Guys, I just realized I went without blogging last week. (for shame!) Guess that just means I’ll have to double-up this week. Wooo!
Since I’m now officially in my mid-30s and supposed to be a grown up (?!), I have come to the conclusion that I need a little more discipline in my life. Don’t worry, this isn’t a new realization, I’m just actually going to try and work on it. As with any new calendar year or birthday, there comes a lot of introspection and goal-making (LISTS!!!). I got myself a sticker chart of sorts and came up with a list of different items that will hopefully help me practice discipline and live a better life. Drinking more water, eating 3-5 servings of fruits/vegetables, journaling before bed (instead of looking at my phone), getting 30+ minutes of physical activity, putting away clothes after work (instead of throwing them over the back of my chair), things like that. Some are daily goals, a few weekly ones, but they’re all reasonably attainable things—unlike goals of the past, like, lose 20 pounds by next Saturday or something.
Wellllll… lucky for you, one of the items on my list was to blog once per week. And three days in, I can already cross that bad boy off the list! Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing some positive changes come from this discipline challenge (but I’m also being gentle with myself if I don’t get to everything, as I haven’t always done in the past). Perhaps I’ll keep you updated on the progress, but if nothing else, you’ll at least get more frequent peeks into my super exciting life. :)
At one of the properties where I work, we are doing a March Madness bracket challenge with the residents. We had a big kickoff event last week and it’s been a ton of fun to see everyone get excited about something. Last week I went door-to-door and passed out more than 220 brackets (one for each apartment) for everyone to fill out and turn in. Only 54 people decided to participate (including a few of the staff), but the FUN (sarcasm) thing about doing the bracket thing manually (via paper and not the INTERNET) is that today I got to go through and highlight and count up the total points for all 54 brackets. Granted, we are only halfway through the tournament, but we needed to update the standings. (Side note: last year they had more than 100 brackets, so good riddance to whoever had to keep track! Sucker!) The actual good/useless thing about doing that is I now have the entire list of winners/losers memorized. So if anyone needs help keeping their brackets up to date, I’m your girl.
Let’s be honest, some of those mindless, mundane tasks are the best — especially when I get to use markers! And next year, I’ll suggest that we send out a link and let the computers do all the work. :)
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve started a post and then gotten distracted and forgot to save the draft and all my hard work (exaggeration) was deleted. Maybe seven? Eight? Either way, I’m baaaaaack. Last week, I even typed up a post on my phone, but when I went to publish the dang thing, the Wordpress app closed out and I lost everything. Dang technology! It’s so amazing but so frustrating all at once.
I don’t have too much to offer at this time, but just wanted to say that I’m still alive. :)
So much for more frequent blogging in 2015, huh?! Ha. Oh well. Since starting my other job (same company, just more hours at a second property) at the beginning of the year, I’ve had a difficult time adjusting to the new schedule. I’m working occasional weekends which I’ve never done before and I’m working the 2nd shift (2-10 p.m.), which is actually ideal for someone with hypersomnia. It’s just hard to maintain a “normal” schedule when sometimes my shifts are less than 12 hours apart. My social life has taken somewhat of a hit, but overall it’s been good. I enjoy what I’m doing, I like getting paid for those additional 16 hours, and even more importantly, I’m at 40 hrs/wk now so I get BENEFITS! No more medical assistance for me! It’s almost like I’m a fully-functioning adult again!
Now that I’m more than a month into my new schedule, I will be able to blog more often. Third time’s the charm though right?, so I should be all set after today. :)
The Parable of the Lost Son
Jesus continued: There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’
At various points in each of our lives we can probably relate to one of the characters in this story.
For most of my life, I resonated with the second son. I was a very compliant girl, I did well in school, I rarely got into trouble; life was relatively easy for me. My brother had a harder time growing up, and for much of the last several years, the disease of addiction has kept him away from us (physically/mentally/etc.). The first time he went into treatment in 2008, I actually purchased a bottle of wine named “Prodigal Son” and was going to open and drink it when he was out and “healed.” (How naïve of me – as if it was that easy.)
I’ll never forget the Sunday, sitting in a pew at Bethlehem Baptist Church and John Piper was preaching on the parable of the prodigal son. In some ways I could relate to the, “What about me?!’ as the second son, wondering why the father in the story hadn’t ever really thrown him a party, even though he was the one who really “deserved” it. But it more so brought me to tears thinking, “if my brother does get clean and “comes home,” my dad will eagerly welcome him home joyfully with the biggest of hugs, no matter what.” That’s what love does. That’s what grace does. That’s what my dad does.
On this Father’s Day, since I’m currently without a car and was unable to purchase a traditional greeting card, I’m dedicating this blog post to my dad. He has been the greatest example to me of God’s unconditional love, and he has taught me what it means to be kind (even when it’s difficult), to be generous (even when you don’t have a lot to give), to show grace or forgiveness (even when you don’t want to), how important it is to choose joy (even when difficult circumstances arise), and that progress is waaaay more important than perfection (especially when giving up would be a lot easier).
From coaching just about every sports team that I was a part of growing up, if nothing else, capturing it on home video, to volunteering with the youth group together, to endless memories in Disney World (also captured on video), to our Vikings game dates, to meaningful conversations at the cabin, to laughing so hard our drinks come out our noses, I’m forever grateful for his support and encouragement and quality time spent together.
