Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finished Windows!

Well the windows are done!!  What would have probably taken us a year or more to do ourselves took 2 weeks by hiring Cindy Lantrip & her crew to completely restore our original hardwood windows!!  They painted them white and now they open without any effort ....and I have to admit they are pretty freakin GORGEOUS!

This fall we'll add some storm windows & screens, but for now the weather is so nice we don't need to really worry about it just yet.

This is the dining room window and it took the most work out of all of them!  Can you believe that the crew actually found crumbled up potato chip BAGS stuffed into the window sills!!  They had to completely rebuild the inside of these windows.  And the window pane on the left was completely recut and replaced since it didn't match the others.  So pretty!!

Since the windows have been redone, we've been completely inspired to finish painting the trim on the house!  So far Jason's caulked the porch ceiling and I've primed the posts, the door frame and the beam along the ceiling.  I still have so much to do though!  Knowing my sisters are coming out here this fall has been HUGE motivation to get it lookin nice ;-)  We still need to prime the rest of the baby poop brown gutters, the top window and the sides of the house that have trim.  I also want to prime & paint the cinder block foundation a darker shade of green than the house.  Then we also plan to add some moulding & trim to the posts, put in a new door and add chocolate brown accents around the windows, posts & ceiling.  Then we plan to strip the porch floor & restain it and the steps chocolate brown.  And finally we'll finish everything off by ripping out the bushes & planting gardenias across the front :-)  SO much work, but it will be worth it!

But hey!  Check out our finished brick walkway!!

I helped Jason with laying mortar on the flat part, but the steps was ALL him!  Doesn't it look awesome!?!

As soon as we get more finished on the house, I'll be sure to post even more pics!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's no secret

It's no secret that Jason and I are of the age where we should be considering having a family.  Most of our friends have kids or are now starting to head down that road themselves.  And to be honest, being a parent intimidates me a bit.  Not because I don't think Jason and I could handle it, but because of all the other opinions from parents out there telling you what they KNOW to be best.  Facebook is loaded with moms posting pictures of their kids and asking for advice on what type of diaper to use, whether to go organic or not, tips on which potty training process is best and on and on.  And boy do other parents have no problem dishing out that advice.  It seems a large percentage of parents believe their parenting method is the best method, and therefore all other parents should see things their way.  But what if the advice is unwarranted or undesired?  What if my own opinion is not respected for what it is, MY OWN OPINION.  I'm afraid that once Jason and I head down this path (or I should say, when God LEADS us down this path) I will be inundated with parental advice of how I should handle things, because of course, why would I know any better?  I'm not a parent yet.

I think what's important to remember for myself and everyone else is that everyone parents differently.  And that is their right to do so.  We all have our different opinions on life based on how we were raised and what values are important for us to pass down to our own kids and what we want our children to get out of the lessons we teach them. 

A lot of this has been on my mind lately because a couple women in my small group are about to become first time moms themselves in just a couple months.  It's the first time we'll have actual moms in our home group, whereas we've always had singles, dating couples and young marrieds.  And I want to respect these new moms decisions in how they choose to raise their own kids, always being a listening ear, sensitive to their desires and an encouraging voice.  I've genuinely tried to make a point of being that type of friend to other mom friends of mine for many years now, even when I haven't always agreed with their own method of parenting.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still bound to have my own opinion, but I've genuinely tried not to press my own opinion on other's method of parenting.  But let's be real, who's gonna genuinely care what my opinion is as a parentless individual anyway?  Until I have my own, I pretty much don't get a vote.

Last night I had the opportunity to speak to an amazing mother who has adopted 3 children and then biologically had 3 children of her own.  She was a joyous, strong and faith-filled woman.  Her family intrigued me and I had a lot of questions for her.  And even in hearing her perspective, there were things I thought to myself - "I wouldn't do it that way, at least not for my own family."  And yet there were also a lot of awesome & inspiring things she shared as well.  The Internet has opened up so much information, so many stories & so many lives through blogging, Facebook and other social medial avenues.  I've gleaned so much fantastic information and yet at other times I've been deeply saddened by just how much is shared for the public to see & judge.  As incredible as it is to lean on other women, lean on other families & glean knowledge as women - shouldn't some family lessons or personal struggles be somewhat private?  I never want to uncover my own husband or my own kids in order to bring my own self healing or gratification.   Trust me, over the last several months there have been times I've wanted to "process" on this blog about some personal struggles, but I don't feel it would be fair or right when it would lead to uncovering other loved ones for my own personal satisfaction.  It's a fine line and one that I want to walk gracefully. 

