I know I'm not the first one to say this, but this year seems to have flown by at warp speed.
We did a lot of DIY projects in the house despite having some major setbacks.
I made slipcovers for the dining room, lots of pillows and got out all the brass accessories I could find.
I was also loving hot pink last spring.
We started a mini reno in the master bedroom suite, which included taking out an unused bathtub and replacing it with a closet -- complete with restored doors from the old house.
We were not able to replace the floors or countertop, but had to make do with what we have. I would have loved white quartz counters and a marble-tiled floor and shower, but that is just a dream:-)
I ended up changing out all the hollow doors in the house to these solid oak doors from the old house, including vintage rim lock sets and glass door knobs in most of them.
The bedroom got a fresh vintage look with the addition of two new closets, and I added a DIY mantle on one of the old doors, which was featured on Country Living Magazine's website.
The small room my girls share, which was unbelievably horrible, finally got a beautiful French makeover on a seriously low budget. As long as I had promised and dreamed of adding on another bedroom so they could have separate rooms and sleepovers with friends, I came to the realization it was time to give up that dream and did what I could with what I had.
I finally papered the wall above the organ with sheet music and wondered why I didn't do it sooner.
Then, after all the work I did making the living room walls look like aged plaster last year, I ended up painting over all of it with a light shade of gray. Again, I wondered why I didn't do that sooner.
There were lots more little changes inside and out this past year, and changes that quite honestly won't matter in the long run. This year will actually be remembered for the horrific day when my husband, a world-class guitarist, almost lost his hand on the miter saw. Hearing him calling for me to take him to the hospital is something I will never forget. Seeing his wrist with a gaping hole is forever ingrained in my memory. But, despite the horror, I will remember the grace and healing of God. Even as he struggled through months of therapy to feel and use his fingers, and as late as December still with numbness, he has recovered remarkably well and has been able to play, but not without a lot of hard work.
When he was injured, we had just started on the master bedroom and bath project with the intention of getting it all done before photographers came to photograph the house for a magazine. It was literally chaos with lumber piled up, doors off and no way to finish any of it. I was ready to cancel because I knew there was no way I could do it all by myself, and we certainly could not afford to have someone come in and do it for us.
Despite the trauma of such an injury, though, he selflessly pushed through it to help me finish the projects so the shoot would not be cancelled.
It was *not* easy, but he did it because that's the kind of man he is. Selfless.
When I look back at the things we did, I don't just see DIY projects, I see the hard work and perseverance of someone who truly understands what it is to give to others with love and with all he has.
I see the grace and mercy of God and the lessons He wants to teach us through our circumstances.
I see how possible it is to make do with only what you have -- and be happy with that.
But most of all, I see that giving is always better than receiving -- regardless of whether we have a little or a lot.
And that is exactly what I will remember with thankfulness and humility about 2014.
I'll be joining: