Belated Blogiversary!

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a year since I spontaneously decided to try this whole “blogger” thing. If you go back and read my very first post Hello World, you can hear the hesitancy behind my words as I mull over all my preconceived notions of blogging; After reading those words back to myself just now, I’m glad I acted on the whim to launch My Colonial Remodel that late Saturday evening, and thankful I continued to give it life to this day! It’s become my main creative outlet, one of my passions, plus it’s a lot more satisfactory to be writing to a small audience rather than penning songs in a journal (that may or may NEVER be heard)! What started as a means of keeping the family up-to-date on renovations is now my fondest brainchild, and my hope is that it would continue to grow beyond my normal social sphere.  Although… I find it quite humorous that I referred to myself as a “lightweight”, and was able to predict my “posting-inconsistency” even back then… I must know myself better than I realize!!!

As a sort of tribute to this pseudo-significant milestone in My Colonial Remodel‘s history, I had planned on doing a reFAB giveaway (one of my vintage furniture-upscale pieces), but long story short – I forgot; and now with a surprise joint giveaway scheduled for November’s end, I decided to forgo the whole thing and just accept that I let this momentous day pass me by. I had even warned myself before going away on vacay, “make sure you don’t miss your Blogiversary post while in Cali!”, but as if I lost my head at the border, I completely spaced it until NOW. August is looooong gone, and we’ve now reached the tip-tail of September, but I’m hoping a last-ditch-effort-entry will help me get over this very-anti-blogger-ish mistake I’ve made!

OH… and to make matters worse, SOMEHOW I had it in my mind that the “blogiversary” and the “yay, it’s officially been a year in the colonial” dates were one-and-the-same; but in reality, our official move-in date (August 28th) came much later than my first blog post, which actually went live June 17th, 2012. Those first couple months were spent writing about my grief over losing The Perfect House, feeling cramped by Our Newlywed Condo, and the beginning stages of the renno. When you look at it from this angle, I’m suddenly 3+ months beLATEd, and probably should’ve considered a completely different title for this post all together! PUNCH. ME. IN. THE. FACE.

With all ^that^ said, “THE” colonial remodel didn’t become “MY” colonial remodel until the day I could call this house my home – Tuesday, August 28, 2012. It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 months (to the day in fact), since we were driving the U-Haul back and forth, loading and unloading the friends-n-family-caravan! To coin the phrase, “time flies when you’re having fun”, this fast-first-year is a tried-true-testament to how much FUN we’ve really been having!(?) The kind of fun where you rip your hair out in dire frustration at the end of the day, sleep-it-off, then wake up in the delusion that “TODAY will be nothing like yesterday”! #ain’tNOthing #timeflieswhenyourehavingfun #LIVINtheremodelLYFE #JT&JIMMYFALLONskit #WATCHit

What I’ve Learned This Year:

Patience: Slow progress is still progress. If I choose to be patient and focus on the task at hand (rather than the finished product), the process of taking the less-than-perfect and transforming it into something one-of-a-kind can be amply rewarding. Contentment: Thinking too much about what I want something to look like can start to drive me mad. As long as I remind myself of how fortunate I am to even have a home like this, and continually count my MANY other blessings, all the other day-to-day frustrations seem meaningless. Focusing on the Positive: One of the ways I’ve motivated myself when feeling swallowed whole by the glaring remodel responsibilities and endless journey ahead is by looking back at where we started. You quickly forget how things used to be, so you feel as though you’ve gotten nowhere. But then nothing puts progress into perspective quite like side-by-side comparisons! (Kind of like watching an underwhelming infomercial for weight-loss/acne/cleaning solutions… UNTIL they bust out those convincing before & afters!)

Highs & Lows:

