A Train Table Gets A Second Life

 

Balcony seat before1

There has been some debate in my family as to who actually built this train table for my twins when they were little, but I’m sticking to my guns in saying it was my brother, R. If it wasn’t him and someone else wants to take the credit then please do and I apologize for forgetting. It has been at least 10 years though and I am quickly approaching 40 so…

I found this in the storage space under the sun room when I was doing the final clean out of the house. For a half second I thought about recycling it with the rest of the stuff I pulled out of all the hidden nooks and crannies, but in the next half of that second I realized it was well built and I could make something out of it. So I brought it to the apartment along with a side railing of a crib once occupied by one of the twins and later by E, and the cushions from  a couch I was trying to give away and went to work. And by work I mean I went to Joanne’s Fabrics to get 2 yards of fabric.

Balcony seat fabric

After cleaning off the wood (it was quite dusty) and taking apart the cushions which I then cut up to fit on the ply wood…

Balcony seat cushions

B and I stretched the fabric over the cushions, turned the whole thing upside down and went to town with our new toy staple gun.

Balcony seat stapling

Thankfully the lines on the cushion remained straight so that the result looked like this:

Balcony seat complete

Add a few toss pillows and VIOLA!

Balcony seat with pillows

Now all I need to do is paint it! (Sigh) That’s for another day!

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Name Changing Dilemma

It’s that time again…Drivers License renewal time! Come to think of it this is the first time I am having to renew my license since I moved to NC in 2005. And it’s my 40th Birth year. WOW! Lots of change going on. Which leads to my latest dilemma….to change my name or not to change my name.

I have a memory stuck in my head of getting ready for my roommate’s wedding in Wilmington, NC on November 5th (I think that was the exact date) when I received a phone call from my Attorney asking me if I was planning on changing my name to my maiden name. The question caught me off guard. She needed to know that day since she was preparing paperwork to be filed the following Monday. I asked if I could call her back and immediately called MA. I asked her to confirm that keeping my married name for the kids was for the best, after all I’d heard of kids having to explain why they had a different last name than their mother and I didn’t want to put my kids through any unnecessary stress. She encouraged me to go with my gut and so the name stayed. And I think I did the right thing…then.

Now…the kids are adjusted to the situation and seem perfectly at peace and I REALLY don’t want the same last name as my EX. Not that I don’t love some of his family members as if they were my own. And not that I don’t want to be linked to my kids by sharing their name. I just don’t identify as that person anymore. I don’t even like saying my last name when I introduce myself. And I like my maiden name. It’s who I first identified myself as and it’s who I still am today.

So why even suggest that there’s a dilemma, right? I mean, it seems like I’ve got the answer in the bag so to speak. Eh, not so much. It’s not easy to change your name. There are several documents that need to be filled out and taken to different places in particular steps within a particular time. And there is a cost. Not a huge cost, but a cost just the same. And I have to renew my license SOON (which has it’s own cost). Plus, there is someone special in my life (duh!) with whom there may have been discussions of getting married one day, but NOT before my license expires! So, again, do I go through all the work to change my name only to have to change it AGAIN in the near-ish future?

And now the fun part! I am posing the question to you. Do you think I should change my name back to my maiden name? Keep my married name? Or wait to one day be remarried?

Will It NEVER End?!

I thought by now, on the brink of turning 30…haha I mean 40, I wouldn’t have much left to discover about myself only to discover I know nothing!

When I started this blog I was on a mission to unveil the beauty of the ordinary woman because I myself had always felt ordinary, at least until I went through a divorce. It wasn’t until then I realized I had a lot to offer, but I hadn’t been able to see through the dislike I had for myself which was constantly being fueled by the critical nature of my EX. (I don’t put the blame on him for this, his criticalness is his problem, my insecurities were mine. We simply were not a good match.) While I was going through that time of really getting to know myself and discovering things I liked about myself, I thought I had it all figured out. What my strengths were (encouraging, supportive, able to see both sides, diplomatic, administrative),  what role I was supposed to play in my career path (admin/personal assistant) and what limitations I had to deal with (motherhood, indecisiveness, lack of creativity). Just the fact that I have more traits listed under strengths than limitations is a HUGE improvement on my former self perspective. But I wasn’t anywhere close to having it all figured out.

Three years later I look completely different. I still have a lot of the same strengths and admin assistant was a good role for me, the difference is in the realization I am capable of more than I ever imagined. My career has taken a slight turn to Human Resource-ville, which I love (not at all unbelievably since it requires all of the strengths listed above), but I have also become a co-owner of Wrinkled Blanket Media and a videographer! ME! A VIDEOGRAPHER! Who would have thunk it! I have also recently fallen in love with DIY design (see Exhibit A) and recorded my first mini-sode podcast with B! ABOUT A HORROR MOVIE! ME! This is just too much…fun!

EXHIBIT A: A little something I made to hold my jewelry.

