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If you’re following along on Instagram, you know I opened a Pandora’s Box of DIY craziness 8 weeks ago. I’m almost embarrassed to type that, 8 weeks! 2 months of living in a disaster area and not a ton to show for it so far. I haven’t posted much about it all because I had it in my silly brain that I could only post big “After” tutorials… you know that “quality content” blogger rule. But, I’ve decided recently that this is my blog and I will post what floats my boat whether it’s fancy, photoshopped, and awesome or just me, right now, living this day. Right now, I am living in chaos but slowly and surely I’m transforming the Kutterer’s home into my home and it feels good.
The DIY time bomb was ticking away in January when I was taking down all our Christmas decor. I have always hated how the rusty orange walls clashed with Christmas. I had done my best to work rusty metals in with decorations, and I did like the old time feel but I was never happy with the paint color.
As an accent, orange is one of my favorites, but not as a ceiling to floor backdrop.
When we moved in over 5 years ago, my husband begged me to leave the rusty walls alone. He liked the rustic lodge feel, so I obliged. 3 years ago the dark walls started closing in on me, so I did a small remodel on our fireplace to brighten things up. The bright white helped me feel less claustrophobic and it was a good compromise between his style and mine. The great thing about DIY is that you can do small projects to get your feet wet before you dive head first into a renovation. I loved the look of the fireplace, it just felt like me and what I wanted for our house.
Anyway, back to taking down Christmas…
After I had boxed up the ornaments and hauled the tree to the basement, I had a visit from my little naughty shoulder angel. You know the one who always seems to get me in trouble with the hubby? Well, she pointed out how clean everything was and how easy it would be to walk down into the basement and grab a paint brush. She got me thinking, the regular decor was still in boxes waiting to be put back up and really was such a nice clean slate, just begging to be written on.
However, that other angel made me a little afraid of the vastness of the project I was contemplating. I needed to not only paint the walls in the living room, kitchen, hallway, dining room, pantry, mudroom, and entry, but the ceilings too. Eek. The sheer amount of work kept me up at night but I just couldn’t get it out of my mind.
I wanted to live in the now and bloom where I was planted.
It was time to make this house my home.
I knew what I wanted, but the enormity of what lay before me just felt too much, so I just let it all sit in this strange in between.
After a month of emptiness, someone asked if I was going to stick with bare minimalism or if I was finally going to jump in and do what I really wanted. She was right. That night when the kids were in bed, I grabbed some spackle and started filling nail holes. The next morning I found myself on a ladder with a primer loaded paint brush taking my first strokes along the edges of the living room wall.
It was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time.
Later that week, I started in on the ceiling project from hell.
Oh man, my body hurts just thinking about it.
Someday I’ll write a post about how NOT to paint a ceiling, but to be honest, I still haven’t figured out what exactly I did wrong other than not hire a professional. 5 cans of ceiling paint, two weeks, and a bruised ego later, the tan ceilings of my main floor were finally white. It was all far from perfect but I was exhausted physically and mentally. I had to admit defeat and let it be good enough.
To the homeowners who live here after us, I’ll chip in some $ for you to hire somebody because I wouldn’t wish that ceiling project on my worst enemy. Hope you understand.
I broke extension poles, had a nasty rented paint sprayer blow up in my face, and my dog danced in the paint and then all over the living room rug. She’s lucky I love her so much because I was this close to losing my mind. I had taken on this massive project in the middle of trucking and basketball season. I was a contractor and a single parent. And my hormones were all over the map, but that is a post for another day.
What was I thinking?
Just when I felt like sitting down and having a good cry, I was given something to really cry about.
My sweet little auntie passed through the veil and returned to her heavenly home.
You know, paint spills aren’t worth crying over, but a beautiful, well lived and loved, full life… that, my friends, is worth real emotion.
My auntie’s passing has reminded me of the important things and has helped me change my tune.
It was the jolt I have needed to start embracing the process and stop wishing for the end result. The end comes so soon, when we least expect it to. But the end isn’t what matters, it’s the middle of the story where we learn, grow, and change that counts. It’s high time I stop focusing on the finish line and start focusing on the moment I am in. Whether that’s living in a DIY disaster zone, hugging a little girl who is facing bullies and fears, or being the kind of person my soul knows I can be.
Recently, I decorated the mantle and pulled my guitars out from their safe places.
I hung them on the wall despite the chaos happening in the rest of the house.
And do you know the best part?
After a long day or a late night of DIY, I sit down in the quiet and let the music calm the chaos… and me.
So where am I right now in this nutty project?
Well, if you give a mouse a cookie, or a powertool in my case, she’ll want a glass of milk to go with it.
I hit a dead end painting the stairwell and am still not sure how to get that done, so I moved on to the dining room. I’ve started planking the walls to give my shiplap loving heart a little bit of 1904 in my 2004 home.
It is taking forever but every board that goes up makes me smile.
My garage is a DIY war zone, but my heart is full and my eyes are clear.
The trucker is home and Spring Break is calling our names.
I have put down the tools and am walking away for the week to be with the ones I love.
Yes, my house is a mess and some days so am I, but we are changing into something better and that takes time.
Creativity is a messy process and you know, so is growth.
I can fight it, or I can learn to laugh and embrace it.
Have a great week, my friends.
Embrace the process, stand in the moment,
and live right now.
Life is too short to cry over paint.