our February happened, and we were spending every waking moment getting our home ready for us to move downstairs and for the upstairs to be rented out. And I just stopped writing my blessings down for that month, planning to pick it right up as soon as life slowed down a bit.

...But then a few bumps in the road came: I found out I had not been accepted to my choice graduate program yet, I became extremely sick with allergies, and was still feeling really down about the baby situation.  Or lack thereof.

It didn't take long before I was focusing on the bad things instead of the blessings.  Exactly the opposite of what I had set off to do at the beginning of the year.

Yesterday was sort of rock bottom for me.  It was my first day back to school after spring break, and a lot of people were talking about who got accepted to Akron, and I became jealous.  Also, I hadn't slept well in about two days because I had been coughing constantly and couldn't breathe well at all.  It's been in the 70s and 80s the past two weeks, and allergy sufferers are suffering early around here.  On top of that, the building where all my classes were held did not have the AC turned on, so it was probably about 85 degrees in there.

Right before my second class of the morning, I started panicking majorly.  I couldn't breathe, and I really didn't want to miss class because I was supposed to give a group presentation.  At the last minute before class started it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to sit in that building a moment longer, and I told my professor that I couldn't breathe, and was going to the emergency room.  Enough is enough.

So Luke met me there, and I got in right away (apparently respiratory problems trump a lot of others).  They gave me a breathing treatment, and afterwards, I wanted to cry because it was the first time I had been able to really breathe well without laboring in a week and it felt so good.  They also did a chest x-ray, and luckily there is no pneumonia.  They just said I have bronchitis and lots of inflammation, probably due to seasonal allergies.

They sent me on my way with some allergy medicine, Prednisone, and an inhaler.

Last night, after the medicine started to kick in, I felt like a new person.  Again, I almost cried, because I literally forgot what it was like to feel healthy!  I have been sick with sinus infections and coughs and labored breathing, the symptoms alternating just to be annoying I think, for a year.  Give or take about a month when I was being treated for the first sinus infection.

Last night, Luke was at band practice and I was practically dancing around the house, getting things done and feeling uber productive.  It is crazy what feeling well and having a little energy can do for a person!!

It made me think about all those years I took for granted.  When I was growing up, I was never sick.  All of a sudden about a year after I got married, I was suffering with multiple health problems.  But I have to say, on days when I'm feeling healthy, I appreciate it so much more!

Maybe God lets us go through the hard, scary times because He wants us to really be thankful for the good ones.

On Saturday my Mom gave me a little Tulip bulb in a jar filled with stones.  That day it looked like nothing, and I kind of wondered how it was going to burst up through all those stones to become something.  And today, four days later, this is what it looks like:

It had to break through those stones in order to grow.  And eventually it will be a beautiful flower.  God has to give us those tough times in life so we can become stronger and burst through them, becoming Something Beautiful.

So as much as this past week has been difficult, I know God is using all this waiting to build my character.  I know he is using the sickness to help me appreciate my health.  And after it's all said and done, I will have grown because of it.


So I know I skipped about a month and a half, but today I'm going to continue my count to 1000 gifts:

(First of all, I have a bunch from February that were posted on twitter, but never got posted on the blog, so I'll post them quickly without pictures)

81. A productive day
82. The smell of pepper and onions cooking on the stove
83. Singing to Pandora in the car
84. Felling energized by warm weather
85. Feeling a bit of relief from a sinus infection for the first time since November
86. Last class cancelled and heading home early
87. Getting home while it was still light out
88. Coatless in February!
89. Doing some hands on work in the speech clinic
90. Another surprise from Luke (a new camera)
91. A pretty clipboard since I love fun office supplies
92. Getting ready to embark on a new adventure. And the beginning of a new chapter [this was written the night we began work on the downstairs apartment].
93. Sleeping in on Saturday morning
94. Waking up to something beautiful [snow]
95. Someone to go through life's craziness with
96. Friends and family who are always there to help when we need it
97. The opportunity to be a bridesmaid for one of my best friends
98. Fun super bowl party with friends
99. Another sunny day
100. Made it to the gas station just on time [the gauge said "0 miles to empty"!]
101. Getting to shadow a speech pathologist all day
102. Pinterest-ing my heart out between classes
103. Delicious things
104. Beautiful afternoon

