Archive | April, 2013

Cleaning Out My Closet

30 Apr

Actually, cleaning out my husband’s completely non-functional, very frustrating, always bursting open at the seams closet. Can ya tell I’ve got some pent up frustration here? When we moved in, Jay and I had to each claim a closet in the downstairs bedrooms, since the smallish closet we have in our current Master was really not enough for two. Barely enough for one! Jay took the guest bedroom closet, along with a dresser we moved over into the room, pictured below. Sure, he is bigger than me, but I thought he was sitting awfully pretty getting the dresser and the closet, when I had to fit all my dubs into only the closet. Just sayin.

Guest Room - Dresser and Mirror

Guest Room – Dresser and Mirror

Fast forward 7-months, and it was obvious that something just wasn’t working with Jay’s clothing storage needs. When he was on a business trip earlier this month, I identified the main culprit as his shoes. His dozens and dozens of shoes that he wears maybe once a year. UGG. Not the way I function. Unless I use it often, it usually gets the heave ho. Each has it’s pros and its cons, but man, trying to get him to give up something (like a pair of shoes, he never wears), is like pulling teeth around here. Let’s just say the man is attached to his footwear.

Shoe Storage

All Jay’s Shoes

So after proposing that he rid himself of a few pairs of shoes, and coming up against a brick wall, I moved on to the next best thing. Schlepping them in another closet. He he. We have a (actually pretty nice) cedar closet in our basement, which I deemed the perfect new location for all his shoe needs. Sometimes a girl has to make executive decisions around here.

Closet Organization

All Jay’s Shoes

So after hauling all Jay’s shoe’s out onto the bed, things were looking much improved in the closet and a bit simplified. Just a note – see the green shoe on the far left, bottom side of the photo. That is Jay’s old running shoe. He lost the right footed shoe, but still insists on keeping the mate, just in case the other one lands in his lap. The total non-hoarder in me is cringing at the thought of keeping this shoe around, but I’m telling ya, I’m not dealing with a negotiating party over here! So…. the pair-free shoe lives to see another day. In another closet.

Closet Organization

Closet Before

Since the shoes were compromising all of the above closet storage space, his whitie tighties and socks and biking bag took up all the ground space. I caught this closet on a good day. After a few days/weeks of neglect, this stuff would creep out of the closet and Jay would never shut the door, so this closet would just start to slowly take over the entire room. Not going to work. Nope.

How to organize a closet

Organized Closet

After asking Jay which shoes he needed, on a daily basis, he whittled down his daily duds to the two pairs above. His biking shoes, and his running shoes. He’s an active guy, what can I say. 🙂 And, since he bikes in daily, Jay keeps his working shoes at work, which helps a bit with the closet clutter as well. Now he’s got his undies, his white under-shirts and his socks stored above, along with his two designated pairs of shoes. Yes – I can handle this! Progress!

Organized Closet

Closet Floor

Now the only thing on his floor is his biking bag, and his hamper. Ah. That is a sight for sore eyes! Pretty soon I intend to give his closet a similar paint make-over (a la my closet reno), but for now, I am peachy keen with a little extra organization.

This post is a part of the William Morris Project at Pancakes and French Fries.

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32 Flavors and Then Some

29 Apr

Paint in general can be pretty tricky, but I’ve found that painting in our basement has been especially hard for me. The lighting down there is really quite bad (very little natural light), so all the colors I pick out seem to just look wrong once I get down there and starting painting away. This lesson (so sadly) was learned the hard way, when I just grabbed a can of paint from our last house, in a neutral wonderful color that I loved, only to have it look pink, like 5-year old ballerina pink, once it was up. Yeah – let’s just say it’s on my long term list of things that need the heave ho.

For the basement bathroom – I wanted to try doing some slightly less conventional colors, and perhaps go a bit darker in the room – make it a little moody. I totally love the look of wallpaper in a small powder room, but since paint only costs $30, I thought I would start there and see if I got more ambitious over time 😉 Since I love all the colors over at Benjamin Moore – we hopped over there first to see if we could get a color match with Lowe’s paint. We picked Northern Cliffs (on the left) and Chelsea Gray (right).