Jewelry Bar After

Who am I and what have I done with that oldish mom without creativity?! How can I not have known about my love of design until now? Why did I waste all that money (of which I am still paying) on an education that has nothing to do with my current career nor my future career? Why did I marry someone so wrong for me at such a young age? Why is hind sight so stinking CLEAR?!

None of those questions matter because I can’t change any of that. I can, however, move forward and enjoy the journey. I’m sure there is still a lot to learn and discover about myself. Who knows? One day I may discover I love to write! And you know what? I’m not any more special than anyone else so this experience isn’t limited to me. I just hope when it happens for you it’s early enough to make those student loans worth it!

Interesting fact:
Most of the privileges and responsibilities of adulthood are legally granted by the age of 18 but a growing body of science says that critical parts of the brain involved in decision-making are not fully developed until years later at age 25 or so. 

 

It’s Time To Celebrate…Right?

My house sold today!

This one statement is the air horn signaling the end of an excruciatingly LONG chapter of my life. The kind of chapter you keep trudging through to get to the good stuff, no matter how tempted you might be to put the book down never to pick it up again, because you just know it has to get better. And while my inner self is screaming “GGGGOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL” and doing a happy dance, my heart is a mite bit heavier. Could it be because there were a lot of great memories in that house? Or because it was the only house my boys really remember and identified as home? Maybe it’s the failure of not being able to pay a debt in full that’s bothering me. The more I try to put my finger on it the more I believe the real reason for the weight I feel is the unfulfilled dreams I had for that home and what my life should have been in it (which in a way encompasses all the above).

Three years after my separation and subsequent divorce, there are still things to be mourned. I don’t think I was expecting that. Please do not mistake that to mean I want that life back. NOT IN THE LEAST. I’m the healthiest, happiest me I’ve ever been and the relationship I’m in now is a gazillion time better! But this is me we’re talking about and any deviation from a plan I have in my head upsets the balance (and I HATE having my balance upset!).

On the bright side I no longer have to worry about the plumbing backing up thanks to the nice tree root growing in the pipes, or the HVAC going kaputz since the poor this is 22 years old, or the leaky roof on the sun room, or yard work! And the best part about it is the person who bought the house wants to take care of all those things and has the skills to make that house into what it deserves. So I guess in the end it’s a win win. Oh, and I finally learned where the landfill is and how convenient it is to recycle paint, computer parts and EVERYTHING else you can think of there. They even have wood pallet recycling and you can TAKE wood pallets from there too! (see exhibit A to see why this is so exciting to me)

EXHIBIT A: Our Headboard

bed 2 After copy

 

All in all, it is a relief to have passed the dreams of what that house could be to someone else. I just wish I could see the results.

 

Happy Anniversary To Me!

I logged onto WordPress.com for the first time in several weeks to find out today is my one year anniversary! Yay! Now I really feel terrible for not posting in…months! Ahhh! I guess there’s no time like the present to get back on the horse, or is it back in the saddle? Either way, yee haw!

It’s a curious thing, and one I’ve been contemplating, that when I have the most to write about I don’t write at all. I’ve had some juicy stuff going on, the kind of stuff that starving journals are hungry for, yet my pen is stilled. Instead I remain in an overehelmed state until I finally pick it up again. As the ink runs out of the pen so goes my pent up stress. Until that moment my thoughts are akin to those little balls used in the lottery machine bouncing around and crashing into one another. Ouch!

When I first began this blog I wanted my experiences to help others. Not as in “do as I do because I got everything right”, but as in “maybe something I’ve tried will work for you”. Or at the very least, “maybe you realize you are not alone in this world”! There are others on their own search and journey to becoming a better person and so many approaches to reaching that goal. There’s also the possibility that we never fully accomplish becoming who we are going to be until we take  our last breathe.  I’d like to think that with every passing year I get closer to understanding myself, and while I believe this to be true, I am still discovering who I want to be. I thought I knew but the more time passes the more I realize there are so many possibilities for me personally.

If you’d ask me a couple years ago I was sure I’d met my calling by being an administrative assistant. That career path fulfilled my need to help and be a critical part of making things happen while not being fully responsible for the things happening. I still believe that job to be a good match for me and one I succeed in. But this last year has opened several other, completely different opportunities to me. Videography for instance. Or script writing. WOW! I was pretty sure I’d have a roll in someone else’s creativity, but actually being a creative one? I’m still not convinced, but it’s an exciting idea and just having the chance to try my hand at it…WOW! My heart is still eager to help others reach their fullest potential and working with B allows me to do that. He’s AMAZING and talented beyond anything I could hope to acheive! So assisting is still a career probability for me which suits me just fine.

Speaking of working with B, we have another wedding we’re shooting this weekend! I am so looking forward to this wedding not only because the location is going to be beautiful, or because we shot this couple’s engagement video (below), but because Lauren is my friend and she and Vaughan are a great couple and who doesn’t like to see their friends get married?! Please enjoy this video from Wrinkled Blanket Media and stay tuned for their wedding highlight video to follow shortly.

Lauren and Vaughan’s Engagement Video from Wrinkled Blanket Media on Vimeo.