Wow, that was a lot that I hadn't posted yet!  And here are the new ones:
105. Doctors
106. A husband who sits with me all afternoon at the hospital
107. Medicine that makes me feel like a new person
108. Health insurance
109. A beautiful new place to enjoy 
110. A huge meal of breakfast for dinner to celebrate our new home
111. A much bigger kitchen to cook in


112.  Early daffodils seen through the bedroom window

113. The beginnings of a beautiful flower
114. Character-building trials
115. A new appreciation for feeling healthy!
116. An early spring

Friday, March 16, 2012

Feeling Like Home

At last.  Our renovations are just about complete, and almost all of our stuff (which I now realize we have way too much of) is moved downstairs.

This past week was spring break for me, and I spent most of it getting settled in and organized.  It is really feeling like home down here!

We are quickly falling into a routine in our new surroundings, and I love how much more convenient everything is living on the first floor!

Tonight I decided to celebrate our new home (and my big, new kitchen!) with one of Luke's favorite meals: breakfast for dinner. 

I had been hungry for home fries all day, and I tried this recipe.  They were delicious!  I even had some left-overs, so I'm planning on making a nice brunch tomorrow, too.

I also tried this delicious, cinnamon, baked, French toast.  Oh, yum.  It was so sweet and tasty smothered in our Pure Ohio Maple Syrup (A Christmas gift).  I also made bacon and eggs, and we ate ourselves silly.  The best part was that our house smelled like camping, because this is the kind of gigantic breakfast we eat while camping.
 It's the little things like breakfast for dinner that turn a house into a home.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Living Room Reveal!

Good morning!  Before I get to the good stuff, I want to address a few things from yesterday's post.  First of all, I want to thank all of you who left sweet comments, sent emails, called, or texted.  you guys made my day.  Secondly, I want to say that I know it was negative.  And I know I was overreacting.  I just had to work through it yesterday morning and the night before that.  This is something I've been working toward for a year, and not getting in on the first round is both disappointing and frustrating.  And the fact that I have to wait another month before I find out is also very frustrating.  So I hope it doesn't offend anyone that I'm not going to apologize for my negativity, nor am I going to delete that post.  It was what I was feeling at the time, and writing that post really helped me get my feelings out, which in turn helped me to get over it quickly and move on.  I made a decision right after I wrote that post that I wasn't going to dwell on it anymore, and I went on to really enjoy the beautiful day!  Lastly, I want to address my last comment about "having enough practice with this patience thing."  I wasn't saying that I'm perfect and don't need to practice it anymore.  I was saying, sarcastically, that I'm human, and I'm sick of waiting!  I obviously know that patience is something I will be practicing throughout my entire life, and I am far from perfect in that area.  I just didn't want that comment to come across the wrong way.

Okay, now on to much more cheerful business!  The living room reveal!  The size of the room in this apartment seems to be inversely proportionate to the amount of work it required: the living room, which is the biggest room, required the least amount of work. And if you'll remember from Tuesday, the bathroom - which is the smallest room - required the most work.

Anyway, here are the Before and After photos:





{Ellie says "hi"}



I feel like the pictures, for whatever reason, are not portraying what this room really looks like.  But anyway, you get the general idea.  It was a really big space, and it's our cozy "hang-out" area.  It still feels a little dark to me with all the woodwork and our dark furniture and the fireplace, but the abundance of natural light helps to balance that out a bit.  

Here's what we did:
1. took down a completely unnecessary wall that had been an addition to the room at some point.  The entire first floor feels much more open and flows better without it.  

2. Sanded and re-varnished the floor

3. Added the big, new light fixture, replacing still more fluorescents 

4. painted the walls and ceiling. 

And I think that was about it!  It was already a beautiful room, but the fluorescent lighting had to go.  I have a feeling we will spend the majority of our time in this room. 