With so many remodel blogs out there, you can start to feel like a pointless needle lost in a cyber haystack. But – I really felt like I had found my niche because of one distinct factor that set me apart from all the others: the fact that mine was a COLONIAL. I developed so much of my blogger’s identity from this ONE defining detail that I had a partial meltdown when I learned of the famous YOUNGHOUSELOVE‘s most recent renno project… an old colonial! Sherry Petersik started out just like me, posting updates of their remodel progress for close friends and family, but within a few years it blossomed into a full-time job for both her and her husband, and now they’re onto their 3rd house! I seized the opportunity to meet them this January while they were doing their first book tour, and it’s one of the most inspirational experiences I’ve ever had. I introduced myself as a remodel blogger and told them they were my “DIY paragons” (in a total non-sappy way), then John Petersik gave me the advice to “keep at it and never stop what I’m doing”. He later tweeted me in response to my IG post, and I of course had one of those embarrassing jumping-up-and-down-starstruck-freakout-moments:) Definitely a highlight of my year!!! Oh the irony of his advice that day now that they’ve started a colonial remodel… probably among the worst things that could happen to hinder my blog’s success. How do I even stand a chance? younghouselove signing younghouselove signing younghouselove tweet This hasn’t changed my admiration of YOUNGHOUSELOVE whatsoever, if anything it’s caused me to heed his advice even more and focus on the other things that make My Colonial Remodel unique. I’ll admit that at first there were the irrational thoughts of just giving up all together… it felt as though the entrepreneurial part of me sort of waved the white flag. But when push comes to shove, I’ve always known that the only thing capable of setting me apart, is ME. It’s good to have those “younghouseloves” in your life to challenge and inspire you, as long as you don’t change yourself to fit into any certain mould. I may not be married to my co-writer, I may not have the biggest budget, and I may never be mentioned in magazines or featured on HGTV (although that would be an unreal dream come true!), but I have always had a passion for fashion, decor, design, music, art, writing, anything that taps into my creative core.  Just meet the 18-mo-old version of me who refused to let an item enter her wardrobe that wasn’t pink and you’ll better understand where I’m coming from🙂  If I put my artistic personality and unconventional ideas at the forefront, staying true to who I am, no one can accuse me of trying to be like someone else… even if I am in the midst of renovating the same style house as the most successful DIY bloggers around!

Looking Forward:

I’ve been working on a whole new plan for My Colonial Remodel! New pages, new images, new formatting, and I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some guest features as well! A few months back (before the baby-bump was too obvious) I did a blog photo shoot with the multi-talented Chris Roe of croemedia.com. He recently sent me some finished images that I am SO excited about! Out of all the photographers I’ve worked with (when modeling years back), he is BY FAR superior. He was able to capture the essence of who I am with all his final editing skills, which I find to be the HARDEST thing to do in still photos. Many times you think you’ve adequately communicated the vibe you’re going for, but the end result still lacks the X-factor. Once I have redesigned my site with some of these images, the pages will clearly speak to my creative personality and immediately tell a person what to expect if they were to read my blog!

My Colonial Remodel Image

Isn’t this uh-mazing!?! SO ME!

I’m looking for some constructive opinions from my readers as well: What would you like to see more of? – More How-To’s? – More Pictures? – More Day-to-Day Projects? – More Design Ideas? – My aunt recently sent me a photo of her family room and asked me to help her decorate her wall – I LOVE doing things like this! Perhaps this is another component I could add somehow? You tell me what you want to read/see! This next year is going to seem much more productive than our first year. Rather than spending our money on behind-the-scene investments like laundry room plumbing, power-tools and a MUCH-NEEDED mattress… we are planning on doing a full kitchen re-design and spending more time on esthetics! Before I go… a Blogiversary post wouldn’t be complete without a look-back at 2012-2013’s progress! Check out my Before/After Collage of some (not all) of our biggest projects this year!

My Colonial Remodel 2012-2013:

Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal Front Porch Front Yard

Entry

Front Door Entryway Staircase

Boudoir

Living Room

Den

Office

Dining

Dining Room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Family Room

Family Room

Deck (off family room)

Backyard

Garage

Garage

Bathrooms

Powder Room Kid's Bath Master Bathroom Master Closet

Ezekiel’s Room

Ezekiel's Room

Cruz’s Nursery (soon to be)

Cruz's Room

Top Faves:

My Colonial Remodel

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to leave your constructive opinions for me in Comments!

