the master bedroom in a weekend (before).

Here's the question: is it really possible for one person to makeover a room in a weekend?

I'm going to find out.

This is my master bedroom. Notice that I didn't bother to make the bed before I took photos, or even really clean up - I'm all about keeping it real.

The paint color is periwinkle - kind of blue/purple. Strangely enough, this is pretty close to the color I painted the master bedroom in my first house. This time, though, I want more of a pale blue. I picked up a can of oops paint quite a while ago - I'm hoping that will work.

I really hate these nightstands - they're flimsy, and since they're open on the bottom, they show so much dust all the time. I do like the amount of space on top, though. The second stand, on the right side, is only decorative, and mostly just gets in the way when I'm trying to vacuum. Its slightly broken (from Ikea's AS-IS section), so I'm just going to get rid of it.

I'll keep my eye out for something cheap to replace the one on the left, but until I find something, it will stay. Ooh, maybe I should paint it, too!

Someday I'll buy a real bed, with a headboard and footboard and everything, but for now, I'm going to paint some plain shutters I have black and hang those directly on the wall. I do need artwork for over the bed - I'm still working on ideas for that.

I have this great surfboard print to go above this chair, to the left of the window. I've had it forever - I just need to mat and frame it. The problem is, its an odd size, and I don't want to pay exorbitant prices. So, I'm thinking for now, I'll make a custom frame (since I have a miter box!).

I also have drapes for the windows - I bought them at Ikea a while ago.

And that would be laundry I need to fold (and Harvey peeking in to see what's going on).

I have several things for this wall, the first of which are two large windows I rescued from someone in the neighborhood who was replacing hers. I need to bust the glass out of them, then sand them down and paint them white.

Notice a theme here? I've been picking up stuff for this room forever.

And, I'm painting a dresser my sister was getting rid of, to sit below the window frames. This is what it looks like now, minus the drawers.

So, here's the plan:

  1. Paint the room.
  2. Paint the dresser.
  3. Bust out the glass, paint the window frames, and hang them.
  4. Paint and hang the shutters for the headboard.
  5. Frame and hang the surfboard print.
  6. Hang the curtain rods and window treatments.
Wish me luck - I'll be back Monday with the update!

still running.

I'm still running, working my way through a Couch-to-5K plan, so I can cross goal #5 off my list.

It's still really hard.

But I am so proud of myself for doing it.

forgiven and loved.

I heard this song on the radio a new days ago, and I'm loving it:

my witness.

A few weeks ago, we started talking as a church about what it looks like when you commit to living out the Gospel in a radical way. Nick asked us three questions:
  1. If you had $100 to use for God, what would you do?
  2. If you had $1000 to use for God, what would you do?
  3. If you could do anything for God and know that you would not fail, what would you do?
Then, last week, Shaun Groves posted a similar challenge about living out your witness.

Um, coincidence? I don't think so.

I thought about Nick's questions for a few days, and when I sat down to answer them, I discovered something about myself. Every single answer had to do with adoption or foster care - doing it myself, or helping and supporting others who are doing it. It was a little unexpected, actually, to have such a clear and obvious theme.

I've thought for years about fostering and/or adoption. I still expect that some day I will, but as I've sought God on whether or not this is what He wants me to do now, I've gotten a very clear answer: "No, not yet."

(And for the record, I am absolutely convinced that was God's voice, and not my fears or insecurities talking).

So, I started thinking about how else to get involved in these areas, and I've started the application process to be a child advocate (or CASA - Court Appointed Special Advocate).

Here was my answer to the first question:

Q: If you had $100 at your disposal to use for your GO what would you do?
A: I'd give it (maybe directly, maybe by purchasing groceries or other supplies) to families who take in foster children.

So now I have $100 from The Bridge to do this with (because apparently that was the point of the question), and I'm looking for a local foster family who needs this help.

I'm both excited and a little scared to see what happens next!


I've never liked running. As someone who's had knee problems for years, I've always used the excuse that running isn't good for your knees (and really, it isn't, compared to something like a bike or elliptical trainer). But the truth is, I just don't like the way I feel when I run. Its hard, yes, but it hurts, too, in my sides and chest, even before I really feel it in my legs. I've really just never enjoyed it at all.

So why I decided to set a goal to run for 2 miles (#5), I don't know. But I figured now that I'm back into working out on a regular basis, it would be a good idea to see just where I was on that, so I would know how far I need to go.

Turns out, I have a long way to go. I could barely manage 2 minutes, which isn't even two-tenths of a mile. (Of course, I tried this after I had just done 20 minutes on the elliptical).

