Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big Red.

Let me tell you all a little story.

There was once an obsessed girl with a cute husband who had a bright idea for a piece of furniture. This piece of furniture was once an ugly frog, and turned into a pretty handsome prince. Named Big Red.

Don't believe me? I'll prove it.

Here is the ugly frog. He had a rough life. (I don't know much about his life, but from the looks of it it was pretty hard.) There are two pieces to this monstrosity but we'll focus on the bottom piece first.

We gave him a little TLC, some sanding, a lot of paint, antiquing glaze, some new handles, and nice shiny top coat and this was the result.

The next hurdle came with the top part. The poor guy had been left out in the rain for long periods of time and had been water logged. It required some extensive re-constructive surgery on the top and bottom baseboards and the shelving. (thanks to my strong husband who performed the surgery)

Above is prior surgery and below is post.

We used the same materials on the top as we did on the bottom and then added a little fabric to the backing on this guy...

Here is the unveiling of the new and improved, Big Red.

It was such a fun project and Mike helped me soooo much. He basically did all the hard stuff for me. What a stud. Now we are done though and we need a new project...if anyone has any grand ideas I'm open to them. :) Thanks for all of your support.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shiny Little Stones

"And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women, and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness." Ether 6:3

When we read this chapter in Ether last night, for some reason this sentence really stuck out to me. It seemed as if it were louder than the rest of the words of the chapter and as soon as I got up the next morning, I was still thinking about it. I love how the scriptures can bring so many meanings to just one sentence. Of course when Moroni was writing these things, he is telling about the physical light and explaining how the Jaredites were able to cross the seas in literally the dark. But it really stood out to me in a more symbolic way and I started to think about the importance of recognizing and being grateful that the Lord is always giving us light so that we will never cross the "great waters" alone or in darkness.

I'm so grateful for that light and for those little "stones" that make all the difference.

I've been thinking lately about the ironic nature of life. This life is to test us, but it's also to bring us closer to experiencing true joy. I've always thought of these two things separately, never occurring at the same time and always opposite in nature. Although, as I'm growing up a little bit (yeah still pretty immature..) I think I'm starting to realize that these things happen simultaneously.

I've had the opportunity to see a special lady battling breast cancer every few weeks for fundraiser meetings and spent a little time with her family in those meetings. I went to a meeting like this last night, and something really hit me when I came into the house and saw Cyndi. She glowed. It was almost as if she were literally illuminated. I think the Lord has brought so many physical and spiritual blessings to her and so many of her own characteristics have been polished and perfected, I could see light shining through so clearly.

So many things shine through the darkness in my life and I'm grateful for those. I think a lot of that light comes from the children that God has placed on the earth to be part of my life. I'm sure if you are reading this, you probably are classified as one of those sources of light to me. So thanks. Thanks a whole lot. :)

PS Is there like a website people look up great titles for their posts. Because, seriously, title choosing is becoming very obnoxious. "Shiny Little Stones?" Yeah it really is the best I could come up with. And that is sad.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I have a new friend. Well, it's really an old friend with a makeover. 

I like her waaay better now. 

My sweet husband has had her since he was little, and when we got married he painted her up for us. 
(He thought the paint was black...maybe he did it in the dark?)

(this is the before)

Well, we spent some time together and I changed a few things. 
Here is her new look...

It was a fun project. 

Now I have a new one. 
Here is a little peek. 

(Mike already starting sanding before I could get a before picture. Just take my word for it when I say this thing was in even worse shape than shown here.)

And...speaking of transformations, I loooooved conference! Best thing ever! I hope I can make some of my own transformations after hearing all of the great counsel this weekend. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Fairytale Life

A few weeks ago, someone made a comment that got me thinking. I was in a big group and everyone was talking about their blogs. I was a new recruit to the blogging world so I was all giddy and excited that I was surrounded by all of these avid bloggers.

Then I heard the comment, "I don't even get on anymore, because I can't stand reading about all of these fairy-tale lives that are so far-fetched."

Oh. You don't like looking at people's lives? Because I do. A lot.

So I've been thinking about all of this and wondering where the fine line is between two things: being positive and being honest.

When I went on the first date with my husband, I noticed in his 1999 Camry (that I have the pleasure of driving the majority of the time now) he had little post it notes on the dash. There were three quotes on them and they all had to do with having a positive attitude. I remember one of them said, "Positive Attitude=Positive Result, Fair Attitude=Fair Results, and Poor Attitude=Poor results." It was a quote from an Apostle, and of I'll be honest in admitting that I don't remember who it was. I try to live this way and make the decision to be positive about my life. I don't post my complaints. (and trust me I definitely have them..)

Going back to my original question, I've wondered if I portray some fairytale life that I live on my blog. I have a great life. I won't lie. And I have a wonderful husband. I couldn't even try to lie about that. He treats me with respect and love and I can't imagine happiness without him. We both really enjoy our jobs and we are blessed to have wonderful families and darling nephews as well as a niece. In all, we live pretty well.

But we have shortcomings. And I hope I never try to hide those. I wouldn't be honest if I tried to act like I don't have issues. Sometimes I'm insecure, and sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be satisfied with the size I wear, or the way my hair looks, or the clothes I stare at each morning in my closet. I care what people think about me. And I have a hard time looking at the present and being completely satisfied. Not because I'm not happy, but because I always want more.

I'd also be lying if I tried to act like I am always happy. As much as I try to choose not to, I have bad days. I cry. A lot. And sometimes over the silliest things. I get stressed. And most of the time, I can't even answer the question, "what's wrong?" because I honestly don't know. I get frustrated with people, especially at work, and I usually say my prayers before work asking the Lord to please help me to be kind to others that day. Not because just for fun, but because I know I struggle with it at times.

I've had trials. Some bigger and some small. But compared to some, not as many as I feel like I deserve. I sometimes wonder when something awful is going to happen to me, because I don't feel deserving to be blessed the way I am. Sometimes I feel fearful of what trials will come my way. Sometimes I hope that I can be a better person by my own doing, and not have to learn by struggling. But I'm sure that's not the will of Heavenly Father.

As I think about all of these things, I find something beautiful. These struggles and shortcoming make me a better person and they especially bring me humility. And even more importantly, the problems we face bring us closer to those who also share the same problems. I don't want to have perfect friends or a perfect husband, because I would compare myself, and I think we find friendship and bonds by sharing our shortcomings and our problems.

And back to being positive, I'm all about it. I have a lot of problems, but there is no reason to focus on those. I know I can be insecure, but I'm working hard on finding joy in the journey. I know I am not always as cheerful or happy as I'd like to be, but I know that my Savior brings me true joy and I'm grateful to know Him and to learn from Him. I know I will have trials, but I also know that they will be short and that I will be able to grow because of them.

And that's about all of my thoughts.