Who knew a laundry room could be so exciting!?

I think it’s fair to say that I’m as excited about the new laundry/mud/craft room as I am about the kitchen.  For nearly 5 years, the laundry has been a chore: storing it on the kitchen floor (YUCK), folding it in the bedroom, hanging it to dry on the breakfast room chairs….chaos, in short.  When BeachBoy suggested working a true home management room into the plan, I was all ears!

The most underutilized room in our house is the room we’ve been planning to turn into a library.  However, with a little craftiness, we have devised a plan that will let us have a library AND a work room. Can I get a WOOHOO, ya’ll?!

The room measures 14’9″ x 7’6″.  Awkward, to say the least.  But, I’m willing to make it work.

Here’s a sneak peek.

View #1: Looking into the room from the office-to-be.   From far to near on the right wall, there will be: washer/dryer, cabinet, sink, cabinet, freezer, broom cabinet.  On the opposite wall, the counter will stretch between the cabinets, allowing me a space for crafting and sewing! (Pinch me; I must be dreaming!!!) Walking into the room, the space on your left will have a shoe drop and coat hooks.  We’ll start using the exterior door in this room as our main entry point.













View #2 Looking through the exterior wall from the back yard.  You’ll notice that the cabinet over the washer/dryer is the wrong size.  That will be a combination of cabinetry and open shelves.  A hanging rack will be incorporated on that wall, as well.  The window over the sink will be a leaded or stained glass window to the master bedroom (which is composed of all interior walls, as you may remember) The office/kitchen is through the doorway on the right side of the room.













View #3













View #4













Now, for the fun part!

Picture this:














I keep our home very neutral, so the project room seemed like the perfect place to bring a little playfulness into our home.  I was smitten when I found this reproduction tile online.  (Let’s see what happens when I request a quote though!)

I’m thinking of going with an aged brass for the hardware (gasp!) and a fun color for the cabinets.  I have decided, however, not to decide on the cabinet color until everything is in the space.  It’s a very small room, and I want to keep the option of leaving them white if need be.  There’s no need to make the room feel even smaller, right!?


BeachBoy doesn’t want the space closed off with a door, but I have concerns since guests will walk past the room when we entertain (to get to the back yard).  I’m thinking a fun pocket door might be just the compromise we need.  Perhaps frosted or reeded glass?  Maybe a cute etched phrase?  We’ll see! (I have just the magazine clipping in mind….now, where is my inspiration folder?)


So, what do you think?



Yes, that’s right….total gut job.

Here is a photographic summary of our day.






























Did you catch that?














Ah, yeah.

So, we’re now at “total gut job” status.  As you probably already know, projects have a tendency to spiral out of control.  Ours always do!




I found that the more I let go in life, the more I grow.  The more I grow, the more alive I feel.

Today was a big day for me.  It was my final day as a teacher.

My whole life, I longed to teach.  And, for 6 years, I loved my job.  But, I found that it was time for me to let go and grow.  It was time for me to reconcile my priorities.  And, right under “1. God” on my priority list is “2. Family.”  It’s a funny thing though, how being a devoted teacher can push things out of whack.

You see, I am the type of teacher who cares for every child like my own.  I’m the teacher who is in the classroom 12 months a year, often as many as 12 hours a day.  I am the teacher who can’t fall asleep at night because I’m thinking about a struggling student.  I’m the type of teacher who takes every grumpy parent’s comments to heart because I just want what’s best for “my” child.  I’m the type of teacher who can’t say, “Well, I’ve tried hard enough.  There’s nothing else I can do.” Imagine, then, how that emotional roller coaster adds up when you have not a house filled with kids but a whole classroom full!

Yes, it was certainly time for me to reconcile my priorities with my energy and emotional expenditures.  So, today, I held my chin up and said goodbye to a classroom of students for the last time.  In so doing, I closed the door on my life-long dream and prepared for a fresh start.

I thought I would be sad today, but instead I found myself excited. It was a pleasant surprise.

You see, these past months, I’ve been studying and preparing to begin a new career.  I will be working from my favorite place (home!) as a holistic health counselor.  I am so excited about my new adventure and the prospect of devoting my energy toward my loving husband that I didn’t even think to be sad today.  And, I think that’s a good sign.  It reminds me that I’m on the right path. So, I’ll continue praying and walking.

I cherish my years of teaching and the ways in which they have prepared me for this new journey.  Now, I look forward to beginning my work with growing families and to helping them discover their own best health and happiness.

In just a few more days, my business website will be up and running, and I can’t wait to share it with you!  I’ve been so busy growing that I haven’t had much time to write lately, and now I will be helping others grow, too!

Boxes. For four and a half years, I’ve been trying to out run and out smart our boxes.














Every time we move (we’ve been in three places in four and a half years), I sort through everything we have and purge.  I cart things to Goodwill by the carload. I throw things in the trash.

