Friday, March 29, 2013

Indeed it was a Good Friday

Tonight I was driving home from Ross and "Christ is Risen" by Matt Maher came on. The first time I heard this song was on a Sunday morning in the worship service. I remember seeing so many faces in the choir with smiles and bopping and swaying to this song that speaks in so much volume. Since then I have only heard it a hand full of times and each time have been struck to weeping. I just weep when I hear this song. One time it was weeping in distress of being a parent and the difficulties of life, another was remembering the cross and what Jesus Christ did for my sin that day, and I think one time I remember just weeping because musically it is a beautiful song, pleasing to the ears. But today I wept with joy because of a different reason.

As we all know the debate of redefining marriage and marriage equality has been plastered all over the internet and even lots of cars too ;). I don't want to debate it because I think if a mind was to be changed it would not be because of my blog. But just so we are clear, I am NOT unintelligent as to what the Bible says about homosexuality. I am not really even to unintelligent about the Bible. I in no way know it right to left at least not the Old Testament, (any body get that joke?) but I read the Bible and whole heartily believe it to be truthful and inspired by God. It is a sin. Forget the Old Testament argument and look into the New Testament. If you regard the whole Bible to be truly inspired by God, then you can't look past Paul's letters and say there is nothing in the NT about homosexuality  If you don't regard the Bible to be inspired by God then we have a bigger issue, we don't believe the same Bible, so our debating is pointless. On, and on and on, but that's not why I am writing!

When I listened to this song, my heart was full of this "Redefine marriage all you want, let sin reign even more in this corrupt world because death has lost it's sting to me!" I don't live for this world. Christ will still come back and will still stand in front of me when I am before the Lord. Even if this world tries to redefine marriage and become more corrupt this world can not take away my victory that is won in Christ! Hell, where is your victory? In winning a battle over what God has clearly commanded? Then win it, because hell you are not my future or my hope. No my hope is in the fact that Sunday when I go to worship I will worship a risen Savior, who conquered death, who paid my ransom, so I can live and hope in the glory of being one with God. I praise the Lord that I have been redeemed by Jesus' wounds and blood shed. I pray that those who don't know the depth of God's love for them and the depth of His wrath to come without knowing his Son, would humbly come to know Christ.

Thank you Lord for Good Friday!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My not so pretty, very ugly bathroom.

When Scott and I bought the house we live in back in 2008 we knew there would be some updates that would need to be done. We talked about how, well really I talked and Scott listened, we could combine the two bathrooms in our house to make one master bath and add a new bathroom from the hall closet... Yada, yada, blah, blah, blah, reality sunk in a few years later that we would probably never afford to do such a major renovation like that, let alone would we want to put that much money in a home college students would probably eventually destroy.

Back when we first moved, I settled for this... Red walls. It was eh. Boring and just really an eye sore.

When I got pregnant with Charlie in 2011 I on a spur of the moment thought, is there any other way to?,
decided to paint the tile and it looked like this... Not too bad, could be worse but made it look slightly better.
Oh yeah so sometime between those two paint jobs I also tore a hole in the wall because I thought I had enough ambition to knock the tile out. I stopped shortly after remembering there is electricity and it was solid concrete walls. Yikes!

This brings us to 2013! I, being the pinterest addict I am, was browsing and saw a bead boarded bathroom and thought, why couldn't I do that in my bathroom? I have no shower, so there is not moisture in the air for possible mold to grow on the tile behind the bead board. Why not?? So I began planning and budgeting, saved my pennies in my piggy bank and hopped to getting to work.

I used Traffic Master Allure peel and stick in stock Cherry wood planks. They were so easy to use and look great they were also AWESOME for the price. $40 for a new floor.
Things I learned:
1.) Don't use sewing scissors  to cut the planks. Get the right tools. They did work but the right tools worked even better!
2.) I was able to finish the floors in two nap times and an hour on a Saturday, but if you have uninterrupted  time it is best to knock it all out, the adhesive starts to stick to things and gets less sticky. Also check Costco for light fixtures, the one I got was just what I was looking for, for $12.95!
3.) Really think about the best use of your planks, think about the sides that you cut in proportion to what end will be seen from the eye.
4.) Don't attach the vanity to the wall until you are ALL the way done with it.
5.) You have to put a new wax seal on the toilet every time you lift it up, so think first before moving it.
6.) Light fixtures are easy, all you need to do is turn the light off, learned that trick from my Dad who knows his electrical rules. Just put a piece of tape over the light switch so no one turns it on and zaps you, and then you fall and get hurt.