– B

Advertisements

Clean Sweep

In my post Make the Most of March, I talked about plans for a clean sweep of the house, the potential of a garage sale, and my overall commitment to having a productive spring. To be honest, after I put my ambitions out there for all to see, I began to question if I’d gotten WAY out in front of myself! BUT –  my absolute frustration with trying to remodel amidst so much clutter and chaos was enough to keep me trudging through the busy spring. I sit here today with a sense of relief and accomplishment… you know… that feeling you get when you take a deeeeep breath and it seems to bring so much more oxygen and refreshment to your brain than ever before!? Yeah, that feeling:)


Have you ever attempted to go through your closet and get rid of old clothes only to end up keeping EVERYTHING? “This is comfy, this will never go out of style, this was expensive, this might be good for some hypothetical event I will never go to”… and it ALL goes back in the closet. #fail

This sort of self-talk sabotages our attempts to purge other things too; mementos, furniture, decor, dishes, appliances, electronics, tools, ANYTHING! “I’ve had this since I was 5, this’ll work until I find what I really want, so n’ so gave this to me, I might take up skiing one day, this is really rare china, this is handy when (never) making omelets, this chair has been handed down for 3 generations, I might actually (want to?) take a picture with this digital camera one day instead of using my convenient smartphone”…  all lies we tell ourselves while wrestling with our inner hoarder.

This time, I put all nostalgic and logical reasoning aside and answered ONE straight-to-the-point question:
“Would I rather have this or the money?”

Being Miss Sentimental, I was surprised at how many things I was willing to let go of when I simply viewed each item as potential for a fatter pocketbook! (If I was a cartoon, one conversation cloud would’ve had an image of the item I was holding, the other cloud a big brown sack with a dollar $ign on the front of it… I found myself mischievously looking up at those moneybags every time!)

“all I see is signs, all I see is dollah signs”

To make sure I was REALLY being honest with myself, I continued to sift through all my belongings 3 and 4 times (over the course of a few months), and with each re-sweep I found at least one thing I decided I could do without. Soon my house began to feel less crowded, and the garage was filled to overflowing! I could have opened my own mini store! My in-laws and immediate family also started using my garage as a dumping grounds for their spring-cleaning outtakes… which I MUCH appreciated because they didn’t even want a profit percentage! Nothing got thrown away (besides old receipts, tax forms and pay stubs)! If it was broken, damaged, missing, it still went in the “sale” pile; Happy Meal toys = sale pile; used Burt’s Bees products (discovered Z’s allergic) = sale pile; anything worth a penny = sale pile! WHY? Because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, plus all that nickel-and-diming really adds up!

Pre-Garage Sale…

What’s crazy is these pictures were taken when the garage was MAYBE 1/2 full!

Then came the hardest part: Making signs, organizing displays, and pricing everything for the sale! My oh my, did that take FOR-EVERRR! The night before opening, I was up till 3AM getting everything prepped; I had advertised on a few different sites and the signs were up… so I had no choice but to stay awake if I was gonna be ready by morning!

Fun DIY sign I made for the front yard!

I was SUPPOSE to open at 9a that Friday, but by 8a I had people waiting at the doors! We opened early, and from there I don’t remember a dead moment till closing at 5! (We discovered our street is the prime location for this sort of thing!) Other than quickly shoving a piece of Hawaiian pizza down my throat, I went the whole day without eating and barely making time to use the bathroom. (FRIDAY’S FINAL TILL: $900!!!) Saturday was slower but still steady, then on Sunday we did a “take all you can fit in a bag for $5” deal! By then we just wanted to get the stuff out of our hair even if it meant we were gonna lose some money. (We had two particular customers who were so ecstatic over the Sunday steals that they have left some forever lasting imprints on our memories, HAHA! #askmyhubby)

I most certainly couldn’t have pulled it off without all my HELP! My mom and brother helped the first day, my dad and husband joined the second day… and my 8 yr old sis ran a lemonade stand out on the sidewalk to lure in the customers! #showmeyourmoneymaker! When all was said and done, we made $1,590 that weekend, plus another $90 (so far) from consigning a large remainder of the clothing – and FINALLY – we ended it all with a pretty sizable Goodwill drop. The end result…

CLEAN HOUSE. CLEAN GARAGE. CLEAN SLATE!
Look at all that room for working on projects!!!

Ezekiel’s world just grew a whole lot bigger!

For more advice on How To Have a Successful Clean Sweep, visit my houseworkTIPS page!

Thanks for reading the Wednesday Weekly!

