Friday, April 19, 2013

the tale of the two coffee tables

The family room remodel had been done for over a year and to make the room complete, we were in need of a new coffee table.  Now, not just any coffee table would do.  I had my heart set on this one:
but, I just couldn't bring myself to spend the kind of money on it they were asking. (Nor would Dan allow me to spend the kind of money on it they were asking). But that's ok, right? The carpenter has skills.  He makes all kinds of things.  He can make this simple coffee table, right?

In case you can't tell, the base of the table is made of metal and the top of old, weathered, wood. Dan has experience welding and could have welded the base of the table, but the problem was that he didn't own a welder.  It's not easy to weld a table without a welder.  So, he contacted a welder here in town to see if he could weld the base for this table.  Dan took the plans to this guy and showed him what we wanted.  Then he asked what it might cost to weld the base for this table.  It was a bit more than we were willing to spend.  Dan told the welder that he needed to discuss it with his wife first.

At that point, Dan and I both agreed that that was a little more than we were willing to spend on a coffee table.  Bummer.  Well, next option, there was also another coffee table I kinda liked at World Market. And they were having a sale.  And I had a coupon. So we made a trip to Sioux Falls to World Market and came home with a good deal on a new coffee table.  We brought it home, got it in the family room and it looked great. And what made it even better was that we got a great deal on it.  Another project complete...or so we thought...

About a week after we came home with our sweet deal from World Market, Dan got a phone call.  It was the welder.  He was calling to tell us our table was done.  You know, the table that we agreed was too expensive and we decided we didn't want made.  Yep.  That table was done and we owed him for his work.  (At his point, I'm not quite sure where the lines of communication failed but Dan felt it may have possibly been his fault that he wasn't more clear with the welder) so at that point we owed the welder some dollars and we owned one and a half coffee tables.

We got the metal base home and put it in the family room to check it out.  My first thought was that it looked pretty big.  Well, it looked pretty big because it was 10 inches wider than we had planned and on top of that, though Dan said he told the welder not to sand the corners of the table where the pieces were welded together, he did anyway, leaving bright, shiny marks on each corner of a dark, metal table. At that point, we just weren't quite sure what to do so we took it downstairs to the basement so we wouldn't be reminded of the big bucks we spent on a too big, shiny-spotted piece of metal.

So we ignored it for awhile and then I got to thinking that I'd rather have the initial coffee table that I wanted all along and since we had to pay for it anyway, why not try to work with it.  Dan then watched some u-tube videos on how to faux finish to look like metal.  Which is too bad we had to faux finish metal to look like metal but we had to get rid of those bright, shiny spots on every corner of the table.

The mixture of paint (left over from art class in college) Dan used to create a metal look. 

Dan working his faux finishing magic

Once he finally got the color just right on the metal base, it was time to figure out what to do for the top of the table.  We originally had some old, weathered wood that he got off an old dock at the lakes, but remember how the base of the table turned out to be 10 inches bigger than we planned?  Those boards didn't fit on the base of this massive table.  Well, it just so happened that around that same time, Dan came across some other raw, weathered wood that had been sitting under his parents' neighbor's house for years:

Dan cut it down and ran it through the planer.  It was time to figure out how to finish it.  Dan used a variety of different stains and mixtures for us to choose from:

We decided just to use a matte varnish on the wood and call it good.  And our finished product:

And in case you were wondering what happened to the coffee table from World Market - I put it up for sale on Sioux Center Swap and it was sold within a day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

jada | 7 months

The little lady is seven months.  She continues to be happy, healthy and oh, so sweet.
She currently:

has two little teeth

loves cereal

likes green beans

doesn't like pears or sweet potatoes

loves her brother

is very curious

is maybe starting to become a momma's girl

has a little mouth but a big smile

likes to talk

still cannot roll from her tummy to her back.  The doctor is not concerned about this since she can sit up and has hit the other developmental milestones.  The doctor compared it to how some babies never crawl, they just go straight to walking.

will only sleep in her carseat for naps but will sleep in her crib through the night

has been nicknamed "Cece" by her brother

Friday, April 12, 2013

i feel like a failure and it's because i am

I often find myself feeling overwhelmed and barely staying afloat when it comes to being a mom and wife. Along with all the things I need to do, I feel this pressure to do more and be more as a mom and wife.  I know there's so much I should be doing and struggle to figure out how to do it all.  I mean, how do all these other moms manage to take care of their children, play with them, teach them academically and spiritually, shepherd their little hearts all while they clean, do laundry, meal plan, cook, go grocery shopping, blog, spend quality time with their husband, find time to learn and grow spiritually, work out, the list goes on and on...

