Thursday, September 20, 2012


The past few weeks, I've been quite the grump. My time in the Word hasn't been the most fruitful and my time with my husband has been, at best, minimal. He's been swamped with work and I've been stuck inside this apartment far too long. Not to mention the house forever feeling messy and my inability to make a meal without making approximately 7,923 dishes dirty and clogging the sink for a day or two. Ugh.

 But thankfully, we have a God that is unwilling to let us just sit in our own mess and pout. I absolutely LOVE how the Lord is able to use other people in my life to point me to Him and encourage me. While this week was hard, it was also very and encouraging and helped shift my perspective:

- Jon and I were able to have a great conversation the other night with a couple very similar to us who are a year ahead of us in this program.
- I went on a 4 mile and a 4.5 mile run as well as played soccer for the first time in forever.
- An old friend called me up and we were able to catch up. So great.
- Went to community group for church for the first time.
- The cooler weather seems to help a lot, too. SO excited for fall!
- Really digging into the book of Job with Jon at night before bed.
- The new songs that Redemption Hill recorded are amazing!!

Encouraging. It is so good to be able to see from a perspective other than my own. I can easily become stagnant and ungrateful because I start to make my life revolve around what I am looking for and what I want and what makes me happy. Ultimately, I have absolutely no clue what will truly make me happy, and need to trust in God for that. Moving to Memphis was NOT something I wanted, or ever thought would make me happy... but it has been growing me and refining me in ways I could never have imagined. Praise God, He has been so faithful.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Opening Up The Kitchen

Rental apartments can be kind of rough sometimes, especially the bathrooms and kitchens. I have developed quite the hatred for those off-white and wood veneer particle board cabinets. I think you all know the ones I mean. Ick.

Since I work from home, I get more time than is recommended to be around them and stare them down.   Then there was also the issue of the doors slamming shut and hitting dishes because of old hardware, or hitting the pots and pans hanging because it's so tiny of a space, or not being able to reach anything because doors don't open logically, or the perpetual griminess of them...

This past week, I think I snapped. Kitchen, we are at war!  It's time for you to work how I want you to without this stupid dance we do everyday.

Armed with a screwdriver a a ton of mason jars, I removed all the cabinet doors, rearranged, and unboxed everything I could. It really only took about 2 hours or so, and I got lucky because the cabinet hinge screws attached to the inside rather than the front, so no ugly holes to patch.  Whew! So worth it!

I tried to stick to displaying like colors and keeping it simple: white plates with splashes of teal, red and yellow. If I could I would narrow it down to 1 or two colors, but I didn't feel like fussing too much.

 I used an old shoe box covered in pretty paper to house all the sauces and oils above the stove. It was a double win, because it hides the bottles and makes it easier for me to find what I need since I can just take the whole box down. This is a better alternative to having to grab a chair and root around up there over hot burners. Smart.

Friends have asked what I plan on doing about dust and such, but I can assure you that we use pretty much everything in the kitchen on a regular basis so it doesn't sit around enough to get dusty.  For the pieces we don't use as often, those are stowed away below.  Everything has it's place and it's orderly without having to fuss with it again or try to stage it.  I can see everything, it's within reach, and uncluttered.

Also a win was being able to stack my plates vertically again.  Before, the doors hit them and they were getting chipped.  Stacking them vertically has made much better use of the space, caused less chipping of the plates, allows easier access, and eliminates dust issues.

Even better, I can reclaim a whole bookshelf and a closet shelf that had been storing extra kitchen things because the rearranging and open cabinets allowed for me to bring it all back to the kitchen. Success! It's still a little darker and more blah than I would like, but it's a vast improvement from where it was. I haven't decided if I want to paint or paper the insides yet, as it's just a rental and we won't be living here next year... but I know it would look oh so pretty and brighten it up even more.

Anyone else have any fun rental property fixes? How do you deal with the quirks and make it your own without any serious modifications?  I'd love to hear!
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