Sunday, March 13, 2011

A story about purple swirl countertops

This is the story about how we made this:

From this:

When we moved into our house, it was brand new.
We live in a subdivision made up of new homes that you can pick & choose what kind of home you want from your particular builder.
We bought ours already built, which meant we chose nothing, but got a "deal" on our pre-existing home.
That meant, we won the prize of purple swirl countertops.
And light wood cabinets.
And gray swirl linoleum.
We had a lot of work on our hands.

The countertops were our last project to make our kitchen more homey & more our taste.
But they're expensive.
We had decided to go for butcher block & were ready to buy & install it.
and showed Mitchel (we were also in the market for a backsplash), who surprised me by saying, we could totally make countertops from yardsticks.
You serious?
He was. And after a little research, we knew it would work.
Demo began & injured us both.
Laminate is sharp!

He actually trimmed our island.
It used to hang over on the side you can see.
It was HUGE.
Now, it's not ginormous, & feels much more appropriate.
Also...ignore that messy kitchen.
Yikes. That's the worst part of projects...the mess.

After the laminate was pulled off, we (more he- I was the kid wrangler) glued & clamped down yard sticks.

Gorilla glue is fascinating.
I would never want to accidentally glue something together with that.
I think it would be stuck, for like, ever.
All the yardsticks were glued down with that stuff.
We weighed them all down with clamps & heavy books to get a good tight fit.
They might not ever come off.

He had a good rhythm going.
Gluing turned out to be fun & easy.

Then came the sanding.
With Minnie Mouse sunglasses.
He's a nut.
And, yes, our house was covered in sawdust.
Once he moved off the island, we jerry-rigged an enclosed space with plastic sheeting to keep it all in "one" place. I'm still finding saw dust in random places.
Oh well.
All for a good cause.

After all that sanding was done, we painted polyurethane over it all, lightly sanded, then painted another coat. We did that again, & ended up with 3 coats of polyurethane.
Then we got to add a subway tile backsplash, thanks to the fact that yardstick countertops are waaaay cheaper than most other countertop surfaces:).

It feels so much brighter & cheery.
I like to think we're bright & cheery.
:) Most of the time.

We decided to sand most of the numbers & words off, but to leave just a hint of what that wood actually is.
I like how it turned out.
It's got character baby.

I guess purple swirl countertops have character too.
But we like this character a lot better.
Now if we could just find a way to buy yardstick appliances...
just kidding.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Back in 2010 :)...
Mitchel & I turned 29.
I married a younger man.
By a month & 2 days.
My birthday is in October.

He always surprises me.
Parker was so excited about "the cd of the band."
I've been a Third Day fan since I was 13. Oh yeah baby.
Mitchel made that chocolate cake for me FROM SCRATCH.
He knows me so well. Cool baby.
You are so cool.

Then we went to a drive in movie.
It was so fun.
So fun.
And, we ate nachos, cheeseburgers & chocolate cake in the car.
And didn't have to share with little hands.
It was a good birthday.

Mitchel turned 29 in November.
We took him camping.
Well...cheater camping :).

A certain sweet baby was still a crawler.
It seems weird that he was crawling just a short time ago.

Cheater camping means you get to sleep in a camper.
That has heaters inside.
And a bathroom for just in case in the middle of the night.
In- laws are a blessing.
They let their son, crazy daughter-in-law, & 2 "excited" kids run loose in their super nice camper for a weekend.
And, they were thrilled about it.
How would we make it without 3 year olds...
they are the spice of life.

Roasting marshmallows was absolutely Miss P's highlight of our trip.
We bought campfire roasters (translation: ginormous marshmallows).
They were extra big.
And extra messy.

Breakfast in the cheater "tent".
It was beautifully fall out our windows.

I grew up camping.
This was always the best part.
Mitchel agrees.
I think Parker does now too.

I promise I made him a FROM SCRATCH cake too.
I just couldn't get camping together & bring along a real cake.
And, hey. Hostess cupcakes?
Great camping party food.

That boy.

And his dad.

And that big girl.
They've stolen my heart away.

Birthdays are really pretty great.
Especially when you're with your family doing what you love.

It seems to be the big shock right now when people find out we'll be 30 this year.
I've been fine with it (so far). It's just a number, right?
I still feel like I'm young. Like I have SO MUCH still to learn about this life I've been given.
And, so far, 29 has been a really great year.
God is moving, He's drawing us, we're desiring so much more.
We know He has much more for us to learn about His people & what He wants us to do for them.
And that's what makes life exciting.
Not turning 30.
So. This post has been a long time coming...
Happy Birthday to my favorite.