bathroom inspiration.

The very first room I wanted to tackle in my new house was the bathroom. These are the photos from the inspection:

Notice the door laying there on the floor? This house was an estate sale, and the previous owners were handicapped, so nearly all the interior doors had been removed from their frames. Hanging the bathroom door (for the obvious privacy reasons) was one of my first priorities on moving day.

The bathroom also has a walk-in (handicap) shower. It was not installed neatly (lots of messy caulk) and the showerhead is broken, which makes taking a shower a little complicated. This bathroom has the only shower in the house (the upstairs bathroom has a bathtub only), so that's why this jumped to the top of the list.

There are a lot of other things I want to change in the room. The floor and half the walls are covered in a dated, pink-speckled tile, and the upper half of the walls and ceiling are masonite panels (which can be primed and painted, but there would still be seams between the panels). The medicine cabinet is in really rough shape, and the combination light/fan is ugly and very noisy.

Since changing all of this means essentially gutting the bathroom, I'm planning to do it all at once. I started calling around for estimates and gathering bathroom inspiration using Pinterest (I think I'm addicted). Here are some of my favorites:

[pinned via here]

[pinned via here]

[pinned via here]

[pinned via here]

It will take some time to complete, especially as I'm planning to tackle part of the work myself. I'll share progress as we go along.

on letting Someone else write your story.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I've ended up where I needed to be.
~ Douglas Adams

all of me.

Baby Bowen is the son of Matt Hammitt, lead singer of Sanctus Real. He was born in 2010 with a congenital heart defect (you can see more here). Matt wrote the song below out of that experience, and as I listened to the words last night, I was struck by how applicable this is to loving any child struggling through hard circumstances - sickness, yes, but also those who come from situations of abuse and neglect.

I can't give you half my heart, and pray He makes you whole

You're gonna have all of me, you're gonna have all of me
Cause you're worth every falling tear, you're worth facing any fear
You're gonna know all my love, even if it's not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts, but giving you all of me is where I'll start

asking why.

I set a lot of goals for this year. It's contrary to what most people would say you should do, but this is what works for me. My goals are small, easily measurable, carefully written with plenty of opportunity to try again (see why here), and sometimes frivolous. I was originally content to leave the list as it is, then I read this post from Michael Hyatt:
"So, I went back and took another look at my goal. I had a Goal Statement. I had a detailed Action Plan. Only problem was, that wasn’t enough.
 That’s when I reviewed my Internal Motivations for this goal. This is a section I write out for every goal. I list why this goal is important and what’s at stake. It is the component that most people never think to include."
I decided to try it, just to see if I found value in the exercise. Honestly, I wondered if this might be the kind of thing that really helps later, when I review my goals, rather than now. But I opened a document, wrote out each of my goals from my list, and then answered the following question for each: why will I accomplish this goal?

I found the entire thing extremely helpful now. I had to think carefully about why I chose what I did. I started to see patterns in the values behind the goals I've chosen. And I think that, taken together, these goals and values really do represent the things that are important to me.

If you've set goals - whether they are resolutions, highly detailed action plans, or just dreams - I'd encourage you to try this.

goals for 2012

I made a list of goals for the year in both 2009 and 2010. I didn't make one last year, because last year felt crazy, and I think I somehow knew even in January that my life would look radically different than I expected by the end of the year.

This year, though, I'd like to do it again. Not because 2012 feels any more predictable, but because goals are healthy, and so is being intentional.

So, here they are - 20 things I would like to do in 2012:
  1. Create art with Jacob.
  2. Try 25 new recipes.
  3. Read 5 non-fiction books - there are so many that I have started but not quite finished (Plan B by Pete Wilson, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller, Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman, Radical by David Platt) and others that I want to read (Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis, Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker)
  4. Read through the entire Bible (I'm using a plan from YouVersion).
  5. Get eight hours of sleep a night for one solid month.
  6. Start an herb garden.
  7. Make meaningful art for my house.
  8. Explore downtown Frederick by trying six new restaurants.
  9. Take a yoga class.
  10. Take a French class.
  11. Take Ally, Cam, and Jake to lunch for their birthdays.
  12. Cut my car loan balance in half.
  13. Join a Bible study.
  14. See 5 (new) places from the book 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die.
  15. Walk the dogs four times a week for a month.
  16. Set up a recycling center.
  17. Tile something.
  18. Grill something.
  19. Write random notes to the people that I love.
  20. Go hiking with my sisters.

goals and dreams.

It's been a busy start to the new year. Between moving and unpacking and errands and browsing Pinterest for inspiration on new house projects - well, let's just say that there seems to be a lot going on over here. In the middle of it all, I've been thinking about the goals for this year - the little and the big things I want to accomplish in 2012.

As a rule, I tend to set small goals, ones that are doable and measurable and that have lots of room for grace (very important for my perfectionist personality). I'm still working on this year's list, taking my time to make sure that it reflects the things that I want to be about this year. It's a work in progress.

I also think it's smart to dream big, to think about what I really want to see happen if fear doesn't get in the way. It's been difficult for me to do that over the past few years. My life doesn't look the way I thought it would, even a year ago. Sometimes that hurts a little, and makes me a little afraid to dream, to risk not seeing something work the way I hope it will. Mostly it's been a wonderful adventure, full of unexpected twists and turns that have brought me a lot of joy. Even so, it's hard to put a new dream out there, to acknowledge it and have seem a little more real, and maybe a little more fragile.

So I continue to pray for guidance, for strength and courage. In case you're in the same place, may these words encourage you:

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
~ Joseph Campbell

If your dreams don't scare you they're not big enough.

There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
~ Nelson Mandela

You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.