Rather than "encourage" us about our future and whether we should or shouldn't adopt, should or shouldn't have biological children, should or shouldn't have an inter-racial family and when of course this should all take place et.. please respect that I can have my own opinions too. ;-)  Opinions that I'm holding before the Lord to shape & mold as He desires & sees as best for our own family. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

Finally Some Change!

I've had a love-hate relationship with my house for pretty much the entire 4 years we've owned it (well technically 4 years in October).  I loved it cause I knew it had the potential of being an absolutely adorable & cozy home, but I hated it because I had no idea how to get it there or where the money would come from in order to do so. 

One of the mistakes of us buying this home (hey we were property virgins at the time - give us a break!), was that we bought a home that had lots of storage in the attic but no practical way of accessing it.  So we decided what we really needed was a shed.  Jason and his dad ordered plans from a company and set off last fall constructing what is to be a quite large & lovely shed that will store so much of what is NOW occupying our office.  Excuse me, I mean Shoffice (shed + office = shoffice).  The shoffice is almost at the point where it could qualify us for a spot on "Hoarders - Buried Alive". 

BUT life happens and we started a new lawn care business and the half finished shed now sits under piles of tarps in the backyard serving as a lounge area for the pups.  Gah.  I feel like I'm forever in "waiting and being patient" mode as I anticipate the summer coming to a close and the business slowing down enough that my dear husband can finish up the shed with the help of a couple friends and I can finally see the end of power tools, ladders, boxes & camping gear occupying our tiny little office space.  

(pic: notice Jeep is "lounging" on the shed foundation)

ANYWAY, the point of this post is to highlight the fact that change is happening and we have been blessed so much by this new lawncare business that we are able to get our windows restored!  This is a HUGE blessing to me, one that makes me want to do a happy dance everytime I think of it! 

WAAAY back before we bought our house, some lazy idiots decided that rather than properly fix the old windows, they would just paint them shut.  I mean, why would anyone want to actually open them and let in a little fresh air now and then?  That would be crazy talk!  Painting them shut would be like adding an additional layer of home security!  Duh!
So we invited a few different companies over to give us a bid on replacing the broken panes in the storm windows or even replacing the old windows all together.  Surely, whoever owns the house after us would love to be able to open their windows and have peace of mind at night that in case there was ever a fire they wouldn't have to toss a coin to decide which piece of favorite furniture was going to get tossed through those windows!  After receiving a couple different bids that were way beyond what we could afford, I thought I was going to have to deal with these eyesores for the rest of our duration in this home.  But then I came across a recommendation on the E. Nashville listserv that saved us!  Cindy Lantrip is a well known local contractor who came highly recommended for restoring old windows and came over the exact day I called her to give us a bid that we couldn't refuse! 

She's removed those old nasty storm windows, scraping off all that old paint, putting in new ropes, pulleys, weights & sashes and making these babies as beautiful as the day they were built back in 1920!!! 

 And boy have they been holding up their end of the bargain!  It's been one week and the change is undeniable! My windows glide open with a touch of a finger!  The ropes are white & gleaming, the sills rebuilt & uncracked! The original cedar exposed & freed from 80 years of paint layers! 

The old hardware thrown out and brushed silver pulls & latches bought & added.  AND its been a completely painless process being as how Cindy & her crew mop, dust & vaccuum my entire house before I'm even back from work!  You can't even tell they've been there and my house looks beautiful!  Now how many contractors can you say that about?!! 

I see a light at the end of this tunnel folks!!!  Change is possible!  Hope restored!!  Yesterday at church, we were reminded about faith - being sure of what is not yet seen.  I've needed more faith - I had all but given up on many things in my life, including this old house. 

I'm so excited to show you all our gorgeous windows once they're finished!