Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Guest Room & Guest Bathroom - Current

The first installment of our house as it looks currently. Today I'm highlighting our Guest Bedroom (which also doubles as our workout room and music room) and the Guest/Main Bathroom. There is still some decorating to be done in both rooms, but we aren't in a huge rush at the moment since we don't use it as much as some of the other rooms in the house.
Guest Room Before: 

Guest Room Currently:

Thankfully the previous owners painted this room back to white before they moved out. That saved us a lot of time, work, and money, since we didn't really have a need for a super PINK room at this point. I expect we'll paint this room some day...but for now, the white walls helps give it a more open feeling, which is good since it is such a multi-purpose room. We are going with an Americana theme in this room, so the white walls fit in well with that theme as well.

Mark's parents were our first visitors to use this room during their trip to Oklahoma back in March. We had such a wonderful visit with them and it was great to finally be able to host them when they visited, instead of sending them off to a hotel to sleep.
 I'm hoping to add some pictures and floating shelves to the walls pretty soon to pull this room together a little more. I've also got some ideas for new curtains for this room. The current goal for this room is to make it functional for Mark and me, but also inviting for our visitors.

Guest Bathroom Before:

Guest Bathroom Currently:

So this room is not decorated the way I had originally envisioned, but I have really come to LOVE the grey and yellow. My original plan included lighthouses, beach and sand. But when I went shopping for that theme, I did not have much success. It either looked like something that belonged in a beach resort decorated the 70s (think ugly puke green palm trees), or tan sea shells (hello! I need COLOR!). I just couldn't find anything in the stores that matched the picture in my head, so I forgot the ideal and started to rethink this room.

I ran across the shower curtain at JCPenney and instantly knew it was perfect for our main bathroom. Yellow has always been one of my favorite colors, and pairing it with grey is just so perfect! Once I had the shower curtain hanging, everything else came together very quickly. I'm still on the lookout for things I can add to this room, but I am quite happy with how it looks currently.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Our Home-Before

It has been quite the year of transition for Mark and me: Moving into a new home, changing jobs (Jill), changing ministries at church, just to name a few. I've had a desire to get back to my blog and life finally seems to be settling back into a routine, so I thought this would be the perfect time to reenter the world of blogging.
People have asked me for pictures of our house and I didn't want to post anything till I had the official "After" pictures. But I'm learning to enjoy the house in this "in-between" stage as well. :) Below are some of the pictures from our first view of the house, before we made an offer on it (so NONE of these decorations are mine).
I still can't believe we've been in this house for over a year! It has been such an amazing blessing for our family and we have had so much fun setting it all up and decorating as our budget can afford it. We fell in love with the house during our first trip, but it was our FIRST home to tour and it was no where near where we were looking to settle down. After a couple weeks of looking at hundreds of homes online and dozens in person, we decided to take a second look at the first house....and then decided to make an offer.

One of the biggest things I was looking for in a house was an open floor plan and this house delivered nicely with an extra large living room open to the kitchen and dining room. 

The Master is a very spacious room, with lots of room for our Queen sized bed. 
The other two rooms are a little small, but still decently sized. We love having a guest bedroom now (or at least *I* love it!) and additional room to stage sorting and purging. We hope that some day we'll get to convert one of these bedrooms into a nursery, but for now they are both being put to good use. 
(Ignore Mark -- he had to test the bathtub and didn't realize he was in my picture)
The Master bath is wonderful! It has a nice sized soaker tub (which I use at least 2-3 times a month) and a separate shower. Double sinks weren't a must for us, but we've really enjoyed having them. 
A second full bathroom was on my list of musts. Growing up with 3 sisters, we always lived in homes with 2 full baths. I'm glad this home had the second bath, because I have waaay too many fun bathroom decorating ideas -- I could probably use about 4 more bathrooms to use up all the ideas! 
An indoor laundry room was another must for me. After a year and a half of having to carry a laundry basket outside to do laundry, I was ready to bring that whole chore back indoors. I have an absolutely beautiful laundry room, with plenty of room for all my equipment and tools indoors and right off the kitchen, but with a separate door so we can close it while the machines are running.
We also got a little office nook! This was a bonus room for us. We knew we wanted space to setup an office, but figured we'd have to share it with the guest room. Currently it is open to the front hallway, but we look forward to putting in some french doors so we can close off the room when needed. 

So there you have it, the before tour of our new wonderful home. I'll try to upload some of the current pictures some time later this week. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Counting My Blessings

I started writing this post back in November -- but I was so overwhelmed by emotion that I couldn't finish even writing it. The pain was too fresh and emotions too raw, I couldn't make it public. Now, after a few months of seeing God's hand at work -- I feel ready to share my Thanksgiving 2012.

I was watching the clock, waiting for 5 o'clock so I could start my long "to-do" list. I needed to baste the turkey, make a cherry pie, clean up my house and who knows what else. Mark was getting off work at 5:30 and would come home to help me -- then we planned to run over to my parent's house to greet the Smiths and play with the kids before they went to bed. That was how we planned to start Thanksgiving and it was going to be great.