Tomorrow I will try to show the bedroom, but we are still finishing up the closets in there, so there's a lot of clothes and shoes cluttered around the room while we finish, so I may just show half of the room.  We'll see!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I'm putting off my living room reveal today because I have news to report instead.  I'm in a bit of a melancholy mood this morning, because I heard back from Akron last night about their SLP graduate #1 choice of schools and the one I interviewed for a few weeks ago.

The verdict?  I don't know yet, because I'm on the waiting list.

I'm sorry to any family and friends who are just reading it here, but I really don't want to have to tell a million people face-to-face that I'm not in (yet).

Part of me wants to be positive!  It certainly doesn't mean that I'm not accepted!  I might get in on the second round.

But the fact that I wasn't one of their first picks stings my pride a little.

And honestly?  I don't know what more I could have done!  I got straight As last semester, had a 3.7 GPA from my undergrad degree, got a decent score on the GRE, have lots of experience and a great resume, and I really thought the interview went great.

It is ridiculous how difficult it is to get into this program.  I feel like I'm trying to get into law school or medical school.  Only about 15% of applicants actually get into the program.

This morning I'm feeling slightly ridiculous for even trying this because it was such a risk.  I know in my head that God has a plan and this is just a little blip in it.  But I can't feel that this morning.  Know what I mean?

I know I'm being overly panicky, and I'm really, really not fishing for sympathetic comments or anything like that.  I'm just not going to be fake about it this morning, and I'm telling it like it is.

So anyway, where do I go from here?  Well, basically I'm in purgatory.  I have to wait until April 15th, after all the "accepted applicants" have decided whether they are going to Akron or not, to find out if there's a spot for me.

Also, I applied to Kent State, and I haven't heard back from them.  I just thought I had a better chance at Akron since I know a lot of the professors.  But who knows.

Once again, I am back in the waiting game.  Sometimes I just want to argue with God, and let Him know that I've had enough practice with the whole patience thing in the past two years!

Anyway, I promise a more positive post next time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bathroom Reveal!

Today is day 2 of Reveal Week, and I'm revealing the room that needed by far the most work, and it was also the smallest room in the house.  Go figure.

The bathroom was quite a challenge.  Let me just paint a picture for you of what we were dealing with: dated/nasty looking sink, toilet, medicine cabinet, and tub, an electrical nightmare with one switch that controlled everything, and no outlets (not okay!) and a window that had drywall behind it, and was covered in some kind of wallpaper.  Again, the back apartment was an addition to the house, so that's the reason for the now covered window.

Anyway, here are the pictures:



We were able to continue to use our chocolate brown shower curtain which I love...and we got a curved curtain rod, which I also love :-)

Remember that old window? you can see it in the first picture.  Well we removed the actual window, but kept the frame, and made the area storage.  I love it, and it holds so much!  We got a single curtain panel from Home depot, and my mom hemmed it and cut it down the middle to create two curtains, and then we used the extra scrap from the bottom to make a little valance for the kitchen window (which I'll show at some point)!  We are thrifty :-) 
Here's a little peak inside:

...and that about covers the bathroom!  I was terrified that I was going to hate this bathroom because it's so tiny, and it was terrifying to me to begin with!  But now that it's done, I love it!  It's peaceful and nice and the fact that it's smaller means there's not as much to clean :-)  

Here's what we did:
1. Rewired pretty much everything and added two outlets.

2. Replaced the ceiling light, and added a light above the medicine cabinet, making it extremely bright!

3. Replaced the medicine cabinet

4. Replaced the vanity/sink/fixtures

5. Replaced the toilet

6. Deep cleaned the bathtub multiple times.  Goof Off is a miracle worker for rust stains!

7. Luke repieced the floor together since some of the pieces were ripped and falling apart

8. We removed the non-functional window and added a bunch of storage there

9.  Painted everything

10. Re-caulked the bathtub

11. installed a new curtain rod and new faucet in the bathtub

And I think that's it.  As you can see, we replaced everything except for the bathtub.  And like I said, I'm loving the new look!

