Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Master Bath Progress

So, Remodeling with 4 kids is SLOW.  As as you can tell, blogging about remodeling is almost non-existent. 
I am a Second Use stalker.  It is an architectual salvage shop about an hour away and lucky for me, they post daily some of their new items online.  So, when I saw this granite counter the perfect size with under mount sinks and faucets for $125, I called and bought it immediately and thus began our bathroom remodel.

So here is what we started with.

The ugliest red stone, nasty tile floors.  And compared to our newly remodeled main bath (View HERE)... I hated using this bathroom.  The cabinets were upper cabinets with no shelves and see that aweful nook behind the shower.  What am I suppose to put there?!!?  I swear the old owners searched the dump for this bathroom.  And what's sad is this bathroom is a "new addition", built a few years before we purchased it.  So pathetic.  Please notice the single pane window.  You could literally feel wind blow through around it.
So I gave it all away on craiglist.  And while Redneck was picking up the counter at Second Use, I also had him grab some cheap awesome cabinets with awesome inset pulls...

totaled at $55 for the cabinets plus $125 for the cabinet = $180 for this awesome double vanity

But they would obviously need a facelift.  I had to rip everything out.  The drawers were standard 24" deep so I had to do a complete overhaul and rebuild them to only be 12" deep so they wouldn't hit the sink drain and install new 12" drawer slides.

A lot of sanding and priming and some "Swiss Coffee" Behr white paint (same as main bathroom) and we had some progress.

Then the window... the awful window that wind blew in around, single pane and single pain!! So, I found a wood casement window at Second use for $20 but the hinge was broken and it was about 6" more narrow than the old one.  Repairing this window was one of the most complicated things I've done. There are hundreds of different sizes and types of casement hinges.  Stupid me thought "one size fits all".  Lucky for me, found a great site online ( with the most helpful owner EVER.  Took a couple weeks of emailing back and forth but got that fixed and functioning perfectly, then had to re-frame the window opening so that required ripping off all the vinyl siding.  I planned on doing this all along because when we installed the huge slider (View HERE), there was a transition in the vinyl that we took  off.  But I wanted it to be all a continuous wall of siding.

Reframed the opening, put up the tyvek (wrapped into the window opening)

and installed the window, trim and siding went back up.  Too bad I ran out to completely finish it, haha.  I'll be putting up some specialty shake siding in the front of the house, so when I take off the current gray siding from there that will be replaced, it will be put here.

Ok, back inside....Of course I had to rip out the tile floor to install it properly and I had some left over vinyl from the main bath remodel that fit perfectly.

Then there was that awkward nook space so one day the perfect 15" wide cabinets with thick glass shelves came up on Second Use for $25, so you better believe I loaded all 4 kids up and headed straight to Second Use.  With some more white paint and mod podge some fab fabric on the back...

And wha-lah... Progress.

Then I bought a fade translucent film for privacy, you can't see through at all at the bottom and it fades up so you can see out the window at the top.  Of course I still need to install trim around the NEW casement window.  There will be beadboard over the hole under the new perfume cabinet and around the entire bathroom... but its coming along. Don't even get me started on the ugliest track light EVER...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Fruit Tree

I have been wrestling with God a lot and I just realized something.  You know when you are trying to change a baby's diaper and they won't stop squirming? "Child, I'm trying to help you" but the child wants to do what the child wants to do.

Ok, not the best analogy but all my life, I've been scraping by with "just enough".  Way more than enough to be grateful for but never really enough to be able to bless other people beyond their wildess dreams.  As a child, we went back to school shopping at Goodwill, my choice.  I have always been very frugal, I didn't want my "wants" for cool clothes to come in the way of my parents bills.  I had no clue how much they made a year, we had a nice house, but for some reason, I don't think I deserved it.  Why? I have no clue.

I've always been very self-sufficient.  I never want anyone else's help, I never want to bother someone else with my problems or my desires.... including God. 

Now, I titled this blog "The Fruit Tree" because I am realizing that is what we are, that is what God made us.  We are planted once, when we are small, things are more of a challenge and we hardly bear any fruit at all.  It almost seems like the harder we work to grow, the less fruit we bear.  I am 28 years old, and this is what I have felt like my whole life.  I have felt like I will never get ahead... that's because I have been being pruned : A very good thing, but it sure looks ugly, doesn't feel very good and results are never immediate.

Don't get my wrong, I am blessed beyond words. I have 4 perfect,beautiful, healthy children, an amazing husband, a nice warm house, food in the pantry but never enough to be able to take the woman with two kids off the street and give them a place to live.  Never enough to send my 62 year old mother who works 50 hours a week on a cruise with her sister.

Being a parent has taught me so much about God.  If my children were sitting on the floor in the pantry eating a bowl of rice, completely content and very grateful they had food, but I had an entire Thanksgiving feast for them in the beautiful dining room; I would want more than anything for them to come partake.  But they said "No mom, we are grateful for our rice and this floor to sit on so we don't have to sit in the dirt. Thank you so much mom for this rice."  Seriously, what parent wants that for their child and I feel like so many of us feel like that with God.  The feast is there, HE made it for YOU.  And just because you partake, doesn't mean everyone else can't.  There is more than enough for everyone, why do I limit God?

Back to the fruit tree analogy, starting out, it's been rough for us.  We lived with 2 children on my parents property for about 2 years, paying rent only a couple of times.  My parents were barely scraping by but still wanting to help us.  Redneck was working about 60 hours a week and things just weren't clicking.  We cried a lot during that time.  My parents ended up foreclosing and we went to go live with Redneck's mom and step dad about the same time Redneck decided to start his own programming business.  I was pregnant with Luella at the time and we moved into the upstairs bedroom that had a bathroom and a small attached nursery room.  It was 400 sq ft for (soon to be) 5 people.  Luckily, I have amazing in-laws.  They were so generous to let us live there and to make matters better, Redneck' mom and I get along great, we are both very creative. I ended up delivering Luella in their bathtub.  We lived there for a year and then  bought our current house.  Now we have 6 people in 920 sq feet.  I love this house and Rednecks business is doing great; but for some reason, we feel like we are about to get kicked down again.
What we need to realize is we are a bigger, stronger tree now and the storm has passed.  We grew during the storm and now we are producing fruit, just the way God wants us to.  He wants us to thrive, get better, grow bigger and bear more fruit.  We are a perennial, not an annual.  He designed us to stick around, not have to get re-planted every year and start all over again.

I know in this recession, a lot of people are going through the storm but it will pass.  God wants us to bear fruit. I was raised in the "God wants you to be a millionaire" church then my parents started going to a "God wants you to have nothing and die to yourself"  church.  Why is everything so extreme?  Of course God wants us to succeed.  He called us to help the needy.  How in the world are we suppose to follow HIS commandments if we are convinced that God will only ration us "just enough" for ourselves. 

People help people.  Money does not help people.  A family puts aside $10,000 to take a needy family in and help them get on their feet, nurture them, love them, make them sure that they are equals.  Give that needy family $10,000 and no people and they just feel like a charity case.  They don't feel like they are worth more because of the money, they feel like they are worth more because of the people, because of the love.  The best way to help the needy is not be needy yourself.   God wants us as fruit trees to flourish, to feed others and to use our seeds to plant others.  The bigger we get, the more we feed. 

Trees : Grow as big as you can, produce as much fruit as possible, prune often and share your seeds. 
Be used by God.