Six Month Progress: Sunroom

by hollycombs

This room hasn’t changed much since we bought the house, but thought I’d share the current state of it anyway — I like to call this look “jungle.”

Before:

Sun room - before

Current:

Sun room - 6 months

Sun room - 6 months

Next summer I’m going to paint in here, and hopefully make room for a little sitting area. But for now, this room is keeping Husband’s plants alive, and that’s what we want most. Also, we would LOVE to replace the sliding glass doors with pretty French doors…someday.

Other Six Month Progress reports:
Big “before” post
Master Bedroom
Guest Room
Guest Bath
Living Room
Dining Room
Linen Closet
Study
Kitchen/Pantry

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Six Month Progress: Kitchen/Pantry

by hollycombs

So the kitchen is where most of the work has gone over the past six months. Obviously we pulled down the wallpaper and painted the walls, trim, ceilings etc. We took out a wall, added a wall, replaced the sink, faucet and counter tops, painted the cabinets, added and moved cabinets. So, so much. It’s crazy to look at the before and afters. A huge thank you to the many friends and family who helped us do this on a tight budget!

Before:

Kitchen - before

Kitchen - before

And currently:

6 months kitchen

6 months kitchen

6 months kitchen

We still have some work to do, like sanding and sealing the counter tops and adding hardware to the cabinets. Someday we would love to replace the flooring with wood grain tile in a charcoal/gray color. We also would like to put in a built-in bench and better fitting table in that little eating nook.

And, just to keep it real, here’s the before and “current” of the pantry/laundry:

Laundry room - before

Laundry pantry - 6 months

Yeah, that’s not pretty.

Kitchen Source List:
Wall Paint – Silver Gray by BM (definitely a blue tone)
Trim/Cabinet Paint – White Dove by BM
Table/Chairs – Garage Sale (OH)
Counter tops – Ikea
Stove – East Coast Appliances
Hood – Home Depot
Sink – Ikea
Fridge – Craigslist
Pendant Light – Home Depot

Other Six Month Progress reports:
Big “before” post
Master Bedroom
Guest Room
Guest Bath
Living Room
Dining Room
Linen Closet
Study

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Book Review: From Dishes to Snow

by hollycombs

From Dishes to Snow by Kathy M. HowardI thought From Dishes to Snow, the debut novel of author Kathy M. Howard would be an interesting read because of the similarities between the subject matter and my own life of late. In the novel, the main character Bayne Harris, is struggling through the grief of losing her husband and children in a car accident. I am perhaps just far enough removed from my own loss to find this of interest, but it may have also made me somewhat critical of the topic as well.

In the novel, one year after losing her family, Bayne escapes her community and good-intentioned friends by moving to a mountain town for an extended vacation. There, she hides away from interactions with people to lick her wounds. But a few poeple manage to infiltrate her solitary existence in her new home — her lovely landlords, the caring real estate agent she had contacted and his spunky teenage daughter, and a young mother and little girl with their own problems who stumble into her yard.

As Bayne grows to care for her new friends and neighbors, she also emerges from her own grief to aid little Mary and her hurting mother. In doing so, Bayne begins to find healing of her own, and eventually opens up to Wren and by the end of the novel Bayne is not only hopeful for the future, but possibly even falling in love again.

I enjoyed the cast of characters in From Dishes to Snow. The neighborly landlords reminded me of some special landlords I once had, and Wren and his daughter appear to be friends of the very best kind — who would do anything for you. The storyline of Mary and Kara feels a little far fetched (and kind of stuck in the larger plot), but still they are endearing characters.

The aspect of this book that I struggled most with is fairly predictable — grief. I am the first to say that I am not an objective observer. Grief is very, very real to me right now. And I’m learning a lot about the nature of grief that I could only cognitively have known before. And I do understand that everyone’s grief journey is different. But.

I found it difficult to believe that a women living in such heavy grief for so long (a full year already of hiding away, not working, struggling just to get out of bed), can go from full-blown grieving to healing and falling in love within the two month span the book gives. And through the help of strangers when those she was closest to couldn’t reach her? It’s just hard to swallow.