I was curious to know how other mothers do it all.  Really, what I was looking for was some tips and ideas for how to plan my days better; how to make meal planning faster; creative ideas on how to teach my children; I wanted to know what other moms did to grow their little children spiritually; wanted to know what kind of things other moms did to play with their kids (because I can only take so much of playing "trucks"). So to whom do I turn but to my dear friend, Paige. I emailed her to see if she had a good plan to tackle every day life with so much on the to-do-list. Her response brought tears to my eyes and a feeling of relief to my heart. Her response was NOT what I expected but absolutely what I NEEDED to hear.  And I wanted to share it because maybe it's just what you need to hear too:

okay, so i have to tell you that your email was encouraging, but it also made me want to cry that it would seem to anyone that i have it all together/do it all.  i am doing everyone a huge disservice if that is remotely what it sounds like!  in fact, the last week or so, i have been so convicted about my laziness and neglect at home.  i bet you didn't think you were signing on for a novel when you emailed me, but here you go, free of charge!

here is the sober reality of my life:  i spend an embarrassing amount of time reading books or looking at pinterest or reading blogs and ignoring the kids - and if they interrupt me while i'm doing whatever it is i'm doing, i get so upset and short with them.  when the housework piles up because i've procrastinated for too long, i get stressed out because there's so much to do and it's difficult to do with the kids underfoot.  the kids spend hours a day playing by themselves while i freak out or veg out.  honestly, i actively look for ways to ignore my kids and find more interesting ways to occupy my time because i'm frequently bored or overwhelmed by them.  that's the reality of my life.

i feel like a failure, and it's because i am.  it sounds like you feel like a failure, too, and it's because you are.  we're supposed to feel like failures.  we're supposed to long to be better and be disgusted at the ways in which we fall short.  we're supposed to feel our need for a savior.  we're supposed to feel, on a regular basis, that we fall entirely short of the mark and we can't do it.  it's the only thing that keeps us running back to god saying, 'i am so grateful you saved me.  i'm so grateful you forgive me for that.  i'm so grateful you're able to use such a weak person to accomplish anything at all.  and in the ways i'm actually doing anything right, i'm so grateful for the grace that came from you that allowed me to do that, because we both know how bad i suck and if left to my own devices, i wouldn't do anything right.'  god is so good to us and the only way we can really know how much is by knowing that we're failures.  that's the weird mystery of the verse that says 'my power is made perfect in your weakness.'

but know this - he is not disappointed in your mothering.  he is not disappointed in your housekeeping.  he is nothing but absolutely delighted in you, because you are in christ and your record has been made PERFECT.  not 'better.'  PERFECT.  think about that.  that's huge.  he thinks you're a perfect mom, because you've been given the record of christ, who perfectly taught and corrected and shepherded everyone in his care.  and the pleasure and delight and adoration god the father has for jesus is how he feels about you, because you are clothed in jesus' righteousness.  god doesn't sit around wishing you were different.
so, really, that's the answer to your question - i don't have it all together.  and even if you menu plan better or play with your kids more, you won't have it all together either.  you'll always be a failure on your own.  but because you're in christ, 'having it all together' has already been accomplished for you and you're free to fail.  failure doesn't define or enslave you anymore.

so anyway. all that huuuuuuuuuuuge, long email to say: you really do suck as bad as you think you do :) which is why you needed a savior in the first place.  now that you have one, allow yourself to feel "NO condemnation in christ jesus" and pray for grace to be better and thank him for your failures and KNOW that your mothering is perfect in the eyes of god, not because of what you do or don't do, but because of what has already been done for you on your behalf.  IT IS FINISHED AND YOU ARE RIGHTEOUS.  (which i totally get is different than being successful, and i have to pray for god to change my heart to value being righteous MORE than being successful, because i'd personally rather be successful!)