– B

Sunday SALE

I previewed this Sunday Sale on Instagram yesterday thinking it would be good advertising, but I didn’t think I would sell every last item before the day was out! The only things left in ^this^ pic from my old condo bedroom is the set of leucite lamps… oh and that little white elephant! Poor guy got left behind😥

Acrylic Lamps (set of 2) $20

Hand Carved White Elephant $8

 

I do have a few more items that weren’t advertised yesterday…

Black/White Stripe Lamp Shade $7

SOLD

Vintage Refab Dining Table $375
(includes 2 antique cane chairs)

SOLD

Seats 8
54″x54″ Square (including leaf)

 

4 Flatware Drawers
Finished with Faux Crystal Knobs

 

Custom Rounded Corners

West Elm Capiz Pendant Light $150

Dining Room I could NOT find a better picture from when this pendant was hanging in the condo, so I posted one (below) that used to be on the WE website when they still carried the LONG pendant. Feel free to do a price comparison with their short Capiz by clicking here! I LOVE THIS THING… but our lower ceilings just don’t accommodate  😦

West Elm Capiz Chandelier

West Elm Capiz Pendant

“Find me a new home!”
This beauty deserves to be showcased… not in storage! 

West Elm Capiz Pendant

SOLD

 Email me or leave a comment to inquire about any of these items!

brittneylynne@icloud.com

Happy Sunday!

– B

#wibd

What I've been doing

What I’ve Been Doing lately

Mostly going crazy pulling my hair out while imagining what it’ll be like bringing a newborn home to an environment that’s NOT so baby-friendly! The things that mattered most to me with my first baby were safety, cleanliness, and organization; three things lacking in My Colonial Remodel! I fear once Cruz arrives I could suddenly find myself so preoccupied that I won’t have time to work on ANY housing projects, so the next couple months I’m trying to cram, cram, CRAM!

WIBD #1. Coming Up with a Plan for the Stairwell  

There are still 5 spindles missing from our non-forgiving, wooden staircase, and lately I’ve been having horrible nightmares over it!

1, 2…

…3 (Please don’t call Child Services on me!)

…4, 5! 

This has made for some high stress situations in the morning when trying to get ready! Let’s just say Ezekiel is getting used to being trapped in the bathroom with me on a daily basis because it’s the only way I can guarantee his safety while putting my face on. When he was still crawling we had a gate to keep him from climbing the dangerous steps, and the only time he was ever upstairs was when he was in his crib; now that he’s almost 2, he pretty much goes up and down as he pleases, so long as I have an eye on him! However, once full-time baby Cruz is here, I’ll no longer have the luxury of being able to chaperone my toddler 24/7, so this project needs to be done BEFORE NOVEMBER or else I’m in big trouble.  

RALPH LAUREN NYC

Ralph Lauren is my current inspiration for the banister – I was having a hard time making the decision between wrought iron and wood… but then I saw this pic on Made by Girl‘s IG and it was just what I needed to push me over the deciding edge! Of course I chose the more expensive option, but it just screams COLONIAL (don’t you think?), and I’m all about that! In the long run, it’ll be a better investment because even in brand new homes wooden spindles need replaced all the time… and living in a house with 3 boys, I think it’s safe to presume roughhousing will be the culprit behind many broken things around here! In order to have these danger zones fixed before baby comes however, it’s looking like we may have to leave the existing wobbly railing for now and just pick up a few spare spindles from Habitat for Humanity. It may not look as pretty in the meantime, but with a little paint and reinforcement, at least it will be SAFE(r)!

MY CAREFUL CLIMBER
Luckily, Ezekiel has never paid much attention to these dangerous openings – but it only takes once – and somehow I don’t think the next lil’ guy is gonna have his same cautious personality!

WIBD #2. Pricing Out Moulding

The entire upper level is still without casings and baseboards, exposing loose gravel and drywall along the whole perimeter…

Exposed Drywall (“No picking, Zekiel!”)

Dirt (“No digging, Zekiel!”)

DRAFTY WINDOWS
For energy costs alone, it would be worth bumping moulding to the tip-top of the list just to eliminate the draft whooshing in around these windows during the cold winter months. #burrrrrrrrrr!

Loose Gravel (“No ‘wocks’, Zekiel!“)

Not only is this a choking hazard, but it also provides the perfect pathway for marching in the whole cast of “A Bug’s Life”… only these ants aren’t quite as cute as Disney’s! Let’s just say, I now know how STINK bugs developed their rank reputation, and my borderline arachnophobia is at an all-time high. #noANIMALshouldhaveEIGHTlegs #getOUTofmyBED! My poor baby Cruz, sleeping in his crib so helpless and dependent, at the mercy of the great outdoors! That thought doesn’t bring an ounce comfort!