I struggle with the idea that this book would put out there unrealistic expectations of healing — both for those who are trying to help a loved on grieve and for those who may put these kinds of expectations on themselves. That said, however, kudos to Howard for tackling such a difficult subject and not shying away from grief, and in her first novel too!

The book was well-written for a debut novel, and I will be curious to see what else this author has to offer.

I received a copy of From Dishes to Snow from Ambassador International, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Six Month Progress: Study

by hollycombs

The study has been one of the most “abused” rooms in the house. We throw things in there that have nowhere else to go, meanwhile, I’m trying to unpack my desk, books, and craft/sewing supplies, and it’s home to the Sugar Gliders.

Needless to say, it looks an absolute wreck right now!

Before:

Study - before

Study - before

Current catastrophe:

Study, 6 month progress

Study, 6 month progress

Study, 6 month progress

Study, 6 month progress

I will say that covering all that red paint was wonderful! I still have to paint the closet and louvered doors, and the ceiling is only painted along the edges, but everything else is painted.

Also on the to do list: replace the sports themed ceiling fan, install curtains, and install tons of wall shelving everywhere! I also want to paint the sewing desk and somehow refinish the roll-top desk. And, of course, replace the flooring eventually. This room will also end up being a guest room, so we’re going to have to fit a bed in here somewhere!

Study Source List:
Wall Paint – Revere Pewter by BM
Trim Paint – White Dove by BM
Roll-top Desk: Craigslist in IN, via my brother
File Cabinet: Antique store in OH
Sewing Desk: Thrift store in VA
Trunk: Rescued from trash pile in VA
Sugar Glider cage: Craigslist
Corner Shelf: Ikea
Desk Lamp: JC Penney

Other Six Month Progress reports:
Big “before” post
Master Bedroom
Guest Room
Guest Bath
Living Room
Dining Room
Linen Closet

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Six Month Progress: Linen Closet

by hollycombs

I love my little linen closet, it’s nothing spectacular, but it will be perfect for us. This is actually one of the very first places that I painted so I could start unpacking the items inside.

Before:
Linen closet - before

Current:
Linen closet

I still have some organizing to do and someday I’d love to switch out the wire shelving for wooden, but for now, I’m just grateful I have one!

Linen Closet Source List:
Wall Paint – Revere Pewter by BM
Trim Paint – White Dove by BM

Other Six Month Progress reports:
Big “before” post
Master Bedroom
Guest Room
Guest Bath
Living Room
Dining Room

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Six Month Progress: Dining Room

by hollycombs

For every room like the Living Room or Master Bedroom that are feeling calm and pulled together, there are several rooms that are disaster areas, like the dining room. It’s just steps from the living room, but seems to be a repository for all the kitchen items that have yet to find a home as we renovate in there.

So, a before photo:

Dining room - before

And current photos:

Dining room, 6 month progress

Dining room, 6 month progress

Dining room, 6 month progress

We have big plans for this room, but obviously, they are mostly just plans. So far, all we’ve done is paint the walls and trim and part of the ceiling…

Someday, we want to add floor=to-ceiling built-ins to both sides of the sliding glass doors (designed and built by my Daddy =) ). Also, we’re going to replace those doors with lovely French doors. And set up the aquarium along the chimney, and have a custom-built table made with a metal stand and reclaimed barn wood top. And replace to flooring with something more kid friendly (read: spill resistant). And and and. Lots of plans, not much money…

Plus, we need to repair the plaster where we were having leaks along the chimney, oh and whitewash that chimney of course!