Phase two: SINK.
HA. This was supposed to be easy. This was the last problem on my list but quickly became a pain in my rear. I lifted the sink to remove it from the wall and I broke the pipe to the drain pipe. In my defense these pipes were about 60 something years old. Out with the old end with the new pipes I say!
Things I learned:
1.) Gently take things off or away from the perspective place, they can get temperamental.
2.) I am not a plumber. Ladies we are NOT plumbers. Just face it and be OK with it.
3.) A new sink does wonders.

Phase three: BEAD BOARD WALLS.
This was what I was waiting to do! I was so excited to get rid of the tile look from 1954. I used the 4 X 8 sheets of bead board because our tile was about 5 ft up the wall. I cut the right height and width  and then gave all the pieces a couple coats of white paint. The back wall with the sink and toilet was too big for one sheet so I had two pieces. That was difficult because apparently I can't cut in a straight line... I used the 800 times nail glue, I think that was the strength, by making lines up and down and side to side on the bead board and squished to the wall. A few walls were picky and bowed out and that was frustrating. But a part of life and so I moved on and caulk has taken care of the boo boos.
Things I learned:
1.) Cut in a straight line.
2.) Bead Board will rip, so make sure to have some one to hold the end of it while you cut, my van and my knee was my helper, I'd suggest maybe a real person.
3.) Caulk really can pix boo boos so don't be too worried.
4.) Apply a lot of pressure for a good amount of time, 20-30 minutes if not longer,  to the piece you are gluing to the wall.
5.) Do the hardest wall first, and be very careful to measure twice or even three times!
6.) Cut the bead board a little past the top of the tile so that your molding will sit over it.

Phase four: MOLDING
My budget was low so my molding consisted of a 2x4 stud that could eventually have prettier molding added to it. I had to use a 2x4 to make sure the molding would be deep enough to cover the gap from the protruding tile. Cut the pieces, and then painted them a ton before putting on the wall. Then I used a nail gun to nail them to the wall. Well actually Scott did, I can't stand the loud noise.
Things I learned:
1.) I hate the loud noise of the power tools.
2.) Wear your safety goggles, just in case.
3.) Do many coats of paint the wood soaks in A LOT.

After all this was dried I caulked above the molding and below, the window seal, around the vanity, and any gaps from my not so straight cutting.
Things I learned:
1.) Seriously caulk can fix ANY thing.
2.) Plumbing is hard and prepare to be frustrated and make a bazillion trips to Lowes for supplies.
3.) Look back and smile and the work you did. It will look good!

Haven't done this yet... Will update.

All in all I am so happy with how the bathroom turned out. I am DONE renovating it... I think... at least for these next few years. I worked with the cash I had and I am soo glad I didn't go beyond what I had. It is very rewarding to know that this was done within our means and by my own hands. Things I learned from the whole process:
1.) Love me a took belt. I got one from my Daddy for Christmas and wore it often. It was so nice to have all my tools right there.
2.) Measure twice and then measure again. It's better to haul the piece back and forth until you get it right than to cut it too short the first time and have wasted material.
3.) Have patience with your spouse if you have a vision they just can't see. They will in the end when it's done :)
4.) Always expect for the unexpected. : )
5.) Put your mind to it and do it!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2012 In a Nutshell

I thought I was done with blogging. Time, energy, guilt of not updating, and tend to over share are some of my reasons I stopped. Plus the holidays came around and I forgot! But I have been getting the "itch" to write again. An incredible amount of significant events happened in 2012 that I want to be able to look back and remember just how FAR God has brought my family and me. So here goes... 2012 in a nutshell!