Hatched Stink Bug Egg Cluster
I was so grossed out to find these embedded into the side of my couch!

Stink Bug
found this one today in Cruz’s soon-to-be nursery, of course!

We’re in the process of dealing with HORNETS too!

After being realistic about the cost of finishing the whole 2nd level, we decided to finish the hallway and both boy’s rooms, but we’re waiting a little longer on the master, guest room, guest bath, and bonus room:( As much as I can get impatient with operating in such slow stages, I appreciate how my husband does everything he can to allow for certain projects WITHOUT putting a penny on credit. I’m sure I’ll be especially thankful 10-20 years from now, when I have a finished home and ZERO debt! #DIYers4Lyfe

Ezekiel’s moulding is already done… now we’re just waiting on materials for the nursery & hallway!

Special Delivery!

Ezekiel’s Room (before)

Looking better already! 

Precision is everything! Thanks again for your help, Pops!

Pictures of his finished room
soon to come!

WIBD #3. Designing Closet Layouts

The day this house was officially ours, we were here tearing things apart. Pretty much, if we didn’t like it, it was gone. The bedroom closets were one of the first to go because they were poorly designed and cheap quality; definitely not part of the original build otherwise they would’ve been solid oak to match the woodwork, like the linen closet in the hallway.

The most frustrating aspect about having no closets has been the master bedroom... there’s just something about heavy-laden clothing racks, unorganized shoes and overflowing plastic drawers that really takes away from the romantic aesthetic! #clutteredmind

Isn’t it just so relaxing in here!?

It hasn’t been too bad fitting all of Ezekiel’s belongings into his drawer organizers since his clothes are so tiny (not so tiny lately), but I’m not the biggest fan of the multipurpose “chalkboard hanger”…

Ezekiel’s “Dresser”

Dual Function

After looking around and around, these are the closets I’ve chosen for the boys’ bedrooms:

Ikea “Stolmen”

The Stolmen storage system at Ikea has a large variety of combinations to choose from, and after sketching out a few different arrangements, I think I’ve come up with the perfect combo for the boys! If all goes as planned, Ezekiel’s system should be purchased by beginning of October… and I hope and pray to have a closet for Cruz by the beginning of November! After all, he’s scheduled to arrive on the 24th!

The master closet is a whole ‘nother story on a whole ‘nother timeline! (My writing isn’t always the most refined… but I try to be as authentic as possible while sitting on this end of the keyboard, and if I was talking to you in real life, that’s exactly how I would’ve said it!)

DREAM CLOSET!!!
Jaime Pressly – Lucky August Issue

I have lofty ideas that I’ll own a beautiful, custom, magazine-worthy closet someday… until then, my rolling wardrobes will just have to do! In the meantime we’ve made some progress on the closet flooring*, so I was able to wheel these bad-boys in there and free up some space in the bedroom! 

Master “Closet”
(*notice the grout is fixed!?)

I’m satisfied for now;)

 There are so many other important projects that need to be done before I could justify starting in on the master closet; the gutted bathroom downstairs, the lack of flooring in the kitchen & family room, the broken countertops, the plumbing issues, it just goes on & on…

For Example:
It looks like we never clean our tub, but even after Kenzi’s Kleaning is done scrubbing it down, it only takes one person showering to bring up all this gunk from the drain! We’ve tried EVERYTHING!

^These^ are all the things I keep juggling in my head and trying to decide WHICH ONE COMES FIRST. When working with a skinny budget, you find yourself feeling like you just don’t know where to start, especially when each and every project is such high priority and high cost! But like anything in life, you have to start somewhere, and I decided the best place to begin was making some extra money to increase the remodel ca$h flow. We’ve GOT to make some of these hypothetical projects a reality, one way or another!

So, what’s a great way to come up with money out of thin air???

WIBD #4.

 RESALE!

This is a whole post in and of itself! Read next week and FIND OUT HOW WE CAME UP WITH OVER $1,600 in just 3 days!!!

Signing off late again, so enjoy your Thursday!
Goodnight,
– B

Renovation Vacation

 

WANT to apologize for missing so many Wednesday Weekly posts while I’ve been away on vacay, but then again, it’s possible that I may have gained enough inspiration and rejuvenation from these last few weeks to spark the next umpteen posts… and for that I am not sorry!
I’m officially beyond my “blogger’s block” and full of things I want to share with the world (so prepare yourself to be blogged out, or bored, depending on how worthy-of-being-read my next words may be)!