But then I got a text from my Mom. "Pray for Dad ...he was just in an accident...taking him to the hospital."

My heart immediately dropped to my stomach. Surely it wouldn't be serious -- horrible accidents don't happen to my family, I thought to myself. Dad's a (mostly) careful driver. What happened? Pretty soon Mom called -- she didn't know much else, just which hospital they were taking him to and that she had to run home before getting to the hospital. I offered to run over to the hospital, since I could be there in 15 minutes, much faster than she would be able to make it.

Much of the drive to the hospital was a blur. I'll admit that there was some texting and some talking going on as I drove -- trying to make sure my husband knew. I had to let my boss know I had left the office early and why. I had to ask my friends for prayers. I arrived at the hospital and was greeted by my Mom's boss and family friend from church. He helped me find Dad's room in the ER and then stayed with us till my Mom got there.

My first sight of Dad gave me hope -- he didn't look too beat up, some bruises and bumps, but nothing major. He knew he had a broken wrist/arm (same one he broke back in jr. high) but I honestly thought he'd maybe stay one night and then be home with us for Thanksgiving day. My sweet father smiled at me and said "well, looks like Brian will have to find a replacement for me in the church Christmas play".

Since I was the first family to arrive, I gave the hospital staff all the demographic information for their records. His address, date of birth, emergency contacts and insurance information. I met his doctor and nurse and watched as they examined him to determine the extent of their injuries. They were both calm and relaxed and acted like it was all going to be ok -- which helped put me at ease. They took him back for xrays and CTs and all other kinds of scans and tests. Each time, Dad came back in more pain and it hurt me to watch him hurting, knowing there was nothing I could do to help him.

The time in the emergency room is a little bit of a blur. There was a chance Dad would need surgery because of some internal bleeding. The doctors wanted to keep him over night for observation, the plan was to take another CT in the morning and then decide whether surgery was needed. Hospital staff came and went, my sisters came back to the room (the ER has a policy of only two people back there at a time -- some how we ended up with 4 in Dad's room at one point), a Pastor from our church came and prayed with my Mom and me, my husband was there and all the while Dad seemed to be okay. Not great, but okay.

But suddenly his color started to fade, he complained about being super hot and sweaty. Two new doctors came in and started asking questions in preparation for surgery, if he should need it right away instead of waiting till the next day and the longer they questioned him, the less sense Dad's answers made. He told the doctor he was starting to get dizzy, that he was starting to lose it (Looking back, I should have known what "I"m starting to lose it" meant, since it was the exact phrase Mark said to me before fainting at our wedding).  The doctor nodded and kept asking him questions. A machine beeped in the background, kind of an annoying, urgent sound.

A little bit later, the nurse came back in to check blood pressure. He looked at the machine and was convinced it was giving him wrong numbers, so he took the blood pressure again. He didn't believe that reading, so he got a new cuff and took the blood pressure again. He still didn't think it was right. He calmly walked out of the room and a second later I heard his very urgent request for the ER Doctor to come to Dad's room. I heard the Dr order someone to call the head surgeon and get him down there NOW. Pretty soon, there was commotion outside Dad's room.

Then there was commotion inside Dad's room. Doctors, nurses, techs, you name it, they were in the room. Taking blood pressure immediately. Hooking him up to saline and who knows what else. Someone started to wrap his broken arm in gauze.

I sat in the corner of the room and it suddenly hit me. My Daddy was in serious trouble and I had no guarantee he was going to make it out of that hospital alive.

A doctor came in and introduced himself to us all. He explained Dad's blood pressure drop was indication of internal bleeding and that they were going to take him in for surgery. The plan was to open him up and see if they could locate the bleeding. Then they whisked Dad out of the room, some tech/nurse still wrapping and splinting Dad's arm as they went.

It wasn't till some hospital staff began to lead us to the family waiting room that I let my emotions surface. As we walked, I cried. We met Jaime and Joanna in the Emergency waiting room and told them to follow us, we'd explain it when we got there. I walked behind them, trying not to alert them with my tears.

I cried because I was so incredibly relieved for the medical staff who caught the blood pressure problem, I cried because I realized how easily that could have ended differently and I cried because Dad was in surgery and there were still no promises he would make it. I cried because I was completely spent emotionally. And as I cried, I was filled with peace. Whatever happened in that operating room, God was in control.

Fast forward a couple of hours. We got the news that Dad was out of surgery, things had gone well, but they were going to keep him intubated overnight. I barely followed the explanation of the surgery that the surgeon gave us, I caught that it could have been much worse, both his injuries and the extent of the surgery required to patch him up and that the Doctor seemed pleased with the surgery, but everything else is pretty much a blur. We waited another half hour before we were able to see him in his ICU room. I'll admit, it was a little scary to see him hooked up to all those machines, but it wasn't even close to how scary it was to see him losing it in the Emergency Room.

Now here we are, over two months after the accident. Dad's hand is out of a cast, his stitches are out of the incision from surgery, he's recovering from the gout that came on because of trauma. Life seems to be returning to normal. But one thing has changed, I am now aware of how truly blessed I am.

I love you Daddy!