Charlie. My precious son was born on the 15th. He stole my heart from that first little velociraptor cry he gave. His labor and delivery was a remarkable, indescribable experience. I will have to blog about later. He was born and our hearts were heavy with joy. He is still incredible. Love that handsome goober.  But he shortly after birth was proving to have middle child syndrome and not even be a middle child yet! The day after we brought him home from the hospital we went in for our Dr. visit and were sent to get blood tests for jaundice. We ended up back in the hospital within a few hours and my little baby was in glow worm status. He was under the mosquito trap lights just for a night (or maybe two... I honestly can't remember  which is crazy because in he midst of the difficulties I thought I would always remember) and we were able to get home the next evening. Exhausted. I should also add that night we got home, Lucy fell out of her toddler bed and I as Mommy bear (four days after having Charlie, stitches and all jumped out of bed and quickly swooped her up and held her tight as she cried). Just one of those things I remember. We were at the Dr with him pretty much every day checking his billi levels and weight (he also was having trouble gaining weight) until he was about 10 days old. 
Scott. My awesome, handsome, wonderful man. He also stole my heart again in 2012. At the end of January he interviewed for a new job with a different company with "better hours" and closer to home. He actually had an interview while we were still in the hospital with Charlie after he was born. To be continued...

Charlie. Wide eyed, sweet son spit up a lot. Like more than babies should. He struggled to get rid of his jaundice for a few weeks and we continued to struggle to figure out how to get him to gain weight. I was pumping and feeding every 2-3 hours, but still needed to supplement with formula. At three weeks his spitting up became significant after every feeding he would projectile everything he ate. Which was incredibly difficult to watch and frustrating seeing all the golden nursing milk be spit up. Finally the first Friday of February my Mommy instincts said something it NOT right. This is not just reflux, every time I laid him down it all came out, and even if there was nothing he just spit up. Took him to the doctors and was told he would need to be admitted to the hospital to get to the bottom of this since he had lost a few ounces since his last visit two days ago (yes we were going that often). So I very sadly and exhausted drove to the hospital (called Scott who was in between jobs to come meet me.) We were admitted and he continued to spit up. This time even before I fed him. The next day the doctors were able to do a barium swallow to tell us whether or not he had what is called Pyloric Stenosis or bad reflux. As he drank the white chalk and the x-ray tech did the examination he proceeded to vomit the bottle up and she said, "yes , surgery is needed it's pyloric stenosis." The easiest explanation is this, the pylorus muscle is at the base of his stomach and it is supposed to expand and contract to let food go through. Well his was squeezed shut and food could not pass. All that was required was to make a little cut in the muscle to loosen it up. By this point in time he looks miserable. I can still remember those droopy little eyes just barely staying awake to look at me. He was so hungry, but seemed to be in so much pain because of all the strain on his throat. My little guy was just helpless. God was so good to us though. Within three hours of that test the operating room was miraculously open on a Saturday afternoon, the surgeon was ready, and they were ready to take him in for surgery. He went in, my little baby just THREE weeks old! The surgery only lasted about an hour and he was sent back up to us after two hours. From then on we had to go from feeding him very minimal amounts to 30 cc, but if he spit up at all we had to go back down to the previous feeding amount. When he successfully ate it without spitting up he was free to go. After four nights in the hospital we came home! 

Lucy. Sweetest big sister ever. I am so glad kids are resilient. She had so much transitioning to do. New bed, slept over at my parents for at least a week in the last two months, had a new brother, and had to share Mommy and Daddy. She had this nagging cough for a while. Unfortunately while Charlie was in the hospital for his surgery it turned into croup which a few days later almost turned into phenomena. Between Charlie in the hospital and Lucy sick it was rough. I ended up staying home with Lucy the night before he came home so she could get some rest, HA! Any one ever given a steroid medicine to a one year old! She was wired in the middle of the night! It was nice though to have some time with her, just the two of us even if it was 3 am.

Scott. BEST HUSBAND and DAD EVER! He was supposed to start his new job the Monday when Charlie was admitted to the hospital. So this means we were without insurance for the time Charlie was in the hospital and his surgery. We have paid the bills off, but God provided for us we were considered a teaching case, can't remember what it is called, so we didn't have to pay for our room or stay in the hospital, just the surgeon and anesthesia. The first week of his new job, our amazing, sweet Nana went to be with the Lord. We were so thankful she wasn't in pain anymore, missing her beloved husband, and with the Lord. But it sure felt like the cherry to top off our start to the new year. 