Benjamin Moore Northern Cliffs

Benjamin Moore Paint

Since our credit card (Chase Freedom) has a rotating 5% cash back bonus category for Lowe’s over the next 3-months, I’m on a mission to do all our home improvement shopping there to rack up some extra points. I’ve pretty much been doing a happy dance since they announced this category. Gotta love it when Chase actually picks categories we use, and home improvement definitely falls into that category 😉

For reference, here is a parting shot of our cabinet before. Just straight black. Classic, but not quite right for the new space. Let’s all wave goodbye to the black beast, and say hello to some soft and neutral gray tones.

Benjamin Moore Simply Black

Cabinet | Before

I was totally digging the soft gray that came through from the marble tile, and wanted to play off that a little bit with the color in the room, and the cabinet. I knew that I didn’t want to go straight up white, and gray seemed like a good middle ground. Plus, I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve been seeing some pretty chic bathrooms pop up on pinterest with the whole gray look going on, and I DIG it. Call me trendy, a pinterest sheep, just can’t help myself.

Benjamin Moore Northern Cliffs

Benjamin Moore Paint Samples

So I started by just slapping some paint on the side of the cabinet to see which ones I liked the best. I definitely thought that the gray one was a bit too gray for me, and I found myself starting to lean toward the more chocolaty of the two. In person, it reads much more of a soft gray to me, personally, but it definitely photographs like a soft chocolate brown. Also very nice 🙂

Watching Paint Dry

Speeding It Up

Being the super patient (snicker) person that I am, I decided to bust out the good ole’ hair dryer to get this show on the road, and see if the colors would vary much after they had dried up completely. Overall, there wasn’t much variation, but they both did darken up a wee bit as the dried.

Also, due to lighting in the room, it was a bit crazy how different these colors looked on the wall, vs. on the cabinet. The color on the top is actually the brown color from the cabinet. Crazy town!! I mean it almost had a purple hue to it on the wall, and that was definitely not coming out on the cabinet. Made it hard to make a decision though, seeing how different the paint could look from surface to surface.

Benjamin Moore Paint

Colors On the Wall

Overall, I think I’m leaning toward the lighter colored cabinet and trying to get a look similar to this when I am done with the room. Tres chic, no?

Gray Bathroom Cabinet

Bathroom Inspiration

I Like Shiney Things

26 Apr

I’m on a marble kick, what can I say. And when it’s $3.99 per square foot (thanks for the heads up Bryn!), say no more. Done and done. Here is a progress shot of our basement bathroom. Looking mighty fine.

Marble 12x12 Tile

Marble Bathroom

We had a few things to consider when plopping down this round of tiles, notably, what pattern did we want to do, and how did we want to deal with the threshold at the front of the door. Before, the tile hung over the threshold just a wee bit, and it actually caused the tiled to pop right up since every time someone walked over them they would be leveraged upward. Made for some easy demo on the first row of tiles, you could literally just pick them up with your hands they had gotten so loose over time. Not good, amigo. Not good.

Marble Threshold

Marble Threshold

Since they sell marble thresholds/window sills (typically used for windows in bathrooms), we decided to just snag one of those and use it as the threshold at the front of the room, thinking it would tie everything together and look at bit more seamless than putting down a wood threshold. Although the grain on this piece is a little different than the rest of the tiles, overall, I think it looks pretty good! We made sure to put the threshold right on the edge of the room this time, to avoid the popping tile issue we had last time around. Notice in the picture above that there is about a 1 inch incline between the rest of the basement and the bathroom.

How to install a threshold

Door Threshold

The front of the threshold will get some love when we add the trim in. Right now, it’s just some plywood and it’s looking a little rough around the edges. Hopefully that piece of trim will tie things together a bit more and make it look polished and purty.

Speaking of polished and purty – we had a little mishap with the tile around the toilet/plumbing opening. Jay got a little extra zealous with his tile cutting and trimmed too much off of this guy, below. Although we might be able to get around it with some caulk and clever positioned of the toilet – I’m not going to lie – I’m a wee bit concerned about how it’s going to turn out.

Tile Around Toilet

Tile Installation

A battle ensued – Jay: I DON’T want to cut another fareaking tile. That was really hard. I refuse to do that again. Arms crossed. Me: Ummmm….. but there is a giant hole where there should not be one. In the tile. Right there. Can’t you see it.

Jay won. I am getting weak in my old age. We are just going to caulk the heck out of it and hope it doesn’t show after the toilet is positioned. Stay tuned.

How to lay tile down

Laying Tile Down

It’s a pretty small bathroom, and the tiles were 12×12, so luckily it moved quickly and we got the whole room tiled in 2-nights. Since we already had the mortar and grout out and handy from our upstairs reno – this one seemed to move along quite swimmingly. Other than said mishap regarding au toilet.

How to install marble tiles

Marble Tiles

Before we grout, we’ll have to go back through and get the extra mortar out from between the tiles. Learned the hard way that this stuff has really got to be completely cleaned out, otherwise you have gray mortar creeping through after your grout. It’s not the best look. 🙂

So still to do on this bathroom:

  • Paint cabinet and walls
  • Re-install toilet
  • Grout and seal tile
  • Add new light fixture
  • Add trim and quarter round
  • Install artwork

Tile feels like the hardest part of all that to me though, so I’m glad we’ve got it behind us!

The Storage Solution

25 Apr

No doubt about it, it’s a beaut! I am so very excited to finally have the bathroom built-in d.o.n.e.

Bathroom Builtin

Bathroom Built-In

I gotta tell ya I’m pretty excited about how much functional storage this will actually add to our bathroom. As a blast from the past, and for some reference, the picture below shows the sole storage option we had before. A 4 inch wide shelf. Seriously?!?! I mean, I don’t know about y’all, but we have more than a dainty toothbrush to store in our b-room. That is fo shizzle.

Bathroom Before

Downstairs Bath | Before

To rewind just a bit – after caulking, and adding some paint, this is how the built-in was looking. Once the caulk dried, things were looking infinitely better than before, but the caulk dried gray in color, so we had to come back through and paint over it. Plus, the entire thing was looking a bit spotty, so it was in general need of an extra coat of paint anyway.

Bathroom Built-In Between Studs

Bathroom Built-in

Of course, I had the orange tabby there for moral support while I painted this thing. I think he was just waiting for me to turn on the faucet. 😉 We opted to go with Benjamin Moore Simply White, which is the trim color used throughout the house.

Malcolm the Cat

The Manager

This is going to be an absolute life saver for our bathroom essentials. Notably, facewash, toothpaste, etc – will now have a home, and will not have to reside on that dinky little shelf. Ugg, I have pent up aggression just thinking about how littered this bathroom used to get!

And a few final detail shots for you. Since each cubby opening space is quite small (12″ x 7″) we had to search pretty hard to find a basket that would actually fit in there. I found these guys online, and we picked them up during our last trip to Lowes. At $9.99 each, they didn’t break the bank, either. In all honesty, for the size (quite small) this is more than I would normally pay for a basket like this – but since we wanted two that matched – and I came up empty each of the like 25 times I visited HomeGoods, I opted to splurge and just get ones that a knew would work.

Lowes Hyacinth Storage Crate

Bathroom Storage

We even had space to add some nice personal touches as well. The photo on the right is me on our wedding day – glamour shot. And the little wooden elephant is from a cruise I took with my sister through the Bahamas. Ahhh, makes me feel relaxed just thinking about it.

Final Details

Personal Touches

Now our bathroom list is down to:

Almost. There!!!

This post is a part of the William Morris Project at Pancakes and French Fries. “Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful, or find to be beautiful”.

Lookin’ Level

24 Apr

I think I just might fall over and die if something was actually level in this house, and didn’t require either a. shimming b. caulk c. well, perhaps this is the beyond help category. Our floor, completely level. Our sink, not so much! Yeah, that bubble is supposed to be in the middle not leaning to the far left. We didn’t despair for long, since we still had lots of shims left over from our built-in install. 🙂

How to Level Pedestal Sink

Leveling the Sink

If caulk is my best friend with home renovating, shims might take a close second. 😉 Got the leaning tower of pisa. No problemo. Shims can take care of that. Plus, they are like $1 a pack. Win. Win. Sometimes we are even able to just use spare wood from around the house, from other projects, but in all honesty I’ve found shelling out the dollar or two is the way to go. Since shims are made to have a slight incline on them, this seems to helps to make the support more gradual and natural looking in my opinion.

