Home Remodel

We are rapidly moving into the demolition stage for our bathroom remodel!  I am so excited that we’ll be doing this work by ourselves…it’s going to be a lot of hard work and learning, but I totally think we’re capable of it and that it’ll come out really well done.  Plus, I know as anal retentive as J is (god bless the guy and all his engineering traits), he’ll be up for the challenge to deal with all the nit-picky details.

The tile for the shower flooring is in and we’ll pick it up on Saturday.  Thursday, our furniture will arrive (all the things we bought from IKEA, including sinks (2), beds (2), medicine cabinets (2), shelving unit (1), etc.) and we can start putting the beds together to finish setting up our room (the bed was the only piece we didn’t have yet).  I’m very excited to have our room taken care of, though it will be hard to tell, since we’re going to rip the bathroom apart at the seams.

After we finish putting together the beds and getting them set up, then we’ll start the demo aspect of the bathroom.  I’m sure it’ll be messy as can be, but it’s all part of the process.  Once that’s done, then we can start laying the under-floor heating and moving the wiring/piping for the lights and shower.  That should be the biggest part of the undertaking…after that, it’s just hanging drywall (I think we’re going to hire out the “finishing” aspect of the drywall), then tiling everything in.  Then, we’ll bring back in the guy who painted our living/dining/kitchen so that he can paint the bedrooms upstairs and the bathroom.

In the meantime, we’ve been fixing some things around the house we’ve been meaning to get to for a while (namely lights).  Over the past week, we’ve changed out two wall lights (on either side of the fireplace), removed a pendant light from the kitchen area, and changed out the hanging light in the dining room.  Here are the before/after shots!

Dining Room Lights New/Old

dining room lights

Wall Lights next to the Fireplace

Fireplace Wall Lights

What do you think??

I’m just glad it’s done.  We also removed another light from the kitchen that we plan to replace with a can light, hopefully soon.  I didn’t get any photos of it, because we’d already turned off the power to the kitchen and it was too dark for photos.

My next remodel post will highlight the demolition process and I’ll be sure to show you all the mess!

Much love,

One of those days.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like nothing you are doing is good enough?  I’m struggling with leadership at work, struggling with my relationship with my mother…just all around struggling.

Today was the final straw.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been really discouraged at work.  I love my job, don’t get me wrong.  Love it.  But I’m struggling with some of the aspects of leadership and how that applies to my team.  I lead two different teams and each person has WILDLY different personalities…which really makes it difficult to find the best leadership style to use to get everyone on the same page.  It’s a lot to really juggle, and I really never understood how hard it would be until I was in this position.  Obviously, I’m not giving up, but I’ve been doing a lot of internal searching these past few weeks, to find a way to be the most effective I can be, while leading and encouraging my team at the same time.

So, this is all background.  Sure, I’m struggling at work, but that’s ok because it’s a hard job and no one gets it right all the time.  And if that were the ONLY area of my life I were feeling less than par in, well…well done in my book!  But, it’s not.  Ever since my mother found out that I’ve started the process of converting to Catholicism, she’s been incredibly discouraging, to the point of being downright mean (she’s told me multiple times I’m going to Hell).

So…today, after multiple weeks of being beat down at work, I’m walking through Lowe’s looking at tile and whatnot, and thought I’d give her a call.  I used to call more often (several times a week), but realized that every time I spoke to her on the phone, I’d leave the conversation bitter and angry because SHE is so bitter and angry…and I was internalizing all those feelings coming off of her in waves.  So…I still call…at least 1-2 times a week…which to me is PLENTY sufficient!  But anyways…I call her.  First words out of her mouth (after “hello”) is, “Well, you never call anymore.  What is this, the second time in two weeks?!”  I tried to defend myself (no idea why I bother), and mentioned that she hadn’t called me either (she never calls me, it’s my responsibility to call her), and she made the comment that when she calls, I never answer or I’m working.

Now, she’s right.  When I’m working, I cannot take personal calls constantly.  But how does she know that?!  SHE NEVER CALLS ME AT WORK!  I apologized that I couldn’t talk on the phone a lot while at work, because I was supposed to be, you know, WORKING.  She replies that “It’s not WORK that’s the problem.”  Which means, in mom speak, it’s back to the Catholic issue AGAIN.  I am so tired of having to defend myself to her!  I’ve explained my position again and again, and I (foolishly) wish she’d either a) be happy for me, or b) keep her mouth shut about it.  Then she goes on to say she’s not sure if we’re doing Thanksgiving this year.  Honestly, I feel bad saying this, but I’d rather we didn’t.  This way, I would be guaranteed a stress-free holiday with my husband, at home, where we could relax.  But, I know that won’t last and we’ll be expected to attend (once she gets over this snit, and before she gets into the next one).  I miss living overseas for this EXACT reason.

But anyway…the point to this is…I’m never good enough for her.  If I try to be good enough, she tells me that I think I’m better than everyone because I’ve lived overseas and have a few degrees.  If I don’t follow her exact plan to the letter, I’m a bad daughter who’s causing her so much stress and worry.  I truly cannot win, and I’m getting exhausted even trying.

So, there it is.  I’m tired of struggling with this feeling.  Work is work…I expect to feel this way at times.  But my own mother?!  I’m just not sure where to go from here with her.

Much love,

Sometimes, there’s a reason.

So, have you ever had the feeling like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, at this time, for a reason?  I’ve never been a huge proponent of fate or anything, but I do feel like we’re all here for a reason and occasionally that reason is brought up to us, front and center.  And that happened to me yesterday.

I’ve talked a bit before how I’m converting to Catholicism at our local parish.  I’ve really enjoyed the classes that I’ve sat through and the masses that I’ve attended.  I feel very welcomed, and the people are really nice.  Overall…a good choice!

Last night was another RCIA class.  My sponsor is an older gentleman, C., who is 86.  When I first met him, there was something about him that reminded me of my dad, so I was happy to have him as a sponsor.  He’s an older guy, gruff, former Army…great guy.  He’s just this sweet old guy.  Last night, he told me that he had a doctor’s appointment that morning, and he had to take a memory test.  Last year he missed 2 questions, this year he missed 5.  And before he told me this, over the past few months, I’ve noticed how he had a lot of the same mannerisms (regarding memory) as my dad, who has Alzheimer’s.  So, when he told me about the memory tests, I understood what the doctor was looking for and checking.  And C. just looked so scared and nervous.  And I realized, maybe this is why I have felt so compelled to come back to church now…to this church, at this time.  And why I felt like C. was THE sponsor for me, even though I’d never really met the guy.  I feel like my experiences in helping my dad deal with his Alzheimer’s was put to use to help C. with what he is going through in his life.

During the lesson, C. wrote me a note on a card.  He told me that God gave him a gift, and that gift was me.  He said that, even though I didn’t know it, these past few weeks I’ve been giving him a lot of support and he was so thankful for me.  And honestly, I nearly teared up!

So, I feel like there was a reason to why I have felt so strongly to find a church, particular a Catholic church, over the past half-year.  I feel like I was meant to be here, at this time, to meet C. and to be friends and support for each other.  It’s pretty cool, actually!

Have any of you ever had that type of experience, like you were meant to be at this place for this reason?

Much love,