Me. What can I say, I was exhausted, trying to heal, heart breaking that I was not there for my little girl, taking care of my little son who needed me, exhausted, sore, anxious, scared, did I mention absolutely exhausted. Motherhood with two hit me hard! The guilt of not being there for Lucy, and longing to be with her, but wanting to bond with Charlie and getting to know him. Nursing also was not going well. I so desperately wanted to nurse with Charlie. I nursed Lucy for about four months and I desired to nurse Charlie  longer. But with all the pumping, lack of him nursing, and stress of him not gaining weight I gave it up after he was four weeks. Such a let down, no pun intended for my BF Mommas ;). I just wanted to be able to have that connection with him, but I felt like his newborn stage was just stripped from me. It's still a struggle I have to remind myself to say that God is GOOD, in ALL things. That means ALL things. 

March to June:
These months were semi uneventful minus Scott working ridiculous hours we were NOT prepared for. As well as we were sick like this whole time. I mean we were in the doctors office like once a week! God is so good again though, that we really do love our doctors office. We continued to adjust to having two kids and I would have to say the adjustment up to that point hadn't been to bad, average I would say. Tiring, yes, but a time of growth.

Started out a great month. My birthday, Lucy's second birthday, Scott and I's fifth anniversary. By the end of the month I crashed. I remember it very well, we went in for Lucy's two year check up and I was incredibly anxious. I had started to struggle again with anxiety and panic attacks the last month. I talked to our Dr and he said it sounded like I had some postpartum depression. He prescribed me something, which up until this point I have not tried medicine. You can read about my personal convictions on that somewhere on this blog.  I went home and took it. I completely broke down. I couldn't get out of bed, take care of the kids, eat, or function. For four days I struggled like this. But God is GOOD. He is good because He knew that some point in time I would need a person to allow the Holy Spirit to speak through them and that person was my sister, Beth. I went to her house and sat on her porch and just cried. I said, "Beth I don't want to do this anymore! I am so tired of being anxious, why won't God heal me? He has all the power to, why won't He?" And she read my from Romans 8:28 " God works ALL things for the GOOD of those who know Him and called according to His purposes." Do you believe this is true, do you believe that God is working all your struggles for His good and His purpose and plan. Do you believe that what Christ did on the cross is enough to take the burden of your sin of anxiety and worry? Because what Christ did IS enough." We talked some more about suffering and we prayed. One day I will blog more about it. From then on I have stopped blaming God and asking Him to heal me. Because I KNOW He is working all things for my good. Christ has defeated death and I no longer have to carry the burden of being healed or restored in this world, God will bring restoration to my body when I go to be with Him. The anxiety is NOT gone, and it is still difficult to deal with, but I let God's truth, not lies from Satan, penetrate my heart and thoughts.  

Semi uneventful too, Lucy is now two and acting it too. We begin a new chapter of parenting, which brings its new challenges. 

Lucy started preschool two days a week in the mornings, she loves it!

It became very obvious to us that Scott was about to be laid off of his job. Two days before Halloween he and a group of his co workers were laid off for lack of work. Bluh. That's all I have to say about this situation. We started praying God where do you want us? We are at a crossroads, where do we go? God is good, we sought Him and He answered. Scott was offered a job at his first job, in a new position. We love this workplace, FSU Bb is our work family! They were there when we started college, got engaged, married, and had Lucy. We just love them! So glad he was able to go back. 

What a good month, our sweet niece Addy was born by John and Dani Su, Scott's sister and brother in law came into town and we found out BOTH of my sisters are pregnant!

2012 was a testing year. A new baby, health problems, loss, changing jobs three jobs, breakdowns, job loss, and a lot of doctor visits were things I look back on and just make me want to weep. But I can't stay there long before seeing how GREAT and AMAZING the Lord I serve is. He is the healer, teacher, life giver, Almighty. He has sustained me and continues to. He IS working all things for His good. He has provided amazing family, friends, and church body. I guess this blog post is a little wrong so if you stopped reading that's OK. Its for me. To see as a reminder of how far God can take me when I let Him use me for his purposes. Thank you Lord for 2012, but welcome 2013! 

This is a video of Charlie when he was about eight months. It is one of my favorites.