Future Projects:
1.Add  some storage on the wall above the toilet.  Maybe pretty baskets hanging on the wall

2. We would love to replace the bathtub, but I'm not sure if that will ever be in the budget. 

Now I'm off to make the upstairs apartment look presentable, because we just listed our apartment for rent yesterday, and within an hour of posting, already had several calls!!  Praise God, and let's hope we can rent it out to someone who loves it, and who is also reliable!  

Living Room Reveal tomorrow!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kitchen Reveal!!

I never thought this day would come.  For the past month we've been working like crazy to finish our first floor apartment, and I can finally say that we're moved in!!  There are about a hundred things still on the to-do list, and lots of stuff still upstairs that needs to be sold or stored, but for the most part, we have completed this crazy marathon of a project!

I have dubbed this week "Reveal Week,"  Because I'm going to be revealing a lot of before and after photos, and other little projects as I finish them. Maybe I should have saved the best for last, but today I'm going to reveal my favorite room: the kitchen!

So I'll show the pictures first because I'm sure that's all anyone cares about ;-)  And then I'll write a little about the projects we did in here.  Obviously, we haven't hung pictures or anything in there yet, so the wall above our little "breakfast nook" table will be less bare in a few days.  Anyway, here we go!





I really  wanted to leave some cupboard doors off because I love open shelving.  I decided to put some of my pretty things up there, and Luke made a custom little area for our microwave.  I love it!  I'm thinking about eventually painting the inside or even wallpapering...but not just yet :-)

There is a weird little spot in the kitchen where there used to be a door going outside (we think).  But they just left the frame there and filled in the hole when they built another apartment on the back of the house.  I was so excited when my hutch (from Ikea) fit there like it was made for the spot!  It makes the closed doorway not look quite so ridiculous.  These are the types of "fun" decorating challenges you get when you purchase an old house that was once a house, then turned into offices, then turned into apartments.

So that's that!  What a project.  the only room that required more work was the bathroom, which coincidentally is the smallest room in the whole house!  I'll probably reveal that tomorrow, so I'm getting ahead of myself.  In the kitchen...

Here's what we did:
1. Painted all the cabinets and trim white, and then painted a protective layer of polycrylic on top

2. Replaced all the hardware and pulls on the drawers and cabinets, and spray painted the hinges to match (Thanks to my father-in-law Tom for doing that for us!  It was so hard to find the right spray paint color!)

3. painted the ugly, gray paneling blue.

4. Removed the dated backsplash and replaced it with beadboard which we painted blue

5. Painted the faux brick on the bottom half of the wall white.

6. Removed the massive fluorescent lighting and replaced it with a ceiling fan and some non-blinding light bulbs.

7. Replaced the fluorescent light above the sink with an adorable pendant light.

8.  Removed the weird shelving/enclosure around the radiator.  I love radiators and think they show so much of the character of the house, so I wanted it to be open and visible!

9.  Deep cleaned everything.  Multiple times.  

10.  Put in a new stove.  This was such an answer to prayer because one night we saw a friend on Facebook advertising a stove for sale at a really low price.  We needed one, and had been too busy to look, so God dropped one right in our laps.  And when Luke and his dad went to pick it up, she took another $25 off of the price, just because!  We were so thankful and so blown away :-)

11. Switched the brown refrigerator with our white one.

12. Rewired some stuff (obviously I don't know much about this part...I didn't help with the scary electrical stuff!)

I think that about covers it.  My main goal in this room was to brighten it up.  The cabinets were dark before, the walls and the faux brick were dreary, and don't even get me started with the fluorescent lights!  As my aunt accurately described, "it felt like prison in here before you changed the lighting!" ha!  

I'm really happy with how the space turned out!  I cooked my first meal in it last night, and it was like heaven.  It is roomier than my old kitchen and there's a tiny bit more storage and counter space.  I love it!  I also love my little "breakfast nook."  It's cozy...I'm sitting there as I type this :-)

We do have a few future projects for this room:

1. Install a dishwasher!!! (maybe)

2. Perhaps replace the flooring sometime way down the road.  We left the same flooring in because it wasn't terrible, but now that the walls and cabinets are so bright, it makes the creamy/tan floor color look a bit dingy.  

