Monthly Archives: July 2014

All the Before Pics (and what we want to fix)

Here we go, we will be grabbing the keys to our Florida home in about a month.  There is a lot to do and a tiny budget to do it.  So, to organize all the thoughts, here is my little “Before” post along with what we want to do/buy/make.

Entry way:

Entry with Door

  • Paint over the pumpkin orange
  • Clean floors
  • Entry rug to cover weird tile rectangle thing
  • New light fixture? (we’ll see how it looks with the new color)


Office 4  Office 2 Office 3

  • Paint over the yellow
  • Add window treatments
  • New Ceiling Fan
  • Find a desk
  • Find a way to hide all of Brandon’s techy junk
  • Area rug (if husband lets me, he’s very anti-rug-in-office)

Dining Room:

Dining 2

  • Paint.
  • Clean tile.
  • Fix cracked grout
  • Build a farmhouse table
  • Artwork
  • Window Treatment
  • New light fixture


Kitchen 4     Kitchen 5

  • Paint
  • New Cabinets (note:  the original plan was to repaint, but the inspector said “rip ’em out! spend all the monies” and now we are)
  • New Countertops
  • New Appliances
  • New Sink/Faucet
  • Help the pantry look less sad
  • Refinish our kitchen table

Living Room:

Living 2 Living 3

(I don’t have a full pic of the living room, but the orange is the left side and the red is the right)

  • Paint, paint it all!
  • Clean ALL the tile
  • Furnish (Sofa, tables, chairs/double sofa?)
  • Area Rug
  • Floating Shelves in Cubby/nook-thing
  • Window treatment for sliding doors (*shudeers at the thought of ugly 80’s shimmery blinds currently in existance*)

Master Bedroom:


(I hereby apologize for the crappy iPhone Pano-pic)

  • Paint over the horrible sherbert orange that I could NOT wake up to happily.
  • Recarpet
  • Window Treatments
  • New Ceiling Fan

Master Bath:

Master Bath 7 Master Bath 8 Master bath 9

  • Paint
  • Change out sink faucets
  • Change out shower head
  • Frame in the massive mirror

Master Closet:

Master Closet Master Closet 2


(Note that I will like, never be able to fully fill this closet with clothes!)

  • Paint
  • Carpet
  • Built in shelving

Guest Room A:

Guest A Guest A 3

  • Paint
  • Figure out something to do with the closet doors
  • Window treatment
  • Furnish (2 twins, mirror, table, etc.)
  • Change the ceiling fan

Guest Room B:

Guest B 2 Guest B 3

  • Paint over princess purple
  • Weird Closet doors again…
  • Window Treatment
  • Furnish (Queen bed, night stands, mirror, etc.)

Guest Bath:

Guest Bath

  • Paint
  • Change faucet
  • change shower head.

Back Patio:

Back Patio 3 Back Patio 4

  • Paint All the black white
  • Furnish (eating area and sitting area)
  • Add a wall A/C unit

Ok.  That’s it!  Any suggestions of what else we could do/plan for would be welcome!!!

That Time We Decided to do a Renovation…

Well, we found a house *applause!* and it’s great.  It has everything we wanted (an office, two guest rooms, split bedroom floor plan, open concept living area, outdoor space, etc.) and it needs QUITE a bit of work.  After going through inspections, we added quite a few things to our already growing list of things that needed to be fixed/done/painted.  Every inch of the house needs paint (baseboards, walls, doors, everything!) and every room is a different color.  That’s right, there are a total of 8 colors in the house.  It’s horrendous!

So, for my own amusement, I have decided that I would blog through the remodel.  It should be amusing because between my avid love of pinterest and my extensive viewings of HGTV, I have an overall false sense of my ability to be crafty.  I know that there are a gazillion DIY/Reno blogs out there that will be far more informative than mine ( see my faves “View Along the Way” and “Live, Love, DIY“) but I am mainly blogging about it to track my own progress.  I am terribly great at seeing how far I have left to go and forgetting how far I have come.  So this little corner of the internet will help me sort through all the things that are happening to me as my husband and I embark on unknown territory.

So… Here’s what you can expect when it comes to the “Rainbow House Reno”:

1.  ALL the mistakes and things not to do.  I definitely expect that we will have lots of bumps along the way simply because we are not professionals, nor are we particularly crafty.  We are just two individuals who love a good deal, despise spending money on something we could do ourselves, and who know how to use Google.

2.  ALL the things we were able to save money on.  Like I said, we are bargain hunters.  We have a lot to do and want to spend as little as possible.

3. Furniture Finds.  When we left Tulsa, we sold quite a few things and didn’t have a lot to begin with.  Basically other than our Master Bedroom, every room needs to be furnished!

4. Tips of things that have worked for us.  Like I have said, we are NOT professionals.  We don’t really know what we are doing.  So every time I find something that went really well or looks really good, I will share.

Ok, so… this should be fun right? *Insert nervous laughter here*

Living With a False Sense of Rush…

I feel like I am uniquely gifted in the art of picking the slowest lane at every grocery store I go to.  Whether I have 2 things or a full cart, whether there is one person infront of me or 10, it seems like I have a knack for spending more time in the check out line than I do in the actual store.  Part of this is due to my complete lack of patience.  Perhaps I spend a lot less time in the line than I think I do since I spend the entire time tapping my toe, being tempted to help that lady who is leisurely placing one can at a time on the conveyer belt unload her cart a bit faster. All the while I am focusing on what… getting home to unload my groceries?  Hurrying out to the car to sit in traffic?  Am I the only person who is so anxious to check something off my list that I risk missing opportunities to make connections with the people around me?  Maybe I am.  Maybe you are that perfectly chipper person who is never in a hurry who doesn’t operate in the false sense of rush that I tend to.

