The heaviness of life can sometimes feel like you are being crushed. We were reading about the water strider in science this week. The author of the book was pointing out the delicate balance this insect has with the water he lands on. His delicate body possesses just the right amount of weight to stay afloat on the water, without sinking below. The tension is RIGHT and NECESSARY between him and the water. Without tension from below, he would sink and would be unable to find his daily food. With extra tension from above, he would sink. Isn’t that so with life? We can feel the pressure being put on us from above by guilt, sadness, loneliness, sickness, and fear. Yet, please don’t forget that Jesus is holding us up so that we don’t sink below it all. He is our delicate balance. Oh, how I need to remember that truth when tensions are pressing from above. There is hope for those of us who feel like we are drowning.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
He’s got us.
This week, as I shared here, the kids and I have been surrounding ourselves with things that bring joy and healing. I’d love to share some of our moments this month, some usual and some special:
1. I love having this old door on which to spread around our planting supplies.
2. Our lemons are growing furiously. Lemonade was calling our name! Plus, the weather has been in the 80s and 90s so it was a welcome gift.
3. Becky and Jesse, our local SD photographer friends, came to do a fun photo shoot in our kitchen with the kids and I. It’s always fun to do something out of the ordinary. Plus, B & J are just good people. ;)
4. Spring is a couple of days away but our yard is blooming! Here are some of the succulents in Faith’s old fairy garden.
5. I love goofy kid smiles. You will find zero perfectly staged Olan Mills portraits on my walls.
6. Finally got to plant some seeds. We are 2 months late for CA, but thrilled to have some started. Here’s hoping we can keep the MANY kinds of critters out this year!
7. Laundry can be pretty if you find a cozy spot and chase some golden light. I like to throw a little Ray on as well because his music always takes me back to slow summer days.
8. I had my last bite of cheese a weeks ago so I made it pretty and soaked every last bite in. I remember telling a friend a few years ago that I would never be able to live without bread and cheese. Now, here I am, without either, and I haven’t collapsed into a complete tearful mess…yet.
9. I’ve attempted so many new “pinterest-y” projects to make some learning more exciting and my children don’t seem to be interested in my efforts yet. The project pictured is learning tally marks with popsicle sticks. It’s supposed to help those more tactile oriented kiddos, which is how my youngest learns best. The sticks kept moving too much, which Dean found frustrating. I’ve shed some tears of discouragement but I will keep trying!
10. Another lovely friend, Kristin Guy of DinexDesign, came to visit and let me play around with a box of mysterious props for her “You got served” styling challenge. So fun to play with some new things! She has remained a sweet friend after we met at an Alt Summit conference a few years ago. You can see my pictures on Kristin’s site here soon!
11. Seconds before I snapped this picture, I was watching a little hummingbird hover over those flowers. There is so much beauty to be found.
The last few days, the kids and I have been focusing on life-giving activities to find joy in the heaviness that can come with life. We’ve made lemonade from our lemon tree, grain-free waffles, cut our roses and kumquats to place around the house, planted seeds, read books in the garden, and sat and watched the birds that have been searching for twigs in anticipation of their baby birds. So much joy God has for us in the every day, if only we would find it. I really needed to soak some of that in this week, how about you?
My friend Rachel Faucett, of Handmade Charlotte, is a Jesus follower, homeschooling veteran, and creative GENIUS. She has one of the most vibrant personalities and is a super fun human to be around. She has teamed up with Pottery Barn Kids to bring you some amazing DIY kits for your kids to create with. Yay!
Plus, guess what? Saturday, March 7th at 11am I’ll be hosting an in-store event and make-along at the UTC Pottery Barn Kids store for the Handmade Charlotte DIY kits. Your kiddos get to make a FREE craft project and can also make one of the craft kits being offered in the store (once purchased). This is an RSVP event so make sure to call the store and pick one of two sessions: 11am – 11:30am and 11:30am – 12pm. Each session only has 11 spots so call right away to save your spot.
UTC Pottery Barn Kids
4505 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 92122
This event is happening at every Pottery Barn Kids across the country! Even if you’re not local to my area, click here to find a store near YOU!