How to shim a sink

Shimmed Sink

When we were ready to remove the shims, Jay simply came through with a pen and marked the area we would be cutting the shim off at. Since we didn’t want the shim to move around while we cut it, we then removed the piece of wood to cut it. We just used an exacto knife and lanced the piece of wood 3-4 times until we good get a clear break – then we snapped it off.

How to shim a sink

Pushing in The Shim

Next we took the spare shim and pushed the piece we had just cut under the sink. Once each shim is in place the sink should be level and ready to go. We did check with our level after, just to make sure everything was all lined up right. If you’re still having an issue, just continue to add/take away shims until your sink is totally level.

Another heads up – the best way to place the shims is to simply look for areas where the gap between the floor and the sink are more considerable. We kind of placed the shims by trial and error and would just test the sink’s wobble factor as we inserted each one. Once we had a wobble free sink that was level – we knew we were good to go. That was a highly technical paragraph, huh? 🙂 Wobble, wobble, wobble.

Glue on back of sink

Glue that Sink!

In addition to the shims, we also opted to apply some heavy duty glue to the back of the sink basin, just to ensure an extra bit of stability. Since the cat likes to jump up on the sink, we really wanted to make sure this guy was really on the wall, and that it was not going to topple over if someone bumped into it, etc. I wouldn’t necessarily climb on top of it to paint or clean the bathroom or anything, but I think it’s a-ok for daily applications and for our 10 lb tabby.

How to Caulk Sink

Caulking Back of Sink

Last, once we had the sink positioned so that it was level and sturdy, we added a bead of caulk. More than anything this provides a nice streamlined aesthetic, but I think it also helps to keep the sink basin in place as well.

Here is an after shot of how the sink looks sans jutting out shims. We still need to add a bit of caulk to completely conceal the shims, but you can really only see them if you get down on all fours and look, so I’m not in too much of a hurry with the final round of caulk. 🙂

How to shim a sink

Shims Under the SInk

Spring Cleaning

23 Apr

In addition to the pond overhaul, we also decided that it was high time for some proverbial spring cleaning in the backyard. The wonderful thing about living in an old, established neighborhood downtown is all of the TREES! The not so wonderful thing about living in an old, established neighborhood downtown are all the leaves that subsequently fall off said trees. We busted our behinds to rake each and every weekend in the fall, but totally had a mother load of leaves greeting us after the thaw. This picture really doesn’t do it justice. Trust me, it was a lot of leaves. 😉

Backyard Leaves

Backyard Leaves

We also had some downed timber from an ice storm in early spring. We were waiting for the compost collection to start up again before we put this guy into the collection pile. Jay opted to parse this into smaller pieces in order to fit the thing in the compost bin. I think he just wanted to have an excuse to pull out one of his rarely used man tools.

How to cut tree

Downed Tree

Now that all the debris is cleared and the leaves are swept away, this should make a great spot for summer entertaining. We still need to get rid of all the random stone figurines and broken pots left over from the last owner. Saving that for the next round. 🙂 There is some type of vine on the trellis – excited to see what that turns out to be! Also – does anyone have tree expertise? Is that brown evergreen dead? I’m leaning toward yes… The burning bush in the back of the picture, if you can’t see it. Perhaps it’s a biblical sign? 😉

Brick Paver Patio

Back Patio

Another area laden with leaves was a small area behind some trees adjacent to our screened in porch. After the clean up, this guy went from this,

Side Yard Patio

Side Yard

To this!

Side Patio

Side Yard Sans Leaves

I’m picturing perhaps something more like the photo below for the space long term. Since it’s a bit closer to the kitchen, this might be a better spot for summer dining. Ah, I can just see us now with a glass of wine in hand. We shall see.

Outdoor Patio Trellis

Outdoor Patio | Vision

The fun thing about raking away all the leaves, was that this was really our first opportunity to see the garden and what had been planted here in year’s past. Since the previous owner lived in this home for 27 years, and we were told that she enjoyed gardening, we knew we were in for some treats. Being so early in the season, we were only beginning to see things pop up, but man it did my heart good to see some little pops of spring coming in.