Painting the Background

Every summer since Jared and I have been married, we’ve spent two weeks in Palm Springs, fully embracing the financial advantages of having parents with a Marriott timeshare! It’s always been the highlight of our year – the place where we recover from our annual youth summer camp and escape from all the emotional taxes of pastoral work.

That is until two years ago, when vacation for my husband became riddled with fear and anxiety; he began experiencing pain and discomfort so unusual and impossible to ignore that he decided it was time to give the ol’ “self exam”. Poor guy, even after discovering a lump, I kept telling him he needed to stop being such a hypochondriac and just enjoy his vacation while it lasted because I was SURE it was a common cyst and that he was totally fine. He called our physician who scheduled him a visit for the day after we arrived home, and from here everything progressed very quickly. We hadn’t even made it out of the hospital parking garage when he was called back in to review his test results with a specialist… then just two days later, I found myself sitting in a waiting room while my husband was having surgery to remove testicular cancer from his body.

LIVE STRONG

Being pregnant at the time, the surgeon warned us that we could have fertility problems in the future, but encouraged us to be thankful that we already had one on the way. The whole situation was so sudden and surreal that I found myself in denial of the words I was hearing. THIS HAD TO BE A DREAM; Just three days before I was laying in the desert sun, having a conversation with Jared about how it felt like we were FINALLY entering a season of rest in our lives after years of different trials, and we were so excited to be starting a family together. My… how life is unpredictable! Needless to say, that trip ended rather abruptly and two months later I entered the sleepless life of new-mommyville.

Last summer we tried the whole “stay-cation” thing… we had a 9 month old baby, still living in our cramped condo, and in the process of getting the newly purchased colonial move-in-ready. It seemed ridiculous to go out of town at such a time, so the whole idea of vacationing at home seemed to be the responsible thing to do. Now looking back, and taking into consideration the stress of the previous year, the wisest thing we could’ve done was get away and rest before taking on the HUGE task of a remodel! We used up all my hubby’s PTO, spent lots of money, and had nothing much to show for it besides exhaustion. Instead of shopping bags full of hot deals scored at the Desert Hills Outlets, we had not-so-hot bags under our eyes; Instead of using our two weeks of “extra” time making gobs of headway on the house as planned, we found ourselves quickly running out of steam (or rather discovering there was no steam left in our tanks to start with). We said, NEVER AGAIN!

Note: If you live in a remodel, you simply GOTTA GET AWAY, even if you don’t feel like you need it. Please hear me loud and clear, DIYers, I’m trying to save you from a burnout! #yourPOOFpoint

PALM PARADISE

Our Renovation Vacation 

Now that you have that bit of background, lets talk about the brutal irony of this year’s vacation from renovation…
I’ve always known that God has a real sense of humor, but now I’m asking myself, “What kind of humor is this anyway???” God! It’s cruel and unusual punishment is what it is! (Not really, but He gets my jest!)

There comes a time when even the most beautiful things need a little facelift in order to remain beauty-full, and THIS year, it was my palm paradise that was scheduled for upkeep. We ran away from the unfinished chaos we call home to be in a place that would bring some sorta “feeling of completion” or whatever, just to find ourselves amidst the renno of the decade! Totally stupid and ethereal sounding, but true…

 Imagine laying out at the pool that first morning of your highly anticipated getaway, tanning your sun-thirsty legs thinking, “Now this, THIS RIGHT HERE people, is what I’ve neeeeeeeeeeeeeded!!! But wait, before you finish that fantastic thought… CRASH! CLANK! CLATTER! BOOOOOM! Wait for it… EEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRK! TAP-TAP! BAMMM! And don’t ignore the super sexy bulldozer to your left that loves to back-it-up like BEEP! BEEP! BEEEEEP! Then, the foul sound of **** swear words …………. “Oh sorry, is that coming from my face!?” Well ehhhemmm, excuse me, but maybe I wouldn’t have such a dirty mouth if there wasn’t a blankin’ work crew throwing windows and walls over the balcony into those eyesores called dumpsters right there! This is definitely NOT what I needed. If I hear one more drill I think I’m gonna lose my mind! WHAT’S THAT? Oh NBD, they’re just grinding out a giant hole in the concrete less than 5 feet away from my baby boy as he obliviously floats in the pool! “I appreciate the new safety railing, but in the meantime could you guys provide safety goggles for all the innocent bystanders too? Not professional, Mister Marriott!

