We had a busy weekend over hear at Color Transformed Family. We had the joy of celebrating our five year wedding anniversary, Noah’s four month birthday, and working on our anniversary present to each other.
I finished the last touches on our gift this afternoon and can’t wait to share it with y’all. Remember my hint from last week? It’s wood. Unfortunately, Michael Luke still has one more step to do, and our downstairs needs to be put back in order before revealing our gift to each other. One of the benefits/downsides of having a smaller house is it doesn’t take much for things to look messy. Because of that I am always motivated to get it back in order quickly.
Michael Luke and I had already started planning to work on this project for each other a couple of weeks ago. Then last week Sherry @ Young House Love announced the Winter Pinterest Challenge, and it was the perfect motivation to get the ball rolling and have this little big gift for each other finished by this week.
I tend to lean more to the procrastination side of things, so it’s always helpful when I have a deadline to work with. With Wednesday as the deadline, we really had to kick things in high gear around here. The great thing is that not only are we almost finished, but we can also get the house back in order way before we would have without a deadline.
Wednesday, I will have all the juicy details of our gift to each other and how I used Pinterest as my inspiration. In the meantime head on over and check out my Pinterest page to see everything I have pinned. The recipes on there are my favorite!
Incase you missed it… check out my challenge I conquered last fall. I can’t believe it was pre-Noah (barely). I went back and read the post earlier today and little did I know when I was writing it that Noah was only a day away. Good thing we planned and made the most of our time together.
This weekend Michael Luke and I will celebrate five years of marriage together!
In honor of that, I am interrupting the regularly scheduled post about our DIY home projects and our life with a baby to share about our marriage. A marriage that has definitely been built on and strengthened by our relationship with God.
Five years ago we had just moved to Birmingham. I was less than a year into my first job as in interior designer, and ML was in his first semester of physical therapy school at UAB. We got married during Spring Break. That makes it sound real grown up doesn’t it?
Well anyway… a wedding and honeymoon later and we were back setting up camp at home.
I attempted to expand my mediocre cooking skills, and he tried to conquer his inability to focus/study for long periods of time. We made time each Monday night to be a part of a local ministry here, CMMA (Christian Medical Ministry of Alabama). Supper was provided free, so how could we turn that down? Through this group we felt like we were blessed with three years of marriage counseling.
We went to the couples group, but there is also a group that ministers to single students.
So much of their ministry is invested in strengthening and protecting the marriages of couples in the medical community. For instance, we learned about ML’s desire for respect in a marriage and my desire for love and how that looks biblically. We actually learned how to argue and had the opportunity to hear from older couples about their marriage.
This was such an awesome opportunity, and we wish everyone was able to experience such excellent counseling in the beginning years of their marriage.
We still attend this group now because we want to encourage other students to invest in their marriages, and because honestly, we are still learning so much!
We have also been blessed during our five years of marriage to go on several mission trips: Mexico, Dominican Republic (twice), and Seattle. Prior to any of these, I had only gone on a couple of trips (more spiritually focused than ministry focused) with my church youth group in high school. So, needless to say, I was little nervous about leaving the comforts of hotels, sanitary water, and flushing toilets for some of these trips. I was never a camper growing up. But you know what? None of that matters to me now. We enjoy going and having the opportunity to minister to other people groups in the world and often find our own lives being transformed by these trips.
God has also blessed us in our marriage with Noah. (It’s a girl Noah.)
When we first got married, I was a little (ok a lot) intimidated by babies. My knowledge about them was pretty much zero! It didn’t really bother me though because I didn’t see myself going through the whole child birth thing. Frankly, it came across as a little scary. That was ok though because I have had a heart for adoption for as long as I can remember. And while Michael Luke shared in my desire for adopting children, he sorta wanted one of his own too. But you know how God is, a few years later I found myself with the same desire to have a child of our own.
And I haven’t regretted it since. It has truly been amazing to see God show off His glory and power by allowing such an intricate, detailed baby to grow inside of me! And then to give birth to her. Sometimes I just sit staring at her in wonder of Him. We think she is beautiful, and she is because she is made in the image of God.