Purple Corcuses

Purple Crocuses

Caulk is a Girl’s Best Friend

22 Apr

Forget diamonds, caulk is where it’s at for me. Caulk is also probably Jay’s best friend, since lately whenever things look a bit a rye, I just shrug my shoulders and say – caulk can fix it, right? Turns out, caulk CAN fix it. Well, at least it hasn’t failed us yet! 😉 Knock. On. Wood. 🙂 After our veneer and shelves were installed, our bathroom built-in was looking might swanky except for the fact that there were gaps galore on this guy. It didn’t help that the studs were in no way level, but we figured we could work with it, as long as we had our good friend caulk at our side. In addition to Jay’s filthy fingers (do you see all the black smudges on the trim), the trim had some other things working against it after being installed. Namely – dang – look at that gap!

How to caulk trim

Gap with Trim

I knew a rag could fix the black smudges, and caulk could definitely fix the gap. Lots of caulk, actually! 😉 Although we usually do a lot less caulk than this – desperate times called for desperate measures and Jay had to absolutely slather this stuff in to make it close up the gap. Since we knew we would be painting the built-in after, we opted to use paintable caulk – which just allows the paint to adhere to the surface easier.

How to caulk trim

Caulking Trim

After adding all the caulk, we just came back over with our finger and smoothed it all out, and made sure that the gap was completely filled in. Other problem areas included where the trim met up with the wall. I mean, you could lose a small child in that gap. Not good.

How to caulk trim

Gappy Trim

In addition to the trim, the built-in itself had some major gap action. Pretty much anywhere there was a seam on this thing, we had to caulk it. Not ideal, but as far as I am concerned, as long as you get the same finished look at the end of the day, meh. Ya know. I’m sure professional carpenters would cringe at my careless perspective regarding the fine art of wood-working, but since we are just two average joe’s trying to find some extra storage in our bathroom, perhaps we can get a pass. 🙂

How to fill in gaps on trim

Gaps in the Trim

Here is Jay back in action. All-and-all, this caulking escapade took about 45 mins. Poor Jay like swallowed a 1/2 cup of caulk from constantly licking his finger to smooth out the edges. Not advised, definitely not a food group.

How to caulk gaps in trim

Caulking the Trim

For final touches, we are going to paint this guy one more time, and then it will be time to actually use it and to accessorize! Yippie skippie.

Trim, My New Nemesis

19 Apr

Trim. Let’s just say this install was not pretty and that trim and (we) are on bad terms these days. It’s got some serious apologizing to do before I think I can even consider letting it back into my life. I mean, just look at this, not a pretty close up!!

How to fix trim

Popped Trim

This install had been giving us some issues already, mentioned here, but the trim turned out to be our true nemesis in the matter. It just would. not. fit. We would get one piece in, and that side would look right, only to have the next side pop up and and get all janky. Errgghh. Grumble grumble.  Jay worked to carefully align each piece prior, so we could do a dry fit with the pieces up, prior to nailing anything into place where it was a bit harder to move things around if needed.

How to nail in trim

Nailing in the Trim

But after all our hemming and hawing and moving pieces around, when we finally got down to business to nail these guys in, we were in for some fun. Oh yeah – a barrel of monkeys worth of fun. Carpenters we are not, but we’ve certainly put up a good deal of trim in our day. Door trim, floor trim – I feel like I’m narrating a Dr. Suess book here. Well any way – it turns out built-in trim is a grade above the rest.

How to glue trim

Gluing Trim In

After we got the first two pieces in, we figure the easiest way to avoid the extra popping up of the trim on the edges was to glue the top and bottom pieces into place, and then reinforce with nails as needed. One of the things that made this install sorta tricky was that the only thing we could nail into behind the trim was the cement board – which was really hard, and NOT easy to nail into. I tell myself after each trim install that we really need to finally invest in a nail gun already to have the trim take a little less abuse during the installation process. I think that a nail gun would have helped here too, just to give that extra bit of power to get the nail in there easier.

Ungrouted Subway tile

Subway Tile

And did you happen to notice anything under that piece of trim Jay is gluing in? Yes, that is a popped subway tile. Frickety frack! That baby just popped right on off as we were nailing away trying to get the bottom piece in. Since the trim overlapped a wee bit with the tile below, there was a bit of an issue with the added pressure, causing this piece of tile to come right off. Bummer dude.

How to sand trim

Sanding the Trim

After we had all of the trim installed, we came back through with a hand sander, to just help even out any inconsistencies in height between the two pieces. That helped a little bit, but ultimately we opted to leave the trim on the gappy end, in order to avoid to much height variation. My theory was that I would rather have an issue with gaps than have the popped trim (like the first picture – not good!). I when I say gap – I mean GAP. A la the picture below.