We had hoped it wouldn’t last long, but it continued on through day 2, 3, 4… Everyday until the day when we had to move rooms because our suite was next in line for renovating! In the end, the move was good because although we lost an amazing view, the worker’s outhouses parked in front of our building were starting to get a little ripe in the extreme heat! #ihatehoneybuckets I know I sound high maintenance right now, but when paying to stay in a nice resort, you feel entitled to a certain level of snootiness! Am I right?
It’s really the small things that matter when you live without certain luxuries – actual countertops instead of chopped up makeshift surfaces, finished closets and flooring, functioning faucets with adequate water pressure… One of the conversations we had on the 17hr drive down there was seriously about how much we were looking forward to using a shower that actually drained! AND.THEN.IT.DIDN’T. Because not being ankle-deep in my dirty body water was just too much to ask, apparently“Yes, I WILL take some of that cheeeeese with my whine, thank YOU!” #notashamed

Being creatures of habit and tradition, it’s funny how dependent one can become on consistency and familiarity. There are a few things we do EVERY YEAR when in Palm Springs… but as I’ve been saying, this year things were just different.
Amuse me by reading some of these meaningless details:

The River – a development similar to Bridgeport Village that was built atop a manmade river, full of cute shops, nice restaurants, movie theatre, & more. This year, “The River” had no river. All the water had been emptied because they were fixing the drainage system and it felt like you were dining in an empty dam!

College of the Dessert Street Market – This is something we’ve always enjoyed doing on Sundays, usually full of 100’s of tents selling fun things like unique food/drink, clothing, accessories, knockoffs like Louis Vuitton & Chanel where I’ve found fake copies of designer purses and sunglasses for dirt cheap. This year… It was nothing but an empty parking lot with maybe 10-20 tents, none of which had anything worthy of buying… Unless you’re looking for some bad-smelling perfumes? Anybody???

Dessert Hills Outlets – Only the greatest outlets around!!! As if they weren’t big enough already, they were in the middle of expansion, so the walkways were all boarded up, much like being funneled through a rat race! But hey, at least they were still open! Actually, this was my favorite year of shopping to date! #deals&steals

Tanning – Normally there’s nothin’ but clear skies and blazin’ sun… This year there were days that were cloudy, rainy, and even a couple of flash floods! (thank goodness for iPhone emergency alerts!)

Sleeping In – Ezekiel normally sleeps from 8pm – 8am every night… But his California clock was set to go off every morning between 4a and 6:30a! I am NOT a morning person whatsoEVER!

Driving – Ok it doesn’t fall under “tradition” as much as necessity, but it seemed as though every major road to get from point A to point B was crawling with flaggers, cones, and gravel! Did the whole city get together and decide to have a giant work party!? The good thing is, next year should be better than ever! Right???

All things aside…  

… We still enjoyed every moment!

Digging Deeper

In a way, I feel like my life has been under construction… some sort of “spiritual renovation” if you will. Every which way I turn, there’s always some blaring reminder that I am far too reliant upon circumstances, environment, and experiences for my contentment and peace of mind. I often find that REALITY FALLS SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS, yet, I continue to set myself up for disappointment by letting myself romanticize and anticipate the unknown. Not a healthy strategy for happiness! (My dad tried to teach me this lesson after a few major letdowns I had growing up… Yet it continues to be one of my silly struggles in life, haha!) So, I’ve decided that from here on out I’m going to try and focus all my energy on TODAY… Not tomorrow, not the next big thing, not where I’m gonna be or where I want to be; I need to learn to find JOY in the here and now, EVEN IF THE HERE & NOW IS LESS THAN WHAT IT COULD BE. (PS: this includes health, finances, relationships, parenting, ministry, business, My Colonial Remodel, all my many goals & dreams… oh and next year’s vacation!) Matt. 6:25-34
There – that’s my deep insight for your coming weekend!

Stay tuned for Wednesday’s “WIBD” (what I’ve been doing) Hint: It involves some MAJOR nesting!

Enjoy your Friday, Friends!

– B