shower surrounds, childbirth class, and sympathy for darth vader

how is that for a post title? ka-POW!

1) we are on the VERGE of turning a corner in the upstairs reno. it took a few long evenings and the better part of a weekend afternoon, but ben (and i? very little "i" involved in this project) installed the tub and shower surround. sounds simple, right? ahahaha, not so fast. it never is as easy as it sounds. renovating never is.

renovating often makes me realize how much of a sinner i am: i want what i want and i get crabby when it doesn't happen. in the current situation, there are no light fixtures in the bathroom at the moment, so we use work lamps that also happen to heat things up to a toasty thousand degrees. 10pm + tired + sweaty + pregnant + remodeling woes = potential for sanctification. i truly pray that God would use these situations to teach me patience and kindness——i am going to need them!

2) we had a marathon childbirth class on saturday. we opted to do it all in one day instead of a five-week course. we watched a few birth videos that were pretty darn intense. uh, yup, intense. afterward, ben said that he wondered if going through stressful remodels will help us during the whole labor process. i wonder, too. not that it's gonna be a breeze, but yes——i think remodeling has definitely helped us learn about how we deal with stress and pain in situations where we are tired and crabby (me more than him). so we'll see what happens.

3) i just finished painting seven doors. now i have a ton of trim to do.

i wear this awesome respirator just to be extra extra safe for baby (even though we use water-based paint and the windows are almost always open). when i walked up behind ben and he heard me breathing, he said, "how's it going, darth?" poor darth. so misunderstood.

hoping the drywallers can make it today. then things will really turn a corner!

dresser refurb

good morning, lads and lasses!

this is an old project that i finished last year, but if you've been here a while, you know how i roll. i still owe you pictures of our master bath, which we finished in august of 2010, but that's for another day.

ben and i inherited this old dresser from his family's cabin. it's a really fun dresser with a great shape, but unfortunately, the dresser itself wasn't in such great shape. it was plenty sturdy, it just had some finish issues. but i could see past the braces, glasses, and frumpy wardrobe. i knew we could turn her into student council president. vote for summer! i think i will.

i thought about painting her (yes, it's a she) a fun color. yellow? aqua? no, no. i thought it best to stick to neutral since we planned on putting her in our bedroom with the bright red headboard. so i rummaged through our substantial paint stash and came up with a way to do this for free using leftover paint from other projects.

first, i gave her a good vacuum and scrub inside and out. then i left her out to dry and it rained. oops. then like a month went by with her back in the garage so i washed her again.

sand, prime, sand, paint, sand, paint, varnish. or something like that. i reused the old hardware making this (i think?) a free project. the best kind. voila!

she cleans up nice, don't you think? i like her little scalloped skirt. and the paint treatment goes with our bedside tables even though the furniture is different.

we have a very substantial closet attached to our master bath, so we didn't need to use this dresser for clothes. since i cleaned out and organized the linen closet, i can move the bed linens in here and have them that much closer to the bed. i've got jewelry and a temporary mirror up top, but as always, a work in progress.


six months later

we've owned this house for just over six months. honestly, that fact coupled with the truth that none of our rooms are actually finished is a bit discouraging. on friday night, we got a little down about it. we've been waiting for our framer to get started on the siding, new windows and roof - he has been busy building a haunted house at buck hill! funny.

we're ready to get moving on the finishing touches. we spent a few hours at menards picking out our base profile. i'd love to do a really wide base - something really substantial - but we don't have high ceilings. what we picked is nice, though. i didn't really like anything they had in stock for casing. thankfully, ordering from scherer bros. is an option (sometimes, menards just doesn't quite cut it), and my father-in-law had a bunch of leftover samples from his homes. yesterday, i primed and painted them to see which one we like better. i think we'll go with the one on the left. the edges are a little softer. again, i'd love to do something wide and dramatic, but we have a simple ranch home and we don't want to go overboard.

ben also framed out the new hearth so that it will meet code. we are going to install a really basic solid taupe tile surround with a white mantle. we are hiring a contractor to do a sort of smooth stucco treatment over the brick, so it will appear to be drywall. we can paint it the same color as the room.

i've been priming and painting doors in our living room "workshop."

and yesterday, i finished tearing down the wallpaper around the front door.



our new front door came in last week, and i'm excited for less of a peep show! it just has a few small panes of glass on the very top, so people won't be able to see so much into the house. i think it'll make us feel a little safer.

pressing on!