How to fix gaps with caulk

Gaps on the Built-In

Have no fear! Caulk is on it’s way to rescue this janky little shelf and get this little guy cracka lackin’ and (finally) storing all our bathroom essentials. 😉

Ain’t No Pond of Mine

18 Apr

Coy ponds. An essential piece of the backyard sanctuary for many, a mosquito mecca and west nile breeder for Mary. Plus, this thing smelled rank. Like seriously, I think it was one of the worst smells I’ve ever had the dis-pleasure of sniffing, and I’ve had some unpleasant scents in my day. So the first day that the weather was feeling a bit more “spring” like (for all us northerners, we know how fleeting those days have been as of late – ugg), we decided (well, I decided) to tackle the pond! Luckily, Jay was a good sport about it and helped with the tackling. Here is the pond in it’s post over haul glory.

How to remove pond

Backyard Pond

It was totally covered in leaves, and since we moved in this fall, we had kind of forgotten about it until we started to rake back there and re-stumbled upon it. It probably smelt so funky since I imagine the leaves were starting to ferment in all that water – along with who knows what else. First thing we did was remove all the extra rocks out back that were seated on the lip of the pond. We’ll have to find a way to repurpose these later on, since they are pretty nice chunks of stone if I do say so myself. Maybe a walkway out back, or something of that nature.

How to remove pond

Removing Stones

We then tried using pure man power to just hoist the thing out. That didn’t work – so we moved on to a tool. Ah, yes, tools. Cavemen used them for a reason – we decided to follow their lead by using it as our hoisting assistant. A pitchfork was our tool of choice 😉 I like Jay’s nonchalant pose in this picture. 🙂 He is ready to own that pond.

How to remove a pond

Some Pitchfork Action

At this point, after we started our hoisting activities, we started to realize that this thing was a bit deeper and a bit more “stuck” in there than we had initially anticipated. After Jay tried shifting the thing around a bit, and I got on the other end, we were finally able to get the lip of it tilted to let some of the water seep out. Holy Mother of pearl. This thing had a rank smell prior, but man were we in for it when we started to let this thing flow. I was gagging. It was gross. It made me hate the pond that much more.

How to remove a pond

Pond Basin

As you can see, the basin was 3 feet deep or so, which made it decently hard to leverage this beast out. On top of the smell, it was even harder. Oye. We’ll clean it off and probably list the pond on craigslist sooner or later. We still have to dig up the electrical that is connected to the garage somewhere – I guess it had water features or something – like a little fountain. Not my thang, that’s for sure. You can see the motor hanging out behind the puddle of muck below. We weren’t quite sure what to do with all the god awful water that was there after we just left it chilling in the backyard. I’m hoping that it will continue to seep into the ground and we can just fill it with dirt, but if that doesn’t work out, w’ell have to move on to scenario B.

How to remove pond

Puddle of Muck

Once I Was a Carpenter

17 Apr

God – it can be so hard to know which way to go in life sometimes. Some decisions are harder to come by than others, harder to find the resolution when there are so many conflicting messages flooding your mind.

What do you want, and what do you want right now. I heard that ages ago – can’t recall where – probably Suzie Orman or something (he he). I love it though – it’s become my mantra when I have a hard time making a decision. Or when I want to go out and buy something and not tell my husband. 😉 It’s my restraining tool.

I’ve found though, that when it’s something BIG, that mantra can still work, but the answers don’t come as easy. Looking at a snickers bar. What do I wan’t – flat abs. What do I wan’t right now – carmelly goodness with some peanuts on top. But when it comes to fork in the road type of decisions – I sit there – saying this in my head, desperate for some clarity, but it’s fleeting, and not all that insightful.

Right Decision

Right Decision

In complete and total honesty. This spring is getting me down. Or should I call it the extension of our winter. But beyond the weather, I’ve been asking myself some difficult questions. What do you WANT Mary, what do you want right now. I was telling Jay the other day, I think the more you start to hone in on exactly what it is that you DO wan’t – this question actually becomes more difficult, because what you want, and what you want at this very moment – may be exactly the same thing. But maybe that is just a cop out for asking myself the hard questions. Maybe that’s me just turning off and trying to find a resolution.