So I'm going to try this Couch-to-5K plan. I still don't know if I'll ever add running to my regular workout regime on a permanent basis, but this way I can at least work up to crossing that goal off my list.

Oh, and the pain in my sides and chest? Nick says that's because you're literally bouncing your organs around when you run. This also explains why its tough to catch your breath, because you're literally bouncing air out of your lungs. He says my ligaments will tighten up and it will get easier.

And after today, my first day on this new plan, let's just say - boy, I hope so.

strawberry sauce.

I'm trying a bunch of new recipes over the next few weeks, and was planning to blog about all of them at once. But, I tried this tonight and it was so super easy, I decided not to wait to post about it.

(image from Our Best Bites)

This Strawberry Sauce was so good, has a ton of uses, and I'm told it freezes well. I made it to pour over angel food cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream as snack for Life group tonight.

You can find the exact recipe here, but you basically cook a pint of hulled strawberries, sugar, and almond or vanilla extract over medium heat, then blend it smooth. I used my handy dandy Pampered Chef Mix 'N Chop. I love this tool - one of my favorites!

(image from Pampered Chef)

Seriously, go make this now.

and there goes the shed.

I came home last night to a note on my door from the police department, telling me that someone had driven through my fence and into my shed.

I'm actually glad I wasn't home, mostly because if I had been, there's a good chance the dogs would have been outside. Instead, they were inside, and safe.

Half of the back fence has been completely obliterated, too, which means that I need to keep Dakota on a leash for the next few days. Harvey has an electric fence collar, so she doesn't need a leash, but until I know the shed is safe, I don't want either of them out there alone.

I'm leaving it alone until I can get an insurance adjustor out here to look at it.

I am so not looking forward to cleaning this up.

birthday presents from grandma.

Look what my grandma bought me for my birthday: some moulding, wood filler, and a really strong adhesive.

Stay tuned, I've got a few projects planned.

lion chasers manifesto.

I just read this yesterday in a blog post from Mark Batterson - its from his book In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day, one of the books on my to-read list this year.

This is the Lion Chasers Manifesto.

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Grab life by the mane. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Accumulate experiences. Consider the lilies. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshipping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

how i celebrate cinco de mayo.

I guess tomorrow night I should make enchiladas or tacos or just eat salsa, but tonight I went to my first Zumba class.

I am definitely not coordinated enough to do an aerobic dance class. I could only really follow one part of the instructors movements at a time - her feet, her arms, or her hips. Any more than that, and I was lost.

cleaning my garage - the before.

My garage is a mess.

It's cluttered, dirty, and dusty. It's full of leaves that have swept in with the dogs, the wind, and/or the rain. There are paint supplies, in-progress projects, and tons of things waiting to be either thrown out or donated. The cabinet contains some of my stuff, and some of the stuff the previous owners left. Other than the painting supplies and spray paint, I'm not even really sure what all is in there.

The garage is also where my washer and dryer are located, and because the dryer doesn't vent to the outside (and because I don't use the lint trap contraption the way I'm supposed to), there's dryer lint all over the place (fire hazard, I know).

There are scraps of wood from various projects, the armoire that was in my bedroom before I moved in, and the old railing from steps leading from the kitchen.

In fact, the only really organized section is this one, which is filled with Christmas decorations. (I think I've already established my obsession with Christmas).

Cleaning out the garage is #16 on my list of goals for the year, and I finally figured out that if I wait for a weekend and inspiration, I'd never get it done. Instead, I'm committing to 15 minutes a day, every day for the next week (through Friday, because then I'll be headed out of town to a friend's wedding).

I honestly don't expect to finish everything by the weekend. What I am hoping is that my progress will be visible enough to give me motivation to keep going (and maybe even to finish some other projects on my master list).

And the public accountability can't hurt.

typewriter art.

I can't remember where I first heard about vol25, but I think her prints are soooo adorable. These are a couple of my favorites:

A week or so ago she asked for quote ideas for a couple prints of typewriters, so I suggested this one:

Write it in your heart that every day is the best day in the year. - Emerson

And she used it! Here's the finished print - you can buy it here on Etsy.

life and death.

On Tuesday night, I delivered a meal to my friends, Robbie and Jenni, who just celebrated the birth of their long-awaited son, Robert Matthew. We've been waiting and praying for little Robert for a long time, and I can't quite put into words just how it felt to hold a little miracle.

Wednesday I drove home to Frederick to attend the funeral of my Aunt Dottie's brother, Danny, who was killed Saturday in a motorcycle accident.

It's been a crazy week.