Dining Room Source List:
Wall Paint – Revere Pewter by BM
Trim Paint – White Dove by BM
Table: Antique store in WV
Wooden chairs: Antique store in WV
Cube Shelves: Ikea
Metal Chairs: Garage sale in OH (these actually belong in the kitchen)
Aquarium and stand: Hand-me-down from a friend
Unassembled table/chairs: Antique family heirlooms from Great Aunt Pinky via my brother
Bird Cage: Antique store in OH, for our wedding

Other Six Month Progress reports:
Big “before” post
Master Bedroom
Guest Room
Guest Bath
Living Room

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Six Month Progress: Living Room

by hollycombs

The living room is one of our more “put together” spaces. It’s not all there, by any means, but since the first week we lived in this house, I’ve loved being able to come in here and just sit down. And in cooler weather, have a fire. (The fireplace is, after all, the reason I fell in love with this house.) So while the rest of the house is largely chaos, I love this more peaceful room.

A few before photos:

Living room - before

Living room - before

First night

Our first night in the new house =).

And current photos:

Living room, 6 month progress

Living room, 6 month progress

Living room, 6 month progress

Living room, 6 month progress

A little work/reading spot for me in the corner, comfy and great for when I’m home alone:

Living room, 6 month progress

In some ways we’ve done a lot to this room: painting all the walls and trim, installing the TV cabinet, hanging curtains, purchasing new matching chairs. Yet, in other ways we have a long ways to go. A few things on the to do list: whitewash fireplace (hopefully before Christmas!) and paint the front door. Midterm projects include attempting to dye the light brown leather chair to match the love seat, possibly removing the fish tank (there’s nothing alive in it, aside from some algae), and finding a permanent solution to the need to a coffee table stand/legs. In the long run, we also want to swap out the flooring and maybe invest in a larger couch? We’re also still contemplating how exactly all the furniture should fit together in here since it’s such a large room.

The big question is what color should the front door be?

Living Room Source List:
Wall Paint – Revere Pewter by BM
Trim Paint – White Dove by BM
Love Seat/Ottoman – Local liquidation sale
Coffee Table – Trash rescue years ago
Slipper Chairs – Sears
Leather Chair – Hand-me-down from roommate
TV Cabinet – Thrift store
Papasan/Ottoman – Pier 1
Cube Shelf – Ikea
DVD Rack – Walmart
Curtains – JC Penney

Other Six Month Progress reports:
Big “before” post
Master Bedroom
Guest Room
Guest Bath

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Marked by grief

by hollycombs

We had just celebrated our second anniversary when we lost Michael, my brother-in-law.

Marriage isn’t always smooth sailing, but ours was good and God provided and we were growing.

And then such a loss. Grief marked each and every day.

We just celebrated our fourth anniversary. And this weekend marks two years since losing Michael.

Half of our marriage has been marked by grief more than any other emotion — sadness more than happiness, pain more than joy.

And next year, it will be more than half. The percentage will grow with each passing year until we will have been married enduring the “after” Michael’s passing as compared to the happiness “before”.

I hope and pray that with each passing year while the longing doesn’t end, the pain will fade. The heartache will ease. Someday, maybe life will be marked by more good days than bad. By more joy than mourning.

It seems to be happening already, in fits and starts. But the reality of loss always comes crashing back into our life.

Sometimes I want to scream at God that it’s not fair. I didn’t sign up for this. This isn’t what life — marriage — was supposed to look like. I never agreed to this!

But the pain isn’t given at the hand of God, the comfort, the peace, the joy — those are the gifts of God.

We live in a broken world.

I’m ready for it to be healed. Yet it isn’t time yet. I long for it, but I wait.

I’m older than Michael now. 28. He was 27.

It’s a strange feeling, because he was a year older than me and now I am a year older than him.

Michael came into the world during Hurricane Gloria, and he left us amid Hurricane Sandy.

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. – 1 Kings 19:11-12

The Lord isn’t in the storm, He is the still, small voice speaking comfort and peace.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Weekend

by hollycombs

A little clip from my weekend…

Loading

#janethegoat feeling playful

View on Instagram


Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

{Moments of Inspiration}

by hollycombs

“Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them;
for those experiences have left an indelible impression,
and we are ever and anon reminded of them.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Sunday afternoon walk

Sunday afternoon walk

Sunday afternoon walk

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Email

Scrappy Theme by Caroline Moore | Copyright 2014 Blue Like That | Powered by WordPress