I love my husband. I love him so much and I can’t wait for the future ahead. I think sometimes though he has a hard time understanding how the mind of this woman works. That’s alright, I guess, since I scratch my head a good deal at his antics as well. But it’s funny how I can be so phenomenally indecisive and yet so very certain at the same time. I’ll yap Jay’s ear off for 2 hours and tell him all about my plans I’ve made, how they are really set in stone now, that he shouldn’t really bother trying to persuade me otherwise. Being the obliging guy he is, he just nods, maybe offers a word of caution or two. The next day, I tell him I’ve changed my mind. Off to the next plan. It’s rather dangerous territory. I guess it’s really that some things in life are easy to change, some things are not. Some things are more permanent, or harder to reverse at least, so I better gosh darn be sure I am setting my foot down in the right place.

Case A: We need to move to North Caroline TODAY, Jay

Especially this spring. God. It’s taking everything within my being to not grab my suitcase and set up shop in our idyllic future right now. I’ve always been an obsessive weather tracker (I blame it on my bike commuting to work, but really, it probably has more to do with my control freak like tendencies) and lately I’ve been noticing that every. single. person. on my facebook newsfeed seems to live in a climate that is 30 degrees warmer than mine. Ohio – 83 degress today. Swear to God, I just checked. Our friends that live in Athens, Ohio posted pictures of themselves out on the lawn – sunbathing – while I am still wearing my mittens and watching flurries scatter around me. 3 hours south of me. Tell me – where is the justice in that. (At least this is what the weather looked like when I wrote this post last week – the 10-day forecast holds more of the same…)

So I picture this life for us. This perfect life for us. We wear summer dresses (actually, probably just me) in February and have tomatoes and fresh greens from our garden in April. We smile every day, because the sunshine warms our hearts and makes us happy from the inside out. I already picked out our house, do you like it?

Raleigh Real Estate

Raleigh Real Estate

I’ve been struggling so much lately with what I want for us. For me. For our future.

I feel this incredible tug lately to set roots. To feel like the present is not only good enough, that it is everything I ever wanted and more. My wildest dreams come true. But what is it that roots you in life – will I ever feel it, ever feel truly grounded in the present, enough to be rooted. The trouble with a perpetual dreamer like me, is the dreaming is never done, is it. Always something to reach for. To try and reach out and grasp. Problem though with this root setting desire is that I don’t know what it is I want to do that will “root” me. I think why I am struggling so much with these next steps – is because I am desperately afraid that I’ll still have this awful sense of foreboding and indecision sitting in my belly after I take the plunge.

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

As I feel this tension within me (what do I want, what do I want right now) I’m sincerely struggling with the next steps to take in this journey of life. Will the next steps I take lead to happiness, or only more searching. Actually, I’m totally ok with the searching aspect, but the uneasyness that current sits inside me, that I could do without. More than anything, I’m realizing that I desperately want to be happy. To FIND happiness in whatever path I chose. To find a sense of content. But goodness, that can be hard for my type – even impossible, maybe. If you gain the content – do you lose the drive? Or can you have both – still searching for the answers…

This song has become my mantra the past week.

I ain’t from Texas, but I made my way from Dallas
And I know the lonesome sound is following
I ain’t a gambler, but I can recognize a hand
And when to hold, when the queens are staring back at me

Once I was a carpenter, man my hands were calloused
I could swing a metal mallet sure and straight
But I took to the highway, a poet young and hungry
And I left the timbers rotting where they lay

Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me
And when I lose my direction I’ll look up to the sky
And when the black dress drags upon the ground
I’ll be ready to surrender, and remember
Well we’re all in this together
If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die

And I don’t come from Detroit, but her diesel motors pull me
And I followed till I finally lost my way
And now I spend my days in search of a woman we called purpose
And if I ever pass back through her town I’ll stay

Forever I will move like the world that turns beneath me
And when I lose my direction I’ll look up to the sky
And when the black dress drags upon the ground
I’ll be ready to surrender, and remember
Well we’re all in this together
If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die

And my life is but a coin, pulled from an empty pocket
Dropped into a slot with dreams of sevens close behind
And hope and fear go with it, and moon and the sun go spinning
Like the numbers and fruits before our eyes