Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Project... part 1

This post has been in revision for awhile because I was waiting to finish this project before I posted, but it is taking far too long so this will just have to be part one of this post.

When I started this blog I told myself I would not be writing about my home decor projects. Mostly because at the time I didn't have any home decor projects and there are so many out there that I didn't feel the need to. However, despite my resistance, I have caught the DIY bug... I think it is a young wife thing. Well, obviously not all young wives catch this bug, but pretty much every DIY person I have found is a wife and many of them are newly married. So I was doomed. Okay, I don't want to sound all anti-DIY or home decor, I actually really really love it. You could even say I've become obsessed with it. So let me tell you about our latest project...
I had already done some small projects around the house, but this week Alex and I started on our first BIG project. Okay, it wasn't really that big, but we are young and inexperienced at this whole thing so it was big for us. Lots of lessons to be learned. We made.... A TABLE! A pretty nice table, if I do say so myself.
After browsing around my new favorite blog, Remodelaholic, I found this amazing table. That is where it all started. I decided, "Hey! If someone else can make their own table why can't I?" Plus it looked pretty simple. Alex and I had been looking for a new table for months. I bought our current table at a garage sale for about 20 bucks. It was pretty ugly when we got it, but we spray painted it black and it was pretty cute... for a while. That was until the paint started chipping off and for the life of me I couldn't make that table look clean. Anyways, like this person did, we saved the legs of our table and just made a new table top.
So, after we did some measurements and calculations we headed off to Rick's Bargain Bin for some cheap 2x4's. The first lesson to be learned, 2 x 4's are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. What? they are more like 1.5" x 3.5". So after we bought our 1.5 x 3.5's 2 x 4's we had to redo all of our measurements.
This is our first furniture making project so you could probably guess that there were a few snags along the way. Obstacle #1: We live in a small apartment so our first question to ourselves was, "Where the heck are we going to build a table?!" We are also on the second floor so as far as outdoor spaces goes, all we have is a tiny deck. Obstacle #2: After building our table on our tiny deck, trying to fit the table through our sliding glass doors after we built it. Obstacle #3 Apparently stain has a much stronger smell than paint, so staining inside the house was probably not my brightest idea (I feel like a bit of an idiot for attempting that one). Obstacle #4 Wobbly legs... So our table would have been finished by now if it weren't for the fact that we have never built a table (or any other piece of furniture that didn't come in a box). So right now we are figuring out a remedy for the legs being so wobbly, oh and that we now have quarter inch gaps between our boards on the table top... sigh. We have completely deconstructed the table and are in the process of rebuilding. Oh well, It is an adventure and we are learning a lot about how to actually build furniture.

Well I have some pictures of our progress thus far.

This is the before
picture, notice
the chairs don't push
in all the way.
(Ignore the cat on the table)

This is in progress
building on
the deck...

My handsome Husband helping me :)

Tada! All the chairs push in! (we didn't plan that).

Monday, August 2, 2010

What to do, what to do...

Let me tell you what has been going through my mind recently. Just for a brief list, in the last two week I have decided to: run a marathon; build a bunch of furniture for our home (thanks to this amazing site!); bought a sewing machine; thought about finishing my schooling with a degree in health promotion (or nutrition), accounting, business, journalism, art, interior design, or psychology; trade in our car; do a missions trip; move across the country... Just to name a few.I'm not announcing anything, I'm trying to say that I have no clue what I am doing with my life. Don't get me wrong, I am happy, but there is so much more to life than just being happy.
Probably the biggest dilemma I have come to is, what road do I take now? I have so many options! Unfortunately I have been cursed with an interest in just about anything. No really... health, fitness, psychology, art, design, writing, business, ministry, travel. I'm not sure how much more diverse it can get. So how does one pick from a list like this? What I typically hear from people is that they have one thing that they have always been interested in and then they do the other things they like to do for fun. What if there isn't something that I always come back to? What if what I would love is doing ALL of those things?
I know, I know! I'm still young... I have so many options... I have so much of my life left... blah blah blah. Yeah, I'm a little impatient. I just want to know what I'm doing, start on the path to get there, get whatever certification I need, and voila! Life is accomplished!
I suppose more than anything in life I just want to follow God's will. I'd love to make Him proud and help change people's lives along the way. After talking with my good friend Carissa, I remembered that sometimes following God's will is a lot easier than we make it out to be. Sometimes it isn't about choosing the perfect path, sometimes it is just about choosing a path and trusting that God is going to be there with you and has the ability to work through you regardless of where you go. Carissa said something that was very meaningful to me, she said that the bible asks us to be like Christ in all that we do and as long as we are striving for that then we are in God's will (or something to that affect). This completely changed my motivation. I didn't take this to mean that I need to start doing things now that later on will give me the characteristics of Christ, but that right now I need to start displaying and practicing these characteristics in everything I do.
I think so often we "Christians" try to punish ourselves because we believe that that is the only road that God could possibly be calling us to. Yes, God does often call us to make the more difficult choices, but not just for the sake of being miserable. Sometimes the difficult decision just leads to the most fruitful outcome. Our God is not a miserable God, He is a joyful, happy, loving God and wants that for his people too. He just wants us to abandon own comforts and fight for Him and His people.
As long as my motivation is not selfish and my heart is for God then my life can go in any direction that I desire. With that said, Alex and I now have a tentative plan for our life. It could change and adapt and we are willing to give up any of it if we feel called to something else, but for now we feel very peaceful knowing that we have a plan and that God stands behind us!

I know I don't talk about God much and this is not where I intended this blog to go. I am not ashamed of my love for God, He is a huge part of my life. I don't talk about it more so because I want to live the kind of life where people don't have to ask and I don't have to tell people, it is just known. However, that doesn't mean that I won't talk about it at all or that I have any shame in sharing this part of my life.