No matter what I’ve done, I know I can turn to you, dad, and you will accept me with a big hug. Thank you for being such a great father. I love you. (And thanks for getting a “fattened calf” for both Dan and me tonight, even if it was in the form of filet mignon at Chianti Grill.) :)
I’ve had many requests to share the process I recently used to paint my cabinets, so what better format than my blog. Even though it has been several months since my last update, maybe I’ll get back into the groove of posting more often. We’ll see. I won’t promise anything yet. :)
Before I begin, please remember that I am by no means a professional. There are most likely better ways to paint your cabinets, but this was my process (most of my research coming from Pinterest). Also, my quantities of paint were estimated for 18 standard cabinet doors (fronts & backs) and six drawers.
So, here we go (it may seem like a lot at first glance, but I just want to be thorough.):
You will need the following supplies:
1. Take all the hardware off of the cabinets: pulls/knobs, hinges, etc. If you have an electric screwdriver, now is the time to put it to use, unless you don’t ever want to use your wrists again.
For those of you with older cabinetry, you may want to label your cabinet doors and their respective hinges, to make installing them at the end of the job a lot easier to ensure a better fit. I did this, but it probably wasn’t necessary since my cabinets are less than 10 years old. Post-its were used to label the doors, and individual snack-size ziploc bags, labeled with the same numbers, for storing the hardware. I put all the knobs in one large ziploc, since it didn’t matter which door/drawer those went back on.
2. Put down a drop cloth under your workspace, along with something to put under each door that will give a 1-2″ space from the floor (so you can paint the edges). Lay out all the doors on their spacers face/front up.
3. Time to prime your doors with the first coat. I recommend the Zinsser primers because they don’t require any sanding (a.k.a. less work!). I used the Cover Stain mainly because it was the cheapest of all of the options. You may want to ask the paint professional at your local hardware store what they recommend, but most of the reading I did recommended Zinsser. Also, if possible, try to open a window or keep a fan running, as the primer is pretty potent. My cats and I were pretty loopy by the end of the first coat. Good times! To save on clean-up time, I put a layer of aluminum foil in my paint tray before getting to work. Go ahead and pour some primer in the tray, get your foam roller ready, and go to town. I didn’t do this, but I would suggest using a 1″ foam brush to coat the edges and any beveling in your cabinets, then go over everything with the foam roller for a smoother finish. Once dry, turn over and coat the back side. I did one coat of primer per day, takes longer to dry than the paint.
4. While you’re waiting for your primer to dry, you can move back to the kitchen and paint the outside of the cabinet area. Foam-brush the inside edges and roll the exterior surfaces. I chose not to paint the shelving, but that is up to you. Seemed like more work than what I was looking for. :) Don’t forget to put Painters tape wherever you don’t want paint. I forgot to do this and now I have to paint my kitchen walls because there are a couple of white stripes that I wasn’t anticipating. Wah wahhh.
4b. If you’re painting cabinets that haven’t been painted before, you will likely want to caulk any of the open joints (where the cabinets meet; corners, etc.). When the wood hasn’t been painted, the joints aren’t noticeable as when they have even a coat of primer on them. Since there aren’t many projects I do that involve caulk, I just purchased a small tube (approx 5.5 oz) of multi-purpose caulk in white. I just put a thin line in the corner joint of my cabinets and smoothed it out with a damp paper towel (to remove excess). Makes a world of difference.
5. I did two coats of primer on the fronts of the doors, the outside of the cabinet area, and one coat on the backs & edges of the doors.
6. Time to paint! Even though I used white primer and white paint, I used a new roller cover and a new foam brush for the paint step. Same process as the primer, except I used two coats of paint on the edges and back of the doors, and three coats on the fronts of the doors. Since I was going with white paint and I have white appliances, I wanted to make sure I chose a paint that matched well and didn’t make the appliances look dingy/yellow. That process took me longer than the whole project, but I ended up going with Pittsburgh Paints’ “Ultra White” in semi gloss from Menards. If I could do it again, I would’ve chosen the glossy sheen as the doors seem to be more dull than I would’ve preferred. Live and learn.
7. Once the doors look properly covered and once they’re dry, it’s time to hang those babies back up. I probably could’ve painted one more coat on the fronts of my doors, but I was too anxious to get it done. Hanging the doors was easily the most frustrating part of the process for me. Put the hinges back on the door, and then screw them back into place on the frames. It was tricky for me because I was trying so hard to not ding or scratch my freshly painted beauties. Thankfully I only hung two of the doors upside down, so the most exciting part was finally here…
8. Put the door knobs back on! And voilà! You’re done!
The entire project took me four days and less than $50:
Approximate Cost (dependent of what supplies you currently have):
Hopefully this was helpful, and if there are questions you still may have, don’t hesitate to ask by adding a comment below. Thanks to all who have shared their positive comments! It has inspired me to finish the bottom half of the kitchen. :)
On Saturday, Jenny and I leave for Botswana. We’re going with Kids Around the World to build playgrounds for kids in the area. I’m so incredibly excited, but just as of yesterday the anxiety kicked in. Do I have everything I need? Will I be able to get everything done that I need to do before I leave? All these questions are filling my mind and I know that’s normal before a big trip like this, but the reality of how soon we leave is starting to make me anxious. I just need to relax and remember how amazingly ordained-by-God this trip was/is.
Anyway, we’re starting a blog to write about our adventures, so if you’re interested, definitely check it out: dumelabotswana2013.blogspot.com
Keep praying that I’ll be able to get all my funds in time for the trip. And if you want to donate to the cause, visit grouprev.com/botswanajb13. There was some miscommunication with KATW, and I ended up underestimating the flight costs by over $1000, so even though I thought I had surpassed my goal, I was actually UNDER funded by $1000. Kind of a thunder-stealer if you ask me, but I know it will all work out.