Our desire for adoption has not diminished though. Scripture calls us to care for the orphans and what better example than to show them God’s love for them by bringing them into our house to care for them physically and spirituality. By God’s grace we have been adopted into His family. Earthly adoption is a natural response to the adoption as sons and daughters we have received. God desires orphans from all nations to be adopted into Christ-honoring families, so they may ultimately be adopted into His eternal family through Jesus Christ.
During our first year of marriage, we also bought our first/current house.
We might have jumped the gun a little bit, purchasing it while he was still in school, but we have enjoyed personalizing the space and making it ours. And now that he is out in the working world and student loans paid off, we are finding more opportunities to get creative and prepare this house for resale someday. We did forgo our title as DINKs (double income no kids) last year though, to give me the opportunity to stay home and invest in Noah’s life. And while this does shrink the home improvement budget a little bit, it is completely worth it!
We have had an amazing five years together, and I look forward to the next five sixty-five years together!
FYI: I mentioned last year here that every year we select a Christmas ornament to remember our anniversary by. This year is no different… except we haven’t bought the ornament yet. We are working on our joint gift for each other though, and have decided what type of ornament to get. I will share more about our gift to each other next week but will leave you with a hint. It’s wood. A little strange maybe but the traditional gift for a five year anniversary is wood.
Last week I mentioned (here) that we had been working on a couple of minor projects for the living room. One is our fireplace upgrade to electric logs, and the other is adjusting our existing draperies for ring clips.
It’s not anything major, but it is really beneficial for us. We bought the drapery panels a few years ago in an effort to help insulate the huge glass sliding door and for privacy. The houses behind our house sit on a hill slightly above us, so they can see over our fence and into our back yard and house.
The draperies were made to just slide onto the rod… so that’s what we did. The problem with this method was that it made it hard to pull them back. Which is a must in our house because we love the natural daylight and the view of the back yard.
FYI: This picture was taken in the summer and does not depict the lack-of-color state it is in now.
So in the end, we found we really didn’t close them that much. Especially since the draperies really didn’t help with keeping the downstairs any warmer. Thankfully, we have electric logs for that problem now. I’m not really sure why we didn’t want to go with the ring clips when we purchased the draperies a few years ago. Oh, well!
I’m pretty sure ML came up with the idea (we will give him the credit) to use our existing draperies and fold the top down to compensate for the added length of the ring clips. Making it easier to open and close plus helping the draperies not look as heavy. I really liked the idea, so off he went to BB&B (Bed, Bath, and Beyond) and picked out ring clips on his own! He came back with two different sizes for me to choose from.
So we took two drapery panels down and began our transformation. Before we attached the clips though, we washed the drapes. The tag said dry clean only, but we went out on a limb and washed them and then hung them back up to dry. We laid garbage bags on the floor to catch any water that dripped off. We are happy to report that they turned out just fine after washing them!
ML being the more mathematically inclined person calculated how much the draperies needed to be folded. Then he divided the length of the curtain, so he would have equal spacing between the ring clips.
We hung both sizes up, so we would be certain which one worked best. It took us all of about two seconds to decide we liked the larger rings best. But we left them up for a few days weeks just to be sure or because I forgot to take pictures of them hanging up.
You can see the difference in the two different size rings on the right. (Sorry for such a dark picture… and ignore Buddy the cat.) So Saturday while we were out and about running errands, we returned the smaller ring clips to BB&B and bought three more packs of the larger ring clips. Then, while I was cooking supper that night (which involved a horrible accident of me rubbing my eye with jalapeno juice, crying my mascara off, and going blind for a few seconds), ML folded the rest of the panels down. Then, he pinned the ends to keep them from looking funny and hung them up with the ring clips.
And since we didn’t harm the draperies by pinning them, if we want to ever go back to the old way of hanging them we can. I’m not really sure why we would though. Now that they are up, we aren’t sure what took us so long to hang them this way. They are so easy to open and close and take up way less space when they are pulled back.
Originally, I felt like we needed a longer curtain rod, but now I really don’t because they take up so much less room. It’s hard to believe they are the same draperies. We also love the look of the ring clips attached to them.
And here’s a little secret… the clips aren’t the same color as the rod. No big deal though because you can’t really tell the difference from a distance.
So anyway, now if we want a little privacy, we can easily close our draperies.
What do you think? Do you have any projects that have been half completed for a while? Or have you made any drapery transformations recently?