How is it then, that we still have a storage room full of boxes?

This weekend, while most people enjoyed picnics and parades in honor of the holiday, BeachBoy and I packed boxes.  You see, the building I teach in is being remodeled this summer, and we are required to pack up everything, down to the stubbiest pencil, and move it out in boxes.  What a daunting task that is for a teacher who has spent years building an expansive classroom library.  It’s worse still when you are told the very limited time frame in which you have to complete this great task. We had two choices: give up the next two weekends or miss the deadline.

After day two of packing in the classroom, we took our first load to storage.  What a site it was when we opened the door to the storage room!  As I squeezed the new boxes into the space and sifted through the old ones in search of our summer clothes (they don’t fit in our TINY closet), I came to a decision.  After all the work I’ve put into cleaning up my health and my habits, shouldn’t I also clean up my boxes? YES! How else can I really lighten up my life?

I’m going to commit to selling no less than 90% of what is in boxes.  The remaining portion will be books (awaiting shelves in our library-in-progress) and a few seasonal items.

This summer will be the Great Clean Out of 2011. We will be done with boxes once and for all.  Won’t you join me and kick your boxes for good, too?



Last summer, I spent some time planning our soon-to-be library.  I’ve always dreamed of having a home library, nothing big, just a little nook carved out as a cozy place to relish a good book. 

Then, a roofer stepped through the ceiling, and we got a bit of a reality check.  The budget shifted from shelves to new drywall and flooring for the room. 

Then, we got another surprise.  Someone started smuggling lawn equipment out of our (doorless) out building. 

Brace yourself. This…well, this is my dream-in-waiting today:

The closest thing  to a book in my now future library turned garden shed is a set of directions that came with our new vessel sink.

Ah, but someday…

Someday there will be room to read, a cozy chair, a writing desk.  Someday there will be a wall of books, standing ready.  And, until then, I will continue planning the dream.

(Coastal Living)

While browsing Ballard Designs a few weeks ago, their new shoe storage units caught my eye.  I have officially found the design inspiration for the book cases in the library!  How fabulous!

(BeachBoy called it a “shoe shrine” when I shared the picture with him.  But, I know he would be secretly thrilled if our shoes were organized in something so lovely.  I don’t have to wonder.  I know.  I know because our house was built in 1940 and is nearly closetless. As for our books, well, a shelf is a shelf to him.)

This weekend, BeachBoy and I were lucky enough to meet two new friends. They are terribly sweet and sincere, and I feel lucky to have met such great Christian people.

 Over dinner, they shared of their time spent living in another country, where because of the dirt streets and running a business in their home while working full time, they hired a maid.  It was a necessity to keep the dirt out of the public business as the patrons drug it in on their shoes.  And, it kept the husband fed while the wife worked and he tended to customers.   Having a housekeeper was the norm in their country.  Nevertheless, being born and raised in the states ( a southern state, at that), she found it difficult to have someone else maintain the home. 

I found this very interesting.   What makes us, as women, feel the way we do about our homes?

I completely understood how she must’ve felt. The men, of course, thought we were crazy.  Why WOULDN’T you want a housekeeper?

Well, sure, that’s easy enough for them to say.  But, really, I wouldn’t.  Yes,  there are days when I”m tired and wish for a laundry-folding fairy-godmother after being on my feet at work for 12 hours, but I really wouldn’t feel right hiring someone to help around the house  (despite the fact that I work full time plus after hours.)

I can’t explain it really, but it would make me twitch.  Perhaps I would feel BeachBoy would see me as less capable.  Or maybe I just can’t give in to the fact that you  can’t do everything in life without help.  But, I’ve always said, “If you need a maid, one of three things has happened.  (Physical prblems aside) You are either overbooking your life, living in a larger house than you can manage, or too lazy to tend to it.”  I need to be careful of all three. 

Really.  There’s laundry in the front bedroom waiting to be folded.

Where the heck has she been for a WHOLE year, right?

Well, let me tell you!

BeachBoy and I turned off our internet connection and cable tv last year.  Yes, you heard me correctly.  We went a whole year without access to the outside world.  (Sure, we could’ve turned on a radio, but we don’t own one.)  I found it refreshing.  BeachBoy, a computer programmer, found it difficult. *Ahem* Care to guess which of us came up with the grand idea of doing without?

Fast foward a year…he got the gift of TV/Internet for his birthday.  How generous of me, right?  😉 

Anyway, here is our year in review. With the demolition and rebuilding of a (still unfinished) bathroom, a new roof which resulted in a fallen ceiling, repainting the exterior of the house, lots of trips, and  fun projects with my sister, it was a great year.  Gee, if we’d had the Net, I would’ve blogged about it! I guess I have some catching up to do!

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