Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Crackle Queen

I am a total scavenger. I can find junk and make it work...know what I mean? For instance, if you were to take a look around our little living room, the only pieces of furniture that we paid for were the TV, and the TV stand, both of which we got good deals on, I might add. Everything else was found and reworked. I love that kind of challenge! The ones that I'm proudest of are the sofa/loveseat/overstuffed chair. I inherited those from my parents next door neighbors after the Cancer Society refused to accept them as a donation b/c they said that they were too "sundamaged" (we think it was just a hot day, and they didn't want to load anymore furniture onto the truck). Score for Kate! Even though they were not attractive to me, I saw potential. I took them, and figured that slipcovering them would be a cinch. Little did I know what it all entailed. Luckily, I was able to find a lady who went to my church who did upholstery, drapery, and bedding as a little side business. I showed her a Pottery Barn catalogue as I guide to what I wanted and she said no problem. It was really fun to learn to use a surger, and see how things like that are pieced together. We covered the sofa/loveseat in a cranberry twill, and the overstuffed chair in a khaki - I absolutely love them! But I digress back to the title...
So, when I was on the quest to furnish our living room, I found an old beat up side table at a garage sale that I talked the seller down to $10 for, and found the coffee table in a pile of garbage waiting to be picked up on the curb that the owner said I could have for free. They were both pretty gross. Especially the coffee table. It was oozing sticky stuff, and had to be scrubbed and sanded a lot. Because this was right before the wedding, I had a lot of stuff on my mind, so for lack of a better idea, just painted them black. Bottom line is black no longer suits, and I was super motivated to try my hand at something new; a crackle finish to have some of that antiqued, shabby-chic thing going on. So off I went to Home Depot, and $20 was ready to go. I have to say, it was a lot easier than I predicted. I would highly recommend this project to anyone who is a little intimidated by the painting process. It really is something that could be completed in a day, and definitely a weekend. Here's the finished result close up:

I am really pleased at how it turned out, and can't wait to bring the pieces back into the living room. I'll post a pic when I do. What's even better is that Joe likes it too, although I do think he's a little concerned that I'll get crackle happy and try to do all the furniture that we have, which I won't. I don't like everything too matchy-matchy. I love the accomplished feeling that completing it gave me though. It makes me feel really confident, and happy to know that you don't have to be stuck with the same old boring furniture or styles. It is really amazing what some paint and 2 hours can do. So I say to you, get thee a can of crackle finish and transform your own piece for a little change to your space!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

I did it. Today, I asked my bosses if I could be bumped back up to full time hours and status. It was a little nerve-wracking waiting to hear back from them, but, as they are two wonderfully kind women, they are going to work with me and give me as many hours as I want. Total answer to prayer! If they couldn't, then I would be having to look for another job - and I would really hate that. Not just because the whole process of searching isn't fun, but because in May I'll have been with this company for 2 years...and I genuinely like the people I work with and for.
Now, you may be thinking two very different thoughts, like: "Wow, she's been livin' the gravy life only working part time" or maybe "Is she nuts??!? Why is she going back into the daily grind?". Let me explain...
As to the first, when we found out that Joe was hired by the PD and would be going to their academy, we had some decisions to make. Statistically, cops have very high divorce rates due to stress and a completely demanding schedule. (Now, I know that this is seen through a worldly view point, and not a Christian one, but still, the numbers aren't so encouraging.) So we headed back to the counselor who did out premarital counseling, and I'm really glad we did. She had a lot of great advice for us. One of the suggestions being, perhaps I should cut back to part time (providing that financially we could do it), and take over all the areas of the home front, so that would free Joe up to concentrate only on the academy (which is basically a boot camp), and be a support to him that way. We opted to do that, and for us, it really worked. I have enjoyed it (mostly), and have a real new found appreciation for military wives - being responsible for every single thing by yourself (finances, food, laundry, cleaning) is not easy. I missed divvying up the "to do list". But I know that Joe really appreciated not having his focus cluttered up with all that other stuff, and did great in the academy and field training, which leads to the next point...
So, here we are, still in that routine because it got comfortable. But now he is in patrol, in a much more normal schedule (let's face it, the hours will really suck for awhile, but at least it will be consistent), and we started thinking, we were ready to take the next step. That's right, we're ready to leave the apartment and enter the world of Home Ownership. Good thing too, because lately, the little white walls (we're not allowed to paint) have been starting to close in on me. We want a yard. We want a place where we could have big family/holiday dinners at. We want to gear up to start a family. We want a dog. All that good stuff. We're ready. When we started reassessing the budget, it just makes sense at this point in life for me to go back full time. It'll help us qualify for a better loan, and we can still tuck away for the future. Eventually, when we do have kids, we both want me to stay home...but for now, back to work. It is scary and exciting, all at once. We've already met with some loan officers, mapped out a budget, and now the next step is to talk to Realtors. We won't do anything until Joe is off of probation, just in case, but that is coming up fast. I can't believe it!!
So, logically I understand why it is good to go back; emotionally, I am still catching up a little. Since I'll be M-F 7:30 -4, my days off will most likely not match up with Joe's. While I was part time, I could change what days I had off to be in sync with his. It was great! I will hate giving that up. But, I guess sacrifice is necessary at this point for something that we both really want. I'm just not the biggest fan of change, and this'll definitely be an adjustment. Part of life though, eh?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hello, blogging world

Well, here I am. I decided that this format is a little more grown up than Myspace, and will allow me to do what I really want - write down my babblings, post my pics, and chat with like minded people. Due to Amanda's suggestion to ditch Myspace, seeing her blog, and those of her friends, she really opened my eyes to a whole new world...one I think that I want to be a part of too. I hope it will take. I've never really been too faithful to the whole journaling/diary thing. But I'm ready for a change. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...