My husband and I have been working on this a lot lately.  We find ourselves getting frustrated in situations that aren’t going as quickly or as efficiently as we would like.  But we realized the other day (with a little help from our favorite book “The Life You’ve Always Wanted” by John Ortberg) that we often rush to get no where.  We hurry ourselves along so that we can get home and often eventually do nothing of significance.  Often by living with this “false sense of rush,” we end up anxious or frustrated when really it is just a matter of perspective.

Sure there are times when I really am in a hurry because I’m late for something.  But if I’m being honest, I’m rarely running late enough to be obnoxious to others.  So I would like to challenge you (as I am challenging myself) next time you are in the line at Target or getting groceries and you find yourself waiting longer than you would like… ask yourself “am I operating in a false sense of rush?”  or “Is this moment worth getting frustrated about?”  I assure you that you will look at things differently if you take time to evaluate whether your “hurry” is legitimate.

Am I alone here?  Is everyone else as patient as a saint when the cashier is taking her sweet time?

Longing for Familiarity


Photo Credit:  @rachelmphotography

One of the hardest parts about a move is trying to find familiarity in the newness of it all.  It is easy to be consumed and overwhelmed with the inability to find the simplest things that were a part of everyday life in your previous environment.  Though I have moved a mere 5 states away, I still find myself puzzled by the fact that I can’t seem to find the rhythm of the grocery store or keep in tune with the pace of the cars or the people.  I find myself feeling like a foreigner in my own country.  The simplest things are difficult to make peace with, like the complete inability to find my favorite brand of sour cream.  I’m certain the feeling of disconnect would be much more prevalent say, if my husband and I had decided that this was the time to move out of the country.  I guess you just don’t prepare yourself for culture shock when you are moving within your own country!

But tonight, I found a familiar moment in such an unfamiliar place.  As I stood on the balcony of our tiny, 600 sq ft condo I was able to find something that was familiar from long ago.  The darkness of night had overtaken the ocean, yet I could still hear the subtle crashing waves in the distance.  To my right I hear the quieting buzz of cars heading down A1A to get back to their homes or head to the bars.  The air still has a touch of mist from the inevitable Florida rains that made it cooler than usual.  And then, when I closed my eyes I heard it.  I knew it was the palm trees, swaying in the breeze singing it’s rustling song… but the sound was more familiar.

As I closed my eyes and felt the coolness of night, I was taken back to a moment more than a decade ago.  Where a young 13 year old girl sat on her trampoline, letting the cool breeze of a late Illinois summer brush against her face as she listened to the same rustling sound as the palm trees coming from the corn fields surrounding her house.  Tear stained cheeks turned to heaven wondering if God would ever use her.  If God would ever take her to the places of her dreams; to beaches, to mountains, to people who had yet to learn about this God she so adored.  That 13-year-old girl prayed diligently for her future and the husband she would share it with.  The life I am living now is so evidently the answer to so many prayers prayed on that trampoline as the wind gushed through the tassels of the rows upon rows of corn.

It’s easy to lose sight of where I have been in light of where I am wanting to go.  I become easily overwhelmed by self-inflicted schedules and deadlines and goals.    But once in a while, I enjoy the stillness.  It’s in the stillness that I am reminded who I really am.  I am reminded of the young girl who eagerly desired to do big things.  I can’t say I have outgrown that desire.  But it’s in the stillness that I find that familiar voice that told me it would all work out then and that reminds me it will all work out now. (Even if I never do find my favorite brand of sour cream).

A Sense of Welcome…

As the quest to find our new home in Orlando continues, there are so many bits and pieces that swallow my thoughts as to what the house will look like.  What colors do we want to paint?  What is our dream flooring?  Since we sold/didn’t own much furniture, how would we like to furnish it?  Over and over with each question I ask myself I realize my overall desire for the house is that when people come over, they will feel welcome.  As I think about what I want my house to be, I want it to be a house full of memories, people we love and people we are getting to know.  I want it to be a house full of vinegary salads, rich risottos, laughter and decadent desserts.

I want my house to engulf people with warm grays and soft blues.  I want to get the kind of couch that makes you never want to leave.  I want to build a table that will be a place to nourish others.  I want to create a guestroom that is a respite for our friends and family who come to stay with us.  I want to create a kitchen that isn’t intimidating, where people can walk in, grab a knife and help get dinner on the table.  I want to open my door to people who are weary, give them friendly hugs and creamy casseroles and send them off refreshed.

I don’t want to impress people with our style, our design sense, or dazzle them with my highly impressive menu choices (because we literally have no design sense), I want them to feel like they belong.  I want people to make themselves at home.  The kind of home where you know where the water glasses are kept and can help yourself.

My new favorite Scripture is found in Acts 2:46.  The passage is talking about the newly-formed church community and it says…

They ate together with Glad and Sincere Hearts.

As a foodie and someone who gets deep satisfaction from nourishing others with good food and great conversation, I deeply love this Scripture.  It will totally be hanging in my new dining room or kitchen as a constant reminder of my desire to create a sense of welcome.