I’m excited to see some of you! Let me know in the comment if you’ll be there! ;)
Friends, we only see little glimpses of each other’s lives. I love beautiful and uplifting pictures as much as the next person. I find wonderful encouragement in choosing the perspective of joy. Still, I believe we need to share the broken and ugly parts of our lives too. This picture has been a lot of my life the last 6 months, especially the last month. I share this hoping that it encourages you in your own brokenness, whether physical or spiritual. God sees you and holds you close. You are Beloved.
I was encouraged by Henri Nouwen in his book, “Life of the Beloved”:
“Our brokenness is truly ours. Nobody else’s. Our brokenness is as unique as our chosenness and our blessedness. The way we are broken is as much an expression of our individuality as the way we are taken and blessed. Yes, fearsome as it may sound, as the Beloved ones, we are called to claim our unique brokenness, just as we have to claim our unique chosenness and our unique blessedness.”
A dog who has forgotten where to go to the bathroom, in his old age.
Dirt coming in through the window.
Also, things I can’t even see and don’t want to see.
For these reasons, I’ve been wanting to make a flooring change for a LONG time. I knew that the project needed to be affordable and easy to figure out without needing to rent equipment. Painting my cement foundation was the perfect idea! When I was looking for tutorials and asking friends for advice on their painted floors, I found that most people repaint on a regular basis. I did NOT want to repaint every 6 months. While I was searching, I came across a blog that mentioned Sherwin Williams paint as the only paint that they had seen successfully adhere to cement. Plus, it’s self-priming, people! I immediately knew that was the paint for me.
In amazingly wonderful timing, I met someone from Sherwin Williams who offered to sponsor my paint for this project, which was lovely and wonderful of them. How amazing that I was going to buy it already!
***Exciting news! This project is featured on Porch’s website as one of the best DIY projects to tackle in the new year! Check out the feature here, along with several other amazing projects!***
Porch is a wonderful resource for finding home improvement specialists in your area to help you FINISH all of those projects you started. They provide tons of inspiration with many amazing project ideas, including mine! I’m sure you’ve been looking for a handyman, so download Porch’s app and get that sink fixed, already! They have a “pro dial” option to speak to a pro in under a minute as well as a super helpful concierge service for finding what you need. Sounds like a dream, right?
Here’s what you need to do to complete this project. I will share tricks and tools I learned with each step. Like a recipe, please read all of the steps so you know what you’re getting into. You’ll thank me later:
1. Remove the carpet and carpet pad (I put mine on Craigslist for FREE and someone came that day to get it. Yay!). You might need a screwdriver and/or crowbar to get the first corner of the carpet loose. I also removed an old built-in.
2. Remove the tack board and nails. Sweep up. I found the best method to be hammering a crowbar in between the floor and the tack board. You’ll have to use a mallet to hammer it. Once you get the crowbar mostly under the tack board, lift up and the board will come loose. Sometimes the pieces come off large and sometimes small. My boys loved helping with this part. Safety goggles and gloves are recommended. ;)
3. Remove the carpet glue. Our house was built in 1975 so, chances are, we will all encounter different kinds of glue and therefore varying difficulty removing it. For me, this was the part that took the most time and effort. I asked Sherwin Williams if I could paint over the glue and they said there is no guarantee the paint will stick to glue. I decided not to take the chance. However, I can share with you what I tried for removal and then what worked so hopefully you can skip past the trouble. Sound good?
What didn’t work:
Blood, sweat, and tears. For the first 1/8th of the floor, I tried the natural way with elbow grease and a lot of scraping (tried putty knife and wallpaper removing tool). I really wanted it to work. I spent an entire day on that 1/8th. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that much extra time.
I moved on to explore other options: acetate and paint thinner. Don’t waste your time. I cracked these open and just the smell was unbearable. No need to fill your lungs with that junk. I tried them in a little spot so I could share the best option with you and they didn’t work anyway. Plus, some of these products actually get down into the cement and NEVER leave. You don’t want to breathe that forever, people.
JASCO paint and epoxy remover (you can buy it on amazon here or at most hardware stores). For me, it’s the only thing that worked on the glue. It smells but doesn’t even compare to the unbearable chemical stench of others mentioned above. Don’t forget to wear gloves!
I went through a few tools before I discovered that the one pictured below works the best. It is technically called a tile scraper, but can also be labeled paint remover tool. You can get it at the hardware store. It has a heavy-duty blade, is only moderately sharp, and very sturdy. You will need something that can really get UNDER the glue after it’s softened from the adhesive remover. It was a good friend to me.