3. Replace dated sink fixtures (and maybe the whole sink).
Bathroom reveal tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Life Waiting for You

Here I am, still alive :-)  I find myself with a rare moment of quiet this morning, and I have a lot of things on my mind that I want to share.

About a year ago, I decided to put my dreams on the back burner for awhile.  It was clear to me that God's plans were very different from the dreams I had been picturing.  All I wanted was to be a mom.  I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooling mom, someone who worked in ministry at church with other moms, etc.  This dream completely defined me.  And when God said "no" to that dream, it almost broke me.

I tentatively decided about a year ago to go back to school for something that had always been intriguing to me.  It meant that I was probably going to be postponing motherhood even further.  That I would probably never be a stay-at-home mom or a homeschooling mom.  God was telling me to give all of that up.  At least for now.

I found that as I let go of those things, I was changed.  First of all, I felt like I could just be.  I didn't have to be worrying or controlling things.  I found so much more joy in everyday life.  And I became passionate about a new dream: helping others communicate.

A year later, I can begin to see the reason for God's "no."  First of all, we now have the opportunity to move to the first floor apartment of our house.  This meant doing a lot of renovations (which we are almost done with!!  We will be mostly moved in a week from today if all goes as planned!)  As I have spent the majority of the last month working on renovations, I realize this would have been almost impossible with a baby.  I also realize that I couldn't have helped much if I had been pregnant.  But as it is now, I was able to do all kinds of work, turning that apartment into our home.  And I know it's going to be a HUGE blessing once we move in.

I also realized that if I would have had a baby back when I wanted to (about a year ago) I would have had to spend the last year lugging a baby and all kinds of baby gear up and down 20 + steps every time I left the house.  It doesn't sound like a big deal, but I'm sure it would have been such a pain!  Now we're placed in a perfectly convenient spot on the first floor.

Also, in our upstairs apartment, we had a room set aside that was going to be the nursery if we ever needed it.  But for some reason I could never picture it is a nursery.  Maybe that's because it wasn't meant to be a nursery?  However, in the new apartment, there is a little bedroom which will be the office for now.  But every time I go in there, all I can see is a nursery.

And then there's school.  I had always said that if I didn't homeschool my kids, I wanted to go back to school myself when they were school-aged to get my SLP degree.  I now realize just how difficult that would have been, and I'm so glad to get the opportunity to do it NOW, before things get totally CRAZY.

I'm going to come back now to the fact that I know God can use me to change lives as an SLP.  It is my mission (if I get into the grad program, that is!) to love and serve people through speech therapy.  It is such a special phenomenon to me that you can take a completely nonverbal child, teach him to use a communication device, and have just unlocked the gift of communication for this child!  When I think about it, I become so  passionate about it, and I can't wait to get out there and start practicing!!  Yes, I believe God wants part of my mission to be a mom, and maybe an adoptive mom, but a big chunk of it is speech therapy as well (at least I think it is.  I guess this post is a little premature since again, I don't know if I've been accepted to the program yet or not).

Speaking of adopting, I've always felt a call to adopt.  I'm still waiting for Luke to receive that call, but for the sake of this post, let's pretend he's going to get it :-)  If God does bless me, and I do become an SLP, we will have the financial means to adopt.

I'm beginning to see a small glimpse of God's plan, and the reason He didn't give me what I wanted, right when I wanted it.  He was telling me to wait, because He had better things coming!  It was so painful, and sometimes still is.  But I pray that God would  never give me what I want if it forfeits what He has planned!

I saw this quote on Pinterest awhile ago, and I've made it my motto:

 "We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us."  

 Things are never going to be just exactly the way we want them to be.  And that is probably the biggest blessing of all.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Catch - Up

In my phonetics class last semester, we often spoke about words or phrases that were spelled differently, but sound exactly the same. For example, if my title were phonetically transcribed instead of orthographically spelled, you wouldn't know whether this was a "catch-up" post, or a "ketchup" post. Clearly, this SLP humor alone should get me into a grad. program.

That paragraph had absolutely nothing to do with this post. I just thought it was funny :-)

So, hey, remember me?? I am in shock and disbelief that I posted 8 times in February. That is a record low for me, and is proof of the crazy month I had.

The following bullet points contain a lot of words. If you're not into that, there are also some sneak peak photos of some renovation progress at the bottom of the page, so you won't hurt my feelings if you scroll through this and just look at those :-)

Here is why life has been so crazy:

  • If you're just tuning in, the downstairs renters moved out of our house at the end of January, and we decided to accept the challenge of renovating that floor, and moving into it ourselves, and then renting out the top floor where we live now. So basically every day has been spent on those renovations. I'm more tired than I've been in my entire life. But I love it. I love making progress so quickly and going to bed dog-tired every single night. It shows me that I did something during the day.
  • I've been enjoying classes and my weekly clinical observations for class. Every day I grow more and more certain that this is where I'm supposed to be. My interview for Akron's graduate SLP program was a week ago, and I think it went pretty well! I could feel every prayer sent up on my behalf because I was totally calm and cool as a cucumber that day. This is totally unlike me! The interview consisted of four ten-minute sessions, each in a different clinic room. It was a group interview with four students in each group, and 2-3 professors in each of the four rooms. I did my best to mention things that would make me stand out from the other three group members. I tried to speak as clearly as possible because I'm sure that is a big part of what they look at in the interview as we will be teaching people to speak in our profession :-) Basically, I know God guided me through the interview, and it's in His hands now! I find out in two weeks whether I'm in or not.
  • I've been deathly ill. I'm being a bit dramatic, but the dust in our house during renovations has set off some major coughing fits in the past month. I've been seeing an ENT doctor for my sinus/respiratory problems, and he wants me to have a minor outpatient surgery. I'm fighting that tooth and nail, because I've heard it's very miserable, and not even a permanent fix. I'm probably going to try a chiropractor first to see if there's anything she can do to help so that I wouldn't have to have surgery. Anyway, it's made life a little crazier and more difficult because I've just not been feeling well in a really long time, and it definitely sucks my energy right up.
So that's where I've been and what life has looked like in the past month. We are very close to completing our renovations, which ended up being pretty extensive. I'm not going to show any "after" pictures of the rooms until they're all done and we're moved in, because I love dramatic "Before" and "After" pictures. But here is a sneak peak of some new details and color choices. I am in love with it all...

Cabinets and drawers are all painted white and looking clean! New hardware has been added.

Living room has been painted! But I'm only showing you a little corner. The color is Glidden's cafe latte.

I liked that color so much, I used it in the bathroom as well. Below is a more accurate picture of what the color looks like:

We basically started from scratch in the bathroom with new lighting, a new vanity, new cabinet above the sink, and hopefully a new toilet soon (kind of a necessity!) The bathtub is the only thing that's staying, and that's only because of expenses. Here are some new lights above the vanity. They were inexpensive and I love them:

Speaking of light fixtures, we bought a super inexpensive pendant light at Home Depot to hang above the kitchen sink to replace the hot mess of the fluorescent light that was there before. I am 100% in love with it. It might be my favorite thing about the renovations so far. And I'm contemplating being brave and trying to make my own no-sew roman shades to go behind it. I found a tutorial, but Pinterest won't open so I can't show it to you. Anyway, I think it would look great!

We did decide to paint the beadboard backsplash blue, and I think we made the right decision:

And finally, that brings us to the bedroom. It was quite the ordeal picking out the right color for this room. After some major color mishaps on my part, we chose Behr's Clair de Lune, a warm, sandy, golden color. Again, this picture is not a great representation of the actual color. the gold tones are not showing up here. But you get the idea.

And that's all the updates I'm going to show today. Here is what our to-do list looks like for the rest of the project:
  • Some paint touch-ups
  • Buy/install a toilet
  • build a closet in the bedroom
  • finish sanding the edges of the floors, and varnish them.
And that's about it! We are in the home stretch, and I fully plan to be moved in by the end of spring break in two weeks. So hopefully next time I have a renovation update, it's because I am showing you some before and after photos!

Now I better sign off and get to work finishing up this project!