WEAR GLOVES! Apply a thin layer of adhesive remover over the glue. You will need to let it sit for 15 minutes. Once you wait the 15 minutes, apply the remover to the next area you will work on. Then, go back to the first area and start scraping. I used this method to work faster. This way, there is always an area “soaking” with adhesive while you are scraping another. Dump the glue and adhesive into a bucket (Sherwin Williams has the perfect size mini-bucket) or you can try to re-use the mixture on some other glue spots. It will just be less effective the second time and you should leave it on a bit longer. I totally tried it when I was running out of remover! It works. ;)
You will know the glue is fully removed when you can run your hand over the cement and feel no residue texture. If you have stubborn glue, you might have to go over some areas a second time.
4. Patch the nail holes in the ground with quick-set concrete patch. I got this tip from a contractor I met at the hardware store, who caught me staring at the cement. haha. He said he uses this little tub of Quickrete quick-set concrete all the time and it works great (you can buy here or it’s cheaper at the hardware store). You only have to mix up a little bit and the rest goes back neatly in the tub. Worked great!
You mix it until it’s just thick enough to spread. Then, patch the holes as you would a wall, scraping the excess with a putty knife.
5. Lightly sand the cement/concrete and previous glue spots, to ensure the excess is removed. Rough grit sandpaper is what you want because once the glue is removed, want the paint to adhere to a rough surface, not smooth. You can get the pole sander pictured below at Sherwin Williams or any hardware store. This pole can also be attached to most paint rollers for when you need to paint the floor later in this project, ceilings, or high walls. I’ve used mine a lot over the years.
6. Sweep, then give the floor a quick mopping to make sure there isn’t any residue remaining on the floor.
7. Paint the first color layer of the floor. My colors were Sherwin William’s “Snowbound” (white) and “Big Chill” (gray). I used an extender pole with my paint roller so I could paint standing up. This part was sooo fun! My favorite. ;)
8. Add a second coat and let it cure (means: leave it alone and with nothing on it!) for at LEAST 1 week. If you don’t, the paint will peel more easily.
9. After you wait at LEAST a week, measure, mark, and tape for the 2nd color stripe. I decided how large to make each stripe based on the size of the room. I figured out that I wanted 6 gray stripes at 18″ wide, which left me with the white stripes at 14″. I like it! Do your math and tape out a quick example to make sure you like the width. I ended up changing mine from my originally planned 20″ white and 12″ gray.
When taping the measurements, start by marking the tape measure (see below) with tape for a faster process. Make sure to tape on the correct side, depending on which side the paint is going. For example, below I was marking the 14″ line and my tape is marked on the left side of the 14 on the measuring tape. That way, way tape is on the inside of the white and not cutting into the gray 20″ space. Mark both sides of the room. This can feel a bit tedious, but you’ll be thankful you did it.
Now measure and put the tape on the bottom part of the wall instead of the floor. Next, use the chalk reel to make a line. With someone holding one end of the twine on one side of the room (or tape it), pull the twine to the opposite side and meet the same place on that tape marker. Then, pull up the string so it snaps the colored chalk on the ground. Sometimes you have to do it more than once to get a good line. Now, you simply tape where the line is. Cool, right? Kids can help with this fun part!
10. Paint the second color, leaving the tape on.
11. Let the floor cure for at least a few weeks (with tape on) for the best scratch-free results! It’s worth it! I left mine for 2 weeks, excluding the week I left it when I had the first white layer down.
12. Move the furniture back in and enjoy your new space! Don’t forget to put felt pads on the bottom of your furniture!
Just to be TOTALLY fair, here are some pictures of the floor 6 months later. You will be able to see what the wear and tear looks like. Most happened within the first few weeks when “people” weren’t being careful about metal on the floor. Once we figured it out, the wear has been minimal. I’m sure if I had one of those magic erasers, the scuffs would come off. I have a few places to touch up that I never got around to. Overall, I’m really happy with the floor and understood from the beginning that it would get some nicks and scuffs.
***Don’t forget! This project is featured on Porch’s website as one of the best DIY projects to tackle in the new year! Check out the feature here, along with several other amazing projects!***
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